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Another up-and-coming director has been hired to make a big comic book movie. Following the news from last week that Taika Waititi will be directing Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok comes news, via THR, that young writer Seth Grahame-Smith has landed the job of directing DC's The Flash movie for Warner Bros. Seth Grahame-Smith is the screenwriter behind Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, the novel and the movie, as well as Dark Shadows for Tim Burton. While he has directed some episodes of "The Hard Times of RJ Berger", this will be Grahame-Smith's feature directing debut. Warner Bros is apparently finally ready to launch their big screen version of the character, with Grahame-Smith in negotiations to write and direct the movie. Read on.
Awesome news. Completely unexpected, but awesome. Our friends at The Wrap are reporting that Marvel Studios is closing in on a deal with New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi to direct the next Thor sequel, titled Thor: Ragnarok. In addition to working as a filmmaker and producer, Taika (also known as Taika Cohen) is an actor and appeared in a small role in the Green Lantern movie. I've been a big fan of his ever since Eagle vs Shark premiered at Sundance in 2007, and I've followed his career closely. He most recently directed the hilarious vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, as well as the Kiwi drama Boy from a few years ago. Waititi joked on Twitter saying: "Oh jeez. Who blabbed?" But later deleted the tweet.
There are reports going around the web that filmmaker Darren Aronofsky is eyeing his next project, an Evil Knievel film that has been in development for quite some time. The original report comes from The Tracking Board, where they're saying that Aronofsky is apparently set and attached to a project titled simply Evil Knievel, a biopic about the famous stuntman/daredevil that already has Channing Tatum attached to star. However, Deadline is claiming nothing is signed and set yet, he's mostly just circling the project with consideration. "They are in early negotiations," it says. I'm excited to hear Darren might have his next film.
Now this is some exciting news worth covering. In two separate reports, it has been announced this week that Ava DuVernay and Laura Poitras, two very talented filmmakers, will be launching their own film studios / distribution collectives. Poitras, who just won the Academy Award for Citizenfour earlier this year, is launching Field of Vision, "a documentary unit that will commission and create 40 to 50 episodic and short-form nonfiction films each year." DuVernay, whose recent film Selma was nominated for two Academy Awards, is relaunching the "African American Film Festival Releasing Movement" collective as a company called Array, with the intent to release indie films that have trouble finding their way in front of audiences.
It's happening. Danny Boyle brought his latest film, Steve Jobs, to the Telluride Film Festival this past weekend (read my review). The film was presented as part of a Tribute to Danny Boyle, looking back at his filmography and the work that brought him to this point. During that presentation, Boyle let slip that the long-awaited sequel to Trainspotting might be next for him. We first wrote about a Trainspotting sequel way back in 2007, based on Irivine Welsh's novel Porno, and have been following development for years. As of 2013, Boyle said that he is trying to get it together by 2016, and it sounds like that will happen. Hell yes.
It's official. Hollywood Reporter is announcing that actor Josh Gad has signed on to play the late film critic Roger Ebert in the project Russ & Roger. We first reported on this earlier in the year, and are following up with the confirmation. STX Entertainment is developing the comedy focused around the film critic and filmmaker Russ Meyer, to be played by Will Ferrell. Michael Winterbottom will be directing, from a script by Chris Cluess. THR doesn't mention a start date, but this is the kind of news that means it's happening sooner than later. Gad has been making quite a name for himself recently (he's in Pixels, Wish I Was Here, The Wedding Ringer and the upcoming Beauty and the Beast) and this sounds like a nice score. Read on.
Long live independent cinema! Good news for New Yorkers, the city is getting a couple of extra screens in the next few years that will be dedicated to showing more and more indie / art house / foreign / doc films. Two separate reports on Indiewire announce details about two theaters: the Metrograph, a two-screen art house being built at 7 Ludlow Street (at Canal Street); along with the IFC Center on 6th Ave, which will be expanding from 5 screens to 11 screens. "To bring glamour, excitement, and prestige back to the exhibition experience has been my longstanding goal," said Metrograph founder and NYC filmmaker Alexander Olch.
From Star Wars to Silicon Valley. Actor John Boyega has been cast in one of the main lead roles in James Ponsoldt's upcoming new film The Circle, an adaptation of Dave Eggers' book The Circle. With big news about Google and Amazon recently, including stories about the many people who work at those companies, it makes sense that this project is suddenly being pushed ahead. Last year we posted that Tom Hanks was circling a role, and Deadline confirms he's cast in The Circle along with Emma Watson. Boyega is the latest addition. He'll play Ty, the "iconized boy-wonder visionary of the Circle, an Internet monopoly which links users’ personal emails, social media, banking and purchasing with their universal operating system. The result is one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency." Sounds fun, I trust in Ponsoldt.
Now this makes me happy to hear. Word from Jemaine Clement himself is that they're already planning a sequel to one of the best cult horror comedy indie gems this year. If you haven't seen it yet, and even if you have – stop, drop dead, and watch What We Do in the Shadows as soon as you can. It's hilarious, and completely original, and after it's all done, you're going to want more. And you'll also be happy to know that there is more on the way. Clement told the site Stuff.co.nz in a recent interview, found via SlashFilm, the sequel is "in the planning stage" and would be centered around the werewolf Anton, played by Rhys Darby.
It's official - Lucasfilm and Disney have confirmed that Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow will next be directing Star Wars: Episode IX. While it has been rumored thanks to a scoop by Heroic Hollywood for a few weeks, it's now official, as the news landed on StarWars.com after first being announced at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. "While production won't begin for a few years, Trevorrow is heading to Lucasfilm this year to begin working with artists and his fellow Star Wars directors." After Jurassic World setting box office records, he can do pretty much whatever he wants. Interesting to see him make this leap.
"What exactly are you a professor *of*, 'Professor Logan?'" Well, this is exciting. There are many different superhero projects in the works right now, one of them being Hugh Jackman's final performance as The Wolverine in another solo movie. The movie was revealed at Comic-Con this year, with Jackman giving a tearful farewell to the character in Hall H. He even hinted at Comic-Con that they may be doing Old Man Logan, but other details have yet to be confirmed. During a recent interview with actor Patrick Stewart, Collider (via SlashFilm) discovered that the X-Men's Professor X may indeed have a big role in the movie, and Stewart is likely going to be returning for that role. Or, at least he's "intrigued" about the idea. Read on.
"Shine light where there is darkness." Another filmmaker we've posted many shorts from previously on this site has made the leap into feature filmmaking, and is set to direct his first movie called Origin Unknown. ScreenDaily made the announcement this week, reporting that work is already underway on producers Parkgate Entertainment and IAM Entertainment’s "UK sci-fi thriller" being directed by Hasraf 'HaZ' Dulull. HaZ is the name behind the shorts Sync, Project Kronos and I.R.I.S., and he's also worked as a VFX supervisor on a number of other projects. The script is being written by Gary Hall, from a story by Dulull.
Briefly: Sony Pictures has announced a number of upcoming release dates, confirming and revealing a few new titles across the next four years. Among the titles listed are two sequels we knew were coming, but now they officially have release dates. Bad Boys 3 and 4 are now set for release in 2017 and 2019, respectively. As of reports in June, rumors were that Joe Carnahan was going to write & direct Bad Boys 3, reuniting Will Smith and Martin Lawrence for another outing. Michael Bay may still be involved as a producer, but he's busy off making another Transformers aside from that 13 Hours movie. Well now we know there's definitely two new Bad Boys movies coming, two years apart. I just hope they're worth the long wait and all this hype.
One of the best animated short films of last year was Patrick Osborne's Feast (it also won the Oscar), which played in front of Disney's Big Hero 6. A charming story about a dog's place in a family, the filmmaker got his foot-in-the-door to Hollywood with his work on that short and now has his first big gig. Variety confirms the Tracking Board news that Patrick Osborne is attached to direct an adaptation of Paul Pope's graphic novel Battling Boy. We've actually been covering this one for years and years, reporting news on various rewrites and screenwriter updates as the film has been in development for about 7 years already. Read on.