NEW YORK — In his first term deal since joining DreamWorks to supervise production, Michael De Luca has brought aboard Team Todd, the producing partnership between sisters Suzanne and Jennifer Todd. The siblings spent the past four years in a production deal at New Line. Their new multiyear first-look deal at DreamWorks starts Oct. 1.
Team Todd has developed a track record for producing edgy genre fare. The most recent example is the Chris Nolan-directed cult hit “Memento,” which Team Todd produced for New Market Capital. The surprise hit grossed more than $25 million domestically. At New Line, Todd-generated fare included the “Austin Powers” franchise. The Todds were producers on the first film as well as the second, “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” which became that studio’s top grosser. The third installment, “Goldmember,” goes into production in November. The Todds also produced the Ben Younger-directed “Boiler Room,” and the sisters are in pre-production on the Andy Fleming-directed “American Princess.”
“It was a real priority of mine to bring them here and continue the working relationship we had at New Line,” De Luca said. “Every film they produced at the studio made money, and ‘Austin Powers’ made a lot of money and started a franchise. They’re very creative and have a knack for unearthing new talent like directors Jay Roach, Chris Nolan and Ben Younger. The movies they make are eclectic and totally in sync with what DreamWorks wants to make.”
The Todds continue to have a first-look longform TV deal at HBO, where they produced “If These Walls Could Talk 2.” They run a lean shop, with Pamela Post as development veep and Julie Ragland as story editor.
The sisters have several projects percolating around town. At DreamWorks, they are developing the Heather Hach-scripted comedy “There’s a Pop Diva Loose in the Cafeteria”; at Revolution Studios, they’re prepping “The First Five” and “Daddy Boot Camp”; and at Fox 2000, they are developing “The Captain’s Wife” with scribes Tom Abrams and Dennis Bartok. They also recently set up “Sex Talk” at New Regency with scribes Tempest Farley and Annalisa LaBianco. The duo’s deal was made by Michael Gendler of Gendler and Kelly.
BIGGS HEADS FOR BROADWAY:“American Pie 2” star Jason Biggs, who has become one of the busiest young comic movie actors, got his start on the Broadway stage at age 13 in “Conversations With My Father,” and he’s going back to his roots. Biggs has signed to star with Kathleen Turner and Alicia Silverstone in “The Graduate,” with Biggs playing Benjamin Braddock, the role made famous by Dustin Hoffman in the screen version. The play, adapted and directed by Terry Johnson and based on the novel by Charles Webb, reaches Broadway in March, produced by Sacha Brooks and John Reid. Biggs, who will next be seen starring alongside Christina Ricci and Jessica Lange in “Prozac Nation,” is repped by Talent Entertainment Group and Innovative Artists. Silverstone is repped by CAA.
ELLIOT BECOMES SOURCE:A little more than a year after leaving his prexy post at the Source, where he exec produced “The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards” for UPN, Michael Elliot has reinvented himself as a screenwriter who has a go movie, two potential TV series and numerous other scripting jobs. Elliot has been signed by Imagine TV and 20th Century Fox to script “Bling High,” an hourlong drama about teens in a Philadelphia high school for the creative and performing arts. He also has pacted with Urban Entertainment to turn its online animated short series “Ground Zero” into a pilot that will be featured on the Web site and shopped for a potential animated TV series that’s considered a hip-hop “Fat Albert.” As he prepares to shop the romantic comedy pitch “Maid to Love You” as a vehicle for actor-singer Tyrese, Elliot is rewriting “The Last Ride” for Deep River Prods. and New Regency, based on a pitch by rapper-actor Pras that’s being eyed as a hip-hop “Cannonball Run,” with Bernie Mac attached to star. Elliot also is rewriting the Alcon Entertainment-based comedy “Got Money?,” directed by Doug McHenry and produced by Neal Moritz. This comes as Fox fast-tracks Elliot’s script “Like Mike” as a vehicle for Lil’ Bow Wow and Fox Searchlight prepares to begin production Oct. 1 in Gotham on the Elliot-scripted “Brown Sugar” with Rick Famuyiwa (“The Wood”) directing Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan as best friends in the music biz who reluctantly fall in love. Elliot, who began as a local Philly rapper, used entrepreneurial skills to hatch a hip-hop magazine and a local rap show that became syndicated in 21 cities. He left the Source after the hip-hop awards show he exec produced erupted in brawls between rappers. The timing proved fortuitous, because Elliot sold “Brown Sugar” and MTV hired him to give the opera “Carmen” hip-hop treatment. Latter became a successful telepic starring Beyonce Knowles of Destiny’s Child and Lil’ Bow Wow. Elliot’s also just made an MTV deal to give hip-hop treatment to a second opera as the music web’s second installment of its “Hip-Hopera” film series. Elliot’s repped by W&A, managed by Peter Heller and lawyered by Matthew Johnson.
RUDY’S RULES APPLY:ther megabuck books have been hit hard by the World Trade Center disaster, the one that’s in progress from Mayor Rudy Giuliani couldn’t be in better shape. Back when Brad Grey guided the mayor into a two-book, $3 million deal with Talk Books Miramax, the mayor’s achievements were in danger of being overshadowed by the focus on his private life. After the terrorist attacks, Giuliani has been such a galvanizing Gotham figure that he has developed an international profile. There’s a groundswell for him to spend another two years rebuilding the city as mayor, even though his term ends in January. On the book front, Giuliani already was working with writer Ken Kurson on the first book, a “Rudy’s rules of management” guide. His management of the city during unprecedented crisis the past two weeks will certainly be a focus of the first book, which should still be ready for publication next fall. The memoir will take longer. Right before Sept. 11, Brillstein-Grey had been in the early stages of making a TV series deal for the mayor, another prospect that now has more currency given Giuliani’s demonstration of leadership skills under fire.