Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment is to team with Sony on an adaptation of the life of John Keller, a former marine reponsible for saving 244 of his neighbours in the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans. I feel tears and Oscars around the corner.
Zach Braff has signed on to direct, rewrite and star in Swingles, from a spec script by Duncan Birmingham. I liked Garden State first time, less second.
President Barack Obama has delivered his verdict on Star Trek.
Beyonce Knowles-starring thriller Obsessed has taken a pretty impressive $28.5m over its opening weekend to top the US charts. The movie, which also stars The Wire’s Idris Elba and Heroes’ Ali Larter, took the second biggest opening for a Screen Gems movie ever, only defeated by the Exorcism of Emily Rose in 2005. It’s a pretty astonishingly high opening, probably a testament to the star power of Knowles in ostensibly her second profession.
Zac Efron’s 17 Again managed to remain relatively resilient in second place with $11.7m, a respectable second week total which allowed it just to pip the Channing Tatum-starring Fighting. That managed $11.4m to come in well above expectations for a minimum star movie.
That contrasted to the film in fourth place, Joe Wright’s The Soloist with Robert Downey Jr and Jamie Foxx. It seems that, unlike Knowles, the star power of Downey Jr doesn’t quite stretch across audiences to bring his Iron Man muscle to the film. It could also have been hurt by Jamie Foxx’s idiocy over the past week or so in insulting Disney star Miley Cyrus in such a childish and twattish manner. Mum’s don’t like stars who have a go at youngers, Jamie.
A notable entry in fifth came to Earth, the first film to come from the newly-formed Disneynature subsidiary of the Mouse House. It managed $8.6m over the weekend, the third best ever for a documentary, with a five-day gross of $14.2m.
17 Again has managed to top the US box office over the weekend, racking up a total of $24m as Zac Efron carried his HSM box-office power over into the adult world.
It’s opening is small but it still managed to trounce the next closest film, the Russell Crowe-Ben Affleck thriller State of Play. That only managed $14m despite relatively decent reviews.
Monsters vs Aliens remained resilient in third place, taking $12.9m and pumping its total gross to $162m. That contrasted to the relative lack of resilience from last week’s number one, Hannah Montana: The Movie, which dropped off 60 per cent to take $12.6m, and Fast & Furious dropping of further to $12.2m.
Crank: High Voltage must be considered a disappointment, given the absolute genius of the first film, taking only $6.5m to take up sixth place.
Scott Pilgrim has his very own movie website.
Michael Sheen has joined up with the cast of New Moon, the upcoming sequel to Twilight.
William Hurt is now in the cast of Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood adaptation/reimagining thing.
Un trailer for Gerard Butler in The Ugly Truth.
Watchmen scribe Alex Tse is to write an adaptation of the upcoming Paul Pope graphic novel Battling Boy.
Zac Efron will play Johnny Quest. No nothing about Johnny Quest although, I imagine, fanboys will be furious!
Angelina Jolie is in talks once more for a part in Sin City 2.
Ray Winstone, David Thewlis and the lovely Anna Friel have signed up for William Monahan’s London Boulevard.
The trailer has shown up for Johnnie To’s Vengeance.
Some early, positive buzz has been flowing in for Pixar’s Up.
Adam Shankman could be making Hairspray 2 in 3D, according to reports in First Showing.
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey may well re-team, despite the lukewarm weakness of Baby Mama in my books.
Could the sequel to Tron rack up $300m in budget, or is this another Avatar-Time typo?
Tom Hanks is to play Major Matt Mason in a live-action movie about the Mattel toy.
This has subsequently been denied, but rumours have speculated that Wolverine 2 is being written by Simon Beaufoy, the writer of Slumdog Millionaire.
Uma Thurman, Pierce Brosnan and Rome’s Kevin McKidd have signed on to star in Percy Jackson, a fantasy adventure movie involving a host of Greek gods.
Zac Efron is to star in The Death and Life of Charlie St Cloud, a story about a caretaker working at a cemetary.
Entertainment Weekly has posted a list of the top twenty-five greatest active directors. The list is as debatable as the day is long so argue away at some of the inclusions (Jon Favreau?).
Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln biopic, a long-time passion project, is struggling to find financing amid the current recession environment. Even the biggest names are starting to be hit by the problems facing the wider industry. When even the marquee names are finding it difficult, it is worrying. But perhaps this will foster a necessity to make movies cheaper and maybe we will see some really vital, interesting filmmaking be born from the downturn.
High School Musical alum Vanessa Hudgens has been strongly linked to the part of Nara Kilday in an adaptation of Josh Howard’s Dead@17 comic series, being written by Mike Dougherty. The story follows Nara, a girl who is killed and reborn to fight demons. Howard made the announcement during an interview on the Comics on Comics podcast (highly recommended). Could prove an interesting career move for Hudgens as she seems to be looking to eschew Zac Efron’s move into teen movies by taking what Cinematical calls the ‘Megan Fox route’.
Robert Rodriguez has signed up to write and direct Nerverackers, a futuristic thriller following an elite unit in 2085 dispatched to deal with a crime wave in a purportedly perfect society. Demolition Man, anyone?
Ridley Scott has swerved directions a bit on his Robin Hood revisionist take, essentially deleting the ‘revisionist’ portion of the description to adopt a more traditional style of telling the story. Instead, according to an interview given to MTV, Scott will have the story follow the ‘evolution of a character called Robin Hood, who will come out of a point in the Crusades which is the end‘. It does mean that the previously mentioned choice of having Russell Crowe play both Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham has been either abandoned or was never really a set option. Scott said to MTV: ‘[Crowe as both Robin and the Sheriff of Nottingham] was an idea so far back, way back when at the time I had this proposed to me, and I read it and thought, ‘I don’t really know what it does for it, but it’s alright’.’ Make of that what you will, but it seems that this will end up just another very well made if somewhat uninteresting picture from Scott, maybe barring Monopoly.
Corona Coming Attractions has posted a casting call for Thor, the Marvel adaptation upcoming from the directorial hand of Kenneth Branagh. Check out the posting and consider whether you could pull off such a role: ‘Physically powerful, very handsome, occasionally egotistical, petulant, and wild. A natural warrior with a quick charming wit who must be genuinely and severely humbled before becoming the compassionate, mature hero of our film.’
Geoff Gilmore, the long-standing director of the Sundance Film Festival, is to leave his post to become the chief creative officer of Tribeca Enterprises. He is also joining the board of the company and will take responsibility for ‘global content strategy and lead creative development initiatives and expansion of the brand’, according to a statement published by indieWIRE. Karina Longworth on Spout points out the move in in line with wider announced strategy for Tribeca which is aiming to bring itself closer in line with Sundance as prestige indie festival.
Ang Lee is in talks to direct an adaptation of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, the Booker Prize-winning novel about a young man who survives an accident at sea and ends up sharing a boat with a hyena, zebra, orangutan and a Bengal tiger. The project had been considered by a pre-Happening Shyamalan (who was reportedly replaced by Alfonso Cuaron) and most recently was under the eye of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the director of Delicatessan and Amelie.
Also in the news, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is keeping up the comic love to star in The Losers; Pride and Prejudice is set to meet the zombie world in an offbeat adaptation produced by Elton John; the Donnie Darko sequel is going straight to DVD; Linda Hamilton is in talks to take a role in Terminator Salvation; Mickey Rourke will not star in Iron Man 2; Breckin Meyer is penning Superguys, to be helmed by Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, described as ‘‘Ocean’s 11′ with idiots set at Comic-Con.’.