Final Girls by Riley Sager

DEADLINE

Universal Books Rights To Riley Sager Thriller Novel ‘Final Girls’ For Anonymous Content & Sugar23

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has won the bidding battle to option rights to Final Girls, the bestselling novel from Riley Sager that hit shelves this summer. The movie adaptation will be produced by Anonymous Content’s Nicole Clemens along with Sugar23’s Ashley Zalta and Michael Sugar as that stand-alone company continues to ramp up.

Published by Dutton in July, Final Girls centers on Quincy Carpenter, who 10 years ago as a college student went on vacation to Pine Cottage with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant, the press dubbed her a “Final Girl,” coined for the group of similar survivors.

Universal’s director of development Chloe Yellin will oversee production for the studio.

Universal, Anonymous Content, and Sager’s reps Aevitas Creative Management are also teamed on the adaptation of From the Corner of the Oval, a book proposal by former White House stenographer Beck Dorey-Stein.

Sugar23 launched in October with a multi-year first-look deal at Anonymous Content, where Sugar is a longtime manager-producer.

Publisher’s Marketplace

Film rights to Riley Sager's novel FINAL GIRLS, about three separate massacre survivors who, despite being bound by their similar trauma, never meet until years later when one of them succumbs to a new danger and the two remaining girls are forced to join together, to Universal Pictures with Anonymous Content (THE REVEVANT, SPOTLIGHT) and Sugar23 producing, by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates, on behalf of Michelle Brower at Aevitas Creative Management.

Pirates of Somalia by Jay Bahadur

DEADLINE

Echo Bridge Scores Timely Evan Peters Movie ‘The Pirates Of Somalia’ For December Bow

EXCLUSIVE: Echo Bridge has acquired U.S. rights to director Bryan Buckley’s The Pirates of Somalia (formerly known as Dabka). The film, which bowed this spring at the Tribeca Film Festival, examines what led up to the hostage saga depicted in Captain Phillips.

The film stars American Horror Story’s Evan Peters along with Oscar nominees Barkhad Abdi, Melanie Griffith and Al Pacino. The plan is release it in 10 markets nationwide day-and-date December 8. Rights include theatrical, TVOD and SVOD.

Based on the New York Times bestseller The Pirates of Somalia by Jay Bahadur, the story follows rookie journalist Bahadur (Evan Peters), who, after having a chance encounter with an experienced war correspondent (Pacino), uproots his life and moves to Somalia looking for the story of a lifetime. Hooking up with a local fixer (Abdi), Bahadur attempts to embed himself with the local Somali pirates, getting in way over his head.

This is Buckley’s second feature film following the 2015 Sundance Film Festival pic The Bronze, which was released by Sony Pictures Classics in 2016. The deal comes as Somalia finds itself one of the countries on President Donald Trump’s current travel-ban list; if enacted, the Somali people featured in the film would not be able to travel to the U.S. to support the film.

“I am so pleased to be partnering with Echo Bridge, who share the same level of commitment to this film that we do,” said Buckley. “This is an important and powerful story that demonstrates the courage of those journalists who have risked their lives to tell us the truth. It’s piece of work that needs to be shared with all audiences; therefore, we could not be more thrilled to have found the right partner to provide this film with the proper platform.”

Echo Bridge chairman and CEO Steven Paul, whose previous credits include Marvel’s Ghost Rider and Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell, said the film “is one of those stranger-than-fiction stories that demands being told. It has all the elements of a first-rate adventure. It’s thrilling and funny but most of all an important story that few people hear about beyond the headlines.”

The film is produced by Buckley, Mino Jarjoura and Matt Lefebvre of Hungry Man Films, as well as Claude Dal Farra of BCDF Pictures and Irfaan Fredericks. The executive producers include Paul of Echo Bridge; Compton Ross, Phil Hunt, Stephen Kelliher, and Hilary Davis of Bankside Films; as well as Peter Pastorelli, Michael S. Murphy, Hank Perlman, Kevin Byrne and Robin Shenfield.

The deal for the film was negotiated by UTA Independent Film Group and Echo Bridge Acquisition Corp. The film was financed by Hungry Man Films and Head Gear Films and repped by Bankside Films for international sales.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

DEADLINE: N.K. Jemisin’s ‘The Fifth Season’ Book To Be Developed As TV Series At TNT

N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo Award-winning sci-fi fantasy novel The Fifth Season is getting the drama series treatment at TNT. The project is in early development at the cable network with Leigh Dana Jackson (24: Legacy, Sleepy Hollow) set to pen the adaptation and Imperative Entertainment’s (All the Money in the World) Dan Friedkin, Tim Kring and Justin Levy serving as executive producers.

Jackson brought the novel, the first in a three-book series, to Imperative, which secured the rights before the The Fifth Season‘s Hugo nomination. Jemisin went on to become the first black writer to win the Hugo Award for best novel. She followed that up last week by winning the prestigious science fiction award for the second consecutive year for the second book in the series, The Obelisk Gate. The third book was published Tuesday.

The Fifth Season is described as an epic drama set in a world where civilization-destroying earthquakes occur with deadly regularity. A small minority of inhabitants has the ability to quiet these earthquakes, but they also can cause them. The series follows three women, each of whom possesses these special, Earth-controlling abilities: Damaya, a young girl training to serve the Empire; Syenite, an ambitious young woman ordered to breed with her bitter and frighteningly powerful mentor; and Essun, a mother searching for the husband who murdered her young son and kidnapped her daughter mere hours after a Season tore a fiery rift across the land.

Jackson worked as a supervising producer a on 24:Legacy and as a producer on Sleepy Hollow. Other series credits include Helix, The Tomorrow People and 666 Park Avenue. He’s repped by WME, Gotham Group and Bloom Hergott.

In addition to winning two Hugo Awards for The Fifth Season series, Jemisin also won the Locus Award for her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and her short fiction and novels have been nominated multiple times for Hugo, World Fantasy, Nebula, and RT Reviewers’ Choice awards. Jemisin is repped by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss & Associates.

Bloodlines by Melissa Del Bosque

DEADLINE: Universal, Channing Tatum, Michael De Luca Tap ‘Bloodlines’

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has optioned the upcoming Melissa Del Bosque book Bloodlines: The True Story of a Drug Cartel, the FBI, and the Battle for a Horse-Racing Dynasty. Channing Tatum is attached to star, and Oscar-nominated Straight Outta Compton scribe Jonathan Herman will adapt. A rookie FBI agent named Scott Lawson is assigned to the border town of Laredo, Texas, where he writes reports about the drug war but doesn’t get to do much else. Until he’s asked to check out an anonymous tip that a horse sold for a record price at an Oklahoma auction house. The buyer: Miguel Trevino, one of the leaders of the Zetas, a brutal Mexican drug cartel. Teaming up with a more experienced agent named Alma Perez, the FBI agent discovers an opportunity to infiltrate a cartel that has taken to launder its drug money through American quarter horse racing. The book will be published September 12.

Michael De Luca will produce through Michael De Luca Productions alongside Tatum and his Free Association banner. Free Association’s Michael Parets will also produce.

Executive Vice President of Production Erik Baiers will oversee development for Universal. Elishia Holmes at De Luca Productions brought in and helped package the project, and will shepherd for De Luca. Tatum, who stars in the Steven Soderbergh-directed Logan Lucky and the upcoming Kingsman: The Golden Circle, is repped by UTA, Management 360 and Hansen, Jacobson. Herman is represented by UTA, Industry Entertainment and Lichter, Grossman. The author, a National Magazine Award-winning journalist, is repped by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of Farley Chase at Chase Literary Agency.

Devil’s Bargain by Joshua Green

DEADLINE: ‘Devil’s Bargain’: Blumhouse TV Acquires Book About Steve Bannon & Donald Trump For Limited Series Adaptation

EXCLUSIVE: Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Television, which has a high-profile Roger Ailes limited series in the works at Showtime, is taking on another controversial media titan, former Breitbart News topper Steve Bannon who is now President Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist.

Blumhouse TV, run by co-presidents Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold, has acquired the rights to Joshua Green’s newly released Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency for TV development as a limited/event series. Green, currently the senior national correspondent at Bloomberg Businessweek, will be involved in the development of the project, which will tell the inside story of the partnership between Bannon and Trump which led to the greatest political upset in U.S. history.

Published last week, the book has earned strong reviews and has landed at the top spot of the The New York Times bestseller list.

Based on dozens of interviews conducted over six years, Green traces Bannon’s surprising trajectory from working class Irish-Catholic Democratic roots to Breitbart News and his hard-edged ethno-nationalism, including hostility toward Muslims and all immigrants. He also masterminded a years-in-the-making plot to undermine Hillary Clinton largely by highlighting her financial ties to foreign donors through the Clinton Foundation, which helped to pave the way for Trump.

Bannon became a bomb-throwing pugilist who was despised by Democrats and Republicans alike. Although he’d never run a campaign in his life, on August 17, 2016 with the blessing of Robert Mercer (the ultra-secretive right-wing billionaire backer of Breitbart News), Bannon took over Trump’s foundering presidential campaign and steered it to a shocking triumph, for which he was rewarded with the job of White House chief strategist, a position he still holds today. It’s way too early to discuss castings on the project but it will be interesting to see who will get to play the firebrand duo at the center of it.

Devil’s Bargain joins Blumhouse TV’s Showtime limited series Secure and Hold, about the rise and fall of former Fox News Chief, Roger Ailes, from Oscar-winning filmmaker Tom McCarthy, based on journalist Gabriel Sherman’s book, The Loudest Voice In the Room and his coverage of Ailes for New York Magazine.

Additionally, Blumhouse, which recently launched an independent television studio with ITV Studios acquiring a 45 per cent stake, has the upcoming HBO limited series Sharp Objects from Marti Noxon and Gillian Flynn, starring Amy Adams, with Jean-Marc Valle directing all episodes; and The Purge, for USA/SyFy from writer/director/producer James DeMonaco based on the wildly popular Blumhouse film franchise – all written and directed by DeMonaco; as well as a Tremors pilot for SyFy starring Kevin Bacon (reprising his role from the 1990 cult favorite film).

Devil’s Bargain marks a return to the 2016 for Blumhouse TV. The studio recently produced Election Day: Lens Across America, a documentary film centering on the 2016 Presidential Election Day from the point of view of seven photographers in key battleground states across the nation, which premiered on Epix earlier this year.

The Blumhouse deal for Devil’s Bargain was handled by the Ross Yoon Agency and Hotchkiss & Associates on behalf of Green.

Trials of Nina McCall by Scott W Stern

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: 'Trials of Nina McCall' in the Works With Producer Cathy Schulman (Exclusive)

The adaptation of Scott W. Stern's upcoming book centers on the true story of the incarceration of thousands of American women accused of carrying and spreading STIs.

Scott W. Stern's The Trials of Nina McCall, the true story of one of the largest mass quarantines in U.S. history and the women who fought against it, is being adapted into a film.

Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment has acquired the film rights to Stern's upcoming nonfiction book, which is scheduled for publication in the spring of 2018 by Beacon Press.

The story is based on the American Plan, a program that empowered local law enforcement and health officials to incarcerate and “treat” tens of thousands of girls and young women suspected of carrying STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and spreading them among American soldiers throughout both World Wars, all without due process. The film will follow one heroic young woman who was arrested and imprisoned under the plan but who refused to stay silent and decided to fight back.

Stern has been researching and writing The Trials of Nina McCall for six years. The idea began as an undergraduate research paper at Yale and eventually became his senior thesis, which won Yale’s Norman Holmes Pearson Prize. He will attend Yale Law School in the fall. Schulman is also an alum of Yale.

Schulman, who won an Oscar for 2004's Crash, has often backed female-driven stories, including recent hits Bad Moms and Edge of Seventeen starring Hailee Steinfeld. The producer, who launched Welle Entertainement in February, also serves as president of Women in Film. Welle Entertainment, which will both develop and produce films, is a co-venture with Primary Wave Entertainment.

The deal was made on behalf of Riverside Literary Agency by Hotchkiss and Associates.

Source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/trials-nina-mccall-works-producer-cathy-schulman-1016734

The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas

DEADLINE: Fox Animation Lands ‘The Care And Feeding Of A Pet Black Hole’ For Matt Reeves To Produce

EXCLUSIVEFox Animation has acquired the Michelle Cuevas  middle grade book The Care and Feeding Of A Pet Black Hole. The studio is finalizing a deal for its War For The Planet of the Apes helmer Matt Reeves to produce through his 6th and Idaho  banner. Cuevas authored Confessions of An Imaginary Friend, which Fox Animation is also developing. This one involves an 11-year old named Stella Rodriguez, who shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan’s Golden Record. A black hole follows her home, intending on being her new pet. She names it Larry. It swallows everything it touches, which takes care of the ugly sweaters her aunt has made for her, the smelly class hamster she’s taking care of, and reminders of her dead father that are just too painful to have around. When the family dog gets lost inside Larry, Stella ties a bed sheet around her claw foot tub and dives in to retrieve the pooch. But the tub gets sucked in too, along with her brother who happened to be taking a bath at the time. Adventure in the black hole follows as the young girl realizes she has been letting her own grief over her father’s death consume her. The book will be published in September by Dial Books for Young Readers. Adam Kassan and Rafi Crohn brought it in for 6th and Idaho and Elizabeth Reddy will oversee for Fox Animation. The deal was done by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of Emily Van Beek at Folio Literary Management. CAA reps Reeves.

The Loudest Voice in the Room by Gabriel Sherman

VARIETY: Showtime Lands Miniseries on Fox News Founder Roger Ailes

Showtime is wading into the world of Fox News as scandal continues to buffet the cable channel.

The premium cabler has landed the rights to “Secure and Hold: The Last Days of Roger Ailes,” a look at the Fox News founder’s rise and fall. The limited series will draw on reporting from New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman, who had several major scoops related to the sexual harassment scandal that led to Ailes’ ouster last summer. Ailes was accused by hosts, such as Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, of overseeing a culture of harassment and of trying to use his position to exact sexual favors from employees.

The deal comes as Fox News is facing another crisis. Last weekend, the New York Times published an in-depth look at Bill O’Reilly’s tangled history of harassment claims. The article found that O’Reilly and Fox News had reached some $13 million in settlements after five women accused the cable news host of inappropriate behavior. Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai have pulled their ads after the report hit.

The Ailes project will be co-produced by Showtime and Blumhouse Television. It could make it to the air within the next two years.

Tom McCarthy, the director and writer of “Win Win” and the Oscar-winning “Spotlight,” will write and executive produce the series. Sherman will also serve as an executive producer and writer.

The project is also being written and co-executive produced by John Harrington Bland and Jennifer Stahl. Blumhouse announced Tuesday that it had brought in ITV Studios as an investor on a new independent TV studio. The company is also planning a series based on its horror franchise, “The Purge.”

A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly

DEADLINE: The CW Buys Magical Crime Drama From ‘iZombie’ Quartet

The CW has put in development Criminal Magic, an hourlong drama from iZombiewriter Graham Norris, creator/executive producer Rob Thomas and executive producers Danielle Stokdyk and Dan Etheridge.

Written/executive produced by Norris based on the novel A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly, Criminal Magic is described as The Departed-meets-The Vampire Diaries.Set in present-day Los Angeles, it revolves around two warring street gangs who fight the cops and each other to corner the market on the most lucrative contraband of all: magic. A young woman hiding spectacular magical powers and an undercover cop must try to survive this glamorous world of speakeasies, crime and danger. Thomas executive produces via his Spondoolie Productions alongside frequent collaborators Stokdyk and Etheridge. Warner Bros. TV, where Thomas is under an overall deal, is the studio.

This is the third development collaboration between Norris, who started as an actor, and Thomas. Last season, Norris co-wrote and Thomas executive produced utopian drama The Tempest, which also was set up at the CW. And during the 2013-14 development season, Norris wrote and Thomas exec produced a drama inspired by Victor Hugo’s novel Les Misérables for Fox.

Thomas is the writer/executive producer behind one of the highest-profile projects at the CW this season, a series based on The Lost Boys movie.

Norris is repped by UTA, manager Joe Riley and attorney Eric Feig. Thomas is repped by UTA and attorney Jeanne Newman.

The Loudest Voice In The Room by Gabriel Sherman

DEADLINE: Roger Ailes Limited Series In the Works From Tom McCarthy & Blumhouse Based On Gabriel Sherman Reporting

Roger Ailes is getting the Spotlight treatment. The recently ousted Fox News topper will be the subject of a limited series from Oscar-winning Spotlight co-writer/director Tom McCarthy, Blumhouse Television (Emmy-winning The Jinx, The Normal Heart) and journalists Gabriel Sherman and Jennifer Stahl.

The series will be based on Sherman’s reporting on Ailes in the bestselling book The Loudest Voice In The Room and New York magazine where Sherman is National Affairs Editor. The announcement was made today at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit.

McCarthy will executive produce and shepherd the series, giving it instant cred as he recently spearheaded the Oscar-winning journalism investigation movie Spotlight. Sherman and Stahl will write and co-executive produce. Blumhouse will serve as the studio, financing and producing the series.

Husband and wife Sherman and Stahl collaborated on The Loudest Voice In The Room. Sherman then extensively covered the sexual harassment allegations against Ailes this past summer that led to his abrupt departure from Fox News.

Sherman drew national attention with his string of exclusive stories on Ailes detailing an alleged long history of sexual abuse and harassment and chronicling the events that led to Ailes’ dismissal. His coverage was so damning, Ailes hired a label lawyer who requested that New York magazine and Sherman preserve all documents pertaining to Ailes, a not-so-subtle threat of possible legal action.

“Anthony Hopkins in the Hitchcock Film was a spitting image,” Sherman said today when asked who should play Ailes, while also floating John Goodman as a possibility.

This is the first source material Blumhouse Television has acquired under co-presidents Jeremy Gold and Marci Wiseman, who recently joined the company to expand it into new business and creative areas alongside Jessica Rhoades, the longtime Head of Programming & Development. It also represents the first scripted series the company will finance as an independent studio.

Blumhouse TV’s slate includes the upcoming Sharp Objects on HBO starring Amy Adams and unscripted Hellevator on GSN.

McCarthy is repped by Gersh and Andrew Hurwitz. Sherman and Stahl are repped by Gail Ross and Jody Hotchkiss.

 

First Women by Kate Andersen Brower

DEADLINE: Reese Witherspoon, Robin Wright & ‘Spotlight’ Producer Team For First Ladies TV Series Based On ‘First Women’ Book

Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard and Spotlight producer Anonymous Content are teaming to produce a timely TV series based on Kate Andersen Brower’s bestseller First Women: The Grace & Power Of America’s Modern First Ladies. It will be directed and executive produced Robin Wright, who plays a First Lady on TV on Netflix’s House Of Cards.

The book, published April 12 by HarperCollins, is described as an intimate, news-making look at the true modern power brokers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: the First Ladies, from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama. Wright, who won a Golden Globe for her role as FLOTUS Claire Underwood on House Of Cards, is attached to direct the pilot. She executive produces, along with Pacific Standard’s Witherspoon, Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar, and Bruna Papandrea. Anonymous Content’s Ashley Zalta and Doreen Wilcox-Little are co-executive producers.

A former First Lady, Hillary Clinton, is now the Democratic nominee with a shot at becoming the first female U.S. President.

First Women author Brower is a former White House reporter for Bloomberg News who covered the Obama administration, as well as a former CBS News staffer and producer for Fox News.

First Women: The Grace And Power Of America’s Modern First Ladies’ paperback edition will be published by Harper Perennial on January 24, 2017. Brower was repped in the deal by the Ross Yoon Agency and Hotchkiss & Associates.

Snapshot 1988 by Joe Hill

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Universal Nabs Joe Hill's Horror Novella 'Snapshot 1988' (Exclusive)

The story, set in 1988, centers on a 13-year old boy who ends up taking care of his elderly former housekeeper.

The Stranger Things ripple effect has begun.

In a competitive situation, Universal has won the rights to Snapshot 1988, a novella by Joe Hill. Ouija 2: Origin of Evil director Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard, , who co-wrote Ouija: Origin of Evil and Before I Wake with Flanagan, are in talks to write.

Akiva Goldsman's Weed Road and Jason Blum's Blumhouse, the banner behind the studio’s recent release Purge: Election Year, are attached to produce. Greg Lessans will executive produce.

Hill’s novella hit the town earlier in the week and quickly generated buzz for its Stranger Things tone and 1980s Amblin movie vibe. Sources say Universal beat out Fox, which was bidding for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes filmmaker Matt Reeves and his 6th and Idaho production banner.

 

The story, set in 1988, centers on a 13-year old boy who ends up taking care of his elderly former housekeeper whom he thinks is succumbing to dementia. What he doesn’t know is that her memories are not being lost but stolen by an evil man named The Phoenician who uses a camera that steals memories. The story will be published in a four novella collection from William Morrow in the Spring of 2018.

The timing for an 1980s-themed teen adventure couldn’t be better. The series Stranger Things, which was released by Netflix, became a summer sensation because it channeled the movies of that era such as E.T. and The Thing. It also owed a huge debt to the works of Stephen King.

It is only fitting that the first project that has execs talking Stranger Things then is written by his son, Hill. Hill is the author of Horns, which was adapted into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe, and The Fireman.

Flanagan is known for his work in horror, most recently writing and directing this year’s Ouija: Origin of Evil, which Universal will release on Oct. 21. He also directed Netflix’s Hush, and Before I Wake and Oculus for Relativity. He’s repped by WME. Howard is repped by APA and Untitled, and attorney Joel Vanderkloot of Nelson Davis reps both Howard and Flanagan.

The deal was negotiated by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of The Choate Agency.

Black Flags by Joby Warrick

DEADLINE: ‘Black Flags’ Miniseries About Rise Of ISIS From Bradley Cooper & Todd Phillips In Works At HBO

EXCLUSIVE: Black Flags: The Rise Of ISIS, the 2016 Pulitzer-winning nonfiction book by Joby Warrick, is headed to the small screen. HBO has put in development a miniseries being developed by Bradley Cooper, who executive produces with with Todd Phillips via the duo’s Joint Effort production banner. Bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz (Orphan X, Wolverine) is writing the adaptation and executive producing. Helmer Tim Van Patten (Game Of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire) executive produces and will direct.

Black Flags tells the story of the rise of ISIS, from its origins in a remote Jordanian prison to its stunning success in Syria. The book tracks the group’s unlikely roots and transformation into the world’s most feared terrorist organization — as well as the small band of American and international agents tasked with shutting it down.

After reading Black Flags, Cooper immediately envisioned it as a limited series and sought out Warrick. He and Phillips then traveled to Warrick’s hometown to meet with him. The duo pitched the idea for the mini and discussed collaborating on the project.

Black Flags could not be more timely as the threat of ISIS continues to grow with deadly attacks across multiple continents, including a string of tragedies in the heart of Europe.

Cooper and Phillips merged their Warner Bros.-based production companies into what became Joint Effort in 2014. The company’s first movie release, War Dogs, comes out August 19.

Cooper and Phillips are repped by CAA. Phillips also is repped by attorney Warren Dern. Warrick was repped in the deal by the Ross Yoon Agency and Hotchkiss & Associates.

The Long Road Home by Martha Raddatz

DEADLINE: Nat Geo Greenlights ‘The Long Road Home’ Event Series Based On Martha Raddatz Book

National Geographic Channel has greenlit The Long Road Home scripted miniseries, based on Martha Raddatz’s New York Times bestseller. It was announced today ahead of Nat Geo’s session at TCA.

The eight-hour event series is executive produced by Mike Medavoy, Jason Clark, Benjamin Anderson and Edward McGurn. The 33 screenwriter Mikko Alanne is penning the adaptation and also executive producing. Production will begin in early 2017 for a premiere later in the year.

First announced as a development project in November, The Long Road Home will relive a heroic fight for survival during the Iraq War when the First Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas, was ferociously ambushed on April 4, 2004, in Sadr City, Baghdad — a day that came to be known in military annals as “Black Sunday.”

The event series will cut between the soldiers on the ground and the homefront in Texas, where their wives and families await news for 48 hellish hours, expecting the worst. The incident, which took place 11 months after President George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech, changed the American military’s view of Iraq from a peacekeeping mission to a fight against domestic insurgents.

“With The Long Road Home, we’re going to tell the inspiring story of the selfless heroism and bravery of U.S. soldiers in extraordinary and terrifying circumstances. We’re also going to shine a light on the sisterhood formed by their wives on the homefront as they rally around each other awaiting news of their husbands’ fates,” said National Geographic Channel executive vice president and head of global scripted programming and development Carolyn Bernstein. “We are so pleased to partner with Mike Medavoy, a producer with a remarkable list of credits, including some of cinema’s most iconic military dramas, along with Jason Clark, president of Seth MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door Productions, and Mikko Alanne to bring the universal and timeless story of these courageous warriors and their equally courageous wives to Nat Geo.”

Alanne is repped by CAA and Media Talent Group. Mike Medavoy, Benjamin Anderson and Edward McGurn are with Gang Tyre Ramer Brown. Jason Clark is repped by Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein.

Finding Chandra by Scott Higham and Sari Horowitz

DEADLINE Chandra Levy Limited Series From Lawrence Kasdan In Works At TNT

EXCLUSIVE: The Chandra Levy case, which is back in the headlines this week, is the subject of a limited series in development at TNT. The project, executive produced by Lawrence Kasdan (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), is co-produced by Sony Pictures TV and Turner.

Keith Huff (American Crime, House of Cards) is writing the script based on the book Finding Chandra: A True Washington Murder Mystery by Scott Higham and Sari Horowitz. Kasdan and Huff executive produce with Judith Verno and Diane Sokolow. Kasdan may direct subject to availability.

Levy was 24 and an intern with the Federal Bureau of Prisons when she went missing in May 2001. Her disappearance became a media sensation after she was romantically linked to Congressman Gary Condit. The missing person case became a murder investigation when Levy’s remains were found in Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park the following year. Police acknowledged the Democratic congressman from California was at one point a prime suspect, but he was eventually cleared in her death.

The case went cold for six years. In 2007, two Pulitzer Prize reporters for The Washington Post, Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz, were assigned with revisiting the murder.

In a series of 13 articles, that became the basis for Finding Chandra, the two explored the bungled police efforts to catch a killer, the twisted culture of politics, the dark nature of political scandal, and the agony of parents waiting for answers. They focused their attention on an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, a young man in the clutches of alcohol, drugs, and violence who had been assaulting female joggers in the area where Levy’s body was found.

That man, Ingmar Guandique, was charged and sentenced to 60 years in prison after being convicted of Levy’s murder in 2010. He was granted a new trial last year after his lawyers said a key witness lied to the jury. Then yesterday, federal prosecutors made the shocking announcemnt that they were dropping charges against Guandique, sending the case back to square one.

Revisiting famous crimes in a limited series form has become a hot genre in light of the recent success of FX’s American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson.

Kasdan and Huff are repped by CAA.

 

The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester

DEADLINE: Sean Penn In Early Talks To Join Mel Gibson In ‘Professor And The Madman’

Sean Penn is in early talks to board Mel Gibson’s long-gestating Professor and the Madman, an adaptation of Simon Winchester’s bestseller about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. Gibson has been working to adapt the book for the best part of two decades. Voltage Pictures has come on-board to finance and sell. Gibson’s Apocalypto writer Farhad Safinia, who also penned the script, will direct. Bruce Davey, Gibson’s longtime partner at Icon, is producing.

Although he’s no longer directing. Gibson will play 19th century professor James Murray, who started to compile the Oxford English Dictionary. Penn will play Dr. W.C. Minor, who contributed thousands of entries to the hugely ambitious literary project but also was an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.

Gibson is on his way to an image rehabilitation. His buzzy World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge debuts this fall, starring Andrew Garfield as American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa and became the first Conscientious Objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Gibson also stars in the pulpy thriller Blood Father, which world premiered at Cannes. He is repped by Rick Nicita.

Penn remains one of America’s most respected and celebrated character actor-cum-leading men, even if his latest directorial effort The Last Face endured a critical beatdown following its Cannes premiere. He is repped by CAA.

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

DEADLINE: ‘Spotlight’s Tom McCarthy To Direct & Produce Selena Gomez’s Netflix Series ‘13 Reasons Why’ From Paramount TV

In his follow-up to his Oscar-nominated feature Spotlight, helmer Tom McCarthy is set to direct the first two episodes of Selena Gomez’s Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, from Anonymous Content and Paramount TV. McCarthy also will executive produce the 13-episode series, based on the 2007 New York Times bestselling YA book by Jay Asher.

Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Brian Yorkey created and wrote the TV series adaptation, which follows a boy named Clay through an emotional night when he receives a shoe box of cassette tapes from his late classmate and crush Hannah, after she recently committed suicide. On the tapes, which are mailed with instructions to pass along from one student to another, Hannah explains to 12 peers how they each played a role in her death, by giving 13 reasons explaining why she took her life.

McCarthy and Gomez, who is currently not attached to act, executive produce alongside Yorkey and Anonymous Content’s Joy Gorman, Michael Sugar and Steve Golin, as well as Mandy Teefey and producer Kristel Laiblin who, along with Gomez, originally found the book and brought it to Anonymous Content for a screen adaptation.

Golin, who was a producer on Spotlight, brought the project to McCarthy. Yorkey also has ties with McCarthy. The two have been developing a musical adaptation of The Visitor for Broadway, based on McCarthy’s feature about a widower who befriends a Syrian immigrant in post-9/11 New York City.

McCarthy’s most recent film Spotlight, which he co-wrote with Josh Singer, was nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay (for McCarthy and Singer). The film, which was released in the U.S. by Open Road Films, has been one of this awards season’s top contenders, winning for best original screenplay at the BAFTAs and best ensemble at the SAG Awards and receiving a number of  critics groups’ best picture of the year honors.

McCarthy, who began his career as an actor, segued to filmmaking with his critically acclaimed first feature, 2003’s The Station Agent, which won the Audience Award and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival, BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay and two Independent Spirit Awards.

He is repped by Gersh. Gomez is repped by WME and Lighthouse Management and Media

Wolf Boys by Dan Slater

VARIETY: TriStar Lands Cartel Book ‘Wolf Boys’; Antoine Fuqua Attached to Direct

Following a competitive auction, TriStar Pictures has won the rights to the Mexican cartel book “Wolf Boys” with Antoine Fuqua attached to direct and produce.

Written by Dan Slater, the book follows two American teens recruited as killers for a Mexican cartel, and their pursuit by a Mexican-American detective who realizes the War on Drugs is unwinnable.

Insiders have described the book as “Goodfellas” in the Mexican cartel landscape. Given the sudden interest in cartels following the arrest of drug kingpin El Chapo, the book was in high demand after coming on the market last week.

Fuqua’s deal is still be worked out but the choice seems spot-on since his credits include “Training Day” and “The Equalizer.”

The book will be released by Simon & Schuster later this year.

Fuqua is in post-production on “The Magnificent Seven” starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt.

He is repped by CAA.

 

Lawyer-turned-journalist Dan Slater's WOLF BOYS, a narrative account of Mexico's drug cartels, told through the stories of several teenage operatives and the homicide detective in pursuit of them, to Tristar Pictures with Antoine Fuqua (TRAINING DAY, THE EQUALIZER) attached to direct, by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of Farley Chase at Chase Literary Agency.

The Fireman by Joe Hill

Deadline: Fox Ignites Deal For Joe Hill Novel ‘The Fireman’; Louis Leterrier Attached To Direct

EXCLUSIVE: Fox has acquired Joe Hill’s forthcoming novel The Fireman, and has attached Louis Leterrier to direct. He’s the Transporter helmer who last directed Now You See Me. It would be easy to call this a hot package, about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that will reduce civilization to ashes unless it can be stopped by an improbable group of heroes led by an enigmatic man known as The Fireman. It’s no simple blaze: the condition starts as an inky stripe on a bodypart, looking like a tattoo. It’s a highly contagious deadly spore that eventually causes the sufferer to burst into flames. Millions are infected; among them is a nurse who treated numerous sufferers until they eventually perished, with the hospital burned to the ground. Pregnant, she finds herself infected with the spore. Knowing infected mothers have birthed healthy babies, she too is in a race against time. The book will be published May 17 by William Morrow. Temple Hill partners Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen are producing.

Hill just made a deal at AMC to develop a supernatural series based on his bestselling novel NOS4A2. His fantasy thriller Horns was made into a 2014 feature directed by Alex Aja that starred Daniel Radcliffe. Heart Shaped Box, bought originally by Warner Bros for producer Akiva Goldsman and writer/director Neil Jordan, is currently being redeveloped at Warner Bros. by Langley Park Productions. Hill’s supernatural comic series Locke & Key was first developed for TV, landing a pilot order at Fox, and then as a feature at Universal. It is currently being eyed again as a TV series. Last season, Hill wrote and executive produced Tales From The Darkside, a remake of the 1980s fantasy/horror anthology series, which was piloted by the CW.

Steve Asbell is the exec at Fox. Hill was repped in the deal by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of The Choate Agency. Leterrier is repped by CAA and Management 360.

Pirates of Somalia by Jay Bahadur

DEADLINE: Bryan Buckley To Direct ‘Where The White Man Runs Away’ With ‘X-Men’s’ Evan Peters To Star

EXCLUSIVE: Commercial director Bryan Buckley, whose feature film debut The Bronze was the opening film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and was bought by Relativity for $3M, will next direct a biographical comedy-drama based on a story in the New York Times‘ bestseller The Pirates Of Somalia from Jay Bahadur. The feature, titled Where The White Man Runs Away, will star American Horror Story‘s and X-Men‘s Evan Peters.

The Bronze was supposed to be released this month before Relativity’s financial mess pushed it back. Before the company filed bankruptcy, Sony Pictures Classics picked it up, terminating Relativity’s rights, thereby removing the film from the company’s assets before it filed for Chapter 11. It has yet to be slated for release.

Where The White Man Runs Away, which was also adapted by Buckley, tells the story of rookie Canadian journalist Bahadur, who in 2008 formed a half-baked plan to embed himself among the pirates of Somalia. He ultimately succeeded in providing the first close-up look into who these men are, how they live, and the forces that drive them. Bahadur famously interviewed the pirate that hijacked the Maersk Alabama before he took the ship, which was the subject of the Tom Hanks-starring film Captain Phillips.

Production begins this winter in South Africa with Hungry Man (Asad), BCDF Pictures, (The Outskirts) and Kalahari Film & Media (District 9) producing. Jane Rosenthal (Meet The Parents) will executive produce.

Before directing and executive producing The Bronze, Buckley was nominated for an Oscar for his short film Asad which also chronicles life in war-torn Somalia.

Buckley is also well known for his award-winning commercial work, specifically directing more than 50 spots for the Super Bowl, and his production outfit Hungry Man is one of the world’s largest commercial production companies. Mino Jarjoura and Matt Lefebvre will oversee production for Hungry Man which will produce.

Peters is best known for his work in FX’s American Horror Story. He currently portrays Mr. March in the fifth season, American Horror Story: Hotel. He will next be seen reprising his role as Quicksilver in X-Men: Apocalypse which will be released May 27, 2016. Earlier this year, Peters wrapped production on Elvis And Nixon alongside Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon. Peters’ other film credits include Kick-Ass.

BCDF Pictures is also producing YA classic Stargirl this winter with Catherine Hardwicke directing and Joey King and Charlie Plummer starring. BCDF has high school comedy The Outskirts scheduled for wide release this winter. Its other upcoming projects include Peter Hutchings’ Arrivals with Asa Butterfield, Maisie Williams and Nina Dobrev.

Peters is repped by CAA, Relevant, and Ziffren Brittenham. Buckley is with WME, Untitled, and Bloom Hergott. BCDF is repped by Sheri Jeffrey at Hogan Lovells. Bahadur was repped in the deal by Sean Daily at Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of Rick Broadhead and Associates.