MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE Director Sean Durkin to Helm LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE Movie

by     Posted 22 days ago

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Two years ago, we learned David Gordon Green was in talks to direct a Little House on the Prairie movie.  Green seemed like an odd choice for the children’s book adaptation, and he has since moved on.  But producer Scott Rudin (Captain Phillips) is not taking the project in a new direction.  THR reports that Sean Durkin is in talks to direct.  Durkin’s lone feature credit is the intense drama Martha Marcy May Marlene, which is mcuh closer to Green’s early work than the 1970s Little House TV series.  I still expect the movie to be a family friendly affair, but the team of Rudin and Durkin—not to mention screenwriter Abi Morgan (Shame)—indicates Little House will have higher ambitions than the average kids movie.

Hit the jump for the synopsis of the Laura Ingalls Wilder book.

Nickelodeon Preparing to Shoot SCHOOL OF ROCK TV Show; Will Air in Spring 2015

by     Posted 88 days ago

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Looks like we’ll be pledging our allegiance to the band of Mr. Schneebly again in 2015 because Nickelodeon is bringing back School of Rock – as a TV show.  The network just put in a straight-to-series order for a live-action show that’s based on the 2003 Richard Linklater comedy starring Jack Black.

The odds of Black joining the cast are slim to none, but the show is bringing back Dewey Finn, a guy who’s having a tough time making it as a rock star so poses as a substitute teacher at a ritzy prep school and turns his students into his very own rock band.  Hit the jump for more on what Nickelodeon’s got planned.

Paul Greengrass to Direct Adaptation of Non-Fiction Thriller AGENT STORM: MY LIFE INSIDE AL QAEDA

by     Posted 95 days ago

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Paul Greengrass scored a nice hit with his most recent feature Captain Phillips, which did fairly well at the box office and received a slew of critical praise.  Deadline is reporting that the director is now attached to adapt another true story for the big screen.  Greengrass will reteam with his Captain Phillips producer Scott Rudin to adapt Morten Storm’s non-fiction book Agent Storm: My Life Inside Al Qaeda.

Storm was a former Islamic radical who became a double agent for the CIA as well as British and Danish intelligence.  Greengrass excels at turning true stories into powerful dramatic features, so this sounds like it could be a good fit.  He’s still attached to the Martin Luther King Jr. film Memphis, which I hope comes together one day.  Hit the jump to read the official synopsis for Agent Storm: My Life Inside Al Qaeda.  The book will be available to buy on September 2nd.

Author Blake J. Harris Talks CONSOLE WARS, Exploring the Behind-the-Scenes Battle between Sega and Nintendo, the Film Adaptation, and More

by     Posted 156 days ago

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If you’re around my age and a gamer, you might have gotten wrapped up in the fight over which was “better”: the Sega Genesis or the Super Nintendo.  Kids personally identified with these systems, and I can still remember all the minor developments that would cause long debates between me and my friends.

In his new book Console Wars, author Blake J. Harris went behind the scenes of the many battles between Sega and Nintendo.  During our exclusive phone interview, he and I talked about how the book came about, the influence of marketing on consumers, why kids personally identified with these gaming consoles, the film adaptation, his documentary based on the book, and much more.  Hit the jump to check out the interview, and click here to order the book.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to Adapt Upcoming Book CONSOLE WARS; Based on Behind-the-Scenes Battle between Nintendo and Sega

by     Posted 250 days ago

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Last year, South Park astutely pointed out (as they usually do) how “wars” between consoles are done for PR rather than the benefit of the actual consumers, so the “battle” between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was nonsense.  But championing a video game console is nothing new, and it began in earnest back in the 1990s as Sega and Nintendo went head-to-head.  Author Blake Harris has penned a book on the history between the two companies, Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation, and it will be released in August.  Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network) have picked up the movie rights, and have brought on Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to write and direct.

Hit the jump for more.

Paul Greengrass Courted to Direct Sony’s David Ignatius Adaptation THE DIRECTOR

by     Posted 289 days ago

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Sony Pictures has won an intense bidding war for author David Ignatius’ upcoming spy novel The Director, and the studio is hoping to stay in business with Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass on the project.  The Wrap reports that Scott Rudin is producing the pic for Sony, and both the studio and Rudin are hoping to attach Greengrass as the director.  Rudin worked with Greengrass on Captain Phillips and that film is poised to land some major Oscar nominations tomorrow, so the pairing on The Director wouldn’t be a stretch.  Ignatius’ spy novel kicks off when a newly appointed CIA director is faced with the possibility that the agency may have been hacked.  The director then enlists a computer-savvy agent to conduct a mole hunt in Europe and the U.S.

Greengrass has yet to choose a follow-up project to Captain Phillips, and while he continues to develop his MLK drama Memphis, he recently stated that it wouldn’t be his next film. We should hear something more concrete about his future plans once the awards madness dies down.  Hit the jump to read a synopsis of Ignatius’ novel.

New York City INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Benefit Concert to Include Performances by The Avett Brothers, Jack White, Patti Smith, Marcus Mumford, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 73 days ago

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With Inside Llewyn Davis, writers/directors Joel and Ethan Coen take on the 1960s Greenwich Village folk music scene.  The film is sure to be supremely entertaining, but if the Coen brothers’ O, Brother Where Art Thou? is any indication, we’re also in for one hell of a soundtrack.  In anticipation of the film’s release, the Coen brothers, executive music producer T Bone Burnett, and producer Scott Rudin have put together a benefit concert called “Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis.”  The concert will take place on September 29th at The Town Hall in New York City, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the National Recording Preservation Foundation.  Tickets go on sale this Wednesday, August 21st at Ticketmaster.com.

Taking part in the concert will be an impressive lineup of artists including The Avett Brothers, Marcus Mumford, Conor Oberst, Patti Smith, Jack White, Colin Meloy, Milk Carton Kids, and many more.  Additionally, Inside Llewyn Davis stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, and Stark Sands will perform.  Hit the jump for more details.  Inside Llewyn Davis opens in theaters on December 6th.

HBO Orders Mike Judge Comedy and Gay Dramedy Starring Jonathan Groff to Series

by     Posted 1 year, 168 days ago

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While the networks have been announcing their new series over the past few days at the upfronts, HBO is making a couple of announcements of its own.  The pay cable channel has order two pilots to series: a comedy from Mike Judge and a dramedy series centering on a group of gay men in San Francisco starring Jonathan Groff (Glee).  Judge’s dark comedy is a single-camera project that takes place “in the high-tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success.”  The series stars T.J. Miller (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) and Thomas Middleditch (The Campaign).

Per THR, Judge wrote and directed the pilot and will executive produce the series with John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky, and Scott Rudin.  Judge previously created and ran King of the Hill on Fox and Beavis and Butthead on MTV, and I look forward to seeing his sharp wit soar outside the confines of network TV.  Hit the jump for news regarding another new HBO series from Weekend director Andrew Haigh.

DREDD Screenwriter Alex Garland to Make Directorial Debut with Robot Thriller EX MACHINA

by     Posted 1 year, 226 days ago

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Screenwriter Alex Garland is poised to make his directorial debut with an indie robot thriller.  THR reports that the writer behind 28 Days Later…, Never Let Me Go, and last year’s Dredd will direct Ex Machina for DNA Films and producers Scott Rudin (The Social Network) and Eli Bush (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).  Garland penned the script for the pic, which tells the story of a billionaire programmer who invites a young employee to spend a week at his remote estate, participating in a test involving an artificially intelligent female robot that he invented.  The indie is budgeted at around $15 million and producers are hoping to begin production this summer or fall.

Garland’s other credits include Danny Boyle’s The Beach and Sunshine, as well as a draft of the script for the developing Logan’s Run remake and the scrapped Halo movie.  This marks a major step up for the screenwriter, and I’m incredibly intrigued by anything described as an “indie robot thriller” so I look forward to seeing what Garland puts together.  If you missed Steve’s extended interview with Garland last fall, check it out right here.

Sony and Scott Rudin Developing Feature Film Adaptation of GOOD TIMES

by     Posted 1 year, 233 days ago

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Good Times is headed to the big screen.  Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network, No Country for Old Men) are developing a feature film adaptation of the popular 1970s CBS sitcom Good Times, and Deadline reports that Phil Johnston (Wreck-It Ralph) has been tapped to pen the script.  Created by Eric Monte and Mike Evans, Good Times took place in Chicago and centered on a working classic couple played by Esther Rolle and John Amos struggling to raise their three children in a poor inner-city neighborhood.  The series was hailed for tackling serious social issues at the time while also mixing light-hearted comedy.

The feature film iteration of Good Times will take place in the 1960s, which should make for some interesting story dynamics.  Hit the jump to watch the intro for the show.

Jon Stewart Taking Extended Break from THE DAILY SHOW to Make Feature Directing Debut with ROSEWATER

by     Posted 1 year, 240 days ago

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Well here’s the definition of bittersweet: Jon Stewart will be taking a hiatus from hosting The Daily Show this summer in order to make his feature directing debut.  Stewart wrote and will direct Rosewater, an adaptation of Maziar Bahari’s book Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity And Survival.  Though Stewart is best known for his comedic chops on The Daily Show, the past five years or so have seen the host make some brilliantly dramatic—and at times angry—turns on the comedy news program, solidifying himself as one of the most respected, sharp, and eloquent personalities on television.

Hardly a comedy, Rosewater chronicles BBC journalist Bahari’s 118 day captivity in Iran’s most notorious prison after leaving London in June of 2009 to cover the country’s presidential elections.  The title is derived from the fact that Bahari knew only one thing about his brutal interrogator: he smelled of Rosewater.  Hit the jump for more, including how The Daily Show plans to cover Stewart’s absence. [Update: We've updated the article with the press release along with video of Bahari's appearance on The Daily Show]

Chris Rock to Poke Fun at Comedians-Turned-Dramatic Actors in FINALLY FAMOUS

by     Posted 1 year, 244 days ago

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Chris Rock will be taking on his fellow comedians and himself for his new film, Finally Famous.  According to Showbiz411, The comedy will focus on a comedian who wants to be taken seriously.  The film will be Rock’s third directing gig following Head of State and I Think I Love My Wife.  The latter has dramatic elements, so Finally Famous isn’t just jabs at Rock’s peers.  Rock also wrote the script and will star in the picture.  A casting notice has gone out looking for a late-20s, early-30s love-interest for Rock’s character.  The casting notice describes the character, Chelsea Brown, as “‘vintage, downtown N.Y.C. funky,’ with a lacerating intelligence and humor that is disarming.”  Producer Scott Rudin, who partnered with Rock on the comedian’s Broadway show, The Motherfucker with the Hat, will produce on Finally Famous

Hit the jump for the synopsis and casting descriptions for the other characters.  Filming is set to begin in June.  Rock will next be seen in the decidedly non-dramatic Grown Ups 2.

Ang Lee Interested in Directing CLEOPATRA Starring Angelina Jolie

by     Posted 1 year, 295 days ago

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The long-gestating biopic Cleopatra may have finally found a director, and it’s a good ‘un.  The project has been in development for a number of years with Angelina Jolie attached to star as the Egyptian queen.  Both James Cameron and Paul Greengrass flirted with the idea of directing before ultimately moving on, and most recently David Fincher was attached to the project before dropping off last summer.  The pic has a script by Eric Roth (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), based on Stacy Schiff’s book Cleopatra: A Life, and now another top-tier filmmaker is eyeing the gig: Ang Lee.  Hit the jump for more details.

HBO Greenlights SILICON VALLEY, a Comedy Pilot from Mike Judge and KING OF THE HILL Producers

by     Posted 1 year, 329 days ago

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HBO has ordered a pilot for Silicon Valley, a single-camera comedy developed by King of the Hill producers Mike Judge, John Altschuler, and Dave Krinsky.  According to Deadline, the series is set in “the high tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success.”  Judge is set to direct the pilot in the spring.  Scott Rudin (The Newsroom) will also produce as part of his overall deal with HBO.

King of the Hill signed off the air after 13 seasons in 2010, then Judge revived his breakout hit, Beavis and Butt-head.  The last episode of Beavis aired in 2011, and to my knowledge MTV has not ordered a ninth season.  So Judge may have the time to focus his full attention on Silicon Valley, his first live-action television comedy.  Judge is one of the sharpest satirists in the business, so I look forward to what he can do with HBO resources.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Drama MEMPHIS Moves Forward Again with Paul Greengrass and Scott Rudin

by     Posted 1 year, 347 days ago

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It appears that the Martin Luther King, Jr. drama Memphis isn’t dead after all.  Director Paul Greengrass (United 93, The Bourne Supremacy) wrote the script, which takes place during the final days of Dr. King’s life, and previously set the film up as a directorial project early last year alongside producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network, No Country for Old Men), but Universal Pictures abruptly backed out of the pic, forcing Greengrass and Rudin to shelve the project due to a lack of financing.  Now it appears that the film is coming back around with a new backer, with Greengrass hoping to make it his next project.  Hit the jump for more about the film.

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