Hot Sheet October-December 2020

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Patrick Aison ‘03 will pen the script for the next installment in the Predator movie franchise from 20th Century Studios with Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane) set to direct.

Judd Apatow will direct and produce his next comedy about a group of actors and actresses stuck inside a pandemic bubble at a hotel while trying to complete a film with Netflix.

Hannah Bang ‘20, Margo Sawaya ‘19, and Sabina Vajraca ‘19 completed production of Ripple Effect while in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. By utilizing state-of-the-art technology and adhering to all the safety guidelines, they brought their sci-fi short to life. Hannah, Margo, and Sabina were selected by the Entertainment Technology Center at USC to be the recipients of the 2020 Innovative Technology Award.

Brian Baugh ‘95 wrote and directed Finding You, a romantic coming-of-age dramedy. Roadside Attractions acquired U.S. theatrical distribution rights and is targeting a release in January 2021.

Maya Bingham ‘19 and Jerome Sable ‘09 helped the Youth Drama Theater of South Los Angeles with putting together a music video for their single “A Covid Kind of Christmas” to celebrate the holiday season. Maya and Jerome served respectively as editor and consultant on the safe virtual project.

Julian Breece ‘05 will write Mason Dixon for ABC. The hour-long drama follows the unlikely pairing between a liberal politician’s wife and a conservative ‘good ole boy’ which shakes up a community divided by race and class. Julian will also executive produce along with Lee Daniels, who will direct the potential pilot.

Deborah Burke ‘13 will be producing a short film titled Strange Fruit: The Hip-hopera. The hip-hop musical is based on a movie Burke wrote while at USC.

Keith Calder ‘04 will produce the film adaptation of Christopher Paolini’s To Sleep in a Sea of Stars through Snoot Entertainment.

Steven Caple Jr. ‘14 will direct the next film in the Transformers series franchise from Paramount Pictures and Hasbro Studios.

Gregory Caruso ‘14 will direct Braddock, a movie based on Greg Nichols’ book Striking Gridiron about the 1959 Braddock High School football team. This project is developed by Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson’s production label, West2East Empire.

Zoe Cheng ‘19 is currently a staff writer on ABC’s The Rookie. The police procedural series has completed two seasons and has been renewed for a third.

Jon Chu ‘03 is in talks to direct the live action adaptation of Lilo & Stitch for Disney. Jon is also set to develop a television remake of Swiss Family Robinson for Disney+ through his company Bravery Lake.

Gabriela Cowperthwaite ‘99 directed Our Friend which stars Jason Segel, Dakota Johnson, and Casey Affleck. Our Friend made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019 before hitting the festival circuit. The dramedy will see a wide release in theaters and PVOD in January 2021.

R.J. Cutler recently launched the production company This Machine. Cutler also has another documentary to be released on Apple TV+ next year that follows the ultra-popular singer-songwriter Billie Eilish.

Scott Derrickson ‘95 is set to direct Black Phone for Blumhouse and Universal. The project is based on the novella by Joe Hill titled The Black Phone. Derrickson will also produce alongside frequent collaborator Robert Cargill (Sinister, Doctor Strange).

David Ellison will executive produce a new hour-long series through Skydance Television, with Arnold Schwarzeneger on board to executive produce and star in the project. The series is set to be a global spy adventure that centers around a father and his daughter.

Ryan Engle ‘01 wrote Beast, a survival thriller from Universal Pictures.The project will star Idris Elba with Baltasar Kormakur as director.

Chris Fedak ‘98 penned the action-thriller Ambulance, which is set to be directed by Michael Bay with Jake Gyllenhaal in negotiations to star. Fellow alum James Vanderbilt ‘99 is set to produce.

Paul Feig ‘84 will remake the BBC comedy This Country, which has been given a 14-episode series order by Fox. This is a co-production between Lionsgate, Fox Entertainment, and Feigco Entertainment, with Feig directing the series.

James Foley ‘79 will serve as director and executive producer on the Paramount limited series Reagan & Gorbachev. Michael Douglas and Christoph Waltz are attached to play the titular characters Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, respectively.

Devon Franklin will executive produce via Franklin Entertainment a new medical drama from writers Brittany Northcross and Sallie Patrick for CBS.

Julio Vincent Gambuto ‘16 made his feature directorial debut with the coming-of-age comedy Team Marco. Samuel Goldwyn Films picked up U.S. rights for the film.

Patricio Ginelsa ‘99 wrote and directed Lumpia: With a Vengeance. The crowdfunded action comedy is a reboot sequel to Lumpia, a 2003 homemade movie that became a cult hit in the Filipino American community. The movie made its premiere at the Hawai’i International Film Festival and won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature.

Al Gough ‘94 and Miles Millar ‘94 will be head writers and executive producers of the live-action TV series The Addams Family.

David Goyer ‘88 will create an original Batman scripted audio series for Spotify titled Batman Unburied which will explore the darker psychology of Bruce Wayne, the man behind the cowl. Goyer will executive produce and develop the project through his Phantom Four production company.

Rian Johnson ‘96 will be executive producer on Netflix’s adaptation of the Hugo Award-winning Chinese novel The Three-Body Problem. The sci-fi project is helmed by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of HBO’s hugely successful Game of Thrones series.

Aaron Kaplan ‘90 will executive produce the crime drama Follow the Money and multi-camera comedy Alam, The Family through Kapital Entertainment. Both projects are with CBS. Kapital Entertainment is also working with Fox on a crime procedural with supernatural elements based on the true-life experiences of professional medium Tina Powers.

Regina King will produce Slay, a supernatural drama, for The CW. Regina King and her sister Reina King will serve as executive producers on the show, with fellow USC alum Pam Veasey supervising the project.

Eric Kripke ‘96 will executive produce a spin-off to his superhero satire show The Boys. The new series will have the same tone as its parent show while it explores a younger generation of superheroes who are navigating a college that is only for “supes”. The untitled project will be produced by Amazon Studios and Sony.

Julia Lebedev ‘06 will produce A Thousand and One for Focus Features. The drama follows a mother who kidnaps her son from the foster care system, and together they set out to reclaim their home in a rapidly changing New York City.

Barry Levy ‘96 and Neal H. Moritz ‘85 will develop Vantage Point for NBC. The thriller drama series is based on the 2008 Sony movie which Levy wrote. Levy will executive produce the NBC series, and Moritz will produce via his Original Film company.

Shawn Levy ‘94 signed a first-look feature deal and extended his current overall TV deal with Netflix. Levy developed Netflix shows such as Stranger Things, Unsolved Mysteries, and Dash & Lily through his production banner 21 Laps. Levy is currently directing The Adam Project which will star Ryan Reynolds, Jennifer Garner, and Zoe Saldana.

Katie Lovejoy ‘09 received a script-to-series commitment from Fox for The Long Haul, an hour-long drama that is centered on a young mother and her teenage daughter fleeing their small town and is set against the backdrop of the hyper-masculine world of long-haul trucking.

Neal H. Moritz ‘85 will produce Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton’s spec script The Princess for 20th Century Studios and Hulu through Original Films. Joey King from Netflix’s popular flick The Kissing Booth is attached to star.

Tracy Oliver ‘10 will co-write Savannah with Joey Falco. The thriller series follows two outsider women, one black and one white, who marry into a moneyed and closed Southern society and the actions they take to protect their secret and survive a judgmental world. The project is developed by Amazon Studios.

Roy Parker ‘14 will write the live-action movie of the popular ‘90s children’s TV show Wishbone. Mattel Films and Academy Award winner Peter Farrelly will produce the project.

Prentice Penny ‘95 will executive produce a weekly late-night show for HBO. Sam Jay is attached to host the show which is set to debut in 2021.

Kevin Del Principe ‘13 directed, co-wrote, and produced Up on the Glass. The thriller feature is available on Blu-Ray/DVD on Amazon and streamed on iTunes and other VOD platforms.

Ben Queen ‘96 will adapt A Note of Explanation after Netflix acquired the rights to his pitch. The original novel, written by Vita Sackville-West, is about a time-travelling sprite who inhabits a dollhouse.

Jase Ricci ‘06 won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing for an Animated Program for his work as Head Writer/Story Editor on the Disney Channel show Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure.

Allison Schroeder ‘06 will co-write Heart of Stone with Greg Rucka. Heart of Stone is set to be an original international spy thriller franchise with Gal Gadot starring as the lead. The project will be developed by Skydance Media, with fellow USC alum David Ellison producing.

Josh Schwartz will executive produce Tom Swift, a spin-off series to The CW’s popular series Nancy Drew which Schwartz co-created and executive produces. The project is based on the classic book series of the same name.

Sharan Sharma ‘10 made his directorial debut with the Netflix original film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl. The story follows the real life account of Gunjan Saxena, who is the first Indian female air-force pilot to fly in a combat zone.

Erica Shelton ‘98 received a script commitment from Fox for her script The Counsel. The hour-long drama is inspired by the political and personal experiences of Sunny Hostin and is a co-production between Fox Entertainment and Universal Television.

Jason Shuman ‘96 will pen the remake of the 1986 family film Short Circuit with Eduardo Cisnero. Fellow USC alum James Vanderbilt ‘99 is also attached to produce the project through Project X Entertainment.

Claudia Spinelli ‘00 had been promoted to SVP Animation Development at Nickelodeon. She will be involved with managing the development of new animated franchise content including Star Trek: Prodigy and Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years.

Kate Stayman-London ‘11 released her debut novel One to Watch with Penguin Random House. The novel is set against the backdrop of a reality TV dating show and explores topics of body positivity and pop culture consumption.

Katie Stone ‘08 wrote Interceptor, an hour-long Coast Guard drama, which has been put into development by Fox.

Tim Story will direct Finding Forrester, an NBC drama series reboot of the 2000 Gus Van Sant movie that starred the late Sean Connery. Attached on the project are executive producers TJ Brady and Rasheed Newson (The Chi), and NBA superstar Stephen Curry (Unanimous Media).

Danny Strong ‘96 will write and executive produce Dopesick. The Hulu limited series will explore the people and families affected by the opioid epidemic in the United States. Dopesick is set to premiere in 2021. In addition, Danny will be executive producer for The Growing Season which has been put into development at ABC.

Nora Sullivan ‘14 was a staff writer on Julie and the Phantoms on Netflix. The first season of the musical kids series is now available on the streaming platform.

Sharla Sumpter Bridgett ‘04 assumed the role of Senior Vice President of Film and Television at Chernin Entertainment where she will produce projects for the company’s slate.

Max Taxe ‘11 wrote Moonshot which is in development at HBO Max. Lana Condor of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is set to star, and Greg Berlanti will be producing.

Coerte Voorhees ‘16 began production on Canyon Del Muerto which is an historical epic about America’s first female archaeologist.

John Wells ‘82 will develop a pair of shows for HBO Max. Ke Nui Road is set on the shores of Oahu, Hawaii, and follows a crew of heavy-water lifeguards and the teens and young adults that they train in the junior lifeguard program. Things That Make White People Uncomfortable will be a one-hour anthology series that is based on Michael Bennett and Dave Zirin’s book of the same name.

New Movies in Release

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting
Joe Ballarini ‘99 (Writer)

The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend A Broken Heart (HBO Max)
Derek Boonstra ‘07 (Editor)

R.J. Cutler (Director, Producer, Writer)

The Croods: A New Age
Kirk DeMicco (Writer) Jon Gutman ‘07 (Animation, Head of Layout) James Ryan ‘95 (Editor)

First Christmas
Todd Murata ‘01 (Executive Producer)

Adam Hendricks ‘03 (Producer)

The Glorias
Lynn Hendee ‘81 (Producer)

Godmother (Disney+)
Amie Karp ‘06 (Executive Producer)
Melissa Stack ‘04 (Writer)

Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl (Netflix)
Sharan Sharma ‘10 (Director, Co-Writer)

Half Brothers
Luke Greenfield ‘94 (Director)
Jason Shuman ‘96 (Writer, Producer)

Jiang Ziya
Eric Cheng ‘15 (Co-Director)

Kill The Habit
Laura Neri ‘04 (Director)

The Life Ahead (Netflix)
Edoardo Ponti ‘98 (Director, Writer)

Lost Girls & Love Hotels
William Olsson ‘05 (Director)

The Midnight Sky (Netflix)
Grant Heslov ‘86 (Producer)

Run (Hulu)
Aneesh Chaganty ‘13 (Director, Writer)
Sev Ohania ‘12 (Writer, Producer)
Natalie Qasabian ‘14 (Producer)

Survival Skills
Quinn Armstrong (Director, Writer)
Colin West (Producer)

Team Marco
Julio Vincent Gambuto ‘16 (Director)

‘Til Kingdom Come
Abraham Troen ‘17 (Producer, Cinematographer)

Up on the Glass
Kevin Del Principe ‘13 (Director, Co-Writer, Producer)

What Lies Below
Braden Duemmler ‘12 (Director, Writer)
Jimmy Jung Lu ‘11 (Cinematographer)
Abel Vang ‘11 (Producer)

The Witches (HBO Max)
Robert Zemeckis ‘73 (Director, Writer, Producer)

Wonder Woman 1984 (HBO Max)
Matthew Jensen ‘94 (Director of Photography)

TV Shows in Release

Black Love
Codie Oliver ‘09 (Director, Executive Producer)

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix, Season 4)
Antonio Negret ‘04 (Director)

Dash & Lily (Netflix)
Shawn Levy ‘94 (Executive Producer)
Lauren Moon ‘17 (Writer)

Down to Earth with Zac Efron (Netflix)
Michael Simkin ‘05 (Executive Producer)

The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
Marcie Ulin ‘04 (Executive Producer)

The Hardy Boys (Hulu)
Jason Stone ‘08 (Director, Writer, Executive Producer)

Julie and the Phantoms (Netflix)
Nora Sullivan ‘14 (Writer)

Marvel 616 (Disney+)
David Bolen ‘13 (Cinematographer)
Matthew Chavez ‘07 (Ciematographer)
David Gelb ‘06 (Creator, Director, Executive Producer)
Clay Jeter ‘06 (Director)
Jared Martin ‘13 (Editor)

MacGyver (CBS, Season 5)
Andrew Karlsruher ‘14 (Writer)

The Mandalorian (Disney+, Season 2)
Rick Famuyiwa ‘96 (Director, Writer)
Ludwig Göransson (Composer)
Matthew Jensen ‘94 (Director of Photography)

The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
Blair Fetter ‘03 (Producer)

The Right Stuff (Disney+)
Mark Lafferty ‘00 (Executive Producer)

Salty Pirate (Amazon)
Charles Haine ‘06 (Director)

Seal Team (CBS, Season 4)
Matt Bosack ‘13 (Writer, Producer)
Dana Greenblatt ‘02 (Writer, Producer)
Spencer Hudnut ‘08 (Writer, Producer)

Selina: The Series (Netflix)
Jorge Ramirez-Martinez ‘12 (Writer)

Shameless (Showtime, Season 11)
John Wells ‘82 (Director, Writer, Producer)

Unsolved Mysteries (Netflix)
Shawn Levy ‘94 (Executive Producer)

A Wilderness Of Error (FX)
Marc Smerling (Director, Executive Producer)

The Wilds (Amazon)
Sarah Streicher ‘12 (Creator, Writer, Executive Producer)

Your Honor (Showtime)
Liz Glotzer ‘85 (Executive Producer)

Interactive Games and Media in Release

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (Playstation 5 & 4, Xbox Series X/S & One, Windows)
Jeremy Breslau ‘04 (Writer)
David Goyer ‘88 (Writer)

Destiny 2 (Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S)
Victoria Dollbaum ‘08 (Systems Design Director)
Baldur Tangvald ‘15 (Senior Designer)

The Pathless (Playstation 5, Playstation 4, Windows, macOS, IOS)
Elliot Mahler ‘17 (Gameplay Programmer)
Patrick Quah ‘17 (Producer)