With all the hype surrounding the live action adaptation of the popular Transformers 1980s cartoon sure to make the film a hit at least over its opening weekend, it’s not surprising that we’re starting to hear rumblings and announcements for similar big-budget projects.
G. I. Joe
Cinematical is reporting that, after years of wallowing in development hell, Paramount is putting their adaptation of the G. I. Joe cartoon on the fast track. They also report that there appears to be two scripts that the studio is looking at- one by Swordfish (2001) scribe Skip Woods which has received some negative online reviews and one originally developed a few years back for the studio by David Elliot and Paul Lovett (Four Brothers, 2005). If the studio will then choose one over the other or combine elements from each into a Frankenstein-like third script is anyone’s guess at this point.
Variety reported on Tuesday that Warner Brothers has optioned a screenplay from first time writer Paul Sopocy for an “origin story” of how a group of human-cat hybrids lead by the appropriately named Lion-O came together to oppose the evil sorcerer Mumm-Ra. Paula Weinstein (Blood Diamond, 2006) is set to produce.
He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe
This is one project that has been undergoing a lot of speculation and rumor over the past few years with the likes of John Woo and M. Night Shyamalan attached at various points. More recently scripter Adam Rifkin (Zoom, 2006) had been working on a screenplay, but it appears that he is off the project as Aint It Cool News is reporting (and Variety has confirmed) that producer Joel Silver has given Justin Marks the assignment now. This makes the third project for newbie Marks, who is also working on David Goyer’s Green Arrow-goes-to-prison movie Supermax as well as a live-action adaptation of the Japanese animated series Voltron.
And speaking of Japanese animated series that found fan bases in the States, the live action adaptation of the popular 1970s series Speed Racer is moving along briskly. Writer/directors Andy and Larry Wachowski have announced most of the film’s major cast members. Emile Hirsch will star as Speed with Matthew Fox as his mysterious rival Racer X, Christina Ricci as Speed’s girlfriend Trixie, Susan Sarandon as Mom Racer, Dan Goodman as Pops Racer and Scott Porter, who will appear in flashbacks as Speed’s older brother Rex. The Brothers Wachowski have also released a picture of Speed’s car, the Mach 5. The film is scheduled to go in front of the cameras later this year and is scheduled for release next May 9th.