Archive for the ‘Role Rumors’ Category
Bryan Buckley returns to features on the Reese Witherspoon vehicle Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus at Lionsgate Summit. The film is based on the John Gray self-help title, a guide to relationships and marriage that is the best selling non-fiction hardcover book of all-time (excepting the Bible and Koran) with over 7 million copies in circulation. Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont have written the script and Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun are set to produce with Andrew Mittman co-producing and Meredith Milton overseeing for Summit. Plan is to shoot the film in January.
While Buckley has stuck mostly to commercials, you’ve likely seen his work. Called “King of the Super Bowl,” he has directed over 40 spots for the annual NFL title game. In the process, he has won 37 Cannes Lions, and gotten 6 Emmy nominations. He’s directed everything from the recent Siri campaigns for the Apple iPhone to the American Express spots with Ellen DeGeneres and Conan O’Brien, and the baseball rivalry campaign with John Krasinski and Alec Baldwin. Latter campaign, which pits the Yankees loving Baldwin against the Red Sox loving Krasinski, was just added to the permanent connection at the Museum of Modern Art. Buckley most recently wrote and directed the film Asad, which was honored as Best Narrative Short at the Tribeca Film Festival 2012. The film, which now qualifies for this year’s Oscars, features a cast comprised entirely of Somali refugees.
Buckley is repped by Apostle’s George Heller, WME, and Bloom Hergott.
The success of the blog turned book turned movie Julie & Julia sent Hollywood on a frenzied search to uncover possible blogs for film adaptations. Back in 2010 Sony had jumped on mommy blogger Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman, optioning it for a possible Reese Witherspoon vehicle. The blog—like the book that would follow The Pioneer Woman: From Black Heels To Tractor Wheels—detailed how Drummond’s kismet meeting with a charming cowboy inspired her to leave behind her city slicker life in favor of a home on the range.
With Witherspoon’s warm yet sharp charisma, this proposed picture seemed a good fit for her. Unfortunately, The Pioneer Woman stalled out in 2011 when executive producer Laura Ziskin died. The unfinished screenplay—penned by Robert Harling of Steel Magnolias fame—was shelved and he moved on to create the ABC dramedy series GCB. Witherspoon remained attached to the property, but the future of The Pioneer Woman movie was uncertain.
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Bridesmaids director Paul Feig is in negotiations to come aboard Disney’s comedy fantasy Wish List.
Reese Witherspoon is attached to star in the project, which Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray of Mayhem Pictures are producing. The story centers on a career-oriented woman whose perfectly tailored life is thrown for a loop when all the wishes she made as a child are suddenly granted.
Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, the writers behind the international animation hit Kung Fu Panda 2, penned the script for the project, which initially was set up in 2001 as a vehicle for a male comedy star.
Before Bridesmaids, Feig was best known for creating the short-lived but passionately loved TV show Freaks and Geeks. The 2011 Universal comedy starring Kristen Wiig made him an A-list comedy director, but while he’s attached himself to a couple of projects, he has yet to make another film.
Feig, repped by CAA and Sloane Offer, was scheduled to shoot a Bridget Jones sequel but left in the fall due to creative differences. He remains attached to a Universal rom-com titled The Better Woman.
It is unclear if Wish List, with Witherspoon attached and a studio hungry to get movies into production, will be his next movie.
A few months ago it was reported that Reese would be starring in Sex Tape with Jason Segel. The film now has a new director, and Cameron Diaz is rumoured to be being considered for the role too.
Jake Kasdan to Direct Sony Comedy ‘Sex Tape’
Jake Kasdan has nabbed the coveted gig to direct Sony’s Sex Tape, a comedy being produced by Escape Artists that has Jason Segel attached to star. Kasdan is in negotiations, according to sources.
The story centers revolves around a husband and wife who take a night off from the kids and decide to spice things up by making a sex tape. When they wake up the next morning, the tape is missing, and the search is on.
Frequent Segel collaborator Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets) originally was circling the project, but no deal was finalized.
After closing Kasdan’s deal, the next step is to find the female lead. Cameron Diaz, who worked with Segel and Kasdan to hilarious effect in last summer’s Sony comedy Bad Teacher, has been mentioned as a possible co-star.
Kasdan, who has been directing episodes of New Girl, is repped by WME. His helming credits include the features Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and Orange County and TV’s Freaks and Geeks.
Pacific Standard, the new banner formed by Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea, has picked up the rights to a children’s book series titled Pennyroyal’s Princess Boot Camp.
The books hail from M.A. Larson, who once was an assistant to Mike Nichols and now works in animation.
Witherspoon will produce the adaptation with Papandrea and is attached to play a supporting role.
Princess Boot Camp is described as is a modern fairy tale about a school that shapes girls into warrior princesses to battle against an ever-growing terror of wicked witches.
The first book in the series is the debut novel by Larson, a Minnesota native who studied filmmaking at the University of Miami and became Nichols’ assistant when the legendary producer-director-writer was working on Angels in America, Closer and the Broadway musical Spamalot. Larson later moved to Los Angeles, where he was a staff writer on Cartoon Network shows and has been writing for such kid-oriented channels as Disney XD, Nickelodeon and Discovery Kids.
Princess Boot Camp recently was picked up by Putnam Children’s as a two-book series.
Pacific Standard is developing the books as a potential franchise. It’s the first official project from the fledgling company.
“Finally, there is a princess story that reflects the values young women truly want to embody,” Witherspoon said. “These princesses are strong, independent and fierce, and the knights are their match. In telling their story, Larson has created a magical universe that everyone will love to get lost in.”
Alexandra Machinist at Janklow & Nesbit Associates brokered the book deal and worked with CAA on the film deal. Larson is repped on the film side by the Brant Rose Agency and Jackoway Tyerman.
ZDF Enterprises and Koch Media have landed the rights for the Reese Witherspoon comedy Rule #1 for distribution in Germany and Austria.
Rule #1 was purchased from Foresight Unlimited and distribution throughout theaters is set for next year. The film stars Reese Witherspoon (Legally Blonde, Pleasantville, Walk the Line) as a woman who suffers from an obsessive washing and cleanliness disorder that causes her husband to leave her. She finds new love and learns to cope with her bizarre neuroses in order to start a new life. Courtney Hunt (Frozen River) is the director and screenwriter.
Margrit Stärk, the director of acquisitions for feature films at ZDF Enterprises, said, “ZDF Enterprises and Koch Media have already worked together successfully in the DVD area. As both companies are looking to increase their activities in the cinema sector, the continuation of this seasoned partnership makes sense, particularly with such a highly promising project.”
Stefan Kapelari, the COO of Koch Media, added, “We are extremely pleased to expand our cooperation with ZDF Enterprises with this joint commercialization. Both the genre and excellent cast headed by Reese Witherspoon make Rule #1 a movie with huge commercial potential. Our partnership with ZDF Enterprises enables us to lay the foundation for the successful marketing of this feature film.”
In a seven-figure preemptive deal, Sony Pictures is collaborating with Ryan Murphy on One Hit Wonders, a musical comedy pitch that will be written as a star vehicle for Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz, Beyonce and Andy Samberg.
Murphy is attached to direct, and he will write the script with his Glee cohorts Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan. Murphy will produce with Paltrow (who has practically become a Glee cast member) and the latter makes her debut as a producer on this film. Murphy hopes to direct it after he completes The Normal Heart.
Paltrow, Witherspoon and Diaz will play three singers who each scored a top hit song in the 1990s before watching their careers go down the drain. They decide to form a super group. Samberg and his Lonely Island cohorts will be involved in generating music for the film, I’m told. The project came out of a dinner Murphy had at the Soho House with Paltrow, Diaz and Witherspoon. They wanted to do something fun together and kicked around ideas until they settled on One Hit Wonders. Murphy, who made Eat Pray Love with Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal, took the pitch to her. Pascal bought it 10 minutes in. They are working the deals right now. Murphy previously made a big deal with Sony for a follow-up picture he’ll direct with Julia Roberts starring. Sony’s Elizabeth Cantillon and Hannah Minghella will steer the project.
UPDATE: Beyonce’s camp says that she isn’t attached to One Hit Wonders, so perhaps this was a bit of over-exuberance on the part of the filmmakers. Still a crazy good cast if you ask me.
Late last year it was reported that Reese would star in and co-produce a new movie entitled Rule #1, and today ScreenDaily.com report that the movie is being prepped to be sold at the European Film Market:
Foresight Unlimited has added two new Emmett/Furla productions to its slate: Courtney Hunt’s romantic comedy Rule #1 starring Reese Witherspoon and Baltasar Kormakur’s action comedy 2 Guns starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.
Brian O’Shea of The Exchange will be helping to sell the projects here at EFM.
For Rule #1 Randall Emmett and George Furla are producing with Brad Epstein of Panther and Reese Witherspoon through her Type A Films. Witherspoon will star as a woman with OCD who takes in a young woman and her newborn baby.
2 Guns, a $90m project being financed with Universal (which will release in the US) starts shooting on June 1 in New Mexico and Louisiana. Producers are Emmett, Furla and Marc Platt.
Envision Entertainment’s Stepan Martirosyan and Remington Chase are executive producing both. Envision has a fund set up with Emmett/Furla.
2 Guns is based on Blake Masters screenplay, adapted from the Steven Grant graphic novel, about a DEA agent and an undercover intelligence officer who are investigating each other and are both being watched by the mob.
Foresight Unlimited’s Mark Damon and Tamara Stuparich De La Barra will be offering both films to international buyers during the European Film Market.
Interesting tidbit about this: Reese’s friend Kate Hudson was attached to star in this project many years ago.
Filming is scheduled to begin in the Spring.
Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Reynolds will play Margaret and Walter Keane in an indie biopic about the couple whose art — especially paintings of doe-eyed children — became a pop phenomenon in the 1950s and 1960s.
While their art was reproduced and marketed around the country, their home life was unhappy: Margaret Keane was the artist, but her husband took credit. In fact, it carried Walter Keane’s name, rather than the shy Margaret’s.
When the two divorced, both claimed rights to the paintings. Ultimately — in federal court — Margaret Keane painted a picture to prove that she was, in fact the artist. When the judge asked Walter Keane to paint, he declined, saying his sore shoulder prevented him from painting.
The judge found for Margaret Keane.
Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski wrote and will direct the film. Tim Burton is producing through his Tim Burton Productions. Lynette Howell and Jamie Patricof are producing through their Electric City Entertainment.
Also read: ‘Blue Valentine’ Producers Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell Launch Indie Production Co.
“We are ecstatic to have this dream cast for our dream project,” the directors said in a written statement. “Walter is a larger-than-life antihero — charming, funny, dangerous, and a little crazy. Ryan will knock it out of the park. As for Reese, she will be perfect as Margaret — soulful, decent, transforming from vulnerability to learning to fight for herself.”
Alexander and Karaszewski know their biopics: They wrote “Ed Wood,” “The People vs. Larry Flint” and Andy Kaufman biopic “Man on the Moon.”
With Burton, they’re working on a new version of “The Addams Family.”
“Big Eyes” has been on Alexander and Karaszewski’s to-do list since at least 2009.
Reese Witherspoon will star in Devil’s Knot, the Atom Egoyan-directed drama about the West Memphis 3. As Deadline revealed just after the West Memphis 3 murder defendants were released from prison August 19, The Sweet Hereafter and Chloe director Egoyan came aboard to direct a script that was originally written by Scott Derrickson and Paul Boardman, the team behind The Exorcism Of Emily Rose. Witherspoon will play Pam Hobbs, the mother of one of the murder victims who initially believes the trio murdered her son, but she is eventually persuaded that the three suspects are innocent and wrongly accused. Filming begins next summer.
Egoyan has spent the last six weeks working with Boardman on a rewrite. The script is based on investigative reporter Mara Leveritt’s 2003 book Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three, an in-depth chronicle of the sensationalized trials that sent the three to prison for the murder of the three 8-year old boys who were found hog-tied in a drainage ditch. The project is not a rush job. Derrickson and Boardman began writing it in 2006 when the film first took root at Dimension Films. It will be produced by Elizabeth Fowler, Clark Peterson, Richard Saperstein and Boardman. Saperstein was Dimension president and he acquired the film. After he left, Dimension eventually put the project into turnaround and Saperstein became re-involved as producer. The package includes life rights deals with some of the figures in the case, and especially Ron Lax, a private investigator who has been working pro bono on trying to overturn the verdict since 1993. There are no rights deals with the West Memphis 3 defendants Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr because at the time, two were serving life sentences and Echols was on death row. The plan is to finance the film independently, but the filmmakers might well make a domestic distribution deal before getting underway.
CAA and Management 360 rep Witherspoon.
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