Monday, February 21, 2005

Monday MOVIE News


Grace and Welling in "The Fog"
Revolution Studios has hired Maggie Grace and Tom Welling will star in the remake of John Carpenter's "The Fog." The story is set in a Northern California town where, about 100 years earlier, a ship sank under mysterious circumstances in a thick, eerie fog. The ghosts of the deceased seaman return from their watery graves to seek their revenge. EDITOR'S NOTE: WHAT AN INCREDIBLY PRETTY CASTING. WISH I CARED.

Cooper Layne is writing the script based on the original screenplay by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. Rupert Wainwright will direct. Debra Hill, David Foster and John Carpenter will produce.

Whedon to "Wonder"?
The Sci-Fi Wire had a chance to chat with Joel Silver this past Saturday, at WonderCon, about his "Wonder Woman" project. Silver told them he is interested in having Josh Whedon write and direct the new film version.

Silver is quoted as saying, "'Donner reinvented Superman after George Reeves. It's time to do that to Wonder Woman... The idea is to try to find a way to make it, and I thought Joss has a great idea, because he understands a kind of female superhero character, and also he's great at what he does. So I'm trying to find the best way to do it. ... We're working our way through it.EDITOR'S NOTE: CONSTANTLY PANDERING TO WHEDON'ITES.....

Sommers Heading to "Magic Kingdom
Stephen Sommers has been set to direct a film based on the book series "Magic Kingdom for Sale" by Terry Brooks. Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel will adapt the screenplay.

The series of books tell the story of a widowed attorney who leaves his old life behind when he responds to a mysterious ad and spends his fortune to purchase a magical kingdom. He and his two children get more than they bargained for when they find the kingdom on the verge of chaos. EDITOR'S NOTE: NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH DISNEY'S MAGIC KINGDOM....CURRENTLY ON THE VERGE OF CHAOS. (BAD QOTD. BAD BAD. AND THE MOUSE HAS BIIIIIGGGG EARS.....)


Anderson is the "Man with the Football"
It has been announced that Paul W.S. Anderson will direct the thriller "Man With the Football." The story revolves around a group of terrorists who steal the U.S. president's "football" -- the briefcase containing computer and telecommunications equipment that can launch a nuclear strike -- has been floating around the studio system for years.

Neal Moritz will produce for Columbia Pictures. The project was first setup in 1994 with Sylvest Stallone attached to star.

Proyas to Helm Supernatural Thriller "Knowing
Alex Proyas will direct the supernatural thriller "Knowing" for Escape Artists.

The story centers a man who opens a time capsule that contains some terrifying predictions -- some have already happened and some are about to. EDITOR'S NOTE: DO ANY OF THEM MENTION WMD'S AND HOMELAND SECURITY? (SNICKER....)The original script was written by Ryne Pearson. Stiles White and Juliet Snowden have rewritten the script.

Disney Loves "Pan" Prequel
Disney animation has optioned bestselling children's book "Peter and the Starcatchers," by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

In this loose prequel to "Peter Pan," a modern 8-year-old Peter leads a group of orphaned boys on the ship Never Land. Peter and shipmate Molly lead an effort to recover a trunk of magical starstuff, before it can fall into the hands of the pirate Black Stache. EDITOR'S NOTE: I THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING FOR SOMETHING MORE FANTASTICAL. (GIGGLE)

Warner Digs Up "Bone"
Warner Bros. has acquired screen rights to "Midnight for Charlie Bone" and the four books that follow in the bestselling fantasy series by Jenny Nimmo. Neil Alsip will adapt the book into a script.

The "Bone" series centers on 10 years old Charlie who discovers that he is able to look at photographs and hear conversations and even thoughts that were taking place at the time the photo was taken, a legacy of his ancestor the Red King, whose descendants all have different magical abilities. Charlie hears one conversation that sets him on a search for a girl who has been missing for years, and when he begins attending Bloor's Academy, an elite boarding school for the rich and the endowed, his life becomes full of intrigue and danger. EDITOR'S NOTE: UNLIKE OUR DRAB, WRETCHED, UN-INTRIGUING LIVES. WHIMPER......

Spielberg's Munich film opening at Christmas
Universal Pictures is planning a Dec. 23 launch for Steven Spielberg's film about the 1972 Munich Olympics.The untitled project, a co-production between Universal and DreamWorks with Universal handling domestic distribution, had been set to go before the cameras last year.

Preproduction had begun in Europe and casting was under way when Spielberg decided to have "Angels in America" playwright Tony Kushner do a rewrite on the project, on which writers Eric Roth and Charles Randolph also had worked.

With the project postponed, Spielberg moved quickly to begin filming his adaptation of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds," a Paramount Pictures/DreamWorks co-production starring Tom Cruise, which Paramount will release June 29.

Spielberg now plans to begin filming the Munich project in the summer.The specifics of the Munich project, which is believed to focus on the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics and its aftermath, have been carefully guarded.EDITOR'S NOTE: UNLIKE THE ATHLETE DORMS IN 1972. (OUCH. SORRY).

Spielberg is producing along with Kathleen Kennedy and Barry Mendel.Speaking to analysts Tuesday at the Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Pictures chairman Stacey Snider said a Spielberg film was being planned for a release late this year, though she did not mention details.Universal's developing year-end lineup is potentially formidable because at the moment it also includes such films as Peter Jackson's "King Kong" and the screen version of the Mel Brooks musical "The Producers."EDITOR'S NOTE: AT LEAST THEY WON'T ALL BE DEPRESSING. LIKE THE HOLIDAYS AREN'T HARD ENOUGH?

Cast fights for 'Eucalyptus'
Fox Searchlight's decision, announced Friday, to shut down "Eucalyptus," the film which was to have starred Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, has sent shock waves through the Australian film industry, and some of the actors involved are voicing their own theories about why the project was postponed indefinitely.

The media has characterized the high-profile, $25 million film's collapse as a major blow to the local film industry.

Lawrie Zion, writing in the Weekend Australian newspaper, said, "After a horror 2004 for the Australian film industry, 'Eucalyptus' ... was seen as one of the big local hopes this year, especially with its Oscar-winning leads."

The film's demise has left 80 crew members without jobs and the small town of Bellingen in northern New South Wales reeling because the locals will lose three months' worth of accommodation bookings and associated business.

'Great' roles for Ganz, Everett
Bruno Ganz, Rupert Everett and Catherine O'Hara are in final negotiations to star in "The Great Farrell," a period piece based on the novel "Buried Alive" by British Victorian writer Arnold Bennett, the film's producers told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday at the Berlin International Film Festival.

"The Great Farrell" will be the next project for Ganz, who has earned rave reviews and a Bavarian Film Award for his chilling portrayal of Adolf Hitler in the Oscar-nominated "Downfall."

The $12 million production will be directed by German TV helmer Martin Waltz and is set to begin principal photography in June in England and the Isle of Mann.

Pitt takes on 'Schmidt' for Col project
Brad Pitt is attached to star in "Chad Schmidt," a new Steve Conrad script that has been sold to Columbia Pictures for more than $1 million. "Schmidt" centers on a talented young actor who moves to Los Angeles in the 1980s to pursue his dream of movie stardom. The twist is that he bears a peculiarly strong resemblance to another up-and-coming actor named Brad Pitt.

As the real Pitt achieves a dazzling level of fame, the fictional Schmidt, for all of his talent, becomes a comic uncastable joke. Ultimately, Schmidt must struggle to overcome the blow of abandoning his dreams and must make peace with the hard realities of life. EDITOR'S NOTE: I DON'T KNOW......DO YOU THINK PITT HAS THE RIGHT 'LOOK' FOR THE ROLE?

Escape Artists partners Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch are producing "Schmidt." The executive producers are Escape Artists CEO David Alper and Conrad. Amy Baer will oversee for Columbia. Conrad's credits include Columbia's "Pursuit of Happiness," Paramount's "The Weather Man" and Warner Bros. Pictures' "Wrestling Ernest Hemingway." Conrad is repped by Endeavor.

Columbia Hopes Smith "Comes"
Columbia Pictures is in talks with Will Smith to star in "Tonight, He Comes" by Vincent Ngo. Jonathan Mostow is set to direct. Akiva Goldsman and Michael Mann will produce. Vince Gilligan has rewritten the script once and will do more work on it as Mostow & the producers tailor the project for Smith.

The story is about a superhero who crash-lands in Sheepshead Bay, N.Y., and causes chaos as he romances a local housewife in an attempt to revitalize himself.

Goyer Grabs "Fall"
David Goyer, Bently Tittle and Pascale Faubert have optioned the rights to "The Fall," a graphic novel by Ed Brubaker and Jason Lutes. The modern-noir story centers on a luckless clerk who gets caught up in an unsolved murder case when he finds a mislaid credit card.

Ed Brubaker will write the script. David Goyer, Bently Tittle and Pascale Faubert will produce the film.

Purefoy Joins Portman For "Vendetta"
James Purefoy has signed on to star opposite Natalie Portman in Warner Bros.' "V for Vendetta." Purefoy will play "V" a freedom fighter who uses terrorist tactics to fight the oppressive society.

Joel Silver and the Wachowski brothers will produce. Wachowskis wrote the screenplay, EDITOR'S NOTE: IN CRAYON, NO DOUBT.....which is based on the 10-issue comic book by Alan Moore and illustrator David Lloyd.

Filming is scheduled to take place in Berlin beginning in early March for a fall release.

Radcliffe's Graphic Novels Go Platinum
Platinum Studios has acquired rights to the next four graphic novels by Wil Radcliffe to develop as live-action features.

The four novels are "Bone Hill," a thriller about a psychiatrist trying to save a young female patient whose psychoses might hold the key to ending an ancient evil; "Macabre," a teen supernatural horror story about a young man possessed by a vengeful spirit; "The Whisper King," about a man who must protect a group of kids from the monsters who abducted him as a child; and "Play Dead," in which a family is haunted by the malevolent spirit of their beloved household pet. EDITOR'S NOTE: NICE DOGGIE......

Radcliffe was raised in Northeast Indiana. The area provided a great deal of inspiration for his writing. EDITOR'S NOTE: MALEVOLENT PETS AND CHILD-ABDUCTING MONSTERS LIVE IN INDIANA? His work has appeared in "Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine," "Comics Buyer's Guide," and "Cracked Magazine." He currently lives in Indiana with his wife, Loubna, and his daughter, Julia.

'Love' in air for Parker
Par Paramount Pictures has acquired poet Marisa de los Santos' first novel, "Love Walked In."

Sarah Jessica Parker is attached to star.

Michael London Prods., which recently inked an overall deal at Paramount, will produce with Parker, who brought the property to London.

The duo is currently at work on "Family Stone," previously known as "Hating Her," and starts shooting next week for Fox 2000.

"Love" is the story of a sophisticated thirtysomething woman who thinks she has found the man of her dreams, but he has an 11-year-old daughter he left when the girl was 2. When the child shows up one day, a relationship develops between the child and the woman.


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