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Monday, June 18, 2012

Jonah Hill Joins Django Unchained


Jonah Hill Joins Django Unchained
But who is he playing?

Source: Deadline

Jonah Hill Joins Django Unchained

You might think that, with filming long since underway (and having shot enough footage to produce more than one trailer), Quentin Tarantino would have filled every conceivable position on Django Unchained. But you would be wrong! Because Deadline reports that Jonah Hill has signed on for a role.
It’s not Hill’s first dalliance with the Django universe. Back when QT was first gathering the cast for the film, the 21 Jump Street star was considered to play a character called Scotty Harmony, a loathsome sort who loses Django (Jamie Foxx)’s wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) to the nasty Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). He couldn’t take it at the time, but Tarantino didn’t forget about him and he’s now won another, as-yet unspecified part in the film.
Hill is already set to work with DiCaprio this year on Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street, but hasn't forgotten his comedy roots. He'll be seen in The Watch (out on August 29) and has been shooting a cameo in The End Of The World for old mates Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel. Meanwhile, check out the latest trailer for Django Unchained right here.

Source: EmpireOnline

Colin Farrell Considers Saving Mr Banks


Colin Farrell Considers Saving Mr Banks
Mary Poppins: Origins eyes new actor

Source: Deadline

Colin Farrell Considers Saving Mr Banks

Saving Mr Banks, which sees Disney chronicling how one of its own enduring classics came to be, is hitting the casting agencies hard to draw in a leading crew. Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson are already aboard, and they could soon be joined by Colin Farrell, who is in talks to sign on.
John Lee Hancock is directing the film, which charts Walt Disney (Hanks)’s 14-year attempt to convince author PL Travers (Thompson) to let him make a film of her Mary Poppins stories. The tale of the magical nanny was close to Travers’ heart, as it was born from the hardships she faced in her own life, including the death of her father at the age of seven.
Of course, she did eventually agree to sell the rights, but despite audiences embracing the result, Travers reportedly loathed the animated sequences so much that she bluntly refused to let Disney near any of her other work.
If he hatches a deal, Farrell will be playing the elder Travers, who is the inspiration for Mr Banks in the Poppins tale. It’ll be quite a change from some of his recent work, especially after last year's bad-guys fest (Horrible Bosses, Fright Night). Farrell is currently shooting the thriller Dead Man Down and will show up in Total Recall (August 29), Seven Psychopaths and Winter’s Tale.

Source: EmpireOnline

Huntington-Whiteley Set For Fury Road


Huntington-Whiteley Set For Fury Road
She'll join the new Mad Max
Source: Deadline

Huntington-Whiteley Set For Fury Road

After years of false starts, casting shifts and weather problems, George Miller is finally set to gun the engine on Mad Max: Fury Road. And someone new will be heading to Namibia to shoot next month (assuming it really goes ahead this time), with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley aboard.
The model-turned-actress (stop rolling your eyes at that last part) got her start gawking at / running away from giant robots in Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, and while we doubt she’ll be called upon to do too much heavy lifting, acting-wise (when you have Oscar winner Charlize Theron as your female lead, you’re sorted), she’s playing one of the Five Wives, part of a convoy of women being chased down by the villains of the piece before Tom Hardy’s Max helps out. We guess that's the story anyway; plot details are still largely secret as of right now.
But with Hardy and Theron locked in, and Abbey Lee Kershaw, Richard Norton, Zoe Kravitz and possibly Nicholas Hoult all aboard, Fury Road will start in July. There’s no word on when it’ll hit cinemas, though.

Source: EmpireOnline

Shawn Levy Has Monster Problems


Shawn Levy Has Monster Problems
Producing a post-apocalypse road movie

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Shawn Levy Has Monster Problems

His Frankenstein project with Max Landis remains on the operating table for the time being, but Shawn Levy will be developing other Monster Problems in the near future. He's just picked up a spec script by Brian Duffield, which he'll produce via his 21 Laps company.
Details are scarce, but the film is being described as a post-apocalyptic road movie. Names like Mad Max, Zombieland and, oddly, John Hughes have been thrown around as reference points, so maybe it's a sort of Undead Ferris Bueller Beyond Thunderdome. Or something.
Duffield is the buzzy young screenwriter behind Jane's Got A Gun, which caught the eye of Natalie Portman and Lynne Ramsay, and Your Bridesmaid Is A Bitch, which is being directed by Tucker & Dale Vs Evil's Eli Craig.
No start dates or green lights or directors or stars yet, so we'll keep you posted. Levy will start shooting The Internship, with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, next month.

Source: EmpireOnline

Could Josh Hartnett Be Daredevil?


Could Josh Hartnett Be Daredevil?
David Slade tweets without fear

Source: David Slade's Twitter


This is the merest shred of a suggestion, based on a very short exchange that's open to various interpretations... But ever since David Slade became attached to direct the new Daredevil, a certain name has regularly cropped up as a focus of internet speculation, and eagle-eyed followers of the twittersphere may just have seen Slade's first confirmation that he'd like Josh Hartnett to be his Matt Murdock.
The suggestion stems from a brief exchange where a follower says she hopes Slade gets to Daredevil soon, and suggests, not entirely tangentially, that she'd love to see Hartnett given a role in the Marvel universe. To which Slade replies, "You and me both."

NOW, seriously: salt, pinches of. That could simply be Slade agreeing that it'd be nice if Josh scored a cool job in something Marvel-y, especially since he was beaten to Thor/The Avengers' Loki by Tom Hiddleston. Slade could even just be agreeing that he hopes he gets to Daredevil soon, and not be talking about Hartnett at all.
Given Slade and Hartnett's previous relationship though - Hartnett starred in Slade's 30 Days Of Night - you could also read that as confirmation that, as many have surmised, Hartnett is indeed on Slade's wishlist to fill the red tights and wield the billy club.
Just a point of interest at this stage then, but certainly one to watch. What we do know is that the most recent draft of the screenplay is by David James Kelly, and that the plan is to adapt Frank Miller's Born Again, which should give us The Kingpin creatively dismantling Murdock's life and supervillain Nuke laying waste to New York's Hell's Kitchen.
The only other name officially linked to the film at this point is producer Peter Chernin (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes), and Regency is the production company. We'll bring you more news as we get it. 

Source: EmpireOnline

New Writer Set For Nineteen Eighty-Four



New Writer Set For Nineteen Eighty-Four
Noah Oppenheim starts doublethinking 
Source: Deadline

New Writer Set For Nineteen Eighty-Four

Last we heard, Imagine Entertainment's new adaptation of George Orwell's dystopian classic Nineteen Eighty-Four was "out to writers". Imagine has now finished scouring the Ministry Of Screenplays and have found their man. It's Noah Oppenheim. Double plus good!
The novel, as you know, was written in 1948, and is a satire of the totalitarian regimes of the mid-century. It centers on Winston Smith, a pen-pusher for the Ministry Of Truth, whose job is to rewrite news and history as propaganda for the all-seeing but never-seen political behemoth Big Brother. Smith secretly hates the system, keeping a diary which, if discovered by the Thought Police, would - and does - land him in immense trouble ("Thoughtcrime does not entail death; thoughtcrime is death"). And he embarks on an affair with the similarly rebellious Julia, until they are discovered and given life-changing appointments in the terrifying Room 101...
Much-studied and massively familiar (to the extent that much of its terminology is now common parlance and the word "Orwellian" has become an adjective in itself), it's surprising to realise that the book hasn't actually been filmed since the version in, you guessed it, 1984, directed by Michael Radford and starring John Hurt and Richard Burton.
This new version has somehow come about via Shepard Fairey, the street artist who famously designed the much-imitated Barak Obama "Hope" banner in 2008. Quite what his involvement has been remains unclear, but it seems he was instrumental in bringing the project to Imagine (run by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard), and may garner a producer credit. Julie Yorn and her LBI Entertainment had also been seeking the rights, and the two companies have now joined forces.
Oppenheim was a senior producer on NBC's Today show before he moved into screenwriting. He's not yet had a script get as far as the screen, but he's written The Secret Life Of Houdini for Summit Entertainment, and the developing remakes of Wargames and Snabba Cash.
A studio for Nineteen Eighty-Four will be set once there's a complete script to show people. Big Empire will be watching, and will bring you further Newspeak in due course.

Source: EmpireOnline

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hugh Laurie May Be Robocop's Villain


Hugh Laurie May Be Robocop's Villain
He's up to play a nasty corporate type

13 June 2012  |  Written by James White  |  Source: Variety

Hugh Laurie May Be Robocop's Villain

He’s ditched the cane and doesn’t have to maintain a near-constant level of scruffy chin stubble, but while Hugh Laurie is no longer playing House he has no plans to get back to bumbling do-gooders just yet. According to Variety, he’s in talks to join the Robocop reboot as the villain of the piece.
The casting for Sony / MGM’s new take on Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi classic is really shaping up in interesting ways. We already have Joel Kinnaman as Alex Murphy, the cop brutally gunned down and reborn as the cyborg lawman. Gary Oldman is playing a scientist named Norton who helps rebuild Murphy, with Samuel L Jackson taking the role of a powerful, uber-patriotic media mogul. And most recently, Abbie Cornish was offered the part of Murphy’s conflicted wife, struggling with the fact that she’s only about 80% a widow.
Assuming he makes a deal, Laurie will be the moneygrubbing head of Omni Corp (we’re hoping they maintain the Omni Consumer Products name for nostalgia’s sake), the company that creates Robocop to boost their profit margin rather than because of any real worries about crime.
Josh Zetumer wrote the most recent draft of the script, and Jose Padilha is set to start shooting this summer. Laurie will next be seen on the big screen in novel adaptation Mr Pip.

Source: EmpireOnline

Henry Hill Has Died


Henry Hill Has Died
Goodfellas inspiration dies age 69
Source: TMZ

Henry Hill Has Died

Not a filmmaker but a piece of film history nonetheless, the man who inspired Goodfellas has died aged 69. Henry Hill was a sometime gangster who turned state's evidence after being arrested for drug use, and helped to put away dozens of mobsters.
Hill was born in 1943 in Brooklyn, and grew up idolising the local Lucchese crime family, before joining the ranks of their hangers on in his teens. He worked his way up the ranks, involved in several major heists, before he was arrested in 1980. He gave evidence at that point against his former friends, with 50 wiseguys being sent to prison as a result.
Hill was then put in the Witness Protection Programme for more than a decade, before his propensity for getting into trouble got him kicked out of the programme. In 1986 he collaborated with reporter Nicholas Pileggi on a book called Wiseguy about his life, which was filmed by Martin Scorsese and released in 1990 as GoodFellas. This made him something of a media celebrity, and led to many appearances on the Howard Stern show and elsewhere.
Hill is survived by two children and his girlfriend Lisa, and died after illness in Los Angeles.

Source: EmpireOnline

New Premise For Woman In Black Sequel


New Premise For Woman In Black Sequel
Hammer reveals the set-up
Source: Shock Till You Drop

New Premise For Woman In Black Sequel

We knew it was taking the story forward a few years, and we knew it had a sub-title, but we didn't yet know any other concrete details about Hammer's The Woman In Black: Angels Of Death. That's now changed however, with the reveal of the full set-up.
The sequel to James Watkins' scare-fest takes place during World War II, when Eel Marsh House has been seized by the British government and turned into a military mental hospital. The psychic energy generated by an influx of psychologically disturbed patients, shall we say, doesn't go unnoticed by the malevolent black-clad, incorporeal incumbent.
Our protagonist this time around is Eve, a psychiatric nurse sent to work at the house, who soon realises she's got more to deal with than shellshocked squaddies.
Angels Of Death was green-lit back in April, in the wake of the first film scoring box-office results that pleasantly surprised everyone. There was never a follow-up to The Woman In Black in book-form, but the new story has been suggested and developed for Hammer by original author Susan Hill. Simon Oakes, Hammer's CEO, says, "We are proud and honoured to be working with Susan again on... a wonderful new tale every bit as atmospheric and terrifying as its predecessor."
The actual screenplay this time is by Jon Croker, taking a step-up from his position as story editor first time around. There's no director, cast or start-date yet, but we'll keep you posted.

Source: EmpireOnline

Monday, June 11, 2012

Zachary Levi In Talks For Thor 2



Zachary Levi In Talks For Thor 2
Chuck star replacing Josh Dallas
Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Zachary Levi In Talks For Thor 2

Casting change-up! We have a casting change-up! Word arrived on Friday via Entertainment Weekly that Josh Dallas, AKA Thor’s Fandral, would regretfully have to skip shooting the sequel because he’s committed to work on US fantasy drama Once Upon A Time. Marvel, it would appear, has acted quickly to start locking down a replacement and Chuck's / Tangled's Zachary Levi is in early talks to take over the part.
If he does sign a deal – which is apparently looking likely – it’ll be cosmic karma worthy of Asgard itself with Levi. See, he was in talks to play that very role in the original but had to pull out when his own show (spy comedy drama Chuck) was rescued from cancellation. With Chuck now officially finished, it looks like Levi is finally getting his turn as Fandral.
He’ll be joining a cast that already includes returning thesps Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins, along with some guy one or two of you seem to be fans of… Tom Heidelberg? Higginbotham? Hiddleston! That’s it… And, more recently, Mads Mikkelsen entered negotiations to play another villain. Our fingers remain crossed that Kat Dennings will also be back as Darcy.
Game Of Thrones veteran Alan Taylor is preparing to start cranking the cameras next month. No word has yet leaked on what the plot will be, but we’re promised a darker look at Asgard this time around - and for more on that, pick up the current issue of Empire (here for US readers).

Source: EmpireOnline

Benjamin Walker Climbs The Great Wall



Benjamin Walker Climbs The Great Wall
He's joining the adventure mystery
Source: Deadline

Benjamin Walker Climbs The Great Wall

Ed Zwick, who last brought the world romantic comedy drama Love & Other Drugs is switching back to his other favourite genre, historical epic, for his next film. The Great Wall will be set around the building of China’s most famous architectural work and already features Henry Cavill in a lead role. He’s now got a co-leading man in the shape of Benjamin Walker.
With word on Walker’s casting also arrives some new information about the plot. Zwick’s script finds a group of British warriors in 15th century China arriving at the wall as it's being hurriedly constructed. Turns out the rush isn’t just because Mongols have been giving the Chinese soldiers problems. It’s because nightfall brings something much more dangerous. And far more otherworldly…
The men aren't the only pieces of casting announced for the film, as Deadline reports that Zhang Ziyi is also under consideration along with some other well known Chinese names. But no deals have been reached yet. And included in that report is news that the movie's start date has been pushed back from this autumn to next spring, largely due to the weather conditions in the Chinese and New Zealand locations.
So it would appear that Cavill, Walker and the rest will be battling supernatural creatures. At least Walker has a little experience with that, as he plays the title role in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which is out on June 20.

Source: EmpireOnline

Iron Man 3: It Wasn't Iron Patriot


Iron Man 3: It Wasn't Iron Patriot
UPDATE: It was a new War Machine
Source: Latino Review

Iron Man 3: It Wasn't Iron Patriot

UPDATE: A week or so ago we brought you the story below, based on some pap shots that seemed to suggest the star-spangled Iron Patriot armour (or possibly Detroit Steel) would be showing up in Iron Man 3. Not quite the case, according to some more digging by Latino Review: it's apparently a snazzily updated version of Don Cheadle's War Machine armour. This is what happens when the US Government (and Hammer Industries?) gets hold of a Stark suit...
...
With Shane Black's Iron Man 3 currently shooting in North Carolina, more details other than basic casting are starting to leak from the set. Latino Review believe they've confirmed that Ben Kingsley, as previously much suspected, is indeed playing Tony Stark's stalwart antagonist The Mandarin. But perhaps more surprising is SuperHeroHype's reveal that Iron Patriot might be about to make an appearance.
If you'd rather avoid knowing any further details, you'd best bail out now.
Still here? Right, Mandarin first. Jon Favreau (director of the first two films, and still playing Happy Hogan in the third) said ages ago that the not-so-politicaly-correct evil genius and Ten Rings honcho would be likely to make an appearance in the future. The word on the street here though, is that he's only a secondary villain in this instance, likely providing shadowy back-up for Guy Pearce's Aldrich Killian. With Extremis the premise this time around, it's possible that The Mandarin is being moved into position for more mischief even further down the line.
Iron Patriot, meanwhile, is the star-spangled armour worn by Spider-Man villain Norman Osborne in the comics, during all the Dark Avengers / Secret Invasion business in 2009. It's basically a mash-up of an Iron Man suit and the Captain America costume (Cap having been temporarily deceased at the time).
Since Norman Osborne currently belongs to Sony, however, the Patriot armour, as apparently revealed in some pap shots, is being worn in Iron Man 3 by... someone else (possibly James Badge Dale, who's playing Eric Savin; Savin in the Marvel canon is the super-soldier-cyborg Coldblood).
So how does all this fit together? Where's Black going with all this? Are the Patriot shots an elaborate hoax? Or, as again suggested by LR, is this not Iron Patriot at all, but rather Detroit Steel, the super-pumped and equally starry-and-stripey armour from more recent Iron Man comics? Are Hammer Industries on the warpath? Give us your musings in the comments below.
Iron Man 3, of course, stars Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Ashley Hamilton, as well as the aformentioned Kingsley, Pearce, Dale and Favreau. It's out in the UK on May 3 next year.

Source: EmpireOnline