Tagged With: Universal

Headline News Universal Sends Harris to Dante's Inferno

Universal Pictures has hired Dan Harris to write the screenplay for EA videogame adaptation DANTE'S INFERNO, per VARIETY. Harris co-wrote X-MEN 2 and SUPERMAN RETURNS.

EA VP Patrick O'Brien and game creator Jonathan Knight are involved in developing the film, about a journey through the depths of hell. Strike Ent.'s Marc Abraham and Eric Newman are producing with EA Entertainment. Universal bought the rights last fall, before the game's title had even been officially announced, in a four-studio bidding war.

Headline News Universal Buys International Barbie DVD Rights

Universal Pictures International Ent., the international home entertainment distribution division of Universal Pictures, announced a global acquisitions deal with Mattel for home entertainment (DVD and download-to-own) rights for the best selling Barbie fantasy animation franchise. In addition, under the terms of the agreement, international television rights will be managed by NBC Universal International Television Distribution.

Headline News Kennedy/Marshall Headed for Sony

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are set to leave Universal Pictures, per VARIETY, and will have a first-look deal at Columbia Pictures that starts April 1.

The frequent Steven Spielberg collaborators, who started their company in 1991, will be at Columbia for an 18-month term. Their last Universal film was THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM.

Headline News NBC Universal Movies, TV Now on PlayStation Network

Movies from Universal Studios Home Ent. and television programs from NBC Universal will be available for purchase on PlayStation Network, which is accessible for download via PlayStation 3 and PSP systems in the United States. Sony Computer Entertainment America now has a deal with every major motion picture studio.

Headline News Verbinski to Develop Clue for Universal, Hasbro

Gore Verbinski is attached to develop a feature film adaptation of the board game CLUE at Universal, according to VARIETY. He will produce under his Universal-based Blink Wink banner with Hasbro's Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir, who have an overall deal at the studio.

Headline News Costumes, Props From Hellboy II, Coraline on Display at Universal Hollywood

The costumes from Universal Pictures' FROST/NIXON and Focus Features' MILK are now on display along with props from Universal Pictures' HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY at Universal Studios Hollywood's "The Universal Experience: Behind the Scenes of Universal Pictures."

Fans of Guillermo del Toro's HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY, Oscar nominated for Best Makeup - Mike Elizalde, Thom Floutz, can preview an eclectic display of the original prosthetic masks and props and costumes featured in the film.

Headline News Universal Looks at More Ludlum

Universal is in negotiations for the film rights to Robert Ludlum's THE PARSIFAL MOSAIC, in what could be the first major project for Captivate Ent., the company that controls the rights to Ludlum's novels, per VARIETY.

Universal and Captivate signed an overall deal last year, in the wake of the studio's success with the BOURNE IDENTITY series. The deal gives Universal first-look at all Ludlum titles, 25 of which haven't been optioned off yet, as well as the rights to continue the BOURNE series into a fourth film and beyond.

Headline News Universal Studios Hollywood Appoints Xiomara Wiley, SVP, Marketing and Sales

Universal Studios Hollywood has named marketing exec Xiomara Wiley to the position of Senior VP, Marketing and Sales, with responsibilities for the overall brand direction of the entertainment landmark including the theme park and the CityWalk shopping and entertainment complex.

Headline News Sci Fi and Universal Channels Launch in Hong Kong

NBC Universal Global Networks has launched Universal Channel and Sci Fi Channel on now TV in Hong Kong in January 2009.

The move is part of NBCU Global Network's ongoing channels expansion in Asia and central to the company's objective, led by Roma Khanna, President, Global Networks & Digital Initiatives, to grow to over 100 channels internationally by 2010.

Universal Channel (now TV channel 522) and Sci Fi (now TV channel 124) are available with traditional Chinese subtitling.

Headline News Shmuger, Linde Extend Deals To Lead Universal Through 2013

Marc Shmuger and David Linde will continue to serve as the leading executives of Universal Pictures in a new four-year contract extension that also sees Linde elevated to the position of chairman alongside Shmuger.

Headline News Universal, Verbinski Take On Online Fantasy World Devotee

Gore Verbinski (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN) and Universal have bought the rights to a WALL STREET JOURNAL article depicting the detrimental effect that online fantasy role-playing games have on people's real lives, per VARIETY.

The 2007 article, by Alexandra Alter, focuses on a married man who spends upwards of 20 hours a day at his computer, role playing as a muscled entrepreneur, when he is in fact a diabetic, chain-smoking 53-year-old.

Headline News Wolfman Delayed, Fast & Furious 4 Moved Up

Universal Pictures made several major changes to their 2009 release schedule on Tuesday, per VARIETY.

Horror franchise hopeful THE WOLFMAN will move from April 3 to November 6 to give it a more high-profile release, and Ridley Scott's NOTTINGHAM with Russell Crowe has been moved to sometime in 2010.

FAST & FURIOUS, the fourth installment of the racing franchise, is complete already, so Universal has moved it up from June 12 to April 3, taking WOLFMAN's place.

Headline News Universal Snags Further Bourne Rights

Universal Pictures has made an overall deal with Ludlum Ent., the estate in charge of THE BOURNE IDENTITY author Robert Ludlum, per VARIETY. The deal gives the studio exclusive rights to the Jason Bourne character and a first look at all other Ludlum novels.

Headline News Universal, Verbinski To Play Host

Gore Verbinski is on board to remake THE HOST at Universal, per VARIETY. The 2006 Korean thriller directed by Bong Joon-ho broke records in its South Korean theatrical run.

Commercials director Fredrick Bond will be making his feature debut and Mark Poirer will write the script. Verbinski will produce with Vertigo's Roy Lee and Doug Davison along with Paul Brooks.

Headline News Steve Carell Is Despicable Me

Steve Carell, who last voiced The Mayor of Whooville for Fox's DR. SEUSS' HORTON HEARS A WHO!, will voice the title character in Universal's upcoming 3-D CG-animated feature DESPICABLE ME.

The film is the first for the Universal-based Illumination Ent., a family film unit under Chris Meledandri.

Other lead voices for the film, set for a 2010 release, include Jason Segel, Kristen Wiig, Will Arnett, Danny McBride (TROPIC THUNDER), Russell Brand (FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL), Jemaine Clement (FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS), Jack McBrayer (30 ROCK) and Julie Andrews.

Headline News Universal Wins Hot Inferno Bidding War

Universal Pictures beat out three other studios on Sunday for EA's unreleased and unannounced videogame DANTE'S INFERNO (working title), per VARIETY. Set to hit the marketplace next year, the videogame is the second EA title in a week to go to Universal.

ARMY OF TWO was purchased by the studio for Scott Stuber to produce (via EA) and Scott Z. Burns (THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM) to write.

Headline News Studios Bid On Unannounced EA Dante's Inferno Game

In an unusually early bidding war, four studios are battling for a new videogame from Electronic Arts -- that hasn't yet been announced publicly, per VARIETY.

About a journey through the depths of hell, sources say the game is likely to be titled DANTE'S INFERNO, and while EA has cleared the title for use, it has not officially titled it. EA and its representation declined to comment Thursday evening.

Headline News DreamWorks, Universal Sign Distribution Deal

Stacey Snider and Steven Spielberg today announced a seven-year worldwide distribution deal between their new motion picture company and Universal Studios, which is expected to begin in 2009 and include approximately six films per year. (via COMINGSOON.net)

Snider and Spielberg recently departed Paramount Pictures to partner with Reliance Big Entertainment on a new motion picture company. Reliance Big will distribute the new company's projects in India.

Headline News Universal Enters Game Biz With Despereaux

Universal, who has previously said they want to invest in their own videogames rather than licensing them out, will create a game based on the upcoming animated feature THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX, per VARIETY.

A version of the film WANTED was announced first, but will be released sometime in 2009, with DESPEREAUX to be released first. The studio will fully fund the game about a heroic mouse on a fairy-tale quest for Nintendo DS. A deal with Brash Ent. was made for marketing and distribution.

Headline News Universal Studios Offers Look At The Wolfman

A first look at Universal Pictures' re-imagining of the genre classic, THE WOLFMAN, will debut at Universal Studios Hollywood's "Halloween Horror Nights" as part of the theme park's "Terror Tram."

The "Terror Tram: The Nightmare Tour" -- which expands this year to double the length of previous Halloween tram experiences -- will offer an exclusive preview of THE WOLFMAN on the tram's LED screens.

Headline News Universal Int'l Quenches Thirst For Vampires

Universal Pictures and Focus Features have bought into director Park Chan-wook's vampire film THIRST, now in production, per VARIETY.

This is the first time a Korean film has received American studio money and a U.S. distribution contract before its local release. Universal and Focus will invest in and co-produce THIRST, which up until now has been produced by Korean major CJ Ent.

Focus will release the film in North America, while CJ will handle the remaining international sales rights, and distribute the film in South Korea.

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