Hot Sheet June - July 2014


Gaz Alazraki ’01 will direct a 13-episode comedy series for Netflix. The show, about the family feud between two heirs of a professional soccer team, will be shot entirely in Mexico.

Victoria Aveyard ’12 has scored a three-book deal with New Leaf, which includes a film option for her debut novel Red Queen, a young-adult fantasy story set in a world where social class is divided by blood color.

Joe Ballarini ’99 will adapt Cardboard, a graphic novel about cardboard monsters magically coming to life, for Fox Animation.

Joshua Bell ’05 has produced and directed In Between Songs, a feature-length documentary narrated by James Cromwell, which intimately explores an Australian Aboriginal clan’s fight to save their community. The film will have a one-night-only screening at the Downtown Independent at 7 PM, August 5th, 2014, the same date it is released on DVD and VOD. Tickets for the screening are $10 and can be purchased at

Sheldon Candis ’02 has been nominated for an MTV VMA for Best Video With a Social Message, for directing J.Cole’s “Crooked Smile.”

Jon M. Chu ’02 is currently directing Jem and the Holograms for Universal Pictures / Hasbro / Blumhouse Productions. The film stars Juliette Lewis and was written by Ryan Landels ’02 with cinematography by Alice Brooks ’01. Jon is also in development with Fox on Answer Me 1999, a limited series musical coming-of-age drama based on a Korean show. Jon will direct the pilot, written by Amy Andelson ’05, and the two will both Executive Produce.

Jason Ensler ’97 will executive produce and direct Red Band Society for Fox, a coming-of-age drama series about long-term, teenage hospital patients.

David Erickson ’97 has signed an overall deal with AMC to co-write and executive produce the companion series to The Walking Dead.

Paul Feig ’84 will produce Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios’ CGI adaptation of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts. Feig’s company will also produce an ensemble musical conceived by Feig, to be scripted by Yana Gorskaya ’02 and her partner Maia Rossini.

Grant Heslov ’86 and Dan Dubiecki will produce Jodie Foster’s Money Monster, starring George Clooney as a TV-stock analyst who is taken hostage on the air, for TriStar Pictures.

Tim Kring ’88, along with Zak Kadison, Bradley Thomas, and Dan Friedkin, have formed Imperative Entertainment, a production company looking to develop material across multiple platforms.

Steven J. Kung ’04 wrote and directed A Leading Man, which will be in theaters this fall. The Asian-American drama was produced by Justin Bell ’08 and Jon Michael Kondrath ‘05 and was photographed by Robert Lam ’05.

Paul Laverty ’94 has written Jimmy’s Hall, based on the true story of a 1930s Irish dance hall that drew the ire of the Catholic Church. The film was directed by long-time Laverty collaborator Ken Loach.

Doug Liman will adapt the video game series Splinter Cell for the big screen for New Regency and Ubisoft Motion Pictures. The film will star Tom Hardy and be released in 2015.

Ryan Maldonado ’06 has joined the writing staff of Chicago P.D.

Steve Michaels ’93, co-founder of TV production company Asylum Entertainment, will remain in his roles as President and CEO as the company transitions into a property of Legendary Entertainment after its sale.

Neal Moritz ’85 will produce a reboot of Cliffhanger for StudioCanal. He will also produce the big screen adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog, based on the video game series, through his Original Film banner.

Cyrus Nowrasteh ’77 will direct Christ the Lord, an adaptation of Anne Rice’s fictional novel about a young Jesus Christ coming to terms with his identity. The script was adapted by Cyrus and his wife Betsy.

Kerem Sanga ’10 has written and directed Young Kieslowski, produced by Ross Putnam and Dave Hunter ’11. The film won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the LA Film Festival.

Jay Roach ’86 will executive produce Women In Space, a half-hour comedy series for HBO. The series follows a group of women on a mission to colonize a new planet.

Ken Segna ’07 has been promoted to VP of Original Programming at Starz. In his new role he will lead development as well as current productions including Steven Soderbergh’s anthology The Girlfriend Experience and original series Survivor’s Remorse, executive produced by LeBron James.

Chris Terrio ’02 is writing Warner Bros’ upcoming Batman vs. Superman tentpole film.

David Tolchinsky ’88, the chair of Radio-TV-Film at Northwestern University, has been awarded a $15,000 Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship in Literature (prose, poetry, scriptworks). David has also been commissioned to write Sisters, an original screenplay about an old woman negotiating her new life in a retirement home, for David Bradburn to direct.

Matt Weiner ’90 will be awarded the International Emmy Founders Award during this year’s International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Ceremony.

David Weiss ’87 has been hired by Disney to write Enchanted 2, along with his partner J. David Stem.

Joe Woo, Jr. has written Life’s Abyss Then You Dive, a memoir about the making of James Cameron’s Abyss, from his perspective as an editor.

Robert Zemeckis ’73 has signed a two-year, first-look television deal with Paramount Television, which will begin with a drama series inspired Nicholson Baker’s novel The Fermata.

TV Shows on the Air

Riyoko Tanaka ’00, Co-Producer

Halt and Catch Fire
Chris Cantwell ’04, Writer/Co-Executive Producer

David Ellison ’04, Executive Producer

Night Shift
Gabe Sachs ’84, Writer/Executive Producer

Ian Sander, Executive Producer

Michael Lehmann ’85, Director/Executive Producer

Adam Sztykiel ’99, Writer/Executive Producer

Films In Release

22 Jump Street
Neal Moritz ’85, Producer

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Matt Reeves ’88, Director
Amanda Silver ’89, Writer/Producer

Edge of Tomorrow
Doug Liman, Director

Think Like A Man Too
Tim Story ’94, Director

Transformers: Age of Extinction
Don Murphy ’88, Producer

Emmy Nominations

Michael Baber ’93, Music Editor
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series — Black Sails: “I.”
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series — The Walking Dead: “Too Far Gone”

Jane Boegel ’93, Dialogue Editor
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series — Breaking Bad: “Felina”

Jonathan Buss ’98, Producer
Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special — The Sixties: The Assassination of President Kennedy

Keith Dinielli ’95, Producer
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program— The Voice

Joshua Donen ’79, Producer
Outstanding Drama Series — House of Cards

Cormac Funge ’93, Sound Effects Editor
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series — Breaking Bad: “Felina”

Peter Gould ’90, Producer
Outstanding Drama Series — Breaking Bad

Jonathan Igla ’05, Producer
Outstanding Drama Series — Mad Men

Erin Levy ’05, Producer
Outstanding Drama Series — Mad Men

Paul C. Nielsen, Picture Editor/Sound Editor
Outstanding Picture Editing For Nonfiction Programming — The Amazing Race: “Part Like The Red Sea”
Outstanding Sound Editing For Nonfiction Programming — The Amazing Race: “Part Like The Red Sea”

Marcy Patterson ’02, Producer
Outstanding Drama Series — Mad Men

Matthew Weiner ’90, Producer
Outstanding Drama Series — Mad Men