Archive for October 8th, 2014
Universal Cable Productions (UCP) continues to gain momentum adding star power to a growing roster of A-list producing talent. The studio has signed a first-look deal with Chris Bender, JC Spink and Jake Weiner’s BenderSpink (The Hangover, We’re The Millers, The Ring). As part of the deal, BenderSpink will develop and produce scripted programming with UCP for NBCUniversal and external networks.
“BenderSpink has not only great comedic taste, but also a keen eye for the kind of genre that audiences crave,” said Dawn Olmstead, Executive Vice President of Development, UCP. “We’re excited to bring their vision to life and have a laugh while rolling up our sleeves.”
BenderSpink will expand UCP’s comedy and science fiction footprint by developing scripted content that leverages Chris Bender, JC Spink and Jake Weiner’s successful feature film hallmark. Among their first collaborations already in development at Syfy is the Kickstarter-funded sensation Five Ghosts by Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham. This stylish, pulpy adventure tells the story of a 1930s-era treasure hunter possessed by five literary ghosts (Merlin, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Musashi, and Dracula) whose unique abilities he can draw on during his adventures. Evan Daugherty (Snow White and the Huntsmen), BenderSpink (The Hangover), Jake Wagner, Matt Pizzolo and Brett Gurewitz have signed on to produce.
“We’ve been anxious to build our television business and form the kind of successful partnership we have in features with New Line Cinema,” said Chris Bender, Co-Founder of BenderSpink. “We really clicked with the gang at UCP and their sensibility and are excited to have the opportunity to make great television together.”
BenderSpink joins UCP’s leading producer line-up, including Gale Anne Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment, Doug Liman’s Hypnotic, Jessica Biel’s Iron Ocean Films and Steve Carell’s Carousel Television.
BenderSpink was established by partners Chris Bender and J.C. Spink in November of 1998 with American Pie in post-production and 14 writer clients signed to their management company. Jake Weiner joined the company in 2001 as head of production and became a partner in 2006. The film production arm of BenderSpink has had a successful first look deal with New Line Cinema for over 15 years, and they recently signed a first look deal in television with Universal Cable Productions. Jake Wagner, Ryan Revel, and Daniel Vang round out the management arm. BenderSpink has developed or produced projects that have grown into seven franchises in various genres, which include Final Destination, American Pie, The Ring, Cats & Dogs, The Butterfly Effect, The Hangover, and Ride Along. The company most recently produced the comedies The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, We’re The Millers, and Horrible Bosses 2, and are currently in production on Vacation and Criminal.
It seems that Sony is fed up waiting for a Ghostbusters 3 (not that the death of Harold Ramis earlier this year helped.) Sony is pushing forward with a new director Paul Feig (The Heat), and now has a writer, The Heat‘s Katie Dippold.
The film will now be an entire reboot of the franchise, with reportedly no ties to the original team or movies. And this time, it will be a female buddy comedy, with a whole new team of female leads.
I’m all for it, but it’s going to be hard not to think back to Venkman, Spengler, Zantz and Zeddemore.