May 27, 2011 at 9:27 am #34303
I’m hoping that PopMediaPatrick comes over and takes the reins.
From The LA Times:
‘Avatar 2’: The James Cameron sequel finds a homeMay 26, 2011 | 1:08 p.m.
The sequel to “Avatar” will dive beneath the oceans of Pandora and perhaps visit neighboring moons as well, but the 2014 film will also be imprinted with the soul of Southern California, according to Richard Verrier of the Los Angeles Times business section. Verrier took a tour of the new home of the “Avatar” filmmaking team and its ambitions to follow up a film that pulled in a historic $2.8 billion in worldwide box office. Here’s an excerpt from Verrier’s report …
Over the din of buzz saws and beeping forklifts, producer Jon Landau can barely contain his excitement as he strides into a 45-foot-tall sound stage that is barren except for workers building sets for a commercial shoot. “We’re taking over these two buildings here. We’ll have 200-plus people working down here. This is going to be the heart of the next two ‘Avatars’, ” he beams, referring to the planned sequels to the highest grossing film of all time.
MBS Media Campus, formerly known as Manhattan Beach Studios, has just landed A-list tenant Lightstorm Entertainment, the production company headed by “Avatar” director James Cameron and his longtime business partner Landau. The duo had considered building their own facility or even moving to Vancouver, Canada, or New Zealand to take advantage of lucrative tax breaks. Instead, they opted to remain in Los Angeles –- a boost for a region that has lost many major film productions to other locales — because of the range of services at the sprawling complex near Los Angeles International Airport.
“We had a choice,” Landau said. “We could have been anywhere. When it came down to it, we looked at what they had to offer and it was almost the perfect production paradigm: with big soundstages, adjacent office space and dressing rooms and state-of-the-art infrastructure.”
Lots more to come on this franchise …
– Geoff BoucherMay 27, 2011 at 9:42 am #34305Success of sci-fi horror ‘Splice’ earns Telefilm title of biggest moneymaker
By Michael Oliveira, The Canadian Press – 7 hours ago
TORONTO — The director and co-writers of “Splice,” the sci-fi horror film starring Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody, received the Golden Box Office Award on Thursday for making the highest-grossing Canadian film of 2010.
The honour comes with a cheque for $40,000, to be shared by co-writer Doug Taylor and director/co-writer Vincenzo Natali, who noted that the cash would come in handy.
“Most people wouldn’t necessarily recognize this but when you make an independent film it’s a very long process — in this case with ‘Splice’ it really took 12 years,” said Natali.
“When you amortize the salary that a director/writer makes on a film like this it doesn’t come out to much on an annual basis, so a cheque coming from the government at the end of the process — when I’m pretty much destitute — is a very welcomed thing.”
In “Splice,” Polley and Brody play hot-shot scientists who experiment with genetics and end up creating a horrific human-animal hybrid.
The film grossed $2.1 million in domestic box office sales and $26.9 million worldwide.
Natali, who burst onto the scene with his surreal 1997 feature “Cube,” thanked the Telefilm, the federally backed agency which gives out the award, and funded “Splice” to the tune of $2.5 million.
“I tried various combination of methods of trying to get this film made and without Telefilm’s involvement it would simply have never happened,” he said, adding that Telefilm also encourages work that isn’t necessarily mainstream.
“Hopefully (I’m somebody) who’s an example of how we can create movies that are an alternative to what’s coming out of Hollywood right now, because as I’m sure we’re all aware of — especially in the summer season — it’s an increasingly corporate-driven environment where movies are manufactured with a very specific market and genetically engineered to be big successes.
“I think there is a real interest and hunger for movies that are commercial and accessible, like hopefully ‘Splice’ is, but are a little bit different and are pushing the boundaries.”
Taylor added that there was never any pressure to make the film more commercial or deviate from the artistic vision.
“We were never urged to disturb less in the name of entertaining more and I think that speaks to the courage and cinema smarts of all the stakeholders,” he said.
“We could have never written a script that so brazenly crosses so many lines had we not had Telefilm’s trust, support, and conviction, that we were all working toward something that would be bizarre and unusual and yet commercially viable.”
The inaugural Goldie award was handed last year to the director and writers of “Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day.” That film grossed $2.9 million in Canada in 2009.
Copyright © 2011 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.June 1, 2011 at 6:18 am #34306
‘Hobbit’ prequel names, release dates set
May 31, 2011
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (UPI) — Two prequels based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” have names and release dates are set, New Zealand film director Peter Jackson said.
The first of the two films, currently being filmed in succession in New Zealand, will be called “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and will be released via Warner Bros Dec. 14, 2012, The Hollywood Reporter reported Monday.
The second sequel to “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy will be released Dec. 13, 2013, and is titled “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.”
The two prequels follow the Middle Earth adventures of Bilbo Baggins, to be played by Martin Freeman, in his pursuit to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the dragon Smaug, the Reporter said. Ian Holm will reprise his role as the older Baggins.
Other “Ring” veterans reprising their roles include Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Christopher Lee as Saruman, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Elijah Wood as Frodo and Andy Serkis as Gollum.
Jackson wrote the screenplays with Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro. He is producing the films with Walsh and Carolynne Cunningham.
Copyright 2011 by United Press InternationalJune 1, 2011 at 6:26 am #34307
Sutherland joins ‘Hunger Games’ cast
May 31, 2011
HOLLYWOOD (UPI) — Donald Sutherland has been cast as President Snow in the Lionsgate production of U.S. writer Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” trilogy, the company said.
Sutherland will star with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Woody Harrelson in the adaptation, The Hollywood Reporter reported Tuesday.
In Collins’ science fiction work, Snow is portrayed as cruel and ruthless in ruling Panem and its districts for a quarter-century. He and Lawrence’s character have a difficult relationship that carries through the series.
Also starring in “Hunger Games,” scheduled for a March 23, 2012 release, are Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, Paula Malcolmson and Wes Bentley.
In September 2008, Scholastic Press released “The Hunger Games,” the first book of Collins’ trilogy partly inspired by the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. It was followed by “Catching Fire” in September 2009 and “Mockingjay” in August 2010.
Copyright 2011 by United Press InternationalJune 3, 2011 at 10:23 pm #34308
Not uptotheminute new ‘news’, but I am hoping this will spark some conversation.
Martin Scorsese to Direct FURIOUS LOVE based on Romance of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor
Paramount Pictures has recently optioned a book by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger called Furious Love, which tells the story of the famous romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The studio is going to develop the film as a directing vehicle for Martin Scorsese.
Deadline reports that this film won’t be a biopic. “It focuses on a torrid and tempestuous romance that is the stuff of Hollywood legend” To be honest I don’t know much about the romance between these two other than it happened. It was obviously before my time, and I don’t really follow this kind of stuff.
I have never been a big fan of Scorcese’s work outside of his recent films Aviator and The Departed. I think this is an awesome love story that needs to be told and makes for a great real life drama as these two surpass “Bradjelina”, Jenn and Ben 1.0, Jenn and Ben 2.0 and any other huge celebrity romance you can think of these days because back then it wasn’t the norm. I am also a big fan of the Hollywood Hellraisers from that era which included that likes of Burton, Peter O’Toole and Richard Harris. So much interesting real history within a story Hollywood could only create, the best part is given her death, this has so much more relevancy now. Let’s go ahead and cast Daniel Craig and Natalie Portman in the roles as they would be perfect.
The definitive story of Hollywood’s most famous couple
He was a tough-guy Welshman softened by the affections of a breathtakingly beautiful woman; she was a modern-day Cleopatra madly in love with her own Mark Antony. For nearly a quarter of a century, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were Hollywood royalty, and their fiery romance—often called “the marriage of the century”—was the most notorious, publicized, and celebrated love affair of its day.
For the first time, Vanity Fair contributing editor Sam Kashner and acclaimed biographer Nancy Schoenberger tell the complete story of this larger-than-life couple, showing how their romance and two marriages commanded the attention of the world. Also for the first time, in exclusive access given to the authors, Elizabeth Taylor herself gives never-revealed details and firsthand accounts of her life with Burton.
Drawing upon brand-new information and interviews—and on Burton’s private, passionate, and heartbreaking letters to Taylor—Furious Love sheds new light on the movies, the sex, the scandal, the fame, the brawls, the booze, the bitter separations, and, of course, the fabled jewels. It offers an intimate glimpse into Elizabeth and Richard’s privileged world and their elite circle of friends, among them Princess Grace, Montgomery Clift, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Peter O’Toole, Michael Caine, Marlon Brando, Rex Harrison, Mike Nichols, Laurence Olivier, Robert Kennedy, Tennessee Williams, NoËl Coward, John Huston, Ava Gardner, the Rothschilds, Maria Callas, and Aristotle Onassis. It provides an entertaining, eye-opening look at their films, their wildly lucrative reign in Europe and in Hollywood—and the price they paid for their extravagant lives.
Shocking and unsparing in its honesty, Furious Love explores the very public marriage of “Liz and Dick” as well as the private struggles of Elizabeth and Richard, including Le Scandale, their affair on the set of the notorious epic Cleopatra that earned them condemnation from the Vatican; Burton’s hardscrabble youth in Wales; the crippling alcoholism that nearly destroyed his career and contributed to his early death; the medical issues that plagued both him and Elizabeth; and the failed aspirations and shame that haunted him throughout their relationship. As Kashner and Schoenberger illuminate the events and choices that shaped this illustrious couple’s story, they demonstrate how the legendary pair presaged America’s changing attitudes toward sex, marriage, morality, and celebrity. Yet ultimately, as the authors show, Elizabeth and Richard shared something priceless beyond the drama: enduring love.June 9, 2011 at 6:20 am #34309
Two new movies bring thrills and chills to the box office for all ages
Posted: 9:57 PM
Last Updated: 4 hours and 13 minutes ago
It will be a weekend of thrills and chills at the box office with two new movies opening.
The first it the super secret teaming of two of Hollywood’s biggest names and most creative minds, while the second is about a very creative young girl looking to have the time of her life after her summer plans change. They’re both sure to pack in audiences of all ages who are looking for some thrills this weekend.
Here’s a look at what’s new in theaters this weekend.
The latest movie from J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg, Super 8 may be the summer’s most top secret movie. All that’s known is that the movie is about what happens following a train crash in 1979 in Ohio. The train, which is carrying material for Area 51, crashes near a small Ohio town where a group of teenagers are filiming with a Super 8 mm camera.
The movie stars Early Edition and Friday Night Lights‘s Kyle Chandler, The Truman Show‘s Noah Emmerich, A Different World and The Wire‘s Glynn Turman and Dakota Fanning’s sister Elle, who has previously appeared in Phoebe in Wonderland and Reservation Road. It was produced by Spielberg and written and directed by Abrams.
Super 8 is rated PG-13 and runs 1 hour 52 minutes.
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
Based on the Judy Moody book series by Megan McDonald, Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer finds the third-grader creating a series of dares for herself in order to have a thrilling summer, after he parents take an unexpected trip to California. Also taking part in the fun are her Aunt Opal and her brother Stink.
The movie stars All Saints‘s Jordana Beatty as Judy Moody, Worst Week‘s Rarris Mosteller as Stink and Heather Graham as Aunt Opal. It was written by McDonald and Kathy Waugh and directed by John Schultz, who also directed Aliens in the Attic, The Honeymooners and Drive Me Crazy.
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer is rated PG and runs 1 hour 31 minutes.June 10, 2011 at 10:59 am #34310
Should ‘Mission: Impossible 4’ Move?
by Brandon Gray
June 8, 2011
Two high-profile action sequels with awkward subtitles are on a collision course this holiday season: both Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows are scheduled for Dec. 16 (opposite Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, which shouldn’t conflict with either one). Mission‘s studio Paramount Pictures and Sherlock‘s Warner Bros. reiterated to Box Office Mojo that they’re each sticking with Dec. 16.
While comparable movies can thrive in the same period, especially during a bustling time like December, it can be a problem when they open on the same day. Usually, somebody flinches. Otherwise, there’s possible cannibalization or the lesser movie suffers.
To solve this potential problem, it would be good for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol to move out of the way of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (if it’s completed in time). Sure, Mission 4 scheduled the Dec. 16 date first (pushed back from May 27), but it’s the more vulnerable movie. It’s attempting to revive the franchise, whereas Sherlock 2 is coming off of a $209-million grossing predecessor from December 2009 (opposite the last Chipmunks movie) and will feature Holmes’ most famous villain Moriarty.
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol follows the disappointing Mission: Impossible III, which opened in May 2006 and made $134 million, by far the weakest of the Mission movies. The Mission franchise also has a history of delays: the first Mission: Impossible was originally set for Nov. 1995 but was pushed back to May 1996, while Mission: Impossible II went from Dec. 1999 to May 2000.
It’s not too late for Ghost Protocol to make a change. Its marketing campaign hasn’t even begun in earnest yet. So where should it be slotted to get the best chance at realizing its box office potential?
The past three Mission: Impossible movies all had May debuts, but rekindling the franchise may mean opening at a different time of year. Besides, May 2012 is already well-stocked, though Battleship seems vulnerable on May 18. (Speaking of which, why isn’t Paramount/DreamWorks Animation setting Madagascar 3 for May 18? Currently, it’s at June 8, two weeks before Pixar’s Brave. May has no family movies now.)
The most obvious option is for Ghost Protocol to be pushed forward to Dec. 9 (opposite romantic comedy New Year’s Eve and comedy The Sitter) or to Dec. 2, which has nothing yet scheduled. Dec. 2 is the historical post-Thanksgiving death slot, which is why it’s empty, but Mission star Tom Cruise has had success there in the past: The Last Samurai debuted on that presumably cursed weekend back in 2003 to $24.7 million and ended its run with $111.1 million, very good numbers for its genre. Dec. 2 or Dec. 9 would give Ghost Protocol some time to establish itself in the market and still be a presence for Christmas.
But perhaps a bolder, off-season move would suit Ghost Protocol better. If the movie’s ready in time, a Fall launch might shake things up (Paramount has nothing scheduled for September). January might work as well, as it did for The Green Hornet, which performed above realistic expectations. January may be seen as a ghetto and beneath someone of Cruise’s stature, but another January action thriller, Taken, was a reminder that an appealing movie can succeed at any time of the year.
Scanning the release schedule, though, reveals another golden opportunity: April 2012. After Easter, that month is currently wide open: April 13 just has Lockout and Movie 43 (working title), April 20 only has DisneyNature’s Chimpanzee, and there’s nothing on April 27. By opening mid-April, Ghost Protocol would have breathing room between Clash of the Titans 2 on Mar. 30 and The Avengers on May 4.
The Fast and the Furious franchise paved the way for such a move. After Tokyo Drift stalled, the fourth movie shifted to April (from the franchise’s previous June dates) and saw franchise-high grosses. Fast Five built on this momentum last April. The notion of getting a jump on the summer is no longer a joke.
Roadblocks to an April launch include co-star Jeremy Renner and the Untitled Star Trek Sequel. Renner plays Hawkeye in The Avengers, so there may be a publicity conflict there. Paramount also has Renner in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters on Mar. 2, and the studio might want Ghost Protocol out first to pump him up before that movie. Additionally, Renner’s joining another spy franchise with The Bourne Legacy, due Aug. 3, 2012. There’s also a question as to whether or not the Star Trek sequel will be ready in time for its June 29, 2012, date, and Ghost Protocol could be enlisted to fill in. But then the Knight & Day comparisons would arise, and Ghost Protocol may not be strong enough for that summer slot (The Amazing Spider-Man opens just a few days later) like the ascendant Star Trek.
Recommendation: If Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol delivers in terms of story and execution, then it should be given the chance to shine. This franchise is damaged goods and needs to rebuild to become a primetime player again. Mid-April 2012 seems like its best shot, followed by early December. This, of course, would all be moot if Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows doesn’t make its date.June 11, 2011 at 9:19 am #34311
Cameron’s Manga series on hold
Friday, 10 June 2011
James Cameron has confirmed his big screen adaptation of Japanese Manga series Battle Angel Alita is on hold.
The Avatar director has spoken of his desire to turn the first three volumes of the cult Japanese comics into a film. But speaking at a dinner in his honour hosted by the charity Covenant House California, the 56-year-old said the project had been delayed until after he finishes the two planned sequels to box-office smash Avatar.
Cameron said: “I’m doing a second and third film. We’re at the writing stage right now, early design, doing software development and so on. Battle Angel is right now on hold until those films are done.”
The Battle Angel Alita series, created by Yakito Kishiro, tells the story of a cyborg in a post-apocalyptic world.
Meanwhile, Cameron revealed he’s keen to work with Fantastic Four star Jessica Alba, after the pair posed for pictures on the red carpet together at the event.
“I’d love to have Jessica Alba in any movie,” he answered when quizzed over whether the star might appear in his Avatar sequel. “She and I work very well together.”
But he added: “I think she’s busy being a mum right now.”
Jessica, 30, told press she was “fine” as she showed off her baby bump in a white gypsy-style dress.
The Machete star is already mother to three-year-old daughter Honor Marie with producer husband Cash Warren.June 12, 2011 at 8:53 am #34312
Tintin comes to India in 3D avatar
Vinayak Chakravorty | New Delhi, June 12, 2011 | Updated 09:15 IST
Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Tintin film, perhaps the most awaited Hollywood biggie this year, will open in India a full six weeks before its US release.
The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn is being shot in 3D and it releases in India on November 11. The US release date for the film is December 23.
This is the first time that a big Hollywood feature opens in India over a month ahead of opening in America.
“Tintin is huge in India, perhaps bigger than in the US. Our research some time ago showed over 90 per cent of the target audience that watches Hollywood flicks in India – the urban multiplex crowd aged 13 and above – are Tintin fans. Browse through sundry Tintin fan pages on the net and you will see an overwhelming Indian presence on these sites. There is enough brand awareness for Tintin in India and we don’t have to bank on what hype the box-office response in the West generates,” says Anjali Malhotra, spokesperson and promotions manager, Sony Pictures (India), which releases the film here.
The popularity of Tintin in India can be gauged by the success of the comicbook series in its original English version as well as vernacular languages such as Hindi, Bangla and Malayalam.
Spielberg’s ambitious film, rumoured to be riding on a whopping budget of $135 million, casts young British actor Jamie Bell in the role of the young Belgian reporter with the trademark golden tuft on his head.
Andy Serkis, known for his role of Gollum in Peter Jackson’s The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, will essay Captain Haddock while British comedians Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are cast as inspectors Thompson and Thomson.
Daniel Craig will briefly step out of his James Bond boots to play Red Rackham, the pirate in the film whose screenplay cocktails three adventures – The Crab With The Golden Claws , The Secret Of The Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure.
India, however, won’t be the first country to watch Tintin on the big screen. The Belgian origin of the character has prompted Spielberg and coproducer Peter Jackson to release the film first in select European countries including Belgium, France, Spain, The Netherlands and Germany, where the comicbooks are most widely read.
The film releases in the third week of October in these countries. “In the US they decided on December 23 as the release date to cash in on the Christmas weekend. The curiosity factor among Americans is anyway driven by the fact that it is a Steven Spielberg film. In Europe and parts of Asia, including India however, the driving force is Tintin and not Spielberg,” says Malhotra.June 16, 2011 at 3:52 am #34313
Superman Finds A Dad: Russell Crowe Joins ‘Man Of Steel’
Actor is in final negotiations to play Jor-El in Zack Snyder’s reboot.
By Kara Warner (@karawarner)
Yet another big name is reportedly joining Zack Snyder’s A-list Superman reboot “Man of Steel.” According to Variety, Russell Crowe is in final negotiations to play Superman’s biological and ill-fated father, Jor-El.
Die-hard fans of the 1978 Christopher Reeve-starring, Richard Donner-directed classic film will remember that Jor-El was played famously by Marlon Brando in a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo. “Man of Steel” producer Christopher Nolan is said to have been seeking an A-list actor to portray Supes’ dad, and Crowe certainly fits the bill.
Warner Bros. has yet to issue a formal statement or comment on the casting, but should the announcement be made official, Crowe would join previously announced actors Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Michael Shannon and possible Kryptonian villainess German actress Antje Traue.
The Oscar-winning Crowe was last seen in the crime drama “The Next Three Days” and is currently filming “The Man With the Iron Fists.”
Plot details of Snyder’s reboot have been hard to come by, as is to be expected these days of any big-screen comic book adaptation. Snyder did tell us back when he was announced as director that he wouldn’t have signed onto the project if he didn’t feel like they were doing something new with the iconic character.
“All I’ll say is that those guys [screenwriter David Goyer and Nolan] have created an amazing story,” Snyder told MTV News in October. “The ‘Why [remake] Superman?’ is definitely being looked at with care, that’s all I could hope for as a director. Everyone always says, ‘Why Superman? Why is he relevant? Who is he now?’ I think those guys have done an amazing job with that. That’s the real trick.”June 16, 2011 at 7:22 am #34314
Lowe to play accused wife-killer Peterson
LOS ANGELES (UPI) — Rob Lowe is to play an accused wife killer in a TV version of Joseph Hosey’s book “Fatal Vows: The Tragic Wives of Drew Peterson,” The Hollywood Reporter said.
Lowe has signed on to play Peterson, a former Chicago-area police officer charged with the death of his third wife after the disappearance of his fourth spouse in the TV movie, the entertainment industry trade newspaper said.
Peterson has denied any wrongdoing and is awaiting trial.
Lowe’s small-screen credits include “Parks and Recreation,” “Brothers & Sisters” and “The West Wing.”June 17, 2011 at 7:03 am #34315
Steven Spielberg is brainstorming Ideas for JURASSIC PARK 4 with Mark Protosevich
by Brendan Bettinger Posted:June 15th, 2011 at 9:17 pm
Back in 2008, producer Kathleen Kennedy was pessimistic about the status of the Jurassic Park franchise:
“You know, when [Jurassic Park author Michael] Crichton passed away, I sorta felt maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s a sign that we don’t mess with it.”
Jurassic star Sam Neill agrees, citing the death of creature design guru Stan Winston alongside Chrichton when he told MTV in a recent interview, “I think we’ve told the story. I think it’s done.”
It’s a nice thought, but the franchise is about as likely to remain dormant as the dinosaurs within. Jurassic Park III director Joe Johnston went so far as to tease “the beginning of the second Jurassic Park trilogy” last year, but that’s probably taking things too far the other way. Heat Vision hears Universal and Steven Spielberg are absolutely thinking about Jurassic Park 4, that Spielberg is brainstorming with Mark Protosevich (Thor) how to reboot the franchise. But reps for the studio and Spielberg stress that discussions are, at this point, “purely exploratory.” More after the jump:
Jurassic Park was ridiculously popular. In 1993, the movie grossed $357 domestic and $915 million worldwide. Box Office Mojo ranks the inflation-adjusted domestic total 18th of all time. By the same calculation, the worldwide total is equivalent to about $1.7 billion in 2011. Wow.
The sequels were also astoundingly successful, though less so. The Lost World earned $619 million worldwide in 1997; Jurassic Park III slipped to a still impressive $369 million in 2001. It’s hard to leave that kind of money on the table. Especially Universal in its current state.
As Heat Vision points out, the studio has one fully functional franchise: the Fast & Furious movies. The Mummy may be worth another look in the next few years. And though they’d rather have Matt Damon back, a Jeremy Renner-led Bourne reboot is promising. Yet, Universal’s tentpoles over the next two summers are Cowboys & Aliens and Battleship. That’s exciting for us, but must terrify studio accountants.
Any new Jurassic Park will make money hand over fist, though of course I don’t know that this is, creatively speaking, a good idea. Will Spielberg, entrenched in the motion capture world of Tintin, even bother with practical effects these days? Are we interested in a 3D velociraptor? There is undoubtedly a good idea for Jurassic Park 4 out there, and I hope Spielberg and Protosevich come across it in these meetings.June 17, 2011 at 7:16 am #34316
Mangold to Direct “Wolverine” Sequel
Los Angeles UPI
James Mangold is set to direct “Wolverine 2”, an action flick starring his “Kate and Leopold” leading man Hugh Jackman, The Hollywood Reporter said.
Darren Aronofsky was initially attached to direct the latest entry in the “X-Men” movie franchise, but he dropped out after his balet drama “Black Swan” became a huge hit.
Set in Japan, “Wolverine 2” is the follow-up to the 2009 blockbuster, “Wolverine”.
Mangold’s other credits include “Girl Interrupted”, “Walk the Line” and “Knight and Day”.June 19, 2011 at 11:33 pm #34317
Eastwood/DiCaprio ‘J. Edgar’ Likened To an American King Lear/Armie Hammer Goes From Leo’s Love to Lone Ranger to Prince Charming
It’s only been about a month since Clint Eastwood wrapped production on “J. Edgar” starring Leonardo DiCaprio as controversial FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover — and the Oscar buzz is already intensifying. No wonder.
Eric Matheny, who plays Hoover’s “Dr. Feelgood” medico in the feature, likens it to an American King Lear “in a lot of ways. Hoover really did have a sense of keeping the kingdom together at all costs — while at the same time being driven mad by his own secrets and lies.”
Says Matheny, “There was one scene with Naomi (Watts) in Hoover’s office that was very much like (Lear). If this gets any kind of Academy nod, well, I’m sure it is a scene that people will be looking at. When I saw it, I thought, ‘I’m so glad I’m here for this.’ We’re talking about one of the greatest actors of our generation,'” he says of DiCaprio, whose performance spans decades. He spent six hours in makeup daily for the scenes of Hoover as an elderly man.
“He has a grip on Hoover — the voice, the stance — he was completely immersed in the character.”
Already, there has been much talk of “J. Edgar” not holding back when it comes to the notorious secret-keeper’s rumored homosexual proclivities and cross-dressing. But Matheny puts it this way:
Oscar-winning writer Dustin Lance Black, he says, “wove in the story of a conflicted man. He was conflicted because of his upbringing and the societal mores of the time, coupled with his own personal demons and his idea of secrecy, and his fear of being found out — and all these things that were mirrored in his personal life. It’s a fascinating tale and sort of historical biopic that shows how Hoover formed his ideas, his thoughts on patriotism, his country, right and wrong — conflicted by his own desires. By the end of the film, the conflicts had festered into a man who was sort of broken and stabbing out in all directions.”
Of his own role, he notes, “Dustin’s research shows there was a doctor and/or a nurse coming to his office. Well, he doesn’t need someone to come to his office to give him a glass of water and a pill — they’re coming to do something. It was a pretty common practice among the wealthy and powerful of the time to get influenced by these doctors: ‘You’ve got a problem? Let’s drug it up.’ They could call it vitamins, but there were probably some kind of amphetamines in there.”
Eastwood lived up to his gold standard as a great filmmaker in Matheny’s eyes as well.
“He’s light-handed, incredibly succinct, never forced. He’ll let that first shot go however it goes, then he’ll adjust, not from a mechanical perspective but a creative one. He gets the maximum effect with the minimum effort. It’s amazing.”
Next, Matheny is set to head to Oregon to make the big-screen “Freedom for Joe,” about a pro quarterback who has to deal with becoming paralyzed.
“There is a spiritual idea in it, of what traps people in their lives, and getting over that. It’s going to be a special film, I think,” he says. “Things are going in a good direction.”
Meanwhile, DiCaprio’s G-man lover in “J. Edgar” is played by Armie Hammer of “The Social Network” — who is now getting ready to play the title role in the new “The Lone Ranger,” in which Johnny Depp is playing Tonto.
The part-Cherokee Depp intends to reinvent the classic sidekick character in the Disney film that brings together his fellow “Pirates of the Caribbean” fellows, director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry
Bruckheimer. This “Lone Ranger” is in preproduction as subsidiary roles are being cast and is already set to ride into theaters Dec. 21, 2012.
It Actor Hammer is also playing the prince in “The Brothers Grimm: Snow White” opposite Lily Collins. Talk about a nice variety of movies.June 21, 2011 at 11:43 pm #34318
Woody Allen to star in and direct ‘Bop’
NEW YORK (UPI) — Woody Allen announced Monday he will star in and direct “The Bop Decameron,” the first film he shoots in Rome.
Now in pre-production, the movie will co-star Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page.
The cast will also include Antonio Albanese, Fabio Armiliata, Alessandra Mastronardi, Ornella Muti, Flavio Parenti, Alison Pill, Riccardo Scamarcio and Alessandro Tiberi.
The Gravier Productions film, which Allen also wrote, is being produced by Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum. It will be Allen’s first financed by the Italian production and distribution company, Medusa Film.
“The Bop Decameron” is scheduled to begin production July 11.