Jim Carrey is set to breathe new life into Summit’s long-developing comedy Ricky Stanicky. The film was initially written by Jeff Bushell (Beverly Hills Chihuahua) and begins when three teens pull a prank by burning down a house in their neighborhood. The kids create a fake person to take the blame—“Ricky Stanicky”—and 20 years later are still using the alibi to get out of every uncomfortable situation. When their wives finally force them to set up a meeting with Stanicky, they hire an actor to inhabit the personality. Steve Oedekerk (Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls) recently came onboard to re-write and direct the film, and the ensemble comedy is said to be in the same R-rated vein as The Hangover.
Hit the jump for more on the project, including details regarding Carrey’s casting.
Though it’s tough to argue for the artistic merit of something that began as Twilight fan fiction written on the internet, we’re starting to get an idea of what the feature film adaptation of E.L. James’ “mommy porn” trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey might look like. Producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti have been tapped by Universal and Focus Features to produce the big screen iteration of Fifty Shades of Grey. Somewhat surprisingly the studios did not choose some tween pandering or hyper-commercial duo, as De Luca and Brunetti both produced David Fincher’s The Social Network, with De Luca also producing one of last year’s best films, Moneyball. Focus Features CEO Donna Langley had this to say about the hiring:
“At its core, Fifty Shades of Grey is a complex love story, requiring a delicate and sophisticated hand to bring it to the big screen. Mike and Dana’s credits more than exemplify what we need in creative partners and we’re glad to have them as part of our team.”
Hit the jump for more.
In a devious effort to get every teenage boy in America to buy a ticket to a movie, Paramount is teaming the fairly good-looking Megan Fox and Zoe Saldana up for the action-heist pic Swindle. Deadline reports that the studio acquired the spec script for Moneyball and The Social Network producer Michael De Luca to develop as a star vehicle for Fox and Saldana. Plot details are being kept firmly under wraps, but apparently the film came about when Fox and Saldana decided they wanted to do a movie together. Both Paramount and Universal pursued the spec script, by Enzo Mileti and Scott Wilson, and Fox and Saldana will serve as producers on the project.
Hopefully the film has a decidedly badass quality to it, as it’d be nice to see a female-fronted action film with strong characters. Post-Transformers, Fox has stretched her acting chops with varied projects like Jennifer’s Body and the comedy Friends with Kids. She also stars in Judd Apatow’s next directorial effort, This is Forty. As for Saldana, she’s currently shooting the Star Trek sequel but she recently starred opposite Bradley Cooper in the drama The Words and is in talks to star opposite Christian Bale in the revenge pic Out of the Furnace.
Michael Mann has added another project to his development pile. Deadline reports that Mann is now in talks to direct the cop thriller The Big Stone Grid for Sony Pictures. The script, by S. Craig Zahler, is described as “a hard-edged thriller in the vein of Seven and Marathon Man,” and centers on two detectives who uncover an extortion ring operating within the secret underbelly of New York City. Michael De Luca (Moneyball) is onboard as producer, and the plan now is for Mann to do a pass on the script with Zahler. Deadline hints that Mann might relocate the action to Los Angeles, as his past crime sagas have all taken place in LA.
Mann is currently serving as executive producer on HBO’s Luck and will likely next direct the sports car drama Go Like Hell. The film chronicles the 1960s battle between Ford and Ferrari when an American car won the Le Mans race for the first time in history. No word on how soon production may begin. Mann is also developing an adaptation of Agincourt which centers on the 15th century battle of Agincourt, and the contemporary adventure film Gold.
After being forced out of AMC’s The Walking Dead over creative issues, writer/director Frank Darabont assured fans that he wouldn’t be absent from television for long. The man spoke truth, as today TNT has announced that they’ve ordered a pilot for a drama series called L.A. Noir that Darabont will write, direct, and executive produce. The project is based on the book L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City which focuses on the struggle between Los Angeles police chief William Parker and mobster Mickey Cohen. Darabont described the project thusly:
“The goal is to deliver on the tone that the title L.A. Noir promises: a smart, gritty, authentic, period noir drama.”
Hit the jump for much more.
Universal is in negotiations to acquire War Heroes, based on the comic book by Mark Millar and Tony Harris. The book tells the story of a group of super soldiers who are created as part of an experimental program designed by the U.S. military to boost recruitment numbers and fight the war on terrorism. A group of the super soldiers goes rogue and forms a criminal enterprise, and one hero must rise to the occasion to prevent destruction. Heat Vision reports that Joshua Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly, who are writing Marvel’s Doctor Strange, are in talks to handle script duties. Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti (The Social Network) and Fast Five scribe Chris Morgan are producing. The project was originally set up at Columbia in 2008, but Universal has picked it up out of turnaround. Millar and Harris are onboard as executive producers.
A new version of Charles Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist is on its way, and this time things are getting all modern-y. Variety reports that Ashley Greene (the Twilight franchise) is set to star in the update, entitled Olivia Twisted. The script, by Michael Roberts, centers on 19-year-old Olivia and a group of very capable street orphans. After accepting a kidnapping job, the group finds themselves smack dab in the middle of a turf war between two criminal factions. Michael De Luca (The Social Network, Moneyball) is producing the new take, which is aimed at “combining classic Dickensian elements with a unique gothic background.” While I’m more than a bit skeptical about the project, De Luca has been on a roll lately, so maybe there’s something more here.
20th Century Fox is grabbing the rights to James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales’ book ESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun, which chronicles the creation of the sports network empire. The book is told using stories told directly by past and present ESPN broadcasters, producers, and personalities. Deadline reports that there is significant interest in the project from directors and screenwriters all over town, as it’s ripe with dramatic content similar to The Social Network.
I’ve yet to read the book, but I’ve heard it’s significantly dense. A good adaptation (paging Aaron Sorkin) pulling from the best stories could result in a fantastically entertaining movie that’s sure to draw a huge interest from the sports-minded American public. Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti and Julie Yorn are producing. Hit the jump for a description of the book.
Last week, we reported that Paul Greengrass was considering three projects as his next film: the Somali pirate drama Maersk Alabama, the racing biopic Rush, and an unknown third project. Now it looks like Maersk Alabama is the frontrunner as Deadline reports that Sony has offered the film to Greengrass and talks are about to begin between the two parties. Deadline adds that the film won’t be an impediment to Greengrass’ delayed MLK assassination drama Memphis and that Maersk will likely be the director’s next film.
The story is based Captain Richard Phillips’ memoir A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea which recounts his three days as a Somali pirate hostage and the dramatic rescue from a team of Navy SEALs. Tom Hanks is attached to play Phillips; Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti, and Kevin Spacey are producing, and Billy Ray (State of Play) wrote the script. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the memoir.
Director Will Gluck (Easy A) is in talks to helm the adaptation of Ben Mezrich’s latest book Sex on the Moon. Mezrich is no stranger to film adaptations, as his book The Accidental Billionaires was adapted by Aaron Sorkin into the Oscar-winning screenplay for The Social Network. Social Network producers Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti, as well as executive producer Kevin Spacey are collaborating once again for Sex on the Moon.
24 Frames reports that Gluck, who is busy putting the finishing touches on the Justin Timberlake/Mila Kunis vehicle Friends with Benefits, is currently in talks with Sony to direct the stranger-than-fiction story of a 25-year-old NASA scientist who hatches a plan to heist moon rocks in order to impress his girlfriend. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the book, which hits stores this July.
Tom Hanks has signed on to star in Sony Pictures’ adaptation of Richard Phillips’ memoir A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea. Hanks would play Phillips, a captain of a cargo ship who gave himself over to Somali pirates in exchange for the safety of his crew. Phillips was hostage to the pirates for three days and was eventually saved by Navy SEALs who killed three of his captors and left another in custody. We reported back in 2009 that screenwriter Billy Ray (State of Play) was working on the script and Deadline reports that Hanks sparked to the latest draft. The producing team behind The Social Network (Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti, and Kevin Spacey) will produce the adaptation of A Captain’s Duty.
Hit the jump for a synopsis of the memoir and other projects on Hanks’ schedule.
While The Social Network is busy sweeping award shows left and right, the producers behind the film are gearing up for their next project by teaming with a familiar face. Author Ben Mezrich wrote a book proposal for The Accidental Billionaires which screenwriter Aaron Sorkin then adapted into the screenplay for The Social Network. It appears that Mezrich’s latest book proposal, Sex on the Moon, shows promise as well. Sony has optioned the film rights for Mezrich’s proposal and Social Network producers Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti, as well as executive producer Kevin Spacey will collaborate on the project. 24 Frames describes the nonfiction proposal as follows:
“The new film tells the story of Thad Roberts, a once-promising young scientist working for NASA who back in 2004 hatched a crazy plan to steal highly prized moon rocks from his bosses at the Johnson Space Center and sell them on the Internet. The motivation: wanting to impress his girlfriend (i.e., ‘giving her the moon’).”
Mezrich previously penned the book 21, which Spacey snatched up and turned into a film. This project certainly sounds odd, and very much falls under the “stranger than fiction” category. Though at this point last year, the entire online film community was scratching their heads wondering why the hell David Fincher was directing a movie about facebook.
Columbia Pictures has optioned the rights to Neil Strauss’ non-fiction book Emergency! This Book Will Save Your Life as a possible starring vehicle for Robert Downey Jr. Downey will produce along with his wife and producing partner Susan Downey as well as Michael De Luca. Screenwriter Allan Loeb (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) is handling the script. Strauss’ book has the author learning various survival skills that he will most likely never need to use in his day-to-day life.
Producer Columbia Pictures President Matt Tolmach said of the project in a press release, “Neil Strauss is a tremendous talent and we think Emergency! is his best work yet. It’s a hugely entertaining read that couldn’t be more timely or topical. We think there is a fantastic film in this book and Robert and Susan, and of course, Mike are the perfect producers to take on the themes of this project.”
Hit the jump for a refresher on Downey’s other projects along with the full press release.
Jonah Hill is set to pair up with director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) and producer Michael De Luca for the comedy The Sitter. THR is reporting the movie will be following a college student who’s been suspended for the semester and as a result is living at home with his mother. He gets talked into babysitting the neighbor’s two boys and 8 year old girls, and undoubtedly shenanigans ensue. The film sounds like a modern Adventures in Babysitting.
We reported last year that Jonathan Levine was going to follow up his debut film, The Wackness, with The Sitter, but it would appear Levine has dropped out of the project to make the dramedy I’m With Cancer, staring Seth Rogen and James McAvoy.
While it’s hard to get excited with that synopsis, the rumor is the film will be rated R, and if that’s the case, I’m on board. The Sitter has a planned fall start date.
Can two former collaborators once again create the movie magic where a film builds to a point of having Brad Pitt cry, “What’s in the box?! What’s in the fucking box?!” I think “Seven” is a highly entertaining film but what will director David Fincher and screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker create 15 years later? It looks like we’re going to find out. The two have re-teamed to adapt the supernatural thriller “The Reincarnation of Peter Proud”. Hit the jump for more details.