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" 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 my 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

Simon West Charts "Stratton"

Simon West ("Con Air," "The Expendables 2") will call the shots on the action thriller "Stratton" says ScreenDaily.

Based on the the lead character in author Duncan Falconer's series--the first of eight novels called The Hostage, follows action from the borders of Kazakhstan and China, to mainland Europe and then London. The story focuses on John Stratton ("Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice" star Henry Cavill), a Special Boat Service operative who works with the intelligence services in Northern Ireland.

There’s no word on a writer to pen the adapted script yet.

Production company Promethean was created by Cavill, his brother Charlie Cavill and London-based producer Rex Glensy.

The project was originally optioned and developed by Ileen Maisel and Lawrence Elman who brought the project to Promethean..

Production will take place in the UK and Italy this summer.

Last Peek: "Insurgent"

The final trailer for Insurgent, the sequel to the Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate film Divergent has dropped.

The action 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.

Shailene Woodley is back playing Tris as she searches for allies and answers in the dystopian ruins of a futuristic Chicago while on the run with Four (Theo James) and hunted by the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite (Kate Winslet).

Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Jai Courtney and Zoe Kravitz are also returning while Octavia Spencer will play Johanna, the leader of the Amity faction. Suki Waterhouse plays Marlene, a member of the Dauntless faction. Jonny Weston's character deets are unknown. Naomi Watts has signed on for the next three installments of the film series in the key role of Evelyn, the leader of the Factionless whose role grows as the series goes along. “Lost” and Hawaii Five-0 actor Daniel Dae Kim will play Jack Kang, a Candor representative who briefly houses members of the Dauntless faction not allied with the Erudite. The one time Parenthood guest star Rosa Salazar is Lynn.  She is one of the Dauntless-born initiates, and, in books, is described as beautiful and sports a shaved head. Dance Academy TV star Keiynan Lonsdale is playing Uriah an initiate like Tris who grows closer to her as the stakes get higher. The character did appear in the first novel but  he did not pop up in the film adaptation."Chef” actor Emjay Anthony will portray Hector--The Dauntless-born brother of the Shauna and Lynn characters.

Divergent director Neil Burger (“Limitless”) opted NOT to return to call action on the follow-up--due to the compressed production schedule for the film series. The first has grossed over $252 million worldwide since the movie’s March 21 2014 release.

Robert Schwentke directed the film that adapts the 2nd novel in author Veronica Roth's young adult novel series using a screenplay by Brian Duffield and Akiva Goldsman.

Douglas Wick Lucy Fisher and Pouya Shabazian will produce the film.

Todd Lieberman David Hoberman Neil Burger and Barry Waldman are the executive producers.

I enjoyed the first film more than I thought I would (or should)...Anything is better than the glittering vampires of the  Twilight film series...

Production took place in Atlanta The sequel will hit theaters on March 20th.

Ben Hardy Goes From Soap Star To Mutant

The Wrap reports that British actor Ben Hardy has won a key role in Bryan Singer's "X-Men: Apocalypse".

The younger actors introduced in "X-Men: First Class James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto) Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Nicholas Hoult (Beast) and Lucas Till (Alex “Havok” Summers), etc. are contracted for three films and are locked in to return. Rose Byrne will reprise her role of Moira MacTaggert here.

This time the mutants will take on Apocalypse, aka. En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac). In the comics, En Sabah Nur is the world's first mutant who was born in Egypt around 3,000 BC and had access to advanced technology. The events of the film take place in the 80's. We were told that the studio originally wanted "Inception" and "The Dark Knight Rises" actor Tom Hardy to play the bad guy in the film. The character was teased in the post-credits scene of "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (Played by Brendan Pedder).

Ben's role is unknown at this point, but it is said to be "significant to the X-Men universe". Speculation has already pointed to him as a potential young Colossus, with his average height at 5'10" Others have suggested a new incarnation of Angel/Archangel. His only other screen credit is his regular role as Peter Beale on long-running British soap "EastEnders"--his character left the soap this week.

Alexandra Shipp will play the young Storm. Tye Sheridan will play Cyclops Kodi Smit-McPhee has been cast as a young Nightcrawler and Sophie Turner will play Jean Grey.

Chloe Moretz, Hailee Steinfeld, Elle Fanning, Ben Hardy, Charlie Rowe Taron Egerton ("Kingsman: The Secret Service), Jamie Blackley ("If I Stay") Alexandra Shipp Zendaya Coleman, Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet were each the mix to play a young mutant before the final choices were made.

The adult incarnations of the characters were played by Halle Berry, Famke Janssen and James Marsden in various chapters of the film series. Alan Cumming played Nightcrawler in X2: X-Men United.

It is likely that Channing Tatum will debut as the X-Men mutant Gambit here before getting a solo film

"X2: X-Men United" and "Superman Returns" screenwriters Mike Dougherty and Dan Harris as well as Simon Kinberg are writing the script for "Apocalypse" .

Production is slated to begin in the Spring. The film will hit theaters on May 27, 2016 opposite Alice in Wonderland 2.

The Huntsman: Frost Returns, Gets Jessica Chastain

Heat Vision  reports that Jessica Chastain is set to join The Huntsman--the prequel to Snow White and the Huntsman.

Back in August 2012--it was revealed that Universal Pictures originally planned to continue the franchise by featuring two more films with Kristen Stewart as Snow White, then a spin-off with Chris Hemsworth alone. Due to Stewart's troubles for cheating on Robert Pattinson with original  Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders, the studio was scrapping the first draft for the sequel, and “exploring options to continue the franchise”–with or without Stewart, And at that time said that"no decision has been made."

 Deadline reported in late January that Nick Frost and Toby Jones couldn't ink a deal to return about reprising their dwarf roles, and that Eddie Marsan is also not returning due to scheduling issues with cable series Ray Donovan. The site now reports that Nick Frost and Universal "have worked it out" for him to return.

We found out late last year that Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption") vacated the job of calling action on the pic  Darabont was set to helm the project last June beating out Andy Muschietti ("Mama") and  Gavin O'Connor ("Warrior"). Darabont and the studio have reportedly separated on amicable terms, citing "creative differences" as the reason for the split.

Visual effects specialist Cedric Nicolas-Troyan is set to call the shots now-- He served as second unit director on the original movie and has been a visual effects guru on movies like the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. The 'Huntsman' would mark his his directorial debut, although he has been linked to other fantasy films including Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2 and the "Highlander" remake.

 Darabont, Craig Mazin and Evan Spiliotopoulos penned the most recent draft of the screenplay.

 Charlize Theron is expected to return as the evil Ravenna. Emily Blunt has been in talks for several weeks to join the project as another villain, though her deal isn't closed as yet.

 Universal suits say that they plan to stay on track with the film and are keeping their April 22nd 2016 release date.