EXCLUSIVE: Former UTA and ICM talent agent Steven Fisher has joined management and production company Underground as a manager. Fisher exited UTA last month after working out of the agency’s NYC office for three years. Before that he was at ICM for seven years. Fisher’s making the move cross-country with his family to L.A., where he’ll work with Underground’s Trevor Engelson, Evan Silverberg, Chris Dennis, and Josh Turner McGuire while Noah Rothman works out of Underground’s NYC offices. “I wanted to get back to L.A. and roll up my sleeves, and most of my clients are writer-performers in L.A.,” said Fisher. He joins Underground with clients Desi Lydic (MTV’s Awkward), Jamey Sheridan (Homeland), John Phillips (Pittsburgh Heat, Dirty Grandpa), Liz Carey (Chelsea Lately, Walk Of Shame), Mike Zegen (Frances Ha, Boardwalk Empire, Girls), Miles Fisher (Bad Advice, J. Edgar, Final Destination 5), Rus Blackwell (Banshee), and Jessie Ennis (G.B.F., Shards).
Talent agent Chris Dennis has joined management/production company Underground as a manager. For the past five years, Dennis was at Paradigm as a talent agent. Because of his switch from agenting to management, it is unclear which clients will follow him to Underground. “The hardest thing about growing a company is finding the right people to bring into the fold,” said Underground’s Trevor Engelson. “With Chris we’ve found the perfect fit for us, a true hustler with a gigantic future over here at Underground.” Best known for its literary business, Underground has been working on building its talent side over the past couple of years. Dennis joins managers Engelson, Evan Silverberg and Josh Turner McGuire in the LA office and Noah Rothman who recently joined the company’s NYC office.
Freelance journalist Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Australia.
Underground, a TV movie that chronicles WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s teenage career as a computer hacker in 1980s Melbourne, will have its world premiere in the contemporary world cinema section of the Toronto International Film Festival. NBCUniversal International will launch its sales efforts in Toronto and the telemovie will air in Australia on Network Ten. Playing Assange is 21-year-old Alex Williams in his first post-graduate role, with Rachel Griffiths as his mother and Laura Wheelwright as his girlfriend. Written and directed by Robert Connolly, the project is based on the 1997 novel Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier by Suelette Dreyfus, on which she collaborated with Assange who has been fighting extradition from London to Sweden on sex crimes allegations.
Management/Production company Underground is bringing Noah Rothman on board as a manager to be based out of NYC. Joining the team of Trevor Engelson, Josh McGuire and Evan Silverberg. Rothman joins the company after having worked at 3 Arts. He will open the New York branch of Underground as the company continues to grow its list of actors, writers and directors.
On the production side of things, Underground recently set up a number of projects around town including Ground Control To Major Tom at Disney to be directed by Seth Gordon; Carmen San Diego at Walden starring Jennifer Lopez; Rise at Warner Bros with a script from Melton & Dunstan and David Karlak directing, and Bad Advice From My Brother at Comedy Central based on Jordan Pope Roush’s popular blog.
“Noah is a true hustler and a perfect fit for what we were looking for, said Underground’s Trevor Engelson. He has a great eye for up and coming talent and is going to be a big part of helping Underground grow. We are all very happy to have him with us.”
In January, WikiLeaks announced the launch of a Julian Assange-hosted talk show that would include interviews with “key political players, thinkers and revolutionaries from around the world.” Today, WikiLeaks and RT, Russia’s state-funded multilingual network, said the WikiLeaks’ founder’s show, The World Of Tomorrow, will debut Tuesday, April 17. Ten episodes were originally scheduled to start airing in March with the promise of reaching 600 million viewers. WikiLeaks now says 12 episodes have been completed and will air on RT, as well as online and on “other networks to follow.” Assange, who’s under UK house arrest awaiting a decision on possible extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault, conducted the interviews from the “secret location” where he’s holed up. The first 26-minute episode will feature “a notorious guest” whose identity is still under wraps. What we do know is that the first guest will be “particularly controversial” and “highly charismatic.” (The hush-hush nature of the show is kind of ironic for an organization known for its whistle-blowing prowess, I’m just sayin’…) Among future interview subjects are dissidents and some people who have never been interviewed on English-language
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has bought an action/sci-fi pitch created by David Karlak titled Rise, marking the scribe’s first studio sale. Roy Lee and Underground will team to produce the project, the details of which are under wraps. Lawrence Grey is also a producer, and John Middleton is executive producing. Karlak, who has gained buzz around town thanks to his short film The Candidate, is repped by Paradigm, Underground and attorney Dave Feldman. Saw franchise writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan teamed with Karlak to write the pitch.
Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan, whose credits include the fourth through seven Saw installments as well as the upcoming Hellraiser remake and the sequel Piranha 3 Double D, are moving into publishing with a Little Brown deal for their first novel, Blacklight. The book is the story of a ghost hunter private eye with psychic abilities who is hired to take the inaugural ride on the new bullet train that goes directly from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. His job is to figure out if the train’s haunted, but each case he takes on fuels his own lifelong obsession: to locate the spirits of his parents who were the victims of an unsolved murder when he was a child. The scribes intend for this to be the start of a series surrounding the private eye, Buck Carlsbad. Melton & Dunstan’s reps at Underground and APA will shop the feature rights.
EXCLUSIVE: Neil Marshall, whose period action film Centurion opens today, has been set to direct Underground, a David Cohen-scripted horror thriller set in the world of gourmet underground supper clubs. Now, considering the cannibalism that Marshall featured in his post-apocalyptic film Doomsday, who knows what he’s putting on the menu? I asked the producers for clarity and was told the protagonist is an ambitious young chef who ventures into the terrifying underbelly of extreme cuisine. The film’s produced by Taka Ichise and Erin Eggers of Ozla Pictures, along with Cohen and Jeremy Platt. ICM, which reps Marshall and Cohen and just signed Ozla Pictures, is packaging the film. Marshall’s managed by Principato Young, Cohen by Generate.