Good news, bad news dept.: The Star Wars saga will be released in 3D
The good news, depending on your feelings toward 3D and re-release money grabs, is that all six Star Wars films will be released in theaters, in 3D, beginning in 2012. The bad news is that the releases will start with Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. The good news is that visual effects guru John Knoll will be supervising the 3D conversions. The bad news is that, well, it’s a conversion. As Knoll tells Variety, “I have been a vocal critic of some of the previous efforts at doing 3D conversions. (But) I think the problems that have been encountered are mostly because of budget and schedule, trying to ram the work through in too short a period of time.” Lets hope he’s right. Fanboys aren’t too happy.
Speaking of rereleases ...
In other re-release news, the A.V. Club reports that Back to the Future will return to theaters for its 25th anniversary with screenings on October 23 and 25 in select AMC theaters in 40 cities across America. The new print will be digitally remastered and NOT 3D. Check the list of participating theaters here. And fans of the Back to the Future trilogy living in Southern California can participate in a week-long series of events dedicated to the films in mid-November, culminating in a re-creation of the "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance at the site where it was originally filmed, with cast members in attendance. The full schedule is here.
True Grit teaser trailer
Here’s the first look at the Coen Brothers’ True Grit, starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper, and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld. If you haven’t read the book by Charles Portis or seen the 1969 film adaptation starring John Wayne, True Grit is the story of Mattie Ross (Steinfeld), who, with the reluctant assistance of the often drunk US Marshall Rooster Cogburn (Bridges) and the ambitious Texas Ranger LeBoeuf (Damon), hunts down her father's killer, Tom Chaney (Brolin), who has joined “Lucky” Ned Pepper’s (Pepper) gang. Frequent Coen Brothers collaborators Roger Deakins and Carter Burwell provide the cinematography and music, respectively. See it in theaters December 25.
Casting News for Sherlock Holmes 2
Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes sequel filled two major roles this week. Latino Review reported that Jared Harris (Mad Men) will play Holmes’ archenemy, Professor Moriarty. Harris could be considered a bit of a surprise considering the rumors that Daniel Day-Lewis, Brad Pitt, or Colin Firth might take the role. And, according to Bleeding Cool, Stephen Fry confirmed on Danny Baker’s BBC 5 Live radio show that he will play Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s more intelligent but less ambitious brother. Sherlock Holmes 2 is slated for release on December 16, 2011.
Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer trailer
Here’s the first trailer for Alex Gibney’s (Taxi to the Dark Side, Casino Jack and the United States of Money) latest documentary. This time, he examines the early success and scandalous fall of former Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer. Gibney interviews Spitzer along with his enemies, and investigates the escort business which lead to Spitzer’s ultimate undoing.
Wes Anderson working on a new film
This story is in the earliest of early stages of development, but we’ll take a flier on a possible new Wes Anderson movie. According to Production Weekly, the film is currently titled Moonrise Kingdom, is live action, and is scheduled to start production in the spring of 2011. The Playlist adds that Anderson is looking to cast a 12 year old boy and girl to play the lead roles.
Whit Stillman will direct again
Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, Barcelona) is jumping back into feature directing for the first time since 1998’s The Last Days of Disco. Greta Gerwig (Greenberg) will star in Stillman's upcoming film, currently titled Damsels in Distress. She described her role to WWD:“I play a girl named Violet who runs a suicide-prevention center at a liberal arts college. She prevents suicides through the powers of Thirties song-and-dance numbers. So it’s a very dark comedy.” If you’re intrigued, The Playlist has an earlier, more in-depth plot synopsis.
I Am Number Four teaser trailer
Directed by D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye, Disturbia) and based on the novel by Pittacus Lore (the pen name for authors James Frey -- yes, that James Frey -- and Jobie Hughes), I Am Number Four tells the story of the fourth of a group of nine alien children who, along with their guardians, are hiding on earth from the Mogadarians, the alien race that destroyed their home planet. The children can only be killed in order, and Four is next. Alex Pettyfer stars as Number Four and Timothy Olyphant (Justified) plays his guardian while Dianna Agron (Glee) fills the love interest role. See it in theaters February 18, 2011.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn casting news
Deadline reports that Maggie Grace (Taken) will play the pivotal role of Irina in the upcoming final two movies of the Twilight Saga, to be directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls). She will be joined by MyAnna Buring (The Descent), Casey LaBow, Mia Maestro (Alias), and Christian Camargo to form the Denali coven. According to THR, Buring will play Tanya, LaBow will play Kate, Maestro will play Carmen, and Camargo will play clan patriarch Eleazar. EW also reported this week that nine year old Mackenzie Foy is close to being cast as Bella and Edward’s daughter, Renesmee. Part 1 of Breaking Dawn is due in theaters November 18, 2011, while Part 2 will not hit the big screen until November 16, 2012.
Richard Linklater’s Bernie
THR reports that Matthew McConaughey will re-team with Richard Linklater for the first time since Dazed and Confused, joining Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, and Rip Torn in Bernie. What is more interesting about the report is the plot summary that sounds like a small town Texas twist on the brilliant 1989 Andrew McCarthy-Jonathan Silverman comedy Weekend at Bernie’s. Here’s the description: “Bernie is set in the small town of Carthage, Texas, and follows Renaissance man/community leader/mortician Bernie (Black), who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a wealthy but very particular widow (MacLaine). When he kills her, he goes to great lengths to maintain the illusion that she is still alive.”
The first official trailer for The Warrior’s Way
Written and directed by first-time Korean filmmaker Sngmoo Lee, The Warrior’s Way is a mash-up of kung fu and western films starring Dong-gun Jang (The Promise) as an assassin who finds it difficult to leave his old life behind once he finds a new home in a small town at the edge of a desert. Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush, and Danny Huston join the fun. Check it out in theaters beginning December 3.
News on the next Mission: Impossible
THR’s Risky Business is reporting that in his first role since Lost, Josh Holloway will join a confirmed cast of Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, and returning players Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg in the fourth installment of the the Mission: Impossible franchise, directed by Brad Bird. Filming will take place in Vancouver, Prague and Dubai. The exact roles of the new cast members and story details are unknown at this time. Release is set for December 16, 2011, but if you can’t wait that long, check out these photos of Cruise filming in Prague.
A second look at Skyline
The Bothers Strause, directors of Aliens vs Predator: Requiem, got their start in visual effects, and it looks like they’ll be putting those skills to full use in their latest directorial effort, Skyline. When aliens attack Los Angeles, Eric Balfour (Hell Ride), Donald Faison (Scrubs), Scottie Thompson (Trauma), and David Zayas (Dexter) try to get the hell out, which might be tough, especially if they look at the light. Skyline hits theaters November 12.
It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a rumor about Superman’s director.
Sooner or later, every major Hollywood director will be connected to Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Superman project (though Nolan himself is not a candidate; he is only producing). This week, the LA Times added Darren Aronofsky’s name to the list. He now joins Tony Scott, Zach Snyder, Matt Reeves (Let Me In), Duncan Jones (Moon), and Jonathan Liebesman (the upcoming Battle: Los Angeles) on the long list of potential directors. According to Heat Vision, even Warner Bros. favorite Ben Affleck had a meeting about the film. Aronofsky is riding the positive buzz of his upcoming film, Black Swan, and in the past he has been linked to potential big-budget films like the re-boot of Robocop, the upcoming sequel to Wolverine, and even a Frank Miller version of Batman. We’ll keep you updated as the story develops.
Inspector Bellamy trailer
Before he died on September 12, Claude Chabrol had already completed his last feature film in 2009, Inspector Bellamy. The film stars Gérard Depardieu as Paul Bellamy, whose vacation with his wife is interrupted by his stepbrother and a man who enlists his help in a murder investigation. This is the first time Depardieu and Chabrol collaborated in their long careers, but the results could be worth the wait. A limited U.S. release is set for October 29.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance story and casting news
While Nicolas Cage will return as Johnny Blaze (aka Ghost Rider), Peter Fonda will not reprise his role as the devil in the upcoming sequel to 2007’s Ghost Rider. Heat Vision reports that Ciaran Hinds (Life During Wartime) will soon sign on to take over the role. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance finds Cage’s character in Eastern Europe, trying to repress his curse until he is recruited to battle the devil who aims to possess his mortal son’s body. The son’s mother will be played by Violante Placido (The American). Filming will take place in Romania and Turkey. Release is currently set for February 17, 2012 in 3D.
Yogi Bear trailer
The beloved Hanna-Barbera cartoon Yogi Bear will soon go the way of other animated cartoons and comic strips like Alvin and the Chipmunks and Marmaduke by getting the animated/live action combo film treatment. Lets hope that Yogi Bear is a step up in quality, but after seeing this trailer ... well, don't get your hopes up. Dan Aykroyd provides the voice for Yogi Bear, Justin Timberlake for Boo-Boo, and Christine Taylor for Cindy Bear, while Tom Cavanagh and Anna Faris make live action appearances. The kids can drag you to see it starting December 17.
Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more
- New Spider-Man casting rumors - Deadline
- Myst, the popular computer game that debuted in 1993, will be developed into a feature film - Variety
- Christopher Nolan confirmed that he will be directing Batman 3 - Empire
- Clint Eastwood’s latest Oscar contender, Hereafter, will get a limited release on October 15 before going wide on October 22.
- Christopher Plummer will play wealthy patriarch Henrik Vanger in David Fincher’s version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - THR
- Emma Thompson will play the head of MIB, Oh, in Barry Sonnenfeld’s Men In Black 3 - Deadline
- Paul Haggis is in talks to write an update of the late-80s TV show The Equalizer starring Russell Crowe - Heat Vision
- Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts are in talks to star as mother and daughter in an adaptation of Tracy Lett’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, August: Osage County - Deadline
- Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) has signed on to direct the Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim vs The World) adaptation of Richard Aleas’ crime novel, Little Girl Lost - The Wrap
- Gore Verbinski could re-team with Johnny Depp on a feature film version of The Lone Ranger - Deadline
- Patton Oswalt and Patrick Wilson are set to join Charlize Theron in Jason Reitman’s next film, Young Adult, written by Juno collaborator Diablo Cody - LA Times
- Vincent Kartheiser has joined Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, and Cillian Murphy in Andrew Niccol’s (Lord of War) latest thriller - Variety
- Natalie Portman is now “in active negotiations” to star in Alfonso Cuaron’s next film, Gravity - Heat Vision
- James Franco will write, direct and star in an adaptation of Stephen Elliott’s The Adderall Diaries - Deadline