VARIETY – Emma Roberts is set to star in Netflix’s romantic comedy “Holidate,” produced by McG’s Wonderland Productions.
“Malibu’s Most Wanted” helmer John Whitesell is directing, with Tiffany Paulsen penning the script.
The story follows Sloane (Roberts) and Jackson, two perpetual singles who hate the holidays since their continual lack of a significant other subjects them to the judgment of their family members or stuck with clingy, awkward dates. After they meet, however, they pledge to be each other’s plus-ones for each holiday celebration over the course of one year.
McG will produce along with Mary Viola through their Wonderland shingle. Producers are looking to cast the role of Jackson, with hopes to start production later this year.
The project is the fifth collaboration between Netflix and Wonderland, who is currently in production on the comedy “Tall Girl” for the streaming giant. The production company also handled Netflix films “The Babysitter,” “When We First Met,” and the upcoming family action film “Rim of the World.”
Roberts was most recently seen in FX’s “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” as well as “Paradise Hills.” She also lent her voice to the upcoming STX animated pic “UglyDolls.” She is repped by CAA and Sweeney Entertainment.
Paulsen, who is repped by Verve and Industry Entertainment, is developing a handful of projects including another untitled rom-com for Netflix.
DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Emma Roberts has departed Spinning Out, Netflix’s recently announced edgy drama series set in the world of competitive figure skating.
A rep for the actress told Deadline that Roberts is not proceeding with Spinning Out due to a scheduling conflict with another project. Netflix confirmed that they are moving forward with Spinning Out, with the lead role being recast. The Internet network declined further comment but I hear that Lily Collins had been in negotiations for the part.
As for Roberts, everyone is mum on her new project; I hear it’s another series.
On Spinning Out, Roberts was to have played the lead, Kat Baker. Created by Samantha Stratton (Mr. Mercedes), a former competitive figure skater herself, Spinning Out centers on Kat Baker, an up-and-coming, high-level single skater who’s about to turn in her skates after a disastrous fall took her off the competition track. When Kat seizes an opportunity to continue her career as a pair skater with a talented bad-boy partner, she risks exposing a fiercely kept secret that could unravel her entire life. On and off the ice, Kat and her new partner will face daunting odds, injury to body and soul, financial sacrifice, and even potential mental breakdown on their way to realizing their Olympic dream.
Stratton and Lara Olsen executive produce and serve as co-showrunners on the series. Tory Tunnell and Joby Harold executive produce via Safehouse Pictures. The company’s Matt Schwartz serves as co-executive producer.
Roberts most recently wrapped production on Paradise Hills, the directorial debut of Spanish helmer Alice Waddington. This fall, she co-stars in the eighth season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story: Apocalypse on FX. She is repped by CAA and Sweeney Entertainment.
DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Emma Roberts has been set to star in supernatural comedy Anya’s Ghost. As previously revealed by Deadline, the Dan Mazer-helmed project is based on the award-winning graphic novel by Russian writer and illustrator Vera Brosgol. Jeremy Bolt is producing through his Bolt Pictures as is Benedict Carver via his Bullitt Entertainment. EOne is also producing and will fully finance and distribute worldwide.
Based on a screenplay by A Monster Calls author and screenwriter Patrick Ness, the story follows Anya, an unpopular 16-year-old who gets stranded in an underground cave where she rescues Emily (Roberts), the apparent ghost of a teenage girl who died a century earlier. Initially, Anya thinks her new “friend” may be the best thing that ever happened to her. But the relationship has unforeseen consequences for Anya, her friends and her family.
The original book was published by McMillan imprint Square Fish in 2011, winning the Eisner Award, Harvey Award and Cybils Award.
Roberts (American Horror Story, Scream Queens) has indie drama Who We Are Now screening in the Narrative Spotlight section of SXSW tonight after debuting in Toronto. She’s repped by CAA and Sweeney Entertainment.
Mazer (I Give It A Year, Dirty Grandpa) and Ness are too with CAA. Ness is also repped by Michelle Kass of Michelle Kass Associates and attorney Howard Abramson; and Mazer by 3 Arts Entertainment and attorney George Davis. Brosgol is with ROAR and Judy Hansen of Hansen Literary Management.
VARIETY – Emma Roberts and Danielle Macdonald (“Patti Cake$”) will star in “Paradise Hills,” which is being brought onto the American Film Market by Good Universe.
Teaming U.S. and Spanish talent, “Paradise Hills” is produced by Spain’s Nostromo Pictures.
The English-language “Paradise Hills” also marks the feature debut of Spain’s Alice Waddington, whose short, “Disco Inferno,” won best director at Austin’s Fantastic Fest.
Written by cult Spanish fantasy sci-fi auteur Nacho Vigalondo (“Colossal”) and Brian DeLeeuw (“Curvature”), Waddington’s feature is set in the not-too-distant future where Uma (Roberts) wakes up one morning in Paradise Hills, a high-class treatment facility on an isolated tropical island where well-off families send their daughters to become perfect versions of themselves.
Buzz on the film, presented as a project at the Austin Fantastic Fest Market, is that it will be visually striking — hardly surprising given Waddington’s “Disco Inferno,” a black and white, stylized tribute to French horror master Georges Franju. It will also retain the strongly female and social-centric focus, in the vein of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” suggested at Austin.
“Paradise Hills” is produced by Nostromo Pictures’ Adrian Guerra and Núria Valls. Its upcoming movies include Rodrigo Cortes’ “Down a Dark Hall,” which Lionsgate will release in the U.S., and “The Kill Team,” with Alexander Skarsgard and Nat Wolff.
DEADLINE – Voltage Pictures will be handling foreign sales on the new Emma Roberts and Hayden Christensen romantic comedy Little Italy. Pic will debut during this year’s AFM in Santa Monica, CA.
Directed by Donald Petrie, Little Italy follows Nikki (Roberts), a young chef-in-training, who begins dating her childhood friend Leo (Christensen), a pizza cook with dreams of opening his own restaurant. The only problem is, in the vein of Romeo & Juliet, their fathers own competing pizza restaurants directly next door to each another and their families are lifelong enemies. Raising the stakes is the fact that their mothers are secret best friends and their grandparents are also carrying out a romance of their own. The fathers find out and declare a pizza cook-off war on each other. Vinay Virmani and Pauline Dhillon are producing via their Firsttake Entertainment label. Alyssa Milano, Danny Aiello, Andrea Martin and Jane Seymour also star.