Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tony Jaa Has Jungle Fever

Thai-action-superstar Tony Jaa has apparently disappeared into the jungle to meditate, since he's been having trouble finishing the upcoming Ong-Bak 2.

The sequel is nearly complete and the director of The Protector is supposed to be coming in to finish it up in case Jaa never comes back, but I guess the production has taken its toll on Jaa. He's been missing since June, and recently his government held a press conference to confirm the fact. This sounds an awful lot like that John Basedow-tsunami story, but in any case - godspeed, TJ. Get back to us soon.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Nottingham Pushed Back

Curses. I was really looking forward to this project, which reunites actor Russell Crowe (awesome) with director Ridley Scott for the third time. Read up on it here.

The movie, which features the Sheriff of Nottingham as the protagonist and Robin Hood as a terrorist figure, has hit delays due to the possible upcoming Screen Actors Guild strike and some script issues that still need to be worked out. Production was supposed to begin in a couple of weeks, but now it's being put on hold indefinitely. Boo.

I'll keep you posted when this project ramps up again; both Scott and Crowe remain attached to the film.

Another Indiana Jones?

You all know my feelings about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. But will George Lucas, Harrison Ford, and Steven Spielberg come back for a fifth movie? Lucas told The Sunday Times:

"We were hoping for box-office figures like that, which is, ultimately, with inflation, what the others have done, within 10%," Lucas explains. "So, we squeaked up there. Really, though, it was a challenge getting the story together and getting everybody to agree on it. Indiana Jones only becomes complicated when you have another two people saying 'I want it this way' and 'I want it that way', whereas, when I first did Jones, I just said, 'We'll do it this way' — and that was much easier. But now I have to accommodate everybody, because they are all big, successful guys, too, so it's a little hard on a practical level. "If I can come up with another idea that they like, we'll do another. Really, with the last one, Steven wasn't that enthusiastic. I was trying to persuade him. But now Steve is more amenable to doing another one. Yet we still have the issues about the direction we'd like to take. I'm in the future; Steven's in the past. He's trying to drag it back to the way they were, I'm trying to push it to a whole different place. So, still we have a sort of tension. This recent one came out of that. It's kind of a hybrid of our own two ideas, so we'll see where we are able to take the next one."

I like how Lucas says "if I can come up with another idea" instead of "if we can come up with another idea." It just shows you how egotistical this guy is and that he's stubborn enough to refuse to change, even if his idea isn't that great. I wish he would just leave the series altogether and let Ford and Spielberg take a run at it. I guarantee there wouldn't be aliens in it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I Am Legend Gets A Prequel

Director Francis Lawrence told ShockTillYouDrop at Comic Con that he is planning a prequel to the successful 2007 flick I Am Legend.

According to Lawrence, Will Smith is interested in reprising his Robert Neville role from the original. He hinted that the movie might take place during the winter, so the abandoned New York that we saw in the first one could be covered in snow this time around so it wouldn't be monotonous for the audience.

I thought the first one was a solid film, but I'm not quite sure how they could make a prequel that would hold our attention for two hours without rehashing the same things they did in the first one. This is just in the planning stages now anyway, so we'll see if anything comes of it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Harold & Kumar 3 Is Coming

Come on, we all knew it was coming. In news that indicates that John Cho and Kal Penn don't want to take on any REAL work, Harold & Kumar 3 was given the go-ahead today. The same writer/director team from the first two are returning as well.

The second film (review here) was passable enough, but I think they can do better. The official storyline for the upcoming movie is being kept under wraps, but the good thing about these movies is that you always know what you're going to get. If there's a big enough audience for these things (which there obviously is - Pineapple Express is coming soon), then I say, "why not?" The worst we'll see is some more NPH - and that never hurt anyone.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Brothers Bloom Trailer

The trailer for The Brothers Bloom has finally arrived. This is writer/director Rian Johnson's follow-up to his 2006 film Brick.

Instead of taking on the film noir genre, this time Johnson is going with the con man angle. The movie stars Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo as con men brothers who meet up with Rachel Weisz's character to plan a caper of some sort. Follow the link to see the trailer. The movie comes out October 24th.

Robocop Is Back

Keeping with the trend of rebooting franchises (Batman, Terminator, etc), MGM has officially confirmed their plans to restart the Robocop series.

The movie will be a sequel set in present day LA, where 20 years after the termination of the Robocop Program, the city decides to start it back up again. The kind of cool news is that it will be directed by visionary filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Pi, The Fountain) and written by David Self (Road to Perdition). This actually makes me want to give the movie a chance, so we'll see what this duo can do-o with the work they've got ahead of them. No official title has been given yet (it will technically be the fourth in the series), but the release date is set for 2010.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hercules Coming Back To The Big Screen

This movie needs to star Zach Bartlett. [Number 10 on the video list in the link.] When is that kid going to get his big break?

Peter Berg, director of The Kingdom and Hancock, has signed to direct an adaptation of Hercules: The Thracian Wars, a recent comic book from Radical Publishing. It's really violent and pretty bloody from what I understand, so maybe this'll be more like 300 than anything else.

Spoiler alert - if you haven't seen
Hancock, don't read this next part.

Given that Berg is directing this, there's always the possibility of Will Smith's character from Hancock making a cameo fighting right there next to Hercules. That would be worth the price of admission. But only if Zach is Hercules.

Y: The Last Man in 2010 - Hopefully

DJ Caruso recently spoke to a few reporters, who asked him about the status of his adaptation of Y: The Last Man.

He confirms his vision to see the films done in trilogy format, and reiterates Shia LaBeouf's interest in the project. He says that if all goes according to plan, they'll prep the movie in October and start shooting in January - this would provide Shia with a much-needed break that Caruso feels he deserves and hopefully filling a void that Warner Bros. has for 2010. I'll keep you posted with any further developments about this project, as I'm very much looking forward to it on a personal level.

Captain Blood Remake

Wow, they're going WAY back in the vault for this one. Captain Blood, originally created in 1935 (and reviewed at Ben's Movie Reviews here!), is the latest piece to drop on the remake assembly line.

Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger) has signed on to develop the remake for Warner Brothers. The film follows a doctor who gets wrongfully put into slavery and then forms a band of pirates with his fellow slaves. The legendary Errol Flynn played the hero in the first one - I think it'd only be fitting if someone equally famous took over his role: Clint Eastwood, this is your chance to jump back into acting, buddy. An 80-year-old pirate? Money in the bank.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Star Wars - in 3D?

Once again, the title pretty much says it all. Comingsoon.net has learned that George Lucas plans to re-release the Star Wars films (even the most recent trilogy!) with 3D technology.

I'm not the resident Star Wars expert, so I'm not sure how much the films would benefit from 3D, but I guess that depends on just how gimmicky the whole thing is [1]. If we're still wearing those red and blue cardboard glasses by then, I'm probably not going to see it [2].

1. Not that I would pay to see Episodes I-III in 3D anyway.
2. Hopefully by the time this happens, which will be at least a couple of years from now, we will have legitimate 3D glasses that are actually sponsored by brands and don't cost a fortune.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Top Gun 2?!?!

According to The Sun, there's a script outline for Top Gun 2, and all it's waiting for is Tom Cruise to give it the go-ahead.

Cruise will have to sign on to reprise his role as Maverick if the movie is ever going to get made. The plot will center on Pete "Maverick" Mitchell as a Top Gun instructor - "and this time he has to deal with a cocky new female pilot."

Kitchen jokes aside, this sounds like a terrible idea. I'd like to think that TC would never sign on for something like this, but with all of the Rambo's, Rocky's, Indy's, and other 80's icons coming back to the big screen, maybe Cruise will once again say "show me the money."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog Online 'Til Sunday

Um, the headline pretty much sums it all up for this one.
Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog is Joss Whedon's venture into the online world. It's a three-part movie (each part runs about 13 minutes) musical that features some pretty talented people in the cast and crew. Neil Patrick Harris stars as Dr. Horrible, the loser bad guy who is trying to get into the Evil League of Evil, fight his nemesis Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion, from Firefly/Serenity), and win the heart of the girl he meets at the laundromat (Felicia Dey, who I've never heard of).

Whedon, best known as the creator of the Buffy: The Vampire Slayer TV show, wrote the script with his brother and his friends during the writer's strike and they filmed it with the intentions to release it to the public for free. All three parts are free online at the movie's webpage until Sunday at midnight, so check it out while you can. If you miss it, you can buy the whole thing on iTunes for like four dollars. It's entertaining and worth while if you're a fan of any of the cast members.

John Woo Directing A Comic Book Movie

Bulletmaster John Woo has signed on to direct a movie called Caliber, based on an upcoming comic book. Chalk another one up to the list of "movies based on things that haven't even come out yet."

The book (and eventual movie) will place King Arthur and his Knights into the Old West as cowboys, where Arthur is given Caliber (get it? EX-caliber?): a tattooed gun from the Native Americans. This is no ordinary gun - it's never loaded with bullets, and only a worthy man can fire it. Oh yeah, it shoots lightning, too. I love the idea of taking an already-established mythology and inserting it into a completely different time period, and I think this comic/movie could be pretty awesome when it comes out. Too bad that John Woo is busy directing Chinese epics and such - he probably won't get around to this for a few years.

Enough LaBeouf

It's widely known that I'm an outspoken fan of Shia LaBeouf's. I think the kid's got some serious talent that we haven't seen yet, and I think he does a great job with the "slacker" characters that are written for him. Hopefully in the upcoming Eagle Eye he'll be a little more serious and show us more versatility.

Anyway, I know that some of you have utter disdain for the kid (your reasoning escapes me), so check these T-Shirts out that BustedTees are selling on their website.

New Live-Action Ninja Turtles Movie?

Surprising news. Imagi Studios, the company responsible for the CG-based 2007 movie TMNT, is partnering with Mirage Licensing to bring us a "new live-action TMNT film for 2010."

I suppose the success of the CG movie earned them enough cash to return to the live-action game. I don't quite know how they are going to go about doing this, but if this new movie is anything like the original live action ones from the 90's, then I'll be thrilled. I hope they go as far as to use the same suits.

Editor's note: I just checked the link above, and it appears the studios may have jumped the gun. The quote has been altered to say that they are working on a "new TMNT movie for 2010," and the words "live-action" are no longer present. Well, that kind of sucks. I don't want another CG sequel.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Roundup 7/14

Howdy folks. As most of you know, I'm now gainfully employed. Therefore, my online production is probably going to decrease a little, at least until I move into a new place where the internet is more stable. Until then - here's a new Roundup for you.
  • The previously-predicted School of Rock 2 is now official. Called School of Rock 2: America Rocks, this sequel follows Dewey Finn as he leads summer school students on a cross-country road trip that "delves into the history of rock 'n roll and explores blues, rap, country, and other genres. Jack Black, Mike White (writer), and Richard Linklater (director) are all returning, but that's not going to stop this movie from (most likely) sucking. I doubt it'll live up to the original.

  • Marc Platt, the producer of Wanted, is producing two big screen adaptations of Broadway plays, which are about from far as Wanted as you can get. The plays in question? Wicked and Jesus Christ Superstar.

  • The latest franchise to have an add-on? Scream 4 has been greenlit. I saw the first one, so it sounds like it's time for me to catch up on that series.

  • Woody Harrelson is joining the ever-growing cast of Roland Emmerich's 2012 about the Mayan prophecy that destroys the world. Harrelson will play the paranoid conspiracy theorist. Figures.

  • There's a German rumor out now about Keanu Reeves being reunited with the Wachowski's for a movie in the near future. The funny/interesting part? Reeves would star as Plastic Man, a neglected DC superhero that's basically Stretch Armstrong. I'd definitely see it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Where The Wild Things Are Pushed Back - Again

Where The Wild Things Are, the upcoming film directed by Spike Jonze (Adaptation) and based off the book that we all read as kids, has been completely removed from Warner Brothers' lineup after being recently pushed back to a 2009 release.

The movie, much of which was shot in Australia in 2006 (!), has been getting crazy amounts of coverage over the past few years, with test screenings earning it positive buzz and scaring children in the theater at the same time. Obviously Warner Brothers doesn't want kids running for the exits when they watch a movie, so they've shelved the project to give Jonze more time (and money) to get it right. Will this thing ever get released?

You can read a short, concise update about the progress of the movie here. It's a pretty good piece.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Warner Bros. and DC Meet To Discuss Future

It's about time. After Marvel has been shellacking them for months, the execs at Warner Brothers and DC are meeting up to talk about what they should do in retaliation.

Don't get me wrong - The Dark Knight is (in all likelihood) going to be the biggest movie of the summer, so DC doesn't really have that much to worry about in terms of RIGHT NOW, but Marvel has a pretty cool slate lined up and with a sequel to the hugely successful Iron Man in the works, DC better tighten up their game.

This meeting should determine the outcome of the long-gestating Superman Returns follow up movie, The Man of Steel, as well as reveal some of DC's other properties that will become film adaptations. Expect a press release in a month or two.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Favreau Returns

After two months of rabid speculation from bloggers, Jon Favreau has finally reached an agreement with Marvel to come back and direct Iron Man 2.

There were some standard money issues being discussed, so that's what held the whole thing up. But fans are glad to have Favreau back after the solid job he did on the first movie. He's said before that he doesn't know if 2010 is a reasonable release slot for Iron Man 2 since they don't have a script yet, but if he's signed on to the project he must know something we don't. Marvel certainly has a lot ahead of them in the next couple of years, and I don't know what would happen if they had to push a project back a year. Would that shelve the other projects for a year following? How does that work? Here's hoping we won't find out.

Robert Downey, Jr. is Sherlock Holmes

A couple days ago news broke about a Sacha Baron Cohen/Will Ferrell take on Sherlock Holmes with Judd Apatow producing. Obviously that project is a more comedic approach to the material, but before that there was talk of Guy Ritchie directing a serious adaptation of the famous detective.

Well, Ritchie's day just got a whole lot better (besides the fact that he's not with Madonna anymore). Robert Downey, Jr. has confirmed that he will star as Holmes in the production that begins shooting in October. It's no secret that Guy Ritchie has had a string of not-so-successful movies after the classics Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. But he consistently pulls down solid casts for his films, and I think he's due for another good movie. RockNRolla looks ok, but it also could just be another formulaic piece that Ritchie coasts through while waiting for a better script. Hopefully this is it, now that RDJ is involved. That dude is on the way up.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Alice in Wonderland Casting Rumors

I know some of you are fReAkInG oUt about the new Tim Burton adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, so here's the latest casting rumor for ya.

There has been rampant internet speculation about who could play Alice, with a list including Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Evan Rachel Wood, and Johnny Depp himself. But according to TheBadAndTheUgly, Alice has already been cast. The lucky actress? An unknown by the name of Ryan Nikole Parker, who was featured on American Idol. No, I'm not kidding about that, either.

Anyway, word on the street says there will be an official press release about the film on July 9th, so we'll see if this is true or possibly just Parker spreading rumors about herself to increase her visibility in the film industry. From that picture, I thought it was LC from "The Hills" for a second. Joel McHale would have blown a gasket.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Roundup 7/2

I check out for a day and a half, and the internet goes bonkers with new movie info. You know what that means - time to catch up.

  • A month after the announcement of a Guy Ritchie-helmed version of Sherlock Holmes, there's news of another version in the works already. But this time, Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) and Will Ferrell have signed to play Holmes and Watson respectively. Produced by Judd Apatow and written by the same dude who wrote the upcoming Tropic Thunder, this project could be either fantastic or nauseating. I'll reserve judgment until I see a trailer, and that's gonna be a while.
  • Continuing on my promotion of all things "Lost," Josh Holloway (who plays Sawyer in the show) has joined the cast of Stay Cool, which features Winona Ryder, Chevy Chase, Hilary Duff, and Sean Astin. Mark Polish (?) plays an author who has to face his highschool crush when he returns back to his hometown to give a graduation speech at his old stomping grounds. Holloway will play the ex-jock and old boyfriend of Winona Ryder's character.
  • In an effort to battle Marvel's recent surge of good comic book movies, Warner Brothers has picked up the movie rights to a comic called "Hiding in Time." The concept: Witness Protection uses time travel to relocate high-profile witnesses. Kinda cool, if you ask me. By the way, still no word on the release date of this time traveling film.
  • After the success of Wanted last weekend, Mark Millar (the writer of the comic book it was based on) has gained considerable clout in the movie industry. Enough to start talking about rebooting Superman in 2011 and kicking Bryan Singer out of the director's chair. "I've been planning this my whole life," he says. "I've already got my director and producer lined up." Millar can't say who his team consists of yet, but teases us by saying that it's a "very well known American action director" with considerable pull at WB. Who could it be? I'm down with whoever it is - Bryan Singer has waited too long, and his opportunity has passed. Let's give it another shot - it worked for The Incredible Hulk.
  • Not surprisingly, movie blogs everywhere are going absolutely nuts for The Dark Knight. Selfishly I scoff at them, because I was one of about seven people who actually thought that Heath Ledger would make a good Joker when that news first broke. They were all "meh, I don't know. That's bad casting, etc. etc." And now they can suck it. From all accounts so far (they screened the movie to the press a couple days ago), Heath's performance is Oscar-worthy, even without taking his sudden death into the equation. Hey movie writers - I'll be in my trailer waiting for my apology letters. I'll accept cash gifts if you'd like to send those instead.