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TCA: Young Auds Want Mortality Dramas Like ‘Red Band Society’, Not ‘Twilight’

By | Sunday July 20, 2014 @ 2:56pm PDT

TCA: Young Auds Want Mortality Dramas Like ‘Red Band Society’, Not ‘Twilight’While Fox’s Red Band Society drama deals with the grave topic of ill-stricken teenagers in a Los Angeles children’s hospital, the potentially grim subject matter didn’t daunt network executives, the show’s executive producers said today at TCA.  Commenting on the recent string of illness-centered dramas, including The Big C, and Chasing Life alongside the ABC Studios-produced Red Band Society, series EP Margaret Nagle said, “Teens and twentysomethings aren’t about the immortality as seen in Twilight. Rather, they’re more focused on dramas that deal with mortality. They’re very forthright about these things.  The way that the show can work is that it has to tonally go to that place of teen life, i.e. My So-Called Life. Even M.A.S.H. was an influence with this series. Those shows were willing to go to a place with their material that were off-center, and off-center was where they thrived.”

Originally intended to be part of ABC’s lineup, Red Band Society landed on Fox’s fall schedule instead.  EP Justin Falvey said that Fox “feels like it’s a better fit.” Read More »

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‘Twilight Saga’ Financier Goldcrest Sues Summit For Millions Owed In Revenue

By | Wednesday April 9, 2014 @ 4:06pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEThe Twilight Saga films may be over, but the battle for money from the blockbuster franchise is not. Financier Goldcrest Film Distribution hit Summit today with a multimillion-dollar breach of contract lawsuit (read it here) over the movies. “As a direct result of Defendant’s deceptive accounting practices in which it systematically understates the Twilight revenues and imgresoverstates its costs, however, Goldcrest has received many millions of dollars less than it is due,” says the heavily redacted document filed today in LA Superior Court. The plaintiff says they are trying “to recover several million dollars in payments” from the more than $392 million that the first Twilight made worldwide. In a 2008 sub-distribution deal Goldcrest says in the filing it agreed to front Summit and others $10 million for four films based on the bestselling vampire books by Stephenie Meyer. For the upfront payment, the London-based financier was to get a hefty slice of the pics’ global net revenue.

Obviously that didn’t happen to Goldcrest’s satisfaction with what they allege are fast and loose moves on the part of Summit, now a Lionsgate subsidiary. “We uncovered numerous improper accounting charges, including retroactive ‘bonuses’ paid to actors Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson after Twilight was released, which were not due under their agreements. These bonuses were paid and charged back to Goldcrest long after Twilight was completed,” said Goldcrest attorney Mark Holscher of Kirkland & Ellis in a statement … Read More »

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‘Twilight’ Franchise Writer Melissa Rosenberg Tapped To Toughen Female Spy Pic for Summit

By | Tuesday December 10, 2013 @ 10:44am PST

melissarosenberg-copy__111117173846-275x363EXCLUSIVE: Melissa Rosenberg, the screenwriter behind the multi-billion dollar Twilight franchise, has sealed a deal to redraft an untitled female actioner from a comedy to a fast-paced female-ensemble spy pic at Summit Entertainment for producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian with Benderspink executive producing.

It’s always nice to see projects with a strong female leads written by a strong woman.

The project has gone through previous incarnations with a screenplay originally penned by Douglas S. Cook and David Weisberg (The Rock, Double Jeopardy) under the working title Blank Slate with a re-write by Erich and John Hoeber (Red) under the title The Kiss Off.

The story, now untitled, is now taking a turn away from what was going to be a comedy and gearing more the pic towards a female-centric actioner in the line with Salt, also produced by the team of di Bonaventura and Vahradian. It will focus on a group of female spies.

Given her track record, this is Rosenberg’s baliwick. And having worked myself with former CIA operatives through the Association of the Recovery of Children, I can tell you, the former females spies are just as tough … and definitely more wily … than the guys. Read More »

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Former Paramount “Book Whisperer” Patricia Burke Joins Gotham Lit Agency Lippincott Massie McQuilkin

By | Wednesday June 26, 2013 @ 8:36am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Patricia Burke, long a champion of book-to-film adaptations as an executive at Columbia Pictures, Fox, Jaffe/Lansing and when she headed the Gotham office of Paramount Pictures, has joined the New York-based literary agency Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. Burke takes the post of Director of Dramatic Rights. She had most recently been with Inkwell Management.

Her job: to drawing upon LMQ’s rich trove of frontlist as well as backlist properties, including those of the many estates that came with LMQ’s 2012 purchase of literary agency Russell & Volkening. Burke will work both directly with studios and producers as well as in coordination with other co-agents on the West Coast. She is well suited for the job; for one thing she has the patience to blow the dust off those books and read them; and she has long been an unsung matriarch for film-centric books and the executives who chase them down for studios and producers. Many of the execs and scouts chasing books for movies worked for Burke at one time or another. Among the films she championed are Fatal Attraction, Forrest Gump, Nobody’s Fool, No Country For Old Men, Hugo, Into the Wild, Mystic River, and Kiss The Girls. Also on that list is Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga book series; Burke got Paramount to acquire the book before it was anything, but the studio then let go of the series, which Summit Entertainment picked up and turned into a game-changing franchise. Read More »

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Melissa Rosenberg In Overall Deal With ABC Studios

By | Monday October 22, 2012 @ 4:10pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Twilight writer Melissa Rosenberg is formalizing her relationship with ABC Studios with an overall deal. The rich pact for Rosenberg and her Tall Girls Prods, which is being finalized, stems from her partnership with the studio on the upcoming midseason ABC series Red Widow. Rosenberg wrote the drama, an adaptation of the Dutch series Penoza, and is executive producing/showrunning for ABC Studios and Endemol. The series stars Rahda Mitchell as a widow of an assassinated criminal who is suddenly forced to adopt her late husband’s role in order to protect her family. Read More »

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Robert Pattinson To Star In ‘The Rover’

By | Thursday May 3, 2012 @ 12:15pm PDT

Robert Pattinson The Rover MovieRobert Pattinson has been cast as one of the leads in David Michod’s The Rover. The film chronicles a man who relentless pursues a gang who stole his car through the wild and rough Australian outback of the near future. Pattinson, best known for playing Edward in the Twilight franchise, will play Reynolds, the brother of one of the thieves who is left behind when an encounter with the police goes very wrong. Guy Pearce co-stars in the film as the man in search of his car. David Linde’s Lava Bear and Liz Watts’ Porchlight are producing the film. Pattinson was just attached to star in Jean-Stephane Sauvaire’s Mission Blacklist, and he also toplines the David Cronenberg-directed Cosmopolis that is in competition at this month’s Cannes Film Festival. David Michod is repped by UTA, Australian Agent Jane Cameron at Cameron Cresswell and attorney Alan Wertheimer. UTA Independent Film Group is representing The Rover for sale. Pattinson is repped by WME, 3 Arts, and Curtis Brown.

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‘The Hunger Games’ Edited In U.K. To Secure Teen-Friendly Rating

By | Tuesday March 13, 2012 @ 3:24am PDT

The Hunger Games RatingLionsgate UK has shaved years off the potential local rating for The Hunger Games by making 7 seconds worth of tweaks. According to Britain’s ratings board the BBFC, the film was likely to receive a 15 certificate without the changes Lionsgate made in order to secure the younger-skewing 12A rating (similar to a PG-13 in the U.S.). Fixes were made in four scenes of violence and one showing details of injuries. The board says the edits were for the most part implemented ahead of formal submission, after Lionsgate had sought advice on how to ensure the 12A. Some or all of the tweaks — many of which apparently had to do with blood — were substitutions. The film will be released March 23 with the consumer advice tag: “Contains intense threat, moderate violence and occasional gory moments.” In the U.S., The Hunger Games secured a PG-13 for “intense violent thematic material and disturbing images — all involving teens.” The Gary Ross-directed adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ hit novel (the first in a trilogy) has been tracking huge with expectations Read More »

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Lionsgate Calms Investors With Talk About Charlie Sheen, ‘Hunger Games’ And ‘Twilight’

Based on this morning’s nearly 6%-plus pop in Lionsgate’s share price, you’d never know how badly the company’s fiscal Q3 report released last night fell short of analyst forecasts. The market is forward looking, though, and Lionsgate execs filled their morning conference call with upbeat talk about their movie and TV plans. CEO Jon Feltheimer has high hopes for Charlie Sheen’s upcoming series on FX, Anger Management. The first 10 episodes begin production March 19. If they do well, then it “will be one of our most profitable series ever,” Feltheimer says, adding that Sheen ”resonates with audiences around the world.” The company expects to have Anger Management double run in syndication much earlier than usual, and to have repeats on FX within 2 1/2 years. “We would be shooting it about twice as fast as you’d typically shoot a network show,” Feltheimer said. Now that its acquisition of Summit Entertainment has closed, the company is also cheering tonight’s home video release of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1; the second-to-last Twilight installment will be out earlier than usual to coincide with Valentine’s Day. Lionsgate expects it to sell about as well as the previous film from the series, Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Many stores, including several Walmarts, will stay open past midnight to accomodate fans who can’t wait. Trailers for Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2 will debut at showings of The Hunger Games beginning on its opening night. Not surprisingly, Lionsgate co-chair Rob Friedman says that if author Stephenie Meyer wants to write another Twilight installment, then “we’ll be there to support her.” Read More »

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Lionsgate Shares Down On Fiscal Q3 Earnings Miss

The production company’s shares dove more than 8% in initial after-hours trading — but recovered to a more modest loss later — after it released what appears to be a dreary report. Lionsgate had a net loss of $1.7M in the last three months of the year vs a $6M loss at the end of 2010, on revenues of $343M, down 23.6%. Analysts expected revenues to be much higher, at $358.8M. The company’s net loss, at 1 cent a share, also contrasts with the 9 cent profit that the Street anticipated. Lionsgate says that revenues suffered from the lack of a wide theatrical release in the quarter; last year it had three. As a result, motion picture revenues fell 28.6% to $233.3M. TV production was down by 6.8% to $89.7M. Home entertainment also struggled with revenues from movie releases of $128.9M (-28.8%) — slightly offset by $34M for TV shows (+108.6%). Lionsgate said it made $7.3M from its 31,2% stake in EPIX, an improvement from the $11.1M loss on the investment in the same quarter in 2010. But that was somewhat offset by the $2.1M loss on its 51% of TV Guide Network a slight increase from the $2M loss last year. Read More »

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‘Twilight’ Co-Star Christopher Heyerdahl Joins HBO’s ‘True Blood’ As Recurring

By | Wednesday January 18, 2012 @ 8:49am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Christopher Heyerdahl, who plays an ancient vampire in the Twilight Saga movies, will now play one in another screen adaptation of a popular book series — this time on TV. Heyerdahl is joining HBO’s hit vampire drama True Blood in a recurring role. He will portray Dieter Braun, an ancient, powerful vampire who plays a large part in the intelligence of the Authority and especially enjoys enhanced interrogation. That is familiar territory for Sanctuary alum Heyerdahl, who played the ancient Volturi vampire Marcus in three of the Twilight movies: New Moon, Breaking Dawn Part 1 and the upcoming Part 2 (photo on left). Additionally, he played a demon in an arc on the CW’s Supernatural. Heyerdahl, repped by Open Entertainment’s Lesa Kirk, currently co-stars on the AMC drama series Hell On Wheels playing Norwegian badass The Swede. The period Western was recently renewed for a second season.

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‘Star Trek’ Vs. ‘Star Wars’ Vs. ‘Twilight’

By | Monday December 12, 2011 @ 7:25pm PST

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Henry Cavill Talks New ‘Superman’ On Leno

The Immortals star confirms on The Tonight Show that he almost became the new James Bond (“down to Daniel and me”) and was Stephenie Meyer’s first choice for Twilight (“she apparently was very keen on me playing it, but by the time it came around to casting I was too old”). In Man Of Steel, Russell Crowe plays his father. But 11 years ago, Cavill appeared as an extra in the Crowe pic Proof Of Life. Cavill walked up to Crowe and asked what it was like to be an actor. And two days later received a photo of Russell in Gladiator signed, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Cavill says he trained two hours a day for eight months to play Superman and talks about the new look here:

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‘Twilight’ Trailer Preview: ‘Breaking Dawn — Part 1′

For Twilight fans who can’t wait until the full one is released Tuesday, here’s Summit’s short snippet of the Breaking Dawn — Part 1 trailer, with a newlywed Bella in peril.

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2011 Comic-Con: Which Film Will Deliver?

Deadline Comic-Con film correspondent Luke Y Thompson files:

If Comic-Cons can be said to have a theme, this year’s which began Wednesday is “free-for-all.” Usually, there is one property that is expected to dominate (IRON MAN and TRON LEGACY have been there, done that) and one that upsets (300, SIN CITY). This year, with AVENGERS unexpectedly not doing a presentation – though they have a giant set in the main hall with the logo for photo ops – it’s a wide-open field. TWILIGHT will of course be huge with a very particular segment of the audience, and Universal’s new SNOW WHITE may persuade those fans to stick around. REAL STEEL dominates the banners that hang from lamp-posts, and while that’s not doing a formal presentation either, Comic-Con attendees just might want to follow @realsteelmovie on Twitter. And maybe @RealHughJackman too.

GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE has the potential to be something truly nuts, but THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is a question mark. With a high-quality trailer already leaked, some of the wind is out of its sails. The trailer looks fine, and surprisingly Fincher-esque coming from the director of (500) DAYS OF SUMMER. But it feels redundant: that same origin tale again, and so soon that there’s a disconnect – my eyes expect Emma Stone’s face to be Bryce Dallas Howard’s each time Gwen Stacy shows up.

Steven Spielberg is more of a draw than the movie he’s representing; ditto Patrick Stewart, but if we … Read More »

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UPDATE: Japan Quake-Tsunami Puts ‘Tangled’ And ‘Megamind’ Openings In Limbo; Also Halts Sony Biz Production

By | Friday March 11, 2011 @ 8:49am PST

UPDATE: Two 3D animation movies were supposed to open big in Japan this weekend for the March school holidays. But Disney’s Tangled and DreamWorks Animation’s Megamind are now in limbo. That scary 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan also looks to have a major impact on the technology industry and in turn entertainment. Sony stopped production in six of its northeastern factories, which produce Blu-ray discs, magnetic heads for hard drives, and batteries. That could affect games, movies, and computers (some of Apple’s components are made in Japan, but there’s been no word whether the quake will affect the launch of the company’s iPad2 that is set for this weekend).

In fact, the entire sector may feel the pain by the halted production and any long-term issues which could have a ripple effect throughout Japan, Hawaii, and of course California. The national touring company of Spamalot packed up and left Ventura because of the tsunami warnings.

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Island beach area in British Columbia where Taylor Lautner and Kristin Stewart and others are filming the finale of the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, were evacuated. Needless to say, Internet chatter made a big deal of this.

In the meantime, Hollywood actors, pop stars and rockers have gone online to express sympathy for victims of the tragedy.

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‘The River’ & ‘Awakening’ Find Their Leads, Two Board ‘Tagged’ & ‘Wonder Woman’

By | Thursday March 3, 2011 @ 5:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

British actor Joe Anderson (Across the Universe) has landed the lead in ABC’s drama pilot The River directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The horror thriller, from DreamWorks TV, ABC Studios and Paranormal Activity mastermind Oren Peli, centers on Lincoln Cole (Anderson) who, after his famous TV explorer father goes missing way up the Amazon, reluctantly abandons his medical studies and follows in his father’s footsteps – accompanied by a small camera crew, and with Something Deadly in the water, waiting for him. Anderson, repped by CAA, Management 360 and U.K.’s United Agents, co-stars in the two-part The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, in which he plays English nomadic vampire Alistair.

Another twentysomething Brit, Lucy Griffiths, has landed the lead in the CW’s zombie thriller Awakening. The project, from WBTV and Reveille, is about two sisters coming of age and facing off against one another amidst the beginning of a zombie uprising. It centers on the older sister, Jenna (Griffiths), an attorney in the New York City’s public defender’s office who, like her sister, is a zombie. This marks the first U.S. acting gig for Griffiths, which stems from the talent holding deal she inked last month with CW’s sibling network CBS. In the U.K., the actress, repped by the Kohner Agency, Principal and the U.K.’s Hamilton/Hodell, played Maid Marian on BBC’s Robin Hood.

Read More »

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‘X-Men: First Class’ Drafts Twilight Vampire Edi Gathegi To Play Biracial Mutant Darwin

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Edi Gathegi, who played a chillingly evil vampire in Twilight and Twilight Saga: New Moon, is joining X-Men: First Class in the role of Darwin. That character, the first bi-racial mutant (in the comic series), has the power of “reactive evolution,” which allows him to adapt to any situation or environment. Plunged underwater, he’ll grow gills, he’ll gain night vision in pitch black and his skin grows fire retardant when burned.

Gathegi, who played Laurent in the Twilight films, just wrapped production on the Paul Johansson-directed adaptation of the Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged. He’s repped by Paradigm and Framework.

X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn has set James McAvoy to play Xavier, Michael Fassbender to play Magneto, Alice Eve as Emma Frost, Nicholas Hoult to play Beast, Jennifer Lawrence to play Mystique, Caleb Landry Jones to play Banshee and Lucas Till to play Havoc. Kevin Bacon is playing the villain.

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‘ECLIPSE’ KEEPS BREAKING RECORDS: Twilight Saga Threequel Sets Best Ever Wednesday Opening Of $68.5M; Thursday $24.2M; Six-Day July Fourth Holiday Estimated At $178M; Twi-Hards Mob Theaters In U.S., Canada, Overseas

twilight-saga-eclipse-poster10TH UPDATE, THURSDAY 11 PM: No. 1 at the North American box office was the Twilight Saga: Eclipse with what looks like $24.2M today for a new cume of $92.8M and $110M for 5 days with a total of $178M for the 6-day July Fouth Holiday since Wednesday. That would put the pic just shy of Spider-Man 2 which holds the July 4th holiday record with $180M.

9TH UPDATE, THURSDAY 3:30 PM: Summit Entertainment is disclosing that THE TWILIGHT SAGA: Eclipse had “an incredible start” internationally. Despite great weather and the World Cup, Eclipse launched with an estimated $19M from 22 markets. The only major territories that opened on June 30th were Italy, Brazil, and Russia. Other majors like Spain, Australia and Mexico launch today. France, Germany, S. Korea and Japan will launch in the weeks to come. Here are some highlights of opening day results: Eclipse Kicks Off Big International Run

8TH UPDATE, THURSDAY 8 AM: I can report now that the 3rd film in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga series of novels is off to a record-breaking start at the North American box office. Summit Entertainment’s ECLIPSE opened to $68.5 million today which shattered the best-ever $62 million for a Wednesday single day opening set last summer by Paramount’s Transformers 2. That $68.5M included Eclipse‘s record-setting $30M from Wednesday 12:01 AM and 3 AM showings at more than 4,000 theaters in the U.S. and Canada. Eclipse also registered the biggest single day opening during the summer play period, besting The Dark Knight‘s $67.2M. But the Twilight saga’s 2nd film, New Moon, still holds the largest single day opening record of $72 million. Eclipse is playing in 4,416 domestic locations, which sets another record for the biggest ever release in Hollywood history, surpassing Iron Man 2‘s 4,380 venues. 

eclipse orange2Stay tuned for the David Slade-directed Eclipse starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner from Melissa Rosenberg’s script to set more records over this 6-day July 4th holiday weekend. I’ve learned that 57% of the audience attending opening day did so because of the “subject matter”, while 36% did so because of the actor in the lead role, and 15% because of the actress in the lead role. Eclipse received a Cinemascore overall grade of “A” with 92% of moviegoers giving the pic an A or B. Read More »

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‘Twilight’ Saga Facebook Page Now Has More Fans Than ‘Iron Man’, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Transformers’, ‘Toy Story’ Combined


eclipse premiere

THE TWILIGHT SAGA Facebook page now has 6.665 million fans. (Above, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart sign autographs at last night’s Eclipse premiere.) It’s the largest of all the film pages, with more fans than Iron Man, Harry Potter, Transformers, and Toy Story Facebook pages combined.

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