Danny Strong Directing Dramatized JD Salinger Biopic

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The recent documentary on ultra-reclusive author J.D. Salinger, simply titled Salinger, ignited new interest in the man and his work. Salinger has never really gone away, as his novels — particularly The Catcher in the Rye — continue to capture readers’ imaginations. But the film wasn’t the best account of the man, his life, and his work. I regretted watching it to some extent; the digging into Salinger’s life felt weird, and unwelcome. Will a dramatized film be any different? Actor/screenwriter Danny Strong is now putting together his own JD Salinger biopic, called Salinger’s War. Read More »

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20th Century Fox’s remake of the musical Guys and Dolls is starting to get lucky. Earlier this year, the studio closed a deal to remake the Broadway musical turned award-winning Hollywood film starring Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando. Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were mentioned as two possible stars. However, at that time, no one was officially attached because there was still no script and Fox has now hired someone to remedy that. They’ve tapped Danny Strong, who adapted The Hunger Games: MockingJay into two films, to put the tale of Nathan Detroit and Sky Masterson on the page. Read More »

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One of the highlights of each new Oscar season is the set of roundtable discussions created by THR. In each of these, the trade gathers a set of people involved in various films likely to be highlighted in the awards season, and just allows them to talk about making movies. They can be pretty great, especially since one byproduct of awards season is a tendency to talk about superficialities rather than substance, and these talks can really dig into the meat of making movies.

Here’s the new 50-minute screenwriting roundtable, featuring George Clooney and Grant Heslov (Monuments Men), Julie Delpy (Before Midnight), Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said), John Ridley (12 Years A Slave), Danny Strong (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) and Jonas Cuaron (Gravity). Read More »

How is director Francis Lawrence possibly going to go from directing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this year right into The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 in 2014 and 2015 respectively? Might not be easy, but having his screenplays completed nice and early will help.

Emmy-award winning screenwriter Danny Strong, recently in the news due to the success of HBO’s Game Change, was hired to write The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 back in October. His deal had an option for him to write the second part if Lionsgate liked his first script. Well he’s done, they like it, and he’s now working on Part 2. Read More »

When Christopher McQuarrie was set to direct One Shot, which eventually became Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise, the idea was to launch a franchise based on the dozen-plus Reacher books by Lee Child. Turns out that Jack Reacher may be the character’s one shot at the big screen, at least in this incarnation.

The movie wasn’t all that expensive, at only $60m, but THR reports that Pararmount doesn’t consider the $153m combined worldwide gross to be impetus enough to make another one. But the film hasn’t yet opened in Japan, China, and Korea, and so there’s a chance that it could still rake in enough to make the $250m the studio would consider to be justification for a sequel. Even if it does hit the financial goal, Paramount and David Ellison’s Skydance Productions will have to negotiate a deal to bring Cruise back, and keep the next film moving at roughly the same cost of the first.

After the break ,

  • A new Dan Brown book brings up talk of The Lost Symbol,
  • a new G.I. Joe: Retaliation trailer is all action,
  • and Arnold Schwarzenegger hand-writes a Twins II / Triplets update.

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Just one month after election night, the 2012 presidential campaign already feels like a distant memory. For most of us, that feels like a good thing. It’s a relief to not have to think about debates, polls, stump speeches, email campaigns, political ads, and what have you for another couple of years. But HBO’s eagerly preparing to relive the magic, with a movie about this year’s big race.

The cable network has just optioned the book Double Down: Game Change 2012 from journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, who also penned the source material to this year’s HBO film Game Change. The tome is scheduled to hit shelves in fall 2013, while the movie will air in 2016. More details after the jump.

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Briefly: The second Hunger Games film, Catching Fire, has just been shooting in and around Atlanta, but Lionsgate is already thinking forward to the next two films in the series which will adapt the third novel as two films. The first stage of the process in getting Mockingjay to work as a two-parter is scripting, and the studio has tapped Danny Strong to write the screenplay. Strong had good headlines recently when he won two Emmys for producing and writing the HBO Sarah Palin movie Game Change and he wrote The Butler for Lee Daniels.

I won’t post the full synopsis of Mockingjay for fear of the people who are afraid of spoilers, but suffice to say it involves the continuing story of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her tense relationship with the powers that be in The Capitol who try to keep weary citizens under control through the Hunger Games. The first part of Mockingjay will hit on November 21, 2014, while the second will open on November 20, 2015. Francis Lawrence is directing Catching Fire, but we don’t yet know if he’ll continue on with the series. [Variety]

David O. Russell‘s experience working with his Silver Linings Playbook star Robert De Niro must’ve been a good one, because the pair are already looking to reunite. Nope, not for a sequel — Russell and De Niro are headed to CBS, for a new legal drama written by Game Change scribe Danny Strong.

The plot will center around a fictionalized version of real-life defense attorney duo Murray and Stacey Richman. The father-daughter pair are as well known for their outsized personalities as for their high-profile clients, which include Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and the Genovese and Lucchese crime families. More details after the jump.

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