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Since the reboot of National Lampoon's Vacation is still dead in the water, and we haven't heard anything about a remake of The Naked Gun, we've been waiting to see what else Ed Helms will be doing besides lending his voice to Captain Underpants. Now Deadline has word that Helms is attached to star in an action comedy called Epic Fail set up at Lionsgate. In a story that sounds like Tropic Thunder without the show business angle, the film would follow an elite but unorthodox Special Forces team taking their dysfunction and excessive firepower on a desperate mission to save America, led by a real tough guy called The Walrus.
Though Paramount Pictures had some trouble bringing Max Brooks' novel World War Z to the big screen (it mostly worked out in the end), that's not stopping Sony from picking up a forthcoming graphic novel from the author. THR has word that the studio has picked up The Harlem Hellfighters, a story about the real-life African American infantry unit from World War I. Much like the true story about the racial barrier breaking Tuskegee Airmen in WWII, this follows the Army's 369th infantry division, which spent more time in combat than any other American unit, never losing a foot of ground to the enemy, or a man to capture.
Tommysaurus Rex and Tom McCarthy - sounds like a perfect match. Over at Heat Vision they're reporting interesting development news on a comic book adaptation that's been in the works since 2004. Universal first acquired the rights to adapt Doug TenNapel's graphic novel Tommysaurus Rex back in 2004, ten years ago, for around $1 million. The project has been bouncing around at the studio ever since, but now they've picked up Tom McCarthy, an actor/writer/producer and director who will be co-writing the script and possibly directing the movie, too. Now I actually have some hope this might turn out pretty damn good.
After piloting a giant robot in Pacific Rim, fighting Dark Elves in Thor: The Dark World and fighting apartheid in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, British actor Idris Elba is heading into the jungle. Deadline has word that Elba is in final talks to take on the role of the villainous tiger Shere Khan in Disney's new adaptation of The Jungle Book from Iron Man director Jon Favreau. It is said that Elba will "perform the role and provide the voice" so it sounds like there will be some motion capture used on this film to have human actors play the animals, much like Andy Serkis has done Rise of the Planet of the Apes or King Kong.
The building block game Minecraft just got picked up for film treatment, and now the hit Playstation 3 video game The Last of Us is poised to hit the big screen as well. Deadline has word that Screen Gems, the company behind the Resident Evil franchise, will distribute a live-action adaptation of the pandemic ravaged open world game with Sam Raimi and his Ghost House Pictures banner producing. The game studio Naughty Dog will have their co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra working as the "creative architects" along with the game's creative director Neil Druckmann and director Bruce Straley.
Late last year we learned that Juan Antonio Bayona, better known as J.A. Bayona, would step into the director's chair for the gestating sequel to World War Z at Paramount Pictures. However, before that project gets off the ground, The Wrap reports Bayona has been tapped to direct A Monster Calls, based on the novel of the same name by author Patrick Ness of the Chaos Walking trilogy. The project sounds remarkably different than his work on The Impossible as it follows a young boy dealing with his mother's debilitating illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales.
Though Leonardo DiCaprio is no longer part of The Deep Blue Good-by adaptation with James Mangold attached to direct, the actor is still attached to star in and produce the Warner Bros. adaptation of Jo Nesbo's thriller Blood on Snow (or Blood on the Snow as it was reported last fall), which was written under the pseudonym Tom Johansson. Now Deadline reports Safe House director Daniel Espinosa is on board to develop the film to direct. However, since this is the first in a two book series, we're not sure if both books will be combined into one single film, or if there's the chance for a two-part film adaptation as well.
After remake disasters like RoboCop and Total Recall, we're pretty jaded by the prospect of remaking iconic films from the past. However, what if a remake of a revered classic film was put into the hands of one of the most iconic filmmakers of all time? Deadline reports that just might happen as Fox is currently in the midst of putting together a remake of the classic musical West Side Story, but only because director Steven Spielberg is eyeing the project. At this point it's very early in development since there isn't even a writer involved yet, and Spielberg has only expressed his interest in potentially making this a future project of his.
After diving into the world of rap in Hustle & Flow and following it up with the odd Black Snake Moan, director Craig Brewer is in talks to reunite with one of the co-stars from the latter Southern drama for his next project. As we learned late last summer, Justin Timberlake is producing the remake of the 1980 music industry drama The Idolmaker, and now Brewer has been tapped to direct the film. However, Variety says Timberlake is still staying behind the camera as a only producer and won't be starring in the story of a mercenary music promoter who takes on two boys with the intent of turning them into teen idols.
Way back in 2010, we heard that director Oliver Stone was considering taking on an adaptation of John D. MacDonald's novel The Deep Blue Good-by from 1964, featuring recurring character Travis McGee. Before that, Leonardo DiCaprio was circling the lead role back in 2009, but it appears both talents have fallen away from the project. Deadline reports The Wolverine and Walk the Line director James Mangold is in talks to direct the mystery adapted by author Dennis Lehane. And while DiCaprio isn't starring in the film anymore, he's still on board as producer through his own Appian Way production banner. More below!
While we normally don't care about the personal lives of celebrities, it's different when something in the gossip arena effects the production of an anticipated film. In this case, E! News has learned that Scarlett Johansson is pregnant, and many are already wondering that what means for her recurring role as Black Widow in the Marvel cinematic universe, mainly for The Avengers: Age of Ultron already in production. Thankfully, the film won't be delayed and Johansson's role won't be reduced, but the production schedule will shift to fasttrack any scenes involving the actress so she can be finished before her due date gets closer.
Back in January, we learned that King Kong and Stalingrad star Thomas Kretschmann had signed on for a villain role in The Avengers: Age of Ultron as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, Nazi officer who becomes one of the heads of HYDRA, the terrorist group from Captain America: The First Avenger. Now it sounds like Kretschmann will be sticking around the Marvel universe for more than one film as an interview with THR has the actor revealing "I have a multi-picture deal which means I will not only appear in [Age of Ultron], but they’re planning with me for a longer period of time.” Sounds like set up for Captain America 3.
After a bidding war between Universal, Warner Bros., and Sony Pictures, it's the latter studio that has come out on top to pick up a spec script called Winter's Knight. Following in the footsteps of recent revisionist fairytales like Snow White and the Huntsman or developing historical adventures around figures like Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci, the film would tell the origin of Saint Nicholas and Christmas, by way of a Viking-esque tale written by newcomers Ben Lustig & Jake Thornton. The deal at Sony also included Kon-Tiki helmers Joachim Ronning & Espen Sandberg, who will also do Pirates of the Caribbean 5.
It's been 11 years since The Matrix Revolutions mostly disappointed us with an unsatisfying and predictable end to what began as a revolutionary sci-fi action flick. The Wachowski siblings changed the action genre, making bullet time the hot new trend, and slow-motion action all the rage, and the script was original, mind-blowing, and totally worthy of the patented Keanu Reeves, "Whoa." However, Warner Bros. hasn't gotten anything worthwhile in box office terms from the filmmaking team with both Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas bombing hard. So what's next? How about jacking back into The Matrix for a new trilogy?