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Now this is some casting news that genuinely makes me excited to see this. THR is reporting that Michael B. Jordan is attached to a starring role in the new project from Destin Daniel Cretton, the very talented filmmaker behind the exceptional films Short Term 12 and I Am Not a Hipster. Destin is developing an adaptation of Bryan Stevenson's memoir Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, and is currently working on the script with Andrew Lanham (of The Glass Castle). Broad Green Pictures will be distributing the project and has just picked up the rights, which include Michael B. Jordan as lead. Read on.
Another day, another remake. This time Paramount is finally putting together an update "big-screen take" on the 90s TV show that originally starred David Hasselhoff & Pamela Anderson. THR reports Paramount has set director Seth Gordon, of Identity Thief, Horrible Bosses, Four Christmases and The King of Kong, to take on the new Baywatch which is also set to star Dwayne Johnson. Johnson has been attached since late last year, and the project has been gestating for at least a decade. We've been hearing about some rumblings and rumors of a Baywatch movie forever, but now it sounds like they're pushing forward with it (another name brand project, of course) with Gordon in negotiations to take the job directing. I'm intrigued.
Some excellent casting news for a project we're keeping a close eye on. Deadline is reporting that talented up-and-coming actress Brie Larson is in talk to take a lead role in Legendary Picture's Kong: Skull Island, the return of King Kong, being directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. The project was announced at Comic-Con a few years ago and is currently in pre-production aiming for release in summer 2017. Just recently there were some casting drop outs, with Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons departing the project. Tom Hiddleston is still set to star, and there's word that Russell Crowe is also possibly looking at joining. I'm just really happy that Brie Larson is landing a big breakout lead in a project like this, bring on the Kong.
It's happening. They're making an emoji movie. And this is on top of LEGO movies galore, a Minecraft movie, and whatever this Pixels thing is. Deadline is reporting updates on both projects, at separate studios. The Minecraft movie has been in the works for a while, since the game is has been very successful for a while now. The big news is that Rob McElhenney, best known for co-creating and co-starring in the FX series "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia", will be directing the Minecraft movie for Warner Bros. Originally it had Shawn Levy attached, but that's no longer the case. As for the emoji movie, Sony Pictures Animation (Hotel Transylvania, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) just won the auction for a pitch based on emoji.
Another day, another remake. Another Disney live-action remake. This time it's Sword in the Stone, the original animated 1963 movie about King Arthur. The film is based on T.H. White's book of the same name, which is part of his series The Once and Future King, about King Arthur. The new feature will draw from the book as well, and Disney has hired Bryan Cogman, a writer-producer on HBO's "Game of Thrones", to write the script. This is yet another project from Disney taking one of their familiar animated movies and making it live-action, because why not - from Cinderella to The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Fantasia) to Beauty and the Beast (coming up). Below are two great tweets that nicely sum up our initial reaction to this news.
The next project for Jackie Chan is now in the works, with a new director officially attached. Deadline is reporting that STX Entertainment is finalizing a deal with director Martin Campbell, who will be at the helm of an adaptation starring Jackie Chan. The film will be titled The Foreigner, adapted from Stephen Leather's novel The Chinaman, first published in 2008. Campbell last made Green Lantern but has been stuck in "movie prison" ever since, and is also responsible for Casino Royale, Edge of Darkness and Vertical Limit. Word is that they're aiming to start production this fall, with deals being finalized with everyone now.
Congrats! Production company Straight Up Films (of Transcendence, Jane Got a Gun) will be adapting the nonfiction bestseller Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story Of The Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar, and they've picked up the rights to turn it into a feature film. Attached to write the script is Brandon Lee Tenney, a name you may recognize as he wrote for this site for many years. Brandon is a friend of mine and wrote many articles and reviews for us (find his posts here) before transitioning into a screenwriting career. This is his first major deal as a screenwriter and I'm proud to be able to post this news.
You can do it, Duncan! Legendary's big new Warcraft movie is currently scheduled for release in June of 2016, meaning there's still 11 more months until it's fully finished and playing in theaters. However, director Duncan Jones is already eyeing something to fill his time for those next 11 months - possibly making his passion project sci-fi film Mute. During an interview with Duncan at Comic-Con, Empire heard from the Warcraft director that he's hoping to make it happen. "It's 11 months to sneak in my little indie sci-fi before Warcraft comes out… I got Moon done in 11 months." Well, here's hoping all the pieces are falling in place.
Another day, another remake. They're currently remaking Ben-Hur, so why not remake almost everything else? AMBI Group out of Italy has announced plans to remake Federico Fellini's Oscar winning 1960 classic La Dolce Vita. The project will be financed & produced by AMBI with Italian producer Daniele Di Lorenzo through his production company LDM Productions. It's already being described as an "homage" remake to the original Fellini film, which starred Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg. Either this news will cause you to flip over a table in rage, or leave you numb, since remakes are only getting more and more plentiful.
Say what? Yep, it's actually true! THR is reporting that critically acclaimed filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson is the latest to get involved in the developing the live-action Pinocchio project at Warner Bros. Actor Robert Downey Jr. has been attached to star (as Geppetto) and produce for a few years, but now it seems Warner Bros and Downey are looking at PTA to write the script - and potentially direct as well. I don't know if I can really imagine it - Paul Thomas Anderson's Pinocchio. Wow? I guess it will certainly be one-of-a-kind. Thanks to the success of films like Disney's recent live-action Cinderella, they're pushing forward on this with more momentum. And this is one of the next steps after Downey has been working on it quietly.
Will they finally pass Go and collect $200? It sounds like it will happen this time! Lionsgate has announced officially that they're moving forward on development with a Monopoly movie, the next big franchise being readied based on a Hasbro brand. For years and years we covered development on Ridley Scott's version of a Monopoly movie at Universal, and it seemed like it was getting close to happening at one point. However, this new version doesn't have a director involved just yet. Instead, they say that writer/director Andrew Niccol (of Gattaca, Lord of War, In Time, The Host and Good Kill most recently) will be writing the screenplay. Not directing, just writing. That's the only bit of news other than that this is coming soon.
Always more science fiction! French director Claire Denis is a talented filmmaker that we hope more and more people are always introduced to, and with this news about her next project, she might get even more attention. Screen Daily is reporting that Claire Denis is set to direct her first English-language feature, after 11 other feature films. It doesn't have a title yet (of course!), but it's apparently a sci-fi story set in space, beyond our own solar system in a "future that seems like the present." Denis is also writing the script with acclaimed British novelist Zadie Smith and her husband, writer Nick Laird. Bring on more sci-fi. Read on.
Sharks, more sharks everywhere. In addition to the giant shark movie Meg finally getting a new director (Eli Roth, details below) another shark movie has found a director. Deadline says Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra, of House of Wax, Orphan, Unknown, Non-Stop and Run All Night, is looking at directing a movie called In the Deep at Sony Pictures. While it sounds a lot like that 2003 found footage thriller Open Water, the descriptions compare it to Gravity or 127 Hours meets Jaws – or any shark movie. It's about a young woman surfing on an isolated beach who gets stranded at a buoy off-shore because of a great white shark in the water and she can't swim back. I'm sure there's more to the story, but that is a scary scenario.
New Stanley Kubrick movies?! Not just one, but an entire trilogy? Whoa! Cool. Deadline is reporting that Marc Forster, director of Monster's Ball, Finding Neverland, Stranger Than Fiction, The Kite Runner, Quantum of Solace, Machine Gun Preacher and World War Z previously, has signed on to develop a feature film trilogy based on Stanley Kubrick's lost original screenplay The Downslope, that Kubrick wrote in 1956. Forster will direct & produce the first movie in the trilogy, then will only produce the other two, with other directors being lined up (most likely, but as of yet unconfirmed). This will be a "sweeping, historical action-drama" during the Civil War about Confederate Army Col. John S. Mosby who goes after Gen. Custer.