Paramount, Mary Parent To Turn ‘Beyblade’ Into Live Action Feature
EXCLUSIVE: After turning the Hasbro toys Transformers and G.I. Joe into hit feature franchises, Paramount Pictures will try again with Beyblade. The studio has acquired rights to turn Beyblade into a live action feature that will be produced by Mary Parent through her Disruption Entertainment banner. Beyblade is a line of customizable toys modeled after traditional Japanese fighting tops, developed and manufactured by Takaratomy, the creator of Transformers. The toys have… Read
‘The End Of The Tour’ Trailer: Jason Segel As David Foster Wallace
Here’s another hot ticket out of this year’s Sundance, acquired by distributor A24 as the fest was getting under way. The End of the Tour is based on David Lipsky’s book Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace. The trip was arranged as an interview Lipsky undertook for Rolling Stone after the 1996 publication of Wallace’s Infinite Jest. The movie stars an almost unrecognizable (and seemingly unlikely) Jason Segel as the… Read
ABC Signs Talent Deal With NBA Pilot Star Blondy Baruti
ABC and ABC Studios, which cast newcomer Blondy Baruti after looking at a hundreds of young actors for the lead in its NBA comedy pilot this season, are holding onto their find. Baruti has been signed into a talent holding deal with the network and the studio, which produced the NBA pilot and is still trying to land it a series order somewhere after coming close to one at ABC but ultimately missing the cut.
Baruti, a 6-foot-10 former basketball player out of Oklahoma… Read
Kate Shepherd Named EVP Content At Contend
Veteran unscripted TV executive and producer Kate Shepherd has been tapped as EVP of Content at Contend. Shepherd moves to Contend from Shine America where she served as VP of Development, overseeing global format development and acquisitions. She has produced, directed and developed TV series for Fox, Univision, NBC, The CW, ABC, TNT/TBS, BBC, ITV, C4UK.
Contend also named Jon Sneider as Chief Marketing Officer/EVP, Client Partnerships for Contend. In his new position… Read
Sky To Invest $20M In Milan Hub For Arts; Fremantle Picks Up Jude Law’s ‘The Young Pope': Global Briefs
Europe’s largest pan-continental pay TV platform Sky is setting up a dedicated Sky Arts Production Hub in Milan to bring new dedicated content its 21 million customers across Italy, Germany, Austria, Ireland and the UK. The move, which carries with it a commitment of $20 million in new spending, is one of the first moves since BSkyB completed its acquisition in November last year of Sky Italia and majority interest in Sky Deutschland to create a European TV giant in a… Read
Former MTV Exec Joins CMT As SVP Communications
CMT has named Kurt Patat as SVP Communications. He reports to CMT President Brian Phillips, and his appointment is effective immediately.
In his new role, Patat will oversee all media relations as well as internal communications for CMT, managing publicity teams in both Santa Monica and Nashville, where he will divide his time. He also will direct the publicity campaigns for CMT's original series, documentaries and tentpole events. Additionally, Patat will be responsible… Read
‘How He Fell In Love’ Clip: Exploring Faithfulness And Betrayal
EXCLUSIVE: Los Angeles Film Festival entry How He Fell In Love is a drama about a young musician (Matt McGorry) who is coping with the death of his bandmate and begins an affair with a married yoga teacher (Amy Hargreaves). Their relationship tests her marriage and his ability to move forward. In the clip here, the two lead characters discuss their relationship, edging but then retreating from polyamory in favor of a kind of faithful infidelity.
Written and directed by Mar… Read
Utkarsh Ambudkar Joins ‘Barbershop 3′
Utkarsh Ambudkar (Pitch Perfect) has joined the cast of Barbershop 3, the MGM sequel that New Line will distribute. He will play Samir, an extremely talented barber from Detroit who is picked on constantly for his Indian-American roots — though always taking the hits in stride with swag and humor.
Ambudkar joins Ice Cube, Common and Cedric the Entertainer in the cast for director Malcolm D. Lee. Cube Vision is producing, and MGM will run production. Bob Teitel and George… Read
‘A Walk In The Woods’ Trailer: Redford & Nolte Take A Hike
Robert Redford decides it would be great idea to undertake a trek along the 2100-plus-mile Appalachian Trail with old high school buddy Nick Nolte in this Sundance 2015 entry. Before too long the two estranged chums discover the hike through 14 states from Georgia to Maine is going to be an uphill struggle. Literally and figuratively.
The movie sparked heated bidding that upstart distributor Broad Green Pictures won with a whopping high-seven-figure P&A commitment… Read
‘Halt And Catch Fire’ Season 2 Review: Series About Dawn Of Digital Era Returns With Way More RAM
Get ready to travel back in time three decades on Sunday night with the debut of Season 2 of Halt And Catch Fire on AMC. Now the Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers-created series about the dawn of the digital revolution was one of my favorite new series of 2014 but, as my video review above says, the stronger Halt And Catch Fire 2.0 has a lot more bandwidth and ram.
Picking up in 1985 in the middle of the Reagan Era, Cameron Howe, played by Mackenzie Davis… Read
‘19 Kids And Counting’ Spinoff May Be Spawned As TLC Wades Through Duggar Mess
As advertisers bail, petitions abound and the media feasts on the story, the odds of TLC being able to bring back its hit series 19 Kids And Counting without Josh Duggar just got a lot slimmer with a new report that patriarch Jim Bob Duggar initially might not have told that Arkansas state trooper the whole story as to what Josh had been doing at home. But with such a large cast to work with, and a hit franchise at stake, TLC is mulling the efficacy of plucking popular… Read
Ex-Focus Head James Schamus Resurfaces In China First Look With Meridian Entertainment
BREAKING: James Schamus, the longtime head of Focus Features, has set his production company Symbolic Exchange in a first-look and strategic cooperation agreement with Chinese start-up Meridian Entertainment. The agreement will provide development and production funding for Symbolic's English-language slate, while also providing for co-development of Chinese projects. Schamus will also serve as a chief creative and strategic advisor to Meridian as it seeks to widen its… Read