Stephen Gaghan, who wrote Traffic and directed Syriana, is now set to direct the thriller Candy Store for LionsGate. The film is a crime thriller for which we have few details, but the names might be all you need to know: Brad Pitt and Denzel Washington have started to circle the two lead roles. Read More »

Spy films, especially ones that might turn into series, are like crack for studios. Few efforts actually pay off in regular franchises — if duplicating Bond’s success was easy, every studio would have its own Bond — but that doesn’t stop many from trying.

In 2008, Warner Bros. bought the rights to Jon Stock‘s novel Dead Spy Running, which follows suspended MI6 agent Daniel Marchant and opens with a setpiece in which a bomb is attached to a marathon runner. At the time the novel was unpublished, though it was planned as the first of a trilogy of novels. (The second book, Games Traitors Play, was published in 2011.) McG was attached to direct, and Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Syriana) was set to write, which is a big step above McG.

There was a point last year when McG stepped away from directing and was hoping to get Gaghan to take the job. But the screenwriter has other directorial prospects, and now the team is in talks with Jonathan Levine (50/50, The Wackness) to direct. Read More »

Briefly: M. Night Shyamalan isn’t messing around with the preparation for his next film, the sci-fi feature One Thousand A.E. (Or the execs at Sony and Overbrook Entertainment aren’t messing around.) The film is set to star Will and Jaden Smith as ” a father and son who crash-land on Earth one thousand years after mankind has abandoned the planet. The crash leaves the elder Smith badly injured, and it’s up to the boy to find help in what is now a strange and dangerous place.”

While Shyamalan is known for writing his own films, even The Last Airbender, this new project started with a script by Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli) which Shyamalan rewrote. Then Stephen Gaghan, who wrote Traffic and wrote and directed Syriana, stepped in to “get the script in shooting shape.” Now he’s likely to continue fine-tuning the script before the film shoots in February.  Shyamalan’s scripts have increasingly become the major shortcoming in his work, so with any luck the revisions by Gaghan will result in a film that is a lot more successful as a story than the last few movies from the director. [Variety]

Because it’s just before the start of the fall television season and right in the middle of TV pitch season, August tends to be a pretty busy month for TV news. As a result, we’ve got tons of TV bits for you today. Hit the jump for more on:

  • The season 2 trailer of Boardwalk Empire
  • CBS picks up a Bewitched remake
  • ABC develops a TV adaptation of The Lincoln Lawyer
  • NBC orders a Frankenstein project
  • FOX grabs the rights to Leif G.W. Persson’s Swedish crime novels

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Lionsgate Buys Stephen Gaghan’s Action Crime Thriller


Stephen Gaghan made a splash with his Oscar-winning screenplay for Traffic, then made a notable directorial effort with 2005 with the ambitious political oil drama Syriana. Despite a few deals in development, he’s been quiet in the few years since. Now Lionsgate is getting behind his next directorial project, which Gaghan is also co-writing. Read More »

jake gylenhaal

I have a love/hate  relationship with “take a meeting” stories. I hate them on one hand because they’re so speculative and gossipy. On the other hand, I love rumors and speculation. What is a “take a meeting” story? It is when a two people, usually a director and an actor or a writer and an actor are spotted in the wilds of Los Angeles having “lunch”. And of course, no one is Hollywood just has lunch to have lunch, especially not filmmakers and actors (I’m kidding… but also partly serious). Anyway, if you’re going to get upset over a highly speculative story, please skip over this post.
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Stephen Gaghan Adapting Dead Spy Running for McG


The Hollywood Reporter have announced that Stephen Gaghan will write the screenplay for McG‘s Dead Spy Running. You can guess the salient details: adapted from a novel, first part of proposed trilogy, Bourne comparisons already in place, even a twist of LeCarre alleged.

Stephen Gaghan was nominated for an Oscar for his Syriana screenplay, and won one for Traffic. A perfect match, then, for McG (ahem) who not only took home best director and best picture Oscars for both of his Charlie’s Angels films but is also a Nobel Laureate for Contributions to Cinema…

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