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EXCLUSIVE: Imagine Entertainment has bolstered its presence in New York, hiring Julie Oh to be vice president at Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s production partnership. She reports to president Erica Huggins, who wanted an exec to connect with the theater writers and London talent that can transition to film and TV. Oh will also be a liason for Howard, who’s East Coast based. She most recently was an exec for four years at The Weinstein Company, where she worked on films…

EXCLUSIVE: Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films has made a series of promotions, elevating Tim Sullivan to President of Production and Development, Alex Eckert to Creative Executive, and Tony Callie to Chief Operating Officer. Sullivan started with Emmett/Furla as an intern in 2008, where he rose to Director of Development. Eckert has been first assistant to Emmett and Furla and before that worked in the training program at ICM Partners. Eckert will work under Sullivan to source new…

Helen Mirren has joined the cast of Fast 8, the latest in Universal’s fast-moving franchise that F. Gary Gray is directing. That makes two Oscar Best Actress winners on the pic, joining Charlize Theron who also is playing a new character. Mirren confirmed the deal to join the movie in an interview with Elle, saying “I said, ‘I’ll be in it, but only if I’m allowed to drive if I do drive in it.’ But we’ll see. We’ll see how it transpires.” Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Jason…

Orlando Jones (Madiba, Sleepy Hollow) has been cast in American Gods, Starz‘s upcoming straight-to-series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed contemporary fantasy novel, which is filming in Toronto. Jones will play Mr. Nancy, the old African trickster god more commonly known as Anansi, and one of Mr. Wednesday’s (Ian McShane) oldest confidantes. Like Wednesday, Nancy is ready to bring this new America (and its new gods) to its knees, desperate to light a fire and watch…

EXCLUSIVE: The Hallow director Corin Hardy has made a deal to direct Hell Bent, the Mike Finch-scripted action film that is a priority project for Paramount and is easiest described as ‘Dirty Dozen Goes To Hell.’  Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian are producing a film that will begin casting shortly as the script gets a polish. At the same time, there might be a thaw regarding Hardy’s exit from the The Crow remake that precipitated a legal joust between producer…

Independent casting director Ronna Kress has been appointed EVP Casting for 20th Century Fox Film, where she will be tasked with overseeing feature casting for 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Animation, Fox International Productions and Fox Searchlight Pictures. She will report to president of production Emma Watts. Kress’ credits include the recent Fox pics Deadpool and The Fault In Our Stars in addition to Mad Max: Fury Road, The Great Gatsby, The Blind Side, Mo…

Comedian and actor Alphonso McAuley (Walk of Shame, The Middle) has been cast as a series regular opposite Britt Robertson in Girlboss, Netflix‘s 13-episode comedy series inspired by Sophia Amoruso’s popular autobiography. Written/executive produced by Pitch Perfect scribe Kay Cannon and to be directed by Christian Ditter, Girlboss hails from Charlize Theron’s Denver & Delilah production company. It centers on Sophia (Robertson), a rebellious, broke anarchist who refuses…

Ryan Pinette has been promoted to SVP Production and Operations, Bravo & Oxygen Media, it was announced today by David O’Connell, Executive Vice President, Production and Operations, Lifestyle Networks. Based in Los Angeles, Pinette – who will continue to report to O’Connell – will continue to oversee all aspects related to the production of original series and specials for Bravo. The promotion expands his role to Oxygen’s growing slate of original programming including…

Breaking Bad alumna Anna Gunn has booked a recurring role opposite Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta on the second season of NBC drama Shades of BlueProduction got underway today in New York for a mid-season return. Gunn will play a City Councilwoman on the rise and primed for a run at the Mayor’s office. She’s the former protégée of Wozniak (Liotta), and she used to be part of Harlee’s (Lopez) dirty crew of cops. Gunn’s character is described as being a chameleon who rose…

HBO’s topical late-night show Real Time with Bill Maher will air four live, half-hour editions during the GOP and Dem conventions.  The specials will be presented from Los Angeles, where the show is based. The GOP convention specials will premiere at 11 PM on Wednesday and Thursday, July 20 and 21; the Dem confab will be covered on Wednesday and Thursday, July 27 and 28 at 11 PM. In keeping with the late night show’s format, Maher will respond to the day’s convention…