Universal Nabs ‘The Creeps’ Horror Pitch From ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Scribes Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has picked up The Creeps, a horror film based on a pitch from Horrible Bosses and Spider-Man: Homecoming screenwriters Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (Bones alum). Goldstein and Daley are on board to write, dire…

‘Us’ Leaves SXSW Untethered, Jordan Peele Says Doppelganger Horror Shows How “The Evil Is Us”

Read on: Deadline.

“What if I just showed you four episodes of This Is Us without explanation?” said Jordan Peele at the Paramount Theater in Austin before his film Us made its world premiere at SXSW.
After the screening, the film received an uproarious ovati…

Universal Pictures Makes Key Changes to Production Development Team

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Universal Pictures announced on Friday that it has upped veteran studio executive Erik Baiers to senior executive vice president of production development.

The promotion, announced by Universal president Peter Cramer, is part of a number of key moves in the studio’s production development group made on Friday.

In addition to Baiers, Jay Polidoro and Sara Scott were promoted to senior vice presidents of production development and Lexi Barta was promoted to director of development. Baiers, Polidoro, Scott and Barta will all report to Cramer at the top.

Also Read: Universal Signs First-Look Agreement With ‘Black-ish’ Star Marsai Martin

“These promotions reflect Erik, Sara, Jay, and Lexi’s invaluable contributions to Universal Pictures over many collective years of experience,” Cramer said in a statement. “They have been key members of a strong creative group that consistently helps deliver a wide range of quality, successful films for global audiences, and we are thrilled to continue building the studio’s exciting future with them.”

With his promotion to senior executive vice president, Baiers will expand his responsibilities in the production group to include an active role in strategic slate planning. Baiers joined the company in 2005 and most recently served as executive vice president of production development, working closely to develop titles with Judd Apatow and Working Title producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, among other high-profile filmmakers.

Baiers was instrumental in a wide range of hit films in recent years, including “Bridesmaids,” “Trainwreck,” “Neighbors,” “Sisters” and “Les Misérables.” He is currently overseeing production on highly anticipated 2019 releases including “Little,” “The Hunt,” “Yesterday” and the big screen adaptation of the musical “Cats.”  Prior to Universal, Baiers was an executive at MGM.

Polidoro and Scott joined Universal in 2010 as creative executives, and have steadily risen through the studio’s ranks.

Also Read: Universal Chair Donna Langley Promotes Key Executives

Polidoro was instrumental in projects such as the billion-dollar “Fast & Furious” franchise, overseeing production on the last four titles including the highly anticipated spin-off starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” which is set to hit theaters August 2. Polidoro is currently overseeing development on the next “Fast & Furious” film.

Scott has shepherded some of the studio’s most successful films and franchises, including the breakout comedy “Girls Trip,” and films in the “Pitch Perfect,” “The Purge” and “Jurassic World” franchises. Prior to joining Universal, Scott was an executive at Harpo Films.

Barta has been with the studio since 2014, having previously worked at CAA for four years. At Universal she has worked on projects including “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” and “Skyscraper.”

Also Read: Universal’s ‘The Invisible Man’ Reboot Lands New Director, Johnny Depp No Longer to Star

In January, newly appointed sole Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley promoted a number of key executives and brought another back to the studio to serve in upper management — Cramer being one.

Langley tapped Peter Levinsohn to continue to serve as Universal’s president and chief distribution officer, Jimmy Horowitz to serve in an expanded role as president and vice chairman of Universal Pictures, Abhijay Prakash as president, UFEG, and Cramer as president of Universal Pictures, responsible for the creative strategy of Universal Pictures’ live-action film slate.

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‘Green Book’ Drives Past $200M Worldwide; Oscar Winner At $27M In China

Read on: Deadline.

Best Picture Oscar winner Green Book has driven past $200M global. The Participant Media and DreamWorks Pictures film from director Peter Farrelly hit the milestone with Wednesday’s updated grosses. That includes $77.3M domestically via Universal…

‘Ma’ Trailer: Octavia Spencer Makes Some Young “Friends” In Blumhouse Thriller

Read on: Deadline.

Some Ohio teenagers ask a random woman to buy them booze. Harmless kid stuff, right? Not when the askee is Sue Ann, a loner who sees an opportunity to make some new friends.
Here’s the first trailer for Ma, a Blumhouse starring Oscar winner Octav…

‘Yesterday’ Trailer: No One Remembers The Beatles in Danny Boyle’s Musical Comedy (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Universal has officially announced the title to “Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle’s musical comedy about The Beatles as “Yesterday.

The studio also released a trailer for the new film on Tuesday morning, confirming its release date as the previously announced June 28.

In “Yesterday,” Jack Malik (Himesh Patel from BBC’s “Eastenders”) is a struggling amateur musician  in England wakes up after a freak bus accident and mysterious global blackout to discover that The Beatles never existed, no one has ever heard their songs — and John, Paul, George and Ringo are nobodies.

Also Read: Danny Boyle Leaves ‘James Bond 25’ Over ‘Creative Differences’

Even a Google search only reveals the bugs “beetles.” Apparently Coldplay are still really big, though.

Jack then sets out to replenish the world of Beatles songs, with the entire world believing that he wrote them and is now the greatest songwriter who ever lived. He’s even put on the spot by James Corden to “write” something completely new, so he “writes”… “Something.” But will he learn how to play bass left handed? And who’s his Yoko?

Also Read: How ‘Yellow Submarine’ Made The Beatles ‘Lovable’ Again

“Yesterday” comes from Boyle and Richard Curtis, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of “Love, Actually” and “Notting Hill.” It also stars Lily James, Kate McKinnon and Ed Sheeran as Jack’s record producers, with the latter recommending that Jack call his magnum opus song, “Hey Dude.” Brilliant.

The film also naturally features covers of classic Beatles’ hits. It’s produced by Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner alongside Matthew James Wilkinson and Bernie Bellew. Curtis and Boyle also produce. Nick Angel and Lee Brazier serve as executive producers.

Watch the trailer for “Yesterday” above.

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Universal and Lorne Michaels Developing Movie About Navy SEAL Who Killed Osama bin Laden

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Universal Pictures and Lorne Michaels’ production company, Broadway Video, have purchased the feature film rights to “The Operator,” a book by former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill about how he fired the shots that killed Osama bin Laden, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

The full title of the New York Times bestselling book is “The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior.” Michael Russell Gunn, who is currently a supervising producer on “Billions,” is adapting the screenplay.

“SNL” boss Michaels is producing the film, with Erin David and Sammy Perlmutter overseeing for Broadway Video, and Kristin Lowe and Mika Pryce overseeing for Universal. O’Neill is also executive producing.

Also Read: ‘SEAL Team’: John Glenn to Serve as Showrunner on Season 2 Following Shake-up

Based on his accounts in “The Operator,” O’Neill had been involved in several other operations that have since been turned into films, including the attempt to rescue Marcus Luttrell in what became “Lone Survivor” and the story that became Paul Greengrass’s “Captain Phillips.”

But the book culminates in the death of the 9/11 orchestrator bin Laden. It also follows O’Neill’s childhood in Butte, Montana, his decision to enlist in the military and the intense counter-terror effort he endured for over a decade in the aftermath of 9/11.

Gunn also wrote the historical drama “The Virginian,” which landed on the Black List and sold to New Line. Gunn is repped by WME, Artists First and attorney David Fox.

Deadline was first to report.

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‘Us’ Super Bowl Trailer: Jordan Peele’s Newest Horror Is Here To Freak Us Out With More Intrigue

Read on: Deadline.

The first look at Jordan Peele’s forthcoming horror Us freaked us out with doppelgangers, a pair of scissors and Lupita Nyong’o‘s creepy laugh. The newest trailer, which debuted during the Super Bowl, slathers on the creepiness and gi…

Sinatra, Spielberg, & Archie Bunker: ‘Green Book’s Viggo, Mahershala, Farrelly & Vallelonga Tell Great Road Trip Tales

Read on: Deadline.

Even before the people chose Green Book at the Toronto Film Festival and anointed Peter Farrelly’s film a surprise Oscar contender, the film survived a road trip as overflowing with twists and turns as the story onscreen. Green Book recreates the conce…

Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Trailer Gives Nightmares on Christmas Morning (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Don’t be fooled, those red jumpsuits in the trailer for Jordan Peele’s “Us” aren’t there because the characters are in a festive, Christmas spirit.

On Tuesday, Peele and Universal stuffed our stockings with the first trailer for his new film, the follow-up to 2017’s breakout film “Get Out,” which saw him win an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Peele first teased audiences with a chilling poster that featured a character wearing a sadistic looking glove while holding a sinister pair of elongated golden shears. And this first trailer finally gave us an idea as to what those are all about.

“They look exactly like us. They think like us,” Lupita Nyongo’s character says in the trailer. “They won’t stop until they kill us, or we kill them.”

Also Read: Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’: Lupita Nyong’o Is Bloodied, Beaten and Fierce in First Look (Photos)

“Us” stars Nyong’o and Elisabeth Moss in a film that Peele told Entertainment Weekly is a “monster mythology,” drawing on influences as classic as “The Shining” and as recent as “The Babadook.”

Nyong’o and fellow “Black Panther” star Winston Duke play a married couple who take a trip to a Northern California summer beach home along with their children, where they meet another couple portrayed by Moss and comedian Tim Heidecker. Nyong’o slowly becomes paranoid at her children’s safety, and as she becomes more concerned, they witness four figures in red suits holding hands at the end of their driveway. And as this trailer reveals, those figures aren’t just anyone, but are exact replicas of themselves.

“Us” opens in theaters on March 15, 2019. Watch the first skin-crawling trailer for Peele’s sophomore film above:

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‘First Man’ Sound Editors Capture Neil Armstrong’s Journey To The Moon With Authentic, Evocative Palette

Read on: Deadline.

After collaborating with Damien Chazelle on La La Land to the tune of three Oscar nominations, sound editors Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Morgan embarked on a transformative odyssey with First Man, which defied their preconceptions of how sound might manife…

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Stage Musical to Become Universal Film With Marc Platt Producing

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Dear Evan Hansen,” the Tony-winning stage musical, is being adapted into a feature film. Universal has acquired the rights to develop the project for the screen, and Marc Pratt (“La La Land,” “Into the Woods”) will produce along with Adam Siegel, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Stephen Chbosky, the director of “Wonder” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” is also in early negotiations to direct “Dear Evan Hansen,” according to the individual. Steven Levenson, who wrote the original book for “Dear Evan Hansen,” will write the screenplay.

Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who wrote the music and lyrics for the stage production, sold the rights to Universal. Pasek and Paul won an Oscar for Best Original Song for “City of Stars” from “La La Land.” And they’re also expected to be executive producers on the film, along with Levenson.

Also Read: ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Theater Review: A New Musical for the Hashtag Generation

“Dear Evan Hansen” is the story of a high school senior with the titular name who has severe social anxiety and has trouble connecting with others and making friends. After the suicide of a classmate, Hansen gets caught in a lie that brings him closer to his classmate’s family.

The 2016 Broadway production was nominated for nine Tony awards and won six, including Best Musical and Best Score.

Platt has produced several musicals, including “La La Land” and “Into the Woods,” and is also the father of Ben Platt, who won the Tony award for his lead role in “Dear Evan Hansen” when it debuted on Broadway.

Levenson and Chbosky are repped by WME. Pasek, Paul and Levenson are repped by CAA.

Deadline was first to report.

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‘First Man’ Editor Tom Cross On The Sequence That Would Make Or Break The Film

Read on: Deadline.

Damien Chazelle’s go-to editor since the time when Whiplash was just a short, Oscar winner Tom Cross threw out the musical playbook for First Man, tapping into a documentary approach he honed early in his career and had long since left behind. Cr…

In Concert With Luminys’ David Pringle, ‘First Man’ DP Linus Sandgren Develops The Strongest Film Light In The World

Read on: Deadline.

With Damien Chazelle’s First Man—a radical departure from his work with the director on La La Land, which earned both their first Oscars—cinematographer Linus Sandgren boldly went where no no man has gone before, developing the strong…

‘Cats’: ‘Hamilton’s Andy Blankenbuehler To Choreograph Universal-Working Title Film

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Hamilton‘s Andy Blankenbuehler has been set to choreograph Universal Pictures and Working Title’s big screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats. The three-time Tony Award winner was already part of the extended Cats f…

With An Eye Toward International Audiences, ‘The Grinch’ Directors Seek The Essence Of A Seussian World

Read on: Deadline.

Avid fans of the Dr. Seuss canon that were excited to bring one of the author’s most well-known characters to life in a new animated iteration, Scott Mosier and Yarrow Cheney set out on a long process of trial and error, seeking to bring a freshness to…