If you’re a Spider-Manfan, Sony Pictures is about to make your day. That’s because the studio sent out a late night press release loaded with future plans for the Spider-Man movie universe. Here are the highlights:
Sony, in association with Marvel, are developing several new projects in the Spider-Man franchise, with Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard to collaborate on overseeing the developing story over several films that will be produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach. The five writers, along with the two producers and Marc Webb, have formed a franchise brain trust to expand the universe for the brand and to develop a continuous tone and thread throughout the films.
Kurtzman, Orci, and Pinkner are writing the screenplay for The Amazing Spider-Man 3, which the studio hopes Webb will return to direct; the film will go into production next fall for release on June 10, 2016.
Kurtzman, Orci and Solomon are writing the screenplay for a Venommovie, which Kurtzman will direct.
Drew Goddard will write, with an eye to direct, The Sinister Six, focusing on the villains in the franchise.
With the comic book genre making more money than ever at the box office, it’s no surprise Sony is pushing forward with more sequels and spinoffs. We’ll have a lot more on this tomorrow, but until then, hit the jump for the press release.
20th Century Fox has acquired the feature rights to the Agatha Christie classic Murder on the Orient Express. The book takes place on the luxurious train, stuck in a snowdrift in Yugoslavia. That night a man is murdered, but fortunately cunning detective Hercule Poirot is aboard to solve the case. THR reports Ridley Scott (Prometheus) will produce alongside Mark Gordon (Source Code) and Simon Kinberg (Elysium). Scott is currently shooting the Biblical epic Exodusand recently stated his next two projects are already set, so he is likely too busy to direct the Christie adaptation.
Albert Finney played Poirot in the 1974 adaptation that earned six Oscar nominations. Alfred Molina took on the role in 2001 TV movie that was not received quite so well. Fox is still looking for a writer, so no word on who might play the Belgian detective this time around. But I expect a thorough casting search since there are 33 novels and 50 short stories that offer plenty of material for a Poirot franchise if Murder on the Orient Express is successful. Check out the book synopsis and 1974 trailer after the break.
Ahead of its debut next month at the Sundance Film Festival, the first trailer for director Gregg Araki’s (Mysterious Skin) new film White Bird in a Blizzard has been released online. Based on the novel by Laura Kasischke, the film tells the story of a young woman (Shailene Woodley) whose life is upended when her beautiful, enigmatic mother (Eva Green)suddenly goes missing. Woodley wowed Sundance audiences last year with her performance in The Spectacular Now, and White Bird in a Blizzard certainly looks like a fascinating follow-up.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to catch up on all of our Sundance 2014 coverage thus far. The pic also stars Shiloh Fernandez, Christopher Meloni, Gabourey Sidibe, Thomas Jane, and Angela Basset. The Sundance Film Festival runs January 16 – 26th. Look for our review of the film during that time.
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to visit the set of Joe Dante‘s new film Burying the Ex, a horror comedy about Max (Anton Yelchin), a nice guy who moves in with his girlfriend Evelyn (Ashley Greene) only to find she’s a controlling nightmare. He’s saved the burden of a nasty breakup when she dies in a freak accident, and soon after meets the girl of his dreams (Alexandra Daddario). Everything seems hunkydory until Evelyn returns from the grave, crazy as ever and now with added undead super strength! As a huge fan of Dante’s I was excited to get an early look at what the film has to offer and speak with some of the folks involved. Though the film is already in production Dante and co have mounted a crowdfunding campaign through FundAnything to help with post-production and distribution. There are some damn cool rewards on the table including exclusive footage, screening invites, and even lunch with Mr. Dante himself. You can check out the official page here.
While on set I sat down for an interview with Yelchin. He talked about what attracted him to the script, working with Joe Dante, learning about the horror genre, and what audiences can expect from Burying the Ex. He also briefly touched on his feelings about getting a new director for Star Trek 3. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Season 2 of the popular series Lilyhammer will be available via Netflix on December 13th. The series follows former gangster Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano, played by actor/executive producer/co-writer/music supervisor Steven Van Zandt,as he enters the federal witness protection program, trading the mean streets of New York for the icy fjords of Norway and forging a new life among the locals of Lillehammer.
During this recent interview to promote the series’ eight new episodes, Steven Van Zandt talked about the remarkable success Netflix has had with original programming, how proud he is that Lilyhammer was their first original series, what it was like to live and work in Norway, having only eight-hour workdays on set, the difference between Norwegian sensibilities and American sensibilities, how Frank handles fatherhood, and what he hopes viewers get from watching this show. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
The main reason to watch the Golden Globes this year is to see Tina Fey and Amy Poehler return as the awards ceremony’s hosts. They brought a fantastic sense of humor to the show last year, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association did right by signing them on as hosts for the next two ceremonies. Fresh off of this morning’s Golden Globes nominations announcement, NBC has released a trio of promos in which Fey and Poehler tease their hosting duties. Unsurprisingly, they’re quite funny. Hit the jump to watch the videos. The 71st Golden Globes will take place on January 12, 2014.
Director Joe Lynch’s (Wrong Turn 2)horror comedy Knights of Badassdom is finally set for release early next year, but as it turns out it might be incorrect to credit the film to Lynch. The film, which is set in the world of LARPers (Live-Action Role Players) and revolves around a group accidentally summoning a blood-thirsty demon, ran into problems in post-production when the pic was taken away from Lynch and a 70-minute cut was created by the owner of the film’s production company. eOne has acquired the film for distribution and released an announcement trailer, but it appears that, sadly, the film they’re releasing is not Lynch’s cut. That’s unfortunate, because the footage we saw at Comic-Con two years ago looked like a lot of fun. Hopefully Lynch’s version will see the light of day at some point.
Hit the jump to watch the announcement teaser trailer. The film stars Ryan Kwanten, Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn, Jimmy Simpson, and Summer Glau. Knights of Badassdom will be available in theaters via TUGG starting January 21, 2014 and will be released on VOD February 11, 2014.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled the list of 114 original scores that are eligible for the Best Original Score Oscar. Though John Williams has worked almost exclusively with Steven Spielberg for the past few years, he’s eligible this year for scoring director Brian Percival’s Holocaust film The Book Thief. Prolific composer Hans Zimmer has three scores in the running with Rush, Man of Steel, and 12 Years a Slave, and other notable scores include Steven Price’s excellent Gravity, David Wingo’s work on Mud, Ramin Djawadi’s rocking Pacific Rim score, Michael Giacchino’s Star Trek Into Darkness,and the collaboration between Arcade Fire’s William Butler and musician Owen Pallett on Her. Frustratingly, though, Steven Price’s The World’s End score appears to have been deemed ineligible, presumably due to the abundance of pre-existing tracks.
Hit the jump to see the full list of eligible scores and for my thoughts on the early Oscar favorites. The 86th Academy Award nominations will be announced January 16th.
Bridesmaids director Paul Feig is not exactly lacking for material, and he may be adding another potential project to his slate. Deadline reports that Feig is attached to produce and possibly direct an untitled comedy pitch for 20th Century Fox. Plot details are under wraps, but Feig hatched the idea as “a vehicle for a group of ethnically diverse comic actresses.” Melissa Stack, who recently wrote the upcoming Cameron Diaz comedy The Other Woman, is attached to pen the script. Feig will produce alongside Jessie Henderson under their Feigco banner, which aims to make R-rated comedies at Fox.
Feig is coming off the success of this summer’s Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy comedy The Heat and he will next direct McCarthy in the spy comedy Susan Cooper, which also stars Jason Statham and Bridesmaids co-star Rose Byrne. Additionally, he is developing a The Heat spinoff focusing on the characters played by Jamie Denbo and Jessica Chaffin.
Kurt Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy may be done for the year, but the creator/showrunner already has a project lined up once the biker drama series takes it’s final ride in the seventh season. Sutter is sticking with FX (and why wouldn’t he?) and teaming up with Brian Grazer to develop a pilot for the drama series, The Bastard Executioner. In keeping with Sutter’s dark and violent material, the series centers on one of King Edward III’s warrior knights whose soul is broken by war, but must pick up the sword when violence finds him once again. Sutter will pen the script with filming on the pilot slated to begin late next year when Sons of Anarchy wraps for good. Hit the jump for more.
Joss Whedon is currently very busy prepping the Avengers sequel Age of Ultron, and he certainly has his hands full with the follow-up. Expectations are high considering the first film scored the highest opening weekend of all time and grossed a worldwide total of $1.5 billion, plus Whedon has to introduce new characters Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and villain Ultron (James Spader) in addition to juggling the already packed ensemble of the titular Avengers. Now there’s the possibility of one more Marvel character being thrown into the bunch, as a new report claims that Don Cheadle is poised to make an appearance as Colonel James Rhodes. Hit the jump for more.
[Update: We've updated the story with a reported confirmation of Cheadle's involvement, including information on his role in the sequel.]
After the disappointing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, director Peter Jackson has found his way back to ruling in Middle-earth with the sequel, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Unexpected Journey gave us the comfort food of familiar locales, but the story lacked urgency. Desolation of Smaug reveals that while Unexpected Journey may have been a somewhat tedious set-up, the payoff is a fleet-footed, thrilling second chapter that confidently expands the world instead of creeping around the one Jackson previously created in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Since Disney and Pixar’s animated films are normally in development for so long, the animators have plenty of time to throw in a few Easter Eggs for each feature—a Pixar staple, for example, is hiding the Pizza Planet truck in every one of its films. Walt Disney Animation’s latest effort, the excellent Frozen, is no exception. Now that the film has been in theaters for a couple of weeks (dominating the box office, no less), Disney has released a few images showing some of the Easter Eggs that were hidden in the pic. References to Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled, and even Mickey Mouse made it into the film.
Hit the jump to check out images highlighting the Easter Eggs, and if you haven’t yet seen Frozen, I highly encourage you to do so. Not only does it have a compelling and fun story, but the songs are fantastic.
From its opening shot, American Hustle is about the art of the con, the small cons we pull on each other and, more importantly, ourselves. The con can be in the image we project to the world to the point where we can no longer distinguish who we truly are from the lie we’ve created. David O. Russell‘s new film features characters who lie to the world in order to lie to themselves, but the filmmaker never manages to organize the lies and the liars into something bigger and more poignant. They’re random molecules bouncing off each other in a way that’s fun, flighty, and occasionally a little melancholy. Russell seems bent on trying to meld his offbeat earlier films with his recent, more populist fare, but the result is a piece that’s often amusing, but rarely audacious.
All films based on real events should have historical license. The most important thing is trying to tell the best story possible, and if that means playing a little fast and loose with the facts, then so be it. But when those facts become elastic in order to serve an agenda coated in mawkish sentiment, then history a serious consideration rather than a suggestion. In the case of Saving Mr. Banks, Disney is attempting to rewrite history in service of bolstering the argument of corporate wisdom seducing the misguided artist who doesn’t understand that synergy is the best way to catharsis. The film pays a bit of lip service to cold studio pragmatism, and Tom Hanks is at his most charming, but Saving Mr. Banks‘ warm, sunny attitude can’t mask calculating, self-congratulatory motives.