Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road First Look at Warner Bros. Deal; ‘Constantine’ with Keanu Reeves, ‘I Am Legend’ with Will Smith, Michael B Jordan, sequel focus.

Exclusive: Akiva Goldsman is returning his Wade Road to Warner Bros., in a multi-year first look deal.

Weed Road president of production Greg Lessans and vice president Rachel Weisenberg have rejoined the company along with creative executive Sheba Nassab. Weed Rode recently landed both a film and TV deal at MGM and rejoined studio chiefs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdi, who left to bolster Warner Bros. theatrical franchise output.

In a statement, Warner Bros. Pictures co-presidents De Luca and Abdi Goldsman called him “a consummate producer, a brilliant writer and a kind and generous man. We have both known and worked with Akiva for years, and his filmmaking talent and The combination of limitless imagination never ceases to amaze. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome him to the Warner Bros. family, where he has delivered some of the studio’s most successful and acclaimed projects of the past two decades.”

Keanu Reeves in 2005’s ‘Constantine’

Everett

Goldsman recalls that “the bulk of my career was at Warners; I spent about 20 years or so. It’s a homecoming and I get to work with Mike and Pam and Jesse [Ehrman]Whom I’ve known since he started at Warner Bros.”

At a time when De Luca and Abdi are leaning into IPs that can play theatrically worldwide, Goldsman’s immediate focus will be on two projects spanning the studio.

“We’re starting with two projects that are fun and very Warners; I Am Legend sequel with Will and Michael B. Jordan and Constantine sequel with Keanu Reeves which Francis Lawrence is set to direct. So I’m rushing out of the gate. We’re doing it with JJ Abrams, and Francis and Keanu, and I’m pretty deep in the breaking stage of the story.”

The 2005 original grossed $280 million worldwide and debuted with a strong lead and a committed base, but it was a one-off. That was until De Luca and Abdi became priorities last fall. Reeves will reprise his role as supernatural exorcist and demonologist John Constantine, who is actually dying but sticks around to save his soul by protecting demons from Hell from breaching Earth. He also got into a battle between Archangel Gabriel and Lucifer.

Goldsman is writing the script, and Lorenzo DiBonaventura and Erwin Stough will executive produce the project.

“It’s a credit to Keanu, who keeps saying, ‘This is the character I want to go back to,'” Goldsman told Deadline. “Finally, he said it enough times that it stuck.” Revival of Reeves John Wick The film certainly helped the cause. The new film expands on the themes the original brought, about maintaining a barrier between Earth and the evil creatures on the other side.

“The character is very much Keanu and the way he and Francis see the world of good and evil, and wonderful and authentic noir where there’s a world behind the world of good and evil that coexists with our world. Beyond that, we’re still figuring it out because I’m writing the script.”

Another tentacle sequel i am legend, the 2007 film that grossed $585 million worldwide. The studio has been trying to crack it for years, and Goldsman wouldn’t say how Jordan fits into the Last-Man-on-Earth storyline, but said the film will lean toward the Richard Matheson novel it’s based on.

“It will start decades later than the first one,” he said. “I’m obsessed with The Last of Us, where we see the world not just post-apocalypse but also 20-30 years later. You see how the earth restores the earth, and there’s something beautiful about the question, what happens when humans move away from being the primary tenant? This will be particularly visible in New York. I don’t know if they’ll climb up to the Empire State Building, but the possibilities are endless. We return to the alternate ending as opposed to the ending revealed in the original Matheson book and original film. What Matheson was saying is that humans’ time as the dominant species on the planet is over. That’s a really interesting thing that we’re going to explore. There will be a little more fidelity to the original text.”

Goldsman said De Luca and Abdi share his commitment to “targeting thoughtful things that can play out dramatically. We’re all trying to figure out where that strike zone is, and I want to help the IP that I know and find pieces that A little more actor-y and story-driven but not IP-driven.”

Goldsman had a TV deal at MGM, but said he was a free agent at that division as he completed The Crowded Room for Apple TV+. The drama stars Tom Holland, Amanda Seyfried, Emmy Rossum and Christopher Abbott. Goldsman created the show, wrote and was the showrunner for all episodes, including eight of the 10 locked. It’s based on the story of Billy Milligan’s split personality that Hollywood has been forever trying to crack as a film. James Cameron, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joel Schumacher, M. Night Shyamalan tried it all out.

He’s also been busy with Star Trek spinoffs Strange New World and the final season of Picard, and has numerous projects spanning the studio, such as the Major Matt Mason movie with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Platoon.

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