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March 2010 Archive

Kal Penn Returns From White House to Another 'White Castle' Stoner Sequel

New Line has set a summer start date on the third installment of the Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle franchise, with the Warner Bros-based company about to hire a director, and seriously considering doing the film in 3D. The film is Christmas-themed, giving Warner Bros a nice R-rated holiday release for 2011 or 2012. The biggest significance is that the start date signals the return of Kal Penn, who put his career on hold to take the position of associate director of… Read

Faris In New Line 'Private Benjamin' Redo

New Line has closed a rights deal to remake the 1981 comedy Private Benjamin with Anna Faris playing the title role originated by Goldie Hawn. Amy Talkington will write the script originated by Charles Shyer, Nancy Meyers. and Harvey Miller. Mark Gordon will produce. Between the Scary Movie films and House Bunny, is there an actress more closely replicating Hawn’s comedy career than Faris?  Read

Marketing Prez Bob Oswaks Exits Sony TV

EXCLUSIVE: I heard this late last night but confirmed it this morning. This week is his last. Several sources tell me Steve Mosko took the step because of Oswaks’ management style. He was a “completely ineffective marketer, in addition to his constant internal struggles with key management caused the abrupt departure. Oswaks had many complaints against him including the fact that Harpo (Dr. Oz, Nate Berkus) thought he was completely… Read

MGM GETS MORE TIME (4th Extension)

In a development that’s hardly surprising, MGM has received more time from its lenders to figure out its ownership and try to make the Lion roar again. This follows an auction that amounted to a bottom-feeding frenzy in which suitors looked over the studio’s assets that include James Bond, a half-share of The Hobbit, and other franchises and a library. But the bids that came in would not even have halved the MGM debt load. The Studio just issued this statement: "MGM said… Read

From Movies To Stage – And Back Again

A lot of reciprocal movement from screen to stage. Smuggler Films, the shingle formed by John N. Hart, Brian Carmody and Patrick Milling Smith, have optioned Jean Anouilh’s Tony-winning 1960 play Becket and plan to turn it into a film. They’ve hired playwright/lyricist Ranjit Bolt to write the script. The David Merrick-produced play –the story of King Henry II’s decision to appoint Thomas Becket to Archbishop of Canterbury in 1162 to check the ever-growing power of the… Read

'Twilight's Stephenie Meyer Gives Fans Novella; Makes Progress On 'The Host'

Stephenie Meyer announced that she has written the Twilight tie-in novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novel. Little,Brown will release the book June 5, pledging $1 from each copy to be donated to the Red Cross for disaster relief in Haiti and Chile. But fans will want to know if this means another Meyer movie, and it doesn’t seem likely at this point. In her disclosure about the 192-page novella—about the young vampire Bree who’s introduced in The… Read

Hollywood Reporter Publisher Eric Mika Officially Out: THR Turned Down By LA Times' Lynne Segall; What's Next?

E5 Global Media CEO Richard Beckman just informed the staff about Eric Mika’s exit. It’s hardly unexpected. Ever since Beckman was hired in January, he has been telling people outside the trade — but, deliberately, not the staff — that he plans massive firings at The Hollywood Reporter because the company plans to abandon the traditional trade format and formula. Instead it will become a small online showbiz news aggregator, and a glossy magazine, and a cable TV… Read

Warners Locks Cast Into `Hangover' Deals

EXCLUSIVE: Even before The Hangover opened, executives at Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures had commissioned a script for another installment. Who knew it would take six months of headache-inducing negotiations to make it happen? Finally, the participants have completed talks and are ready to sign deals to reprise.  I'm told that Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms will each be paid in the vicinity of $5 million against 4% of first dollar gross… Read

Management Duo Shifts To Schiff Co.

EXCLUSIVE: Managers Courtney Kivowitz and Christian Donatelli have jumped from Benderspink to The Schiff Company. They bring a collective client list that includes Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lucy Punch, Colin Hanks, Sissy Spacek, James Frey, Ellen Burstyn, Cheyenne Jackson, Monica Potter, Emmy Rossum and Kevin Corrigan. Kivowitz's work with Gyllenhaal brought her into Oscar season proximity with Schiff, who manages her Crazy Heart costar Jeff Bridges. They decided to work… Read

Bankruptcy Judge Appoints Trustee To Control Assets Of Companies Controlled By Capitol Films/ThinkFilm Chief David Bergstein; Guilds “Welcome” Decision

2ND UPDATE: Following is a joint DGA-SAG-WGA statement: “The Guilds welcome the judge’s appointment of a trustee in this situation. We will continue to keep a watchful eye on this matter and protect the interests of our members.” UPDATE: Bergstein never showed in Bankruptcy Court today. But  judge Barry Russell sided with an army of creditors and appointed an interim trustee to wrest control of the assets of all five of the companies controlled by David Bergstein. That… Read

Susan Rovner Upped At Warner Bros TV

Susan Rovner has been upped to executive vice president of development at Warner Bros Television, and will oversee both the drama and comedy development teams. Rovner, who has spent 11 years at the studio, takes the place of Leonard Goldstein, who left to join Fake Empire partners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. Rovner had been senior vice president of drama development, working on the development of such series as The Mentalist, Fringe, The Closer, The Vampire Diaries… Read