Money disputes couldn’t stop the Entourage movie from going forward and neither can Kevin Connolly breaking his leg. The actor broke his left leg in two places Wednesday while playing football on set in L.A. with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, I’ve learned. The accident, which Connolly posted a pic of on Twitter on March 21, occurred while the cameras were rolling on the Warner Bros pic. (UPDATE 12:53 PM - According to a tweet from director Doug Ellin, the actor caught the ball.) Connolly immediately iced his leg, I’m told, and went back to work to do the next scene soon afterward. He showed up for work the next day, and production on the movie based on the long-running HBO Hollywood hustle series has not been interrupted at all. Super Bowl XLVIII-winning Wilson is set to make a cameo in the movie.
With Wilson, Connolly, Jeremy Piven and the rest of the gang on screen, the Entourage movie is due to hit theaters on June 12, 2015 – four years after the series wrapped on HBO. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Channing Tatum and producing partner Reid Carolin are in talks to come aboard The Son, the crime thriller by Norwegian novelist Jo Nesbo. The novel, which will be published in Norway tomorrow and by Knopf in the U.S. in May, was acquired by Warner Bros and Kevin McCormick’s Langley Park in late 2012. It’s early days, but I am hearing that the conversation is for Tatum and Carolin to potentially direct the movie together. They and McCormick just had dinner in Oslo with the author, who’s a rock star on his home turf. It did not go unnoticed by the local press. The hope is for Tatum to star as well, though it is very early days and they have to still set a scribe and get a script draft.
McCormick will produce through Langley Park alongside Tatum and Carolin, and Nesbø and Niclas Salomonsson will be exec producers. A writer is being sought right now. The novel focuses on a young man who is in prison because he took the rap for crimes that others committed. The thriller starts as the young man’s father, who is said to be a corrupt cop, commits suicide. When the son learns that his father was actually an honest man who was murdered, he escapes to avenge the killing. Along the way, he also begins to rectify the crimes to which he confessed. Read More »
Something caused all that damage. Earthquake? Typhoon? Bryan Cranston says the authorities are lying about what really happened. But you and I know it’s Godzilla. Warner Bros has released a new international trailer for this latest reboot of the classic kaiju property. The military is doing its best, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Alison Brie, who stars in NBC’s Community and recurs on Mad Men, is set to join Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart in Get Hard, the Etan Cohen-directed comedy. In the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: On the eve of its publication, Harlan Coben‘s new mystery novel Missing You has been acquired in a preemptive screen rights deal by Warner Bros and RatPac Entertainment. The book is published tomorrow by Dutton. For … Read More »
Rooney Mara is in negotiations to play Tiger Lily in Pan, Warner Bros‘ feature film being directed by Joe Wright from a Jason Fuchs script that serves as an origin story for Peter … Read More »
After 300: Rise Of An Empire had an opening-week global gross of $136 million and resuscitated the franchise potential of a first film that ended with a bloody pile of 300 dead Spartans, the town is asking: who the heck is this Sullivan Stapleton, avenger of Spartans, scourge of Persians and the latest guy in town with a star look and a six-pack? And more importantly, when is he available to reinforce to Hollywood that he’s got the goods to become its next leading man?
I caught up with Stapleton as he was home in Melbourne, recuperating from a concussion suffered in Bangkok while he was there filming Strike Back, the Cinemax series he stars in with Philip Winchester. He has done barely any press. That knock on the head kept him from being able to fly, which knocked him out of the chance to do the tour for the 300 sequel. A few things about Stapleton: he’s Australian, and like most of the actors who grew up in the business there before coming to these shores, he’s got a working-class attitude and is not at all full of himself. When you speak to him, you call him Sully. He looks like an edgier version of Pierce Brosnan, and in an age where Hollywood continues to build franchises around young actors who’ve barely passed puberty, Stapleton is (gasp!) 36 years old and is the first new face to come along in the action game in awhile who actually looks like a man. Though he will the first to admit that getting older takes a toll.
“My head is good now, but I’ve been thinking I must be getting older, because I took a hit to the head that hurt a bit more than it did when I fell all the time when I was a kid,” he said. “It was an accident, my head hit the road, and they put me in a hospital in Bangkok and then I came here to my mom’s house for rest, relaxation and more tests. Unfortunately, it means that I couldn’t do the 300 tour, which was sad for me because I love that film. I am so thankful to the bosses at Warner Bros for giving me that job, and the guys from Strike Back who have allowed me time to get over this head wound. Obviously, that opening weekend helped the cause.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has set Chris McKay to direct its sequel to The Lego Movie, the film that opened last month and has so far turned in a worldwide gross of $361 million. McKay was animation co-director … Read More »
6th UPDATE, MONDAY 9:09 PM PT: Updated numbers for Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave and Pompeii have been added below. 12 Years a Slave‘s cume internationally is now $104.5M and its worldwide total stands at $157.6M.
5TH UPDATE, MONDAY 12:20 PM PT: Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures’ 300: Rise Of An Empire is now tracking up 11% over the original 300 internationally. Revised numbers have just come in from Warner which says the movie took $88.8M in 58 markets. Some of the major territories were slightly down, but the overall cume was up. The Lego Movie was slightly lower than predicted at $9.6M on 5,585 screens, however the overall overseas cume is $135.4M, a small bolt off the originally estimated $135.6M. The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug added a confirmed $7.5M internationally — down from the estimated $8M — and with $679.7M total; again, a breath away from the previously reported cume of $680M. As ever, numbers are updated in the territory sections below, with more to come as they roll in. Read More »
This was expected, and needed, as evidenced by last week’s announcement that the online video service that targets gamers (read: teenaged boys and young men) axed about 30% of its workforce. But it’s interesting to see how much today’s release plays up the potential partnerships between Machinima and Warner Bros. Machinima CEO Allen DeBevoise says that there are “myriad opportunities” to connect their audiences. And Warner Bros Television Group President of Business and Strategy Craig Hunegs says he’s “excited” about the ability “to reach new audiences, create new original content, and discover new talent.” Don’t be surprised if they look for projects outside of Google’s YouTube, which collects about 45% of the ad revenues it sells for Machinima. No word here about the terms of the financing arrangement, although the companies say that current investors MK Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and Google Capital have also upped their stake. Machinima is said to have raised $67M, including $35M from Google. Here’s today’s official announcement:
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EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is in, and Sony Pictures and New Regency are out of The Juliet, an adaptation of the Alfred Bester short story that was developed by Charles Roven’s Atlas Entertainment. The film has a script by Henry Bean that is being rewritten by Paul Haggis, and Snow White And The Huntsman helmer Rupert Sanders is attached to direct. At one point it looked like Sony would make it this spring. Atlas’s Roven and Alex Gartner are producing with Frank Beddor of Automatic Pictures.
It makes me wonder, what is going on in Hollywood? I have been around long enough that I actually broke the story of when Warner Bros, clashing with John Hughes over $2 million in budget, allowed Fox to grab Home Alone and turn the $18 million film into a $477 million worldwide gross blockbuster. After that, studios used to never let projects go for fear of being embarrassed, a possibility that was reinforced when Paramount inexplicably let the option lapse on the Twilight Saga, the billion-dollar franchise that built Summit Entertainment. Studios used to keep everything, or heap on overhead costs that made them prohibitively expensive, or attach first-dollar-gross obligations, like the 5 percent that Harvey Weinstein got on The Lord Of The Rings and is trying to enforce on The Hobbit.
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Today’s announcement and other financial moves reportedly in the works for the gaming-oriented online service underscore how hard it is for channels to make money at YouTube. Machinima – which describes itself as “the number one global video entertainment network for young males” — says today that the layoffs, hitting 30% of the workforce, are part of its “restructuring in and around its sales organization” as it leans on its “longstanding partnership with YouTube to drive media sales.” But it also comes as it lines up $18M in funding from a group led by Warner Bros, website Re/code reports, citing “people familiar with the transaction.” Last week The Wall Street Journal reported that Warner Bros was mulling the possibility of investing as much as $15M in the online video operation. The numbers are a far cry from the amounts approaching $70M that Machinima was said to be hoping to secure last year. One of the problems for YouTube services like Machinima is that Google takes about 45% of the ad revenue it sells, as well as much of the inventory. Read More »
BREAKING: As Deadline was first to reveal after the exits of Lynn Harris and Sarah Schechter, Jon Berg and Courtenay Valenti have been promoted to EVP Development and Production at Warner Bros Pictures by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production. Both execs, who’ve worked forever with Silverman, will report to him. Duties will be expanded for Valenti, a 25-year studio vet, and Berg, who has been rising in the ranks since arriving in 2008. They will take grater roles in oversight and management of Warner Bros’ development team and budget, as well as managing the studio’s film projects.
Related: Warner Bros Moving To Elevate Production Pair After Lynn Harris’ Exit
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WINS BY FILM
Gravity – 7
12 Years A Slave – 3
Dallas Buyers Club – 3
Frozen – 2
The Great Gatsby – 2
20 Feet From Stardom – 1
Blue Jasmine – 1
The Great Beauty – 1
Helium – 1
Her – 1
Mr. Hublot – … Read More »
UPDATE, 12:04 PM: By Warner Bros jumping aboard the high-profile Johnny Depp-Joel Edgerton pic Black Mass, it means the studio won’t be taking on another Whitey Bulger project in its own backyard: the one that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon had been developing for a couple of years as a starring vehicle for Damon via their Warners-based Pearl Street Films. I’m hearing that Affleck and Damon were given a day or two advance notice that the studio was putting its eggs in the Black Mass basket, but that news came just a day before the latest rewrite was turned in by Aaron Stockard, who worked with Affleck on The Town and Gone Baby Gone and who rewrote the script by Oscar nominated The Wolf Of Wall Street scribe Terence Winter. There was much enthusiasm, then radio silence, and then…Naturally there are bruised feelings that Warners will have to repair with two of its most valuable players, as this was the first project pitched for Affleck to direct and Damon to star after Pearl Street inked its overall deal there, and I’m told the studio assured the pair it wanted to make their movie.
This is all a part of the big rough and tumble game of studios needing to fill slates, and clearly someone was going to come out first with a Bulger biopic. But there are plenty of reasons to smooth any ruffles here. Affleck is directing and starring in Warner Bros’ Live By Night, an epic period crime drama that he adapted from the best-selling novel by Dennis Lehane, author of Affleck’s first directorial outing Gone Baby Gone. It’s the follow-up to the Best Picture Oscar winner Argo he made for the studio. He also is playing Batman in Warner Bros’ Batman Vs. Superman. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Minecraft, one of the hottest video game franchises in the market today, is going to be made into a major motion picture. Warner Bros. just acquired the rights to the wildly popular game from Swedish indie developer Mojang AB (mojang means “gadget” in Swedish). The property already is getting huge interest from writers and filmmakers as Warners is putting together a live-action version. Roy Lee is going to produce Minecraft via his Vertigo Entertainment production company along with Jill Messick (Mean Girls and Mean Moms) who will also produce in some capacity. Lee produced the megahit The Lego Movie with Dan Lin which launched a franchise for Warner Bros and a sequel is planned. Jon Berg is the executive in charge at the studio. CAA brokered the deal for the film rights.
Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘The Lego Movie’ Is Lord Of Business Again
Minecraft is one of the top five “open world”-type games, in which players can engage in a virtual world, creating any environment they can dream up with virtual blocks. It often is described as a “open sandbox” where the users can build anything they want. Minecraft has become an Internet sensation since its introduction in 2011. I know, gamers out there will point out that the beta version was introduced in 2009 and were invited to buy and play the game before it was finished — which was a smart move by Mojang because the players basically became the company’s test market and helped develop the game itself. (It didn’t hurt their bank account either). Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Jack Thorne has been set to script Sandman at Warner Bros based on the pitch that David Goyer made for his treatment for the Neil Gaiman comic book classic. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is producing … Read More »
The big-screen adaptation of the classic fantasy/horror novel is getting its third director in six months. Josh Boone (Stuck In Love) is in talks to rewrite and direct Warner Bros’ The Stand, based on Stephen King‘s postapocalyptic … Read More »