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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Warners Rebooting Batman Again?

Warners Rebooting Batman Again?
With Chris Nolan overseeing...

Source: LA Times

Warners Rebooting Batman Again?

Despite the setbacks it faced the last time Warner Bros. tried to gather its DC Comics-based heroes together to form the Justice League, that isn’t putting the studio off from moving ahead with the plan, according to executive Jeff Robinov, who revealed that they’re looking to reboot Batman again.

Yes, it would seem that once Chris Nolan and company are finished in the their more realistic Bat-universe with The Dark Knight Rises, we’re going to be looking at Batman Begins… Again.

“We have the third Batman, but then we’ll have to reinvent Batman,” Robinov tells the LA Times. “Chris Nolan and Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.”

The mention of Nolan and his regular producing partner/wife being involved makes us think it’ll hopefully maintain the high standards that the director has set for Bruce Wayne, but the fact remains that the more down-to-earth setting for Nolan’s take on the character would have to be ditched if Warners is going to see him share the screen with the super-powered likes of Superman (now taking the form of Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman and Green Lantern in the League.

Plus it seem that Robinov’s target for the team-up is 2013, which seems like a nearly unworkable date given that The Dark Knight won’t return until summer next year and Zack Snyder’s Superman won’t even arrive until that December.

We don’t doubt that Robinov wants to get his company’s equivalent to The Avengers up and running, and given that he says a Justice League script (as well as standalone films for The Flash and Wonder Woman, despite the new TV version) is being written, he may yet see his dream realised. But 2013? We’ll see. And what do you lot think? Too soon? Good call? Sound off!

Source: EmpireOnline

Coppola's Twixt Now And Sunrise Tidbits

Coppola's Twixt Now And Sunrise Tidbits
The latest on his undercover thriller

Source: Exclusive

Coppola's Twixt Now And Sunrise Tidbits

Francis Ford Coppola sat down with our Ian Freer to talk about Apocalypse Now for the latest issue of Empire magazine (out on Thursday), and while he was there he dropped just a couple of tiny tidbits about his new film, Twixt Now And Sunrise, which might be of interest to his fans.

"It's part personal film, part Gothic romance, part Halloween show. If I can present it the way I want to, it is something that's never been done before," he said of the film.

Given that there have been rumours already that Coppola was planning on presenting a "brief dramatic segment" of the film in 3D, his remark about "presenting it the way I want to" sounds rather significant. Coppola is still in the editing room with the film at the moment, after writing the screenplay in two days. Apparently he was inspired by a dream he had in Istanbul that was interrupted by a morning call to prayer, leaving him struggling to get back to sleep to find its end.

For his own films, he says, "The only rule is that it is beautiful and that people are affected and moved by it." He also credits Sofia Coppola for changing the way he makes films. "My daughter has taught me how to look for what I want to express with less - with less talk and more with what I feel. I feel a lot of things, but in order to try and express them, sometimes I think I go too far."

So from these clues, what can you glean about Twixt Now And Sunrise? And are you excited about it?

Source: EmpireOnline

Bill Murray As Franklin D Roosevelt?

Bill Murray As Franklin D Roosevelt?
In Roger Michell's Hyde Park On Hudson

Source: Vulture

Bill Murray As Franklin D Roosevelt?

He might be among the toughest actors to track down for work, but that doesn’t stop people wanting to hire Bill Murray. According to Vulture, Morning Glory director Roger Michell is looking to secure the mercurial comic actor to play US president Franklin D Roosevelt in Hyde Park on the Hudson.

Adapted from the BBC radio play, the plot will follow the odd love affair between the Pres and distant cousin Margaret Stuckley, and will chronicle the events that occur when the American leader was visited at his upstate New York cottage residence in June 1939.

And the couple stopping by? King George VI and his wife (yes, the pair played so memorably by Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech). There’s no word yet on who will play Stuckley, Eleanor Roosevelt or the royal couple yet (no, we don’t think they could tempt Firth and Bonham Carter to star again), but Michell plans to kick off shooting in July.

Richard Nelson adapted the script from his play, which was originally broadcast in 2009 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the trip. Film4 has been developing the project for a while now and even turned down The King’s Speech because it was committed to getting this George VI story on screen. The company is probably wishing it plumped for both of ‘em now…

Source: EmpireOnline

Monsters, Inc Prequel Title Announced

Monsters, Inc Prequel Title Announced
We're off to Monsters University

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Monsters, Inc Prequel Title Announced

The good people at Pixar are notoriously careful about revealing anything about their upcoming projects until they’re good and ready. There’s a life-size statue of Sulley at the company’s campus entrance that comes alive at night to scare off spies (and motivate animators working into the wee hours on the latest film). But, just occasionally, they do deign to release some information, and the latest news concerns Sulley himself. The planned sequel to Monsters, Inc is, as previously rumoured, actually a prequel called Monsters University.

“The film is a prequel that tells you a little bit about how Mike and Sulley first met, attending Monsters University,” Disney’s Dave Hollis told cinema chain owners gathered in Las Vegas for the annual CinemaCon convention, where Entertainment Weekly was in the audience. “Obviously everybody knows at this point Mike and Sulley are amazing friends — the best of friends — but as it turns out, in this story, that wasn’t always the case. From the moment they met at university, they could not stand each other. This story takes you through the ups and downs, and how they overcame their own differences.”

Billy Crystal and John Goodman are returning to voice duties for the central pair, and turning back the clock to the their early days certainly opens up a whole lot of new opportunities (including the return of Steve Buscemi’s villainous reptile Randall). It must be said, though, that we’ll be a little sad not to see what Boo is up to these days (unless, that is, they include some bookend sections set in current day Monstropolis.)

There's no exact release date yet, but it should be out sometime in November 2012.

Source: EmpireOnline

Another Pirates 4 Poster Sails In

Another Pirates 4 Poster Sails In
Here be mermaids!

Another Pirates 4 Poster Sails In

While some films are having real trouble with their marketing strategies (mentioning no - Green Lantern - names), others are chugging along quite happily. And then there’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which has been firing a broadside of picture material at us, even though it’s one of the few big films this year that probably doesn’t need as much advertising as some. Still, yet another poster has shown up online, and this time we’re treated to the slippery, sexy mermaids.

In a world where the Flight of the Conchords exist, we have trouble saying the word “mermaids” without doing it in Brett and Jemaine’s sing-song style, these beautiful denizens of the sea should not be treated lightly. Anyone who has watched the most recent trailer knows that they’re a vital part of finding the fountain of youth, and they’re also – in keeping with legends – a serious threat to unwary sailors.

They’re just one of the dangers Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) will face on his quest to track down the legendary fountain, a voyage that will also see him encountering old flame Angelica (Penelope Cruz), dangerous enemy Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and, of course, old frenemy Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush).

To get a closer look at the fishladies (or is it ladyfish?), click below.



Coincidentally, all the people mentioned above have featured in character posters. To take a gander at the images to date, look below.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is out on May 18.

Source: EmpireOnline

Disney Sends Oblivion Packing

Disney Sends Oblivion Packing
Joseph Kosinki's project is homeless...

Source: Deadline

Disney Sends Oblivion Packing

In the latest example of title irony, Disney has decided that it’s no longer sure it wants to develop Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski’s passion project Oblivion, shoving the sci-fi concept out of the door.

It’s not the end for Oblivion, of course – Kosinski is now free to shop it around other studios, and given that the Mouse House picked it up after a fierce auction against several competing interests, there’s a chance someone else will step in to adopt the project.

Oblivion certainly has some appeal – it’s a compelling tale of a soldier stuck on a ruined Earth repairing drones that attack alien invaders who discovers a beautiful woman in a crashed spacecraft and starts to question parts of his worldview.

But the dismissal from Disney (most likely because the film doesn’t fit into its franchise-heavy, family-focused new direction), and the slightly disappointing box office returns from Legacy aren’t going to be easy obstacles to overcome.

Kosinski has been trying to get the script made since before he got the gig on Legacy. He turned the idea into a graphic novel to help boost its appeal and once Disney got involved, had William Monahan and Karl Gajdusek take passes at the script. According to Deadline, Tom Cruise even became interested at one point, though as Guillermo del Toro could tell you, even that isn’t enough these days.

Disney, however, still wants to work with Kosinski himself – the Black Hole remake is still trundling through the company’s halls and a Tron Legacy sequel is slowly approaching the grid.

Source: EmpireOnline

Hailee Steinfeld May Be Sleeping Beauty

Hailee Steinfeld May Be Sleeping Beauty
She's attached to a new script

Source: Deadline

Hailee Steinfeld May Be Sleeping Beauty

When Hollywood finds a bandwagon that it likes, it just jumps on it like a hungry dog leaps on a bowlful of Pedigree Chum. So it should come as no surprise that there’s yet another revisionist fairytale in the works, this time revolving around Sleeping Beauty. The appeal of this one? It has True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld attached to star.

Steinfeld hit it big in her first major role, scoring an Oscar nomination for a role that saw her easily share the screen with Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges for the Coen brothers. Since then, she’s been offered all sorts of roles and is attached to at least one other part, the lead in young adult novel adaptation Forgotten.

The new take on Sleeping Beauty, written by Lindsay Devlin will put the focus squarely on the title character. While she’ll still end up cursed by a witch as in the original, the plot will follow her into a dream world where she’ll have to find her way out. Think Sucker Punch, but hopefully a little less frenetic.

While Steinfeld’s attachment will certainly help its chances, this Beauty will have to take its place among the already crowded development courtyard, where the likes of Maleficent (a Tim Burton-adopted pic that tells the Sleeping story from the witch’s POV), the Peter Pan origin story, the 372 Snow White films and Oz, The Great and Powerful.

Source: EmpireOnline

Melissa Rosenberg Off To Earthseed

Melissa Rosenberg Off To Earthseed
Twilight writer adapting sci-fi novel

Source: Risky Business Blog

Melissa Rosenberg Off To Earthseed

The last time Melissa Rosenberg was involved with writing scripts based on books aimed at young people, she was part of the team that brought the world Twilight. So you can sort of understand why studios might be eager to be in business with her. Her next big film project? An adaptation of Pamela Sargent’s 1983 sci-fi tome Earthseed.

Paramount, which actually had the first dibs on Twilight, but couldn’t figure out a way to make it work, has been quick off the mark this time, with executive Adam Goodman bringing the Earthseed material to Rosenberg to write and produce.

The film will follow the book’s plot about Earth dispatching a ship carrying a variety of DNA on the hunt for a new planet to colonise. Also included are a group of lab-spawned teenagers who are giving survival training in Hollow, a simulation of our world. But tensions arise and fighting soon breaks out.

“It really talks about the debate of nature vs. nurture, what is innately human and what can be bred in or out of someone," Rosenberg tells the Risky Business blog. "There’s a Lord of the Flies element to it. It involves a young woman who starts off as someone who is content with playing by the rules and being a “good girl,’ and then has to realize that the rules are malleable and that she has to step forward as a leader. It’s really about coming into one’s own power and embracing one’s own strength and individuality."

Sounds like it could appeal to a wider audience than even Stephenie Meyer’s books, though it’ll still have to survive a voyage through development space.

Source: EmpireOnline

Madagascar's Penguins Get Film Spin-Off

Madagascar's Penguins Get Film Spin-Off
Megamind's writers at work on the script

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Madagascar's Penguins Get Film Spin-Off

They’ve been stealing scenes from the likes of Ben Stiller and Chris Rock ever since they waddled on to the screen in the first Madagascar outing, and now it looks like DreamWorks wants to go even further with the crack penguin commando unit, gearing them up to star in their own spin-off film.

Megamind writers Alan J Schoolcraft and Brent Simons have been tasked with bringing Skipper, Kowalski, Private and Rico to the big screen. It’s not really a surprise, since the feathered foursome have been winning fans and influencing people for ages and got their own short film, The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper, as part of the original movie’s DVD extras.

Plus, they’ve been appearing on the small screen for a couple of years now in their own cartoon show, which earns solid ratings across the pond.

There’s no word on what the characters will be getting up to, since the film hasn’t even been written yet, nor has a directing team been assigned. Which also means that it’s a few years away from hitting our screens. But we'd expect chaos...

Source: EmpireOnline

First Piranha 3DD Plot Details Revealed

First Piranha 3DD Plot Details Revealed
Killer fish will eat people - in 3D!

Source: Bloody Disgusting

First Piranha 3DD Plot Details Revealed

We knew that the follow-up to last year's thoroughly guilty-pleasure Piranha remake was swimming towards us as quickly as possible with teeth and breasts bared, but we hadn't yet heard the set-up. Aside from its being about deadly fish and gore and boobs, obviously.

Thanks then to BD, who've scored the information that the homicidal characiformes will this time terrorise a newly-opened water park, stripping the ample flesh from the patrons of Wilderness Waters by infesting its pools and features through the pipes and plumbing. It's like a whole film based on that scene from the end of Let the Right One In, but with monsters and porn and jokes! Hoorah!

"Responsibility" for the punningly-titled sequel has been handed to the Feast team of director John Gulager, writers (and Saw veterans) Patrick Melton and Marcus Duston, and producer Joel Soisson. Despite the fast-tracking, production has been slightly delayed in order to make the 3D as effective as possible. Eat that, James Cameron. The previously aimed-for (and possibly insanely optimistic) August 2011 release date has been shifted back three months to November.

Rumoured cast includes Tara Reid, Todd Bridges and Lil' Wayne, but there's no word yet on any returnees from last time. Ving Rhames though, did reveal back in December that he'd been in talks to come back as Deputy Fallon, despite the state of him at the end of Piranha. "You didn't necessarily see me die..."

Source: EmpireOnline

David Arquette Will Direct Glutton

David Arquette Will Direct Glutton
A Misery-type 3D horror

Source: Variety

David Arquette Will Direct Glutton

David Arquette will be sticking with scares once the Scream 4 dust settles, directing the psychological thriller Glutton.

There's not much detail in Variety's announcement, other than that the film will be "in the vein of Misery" and be shot, of course, in 3D. Does a film in the vein of Misery need to be in 3D? If someone's tied to a bed and getting their ankles broken with a hammer, we're not sure we want to be that close to the action.

Anyone who saw Arquette's previous directorial outing, the scurrilous horror The Tripper - about rock-festival hippies being stalked and slashed by, to all intents and purposes, Ronald Reagan - might suspect that Glutton is likely to have its tongue firmly in its cheek. He's since made a 3D short called The Butler's In Love. Maybe that was an exercise to get his head round the technology.

We'll see whether Arquette has picked up any new tricks from Wes Craven when shooting starts in Canada in July.

Source: EmpireOnline

Farley Granger Dies

Farley Granger Dies
Rope star passes away at 85

Source: Associated Press

Farley Granger Dies

Farley Granger, matinee idol and star of Hitchcock thrillers Rope and Strangers On A Train, has died of natural causes at his Manhattan home. He was 85.

It was in New York that Granger made his name - at least the soundstage replica of the city on which he played murderer Phillip Morgan in Rope. The 1948 Hitchcock thriller dramatised the story of Leopold and Loeb, with Granger giving a much applauded performance as a brilliant but insecure aesthete who conspires to kill a former classmate.

His role in Strangers On A Train found him back in similarly murky territory three years later. Hitchcock, intrigued by the seductive qualities projected by the actor, cast him as playboy tennis star Guy Haines. Having initially picked William Holden for the role, he was rewarded by another gilded turn opposite Robert Walker's sociopath.

Despite these critical successes, Granger was unhappy with many of the scripts pushed his way and was never comfortable in the glare of Hollywood's bright lights. His contract with Samuel Goldwyn, a relationship that began when the producer talent spotted him as a North Hollywood high-schooler, ended in 1953. The actor bought his contract out with two years to run and headed to New York. "It took every penny I had," he later explained. "It helped that I didn't live a big fancy life, that I'd saved my money for a rainy day. Because that was a rainy day."

Granger took his craft seriously and felt that he had much to learn. In New York he studied under Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg and Sanford Meisner. "I was a star, but I knew nothing of the techniques of acting," he remembered. "I figured I'd better learn or I'd be in trouble when the star aspects of my career wore off."

Sadly, that day came sooner than his many fans hoped. But while he became best known for his work in live television and on Broadway, Granger continued to make movies. He appeared in Richard Fleischer's The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing, Western The Man called Noon and several films in Italy, including Luchino Visconti's Senso.

Unmarried, Granger told an interviewer in 1981 that Shelley Winters was the most serious relationship of his life. "We came close to getting married," he reminisced. "Good thing we didn't because we would have killed each other. Instead we've become lasting friends."

Source: EmpireOnline