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Film Rights

March 27, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Hallmark Channel, owned by Crown Media Holdings Inc. of Studio City, said it bought the rights to 99 movies from Walt Disney Co., including "Old Yeller" and "The Santa Clause," to reach younger audiences. The deal is for eight years, a Hallmark Channel spokeswoman said. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
March 11, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films has produced just one movie in the last 15 years ("The Great Debaters"), and Winfrey herself has starred in just one film of her own ("Lee Daniels' The Butler). But Harpo on Tuesday made a big move on the development front, acquiring the film rights to Sue Monk Kidd's  bestseller “The Invention of Wings.” Kidd's slavery-era novel looks at the contrasting stories of a preteen abolitionist and the slave she is given, following the two as they and the world around them changes over the next three decades.
September 1, 2004 | From Bloomberg News
Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures agreed to buy the film rights to Midway Games Inc.'s "Area 51" video game, marking a collaboration between the film company controlled by Sumner Redstone and the electronic-game company in which he's the majority owner. Christine Peters, who produced the movie "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," will produce the film, Midway spokesman Reilly Brennan said. It's the first film-rights sale between Midway and Paramount, he said.
February 27, 2014 | By Rebecca Keegan
Oscar's animated feature race is a clash of the major Hollywood studios this year, with Disney, Fox/DreamWorks and Universal/Illumination all contending. But one movie in the mix -- a French-Belgian production about the unlikely friendship between a mouse and a bear -- is the sort that is alien to the high-stakes U.S. animation industry. Made with hand-painted watercolor backgrounds and a modest $12-million price tag, "Ernest & Celestine," which U.S. distributor GKIDS will release in Los Angeles on Friday, is based on a whimsical series of children's books by reclusive Brussels-born author Gabrielle Vincent.
April 11, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
Former counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke's best-selling book may be a movie. Sony Pictures Entertainment has bought the film rights to "Against All Enemies," Sony Vice Chairwoman Amy Pascal said. In the book, Clarke, a counterterrorism advisor to the last three presidents, charges that the Bush administration gave Iraq priority above Al Qaeda before and after the Sept. 11 attacks.
May 27, 1990 | Joe Scott
F ilmland politics : Move over, corporate Hollywood, Jack Valenti and the Motion Picture Assn. of America. Actors, writers and directors have long supported a variety of political candidates and causes. But now they are aggressively moving into industry-related political issues. That it's a new ballgame recently became evident when two well-known directors--Steven Spielberg and Barry Levinson--easily raised $100,000 from colleagues for the reelection campaign of--are you ready?--Rep.
May 8, 2003 | Michael Hiltzik
It's not often that an American judge will dress up a published opinion with an aphorism attributed to Joseph Stalin. But U.S. District Judge David G. Trager apparently could not resist the temptation upon ruling, in mid-2001, on a case that involved byzantine claims and counterclaims over the global distribution rights to a huge package of priceless Soviet-era animated films. As he quoted the old Kremlin leader: "Facts are obstinate things."
March 4, 2004 | Dennis McLellan, Times Staff Writer
Dana Broccoli, the widow of movie producer Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli and the president of the company that owns the film rights to Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, has died. She was 82. Broccoli, a novelist and theatrical producer, died of cancer Sunday at her home in Beverly Hills.
June 3, 1990 | SEAN MITCHELL
When Neal Stephenson's novel "Zodiac" was sold to Warner Bros. recently ($370,000 up front plus another $370,000 if a movie is ever made from it), the transaction was handled not by Stephenson's New York literary agent, Liz Darhansoff, but by Hollywood agent Lynn Pleshette. It's common practice for an author's publishing agent to have a working relationship with an agent or agency in Hollywood that's in a better position to know the film market.
Veteran producer David Brown has purchased the film rights to Dominick Dunne's novel "A Season in Purgatory," whose story about a ruthless Irish-American family from New England has inspired comparisons to the Kennedys. Dunne's bestseller had been shopped around Hollywood in November but was withdrawn after some studios and producers indicated it might make a better TV miniseries.
February 5, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Elton John knows a thing or two about ostentatious outfits, f rom fringed jumpsuits to oversize sunglasses to sparkly sequined jackets. Now he can apply that expertise to a newly announced animated film adaptation of the hit musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. " John's Rocket Pictures announced Wednesday that it has acquired the film rights to the stage production by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice, which is based on the "coat of many colors" story from the Book of Genesis.
January 24, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
"Lean In," the bestselling nonfiction book by Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg about the dearth of women leaders in the corporate world and what can be done about it, is on its way to the big screen. Sony Pictures has obtained film rights to "Lean In" and tapped Nell Scovell, who helped Sandberg pen the book, to write the script,  Deadline reports . Scovell is also a veteran TV writer and director whose credits include "Murphy Brown," "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and "Monk.
April 24, 2013 | By Jenny Hendrix, This post has been corrected. See note below.
Author/filmmaker Salman Rushdie joined Jon Stewart Tuesday night on "The Daily Show" to talk about the forthcoming film version of his bestselling novel "Midnight's Children. "  The 1981 novel won a slew of awards -- including the Man Booker Prize, the James Tait Black Prize, and the "Booker of Bookers" (twice) -- but the film rights, Rushdie said, went for a dollar.  Stewart, who is about to leave to work on a film of his own, seemed unimpressed. "We in the business refer to that as 'bupkis,'" he said.
October 8, 2012 | By Nicole Sperling
"50 Shades of Grey" moved one step closer to its big-screen adaptation Monday with Universal Pictures and its subsidiary Focus Features announcing the hiring of Kelly Marcel to adapt the bestseller into a feature film. Marcel, 38, is best known for writing the spec script "Saving Mr. Banks," which landed on the Black List in 2011 and is now being turned into a feature film starring Tom Hanks for Universal Pictures. That film centers on the story of Walt Disney's 20-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers' novel “Mary Poppins” and the rocky relationship that formed between the two.  Hanks is playing Disney; Emma Thompson takes on the role of Travers.
October 23, 2009
Michael Jackson movie: A Business article Thursday about "This Is It," the Michael Jackson concert film, reported that Sony Pictures had seen only 97 seconds of footage before bidding for the film rights. Some Sony executives viewed 12 minutes before bidding.
August 11, 2009 | Ben Fritz
Sony Pictures Entertainment received court approval to bring Michael Jackson to the big screen, and it set a release date on what just may be the toughest weekend of the year at the U.S. box office. The court's authorization, announced Monday in Probate Court by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff, allows them to edit more than 80 hours of rehearsal and behind-the-scenes footage into a movie. The deal was negotiated last month by Sony Pictures and its sibling unit, Sony Music Entertainment, with the Michael Jackson Estate and AEG Live, producer of the late singer's planned London concert series.
Literary agent Mort Janklow was in his office here last week when the call came from a familiar voice: "It's finished, Mort," the caller said, "and it's going to be in your office tomorrow."
February 2, 2007 | Glenn F. Bunting and Josh Getlin, Times Staff Writers
Attorneys for Philip Anschutz allege that author Clive Cussler duped the Denver industrialist into paying $10 million for film rights to the adventure novel "Sahara" by flagrantly inflating his book sales to more than 100 million copies. "Cussler and his agent had gotten away with these numbers for years," said Alan Rader, Anschutz's lawyer. "It was a lie and it doomed the movie." The claim is "ridiculous," Cussler said Thursday outside a courtroom at Los Angeles County Superior Court.
July 22, 2009 | Maria Elena Fernandez and Chris Lee
Frenzied interest in all things Michael Jackson notwithstanding, it appears a TV special based on the pop star's comeback concerts won't be on the air this fall. AEG Live, the promoter behind Jackson's 50-date This Is It London concert engagement, has been negotiating for several days with movie studios for the film rights to high-definition video footage of his rehearsals as well as broadcast rights to a tie-in TV special.
February 10, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Universal Studios, part of General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal, sold television rights to its 2009 film slate to GE's USA Network. USA Network will receive two dozen of the studio's films, the companies said.
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