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MGM’s WARGAMES Reboot Gets A Writer And A Director

Posted on 26 June 2014 by Rich Drees

WarGames

MGM is currently in negotiations with with Dean Israelite to direct and Arash Amel to script their planned remake of the 1983 thriller WarGames. According to Deadline, the studio is close to signing Israelite, who just made his directing debut on Paramount’s InSurge and Platinum Dunes’s American Almanac.

GM has been trying to get a WarGames remake off the ground for a while now and had previously had Seth Gordon Green interested in the project.

The original film starred Matthew Broderick as a computer hacker who inadvertently breaks into a military computer and almost cause a nuclear war. Although the technology in the film is definitely of its time and hasn’t aged well over the last three decades, the premise itself still has plenty of relevance with things like identity theft and cyber-terrorism being ongoing concerns of the day.

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J.J. Abrams Not Doing Full STAR WARS Trilogy

Posted on 20 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

JJAbramsAt least Star Trek got two films out of him!

rianjohnsonNumerous sources are reporting that J.J. Abrams will be one and done when it comes the new Star Wars trilogy, and that he will be handing the reins over to Rian Johnson starting with Episode VIII.

The only question is what will be the extent of Johnson involvement. Both Deadline and The Wrap say that he will be writing and directing Episode VIII and a treatment for Episode IX. Deadline says Johnson will also be directing the latter movie, while The Wrap says he will only be writing it.

While I do have to say that I loved Johnson’s Looper, the one concern I have about this is that Johnson’s typical tone is a bit darker than what you’d expect from a Star Wars film. I don’t know if this means that future episodes will be darker or that Johnson will be adapting his style to fit.

Even though Johnson is a skilled and talented director, the fact that Abrams is doing all the films is a bit disappointing. While changing directors mid-stream in the Original Trilogy did give us The Empire Strikes Back, it also gave us Return of the Jedi.

More on this as it develops.

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THE BATMAN Might Be On For 2019 With Affleck Directing

Posted on 19 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

batman-vs-superman-ben-affleck-batmobileI think I have El Mayimbe figured out. He sees a geek film issue that needs addressing, like, say, why wasn’t there a Batman film in the list of DC Comics films leaked weeks ago, goes to his “sources,” and comes back with an “exclusive.” Other news outlets pick up the story, Latino Review gets site hits, and everyone is happy. Well, everyone except the fans who believe El Mayimbe, and are disappointed when the rumors eventually turn out to be false, because, well, El Mayimbe doesn’t have that good of  a track record.

El Mayimbe is quoting sources saying that Ben Affleck will be starring as the Caped Crusader in The Batman, which is set to arrive in theaters in 2019. Affleck might also direct.

Of course, on the one hand, this seems entirely plausible. After all, Warners isn’t going to let one of their most successful comic book franchises sit idle when they create a DC Comics shared universe, are they?

But if this is true, why didn’t DC add it to the list we got a week or so back? This would have been pretty big news and would certainly be a good addition to that list. Also, Affleck will be 46 or 47 (depending on when the film comes out) in 2019, which, with the exception of Robert Downey Jr., is a bit long in the tooth to be playing a superhero.  Add to the fact that the films that he directed and acted in up to this point were more ensemble pieces where his role wasn’t really the showiest in the films. That wouldn’t be the case here.

El Mayimbe realizes the weakness of the rumor, or perhaps his less than stellar track record, because he couches the news with him saying that this “is what I’m hearing the studio’s plan is, which is of course subject to change.” So, remember kids. If this rumor doesn’t pan out, El Mayimbe wasn’t wrong. The studio simply changed its plans.

Developing.

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Is Bryan Singer Being Removed From X-MEN: APOCALYPSE?

Posted on 09 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

BryanSingerBryan Singer has just directed the incredibly successful X-Men: Days of Future Past, a film that has returned to franchise to greatness, not only in terms of grosses but also reviews.

Bryan Singer is also the focus of a scandalous lawsuit where he is accused of coercing a male minor into have sex with him using his Hollywood connections vis a vis the victim’s desire to become an actor as leverage.

The former should lock Singer in as director of X-Films for the rest of his life if he so chooses. The latter should have him dropped as a hot potato for any future, big budget project. The question became, which direction world Fox go?

A new rumor has it that Fox is choosing option number two.

Radar Online is reporting that the studio wants Singer to step down from directing X-Men Apocalype because of his impending court case. The reason Radar gives isn’t necessarily because the studio thinks Singer is guilty or the nature of the crime he is accused of.  The reason sources gave Radar is that the court case might cause costly delays during production of the film as Singer would have to take time off to defend himself from the charges. And it is believed that Singer would do just that because there is evidence that he might have been shooting the first X-Men film at the time the alleged abuses took place.

Fox appears to want Singer to step down willingly, offering him the chance to handpick his successor and stay on as a producer, but all attempts at negotiating a graceful exit for Singer has not been well received by the director.

This is a messy situation and if these rumors are true it’s bound to get a whole lot messier.

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Peyton Reed Is Your New ANT-MAN Director

Posted on 07 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

Peyton ReedHis name was rumored to be in the running starting only yesterday, but apparently Peyton Reed wasn’t going to let another Marvel film slip through his fingers.

Entertainment Weekly is saying that Reed has signed on to direct the problematic Ant-Man, and that Marvel has brought on former directorial candidate Adam McKay to rewrite the script. Yes, the man whose best lines as a writer have come from the improvisations of his actors is reworking Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish’s script. Oh, joy!

While numerous news reports state that Reeds last two films made over $200 million at the box office, that was six and eight years ago and $200 million is often the budget for a Marvel. But the one thing we can say for absolute certainty is that considering both men’s resumes are almost exclusively made up of comedies, Ant-Man will be Marvel’s first full fledged comedy.

Since production was supposed to begin on June 2, even if McKay delivers a script on Monday, the production will be at least a week behind.  However that seems unlikely and odds are that McKay will not be writing the film on the fly as production goes on (which seems almost more labor and time  intensive than if he directed the film himself). This means either the July 17, 2015 release date will be bumped back, corners will be cut in post production, or the filming would be rushed. None of this lends itself to a quality film.

Welcome to Marvel, Peyton. I hope you survive the experience.

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ANT-MAN Director Carousel Now Lands On Peyton Reed and David Wain

Posted on 06 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

AntManLogo

Have you started to smell the stink of desperation from Marvel yet? I haven’t, but I feel that it is not long coming.

We have two new names in the directorial pool to replace Edgar Wright on Marvel’s Ant-Man–Peyton Reed and David Wain.

The Wrap is the site that throws Reed’s name into the mix, saying he is the top contender. You might remember that Reed, fresh off the inventive Down With Love, had a cup of coffee as the director of the 2005 version of Fantastic Four, before Marvel eventually went with Tim Story. Reed went on to direct hits such as 2006’s The Break-Up and 2008’s Yes Man. That film was Reed’s last theatrical directing job, although he has another graphic novel adaptation, The Fifth Beatle, in pre-production.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog also lists Reed as a contender, but adds David Wain’s name into contention. Wain is perhaps best known in some circles as a member of the legendary, if underrated, comedy troupe, The State. He has acted, written and directed a number of TV shows and features staring his State cast mates. One can’t help but think that Paul Rudd might have suggested Wain for the job, as the actor has worked with the director around 14 times, starting with 2001’s Wet Hot American Summer right up to this June’s They Came Together.

One thinks that eventually Marvel will find someone to pick up this accursed project. I’ll do it for them, for a lifetime supply of Marvel Comics. Call me, Marvel.

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ANT-MAN Director Follies: Nicholas Stoller Not In Contention

Posted on 05 June 2014 by Rich Drees

AntManLogo

Last evening, when reporting on how Marvel Studio is going to be going “radio silent” in their quest to find a new director for their Ant-Man film nearly two weeks now after Edgar Wright left the project, I commented that the situation was very fluid and could change at any moment. Well, this morning we are waking to new news on the search.

Collider is reporting “on very good authority” that reports that Neighbors director Nicholas Stoller is under consideration to take the Ant-Man directing gig are not true. This contradicts yesterday’s report from Deadline that he was. Collider states that it can neither corroborate or refute the reportage that Michael Dowse is also being looked at by Marvel.

Who knows what the next twelve hours will bring?

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The First Time Josh Trank Made A STAR WARS Film

Posted on 05 June 2014 by Rich Drees

JoshTrankYesterday it was announced that Josh Trank was heading to the Star Wars universe to direct one of the franchise’s as-yet-untitled spinoff films. It turns out that this is not the director’s first trip.

Back in 2007, Trank made a short fan film titled A Stabbing At Leia’s. And by short, we mean barely a minute and a half long. Rumor has it that this is the short that helped to sell Fox on the idea of giving Trank and writer ax Landis the go-ahead to do their film Chronicle, but I haven’t been able to verify that, so take that story with a grain of salt.

What I can say is that the film does seem awfully derivative of Troops, the 1997 Star Wars fan film from Kevin Rubio that pretty much kicked off the fan film movement. Granted Rubio’s film was an outright parody of the long-running Cops TV show and played for laughs where this one is not.

Final note – There is some NSFW language in here, so if necessary, put some headphones on.

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Marvel Going Into Radio Silence Over ANT-MAN Director Search

Posted on 04 June 2014 by Rich Drees

AntManLogo

With Marvel seemingly having burned through its top three choices to replace departing director Edgar Wright on their troubled Ant-Man film, the studio is now expanding its search for a director willing to step in and helm the project. But news of whom the studio may be talking might become a bit scarce. According to Deadline

As for Ant-Man, Marvel has gone radio silent after heated press reports that Adam McKay would direct and then equally heated reports a day later that he wasn’t going to do it after all. Right now, the favorite is Dodgeball and We’re The Millers helmer Rawson Thurber, but names like Nicholas Stoller and Michael Dowse also are making the rounds.

Interestingly, Thurber’s name seems to be back in the mix, at least according to this report just posted this afternoon, after reports last night stated that he was also out of the running. We should also note that Marvel is continuing to search amongst directors who have specialized in comedies. Stoller is of course known for Get Him To The Greek (2010) and the recently released Neighbors while Dowse is the director of Take Me Home Tonight and Goon (both 2011).

Obviously, things are moving pretty quickly and by the time I finish typing this, things could have changed. We’ll keep you up to date with the developments, but hopefully Marvel will be able to settle on a director soon. And they need to as the film will need to start shooting fairly quickly in order to make its scheduled July 17, 2015 release date.

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Josh Trank Set To Ruin A Stand Alone STAR WARS Film

Posted on 04 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

Josh-TrankJosh Trank is going from working on a Marvel Comics property at another studio, to the studio that owns Marvel Comics.

Disney announced today that they have hired the director to helm one of their stand alone, Star Wars spinoff films. No word on which characters Trank will be working with or when the film will be released.

Star Wars fans should be slightly concerned over the hiring. Trank is currently shooting his reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise, a reboot rife with selfish casting decisions and potentially damning changes to the mythos. One would assume that Trank will not have as free a hand to mess up the Star Wars franchise, but there’s always a chance that might happen.

It seems that the earliest Trank’s Star Wars film will hit theaters will be in 2017 or 2018, which means that his involvement in the presumptuously scheduled 2017 Fantastic Four sequel has been put in doubt. Of course, there might not be a sequel for him to be involved in, but still.

Via Collider.

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