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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dune Has A New Writer

Dune Has A New Writer
Chase Palmer brought on to pep up sci-fi
Source: The Hollywood Reporter


Dune Has A New Writer

Paramount’s attempt to bring Frank Herbert’s Dune back to the big screen is gathering pace, with news that Chase Palmer has been brought on to have a bash at a screenplay.

Palmer – who sounds like an off-shore bank, or the grizzled hero of a bad 80s action flick – has been hired specifically to incorporate the ideas of Dune director, Pierre Morel, into the screenplay, the current draft of which has been written by Josh Zetumer.

Those ideas, based on Morel’s work in District B13, the magnificent Taken and From Paris With Love, will probably involve Dune hero, Paul Atreides, punching and shooting everything he sees.

Or, as The Hollywood Reporter has it, Morel wants to hew closer to Herbert’s original novel than David Lynch did with his bonkers bizarre 1984 version. We have to admit, though, to being slightly surprised that Morel is still attached to the project after From Paris With Love crashed and burned at the US box office last weekend, but we’re also glad, for frankly we’re intrigued to see what he can do with a sci-fi flick.

Palmer, meanwhile, is a writer-director who's been plugging away on the Hollywood scene for years. He's lined up two self-penned films - Number Thirteen and Wild Wild East - to direct over the next year or so, but bagging the Dune screenplay gig is undoubtedly his biggest break.

Kevin Misher and Richard Rubinstein are producing.

Source: EmpireOnline

Brosnan Doubts Mamma Mia Sequel

Brosnan Doubts Mamma Mia Sequel
Pierce not returning for more Abba gold?


Brosnan Doubts Mamma Mia Sequel

We talked exclusively to Pierce Brosnan last week for Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and in the course of that interview asked him about the announced Mamma Mia! sequel. "No, I don't think that's happening" was his rather succinct reply.

This coincides with what Meryl Streep told Showbizspy.com last month. She said that, "I heard that they were talking about it, but I am not sure it’s real, it’s not anything I’m on the inside track of. No one has told me anything yet".

Now given that we spoke to Amanda Seyfried a few months back and she'd been told that it was a go, we're left with two options here: either the film has ground to a halt in the meantime (perhaps because they'd run out of Abba songs) or any sequel is going to focus on Seyfried and Dominic Cooper's characters to the exclusion of Brosnan and Streep.

Abba's Benny Andersson said back in September that any sequel would be unlikely to have Abba music in it - contradicting Universal co-Chairman David Linde back when the first film was released, who noted that there were still many songs left.

In short, it sounds like this is still very much something that's on the backburner. Tell your auntie Eileen to stop holding her breath for it, and just go back to watching the singalong DVD while we try to find out more.

Source: EmpireOnline

Penelope Cruz Caught In Stranger Tides

Penelope Cruz Caught In Stranger Tides
She's negotiating to join Pirates 4
Source: Heat Vision Blog


Penelope Cruz Caught In Stranger Tides

Ahoy! Aaaargh! Pieces of eight! Savvy, etc… Just trying to get you in the right buccaneer mood for news that Penelope Cruz is in negotiations to join Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

It’s somewhat of a surprising bit of casting info, given that you wouldn’t normally expect to see Cruz cropping up in such a hefty tentpole, and especially since her “bigger” films have tended to be the mis-firing likes of Captain Corelli's Mandolin Gothika, and Sahara. Oh, and a voice on G-Force.

But as those titles suggest, she doesn’t always swim in indie waters and with her Nine director – the man who helped her score her latest Oscar nomination – Rob Marshall at the helm for this next Pirates adventure, plus what sounds like a meaty role written as an equal/foil to Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow, you can see why she might dive in. And that’s the end of the watery puns.

She’ll be reporting for duty in Hawaii this summer for a story that finds Sparrow searching for the Fountain of Youth. If the shoot is plain sailing (dang it!), the film will dock in May 2011.

Source: EmpireOnline

Escape From NY Remake Alive Again


Escape From NY Remake Alive Again
Allan Loeb’s script has New Line excited
Source: Vulture blog

Escape From NY Remake Alive Again

New Line appears ready to commit to getting the remake of John Carpenter’s cult sci-fi action pic Escape From New York back on its feet and striding on the path to our screens, thanks to a new script by Wall Street 2 writer Allan Loeb.

This is one of those projects that have been doing the rounds in development for ages now. And despite earlier attempts – with the likes of Gerard Butler signing up to play Snake Plissken – it seemed doomed to dwell in that limbo zone, a place most fans of the original would probably wish it could stay.

But spurred on by Loeb’s recent rewrite – which has apparently nailed legendary, Kurt Russell-shaped antihero Plissken’s sardonic humour and found a decent outlet for it in switching the gender of the person he has to find in a future Manhattan transformed into a penal colony from a male president to a female senator – the company is now back on the hunt for a star and director.

Also fresh to the film is the approach to that villain-infested vision of New York. Vulture blog reports that a previous screenwriter, David Kajganich, posited the idea of an intact Manhattan island that has simply been turned into a prison, not destroyed then converted. It’s cheaper to shoot that way, y’see. “It is not a disaster movie,” says the blog’s source. “It is an exposé of an ecosystem, if you put a huge wall around Manhattan and then dropped in the most f****d-up, dangerous criminals on Earth.”

Oh, and while we completely empathise with all worries about trying to reboot Carpenter’s classic, at least, he’s set down some strict rules for anyone attempting to fashion a new Snake – they must retain the name, the eye patch and the badass attitude. There goes our big idea to have him get dewy-eyed over a sexy vampire to attract the tween crowd!

Source: EmpireOnline

Akira Next For Hughes Brothers?

Akira Next For Hughes Brothers?
Kaanedaaaaaaa!
Source: Vulture


Akira Next For Hughes Brothers?

A live-action version of Katsuhiro Otomo's seminal manga and anime Akira has been grumbling away in development hell since the early 1990s. Last September saw the first news in a long time emerge, that a new script was being worked on by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby. And now we're hearing from New York Magazine's Vulture that Warners are finalising the paperwork with The Hughes Brothers to direct.

Fergus and Ostby co-wrote the excellent Children of Men (not to mention Iron Man and Cowboys Vs. Aliens) so they've proved they know their way around a dystopia. But The Hughes Brothers are a surprise. Clearly the performance of The Book of Eli has put them in favour at Warners, but nothing on their CV (Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, From Hell) so far has hinted at future projects of the colossal magnitude of Akira.

Leonardo DiCaprio's company Appian Way is part of the production team, along with Andrew Lazar, who's currently wrangling Jonah Hex. Talk is still of two films, each roughly covering three books of the six-volume manga (Otomo's two-hour original film was made before the books had finished, and ends differently), with a budget of at least $300m. We won't even attempt a plot synopsis (here's a trailer if you're new here) but the idea last year seemed to be to relocate the story from Neo-Tokyo to a Neo-Manhattan.

If this comes off, it'll be a sci-fi extravaganza up there with Blade Runner and The Matrix and Avatar. If not, two words for you: Johnny Mnemonic. We'll be astonished if it isn't in 3D. And we'll be even more amazed if, as Vulture suggest, part one is released next year. Not a chance. We're saying 2012 at the earliest.

Source: EmpireOnline

The Killers Trailer Online

The Killers Trailer Online
Heigl and Kutcher shoot for comedy...
Source: Yahoo Movies


The Killers Trailer Online

It says something that when we watched this trailer for the new Katherine Heigl/Ashton Kutcher comedy Killers, the part we actually enjoyed featured the comedy stylings of Tom Selleck and Catherine O’Hara. Enjoying the supporting players more than anything the leads do? Bad sign.

The high concept comedy thriller (formerly known as Five Killers) finds Heigl and Kutcher as a couple who hook up on holiday and find an instant attraction. They get married and move to the suburbs where their domestic bliss is rather rudely interrupted by the fact that Kutcher has a double life as a government-sponsored super-assassin and that many of their neighbours are actually out to kill them.

Cue lots of slapsticky, Mr & Mrs Smith-wannabe shenanigans as Heigl looks scared, accidentally shoots stuff and banters with Kutcher, who mostly seems to show off his muscles.

Go take a look at the trailer for yourself and see what you think. Are you amused? Appalled?

Source: EmpireOnline

The New Spider-Man Will Be 3D

The New Spider-Man Will Be 3D
He'll shoot his web in your face. Eww...
Source: Sony


The New Spider-Man Will Be 3D

Sony has been ticking all the trend boxes with regards to Spider-Man. Reboot? Check. Buzzed-about indie director given the reigns of a franchise? Double check. And now, as the studio announces that its new take on the character will be shot in 3D. And there you have the triple, ladies and germs. Colour us whatever "unsurprised" runs on the ol' Pantone chart.

Chairman Jeff Blake put out a press release yesterday with word that the currently untitled film – being directed by Marc Webb from James Vanderbilt’s script – is arriving in cinemas on July 3 2012.

Spider-Man is the ultimate summer movie-going experience, and we’re thrilled the filmmakers are presenting the next instalment in 3D,” blabbed Blake. “Spider-Man is one of the most popular characters in the world, and we know audiences are eager and excited to discover Marc’s fantastic vision for Peter Parker and the franchise.”

Talking of Peter Parker, there’s still no word on who will be filling Spidey’s costume, but all we do know is they’ll have to be high school age. Or at least be able to fake it. Zac Efron, put your hand down.

Source: EmpireOnline

Wicker Tree Website Goes Live

Wicker Tree Website Goes Live
New artwork. New title.
Source: Wicker Tree Official Website


Wicker Tree Website Goes Live

It's little more than a funky new poster at the moment, but the website for The Wicker Tree, Robin Hardy's "spiritual sequel" to 1974's The Wicker Man, has just gone live, confirming a release date sometime in 2010.

This is the film that used to be Cowboys For Christ. Not sure about that new title although it's obviously less Texas-baiting than its predecessor (the title of Hardy's novel on which the film is based) and makes the connection to Lord Summerisle and co. more obvious. Double-edged sword though, running the risk of non-savvy mallrats immediately writing it off as something to do with "that retarded Nicolas Cage movie".

Hardy's first film for 24 years is, if the novel is an indicator, a close parallel to The Wicker Man, rather than a sequel per se. Each character from 1974 has an equivalent and the plot structure is similar, but the details this time involve an evangelical Texan country singer and her boyfriend attempting to introduce religion to the small Scottish town of Tressock.

Cast-wise, Christopher Lee (who describes The Wicker Tree as "erotic, romantic, comic and horrific enough to loosen the bowels of a bronze statue") is joined by Graham McTavish, Clive Russell, Brittania Nicol and Honeysuckle Weeks. Shooting took place last year in Texas and Scotland, and Hardy showed ten minutes at a screening of The Wicker Man in Tribeca last Hallowe'en. It's been a long time coming, but it's actually happening!

Source: EmpireOnline

Peter Cattaneo Says What The Puck

Peter Cattaneo Says What The Puck
Hockey comedy gets a director
Source: Variety


Peter Cattaneo Says What The Puck

The last time Full Monty director Peter Cattaneo got behind the camera, it was for Rainn Wilson comedy The Rocker, which didn’t exactly thrill the box office. So he’s switching to something even smaller in scale, signing up to tackle a father/son-bonding tale that focuses on a love of Hockey.

What The Puck, which was inspired by a true story, will see the dad and his child trying to reconnect after the family is split by a messy divorce. Their shared love of ice hockey sees them ending up at the World Junior Championships, held in Canada.

With a script by Kinky Boots writer Geoff Deane, it sounds like the perfect, low-key, project for Cattaneo to put on the big screen. There’s no word on when it’ll start shooting, but we’re sure backers Ealing Studios will want him getting to it as soon as possible.

Source: EmpireOnline

Brosnan Locates Salvation Boulevard

Brosnan Locates Salvation Boulevard
In a religious satire with Ed Harris
Source: Variety


Brosnan Locates Salvation Boulevard

Pierce Brosnan, Ed Harris and comic actor Jim Gaffigan have all signed onto Salvation Boulevard, a new comedic thriller about the US-style mega churches.

Based on Wag The Dog novelist Larry Beinhart’s book, Salvation finds a former Grateful Dead fan who converted to Christianity on the run from the fundamentalist members of his new church who are trying to protect the reputation of their charismatic preacher.

Douglas Stone and Joshua director George Ratliff wrote the script, which Ratliff plans to start shooting in April. Praise be!

Source: EmpireOnline

New Last Airbender Trailer Arrives

New Last Airbender Trailer Arrives
A longer promo for M Night's latest
Source: Yahoo Movies


New Last Airbender Trailer Arrives

We’ve had the teaser. We’ve watched the Superbowl TV spot. Now it’s the turn of the theatrical trailer to show off what M Night Shyamalan has done with his adaptation of cult kids’ toon Avatar: The Last Airbender.

So aside from lopping off the Avatar bit (can’t think there’d be any competition for the na…. Ooooh riiight), what does this latest promo bring us? More of the same. So if you loved the look of the film (it does appear to be sufficiently epic, with what look like some fun battles) and were eagerly anticipating this, chances are it’ll just add fuel to the fire. Or air to the… wind tunnel? Depends on who you root for in the Airbender world.

But if you were concerned we’re in for yet another “mystical child is the only hope to save a particular group of people with his amazing element-driven powers” tale, then it confirms that too.

The film, of course, is largely following the series’ plot, which sees Aang (Noah Ringer) realising his destiny as the remaining “Airbender” who is tasked with stopping the Fire Nation, represented by Dev Patel’s nasty Zuko, from taking over the Water, Earth and Air nations.

We’ll get our chance to see whether it translates in August, but for now you can see the trailer below or in HD at Yahoo! Movies.



Source: EmpireOnline

Get A Look At The Last Station

Get A Look At The Last Station
Exclusive clip from Oscar nominee


Get A Look At The Last Station

Talk about the little film that could: The Last Station, the story of the final days of Russian author Tolstoy, has managed to get itself Oscar-nominated not once but twice, with Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer both nominated. And you can get a taste of what landed them the nods below.

The film sees Valentin Bulgakov (James McAvoy) arrive to act as secretary to the aging Leo Tolstoy (Plummer), who is in the last year of his life and has decided, as part of his commitment to a non-material life, to leave his works and fortune to the Russian people. His wife Sofya (Mirren) is less than happy with this decision, and does everything she can to try to stop him.

Source: EmpireOnline

New Toy Story 3 Characters Revealed

New Toy Story 3 Characters Revealed
Meet Ken and Peas-in-a-Pod


New Toy Story 3 Characters Revealed

Just when you thought that today was going to be another boring Wednesday, along come two new character reveals from Toy Story 3 to brighten your day.

The two new characters – the first in a series of fourteen that will be gradually revealed over the coming weeks – are Ken, aka Barbie’s boyfriend, and the mysterious Peas-in-a-Pod. We’ve known about Ken – voiced by Michael Keaton – for some time now, but Peas-in-a-Pod is a complete surprise, and will likely be one of the toys encountered by Buzz, Woody and the gang when they relocate to Sunnydale Day Care centre. Is he a good egg, or a bad ‘un? Only time will tell…

And that’s not all the Toy Story 3 goodness coming our way – a new trailer will debut online tomorrow at 4pm. Excellent…

These images first debuted online at AICN and Coming Soon.



Source: EmpireOnline

Yet More Alice In Wonderland Goodness

Yet More Alice In Wonderland Goodness
It's the Mad Hatter!


Yet More Alice In Wonderland Goodness

Here's another peek at Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, so it must be Wednesday. This time, it's the turn of the Mad Hatter, aka Johnny Depp, who's still wearing a ker-azy wig that's quite frankly not flattering to his complexion.

Now you may well think that some of this footage is rather familiar - and that's true. But this is an extended version of the first little featurette released, and therefore contains more Depp for your money*.




Alice in Wonderland is out on March 5 in regular and 3-D-ified goodness.

Source: EmpireOnline

Gosling Replacing Jackman On Drive?

Gosling Replacing Jackman On Drive?
And Refn replacing Marshall?


Gosling Replacing Jackman On Drive?

We spoke to Nicolas Winding Refn, writer/director of last year's Bronson and the upcoming Valhalla Rising, yesterday, and he had some interesting words about the next film he's planning to make.

"Hopefully next is a movie with Ryan Gosling at a studio in America. It's called Drive, and it's about a stuntman by day, a getaway driver by night." When we followed up, he said that that central character was Ryan Gosling's part, and that it's set in LA. So far, so no big shock - but last we heard about Drive, Hugh Jackman was lined up to star in it, and Neil Marshall was looking at directing.

Still, the project, based on James Sallis' novel, hasn't moved very far since 2008, so it could be that a new star and director will get it moving again. After the success of the low budget Bronson, and after displaying a flair for violence in the almost dreamlike Valhalla Rising, this could be a good fit.

Source: EmpireOnline

Jessica Alba Brings Valentine's Day to London

Jessica Alba Brings Valentine's Day to London

Jessica Alba Brings Valentine's Day to London

Jessica Alba is all smiles as she travels from Heathrow airport to the luxurious Dorchester Hotel in London on Wednesday (February 2).

The 28-year-old actress, who’s in town to promote her latest movie Valentine’s Day, admits that her confidence has grown in recent years.

“Ten years ago, I was more worried about making everyone around me happy and concerned about whether people liked me or not because I was always the new kid,” Jess tells the Miami Herald. “Now I just don’t care. I’m really easy going. If hoity-toity Hollywood people don’t like me, I don’t care. I care about my family mostly, my friends, and that’s it.”

Alba-london jessica alba valentines day london 01
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Source: JustJared