Hot Sheet January - February 2017

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Joe Ballarini ’99 has sold his spec Skyward to Fox about two families trying to escape to freedom over the Berlin Wall. He also wrote the script for Fox’s Imagine Agents and will adapt Paramount’s Green Glass House, as well as his children’s book Babysitting’s Guide to Killing Monsters for Montecito Pictures and Walden Media.

Ayana Baraka ’15 shot the documentary Behind the Curtain: Eclipsed about the history of making the Broadway play Eclipsed, starring Lupita Nyong’o.

Jeremy Bell ’99 will produce the Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer The Black Hand for Paramount Pictures.

David Bertman ’96 directed an episode of the ABC comedy American Housewife.

Jeff Blitz ’97 is attached to direct and executive produce the comedy Living with Yourself, which has been given a series green light from IFC.

Sheldon Candis ’03 is a fellow in Sundance’s 2017 FilmTwo Program, which includes Rick Famuyiwa ’96 as an advisor.

Erick Castrillon ’14 has been announced as one of Fox’s 2017 Fox Writers Lab Participants.

Christine Conradt ’96 sold her spec feature 12 Days of Giving, which she is writing and directing. Dan Hertzog ’91 is the Director of Photography on the film.

Megan Ellison will develop a political drama about the 2016 presidential election with filmmaker Mark Boal. She is also producing alongside Team Downey’s Susan Downey ’95 and Robert Downey Jr. on an untitled feature film based on the episode “Man of the People” from Gimlet Media’s “Reply All” podcast. Ellison will also executive produce the Western television anthology series The Ballad of Buster Scruggs with the Coen brothers.

DeVon Franklin ’00 has acquired Joyce Smith’s book proposal The Impossible. The project is set up at 20th Century Fox.

Liz Glotzer ’85 will executive produce Hulu’s psychological-horror show Castle Rock from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King.

David Goyer is set to produce and co-write the screenplay for Warner Bros’ Green Lantern Corps film. He is also producing the thriller Assassination Nation, which will star Bella Thorne and Maude Apatow, as well as a biopic about tennis champ Arthur Ashe.

The Big Buddha Bicycle Race, written by Terence Harkin ’76, will be released in print this month.

Aaron Kaplan ’90 is executive producing the single-camera comedy pilot Hannah Royce’s Questionable Choices, which has been ordered by CBS. His comedy Charlie Foxtrot has been given a pilot order by ABC. He will also executive produce the comedy series Picture Paris for Epix starring Meg Ryan. His company Kapital Entertainment also launched a joint venture with CBS Corporation.

Inheritance, a film co-written and co-directed by Jessica Kaye ’13, will premiere at SXSW in March. Brian Scofield ’11 edited the film.

Nahnatchka Khan ’94 has written and will executive produce the comedy Jalen vs. Everybody, which has been given a pilot pickup by ABC.

Kyle Killen ’97 will executive produce the supernatural drama Furness, which has been put on a straight-to-series track by AMC.

Grant Heslov ’86 will executive produce the dark comedy series On Becoming A God In Central Florida for AMC, which will star Kirsten Dunst.

Ron Howard is attached to direct and produce Universal’s film adaptation of JP Delaney’s novel The Girl Before with Brian Grazer ’74 also producing. Howard and Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment is also developing a film adaptation of Delaney’s next novel The Perfect Wife. They are also producing the movie comedy You Can Choose Your Family, which will star Jim Gaffigan.

Shawn Levy ’94 is set to helm a biopic about the famous rock concert promoter Bill Graham for Fox will produce the Fox-acquired feature adaptation of the bestselling novel Three Dark Crowns through his company 21 Laps. He will also produce a film adaptation of Raymond A. Villareal’s novel A People’s History Of The Vampire Uprising, which was acquired by Levy’s 21 Laps and 20th Century Fox. His company will also develop a television series based on Karen Thompson Walker’s bestseller The Age of Miracles, which Levy will produce.

Alex Litvak ’95 sold the worldwide rights to his untitled Ocean’s Eleven-esque feature thriller to LeVision Entertainment. He also wrote Sony’s period action/adventure Medieval for producer Neal Moritz ’85, as well as Stan Lee’s superhero thriller Realm.

Jen McGowan ’05 co-created the television series Angelica, which has been named on WeForShe’s 2017 WriteHer List as “one to watch.”

Zeresenay Berhane Mehari ’02 is set to direct the film adaptation of Camilla Gibb’s bestseller Sweetness in the Belly. Saoirse Ronan is attached to star.

Julian Meiojas ’06 is shooting the season 2 finale of CBS’s Code Black, which he co-wrote and co-produced. He was also recently a Writer and Co-Producer for CW’s The Flash.

Valerie Meraz ’99 has been promoted to SVP of Content Acquisitions & Strategy for Turner’s entertainment networks.

Hikari Mitsuyo Miyazaki ’11 and Josh Tate ’12 have been announced as two of Film Independent’s 2017 Directing Lab Fellows.

Neal Moritz ’85 will produce a film adaptation of Square Enix’s top-selling video game Sleeping Dogs, which will star Donnie Yen, as well as an action thriller adaptation of Boom! Studios comic title Talent. He will also produce an adaptation of Victoria Schwab’s YA fantasy novel A Darker Shade of Magic, along with Gerard Butler.

Jeffrey Nachmanoff ’94 is set to direct Sony’s action thriller Five Against a Bullet, which will star Jackie Chan.

Jason Perlman ’04 sold his episodic television thriller Elephant’s Memory. The psychological horror/thriller Threshold, which he wrote and directed, won Best Horror at the 2017 Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival.

Matt Reeves ’88 will direct Warner Bros’ The Batman film. His high-profile drama series The Passage has also been given a pilot order from Fox.  

Shonda Rhimes ’94 is developing a television show based on writer Luvvie Ajayi’s humorous essays called I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual. ABC has renewed Rhime’s entire TGIT lineup -- Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. A untitled legal drama, which she wrote and produced, has also been given a pilot order from ABC.

Kevin D. Ross ’90 is editing season 2 of Netflix’s Stranger Things. He has cut the past three seasons of AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire and is on the Board of Directors of the MPEG IA700 Editors Guild.

Aaron Schneider ’88 will direct Sony’s World War II drama Greyhound, which will star Tom Hanks.

Allison Schroeder ’06 has won a Humanitas Prize in the Feature Film category for Hidden Figures.

Zak Shaikh ’03 has been named one of eleven honorees of this year’s WGA West’s TV Writer Access Program for his one-hour drama Runaways.

Activision Blizzard’s Skylanders Academy, executive produced by Stacey Sher ’85, has been renewed by Netflix for a third season.
’89 will direct and produce the pilot of Fox’s X-Men drama series.

The Lost Tribe, directed by Ariel Sobel ’17, was nominated for a Chinese Academy Award for Documentary Film.

Tim Story ’94 will direct New Line’s reboot of 1971’s Shaft.

Stephen Susco ’00 will write the television adaptation of Fiona Cummins’ upcoming debut novel Rattle.

Aaron Rahsaan Thomas ’02 is executive producing the drama series S.W.A.T., which has been given a pilot order by CBS. Neal Moritz ’85 will also produce the show, having already produced the 2003 Sony movie the series will be based on.

New TV Shows on the Air

APB (Fox)
Trey Callaway ’89, Executive Producer/Showrunner

Beyond (Freeform)
Lee Toland Krieger, Director
Tim Kring ’88
, Executive Producer
Arman Tahmizyan ’10,

The Blacklist: Redemption (NBC)
Spencer Hudnut ’08, Supervising Producer
Matt Bosak ’13, Story Editor
Jorge Ramirez-Martinez ’12, Staff Writer 

Crashing (HBO)
Judd Apatow, Executive Producer

Emerald City (NBC)
Josh Friedman, Executive Producer

The History of Comedy (CNN)
Jonathan Buss ’98, Senior Producer 

Sneaky Pete (Amazon)
Craig Zisk, Director

Star (Fox)
Charles Pratt ’78, Executive Producer
Anita Brandt-Burgoyne ’80, Editor 

Taken (NBC)
Kevin D. Ross ’90, Editor

New Films in Release

Fifty Shades Darker
James Foley ’79, Director
John Schwartzman, Cinematographer 

Fist Fight
Shawn Levy ’94, Executive Producer

The Founder
John Schwartzman, Cinematographer

Robert Elswit ’75, Cinematographer

The Great Wall
Charles Roven, Producer
Doug Miro ’97, Writer 

John Wick: Chapter Two
Chad Stahelski ’90, Director
Evan Schiff ’04, Cinematographer 

My Father Die
Jason Perlman ’04, Editor

Patriot’s Day
Daphne Lambrinou ’05, Associate Producer 

Rock Dog
Kurt Voelker, Writer