Film News Roundup – August 2009 – Week 3
Warner builds pic with Lego
Studio to bring playthings to the bigscreen
WB is toying with plans to develop a movie around Lego and its popular building blocks. Scribes Dan and Kevin Hageman are penning the script for the family comedy that will mix live action and animation. Warners is keeping the plot tightly under wraps, but it’s described as an action adventure set in a Lego world.
David Mamet takes on ‘Anne Frank’
Disney gets rights to new version of Holocaust story
Disney has acquired pic rights to a new rendition of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” to be written and helmed by David Mamet. The film will be an amalgamation of the famed diary; the stage adaptation by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich; and Mamet’s own original take on the material that could reframe the story as a young girl’s rite of passage. Frank, who died at 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, became an icon of the Holocaust after the post-war publication of the diary that she kept during the two years that her family hid in a secret attic apartment in Amsterdam.
Chris Morris’s ‘jihadi comedy’ – a first look
Certain artists establish such a niche for themselves that they become journalistic shorthand for a certain category. For Chris Morris, the satirist behind The Day Today and Brass Eye, the category is the absurdity of modern media culture. From the man himself, however, there has been barely a peep since Nathan Barley aired on Channel 4 in 2005: a cameo on The IT Crowd here, a report from the Cern Large Hadron Collider there. Morris has been at work for several years on a project that marks something of a departure for him: Four Lions is a a feature film comedy about suicide bombers. He has embarked on serious research, talking to everyone from police and security experts to imams and Muslim community workers. Morris’s conclusion, according to the film’s producers, Warp Films, is that it’s a daft as well as a deadly business.
Next Narnia Movie To Be Shot In Queensland, AUS
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader will be the official title of the third Narnia movie has begun production in Queensland. Production on “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” will take place entirely in Queensland, Australia, primarily at the Warner Roadshow Studio facility in Gold Coast, which houses the Southern Hemisphere’s largest water tank facility, quite handy with a lot of advetnture on the high seas. Filming finishes in November. Post production will be epic – the film is scheduled for release in December 2010.
‘Shanghai’ lacks U.S. release date
Film is first Asian production from Weinstein brothers
The Weinstein brothers’ Asian debut is aiming for a fall release in the region, a year after finishing shooting, but its U.S. release date still hasn’t been decided, the Hollywood filmmakers’ production company said Thursday. “Shanghai,” starring John Cusack, Chow Yun-fat, Gong Li and Ken Watanabe, is their first Asian production. “Shanghai,” directed by Sweden’s Mikael Hafstrom, is about an American intelligence official (Cusack) who investigates his friend’s death in the months before the Pearl Harbor attack.
Kate Beckinsale Returns in Fourth ‘Underworld’?
Two sources have told Bloody Disgusting that Kate Beckinsale is in fact attached to return as the beautiful vampire warrior Selene, who made her first appearance in Len Wiseman’s film from 2003. This should be taken strictly as rumor as we have not been able to get any official confirmation from people involved in the actual film, or studio for that matter. We’ll keep you posted when something official is announced. Underworld 4 arrives in theaters January 21, 2011.
Jon Heder to star in ‘Buddy Holly’
Adaptation of comic sci-fi novel comes to bigscreen
Jon Heder is set to star in “Buddy Holly Is Alive and Well on Ganymede,” an adaptation of the Bradley Denton comic sci-fi novel. In the film, Heder will play Oliver Vale, an average geek whose uneventful life changes when Buddy Holly turns up on every TV channel and declares that Vale is the only one who understands why this is happening — which causes Vale to be pursued by a mob of disguised aliens.
Pen Densham courts ‘Bill’
Director set for tennis legend Tilden
Pen Densham has been set to direct “Big Bill,” a feature about the self-destructive tennis legend Bill Tilden. Gil Dennis (“Walk the Line”) wrote the script, based on the Frank Deford book “Big Bill: The Triumphs and the Tragedy.” In the 1920s, Tilden won six straight U.S. Open singles titles, a feat that Roger Federer will try to surpass this month. Tilden’s accomplishments — including stints as a novelist, playwright and contract bridge champion — were marred by his imprisonment twice for sexual misbehavior with teenage boys. He died broke.
Bryan Singer to direct and produce ‘Battlestar Galactica’ movie
Battlestar Galactica is getting the big-screen treatment. Universal Pictures has confirmed blog speculation that Bryan Singer, director of Valkyrie, will take on directing and producing duties for a BSG movie. Glen Larson, who created original series back in 1978, will produce as well. The film is not expected to be a continuation of current popular television show that’s running on the SyFy network but will be a complete re-imagining of the sci-fi lore that was invented by Larson back in the 70s.
Bruce Lee biopic sequels starts filming
Shooting begins in Lee’s hometown of Foshan
Chinese filmmakers have begun shooting the sequel to the hit biopic about Bruce Lee’s kung fu master, Ip Man. Director Wilson Yip, Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen and other cast members attended a traditional Chinese ceremony Monday honoring Ip in his southern hometown, Foshan, to mark the beginning of the shoot, Hong Kong production company Mandarin Films said in a statement received Thursday.
Peter Jackson Reveals Story Plans For ‘Tintin’ Sequel
“The first one’s based on ‘The Secret Of The Unicorn’ largely, with a little of ‘The Crab With The Golden Claws’ put in,” explained Jackson. “We wanted to have the meeting of Captain Haddock and Tintin. … We’re kind of taking bits from a couple of different books … I’m partial to ‘The Seven Crystal Balls’ [and] ‘Prisoners of the Sun,’ that was always one of my favorites,” said Jackson. “I love ‘The Black Island,’ as well.” [Video]
Ron Perlman’s BUBBA NOSFERATU update
“Well, I have this window that’s about to open,” Perlman revealed. “I’ll be done shooting [his cable series] SONS OF ANARCHY in September, and we’re hoping to get into production on BUBBA in my hiatus between seasons two and three. I just spoke to [actor] Paul Giamatti [set to play Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker] and Don Coscarelli this morning, and we’re just moving the ball down the field, trying to get her done.” Perlman will likely team with Angus Scrimm in BUBBA NOSFERATU; Scrimm is being recruited to play a Boris Karloff-like horror star who Elvis meets up with (pre-HO-TEP) in Los Vegas on the set of a vampire movie.
Anne Rice’s ‘Vampire Chronicles’ Returns, Who is Lestat?!
We have confirmed this afternoon that ROBERT DOWNEY JR. is in close talks to plat the vampire Lestat in Universal Pictures’ The Vampire Chronicles, a newly rebooted franchise based on Anne Rice’s popular novels.
Trio set for DreamWorks’ ‘Oobermind’
Will Ferrell replaces Robert Downey Jr.
DreamWorks Animation’s “Oobermind” has enlisted three new superheroes, with Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill set to lend their voices to the comedy set for release in fall 2010. Ferrell replaces Robert Downey Jr. in the title role of a supervillain who imagines all his dastardly dreams coming true after defeating good-guy rival Metro Man (Pitt), only to find life quite boring without an adversary. To fill the void, Oobermind creates a new superhero, Titan (Hill), who also wants to be bad, forcing Oobermind to switch sides.
Robin Williams confirms Happy Feet 2 start in Oz
“I go to Australia in January,” Williams said in a group interview on Friday in Beverly Hills, Calif. “He’s going to record there, which is great.” Williams recalled Miller’s invitation by impersonating the director’s soft-spoken, accented voice. “He’s a very sweet man,” Williams said. “He goes, ‘Robin, I think we’re gonna do another one.’ Great, George. It’s so great, because you realize George Miller, he did all those Road Warrior movies, and then he does this penguin movie.”
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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