by Mike Flemming Jr for Deadline
Zoë Kravitz will direct and Channing Tatum will star in Pussy Island, a genre thriller that Kravitz wrote with E.T. Feigenbaum. Bruce Cohen, Kravitz, Tiffany Persons and Tatum’s Free Association will produce. FilmNation will handle international rights and CAA Media Finance will rep domestic rights in the Cannes Market starting next week.
Frida is a young, clever, Los Angeles cocktail waitress who has her eyes set on the prize: philanthropist and tech mogul Slater King (Tatum). When she skillfully maneuvers her way into King’s inner circle and ultimately an intimate gathering on his private island, she is ready for a journey of a lifetime. Despite the epic setting, beautiful people, ever-flowing champagne and late-night dance parties, Frida can sense that there’s more to this island than meets the eye. Something she can’t quite put her finger on. Something terrifying.
As an actress, Kravitz plays Catwoman opposite Robert Pattinson in the upcoming Matt Reeves-directed The Batman and has starred in Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men: First Class, Divergent, and was EP and star of the Hulu series High Fidelity. She has been working toward her directing debut for several years, co-writing a script that captures the zeitgeist clash of power and gender dynamics in a genre construct. She spoke with Deadline and the first question was about the provocative title.
“The title means a lot of things,” Kravitz said. “I started writing this story in 2017. As a woman in general, and a woman in this industry, I’ve experienced some pretty wild behavior from the opposite sex. The title was kind of a joke at first, this place where people would go, bring women, party and hang out. The story evolved into something else, but the title wound up having multiple meanings. And it alludes to this time and place we claim to not be in anymore, in terms of sexual politics. People are evolving and changing but there is still a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths from past behavior. It’s a nod to that, but it’s also playful, and a really playful film in a lot of ways. I like that the title leads with that and has some heavy meaning beneath it.”
Kravitz got writing and producing experience on High Fidelity, which she called “an incredible education in storytelling. This is my first feature and it’s taken many years to get to this point and I’m very excited to step into this new phase. There’s absolutely a thriller element to the film, but it has comedy, drama and real heart. At heart through, it’s a genre thriller.”
She drilled down on Tatum to play the key character of the tech billionaire, and they’ve developed the script together, honing that character along with the heroine. Kravitz said for the female lead, she tried to write a role that would be a dream for her to play, with the resolve to give it to another actress so she can fully focus on directing a film that will begin production early next year on an undisclosed tropical island.
“Chan was my first choice, the one I thought of when I wrote this character,” Kravitz said. “I just knew from Magic Mike and his live shows, I got the sense he’s a true feminist and I wanted to collaborate with someone who was clearly interested in exploring this subject matter.”
Tatum said he was shocked when Kravitz called with that offer, because he’s not usually offered roles like that and because it felt like a challenge to wade into the perilous area of gender politics.
“It’s terrifying to talk about anything, when you start putting your toes over the line, and talking about men and women today, as things are starting to bubble to the surface and everybody is starting to have accountability,” Tatum told Deadline. “When Zoë called me about this, I was shocked. I didn’t know her. I’d watched her in movies, knew she produced High Fidelity and had seen that, but I didn’t know she was creating on a level like this, where she wanted to direct. This came out of nowhere and the subject matter made me say, wait, why are you thinking about me for this? No one gives me a chance to play a role like this, everybody throws me down a different alley and expects me to do a certain thing. It was scary and liberating, just to be able to have a free conversation, where I was allowed to mess up, and say the wrong things. It became less about men and women and on more of a human thing that will open people’s eyes, rather than us drawing lines in the sand, the you’re a man, I’m a woman, it’s us against you thing. This goes deeper in a direction I’m fascinated by and I’m interested in seeing how people receive this and break it down in their own lives. And what they think the movie means and how would they have made decisions.
“Slater is a wild character, an extremely committed version — psychotic possibly — but an extreme version of myself,” Tatum said. “I’m very interested to see what humans are capable of, physically, mentally, spiritually, energetically, all of it. He wants to know what people are capable of, what they want, and what they are capable of when they want something. And how far are you willing to push yourself to get the thing you want. For me, that supersedes gender, race or religion, creed. That’s wildly fascinating to me.”
He also came away from their first meeting with the confidence she had in her vision, and, well, other things.
“When someone can just come out and tell me I should not be wearing Crocs, and is so adamant about it, she completely convinced me and I never wear Crocs anymore,” Tatum said.
“I was just trying to be a good friend, Chan,” she said.
“I get it, but I totally loved Crocs for a hot second, and in one hang she was like, you can’t ever do that again. And I said, ‘OK, fine.’ “
Said Kravitz: “Just to be clear, there are people out there who can pull off the Crocs thing; I just wasn’t sure you were one of them.”
Tatum allowed that since he stopped rocking the Crocs, “I feel cooler, and her point of view on me and Crocs was legit. She had a good argument. The one thing I can pull off, is listening.”
Pussy Island is a co-production between This Is Important, Free Association and Bruce Cohen Productions.
Kravitz is repped by CAA and Untitled; Tatum by CAA.
by Scott Campbell for Collider.com
Netflix has revealed the first images from America: The Motion Picture, which is shaping up to be one of the more insane animated movies in recent memory. The film hits the streaming service on June 30, and comes with a stacked roster of talent on either side of the recording booth.
A wildly tongue-in-cheek look at the American Revolution, Channing Tatum voices a buff and chainsaw-wielding George Washington, who assembles a team to take on Benedict Arnold and King James. Washington’s cohorts include a beer-swilling Sam Adams, renowned scientist Thomas Edison, acclaimed equestrian Paul Revere and an angry Geronimo in what sounds as though it’ll be an animated cross between The Avengers and Mel Gibson’s The Patriot, which is kind of awesome if we’re being honest.
Archer executive producer Matt Thompson directs from a script by Wonder Woman and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings scribe Dave Callaham, with Tatum listed as one of the producers alongside partner Reid Carolin, with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller also on board.
The voice cast includes Simon Pegg as King James, Judy Greer as Martha Dandridge, Bobby Moynihan as Paul Revere and Raoul Trujillo as Geronimo. The ensemble additionally features Jason Mantzoukas, Olivia Munn, Will Forte, Andy Samberg and many more, although their roles haven’t been confirmed as of yet.
One of the main creative driving forces behind Archer teaming up with Lord and Miller for an adult-orientated animated romp sounds like something to get excited about, especially given the latter duo’s propensity and track record when it comes to top-tier animated content.
As well as writing and directing Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The LEGO Movie, Lord and Miller were heavily involved in the Academy Award-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and produced Netflix’s upcoming The Mitchells vs. the Machines, which has been collecting rave reviews ahead of its addition to the platform this coming Friday.
by Halina Watts for The Mirror
There really has been no business in showbusiness this year.
So when award ceremonies return, we can only hope for plenty of wild and wonderful behaviour.
Thankfully, Channing Tatum is already on the case and he’s hoping to be one of the main stars at the Oscars 2021.
The actor/dancer/producer/director plans to dance his way through this year’s ceremony, like a modern-day Fred Astaire.
Channing has always been a fan of the glitzy awards bash, which has been pushed back from its usual slot in February to April.
And with this year’s ceremony being produced by his long-time friend and Magic Mike collaborator Steven Soderbergh, the chance to dazzle Hollywood and the rest of the world is too good to pass up.
A source tells me: “Channing would be a terrific Oscars host, but what he’s really looking for is a truly show-stopping moment on that show – not just showing up and handing out a trophy.
“It’s one stage he’s wanted to dance on his whole life and hasn’t had the chance yet.
“And to cement himself as his generation’s answer to Fred Astaire, he’s got to make this happen at some point.”
The 2019 ceremony went ahead without a host after Kevin Hart quit over controversial decade-old tweets.
The Academy and ABC drafted in a number of A-list presenters and big moments instead, in what was the first hostless ceremony since 1989 – but the unusual set-up went down a storm.
A Queen medley followed by “not hosts” Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph got the ceremony off to a cracking start before Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s spine-tingling duet provided that “moment” many Oscar producers can only dream about.
And then 2020 followed suit.
With some interesting ideas up his sleeve, I reckon Oscar bosses would be mad not to sign up Channing.
by Amanda N’Duka for Deadline
Channing Tatum is in final talks to co-star opposite Sandra Bullock in The Lost City of D, the forthcoming Paramount Pictures feature, which is being directed by Adam and Aaron Nee. Bullock is also producing the pic via her Fortis Films along with Liza Chasin of 3dot Productions
Described as a Romancing The Stone-style romantic comedy, the film follows a reclusive romance novelist (Bullock) who was sure nothing could be worse than getting stuck on a book tour with her cover model (Tatum), until a kidnapping attempt sweeps them both into a cutthroat jungle adventure, proving life can be so much stranger, and more romantic, than any of her paperback fictions.
Dana Fox penned the screenplay based on an idea by Seth Gordon, who is also producing under his Exhibit A Films banner.
by Justin Kroll for Deadline
EXCLUSIVE: Following the success of their hit 21 Jump Street movies, Channing Tatum, Phil Lord and Chris Miller have found their next movie on which to team up, this time focusing on a classic movie character. Sources tell Deadline that Universal Pictures, Lord Miller and Free Association are developing an untitled monster project, described as a modern-day, tongue-in-cheek thriller inspired by Universal’s classic monster legacy with Tatum set to star. Reid Carolin had the original idea for the project and wrote the treatment. Wes Tooke is writing the script.
Lord and Miller will produce for their Lord Miller production banner alongside Tatum, Carolin and Peter Kiernan, who will produce through their Free Association banner. Aditya Sood, president of Lord Miller, will also produce. This project reteams Tatum and Free Association with Lord and Miller as they previously worked on the 21 Jump Street franchise together, successfully launching both careers as superstar talents.
Although plot details are being kept under wraps about which beloved character this will focus on, like the studio’s recent success with the $130 million-grossing hit The Invisible Man the project is a bold genre reinvention of one of the studio’s most beloved characters from the Monsters Universe.
SVP Production Jay Polidoro and Director of Development Lexi Barta will oversee the production on behalf of Universal. Will Allegra will oversee for Lord Miller. Michael Parets will oversee for Free Association.
Tatum is currently in production on his directorial debut Dog, which he is both starring in and co-directing with Carolin, and produced by their Free Association. Tatum recently announced he has written his first children’s book, The One and Only Sparkella, which is in presale now for a May 2021 release.
Lord & Miller have stayed busy over the past several months on both the film and TV fronts. Over the summer they signed on to star in the untitled astronaut action pic at MGM starring Ryan Gosling. Their Apple TV series The Afterparty just announced an all-star cast that includes Dave Franco, and they are also developing a Clone High reboot at MTV Studios.
Tooke is one of the rising writing stars in town after cutting his teeth as an EP on Colony for Ryan Condal and a co-executive producer for Dave Callaham on Jean-Claude Van Johnson. He is currently developing an untitled series at Apple. On the film side he penned the recent World War II pic Midway.
Tooke is represented by Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment and Jonathan Shikora at Lichter Grossman. Lord Miller is represented by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham. Tatum, Carolin and Free Association are represented by CAA, Relevant and Hansen, Jacobson.
No idea if this film will have similarities to the 21 Jump Street films, especially since Lord & Miller won’t be writing or directing the film. That said, the first film not only showed the directing duo were more then capable at directing live-action films after only previously directing animated films, but also showed Tatum’s comedic timing and acting range in the series. See below one of the classic scenes from the film.
by Aisha Arshad for OyeYeah News
After Elon Musk himself collaborated with Tom Cruise and NASA for a space film, HBO and Channing Tatum have decided to join forces as the two proceed towards a short series based on Elon Musk and his brainchild SpaceX. The series, consisting of six episodes will be executive produced by Tatum who owns the production company Free Association.
The yet-untitled short series will be based on Ashlee Vance’s book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. Vance will also be among the executive producers of the show alongside Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan of the Free Association.
The script of the HBO series will be worked by Doug Jung, and according to Variety, the story would revolve around “how Musk handpicks a team of engineers to work on a remote Pacific Island where they build and launch the first SpaceX rocket into orbit. It led to the spur of a new era of privately funded space exploration, culminating in the first manned Space X launch of the Falcon 9 on May 30, 2020.”
As per reports, Musk himself is not associated with the short series which is yet to release details on its director and cast.
“My only wish is for more time in this life to play in all of the magical realms we have created,” the star writes in the book’s dedication
by Sam Gillette for People
Channing Tatum, the multi-talented actor and director, is taking on a new form of storytelling with his first children’s book, The One and Only Sparkella. And it’s dedicated to his 6-year-old daughter Everly.
“To Everly, the most brilliant magical being that I have ever known,” the Magic Mike actor, 40, writes in the book’s dedication, shared exclusively with PEOPLE. “You are my greatest teacher.”
“My only wish is for more time in this life to play in all of the magical realms we have created,” Tatum continues. “This is also for all Dads that might have a little girl … Wear whatever, dance however, and be as magical as you can. Because I promise they will return the love.”
The picture book, which will be published on May 4, 2021 by Feiwel & Friends, tells the story of a young girl named Ella, who gets teased for her love of sparkly things on her first day of school. But her dad encourages her to continue to wear glittery ribbons and disco-ball shoes. The result is a delightful tale that encourages kids to embrace their individuality — and celebrates the bond between father and daughter.
The One and Only Sparkella is illustrated by Kim Barnes and is the first in a series about Sparkella. The picture book is just one of Tatum’s ongoing projects. He’s now in production on his directorial debut, DOG, which he’s co-directing with Reid Carolin.
But Tatum says his favorite role to date is being a dad to Everly, whom he shares with ex Jenna Dewan. The star has shared Instagram videos and photos of the time he spends with Everly — from getting pedicures to wrestling and boxing. Everly loves all three, Tatum has said.
In September 2018, Tatum proudly talked about his daughter’s independent personality during an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
“She’s on the ground, rolling around. Every kid is up doing the proper stuff, but she’s just doing her own thing,” Tatum said of Everly’s participation in dance class.
“I wish I could take credit for that, but I can’t, really,” the actor said. “That’s really all her. I think kids come out a little bit of what they’re going to be, and then you foster that to be whatever you hope her to be in the world.”
He added, “She always just does her own thing.”
The One and Only Sparkella will be released in May 2021.
by Borys Kit for Hollywood Reporter
Amazon Studios is screwing its courage to the sticking place, picking up an untitled Lady Macbeth feature project that has Scooter Braun and Channing Tatum among its producers.
And among the unique distinguishing spots on the project is that it is a musical and YA-centric.
Rising scribe S.J. Inwards will write the project while John McPhail, who made the zombie horror comedy musical Anna and the Apocalypse, will direct.
Braun, Scott Manson and James Shin will produce the untitled Lady Macbeth musical through SB Projects. Tatum will produce with his partners Reid Carolin, Peter Kiernan and Michael Parets via their banner, Free Association.
Details of the plot are being kept in a castle keep, but the story is said to center on a teenage girl who grapples with her own morality as she contends with the dreadful consequences of her ambition.
It takes its cues from Lady Macbeth, one of literature’s most prominent characters and a key figure in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the tale of a Scottish general who murders his way into kingship while descending into madness from guilt and belief in a prophecy told by witches. Lady Macbeth is his wife, a calculating woman who prods her husband into murder and war.
Parets is overseeing for Free Association and Shin will oversee for SB Projects.
Amazon had no comment but the YA space is an important and burgeoning one for the company as it leans into developing more content for that audience segment.
SB, which has a first-look TV deal with Amazon, was involved with FX’s Dave and CBS’ Scorpion, as well as the Justin Bieber doc, Never Say Never. The company has several projects in development including Anna K for HBO Max, an untitled K-Pop film for Fox, and Black Panther drama A Taste of Power.
The Free Association team recently served as producers on Sony’s upcoming comedic drama, Fatherhood, starring Kevin Hart, and are in pre-production on MGM’s Dog, which Tatum will star in and co-direct with Carolin. The producers are also working with directors Jean-Marc Vallee and Johan Renck on various projects.
Inwards is currently writing Her Better Self for Amblin with Circle of Confusion producing and is also adapting Cursed Pirate Girl for Netflix and BOOM! Studios.
McPhail’s Anna and the Apocalypse premiered at the 2017 edition of Fantastic Fest and was a popular offering on the festival circuit, garnering several award nominations. It was picked up by Orion Pictures in 2018.
Inwards is repped by Verve, Kaplan/Perrone and Ginsburg Daniels. McPhail is repped by Verve, XYZ Films and Marios Rush.