Thursday, January 31, 2013

Worthington Works For The Dogs

Sam Worthington will star in the indie action-thriller "For The Dogs" says Variety,

Based on author Kevin Wignall's novel and centers on a solitary assassin who agrees to help a bright college girl exact revenge on those who mercilessly murdered her parents and younger brother.

Oren Moverman will re-write a script by Paul Leyden from which Phillip Noyce wil direct

Worthington, Leyden, Anthony Rhulen, Navid McIlhargey, John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz will produce.

Langella Helps Reagan @ "Reykjavik"

Frank Langella has joined cast of the historical indie drama "Reykjavik" says Deadline.

The story is based on the 1986 Reykjavík Summit between President Ronald Reagan (Michael Douglas) and Russian President and Mikhail Gorbachev (Christoph Waltz) which led to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the two super powers.

Langella will play Paul Nitze, United States Secretary of the Navy and Reagan’s most senior and trusted adviser.

Kevin Hood wrote the script.

Ridley Scott was previously linked to helm the pic now though Mike Newell is now in talks to direct. Scott remains on board as producer along with David W. Zucker, Mark Sennet and Stewart Mackinnon.

Production kicks off in March in Germany.

Welling Checks Into "Parkland"

Former "Smallville" star Tom Welling has joined the ensemble drama "Parkland"--about President John F. Kennedy's assassination says Deadline.

 The title refers to the hospital where JFK was pronounced dead, his assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, died two days later, and Oswald's killer Jack Ruby died several years after that.

James Badge Dale Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton Zac Efron Marcia Gay Harden Jackie Earle Haley, Colin Hanks, David Harbour Ron Livingston and Jacki Weaver also star.

Writer Peter Landesman is set to make his directorial debut on the film which chronicles the fateful day and private citizen Abraham Zapruder's famous film of the event. Landesman also penned the adapted screenplay from a book by the famed Vincent Bugliosi

Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are set to produce the pic.

Filming is undrtway in Austin, Texas with the aim of getting it into theaters by November for the 50th anniversary of the assassination

Chastain & Farrell Meet "Miss Julie"

Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell are set to star in "Faithless" director Liv Ullmann's adaptation of August Strindberg's battle-of-the-sexes play "Miss Julie" says Variety,

The original story is set in 1874 at a count's estate in Sweden. The action follows a woman trying to escape an existence cramped by social mores who is suddenly drawn to a senior servant.

Samantha Morton also stars.

Oliver Dungey and Teun Hilte are producing the pic.

Duncan Jones Helms Warcraft Flick

"Moon" and "Source Code" director Duncan Jones is set to direct "Warcraft", the lomg time coming feature film says Heat Vision.

The Seventh Son" and "Blood Diamond" scribe Charles Leavitt has taken over writing duties on the film adaptation of the MMORPG World of Warcraft.

Sam Raimi and screenwriter Robert Rodat ("Saving Private Ryan") previously completed at least a 40-page treatment and then departed last year.

Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Charles Roven and Alex Gartner will be producing.

The film hopes to begin this Fall for a 2015 release.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Theron Is Worth A "Million" To MacFarlane

Charlize Theron is in talks to join future Oscar host Seth MacFarlane's "Blazing Saddles"-style western comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West says Heat Vision.

MacFarlane will direct and star in the film from a script he and his "Ted" collaborators Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild wrote,

Using MacFarlane’s signature adult humor, the script deals with just how dangerous and painful life really was in the late 1800s. The story follows a farmer (MacFarlane) who wimps out of a gunfight, causing his girlfriend to leave him. He enlists the help of an outlaw's wife (presumably played by Theron) to help him shoot, only to find himself falling for her.

"Ted" producer Scott Stuber is set to reteam for the film

Production takes place this Summer

Efron Goes Supernatural In "The Falling"

Zac Efron will star in the supernatural thriller The Falling says THR.

The plot is being kept under wraps for now, but the story is said to be “an edgy thriller centering around an otherworldly being.”

Efron will also produce thr film with Tory Tunnell, and Joby Harold (All You Need Is Kill). The story idea was brought to Goldman’s attention by Warner Bros., and in turn Goldsman then broke the full story with Harold.

The search is now underway for a screenwriter to work on the script. 

Hardy & Rapace Have "Child 44"

Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace are in talks to star in the film adaptation of author Tom Rob Smith's novel "Child 44" reports THR.

The first book in a trilogy is set in the Joseph Stalin-era Soviet Union and follows disgraced lawman Leo Demidov who is assigned to investigate a series of gruesome child murders.

Hardy will play the Soviet officer while Rapace will play his wife, who pretends to be a  doting partner but is concealing many thoughts and feelings.

The story is based on the real life tale of Ukrainian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo aka the Rostov Ripper who was executed in 1994 for 52 murders.

"Safe House" director Daniel Espinosa will call action on the pic.

Richard Price adapted the script.

Ridley Scott was once attached to direct and remains producer with Michael Costigan

Hardy and Rapace are also set to work on Michael R. Roskam's film adaptation of author Dennis Lehane's short story "Animal Rescue" which will shoot first

MGM Says It's "Me Before You"

MGM has won the feature film rights to author Jojo Moyes' bestseller "Me Before You" says Deadline.

The story follows two very different characters: Lou, a small town girl caught between dead-end jobs and Will, a high-profile, successful man who becomes wheelchair bound following an accident. Will has decided his life is not worth living until Lou is hired for six months to be his new caretaker. Worlds apart and trapped together by circumstance, the two get off to a rocky start. But, Lou becomes determined to prove to Will that life is worth living and as they embark on a series of adventures together, each finds their world changing in ways neither of them could begin to imagine.

The book has sold over half a million copies.

Cooper Hails From "Primrose Lane"

Warner Bros. has acquired author James Renner's novel "The Man from Primrose Lane" which will be developed into a star vehicle for Bradley Cooper says Deadline.

The story follows true-crime writer David Neff, who, in investigating the strange murder mystery of a recluse known as "the man with a thousand mittens," quickly becomes obsessively embroiled in a chain of serial murders. The closer Neff comes to uncovering the true identity of the Man from Primrose Lane, the more he discovers his own dangerous connection to the series of crimes. He realizes in order to end the cycle of death and capture the killer he must look outside the parameters of what he believed to be true about time and space.

Chad Feehan is writing the adapted script.

Cooper and Kevin McCormick will produce.

The Muppets Start Filming "Again"!

Production has started on "The Muppets 2" officially titled "Muppets...Again" says a press release.

In this Europe set adventure there are a trio of key human roles--Tina Fey will be playing a Russian gulag prison guard Modern Family star Ty Burrell will play the key role of an Interpol official--Christoph Waltz was originally in talks for that part--Ricky Gervais is playing a character with questionable intentions. There's also likely going to be a number of celebrity cameos--including Ray Liotta

Here's the official synopsis:

Mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine -- the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit -- and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Ricky Gervais. The film stars Tina Fey as Nadya, a feisty prison guard, and Ty Burrell as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon.

The Muppets human star/co-writer Jason Segel, will not be returning for the follow-up, but director James Bobin is coming back. Bobin co-wrote the script with Nicholas Stoller.

David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing the pic

Bobbin proclaims:.

"It’s great to be back working with the Muppets, some of them even remember my name occasionally now," the director said. As for the movie, it’s a tip of the hat to the old-school crime capers of the ’60s, but featuring a frog, a pig, a bear and a dog—no panthers, even pink ones—along with the usual Muppet-y mix of mayhem, music and laughs."

The film is due out on March 21, 2014.

Scott Produces Mind MGMT Flick

A film adaptation of Matt Kindt's indie comic "Mind MGMT" is in the works says Heat Vision.

The ongoing series centers on a government agency consisting of psychic spies and their greatest asset, Henry Lime. After he suffers a breakdown and loses control of his abilities, causing the populace of a town to kill one another, he goes on the run. Several years later, a true-crime author named Meru, who was part of a flight where everyone mysteriously developed amnesia, is saved by Lime and begins to investigate the agency, uncovering her own secret connection to it.

The search for a writer to adapt the script is on.

Ridley Scott, Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg will produce the film.

Entourage Film Gets Go Ahead

Warner Bros. has green lit a film version of the HBO series "Entourage" says Deadline

The film will continue to follow the Hollywood lives of actor Vincent Chase, his manager and agent, his under-appreciated TV actor brother and the childhood pal/driver who form his inner circle. The story starts six months after the TV series left off.

Deals are starting to be made with the cast Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, and Jeremy Piven.

Series creator Doug Ellin wrote the script from which he will direct,

There is no start date as yet.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Justice League Film Hinges On Man Of Steel $$

While Kevin Tsujihara is now the CEO, Jeffrey Robinov is still the head of the motion picture group at Warner Bros.

Talking about the studio's upcoming slate, in Variety, Robinov says that Warners will hold back on green lighting ""Justice League" until we know the box-office how sucessfull the reboot "Man Of Steel" is.

The movie would reportedly use the storyline by Gerry Conway from Justice League Of America 183-185.

The "Justice League " teams DC Entertainment's most famous heroes (Batman, Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, among others)--with the script by "The Gangster Squad" writer Will Beall already being worked on. Getting a director and then a cast is the next order of business.

The arc sees Darkseid, the oppressive god ruler of the war planet Apokolips, planning the destruction of Earth by blasting it with a weapon that moves Apokolips into Earth’s place.

The storyline has the Justice League teaming up with the Justice Society of America--Does this mean we will we see two teams in one movie? That could be great but is it too ambitious?

The studio is taking the opposite approach to that of DC's main rival Marvel. While Marvel slowly built each hero's backstory in separate film series before getting "The Avengers" on screen, Warners and DC will have their superheroes go into their own movies following their introduction in "Justice League."

It's assumed that Henry Cavill's Superman in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" will likely be a part of a JL film, but there is no official word that's a sure thing...Would the Ryan Reynolds version of "Green Lantern" be part of the film...? The rumored Armie Hammer for Bats since Warners is planning to keep the Christopher Nolan's Bat-verse separate and apart from its plans for DC Comic films moving forward?.. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was fancied to be appearing in the upcoming movie as the new Batman....but that was quickly nixed by JGL's peeps.

Production on the project is hoped to get underway next year for a Summer 2015 release. The date puts the film in direct competition with "The Avengers 2" which is slated for May 1st 2015.

Green Is "A Dame to Kill For"

Eva Green has been cast in the role of Ava Lord in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For says THR.

Green’s casting marks the end of a long search for an actress to take on the role of Ava Lord, who is at the heart of the pulpy story.

Given Green's work as a Bond Girl of "Casino Royale" and the often naked cinephile of "The Dreamers"--She's perfect for this .

The characters of Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba), Bruce Willis is set reprising his role of Hartigan 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. While Clive Owen stated last year that he had yet to hear about a return, the trade says he is expected to come back. However, since his character undergoes a radical face change, Josh Brolin is said to be set to play Dwight Dennis Haysbert will play Manute in the film The role was previously played by Michael Clarke Duncan, who unfortunately passed away last September. 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. Ray Liotta, Juno Temple and Jeremy Piven also star.

Lord is a woman shaped by "every man's most glorious dreams come true and every man's darkest nightmares," according to Miller himself. She makes men do stupid, stupid things (especially Brolin's Dwight)

Deadline is reporting that Julia Garner (Martha Marcy May Marlene) will play a young stripper opposite JGL's Johnny.

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

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is set to hit theatres October 4, 2013.

Morel Will Shoot "Prone Gunman"

French filmmaker Pierre Morel ("Taken") is in negotiations to direct the action thriller "Prone Gunman" says Heat Vision.

Based on author Jean-Patrick Manchette's novel, the story centers on an international operative named Martin Terrier (Sean Penn) who is betrayed by the organization he works for. He then goes on the run in a relentless game of cat-and-mouse across Europe.

The author's work has been described as "existentialist and involving explorations of politics as well as the human condition."

Peter Travis is writing the adapted script

Joel Silver and Andrew Rona will produce the film.

Production hopes to kick off in the Spring.

The Superbowl 47 Movie Spots

Super Bowl 47--between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers--airs this Sunday. Each year the question of which films will get promo spots comes up...

The Live Feed reports that Universal Pictures will screen the first footage from The Fast and the Furious 6 in a special trailer made specifically for the the big game.

Paramount will run 30-second ads for both "World War Z" and "Star Trek Into Darkness".

Disney will air three ads - "Oz The Great and Powerful," "The Lone Ranger" and "Iron Man 3" - either during the game or pre-game shows.

Cronenberg Acts In "Body Art"

"Cosmopolis" director David Cronenberg, novelist Don DeLillo's and producer Paolo Branco are re-teaming on another project - "Body Art" says Variety.

Cronenberg is not calling action though, rather he will co-star with Isabelle Huppert ("Amour") and Denis Lavant ("Holy Motors").

The film follows Huppert as a woman who, grieving after her husband's death, discovers that a stranger is living in her upstairs room.

Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino ("I Am Love") will direct the project and adapt the script from DeLillo's novella "The Body Artist."

Production will kick off this Summer.

Singer On Time Travel In "X-Men: Days of Future Past"

Bryan Singer tells Empire Online that he consulted filmmaker James Cameron about the time travel aspects of the upcoming "X-Men: Days of Future Past" which features the casts of "X-Men: First Class" and the original trilogy.

Singer says he doesn't think people realize how big the film is going to be, or that it will take all the previous films into account:

"We've cracked it in a way that it makes sense. I had a two-hour conversation with James Cameron about time travel. You have to create your rules and stick with them. That's why Terminator and Back to the Future work so well. And there are certain mechanisms in 'X-Men,' certain powers that make this possible.I'm taking into account every movie – I'm not just grabbing my first two movies and 'First Class' and smashing them together. I'm taking into account the entire universe as it's been laid out so far on the screen, and really respecting it and trying to work with that. People took things in various directions, so there's some clean-up. But ultimately I'm not just ignoring them."

The entire X-Men: First Class cast is set to reprise their roles, including James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), and Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Rose Byrne (Moira MacTaggert), and Nicholas Hoult (Beast).Sir Ian McKellen Sir Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman are already poised to return again as well. Anna Paquin (Rogue), Ellen Page (Kitty Pride) and Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) While it was hoped that Halle Berry (Storm) and James Marsden (Cyclops) would be back

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.

The sequel is based on a -2 issue story arc in the 'X-Men' comics published in 1981. Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes) is on board to pen the screenplay which will include New Mutants. Magneto and his relationship with Charles X. Xavier will be front and center as well.

Scheduled to begin shooting soon, "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" hits screens July 18th 2014

Monday, January 28, 2013

Giamatti Storms In For Rhino; Jones Circles Spidey 2

THR is reporting that Paul Giamatti is in talks to play the villain, the Rhino in the upcoming sequel  "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" Additionally, Felicity Jones (Like Crazy), is in talks for an undisclosed role in the film.

Andrew Garfield is already set to return as Peter Parker and Emma Stone is in talks to reprise her role as Gwen Stacy.

In the comics Rhino is the alter-ego of Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevic, a Soviet thug with a suit that gives him super strength and speed which first appeared in 1966s The Amazing Spider-Man #41.

Shailene Woodley has won the role of Mary Jane Watson, the perennial red-headed love interest of Pater Parker in the Spidey comics. The role was previously played by Kirsten Dunst in director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Trilogy. 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

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

The Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb will be back calling action.

Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach will produce.

The new film is due to begin productnion in Febuary to meet its May 2nd 2014 release date.

Rowe Will Walk With Dinosaurs

Charlie Rowe ("Never Let Me Go," "The Boat That Rocked") has landed the lead role in the feature "Walking With Dinosaurs 3D" says Variety.

A cinematic reboot of the BBC documentary series, the story follows two brothers looking to follow in their father's footsteps.This leads them to a showdown with dinosaurs in the Arctic.

Neil Nightingale and Barry Cook will co-direct from a script by John Collee and Theodore Thomas.

Mike Devlin, Amanda Hill and Deepak Nayar are producing.

Empire Looks Under The Man Of Steel's Cape

Empire Magazine's March issue has a cover story on Zack Snyder's big budget reboot Superman: Man of Steel featuring a new pic of Henry Cavill in the suit.

It also features the first official stills of Russell Crowe as Jor-El.and Michael Shannon as General Zod.

MOS also stars Amy Adams Kevin Costner Diane Lane Antje Traue Christopher Meloni Harry Lennix Laurence Fishburne and Ayelet Zurer. Bradley Cooper is said to be in talks to make a cameo appearance as Lex Luthor as a set-up for sequels. But that's not been confirmed. Emmy-winning actor Richard Schiff will play Dr. Hamilton. Cooper Timberline and Dylan Sprayberry both play young Clark Kent at various ages in the film. Jadin Gould is a young Lana Lang.

David S. Goyer wrote the first screenplay draft based on a story he concocted with Christopher. His bro Jonah Nolan taking a crack at the task as well Kurt Johnstad did rewrites.

Charles Roven, Emma Thomas Deborah Snyder, and Nolan will be producers on the film.

MOS flies into theaters June 14th 2013

Cooper As Lance Armstrong? Not So Fast

Last week we learned Paramount and J.J. Abrams' production company Bad Robot are developing a biopic about disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.The companies have won the rights to The New York Times reporter Juliet Macur's upcoming work "Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong" due to be publishedin June. Macur covered Armstrong's career for over a decade.

And then chatter started to pick up steam that Bradley Cooper was in talks to star.

Cooper discussed the idea of playing Armstrong last week. He told The BBC: "I remember Matt Damon was going to do his autobiography at one point years ago. I remember thinking, that would be a great character, I'd love to play that character. I would love to do something, I think he's pretty fascinating."

Abrams confirmed in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that he has talked about the idea with Cooper.. Cooper's acting career was launched after Abrams cast him as a regular on the spy thriller series "Alias".

Then last night at the Screen Actors Guild Awards®, Cooper was asked by Access Hollywood about the Armstrong casting rumors. "No ... Oh my god, that's so nuts. I was in Manchester, doing the BBC morning show… I had no idea what [the interviewer] was talking about. I didn’t even know that J.J. has the rights, I had no idea. I don’t know anything about it."

Sunday, January 27, 2013

SAG Awards `13: The Wjnners & More

The 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® are now history. As usual my favorite part of the show was not the handing out of the main awards....

The Life Achievement Award presentation to the great Dick Van Dyke was the highlight. The new James Bond film Skyfall received its Stunt Ensemble award prior to the live telecast.

Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture


Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Leading Role

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Leading Role

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Supporting Role

Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Supporting Role

Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Outstanding Action Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Motion Picture


The Winners of the TV Awards can be found here...and then The Winners React

Sightings and Stories from the After-Party

Box Office Update: Witch Hunters Win But

Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters is #1 but it's nothing to brag about; Action pic Parker is soft while comedy spoof  Movie 43 bombs...

Pamela McClintock of THR:

There was no fairy tale ending for a trio of R-rated films debuting at the North American box office.

Paramount and MGM's action-comedy Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters may have topped the weekend chart with a $19 million opening, but the film still underperformed despite star Jeremy Renner and the upcharge for a 3D ticket. Hansel and Gretel, like other films, took a big hit Friday night because of a major snow storm stretching from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic.

Hansel and Gretel is, however, making up ground overseas, where it opened in another 19 markets over the weekend, earning $25 million for an international total of $35.8 million and worldwide cume of $54.8 million.

The news was all-out dismal for Jason Statham-Jennifer Lopez crime-thriller Parker as well as Movie 43, featuring one of the most star-studded ensemble casts ever mounted. Parker came in No. 5, grossing $7 million; Movie 43, earning a D CinemaScore, only took in $5 million to all but tie with Django Unchained for No. 6.

Hansel and Gretel picks up 15 years after the classic fairy tale leaves off as the famous siblings (Gretel is played by Gemma Arterton) travel the globe hunting witches. Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested the $50 million movie, whose producers include Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, would gross in the $25 million range.

Hansel and Gretel saw a dramatic jump on Saturday as bad weather cleared, with grosses up 38 percent. Other movies also saw bigger-than-usual gains from Friday to Saturday.

"People simply stopped going out Friday night in the affected regions. Your nighttime business is everything when you have an R-rated film," Paramount president of domestic marketing and distribution Megan Colligan said.

Universal's horror pic Mama continued to benefit from its teen-friendly PG-13 rating, considering the glut of R-rated films playing at the North American box office (eight of the weekend's top 10 films are rated R). Mama, starring Jessica Chastain, grossed $12.9 million in its second weekend for a domestic total of $48.6 million and coming in No. 2.

Oscar best picture contenders Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty -- also starring Chastain -- took the next two spots as both continued to enjoy an awards bump at the box office.

Silver Linings, from The Weinstein Co., grossed $10 million after falling a mere 7 percent from the previous weekend to come in No. 3. The film's domestic total is $69.5 million.

Placing No. 4, Zero Dark Thirty grossed $9.8 million for a domestic cume of $70 million. The film placed No. 4.

Directed by Taylor Hackford (Ray), Parker is being distributed domestically by FilmDistrict and was financed by Sierra/Affinity, Incentive Filmed Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel. Those backing the film had hoped it would eclipse Statham's last film Safe, which opened to a disappointing $7.9 million in April 2012.

Parker earned a B+ CinemaScore and cost roughly $35 million to produce.

The roster of stars appearing in Movie 43 -- a series of comic shorts and the brainchild of Peter Farrelly -- includes Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, Naomi Watts and many others. A raft of filmmakers and talent directed the various vignettes, including Elizabeth Banks, Brett Ratner, Griffin Dunne and Bob Odenkirk.

Relativity Media spent a modest $6 million to make Movie 43 and says it was a creative risk worth taking.

Movie 43 tied with Oscar best picture contender Django Unchained for No. 6, which likewise took in $5 million for a domestic cume of $146.3 million.

Django continued to make headlines overseas in its second weekend, where it grossed $42.9 million for an early international total of $111.5 million and worldwide cume of $257.8 million. Sony and TWC are partners on the movie.

The Weekend Top 10 Films (*denotes Oscar best picture contender)

1. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, 1/3,372, Paramount/MGM, $19 million

2. Mama, 2/2,682, Universal, $12.9 million, $48.6 million

3. *Silver Linings Playbook, 11/2,641, The Weinstein Co., $10 million, $69.5 million

4. *Zero Dark Thirty, 6/2,929, Sony/Annapurna, $9.8 million, $70 million

5. Parker, 1/2,224, FilmDistrict, $7 million

6. *Django Unchained, 5/2,007, The Weinstein Co., $5 million, $146.3 million

7. Movie 43, 1/2,023, Relativity Media, $5 million

8. Gangster Squad, 3/2,590, Warner Bros., $4.2 million, $39.6 million

9. Broken City, 2/2,622, Fox/New Regency, $4 million, $15.3 million

10. *Les Miserables, 5/2210, Universal, $3.9 million, $137.2 million

Next Up: Based upon the book by Isaac Marion it's Twilight meets Shaun of the Dead and called it's Warm BodiesAl Pacino, Alan Arkin and Christopher Walken| are Stand Up Guys; Sylvester Stallone is a sure shot in Bullet to the Head; And Chad Michael Murray gets scared in The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia

Saturday, January 26, 2013

More X-Stars Return For "Days Of Future's Past

Director Bryan Singer tweeted that Anna Paquin (Rogue), Ellen Page (Kitty Pride) and Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) are set to reprise their roles in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Very excited to welcome , @ellenpage & @shawnrashmore to - thank you @BrettRatner for letting them live!

Brett Ratner took over on X-Men: The Last Stand when Singer left to direct Superman Returns,

The entire X-Men: First Class cast is set to reprise their roles, including James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), and Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Rose Byrne (Moira MacTaggert), and Nicholas Hoult (Beast).Sir Ian McKellen Sir Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman are already poised to return again as well. While it was hoped that Halle Berry (Storm) and James Marsden (Cyclops) would be back

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.

The sequel is based on a -2 issue story arc in the 'X-Men' comics published in 1981. Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes) is on board to pen the screenplay which will include New Mutants. Magneto and his relationship with Charles X. Xavier will be front and center as well.

Scheduled to begin shooting soon, "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" hits screens July 18th 2014.

My Thoughts On Zero Dark Thirty

Earlier this week I went to see director Kathryn Bigelow's controversial war drama Zero Dark Thirty. As some question its accuracy, debate its depiction of torture and bemoan the "Best Director" Oscar snub....I found the film riveting. A thought provoking and compelling motion picture that doesn't dumb things down for the audience

The story follows Maya (Jessica Chastain), a Central Intelligence Agency officer, who has spent her entire tenure focusing solely on intelligence related to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following the September 11th attacks. She has just been reassigned to work with fellow officer Dan (Jason Clarke) at the U.S. embassy in Pakistan. During the first few months of her assignment, she often accompanies Dan to a black site for his ongoing interrogation of Ammar (Reda Kateb), a detainee with ties to several Saudi terrorists. Dan subjects him to torture and humiliation, including waterboarding.

He and Maya eventually trick Ammar into divulging an old acquaintance using the alias 'Abu Ahmed' who is working as a personal courier for bin Laden. Other detainees corroborate this, with some claiming he delivers messages between bin Laden and Abu Faraj al-Libbi (Yoav Levi). In mid-2005, Abu Faraj is apprehended by the CIA and local police in Pakistan. Maya interrogates Abu Faraj and has him tortured, but he continues to deny knowing a courier with such a name. Maya interprets this as Abu Faraj trying to conceal the true importance of Abu Ahmed.

As the investigation brings Maya closer to finding bin Laden her superior Joseph Bradley (Kyle Chandler) thinks her leads are running cold,,.

Writer Mark Boal extensively researched the film which centers on an elite Black Ops team's attempt to assassinate Osama bin Laden  for a decade. His death in 2011 meant a few rewrites to the final act. The film devotes about 20 minutes to showing torture but it steers clear of an endorsement or condemnation of the policy---treating it as historical fact--a tool to elicit info from our enemies--Looked at within that context I find the protests about that aspect of the movie to be unwarranted.

"Thirty" is in the purest sense a procedural of how we found bin Laden with its final 40 minutes devoted to the Seal Team Six mission and killing of the terrorist leader.

I have heard some complain that the film is too technical and talk heavy and as a result is kinda boring--I say No Way! Chastain gives a great performance as Maya. She carries the film with an affecting weight, covering a wide range of emotions holding her own throughout amid some tough dialogue. Clarke is just superb as Dan. This is hands down his best performance to date. Chandler is sturdy as the boss.

Bigelow draws you in and never lets go by letting the events speak for themselves as history unfolds. Some may have wanted the film to focus more on the final raid and less on how we got there--I think that showing all the talky stuff  Bigelow made the ending all the more satisfying--knowing all that it took to get us there finally--which in turn  put us in the position to get bin Laden.

Run, don't walk, to the theater to see Zero Dark Thirty.

JFK Drama "Parkland" Is Before The Cameras

Jackie Earle Haley, Colin Hanks, David Harbour and Ron Livingston have all joined the cast of Parkland--about President John F. Kennedy's assassination announced Exclusive Media.

The title refers to the hospital where JFK was pronounced dead, his assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, died two days later, and Oswald's killer Jack Ruby died several years after that.

James Badge Dale . Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton Zac Efron Marcia Gay Harden amd Jacki Weaver also star.

Writer Peter Landesman is set to make his directorial debut on the film which chronicles the fateful day and private citizen Abraham Zapruder's famous film of the event. Landesman also penned the adapted screenplay from a book by the famed Vincent Bugliosi

Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are set to produce the pic.

Filming is undrtway in Austin, Texas with the aim of getting it into theaters by November for the 50th anniversary of the assassination

Abrams Officially Goes To The Dark Side--Keeps Treking

It's official folks J.J. Abrams is going to direct "Star Wars: Episode VII" at Disney/Lucasfilm...

What does this news mean for the rebooted Star Trek film franchise? Abrams is in post on the sequel "Star Trek Into Darkness" out in May and he helmed "Star Trek" in 2009.

Paramount Pictures Vice Chairman Rob Moore told The Los Angeles Times that Abrams will still be involved in some way if there is a third "Trek" movie, at minimum as a producer.

"J.J. will continue to develop projects for us including a new Mission: Impossible and he is committed to produce another 'Star Trek'" says Moore.

Ok that of course leads us to ask the next big question - if Abrams opts not to direct Trek 3, who will take the center seat?

My first thought was Nicholas Meyer--After all he had a hand in three of the most successful original series era films  Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and the capper Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country--But then I thought despite his proven track er--Trek record the suits will likely want a younger guy to take over...

I would want someone with genre experience...and at least a basic understanding of Trek. I hope that current writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman stay right where they are to finish the trilogy...

Stay Tuned...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Phoenix & PTA Share The Same "Vice"

Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to re-team with his "The Master" director Paul Thomas Anderson on an adaptation of author Thomas Pynchon's novel "Inherent Vice" says THR.

In 1969 Los Angeles, Phoenix will play a stoner detective named Doc Sportello, whose ex-girlfriend (Charlize Theron), sets things in motion when she comes to Doc with a story about her billionaire land developer boyfriend being kidnapped.

Anderson wrote the adapted  screenplay

Anderson, Megan Ellison, John Lesher and JoAnne Sellar will produce the film .

Robert Downey Jr. had been attached to the lead role

PTA has been talking about making Vice since 2010, but went off to make The Master instead. Word is PTA is looking to make Vice into a comedy in the vein of Cheech and Chong meets The Big Lebowski or Boogie Nights.

Winslet Circles "Divergent"

Kate Winslet is in talks to join Neil Burger's "Divergent," the first of a potential trilogy of films says Variety.

Author Veronica Roth's young adult novel is set in a society divided into five factions that each represent a particular virtue: honesty, selflessness, bravery, peacefulness and intelligence.Once a year, sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. It's then a teenage boy and girl set out to rebel against the system and discover a growing conflict that threatens to unravel this seemingly perfect society.

Winslet's role is unknown.

Shailene Woodley ("The Descendants") will star as a 16-year old who leaves her group to join a rival faction and falls in love with a young man. At last report Jeremy Irvine ("War Horse"), Lucas Till ("X-Men: First Class") and Alex Pettyfer ("Magic Mike") were going to test for the male lead and love interest in film--The role has been tough to cast with  Luke Bracey, Brenton Thwaites, and Jack Reynor trying out for the part with Till last November.

The second novel in the Trilogy was released in May.The last book will hit next year.

Snow White And The Huntsman screenwriter Evan Daugherty wrote the initial adapted script. Now Vanessa Taylor is presently re-writing the script.

Pouya Shabazian, Lucy Fisher and Douglas Wick will produce.

The release date for the adaptation has now been confirmed for March 21, 2014

Witherspoon Might Tell A "Good Lie"

Reese Witherspoon is in talks to star in the indie drama "The Good Lie" says Variety.

The story follows a young refugee of the Sudanese Civil War who wins a lottery for relocation to the United States with three other lost boys. They develop an unlikely friendship with a brash American woman assigned to help them, but the young man struggles to adjust to his new life and his feelings of guilt about the brother he left behind.

Philippe Falardeau ("Monsieur Lazhar") directs from a script by Margaret Nagle.

Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill, Thad Luckinbill, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Karen Kehela Sherwood will produce the film.

Green Updates "Joe" & Suspiria Remake

Since his newest indie comedy "Prince Avalanche" is a hit at the  Sundance Film Festival, filmmaker David Gordon Green ("Your Highness," "Pineapple Express") says his next project is almost done.

Green says of  the gritty Southern drama "Joe" :

"I’m almost finished this new movie, ‘Joe,’ we’re almost done with it. It’s Nicolas Cage in a movie that’s not like anything Nicolas Cage has done before. It’s dark as fuck. It’s a slow-burn, dark, heavy movie. Very grim."

The news is not good for Green's long in the works remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 horror classic "Suspiria":

"Suspiria is caught up in legal crap so who knows what will ever happen to that. That kind of falls into the 'Confederacy Of Dunces' category of 'someday I'd like to make these movies' that I was once attached to and worked on, but they may never happen."

Green adapted the screenplay with Chris Gebert and this version would see an American exchange student in Europe who attends a school that acts as decoy for a sinister organisation.

Casting was underway with Isabelle Fuhrman Janet McTeer, Michael Nyqvist and Antje Traue all set to star.

Nic Mathieu Helms Robotech Film

Commercials director Nic Mathieu will direct a big-budget film adaptation of the 1980s anime franchise "Robotech" says Heat Vision.

The story takes place at a time when Earth has developed giant robots from the technology on an alien spacecraft that crashed on a South Pacific isle. Mankind is forced to use the technology to fend off three successive waves of alien invasions.The first invasion concerns a battle with a race of giant warriors who seek to retrieve their flagship's energy source known as "protoculture," and the planet's survival ends up in the hands of two young pilots.

The original "Robotech" was a re-edited and re-dialogued to combine three Japanese anime series to give the producers enough episodes to air as a daily syndicated series.

The idea for a film  has been in around since 2007 with Lawrence Kasdan, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar all contributing to its screenplay. In  all that time, this is the first announcement of a director.

Akiva Goldsman Tobey Maguire Matthew Plouffe, Joby Harold and Tory Tunnell will produce.

Maguire may also act in the feature as well

Box Office Preview: Hansel & Gretel Hunt For #1

This weekend at the movies--Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton are Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters (reviews); And Jason Statham (reviews) is Parker; A gaggle of stars spoof cinema in Movie 43 (reviews).

Pamela McClintock of THR:

A trio of R-rated pics enter an already saturated marketplace for adult fare this weekend, with new 3D entry Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters expected to top the domestic chart with an opening in the $25 million range or better.

Paramount and MGM partnered on the $50 million action-comedy, starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as the famous siblings. In this more violent rendition, Hansel and Gretel are witch hunters. Written and directed by Tommy Wirkola, the movie's producers include Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.

Hansel and Gretel, originally set to be released last year, is tracking best among younger males and females.

That could pose a problem for raunchy sketch comedy Movie 43, the brainchild of Peter Farrelly and featuring one of the most ambitious ensemble casts ever put together. The roster of stars includes Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Emma Stone, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler and Naomi Watts. A raft of filmmakers and talent directed the various vignettes, including Elizabeth Banks, Brett Ratner, Griffin Dunne and Bob Odenkirk.

Movie 43 is projected to open in the $8 million to $12 million range. Similar to Hansel and Gretel, the film is tracking best among younger adults and older teens. Relativity Media spent a modest $6 million to make Movie 43 and says it was a creative risk worth taking.

The third new entry of the weekend is action-thriller Parker, pairing Jason Statham with Jennifer Lopez. Directed by Taylor Hackford (Ray), Parker also is expected to open in the $8 million to $10 million range, in line with Statham's previous movie, Safe Haven. FilmDistrict is distributing the pic domestically.

Not only do Movie 43 and Parker face competition from Hansel and Gretel, they also have to compete with a crop of strong holdovers, including Universal's horror pic Mama and a number of best picture Oscar contenders.

Mama, starring Jessica Chastain, is widely predicted to come in No. 2 in its second weekend and should continue to benefit from being rated PG-13. The film's gross through Wednesday was $34.7 million.

Chastain also stars in Oscar best picture contender Zero Dark Thirty, which could come in third. (She also is up for best actress at the Academy Awards next month.) Her films took the top two spots last week.

Observers will be watching this weekend to see how Zero Dark Thirty fares as its makes its first major overseas push, opening in a raft of major markets including the U.K. It has done good business in Spain already, earning $3 million to date.

Fellow best picture contender Lincoln also makes its first major foray internationally, where 20th Century Fox is releasing the drama. Foreign audiences will see a slightly different version of the film; special title cards have been added at the beginning contextualizing the uniquely American story.

More and more, Academy Award nominations can boost a film at the international box office, much as in the U.S. Last weekend, best picture contender Django Unchained opened just north of $48 million overseas.

Parker also opens in a number of international territories, where it was sold off to local distributors.