UPDATE, 11:08 AM: They are getting ready to truly hug it out in front of the cameras. “January 16 start date. Getting pumped,” tweeted Entourage director Doug Ellin today. He also posted a photo of the primary cast, including Jeremy “Ari Gold” Piven and Adrian “Vincent Chase” Grenier, all together. That January start date means that Vinnie Chase and his crew will still be keeping the 20% tax credit that movie of the HBO series got from the California Film Commission program earlier this year – something Warner Bros was very insistent on not losing if the $30 million-budget pic was to go forward.
PREVIOUSLY, OCTOBER 28: Vinnie Chase and his posse are coming back to Hollywood. “It’s a go. love you all,” tweeted director Doug Ellin today about the Entourage movie. Deals for Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Connolly have been reached, sources say. Working with Warner Bros, producers Mark Wahlberg and Steve Levinson stepped in to close the offers this weekend. Details are sketchy on who exactly gets what, but all four actors are now getting some of the $30 million movie’s backend. Even though my colleague Mike Fleming Jr broke the story back in January that a movie of the HBO series had the green light from Warner Bros, this all started when Jeremy Piven closed his deal for the pic around the end of August with part of the backend. The other cast members started wanting a bit of that profit-participation pie too. The ripple effect was that Grenier, Dillon, Ferrara and, to a lesser degree, Connolly held out for what they hoped would be a big payoff down the line. Despite all this drama, the film actually wasn’t scheduled to start filming until around January, when Piven is on break from his ITV/PBS series Mr. Selfridge. On top of the dispute among the actors and the producers, Warners was adamant that the budget for Entourage the movie stay at $30 million and would not go ahead if the pic doesn’t meet the mid-January deadline to remain eligible for the 20% tax credit it got from California Film Commission program earlier this year. But that’s all water under the deal-making bridge now.