Monday, March 02, 2015

Drew Goddard Spins The Spidey Reboot?

Latino Review suggests that as a result of of the deal--Drew Goddard, who was originally slated to write and direct the "Spider-Man" spin-off "The Sinister Six," will now instead direct the Sony Pictures and Marvel sanctioned Spider-Man Solo Movie.

Goddard's work on "Sinister Six" could well be reincorporated into the reboot as the plan is to apparently do a story involving Spidey versus the Sinister Six.

Former Spidey film series producer Avi Arad is essentially out (he'll still get a name credit), their sources claim the plan is to produce a new trilogy of films which could go by the moniker "Spectacular Spider-Man".

A major part of the first film is said to involve Spider-Man fighting Marvel Cinematic Universe hero Iron Man and then trying to pass the 'audition' to join the Avengers

Despite the fact that the press release issued when the deal was announced mentions original Spider-Man Peter Parker by name, the suits are still trying to decide whether to stick with him or use a different version of the character such as the more recent 13-year-old, half black, half Hispanic Miles Morales who became Spider-Man in the "Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man" storyline.

What is certain though is the character will go back to high school in the next films according to sources. Unlike the previous films, the plan is also to spend more time in the setting and explore his relationships with other students.

Sources add that Teen Wolf series co-star and NJ native Dylan O'Brien and  Fury co-star Logan Lerman, both currently twenty-three years old, are under consideration for the part but no-one has been approached yet.

Marvel's Kevin Feige is producing the new movie with exiting Sony chief Amy Pascal for a July 28th 2017 release.

Ronda Rousey & Iko Uwais Kick Ass In "Mile 22"

Variety reports that Mixed Martial Arts fighter Ronda Rousey and "The Raid" star Iko Uwais will team up for the action thriller "Mile 22".

The story centers on the relationship between a Central Intelligence Agency field officer (Rousey) and an Indonesian police officer (Uwais) forced to work together as they confront violent and extreme political corruption.

Graham Roland penned the script from which Peter Berg ("Lone Survivor") will direct and produce.

Production is set to begin by mid-May.

Ethan Hawke Is "Magnificent"

 The "Training Day" trio reunites.

Variety reports that Ethan Hawke has joined the long-gestating contemporary remake of the John Sturges' 1960 western "The Magnificent Seven".

 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer offered the job to helmer Antoine Fuqua who also has the drug smuggling film "Narco Sub" in the pipeline.

Haley Bennett ("The Equalizer," "After the Fall") reportedly beat out several other actresses for the "star making role" as the widow of a murdered man who lives in a gold mine town taken over by a baron and his thugs. She hires a bounty hunter (Denzel Washington) to get rid of these evil men, giving him enough money to hire six other gunmen to help their cause.

Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt also stars in the remake. Tom Cruise became interested in 'Magnificent' early in 2012, but his busy schedule prevented him from any real commitment on his part and he withdrew his name by late 2013.

At the same time, "Saving Mr. Banks" and "The Blind Side" director John Lee Hancock has been tasked to rewrite the film. Nic Pizzolatto ("True Detective") wrote an earlier draft of the script.

Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Buchholz starred in 'Magnificent' The original was itself a loose remake Akira Kurosawa's acclaimed 1954 film "Seven Samurai" and followed seven gunfighters-for-hire tasked with protecting a small Mexican village from bandits led by Calvera (Eli Wallach).

Three sequels Return of the Seven (1966) Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969) The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1972) and a short-lived TV series (1998-2000) followed.

Dornan And Murphy Pegged For Nazi Thriller

Jamie Dornan ("Fifty Shades of Grey") and Cillian Murphy ("Sunshine") are set to star in the World War II thriller "Anthropoid" says ScreenDaily.

The title refers to the code-name for an Allied operation to assassinate a key Nazi official. In this case Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the SS and one of the main architects of The Holocaust. Two soldiers (trained by British forces) from Czechoslovakia’s army-in-exile were parachuted into their homeland to lead a mission against the Nazi nicknamed “The Butcher of Prague”.

Sean Ellis helms from a script he co-wrote with Anthony Frewin.

Léonard Glowinski, Anita Overland and Chris Curling will produce.

Production begins in Prague in July.

"Fault" Team Goes "Looking For Alaska"

THR reports that "The Fault in Our Stars" team--screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen are adapting author John Green's novel
"Looking for Alaska".

The tale follows a teen named Miles who goes to boarding school for his junior year. There, he meets a enigmatic student named Alaska and begins to fall for her.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Box Office Update: Fuzzy "Focus"

The heist thriller "Focus" sits at #1--but its opening is nothing to write home about. Blumhouse Productions latest horror film The Lazarus Effect comes to life at #5 Meantime comic book pic Kingsman: The Secret Service does better than the film adaptation of the erotic E L James book "Fifty Shades of Grey"for the first time.

Pamela McClintock of THR:

Will Smith's R-rated romantic heist pic Focus won the North American box office race with $19.1 million, a muted start considering Smith's billing and marking one of the lowest openings of his prolific career.

The Warner Bros. movie, co-starring up-and-coming actress Margot Robbie, did topple Fifty Shades of Grey, which had placed No. 1 for two consecutive weekends. And Kingsman: The Secret Service pulled ahead of Fifty Shades for the first time (both films opened over Presidents Day weekend).

Focus is the first test of Smith's star power since Sony's tentpole After Earth, which bombed in summer 2013 after opening to just $27.5 million. Focus is a much smaller film than a usual Smith tentpole, having cost a reported $50 million to make after rebates. Still, most believed it would open north of $22 million.

Arguably, a far bigger test for Smith will be NFL sports drama Concussion, which Sony opens this Christmas.

Warner insiders said Focus will be financially successful. They also noted that bad weather in a wide swath of the country hurt moviegoing.

"This was a midrange-budgeted movie, and the strong result reflected that," said Warner Bros. executive vice president of distribution Jeff Goldstein. "The severely inclement weather in the Midwest and the South played havoc at the box office."

Focus, earning a B CinemaScore, finds Smith outside of his comfort zone, which is action comedy, versus dark comedy. His last romantic comedy, Hitch, debuted to $43.1 million in 2005. Focus skewed female (53 percent), while 88 percent of ticket buyers were over the age of 25.

Smith has also starred in several dramas, including Seven Pounds, which debuted to $14.9 million in 2008. His other lowest openings include dramas Ali, which launched to $14.7 million in 2001, and The Legend of Bagger Vance, which opened to $11.5 million in 2000. Taking inflation into account, that would be $19.4 million and $15.6 million, respectively, by today's terms.

Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, Focus is also opening in a number of markets overseas this weekend, boosting its potential. Foreign numbers weren't immediately available.

The storyline revolves around a con man who introduces a young flame to the tricks of his trade before breaking off the relationship. Three years later, they meet again in Buenos Aires, Argentina, when they're both trying to scam the same billionaire (Rodrigo Santoro).

The weekend's other new nationwide offering is Relativity Studios' The Lazarus Effect, the latest microbudget horror film from Blumhouse, which produced the movie with Mosaic. The movie grossed north of $10.6 million to come in No. 5. Relativity paid a modest $3.3 million to acquite the title.

Like Focus, Lazarus Effect came in behind predictions, having been expected to open in the $12 million to $14 million range. It received a C- CinemaScore, not unusual for a horror title.

David Gelb directed Lazarus Effect, which follows a group of researchers who try to achieve the unimaginable and bring the dead back to life. Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Evan Peters and Donald Glover star. Females made up the majority of the audience (52 percent), while 60 percent were under the age of 25.

Fox's Kingsman: The Secret Service continued to claim the No. 2 spot in its third weekend, declining a modest 36 percent to $11.8 million for a domestic total of $85.7 million.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water continued to benefit from being the only kids offering, earning $11.2 million in its fourth weekend for a domestic total of $140.3 million and falling a narrow 32 percent.

The Paramount sequel placed No. 3 domestically, followed by Universal's global phenomenon Fifty Shades of Grey, which came in No. 4 with $10.9 million for a domestic total of $147.7 million. As expected, the adaptation of EL James' S&M-laced romance novel took another big hit in the U.S., tumbling 51 percent.

Overseas, Fifty Shades remains far more of a powerhouse, winning the foreign race with another $36 million from 59 markets for a whopping international total of $338.4 million and worldwide haul of $486.2 million.

Elsewhere domestically, Clint Eastwood's American Sniper seemed to get a boost from the attention it received at last weekend's Oscar ceremony, even if it only walked away with the Academy Award for sound editing. The Warners and Village Roadshow title fell a slim 23 percent to $7.7 million for a North American total of $331 million and coming in No. 7.

Teen comedy The DUFF did nicely in its second weekend for CBS Films and Lionsgate, falling 34 percent to $7.7 million for a domestic total of $20 million and placing in No. 8.

Specialty offering Still Alice, expanding nationwide, saw a nice Oscar boost from Julianne Moore's win for best actress. Moving up into the top 10, the Sony Pictures Classics release came in No. 9 with $2.7 million from 1,318 theaters for a cume of $12 million.

Ill-fated sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2 tumbled 60 percent in its second weekend, placing No. 10 with $2.4 million for a total of $10.3 million.

Next Up: Neill Blomkamp's next sci-fi film Chappie. Based on “Tetra Vaal” a short film about a robot with the emotions and brain of a child on the police force patrolling the slums of South Africa.

In the comedy Unfinished Business a hard-working small business owner (Vince Vaughn) and his two associates (Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco) travel to Europe to close the most important deal of their lives. But what began as a routine business trip goes off the rails in every imaginable – and unimaginable – way, including unplanned stops at a massive sex fetish event and a global economic summit.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

"Suicide Squad" Chatter

 A few cast members are talking about their characters in Fury and "End of Watch" director David Ayer's film version of DC Entertainment's "Suicide Squad" comic book over at Warner Bros.

The comic created by John Ostrander centers on incarcerated villains from the DC universe being recruited as deniable assets by the Government to go on high-risk black ops missions in exchange for more lenient or even commuted sentences. Amanda Waller ("The Help" and "How to Get Away with Murder" star Viola Davis) a prison warden and government agent is in charge of the program.

Davis beat out both Oprah Winfrey and Octavia Spencer for the Waller role.

Oscar winner Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) is playing the role of The Joker--Ryan Gosling was originally up for the role, but he was "unwilling to sign a deal with options for multiple movies" Joker was last portrayed by the late Heath Ledger who gave an Academy Award-winning performance in The Dark Knight. Leto was also in the running to play the lead in Marvel's long gestating Doctor Strange movie--a role that Sherlock and "Star Trek Into Darkness" star Benedict Cumberbatch now has.

 "The Wolf of Wall Street" actress Margot Robbie will play Harley Quinn  In the DC mythology Quinn is sidekick to The Clown Prince Of Crime.Robbie has been on the radar to take a role in the film shortly after the project was announced. The Quinn character was not in the early drafts of the script.

British model and actress Cara Delevingne was circling the role as well--but instead she will play
a sorceress named Enchantress.

Will Smith is tipped to play Floyd Lawton, aka. the assassin Deadshot. Australian actor Jai Courtney ("A Good Day To Die Hard," "Divergent") lands the role of Digger Harkness a.k.a. Captain Boomerang.

Joel Kinnaman ("Robocop," "The Killing") is in talks to replace Tom Hardy as Rick Flag. Hardy vacated the role due to scheduling issues with "The Revenant" and press commitments for "Mad Max: Fury Road". Neither Warners or Kinnaman's reps have confirmed the casting. Hardy and Kinnaman star in this Spring's thriller "Child 44"

Karl Urban, former "The Walking Dead" co-star Jon Bernthal and Joel Edgerton ("The Great Gatsby") were in the running to play the role after Jake Gyllenhaal passed on replacing Hardy as team leader Flagg. Bernthal previously worked with Ayer on "Fury" and was originally suggested for the role last year before Hardy was cast.

Jay Hernandez ("Gang Related," "Hostel") is in talks for an unspecified and mysterious role in the pic-- El Mayimbe says he has some fresh news Hernandez's role in the film--it sounds as if he'll make a small cameo as Chato Santana, a.k.a. El Diablo. The character is said to be a prisoner held in the super powered criminal part of the prison alongside other DC villains.

Meanwhile, Smith talked about playing the assassin Deadshot in the movie and says he plans to bring fans the best version of the character in history. He tells MTV:

"With this character and the DC world, I love that I'm getting the opportunity for the global definition of Deadshot. There's been Deadshot in little appearances here and there, there's an idea, but Deadshot isn't defined, really. I get to be a part of the creation that will be the biggest historical image of Deadshot."

Leto told Billboard that he's currently trying to gain weight to play his role of The Joker in the movie. Leto says that the depth of the character is what made him sign on: 

"The opportunity to take on this nearly Shakespearean character - that's what graphic novels and comic books are becoming, right? [He's] this beautiful disaster of a character - what a big challenge."

Speaking about taking on the role of Waller, Davis tells THR:

"As a comic book and Wonder Woman fan, I love the whole DC Comics universe. I traded comics as a kid so all of that appeals to me. When you dream about being an actor as a kid, that's what you dream about. It's like play acting: being the superhero, getting the gun; it plays into that fantasy. How to Get Away with Murder changed my exposure. I don't know if it changed the quality of roles as much as it the exposure. I mean certainly Amanda Waller is a fabulous character."

Lastly--a few hours ago Ayer described Leto's take on The Joker in the film as "majestic" along with posting a picture via Twitter of the film's sets going up.

Sources say Ed Harris and Max Martini ("Pacific Rim") are under consideration to play the father of Rick Flag,

There is noise that The Thinker will also be in the film and Geoffrey Rush has already apparently passed on the role. On top of that, Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) joins  Joe Manganiello (“True Blood,” Magic Mike Xxl) as a potential candidate for the role of Deathstroke- a hired assassin competing with the Suicide Squad in the movie.

 Ayer performed  re-writes of an initial script by Justin Marks.

Dan Lin is producing the pic with Charles Roven.

Production will take place at Pinewood Toronto Studios from mid-April to September of this year. The film has an August 5th 2016 release date planned

Robert Townsend Charts Another "Brewster's Millions"

Actor-filmmaker Robert Townsend has signed on to direct a remake of the comedy "Brewster's Millions".

Author George Barr McCutcheon wrote the 1902 novel in which a man receives $1 million from a rich grandfather. When a rich uncle dies, he leaves the man $7 million dollars. However, there are stipulations. The man has to spend "the grandfather's million within a year and not end up with any assets from the spending spree."

The new film ups the ante to reflect 21st century numbers- he must spend $100 million in one week to inherit $1 billion.

Michael William Schmidt has penned the new adapted script

Joseph Nasser and Jack Nasser are producing the remake.

The film was previously adapted first in 1945--starring Dennis O'Keefe-- directed by Allan Dwan-and then 40 years later starring Richard Pryor and John Candy--directed by Walter Hill.

The notion of a "Millions" remake has been around since 2009.

Leonardo DiCaprio Trapped In "The Crowded Room"

Leonardo DiCaprio has signed on to star in a film adaptation of author Daniel Keyes acclaimed 1981 book "The Minds of Billy Milligan" called "The Crowded Room" says Variety.

Billy Milligan was a man tormented by twenty-four distinct personalities battling for supremacy over his body. It was a battle that culminated when he awoke in jail, arrested for the kidnap and rape of three women on the Ohio State University campus in the 1970s. In a landmark trial, Billy was acquitted of his crimes by reason of insanity caused by multiple personality - the first such decision in history. The personalities included a petty criminal, a drug dealer, an affection-starved lesbian, an eight-year-old sadist, a con man, a snobby Englishman, a Yugoslavian communist, and an escape-artist. Each of the people play a distinct role in this often shocking true story.

Joel Schumacher and Todd Field have been attached to the project over the years, while James Cameron also expressed interest in directing this at one point

Jason Smilovic and Todd Katzberg have been hired to pen a new adaptation of the script.

DiCaprio Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Alexandra Milchan will produce.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Remembering Leonard Nimoy

I am not afraid to admit that got a little choked up when I heard the news that Leonard Simon Nimoy had passed away due to complications from COPD at the age of 83. While I never got the chance to meet him in person--I felt like I knew him through both his portrayal as Star Trek's original Mr. Spock and his accomplished life away from the franchise.

The first piece of Trek I ever saw was 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture with my sister Karen--I was hooked and began watching Star Trek-TOS. Not only did Nimoy deliver Emmy nominated performances throughout it's entire three run but he also created character traits that have been incorporated into the logical alien race ever since...The Vulcan mind meld, Vulcan nerve pinch, and Vulcan salute.

Playing Spock allowed Nimoy to showcase his skills as an actor--while sending us positive messages about the future of humanity. His best moments as Spock came working opposite William Shatner as Kirk and as Dr. Leonard McCoy:

He also directed the third and fourth "Trek" films, 1984's Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and 1986's Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (and the 1987 comedy blockbuster 3 Men and a Baby). Nimoy returned to play Spock Prime for J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" '09 and "Star Trek Into Darkness

Nimoy had guest starring roles in a number of television series. Starting in 1958, he appeared in "Sea Hunt," "Highway Patrol," "Bonanza," "The Untouchables," "Get Smart" and "The Virginian." He also guest starred in an episode of "The Twilight Zone" titled and would work with his future co-star and friend Shatner in an  episode of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."

Trek and Nimoy made it cool to be a fanboy long before the blockbuster release of Star Wars in 1977 or The Big Bang Theory of today...Rest easy Sir. Thank you for making childhood better and adulthood bearable---I have been and always shall be your friend...

Hollywood Mourns 'Star Trek' Star

 'Star Trek' Flashback: Leonard Nimoy Notes 50 Year Anniversary of Original Pilot Shoot

Bruce Lee Gets An Official Biopic

Shannon Lee is spearheading a biopic about her father martial arts icon Bruce Lee says ScreenDaily.

The project will mark the first biopic to be made with the full cooperation of Bruce Lee's family. Lee's life was chronicled in the decent flick Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story with Jason Scott Lee playing the title role.

Shannon Lee says the previous films have lacked a complete understanding of her father's philosophies, artistry and beliefs. As a result, they're generating their own material that hopes to explore his life as n ever before.

Bruce Lee helped to create and popularize martial arts action films around the world. He died at just 32 years old.

Lawrence Grey Janet Yang and Ben Everard will produce the new film.

Jack Huston Tipped For The Crow Redux

Deadline reports that Jack Huston ("Boardwalk Empire") is up to take over the lead in the-long in development reboot of The Crow.

Welsh actor Luke Evans has been set to take on the lead role of Eric Draven since 2013 with the original plan to start production in early 2014. That never happened..He had indicated that he may have to drop out of the film due to scheduling conflicts caused by the delayed production. It's now official.

Evans was the original choice for the role but scheduling issues kept him from being able to take the job. Thus The Avengers and Thor baddie Tom Hiddleston expressed interest in the part by even going so far as to send video of a makeup test that he did on his own in London to the production. Alexander Skarsgård was also rumored in contention for the role.

"The Walking Dead" star Norman Reedus would play the role of 'James' No other details have been given regarding the character. role. Kristen Stewart was eyed for the role of 'Shelley,' at one time but producers have decided to move on.

Last December it was announced that music video director Corin Hardy ("The Hallow") will replace F. Javier Gutierrez at the helm Writer Cliff Dorfman was hired to pen the latest script following work by Jesse Wigutow.

Edward R. Pressman, Kevin Misher, Ryan Kavanaugh, Jeff Most and Jeff Waxman will produce the film.

This film certainly has had a strange journey...

Director Stephen Norrington was slated to helm the reboot at first from a script by Nick Cave At that point Mark Wahlberg was rumored to be interested in taking the lead role. Both Norrington and Cave left, replaced by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and Alex Tse respectively.

Actor Bradley Cooper actually signed on to play the title character. Then Cooper left due to scheduling conflicts with the now defunct "Paradise Lost" and Oscar contender The Silver Linings Playbook Wahlberg was linked a 2nd time but had 2 Guns and Broken City in his sights; Channing Tatum (who seems all wrong for the role IMHO) was also mentioned at one point recently and then came the legal tussel. James McAvoy ("Atonement," "X-Men: First Class") was rumored to be circling the lead--a notion that the actor denied.

Creator James O'Barr 's Gothic comic book series and the 1994 film from Alex Proyas-which became more known for the on set death of its star Brandon Lee, follows rock musician Eric Draven who is murdered while trying to save his fiancee from thugs. He is resurrected by supernatural forces and seeks revenge. That film spawned three sequels, The Crow: City of Angels, The Crow: Salvation, and The Crow: Wicked Prayer, as well as a short-lived TV series The Crow: Stairway to Heaven starring Mark Dacascos.

At last report, O'Barr will serve as a creative consultant on the reboot which aims to be faithful to the original comics. He also apparently confirmed that several scenes from the graphic novel that never made it into the 1994 adaptation will be included, and the film will be shot with 1970s-era film stock to give the it a "Taxi Driver" style look.

Blastr recently said that  O'Barr has reportedly had had contact with former "Smallville" and "Being Human" actor Sam Witwer for some time about the role and believes the actor has "the look and ability" to portray Eric Draven.

RIP Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

Mike Barnes  And Bryn Elise Sandberg of THR have the sad news....

 Leonard Nimoy, the Hollywood renaissance man who fashioned a long and prosperous career as the supremely logical and cerebral science officer Mr. Spock from Star Trek, has died, his wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, told The New York Times. He was 83.

The actor tweeted on Jan. 14, 2014, that he had lung disease. “I quit smoking 30 years ago. Not soon enough. I have COPD. Grandpa says, quit now!!” As he always did, Nimoy signed off with the acronym LLAP, short for “Live Long and Prosper,” his Star Trek character’s most celebrated phrase.

His wife said he died Friday at his home in Bel Air.

Nimoy was a vagabond TV character actor when he made his debut as the somber Spock on NBC’s Star Trek, which debuted on Sept. 8, 1966. He went on to play or voice the half-Vulcan, half-human on live-action shows, cartoons, films, video games, etc. all the way through J.J. Abrams’ movie sequel Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) -- marking an amazing span of nearly 50 years.

“For whatever reason, I projected some kind of quality that people said, ‘OK, he’s a good alien,’ ” he told the Los Angeles Times in a 1999 interview.

In the 1970s, Nimoy replaced Martin Landau in the cast of CBS’ Mission: Impossible series, playing Paris, a master of disguise. And recently, he recurred on the Fox science-fiction drama Fringe as William Bell, the founder of the Massive Dynamic corporation.

His last tweet came on Feb. 22: "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP"

Leonard Simon Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931, in the West End section of Boston; his father owned a barbershop, and his mother was a housewife. After attending Boston College on a scholarship, he moved west and joined the Pasadena Playhouse troupe. When he was 20, he made his first film appearance, in Queen for a Day (1951).

In 1952, Nimoy ventured into sci-fi for the first time with Zombies of the Stratosphere and had the title role in another film released that year, Kid Monk Baroni, a tale about a disfigured street punk turned boxer.

I will be paying tribute to Mr. Nimoy over the weekend....For now:

"Of All The Souls I Have Encountered In My Travels...His Was The Most...Human"--Admiral Kirk in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. Rest easy sir....Thank you for giving me a lifetime of Trek memories

Blade Runner 2 Gets Ford & Director Villeneuve

ScreenDaily reports that "Prisoners" and "Incendies" director Denis Villeneuve is in negotiations to helm the Blade Runner Sequel.

 Harrison Ford will reprise his role as Rick Deckard in the film. He recently said the script is the best thing he's ever read.

Original "Blade Runner" co-scribe Hampton Fancher had been at work on the script for new film. Scott Z. Burns was in talks to write the script at one point. Now Green Lantern co-writer Michael Green has been hired to take on the job of  reworking the script

Fancher and David Peoples adapted the script for the 1982 sci-fi classic based upon author Philip K. Dick's story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Original film director  Ridley Scott, Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson will produce the film. Scott was due to helm the sequel but scheduling was tough with "The Martian" which will take up much of his time this year and then he moves on to Prometheus 2 in late 2015/early 2016

Production on "Runner 2" is slated to begin next Summer.

Photo: "Jem & The Holograms"

The first official photo and a synopsis have been released for the upcoming live-action film version of the classic 1980s cartoon and Hasbro toys "Jem and the Holograms"

The original mid-late 1980s cartoon created by Christy Marx followed a musical superstar named Jem, who is actually a young woman named Jerrica Benton who uses a holographic computer to clandestinely perform rock concerts.

Playing the Holograms are Stefanie Scott ("A.N.T. Farm") in the role of Kimber, Aurora Perrineau ("Pretty Little Liars") as Shana, and Hayley Kiyoko ("The Fosters") as Aja.

"The Boy Next Door" co-star Ryan Guzman is playing Rio, the road manager and technical engineer for the band. He is also Jem's love interest in the film. Juliette Lewis and Molly Ringwald also star.

Ryan Landels wrote the adapted script for director Jon M. Chu which follows an orphaned teenage girl (Nashville co-star Aubrey Peeples) who becomes an online recording sensation. She and her sisters embark on a music-driven scavenger hunt- one that sends them on an adventure across Los Angeles in an attempt to unlock a final message left by her father.

Jason Blum and Scooter Braun are set to produce the film.

"As a small-town girl catapults from underground video sensation to global superstar, she and her three sisters begin a one-in-a-million journey of discovering that some talents are too special to keep hidden. In Universal Pictures' Jem and the Holograms, four aspiring musicians will take the world by storm when they see that the key to creating your own destiny lies in finding your own voice."

Box Office Preview: Focal Points

In the heist thriller "Focus" (reviews) a veteran con man (Will Smith) who gets romantically involved with a newcomer to the con business. They get involved which becomes perilous in a business where you lie and cheat for a living.

Rodrigo Santoro plays the magnetic and powerful owner of an international auto racing team. He seeks Margot Robbie's affections, and hires Smith to gain a competitive edge for his racing team.

Salma Hayek is kicking ass in director Joe Lynch's revenge pic Everly (reviews) as it goes wider.

From horror film company Blumhouse Productions comes The Lazarus Effect (reviews) follows a group of researchers led by Frank (Mark Duplass) and his fiancée Zoe (Olivia Wilde), who’ve achieved the unimaginable- bringing the dead back to life. After a successful, yet unsanctioned, trial on a newly deceased animal, the team is ready to unveil their breakthrough to the world. When the dean of their university learns of their underground experiments, their project is unexpectedly shut down and their materials confiscated. Frank, Zoe, and their team (Donald Glover, Sarah Bolger and Evan Peters) take matters into their own hands, launching a rogue attempt to recreate their experiment, during which things go terribly wrong and one of their own, Zoe, is horrifically killed. Fueled by terror and grief, Frank pushes them to do the unthinkable: attempt to resurrect their first human test subject.

Pamela McClintock of THR:

Will Smith returns to the big screen this weekend in Focus, his first leading role since box-office bomb After Earth in summer 2013.

As such, the Warner Bros. movie will be a test of Smith's star status, both in North America and overseas. He stars opposite Margot Robbie in the romantic caper, written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.

The $50 million film is tipped to topple holdover Fifty Shades of Grey and claim the top spot domestically with a debut in the $20 million-to-$22 million range.

Focus also opens in a raft of international markets. The storyline revolves around a con man who introduces a young flame to the tricks of his trade before breaking off the relationship. Three years later, they meet again in Buenos Aires, Argentina, when they're both trying to scam the same billionaire (Rodrigo Santoro).

The weekend's other new nationwide offering is Relativity Studios' The Lazarus Effect, the latest microbudgeted horror film from Blumhouse, which produced the movie with Mosaic. Tracking suggests the movie — starring Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Evan Peters and Donald Glover — will open in the $12 million-to-$14 million range.

David Gelb directed Lazarus Effect, which follows a group of researchers who try to achieve the unimaginable and bring the dead back to life.

There are several high-profile titles opening at the specialty box office, including David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars, whose ensemble cast includes Oscar winner Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack and Robert Pattinson. Focus Features opens the film, which earned decidedly mixed reviews, in 50 theaters.

Roadside Attractions rolls out the critically acclaimed war drama '71 in select theaters. Set in Northern Ireland in 1971, the movie tells the story of a British soldier who becomes separated from his unit during a riot in Belfast. Jack O'Connell, Sean Harris, David Wilmot, Richard Dormer and Paul Anderson star...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fantastic Four Reboot: Set Of Fresh Photos

Empire magazine has posted new photos from  "Chronicle" director Josh Trank's "Fantastic Four" reboot.

The comic book series follows four individuals--Reed Richards--Mr. Fantastic (Miles Teller), Sue Storm --The Invisible Girl (Kate Mara), her brother Johnny Storm--The Human T/orch (Fruitvale Station star Michael B. Jordan), and Ben Grimm The Thing (Jamie Bell) who gained superpowers after exposure to cosmic rays during a scientific mission to outer space.

Saoirse Ronan ("The Host")  Margot Robbie  "Girls" star Allison Williams were rumored to be circling Invisible Girl last year. Samira Wiley also denied Sue chatter. Mara and Emmy Rossum were said to have both tested for Sue Storm; Christian Cooke was eyed for Grimm. Actor Josh Gad was rumored as well but that talk was denied via Twitter

Reg E. Cathey will play Dr. Storm, the scientist father of Johnny and Sue. The film will be a reunion for Cathey and Jordan, as Jordan got his start on the cable series The Wire.

Toby Kebbell has won the role of bad guy  Doctor Doom He beat out Domhnall Gleeson, Eddie Redmayne, Sam Riley and Jack Huston for the part.

Doom is the son of a gypsy woman who ends up the ruler of a fictional country named Latveria. His character history includes attending university with Reed Richards, the man who will become the leader of the Fantastic Four Like Richards, he is a genius but with an unchecked ego.

The Nerdist reports that: "Doombots will definitely be in the film, in the form of drones that the good Doctor controls telekinetically."

First introduced in 1965, the DoomBots are robotic duplicates of Doctor Doom which he used to do battle. Over the years they've taken on various forms, which version we'll see in the film is uknown at present.

Julian McMahon played the character as Victor Von Doom in the previous big screen incarnations.

Tim Blake Nelson will play Harvey Elder, an eccentric and socially awkward scientist who is also the Mole Man, the leader of a subterranean group of monsters known as the Moloids. The Mole Man will NOT appear in this movie but his appearance does set up the character as a potential future villain.

This is not the first time Nelson has been in this position for a Marvel-related movie. In 2008's "The Incredible Hulk" he played Samuel Sterns, a reclusive scientist who is seen mutating in his final scenes which sets up the character's potential return as the villain The Leader.

Simon Kinberg ("Sherlock Holmes," "X-Men: Days of Future Past") recently finished scripting duties. Jeremy Slater was hired to pen the previous script draft.--that Seth Grahame-Smith polished. Michael Green ("Green Lantern") also wrote a draft as well.

"X-Men: First Class" and "Kick-Ass" director Matthew Vaughn signed on to produce the reset

The leads were previously portrayed by Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis. The first Fantastic Four in 2005 and its sequel 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer in 2007--both helmed by Tim Story--grossed $620 million despite awful reviews (I liked em both!)

Fox wants to restore some credibility and quality to the property, that is currently targeting an August 7th.2015 release. Vancouver lost out on the shoot for the upcoming reboot. The film's production took place in Louisiana due to tax incentives in place.

The mag spoke with Trank and Kinberg about the decidedly more science-fiction oriented take on the material:

Trank says the film takes a less cartoonish approach and is a "dark Amblin" movie with Kinberg adding: "there was an Amblin-style approach to the characterisation, and to contextualising everything in a real world."

Trank also says: "There's the opportunity to make something that is challenging and tragic and dramatic. The opportunity is right there in the material. We'd rather steer it in that direction as opposed to just embracing a tone that comes right off the page."

Richard Linklater Eyes "Where'd You Go Bernadette"

"Boyhood" director Richard Linklater is in talks to helm the unconventional and quirky family drama Where'd You Go, Bernadette says THR.

Based on author Maria Semple's best selling novel, the story follows an agoraphobia suffering architect and mother named Bernadette Branch who goes missing prior to a family trip to Antarctica. It's the way the narrative unfolds that's distinct, the story is narrated by her 15-year-old daughter Bee Branch and is told through a series of emails, letters, FBI documents, psychiatrist correspondence, and even an emergency room bill.

"The Fault in Our Stars" writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber have adapted the script

Megan Ellison, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson will produce.

Newbie Joe Alwyn Tipped For "Billy Lynn's" Lead

Variety and Deadline report that newcomer has won the lead in "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," a film adaptation of author Ben Fountain's acclaimed Iraq War novel.

Alwyn comes out of nowhere beating Billy Howle Taron Egerton, and Jack Reynor for the part. No official offer has apparently been made--Alwyn rose to the top last week. He scored final approval from both the studio and director this past weekend, and this marks his first major role in a feature film.

The dark satire follows a ninteen-year-old Texas-born infantry man and his fellow U.S. servicemen who survive a firefight in Iraq in 2005. The Bush administration brings them home for a victory lap that leads them to the Dallas Cowboys’ football stadium where they're honored during the team's Thanksgiving halftime show. Then they return to war.

 Garrett Hedlund is eyed to to take the film's second male lead.

Simon Beaufoy ("Slumdog Millionaire") has written the adapted script from which "Life of Pi" and "Brokeback Mountain" director is calling the shots.

Simon Cornwell, Stephen Cornwell and Rhodri Thomas are slated to produce. 
Production begins in April.

Will Ferrell Moves Into "The House"

Will Ferrell will star in the comedy "The House" says Variety.

The story follows a husband (Ferrell) who joins with his neighbors to start an illegal casino in his basement after he and his wife blow their daughter’s college fund.

The script comes from Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O'Brien, who wrote last year's comedy hit Neighbors. Cohen will make his directorial debut on the pic.

Ferrell  and Adam McKay will produce the film while  Chris Henchy and Jessica Elbaum are exec producing.

Production hopes to start in August.

Clive Standen Commands In "Patient Zero"

Vikings co-star Clive Standen has joined the cast of the action thriller "Patient Zero" says Variety.

The story focuses on an unprecedented global rabies pandemic that causes the evolution of a new species - violence-addicted predators. An inexplicably gifted human survivor with the ability to speak the new mutant language leads a hunt to find a cure.

Standen will play Sargent Knox, a rough-around-the-edges military leader.

Former Doctor Who star Matt Smith will act here opposite "Game of Thrones" and "Rush" co-star Natalie Dormer. Stanley Tucci is set to play the villain.

Mike Le penned the script from which Stefan Ruzowitzky's calling the shots.

Vincent Newman is producing the film.

Filming is now underway.

Brandon Routh Gets "Lost In The Pacific"

Superman Returns and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World star Brandon Routh and Zhang Yuqi are set to lead the cast of the multinational sci-fi thriller "Lost in the Pacific" says Variety.

Set in 2020, the story follows a group of elite passengers on board the inaugural luxury, transoceanic flight of a "futuristic Titanic in the sky".

Vincent Zhou's calling action using a screenplay he co-wrote the script with Peter Cameron (Carnival Row).

Ying Ye is executive producer on the film.  

Production begins shortly at Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios ahead of a 3D release around year's end.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tomb Raider Reboot Gets New Scribe

Deadline reports that Evan Daugherty ("Divergent," "Snow White And The Huntsman") will redraft the script for the Tomb Raider reboot in development.

 Square Enix Global and Crystal Dynamics released their high-profile reboot of the Tomb Raider game franchise in 2013. In that game the creators took a "Batman Begins," "Casino Royale", approach where we followed a younger and more realistic 21-year-old version of British archaeologist Lara Croft. The story showcases how she started out as a frightened young woman who is forced to become a hardened survivor when she is shipwrecked on a dangerous island.

 The high-profile title won major acclaim from all corners and was ultimately a good seller.

Angelina Jolie, her estranged dad Jon Voight and Daniel Craig starred in the 2001 film . The sequel hit theaters in 2003.

The first film scored boffo $275 million in international box-office. The sequel revenue sank with a thud of $157 million globally.

Iron Man writers Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus were tasked to pen the reboot script at first. Then  "Fright Night" remake writer Marti Noxon--who got her start working on the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV series took over.

Graham King will produce the pic with Denis O'SullivanCassidy Lange, and Jon Berg.

Kyle Chandler Is A "Manchester" Brother

Kyle Chandler has joined the drama "Manchester-by-the-Sea" says THR.

In the pic Casey Affleck will play a Boston plumber who is forced to return home to Manchester after he learns his brother (Chandler) passed away. There, he finds himself thrust into the care of the man's sixteen-year-old son but finds himself crumbling due to a secret tragedy in his past.

Chandler will appear in the film's many flashbacks.

Michelle Williams will play Affleck's wife in the film

Kenneth Lonergan's directing the film using his own script.

Kevin Walsh, Chris Moore and Matt Damon will produce.

Production is slated to begin at the end of March in New England.

"The Avengers: Age Of Ultron": Alternate Poster, Iron Man Art

The less "busy"international one sheet poster for Joss Whedon's superhero team up sequel "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" is here-- thanks to the removal of all the flying 'Ultron' drones from the background seen in the US version.

The sequel DOES NOT follow the Age of Ultron comics storyline--in which the big bad Ultron was created by Hank Pym who becomes Ant-Man. James Spader will both voice Ultron, and he'll have to do some kind of motion-capture as well--This news puts to rest the most popular theory suggesting that Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr,) robot butler J.A.R.V.I.S. (voiced by Paul Bettany) operating system from the Iron Man Films would turn into the villain.

Marvel vets RDJ, Chris Evans Chris Hemsworth Scarlett Johansson Samuel L. Jackson Jeremy Renner Mark Ruffalo, Clark Gregg and Cobie Smulders are all back Two time Iron Man co-star Don Cheadle is involved this time out according to USA Today. Bettany will appear on screen as The Vision an android created by Ultron as a weapon to be used against the Avengers. Vision can fire beams of radiation and turn invisible--the character ultimately turned the tables on Ultron and became an Avengers member himself. Anthony Mackie is poised to reprise the role Harlem crime fighter FalconHayley Attwell (Peggy Carter), and Stellan Skarsgard (Erik Selvig) are also in the sequel.

Meantime RDJ used his Facebook page to debut some character art for the film...

TV's Hulk Lou Ferrigno has confirmed that he'll return to do the voice of the big guy in the sequel. Ferrigno has said four words as the character so far - "Hulk Smash" in 2008's "The Incredible Hulk" and "Puny God" in "The Avengers".

Thomas Kretschmann has landed the role of 2nd bad guy Baron von Strucker. In the comics, the seemingly immortal Strucker is one of the leaders of Hydra, and an enemy of both S.H.I.E.L.D and The Avengers He seemingly beat out rumored candidates Marton Csokas and Dougray Scott who were being considered for the BvS role. The character will have Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and her twin brother Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) apparently working for him in the sequel (American Horror Story favorite Evan Peters plays a different incarnation of the speedy superhero in Bryan Singer's "X-Men: Days of Future Past"--in a very cool sequence in the film). Korean actress  will play a bad gal role. Mo-Cap genius Andy Serkis character is rumored by Schmoes Know to be that of Ulysses Klaw- a character who will be much more  important in the "Black Panther" solo flick.

 Idris Elba who plays Heimdall in the Thor films, confirmed to The Telegraph that he and fellow Thor star Tom Hiddleston [Loki] will both appear in the pic

Radar Online has an unidentified source that claims that RDJ was campaigning to get his pals Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster a role in the movie.

 Latino Review has posted what appears to be details about the film's opening 15-20 minutes (SPOILERS).

Post-production on the 'Avengers 2' continues to meet a release date of May 1, 2015