Film News Roundup – August 2009 – Week 4
Could THE HOBBIT be THREE Movies? And Will Peter Jackson Direct the Third?
“I can tell you this, Peter Jackson is very keen to have the two part Hobbit tale set in 3D. Del Toro however is holding back on that school of thought. At least for the time being. Im hearing word “and its only speculation at the moment”, that it wont be two films. It will be three. The two parts and the bridge movie. Word alone is not trustworthy. However I hear this from lots of people. And have seen things to indicate this may be the way it is heading. Del Toro on Hobbit duty, Jackson on the bridge project.”
Fincher’s Facebook Film Switches Its Status To “Greenlit”
This October will see the beginning of production on David Fincher’s The Social Network, which Colombia has now given the official go-ahead. Aaron Sorkin’s script, which has gotten positive attention even from its 1st draft, is adapted from the novel, The Accidental Billionaire: The Founding of Facebook. A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal. Scouts are digging around in Boston and Cambridge for locations as we speak (or type/read, as it were).
Threesome on journey to ‘Mars’
Samantha Morton, Dominic West, Polly Walker join pic
English actors Samantha Morton, Dominic West and Polly Walker have joined “John Carter of Mars,” Disney’s adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs book series that Andrew Stanton is directing. Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins and Willem Dafoe already are on board the production, which centers on a Civil War veteran (Kitsch) who finds himself mysteriously transported to Mars, where he becomes embroiled with the planet’s warring people.
Reese & Wernick talk about their Sci-Fi Epic EARTH Vs. MOON
The writers of Zombieland, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick say, “It’s about two societies at war, but it’s also about a family, not at war, but a fractured family. Half of them have gone to the moon and the other half are still on Earth and so they are on opposite sides of this conflict and we wanted to make sure that as big of movie as it’s going to be, it works on a small level. It works on a personal level, the way we like to think about Zombieland working. It’s just this huge post-apocalyptic landscape, but we really want it to work on an interpersonal level for just a few people who are the stars.”
Jon Hamm gets ‘Sucker’ punched
Joins Emily Browning, Jena Malone in action fantasy
“Mad Men” star Jon Hamm has joined the cast of “Sucker Punch,” an action fantasy Zack Snyder is directing. Hamm joins Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, Abbie Cornish and Carla Gugino in the 1950s-set tale of a girl (Browning) confined to a mental institution by her stepfather, who intends to have her lobotomized in five days. She and her friends enter an alternate reality where they begin planning an escape. Although details for Hamm’s character are being kept under lock and key, the name is known: High Roller.
‘Sanctum’ finds harbor at Wayfare
Cameron’s underwater survival drama gets funding
“Sanctum” has found its sea legs. Wayfare Entertainment has committed to finance the $30 million 3-D underwater survival drama that will shoot with James Cameron’s “Avatar” cameras and 3-D technology. “Sanctum” is a fictional drama inspired by Wight’s near-death experience when he led an expedition of 15 divers into a remote underwater cave system below Australia’s Nullarbor Plain, and then watched a freak storm collapse the cave entrance. It became a two-day battle to survive until all 15 were rescued, an ordeal recounted in the 1989 docu “Nullarbor Dreaming.” Pic is expected to begin lensing in Australia late this year.
Brett Ratner Speaks Out About His ‘Conan’ Departure
“I really wanted to do that,” Ratner confessed to MTV News about his departure from the “Conan” movie. “I’m sad about it, because I loved the script … The script is very cool, contemporary … [it's] going back to the original source material—the mythology of the characters.” Given the secrecy surrounding the project, it’s hard to say whether or not the material was right for Ratner’s directorial vision. Regardless, the “Rush Hour” filmmaker insisted that his departure didn’t stem from creative or professional disagreements, but rather his own busy film slate. “It just didn’t work out—scheduling and stuff,” he said. “It’s an incredible project, and Marcus will do a great job.”
Bryan Singer teams up with King Arthur for Excalibur remake
Bryan Singer has closed a deal to produce and potentially direct a remake of the 1981 fantasy flick Excalibur. Excalibur is the quintessential myth-of-King-Arthur film, complete with the enchanted sword, the Knights of the Round Table, Merlin the wizard and the quest for the Holy Grail to save Arthur’s life. The original film was directed by John Boorman and adapted from the Thomas Malory book by Rospo Pallenberg and Boorman.
Next ‘Bourne’ lands scribe
Josh Zetumer will write the franchise’s fourth pic
Josh Zetumer is writing what is being described as a parallel script. George Nolfi, who worked on “The Bourne Ultimatum,” initially came back for the fourth entry. He also boarded to write and direct “The Adjustment Bureau,” an adaptation of a Philip K. Dick short story that reteams him with “Bourne” star Matt Damon. But as that movie nears its September start date, Nolfi had to step away from “Bourne.” Not wishing to slow development and keen on making “Bourne” part of its 2011 slate, Universal hired Zetumer to write a new script. It is unclear what will occur after Zetumer submits his draft or whether his script will be integrated with Nolfi’s.
Michael Davis digs ‘Outland’
Warner Bros., Hollywood Gang set remake
Warner Bros. and Hollywood Gang Prods. have set “Shoot ‘Em Up” helmer Michael Davis to direct “Outland,” a remake of the 1981 Sean Connery sci-fier. The drama revolves around a police marshal stationed at a remote mining colony on Jupiter’s moon Io, where he uncovers a murderous conspiracy threatening the entire Outland with collapse.
Takashi Shimizu in tune with thriller
Phoenix to produce pic from ‘Ju-On’ director
Takashi Shimizu has heard the sound of his next horror film. The director behind “Ju-On” and the English remake “The Grudge,” will direct a thriller about a haunted song. Chris Philpott penned the script, based on an idea by producer Taka Ichise and Shimizu, about a haunted song that drives its listeners to suicide. Project does not yet have a title.
John Landis and Simon Pegg To Bring Us Burke and Hare
Landis will tackle the true and completely sinister tale of Burke and Hare. Also known as the West Port murders, these crimes were perpetrated in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1827 and 1828. The killings were attributed to Irish immigrants William Burke and William Hare, who sold the corpses of their seventeen victims to the Edinburgh Medical College for dissection. Even better, we’re also told that Simon Pegg is on board to star!
Disney, Zemeckis board ‘Submarine’
Duo to remake pic based on Beatles’ music
Disney and Robert Zemeckis are looking to catch the wave of Beatlemania, floating a new 3-D “Yellow Submarine” for the bigscreen, with merchandising in tow and prospects for spinning off both a Broadway musical and a Cirque du Soleil stage production. Disney hopes to have the film ready to premiere around the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Todd McFarlane To Produce New ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Movie, Compares Tone To ‘Alien’
Filming could start next year – possibly in the UK – and 15-year-old Dakota Fanning is being tipped to step into Judy Garland’s shoes and send her career soaring over the rainbow. But the new movie will be “darker and more action-packed” according to one Warner Bros executive. It is the brainchild of producer Basil Iwanyk, who explained: “It will be set in the present day and feature Dorothy’s granddaughter.” Co-producer Todd McFarlane said: “You’ve still got Dorothy trapped in an odd place, but she’s much closer to the Ripley character from Alien [Sigourney Weaver] than a helpless singing girl.”
Universal picks ‘Bioshock’ helmer
Fresnadillo in talks to direct vidgame adaptation
“28 Weeks Later” helmer Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is in talks to direct “Bioshock,” the Universal Pictures adaptation. Gore Verbinski has stepped out of the directing slot, but remains the film’s producer. Verbinski opted out of directing because the studio’s budget plan for the film has been revamped to lense abroad in order to take advantage of tax credits and favorable exchange rates.
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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