SELECT PRODUCING NEWS
RYAN E. HEPPE AND BOB GALE CATCH 'TRESPASSERS'
By DAVE MCNARY (Variety)
Scott Hampton's supernatural graphic novel "Trespassers" is headed toward the bigscreen with Ryan E. Heppe producing and Bob Gale ("Back to the Future") on board to adapt. Story centers on a group of mythbusters, set on debunking the legend of a famous allegedly haunted house. They have their scientific rationality tested when they discover demonic guardians, a gateway to hell and the fact that not all of them are exactly who they claim to be.
"A good horror flick needs one thing: a simple premise that's terrifying as hell," Heppe said. "Add to that obvious franchise potential, and the opportunity to combine "found footage"-style scares with traditional filmmaking frights and you've got something really unique." Heppe is remaking "Short Circuit" at Dimension alongside David Foster, John Hyde and Brian Manis, with Tim Hill directing. He's also developing feature versions of "T.J. Hooker" and "V."
MATT LIEBERMAN TO WRITE NEW 'SHORT CIRCUIT'
By BRIAN BROOKS (Deadline)
Dimension Films has tapped Disney writers program alum Matt Lieberman to script its family film Short Circuit. Tim Hill (Alvin And The Chipmunks), already attached to direct, will work closely with Lieberman in re-imagining the 1980s John Badham film about a lab robot that is electrocuted and becomes intelligent. Details of the new version are being kept secret. David Foster, who produced the original, is producing with Ryan E. Heppe, John Hyde and Brian Manis. A Summer 2013 release is planned with shooting scheduled for the end of this year. The deal was negotiated for Dimension Films by Adrian Lopez, VP of Business and Legal and Matthew Signer, SVP of Production and Creative Affairs, and for the filmmakers by Brad Rosenfeld at Preferred Artists and Melissa Rogal at Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman. Lieberman is represented by Rosenfeld, Rogal and Adam Kolbrenner at Madhouse.
DIRECTOR TIM HILL HOPS TO DIMENSION'S 'SHORT CIRCUIT' REBOOT
By MIKE FLEMING (Deadline)
EXCLUSIVE: Dimension Films is making a deal with Tim Hill to direct its reboot of Short Circuit, the 1986 film about an experimental robot manufactured to be a weapon until a lightning strike fills it with intelligence. It runs away and befriends a fractured family, the military in hot pursuit. Hill directed the Illumination pic Hop and Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks. Dimension optioned the remake rights in 2009, originally signing Paul Blart: Mall Cop helmer Steve Carr and screenwriter Dan Milano. The project has languished and Hill is being brought in to supervise a new script and get the iconic robot Johnny 5 moving. David Foster, who produced the original, is producing with Ryan E. Heppe and John Hyde. Hill is repped by Gersh and Principato-Young.
T.J. HOOKER: HEATHER LOCKLEAR WON'T BE IN THE NEW MOVIE
Taken From TV SERIES FINALE
Headlines were made last July when it was announced that a big screen version of T.J. Hooker was in the works. While the original William Shatner series is a cop drama, the new movie will be a comedy. The movie’s producers have expressed interest in having original TV series castmembers like Shatner, Adrian Zmed, Heather Locklear, and James Darren play roles in the movie but don’t want it to feel arbitrary. At the time, producer Ryan Heppe said, “We absolutely want to try and get the original cast in the movie… It’s all about finding the right story motivations to include their characters so we’re not just stopping the movie to drop by Adrian Zmed’s house, you know?
While Shatner has hinted that he might be ready to play the father of a new T.J. Hooker, Locklear isn’t planning to join her former co-star on the big screen. Locklear recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien to promote her role on the new Melrose Place. O’Brien brought up T.J. Hooker towards the ends of the interview and, fawning over her hairstyle from the 1980s show, he asked her about the new project. “They haven’t asked me. I don’t think they’ve asked Adrian Zmed or… but I’m sure that William Shatner is willing to do it,” she teased. “I’d watch him do that.” O’Brien asked if she’d be appearing in the movie and Locklear indicated that she wasn’t interested, saying “No, no, no.” Locklear did however say that she’d be supportive of Shatner and the movie. “I’d maybe see that when it comes out. Check it out on DVD or something.”
STEVE CARR TO DRIVE 'SHORT CIRCUIT' REMAKE
By MIKE FLEMING (Variety)
Dimension Films has signed Steve Carr to direct "Short Circuit," the remake of the 1986 sci-fi pic. Carr is coming off the Kevin James hit "Paul Blart: Mall Cop." Scripted by Dan Milano ("Robot Chicken"), the remake is a robot reboot that brings the iconic Johnny 5 into the 21st century. Built by the military to be a highly sophisticated weapon, Johnny 5 develops a conscience and personality after being hit by lightning. He befriends a lonely boy and his fractured family.
David Foster and Ryan E. Heppe of David Foster Productions will produce with John Hyde of Rehab Entertainment. Jason Taragan, who partners with Carr in Rumpus Entertainment, will be exec producer."Short Circuit" fits into Dimension's priority of making franchise films, a list that includes "Scream 4," "Spy Kids 4," "Clive Barker's Hellraiser," "Scanners" and "An American Werewolf in London." The "Spy Kids" and "Hellraiser" films will be 3-D. Carr is repped by ICM and Principato Young.
LUSTING FOR LEGENDARY 'HOOKER'
Taken From THE NEW YORK POST
William Shatner was controversially shut out of a cameo in the latest "Star Trek" movie, but the makers of the just-an nounced "T.J. Hooker" flick want him, as well as Heather Lock lear, James Darren, Richard Herd and Adrian Zmed, who all appeared in the 1980s cop show. "We absolutely want to try and get the original cast in the movie," producer Ryan Heppe told us. "It's all about finding the right story motivations to include their characters so we're not just stopping the movie to drop by Adrian Zmed's house, you know?"
DAVID FOSTER AND RYAN HEPPE DRIVE INTO 'HOLLYWOOD CAR WASH'
Taken From MOVIEWEB.COM
According to Variety David Foster and Ryan Heppe (Short Circuit, T.J. Hooker) have picked up the rights to the Lori Culwell's book Hollywood Car Wash.The book won the Project Publish award in 2007. It follows the rise and fall of an actress who moves from small-town Michigan to Hollywood star overnight. Touchstone published the book, a division of Simon & Schuster, in May.
"It's easy to forget that we work in a very unique and entertaining industry, and there's a great deal of fun to be had in holding up a mirror to ourselves -- especially if it's a funhouse mirror," Heppe stated. Screenwriters Stephan Cox and Michael Greco wrote the adaptation.
'T.J. HOOKER' WILL PATROL BIGSCREEN
By DAVE MCNARY (Variety)
Variety reports that the 80's TV series T.J. Hooker, which starred William Shatner as a police detective who returns to his old job as a patrol sergeant after his partner is killed, is getting a big-screen adaptation. The series, which ran for five seasons on two networks as a serious crime drama, will be an action comedy on the big screen and concentrate on Hooker and his relationship with his father (Shatner, perhaps?).
Chuck Russell (The Scorpion King) is in talks to direct, while writing partners Brent Maddock and S.S. Wilson (Wild Wild West, Tremors) will be in charge of the script. Film will be produced by David Foster and Ryan E. Heppe (Short Circuit). No actors have been cast yet.
'SHORT CIRCUIT' GETS THE 'ROBOT' TOUCH
By MIKE FLEMING (Variety)
Dimension Films has tapped Dan Milano to script "Short Circuit," the remake of the 1986 pic. The original was about an armed robot that acquired a personality after a lightning strike, and sought the help of humans to prevent its destruction by its makers in the military. Milano, who aside from writing and providing voices for the Adult Swim cartoon "Robot Chicken" and co-creating and playing the title character in "Greg the Bunny," figures to bring a subversive edge to the original film scripted by S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock.
David Foster, who produced the original and is back to produce the remake with Ryan E. Heppe and John Hyde, said that Milano first watched the original while he was in high school, and sparked to updating the concept."We're bringing Number 5 into the 21st Century and taking advantage of the improvements in robotics that are so massive that robots are now performing heart surgeries in hospitals," Foster said.
The producer said the robot's visual look won't change, even though Foster said Pixar's "Wall-E" is a dead ringer for the original "Short Circuit" protagonist. "We think of 'Wall-E' as an extended trailer for our film, because it's the same face," Foster said.
F. GARY GRAY TO DIRECT 'MARVIN' MOVIE
By MIKE FLEMING (Variety)
F. Gary Gray has been tapped to direct a new biopic on music icon Marvin Gaye, who was shot to death by his father in 1984. The new film is being written by C. Gaby Mitchell (‘Blood Diamond'), produced by David Foster and Ryan E. Heppe ('Short Circuit') and will be titled ‘Marvin.’The film, unlike the James Gandolfini pic being produced about Marvin Gaye, will be based on his entire life. With Gandolfini’s only focusing on the declining, post-motown years. ‘Marvin’ will feature some of biggest hits, ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,’ ‘Heard It Through the Grapevine,” and ‘Let’s Get it On.’ The star will lip synch to original recordings.
The film has been a passion project for F. Gary Gray, who has wanted to tell the story of Marvin Gaye’s life for a long time, but had the inability to secure the music rights. Gray told Variety, “This isn’t the average biopic of a rock star wrestling with drugs and women, but a man whose musical awakening became a call to action that questioned critical issues like a costly foreign war, recession, environment, inequality — issues that are relevant now.”
'SHORT CIRCUIT'S' JOHNNY FIVE STILL ALIVE
By MIKE FLEMING (Variety)
Dimension Films is rewiring "Short Circuit," acquiring rights to remake the 1986 film. The original introduced Number 5, a robot built by the military to be a highly sophisticated weapon. It developed a conscience and a personality after being hit by lightning, and then needed the help of humans after it was targeted for destruction by its makers, once it became a peacenik.
S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock, who created the characters and wrote both "Short Circuit" films, have been hired to write the remake. David Foster and Ryan E. Heppe will produce with John Hyde. Deal was made by Dimension co-chairman Bob Weinstein, who called "Short Circuit" a worthy addition to its family film slate. Foster, who produced the original with his partner Lawrence Turman and son Gary Foster, said the film will be similar in theme to the original, but it will factor in advances in technology.