April 30, 2010

Prepare for the next 'Batman' movie to hit theaters on July 20, 2012!

Big news dropping today, via Box Office Mojo:

In one of the most anticipated announcements in recent memory, Warner Bros. officially set a date this morning for the follow-up to The Dark Knight. Tentatively known as Batman 3, the movie will debut July 20, 2012 in conventional and IMAX theaters, almost exactly four years after The Dark Knight opened to record-breaking numbers.

At this time, there are no details available regarding the plot or the cast, though it is assumed that Christian Bale at least will be reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Warner Bros. was also unable to confirm whether or not Batman Begins and Dark Knight writer-director Christopher Nolan would be taking on those responsibilities again for part three.

Thanks to a wealth of factors including the perceived quality of Batman Begins, the promise of The Joker as the villain, the publicity surrounding star Heath Ledger's performance and untimely death and the movie's overwhelmingly positive reviews, The Dark Knight debuted to an astounding $158.4 million, setting an opening weekend record that has yet to be topped. By the end of its run, The Dark Knight banked $533.4 million, making it only the second movie ever to cross the $500 million mark at the time (since then, Avatar has also reached this milestone). Worldwide, The Dark Knight accumulated just over $1 billion, putting it in the top five all-time.

The Spider-Man reboot, set to debut on July 3, 2012, is the only other release currently scheduled for July 2012. Other high-profile movies scheduled for Summer 2012 are The Avengers (May 4), Madagascar 3 (May 18), Battleship (May 25), Disney/Pixar's Brave (June 15) and the Untitled Star Trek Sequel (June 29).

-The summer of 2012 could be shaping up to be a big one...thoughts?

Will Billy Joel's Shea Stadium concert film get a theatrical release?

Well, The Hollywood Reporter seems to think so, and as a huge fan of Billy and the Mets, this is fantastic news to me. Here's the story:

Given today’s rough marketplace for indie films, obtaining a theatrical release for even a big-name rockumentary is far from a sure bet. But Billy Joel’s new feature “Last Play at Shea,” which bowed at the Tribeca Film Festival this past weekend, looks like it is poised to beat the odds and could become one of the fest’s first big acquistion titles.

Of course, it helps that Joel and several other musicians featured in the film are long-time Sony recording artists. Jon Small, who directed the concert footage in “Shea,” which was helmed by Paul Crowder, said after an appearance at the fest’s “Docs Doing It Right” panel that it’s looking like Sony Pictures Classics may give “Shea” a limited theatrical rollout later this year, followed by a home video release.

Steve Cohen of Joel’s Maritime Motion Pictures (who produced the film with Nigel Sinclar) added that the filmmakers are in negotiations with Sony for a theatrical release, but there have been conversations with more than one Sony division about its distribution. “It all boils down to finances,” said Cohen, who emphasized that the right marketing budget would be the key to any deal. “As one of the producers, my main concern is the proper promotion of the film.”

“We have a great relationship with Sony Music [Entertainment],” said SPC co-president Michael Barker. “We’ve talked to them about a lot of films involving their artists and this was one of them, [but] there’s no deal.”

Not yet, anyway. The film was completed only four days prior to its Sunday world premiere at Tribeca, and Small says Joel (who financed the low-seven-figure budget himself) was willing to shelve the 95-minute feature if it didn’t turn out to his satisfaction. But the movie, which captures the final two concerts held in New York’s legendary Shea Stadium before its demolition in 2009, met with a warm response to at the fest, thanks to its performances by Paul McCartney, Roger Daltrey, Steven Tyler, Garth Brooks and Tony Bennett, along with tales of the stadium’s baseball players and longtime workers. And that should make its prospects for a theatrical run more likely.

Small is now working on a version for television solely composed of concert footage. No plans for a soundtrack have been finalized.

Exclusive Media is repping sales for producers Spitfire Pictures and Maritime Motion Pictures.

-I know I'd see it...thoughts?

Did the Coen Brothers write a remake of the film 'Gambit' for Doug Limon to direct?

Well, not exactly, but they seem to be potentially collaborating on the project, according to Deadline:

As Summit Entertainment moves closer to a domestic distribution deal on his Valerie Plame drama Fair Game, director Doug Liman is circling Gambit, a Joel and Ethan Coen-scripted remake of the 1966 British caper comedy which originally starred Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. Producer Mike Lobell has been trying to get the project made for years, and Liman is an intriguing choice. Caine played a cat burglar who tries to rob a billionaire of his priceless statue and enlists the help of a waitress who is a dead ringer for the victim's late wife. While the burglar has carefully planned the job in his head, the execution is complicated by his relationship with his pretty accomplice. Liman is circling several projects, including an untitled moon mission project at Paramount with Jake Gyllenhaal and The Three Musketeers. The director's most pressing engagement is Cannes, where Fair Game will premiere in competition next month. Naomi Watts stars as Plame, whose covert CIA status was leaked by the Bush Administration after her husband Joseph Wilson began writing op-ed pieces charging that intelligence on weapons of mass destruction was manipulated to sell the invasion of Iraq. Sean Penn plays Wilson. River Road, Participant Media and Imagenation stepped in to finance the film when Warner Bros dropped out. Summit, which showed it had the mettle to mount an Oscar campaign with Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker, hasn't completely sewn up a deal yet but is a logical distributor: Summit's Patrick Wachsberger is already selling overseas territories on the film. CAA is finalizing the distribution a deal that should be completed by the time Liman boards a plane to France.

-This would be a rare script-only endeavor by the Coens...thoughts?

Today's Trailers: Jonah Hex, Splice, and Wild Target

First up is the eagerly awaited first look at the upcoming comic book action western 'Jonah Hex':

Next we have a new trailer for the science fiction horror flick 'Splice':

Lastly, we have a peek at an upcoming British action comedy by the name of 'Wild Target':

-Thoughts?

Looking forward to seeing 'Anchorman 2' soon?

Well, those hopes have been ruined, according to Cinematical:

Only a couple days ago we were hearing some promising things about Anchorman 2, like how everyone involved was willing to take pay cuts in order to get it made, and that production could begin as early as February 2011. People were excited; I may have even high-fived someone. Not lookin' so good anymore, unfortunately. Adam Mckay just revealed on Twitter that Paramount "basically passed" on Anchorman 2, even after they brought the budget down. Obviously he's pissed off about the whole thing -- he's firing back through Twitter (and, subsequently, through blogs like ours), and maybe he feels a little publicity might get this thing turned around.

Is there really enough love out there for an Anchorman 2, though? The first film is great, and probably the best thing to come out of the Will Ferrell/Adam McKay partnership, but is there enough of a want from general moviegoers for these characters to return? Is Anchorman more of a cult comedy, or is it one that's beloved by all? I don't know the answer to that. I know I'd love to watch an Anchorman 2 because the first one cracked me up somethin' silly, but I can't say for sure that audiences will flock to theaters for it. Then again, how cheap can McKay go with it? The first one grossed in the neighborhood of $88 million at the box office; if the sequel came at a good price, I'd tackle it. What do you think? Would you see an Anchorman 2?

-I liked the first one more than I should have, and I'd have seen the sequel, but I'm not shedding any tears over this...thoughts?

April 29, 2010

The Tribeca Film Festival doles out some Awards!

Behold:

2010 World Narrative Competition

  • The Founders Award for Best Narrative FeatureWhen We Leave (Die Fremde), directed and written by Feo Aladag. (Germany).
  • Best New Narrative FilmmakerKim Chapiron for Dog Pound, written by Kim Chapiron and Jeremie Delon. (France).
  • Best Actor in a Narrative Feature FilmEric Elmosnino as Serge Gainsbourg in Gainsbourg, Je t’Aime…Moi Non Plus, directed and written by Joann Sfar. (France).
  • Best Actress in a Narrative Feature FilmSibel Kekilli as Umay in When We Leave (Die Fremde),directed and written by Feo Aladag. (Germany).

The 2010 World Documentary Competition

  • Best Documentary Feature Monica & David, directed by Alexandra Codina. (USA).
  • Best New Documentary Filmmaker Clio Barnard for The Arbor (UK).

New York Competition Categories:

2010 Best New York Narrative Competition

  • Best New York NarrativeMonogamy, directed by Dana Adam Shapiro, written by Dana Adam Shapiro and Evan M. Weiner. (USA).

2010 Best New York Documentary Competition

  • Best New York DocumentaryThe Woodmans, directed by C. Scott Willis. (USA, Italy, China).

Short Film Competition Categories:

2010 Best Narrative Short Competition

  • Best Narrative Short Father Christmas Doesn’t Come Here, directed by Bekhi Sibiya, written by Sibongile Nkosana, Bongi Ndaba. (South Africa).

2010 Best Documentary and Student Short Competition

  • Best Documentary ShortWhite Lines & The Fever: The Death of DJ Junebug, directed and written by Travis Senger. (USA).

  • Student Visionary Awardsome boys don’t leave, directed by Maggie Kiley, written by Matthew Mullen, Maggie Kiley. (USA).

TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL VIRTUAL CATEGORIES:

The 2010 Tribeca Film Festival Virtual winners were voted on by the TFF Virtual premiumpassholders.

  • Tribeca Film Festival VIRTUAL Best Feature Film: Spork, directed and written by J. B. Ghuman, Jr. (USA).
  • Tribeca Film Festival VIRTUAL Best Short Film: Delilah, Before, directed Melanie Schiele.
-Thoughts?

Does Ang Lee want to shoot his adaptation of 'Life of Pi' in 3D?

Well, according to Collider, he does. The full article can be found here, but this is a taste:

In February 2009, we reported that Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) wanted to direct an adaptation of the Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi. The project had already passed through multiple directors including Dean Georgaris, M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuaron, and Jean-Pierre Jeneut. Then in October, we reported that Lee said Life of Pi would be his next film. Today, Indiewire reports that the project is now scouting locations Taiwan and Pondicherry, will be a big-budget film with a price tag of over $70 million, and will be a “3D magical fantasy adfventure crammed with visual effects.” This would be Lee’s first 3D film.

Life of Pi, in short, is about a child who shares a lifeboat with a hyena, an injured zebra, an orangutan and a hungry Bengal tiger. Hit the jump to read the official synopsis of the book and you’ll wonder how screenwriter David Magee (Finding Neverland) has managed to crack the script. Producer Elizabeth Gabler wants to begin filming this August for a 2012 release, but Fox hasn’t made a decision on whether to give the film the green light.

-This could be a decent use of 3D, if I have my sources right...thoughts?

Cannes picks 'The Tree' to close out their festival...

...but not the 'Tree of Life'. Here's the story from The Hollywood Reporter:

Festival de Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux and his selection committee have planted Julie Bertucelli's "The Tree" in the fest's closing-night spot, organizers said Thursday.

The English-language film stars last year's Festival de Cannes best actress winner Charlotte Gainsbourg alongside Marton Csokas and Aden Young in the story of a family mourning the death of the father.

The film is an adaptation of Judy Pascoe's novel "Our Father Who Art in the Tree" and was shot in Australia.

"The Tree" is Bertucelli's second feature after "Since Otar Left," which won the prize for best first film at the 2004 Cesar Awards.

"The Tree" was produced by Les Films du Poisson in co-production with Arte France Cinema and Australia's Taylor media, plus support from Backup Films and a prebuy from Gallic pay TV group Canal Plus.

Actress Kristin Scott Thomas will emcee the closing-night ceremony on May 23.

-Thoughts?

It may be a year early, but here's the teaser Poster for 'Scream 4'!

Thoughts?

Start preparing for 'The Hobbit' in 2012...

...since according to this in The Hollywood Reporter, that's when it's on track to come out:

“The Hobbit” is coming to theaters sooner than you think, but later than you initially thought.

Let's clear it up.

Warner Bros. is scheduling Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro’s two-part adaptation of “The Hobbit” for December 2012 and December 2013.

A confusion over release dates surfaced earlier today when Imax announced an overall, 20-film, three-year deal with Warners. In outlining which films would be included, Imax incorrectly gave 2013 as the release date for the first “Hobbit” movie.

But 2013 is two years later than the 2011 release date that New Line and MGM targeted for the first installment when the two companies originally announced the movies in December 2007.

However, 2011 proved not to be a realistic date and instead served more as a guideline, according to insiders, because when it was first announced, no scripts were written, nor schedules or budgets drawn up.

While the project is taking a bit longer than the filmmakers anticipated, it is now on track for 2012 -- rather than the 2013 date mentioned in the Imax release.

The second movie’s script was turned in to the studio a couple of weeks ago, and all parties are starting to break down the financials for the movies now.

Warners moved quickly to set the calendar straight in the wake of the Imax release, and by midday, the giant-screen-format company said it was going to send out a correction, officially making 2012 the new date for the first “Hobbit” movie.

-I'm not especially looking forward to it, but I know almost the whole world besides me is...thoughts?

Is J.J. Abrams teaming up with Steven Spielberg for his next project?

Possibly, according to Coming Soon:

Vulture reports that J.J. Abrams will next direct a project that will be "both a tribute to and a collaboration with Steven Spielberg ." According to the site, the script is a "a tip of the hat to [Spielberg's] movies of the 70's and early 80's."

If the project moves forward, Abrams would direct from his own script starting early fall for Paramount Pictures.

The project reportedly "will deal with everyday people whose personal relationships are tested when they are thrown up against extraordinarily fantastic - and possibly other-worldly - events."

The movie is expected to have a low budget, but won't have shaky cam like Cloverfield.

-Could be an interesting set of minds working together...thoughts?

April 28, 2010

Inception gets a brand new Poster!

Do I need to even ask if this is awesome to all of you or not?

Secretariat gets a Trailer

Take a look:

-Thoughts?

Ricky Gervais to host the Golden Globes again!

Here's the story from Deadline:

NBC has tapped Ricky Gervais to host the Golden Globes for a second time. The Hollywood Foreign Press Assoc.’ awards show, produced by dick clark prods., had never had a host until this year when Gervais took over MC duties.

As part of that deal with the British comedian, NBC had an option on him for a second year and chose to exercise it well in advance of the January 16, 2011 ceremony. That essentially puts Gervais out of contention for other vacant hosting gigs over the next year, such as the Emmys and the Oscars.

"I can't believe they invited me back after awful things I said," said Gervais. "Let's see how far I can go this time."

While he had been standout as a presented at other awards shows, Gervais’ first hosting gig at this year’s Globes, which featured him drinking and plugging DVDs of the British series The Office, which he co-created and starred in, drew mixed reviews. But the January 17 Globes telecast was up from the year before by double digits, delivering NBC's highest adult 18-49 non-sports rating in the time slot in five years NBC's largest non-sports viewership in six years.

-Thoughts?

Bill Condon confirmed as the 'Breaking Dawn' director...

...via this in The Hollywood Reporter:

Confirming recent speculation, Summit Entertainment announced Wednesday that “Dreamgirls” writer-director Bill Condon will in fact direct the final film in the “Twilight” series, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.”

No decision has yet been made as to whether the long, final tome will be divided into two movies or whether one (or both) will be filmed in 3D.

Regardless, as with the previous three films, Melissa Rosenberg is adapting the Stephenie Meyer novel, while Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner will return to star.

Wyck Godfrey, Karen Rosenfelt and Meyer are producing the project.

“I’m very excited to get the chance to bring the climax of this saga to life onscreen,” said Condon. “As fans of the series know, this is a one-of-a-kind book — and we’re hoping to create an equally unique cinematic experience.”

The film franchise, which unfolds as a youthful romantic saga involving humans, werewolves and vampires, has already generated more than $1 billion in worldwide grosses. The third film, “Eclipse,” directed by David Slade, will hit theaters June 30.

“Bringing Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Breaking Dawn’ to the screen requires a graceful and intelligent hand, and we believe Bill Condon is exactly the right steward, having shown equal and abundant talents of immense creativity and subtle sensitivity,” said Summit production president Erik Feig.

Condon, repped by WME and Anonymous Content, also wrote and directed “Kinsey” and wrote the adapted screenplay for “Chicago.” He won an Oscar for adapting the screenplay for “Gods and Monsters,” which he also directed.

Condon recently directed the pilot episode for the Showtime series “The Big C” and produced the Hugh Jackman-hosted Academy Awards telecast in 2009.

-The inevitable is confirmed...sigh. Thoughts?

Today's Posters: Winter's Bone, Jonah Hex, and Buried



Thoughts?

What do the early reviews tell us about 'Iron Man 2'?

Well, they seem to indicate that the film is a step down from its predecessor, though far from a bad popcorn flick, according to most. Rotten Tomatoes currently has it at 82% here, based on a small sampling of 17 reviews.
What does this mean? Well, I think we might be able to scuttle talk of a Best Picture nomination for Iron Man 2, but beyond that, not much...though it's interesting to take note of.
-Thoughts on the early reviews for Iron Man 2?

April 27, 2010

Toy Story 3 gets a new Poster!

Thoughts?

Oscilloscope picks up 'Howl' for release!

Here's the official press release from Oscilloscope Laboratories:

Oscilloscope Laboratories announced today that it has acquired U.S. distribution rights to 2-time Academy Award® winning director Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's first dramatic narrative HOWL. Starring James Franco in a career-defining performance as Allen Ginsberg, HOWL is the story of how the young poet's seminal work broke down societal barriers in the face of an infamous public obscenity trial. HOWL was the opening night film at Sundance Film Festival 2010 and also played in competition at 2010 Berlinale. The film was produced by Elizabeth Redleaf and Christine Kunewa Walker of Werc Werk Works, and Epstein and Friedman. Oscilloscope will release HOWL in theaters and VOD on September 24, 2010.

In his famously confessional style, Ginsberg – poet, counter-culture icon, and chronicler of the Beat Generation – recounts the road trips, love affairs, and search for personal liberation that led to HOWL, the most timeless work of his career. HOWL interweaves three stories: the unfolding of the landmark 1957 obscenity trial; an imaginative animated ride through the prophetic masterpiece; and a unique portrait of a man who found new ways to express himself, and in doing so, changed his own life and galvanized a generation.

HOWL features James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Bob Balaban, Alessandro Nivola, Treat Williams, with Mary-Louise Parker and Jeff Daniels.

David Fenkel, co-founder of Oscilloscope says, "At O-Scope we love working with passionate, creative filmmakers who make entertaining and meaningful films, and the team behind HOWL perfectly fit this profile. They put together a great cast, lead by a performance by James Franco that people will be talking about for years."

Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman say: "We're very happy that HOWL has found the perfect home and partners. Oscilloscope is the coolest company around."

Elizabeth Walker, CEO of Werc Werk Works says: "We are very fortunate that Oscilloscope has come on board to bring their passion and dedication to this extraordinary and inspiring movie."

Christine Walker, President of Werc Werk Works says: "Adam Yauch and his team have a terrific track record of nurturing unique films like HOWL and we look forward to working with them and bringing it to the widest audience possible."

-I think they did okay with The Messenger last year, so they're a pretty good distributor to handle a small flick...thoughts?

American Idol: Idol Gives Back Commentary

Because of the hiatus of the MainSite, the commentary from last Tuesday's performance shows are up on the American Idol page.

We all know the result was Tim Urban was sent packing but this week our Top 6 will take on the Shania Twain songbook. In other words, it's Country Week. Casey, Aaron, and Crystal should have no problem. Lee, Siobhan, and Big Mike should have a tougher time.

Comment. Is there anyway we don't get a Crystal/Lee finale? Do we have a shocker in our future?

It's a decent enough week for DVD...

...with some interesting options, though nothing that blew me away personally. For my PICK OF THE WEEK, I went with a film that I enjoyed, but one that was enjoyed far more by our own Myles Hughes (and my girlfriend for that matter...and yes, they're separate people). It's:
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
I liked much more of this flick than I disliked, but I still didn't dig it as much as some (including the aforementioned two people) did. That being said, it's the best that Terry Gilliam has been in a while, and features a nice performance by Heath Ledger to close out his career. The tragic passing changed this movie, and we'll never know what it might have been, but what it is is pretty good. If you're a fan of the actor or filmmaker, this is a good addition to your collection, mildly flawed as it may be.
-The release of note this week is It's Complicated, which is essentially porn for middle aged women. It does have some very funny scenes and a great comedic performance by Alec Baldwin, but overall I found it lacking. If you didn't, go right ahead and pick this one up.
-Also out this week is the John Malkovich drama Disgrace, Liam Neeson's crime drama Five Minutes of Heaven, the action flick Distict B13: Ultimatum, and the very mediocre horror comedy Transylmania. If any of these appealed to you, grab them and enjoy!
-My Vintage pick is, in honor of Friday's release of A Nightmare on Elm Street, the original Freddy flick. It's also called A Nightmare on Elm Street, and it's bound to be better than the new one, so if you haven't seen it, see it now!
-What will you be watching on DVD this week?

New Updates @ The Awards Circuit...

  • New Film Reviews (Kick-Ass, Breaking Upwards, Defendor, Clash of the Titans, The Secret of Their Eyes)
  • Under the Circuit - Brian de Palma (Has the iconic filmmaker earned his Oscar nomination yet or will his ship never come?)
  • What was the problem with "Avatar?" (In celebration of its DVD/Blu-Ray release on Earth Day)
  • The Deer Hunter - Most Overrated Film of the 1970's? (Is Christopher Walken's Oscar winning performance film not worth all the hype?)
  • Also, make sure to check the ARCHIVE for all the past reads!
Comment. Talk amongst yourselves.

Itching for another 'Ring' film, this one in 3D?

Well, even if you're not, The Hollywood Reporter says you're getting one anyway:

Combining two of Hollywood's consuming passions -- sequels and 3D -- Paramount is moving ahead with a new installment of the horror thriller franchise "The Ring."

The third entry based on the Japanese horror movies is being called "Ring 3D." David Loucka, who wrote the now-shooting thriller "Dream House" for Morgan Creek, has been tapped to pen the script.

Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are in negotiations to return as producers, and Vertigo and Benderspink are executive producing.

The original movie, an English-language remake of a 1998 Japanese film, was a critical and commercial hit when it was released in 2002, and it helped usher in a period in which Hollywood turned to Asia for horror inspiration. The movies made during that wave tended to be less gory and thus carried PG-13 ratings, and they tried to attract a more female-centric audience.

The first film also opened doors for its director, Gore Verbinski, who went on to direct Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, and gave a bigger American platform to its Australian star, Naomi Watts. A sequel was made in 2005.

"Ring" is one of the titles left behind during the Paramount-DreamWorks split and was thought to have been inactive.

The plot of the original film centered on a young journalist investigating a mysterious videotape that seemed to cause the death of anyone within a week of viewing it.

The new film is being fashioned as more teen-centric than the first, and though the logline is being kept under wraps, the aim is to reinvent the franchise. One potential scenario involves teens finding a VHS player that still works.

No director is on board.

Loucka is on a bit of a hot streak, with "Ring" the third high-profile project in which he's involved. In addition to "Dream House," which stars Watts and Daniel Craig, the Original Artists-repped scribe penned the most recent draft of "House at the End of the Street," a horror thriller from FilmNation scheduled to go before cameras this summer.

-So, this is pretty unnecessary, but hey...thoughts?

Today's Posters: Get Him To The Greek, Uninhabited, and Rush: The Documentary



Thoughts?

April 26, 2010

Carey Mulligan to star in David Fincher's remake of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'?

Well, according to Cinematical, she's won the role (which was supposedly down to her or Kristen Stewart). Here's the story:

Forget the sweet schoolgirl who gossips with her girlfriends and dreams of great romance in gay "Par-ee." Recent Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan is heading for the body art. The Times Online reports that the An Education star is "set" to headline the English remake of the Swedish film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. (They say she won a thumbs up from director David Fincher, but the final decision/agreement has not been made.)

Mulligan has been itching to grab the role for a while now, saying last month: "I am obsessed with those books. I would love to do them. I am not going to lie about that. I would love to play Lisbeth Salander." The Times notes that she not only won the thumbs up from Fincher, but also the family of the late author who penned the series, Stieg Larsson. Should she sign on the dotted line, she's said to earn approximately £10m for three films, playing a body-modded computer hacker who helps a journalist solve a decades-old disappearance. (The locale might be moved to Canada, seen as a sort of "compromise" for American audiences.) *

While I was intrigued by Peter's idea of a rougher Veronica Mars on the big screen, I'm itching to see how Mulligan balances darker fare with the sweet. If she hits this out of the ballpark like she did An Education, I imagine she'll be unstoppable.

-I think either Mulligan or Stewart would have worked, but I'm a fan of them both...thoughts

Sony Pictures Classics grabs the rights to Sylvain Chomet's 'The Illusionist'...

...strengthening the 2010 slate for the company. Here's the story from The Hollywood Reporter:

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all North American rights to Sylvain Chomet’s “The Illusionist” from Pathe.

SPC and Chomet previously collaborated on the filmmaker’s “The Triplets of Belleville,” which was nominated for a best animated feature Oscar in 2003. “The Illusionist,” which had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February, will be released in theaters at the end of the year.

“Collaborating with Sylvain on ‘The Triplets of Belleville’ was such a fantastic experience,” said SPC co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard. “We are so thrilled to be back partnering with him again on ‘The Illusionist,’ as well as our friends at Pathe, and producers Bob Last, Jake Eberts and Philippe Carcassonne. With a moving storyline and a work of art in each frame, audiences both young and old will connect with this film.”

Based on an unproduced screenplay by Jacques Tati (“Mr. Hulot’s Holiday”), “The Illusionist” follows a stage performer who’s watching the spotlight stolen away by emerging rock stars. As he is forced to take on increasingly fringe assignments, he meets a young fan who changes his life forever.

Bob Last produced the film; Jake Eberts and Philippe Carcassonne (“Coco Before Chanel”) are executive producers.

Sony Pictures Classics has Woody Allen’s “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” and Stephen Frears’ “Tamara Drewe” premiering in Cannes next month. The company most recently released “Chloe” and “The Secret in Their Eyes.”

-Thoughts?

AMC Theaters to screen the first 'Iron Man' flick directly before 'Iron Man 2'!

From Cinemablend:

Are you the kind of person with six hours to kill and a deep affinity for Robert Downey Jr. flying around in a superhero suit? Then I have a bit of good news. AMC Theaters has announced that they’ll show both of the Iron Man movies back-to-back on 150 screens the night of the Iron Man 2 release. The original will go up on screens at 9PM and at 12:01AM movie-goers can just keep their butts planted to watch the premiere of the sequel.

Getting a back-to-back movie experience seems totally hit or miss. I mean sometimes the originals are so awful (Fantastic Four) they don’t warrant a second viewing or even a reminder they were ever made. Other times though, especially with well done origin stories , having the theater experience again is a perfect whistle-whetter for the sequel. In cases like Iron Man getting a re-up on the big screen is actually something worth checking out.


-Sounds pretty cool to me...thoughts?

The next film in the 'Final Destination' franchise gets a writer...

...proving that unlike the people in these films, this franchise can't die. Here's the story from The Hollywood Reporter:

Eric Heisserer, the scribe who penned Universal's "The Thing" prequel, is writing "Final Destination 5," the latest installment in New Line's horror franchise.

The "Destination" movies, which center on the idea that one can't cheat death, usually begin with a group of people who survive a catastrophe because of the intervention of one person who has a premonition. Death, however, will have its due, and the survivors end up expiring in elaborate Rube Goldberg-like fashion.

The plot for the latest installment is being kept under wraps, though one scene involves a character undergoing laser-eye surgery.

The movies, produced by Craig Perry, have consistently been profitable for New Line because they tend to be made with modest budgets and generate solid returns, usually in the mid-$50 million range domestically.

The company thought the fourth installment, released last year in 3D, was going to be the last one because it was a tough production that faced reshoots -- and received a critical drubbing. However, when it grossed $66 million domestically and was a big success overseas, it was only a matter of time before another one came along.

News of the fifth movie came during ShoWest in March, when Warner Bros.' Alan Horn disclosed its development.

New Line, hoping to stave off a mummifying franchise, is trying to break out of the repetition of the first four movies and believes that Heisserer is part of the solution; the UTA-repped writer is developing a reputation for being the go-to guy for reinventing branded material. Heisserer wrote the greenlight draft of New Line's remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street," which opens next week, as well as "The Thing," which is in production in Toronto with Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the lead.

New Line is putting together a list of directors for the project, which would be shot in 3D for a release next year.

-Thoughts?

April 25, 2010

Apologies for the AC Hiatus...

...there has been much going on with The Awards Circuit but most of all, putting together a new layout and fixing up the new blog that will be used this awards season. Also, Staff Writer John H. Foote will be running a LIVE blog for the Toronto film festival, and I am building that one as well.

I ask that you please remain a bit more patient as I fix this up. In other news, this week, ACCA 2003 winners will be announced for your pleasure as well as a half-dozen reviews of recently released feature films.

Comment. Talk amongst yourselves.

Happy Birthday to my grandfather!

He's 77, and the reason I do what I do here. For those of you who are curious, he spent the day watching Eyes Wide Shut on Blu-Ray and The Young Victoria on DVD.
-Happy birthday Pop!

Jack-in-the-Box Office for the weekend of April 23rd -25th



In another disappointing weekend at the Box-Office, three new films failed to impress while many hold-overs had steep drop-offs. In its fifth week of release “How to Train Your Dragon” made its way back to the top of the Box-Office, and had the lowest-grossing weekend for a film in the number one spot in 2010 thus far. While the film is still far behind the grosses of “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda”, it has continued to pay off nicely for Dreamworks, as the domestic and worldwide totals now sit at $178 and $355 million respectively, a handsome profit margin from a $165 budget.

In second place was the embarrassing opening weekend for “The Back-Up Plan”, making this the second flop in a row for CBS films (which has only released two films so far, this and “Extraordinary Measures”). While their pervious film was a theatrical flop by every possible measure, “The Back-Up Plan” may or may not follow suit. The Jennifer Lopez-vehicle cost $35 million and has a domestic opening weekend gross of $12 million. While it’s easy to see most films making a worldwide profit with these numbers, the ludicrous plot and the fact that the film stars J. Lo will likely prevent it from doing much better than the previous CBS Films venture.

“Date Night” faired better in its third week, taking in another $10 million to come in at third place. The film cost Fox $55 million and has now made $63 million domestically and $90 million worldwide. While these are still not banner figures for Steve Carell (and to lesser extents Tina Fey and director Shawn Levy), the film’s profit margin has it being hailed as a success.

“The Losers” came in at fourth place with a disappointing $9,6 million. The film suffered from lackluster marketing and comparisons to “Kick-Ass” and the up-coming “The A-Team”. As the film was made by Warner Brothers for $25 million, it could easily make a profit, depending on worldwide gross and how the word-or-mouth plays out next weekend before the market becomes dominated by “Iron Man 2”.

It was a mixed weekend for “Kick-Ass”, as although it suffered a major drop-off to take in $9.5 million, its domestic total of $34 million and its worldwide total if $56 million have already created an impressive profit margin from its $30 million budget.

In other opening weekend news, “Oceans” fell below the opening of last year’s “Earth” to take in $6 million and come in at eight place. The worldwide total is now at $62 million, which is still below the budget of $80 million, but could also easily expect to cross the $100 million mark domestically, as “Earth” did last year.

Winning the per-theater-average race this weekend was the comedy/documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop” which took in $149,000 on 11 screens for an average of $13,545 per-screen and a two-week total of $391,000. The Oscar-winning “The Secret in Their Eyes” came in second by taking in $372,000 on 33 screens for an average of $11,273 and a domestic total of $605,000 and a worldwide total of $20 million.

What did you see at the movies this weekend? Whether it was the studio fare, an earth documentary, or one of the many independent films currently gracing screens (hopefully) near you, please let us know what you saw this weekend and what awards potential you see, if any. On behalf of everyone at the Awards Circuit, we hope you had a wonderful weekend at the movies, and we hope to see you back there soon.


In case anyone doubted 'Avatar' would prove to be a hit on DVD and Blu-Ray...

...this record breaking evidence from the Los Angeles Times proves it without a shadow of a doubt:

James Cameron didn't need 3-D to break this record.

Just four days after debuting on store shelves, "Avatar" has sold 2.7 million Blu-ray discs to consumers in the U.S. and Canada, according to 20th Century Fox -- more Blu-rays than any previous movie has sold. The previous record holder, "The Dark Knight," has sold 2.5 million Blu-rays since its debut 16 months ago.

Fox also sold 4 million standard definition DVDs. The combined total makes "Avatar" the biggest DVD launch of the year, breaking a previous mark of 4 million Blu-ray and DVDs combined set by "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" on its first weekend in March.

"Avatar" also debuted Thursday in France, where it sold a combined 400,000 units on DVD and Blu-ray, the biggest-ever launch in the country. It is at the top of the charts in Germany as well, although specific sales figures weren't immediately available. It goes on sale in Great Britain on Monday.

The huge debut for "Avatar" on home video dispels concerns that consumers wouldn't want to see it on a 2-D home television after most watched it in theaters in 3-D. Eighty-three percent of "Avatar's" $746.4-million domestic gross has come from theaters with 3-D screens. More than 70% of its $1.975-billion international gross has come from 3-D.

The news comes as Fox recently signed deals with kiosk renter Redbox and DVD-by-mail firm Netflix that keep "Avatar" and all of the studio's future releases off the services until 28 days after they go on sale.

"Avatar" provides a much needed shot in the arm to Hollywood's home entertainment business, which saw its revenue fall 8% in the first three months of the year and 5% last year.

-I had no doubt it would be popular on home video, but this is impressive...thoughts?

Cary Elwes to return to the 'Saw' franchise!

If you're a fan of the series like I am, this is very interesting news, and we get it (along with a longer cast list and a first look at the ploy synopsis) courtesy of Bloody Disgusting:

We've been hearing rumors that both Cary Elwes and Monica Potter would be returning in Lionsgate's Saw 3D - the seventh film in the franchise - but haven't been able to get any surefire confirmation. This evening Lionsgate released the "revealed" cast listing, which confirms that Elwes will in fact be returning as Dr. Lawrence Gordon in the Kevin Greutert directed sequel penned once again by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton. Still no word on if Potter will return as Alison Gordon, but below we've got the rest of the cast and the official synopsis. Saw VII 3D opens against Paranormal Activity 2 on October 22.

Confirmed Cast: Tobin Bell, Cary Elwes, Costas Mandylor and Betsy Russell all return with the surprise addition of Sean Patrick Flanery (Boondock Saints), Gina Holden (Aliens vs Predator: Requiem, Final Destination 3), Chad Donella ("Lost", "X-Files"), Laurence Anthony, Dean Armstrong and Naomi Snieckus.

Synopsis: "This October, one of the biggest, most successful horror franchises in movie history arrives in theaters in vivid, chilling 3-D with the release of Lionsgate’s SAW VII 3-D.

As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw’s brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror...

The first theatrical feature to be shot exclusively on the cutting-edge SI-3D digital camera system, SAW VII 3-D brings the horrifying games of Jigsaw to life like never before. The film stars Tobin Bell, Cary Elwes, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell and Sean Patrick Flannery. SAW VII is directed by Kevin Greutert, produced by Oren Koules, Mark Burg and Gregg Hoffman. SAW VII 3D is a Lionsgate Release. Twisted Pictures Presents a Burg/Koules/Hoffman Production.
"


-For me, Saw VI was the best installment since the original film, so this is something I'm looking forward to (give or take the 3D)...thoughts?

Breck Eisner to direct the 'Escape from New York' remake...

...which serves as a reminder that this remake is still happening, for better or worse. Here's the story from The Hollywood Reporter:

Breck Eisner, who directed Overtures' remake of "The Crazies," is in negotiations to helm the remake of "Escape From New York" for New Line.

The remake has been a top priority for the company, which picked up the rights in March 2007, with Gerard Butler attached to star and Ken Nolan writing the script.

The project then veered into development hell, losing Butler but amassing a penal colony of writers, among them Jonathan Mostow and Allan Loeb, and collecting then losing director Len Wiseman. (Neal Moritz has remained producer throughout the process.)

Eisner's boarding should bring "Escape" back on track as New Line, sticking with the Loeb draft, tries to mix an origin story for anti-hero Snake Plissken and merge it with the story of the 1981 original.

hat film was set in a futuristic 1997, when Manhattan had been turned into a giant maximum-security prison. The U.S. president's plane crashed on the island, and Plissken -- incarcerated for robbing a federal reserve bank -- was coerced into a rescue mission.

Walter Hamada and Sam Brown are overseeing for New Line.

While Eisner's version of "Crazies" didn't exactly take the movie world by storm -- it grossed $38.5 million domestically -- it was well-received by horror fans and critics, earning a 71% rating on Rottentomatoes. The high praise caught observers by surprise as horror aficionados are usually quick to toss away remakes of beloved horror titles, while critics tend to dismiss the genre outright.

Eisner, repped by CAA, also directed 2005's "Sahara."

-He's not an untalented director, so this could have potential...thoughts?

April 24, 2010

Will Mickey Rourke play Genghis Khan?

According to Mickey, yes. Here's the story from The Wrap:

Is Mickey Rourke preparing to play Genghis Khan for writer-director John Milius?

That's what the "Iron Man 2" star told the Orlando Sentinel in an interview publicizing his villainous turn in the superhero sequel. If true, it would be a bizarre pairing of actor and historical figure, not that Rourke doesn't have the chops to play the fearless warrior.

"I’m playing Genghis," revealed Rourke. "John wrote [the] piece [as] told from the son and grandson’s point of view, how they saw this mythic figure from their family. You see him in flashbacks, back when he was in his mid-40s. And back then, being in your mid-40s was being REALLY old.”

Surprisingly, the 57 year-old actor considers himself an expert horseback rider, saying "I probably ride a horse better than I drive a car," and insists that he'll be well-prepared to shoot arrows on horseback with the help of veteran stuntmen Garrett Warren ("Iron Man 2") and Mark Colburn. Rourke also claims that the production will lens in parts of India and possibly China.

Two years ago, Rourke brought his pet chihuahua, Loki, to various Hollywood events, and one of the things he likes about Genghis Khan is that he was, apparently, a dog lover. "The Mongols used dogs in battle, and dogs rarely made it out of the battle. But in one instance, in this script, [Khan] orders his men – ‘Hold the dogs back.’ He was looking out for the dogs. I like that.”

Rourke sounded excited to work with the legendary screenwriter. “I read his script and you know, the man is known for his tough writing," said Rourke. "He wrote "Conan" and "Dirty Harry" and "Apocalypse Now," and it’ll be interesting to see how he works behind the camera."

Milius also directed 1982's "Conan," as well as 1984's "Red Dawn," a remake of which will be released this summer starring Chris Hemsworth ("Thor"), but he hasn't worked behind the camera since the 1997 TV movie "Rough Riders." Milius has also been developing the historical adaptation "The Chosen Few" with Mark Cuban's 2929 Productions.

As for Rourke, he's been in talks to join Javier Bardem and newly-frequent co-star Jason Statham in Tony Scott's "Potzdamer Platz." Rourke told the Orlando Sentinel that he's been working on a script about motorcycle gangs for 20 years and has been talking to Scott about a Hell's Angels movie. Rourke also revealed that "St. Vincent," a project that would've re-teamed him with his "Johnny Handsome" director Walter Hill, is "not gonna happen."

Rourke is currently in Montreal filming Tarsem Singh's sword-and-sorcery epic "Immortals." He's already wrapped "Passion Play" with Megan Fox and a pair of films with Statham -- Sylvester Stallone's "The Expendables" and Gela Babluani's remake of his own Russian roulette thriller "13."

-He'd be an interesting choice...thoughts?

The next film by the Duplass brothers adds to its cast list...

...giving this upcoming project perhaps their most star-studded lineup yet. Here's the story from Variety:

Judy Greer and Susan Sarandon are set to star opposite Jason Segel and Ed Helms in Mark and Paramount's comedy "Jeff Who Lives at Home," written and directed by the Duplass brothers.

Jason Reitman's Right of Way Films is producing along with John Malkovich's shingle Mr. Mudd.

Storyline revolves around two brothers, one of whom is going through a mid-life crisis and believes his wife (Greer) is having an affair. The other is a lovable loser who still lives with his mom (Sarandon). One day, the two brothers set out to spy on the wife, with all sorts of unintended consequences.

Greer is shooting Fox Searchlight's "The Descendants," the George Clooney topliner that Alexander Payne is helming in Hawaii. She's next in theaters on June 4 in 20th Century Fox's kid pic "Marmaduke." This fall, she'll be in theaters in Ed Zwick's "Love and Other Drugs."

Sarandon is next in theaters in Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," which makes its world premiere next month at the Cannes Film Festival.

-The early festival word on their upcoming film Cyrus is pretty good, so this movie is something to look out for...thoughts?

Today's Trailers: The Last Airbender, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, and Eclipse

First up is M. Night's foray into adapting children's television programming with a new look at 'The Last Airbender':

Next we have the trailer for the thriller 'The Disappearance of Alice Creed':

We end today with a trailer for the third installment of the Twilight Saga, this one called 'Eclipse':

-Thoughts

Ridley Scott lets us in on a few details about his 'Alien' prequel!


Coming Soon has the details:

Now that Ridley Scott is on the press circuit to talk about Robin Hood, Alien prequel talk is resurfacing. And it's no longer just a pipe dream. Scott says it's happening - a visual palette is being designed, concept art is being hashed out and a script is being finalized. But what's it about? Here are excerpts from MTV's interview.

"It's set in 2085, about 30 years before Sigourney [Weaver's character Ellen Ripley]. It's fundamentally about going out to find out 'Who the hell was that Space Jockey?' The guy who was sitting in the chair in the alien vehicle — there was a giant fellow sitting in a seat on what looked to be either a piece of technology or an astronomer's chair ... Our man [Tom Skerritt as Captain Dallas] climbs up and says "There's been an explosion in his chest from the inside out — what was that?" I'm basically explaining who that Space Jockey — we call him the Space Jockey — I'm explaining who the space jockeys were ... [The film] is about the discussion of terraforming — taking planets and planetoids and balls of earth and trying to terraform, seed them with the possibilities of future life."

Scott says he'll be approaching H.R. Giger to talk creature designs in an effort to create something new because he feels, "The alien in a sense, as a shape, is worn out." Very interesting.

Dark Horse Comics explored the whole "Space Jockey" story long ago.

Also, sources tell ShockTillYouDrop.com that by the time the Fox Alien Anthology Blu-Ray set comes along at the end of this year, we could very well see a "sneak peek" of Scott's Alien prequel!


-It sounds interesting, but he also said in Collider here that the film will be shot in 3D, so there's that...thoughts?

April 23, 2010

The Cannes Film Festival announces some additions to its lineup...

...but no sign of 'The Tree of Life'. Here's the story from The Hollywood Reporter:

As the countdown to the 63rd Festival de Cannes continues, organizers announced a special screening of Lucy Walker's "Countdown to Zero" on Friday, among other late additions to the lineup.

Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai's "Chongqing Blues," previously in Un Certain Regard lineup, and Hungarian helmer Kornel Mondruczo's "Tender Son -- the Frankenstein Project" will round out the 18-strong Competition selection.

Also representing China will be Croisette veteran Jia Zhang Ke with his latest film "I Wish I Knew," which will screen in Un Certain Regard alongside late entry "Carancho" from Argentinean director Pablo Trapero.

Andrei Ujica's Romanian film "The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu" will complete Out of Competition among the more glitzy Hollywood studio fare set to screen in that category this year.

The Festival de Cannes is set to run May 12-23.

-Do you think Terrence Malick's latest will end up at Cannes or not when all is said and done?

Is a sequel to 'Monsters Inc.' coming our way?

Via Variety:

Disney is getting animated in 2012.

Studio has dated Pixar's "Brave" for June 15, 2012 while also confirming a sequel to "Monsters Inc.," which will be released on Nov. 16, 2012.

Mouse House chairman Rich Ross made the announcement Thursday afternoon on the studio lot.

"Monsters Inc.," released in 2001, becomes only the third Disney-Pixar property to reach sequel status; the first was "Toy Story," which is gearing up for its third installment this summer. The second, "Cars 2," will unspool in 2011.

"Monsters" grossed over $525 million at the worldwide box office.

Pixar's "Brave," formerly known as "Bear and the Bow," is the CGI animation company's first-ever female-driven feature.

Starring Reese Witherspoon,"Brave" tells the story of an impulsive princess (Witherspoon) who aims to shed her royal ties and become the world's first, great female archer.

Writer/director Brenda Chapman ("Cars") is behind the project.

Ross isn't known for being a man of few words. Yet outside of the occasional appearance at an awards show or premiere, Disney's studio chairman has been one very silent figurehead since taking the job last fall.

It's been a surprising departure from the exec Hollywood is used to: As the head of Disney Channel, Ross was one of the Mouse House's most vocal cheerleaders.

He might be back. After spending months assembling his new regime, which culminated with this week's hire of MT Carney as marketing chief, Ross met with the media for the first time Thursday to unveil his blueprint for the Mouse House moving forward.

It involves making 14-16 movie per year coming from Disney's live action and animated divisions, Marvel and DreamWorks.

Carney's role is in fact a new one for the studio when she joins in mid-May, with the exec handling marketing for all pics from theatrical on through their homevideo releases -- "the whole life cycle of a movie," Ross said.

"Our job No. 1 is to male great movies, get the word out that they're coming out and deliver them to consumers the way they want it," Ross said.

"I need to make movies that are profitable and that's what I need to focus on," Ross said from the Disney lot as he unveiled new footage from a muscular slate of tentpoles skedded for this year that include "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," "Toy Story 3," "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," "Tangled," and "Tron: Legacy," as well as "Secretariat," with Diane Lane and John Malkovich, which he described as a movie that sends a signal of what Disney is and what Disney can be."

The pic falls into a category that Ross describes as a "targeted tentpole," one like the teen-skewwing dramedy "Prom," that can be made at a lower pricetag and for a specific audience.

Ross said Disney would release "Gnomeo & Juliet," the Elton John-produced animated musical produced by Miramax, in early 2011, through the Touchstone banner. Pic had been one of several that had been in mentioned to be in contention as Disney negotiates with bidders for Miramax. Miramax's Jennifer Aniston comedy "The Switch" will also bow this August through Touchstone.

"Cars 2," the fourth "Pirates," the next "Muppet" movie (which will intro a new Muppet named Walter) and DreamWorks' "Real Steel" also unspool in 2011.

Tim Burton's stop-motion pic "Frankenweenie" and Andrew Stanton's live-action epic "John Carter of Mars" also bow that year.

As for projects he pulled the plug on, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" was just "too dark" in what was planned to go into production. It's "still a project we're considering."

"This is about focus," Ross reiterated of the studio's plan moving forward. "We live in times where there's less opportunities to bring in revenue. While pet projects are fun it's important that everyone is focused. It's important to be focused on opening the movies.

"What you see is a slate that will have a diversity of pictures," he said. But while there's an emphasis on the bottomline, "we're in the movie business not the business business."

-Thoughts?

'The Green Hornet' gets delayed till 2011 to get converted to 3D...

...like every other project these days, it seems. Here's the story from Variety:

"The Green Hornet" is going 3D, but it's also on the move: Sony Pictures is moving the Seth Rogen starrer from the prime holiday slot of Dec. 22 to the slower Martin Luther King weekend.

The Michel Gondry-helmed pic will now open Jan. 14, 2011.

The studio bristled at the notion that bad buzz surrounding the project played a role in its decision to abandon one of choicest days on the box office calendar. Instead, Sony said that once the decision was made to incorporate 3D during the production process, "Green Hornet" needed to find a frame with sufficient digital screens. A number of 3D pics have already staked out December slots including "Tron: Legacy" and "Yogi Bear."

"We've had a lot of success with the Martin Luther King frame, including 'Paul Blart,'" said the studio's marketing and distribution topper Jeff Blake. "We couldn't be more excited about 'Green Hornet.' In fact, we're doubling down by making it 3D."

-I'm still hoping this flick turns out good, but it really needs to stop shuffling release dates...thoughts?

Helen Mirren to co-star with Russell Brand in the 'Arthur' remake!

Via The Hollywood Reporter:

Two extremes of British classes are about to collide head-on.

Helen Mirren, the grande dame of acting, is in negotiations to star opposite the one-time stand-up duke of debauchery Russell Brand in "Arthur," Warner Bros.' remake of the 1981 comedy. Mirren will play the title character's longtime nanny in a reconstruction of the role that earned John Gielgud a supporting actor Oscar for the original.

Larry Brezner is producing with Kevin McCormick and Chris Bender.

The original movie starred Dudley Moore as Arthur, a boozy playboy who is set to inherit a fortune if he marries an heiress his family thinks will make something out of him. But he falls in love with a working-class woman and turns to his valet (Gielgud) for help when his family makes him choose between money and love.

The movie is eyeing a July start in New York.

Peter Baynham has written the screenplay for the remake, which is being overseen by Sarah Schechter for the studio.

Scott Kroopf, J.C. Spink, Brand and Nik Linnen are exec producing.

Mirren, repped by CAA, has five films in the can, including "Love Ranch," directed by husband Taylor Hackford and being released by E1 in June, and "Red," a comic book action movie also starring Bruce Willis, due in October. She also has wrapped "The Debt" and "The Tempest"; both are from Miramax, whose releases are up in air because of the potential sale of the Disney division.

-Thoughts?

Today's Posters: 2 more for Iron Man 2, Micmacs, and The Disappearance of Alice Creed




Thoughts?

April 22, 2010

Woody Allen actually decides to tell us what his next film is about...

...well in advance of it actually beginning to shoot. Here's the story from The Hollywood Reporter:

Woody Allen has taken the uncharacteristic step of actually telling people what his next movie is about.

Titled "Midnight in Paris," the film stars Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard and Rachel McAdams in a romantic comedy about a family travelling to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple forced to confront the illusion that a life different from their own is better.

Allen has added Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen, Nina Arianda, Tom Hiddleston, Corey Stoll, Mimi Kennedy and Kurt Fuller to the cast and finally confirmed the participation of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, who has been rumored to be a cast member for months.

Letty Aronson, Steve Tenenbaum and Jaume Roures are producing the film, which will shoot in Paris this summer.

"Paris" is part of a three-picture financing deal between Allen's Gravier Productions and Mediapro, the Spain-based company that also funded Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." Mediapro also financed Allen's next release, "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger," which will have its world premiere at Cannes next month. Sony Pictures Classics will release "Stranger" domestically.

Imagina International Sales is handling international sales for "Paris" in most territories.

-Sounds interesting to me, but I'm a big fan of Woody's...thoughts?

Happy Earth Day from all of us at The Awards Circuit!

Do some recycling or take a walk to go see a movie today...the planet will thank you!

Jack Nicholson to star in the Senior Citizen version of 'The Hangover'!

And yes, I used that exclamation point ironically. Here's the story from Cinematical:

The gentlemen are getting their hangovers on, the women are following, so it's only natural that the retirees want in on the drunken, debauched fun. According to Vulture, Jack Nicholson is circling CBS Films' LASt VEGAS (not a typo -- the title is a elderly gimmick), a film said to be the AARP version of The Hangover.

Penned by the very popular Dan Fogelman, the script centers on four men who were friends in the 1950s, but have become estranged in all the long decades since. They reunite in Las Vegas for the marriage of Billy, the last bachelor holdout of the bunch. That's the role Nicholson is eying. But the course of aged love never did run smoothly, and Billy falls for a lounge singer. Unfortunately, his friend Paddy also has his eye on her. Vulture has the first few lines of the script up if you'd like a pre-production spoiler.

The roles of the other three have yet to be cast, but Vulture is dreaming of Richard Jenkins, Morgan Freeman, and the retired Gene Hackman. If your memory is good, you might be thinking "But aren't Freeman and Nicholson already attached to something like this?" Well, you're half right! Freeman is attached to the very similar Dirty Old Men, a film that Warner Bros was hoping would be a Bucket List reunion. Is it possible to combine the two? We don't need that many dirty old men running around cracking wise about Viagra, and making trouble in Vegas.

-I linked to a story about that other film a long time ago, but this one sounds just as misguided, but hey, if it works, it'll be fun...thoughts?

Could 'Friday the 13th: Part 2' be dead?

Well, according to this in Collider (and go here for the full story), it seems to be:

Platinum Dunes Producer Brad Fuller revealed on his Twitter feed [via Bloody-Disgusting] that Friday the 13th: Part 2 is dead. That comes as a shock for several reasons. First, almost every moderately successful movie gets a sequel these days. Secondly, the first Friday the 13th grossed $90 million worldwide off a $20 million budget. Yes, sequels have to be bigger than the original, but no one expects or is asking for an expensive Friday the 13th movie.

Fuller tried to explain on his Twitter that, “its not my call- i would drop everything and make it today if they wanted it,” and the reason is it’s off is “is a long story-.” It’s a long story that I’m sure Fuller will be asked about when he does press for Platinum Dunes’ remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, which opens on April 30th.

-Thoughts?