Film News Roundup – September 2009 – Week 1
Sam Worthington on the Fan Response to Avatar
“It’s interesting that he’s released that trailer and the next day, he shows it on IMAX. It’s one extreme to the other. We get the criticism and then we get the rave reviews of what it really looks like in its own formula. That’s obviously going to get people to think and go, ‘Damn right! I’m going to go and see this at the cinema.’ Jim has always said to me that he wants to bring people back to the movies, and he’s a smart enough man for that to be tactical.”
‘Hancock’ sequel hires writing duo
Adam Fierro, Glen Mazzara to write follow-up
Columbia has hired scribes Adam Fierro and Glen Mazzara to pen the sequel to the Will Smith superhero movie, which grossed $624 million worldwide last year. The original producing team is expected to return. Plot details are being kept under wraps, though the scribes will work with Smith and director Peter Berg to build on the world hinted at in the first movie.
Jet Li returns to Chinese film
Due to start shooting “Ocean Paradise” in Chinese
Jet Li returns to Chinese filmmaking to star in his first Chinese-language film since the 2007 Peter Chan-directed epic “The Warlords.” Li will star with Taiwanese actress Kwai Lun-mei, last seen in Tsui Hark’s “All About Women,” in the directorial debut of Chinese screenwriter Xue Xiao-lu, titled “Ocean Paradise” in Chinese. Xue has previously written for director Chen Kaige, working the script for Chen’s 2002 drama “Together With You.”
The A-Team gets its BA Baracus
UFC fighter Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson has been cast as BA Baracus in the big screen remake of the A-Team, according to reports. The UFC Light-Heavweight title holder is set to play the role made famous by Mr T in the classic 80s TV show. The Sun have reported that Jackson landed the role after his charismatic auditions impressed the film’s bosses, seeing off the likes of The Game, Tyrese Gibson and Ice Cube to land the role. Liam Neeson has signed on to play Hannibal, while Hangover star Bradley Cooper will play Face. The role of Murdock is still to be cast.
Next ‘XXX’ sports Core curriculum
Will direct third installment of the franchise
Ericson Core has signed to helm “XXX: The Return of Xander Cage,” Columbia’s third installment in the action franchise. Neal Moritz and Joe Roth are producing. Vin Diesel is reprising the role of the extreme sports athlete-turned-government operative he originated in the 2002 movie directed by Rob Cohen. Diesel and Cohen skipped the 2005 sequel, “XXX: State of the Union,” which starred Ice Cube and was helmed by Lee Tamahori.
Tancharoen to direct U’s ‘Arcana’
Universal sci-fi film to be produced by Ratner
Kevin Tancharoen, who rebooted dance pic “Fame” for MGM, will helm sci-fi actioner “Arcana,” which Brett Ratner will produce. The choreographer-turned-helmer will direct the project based on a script by John Ridley. Details of “Arcana” are being kept under wraps, but it’s described as a live-action graphic novel influenced by “Blade Runner” that includes martial arts and uses production methods similar to Zack Snyder’s “300.”
New Phantasm Project on the Horizon?
Word from the webmaster of PhantasmCommunity.com is that a new Phantasm project has already been “lensed and is nearly finished.” DustinM, a very reliable source on the franchise, hinted that an announcement about a new Phantasm “episode(s)” is on its way. He said the new project is not Phantasm V, but described it as something “big.”
Stallone readies for fifth ‘Rambo’
Nu Image/Millennium Films greenlights pic
Nu Image/Millennium Films has greenlit the franchise’s fifth installment, with Sylvester Stallone starring and directing, repeating his duties from 2008′s “Rambo.” The upcoming project’s storyline revolves around Rambo fighting his way through human traffickers and drug lords to rescue a young girl abducted near the U.S.-Mexico border. Production will start in the spring.
Kate Beckinsale talks UNDERWORLD 4
“I think if they came up with an amazing script I wouldn’t be adverse to it … I don’t think my daughter needs to see my bottom in rubber for another ten years. But I don’t know, I’ve heard they’re talking about a 4th one, but I don’t know if that’s officially happening or it’s that a rumor. As far as I’m concerned it’s just a rumor.”
Maggie Grace joins spy thriller
Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz star in James Mangold film
Maggie Grace is in negotiations to join Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in Fox’s untitled Wichita project, a spy thriller directed by James Mangold. The project centers on a lonely woman (Diaz) whose seemingly harmless blind date suddenly turns her life upside-down when a super spy (Cruise) takes her on a violent worldwide journey to protect a powerful battery that holds the key to an infinite power source.
The Hobbit Will Not be 3D
“As a co-writer and director of this film (who works with the design teams, costume teams, creature teams, VFX teams every day of the week), let me be very clear one more time: we are not talking about 3D,” posted director Guillermo Del Toro on TheOneRin.net. “We are NOT writing the screenplay for 3D right now- we are hiring my DoP Guillermo Navarro to shoot the film and we are not discussing 3D with him either or with WETA digital or WB or anyone else.”
‘Bad Boys 3′ in the works
Peter Craig will write the screenplay
Columbia Pictures is developing a third installment of the high-octane “Bad Boys” franchise, tapping Peter Craig to pen the screenplay. The hope is to have a script that would reunite director Michael Bay, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. At this point, with the project in the early stages, none has a deal to return.
Thesp makes ‘Adjustment’ for Universal
Aghdashloo joins Matt Damon in sci-fi thriller
Shohreh Aghdashloo is in talks to join the cast of Universal Pictures and MRC’s sci-fi thriller “The Adjustment Bureau.” The Iranian-born Aghdashloo most recently appeared in Fallen Films’ drama “The Stoning of Soraya M.,” George Nolfi is directing the pic, which stars Matt Damon, Emily Blunt and Anthony Mackie, from his own script. Project is based on Philip K. Dick’s short story about a smooth-talking congressman whose political future is thrown in doubt after a mysterious ballerina comes into his life.
Rob Zombie to remake ‘The Blob’
Director sets a sci-fi redo of the 1958 horror film
Zombie will write, direct and produce a remake of the 1958 horror classic that launched the career of Steve McQueen. Production will begin next spring. “My intention is not to have a big red blobby thing — that’s the first thing I want to change,” Zombie said. “That gigantic Jello-looking thing might have been scary to audiences in the 1950s, but people would laugh now.”
Susan Sarandon goes to ‘Wall Street 2′
Actress to play LaBeouf’s mother in Stone sequel
Susan Sarandon is negotiating to join the Oliver Stone-directed “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps” for 20th Century Fox. Sarandon will play the mother of a young Wall Street trader (Shia LaBeouf) who falls under the seductive influence of Gordon Gekko. Michael Douglas and Frank Langella also star. Production begins next month in New York.
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.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Both comments and pings are currently closed.