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Monday, October 31, 2011

James Mangold Talks Wolverine

James Mangold Talks Wolverine
It's The Chinatown Josey Wales!

Source: The Playlist

James Mangold Talks Wolverine

When Darren Aronofsky left the project, many feared we might have lost the fascinating left-field new Wolverine film we'd been tacitly promised after the X-Men: Origins instalment. Talking to The Playlist however, new director James Mangold has just demonstrated that his plans for The Wolverine are equally ambitious.

"It really was a simple choice," Mangold says, "to jump on board and take this thing on... at this moment when they actually want to explore the character."

To that end, Mangold believes, the fact that The Wolverine is a franchise sequel is actually a benefit rather than a hindrance to the film he envisions: "You can actually just tell a story about this amazing character from the start, just the way they do when you read a comic. It isn’t an origin story, so I’m freed from that burden, and it also isn’t a save-the-world movie, which most of them are. It’s actually a character piece; it has more in common with The Outlaw Josey Wales and Chinatown. We’re not crowded with cutting to nine other action heroes. We can really make a movie about this dude.”

The plan remains to adapt the classic 1982 Wolverine mini-series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, which sees Logan heading to Japan, and juggles samurai action against supernatural gangsters The Hand, with a quite surprising romantic thread involving the daughter of a Yakuza family. The screenplay's first iteration was by Christopher McQuarrie, but while we're still talking about the same project, it seems that, understandably, Mangold doesn't quite intend to make that same film.

"Mark Bomback and myself have done a tremendous amount of writing on the movie,” he explains. “There’s not a page that hasn’t been re-worked and re-thought and story-boarded. Part of connecting to the movie [for me] was developing the scenes and finding the locations and devising the action." For a director used to working on personal projects (Walk The Line, Cop Land, Kate And Leopold), "it's all about making it your own.”

"This movie is an intense psychological and action-packed character piece," Mangold promises. "It's much more about Logan getting lost in these very insulated worlds of Japanese culture, gangster culture, and ninja culture. The fighting is all influenced by Japanese martial arts, and half of the characters in this movie speak Japanese. This is like a foreign-language superhero movie; it's as much a drama and a detective story and a film noir as it is anything like a conventional tentpole film.”

We really hope that studio Fox are fully on board with those notions, and that this isn't reduced to Wolverine-by-numbers in the cutting room. This is the story that star Hugh Jackman has wanted to make since the beginning (see Empire issue 268, where Jackman also namechecks Clint Eastwood's classic '70s western) so hopefully he has enough adamantium-clawed clout within the franchise to keep The Wolverine on track.

Shooting is currently cheduled for spring next year, for a 2013 release.

Source: EmpireOnline

Schwarzenegger Heads To Black Sands

Schwarzenegger Heads To Black Sands
More action follows The Last Stand

Source: Deadline

Schwarzenegger Heads To Black Sands

Everyone seems to be referring back to '70s Clint Eastwood westerns this morning: Wolverine director James Mangold is all about The Outlaw Josey Wales, and now Deadline report that Arnold Schwarzenegger's next project (following Kim Ji-woon's The Last Stand) will be Black Sands, a film along the lines of High Plains Drifter.

What they actually say is that Black Sands will be tonally similar to HPD and Man On Fire, so we're not actually looking at a film in which Arnold plays a ghostly avenger who persuades some townfolk to rename their homestead Hell, while searching for a precocious kidnapped girl.

Rather, Black Sands is about "a loner who wages war against a ruthless weapons manufacturer and his private army in the Southwest." The current draft of the screenplay is by Skip Woods, who wrote The A-Team, Hitman, Swordfish and, most recently, A Good Day To Die Hard. Previous versions were written by Sergio Altieri (Dolph Lundgren vehicle Silent Trigger) and Kevin Elders (Iron Eagle II and III).

The joint directors are Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy, whose last film was the yet-to-be-released actioner Act Of Valour, and who both seem to have pasts as stuntmen. The pair will also be exec-producing through their Bandito Brothers production company, and Albert S. Ruddy (Million Dollar Baby, The Longest Yard) is producing along with QED, the company behind Neill Blomkamp's Elysium.

Ruddy and QED are also sitting on Cry Macho, originally thought to be the film that would mark Schwarznegger's comeback (not counting The Expendables), in a more downbeat, dramatic, dare we say "age appropriate" role. That project has apparently now been back-burnered for the time being. Arnold has clearly decided that he's got a few more old-school fun action roles in him after all.

Now, let's have Dan Hedaya as that Black Sands arms dealer and Vernon Wells as his henchman, please. Shooting starts next April.

Source: EmpireOnline

Friday, October 28, 2011

New Ghost Protocol Trailer Arrives

New Ghost Protocol Trailer Arrives
'We all have our secrets...'

Source: Yahoo

The first trailer for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol was an impressive burst of adrenalin-pumping action, and the new promo is clearly engineered to keep that tradition alive while adding just a little bit of extra plot and another moment for Simon Pegg to inject some humour. Take a look below.

In this instalment of Ethan Hunt And His Team Have A Very Bad Day, we find the IMF agents dealing with another round of betrayal and bombings. After a mission at the Kremlin goes spectacularly wrong thanks to a double cross and a very large explosion, Hunt (Tom Cruise) and co are told that Russia considers the incident an act of war and in response, the US government is implementing Ghost Protocol. What’s that? That would be disavowing the entire Impossible Mission Force and classifying them as renegades. When their convoy is shot up and several members are killed, the remaining team of Hunt, Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Benji Dunn (Pegg) and Jane Carter (Paula Patton) must use what resources they have left at their disposal and track down the people who are truly responsible. But is there a traitor lurking in their midst?

The likes of Ving Rhames, Josh Holloway, Michael Nyqvist, Anil Kapoor, Tom Wilkinson and Lea Seydoux are also aboard the film, which Brad Bird directed and will be out on December 26. You may start humming the iconic theme tune… now.

And before we forget, there's loads more about the film in the new issue of Empire, in shops now. Get it even if you have to break into the server room from the outside.

Source: EmpireOnline

Final Muppets Parody Teaser Is Here

Final Muppets Parody Teaser Is Here
Ready for Breaking Prawn?

Source: YouTube

All good things must come to an end, we suppose and so it’s with heavy heart and light kidneys we announce that the Muppet gang has decided that they’re done with parody trailers for the new film. Well, after this latest, mega-meta-mash up, which you can see below!

Yes, after the likes of the Hangover spoof, the Green Lantern nod, and the epic Pig With The Froggy Tattoo, now comes one that not only acknowledges that Team Muppets have been doing these for a while now, but also manages to spoof their own parody-driven tendencies. Oh, and still finds time for quick winks at Paranormal Activity, Happy Feet, Puss In Boots and Breaking Dawn.

One of the best trailer campaigns to happen along in yonks, this has made us all the more excited to see the pic. Which, in case you forgot, finds dedicated Muppet fan Walter, big brother Gary (Jason “The” Segel) and his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) rounding up the fuzzy gang with Kermit’s help so they can put on a telethon to save their old theatre from demolition at the hands of nasty oil baron Tex Richman (Chris Cooper).

While lucky American types get to see the final product over Thanksgiving (the release date is November 23, to be exact), we have to wait until February 10, 2012. Which, as we think you’ll agree, is simply Not Fair.

Source: EmpireOnline

Sylvester Stallone Enters The Tomb

Sylvester Stallone Enters The Tomb
Expendable plans prison break

Source: Variety

Sylvester Stallone Enters The Tomb

After tempting and then losing a couple of other Expendables, high-tech prison drama The Tomb has finally landed the top dog himself, Sylvester Stallone.

The Tomb has been coming together at Summit Entertainment for some time. Early reports placed Antoine Fuqua in the director's chair, and reunited him with his Tears Of The Sun star Bruce Willis. Then there was talk of it as one of several potential post-Governator comeback roles for Arnold Schwarzenegger, before he opted for Last Stand instead.

But clearly (possibly) Arnold and Bruce liked the project enough to egg Sly onto it during their shared Expendables 2 downtime. You know how it is. You're bored in your trailer, you allow yourself to get talked into another action extravaganza...

The film involves a designer of supposedly impregnable prisons having to escape from one of his own maximum security stockades when he's framed for a crime he didn't commit (sounds like a plan that didn't come together). Miles Chapman (Protection) and Jason Keller (Machine Gun Preacher) wrote the screenplay, but Fuqua is no longer attached, since he's now off making Hunter Killer with Gerard Butler.

There's no suggestion yet that Stallone is interested in multi-tasking, so expect the announcement that a new director thas entered The Tomb in the very near future.

Source: EmpireOnline

Gillespie Quits Zombie Pride & Prejudice

Gillespie Quits Zombie Pride & Prejudice
Third director bites the dust

Source: Deadline

Gillespie Quits Zombie Pride & Prejudice

Lots of films lumber through Development Hell, but Pride And Prejudice And Zombies seems to be suffering more than most on the Production Plains of Dis. The undead literary comedy-horror mash-up has just lost Craig Gillespie, who's the third director to decide he's had enough.

Gillespie (Lars And The Real Girl, Fright Night) had inherited the film from Mike White, who'd had to drop out due to a commitment at HBO. White in turn had picked up the project when David O Russell dropped it, favouring a trip to Old St Louis with Vince Vaughn. Other names in the hat previously included Neil Marshall (The Descent, Centurion) and Jeffrey Blitz (Spellbound), but whether this news puts them back in the running (or whether they're still interested) remains to be seen.

Deadline cite Gillespie's departure as an amicable one to do with casting issues. This is a polite way of saying that nobody seems to want to be in the film. The lead role of the zombie-smashing Elizabeth Bennet has to date apparently been turned down by Natalie Portman (still a producer, as far as we know), Emma Stone, Mia Wasikowska and, most recently, Blake Lively. Shooting was supposed to get going at the beginning of next year, but with no cast and now, once again, no director, Lionsgate must be thinking about reorganising their diary.

Source: EmpireOnline

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Exclusive! New Pirates! Trailer

Exclusive! New Pirates! Trailer
Let's have An Adventure With Scientists

Source: Exclusive

Ah, Aardman, those comic geniuses from way out West (only not as West as Hollywood). The latest trailer for Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists gives us a few more clues about the plot, and by our rough count about seventy bajillion more gags, both visual and aural.

Hugh Grant voices the Pirate Captain - seen here meeting the dastardly Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) who is Not Amused - who leads his merry but less-than-totally-competent band of bucanneers around the seas in search of treasure and, preferably, the Pirate Of The Year award (modelled in this trailer by Brian Blessed's Pirate King). Things, it's fair to say, do not go entirely to plan.

The cast also includes David Tennant, Brendan Gleeson, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven, Martin Freeman, Ashley Jensen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Russell Tovey. It's all based on the first two of Gideon Defoe's Pirates! books, and directed by Aardman stalwart Peter Lord with co-director Jeff Newitt.

You can read more from Lord himself on the film in the guest blogs he's written for us here and here. The film's out on March 28 next year, and we'll be following all the developments between now and then. This is some seriously funny stuff and, it almost goes without saying, gorgeous animation.

Source: EmpireOnline

Cusack Figures Out The Numbers Station

Cusack Figures Out The Numbers Station
He's ready for the action thriller
Source: Variety

Cusack Figures Out The Numbers Station

Last year, it was announced that Watchmen’s Malin Akerman would be joining the cast of CIA thriller The Numbers Station. Things have been very quiet since, but now the film has scooped the services of John Cusack to co-star.

The Candidate’s Kasper Barfoed is directing the film, which finds Cusack as a disgraced black-ops agent shuffled off to a dead-end assignment in the Nevada desert. His job? Protect a code breaker (Akerman) working at an isolated CIA broadcast station when she’s targeted by unknown assailants.

Given that his name is nowhere near it now (and the slightly important fact that Cusack has taken over his role), it would appear that Ethan Hawke, who had been planning to produce and star, is no longer involved. Perhaps he got bored waiting for it all to come together.

The rights to the movie are being sold at the American Film Market next month, which should lock in the budget. But either way, it’ll also start shooting shortly after that.

Cusack, meanwhile, will next crop up in The Raven and The Paperboy, and he’s currently filming crime thriller The Frozen Ground with Nic Cage.

Source: EmpireOnline

Phillip Noyce Considers The Arrangement

Phillip Noyce Considers The Arrangement
The story of an indecent proposal...

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Phillip Noyce Considers The Arrangement

He’s pondering a variety of projects before picking his next directorial job, and now Salt director Phillip Noyce has added one more enticing possibility to the list, locking in a deal to make The Arrangement.

Brian Tucker, who also penned Mark Wahlberg/Russell Crowe drama Broken City, has written the script. It’ll focus on a married couple whose relationship is severely tested when a wealthy man offers them a bailout loan – in exchange for spending three days with the wife. Why yes, it does sound like a sneaky remake of 1993's Indecent Proposal, doesn't it?

Mandate seems pleased with the choice of director. "He’s a remarkably talented director of genre,” said company president Nathan Kahane tells the Hollywood Reporter. “He’s also someone that hopefully will put us in the conversation with movie stars. There are audacious roles to be had. The villain is a full meal character." So… The bad guy is the Mayor McCheese? Okay, probably not.

They’ll likely have to wait, though: Noyce is closer to being ready to make Timeless, the tale of a man who ploughs the fortune left to him by his dead wife into finding a way to time travel and see her again one last time. Liam Hemsworth is attached to star, so chances are that will shoot first.

And Noyce hasn’t sat on his hands since making Salt – he’s been producing new US TV drama Revenge, which just won a full-season order. Noyce directed the pilot and has shot two of the other episodes, but he’s now returning back to film land for a while…

Source: EmpireOnline

New Dragon Tattoo Poster Comes Forth

New Dragon Tattoo Poster Comes Forth
What is hidden in snow...

Source: Mouth Taped Shut

There are all kinds of viral online shenanigans going on in the lead up to the release of David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The latest reveal comes from the "unofficial" Mouth Taped Shut website, and it's the final version of a poster teased a couple of weeks ago.

"There's a Swedish proverb: 'What is hidden in snow comes forth in the thaw'," Fincher told Empire in issue 269. "We'll probably use it on a poster." Here it is:

Not quite as in-your-face as previous, notorious, nipple-exposing banners then. Rather than LIsbeth Salander's goth aggression, this one evokes the atmosphere of icey chill that score-composer Trent Reznor says has been central to the production.

The thick black frame and the flower are also a nod to the annual gifts Henrik Vanger receives from an unknown sender. There's currently a game afoot where you can decipher fiendish clues to find similar Fincher-signed items in American cities.

Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgard, Christopher Plummer and Joely Richardson star in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Steve Zaillian wrote the screenplay, and it's out on December 26. Fincher is currently "negotiating" with Sony for a three-hour cut.

Source: EmpireOnline

Harry Potter DVDs To Disappear

Harry Potter DVDs To Disappear
Warners announce moratorium

Source: Warner Bros

Harry Potter DVDs To Disappear

In an evil conjuring trick worthy of He Who Must Not Be Named, Warner Bros. have revealed that all the current versions of the Harry Potter DVDs will go out of print on December 29. And yes, that does include Deathly Hallows Part 2, which isn't even out until December 2. Better get in quick if you want your set to match!

What this means in practice is not that all copies will suddenly dry up and be withdrawn and recalled, but that after that date, new copies will no longer be available to order from stockists. So once they're gone from the shelves, that'll be it for a while. It looks to be the same model that Disney uses for its classic titles: releasing them for short periods and then locking them in the vaults again. It also briefly happened to the James Bond films in the run up to Quantum of Solace and the current gold-spined special editions.

Warners haven't made any announcements as to when the Potter franchise might reappear, but it seems likely that the "resting" of the original releases will pave the way for some swanky new versions at some later date. Warners' official statement runs thusly:

"Harry Potter, the #1 motion picture franchise of all time, will soon disappear from shelves, as Warner Bros. stops shipping all Harry Potter theatrical film titles (including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, and Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection) as of December 29, 2011 (moratorium does not include digital Electronic Sell-Through & VOD or games). The Harry Potter franchise has grossed more than $12.1 billion for Warner Bros. Entertainment, with $7 billion at the worldwide box office for Warner Bros. Pictures and $5.1 billion for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment."

Source: EmpireOnline

Friday, October 21, 2011

New Resistance Poster Online

New Resistance Poster Online
Andrea Riseborough vs. Nazis

Source: Exclusive

New Resistance Poster Online

In the sort of "what if" likely to give you the wiggins, new film Resistance imagines what Britain might have been like in 1944 if the Nazis had turned back the D-Day invasion of Normandy and invaded Blighty in return. And here, to give you some idea of what you're in for, is the UK quad for the film.

The story focuses on women in an isolated Welsh village in occupied GB who wake up one morning to find their husbands gone. Nefarious Nazi scheme? Or have the men all gone off to start fighting back? When a German patrol marches in to occupy the town and the whole lot get snowed in and have to work together to survive, the situation gets a bit more complicated.

The film stars up-and-come Brit star Andrea Riseborough, Enemy At The Gates' Tom Wlaschia and Michael Sheen. It's based on the novel by Owen Sheers and directed by newcomer Amit Gupta. Look out for it on November 25.

Source: EmpireOnline

Singer's Battlestar Film Has A Writer

Singer's Battlestar Film Has A Writer
John Orloff got the scripting job

Source: Deadline

Singer's Battlestar Film Has A Writer

Like most of his current projects, Bryan Singer has taken his sweet frakkin’ time tooling about with his new take on Battlestar Galactica. But now, a couple of years after the news first broke, comes word that Anonymous writer John Orloff is closing a deal to write the script for the film.

Despite the fact that Ronald D. Moore’s superbly re-imagined TV series is still fairly fresh in our minds, Singer, Orloff and Universal seem convinced they’ve got the goods to produce something fresh and new. Well, newer.

“I have wanted to write this movie since I was 12 years old, and built a Galactica model from scratch out of balsa wood, cardboard, old model parts and LEDs,” Orloff tells Deadline. “I love BSG, and I would pass on the job rather than frak it up.” He’d better not, or he’ll have an awful lot of irate Battlestar fans to deal with.

And Singer’s even more passionate about it, having held on to the idea of relaunching Starbuck, Apollo and the rest for 10 years or so (he tried to get his own TV version off the ground before Moore, but September 11 scuppered his plans). He’s been busy with other things – most recently Jack The Giant Killer, which he’s now editing – and a few other projects, most of which have since dropped off the development vine. His planned reworking of Excalibur, for example, was ditched by Warners because it had another King Arthur movie in development.

Of course, Orloff, who also wrote A Mighty Heart and Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole, still has to get cracking on Battlestar, so it won’t be jumping into our cinemas just yet. But what say you? Is there scope for yet another take on BSG? Or should they leave well enough alone now?

Source: EmpireOnline

Will Ferrell Says He's F*****G Perfect

Will Ferrell Says He's F*****G Perfect
Producing a new comedy script

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Will Ferrell Says He's F*****G Perfect

No, Will Ferrell isn’t trying to claim that he himself is the very model of perfection. He’s F*****g Perfect is actually the title of a new comedy script that the actor/writer/producer is overseeing via his and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions.

Lauren Kahn is behind the script, and, exemplifying the right-place-right-time nature of Hollywood, she’s been McKay’s assistant for several years, which has allowed her to write and direct work for the likes of website Funny Or Die.

Now she’s penned her first film script, which follows a woman who Facebook-stalks the blokes her friends are dating so she can warn them if anything crops up or they turn out to be losers. But then she spots one who she considers perfect, and starts trying to convince her pal to dump him so she can date him instead. Ouch…

Fox 2000 has nabbed the spec, with Ferrell and McKay agreeing to produce. There’s no director attached just yet.

Finding a way to break up friends’ relationships so you can steal their other half seems to be a common theme suddenly: just yesterday, Bad Teacher writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky sold a pitch to Sony about just that subject…

Source: EmpireOnline

Catherine Zeta-Jones Off To Broken City

Catherine Zeta-Jones Off To Broken City
She'll be Russell Crowe's wife

Source: Deadline

Catherine Zeta-Jones Off To Broken City

The cast of Allen Hughes’ drama Broken City has just expanded by one as Catherine Zeta-Jones has locked in a deal to climb aboard.

City finds Mark Wahlberg as a Brooklyn detective hired by the mayor (Russell Crowe) to find out who his wife (Zeta-Jones) is cheating with. Wahlberg tracks the man down, but then the lover in question turns up dead, leading him to take the murder personally and start digging further into the mayor’s activities. What he discovers leads him to suspect a much bigger conspiracy than he ever imagined.

Brian Tucker, who has also penned a remake of Sympathy For Mr Vengeance, wrote the script, and Hughes aims to kick off shooting next month in New York.

Zeta-Jones has been busy recently, notching up work in musical adaptation Rock Of Ages, soccer mom comedy drama Playing The Field and gambling crime pic Lay The Favourite alongside Bruce Willis and Vince Vaughn.

Source: EmpireOnline