Posted on 03 May 2010 by Rich Drees
Is Twitter becoming the new way for actors and directors to let fans know the status of their projects in development? It certainly seems that way.
On the heels of Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy writer/director Adam McKay tweeting that Paramount had passed on a proposed sequel to that film, Ben Stiller made a cryptic comment on his Twitter feed, hinting that the in-development sequel to his 2001 comedy Zoolander, may have met a similar fate -
Ron Burgundy and Derek Zoolander looking to appear in sequels. Both men destitute, without means or intellect to fund their own comebacks.
So what is it with Paramount these days? While Zoolander might not have the built in audience that Anchorman has, Stiller could definitely pull in much of the audience that helped his 2008 film Tropic Thunder earn $110 million at the box office.
Wait a minute… There is a link between the two projects- Will Ferrell, who played the villainous fashion designer Mugato in Zoolander, rumored to return in the proposed sequel. (Stiller would show up in a small role in Anchorman a few years later.) Does someone at Paramount have a vendetta against Ferrell? Probably not, but what reason could Paramount have for passing on two potential moneymakers from well established comedy stars?
Posted on 28 April 2010 by Rich Drees
Despite horrible reviews, Clash Of The Titans has managed to earn almost $390 million worldwide at the box office, so it should come as no surprise that studio Warner Brothers is certainly anxious for a sequel. The studio has already tapped Greg Berlanti to write a script with hopes that they can get the film into theaters by the spring of 2012.
However, don’t expect Louis Leterrier to return to the director’s chair for the follow up. According to Deadline, Leterrier’s departure was “harmonious” and was explained away as him not being anxious to dive back into production on another film right away. But when you factor in the stories of reshoots and editing room interference from the studio, it perhaps isn’t so surprising that he declined to participate in the rush to get a second installment cranked out in just 24 months.
And speaking of those reshoots, I’m a little surprised that Warners didn’t just decide to cobble together a second feature from the reportedly copious amount of left over footage littering the editing room floor.
I suppose that there is a bright side to a Clash sequel, though. Since Warners is intent on having their major tentpole releases all be lensed in 3D, then a second installment will be shot for the process and will not suffer from the shoddy, computerized, post-production transformation from 2 to 3D that the first film did.
Posted on 27 April 2010 by Rich Drees
The 3D juggernaut continues to roll on, fueled by studio execs with dollar signs in their eyes.
The latest film to be getting the treatment is The Ring 3D, a second sequel to the 2002 English adaptation of the 1998 Japanese film about a cursed video tape that kills anyone who views it within a week. Although I found the original Japanese version a better film than the Naomi Watts-starring Hollywood version, but it managed to thrill audiences to the tune of $129 million at the box office. That kind of money sparked a wave of English-language remakes of Japanese horror films, most of them substandard to their foreign originals. Although its 2005 sequel, The Ring Two, managed to still pull a respectable $76 million in ticket sales, the wave had burnt itself out and no one has really been clamoring too loudly for a third Ring movie in the intervening years.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film’s storyline is still being kept secret but will “reinvent the franchise” and be “more teen-centric than the first.” Dream House writer David Loucka has been hired to script the film.
And while audiences may or may not have moved on from the Ring films, technology certainly has. Video tape is disappearing fairly fast from American’s homes as the medium of choice for recording television programs and home movies in favor of DVRs and other digital mediums. I have to wonder if the idea of a cursed video tape will not seem anything but quaint in this upcoming movie.
Posted on 08 April 2010 by Rich Drees
Well, here is this week’s most unexpected news. Universal Studios has announced that they are fast tracking a sequel to the 2003 Rowan Atkinson spy-spoof Johnny English. A script is already in place and the studio hopes that cameras will begin rolling, under the direction of St. Trinian‘s helmer Oliver Parker, in August.
Considering that the original film only made $28 million at the domestic box office against its $40 million budget, Johnny English seems like an unlikely film to get a sequel. But outside the States, where English comic Atkinson has a much higher profile, the adventures of a bumbling civil service who gets mistaken for a spy pulled in $161 million at the box office.
Unfortunately, Rowan Atkinson has never been able to make a big impression in the US. His best known character is the mute Mr. Bean, who appeared in a long running BBC series which became a popular programming choice on PBS stations around the country. Atkinson spun the character off for two films which grossed a combined $481 million worldwide.
Hopefully, if this does well, Atkinson may be amenable to revisiting some of his other past successful characters like my personal favorite, Edmund Blackadder.
Posted on 30 March 2010 by Rich Drees
Although Twentieth Century Fox has been keen on having a sequel or two to their 1996 hit Independence Day, one thing has always been a formidable bump in the road- the price tag for the acting services of one Will Smith. But now that Fox has some cash burning a hole in its corporate pockets thanks to a little film called Avatar, they may just be willing to pay that price.
IESB is reporting that an unnamed source is telling them that Fox has locked Smith into a deal for a second and third Independence Day film, possibly set to film back-to-back. But don’t start making plans to camp out at your local cineplex waiting for this to open. Independence Day director Dean Devlin is first committed to the thriller Anonymous, while Smith’s next project will either be a third Men In Black installment or the fantasy The City That Sailed. Even with everything else is in place at the completion of those two projects, the earliest that cameras could roll would be 2011.
Of course, given that the original Independence Day grossed just north of a billion dollars worldwide in 1996, one has to ask the question why Fox didn’t feel like meeting Smith’s quote, which was probably a bit less than the reported $20 million and a percentage of gross profits he commands now, then.
Remember, Fox has not officially confirmed the story and IESB is quick to point out that they have not been able to verify things through a second source, so take it all with the requisite pinch of salt.
Posted on 07 March 2010 by Rich Drees
Universal is developing a sequel to the 1988 Robert DeNiro film Midnight Run. The studio has hired Role Models scripter Timothy Dowling to draft a screenplay which would find his grizzled bounty hunter character Jack Walsh being teamed with a younger character for a new adventure.
The original 1988 action comedy had DeNiro’s Walsh dragging an accountant played Charles Grodin across country to testify against his former mob employers with mafia assassins and other bounty hunters in hot pursuit. The film also starred John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Yaphet Kotto and Joe Pantoliano.
And while it is exciting that DeNiro is returning to give his classic character another go round, it is worth noting that DeNiro’s comedy career has been a very mixed bag. For every Analyze This and Meet The Parents, DeNiro has also come out with an Analyze That and a Meet The Fockers. The real secret to Midnight Run is the chemistry that DeNiro shared with Grodin’s character and the real key to this new project will be creating a character and finding an actor to play it that will create a similar bond with DeNiro. Good luck with that.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Posted on 16 February 2010 by Rich Drees
Bad news Mamma Mia! Fans. If you were hoping for a return trip to that Greek island where everyone spontaneously breaks into ABBA songs, you may have to cancel your travel plans. While making the publicity rounds for Percy Jackson And The Olympians, Pierce Brosnan told Empire that “I don’t think it’s happening,” when asked about the possibility of a Mamma Mia! sequel becoming a reality.
Although it opened opposite box office juggernaut The Dark Knight in the summer of 2008, Mamma Mia! still managed to pull almost $610 million at the worldwide box office against its rather small $52 million budget. That kind of return automatically triggers talk and speculation of a sequel. And the talk has flowed in the last 18 months or so about a sequel with even a rumor circulating that the proposed second film wouldn’t even feature the music of ABBA!
I can’t say that I’m too disappointed by this news. I wasn’t that impressed with the film outside of the production of the music. And sequels to popular film musicals never really seem to work out. Grease 2, anyone?
Posted on 19 January 2010 by Rich Drees
Cult fan favorite actor Bruce Campbell has announced that a sequel to his 2007 horror comedy My Name Is Bruce will start shooting this fall in Oregon. It’s title- Bruce Vs. Frankenstein.
Campbell made the announcement to the folks over at Aint It Cool, though he skimped on story details. In My Name Is Bruce, Campbell plays a distorted version of himself, an alcoholic actor trapped in his own cult status to the point that when a small town has a problem with a demon that they can’t get rid of, they recruit him to vanquish it. Essentially, the story is an update of The Three Amigos, though funnier and with Bruce Campbell, which instantly makes it better than anything cinematic that Martin Short has ever starred in.
No word was made of a release date, though I wouldn’t start to look for it until mid-to-late 2012.
(And if you can’t get enough Campbell in your viewing diet, don’t forget that the USA Network series Burn Notice, in which he co-stars, returns with new episodes this Thursday.)
Posted on 18 January 2010 by Rich Drees
Another piece to the overall puzzle of Marvel Studios’ cross-continuity between their superhero films with the announcement that Clark Gregg will be reprising his Iron Man character of SHIELD Agent Coulson in the currently shooting Thor. Gregg has previously reprised the character for Iron Man 2, hitting theaters this May.
Marvel Studios ongoing plan is to introduce several superheroes in separate films before having them meet for the team-up film The Avengers. The first film in this plan was 2008′s Iron Man. Later that year, Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr cameoed in Incredible Hulk, the second film from Marvel Studios. Both films shared some background details, including the secret spy organization that Gregg’s character belongs to. The Hulk movie also hinted at some things that may appear in Marvel’s upcoming Captain America film. Other threads through these films include appearances by Samuel L. Jackson as SHIELD head Nick Fury.
It is unknown if Gregg, who is a regular on the CBS series The New Adventures Of Old Christine and appeared in this past summer’s indie hit 500 Days Of Summer, will appear in the Avengers film.
Posted on 18 January 2010 by Rich Drees
When Cloverfield was a monster hit (sorry for that pun) back in 2008, immediate speculation began not as to whether there would be a sequel, but as to when. With two years having now passed and no concrete word on a follow up moving forward, one couldn’t be faulted for thinking that the project had quietly gone the way of the dodo.
But now Cloverfield producer J. J. Abrams confirmed that we shouldn’t right off the possibility of a Cloverfield sequel just yet, while actually giving nothing new in the terms of the potential film’s actual status. Speaking to MTV, Abrams stated “We’re working on something right now with that and again, you know, it’s early stages.”
I would tend to think that after two years if a project is still in its “early stages,” than there may be some serious problems that is prohibiting movement forward. I hope not though. I liked Cloverfield a lot and thought it was one of the few giant monster films that actually dares to be about something deeper than just a crazy giant beast stomping on model buildings. Hopefully, the desire for moviegoers to see a sequel is not diminishing over the time it takes fort the film to finally be produced.