Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Foreign Babes

My last post for the day will be from Variety:


Paramount Pictures has acquired screen rights to Rachel DeWoskin's just-published memoir Foreign Babes in Beijing for Frank Darabont's Darkwoods Productions to produce, reports Variety.

In the book published by W.W. Norton & Co., DeWoskin tells how, as a 21-year-old poetry major looking for adventure, she headed to China to work for an American PR firm. On a whim, she tried out for an acting job-- and became an overnight sensation as the American vixen of a Chinese soap opera.

DeWoskin arrived in China shortly after the military crushed a youth-led move toward democracy in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Her book reports on changes in Chinese youth culture since that event despite the governmental crackdown.

Have a nice Day.


A perfect Divorce

Columbia Pictures and producer Irwin Winkler have acquired Avery Corman novel A Perfect Divorce and set Ghost screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin to write it, reports Variety.

The novel chronicles the aftermath of a Manhattan couple's divorce and how, despite their best efforts, their teenage son gets hit with the emotional shrapnel.

Corman previously addressed divorce in his book Kramer vs. Kramer, which became the Oscar-winning film. He also wrote the novel Oh, God!, which was turned into the Carl Reiner-directed 1977 comedy; Warner Bros. and producer Jerry Weintraub are developing a remake of the latter to star Ellen DeGeneres.


Catch and Release

Juliette Lewis has joined Jennifer Garner and Timothy Olyphant in Columbia Pictures romantic comedy Catch and Release. Susannah Grant is directing her own script.

Olyphant will play a film director whose best friend dies on the way to his wedding. The director finds himself growing close to his pal's fiancee.

Filming is under way in Vancouver. Lewis will next be seen in the indie Aurora Borealis and alongside Ray Romano and Kevin James in New Line's Grilled.


American Gangster

Variety reports that Universal Pictures and director Terry George are courting Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) to star in American Gangster for Imagine.

The trade says an offer won't be made to Cheadle for "Gangster" until George completes the script, but the studio and producer Brian Grazer want the actor.

The film nearly went into production with Denzel Washington in the role, but the project was halted over budget concerns. George was hired in March to rework Steve Zaillian's script to a more manageable budget.

Cheadle would play Frank Lucas, a Harlem heroin kingpin in the 1970s who, after he was brought to justice, helped end the corruption and legal loopholes that allowed him to import the drug from Southeast Asia.


The Gilmores of Beverly Hills

gm...the holliday is over and there has been several bits of movie news released this morning. I'll begin with this piece from Variety:

Chris Rock will star in, write and co-produce The Gilmores of Beverly Hills, with Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo producing the comedy through their Happy Madison production company.

Paramount Pictures will distribute the film. Rock can currently be heard in DreamWorks' Madagascar and stars opposite Sandler in Paramount and Sony's The Longest Yard.

Rock, who will co-write "Gilmores" with longtime writing partner Ali LeRoi (Head of State, Down to Earth), will play a limo driver in the film. A director is not yet on board but producers are aiming for a fall start.


Monday, May 30, 2005

Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Trent Cooper has been tapped to direct Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, a feature starring comedian Larry the Cable Guy, one of the four stars of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. J.P. Williams and Alan Blomquist of Parallel Pictures are producing.


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Paramount Home Entertainment will distribute. Cooper is a helmer of commercials, shorts and documentaries, and directed The Comeback, a short starring Samuel Jackson that won an award at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

Slow news today so have a nice memorial day.


Indiana Jones 4 ...Yes Rush Hour ....No!

Variety reports that screenwriter Jeff Nathanson's scripts for Indiana Jones 4 and Rush Hour 3 are moving in opposite directions.


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While the trade previously reported that Chris Tucker was expected to sign a $20 million deal which would fast-track New Line's Rush Hour 3, the actor ended up not doing so.

Meanwhile, Nathanson's draft for Indiana Jones 4 has apparently met with the approval of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. But before Paramount can move forward, Harrison Ford still has to sign off on the script, and he hasn't yet read it.

The trade adds that with "Star Wars" off his plate, Lucas recently summoned Nathanson to his Bay Area headquarters, where they went over the draft. The screenwriter also got notes from Spielberg, who brought him into the mix after working with him on Catch Me if You Can and Terminal.

Scheduling Indiana Jones 4 for a 2006 start will be tricky for Spielberg, who next heads to Europe to shoot his untitled drama about the aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics for Universal and DreamWorks, and is expected to follow in January with a DreamWorks film about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, to star Liam Neeson.


Sunday, May 29, 2005

Rambo IV

I had previously released a hot flash about this movie but this story is much more in depth. This will give you a much better look at the plans for the new Rambo Franchise beginning:


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US-based film production company Nu Image/Millennium Films have acquired the film rights to the "Rambo" film franchise from Miramax/Dimension Films, with principal shooting for Rambo IV to begin in Sofia, Bulgaria in January 2006, with filming locations in India and the USA.

Sylvester Stallone, the Italian-American film actor who played the titular role in the "Rambo" film trilogy, signed with Nu Image/Millennium Films to begin Rambo IV in May 2005, stating that the production company had optioned a book for the new "Rambo," for which he has adapted a complete script, likening it to vengeance films like Deliverance and Straw Dogs. According to Stallone, the new plotline sees the character of Rambo as having "assimilated into the tapestry of America," living with his family in relative peace for the past fifteen years but still working for the military, when work pressures force him to move his family to the American outback. The Navajo-Indian former Green Beret and his family are then subject to an attack by white-supremacists, and Rambo has to risk life-and-limb in rescuing his 10-year old daughter from being held hostage. Commentators have noted that the premise of the film is similar to one touted by Stallone in 1997, following the Oklahoma bombings, and comparisons have been drawn with the US federal government's attack at Ruby Ridge in 1991, including the role played by former Green Beret Colonel James "Bo" Gritz.

Nu Image Films, the owners of the film rights for "Rambo," was established in 1992 by Avi Lerner, a veteran film producer from Israel, and has annually produced 15 to 18 low-budget and foreign-sale films. In 1996, Nu Image formed Millennium Films to address the market's growing need for quality art films and higher budget action features. Since 1999, Nu Image has filmed 40 films at their studios in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Millennium Films now has titles on its slate with budgets of up to $68 million. These include Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia, starring Scarlett Johansson, Josh Hartnett and Hilary Swank, Edison, a film starring Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey and Justin Timberlake, 16 Blocks starring Bruce Willis and the remake of the 1973 thriller The Wicker Man, starring Nicolas Cage. Nu Image/Millennium Films had a co-production deal with Miramax/Dimension Films, which had been in place till the Weinstein Brothers left both companies. Nu Image/Millennium Films acquired the rights to the "Rambo" film franchise, with their chairman, Lerner, stating that Stallone is "one of the smartest guys I know." Having persuaded Stallone to co-star with a younger actor in Rambo IV, Lerner is confident about the film's future success. "It's a franchise," he says. "If No. 4 works, then you have a No. 5." Nu Image recently announced plans to produce Poe, a film about the life and works of gothic author, Edgar Allen Poe, to the screen with Stallone helming the director's chair for the first time since 1985's smash-hit, Rocky IV, and scheduled to begin production prior to Rambo IV.

The international scale of Alpha1Media's "Holy War" treatment has been envisaged as a plausible future instalment for the franchise, with several elements being utilised for Rambo IV, including the return to Rambo's Navajo roots and domestication for the super-soldier with wife and family. Miramax Films received the first draft of "Rambo IV: Holy War" in October 2003, during which the Rambo film saga was still in development hell. In October 2004, Alpha1Media released an early draft of the film treatment on the internet, drawing global fervour and controversy, and reviving interest in the film franchise for producers and audiences alike.

Many of the films released in April and May 2005 have themes and references which featured in the "Holy War" treatment from October 2003. Sydney Pollack's The Interpreter was set and filmed at the United Nations Building in New York, the scene for much of the action in early drafts of "Holy War". Lee Tamahori's XXX: State of the Union, about a radical splinter group of American military dissenters attempting to overthrow the United States government shared many thematic concerns as the controversial treatment. Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven is a sweeping epic set during the Crusades, concerned with a medieval 'Clash of Civilisations' in contrast to "Holy War"'s contemporary reading. Alpha1Media have been in discussions with Nu Image for a new and revised script treatment for the "Rambo" film franchise since March 2005.

Acclaimed Indian film actor, Amitabh Bachchan, who had the role of UN Secretary-General Amit Talian in "Holy War" written specially for him, was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in New York in April 2005. "I feel greatly honoured that UNICEF has chosen me to be a Goodwill Ambassador, and to be able to propagate the issues that UNICEF is associated with, in India and elsewhere," said Mr. Bachchan. Nu Image is also scouting for film locations for Rambo IV in Mumbai and Nagpur, further enhancing speculation that Indian film actor, Hrithik Roshan, will assume the role of Rambo's Afghani-American step-son, Hamid, as intended in the "Holy War" treatment.

At a time when there are many action movies (mostly of super heros though lol), who does it better than Rambo. He was certainly one of my all time favorate action characters, though I didn't like Rambo 2 and 3.

Have a nice day.


King Kong (update)

I have a couple of short posts for you today. This first one involves the release of the toy line for the upcoming Peter Jackson version of King Kong. This story comes from License! Magazine:



With the December 14, 2005, release of Peter Jackson's King Kong fast approaching, Universal Studios Consumer Products Group (USCPG) is gearing up with a monster consumer products lineup. Two months later, February 10, 2006, Curious George is scheduled to hit theaters, followed by its TV launch on PBS Kids in fall '06. Although both are being touted as event films, their corresponding licensing strategies differ in that Curious George has a three-pronged brand focus—classic, TV, and film—while King Kong's program is more heavily movie oriented.

"Our strategy for King Kong takes advantage of the theatrical event as a marketing tool," says Beth Goss, executive vice president of Universal Studios Consumer Products Group. "The most important parameter is that we don't allow product on shelves before October 1. It's imperative that we lead with the movie, and that the look and feel of the film is defined by the filmmaker, rather than the licensees." As is typical for a blockbuster film, USCPG's consumer products offerings will cover almost every category. In February, USCPG signed on Playmates Toys to act as master toy licensee with product ranging from 6-, 11-, and 14-inch action figures to a Skull Island playset and several role-play skus, as well as two plush skus. According to Playmates Toys' director of marketing for boys' toys, Michael Rinzler, "We also will offer a collector's line of action figures and PVC dioramas, which will be available in specialty and collector channels." Playmates began work on the toy line last June, along with Weta Workshop, best known for creating a wide range of props, creatures, and armaments for film productions such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and now King Kong.

As USCPG's interactive partner, Ubisoft will release a King Kong video game available worldwide on all platforms for holiday 2005. According to Goss, Ubisoft's development team also worked closely with Jackson on the creation of the game, which reflects the visual interpretation and dramatic narrative of the film. Capitalizing on wireless gaming, USCPG partnered with Gameloft on a multi-year licensing agreement for mobile games, as well as a variety of other mobile content. "Mobile is a big initiative for Universal, and it's a category we spend a good deal of time on," notes Goss. "Our deal with Gameloft is extensive, and we have solidified major carriers in every market."

Franco American Novelty Company entered an agreement to produce King Kong Halloween costumes and masks, marking the company's first licensing deal in its 94-year history. Franco's products will target adult audiences and will debut in time for Halloween. USCPG also has programs lined up for apparel, accessories, home décor and bedding, party goods, and food and beverages. To sustain the brand beyond the theatrical release, Goss notes, it's important to recognize that retail is the linchpin to a great long-term consumer products program. "DVD/video also has become a huge market in helping extend the longevity of a brand, and marketing the videos from our home entertainment group will take us through the end of 2006."

First published in 1941, "Curious George" titles have sold more than 27 million copies worldwide and have been published in 17 languages. USCPG inherited the brand eight years ago, but, explains Goss, "we wanted to keep it as a strong, upstairs literary brand until the company had an appropriate media outlet. We initially focused on higher-end toys and apparel that remained true to the classic George, but at the same time we have been diligent in our strategy to broaden the brand through media." The film launch is itself part of a brand strategy, she adds, "and George is just as much an event film as it is a marketing exercise."

This is one of those stories that may go away so don't be surprise after a day or two that it will not be here. I'm not familiar with License Magazines article durations. enjoy while it's here.


Saturday, May 28, 2005

New Posters

Here are posters from 3 new movies which will be soon released:








Have a nice day.


Saving Face

Decided to balance out my posts a little more with this report on a movie that is what I would call a Chick Flick . It also has Production stills lol.




This movie is written and directed by Alice Wu and stars : Richard Chang, Joan Chen, Lynn Chen, Ato Essandoh, Jessica Hecht, Michelle Krusiec, Brittany Perrineau, and Brian Yang.

The Story: A romantic comedy-of-manners where the single mother of a young Chinese-American woman arrives on her doorstep unannounced... and pregnant.



"You Know, I never noticed before but you're Chinese!"



"I'll just meditate on why the fuck I don't have a man!"



"I've been in this cage honey every since I saw the new Jet Li movie Unleased"



"keep looking at me like that and I'll ride you like a dragon!"

Sorry Alice.

Release date: May 27th, 2005


The Island (update)

The weekend usually is slow for movie news, but I have got a couple of posts for you today. This first one is about Michael Bays newest movie The Island:











Although The Island won't heat up theaters until July, the futuristic sci-fi adventure starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson is already generating a lot of hype and buzz in Hollywood. The film isn't even finished yet, however the anticipation and excitement is already stirring and thus prompted DreamWorks to show a sneak peek of the unfinished action thriller. ComingSoon.net got a chance to talk with director Michael Bay and stars Johansson, Djimon Hounsou and Michael Clarke Duncan.

Lincoln Six-Echo (McGregor) and Jordan Two-Delta (Johansson) are chosen to live in a utopian controlled environment and have hopes of going to "The Island," the only pure and uncontaminated place left on Earth. However, Lincoln senses something is wrong and soon discovers everything he has been told is a lie. He and the other residents of the facility are actually clones and learn the sole reason for their existence is to supply their original person with supplementary parts as needed. Realizing he is only going to live until his human counterpart needs him, he daringly escapes the institute and takes Jordan along for a desperate attempt to save their lives.

In the beginning of the film, Lincoln has nightmares and wakes up to flashbacks of him as a child. He knows something isn't right and questions his surroundings. Since he is an "Echo" he is a more highly developed clone, but we don't find out until later in the film what he is really capable of.

"My character is completely unaware of the past. [Ewan's character] is advanced. He is little bit younger than I am in clone years…he has memories of his past somehow, real memories of his real past. I don't have those," Johansson said.

In the first few minutes the audience can also sense something isn't quite right, but you can't place what it is. Everything is too perfect and controlled. The inhabitants of the institution believe they survived some sort of toxic contamination and the only other safe place to live is on "The Island." Since there are too many people for everyone to go, there is a lottery and if you're chosen you get to leave the facility and live on the island.

However, as the movie goes on you will discover the lottery isn't what everyone thinks it is.

"I thought it was a great script. It was exciting and fun. I love genre movies when they are done really well… I wanted to work with Michael (Bay) and I wanted to work with Ewan," Johansson said.

"I met Ewan and I knew we were going to have a great time together. He's a wonderful guy and very easy to get along with. He's charming and he's a family man. He's got a lovely wife and beautiful two kids. He's just a lovely guy, Johansson continued.

The actors were all too happy until the first day of shooting. Bay said he likes to start the shoot of with the most intense scenes first.

"If you start off slow, that sets the pace for the entire film. So I like to start off with a high energy level."

"I was so sore after my first day of work…I think my muscles were atrophied or something, but I couldn't run any longer and that was the first day of a five-month shoot. I was running so much I thought I was going to die," Johansson laughed.

Duncan, who worked with Bay on Armageddon, was excited to work with him again until it was time to shoot his scenes.

"I am running a lot too. They shot these things into my legs, and they were attached to my calves. They shrunk my calves down so badly and I was sweating…Michael Bay owes me big-time for doing this movie," Duncan joked.

Hounsou, who plays a security agent concurs, "We were running, running, running and it occurred to me, 'Did anyone read the script?'"

The Island opens in theaters on July 22.


Friday, May 27, 2005

New Movie Posters

I'll end my posts today with these new posters :





These movies are so much alike I thought they looked good together. lol

Have a nice day.


Ghost of 21

Twentieth Century Fox has tapped the screenwriting team of Mitch Rouse and Jay Leggett (Without a Paddle) to write Ghost of 21, says Variety.

The film, in the vein of Old School, revolves around a 30-year-old pillar of the community on the verge of being married. His world's turned upside down when his college buddies decide to hold him to his promise not to get hitched.

Rouse was a co-creator of Comedy Central's Strangers With Candy, and Leggett was a cast member on Fox's In Living Color.


For Whom the Bell Tolls

In keeping with Hollywood's need to be uncreative and endlessly remake everything from Hamlet to the damn Dukes of Hazard I give you this news:

Leonardo DiCaprio is in talks to star in For Whom the Bell Tolls at Warner Bros., says Variety. Troy screenwriter David Benioff is penning the adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's novel.

DiCaprio is said to be interested in playing Robert Jordan, the young American teacher who joins an antifascist guerrilla unit in the mountains of Spain. DiCaprio won't commit to the project without a director, however, and none is attached.

The book was previously adapted into a 1944 Sam Wood-helmed Paramount film that starred Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman, both of whom were nominated for acting Oscars.


The Ring 3 (update)

Variety has learned that DreamWorks Pictures is moving forward on its third installment of "The Ring." No writer is on board, but producer Walter Parkes has confirmed that The Ring 3 is being developed and that the new film will be made on a smaller scale than the first two.


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Those films, both of which starred Naomi Watts, were in the $60 million range, adds the trade. Watts will likely not star this time around.

The Ring, released in 2002, grossed $129 million domestically. The Ring 2, which was released earlier this year, took in $75 million.

I saw the first Ring but hung it up after that.....how thin can the third installment of this be? Get over it.


Rise

Michael Chiklis is set to join Lucy Liu in Rise, the Sebastian Gutierrez-directed horror-thriller that will shoot next month, reports Variety.

Star of FX series The Shield and Fox's upcoming Fantastic Four, Chiklis will play a haunted police detective whose daughter was killed by a strange cult.

Ghost House Pictures, a partnership between Mandate Pictures, Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, is developing the project.

This could be an interesting project though Michael Chiklis irritates the shit out of me.


Black Snake Moan

Hmmmm this movie looks like it could be right up my alley lol.


Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci will headline the next film from Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer titled Black Snake Moan, reports BlackFilm.com.

The film centers on a white nymphomaniac who must be "cured" of her disorder by an older black bluesman.

Black Snake Moan will be produced by John Singleton and Stephanie Allain. Filming will start this summer in Memphis.

There's nothing like a good old art house film lol.


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Batman Begins (update)

I thought I'd post a few of the new Production Stills from the upcoming Batman Begins movie:




"This wallet in my pocket is killing my ass!"




"Listen punk, if you ever tell another living soul that Batman has a short dick I'll kill you!"



"I don't know. A few curtains with flowers, some directional lighting, and maybe some deodorizer and it'll be just like home."




"I should have gone with the name "Catman" I hate fucking bats!"



"What do you mean this isn't your little boy?"




"Yuk! there's bat shit everywhere in this cave...I can't live like this!"

Sorry Batman.

Have a good day

Weinstein Co. Release Schedule

I decided to post this to clear up any confusion about the movies being released by the Weinstein Brothers new lable. They recently split from Miramax, a Disney collaboration company and went on their own. This is their line up so far:

The Weinstein Company has announced its upcoming release date schedule. Derailed, bowing Oct. 21, will be the first of six films scheduled for release before the end of the year.

In addition, Bob and Harvey Weinstein said they are planning eight launches for 2006 including Grind House, for which Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez each will direct a 60-minute horror tale.

Variety says the Weinsteins have scheduled these films:

  • Derailed, Oct. 21; suspense tale starring Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston.

  • Wolf Creek Nov. 18 under the Dimension banner; horror film debut of Greg McLean.

  • The Matador, platform release starting Nov. 18; black comedy starring Pierce Brosnan with Greg Kinnear and Hope Davis.

  • Transamerica, platform starting Dec. 2; dark comedy starring Felicity Huffman.

  • The Promise, platform starting Dec. 16; epic helmed by Chen Kaige and starring Hiroyuki Sanada, Jang Dong-Kun and Cecilia Cheung.

  • Mrs. Henderson Presents, platform starting Christmas Day; director Stephen Frears' follow-up to Dirty Pretty Things.

  • The Gathering, Jan. 6; thriller starring Christina Ricci. The film bowed at the 2002 Cannes market.

  • Feast, Jan. 20 through Dimension; horror movie produced during the most recent Project Greenlight series.

  • Breaking & Entering, early February; drama helmed by Anthony Minghella starring Jude Law.

  • Pulse, March 3 through Dimension; Japanese horror remake starring Kristen Bell.

  • Killshot, March 17; Elmore Leonard adaptation helmed by John Madden.

  • Scary Movie 4, April 14 (Easter weekend); helmed by Scary Movie 3 director David Zucker.

  • Grind House, spring 2006; will be made in the spirit of old Hollywood presentations, including trailers and short extra materials between stories. Tarantino and Rodriguez said they hope the the film will spawn a series of "Grind House" films.

  • Sin City 2, summer 2006; continuation of the Frank Miller stories, helmed by Rodriguez.

  • These guys have had a string of huge movies so look for good things to come from this new company.

    Elvis and Annabelle

    Production weekly brings us this story:

    Amber Tamblyn and Shia LaBeouf will topline the romantic love story Elvis and Annabelle, reports Production Weekly. The film will be directed by Josef Rusnak.

    In Will Geiger's script, Tamblyn plays Annabelle, a beauty queen who wins the title of Miss Texas and then instantly drops dead on stage. LaBeouf plays a young Texan working at a mortuary who falls in love with Annabelle, who miraculously comes back to life on the embalming table.

    Production is set to begin later this summer.

    Whew!! I thought for a moment this was another fucking zombie movie.




    Enchanted

    Variety gives us this bit of news on a new movie in developement:

    Walt Disney Pictures has hired 102 Dalmatians and Tarzan helmer Kevin Lima to direct the romantic fable Enchanted, a mixed live-action and CG-animated feature, reports Variety.

    The film is about a wannabe-princess who's banished from the animated world of Andalasia to a place where there is no true love: real-life New York. There she has to rescue herself and find her true love.

    Bill Kelly, who wrote the original spec script, is back on the project, which has undergone multiple rewrites over the past seven years. He will ready the script for a hoped-for September start. The movie will shoot in New York.

    Casting is soon to begin on three major roles: Princess Giselle, her New York lover and the evil Queen who banishes her.


    Zoom (update)

    With the movie world crazy over super heros it's no big surprise that this is being made. Here is an update on this movie to begin my posts for today:


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    Chevy Chase will star in Revolution Studio's comedy Zoom, marking his first turn in a studio film since 2002's Orange County.

    The film, which stars Tim Allen and Courteney Cox and is being directed by Pete Hewitt, is based on Jason Lethcoe's graphic novel "Zoom's Academy for the Super Gifted."

    The Hollywood Reporter says the story centers on an out-of-shape superhero (Allen) who is called back into action to turn a ragtag group of kids into a new generation of superheroes to save the world.

    Columbia Pictures is planning a May 12, 2006 release.

    If they could only come up with a super hero who is also a genius serial killer they could combine the two franchises lol.


    Wednesday, May 25, 2005

    Interman

    My last post today will be this short flash from Variety:


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    New Line has licensed graphic novel Interman, says Variety.

    Created and self-published by Jeff Parker, Interman concerns a young man raised in seclusion who discovers he was genetically engineered by the government to be a superhuman killing machine. The military is after him, and he has to fight his instinct to become a killer.

    Exorcist: The Beginning screenwriter Alexi Hawley is writing the adaptation.

    Have a good Day!




    The Midnight Meat Train

    Lakeshore Entertainment has been set to finance The Midnight Meat Train, an adaptation of the Clive Barker story about a New York-based photographer's effort to track down "the subway butcher," a search that leads to an unholy secret.

    The film was adapted by Jeff Buhler and will be directed by Patrick Tatopoulous, a horror veteran who has done extensive creature and production design work.

    Lions Gate Films will distribute and production will start in the fall.

    I like Clive Barker and can't wait to see this movie.


    Day of the Dead

    One thing that is very clear to me now...Hollywood love's to make movies about fucking zombies!
    George Romano is the godfather of this genre , and lately it seems they want to exume all of his old movies for this new generation. This is yet another remake story:


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    Millennium Films, Taurus Entertainment and Emmett/Furla Films are developing a remake of George A. Romero's 1985 Day of the Dead, which will be financed and distributed through Millennium, says Variety.

    The original film was set in a world overrun by pesky zombies bent on extracting a group of scientists and military personnel who have holed up in an underground bunker.

    "Day" was a sequel to Romero's 1968 Night of the Living Dead and 1978 Dawn of the Dead.

    Universal Pictures released a remake of "Dawn" last year, which grossed $102 million worldwide. Romero's "Land of the Dead" is set for a June 24 release.

    Get over this shit guys......Please.



    Breaking and Entering

    Screen Daily reports that Martin Freeman, Ray Winstone and Mark Benton have joined writer/director Anthony Minghella's Breaking and Entering, which has started shooting in London.

    The previously announced cast members include Jude Law, Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright Penn and Vera Farmiga. The film is a co-production between Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company.

    The project is a contemporary story about theft, both emotional and criminal. The story follows an encounter between a yuppie architect and a young Muslim thief who breaks into his office. A series of related incidents leads the architect to re-evaluate his life.

    Tuesday, May 24, 2005

    Land of the Dead



    This film is written and directed by ....who else.....George Romano....who has made a career out of the dead lol.

    The movie stars: Simon Baker, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper, Asia Argento, and Robert Joy.

    The Story: "Land of the Dead" is set in the modern world. The living inhabit a walled-in city, protected from the walking dead that populate the wasteland beyond. Baker, Argento and Leguizamo will all play a team of soldiers sent out to do battle with the gathering and evolving zombie threat in a fearsome, beweaponed tank-like vehicle called the Dead Reckoning.



    "Ok if I see one more dead person in this movie I'm shooting his dick off!"



    "wow, I'm sorry my ass looks good in the shower, but no booty tonight boys!"

    The Land of the Dead will be walking like Frankenstein into your local theater on June 24th, 2005.

    Have a nice day....and sorry George.




    Pacific Air Flight 121

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, Australian actor Nathan Phillips will make his American film debut opposite Samuel L. Jackson in New Line Cinema's Pacific Air Flight 121, directed by David Ellis.

    Flight 121 centers on a ruthless assassin who unleashes a crate full of lethal snakes aboard a packed passenger jet over the Pacific Ocean in order to eliminate a witness in protective custody. Phillips will play the witness. Jackson is set as a cop on the plane.

    Don Granger, Craig Berenson and Gary Levinsohn will produce. Penney Finkelman Cox and Sandra Rabins will exec produce.

    The film is to shoot next month in Canada.

    Phillips is one of the stars of Wolf Creek, the horror film that made waves at Sundance this year with a high-profile purchase by Dimension Films. The film will now be released by the Weinstein Co. in the fall. Phillips also starred in Australian Rules.

    Hoot

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, Logan Lerman, star of the WB Network's "Jack & Bobby," will star in Walden Media and New Line Cinema's Hoot.

    Frank Marshall and Jimmy Buffett are producing.

    Written and directed by Wil Shriner, Hoot is based on Carl Hiaasen's Newbery Award-winning book of the same name.

    The story centers on Roy Eberhardt (Lerman), a young Montana boy who moves with his family to Florida, where he uncovers a plot to systematically destroy a local population of endangered owls. The boy ends up battling an assortment of unusual creatures and eccentric adults in order to save the owls. The movie will feature original music from Buffett.

    Poe

    According to Variety, Sylvester Stallone is turning a more literary page and will direct Poe, a film he wrote about the life of Edgar Allan Poe. Nu Image/Millennium Films will finance, produce and distribute the film; Robert Downey Jr. is Stallone's choice for the leading role.


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    Production is skedded to begin in Europe this fall.

    The life of the legendary 19th century American poet and short story writer has long fascinated Stallone, who has been nurturing this project for years. He completed the screenplay for the film in 2002, but the project did not come together until this week.

    Considered the granddaddy of the Gothic horror tale, Poe's life is rich with its own eerie details. He suffered from madness, depression and drugs, and was mysteriously found dead in a gutter in 1849. Among his most famous works were "The Raven" and "The Fall of the House of Usher."

    Although it's been a while since Stallone's been behind the camera, he has a handful of directing credits, including the second, third and fourth Rocky pics, and "Staying Alive."

    His screenplays include the entire Rocky and "Rambo" film franchises.

    Most recently, Stallone exec produced NBC's boxing reality show The Contender.

    Texas Chainsaw Massacre Prequel

    Well let's start todays posts with one from the Hollywood Reporter:


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    According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jonathan Liebesman is going back in time, signing on to direct the untitled Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel that Platinum Dunes is producing for New Line Cinema.

    As in the first movie, which grossed more than $80 million domestically, the story follows a group of kids who run afoul of chainsaw-wielding psycho Leatherface and his demented family. The story will reveal Leatherface's origins.

    The script was written by Sheldon Turner with a rewrite by David Schow. Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller are producing via Platinum Dunes. Mike Fleiss also is producing.

    I don't know about you guys....but I've had enough of this sick ass series.

    Monday, May 23, 2005

    Ollie

    Regency Enterprises has hired Billy Frolick to write the script for the upcoming animated CG feature Ollie. Frolick, co-writer of DreamWorks' Madagascar, is expected to deliver the Ollie script for storyboarding shortly.

    The Hollywood Reporter says Northern California-based CritterPix Studios will begin full-scale production soon after.

    Into the Light

    Fox 2000 has bought screen rights to Into the Light, a book Robert Kurson is writing about Michael May, a man who was blind since childhood but had the chance to regain his sight thanks to advancements in stem cell surgery.

    Variety says Kurson won't be done with his book for Random House until next year, but Hollywood got a taste of the story when the author wrote about May's unlikely tale in the current issue of Esquire. May's life rights come as part of the deal.

    Kurson previously sold "Shadow Divers: The True Adventures of Two Americans Who Discovered Hitler's Lost Sub" to Fox 2000. Jarhead screenwriter William Broyles Jr. is adapting that book.

    You can read more about May's experience of regaining his sight at this CBS article from almost two years ago.

    The Chancellor Manuscript

    Paramount Pictures has bought Robert Ludlum's political thriller The Chancellor Manuscript to adapt into a feature to star Leonardo DiCaprio, reports Variety.

    The film will be produced by Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher, whose Red Wagon will produce with DiCaprio's Appian
    Way and the Ludlum estate.


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    The buy is the biggest book deal of the year so far. Along with $4 million for the book, the studio will be spending more than $1 million for an adaptation by Michael Seitzman, who scripted the Charlize Theron-starrer Class Action.

    DiCaprio will play Peter Chancellor, who turns in a novel about D.C. power brokers who are blackmailed into altering U.S. policies. When some operatives get hold of the manuscript, they think he has uncovered their actual scheme and they try to hunt the author down.

    Seitzman also wrote Brad Pitt vehicle The Sparrow and will direct his script Storming the Court for Warner Bros.

    "(With) Leonardo in the role of a man of action -- and a romantic element thrown in -- it becomes a very attractive film," Wick said.


    Sunday, May 22, 2005

    Little Darlings

    Here is my last post , which comes from Variety:

    According to Variety, Twentieth Century Fox has optioned Sam Llewellyn's trilogy of "Little Darlings" novels, for Courtney Pledger and Sarah Radclyffe to produce through their London-based Jigsaw Films.

    The Darlings are three bad children who manage to chase away every nanny their parents hire. But when Nanny Pete, who is really a burglar in drag, comes to look after them, he sweeps them off into a series of improbable adventures.

    The screenplay will be written by Joe Ballarini.

    The first novel "Little Darlings" was followed by the sequel "Big Bad Darlings," with a third installment currently in the works.

    Have a nice.

    War of the Worlds (update)

    This is a slow movie news day but I have found a couple of posts for you on this wonderful sunday. With the summer blockbusters beginning this weekend (Star Wars), more information is leaking out from the upcoming movie War of the Worlds. I loved it when I saw there was a fresh batch of stills released. Here they are:


    wotw28.jpg

    "Now Say it Again!! TOM IS NOT GAY!!!"


    wotw27.jpg

    "I don't care whose Muscle Man Blow up doll it is...Just get it off my set!"


    wotw26.jpg

    "No I swear God , I never ever take a crap in the woods normally"

    wotw24.jpg

    "Don't you recognize me? Even with the bad Jacket I'm Tom Fucking Cruise!"


    wotw23.jpg

    "Oh my, Tom looks so funny with that Stop Sign up his ass!"

    wotw22.jpg

    "I don't care if we are being invaded by another world, we still need some young me to fight in Arak."

    Sorry Steve and Tom and Dakota.


    Saturday, May 21, 2005

    Griffin and Phoenix

    Here's a quick one from Variety to close out my posts this morning:

    Amanda Peet and Dermot Mulroney will star in the romance Griffin and Phoenix for Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Gold Circle, says Variety.

    The film is the directorial debut of Ed Stone, who directs from his own screenplay. Filming will begin in the fall of this year.


    Diggers

    Just a couple of quick posts this morning. This story comes from Production Weekly.

    Paul Rudd, Peter Dinklage and Ken Marino are set to star in the independent feature Diggers, written by Marino.

    Production Weekly says Katherine Dieckmann will direct the coming of age story about four working class friends who have grown up as clam diggers on the local beaches of Long Island. Their fathers were clam diggers and their grandfathers were clam diggers.

    Filming is scheduled to begin in July on Long Island.


    Friday, May 20, 2005

    Amusement

    Here is one more for you this morning from Variety:

    According to Variety, New Line has bought Jake Wade Wall's Amusement, purchasing the horror spec preemptively and setting it up with producers Mike Macari and Neal Edelstein.

    Wall's script centers on a traumatized woman who's questioned by a cop and a psychiatrist about three stories -- involving a clown, a hotel and a convoy -- that involve her and two of her female friends from childhood.

    Wall is writing the remake of When a Stranger Calls for Sony's Screen Gems with Simon West directing.

    Macari and Edelstein co-executive produced The Ring and The Ring 2.

    alright....Now have a good day.


    Spiderman 3 (update)

    Though the movie is still a year or so away there is a lot of activity in the news for it. Here is one of these stories just released from Columbia Pictures:

    Topher Grace has joined the cast of Spider-Man 3, it was announced by director Sam Raimi and producers Laura Ziskin and Marvel Studio's Avi Arad.

    Grace will join Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, and Thomas Haden Church in the blockbuster franchise.

    Spider-Man 3 is scheduled for release on May 4, 2007, and will reunite returning cast members with director Sam Raimi and producers Ziskin and Arad, the successful filmmaking team responsible for the first two films.

    The "Spider-Man" film franchise has grossed more than $1.5 billion in worldwide ticket sales to date. Production on Spider-Man 3, which was written by Alvin Sargent, is scheduled to begin early next year.

    "I couldn't be more excited about the direction we are taking the continuing adventures of Peter Parker," said Raimi. "Topher Grace is an extraordinarily talented actor and will be perfect for the complexities of the role we are developing."

    While speculation continues about which characters will be called into action, the studio will not comment on the new roles beyond confirming the casting of Grace and Church.

    Spider-Man 3 is being overseen by Columbia's President of Production Matt Tolmach and Shannon Gaulding, Director of Development for the studio.

    Grace, who has been a weekly fixture in homes across America in the hit comedy series That '70s Show for the last 7 years, is seamlessly transitioning from the small screen to the big screen. Testament to his success, he has recently been prized with Breakthrough Acting awards by both the National Board of Review and the New York Online Film Critics, for his starring roles in Paul Weitz's In Good Company and Dylan Kidd's P.S.

    This winter, Grace starred opposite Dennis Quaid and Scarlett Johansson in In Good Company. And in P.S., which premiered at this fall's Toronto Film Festival, he starred as the romantic lead opposite Laura Linney in an off-beat romantic comedy adapted from the Helen Schulman novel by the same name.

    Grace's major breakthrough on film came with his debut role in Steven Soderbergh's Oscar nominated movie Traffic, which he followed-up with a memorable cameo in the Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven. He also reprises his role, as himself, in the sequel Ocean's Twelve. Earlier this year he could be seen in Robert Luketic's romantic comedy Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!, alongside Kate Bosworth and Josh Duhamel. Before that, he was in last winter's Mona Lisa Smile, opposite Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst and Marcia Gay Harden.

    He fell into acting in high school in which he starred in plays such as "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum". After high school, he moved out to Los Angeles for college and soon embarked on his acting career with a starring role on That '70s Show, remarkably sans prior industry experience. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

    Not a bad gig for Topher...I like the kid myself.


    Peter Jackson's King Kong (update)

    I gave you a break for awhile on news of this movies progress but today I'm back with a vengence lol. A couple of new events have happend since my last report. One this is the primary photography for the movie has wrapped! Now we are in the next phase of the movie and this can be found in Peter Jackson's post diaries which will count down till the day it is released. He says he will release one a week, but so far that hasn't been the case. Check it out at www.kongisking.net

    The second event is the releasing of the Ubisoft Press Kit for the game "Peter Jackson's King Kong" which he closely oversaw from the beginning to protect the quality and integrety of the movie. I have included the press release and some pictures of the game in this post:

    Peter Jackson's King Kong Upisoft Press Kit

    5/19/05, 2:01 pm EST - Xoanon

    PJ's King Kong Upisoft Press Kit
    Click for more images

    UBISOFT AND UNIVERSAL STUDIOS CONSUMER PRODUCTS GROUP ANNOUNCE UNVEILING OF PETER JACKSON’S KING KONG

    Award-winning Videogame Creator and Three-time Academy Award® Winner Collaborate to Create Groundbreaking Videogame Experience

    PJ's King Kong Upisoft Press Kit SAN FRANCISCO — MAY 10, 2005 — Today Ubisoft and Universal Studios Consumer Products Group, announced that the first preview of Peter Jackson’s King Kong, the video game based on Universal Pictures’ December 14th release, King Kong, from three-time Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), will be unveiled at Ubisoft’s booth (#1300, South Hall) at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles.

    The King Kong area of Ubisoft’s booth will be the largest ever created for a Ubisoft title, representing 40 percent of the entire booth and standing 20 feet (6 meters) tall. It will showcase the phenomenal creative results that are possible when industry-leading film and video game professionals come together to create a new paradigm in entertainment.

    “Ubisoft is thrilled to be collaborating with Peter Jackson, Wingnut Films and Universal Studios Consumer Products Group to make Peter Jackson’s King Kong video game an unforgettable experience,” said Yves Guillemot, president and chief executive officer of Ubisoft. “The game exceeds any previous movie-based title in graphic quality and adaptation of a storyline while taking full advantage of the strengths of the interactive video game experience. Peter Jackson’s King Kong will be Ubisoft’s most impressive and successful game of 2005.”

    Beth Goss, executive vice president of Universal Studios Consumer Products Group added, "King Kong has provided the unique opportunity to put two visionary storytellers – Peter Jackson and Michel Ancel – together to create an extraordinary piece of interactive entertainment. This video game has been a great adventure, both in its development and in the experience it will deliver to players."

    The King Kong Collaboration:

    Michel Ancel, creative director at Ubisoft, regarded as one of the top innovative minds in the video game industry, and his team at Ubisoft’s Montpellier (France) studio are working with Peter Jackson and Wingnut Films to capture and create the King Kong movie dynamics through a unique video game experience.

    PJ's King Kong Upisoft Press Kit"It's an absolute pleasure working with Ubisoft on the video game," said triple Academy Award® winner and King Kong director Peter Jackson. "Being able to collaborate closely together from day one is of utmost importance, which is why we've given Ubisoft unlimited access to every creative aspect of our film production. We really want the game and the film to be part of the same universe."

    “We’re amazed by Peter Jackson’s creativity and what he brings to the project,” said Michel Ancel, creative director at Ubisoft. “Peter Jackson’s King Kong is a creation that closely follows the storyline of the movie yet, as video games have the innate ability to do, will push the emotional tension of the film to even greater depths. We are incorporating content directly from Weta, some of which is exclusive, and creating unprecedented gameplay that will lead players into an emotional journey featuring epic battles, tough choices and a dynamic experience in a visually stunning environment.”

    © 2005 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Ubsoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. Universal Studios' King Kong movie © Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP. All Rights Reserved.

    -----

    Peter Jackson’s King Kong

    Product Description

    Acclaimed game creator Michel Ancel and the Montpellier studio collaborate with triple Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson and visual-effects company Weta Ltd. to develop Peter Jackson’s King Kong, a video game that will capture the imagination, vision and emotion of the epic film.

    Delve deeper into the film experience through alternative viewpoints designed to immerse the player into the action and truly “feel” the tension of the adventure.

    Key Features

    · Unprecedented Alternating Gameplay
    Battle for survival on Skull Island in first-person as Jack Driscoll AND experience the staggering power of King Kong in third-person taking on massive beasts.

    · Cinematic Quality
    By integrating Weta assets directly into the game engine, and taking a true cinematic approach, from both a visual and audio perspective, players are thrust directly onto the Skull Island where the dark jungles, over-sized environment and lurking danger become reality.

    · Cooperate with Your Expedition Team
    Each team member plays a crucial role and complements each other with valuable skills and abilities. The player relies on them and vice-versa to succeed. The unique resource management system keeps the action seamless and plausible while keeping items, weapons and assets

    · The Power of King Kong
    King Kong is one of the most powerful of all the creatures on Skull Island and players will learn first-hand what it means to be feared, respected and dominant. Kong will use both his agility and his raw, brute strength by any means necessary to battle enemies and navigate though the perils of Skull Island.

    · Experience All Key Movie Moments and More
    Journey through the explosive action of all the key movie moments, as Jack and Kong, and even explore the beautifully-rendered mysterious jungle environments not seen in the film.

    · Engage in Climactic Battles
    Intense and unbelievable battles with all creatures featured in the film challenge players’ nerves and skills in fighting the savage beasts created by Weta – some of which are exclusive to the game.

    · Film Cast Likeness and Voice
    Full immersion into the dynamic King Kong universe realized via inclusion of film cast member’s likenesses and voice-over.

    Product Specifications:

    Publisher: Ubisoft
    Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
    Ship Date: Holiday 2005
    Category: Action-Adventure
    Rating: “RP” (T anticipated)

    -----

    UBISOFT TO LAUNCH INTERACTIVE GAME FOR UNIVERSAL PICTURES’ KING KONG FOR HOLIDAY 2005

    PJ's King Kong Upisoft Press Kit SAN FRANCISCO – October 12, 2004 – Ubisoft, one of the world’s largest interactive video game publishers, and Universal Studios Consumer Products Group today announced plans to release an interactive game based on Universal Pictures’ upcoming motion picture adventure, King Kong. The game will be available worldwide on all platforms at the beginning of the holiday season in conjunction with the December 14, 2005 theatrical release of the movie.

    Triple Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) brings his sweeping cinematic vision to the iconic story of the gigantic ape-monster captured in the wild and brought to civilization where he meets his tragic fate. Jackson assumes directing, producing and co-screenwriting duties and surrounds himself with a list of superlative filmmaking and acting talents.

    Working very closely with Peter Jackson and Wingnut Films, Ubisoft’s prized Beyond Good & Evil development team, based in Montpellier (France) and award-winning Montreal studio - some of the interactive game industry’s most creative designers - are creating a game that will reflect the visual interpretation, character dynamics and dramatic narrative of Jackson's epic film.

    Serge Hascoet, Executive Director, Worldwide Content Strategy for Ubisoft stated: “Through this creative association, Ubisoft shows its growing dedication to bringing intense emotions inspired by the movie industry to interactive games. In the King Kong game, players will be able to experience all the power, drama and emotion of the film thanks to the interactive possibilities provided by the game.”

    “I’m really enjoying the collaboration with these artists, and all the creative possibilities we’re discovering,” said Peter Jackson. “By working closely with the development team, Ubisoft is enabling me to help shape the kind of gaming experience that I will be proud to associate with this new version of King Kong, a story that began my life-long love of film.”

    ©2004 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Ubisoft, ubi.com, and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries.

    About King Kong

    Jackson re-teams with longtime collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, co-writing the screenplay with three-time Oscar®-winning partner Walsh and The Lord of the Rings co-writer, Academy Award® winner Boyens. The screenplay is based on the original story by Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace, which became the classic 1933 RKO Radio Pictures film, directed by adventurers Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. Jan Blenkin, Carolynne Cunningham, Fran Walsh and Jackson are producing the film under their WingNut Films banner, with Universal Pictures releasing King Kong worldwide on December 14, 2005.
    Starring in the Universal Pictures release is a slate of some of Hollywood’s most versatile and accomplished actors, including Academy Award® nominee Naomi Watts (21 Grams), Jack Black (School of Rock) and Academy Award® winner Adrien Brody (The Pianist). Cast members include Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Thomas Kretschmann (U-571), Colin Hanks (Orange County) and Kyle Chandler (Angel’s Dance, television’s Early Edition).

    Jackson brings his sweeping vision and employs the latest motion picture technology to cinematically portray the timeless tale of the beast and his beauty. He expands on the chapters of the tale that take place in the mysterious and dangerous jungles of Skull Island, and his Kong promises to be a unique and breathtaking creation.

    As with his Lord of the Rings trilogy, Jackson is currently shooting King Kong on location in his native New Zealand. Visual effects are accomplished by New Zealand-based companies Weta Digital and Weta Workshop, recipients of multiple Academy Awards® for their collective work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Visual effects and miniatures supplement practical locations in creating primordial jungles and '30s-period America. This film has not yet been rated. Please consult www.filmratings.com or www.parentalguide.org for more information.

    Peter Jackson's King Kong Upisoft Press Kit - 800x602, 79kB

    Peter Jackson's King Kong Upisoft Press Kit - 800x598, 93kB

    Peter Jackson's King Kong Upisoft Press Kit - 800x600, 74kB

    Peter Jackson's King Kong Upisoft Press Kit - 800x600, 45kB

    Peter Jackson's King Kong Upisoft Press Kit - 800x600, 66kB

    I hope you enjoyed the coverage of these events....this movie and game looks awesome!

    Thursday, May 19, 2005

    Sin City 2

    For any of you that are fans of the first Sin City, here is news of a second one in the works:


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    Frank Miller has already begun scripting Sin City 2, which he will co-direct with Robert Rodriguez, reports Screen Daily. The project will be jointly owned by Disney and the WeinsteinCo.

    Speaking at Cannes Film Festival's annual luncheon for international distributors hosted by the Weinsteins, Miller said it was too early to announce casting but did confirm the project will be shot entirely on green screen, like the first film.

    Miller was part of a large Sin City contingent that flew into town ahead of today's competition screening. Stars in attendance included Mickey Rourke, Benicio Del Toro, Jessica Alba, Michael Madsen and Brittany Murphy.

    The $40 million-budgeted Sin City has earned $72.9 million domestically.


    X-Men 3 (update)

    ComingSoon.net/SuperheroHype.com got a chance to talk to Marvel Studios President and CEO Avi Arad on Tuesday afternoon about X-Men 3 and he revealed new details about the anticipated third installment.

    "It's about to go," Avi says about the film. We asked whether it would build on the first two films. "In my opinion, X3, from a story and script perspective, it's bigger than one and two. It's the concept behind the movie that's bigger than one and two. It's building on our world, building on the world of mutants. In movie one you got to know what a mutant is and had to deal with it visavis humanity and the brotherhood. The second one was actually sort of a continuation but we were able to have more fun with it."

    Which brings us to the big news. "And movie three features Angel, Beast, Kitty Pryde and Juggernaut. Right there you have worth the price of admission. And there are more, those are just the ones we can talk about. Juggernaut you had it already on your site, that is [Vinnie] Jones. That was accurate. Angel is not done yet, we're looking at a few guys, but it's a big role, so... we are very close, a few more days. Angel is a great emotional story. It's a very big role in this movie and so is Kitty Pryde, where we have some high choices that are great but it's just not locked up yet." Lost star Maggie Grace is in talks for the role.

    Then we got to Beast. "It was the best man for the job. The name is... Kelsey Grammer! If you would have seen his read. It is kinda weird when you think about it for a second, and the key was with the X-Men movies is get the best man for the job. He blew us out of the park. Yeah, yeah, and he's also my neighbor..." As we laughed, Arad reassured us that the "Frasier" star is the right man for the job. "When you look at it you see how again we are continuing with inspired choices."

    So what can we expect Grammer's Beast to be like? "Super intelligent. A pacifist Ph.D as he should be. I cannot tell you what he does in the movie because it's an amazing... it's a very big role in this movie. The subject matter of this movie, we don't take Beast lightly. It was someone that we didn't take into one and two because we were busy with other characters and Beast needs to be a centerpiece... and so is Angel, they had to be centerpieces. Too much going on within the story, the origin."

    We asked Avi whether Grammer will be wearing a suit like The Thing, played by Michael Chiklis, in Fantastic Four. "You will see Beast like you've never seen him before. It's going to be very true to the comic. Of course we're building a suit and hair, you name it. Without going into detail, he's a very central character here in the movie and very much within what Hank McCoy is, Dr. McCoy."

    Layer Cake director Matthew Vaughn is taking over from the first two films' director Bryan Singer. "I'm glad that 'Layer Cake' came out to help people understand who this guy is," said Arad. We've known him for a long time, but once we saw Layer Cake... You know he produces movies and he does understand the role, the sets and writing. There's a lot of functions. Some producers are lucky enough to take the plunge, to say 'that's it, I'm going to go for it'.

    Asked whether anyone from the first two movies is not coming back, Arad said that "they're all coming back." Is there anything we can expect for Dark Phoenix or Gambit? "Well, just saying that Famke is coming back, we'll leave it to people's imagination to figure it out. And no comment on Gambit."

    Avi added that 20th Century Fox expects to start shooting at the end of July. "We've been in active pre-production, costuming and all these things for quite a while. It's not starting at ground zero."

    While we also asked about the other projects in development (click here for his answers), we got a few brief update on the other possible films in the "X-Men" franchise. Arad said that the Wolverine spin-off is "being written, you know David Benioff is writing it. We'll look at it and at the end of the day, if the script gets everybody excited... if David just knocks it out of the park, we want to make it. The when will be answered when we read it." He just said that the Magneto spin-off is in development.

    Regarding X-Men 4, Arad said they'll have to wait and see. "You have to look at it. You say, 'Yeah I want to make X-Men 4', but let's see what we can make fresh and exciting that warrants making another one".

    X-Men 3 is currently scheduled for a May 26, 2006 release.


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