ENJOY THE SHOW
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.
Well this is big news for Joe Carnahan. Word from Deadline is that Joe Carnahan, who last directed the film Stretch, is looking at taking over Bad Boys 3 in development at Sony Pictures. They say that Carnahan is "in early talks to do a quick pass to possibly direct". That means that he's going to revise the script, and maybe direct, Bad Boys 3 next for the studio. The first two Bad Boys movies starring Will Smith & Martin Lawrence were directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, when this group was actually delivering great action movies. We're been hearing about a Bad Boys 3 for a while, with Lawrence saying it's close to happening as of late last year. This might be the final piece of the puzzle, with things moving fast.
Well now we know what's in store for James Wan. Warner Bros has officially confirmed that James Wan will be directing the Aquaman movie based on the DC Comics superhero, with Jason Momoa already set to play the aquatic superhero (since he's supposed to potentially appear in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). Wan just came off of directing Furious 7, which is setting some epic box office records, and has also been confirmed for the Robotech movie (via THR). "The Aquaman film will be a major tentpole picture for us and James's span of work has proven him able to take on any manner of project, bringing his incredible creative talent and unique voice to the material," Warner Bros' Greg Silverman commented on the news.
Another day, another remake. This time I simply cannot get excited for this, just no way. THR is reporting that Disney is preparing a new version of Sister Act, but of course. Why not mine their entire collection of past live-action films that made a boatload of money and… remake them! All of them! The only good news is that they're hiring writers Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith and Karen McCullah, of the films 10 Things I Hate About You, Legally Blonde, She's the Man, The House Bunny, The Ugly Truth, Crazy Kind of Love, plus Expendabelles coming up. Disney is putting Cinderella producer Allison Shearmur on-board to develop it. Other than that, they're not sure if Whoopi Goldberg, who starred in the original, will even be back or not.