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It's getting to the point that having a studio put a sequel into development before the first film or next sequel hits theaters isn't really a showing of faith in the property. Essentially, it just means the studio wants to be prepared as soon as possible if the film turns out to be a hit. And that's likely what's being done at Summit Entertainment with a report from THR revealing that the Lionsgate division of the studio has hired Jon and Erich Hoeber to script RED 3, a sequel to their two previous films about a dangerous group of retired special operatives featuring Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and more. Read on!
In the fall of 2010, news surfaced that Leonardo DiCaprio was going to star in and produce Legacy of Secrecy, an adaptation of Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann's non-fiction book of the same name. The actor's father brought the book to his attention which includes new and recently disclassified information from the FBI and National Archives which hypothesizes a motive behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Since then we haven't heard anything about the project, but Showbiz 411 caught up with DiCaprio's father at Cannes, and reportedly David O. Russell is going to write and direct the film now.
Though director Michael Mann was once slated to direct Gold, a film based on a true story about the 1993 Bre-X Mineral Corporation mining scandal, the project has now fallen into the hands of Spike Lee. The script from Patrick Massett and John Zinman was crafted as a writing sample, but Paul Haggis (the director Crash and The Next Three Days) developed it as a project before getting Mann involved. But since it never gained traction, he fell away from the film. Now there's a chance it could be Lee's next film, following his work on the remake of Oldboy now, with production beginning before the end of the year.
Right now audiences can see Chris Pine back in space for Star Trek Into Darkness, and his action thriller Jack Ryan arrives this Christmas, but his next project will be a little more low key. Variety has word that Pine is set to star in an indie called Z for Zachariah, which will also feature Amanda Seyfried and Chiwetel Ejiofor. What makes this project truly interesting is Craig Zobel is directing the film after making a splash at Sundance last year with his film Compliance. Based on Robert O'Brien's book of the same name, the setting finds a girl isolated in the wake of a nuclear war that took everyone in her life away.
For those who don't know, Imagine Entertainment is the production company founded by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, and the two have been busy for 26 years at Universal with an exclusive production deal. However, when they renegotiated their deal in 2012, they decided to only make it a first look deal, which has allowed them to take "Arrested Development" to Netflix. Now they might be reviving another TV series, but this time for the big screen. Deadline has word that Grazer has confirmed they Imagine is trying to bring Friday Night Lights to the big screen, and they will use crowdfunding for some of the budget. Read on!
Just yesterday news surfaced that Scarlett Johansson would reunite with her Iron Man 2 star Robert Downey Jr. and director Jon Favreau for the latter's indie project Chef (though the title may change due to another project with the same title). Now the actress is heading into a new part of her career behind the camera. Variety reports Johansson has signed on to direct an adaptation of Summer Crossing, the first novel by Truman Capote, which was actually considered "lost" for over 50 years before it was published in 2005. The film is on sale at Cannes from Aldamisa, the same company that's handling Favreau's project.
Most entertainment gurus will know actor John Slattery for his role as Roger Sterling on the AMC drama series "Mad Men," but soon he might be making a name for himself as a film director. While Slattery has directed a handful of episodes of the aforementioned Emmy-winning series, the actor is looking to make his film directing debut with God's Pocket, an adaptation of Pete Dexter's novel, scripted by lower profile writer Alex Metcalf. And for his first directing gig, Variety reports one hell of a cast is turning out, including Philip Seymour Hoffman in the lead and Richard Jenkins and John Turturro in supporting roles.
The last name to join Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's book Inherent Vice was Owen Wilson, but now a trio of co-stars have just been added to the comedic detective story. Deadline has word that Reese Witherspoon is taking the female lead, a role once rumored for Charlize Theron, while The Wrap has pegged Martin Short to make his first live-action film appearance since The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, along with the addition of Jena Malone, who will be seen in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire this fall. That's quite an eclectic blend of talent, and none have worked with Anderson yet.
Last year director Drew Goddard blew audiences away with his meta horror movie Cabin in the Woods (though it was finished and sitting on a shelf for a little while before that), and now he's finally lined up his next project. The Wrap has word that Goddard is in talks to write and direct a film called The Martian for 20th Century Fox. The project is based on an e-book of the same name by Andy Weir, and the story follows an astronaut who finds himself stranded on Mars, struggling to figure out how he can survive long enough in order to make it back to Earth. That sounds like it might be similar to Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, right?
Earlier this year, there were rumblings about a sequel to Alex Garland's adaptation of Dredd being very unlikely after a less than stellar box office performance left the lower budget comic book film out in the wind. However, the film seems to have found a decent sized audience on the home video market, and there are plenty who have come to embrace and enjoy the film. In fact, a big enough audience has found this film that star Karl Urban (Star Trek Into Darkness) says that a sequel is "not off the agenda." Right now the power seems to lie with the fans, and they have to let the higher powers know they want a sequel. Read on!
This year Michelle Williams battled evil in Oz: The Great and Powerful, and Joel Edgerton got pretty glitzy in The Great Gatsby, but now the two are entering thriller territory. Deadline reports Williams and Edgerton are set to star in The Double Hour, a remake of a 2009 Italian film with the same title from writer and director Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace). The story follows a chambermaid and an ex-cop meet at a speed dating event and spark a romance. But when the two take a romantic getaway, the two lovers who suddenly become the victims in a dangerous and extremely well-planned robbery. Read on!
Just last month, Garden State director and "Scrubs" star Zach Braff turned to Kickstarter in order to help get his new directing effort, Wish I Was Here, off the ground as an independent production. Well, the film raised more than $2.6 million from more than 38,000 people, exceeding the $2 million goal, in about a week. Nice job, Kickstarter! Well, maybe not. THR has news that the Kickstarter response to Braff's film has actually inspired Worldview Entertainment to fully fund the project, and it seems like the campaign was just a pawn in getting a real company to back the project as opposed to just going the indie route. More below!
If you didn't catch the horror anthology The ABC's of Death, don't feel bad. The film didn't have a very big or successful theater run, but the VOD response has been pretty impressive, and the film hits Blu-Ray and DVD next Tuesday. In fact, the film found a big enough audience to warrant a sequel, and the names turning out to direct segments this time are pretty damn impressive. For those who aren't aware of the original film, it features different segments for each letter of the alphabet, depicting a gruesome way of dying that begins with any of the 26 letters of the alphabet. The sequel is doing the same thing over again.
Hot on the heels of news that The Avengers co-stars Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson would reteam with their Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau for his indie Chef, there's some slightly troubling news of another project with that very same title. This other Chef has been in the works for a little longer with The Weinstein Company backing the project from Eastern Promises writer Steven Wright with August: Osage County director John Wells now at the helm. Now Deadline has word from Cannes that Bradley Cooper has formally agreed to star in the film, and there's a small battle brewing over the title confusion overseas.