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Thursday, November 1, 2012
Lightstorm Entertainment has acquired the film rights to The Informationist, based on the acclaimed 2011 novel from Taylor Stevens. James Cameron will direct the film for 20th Century Fox. Lightstorm's Jon Landau will produce alongside Cameron.
The story centers on Vanessa "Michael" Monroe, "an information specialist, whose work is in-demand by corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. When a Texas oil billionaire hires her to find his daughter who vanished in Africa four years ago. Munroe finds herself back in the lands of her childhood. Betrayed, cut off from civilization, and left for dead, she must come face-to-face with the past that she’s tried for so long to forget."
Said Cameron, "Taylor Stevens' Vanessa Michael Munroe is an intriguing and compelling heroine with an agile mind and a thirst for adventure. Equally fascinating for me is her emotional life and her unexpected love story. I'm looking forwarding to bringing Vanessa and her world to the big screen." Current plans are for Cameron to direct the once he's finished working on the second and third Avatar films.
Although Cameron has claimed in recent years that he's strictly in "the Avatar business" from here on out, it seems the filmmaker has opened up to the idea of taking on other features later down the line. In addition to The Informationist, Cameron has expressed an interest in directing Battle Angel as well.
It looks like Johnny Depp will star in The Dark Knight cinematographer Wally Pfister's directing debut Transcendence, a sci-fi film that Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas will exec produce.
The Hollywood Reporter says "the film is described as in the vein of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Inception. The story centers on a man who creates a computer that develops a malevolent awareness. Depp will play a husband who gets sucked into the computer, contingent on changes Pfister is making to the script, sources say."
Prometheus actress Noomi Rapace is up for the female lead, while Tobey Maguire and James McAvoy are in the running for the other male lead. Christoph Waltz has been offered a key supporting role.
“I'm thrilled and feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Johnny," said Pfister. "He is a creative and intelligent artist whom I feel will bring great depth to the character and the overall narrative."
Transcendence begins filming early next year. Alcon is producing with Warner Bros. set to distribute.
Last week, it was reported that Shailene Woodley was in negotiations for the coveted role of Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. This news was confirmed earlier today, as was the actress' likely involvement in Spidey 3.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Descendants star initially had scheduling issues with the part, having had offers to play both Mary Jane and the lead in Summit-Lionsgate's feature adaptation of Divergent. However, the MJ role is proving to be a very small one in the upcoming sequel, and will blossom into a more integral lead in the planned third film as Sony moves forward with the "Death of Gwen Stacy" storyline from the comics.
As a result, Woodley should have time to shoot both Spidey 2 and Divergent. The actress is currently closing a deal for the latter, which has Neil Burger directing.
Disney announces in an investor conference call after today's announcement that they intend to make more than one new Star Wars movie, beginning with Episode VII in 2015 followed by Episodes VIII and IX "every other year" and then "we'll go from there."
Not only did the news break today that the Walt Disney Company has acquired Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 billion, but the studio press release also announces that a Star Wars: Episode VII feature film is targeted for a 2015 release! Yes, 2015 will give us The Avengers 2, Justice League of America and now a new Star Wars movie!
This deal means Disney also now owns the Indiana Jones franchise as well as effects firm Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound.
The original press release follows:
Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.
Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.
“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”