Hot on the heels of the first trailer for the significantly delayed genre pic Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, a witch hunting film of a different sort may have found its lead. The Wrap reports that Vin Diesel is in talks to star in The Crazies director Breck Eisner’s The Last Witch Hunter. Diesel would play one of the last remaining witch hunters who is tasked with “discouraging a group of witches and warlocks from reproducing.” Vin Diesel: Cock Blocker was previously set up as a directing vehicle for Wanted’s Timur Bekmambetov, but he’s now only onboard in a producer role. The script for the Lionsgate/Summit film was written by Cory Goodman (Priest).
Diesel is currently in London filming the Justin Lin-helmed sequel Fast & Furious 6, and he recently wrapped the third installment in his Chronicles of Riddick series, Riddick. The actor is also attached to star in the Iron Giant-esque possible franchise-starter The Machine, in which he’ll play a government-created machine that must protect the family who’s harboring him.
Earlier this month, we reported that Breck Eisner (The Crazies) was in talks to direct the live-action adaptation of the disposable toy Stretch Armstrong. Today, Relativity Media has sent out a press release confirming that Eisner has the gig. According to the press release, “This original story will be a gritty actioner introducing the character of Lucas Armstrong and the life-or-death consequences he will face after undergoing a transformation granting him superhuman abilities.” That’s right: someone is going to make a “gritty actioner” based on a toy that’s filled with gelled corn syrup.
Hit the jump to read the press release. Stretch Armstrong opens April 11, 2014.
The feature film version of Stretch Armstrong now has a director. The gestating adaptation of the classic Hasbro toy has been in development for a few years, with Taylor Lautner previously attached to star as the titular, flexible hero. Relativity picked up the rights to the project from Universal back in January and set Greg Poirier (National Treasure: Book of Secrets) to write the script, and now Heat Vision reports that Breck Eisner has entered negotiations to take the helm. Moreover, it appears that Dean Gregoraris (The Manchurian Candidate, Tristan + Isolde) is now handling the script.
Eisner—the son of former Disney CEO Michael—previously directed the horror film The Crazies and 2005’s Sahara. He landed on a shortlist of directors to helm Die Hard 5 before John Moore landed the gig, but Eisner recently signed on to helm the action-thriller Manhunt. Whether his Stretch Armstrong will finally come to fruition remains to be seen, but Relativity seems keen on getting the film into production.
The most wanted man in Hollywood is about to join the Manhunt. Gerard Butler, who is attached to a staggering number of films at present, is reportedly in advanced negotiations to star in Manhunt, an action-thriller scripted by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (both from Children of Men). Directed by Breck Eisner (The Crazies), Manhunt follows an FBI team into the North Carolina wilderness where they track James Tollan, a domestic terrorist and ruthless survivalist who has evaded capture with the help of local townspeople; his repeated attacks on the federal government have marked him as the FBI’s most-wanted. The team enlists a reluctant local bear hunter to help capture Tollan, but finds that the terrorist will stop at nothing to defend his home turf once they enter his woods. While the report doesn’t specify the role, I’m going to assume that Butler is up for “friendly bear-hunter” and not “ruthless murderer.” Hit the jump for more, including a recap of all of Butler’s current projects.
The search for a director for Die Hard 5 may finally be over. After Noam Murro left the project to helm 300: Battle of Artemisia, a number of names were thrown around as possible replacements, including Fast Five’s Justin Lin and Attack the Block helmer Joe Cornish. Ultimately, it looks like Fox settled on John Moore, a director whose credits include such underwhelming fare as Max Payne and Flight of the Phoenix. Fox was apparently keen on Moore from the get-go, but Bruce Willis took some convincing. Willis was won over by Moore’s “love for the John McClane character” and grasp of how to shoot stunts practically with minimal CGI. Hit the jump for more, including my thoughts on this decision.
Breck Eisner (The Crazies) is in early talks to direct The Last Witch Hunter for Summit Entertainment. (Not to be confused with Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.) The Last Witch Hunter centers on one of the last remaining witch hunters charged with the population control of witches and warlocks. The magical breed is about to proliferate in “a major way” unless our protagonist can stop them.
According to Deadline, Cory Goodman (Priest) wrote the screenplay; Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) will produce. Eisner was mentioned in connection with the Ouija movie before McG landed the gig, and dropped out of the remake of The Brood late last year. However, Eisner is still attached to remakes of Flash Gordon and Escape from New York, so The Last Witch Hunter has some competition on the way to becoming the director’s next film.
Though many have been considered, Universal’s Ouija adaptation is still without a director. McG (Terminator Salvation) and Breck Eisner (The Crazies) are the latest to vie for the job, having presented their cinematic take on the supernatural board game to Universal executives over the past two weeks. The studio still has time to be choosy, with a script in place from Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Tron: Legacy). There is an implicit deadline to pick a director, though, with a set release date of November 9, 2012.
Hit the jump for some background information on the board game and how Universal intends to make it a movie.
Usually, we tell you who’s signing on to a project, but right now we’re going to tell you a couple directors who are signing off. First up, Pajiba reports that director Breck Eisner (The Crazies) is no longer directing the remake of David Cronenberg’s The Brood. However, the project isn’t dead and Spyglass Entertainment, the production company behind the remake, is now looking for a new director. The original 1979 flick is about (per IMDb) “A man who tries to uncover an unconventional psychologist’s therapy techniques on his institutionalized wife, while a series of brutal attacks committed by a brood of mutant children coincides with the husband’s investigation.”
Pajiba also reports that David Fincher is no longer involved with the adaptation of the graphic novel Black Hole. Hit the jump for more on his departure from the project.
Every once in a while, you’ll hear a disturbing news account of some mild mannered office employee who suddenly opened fire on his coworkers, a quiet student who abruptly turned his classmates into target practice or a nice father who shockingly hacked his family to pieces. The Crazies preys on our fears of these random, unexpected acts of violence, most effectively in its opening sequence, in which a small town father shows up at a local baseball game presumably loaded and carrying a loaded weapon. More after the jump:
New Line is in negotiations with Breck Eisner to helm their remake of the classic 1981 Kurt Russell flick Escape From New York. Eisner recently directed the remake of George Romero’s The Crazies for Overture. New Line’s Escape From New York remake has been in the works for a few years, and Gerard Butler was initially attached but left the project in 2007. The remake’s script was written by Ken Nolan, David Kajganich and Allan Loeb, and it will follow the basic plot of John Carpenter’s original film, in which former soldier Snake Plissken has one day to save the President after Air Force One crashes and Manhattan has been overrun by gangs. According to Variety, Walter Hamada and Sam Brown will oversee for New Line. The project is set up at Neal Moritz’ Original Films
Steve recently spoke with Moritz about the film earlier this month. Moritz wouldn’t say much beyond that they have a script and that he’s okay making it R-rated as long as it’s for violence and not language because he thinks swearing doesn’t automatically make something a cool movie. Hopefully, we’ll learn more about this project in the near future.
While some of you might have thought I was done with “Seven Days with Producer Neal Moritz,” trust me, I’m just getting warmed up. Last week I posted what he said about R.I.P.D., Fast and the Furious 5/6 and his remake of Highlander, and tonight’s it’s an update on Shane Black’s Doc Savage, his remake of Total Recall, and what’s up with Flash Gordon.
The quick update is he’s waiting on scripts for all three projects but says he’s about to get Doc Savage and Total Recall. He went on to say that Shane Black did some work on the Battle: Los Angeles script and while he’s tried to attach him to many projects, it was his love for Doc Savage that finally reeled him in.
And regarding the remake of Total Recall, Moritz said Kurt Wimmer is writing the script and it’s going to be closer to the Philip K. Dick story, We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, than a remake of the Schwarzenegger movie. He also says they’re not going to Mars but I forgot to ask if Quato is in the movie. I hope he is. Hit the jump for his exact quotes:
Breck Eisner’s The Crazies might make you believe something this hellacious isn’t just a work of far-flung fiction, but a possible reality. For a Hollywood horror film, that is quite a feat when the weird seems to gush from the wounds of multi-million dollar projects that often strive for shock over true substance or coherency. Eisner, working off of George A. Romero’s 1973 original The Crazies, uses a believable story with the required scares and thrills without succumbing to sheer absurdity or grotesque violence. By using focused and tight camerawork, a narrative that is easy to follow, and quality acting, Eisner delivers a worthy entry in the horror genre that is a pleasure from start to finish, even for non-genre fans.
A sizzle reel for Breck Eisner’s upcoming horror film The Crazies has just gone up online and it’s pretty damn cool. For those who don’t know, a sizzle reel is a combination of a featurette with a trailer. You don’t see any behind-the-scenes stuff, but you have the actors talking about the film, while some really intense action is happening on screen. I’m hearing good things about the movie, which is terrific since 90% of mainstream horror movies seem to phone in it these days.
Hit the jump to check out the sizzle reel along with the official synopsis. Also, you can click here to read an interview with Danielle Panabaker, click here to read an interview with Breck Eisner, and click here to read my set report from last year.
The Crazies hits theaters tomorrow. Look for Bill Graham’s review later tonight.
Director Breck Eisner’s shocker The Crazies is set to debut in theatres on February 26. In the last few days, I’ve gotten the chance to speak with some of the people that brought this reboot to life. Most recently, I talked with one of the film’s stars, Danielle Panabaker. Hit the jump for her thoughts on The Crazies and what we can expect to see from her in the future.
Opening on February 26 is The Crazies, Overture Films’ remake of the 1973 George Romero film of the same name. Starring Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, and Danielle Panabaker, it centers on a small town whose residents become infected by a virus that causes them to go…well, you know. Recently, I got the opportunity to do a phone interview with the film’s director, Breck Eisner. Hit the jump to get his thoughts on remaking Romero, his philosophy on constructing an effective horror movie, an update on his upcoming Flash Gordon reboot, and more.