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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.
More sequels! Always more sequels. With the latest Mission: Impossible movie about to hit theaters, Tom Cruise is out doing the press rounds and was in New York City this week talking with everyone. During the premiering, MTV News caught up with him and got a very brief tease about a possible Edge of Tomorrow sequel. Everyone has been catching up to that one and realizing how damn good it is, and now they want a sequel, so he says "I pitched it to [Rogue Nation director Christopher] McQuarrie and [Edge of Tomorrow director] Doug [Liman]. We were there one night and I was like, I’ve got an idea for it…" That's all that was revealed, but on "The Daily Show" Cruise confirmed some bigger news regarding more Mission: Impossible.
Another day, another remake. This time they're digging deep and remaking a horror classic from the early years of cinema. Deadline reports that Jeff Robinov's Studio 8 will be remaking F.W. Murnau's 1922 silent film masterpiece Nosferatu, and they've found a director who wants to bring back Dracula once again. The studio is bringing on filmmaker Robert Eggers, a writer turned director who broke out earlier this year with The Witch at the Sundance Film Festival (still yet to be released by A24). Eggers will write & direct the new Nosferatu, a fitting follow-up to The Witch and another chance for Eggers to show how talented he is.
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.