Development Slate: Movie Deals including GAME CHANGE sequel & More

There is quite a bit on the Development Slate as of late; enough that it will be broken down into three posts. I’m playing a little catch-up as these posts lists dev-logosome deals that went down in late December through January. I’ll fire them off here and then later through 2013 we will post again updating these works as HBOWatch learns more. I apologize if you got this news elsewhere but I put my best spin on it just the same. Let’s get to it.

  • The political GAME CHANGE gets a sequel.

DoubleDown_teamHBO likes its political stories especially if it can feature the agenda of the Republican Party. Well, a deal has gone forth that will focus on America’s political scene yet again. It is considered a sequel to the award winning HBO FILMS: GAME CHANGE. That last film focused on the Republican Presidential Campaign of 2008 and its sequel examines the 2012 Election between the President and his contender Republican Mitt Romney.

It is first being written as a book by GAME CHANGE’s authors Mark Halperin (at right) and John Heilemann (far left) to be called DOUBLE DOWN: GAME CHANGE 2012. HBO has already acquired the rights before it has even been written. According to Penguin Press, publisher, the as yet-unwritten book is expected out the fall of 2013.

Of course, no particulars have been spelled out but it is likely, and hopeful, that director Jay Roach and Emmy-winning writer Danny Strong would return. But who will play Obama & Romney? And how badly will liberal-minded HBO paint the Republican Party in this one? We will have no wait and see.

  • THE NORMAL HEART taking shapeThe-Normal-Heart

We announced HBO’s interest in THE NORMAL HEART back in this post. As that post proves Ryan Murphy is behind the project to bring Broadway’s THE NORMAL HEART to screen. Progress has been made in that direction.

A cast has started to sign on for this retelling of the staged play some of whom were originally attached to a big screen version that didn’t come to fruition. Both Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo have been on board since the earlier attempt and cast since have been such talents as Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons and Alex Baldwin.

They all bring to life characters caught up in the strife and fear that surrounded the AIDS/HIV epidemics of the early 80’s in NYC. Roberts is said to play a doctor, based on a real person, in a frontlines crisis center and Ruffalo portrays a gay man based on the playwright of THE NORMAL HEART, Larry Kramer. Under the direction of Ryan Murphy this movie for HBO is expected sometime in 2014.

  • Broadway’s STICK FLY to HBO

HBO once again turns to the Great White Way for inspiration. Though no definite greenlight has been given a script commitment has been set for STICKFStickFlyLY. What is it? It is a play written by Lydia Diamond about race, class and familial friction set during an African American family’s trip to Martha’s Vineyard.The plot centers around two brothers (played by Dulé Hill and Mekhi Phifer during the original Broadway run) who both independently decide to introduce their girlfriends (one white and one black) to their parents during the same weekend trip, whereupon chaos inevitably ensues.

Diamond, who will also write the script for an “hour long” HBO drama will also executive-produce with former collaborators Nelle Nugent and Alicia Keys.  Yes, that Alicia Keys, who contributed incidental music for the original stage run. Nugent is a Tony winner for her theatrical involvements. Again, only writing is underway so it is too early to talk about any casting.

It is unclear at this time what this piece will exactly develop into. All reports state it as an “hour long” drama but it is a Broadway play that surely is at least 90 minutes. Will it be a HBO special like SUNSET UNLIMITED or become an HBO Film like WIT, DINNER WITH FRIENDS and ANGELS IN AMERICA? Will the script of the LeVey brothers and their family get HBO approval and move into further development? We will wait and see.

Also we will have to wait for another installment of the Development Slate coming in a few days but, there is plenty here to comment about in the meantime.


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