Our new weekly column brings you everything you need to know about this week's major developments in Hollywood.
J.J. Abrams' surprise is out: It's Super 8
When news emerged earlier this week that a trailer for a top-secret new project from director J.J. Abrams would be screened in theaters this weekend prior to Iron Man 2, early speculation pegged the film as either a prequel or sequel to the Abrams-produced Cloverfield. While that theory was quickly shot down, now that the trailer is out, it certainly appears that there are similarities between that monster movie and the new film, the Steven Spielberg-produced, $45 million Super 8, due in theaters next summer. The Hollywood Reporter has more details, or you can watch a bootleg of the trailer on YouTube (for now). There's even a website (Super 8 News) tracking the latest developments, and an apparently official viral site at scariestthingieversaw.com offering a late-1970s-era computer interface.
Next Batman film gets a release date
Mark your calendars: Christopher Nolan's third Batman film is now set to arrive in theaters July 20, 2012. Deadline also reports that the film will most likely be in 3-D (surprise!) and with Warner’s recent deal with IMAX (LA Times), it will surely appear on the biggest screens available.
Spielberg to direct WWI epic
Variety reports that Steven Spielberg, having already tackled WWII (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, Empire of the Sun), will direct War Horse, based on the Michael Morpurgo novel about the bond between a boy and his horse during the first World War. The release is currently set for August 10, 2011.
Clooney’s The American gets a trailer
George Clooney plays an assassin in the Anton Corbijn (Control)-directed The American, opening September 1st. Adapted from the Martin Booth novel, the story follows the “one last job” of an assassin in Italy.
Scott Pilgrim reshoots a good thing?
Don’t worry, Scott Pilgrim vs the World fans; director Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) tells CHUD.com that positive buzz has pushed them back into production to include more from the final book in the series by Bryan Lee O’Malley. If the official trailer is a sign of things to come, this should be a good thing. The release is still set for August 13, 2010.
Vaughn to helm X-Men: First Class
For his next project after Kick-Ass, Matthew Vaughn has moved on to another comic book-based film, X-Men: First Class. Deadline tells us that Fox has already set a June 3, 2011 release date, a quick turnaround for what will surely be a big production. The film will chronicle the beginning of the series, prior to Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr becoming Professor X and Magneto.
MI:4 a go with release date and new director
Originally slated for a May 27, 2011 release, Mission: Impossible 4 will now hit theaters on December 16, 2011, according to The Wrap. In addition, Empire Online reports that Brad Bird (The Incredibles) has been confirmed as the director, with Tom Cruise set to reprise his role as Ethan Hunt. J.J. Abrams will serve as a producer.
Breaking Dawn gets a director and release date
Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) will direct the movie based on the final book in the Twilight saga, according to a Summit Entertainment press release (Ain’t It Cool News). In addition, Summit has set a release date of November 18, 2011, according to THR’s Heat Vision. No word yet on whether Breaking Dawn will be split into two films as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows was, but Condon does have more to share on Facebook.
New teaser trailer for Buried
LionsGate has released a trailer for Buried, the buzzy Sundance hit starring Ryan Reynolds as a man who suffers the fate suggested by the title. Can Reynolds match The Bride’s skills and survive being buried alive? (And where can we find a cellphone provider with such great coverage?) You can find out September 24th in some cities and October 8th everywhere.
Stephen King’s The Dark Tower to be filmed
Deadline is reporting that the same group that brought Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons to the screen will attempt to have the same success with an even more epic novel series: Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Ron Howard will direct the adaptation by Akiva Goldsman, while Brian Grazer produces.
Two clips from the upcoming Prince of Persia
If you can’t wait until May 28 to see the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced, Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)-directed Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, then you can get a taste now. Walt Disney Pictures released two clips for online consumption this week:
Die Hard 5 in the works ... yippee kai yay?
Can John McClane survive another two hours on film? Fox seems to think so, according to THR’s Risky Business. The fifth installment in the Die Hard series will be penned by Skip Woods (The A-Team, X-Men Origins: Wolverine). No word yet on plot details, but start thinking of another derivative “Die Hard” title.
First photo of Thor released
Here’s the first image of Chris Hemsworth (Star Trek) as superhero Thor from the 2011 Marvel Comics film adaptation of the same name. (A much larger version is available at Yahoo!). The film, directed by Kenneth Branagh, also stars Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard (Angels and Demons), Idris Elba (The Losers), and Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist).
Villains cast for Captain America
Captain America: The First Avenger has cast two supervillains. ComingSoon.net tells us that Hugo Weaving (The Matrix) will play Red Skull opposite Chris Evans’ Captain America, while THR’s Heat Vision reports that Toby Jones (Infamous) will play mad scientist Arnim Zola. The Joe Johnston-directed feature based on the Marvel character will be released July 22, 2011 in the U.S.
Planet of the Apes prequel coming next summer
Cowboys and Aliens gets another star
Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2, Moon) will join Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde in Jon Favreau’s upcoming Cowboys and Aliens, according to THR’s Heat Vision. The action film is based on the graphic novel about a Wild West-era clash between cowboys, indians and an unwelcome alien species. Rockwell will play Doc, a bar owner, in a part that was rewritten for him.
New trailer released for Toy Story 3
Woody and Buzz are back on June 18th, and the latest internet-only trailer is below:
Joaquin Phoenix mockumentary debuts (in private)
Remember when Joaquin Phoenix (Two Lovers) grew a beard and acted weird? Well, it seems like that might have been what everyone thought it was - a stunt staged for a film. Some executives recently got a preview, according to Deadline.
Transformers 3 gets McDreamy
The third installment of the Michael Bay-helmed Transformers series will include current Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey. The movie is set to be released July 1, 2011. There's no mention of what part Dempsey will play in the report from Variety.
Official trailer released for Sundance winner Winter’s Bone
Winter's Bone, the 2010 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Waldo Scott Screenwriting Award winner, will be released on June 11, 2010 by Roadside Attraction. Here’s the official trailer of the Debra Granik (Down to the Bone)-directed feature staring Jennifer Lawrence (The Burning Plain) and John Hawkes (Me and You and Everyone We Know):
Secretariat trailer released
The story of arguably the greatest race horse of all time is coming to theaters on October 8th from Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Randall Wallace (We Were Soldiers), the film tells the story of the 1973 triple crown winner, whose owner Penny Chenery will be played by Diane Lane.