Skydance Prods. and Annapurna Pictures, the companies behind the upcoming Terminator film trilogy, are expanding the franchise to television with a TV series to be done in conjunction with the first rebooted Terminator film slated for release in 2015. The series will be written and exec produced by feature scribes Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller (X-Men: First Class, Thor), with the writers of the upcoming Terminator movie Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier serving as executive producers.
The series will follow a critical moment from the original 1984 Terminator movie, taking it in a completely different direction that the film. Plot details about the upcoming Terminator movie are being kept under wraps, but it too is expected to be tied to the first movie. As the rebooted film trilogy and the new television series progress, the two narratives will be designed to intersect with each other. (Thus the head-on involvement in the series of the new film’s writers Kalogridis and Lussier.) For now, Paramount, which is Skydance and Annapurna’s partner on the feature trilogy, is not involved in the TV series, but that could change down the line. Paramount is returning to television, recently relaunching a TV division. Skydance too recently expanded into television, landing its first series, The Manhattan Project, on WGN America. The companies’ plan to intertwine the narratives of movies and TV series is reminiscent of Marvel’s efforts with Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz, whose recent credits include Thor and X-Men: First Class, have made a deal with the Penguin imprint Razorbill to publish their first novel. Colin Fischer is about a 14-year-old boy with severe Asperger’s syndrome and a unique way of viewing the world. He’s constantly tormented by a bully named Wayne, a troubled kid from the rough side of town. When a gun goes off in the school cafeteria, Wayne’s pinned for the misdeed by police and the school principal. Colin’s hyper-rational mind perceives Wayne is innocent and he sets out to unravel the mystery. He enlists Wayne to be his assistant, and an unlikely detective team is created. The writers plan to turn the novel into a feature. They most recently scripted The Fall Guy for DreamWorks and producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, with Martin Campbell recently signing on. They are also adapting the Lev Grossman fantasy novel Magicians for producers Michael London, Shawn Levy and Marty Adelstein. The scribes are repped by WME and Principato-Young.
Director Martin Campbell is in early discussions to come aboard The Fall Guy, the movie adaptation of the Glen Larson-created 1981 TV series. The film’s being developed by producer Walter Parkes. The series starred Lee Majors as a stuntman who worked as a bounty hunter on the side, and the movie’s being scripted by Thor and X-Men: First Class writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz. The project was initially set up at DreamWorks, but it’s unclear at the moment if the studio will be involved. Campbell last directed Green Lantern, but it wasn’t that long ago that he helmed Casino Royale, which for my money is the best of the James Bond films.
EXCLUSIVE: Fox has preemptively bought Magicians, a drama series adaptation of Lev Grossman’s popular fantasy novel, with a script commitment plus penalty. It will be written by X-Men: First Class and Thor co-writers Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz and produced by Michael London (Milk), Shawn Levy and Michael Adelstein. Based on Grossman’s book, which is described as Harry Potter for grown-ups, the one-hour drama follows a group of 20-somethings in New York who study magic and have access to a magical world. London had optioned the novel, which was published in 2009, while 21 Laps/Adelstein had a deal with Miller and Stentz, who have extensive TV background having worked on such series as Fringe and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. All joined forces on the series project, which will be executive produced by Miller, Stentz, London, Levy, Adelstein and Becky Clements. Following the success of The Magicians, Grossman wrote a sequel, The Magician King, which was published in August.
Contemporary dramas with fairytale elements are hot for a second consecutive broadcast development season. The previous one yielded 2 new series in the genre, ABC’s Once Upon a Time and NBC’s Grimm. This time around, Magicians joins a project from Michael Green, which recently landed a put pilot commitment at ABC. It centers on a female cop who discovers a magical world that exists within New York City. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In the past month, the screenwriting team of Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz have seen their script work on Thor and X-Men: First Class lead to big opening weekends. The scribes are capitalizing on their heat by making film and TV deals. The duo just made a pre-emptive pitch deal worth high six-figures with Skydance Productions principals David Ellison and Dana Goldberg for an untitled contemporary disaster/action film. The style is ’70s fare like Poseidon Adventure, Towering Inferno and Earthquake. Specifics are being kept under wraps.
Miller & Stentz have also just sold a pilot to 20th Century Fox for mid six figures, with Shawn Levy and Marty Adelstein producing. The scribes are currently writing a remake of the Lee Majors stuntman TV series The Fall Guy for producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. The project is set up at Imagenation, with an eye toward distribution through DreamWorks. They wrote an untitled “Knight Project” for Fox, and did production rewriting work on the Dimension Films “found footage” thriller Apollo 18. The feature success comes after Miller & Stentz spent years as writers/producers on series that include Fringe, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Andromeda. The scribes are repped by Principato-Young and WME.
A Writers Guild arbitration upheld the WGA decision that Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz and Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn deserve screenplay credit on X-Men: First Class, with Sheldon Turner (who wrote an origin film about Magneto) and Bryan Singer (who wrote an outline for the film at the beginning) getting story credit. There were more writers on the films than mutants in it and a skirmish unfolded for script credit. The Vaughn-directed Fox film opens June 3.