Sunday, April 20, 2014

Box Office Update: Heaven Help Johnny Depp

Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier (My review) and Rio 2 remained #1 and #2 over the Easter holiday weekend; While the Christian themed Heaven Is For Real scores with audiences in 3rd.

"The Dark Knight" cinematographer Wally Pfister's directorial debut Transcendence starring Johnny Depp lands with a thud in 4th place...

Pamela McClintock of THR:

Faith-based film Heaven Is For Real soared at the Easter weekend box office, earning a stellar $21.5 million from 2,417 theaters to bury big-budget sci-fic epic Transcendence, which opened to a dismal $11.5 million from 3,455 locations.

Transcendence marks the third big-budget bomb in a row for Johnny Depp after The Lone Ranger and Dark Shadows (both of those movies opened to roughly $29 million, but never found success). In terms of Depp's openings, Transcendence came in lower than The Tourist, which debuted to $16.5 million in 2010.

Overseas, where Depp arguably remains a bigger star, Transcendence debuted to $17.4 million from 27 markets, led by China with a solid $11.4 million.

Overall, top spoils in North America when to holdovers Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Rio 2.

Captain America, staying at No. 1 for its third consecutive weekend, grossed $26.6 million from 3,825 locations to cross the $200 million mark domestically and hit $586.6 million worldwide in another major victory for Marvel Studios and Disney.

Fox's animated family film Rio 2 grossed $22.5 million from 3,975 locations in its second weekend for a domestic total of $75.4 million.

Heaven Is For Real, placing No. 3 and clearly benefiting from the Easter holiday, is the latest Christian film to exceed expectations. From Sony's TriStar label, the movie opened Wednesday and earned an impressive $28.5 million in its first five days.

Produced by influential pastor T. D. Jakes, director Randall Wallace and Hollywood veteran Joe Roth, Heaven Is For Real stars Greg Kinnear and earned an A CinemaScore. The drama did its biggest business in the country's Bible Belt, but appealed to mainstream audiences as well.

The movie is based on the real-life story of Nebraska pastor Todd Burpo, whose young son said he found himself in heaven during emergency surgery. The film is adapted from the pastor's book of the same name, co-written by Lynn Vincent.

"It's really a terrific result," said Sony's distribution chief Rory Bruer. "And Easter was certainly a date that was in the wheelhouse of the film."

Easter weekend provided further evidence that 2014 is indeed the year of the Bible movies. Heaven Is For Real was one of three such titles population the top 10 chart. Noah placed No. 9 with $5 million for a domestic cume of $93.2 million, while God's Not Dead came in No. 10 with $4.8 million, pushing its total to $48.2 million.

Heading into the weekend, no one expected the $12 million Heaven Is For Real to beat Transcendence, which cost a hefty $100 million to produce. Transcendence suffered from scathing reviews and a C+ CinemaScore.

Transcendence is a blow for Alcon Entertainment, which co-financed the movie with China's DMG Entertainment, while Warner Bros. is handling domestic distribution duties. Summit International sold Transcendence overseas to independent distributors, covering much of the budget. Straight Up Films developed the project, and brought it to Alcon.

"The movie just missed its audience," said Warners executive vice president of distribution Jeff Goldstein, whose studio has a long-term deal with Alcon, home of hits including The Blind Side and Dolphin Tale.

Transcendence, coming in No. 4 in North America, still hopes to make up ground internationally.

Outside of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in 2011, Depp's most recent films -- Lone Ranger, Dark Shadows and The Rum Diary -- have struggled badly in the U.S. Generally speaking, he remains a far more potent star overseas, although Lone Ranger and Dark Shadows still bombed. Depp was paid a reported $20 million for Transcendence.

Marking the directorial debut of cinematographer Wally Pfister -- a favorite of Christopher Nolan's -- Transcendence stars Depp as a brilliant scientist whose mind is uploaded into a computer after he is gunned down. Rebecca Hall and Morgan Freeman also star, while Nolan and his wife, Emma Thomas, served as executive producers.

Easter weekend saw two other new nationwide offerings -- A Haunted House 2 and Disney documentary Bears.

IM Global's Haunted House 2 placed No. 5 with $9.1 million from 2,310 theaters, half of the $18 million opening secured by the first film. Open Road Films is distributing the comedy-horror title, which reteams director Michael Tiddes and star Marlon Wayans.

Haunted House 2, a follow-up to the 2013 box office hit, cost just $4 million to produce. Wayans co-wrote the script with his longtime filmmaking partner Rick Alvarez.

Bears placed No. 11 with a less-than-expected $4.7 million from 1,720 theaters. Directed by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey, the nature documentary follows a family of grizzly bears living in Alaska. John C. Reilly narrated the film.

Disney can certainly absorb a disappointment. In addition to Captain America 2's strong run, Frozen continues to make headlines at the global box office, where the animated film has crossed the $100 million mark in Japan, its final territory.

Over the weekend, Frozen became the No. 6 title of all time worldwide with $1.129 billion in earnings, passing up The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1.114 billion) and Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon ($1.123 billion). It has also passed up Ice Age 4 ($716 million) to become the top-grossing animated film at the international box office with $729.3 million.

At the U.S specialty box office, director-actor John Turturro's Fading Gigolo scored a strong opening despite the recent personal scandal surrounding Woody Allen, who also stars. The movie, from Millennium, opened to $198,379 from five locations for a location average of $39,680.

Here are the top 10 gross estimates for the weekend of April 18-20 at the domestic box office:

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 3/3,825, Disney/Marvel, $26.6 million, -36%, $201.5 million.

2. Rio 2, 2/3,975, Fox/Blue Sky, $22.5 million, -43%, $75.4 million.

3. Heaven Is For Real, 1/2,417, Sony/TriStar, $21.5 million, $28.5 million.

4. Transcendence, 1/3,455, Warner Bros./Alcon, $11.5 million.

5. A Haunted House 2, 1/2,310, Open Road/IM Global, $9.1 million.

6. Draft Day, 1/2,486, Lionsgate/Summit $5.9 million, -40%, $19.5 million.

7. Divergent, 5/2,486, Lionsgate/Summit, $5.8 million, -22%, $133.9 million.

8. Oculus, 2/2,648, Relativity, $5.2 million, -57%, $21.2 million.

9. Noah, 4/2,537, Paramount/New Regency, $5 million, -34%, $93.2 million.

10. God's Not Dead, 4/1,796, Freestyle/Pure Flix, $4.8 million, -13%, $48.2 million.

Next Up: "Brick Mansions," the U.S. remake of the French hit "Banlieue 13" (aka. "District B13") the final completed film starring actor Paul Walker who was killed last Fall in a tragic car crash... , , and Sports Illustrated model Kate Upton are out for revenge against 3-timer in the comedy The Other Woman.

Sony Wants A Billion In Box Office For Amazing Spider-Man 2


Variety reports that Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascall has set a goal of $1 billion in worldwide box-office for Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 .

Trustfully though that figure isn't all that far fetched. 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man raked in $752 million, while the three previous films came in between $783 million to $890 million.

Even so, only four comic book movies have grossed over $1 billion worldwide -"The Avengers," "Iron Man 3," "The Dark Knight" and "The Dark Knight Rises".

Sony has reportedly spent more than $400 million in production and worldwide marketing costs riding on the movie. It is paying off though the tracking figures suggest the film is headed for a $100 million opening weekend in the United States - a big jump up on the $62 million opening weekend of the first film.

Yet how long it will be tops is a big question. The film opens in the wake of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," a film whose staller  reviews contrast the more mixed reaction by a handful of critics who have seen "Amazing Spider-Man 2" (most U.S. reviews for the pic have not been published yet).

It also has two weeks to net big before the "Godzilla" reboot opens and three weeks before the release of Bryan Singer's "X-Men Days of Future Past" both of which are targeting the same audience demos.

I am pulling for the Amazing sequel to do well--I would be lying though if I did not say the crowded plot didn't have me thinking about both my review of Spider-Man 3 as well as my review of Iron Man 2....

Stay Tuned True-Believers...

Andrew Garfield will return as Peter Parker and Emma Stone is gonna reprise her role as Gwen Stacy. Do these set pics confirm that the classic story The Night Gwen Stacy Died is part of the film? For the record Stone endorsed the idea in August 2012 when The Amazing Spider-Man was still in theaters...Stone was asked by Ryan Seacrest about her character's future to which she said: "I think the intention the whole time has been to tell Gwen's story as close to the comic as possible".

Dane DeHaan ("Chronicle") has won the role of Harry Osborn Osborn of course is Peter Parker's best friend and eventual enemy who was played by James Franco previously. Jamie Foxx will be playing bad guy Electro. Paul Giamatti plays the villain, the Rhino. Sally Field is back as Aunt May. Chris Cooper has been cast as Norman Osborn--who eventually becomes Spidey's number one foe--The Green Goblin--The character was played previously by Willem Dafoe Felicity Jones (Like Crazy), plays Norman's girlfriend in the film. Former Office star B.J. Novak plays Alistaire Smythe in the film. In the comics, Alistair is the son of 'Spider-Slayer' creator Spencer Smythe. Spider-Slayers are a series of robots that sought to destroy Spider-Man--Spencer died after prolonged exposure to the radioactive samples. Alistair inherited the legacy from his father and became a villain in his own right called the 'Ultimate Spider-Slayer'. He not only built more robots but also body armor that can enhance his strength. While there was speculation that actress Sarah Gadon ("Cosmopolis," "A Dangerous Method") was going to be the new Mary Jane Watson, given the fact that Shailene Woodley's performance as the character had been cut.  As it turns out though Gadon DOES appear in "Amazing 2" after all as an entirely different character. She is actually playing an android cop.

Here's the Sony Pictures' official synopsis:

"We've always known that Spider-Man's most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead. It's great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there's no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp."

Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner wrote the script based on a previous draft by James Vanderbilt.

Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach will produce.

The new film is now ready to meet its May 2nd 2014 release date.

Both The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 already have release dates--The writers of Amazing 2 are also set to return for the 3rd film. The series will grow from there to include other members of the extended Spidey family

Ciaran Foy Charts "Sinister 2"

Ciaran Foy ("Citadel") will helm the upcoming to horror thriller sequel Sinister 2.

The original  movie starred Ethan Hawke as a true crime novelist who discovers a box of mysterious, disturbing home movies that plunge his family into a supernatural nightmare.

Juliet Rylance, Fred Dalton Thompson, James Ransone, Michael Hall D'Addario, and Clare Foley co-starred

Made on a budget of just $3 million, the supernatural hit brought in $87 million worldwide.

No word on the storyline, though expect the antagonist character - the pagan god Bughuul (Mr. Boogie) - to return.

All the key behind-the-scenes talent is expected back, including co-writer Scott Derrickson and co-scribe C. Robert Cargill. Derrickson broke the director switch via his Twitter feed

The duo will also co-write the film version of the Square Enix video game "Deus Ex : Human Revolution" which Derrickson will direct.

Derrickson will also serve as producer on Sinister 2 alongside Jason Blum.

Blum is also responsible for the Paranormal Activity film series as well as Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 2
Production begins this July on Sinister 2 .

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Marvel Movies: Cross-Over Anyone?

Those hoping to see the notion of Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man in a film with other superheroes have a long wait ahead of them...

Spidey film series producer Avi Arad tells IGN that basically cinematic crossover will only happen once he's out of the suit:

"I think I'm probably a little bit of the militant here. I think it will take a moment in which we've run out of ideas. There's so much to tell about Spider-Man. There's so much to tell about The Sinister Six . The relationship between Spider-Man and Venom will bring a whole other world in. We really feel very confident that we have so much to do. Peter Parker is unique; he's really different. He's not an Avenger. He's not an X-Man. He's unique and we revere that. And we'd rather work really hard to have the right ideas than – you know in the toy business we used to make toys glow in the dark when they weren't selling well and it gave at least another Christmas. We don't need it yet."

Producer Matthew Tolmach is more open to the idea but understands how the business works:

"You know Avi always refers to that question as a stunt. If you were to do that, you know, Spider-Man in The Avengers is a stunt. And I get why everybody – you know, fans and audience members and movie goers – I understand it. Stunts can be cool but it's also a business, and so the other side of the answer is they're owned by different companies. There's a ton left in Sony's world; there's a lot of business left because there's a lot of story left. So for them to want to take this character and put it with Marvel and Disney is a huge undertaking and probably, as Avi's saying, isn't necessary until you feel like, 'Wow, we're sort of out of ideas. What should we do?' And we're far from out of ideas."

 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens May 2nd.

How about an X-Men films and Fantastic Four films cross-over?

It seems that "a well-placed source" for Schmoes Know says that Fox has no plans to merge its two Marvel film franchises - the "X-Men" movies and its upcoming  "Fantastic Four" reboot.

Their source claims that the studio suits want director Josh Trank's "Fantastic Four" reboot to stand on its own without any help from the X-Men, and hopefully do well enough to warrant multiple sequels. Fox may consider a crossover down the road, but there are no plans for it in the near future.

Mark Millar, who serves as Fox's creative consultant on their Marvel movies, previously said that both franchises exist in the same universe.

"X-Men: Days of Future Past" hits screens May 23, 2014. Production on the new FF flick starts soon in Louisiana and is currently targeting a June 19th 2015 release.

Michael Fassbender Talks His "Macbeth" And First Photos

The first couple of photos are out for the newest film adaptation of author William Shakespeare's classic play Macbeth.

This "visceral" version contains major battle scenes, is set in the 11th century, and will be performed in "the original language".

 Oscar winner Marion Cotillard replaced Natalie Portman as Lady Macbeth opposite Michael Fassbender in the title role.

 Jack Reynor, Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Sean Harris and Elizabeth Debicki also star. 

Justin Kurzel ("Snowtown") helms this update from a script adaptation by Todd Louiso and Jacob Koskoff.

The movie will be produced by Iain Canning and Emile Sherman.

The Daily Mail visited the film's set around Ely Cathedral standing in for Dunsinane Castle, and talked with Fassbender about his portrayal the Thane of Cawdor in this version:

"He's suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. It makes total sense, when you think about it. Justin set the seed of the idea in my head. This trauma is something we know about. In World War I they called it battle fatigue, and it was probably more horrific in Macbeth's days, when they were killing with their bare hands, and driving a blade through bodies. He's having these hallucinations, and he needs to return to the violence to find some sort of clarity, or peace."

Then there's the fact that Macbeth had lost a child which tested the relationship he had with his wife, called Lady M in this film:

"He'd been away fighting and when he returns, we see it's a relationship that’s broken down. They lost a child, and there wasn't time for them to grieve because he's been away campaigning. Lady M is desperate for that reconnection, and briefly they do. And, of course, the doorway has been opened to darkness and to violence."

An early 2015 release is planned for the UK.

3 More BTS Videos For "X-Men Days of Future Past"

Norton presents a trio of featurettes for Bryan Singer's "X-Men Days of Future Past".

The latest sequel is based on a -2 issue story arc in the 'X-Men' comics written by Chris Claremont, drawn by John Byrne, and published in 1981. Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes) wrote the screenplay which will include New Mutants. Magneto and his relationship with Charles X. Xavier will be front and center as well.

Singer penned the treatment and produced 'First Class' which was directed by Matthew Vaughn. Now, their roles will be completely reversed for this sequel with Singer helming the film while Vaughn wrote the treatment and will produce with Lauren Shuler Donner and writer Simon Kinberg

Most of “X-Men: First Class” cast will reprise their roles, including James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto) Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), and Nicholas Hoult (Beast). Lucas Till (Alex “Havoc” Summers) Rose Byrne (Moira MacTaggert) recently confirmed that she is NOT in this film...

The original trilogy stars Sir Ian McKellen Sir Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman are poised to return again as well. Ellen Page (Kitty Pride) and Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) are back. While actress Anna Paquin's Rogue got edited out, and then made it in anyway and Halle Berry's Storm was almost trimmed."Frasier" star, is said to have shot a cameo as the older Beast in the new film, reprising the role he played in 2006's "X-Men: The Last Stand". It seems Alan Cumming.(Nightcrawler) will not return. James Marsden has confirmed that he will NOT return as Cyclops.

The teams will join forces to battle the Sentinels--mutant-hunting robots--created by Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage).

Daniel Cudmore is returning as Colossus American Horror Story favorite Evan Peters plays the speedy Quicksilver. Actor Evan Jonigkeit ("Calendar Girl," "The Gift") recently told to MTV that he will be playing a younger version of Toad in the upcoming sequel. BooBoo Stewart is also in the film. Chinese actress Fan Bingbing has joined the film--as Blink, a mutant with the power of teleportation. Aussie soap "Home and Away" actor Josh Helman -- once rumored to be playing a young Cyclops -- will portray Bill Stryker. In X2: X-Men United Brian Cox played him and in X-Men Origins: Wolverine Danny Huston took over. French actor Omar Sy plays Bishop and Adan Canto also star.

Post-production on the sequel continues "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" hits screens May 23rd 2014.

And then the next chapter in the film series--the recently announced "X-Men: Apocalypsewill hit theaters on May 27, 2016 opposite Alice in Wonderland 2

Friday, April 18, 2014

Reiley McClendon Visits "Shangri-La Suite"

The Fosters co-star Reiley McClendon joins the 1974-set indie drama "Shangri-La Suite" says Deadline.

The story follows Karen () and Jack () who met in a mental hospital and fell in love with each other. They set out to follow what Jack think is his destiny: killing Elvis Presley ().

McClendon will play the young Elvis.

and also star.

directs the pic using a script he wrote with .

Tariq Merhab  Michael Sherman and Matthew Perniciaro are producing the film.

Production is underway/

Jackie Chan Will Carry A "Dragon Blade"

Jackie Chan is set to star in Daniel Lee's period action epic "Dragon Blade" says Screen.

The story features Chan playing the commander of the 'Protection Squad of the Western Regions' and is set during the Han dynasty. The story is inspired by historical records of the Romans in the western provinces of ancient China.

An A-list Hollywood star is being sought to play the role of a Roman general.

A 3D IMAX release is planned for Chinese and international markets on Chinese New Year's Day February 19th of next year.

Second unit shooting is currently underway at Hengdian World Studios ahead of location filming in Dunhuang and the Gobi Desert.

More Folks Cram Into "Crawlspace"

Ronnie Gene Blevins has joined the cast of the horror thriller "Crawlspace" says Deadline.

The story follows a widower (Bates Motel guest Michael Vartan) with a daughter (True Detective's ) and new wife Nadine Velazquez with the opportunity for a new start in a new house in the suburbs. Trouble is the house holds a very disturbing secret from its past.

Blevins plays the gruff and mysterious next-door neighbor.

Blake Jenner, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Misty Upham, Katy Stoll, Dorian Kingi, Steele Stebbins, Thomas R. Baker, Adam Powell, Andrew Fiscella, Terry Myers, Teagan Sirset, and Debbie Zaltman also star.

Phil Claydon (Lesbian Vampire Killers) is directing from a script by Gary Dauberman (Annabelle),

Peter Safran and Rick Alvarez are producing the film.

Dave Neustadter and Walter Hamada will executive produce.

Production is underway in Los Angeles.

Jersey Boys Trailer: "You Wanna Hear The Real Story?"

The one sheet poster and a trailer for Clint Eastwood's film version of the Award-winning Broadway musical "Jersey Boys" have been released.

The musical written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice chronicles the pop group Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons and their journey to fame. The group sold 175 million records worldwide before any of the members turned 30.

The show has pulled in over $1 billion in ticket sales worldwide, and this film will use much of the same music from the stage show.

Mike Doyle is set to play music producer Bob Crewe, while Johnny Cannizzaro will play Variety Trio member Nick DeVito  Erich Bergen will reprise his role of singer Bob Gaudio. Vincent Piazza and Michael Lomenda (who played Nick Massi in the Toronto production of Jersey Boys) are poised to play the other leads.

Christopher Walken will play the role of Angelo "Gyp" DeCarlo, the Jersey mobster who, in the show, served an unofficial consigliere role to the young singers as they tried to build their careers without falling into the grip of organized crime. Jeremy Luke will play Donnie, a loan shark who is trying to extort money from Frankie Valli. Joey Russo has been cast as Joe "Joey" Pesci, who helped create the '60s musical group. Erica Piccininni is set to reprise her role as Lorraine the  attractive Detroit reporter who meets Frankie (John Lloyd Young) for an interview and begins a sizzling affair with him.

John Logan wrote the film adaptation from which Clint directed.. Jon Favreau was attached as director but had moved on.

Graham King and Tim Headington are producing the pic.

 Jersey Boys hits theaters on June 20th

Box Office Preview: Will Depp Have Egg On His Face Come Monday?

Open since Wednesday the Christian themed Heaven Is For Real (reviews) had a solid debut. Based on the  book by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent, questions about the afterlife are explored.

Opening Today: Johnny Depp has an out of body experience of sorts in  "The Dark Knight" cinematographer Wally Pfister's directorial debut Transcendence (reviews). Get scared silly with the horror spoof sequel A Haunted House 2 (reviews),  Finally Disney Nature presents Bears (reviews).

How big a role that Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier (My review) and Rio 2 will play this Easter weekend is unclear

 Pamela McClintock of THR:

If pre-release tracking is correct, Johnny Depp's Transcendence may only cross $20 million in its North American debut, a soft start for the $100 million sci-fi epic.

That leaves the Easter weekend box office race up for grabs. Holdovers Rio 2 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier each have a shot at coming in ahead of Transcendence, which will have to combat dismal reviews.

Transcendence, marking Depp's first return to theaters since last summer's ill-fated The Lone Ranger, could make up ground overseas, where it is getting a coveted day-and-date release in China.

Alcon Entertainment co-financed the film with China's DMG Entertainment, while Warner Bros. is handling domestic distribution duties. Summit International sold Transcendence overseas to independent distributors, covering much of the budget. Straight Up Films developed the project, and brought it to Alcon.

Marking the directorial debut of cinematographer Wally Pfister -- a favorite of Christopher Nolan's -- Transcendence stars Depp as a brilliant scientist whose mind is uploaded into a computer after he is gunned down. Rebecca Hall and Morgan Freeman also star, while Nolan and his wife, Emma Thomas, served as executive producers.

Easter weekend sees three other new nationwide offerings -- Christian film Heaven Is For Real, which debuted Wednesday, A Haunted House 2 and Disney documentary Bears.

Sony's TriStar label remains hopeful that Heaven Is For Real will nab more than $20 million in its five-day debut. The movie, starring Greg Kinnear, took in a strong $3.7 million on Wednesday, enough to top the North American box office.

IM Global's Haunted House 2 is looking like an easy win. The comedy-horror film, reteaming director Michael Tiddes and star Marlon Wayans, could take in more than $15 million for the weekend, although U.S. distributor Open Roads Films is opting for a more conservative $10 million.

Haunted House 2, a follow-up to the 2013 box office hit, cost just $3 million to produce. Wayans co-wrote the script with his longtime filmmaking partner Rick Alvarez.

Bears is expected to open in the $6 million to $7 million range. Directed by Alastair Fothergrill and Keith Scholey, the nature documentary follows a family of grizzly bears living in Alaska. John C. Reilly narrated the film.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fox Eyes Jordan For "Men Who Kill"

Fruitvale Station and "Fantastic Four" reboot star Michael B. Jordan will star in the thriller Men Who Kill says Deadline.

Specific plot details for the film are being kept under wraps, but the upcoming project is being described as a “CIA thriller” think an “international Bad Boys

Fox scooped up a pitch by T.J. Fixman.

The project will be produced by Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, with Kenny Goodman exec producing.

Chris Pine Seeks To Spend "The Finest Hours" With Disney

The Hollywood Reporter says that Chris Pine is in talks to star in the true story Coast Guard drama "The Finest Hours".

Based on the non-fiction book by Casey Sherman and Michael Tougias, the story chronicles a daring rescue by the Coast Guard of 84 men off Cape Cod in 1952. At the time two oil tankers collided and were torn in half by waves during a fierce blizzard.

"The Fighter" scribes Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson are writing the adapted script.

Robert Schwentke was originally attached to direct last May, but the script took too long to develop and he left the project deciding to do the Divergent sequel Insurgent. Prior to that reports had,  Boardwalk Empire ep helmer Tim Van Patten in line to helm this as his first big screen gig.

Craig Gillespie (Million Dollar Arm) is now hoped to direct.

Jim Whitaker and Dorothy Aufiero will produce.

Caleb Landry Jones Climbs "Stonewall"

X-Men: First Class and Antiviral star Caleb Landry Jones is currently in talks to join the true life drama "Stonewall" says Deadline.

The story chronicles the events around the June 28th 1969 police raid on The Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village section. The resulting riots resulted in a massive push for the gay rights movement around the world.

"War Horse" actor Jeremy Irvine will play a young man named Danny whose political awakening forms our conduit into these groundbreaking events.

Jones would play Orphan Annie, a gay street hustler who forms a bond with Irvine and ends up participating in the movement.

Roland Emmerich will call action here using a script written by Jon Robin Baitz.

The film will be produced by Emmerich Michael Fossat and Marc Frydman.

Production begins later this year. Emmerich will film Stonewall before starting work on the long gestating Independence Day sequels.

MUST WATCH: The Rover Peek

A24 Films has released a new trailer for its near future post-apocalyptic Australian thriller "The Rover".

Set in Australia twenty years from now, Guy Pearce stars as a man who has left every semblance of human kindness behind him. When his final possession, his car, is stolen by a gang of dangerous American criminals, he sets out to track them down. He soon kidnaps the naive simpleton of the gang (Robert Pattinson), the brother of one of the key members (Scoot McNairy).

Anthony Hayes Susan Prior ("Puberty Blues"), Gillian Jones ("Packed to the Rafters") and David Field ("Chopper") also star.

"Animal Kingdom" helmer David Michôd is writing the script, from an idea he and Kingdom actor Joel Edgerton ("Warrior," "The Thing") conceived. Michod will also direct.

David Linde and Liz Watts will produce the pic

This is scheduled to release staring June 13th in New York and Los Angeles.

The film is part of the recently announced Cannes Film Festival 2014 lineup

Poster: "The Equalizer"

The teaser poster for Antoine Fuqua's big screen reboot of the 80's TV series "The Equalizer" is here.

Edward Woodward starred in the 85-89 series about Robert McCall, a former operative of a covert intelligence organisation who seeks redemption for his dark past via offering his services to those being persecuted and in need of help. McCall brings justice to various baddies, killers, drug dealers, rapists on the streets of New York City. He also performed assignments for the head of his former organisation and dealt with his estranged son.

In the movie version, Denzel Washington's McCall is living a quiet life while working at a Home Depot, when one of his acts of kindness toward Teri a prostitute (Chloe Moretz) gets him snared with the Russian mob. Marton Csokas will play a ruthless fixer working for the Russians. Melissa Leo will play McCall’s former counter-terrorism handler who provides him with intelligence about who he is facing when he runs up against a new adversary. David Meunier will play Slavi, a brutal and sleazy Russian pimp of the young prostitute.  David Harbour plays a crooked Central Intelligence Agency officer who helps pursue Washington’s character. Vladimir Kulich ("The 13th Warrior") plays a Russian oligarch who funds an international black market enterprise.

The role for Moretz was originally written for a twenty-something. However, Moretz seemjngly left Washington and studio execs very impressed during a chemistry reading with Denzel. As a result, the prostitute character is being redrawn with her in mind. Now, it's expected to be closer to something like Jodie Foster's star turn in "Taxi Driver".

Fuqua took the big chair after Rise of the Planet of the Apes helmer Rupert Wyatt left due to scheduling issues. Wyatt came on to the pic after "Drive" director Nicolas Winding Refn left the pic after the deal between Sony Pictures and Refn fell apart at the last minute back in January. Fuqua's next pic is supposed to be the boxing film "Southpaw" which is to begin production at the end of the Summer with casting talk underway.

Budgeted at a lean $50 million, the project is being seen as a potential franchise launcher. Winding Refn beat out the likes of Pierre Morel ("Taken"), Gavin O'Connor ("Warrior") and Gareth Evans ("The Raid") for the gig.

The film was scripted by Richard Wenk, whose credits include the actioners 16 Blocks, with Bruce Willis, and the recent Mechanic remake starring Jason Statham and Ben Foster, and The Expendables 2.

Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch, Alex Siskin, Mace Neufeld, Tony Eldridge, Michael Sloan (the show’s original co-creator), and Washington are gonna produce.

The film hits theaters on Sept 26, 2014

Wenk is already at work writing a sequel

Star Wars: Episode VII: Desert Hi-Jinks...

Recent reports about a Tatooine set recreation notwithstanding the Abu Dhabiv newspaper The National has posted a photo of what's seemingly id crew from  J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII" with production gearing up to start in the desert.

There's fanboy excitement over the big round prop glimpsed in the photo, which some think is the foot of an Imperial AT-AT vehicle.

Others say that it resembles the escape pod used to crash land on Tatooine in the original "Star Wars: A New Hope".

There is no official confirmation at this point that the production has even arrived in Abu Dhabi as the studio is in a news freeze over this film.

The script Abrams wrote with Lawrence Kasdan for the film is complete. Oscar winner Michael Arndt ("Toy Story 3," "Little Miss Sunshine") vacated his job scripting the next film--after disagreements over which characters the film will focus on.

The script is said to include Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo in their later years. No official word yet if Mark Hamill could be tempted to return as Luke Skywalker but he is interested... Carrie Fisher had all but confirmed that she would be back in the role of Princess Leia--but then her rep told CNN that she 'was joking' . At first Harrison Ford was interested...but had since walked that back--Now his deal to appear as Han Solo is not only done but seemingly goes beyond Ep VII.

 Just recently folks like Ed Speleers, John Boyega, Jesse Plemons theater actors Matthew James Thomas, and Ray Fisher were said to be circling an unspecified yet probable Jedi role in the pic

Abrams also confirmed that Plemons had indeed auditioned for a role but Plemons is actually

pegged for another film. Michael Fassbender, Hugo Weaving and Adam Driver were in the mix around the same time. AICN said "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" and and "What Richard Did" star Jack Reynor had reportedly landed a part. Michael Fassbender, Hugo Weaving and Adam Driver were in the mix around the same time. AICN said "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" and and "What Richard Did" star Jack Reynor had reportedly landed a part

Additionally Total Film suggests that legendary actress Dame Judi Dench is up for role of the elderly version of Mon Mothma, the senator who co-ordinates the Rebel Alliance briefing in "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi". Caroline Blakiston played the role in the original, a 30-second scene, while Genevieve O'Reilly played a young version of the character in a small role in "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith". The character has had a larger presence in non-canon books, cartoons and comics.

Actor Gary Oldman told  Sky Movies recently that he has been contacted about doing the film in an unspecified role. Also
recently folks like Ed Speleers, John Boyega, Jesse Plemons and theater actors Matthew James Thomas, and Ray Fisher were said to be circling an unspecified yet probable Jedi role in the pic. 12 Years a Slave Best Supporting Actress  Lupita Nyong'o is reportedly also tipped to feel the force

Franchise creator George Lucas told Bloomberg Businessweek that he begun talks with original stars to have them return to for its new films -- before he had even begun the process of the ultimately $2 billion deal between Disney/Lucasfilm. It's been said that Lucas' actually spent about a year planning the franchise's future  before handing the reigns of Lucasfilm over to Disney.

Fellow Original cast mates Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels say that they are keen on returning to that "galaxy far, far, away". Earlier in July actor Ray Park said that he would be interested in playing Darth Maul again as well. Back in May LR said that "The Tudors" and future Dracula TV series star Jonathan Rhys Meyers was having his "name thrown around a lot" in connection with the movie. The actor says the talk is not true. David Oyelowo has seemingly been tagged for a role, while Michael B. Jordan reportedly met with Abrams personally about the film. Sullivan Stapleton and Daniel Day Lewis were hovering around the film as well

It's rumored that Ewan McGregor will return as the Force Ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi McGregor played the Jedi Master in The Prequel Trilogy while Alec Guinness portrayed the Force Ghost version of Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Original Trilogy. The Force Ghost is much the same way that actor Ian McDiarmid  could return as Emperor Palpatine. The character met his end in the final reel of "Return of the Jedi"...

This photo indicates that Astro-Droid R2 D2 is in the film. Yahoo reported that the film's crew has constructed a full scale Millennium Falcon to be used during the filming. An inside source for JediNews hints that the film may take us to the Sith home world of Korriban At the same time the site also suggests that that Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage), Alexis Dziena (Fool's Gold) and Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story) are up for roles in the film.

Peter Mayhew who played the legendary Wookiee Chewbacca in 4 of the previous films is apparently set to return--a report surfaced a few weeks ago that a recent canceled convention appearance in late May was "due to filming" was because of 'Episode VII'. Now, sources for The Hollywood Reporter have seemingly confirmed the news. The suits had no comment.

It was rumored recently that Alex Pettyfer ("Magic Mike," "I Am Number Four) likely auditioned for the role of Luke Skywalker’s son. Rachel Hurd-Wood reportedly went in for an audition to play the daughter of Princess Leia in the sequel. Latino Review claims they "got it confirmed via representation and other solid sources". Noise that Sherlock and "Star Trek Into Darkness" star Benedict Cumberbatch was poised to reunite with JJ were squashed but persist nonetheless. Saoirse Ronan is in there too. She even confirmed to Sky News that she auditioned for the film, but added "so has everyone". Former "Spartacus" star Liam McIntyre has reportedly read for the part of a Jedi role, while Ksenia Solo ("Black Swan") is apparently in contention for the role of Leia and Han Solo's daughter.
Zac Efron and Ryan Gosling were rumored to be in the running for the eagerly awaited next film with Gosling in particular being talked about for the role of Luke Skywalker's son. Zac told MTV that "I just went and met with [producers]. So I don't know. It would be cool. I love [the Star Wars movies], I love them, but... who knows?" Leonardo DiCaprio is said to have passed on an offer to appear. Pretty wild...

Kasdan ("The Empire Strikes Back," "Raiders of the Lost Ark") and Simon Kinberg ("Sherlock Holmes," "X-Men: Days of Future Past") have reportedly closed deals to pen the final two installments of the new "Star Wars" trilogy. Kasdan and Kinberg are also indeed developing stand alone/origin  Star Wars features. Current franchise chief, Kathleen Kennedy spoke to Yahoo about the stand-alone films saying that they will NOT affect the main narrative of the Episodes.

The series MVP composer John Williams is set to score Episode VII, Episode VIII and Episode IX.

Kasdan and Kinberg would also join the projects as producers with Kennedy.

Production is scheduled to run from now until September, an official press release outlining who will be in the movie is expected to drop in the coming weeks in time for
'Star Wars Day' on May 4th, ten days out from the original production start date

The film now has a confirmed release date of December 18, 2015

Production Art From Sin City: A Dame to Kill For Goes Up

The Facebook page for the upcoming "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" posted a series of storyboards used by the production-- although they really look more like comic panels, specially created for the books They're violent and crude you've been warned.

Here are a few examples:

The characters of Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba), Hartigan (Bruce Willis) and Marv (Mickey Rourke) will indeed return, Nancy's mini-story will act as a bridge for both the other stories in this film as well as those in the first film-Rosario Dawson is back as well. The stories told in the sequel take place before and after the events in the first film.

Jaime King, who played Goldie and Wendy in Sin City, is officially set to reprise her role as Wendy. She will be joined by Jamie Chung, who will be taking over the role of deadly little Miho, previously played by Devon Aoki. Eva Green has been cast in the role of Ava Lord. Stacy Keach ("Prison Break," "The Bourne Legacy") has signed to play mob boss Wallenquist, described by Miller as "the one man who can't be redeemed in Sin City. He is pure evil."

Clive Owen was expected to come back. However, since his character undergoes a radical face change, Josh Brolin is playing Dwight Dennis Haysbert will play Manute in the film The role was previously played by Michael Clarke Duncan, who unfortunately passed away. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is poised to play a smooth talking gambler named Johnny, a role which was originally offered to Johnny Depp. Christopher Meloni plays a brutish cop. Julia Garner (Martha Marcy May Marlene) will play a young stripper opposite JGL's Johnny. Ray Liotta, Juno Temple and Jeremy Piven also star.

Robert Rodriguez is co-directing the film with Frank Miller using their adapted screenplay written with William Monahan.

The film will open on August 22nd 2014.

Mrs. Doubtfire 2: Somebody Extinguish This PLEASE....

Fox 2000 is developing a sequel to the 1993  comed hit "Mrs. Doubtfire" says Variety .

Star Robin Williams and director Chris Columbus are reportedly attached to the follow-up, with "Elf" scribe David Berenbaum signed on to pen the screenplay.

Williams starred in the original as a struggling actor and divorced father who tries to get closer to his children by pretending to be a Scottish nanny named Eupheginia Doubtfire.

The project has been languishing in development for over a decade, but suddenly picked up heat again when a new storyline by Berenbaum excited the interest of both Williams and Columbus.

No story details on the follow up have been released yet.

This is so absurd and desperate! I don't care if Williams is interested and Columbus says yes---this will suck!!

Actress Mara Wilson, who played Williams and Sally Field’s young daughter Natalie Hillard, in the original tweeted: