Film News Roundup – May 2009 – Week 2
Screenwriter Chris Morgan Offers ‘Gears Of War’ Update: ‘It’s Looking Incredibly Good’
“I think the gamer side is going to be thrilled with it,” said Morgan. “All the stuff you want to see, we put that in there and then we blow it out a little more, even. Now it’s just a matter of honing in on all of the character arcs and determining production types of things.”
Vin Diesel to star in ‘Wheelman’
John Singleton to direct videogame adaptation
John Singleton to direct and Lorenzo di Bonaventura to produce “The Wheelman,” a live-action adaptation of the Ubisoft vidgame “Wheelman.” Diesel will play an expert driver who comes out of retirement to protect a woman from his past.
A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas and Happy Feet 2 Announced
Warner Bros has announced that they will be releasing A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas in theaters on November 5th 2010. No plot information has been released, but one can only imagine that it involves a pot-infused adventure on the night before Christmas.
Jackson sets sail with pirate story
Uppity Films, H20 team on tale
Samuel L. Jackson and his Uppity Films have joined forces with Andras Hamori’s H20 Motion Pictures to secure life rights of Andrew Mwangura, a negotiator between pirates and the owners of vessels hijacked off the coast of Africa.
Early look: Downey/Law are elementary to new ‘Sherlock’
“There are many duos we wanted to draw from,” Law says. “Something as eccentric as The Odd Couple to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Withnail and I and Laurel and Hardy. It’s the kind of friendship you can only have with someone of the same sex, a person you adore but who infuriates you.”
McAvoy, Banks, Linney join ‘Details’
Estes’ black comedy to shoot this summer
James McAvoy, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney and Anna Friel are set to star in “The Details,” scripted by Jacob Estes, concerning a couple, who discover an infestation of raccoons in their back yard. Disagreements over how to deal with the animals lead to an escalating series of events.
Exclusive: Simon Pegg talks PAUL, TINTIN, his next film with Edgar Wright, ICE AGE 3 and more
Simon talks about “Tintin,” what it was like to be directed by Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg, what’s up with his next movie with Edgar Wright, how did he get involved with “Ice Age 3,” and what he’s geeking out over right now. [Video]
Julien Temple to shoot ‘Gun Girl’
U.K. director tapped for Moonstone Ent. Drama
British helmer Julien Temple (“Pandaemonium”) will direct period crime drama “Gun Girl” which centers on a young woman who assists authorities in bringing down Al Capone.
‘Dark’ days for Katie Holmes
Del Toro, Robbins to pen Miramax thriller
Katie Holmes will star in “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” scripted by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins. “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” is based on a 1973 ABC telepic about a young girl who moves in with her father and his girlfriend and discovers they are sharing the house with devilish creatures.
Rachel Weisz to star in ‘Whistleblower’
Kondracki to make feature directorial debut
Rachel Weisz has signed on to star “The Whistleblower.” Based on a true story, pic chronicles the trials of a female cop from Nebraska who serves as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia and exposes a United Nations cover-up of a sex trafficking scandal, based on the story of Kathryn Bolkovac, who traveled to Bosnia in 1999 as a U.N. peacekeeper. Larysa Kondracki will make her feature directorial debut.
Brett Ratner Off Conan?
Director has timing conflicts
“We’re currently in the process of hiring a director. For the past six months we were discussing the movie with Brett Ratner, and for more timing issues than anything else we had to part ways with Brett.”
Will Ferrell might join ‘Neighborhood’
David Dobkin in talks to direct comedy
Will Ferrell is in talks to topline and David Dobkin is in negotiations to direct the comedy “Neighborhood Watch” which chronicles an urbanite’s journey as he moves to a suburban community, joins the neighborhood watch and uncovers a large conspiracy.
Kaitlin Olson cast in ‘Leap Year’
Romantic comedy’s stars include Amy Adams, Bill Nighy
Kaitlin Olson (“The Riches,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) has joined the cast of “Leap Year,” joining Amy Adams, Bill Nighy, Matthew Goode and Adam Scott in the romantic comedy about an American woman (Adams) who goes in search of her boyfriend in Ireland so she can propose to him on Leap Day, Feb. 29 — which, according to tradition, requires him to say yes.
Robert De Niro, Edward Norton on board for ‘Stone’
Mimran Schur casts its first pic
The newly formed Mimran Schur Pictures has signed up Robert De Niro and Edward Norton to star in its debut project, the psychological thriller “Stone.” Story centers on a correctional officer (De Niro) who is seduced by the wife of a convicted arsonist (Norton) up for parole.
Dwayne Johnson in final talks for ‘Faster’
Joanou to direct film for CBS
CBS Films is in final negotiations with Dwayne Johnson to star in “Faster.” Pic will be helmed by Phil Joanou. He’ll play an ex-con bent on avenging the death of his brother, murdered 10 years earlier when the two were double-crossed during a heist.
Tarantino talks to the Times about “Basterds”
“You’ve got to make a movie about something, and I’m a film guy, so I think in terms of genres,” he said. “So you get a good idea, and it just moves forward and then usually by the time you’re finished, it doesn’t resemble anything of what might have been the inspiration. It’s simply the spark that starts the fire.”
Banderas solves ‘Big Bang’ mystery
Krantz to direct actor in noir detective story
Antonio Banderas is set to star in “The Big Bang,” a neo-noir detective story to be directed by Tony Krantz (“Sublime”), based on a script by Erik Jendresen (“Band of Brothers”). Banderas stars as an L.A. private detective who’s hired to find a missing stripper. The trail leads to the New Mexico desert, where the private eye finds a trail of bodies and contends with a brutal Russian boxer, three LAPD detectives and an aging billionaire looking to perfect the nuclear physics equivalent of the Big Bang.
Threesome mobs Code’s ‘Irishman’
Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken, Val Kilmer join cast
Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken and Val Kilmer will play the leads in “The Irishman,” a crime story that Jonathan Hensleigh (“The Punisher”) will direct. The action movie is based on the real story of mobster Danny Greene (Stevenson). Greene was a violent Irish-American gangster who competed with the Italian mob in 1970s Cleveland and ended up provoking a countrywide turf war that crippled the mafia.
IFC nabs ‘Five Minutes in Heaven’
Liam Neeson starrer to open in August
IFC Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Irish indie drama “Five Minutes of Heaven,” starring Liam Neeson, James Nesbitt and Anamaria Marinca. “Heaven,” directed by the Oliver Hirschbiegel (“Downfall”) and written by Guy Hibbert, tracks the lives of two men from the same town in Northern Ireland but on different sides of the Irish political divide.
MGM to unleash ‘Bunyan and Babe’
Exodus produced modern take on folk story
Film, which features the voices of John Goodman and Kelsey Grammer, is a modern take on the folk story of legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his sidekick, Babe the Blue Ox, who together work with two adventurous kids to rescue their town from the evil clutches of a demented property developer.
Porn star’s breakthrough ‘Experience’
Sasha Grey could set trend with Soderbergh pic
Sasha Grey’s role as an expensive call girl in Steven Soderbergh’s “The Girlfriend Experience” represents a breakthrough of sorts. There was Traci Lords in “Cry-Baby,” Nina Hartley in “Boogie Nights” and Katie Morgan in “Zach and Miri Make a Porno,” but Grey is the first adult film actress to play the lead in a serious drama by an Oscar-winning director.
‘Saw’ helmer to revisit Troma hit
Darren Lynn Bousman to direct ‘Mother’s Day’ remake
Darren Lynn Bousman, who has helmed three films in the “Saw” franchise, is attached to direct from a script by Scott Milam. The original “Mother’s Day” revolved around three female friends who, while camping, run afoul of two brothers who engage in murder and rape to impress their deranged mother. The remake sees the villainous family return to the house where they grew up and terrorize the new owners and their guests.
Marisa Tomei, Liv Tyler team to thrill
Chul-soo Park to direct ’10A/10B’
Marisa Tomei and Liv Tyler will topline indie psychological thriller “10A/10B.” South Korean director Chul-soo Park will helm the adapted script of his original 1995 film “301/302.” Film will explore the relationship and consequences that result when a culinary perfectionist, portrayed by Tyler, and an actress with a failing career, played by Tomei, become neighbors in a loft apartment building.
Keanu Reeves in for new ‘Jekyll’
Actor to star in adaptation from scribe Justin Haythe
Universal is developing a modern retelling of the classic novella “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” with Keanu Reeves attached to star and Justin Haythe, writer of “Revolutionary Road,” penning the script. Plot details for this “Jekyll” are being kept locked in the laboratory.
West gives ‘Mechanic’ an overhaul
Jason Statham to play Bronson role in remake
Simon West will direct Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff’s update of “The Mechanic,” a 1972 original, in which Charles Bronson played a highly skilled — and massively detached — hitman who finds himself training the son of one of his victims. Jason Statham is taking the Bronson role in the remake.
Matthew Goode joins ‘Cemetery’
Actor cast in the Ricky Gervais-Stephen Merchant dramedy
Matthew Goode (“Watchmen”) has been cast in “Cemetery Junction,” the Ricky Gervais-Stephen Merchant dramedy about a 1970s group of twentysomething men working at the Prudential insurance company and their relationships with each other as well as the women in their lives.
Dark Castle hosts ‘The Apparition’
Todd Lincoln to write, direct haunted house pic
Todd Lincoln, who will write and direct “The Apparition” for Joel Silver’s genre label. Details of the project, an original idea developed by Lincoln, Dark Castle exec Alex Heineman and producer Daniel Alter, is being kept under wraps, but the plot is said to be based on true events.
Anchor Bay hits ‘Open Road’
Picks up theatrical and home video rights to the dramedy
Anchor Bay picked up theatrical and home video rights to Michael Meredith family dramedy “The Open Road,” which unfolds during a road trip that a grown son takes with his estranged father, a former baseball star. Justin Timberlake stars as the son and Jeff Bridges as his father, with Mary Steenburgen. Writer-director Meredith found inspiration for the script in his relationship with his own father, the former football star Don Meredith.
Forster, Horberg team on ‘Disconnect’
‘Quantum’ pair reunite on tech thriller
“Quantum of Solace” helmer Marc Forster and producer William Horberg are reteaming on the tech thriller “Disconnect.” Penned by Andrew Stern, script explores the mystery of how people live in today’s wired world, where the technology meant to bring them together only forces them further apart.
Producers team on ‘Assassins’ redo
Thomas, Nakazawa to make Miike pic
Producers Jeremy Thomas and Toshiaki Nakazawa are teaming up to make helmer Takashi Miike’s samurai pic “Thirteen Assassins,” is set in the shogun era and follows 13 assassins who come together for a suicide mission to kill an evil lord. Based on Eiichi Kudo’s 1963 film of the same name.
The Fine Print
This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive roundup of the entire weeks’ news. All stories are chosen by me for no other reason than that they got my attention and might capture yours. If something you think is more important chime in on the feedback; we’d love to hear comments and have a conversation about it.
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