We’ve got a few casting stories to share this evening. Briefly:
- The very funny Bill Hader is in talks to star in the indie comedy Lawless, produced by Mike White and David Bernad.
- Hailee Steinfeld has been tapped to star opposite Sam Worthington in director Phillip Noyce’s thriller For the Dogs.
- Billy Crystal will lead the retirement community sex comedy Winter’s Discontent for director Frank Oz.
- Shameless star Jeremy Allen White has landed the lead in DreamWorks’ found-footage time travel film Glimmer.
Hit the jump for more on all of the aforementioned films.
A few clips to share with you today. Choose wisely:
- Paranormal Activity 4, starring Katie Featherson and Kathryn Newton, opens October 19th.
- Fun Size, from debut feature director Josh Schwartz, stars Victoria Justice, Jane Levy, Thomas Mann, Johnny Knoxville and Chelsea Handler. Fun Size opens on October 26th.
- Ginger & Rosa, Sally Potter’s drama starring Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Annette Bening, Christina Hendricks and Alessandro Nivola opens in the UK on October 19th.
Hit the jump to watch the clips.
Josh Schwartz, creator of The O.C., and the CW’s golden child (he currently has four series running or about to premiere on the network: Gossip Girl, Hart of Dixie, the Carrie Diaries and Cult) is teaming up with Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho) and Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) for yet another hour-long CW teen drama, Copeland Prep. Ellis is said to be writing the script and acting as executive producer alongside Fake Empire’s Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. Hardwicke will act as an executive consultant on the project (look at her IMDB page and you’ll see why. Essentially, if the CW made movies …). For what Copeland Prep is all about, hit the jump.
Paramount was involved in two property acquisitions with high-profile producers today:
- Paramount teamed with J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot to option the nazi hunter spec script Wunderkind, written by Patrick Aison.
- The studio acquired the screen rights to Libba Bray‘s upcoming novel The Diviners. Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage will produce through their Fake Empire banner.
Hit the jump for details on both projects.
Paramount Pictures has picked up the feature rights to two Tana French novels for adaptation. In the Woods, French’s 2008 debut novel, is part police procedural and part psychological thriller and charts the investigation into the murder of a 12-year-old girl in Dublin, Ireland. The sequel, The Likeness, features the same detective, Cassie Maddox, investigating the death of a young woman who is a dead ringer for Cassie herself, allowing the detective to assume the woman’s identity as a grad student at Trinity College.
The Likeness was acquired for adaptation by Stephanie Savage (Gossip Girl). She will produce with Fake Empire partner Josh Schwartz. As reported by Deadline, the duo purchased the book rights through their discretionary fund at Paramount. Fake Empire has set up five projects thus far, with its first film Fun Size to be released late next year. Hit the jump for synopses for both books.
Though Josh Schwartz got his new series Hart of Dixie picked up for a full season on The CW, his series Chuck will have its last season begin later this month, so he’ll have some more time to work on something new. Schwartz is now giving his attention to an American adaptation of the British sci-fi drama series Misfits. A deal between the Schwartz’s Fake Empire banner and Warner Bros. TV has just been finalized for the rights to the show which is said to follow a group of working-class teens who find themselves endowed with superpowers following an electrical storm. Sounds like standard superhero fare [Matt's note: I've seen the first season of the UK series and it's not standard superhero fare because the characters aren't heroes. It's irresponsible teenagers with superpowers and they're kind of jerks to each other about it] . , but in Schwartz’s hands, I’m sure it won’t be as dramatic as something like Heroes. Hit the jump for more, including the trailer for the original series.
We’ve got a couple of release dates for you this afternoon. First up, the indie drama We Need to Talk About Kevin has been slated for a December 2nd release (per The Playlist). The film stars John C. Reilly and Tilda Swinton as the parents of a teenager who goes on a high-school killing spree. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to a widely positive response, and is set to be featured at this September’s Toronto International Film Festival. The December release puts the film in a prime position for awards season, where the film’s said-to-be stellar performances are sure to turn heads.
Additionally, director Josh Schwartz’s (The O.C.) feature debut comedy Fun Size is set to open on October 12th, 2012 (per Deadline). The Paramount comedy centers on a sarcastic teen who takes her little brother-trick-or-treating on Halloween only to lose him along the way. She must enlist the help of her best friend (who also happens to be in love with her) in order to find her brother before the night is over. The cast includes Victoria Justice (Victorious), Jane Levy, Thomas Mann (It’s Kind of a Funny Story), Johnny Knoxville and Chelsea Handler.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories for you this morning. Last night, we reported that Hugh Jackman is currently in negotiations to star in director Tom Hooper’s (The King’s Speech) big-budget musical adaptation of Les Miserables. Jackman is eyeing the role of protagonist Jean Valjean, and now Deadline reports that Paul Bettany is a candidate to play the villainous police inspector Javert. Apparently he’s read for the role and sang a few songs from the stage musical. I like the idea of Bettany as Javert. He’s a fine dramatic actor, and he and Jackman make an interesting pair.
Additionally, THR reports that Chelsea Handler is in talks to join The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz’s feature directorial debut Fun Size. The comedy centers on a sarcastic teen who takes her little brother-trick-or-treating on Halloween only to lose him along the way. She must spend the rest of the night trying to track him down, with the help of her friends. Handler will play the mother of the teen girl. The cast now includes Victoria Justice (Victorious), Jane Levy, Thomas Mann (It’s Kind of a Funny Story) and Johnny Knoxville.
Jane Levy is in talks to star in Fun Size, the feature directorial debut of Josh Schwartz (Chuck). Victoria Justice (Victorious) stars as Wren , “a sarcastic teen who takes her little brother-trick-or-treating only to lose him along the way.” THR indicates Levy is under consideration to play Wren’s best friend in the movie. Thomas Mann is in talks to play a debate team member in love with Wren.
I tend to love movies that take place over a single night, and the comedic blend of Schwartz and The Colbert Report writer Max Werner has potential. This sounds the ideal opportunity for Justice to transition into the next stage of her career. Levy is a fresh (and, might I add, incredibly beautiful) face in the acting game, with just a few episodes of Shameless on her resume. Levy recently starred in the ABC comedy pilot Suburgatory and is now preparing for her first feature role in the indie dramedy Nobody Walks.
Actor Thomas Mann (It’s Kind of a Funny Story) is in final negotiations to join two upcoming projects. First up, the actor is in talks to star alongside Victoria Justice (TeenNick’s Victorious) in Fun Size. Marking the feature directorial debut of Josh Schwartz (creator/executive producer of Chuck, Gossip Girl), the film tells the story of a teenage girl who loses her younger brother trick-or-treating on Halloween. Variety reports that Mann will play Roosevelt, “the star of his school’s debate team who is in love with Justice’s character, Wren.” He aids Wren in the search for her brother. Max Werner (The Colbert Report) wrote the script.
Hit the jump for news on Mann joining the cast of the indie drama As Cool As I Am with James Marsden and Claire Danes, as well as a synopsis of the book.
Wonder Woman will not die. David E. Kelly is a bizarre choice to run the show, and the networks seemed to realize this when they passed on Wonder Woman in unison. But where there’s a will (and a deeply troubled network), there’s a way: NBC has picked up Kelley’s Wonder Woman reboot. I hope to see a live-action Wonder Woman in my lifetime, but not like this. Not like this at all.
This report comes among a flurry of pilot season news involving such talent as Steven Spielberg, Conan O’Brien, Ethan Hawke, Rob Thomas, Tim Kring, and more. Hit the jump for a recap.
by Jason Barr Posted: January 19th, 2011 at 1:36 pm
Television creator/producer/writer Josh Schwartz (The O.C., Chuck, and Gossip Girl) will make his feature directorial debut with the Halloween comedy Fun Size. Penned by Colbert Report writer Max Werner, Fun Size tells the story of a girl who is forced to take her little brother trick-r-treating and accidentally loses him along the way. Based on that one-line premise alone, I’m getting an Adventures in Babysitting/Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead meets Halloween vibe. A vibe I’m completely okay with, I might add.
Per THR, Schwartz (who also has a writing credit on the upcoming X-Men: First Class) will develop Fun Size under his Fake Empire moniker for Paramount. The hope is to have the film shooting in St. Louis by late spring and in theaters by Halloween 2011. With that type of turnaround in mind, we should be hearing casting news for the film in the very near future.
Fans of The O.C. (and maybe even Chuck) should be excited as Deadline reports series creator Josh Schwartz just landed a pilot production deal for his new hourlong project Ghost Angeles starring Rachel Bilson (who starred on both The O.C. and had an extended guest role on Chuck). NBC picked up the concept to pilot, but the interesting fact here is that the script hasn’t even been written yet. Must have been one hell of a pitch meeting. Schwartz created the project with Henry Alonso Myers (co-executive producer of Ugly Betty) and they will also work on the script together. Plot details are mostly under wraps, but the series will apparently follow a young woman in Los Angeles who can talk to the dead, helping the spirits as much as they are helping her. Sounds kind of cheesy, but we’ll reserve judgment until the pilot gets released.
As a team, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are best known as the creative minds behind Gossip Girl and The O.C. In case you are particularly averse to teen soaps, you should probably identify Schwartz as the creator of the immensely male-friendly spy dramedy Chuck. Once you factor in that How to Train Your Dragon producer Roy Lee is also on board, there is something for everyone within the news that the Schwartz/Savage banner Fake Empire has acquired the screen rights to Joe Schreiber’s upcoming young-adult novel Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick. The tone has been likened to a cross between John Hughes and Grosse Pointe Blank; hit the jump for a synopsis.
Writer Max Werner (The Colbert Report) has sold his spec script Fun Size to Paramount, and Josh Schwartz (The O.C.) will produce. According to The Hollywood Reporter “loglines are being kept under wraps, but Fun is described as a cross between Superbad and Adventures in Babysitting that is set on Halloween. Werner said of the film, “I grew up on John Hughes films and miss those great character-based comedies that make you feel something. Fun Size is about real characters who are smart, funny and a little bit offbeat.” I don’t know why he misses these kinds of comedies. You can find at least five or six every year.