Though it was recently bumped from its planned May 2013 release date and likely won’t make a 2014 date either, Pixels is getting a boost with director Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone) in early talks. Produced by Happy Madison’s Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo, the Columbia picture is based on the 2010 animated short by Patrick Jean, which featured 80s video game characters attacking New York City. The feature-film is expected to be an action-comedy in the vein of Ghostbusters and will follow the same premise as the short. Hit the jump to watch the animated short film.
The most successful film franchise of all time will be available on home video in one nifty box set early next week with the release of the Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection, and a devoted fan has put together a rather impressive video retrospective to mark the occasion. Titled “Mischief Managed,” the video goes through all eight film adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s wondrous series, with scenes accompanied by the franchise’s various scores. It’s a great watch for Harry Potter fans, but it’s also interesting to see the different directors’ visions back-to-back. The story gets dark quite fast, but it’s neat to see it progress from the colorful, faithful touch of Chris Columbus on the first two films, to Alfonso Cuaron’s inventive and playful twist on Azkaban, to the bombastic Britishness of Mike Newell’s Goblet of Fire, and finally David Yates’ grounded yet haunting stamp on the final four films.
Hit the jump to watch the fan-made video retrospective. The Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection will be available on September 7th.
A new clip from the upcoming Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection Blu-ray and DVD has made it online, featuring Daniel Radcliff (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron) and director Alfonso Cuarón discussing the third film the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which Cuarón took over after original director Chris Columbus stepped down. The clip is part of an epic collection that will span 31 discs, available September 7th. However, if you want a piece of it immediately, your orders have to be in by Harry’s birthday (meaning today): July 31st.
The film discussed in the clip is a polarizing one for fans, some of whom (myself included) see it as an artistic achievement, and though it is long, it’s exceptionally engaging. Others simply find it just long, too artsy, and very dark (especially compared to the first two films in the series). To see the video and learn more behind-the-scenes info about the film and the upcoming collection, hit the jump. Also, get the scoop on the all-new Harry Potter Reading Club.
A four-part anthology film devoted to Creepy, the seminal horror comic magazine, is being planned by director Chris Columbus and producer brothers Dan and Josh Braun of New Comic Company. Columbus, who directed two of the Harry Potter films, will write and produce one of the anthology segments. The Brauns acquired the rights to both Creepy and Eerie magazines, along with partners Rick Brookwell and Craig Haffner under the holding entity New Comic Company in 2007.
Creepy may be best known for its iconic covers by Frank Frazetta, but it also boasted a number of well-respected contributors such as Spider-Man artist Steve Ditko as well as Bernie Wrightson, Gene Colan,Richard Corben, Al Williamson, and Wally Wood. The magazine published from 1964 to 1983, and in later editions the stories were hosted by Uncle Creepy (as frightening as Creepy Uncle?). For more on the project, hit the jump.
After opting to take an executive producer role on the sequel to Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief instead of remaining in the director’s chair, Chris Columbus is lining up his next directorial project. Deadline reports that Columbus will produce, write and direct an adaptation of John Grisham’s baseball novel Calico Joe. The book centers on a 21-year-old AA first baseman who is called up to the Cubs when the team is in desperate need of a replacement. Grisham’s book is described as a novel of “fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption.”
Columbus’ last two features, Percy Jackson and I Love You, Beth Cooper, were aimed at decidedly younger audiences, but it appears he’s headed back into family film territory with Calico Joe. The pic will also mark his first writing credit since 2004’s Christmas with the Cranks. He also scripted 1995’s Nine Months, which he directed. Hit the jump to read a synopsis for Calico Joe.
It’s a good day to be a fan of Kristin Hannah, as the bestselling author has just inked a pair of deals that will see two of her popular female-experience-centric novels developed for the silver screen. First up, 1492 Films has picked up the rights to Hannah’s latest, Home Front, the tale of a Blackhawk helicopter pilot in a crumbling marriage who is forced to leave her husband and children for a tour of duty in Iraq. Per Deadline, the book, currently 14th on the NY Times bestseller list, was powerful enough to really pique the interest of director Chris Columbus (Stepmom, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets), who is attached to helm.
Also per Deadline, an adaptation is underway for Hannah’s The Things We Do For Love, the story of a disillusioned, childless divorcee and a pregnant, recently homeless teen who form a bond that will both fulfill and sorely test both women. SPB Productions is developing with an eye on transitioning child star Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) for role of the teen. Hit the jump for full synopses of both books.
CBS has put in orders for three wildly different dramas. Check out the details below:
- From Ilene Chaiken (The L Word) comes Quean, which follows a Lisbeth Salander-style hacker chick who assists an Oakland police detective in crime solving. Chaiken and Joel Silver will executive produce.
- Applebaum is based on Mommy-Track Mysteries, a book series by author Ayelet Waldman. The story follows an ex-public defender turned stay-at-home mom who becomes a private investigator to stave off boredom. Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) will direct the pilot and is among the executive producers.
- An untitled period piece from screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi (American Gangster) and Without a Trace executive producer Greg Walker will follow a 1960s rodeo cowboy turned Las Vegas sheriff. James Mangold (Walk the Line) will direct the pilot for the series based on the true story of Ralph Lamb.
Also from the network, Homeland’s executive producer and pilot-director Michael Cuesta recently signed a seven-figure deal that was good from the time the ink dried until June 1st of next year. His next test will be directing the pilot titled Elementary for the network’s contemporary Sherlock Holmes series. Hit the jump for more.
Chris Columbus and his 1492 Productions have picked up the screen rights to Charles Yu‘s novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe. The story focuses on a time travel machine repairman (also named Charles Yu) who has spent 10 years going through the time stream to find his lost father. His search eventually causes him to land a time loop and he must find a way to change the future. Yesterday, I accused Daughter of Smoke and Bone of having a “Mary Sue” protagonist, but I’m assuming that despite Yu giving the lead character his name, How To Live doesn’t have the male equivalent (a “Gary Stu”) since the book received honors from Time Magazine and the New York Times.
Brendan Bellomo will make his feature directing debut on the movie. The NYU film school grad previously directed the live action sci-fi short Bohemibot, which netted him a bronze medal in the narrative category at the 2009 Student Academy Awards. Hit the jump to check out Bellomo’s director’s reel and try to focus on the visuals, not the silly use of the Inception trailer music.
MGM is in talks to pick up screenwriter Adam Green‘s adaptation of Greg Taylor‘s novel Killer Pizza. The story follows a teenager who gets a summer job working at the eponymous pizzeria, but then discovers it’s a front for a monster-hunting operation. Also a good front for a monster-hunting operation: Linens N’ Things. According to Deadline, Chris Columbus and his 1492 Entertainment Production Company brought the project to MGM believing it would fit with the studio’s desire to develop a movie in the vein of Gremlins and The Goonies. For those unfamiliar with Green, he previously wrote and directed Hatchet and Frozen among other popular horror movies. However, there’s no word at this point as to whether or not he’ll be getting behind the camera for Killer Pizza.
Hit the jump for a synopsis of Greg Taylor’s Killer Pizza.
CBS is developing a remake of The Rifleman, the classic Western series that ran from 1958-1963. In keeping with the legacy of Rifleman creator Sam Peckinpah, the new series is in the hands of a trio of interesting talents from the feature world. Variety reports Chris Columbus (Percy Jackson & the Olympians), Patrick Lussier (Drive Angry), and Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island) are on board as executive producers. Columbus is attached to direct, while Lussier and Klogridis will handle the script.
Hit the jump for more on the original series, which centers on “a skilled gunman and widowed Civil War hero (Chuck Connors) who moves to uncharted New Mexico territory to raise his young son and gets recruited by the sheriff to help protect the unruly town.”
I guess Adventures in Babysitting, Home Alone, and Mrs. Doubtfire will carry director Chris Columbus forever (the Harry Potter movies don’t count; they were successful because they were Harry Potter). Despite having almost three times as many flops as hits, Columbus continues to get work. He’s attached to direct a remake of the Korean comedy Hello Ghost and now Deadline reports that he’s in talks for the action comedy The Secret Lives of Road Crews. The story is “about a clandestine group of road crew workers who are the last line of defense against a subterranean alien race.” I expect and demand plenty of traffic cone-based humor.
Kevin Lund and T.J. Scott wrote the original script, Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part II) did a rewrite and now the script is out again to writers for a new rewrite. To the writer that gets the gig, remember: that “Stop/Slow” is comedy gold.
As Magnet releases the Norwegian action film Trollhunter on to VOD and into theaters, Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures is partening with CJ Entertainment & Media to remake the film. The film is part of the currently-popular found-footage genre and is about a group of students investigating a series of mysterious killings. They eventually team up with a stranger hunter who is in the business of hunting trolls. I haven’t seen the film, but I’ve heard there’s a strong religious aspect, and you can even gather that from the trailer. Deadline reports that Marc Haimes will write the script and I’m curious to see if he’ll keep the religious elements of the story.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer for the Norwegian version of Trollhunter. You can check out the film now on Video-on-Demand and possibly at your local art house theater.
Fox 2000 is at work assembling a sequel to last year’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief which could start shooting as early as next summer. The studio has signed Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (1408) to adapt the second novel in Rick Riordan’s fantasy series, titled The Sea of Monsters. Lightning Thief director Chris Columbus is not expected to step behind the camera again, but he will remain on board as producer. Logan Lerman will return as Percy Jackson, and 24 Frames suggests the other leads will follow suit. Lerman was supported by Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan, and Rosario Dawson in The Lightning Thief.
Hit the jump for a synopsis for The Sea of Monsters.
Chris Columbus has signed on to direct a remake of the Korean box-office hit Hello Ghost. The film centers on a man who tries to kill himself, but survives and becomes haunted by four ghosts. The ghost won’t stop haunting the man until he helps them fulfill a wish. If this premise gives you a flashback to the 1993 Robert Downey Jr. flick Heart and Souls, you’re not alone.
Columbus tells Deadline that he’s a fan of Korean cinema after he saw Hello Ghost, he “was immediately struck by the film’s ability to mix comedy, drama and complex emotional themes. Its strong universal storyline translates to any culture, and I’m looking forward to bringing a version of this wonderful story to the English-speaking audience.” So if Columbus comes to your door and hands you a copy of Heart and Souls, you’ll know why.
Warner Home Video has officially announced The Goonies 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition on DVD and Blu-ray. Scheduled for release on November 2, the new edition will feature:
- Cast commentary with Director and all seven actors
- The Making of the Goonies documentary
- Cyndi Lauper music video “The Goonies ‘R Good Enough”
- Includes new board game, original movie storyboard reproductions, 1985 souvenir magazine reprint, and reprint of 2009 Empire Magazine article with cast photos and updates
The Goonies is one of my favorite films, and I’ll admit the new edition sounds cool. Check out the cover art and a new trailer for the Blu-ray after the jump: