EXCLUSIVE: The Entourage bad boys are almost back. Exactly one year ago, the HBO series ended its eighth and final season with soap opera schmaltz but also a Hollywood cliffhanger: agent Ari Gold as a newly minted studio mogul. That obviously set up the movie which Entourage creator Doug Ellin wanted to write one day. Well, I can now report that’s sooner rather than later: Ellin is on page 110 of his screenplay and “gonna finish by Sunday (I pray)”, he emails me. Ellin notes that no one wants to see the movie greenlighted by HBO more than the series’ WME packaging agent Ari Emanuel (the prototype for Gold) and executive producers Mark Wahlberg and Steven Levinson. Ellin says that Wahlberg keeps promising “to kill me if I don’t write faster. Every time I see him, Mark says, ‘I’ve made 5 movies this year. Get going!”
Ellin explains that he first needed time off after spending “10 years of my life” on the TV series that premiered on HBO in 2004. In the meantime, Ellin is under an overall deal at HBO and continued to develop for the pay cable network. He did an HBO comedy pilot starring Ed Burns that wasn’t picked up. Ellin and his producing partner Jim Lefkowitz also developed another HBO project, the boxing drama Da Brick, with Spike Lee and Mike Tyson and John Ridley. When Ellin got down to penning the Entourage screenplay, he told me he felt “renewed momentum”.
He says his script starts about 6 months after the TV series leaves off. “There are interesting developments about Ari as a studio head, and that’s still the first page for me. But foremost is the friendship between the guys who are still hanging out and going to fun parties, and it continues with the same characters.” (more…)