Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Freeman and Holm both playing Bilbo in The Hobbit

Martin Freeman won't be the only actor playing Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit.

Director Peter Jackson posted on his Facebook page that Ian Holm, who played Bilbo in the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, will reprise his role as the elderly Baggins in the two-part screen adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien classic.

The Hobbit is now filming in New Zealand, with Part 1 set for a late 2012 debut.

Kate Beckinsale Offered role in Total Recall Remake

Kate Beckinsale has been offered one of the female leads in the Total Recall remake -- the Sharon Stone role, which is the juicer of the two in the original film if you ask me.

However, Deadline reports that Beckinsale, who is married to the remake's director Len Wiseman, hasn't yet accepted the gig. 

The other female lead is that of Melina (played in the original by Rachel Ticotin). Eva Mendes and Rosario Dawson are leading the race on that front, reportedly. Get your ass to Mars, ladies! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

24 Movie in 2012

Jack Bauer is set to return in the not-too-distant future. So don't go swallowing any SIM cards between now and then!

Uber-producer Brian Grazer recently tweeted the following:

I actually spoke to Kiefer Sutherland last month and he told me the same thing: 2012 or bust.

Superman Villian Announced

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures announced that Michael Shannon will star in the role of General Zod in director Zack Snyder's new Superman film, titled Man of Steel.

Snyder stated, "Zod is not only one of Superman's most formidable enemies, but one of the most significant because he has insights into Superman that others don't. Michael is a powerful actor who can project both the intelligence and the malice of the character, making him perfect for the role."

As General Zod, Shannon will go toe-to-toe with Henry Cavill, who plays the new Clark Kent/Superman in the film. The main cast also includes Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent. 

Michael Shannon was honored with an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Sam Mendes' Revolutionary Road, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Shannon was most recently seen in the award-winning HBO drama series Boardwalk Empire, from executive producer Martin Scorsese. He will next be seen in Sony Pictures Classics', Take Shelter, from director/writer Jeff Nichols.

Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Deborah Snyder are the producers of the film. The screenplay is being written by David S. Goyer based on a story by Goyer and Nolan. Thomas Tull and Lloyd Phillips are serving as executive producers.

Man of Steel will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. 

Deadpool gets a Director.

Tim Miller has worked as a visual effects artist on some big-budget films, including X-Men and X2. Now, according to Deadline, he'll step into the director's chair for X-Men Origins: Deadpool, based on the Marvel character last seen on screen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Ryan Reynolds (who stars in the upcoming Green Lantern movie) is expected to reprise his role as Wade Wilson, a wisecracking mercenary with healing powers nicknamed "The Merc with a Mouth."

Unsurprisingly, Miller was not among those mentioned by comic creator Rob Liefeld when he listed his picks to direct the movie last December. Previously rumored helmers include Robert Rodriguez and Swedish commercial and music video director Adam Berg.

Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are writing the script, produced by Lauren Shuler Donner. There's no start date yet, but since Darren Aronofsky's departure from Wolverine has left that film without a director, Deadpool could be the next Marvel movie in the pipeline for Fox.

Johnny Depp May Cameo in 21 Jump Street Film

Johnny Depp is reportedly poised to cameo in 21 Jump Street, the show that made him a star, in Columbia's feature film version of the 1980s TV classic.

Deadline claims "plans are being made for him to set aside a day to shoot one, but I'm not sure what his role will be." Depp appeared on the series from 1987–1990 as Officer Tom Hanson, one of the youthful-looking cops sent undercover to bust criminals in high schools.

The site also claims James' brother Dave Franco has been cast as "Eric, the most popular kid in school, who also happens to be a raging drug dealer. Jonah Hill's narc character befriends him to infiltrate the cool kid crowd."

Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter says comedic actor Rob Riggle is circling the role of "a member of D.A.D. -- Dads Against Drugs. -- who has a burn-marked face and is secretly the main drug supplier."

The Crow Remake has a new director.

Yo, the remake of The Crow is a go! Relativity Media has hired 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo to direct a "re-invention" of the 1994 comic adaptation.

Variety reports that the plan is to get production going by this fall, though no talent is attached yet -- and that apparently includes a (gulp) writer: "Fresnadillo will collaboratively develop the screenplay once a writer is attached to adapt the script from James O'Barr's comic book series," says the trade. So no script, but a fall start date? O.K. then. 

The story will once again feature Eric Draven (played by the late Brandon Lee in the original film) as he is resurrected from the dead and becomes the avenging title character.

Previously, Blade director Stephen Norrington was attached to the project and Mark Wahlberg was rumored to be involved as well. 

William Fichtner joins Blomkamp's Elysium

District 9 director Neill Blomkamp has a great cast lined up for his top-secret film, Elysium, which now has an actor from The Dark Knight.

Variety reports that William Fichtner, the bank manager from The Dark Knight, is in final talks to star in Blomkamp's second feature film. Fichtner, who also appeared in Armageddon, Heat and FOX's Prison Break, will join Jodie Foster, Matt Damon and District 9's Sharlto Copley. 

We don't know who Fichtner is playing, or what Elysium is about. But here's what we do know: According to Variety, Elysium will be an R-rated sci-fi film, set 150 years in the future. It has social allegory elements akin to District 9, couching them in a "very violent, very original" story, according to the director himself.

We also know that Matt Damon will play an ex-con. We hope he plays an ex-con moonlighting as a mathematician janitor, who tips from Will Smith's Golf Whisperer. (Be here all week, folks. Try the veal.)

Find out what Elysium is when the film hits theatres March 8, 2013.

Bond 23 may shoot in South Africa?

James Bond is a well-known globe trotter, but there's one country he hasn't shot in yet: South Africa. That's reportedly about to change.

According to MI6, "Former England international cricketer Darren Gough spilled the beans as he sat next to (Bond 23 producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson) during a first class Virgin flight to Johannesburg earlier today. Gough said that they were travelling to scout locations for the film. Whether their location work is based just in South Africa is unclear."

South Africa has been an oft-rumored possible location for a Bond film -- and has been a popular location for film productions in general -- due to the country's financial incentives.

Bond 23 begins filming this fall for a November 9, 2012 release.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bill and Ted Will Party On. Sequel on the way.

There's been rumors of a new Bill and Ted sequel for years, but the chatter really heated up last autumn, when both Keanu Reeves (Ted) and Alex Winter (Bill) independently confirmed that a third film was on the way. Naturally, when MTV Movies Blog had a chance to interview Reeves again during the promotion of his new movie Henry's Crime they checked in with him on the script's progress.

"I believe the writers are six weeks away from a draft," Reeves told MTV News "No pressure, guys!"

Reeves also confirmed that the new film is being written by original screenwriters Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon. He didn't reveal much about the story, except that it will tie into the ending of Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, which fulfills the promise set up in the first film, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, that the music of their band, Wyld Stallyns, will bring about a utopian future.

"When we last got together, part of it was that Bill and Ted were supposed to have written the song that saved the world, and it hasn't happened," Reeves said. "And so they've now become kind of possessed by trying to do that. Then there's an element of time and they have to go back."

We have no idea how they'll deal with the actors' ages and the loss of the late George Carlin as Rufus, but it's still an idea that could be most excellent if done right.

Will there be a Grand Theft Auto Movie in the near future?

Rockstar Games' vice president of creative Dan Houser explains why the company has been reluctant to turn their hottest titles, such as Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, into feature films.

The Hollywood Reporter's interview with Houser was ostensibly about Rockstar's L.A. Noire recently being honored as an Official Selection at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, the first video game to ever be recognized by the festival. But when the chat turned to the broader topic of video game movies, Houser explained Rockstar's reasons for not embracing the idea of Hollywood adapting their games for the screen. 

"Virtually all movies made from games are awful, while many games made from movies are also pretty horrible. This will change, but with an ever more discerning audience, the goals of taking something from film-to-games or game-to-film have to be more than financial," said Houser. "If you feel the property has something about it that is universal or could work in another medium, and it is not simply about making easy money, then that is something worthwhile."

He added, "We have explored a lot of movie deals, but we have just chosen not to make a movie. We love movies, but we also love games and that is what we remain focused on. If we were to attempt to make a movie, we would like to make it ourselves, or at least work in collaboration with the best talent, so at least if it is bad, we can know we failed on our own terms. But doing that takes time, and making games properly takes a lot of time. So, we may make movies one day, with the right property and the right partnership, but we have not found the time to do that yet." 

Arnold Schwarzenegger in talks for Last Stand

It looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger's return to the big screen will not solely consist of Governator riffs.

MovieWeb and Slash Film are both reporting that The Ahnuld is in talks to headline The Last Stand, the English-language debut film for South Korean director Kim Ji-Woon (The Good, the Bad, the Weird).

This would mark Schwarzenegger's first live-action starring role since he was elected governor of California eight years ago. MW describes the film's plot as follows:

"The story will follow the exploits of a drug cartel leader who blasts his way out of a courtroom, steals a car, and heads towards the Mexican border. Arnold Schwarzenegger will play a sheriff with an inexperienced staff who becomes involved with trying to stop the cartel leader from entering Mexico after the two parties inadvertently cross paths."

Liam Neeson was originally going to play the sheriff before leaving the project earlier this year. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dark Knight Rises up with New Gotham City

There's a new Gotham City, Bat-fans. The Dark Knight Rises has finalized plans to shoot in Pittsburgh this summer.

In a statement to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, TDKR director Christopher Nolan said, "Pittsburgh is a beautiful city. ... We have been able to find everything we were looking for here, and I am excited to spend the summer in Pittsburgh with our final installment of Batman."

Meanwhile, Batman-on-Film came across a few more Bat-tidbits. First, Oscar winner Marion Cotillard appears to have confirmed her reported role in The Dark Knight Rises, informing The Independent, "I have a project for the summer. Different thing that I don't wanna talk about." Sounds pretty batty to us.

BoF also says Nolan is rumored to have scouted Kedleston Hall, a lavish mansion from the 1760s located in Derbyshire, England. Could this be the new Wayne Manor? We shall see.

The Dark Knight Rises begins filming in May.

Sean Hayes Starring in The Three Stooges

Will and Grace's Sean Hayes has joined the cast of the Farrelly's The Three Stooges.

According to both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, Hayes is set to play Larry opposite Will Sasso as Curly in the Fox film.

The role of Moe remains officially uncast, but contenders have reportedly included Hank Azaria and Johnny Knoxville.

The Three Stooges will begin shooting soon.

Monsters University Release Date Pushed Back

You'll have to that much longer for Pixar's sequel to Monsters, Inc., as the release date has been pushed back.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the release date for Monsters University -- a Dan Scanlon-directed prequel to the 2001 hit which will recall how Sully and Mike Wazowski first met -- has been shifted from November 2012 to June 21, 2013.

Disney's animated feature Reboot Ralph will open instead now on November 2, 2012.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Underworld 4 Starts Filming

Production is underway in Vancouver, British Columbia, on the 4th installment in the highly successful Screen Gems/Lakeshore Entertainment Underworld franchise.

Underworld 4 brings a stunning new dimension to the epic battle between Vampires and Lycans, as the first film in the franchise to shoot in 3D.

Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrioress Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.

India Eisley (The Secret Life of an American Teenager) plays Eve, and Michael Ealy (Sleeper Cell) plays Detective Sebastian.

Underworld 4 is helmed by Swedish directors Mans Marlind & Bjorn Stein, who co-directed the 2009 thriller Shelter starring Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Their feature credits also include the award-winning Swedish film Storm.

Producing are Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Len Wiseman and Richard Wright. The film's executive producers are David Kern, David Coatsworth, Henry Winterstern and Skip Williamson. The screenplay for Underworld 4 is by Len Wiseman, John Hlavin, and Allison Burnett.

The talented behind-the-scenes team includes cinematographer Scott Kevan, Genie award-winning production designer Claude Pare, Academy Award nominated costume designer Monique Prudhomme, and editor Jeff McEvoy.

Smiths and Shyamalan will team up for a Sci-Fi film

Jaden Smith is set to star opposite his father, Will Smith, for director M. Night Shyamalan in an untitled sci-fi adventure, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures.

Shyamalan and Will Smith will produce with James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith and Ken Stovitz, Smith's partners at Overbrook Entertainment. The screenplay is by Shyamalan and Gary Whitta.

Set 1,000 years into the future, a young boy navigates an abandoned and sometimes scary Earth to save himself and his estranged father after their ship crashes.

Commenting on the announcement, Belgrad said, "Night is an outstanding filmmaker who has a tremendous vision for this science-fiction adventure story and we couldn't be more excited to be working again with Jaden after our experiences on The Pursuit of Happyness and The Karate Kid. We're thrilled to have the two of them together on this project."

Shyamalan added, "The chance to make a scary, science-fiction film starring Jaden and Will is my dream project."

Arnold Schwarzenegger Planning to do a 3D Governator Film

We already knew Arnold Schwarzenegger was planning a comic-book series called The Governator, and now he's revealed that a 3D feature film will also be produced based on the concept.

Deadline reports that the former governor of California is planning an entire multi-platform project around The Governator that will also include an animated TV series and some type of online programming.

The film will be completed in early 2013 and includes Stan Lee himself as a producer. That will follow a 52-episode animated series featuring the voice and image of Schwarzenegger -- "as a superhero bent on beating the bad guys and the forces of evil" -- that launches at the end of 2012. The comic series and online stuff will come first.

It's not clear at the moment what form this feature film will take, be it live-action, animated, etc. Probably animated, right? 

Jon Favreau's Hogan may return for Iron Man 3

While Jon Favreau was at WonderCon to talk about Cowboys & Aliens, one of the very first questions he got from the audience during the panel was about Iron Man 3. Favreau will not be directing the film, instead taking on Disney's Magic Kingdom, with Shane Black directing the next Iron Man film. But a fan asked Favreau if he still might return in an acting capacity to the series, in his role as Happy Hogan, even if it were a cameo.

Said Favreau, "Yeah, look. I love Shane Black. I'm not familiar with the work of the other writer that the just hired [Drew Pierce], but I'm really grateful for the opportunities that I had with Marvel." He said that having done great things together in their career, he and Marvel were now moving on.

But as for Iron Man 3, Favreau said, "I can't wait. I would do anything. I love that franchise and I love those guys."

So when it comes to Happy returning in Iron Man 3, we'll take that as a firm… maybe?

Iron Man 3 Gets a Writer

Marvel Studios has found their writer for Iron Man 3. Drew Pearce has been given the nod to pen the third entry in the comic-book studio's brightest star, helping to bring structure and balance to the chaotic early beginnings of the film's development.

Deadline has the exclusive scoop on these breaking developments, noting that the Robert Downey Jr. has been signed to reprise his title role. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director Shane Black has been tapped to helm the piece, and now Pearce will be working on the script. Pearce was previously attached to projects such as Runaways, Marvel's pet project about the youngsters of super villains who use their parents' powers for the betterment of mankind.

The cast and crew of Iron Man 3 has yet to truly take flight, what with all of the other Marvel projects due, but it is also still quite a ways away, debuting in theaters over two years from now on May 3, 2013.

Bryan Cranston is Breaking Bad in the Total Recall Remake

The Total Recall remake now has a bad guy, and he's someone who is known to break bad...

Variety reports that, yes, Emmy-winning Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston is in talks to play the villain in the film. Colin Farrell is starring in the Columbia Pictures redux of the Arnold Schwarzenegger action classic.

That 1990 film featured Ronny Cox as the evil Vilos Cohaagen. Michael Ironside also played a not-so-nice guy named Richter who was in pursuit of Schwarzenegger's character Quaid (the real Quaid!).

Heat Vision reports that "The new story involves nation states Euromerica and New Shanghai, with Douglas Quaid (Farrell) a factory worker in the latter who begins to believe he is a spy, although he doesn't know for which side. … Cranston would play Vilos Cohaagen, the leader of Euromerica who, under the cover of protecting his people, is secretly readying an invasion of New Shanghai."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Star Wars Episode 1 3D Update

Lucasfilm and Prime Focus, the global visual entertainment services company, are proud to announce their collaboration on the 3D conversion of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace for theatrical release, heralding an exciting new era in Star Wars entertainment. Prime Focus was selected by Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) following an exhaustive testing process.

tilizing Prime Focus' proprietary View-D; process, the cutting-edge conversion is scheduled to hit 3D theater screens on February 10, 2012. Involving meticulous crafting and attention to detail by Prime Focus' global team of artists, the 3D release promises a wonderfully immersive experience for fans of the original, and a big screen introduction for a whole new generation.

"It was incredibly important to me that we have the technology, the resources and the time to do this right," said Star Wars creator George Lucas. "I'm very happy with the results I've been seeing on Episode I."

Prime Focus founder and CEO Namit Malhotra said: "Wherever you are in the world, the Star Wars films have become part of the very fabric of film-making - the epitome of the big cinema experience. To be chosen by Lucasfilm as a trusted partner, and to be given the time and opportunity to re-present this series as a new experience to both old and new audiences alike, is an incredible honor. For a project of this importance and magnitude, Lucasfilm and ILM would only have chosen a company with the best talent in the industry, leading proprietary technology and infrastructure, a production-proven pipeline and unmatched scale. I am hugely proud that Prime Focus is that company."

The extensive conversion process is being completed under the close supervision of John Knoll, Visual Effects Supervisor for ILM.

"Getting really good results from stereo conversion requires a lot of attention to detail and it is imperative that you take the time to get it right – and that's just what we're doing," said Knoll. "We're taking a different approach than you might expect. George's vision has been to add dimension to the film in subtle ways. This isn't a novelty conversion, with things jumping out at the audience; our goal has been to enhance the classic Star Wars theatrical experience, utilizing the latest cinematic tools and techniques."

Prime Focus is a global leader in 3D conversion and VFX, and has delivered work on films such as Avatar, Shrek, Tron: Legacy, Narnia: Dawn Treader and most recently Sucker Punch. Deploying its global View-D; conversion team on the Star Wars project, led out of the Prime Focus Hollywood office, artists in Los Angeles, London and Mumbai are delivering shots via Prime Focus' 'Global Digital Pipeline.' In collaboration with ILM, the meticulous conversion is being completed with the utmost respect for the source material, and with a keen eye for both technological considerations and artistic intentions.

Bill Murray to portray Franklin Roosevelt

In what might be the most unorthodox case of casting in some time, funnyman Bill Murray has been cast as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Hyde Park on Hudson.

Roger Michell (Morning Glory) will direct the film, which is adapted from the 2009 radio play of the same name by Richard Nelson, who also penned the screenplay adaptation. Production will reportedly begin in July.

"The project, set up at Focus Features and the UK's Film4, recounts the quasi-incestuous love affair between the president and his distant cousin, Margaret Stuckley, and takes place on the June 1939 weekend that the British King and Queen visited Roosevelt at his upstate New York cottage, in the first-ever visit to America by a member of the United Kingdom monarchy," according to Vulture.

This means we'll have to wait that much longer for Ghostbusters 3, assuming of course that Murray's even gotten around to reading the script yet. 

Madagascar Penguins Returning for Third Installment and Own Feature

In an animated film franchise with a cast that includes Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and Sacha Baron Cohen, the surprising breakout stars have turned out to be four paramilitary penguins brought to life by career voice actors you've probably never heard of.

Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Skipper, Kowalski, Private and Rico are getting their own feature, to be penned by Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simons, the writers behind Megamind.

The penguins have previously been featured in the animated short "The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper," which appeared on the Madagascar Blu-ray, and a popular CGI-animated TV show on Nickelodeon, now in its second season.

The third installment in the Madagascar feature franchise is set to open in theaters in 2012. So far there is no director or voice talent attached.

Hawkeye to make a cameo in Thor

You won't have to wait until 2012's The Avengers to see Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye.

Cinema Blend was at CinemaCon where roughly 20 minutes of footage from the upcoming Thor movie was screened that showed the Marvel archer in action.

"The scene we saw featured Renner as Hawkeye, working with the infamous Agent Coulson, played as he was in the Iron Man movies, by Clark Gregg," according to the site.

"The scene features Hawkeye using his famous bow and arrow and he has multiple lines, so while we're talking about something a little more than a momentary cameo, there's no way to know if his involvement will go any further than that one scene."