With the massive success of the film version of 300 for director Zach Snyder, naturally everyone was expecting there to be some kind of sequel or spin off rushed out to cash in on the sword-and sandals hype, however the graphic novel the movie is based on is a stand-alone work so there was no raw material upon which to base the story.
Until now that is.
In an interview with the LA times, Frank Miller, the creator of 300 has stated that he is working on a prequel entitled Xerxes.
Miller is preparing a follow-up now titled “Xerxes,” which begins about 10 years before the events of “300,” and Snyder has expressed interest in it as a film property as well. “It’s the battle of Marathon through my lens,” Miller said Wednesday. “I’ve finished the plot and I’m getting started on the artwork.
Miller said he is not surprised Greece is resurgent in Hollywood. “Every generation returns to ancient Greece because, well, the stories are so damn good,” said the artist”
A project we've been hearing about for a while now is Ridley Scott's adaptation of Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe in the titular role. The first trailer for the film has been released online today and you can see it embedded below.
The film is looking suitably epic as you would expect from these two (the same team behind Gladiator). We can only hope it's more like that film and less like Kingdom of Heaven.
Christopher Nolan has proven time and again that he one of the best writer/directors of the current generation with films like Memento, The Prestige and last year's mega-hit The Dark Knight. Now he is turning his hand to science fiction with his latest film Inception. Little is known about the plot other than it appears to be a detective story set within the mind.
The first poster has just been released and can be seen here.
Not much revealed in the poster, just a snappy tagline and some surreal mind-scape imagery. I quite like it, at least it's not a floating Dicaprio head.
Love it or loathe it, the Twilight saga is here to stay, and after the massive box-office success of New Moon the production company behind the films is even considering extending the franchise's lifespan by splitting the final book into two film chapters much as has been done with the final book in the Harry Potter series.
Summit execs would not comment, but multiple sources said that the film company wants to go the two-film route, which means re-opening negotiations and getting approval from the author. It also means making new deals with a principal cast that is only locked up for four films. If “Breaking Dawn” becomes two pictures, all of the key cast members will get fat raises, and the three principals—Rob Pattinson, Kristin Stewart and Taylor Lautner—could land eight-figure paydays.
That is what happened the key cast members when Warner Bros. extended its blockbuster Harry Potter franchise by turning J.K. Rowling’s last book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” into two films that will be released in November, 2010 and July, 2011.The global success of the franchise made the paydays worthwhile.
I think this is a good idea only if splitting the book into two films serves the story, if this will make the films seem forcibly drawn out then I don't think they should do it, but somehow I don't think that's what Summit is concerned about, my guess is that they're just seeing dollar signs right now and they feel like they can make twice as much money from the property as before.
Ryan Reynolds is in the peculiar position of starring in two upcoming comic-book adaptations, as two completely different super-heroes. Firstly he will be starring in Deadpool (the spin-off of the spin-off) as the titular character, and secondly in the The Green Lantern.
MTV recently quizzed Reynolds about his role in the Green Lantern movie:
"I think you walk away from this first film, and the moments that you remember and the moments that mean so much to you, not unlike 'Iron Man,' are the moments where the guy's not in the suit," said Reynolds.
However, Reynolds acknowledged that developing those moments amid the cosmic action central to "Green Lantern" is a daunting task — after all, a test pilot who receives a super-powered ring from a dying alien is likely to demand a much different tone than a billionaire industrialist building his own battle armor.
"It is [an origin story] to a certain degree, but it's not a labored origin story, where the movie [truly] begins in the third act," he explained. "The movie starts when it starts. We find out Hal is the guy fairly early on, and the adventure begins."
Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with starting out with an origin story (you've got to introduce the characters right?) because I know it can be done well, and if they are taking notes from Iron-Man that can only be a good sign. Having said that, it would be interesting to see a filmmaker take a different approach and throw the audience in at the deep-end, perhaps revealing the character's origin slowly throughout the movie, or franchise. Either way I think it could work in skilled hands. As for the plot of the Green Lantern itself, well its so bizarre that I worry if they can pull it off without making it seem goofy. I might get assaulted by the die-hard comic nerds, but perhaps a little update of his original story is in order?
The first poster for one of my most anticipated movies of next year, Iron-Man 2, has just been released into the wild. As an added bonus, the producers saw fit to include our first official look at War Machine in the artwork.
The new poster debuted exclusively at Yahoo Movies, and features both the familiar (though slightly upgraded) Iron Man armor, as well as the War Machine armor destined to be worn by Don Cheadle's character, James "Rhodey" Rhodes. It also offers the simple tagline "2" instead of the film's full title.
Thogh it was hinted in the first movie that War Machine would appear somewhere along the line, it is has not been known just how involved the character would be in the plot of the second movie. The fact that he appears on the teaser poster for the movie implies that his role will be larger than had previously been suspected. What do you guys think of the poster and the possibility of a 'War Macine' centered plot?
One of the minor characters in Judd Apatow's latest directorial effort Funny People was stand-up comic Randy who also starred int he viral marketing campaign for the movie. Randy was played by real life comedian Aziz Ansari whom US readers might know from shows like Parks and Recreation and Human Giant and he is apparently in talks with Universal about bringing about a Randy-starring spin-off to Funny People.
[Ansari] and writer-director Jason Woliner, one of Ansari's collaborators on MTV's sketch comedy show "Human Giant," have sold Apatow and Universal Pictures on a pitch for the Randy movie, along with two other movie ideas.
As for Ansari and Woliner's other pitches, one of them also sounds inspired by "Funny People." Still without a title, it involves a "disgraced cosmonaut (Ansari) who is forced to return to outer space to clear his name." Reminds me of the fake movie titled "Astro-Not," which is one of Adam Sandler's character's lame comedies in "Funny People." Of course, that fake movie called to mind real movies like "The Reluctant Astronaut" and "RocketMan"
The third project is called "Let's Do This." It is a road trip comedy about two guys on a motivational speaking tour. This one sounds the least interesting at the moment, but given that it has a title, I'm guessing it will be the first to go into production. Not that it really matters which is greenlit first, as long as it stars the hilarious Aziz Ansari.
With all the talk recently about Apatow sequels (apparently Pinapple Express 2 is being considered) I feel like this might be a better way of dealing with franchising his movies without tainting the originals too much. You can include the original main characters as much or as little as you want while creating a whole new story that does not have to encroach on the original. As for Ansari's other ideas, well them seem fairly generic, but having said that its difficult to convey why a film might be funny in a one line description.
Of the upcoming video game to movie adaptations Uncharted: Drake's Fortune seems like one of the more likely to be successful. The game has a reportedly compelling story based around a wise cracking treasure hunter very much in the vein of Indiana Jones or Dirk Pitt so it should be a snap to translate that to film and have a nice summer blockbuster on your hands right? Right.
MTV has the story
News broke over the summer that Sony would be guiding "Uncharted" to a big screen adaptation, with "Hitman 2" (another, as-yet-unreleased game adaptation) writer Kyle Ward delivering a script. Well Ward's now out, according to a report yesterday on Latino Review. Replacing him -- assuming negotiations go well -- are "Conan" reboot writers Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer.
Normally I'd be concerned hearing about a project like this being shoved onto the fast-track. Video games have enough of a sorry history in Hollywood; the last thing fans want is for one of the most promising adaptation-worthy titles in recent years to get a crummy film treatment. My guess is that Sony's hurry can be attributed, at least in part, to the upcoming, Jerry Bruckheimer-produced "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," which is looking mighty good.
A quick IMDB search reveals that Donnelly and Oppenheimer were writers on the Sahara movie (a fact that I didn't know when I referenced it above) which I think is often unfairly dismissed, so they definitely have the chops when it comes to scripting this kind of fun, pop-corn romp. What seems to be a good sign is that the Hollywood machine seems to have decided video-game adaptations will be the next big thing and as such might actually throw some talent behind them.
I like Hugh Jackman, he seems like a genuinely nice guy, unlike most Hollywood types so I'm always interested when a story pops up involving the Aussie-born actor and this one is even more interesting than most. It looks like Jackman's next project will be a film based on the Richard Matheson (author of I Am Legend and Button, Button upon which The Box is based) called Real Steel. The story has been described as like a "Robot Rocky" but I'll let Variety fill you in on the details.
Story centers on a fighter who has to reinvent himself when human boxers are replaced by robots. Jackman will play a struggling Robot Boxing promoter who finds a discarded robot that always seems to win. He also discovers he has a 11-year-old son, and they bond as the robot brawls its way toward the top.
Although grounded in the father-son relationship, Levy describes the film as a "rousing sports movie" with Jackman's character "a former boxer who can no longer do the only job he's good at, and one particular robot that may be his return to grace."
When I read this description, what comes to mind is the robot destruction derby sequence from A.I. They describe it as a 'rousing sports movie' but I'm finding it hard to see how they will make the boxing element compelling since we know that a crushing loss won't mean anything to the emotionless sportsman. The other side of the coin is Jackman's role, which I presume will be the focus of the movie, at which point it becomes a father/son relationship movie that happens to be set in this sci-fi sports setting, and then the question is how believable and relate-able is their relationship? Only time will tell.
It looks like George Cloony's next project will be a collaboration with the man behind Sideways and Election, Alexander Payne, called The Descendants.
The movie will be based on a novel of the same name by author Kaui Hart Hemmings and has been adapted for the screen by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.
According to Hemmings' website, "The Descendants" focuses on Matthew King, a wealthy landowner with Hawaiian royalty in his blood. Life is far from perfect for Matthew — he has two irascible daughters in the form of ten-year-old Scottie and seventeen-year-old Alex, not to mention the fact that his high maintenance wife has slipped into an irreversible coma.
Making the impending death of Matthew's wife even worse is the fact that her secret lover hasn't been informed of the situation. Acting upon a sense of obligation, Matthew and his two daughters hit the road in search of the mystery man, perhaps the only man Matthew's wife ever truly loved.
Sideways is one of my favourite films of recent years so I have a lot of time for anything from Payne and I think Cloony is capable of striking that balance of being funny, but just realistic enough to be believable as a real person. Having not read the book I'm not sure how the balance of comedy and drama is going to be struck but from the synopsis is sounds like there will be ample opportunity for 'zany' adventures which I think will work well in Payne's hands.
It was recently announced that the wheels have begun turning on a much belated sequel to the classic Who Framed Roger Rabbit with a scrip being written by the original's scribes Jeffrey Price and Peter Seaman.
A burning question however has been whether it will be the traditional mix of live action and hand-drawn animation that made the first film so distinct or will Robert Zemeckis be implementing motion capture technology he has been perfecting since Polar Express in 2004?
MTV has the story
"All the other characters that [the cartoons] would sort of have fun with would be magnificent in performance capture technology," [Zemeckis] explained.
Inherent in this admission is the matter of 3-D technology. Starting with "The Polar Express" in 2004, all of Zemeckis' mo-cap movies have also been in three dimensions. So when the director talks about using performance-capture, he's also talking about making "Roger Rabbit" partly in 3-D. But he also ruled out using 3-D or mo-cap when it comes to the cartoons, including the title rabbit and his voluptuous beau, Jessica.
"I wouldn't use it for the cartoon characters, because I think they should stay two-dimensional because that's what — I wouldn't dimensonalize Roger," he said. "And I couldn't dimensonalize Jessica even if I wanted to because she doesn't have a nose. We wouldn't want to give her a nose."
It's strange that he's considering using motion capture for characters OTHER than the cartoons in the film. Much of the charm of the original lay in the contrast between the gritty realism of the real world versus the garish, out of place cartoon characters. If the whole world is animated (be it in 3D or 2D) this unique aesthetic would be lost. What do you think? Would you be upset to see an all-animated sequel to Roger Rabbit?
Pretty self explanatory really, The Prince of Persia: Sands of Time trailer has just arrived online for your viewing pleasure.
The movie is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer of 'Pirates of the Carribean' fame (and that's the connection they seem to want the public to make with this trailer) and directed by Mike Newell who's claim to action-movie fame lies with 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'.
I am a huge fan of the game upon which this movie is based so I hope it can capture the sense of fun and exhilaration you get when playing. Unfortunately to me the trailer seems like a muddled, goofy, CGI mess.
After great success on TV with shows like Alias and Lost, J. J. Abrams moved into the world of feature films and quickly made a name for himself as the guy that revamps flagging franchises. Recently he rebooted the Star Trek series to much critical and fan acclaim, but before that he delivered the excellent Mission: Impossible III after the lackluster M:I2. With recent talk of the next installment of the M:I franchise floating around it was only a matter of time before someone asked him if he was going to sit in the director's chair for the second time.
"I'm producing with Tom," [Abrams] said recently. "My guess is, given other things, that I will not be directing the movie."
I don't want to give anything away yet, but I will say that it's a story that will feel consistent with the world that has been created," he explained. "It's not a reboot kind of thing."
What is known is that Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec are penning the screenplay, and the whole thing came together because Cruise wanted to reunite with Abrams. "Tom asked if I'd be interested in working with him again," Abrams said. "I didn't have a sense of what the story would be, but very quickly this idea came to mind, and Tom reacted to it in a way that got me excited, and then we got André and Josh to come onboard, and they began developing the idea with us."
So there you have it. It seems that Abrams' commitment to the next Star Trek movie trumps his commitment to Mission: Impossible, though it sounds like he will be heavily involved as a producer having come up with the plot and provided the screenwriters. What do you guys think about Abrams' decision?
Yahoo have today posted a trailer for Paul Greengrass' latest offering Green Zone. The film is based on the book 'Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone' by Rajiv Chandrasekaran which appears to be an account of much of the US administration's failings there.
From the trailer, possibly due to the presence of Matt Damon, it seems like Greengrass has used the central idea of the book (living and working in the Green Zone) and spun it out to Bourne Does Iraq. It seems to be shot in a very similar style with a similar emphasis on action and conspiracy. I'm sure Greengrass and Damon can pull it off and deliver an entertaining film but the question is whether we are saturated with Iraq war films to the extent that this one gets lost in the shuffle.
There have been rumblings of a Short Circuit reboot (pardon the pun) or sequel for some years now, a leaked script for a possible sequel even turned up online a few years back, but today Variety gives us the first concrete evidence that a remake is going into production.
Dimension Films has signed Steve Carr to direct "Short Circuit," the remake of the 1986 sci-fi pic.
Carr is coming off the Kevin James hit "Paul Blart: Mall Cop."
Scripted by Dan Milano ("Robot Chicken"), the remake is a robot reboot that brings the iconic Johnny 5 into the 21st century. Built by the military to be a highly sophisticated weapon, Johnny 5 develops a conscience and personality after being hit by lightning. He befriends a lonely boy and his fractured family.
"Short Circuit" fits into Dimension's priority of making franchise films, a list that includes "Scream 4," "Spy Kids 4," "Clive Barker's Hellraiser," "Scanners" and "An American Werewolf in London." The "Spy Kids" and "Hellraiser" films will be 3-D.
Bringing Johnny 5 into the 21st Century? Does that mean he'll look like Eve from Wall-E? I haven't seen Paul Blart so I can't comment as to it's quality, but the reviews were not good as I recall. However, with comedies, so much of the success is predicated on the script being good and I have seen Milano's work on Robot Chicken which consists of short (often hilarious) sketches usually spoofing pop-culture icons. If Milano can make the transition from sketches to features and maintain the same sense of humor then I think this film has a fighting chance.
What do you guys think of the choices? Do you think the world even needs a Short Circuit reboot?
Monster squad is the classic 1987 comedy written by Shane Black (Lethal Weapon) and directed by Fred Dekker (Night of the Creeps). The story revolves around a group of teenagers that form a club, or 'squad', to honor the classic movie 'monsters' of yesteryear. Of course some supernatural stuff happens and they end up in a showdown with said monsters. A new movie with the title of Monster Squad has just been greenlit by Warner Bros. with Mike Mitchell (director of the upcoming Shrek Forever Afters) at the helm, but it's not what you might expect...
The current plot for "Monster Squad" is being kept under wraps for now, though this is only one of several incarnations of the project. "Monster Squad" initially came to the WB in the form of "Nightcrawlers," a spec script written by Brian Lynch in 2000. The project changed through a bevy of different writers over the years before finally settling on Copeland's script, which is said to have "a balance of laughs and chills."
Personally I don't understand the motive behind changing the name. The name will mean nothing to the younger generation that the movie will presumably be aimed at, and by using the name without having any connection to the original is only going to alienate fans of the original. It seems like Warners are intentionally shooting themselves in the foot. Either go the whole way and call it 'Monster Squad 2: The Legend of Frankenstein's Gold' or give it a different name, it's not that hard; 'Team: Monster', 'Ghoul Patrol', 'Nightmare Bandits'. See?
The X-Files was, at one time, the biggest show on television, spanning nine seasons (about 6 of which were good) and spawning two movie spin-offs, as well as a million insane conspiracy Theories. Today, David Duchovny (Fox Mulder on the show) has come out in favor of a third X-Files movie, despite the second installment only receiving a luke-warm reception.
the "Californication" star spoke about his hopes for a third "X-Files" film. Duchovny believes that "X-Files 3" could be perfectly appropriate for a 2012 release, thanks to the year's supposedly catastrophic nature according to Nostradamus and Roland Emmerich's (via the Mayan civilization) prophecies.
"As far as the X-Files movie I'd like to do next, if we get a chance to do it, would be a return to the heart and soul of the mythology, which is the alien-oriented conspiracy," Duchovny said. "I think it's natural for 'The X-Files' to have another movie in 2012, so we'll see if we get to do it."
Personally I liked The X-Files: I Want to Believe quite a bit, I think a lot of people were disappointed because it played out more like an extended 'monster-of-the-week' episode rather than focusing on the over-arching alien conspiracy story. It's fun to see these classic characters playing off each other again, so I'd be up for a third movie. How about you guys? Do you think a third movie is needed, or even wanted? If so, would you prefer an extension of the alien conspiracy story, or something that stands on its own?
Stephen Fry is a well known British TV personality and Golden Globe nominated actor, who is also an acclaimed writer (mostly of comedic novels). It seems that Peter Jackson has tapped Fry to pen the screenplay for his adaptation of the world war II epic The Dambusters. Presumably he'll be doing this in the 5 spare minutes he has a day when he's done Twittering (@stephenfry).
AICN has the story
Last night I attended a charity event with Stephen Fry, in which he was interviewed on stage about his life
One of the more interesting movie tip-bits that he let slip was that he confirmed that the Peter Jackson DamBusters remake was in pre-production, with Stephen writing the screen play. He also commented that Peter had already created the Lancaster Bombers in New Zealand ready for shooting to begin. No dates were mentioned.
Fry is mostly known as a comedian, so it is a strange choice for a remake of a dramatic war film, though he has taken on more serious roles occasionally with aplomb. Fry is also known for having extensive knowledge of history (as well as many other subjects) which may shine a light on to why he was chosen, if Jackson is looking for a historically accurate remake, with a touch of flair then Fry is probably a good man for the job.
I don't think Wes Anderson is known for being difficult to work for, but that is exactly what the crew on his new animated fable The Fantastic Mr. Fox are say saying in a piece from the LA Times.
[When asked about Anderson's decision to direct remotely via e-mail] "It's not in the least bit normal," director of photography Tristan Oliver observed at the production's East London set last spring, when production on "Mr. Fox" was about three-quarters complete. "I've never worked on a picture where the director has been anywhere other than the studio floor!"
"Honestly? Yeah. He has made our lives miserable," the film's director of animation, Mark Gustafson, said during a break in shooting. He gave a weary chuckle. "I probably shouldn't say that."
When asked about this attitude from his crew Anderson shot back with:
"It's not the most pleasant thing to force somebody to do it the way they don't want to do it," Anderson said. "In Tristan's case, what I was telling him was, 'You can't use the techniques that you've learned to use. I'm going to make your life more difficult by demanding a certain approach.'
"The simple reality is," Anderson continued, "the movie would not be the way I wanted it if I just did it the way people were accustomed to doing it. I realized this is an opportunity to do something nobody's ever seen before. I want to see it. I don't want afterward to say, 'I could have gone further with this.' "
Personally I'm with Anderson on this one. He's the director. On his film, what he says goes. And given what we have seen of the film so far, it certainly seems unique, though the low-tech look has divided critics.
Last week we speculated that the name change listed on the IMDB page for the World of Warcraft movie (from 'Warcraft' to 'Warcraft: The Rise of the Lich King') might have indicated that the film would be based on an existing novel that takes place in the WoW universe. Well today, director Sam Raimi has said in an interview with MTV that this is not the case, he is claiming that the script will be an entirely new story, and will be written by none other than 'Saving Private Ryan' screenwriter Robert Rodat.
The aim is to adapt the game, rather than a previously conceived story written within that world. "We want to be really faithful to the game," Raimi said. "We would have our writer, Robert Rodat, really craft an original story within that world that feels like a 'World of WarCraft' adventure. Only obviously it's very different 'cause it's expanded and translated into the world of a motion picture."
Raimi understands that there's a massive "Warcraft" fanbase out there, and a need to serve those fans as much as he serves the need to create a mass-marketable event film. The hope is that they'll properly capture "the Horde and the Alliance and the mythology that takes place in the game, and the archetypes that the game presents. I think we would try and find touchstones within the game to make it accurate and true and choose one or some of the lands that are portrayed in the game with as much accuracy and authenticity as possible."
For me, Spider-Man 3 was a blip on an otherwise spotless record for Mr. Raimi, and the news that a respected screenwriter is on board only gives me more hope for this project. The only question remaining is whether what Bruce Campbell's cameo will be.