×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ziskin sets Gotham digs; Kareem dunks deal

Laura Ziskin, who pumped new life and Hollywood cash into the New York book market as head of Fox 2000’s East Coast development office in the mid-1990s, has opened a new Gotham outpost and tapped Jason Anthony as veep of creative affairs.

The recently formed Laura Ziskin Prods. has a first-look deal with Columbia and a long-form deal with HBO, and Anthony’s office — located in the HBO building at midtown — will serve as a development source for books, magazine articles, plays and other material. Anthony will also scour the Gotham literary scene for writers off the beaten track.

“I was originally attracted to the position because of Laura’s success, both as a producer and as a studio executive, with material that doesn’t come from the usual avenues,” said Anthony. “I think we both enjoy the challenge of finding and developing interesting material not necessarily on everybody’s radar.”

That approach at Fox 2000 allowed Ziskin to option such books as “Fight Club,” which she snared for five figures, as well as “To Die For” and “Animal Husbandry,” now in production with Ashley Judd in the lead.

Anthony previously worked in the now-defunct Gotham office of MGM; as director of development at Mandalay, where he reeled in Jacquelyne Mitchard’s “The Deep End of the Ocean”; and as veep of creative affairs at Sonnenfeld-Josephson, where he was responsible for landing such projects as “Chippendales,” “Vespers” and “Northeast Kingdom.” He has also written a book on personal finance, forthcoming from Dutton/Plume.

Ziskin’s decision to open a Gotham development office at this juncture is risky. With the prospect of a writers strike looming, a panic has set in among many executives in New York who are scrambling to set up projects and attach writers before a strike freezes the development process.

But Ziskin told Daily Variety that she’s taking the long view.

“If there’s a great piece of material, people are going to want it,” she said. “It’s ever been thus.”

A SEASON ON THE RESERVATION,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s account of his yearlong sojourn as a basketball coach and teacher on an Apache reservation in Arizona, will be adapted for the screen.

Published by William Morrow last spring, the book has been optioned by Arthur MacKenzie of MacKenzie Prods., in association with Nicki Noxon and Paul Yamamoto at Four Two Nine Entertainment.

Noxon, Yamamoto and MacKenzie will produce the project and Abdul-Jabar is attached as an executive producer with Stanford Blum. Chris Cannan will pen the script.

It’s not yet clear whether the book will be adapted for TV or for the bigscreen. And casting calls have yet to go out for 7-foot-2-inch actors.

The deal was negotiated by Mickey Freiberg at The Artists Agency.

THE 1976 MGM CULT film “Logan’s Run” is staging a comeback — this time online.

William F. Nolan, co-author of the original Logan novel and sole author of the sequels “Logan’s World” and “Logan’s Search,” has inked a deal with Berkeley-based e-publisher Virtual Publishing Group to issue the Logan series online, in conjunction with a novelette, “Logan’s Return.” All will be downloadable via the company’s Web site, http://www.eBooks2Go.com. The original series will also be published in paperback.

The series is meant to capitalize on the “Logan’s Run” remake, a Joel Silver production now in development at Warner Bros. Skip Woods is scripting the story, which concerns a future society whose citizens are executed at the age of 21.

First published in 1967, “Logan’s Run” has remained in print ever since. “It’s a futuristic tale, and I’m using futuristic technology to release it,” Nolan told Daily Variety.

More Voices

  • FX Confronts Streaming Thanks to Disney

    Kicking and Screaming, FX Is Forced to Confront Future in the Stream (Column)

    During his network’s presentation at the winter Television Critics Assn. press tour, FX chief John Landgraf made waves — and headlines — by mounting perhaps his most direct criticism yet of Netflix. Landgraf, whose briefings to the press tend to rely heavily on data about the volume of shows with which FX’s competitors flood the [...]

  • Longtime TV Editor Recalls Working for

    How a Bad Director Can Spoil the Show (Guest Column)

    I have been blessed with editing some of TV’s greatest shows, working with some of the industry’s greatest minds. “The Wonder Years,” “Arrested Development,” “The Office,” “Scrubs,” “Pushing Daisies” and, most recently, “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” I have earned an Emmy, ACE Eddie Awards, and many nominations. But whatever kudos I’ve received, over my [...]

  • Stock market Stock buyback

    Stock Buybacks Leave Firms Without Funds to Invest in Future (Column)

    Corporate giants on the S&P 500 have spent more than $720 billion during the past year on stock buybacks. Media and entertainment firms account for only a fraction of that spending, but even $1 million spent on share repurchases seems a foolhardy expenditure at this transformational moment for the industry. The record level of spending [...]

  • Hollywood Has Come Far With Diversity

    An Insider's Look at Hollywood's Diversity Efforts and How Far It Still Needs to Go

    I am a white man working in Hollywood. I grew up in Beverlywood, an all-white, predominantly Jewish, Los Angeles neighborhood sandwiched between 20th Century Fox Studios and MGM, where my elementary school had only one black student. I am compelled to write about diversity in Hollywood because “diversity” — in front of and behind the camera [...]

  • Venice Film Festival A Star is

    How Venice, Toronto and Telluride Festivals Stole Cannes' Luster (Column)

    In all the years I’ve been attending film festivals, I have never seen a lineup that looked as good on paper as Venice’s did this fall, boasting new films by Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”), Damien Chazelle (“First Man”), Paul Greengrass (“22 July”), Mike Leigh (“Peterloo”) and the Coen brothers (“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”) in competition, [...]

  • Black Women in Medicine BTS

    Hollywood Needs to Include People With Disabilities on Both Sides of the Camera (Guest Column)

    In five years, nothing has changed. Despite open calls for greater diversity and inclusion, recent research shows that there was little change in the number of characters with disabilities in popular films in 2017. A study conducted by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content