Archive | In Development

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Penelope Cruz Signs Up For ZOOLANDER 2

Posted on 24 November 2014 by Rich Drees

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A sequel to Ben Stiller’s 2001 male model comedy Zoolander appears to be a bit closer to reality with the news that Penelope Cruz is signing on to costar in the long in development project. Stiller, of course, will be reprising his role of the super famous, super dimwitted super model Derek Zoolander with the first film’s co-stars Will Ferrell and Owen Wilson rumored to be returning as well. The film will also mark Stiller’s return to the director’s chair following 2013’s The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, with Justin Theroux providing the screenplay.

It has been thirteen years since the first Zoolander was a mild hit for Stiller, though its reputation has grown since then. Stiller has been working for the last several years at getting a sequel off the ground, and I dare say that the recent success of the sequel Dumb And Dumber To, twenty years after the first film’s release, may have emboldened the studio in moving forward now. Granted, there is not an actual announcement that the film has been greenlighted, but it is a demonstrable move in that direction.

Personally, though, I am of two minds on wanting to see a Zoolander sequel. I really enjoyed the original when it came out. Stiller is at his best when he is playing larger than life comic characters like Derek Zoolander or Dodgeball‘s White Goodman or Tropic Thunder‘s Tugg Speedman. But I am also a fan of Ferrell’s Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Jeremy and anxiously wanted a sequel. That is until, I got it and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues failed to live up to the expectations I had. Can Stiller deliver a sequel at the same level of the original film?

Via Deadline

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Paul Greengrass Bringing Orwell’s 1984 To Big Screen

Posted on 20 November 2014 by Rich Drees

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Its title may be dated, but George Orwell’s dustopian classic 1984 is probably no more relevant than ever thanks to a culture of surveillance cameras, drones and other concerns over invasion of one’s privacy. With that in mind, perhaps it doesn’t seem strange that Sony is developing a new adaptation of Orwell’s novel. Deadline is reporting that Paul Greengrass has signed to direct the film which will be written by James Graham. Presumably, Greengrass will start work on this after he finishes off his collaboration with Matt Damon on the next Bourne franchise film.

Greengrass is a great choice, as his work on the Bourne franchise also touched on the idea of the security state and the lengths to which they can invade a citizen’s privacy and the lengths they will go to protect their secrets.

The book has been adapted twice before to film. The first time was in 1956 and starred Edmond O’Brien as the hero Winston Smith, who finds himself at odds with the oppressive government he worked for. John Hurt starred in the second adaption, released in the book’s titular year.

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CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR Adds Daniel Bruhl, May Also Appear In DOCTOR STRANGE

Posted on 17 November 2014 by Rich Drees

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Daniel Bruhl, who received high critical praise for his role as Formula 1 race car driver Niki Lauda in Ron Howard’s Rush, has been cast by Marvel Studios in Captain America: Civil War.

The studio is tight-lipped about his role, but Variety is stating that their sources are telling them that Bruhl “is not the main villain in Captain America: Civil War but could potentially be the top menace in Marvel’s Doctor Strange.”

If so, that raises some interesting questions about Civil War. Specifically, what character can Bruhl be playing? While not a diehard Marvel zombie, I do have about three-and-a-half decades worth of reading their books but I am at a loss as to what character, particularly a villain, could appear in both a Captain America and a Doctor Strange film. That’s not to say that I doubt the report that Bruhl will appear in both movies. I think that Marvel withholding the name of the character he will be playing suggests that, if the Variety report is accurate, the character may be more associated with Doctor Strange and would stand out as part of a Captain America movie if revealed too soon. And with Doctor Strange being released some six months after Captain America: Civil War in 2016 it could be that Bruhl’s

We already know that Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark/Iron Man will be appearing in the film and he will be taking and adversarial role against Chris Evan’s Steve Rogers/Captain America and that superhero Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) would be making his Marvel Cinematic Universe premier before headlining his own film in 2017. And writers/directors Joe and Anthony Russo have indicated that the film would continue the story begun in this past spring’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. With the addition of Bruhl in his unnamed role, Civil War is starting to look like a packed movie, with a lot on its plate to accomplish.

But I don’t think that this is going to be quite the Civil War movie that some comics fans may be hoping for. While the movie side of Marvel has looked to the comics for inspiration, more often than note the films have not been fairly literal or faithful translations of those stories, so I am not expecting it to be anything close to the 2006-2007 miniseries event.

For his part, in their press release, studio president Kevin Feige stated –

With Daniel’s ability to deliver intense, nuanced performances, we knew we had found yet another great actor to share the screen with some of our biggest heroes.

Captain America: Civil War is set to start production early next year for a May 6, 2016 release.

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Rumor: Christoph Waltz Vs James Bond

Posted on 13 November 2014 by Rich Drees

The 24th installment of the James Bond franchise is set to start filming next month, and we still haven’t heard any official word on any new cast joining the franchise. Usually the producers wait until they hold their start of production press conference before they officially unveil the cast and the film’s title. But of course, that certainly doesn’t put a stop to any speculation as to who may be showing up in the film.

So today’s casting rumor concerns who Daniel Craig’s James Bond will be facing off against, with word coming that it just may be Django Unchained‘s Christoph Waltz.

The rumor has its source in the Daily Mail‘s Baz Bamigboye, who, despite working for one of Britain’s biggest tabloids, is pretty much spot on the money, so take that for what it’s worth.

If so, it’s a good get and probably one of the few actors who could give someone like Skyfall‘s Javier Bardem a run for their money.

In addition to Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris are also returning as is director Sam Mendes.

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Has Warners Found Their WONDER WOMAN Director?

Posted on 12 November 2014 by Rich Drees

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A few weeks ago reports began to circulate that Warner Brothers was looking to hire a female director to oversee their planned Wonder Woman film planned for a 2017 release. The reported shortlist had a number of good candidates on it and it now appears as if the studio has picked a name from that list they like.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog is reporting that their sources are telling them that Game of Thrones director Michelle MacLaren has emerged as the most likely candidate for the job in the studio’s deliberations.

MacLaren became a favorite back in August, taking several meetings. Things cooled over the autumn as the studio widened its search, even beyond the female perspective. Sources say that MacLaren’s name surfaced again in the last week as a front-runner, even though as studio insiders say the company is not married to the idea of a woman director.

If MacLaren gets the job, she’ll have beaten the likes of Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Mimi Leder (Deep Impact), Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body), Julie Taymor (Across the Universe) and Tricia Brock (The Walking Dead), all of whom were reportedly being considered for the job by Warners. It would also make MacLaren the first female director of a comic book-based film since Lexi Alexander’s Punisher: War Zone (2008).

MacLaren’s work on Game Of Thrones certainly gives her hands on experience with visual effects as well as action – two elements that will undoubtedly be a part of the film. And I dare say that while the idea of a female director for a Wonder Woman film does run the risk of tokenism – I would be more impressed if the studio was looking to let female director helm a male headlined superhero film – most of the directors on the studio’s short list do have impressive enough qualifications he job.

Warner Brothers had no comment, and will probably remain silent until a deal is reached and signed.

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Is Sony Working On A Spider-Man Spinoff Movie Featuring Aunt May?

Posted on 11 November 2014 by William Gatevackes

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It’s fairly obvious that Sony wants to parlay their Spider-Man license into a shared universe franchise akin to what Fox is doing with the X-Men characters and Marvel is doing with just about every character they still hold the rights to. Unfortunately, unlike Fox’s mutants and Marvel’s deep IP catalog, there are not a lot of super powered characters in the Spider-Man universe that Sony can build a feature film around. Therefore, it seems only logical that they would try to manufacture a potential film with the characters they already have, even if the characters they have don’t really fit in with the film they are trying to make.

TMarvel_Team-Up_Vol_1_137he latest Sony Spider-Man spin-off possibility comes to us from the seldom reliable Latino Review who are saying that Sony is trying to force Aunt May into her own franchise. Yes, THAT Aunt May.

The website claims the film would feature a younger May and be set in the world of espionage, with May apparently doing the spying.

Now, while this might seem like an outlandish plot, it should be mentioned that in the comic books, Peter Parker’s birth parents were spies and worked for S.H.I.E.L.D.. And if this is true, it still wouldn’t be the most insane plot to feature Aunt May. As seen to the left, she spent time as a herald of Galactus. Granted, that story turned out to be a dream, but maybe Sony should get on the phone with Fox to see if they can borrow the Fantastic Four villain for a film.

Of course, this rumor comes from Latino Review journalist Da7e, who is slightly more reliable than El Mayimbe. But all the potential shared universe rumors that have come out concerning the Spider-Man franchise have the air of corporate brainstorming by Sony. In other words, there are a lot of concepts that appear to be just ideas that were run up a flagpole to see if anyone salutes it than a concrete plan for the future. And since there was no indication in either of the two Amazing Spider-Man films that even remotely hinted that May was a superspy in the 60s, this seems to be a concept that no one in their right mind would salute.

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Jared Leto And Margot Robbie May Be SUICIDE SQUAD’s Villainous Power Couple

Posted on 10 November 2014 by Rich Drees

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Warner Brothers may have found their supervillain power couple in the form of Jared Leto and Margot Robbie.

This weekend reports began to surface that Leto has been approached to play DC Comics Clown Prince of Crime, the Joker, in Suicide Squad, a comic book adaptation that writer/director David Ayers has described as “The Dirty Dozen with supervillains.” And now Collider is reporting from unnamed sources that Robbie has indeed been chosen to play the Joker’s occasional paramour/cohort-in-crime, Harley Quinn.

If both of these report are true, Leto and Robbie would be joining other potential castmates like Jessie Eisenberg reprising his Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice role of Lex Luthor, Will Smith and Tom Hardy.

For the uninitiated, Harley Quinn is a former psychologist who was treating the Joker during one of his many incarcerations at Arkham Asylum. She developed a rather unhealthy attraction to him and, throwing off her professional training, embarked on a life of crime as a way to impress him and attract his attention. The two have teamed up on occasion, though the Joker is often quick to discard her when her presence no longer suits his needs.

Leto has yet to pick a project to follow up his Academy Award-winning performance in last year’s Dallas Buyers Club, and this would certainly be an interesting choice for him if this pans out.

After demonstrating some impressive acting chops in last year’s The Wolf Of Wall Street, Robbie, a former Australian soap opera star, has been one to watch in my estimation. Given Suicide Squad‘s looming 2016 release date, I am assuming that as soon as she wraps up her work on David Yates’ new version of Tarzan, in which she plays Jane Porter opposite Alexander Skarsgård’s titular jungle ape man, she’ll move onto this film. She’s also finished a couple of other films that should help build her profile over the next year and a half until Suicide Squad hits theaters.

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Disney Announces TOY STORY 4 For June 2017

Posted on 06 November 2014 by Rich Drees

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Disney is having a busy day today. First they had Lucasfilm announce the title for the upcoming seventh Star Wars film. And then they followed that up by mentioning in their quarterly earnings call this afternoon that their Pixar division is in the midst of working on a fourth Toy Story film for release in June 2017.

The first Toy Story film solidified Pixar’s reputation as the premier computer-generated animation studio whose output, though somewhat shakey in the last several years, has remained in general unrivaled nearly two decades later.

John Lasseter, who directed the first two Toy Story films, is back at the helm of this fourth installment with the Celeste And Jesse Forever writing team of Rashida Jones and Will McCormack handling the script chores.

Over on the Official Disney Fan Club website, Lasseter stated –

We love these characters so much; they are like family to us. We don’t want to do anything with them unless it lives up to or surpasses what’s gone before. Toy Story 3 ended Woody and Buzz’s story with Andy so perfectly that for a long time, we never even talked about doing another Toy Story movie. But when [Pixar creative braintrust] Andrew [Stanton], Pete [Docter], and Lee [Unkrich], and I came up with this new idea, I just could not stop thinking about it. It was so exciting to me, I knew we had to make this movie—and I wanted to direct it myself.

Outside of the Toy Story films, Pixar has not had much critical luck with their sequels. And even some of their recent films have not scored as well. (I’m looking at you Brave.) And even though Toy Story 3 did provide a good capstone to the story of Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest, with Lasseter at the helm, I don’t think there is any chance that this won’t disappoint.

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Channing Tatum Considering Role In Tarantino’s HATEFUL EIGHT

Posted on 05 November 2014 by Rich Drees

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Channing Tatum may be heading out west.

Deadline is reporting that the Magic Mike star is eyeing an unspecified role in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming western The Hateful Eight. If he and Tarantino reach a consensus about his appearance in the project, Channing would join Samuel L Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Kurt Russell and Tim Roth when filming begins early next year.

Famously, this latest film from the Pulp fiction writer/director almost never came to pass after he stated he would shelve the project following a leak of his first draft screenplay last January. He later changed his mind after a staged reading of a revised draft.

When production starts, Tarantino will be shooting on 65mm film with an eye towards having the largest 70mm release in over 20 years.

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Is WONDER WOMAN Going To Be A Period Piece?

Posted on 30 October 2014 by Rich Drees

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Warner Brothers has been in development on a film featuring DC Comics heroine Wonder Woman for several years now. While just two weeks ago the studio announced that they would finally get the film onto screens on June 23, 2017, since it was announced as part of the studio’s overall slate of interconnected superhero films I think we all assumed that the film’s plotline would spin out of her preceding appearance in 2016’s Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. But if a report originating at Bleeding Cool is correct, it looks as if the Wonder Woman is actually going to take a step back in time.

According to BC’s sources –

[T]he film will spends the first half on Paradise Island with warring Amazon factions vying for control.

An arrival of a man on the island changes that status quo, as he asks the Amazons for help. Not necessarily Steve Trevor either…

Because when Wonder Woman joins him on his return to the world of Man, we all discover that it is the 1920s. And the film will then show Diana exploring that world – a world where women have only just got the vote – from her… unique perspective.

A planned sequel would then take place during World War II in the thirties and forties. This of course was the period that the seventies TV show began in, before shifting to the then-modern day.

And a threequel would then take place in the modern day, with the Justice League Of America.

A very interesting development, and one that would allow the studio to explore some of the history of their superhero world. And perhaps in the sequel allow them to dig deep into DC Comics roster of World War Two characters from soldiers like Sargent Rock of Easy Company to superheroes that are specifically tied to the era.

I am sure that there are some who are looking at this and thinking that Warners is just aping Marvel Studios’ 2011 Captain America: The First Avenger by placing the film in the past. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But the setting of the 1920s, twenty years before First Avenger‘s WW2 setting, certainly lends itself to exploring the idea of the character of Diana as a feminist icon over the decades and that has me intrigued.

During the years that Warners had been developing Wonder Woman, they had a number of distinctly different takes on the character. One screenplay, written by Matthew Jennison and Brent Strickland, was set during World War Two, but had previously been rejected as being potentially too expensive to make. Out of the various drafts that I have had the opportunity to read, it was also the best.

Currently, Warner Brothers is searching for a director for the film, with their attention focused on female candidates.

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