DAILY NEWS: Lions Gate Buys "Fever"; "Queer" Series Headed to U.S.; IFILM Deal
>>Lions Gate Hot for Winter's "Fever"
(indieWIRE/5.1.2000) -- Lions Gate has acquired the North American rights
to Alex Winter's, "Fever," which debuted during last year's Director's
Fortnight at Cannes.
"'Fever' is a dark and subtle film, and Lions Gate has just the kind of
sophistication and savvy to market it," commented director Alex Winter
in a prepared statement, "I'm very excited by their participation."
The film, which stars Henry Thomas ("E.T.," "Legends of The Fall"),
David O'Hara ("Braveheart"), Teri Hatcher ("Lois & Clark"), and
Bill Duke ("Payback"), was sold to Lions Gate by Sloss Law. Winter,
who is best known for his role as Bill in "Bill and Ted's Excellent
Adventure," co-wrote, co-directed and starred in "Freaked."
Among Lions Gate's recent acquisitions include the Sundance 2000
audience-award winner, "Two Family House," Jamie Babbit's "But I'm
a Cheerleader," Valerie Breiman's "Love & Sex," the acclaimed
documentary, "The Eyes of Tammy Faye," and the upcoming Abby
Hoffman biography, "Steal This Movie." [Eugene Hernandez]
>> "Queer as Folk" Set for U.S. Series
(indieWIRE/5.1.2000) -- "Trick" writer Jason Schafer is among the
writer/producers on board to bring Britain's controversial TV series,
"Queer as Folk," to America. The program is being adapted for U.S.
audiences with Showtime greenlighting 22 episodes.
In an announcement timed to coincide with this past weekend's
Millennium March on Washington for Equality, Showtime unveiled plans
for a program that would seem to fit its own advertising slogan --
Created by Russell T. Davies, who will consult on the American version,
"Queer as Folk" aired as an eight episode series on Channel 4 last year
and caused an uproar for its frank and sometimes graphic portrayal of
the lives of a group of gay men living in Manchester. While acclaimed,
the series was also criticized by some for its uncensored depiction of
homosexual sex, including an ongoing relationship between a 29-year-old
lead character and a 15-year-old student. "Queer as Folk" concluded
earlier this year with a two-hour finale and has gained popularity here
in America as a bootleg tape and via screenings at film festivals.
Set to debut later this year, according to Showtime, the American version
will be set in a "working class eastern U.S. city." The network continued,
"The characters will be 'American cousins' of their British counterparts,
but with their own homegrown backgrounds, voices and experiences."
While not officialy announced yet, filmmaker Joel Schumacher (who has been
developing the project since last year) is expected to direct the U.S.
version's two-hour opener. Joining Jason Schafer as writer/producers are
Richard Kramer ("Tales of the City") and Jonathan Tolins ("Twilight of
the Golds"), while Ron Cowen & Daniel Lippman ("An Early Frost,"
"Sisters") will executive produce with former Warner Bros. TV President
Tony Jonas. [Eugene Hernandez]
>>IFILM Adds Development Resources
(indieWIRE/5.1.2000) -- IFILM is adding a two new companies to
its collection of film resources. The company is acquiring
TVtracker.com and The Development Source, two leading resources
for tracking film and television projects in development.
"These acquisitions mark another milestone in IFILM's efforts
to become the one-stop online resource for the entertainment
industry professional," stated Kevin Wendle, CEO of IFILM, in
a prepared statement. "These two companies track critical
information that are used by film and television executives
on a daily basis, and we are pleased that they are now part
of the IFILM family."
The deals bolster IFILM's resources, including recent acquisitions
of The Hollywood Creative Directory, studioXchange, ScriptShark,
and Lone Eagle Publishing. IFILM is expected to fold its new
companies into the IFILMpro.com site as part of a relaunch this
summer. [Eugene Hernandez]