Quick News: September 29th 2017

Focus Features
Focus Features have set the release dates of three major arthouse releases next year. Lenny Abrahamson’s “The Little Stranger” will open August 31st, Joel Edgerton’s “Boy Erased” is set to hit September 28th, and the Saoirse Ronan-led “Mary, Queen of Scots” opens November 2nd.

NBC has renewed the Marlon Wayans-led comedy series “Marlon” for a second season. The show follows Wayans’s attempts at co-parenting with his very well-organized ex-wife. The series averaged a 1.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.6 million viewers in Live+Same Day over the Summer.

Toks Olagundoye (“Castle,” “The Neighbors”) is set for a series regular role opposite Kevin Bacon in the pilot “Tremors” for Syfy and Blumhouse TV. Olagundoye will play Jessica Florence, an accomplished, city-chic civil engineer.

In the series, the killer Graboid worms that nearly destroyed a Nevada town 25 years ago are back, and the town’s only hope for survival is Valentine McKee (Bacon), who beat them once.

My Life on the Road
Julie Taymor (“Frida,” “Titus”) has been set to direct a coming-of-age story biopic abouticonic feminist, journalist and activist Gloria Steinem for June Pictures. Andrew Duncan and Alex Saks will produce.

Playwright Sarah Ruhl will write the script, based on Steinem’s bestselling memoir which deals with the surprising encounters along the road that helped shaped her.

Shane Abbess (“Gabriel,” “Infini”) has signed to direct “Teammate,” the movie about the Chicago Cubs winning its first World Series since 1908. Ted Field will produce through Radar Pictures.

Bill Murray has been in talks to join the team as manager Joe Maddon but it’s not clear if that will happen. Ram Getz and John Corcoran pen the script.

Rock the Bells
20th Century Fox Film has acquired “Girls Trip” director Malcolm D. Lee’s Christmas family comedy pitch “Rock the Bells” which Malcolm Spellman and Dalan Musson have penned. Lee and Tajamika Paxton will produce.

The Last Thing He Wanted
“Mudbound” director Dee Rees is slated to helm a film adaptation of Joan Didion’s 1996 political thriller novel “The Last Thing He Wanted”. Cassian Elwes will produce.

The story follows a Washington Post reporter who quits her job at the paper to stumble into a job as an arms dealer for covert government forces. Marco Villalobos will write the screenplay.

American Woman
“Downsizing” breakout actor Hong Chau is in talks to star in the Semi Chellas-directed adaptation of “American Woman”. The story follows the women who cared for kidnapped newspaper heiress-turned-fugitive Patty Hearst.

Chau will play Jenny Shimada, a 25-year-old former radical on the run for an act of violence who agrees to care for three younger fugitives (one being Hearst) delivered to her by an individual from her former life.

Colton Haynes and Victoria Justice have boarded George Gallo’s “Bigger” about fitness industry forefathers the Weider Brothers. Gallo starts shooting the film next month in Alabama.

Justice will play the wife of Tyler Hoechlin’s Joe Weider. Haynes will play iconic fitness guru Jack LaLanne, known for his incredible feats of strength like swimming to Alcatraz handcuffed.

Bleecker Street has scored the U.S. distribution rights to Chilean filmmaker Sebastian Lelio’s drama “Disobedience” starring Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, and Alessandro Nivola.

Weisz plays an expat who returns from New York after the death of her estranged rabbi father to the Orthodox Jewish community in North London where she grew up. Once back at home, she stirs up controversy when she shows an interest in a childhood friend (McAdams).

The Wife
Sony Pictures Classics has scored all North American rights to the Bjorn Runge-helmed, Glenn Close-led drama “The Wife” based on a script from Jane Anderson and a novel by Meg Wolitzer.

Jonathan Pryce, Christian Slater, Max Irons, Harry Lloyd, and Annie Starke also star in the story of a marriage built upon uneven compromises, and the wife reaches her breaking point.

Skybound Entertainment has optioned the 1977 Frederik Pohl novel “Gateway” for development as a TV series.

The story chronicles the history of an alien race and a poor miner who makes a dangerous trip into space to seek a fortune and escape the difficulties of living on a barren and overcrowded Earth.

Hulu has closed a deal with NBCUniversal Television for exclusive SVOD rights to all episodes of “30 Rock,” “Parenthood,” “Made in Chelsea” and Syfy’s “Face Off” . “30 Rock” makes its Hulu debut on Sunday.

The Dublin Murders
BBC One has given the greenlight to the eight-part crime drama “The Dublin Murders” based on Tana French’s award-winning series of mysteries. Filming will start next year in Belfast and Dublin.

Sarah Phelps (“And Then There Were None”) will adapt the first two books about the fictional Dublin Murder Squad investigating two murders – one of a 12-year-old girl, the other in an elite college town.

Amazon has picked up global rights to the upcoming BBC crime drama “McMafia” and will launch the series on its Prime Video streaming service in 200 territories. Exclusions are the UK where BBC One will air it, North America with AMC to screen it, and China which has no Amazon streaming service.

James Norton stars as an English-raised son of Russian exiles with a mafia history. He has spent his life trying to escape the shadow of that criminal past, which comes back to haunt him and his girlfriend, Rebecca (Juliet Rylance).

Bohemian Rhapsody
Aidan Gillen (“Game of Thrones”) and Tom Hollander (“The Night Manager”) have joined the cast of Bryan Singer’s Freddy Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

Gillen will play John Reid, Queen’s manager from 1975-1978, Hollander will play his replacement Jim Beach who took over as manager in 1978. Filming is already underway for a Christmas Day 2018 release.

Rosa Parks
Director Julie Dash has signed on to direct an upcoming biopic on Rosa Parks. Audrey Rosenberg, Jess Jacobs, Gary Riotto and Rachel Watanabe-Batton will produce the film which is based on Danielle McGuire’s “At the Dark End of the Street”.

Set a decade before her seminal moment on a Montgomery bus, the story looks at Parks’ time as an activist who sought justice for 24-year-old wife and mother Recy Taylor, who was brutally gang-raped by six white men in Alabama in 1944.

Emily Mortimer will star opposite Gary Oldman in Michael Goi’s supernatural thriller “Mary” which is in production now in Alabama. Anthony Jaswinski penned the script.

Mortimer will portray Oldman’s wife in the story about a couple facing financial struggles who buy an old ship at auction with the hope of starting a charter business, only to discover her horrifying secrets on the isolated open waters

City of Saints and Thieves
Chloe Castellon and Ridgeway Wilson have been hired to adapt the screenplay for the upcoming film adaptation of Natalie C. Anderson’s debut novel “City of Saints & Thieves” at Universal Pictures.

Melina Matsoukas is officially attached to direct the feature about a girl who has been living on the Kenyan streets since her mother’s murder. Recruited by a gang of street kids, she gets closer to exacting revenge but soon discovers that she may not have all the facts.

Gorilla and the Bird
Channing Tatum’s Free Association along with Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf’s Big Beach have optioned the rights to Zack McDermott’s memoir “Gorilla and the Bird” with “Demolition” scribe Bryan Sipe attached to pen a series adaptation and executive produce.

The story chronicles McDermott’s personal battle with bipolar disorder, which affects nearly six million Americans and usually presents itself in patients during their mid-twenties.

The Zero
Matt Rager has come onboard to pen the film adaptation of Jess Walter’s detective thriller “The Zero” at Passage Pictures. Uri Singer will produce.

The story centers on a cop who wakes up to find he’s shot himself in the head in a city and a post-terrorist attack country. He finds his memory is skipping, lurching between moments of lucidity and days when he doesn’t seem to be living his own life.

Sources: Variety, Deadline, THR, Screen, The Wrap