‘The Photograph’: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Chante Adams, Jasmine Cephas Jones & Y’lan Noel Set For Uni’s Romance Drama

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Kelvin Harrison Jr. (It Comes At Night), Chante Adams (Roxanne Roxanne), Jasmine Cephas Jones (Broadway’s Hamilton), and Y’lan Noel (The First Purge) are the latest to board Stella Meghie’s romantic drama, The Photograph, set up at Uni…

Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Scares Up $7.4 Million at Thursday Box Office

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Us,” the horror follow-up to “Get Out” from director Jordan Peele and released by Universal, earned a massive $7.4 million in its Thursday box office previews from 3,150 screens. It opens on 3,741 screens this weekend.

Independent trackers have “Us” expected to earn between $45-50 million, though Universal is saying that the opening would be considered a success if it was within the range of “Get Out.” Peele’s previous film earned $33.3 million in its first weekend in 2017 following a Thursday preview total of just $1.8 million.

A $50 million opening for “Us” would also put it within the range of the opening for John Krasinski’s horror film “A Quiet Place,” which earned $4.3 million during its Thursday previews. It also eclipsed the total of last year’s horror prequel “The Nun,” which made an impressive $5.4 million on Thursday ahead of a $53.8 million opening.

Also Read: ‘Us’ Film Review: Jordan Peele Terrifies Again With a Chilling Examination of Duality

“Get Out” was made on a trim $4.5 million budget, while “Us” cost a still modest $20 million. But behind killer word of mouth and a Rotten Tomatoes score that currently sits at 94 percent with 183 reviews counted, “Us” is expected to leg out well beyond its opening and could reach a domestic run of over $200 million.

“Us” stars Lupita Nyong’o as Adelaide Wilson, a woman returning to her beachside childhood home with her husband, Gabe (Winston Duke), and their two children (Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex) for an idyllic summer getaway. After spending a tense day at the beach with their friends (Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker), Adelaide and her family return to their vacation home to discover the silhouettes of four figures standing in their driveway. “Us” pits an ordinary American family against a terrifying and uncanny opponent: doppelgängers of themselves.

Peele wrote and directed “Us,” his second feature, for his Monkeypaw Productions alongside Ian Cooper. The film is the company’s first solo production venture. Sean McKittrick and Jason Blum also produced.

“Us” could top what would be the third weekend for Marvel’s “Captain Marvel.” It also opens opposite the true-story thriller “Hotel Mumbai” and the foreign film “Sunset,” and Julianne Moore’s “Gloria Bell” going wider.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Screaming $4M+, Well Ahead Of ‘Get Out’ – Early Thursday Night B.O. Read

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Our box office intel says that Jordan Peele’s Us from Universal/Monkeypaw Productions is on track for a $4M-plus Thursday night, possibly even $5M off showtimes that began at 7PM.
These numbers could always fluctuate, and even if Us dr…

Paul Feig Inks First-Look Production Agreement With Universal

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Paul Feig and his Feigco Entertainment production company have inked a first-look production deal with Universal Pictures, the studio announced Thursday.

Feig’s next film is Universal’s “Last Christmas,” which will star Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding. The film is set for release on Nov. 15.

“Paul is one of the most distinctive and versatile filmmakers working today, and we are thrilled to welcome him, Jessie Henderson, and the FeigCo team back to Universal,” Peter Cramer, President, Universal Pictures, said. “We know they will add to their impressive track record of creating successful films for global audiences that are full of Paul’s signature joy, wit, and heart, starting with ‘Last Christmas’ in November.”

Also Read: Universal Dates Paul Feig’s ‘Last Christmas’ for November 2019

Feig is developing projects at Universal that include Eva Longoria’s “24-7,” which he is producing alongside Kerry Washington and Ben Spector. Feig is also set to produce the comedy “False Alarm” alongside Dylan Clark and Sam Esmail.

Feig’s credits include “Bridesmaids,” which grossed nearly $300 million worldwide, as well as 2016’s “Ghostbusters” that starred Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. His other credits include “Spy” and “The Heat.” Overall, Feig’s films have grossed more than $1 billion worldwide.

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Feig has made many movies under an overall deal with Twentieth Century Fox. Disney’s deal to acquire Fox’s film and TV assets was finalized on Wednesday.

Feig is represented by CAA and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.

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‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Chelsea Peretti Joins Issa Rae & LaKeith Stanfield In ‘The Photograph’

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea Peretti, best known for her role as Gina Linetti on Fox/NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, has come aboard Universal’s The Photograph, a romantic drama written and directed by Stella Meghie with Will Packer and James Lopez producing for…

Issa Rae & LaKeith Stanfield To Star In ‘The Photograph’ At Universal

Read on: Deadline.

Insecure‘s Issa Rae and Atlanta‘s LaKeith Stanfield are set to lead Universal/ Will Packer Productions’ romantic drama The Photograph, written and directed by Stella Meghie (Everything, Everything). Will Packer and James Lopez are pro…

Lakeith Stanfield Joins Issa Rae in ‘The Photograph’ From Universal

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Sorry to Bother You” star Lakeith Stanfield and “Insecure” creator Issa Rae will star side-by-side in “The Photograph,” a new film for Universal Pictures.

The film is based on an original spec by “Everything, Everything” director Stella Meghie. Her directorial debut, “Jean of the Joneses,” premiered at the 2016 South-by-Southwest Film Festival.

“The Photograph” is described as a romantic drama centered on intertwining love stories in the past and present. Will Packer will produce the film along with James Lopez under his company Will Packer Productions.

Also Read: Issa Rae Will Produce Musical Romance ‘Love in America’ at Universal

Packer’s latest film, the Taraji P. Henson-led “What Men Want,” has grossed $59.7 million worldwide. Universal will release his next film, “Little,” on April 12.

Meghie, who will also direct and executive produce “The Photograph,” has worked with Rae in the past, directing the season three “Insecure” episode “Fresh Like.” She is also set to direct Rae in Fox’s “American Princess,” about an American woman who is drawn into a world of wealth and high society when she unexpectedly falls in love during a trip to London.

That film, written by “Insecure” writer Amy Aniobi, is being produced by Paul Feig’s production company Feigco Entertainment.

Rae is also producing a musical romance “Love in America” for Universal. The film, also written by Aniobi, is the first film project for Rae and Deniese Davis under their ColorCreative production banner.

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Universal’s vice president of production Sara Scott and creative executive Mika Pryce will oversee production for the studio. Rae will serve as executive producer.

Stanfield is coming off a busy 2018 in which he starred in the critical hit “Sorry to Bother You” and “The Girl in the Spider’s Web.” He will next star in Netflix’s upcoming romantic comedy “Someone Great,” also being produced by Feig’s production company, and Lionsgate’s upcoming murder mystery “Knives Out” from director Rian Johnson.

Also Read: Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield in Talks to Star in Ryan Coogler’s Real-Life Black Panthers Movie

In February, Warner Bros. announced that Stanfield would rejoin his “Get Out” co-star Daniel Kaluuya in “Jesus Was My Homeboy,” which will follow the rise and untimely death of iconic black activist, revolutionary and Black Panther Party member Fred Hampton through the eyes of the man who betrayed him.

Stanfield is represented by CAA, Stark Management and Ginsburg Daniels LLP. Rae is represented by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman L.L.P. And Meghie is represented by CAA and Del Shaw Moonves.

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Ike Barinholtz Joins Cast of Damon Lindelof’s Action-Thriller ‘The Hunt’ at Universal

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Universal Pictures announced on Friday that Ike Barinholtz has joined the cast of the studio’s upcoming action-thriller “The Hunt.”

The plot for “The Hunt” has been kept under wraps. Deadline reported earlier this week that it’s expected to explore the escalating aggressiveness between the political right and left in America.

The script for the film is being written by “Lost” and “The Leftovers” creator Damon Lindelof and collaborator Nick Cuse.

Craig Zobel, who worked with Lindelof and Cuse on the HBO series “The Leftovers,” will direct.

Also Read: ‘Twilight Zone’: Taissa Farmiga and Ike Barinholtz Join Jordan Peele’s CBS All Access Reboot

Universal plans to release the film in theaters on Oct. 18.

It was announced earlier in the week that Emma Roberts (“American Horror Story”), Justin Hartley (“This is Us”) and Glenn Howerton (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) will star in the film.

Barinholtz was last seen opposite Tiffany Haddish in “The Oath,” which he also directed. His other film credits include “Blockers,” “Snatched,” “Neighbors” and Neighbors 2,” “Suicide Squad” and “Sisters.” He also wrote the action comedy “Central Intelligence” starring Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson with writing partner David Stassen.

Barinholtz will next be seen in CBS All Access’ “The Twilight Zone,” from “Get Out” and “Us” writer/director Jordan Peele. Among Barinholtz’s TV credits is “The Mindy Project,” for which he also served as a writer and producer, and he reunited with creator Mindy Kaling for the upcoming June release of the Sundance hit comedy “Late Night.”

Also Read: ‘Fast & Furious 9’ Moves Back a Month for Summer 2020 Faceoff With ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’

Jason Blum will produce “The Hunt” for his Blumhouse Productions alongside Lindelof for his White Rabbit shingle, while Cuse and Zobel executive produce.

Universal’s senior executive vice president of production Erik Baiers, senior vice president of production Jay Polidoro and creative executive Mika Pryce will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.

Barinholtz is represented by UTA, Artists First Inc. and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman. Zobel is represented by CAA and Alan Wertheimer, and Lindelof is represented by CAA and Myman Greenspan.

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‘A Star Is Born’ Co-Scribe Will Fetters To Rewrite ‘Tell No One’ For Universal

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Will Fetters, who with Bradley Cooper and Eric Roth adapted the Oscar-nominated screenplay for A Star Is Born, has been tapped to rewrite Tell No One, a Universal pic based on the 2001 Harlan Coben thriller novel.
The project from producer F…

Universal Names Longtime Fox Creative Exec Matt Reilly To Executive Vice President Post

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has hired Matt Reilly as Executive Vice President, Production Development. Reilly becomes the latest film production executive to leave the Fox lot as the studio prepares to be absorbed by Disney.
Reilly spent the past six…

Netflix Hires STX’s David Kosse To Lead International Film Division

Read on: Deadline.

In a significant industry move, we can reveal that Netflix has hired away STX’s President of International David Kosse to head up its own overseas film division.
Kosse is joining Netflix as VP of International Film and will be leading a team out …

Universal Promotes Four In Production Development; Erik Baiers Upped To Senior Exec VP

Read on: Deadline.

Universal Pictures made four promotions in the studio’s production development group, leading off with Erik Baiers who is being promoted from EVP, Production Development to Senior Executive Vice President, Production Development with a greater ov…

‘Puss in Boots 2’ to Be Directed by ‘Spider-Verse’ Oscar Winner Bob Persichetti

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Just two days after winning an Academy Award for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Bob Persichetti has signed on with DreamWorks Animation to direct a sequel to the 2011 “Shrek” spin-off “Puss In Boots.”

Persichetti, a veteran of animation for more than two decades, has worked in various capacities on films with DreamWorks Animation and Disney before making his directorial debut with the acclaimed “Spider-Verse” alongside co-directors Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman.  He served as head of story and voiced a role in the original Puss in Boots.”

Also Read: ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ Director Peter Ramsey: ‘Growing Up I Never Had a Superhero Like’ Miles Morales

Latifa Ouaou, who was a producer on the original “Puss in Boots,” will oversee development of this film on behalf of Illumination and Chris Meledandri, working closely with the DWA leadership team.

Voiced by Antonio Banderas, Puss in Boots made his debut in “Shrek 2” in 2004, appearing in the following two “Shrek” sequels before getting his own solo film that grossed $555 million worldwide in 2011. A sequel was once slated for release in 2018 but was removed from DreamWorks’ slate in 2015. This project does not yet have a release date.

Also Read: ‘Hotel Transylvania 4’ Set by Sony for Holiday 2021 Release

Universal will distribute the film after purchasing DreamWorks in 2016. The first DWA film released by Universal, “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” has so far grossed $277 million worldwide with a $55 million domestic opening this past weekend.

Persichetti is represented by UTA. The signing was first reported by Deadline.

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‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’ Fires Up $3 Million at Thursday Box Office

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World,” Universal’s animated film and the first DreamWorks Animation film they’ve released since purchasing the studio, earned $3 million in Thursday box office previews from 3,200 screens.

On Feb. 2, Universal partnered with Fandango for a special advanced screening program and earned $2.5 million, bringing its cumulative total so far to $5.5 million. It’s opening on over 4,259 screens this weekend.

Independent trackers are predicting the three-quel in the series to make as much as $45 million, with the studio projecting a more conservative $40 million.

Also Read: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’ Set to Breathe $45 Million of Box Office Fire

By comparison, Universal’s “The Grinch” from Illumination brought in $2.2 million in its Thursday box office previews, and it brought in $67.5 million in its opening weekend. The first “How to Train Your Dragon” film opened to $43.7 million when Paramount released it in 2010, and the sequel made $49.4 million via Fox in the summer of 2014. The sequel also only brought in $2 million in its Thursday previews. It’s also double a disappointing total for the second “Lego Movie” earlier this month, which only earned $1.5 million in its Thursday previews.

With last night’s grosses, “The Hidden World’s” international total from 49 markets currently stands at $185 million. The film opens in nine new markets this weekend.

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is the story of Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless as they uncover a secret dragon utopia that reveals that Toothless is not the only dragon of his species remaining. But they have to find it before a hired tyrant named Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham) finds it first. Dean DeBlois, who created the series, returns to direct and write the three-quel. It also features the voice work of America Ferrera, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig and Kit Harrington. At time of writing, the film has a healthy 92 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Also Read: ‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Film Review: Third Time’s a Fire-Breathing Charm

Also expanding wide this week is “Fighting With My Family,” which premiered at Sundance and is produced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. MGM and WWE Films are releasing the wrestling movie starring Florence Pugh as a teen girl raised in a family of pro wrestlers in England who goes on to become a three-time WWE champion and youngest person to earn a title belt.

Stephan Merchant directed the film, which grossed $200,596 over President’s Day weekend on four screens and is now projected to open to $7 million. It has a 93 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

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