Our weekly column brings you everything you need to know about this week's major developments in Hollywood.
New Scott Pilgrim vs. The World trailer and TV spots
The highly anticipated film from Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright, based on the graphic novel series and starring Michael Cera, will hit theaters in the U.S. on August 13th.
The Hobbit loses Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro announced on TheOneRing.net that he would be leaving the production of The Hobbit, which he had been set to direct. The Los Angeles Times’ 24 Frames breaks down the financial problems the long-gestating Lord of the Rings prequel is up against. MGM, part owner of the rights, is also struggling with another major property, the 23rd Bond film, which Sam Mendes was to direct. He still wants to do it, but Deadline has him moving on to direct an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach instead. No word yet on what del Toro plans to direct next, and no word yet on who might replace him on The Hobbit.
Captain America: casting news and costumes
Casting news has continued to slowly leak out for Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger, slated for release on July 22, 2011. In an interview with confirmed star Hayley Atwell (The Duchess), Tommy Lee Jones’ name was mentioned, but his part is still unclear. Then Superherohype.com revealed Dominic Cooper (An Education) confirmed to Salon.com (off camera) that his next role would be the young Howard Stark (played at an older age by John Slattery in the recent Iron Man 2). In addition, Deadline reported that Neal McDonough (Traitor) is in talks to play Dum Dum Dugan alongside Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury. To top it all off, the first images of the Captain America suit hit the internet.
Mass Effect coming to the big screen
Last week, Legendary Pictures, co-producers of The Dark Knight, 300, and Clash of the Titans, acquired the rights to the Electronic Arts/BioWare game Mass Effect. According to THR’s Heat Vision, Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend) is in talks to write the screenplay. Mass Effect has been an extremely successful and well reviewed series of games since its release on Xbox 360 in 2007, and spawned an equally stellar sequel earlier this year. Set in 2183, the role-playing action series follows Commander Shepard of the SSV Normandy as he defends the galaxy against an alien race.
And Megan Fox’s replacement is...
Rosie Huntington Whitely. Deadline confirms that she is Michael Bay’s pick for Transformers 3 as long as negotiations go smoothly. The reasons for Fox’s departure are still unclear thanks to the PR reps from both camps, but no matter; a Victoria’s Secret model with no real acting history has been called in as a replacement, and her lingerie company supports her...
Who will be the next Spider-Man?
For the Marc Webb-directed Spider-Man reboot, the first hurdle to jump will be finding Peter Parker. Heat Vision has some early candidates - Jamie Bell (Defiance), Alden Ehrenreich (Tetro), Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), Andrew Garfield (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus), and Josh Hutcherson (Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant). But what the web wants to know is: are the casting agents willing to be color-blind? What about Donald Glover (Community)? He’s hoping for the Betty White effect by using Facebook and Twitter to build support from fans.
James McAvoy to play Charles Xavier
While the search continues for the new Spider-Man, one comic book movie did get a major cast member. According to the LA Times, James McAvoy (Wanted) will play Charles Xavier in the upcoming origin story, X-Men: First Class, to be directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass).
The Crow gets a reboot
Stephen Norrington (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) will direct a reboot of The Crow for original producer Edward Pressman. MTV has an interview with Pressman in which he reveals that the action will take place both in the Southwest around the Arizona/Mexico border as well as in the city. It is not clear how much it will follow the previous films or the comic book series by James O’Barr. The most successful film adaptation was the first, released in 1994 and known for the accidental on-set death of Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon.
New Dinner for Schmucks trailer
Directed by Jay Roach (Meet the Fockers) and starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, this comedy is set for release on July 23.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice explained
Wondering what the next Nicolas Cage, Jerry Bruckheimer collaboration is about? Well watch this featurette that sets the stage. The film is due in theaters July 14.
First trailer for Gulliver’s Travels
Jack Black stars as Gulliver in this modern take on Jonathan Swift’s classic adventure tale. Rob Letterman (Monsters vs. Aliens) directs a cast that also includes Emily Blunt, Jason Segal, and Amanda Peet. Release is set for December 22.
Morning Glory gets a trailer
Rachel McAdams stars as a television producer struggling to revive the ratings and control the lead anchors (Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton) of a morning show in this comedy directed by Roger Michell (Venus) and written by Aline Brosh McKenna (27 Dresses). The film is due in theaters November 12.
American version of Dragon Tattoo coming together
The American adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is gathering steam. Steve Zaillian has turned in a script, and David Fincher seems a lock to direct. But what about the two leads? Brad Pitt was first rumored to play reporter Mikael Blomkvist, but yesterday Daniel Craig’s name appeared on The Wrap. It’s not a done deal yet, but maybe by the time you’re reading this it will be. The bigger question - who will play troubled young hacker Lisbeth Salander - is still unanswered. According to FilmShaft, Sweden conducted an official online poll, and they want Natalie Portman. The Swedish film version of the first book in the trilogy received positive reviews when it reached American theaters earlier this year, and the second film will arrive this fall.
Two Knight and Day trailers for the internet and international audiences
Do these long but slightly different trailers get you any more excited to see the Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz action comedy? Or is your evening still open on June 25?
Brief notes: Release dates, casting news, and more
- Warner Bros announced that the Sherlock Holmes sequel will be released December 16, 2011.
- Todd Phillips will be busy. He has Due Date coming November 5 of this year, Hangover 2 is set for May 26, 2011, and now Project X has been slated for November 23, 2011.
- Paul W. S. Anderson’s version of The Three Musketeers (in 3D) will be released April 15, 2011.
- Indie director Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco) may finally return after a decade-long absence with Damsels In Distress. - The Playlist
- A fifth Final Destination film is targeted for release in August 2011. - Vulture
- Dustin Lance Black will adapt Matt Kindt’s graphic novel 3 Story. - Heat Vision
- Brad Pitt’s company, Plan B, is developing the novels Fortress of Solitude and The Imperfectionists - The Playlist
- A synopsis of the upcoming Green Lantern film starring Ryan Reynolds appeared on Comicbookmovie.com
- Marvel has hired Drew Pearce to adapt Brian K. Vaughn’s comic Runaways for director Peter Sollett (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) - Deadline
- Stephen Graham (Public Enemies) has been cast as Jack Sparrow’s sidekick in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides. - Variety
- Josh Holloway (Lost) might be joining the Marvel Universe - Avengers News
- Jeremy Renner is close to playing Hawkeye in Marvel’s Avengers - Heat Vision