Now that Hollywood is done with Snow White, they’ll be moving on to Cinderella. Vying for the role of “evil stepmother” in the Disney picture will be Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). Blanchett is reportedly in negotiations for the new adaptation, which is currently known as the Untitled Cinderella Story. Blanchett would be the first casting addition in the picture directed by Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go). Produced by Simon Kinberg (X-Men), the Untitled Cinderella Story started as a pitch and initial script by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) back in 2010, followed by a more recent draft by Chris Weitz (About a Boy). Hit the jump for more.
As we move closer toward pilot season, two new high profile comedies have headed into development. First up, The Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones will write and potentially star in an untitled family comedy at Fox. THR reports that another Daily Show vet, Steve Carell, will executive produce the series alongside About a Boy and New Moon director Chris Weitz. The story revolves around a single guy with no desire for having a family who is forced to take care of his sister’s two kids when she’s called back to active duty. Should the show get picked up, Jones would likely (and sadly) leave The Daily Show.
Hit the jump for news concerning Zach Braff’s return to the small screen.
With the upcoming release of American Reunion, the first three American Pie films have been put to Blu-ray, all offering both theatrical and unrated cuts. The films follow Jim (Jason Biggs) and his best friends Oz (Chris Klein), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) and Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott) as they quest to get laid. In the first film, Jim is just looking for sex, in the second he finds love, and in the third he gets married. Alyson Hannigan, Tara Reid, Jennifer Coolidge, Mena Survari, Shannon Elizabeth, January Jones, Natasha Lyonne, and Eugene Levy also star. And our review of the American Pie trilogy on Blu-ray follows after jump.
Normally, I would have no interest in live-action Cinderella re-imagining, but attaching Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go) as the direct made it a must-follow project. THR now reports that Chris Weitz (A Better Life) has signed on to write the screenplay. Details on the tone and plot are currently being kept under wraps, but Weitz turned in a great screenplay for About a Boy with his brother Paul. Weitz’ solo effort, The Golden Compass (which he also directed), turned out less-than-great. It did, however, have polar bear wrasslin’.
It’s tough to say how Weitz will fare with Cinderella, especially since we don’t know what Disney and Romanek are going for. But again, with Romanek at the helm, I’m interested to see what they’re planning.
MGM is making moves. After lingering in financial troubles for quite a while (putting projects like Red Dawn, Cabin in the Woods, and the Bond franchise in jeopardy), the studio is now moving full-speed ahead. Earlier today we reported on the studio’s remake of Carrie, and now comes some news concerning their adaptation of the children’s book Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go. Oscar-winning director Juan Jose Campanella (El Secreto de Sus Ojos) was previously attached to helm the pic, but word now comes that Tony-nominated writer/director Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) is in final negotiations to man the director’s chair. Hit the jump for more.
MGM has acquired Neil Strauss’ novel The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, and the studio has hired Solitary Man writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien to rewrite and direct the adaptation. Strauss’ book is part memoir, part how-to guide to learning how to woo the woman of your dreams (or just any woman, really). The adaptation has been around Hollywood for a while, with Chris Weitz previously attached to direct. Now THR reports that Chris and his brother Paul are set to produce. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the book.
The trailer for the indie drama A Better Life has gone online. Directed by Chris Weitz (The Twilight Saga: New Moon), the story centers on an illegal immigrant gardener (Demián Bichir) whose truck is stolen and bonds with his teenage son (José Julián) in their quest to find it. So is this a heartfelt piece of cinema about the plight of migrant workers or is it exploitative pandering? We’ll find out when the film hits theaters on June 24th. Hit the jump to check out the trailer.
We have new posters for a pair of films I’m really rooting for in 2011. The first is Something Borrowed, an adaptation of the first in a series of novels from Emily Giffin. Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, Colin Egglesfield, and John Krasinski star. Hudson’s name is a big red flag, but there are hints that Something Borrowed could be more than your average romantic comedy.
The second is A Better Life (formerly titled The Gardener), the latest from Chris Weitz. For a brief minute, Weitz was the promising co-director behind the charming About a Boy before he was swallowed up by the big budget filmmaking of The Golden Compass and New Moon. A Better Life scales things back down to the indie level: a gardener (Demian Bichir) and his son (Jose Julian) scour Los Angeles for a stolen truck vital to their livelihood in this tale inspired by The Bicycle Thief. Hit the jump to view both posters.
We have some more news from AFM for you tonight. First up, we have the first poster and full plot synopsis for The Cold Light of Day. As we previously reported, the film will star Henry Cavill (The Tudors) as “a young American whose family is kidnapped while on a vacation to Spain. He is left with only hours to find the connection between their disappearance and his father’s secrets.” The film will also star Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver. The film’s plot may sound like a bland thriller, but what makes this project exciting to me is that it will be Mabrouk El-Mechn’s directorial follow-up to his surprisingly great directorial debut, JCVD.
Secondly, we also have a plot synopsis and poster for director Chris Weitz’s (About a Boy) upcoming drama, The Gardener. The film stars Demian Bichir (Weeds) as a gardener trying to find an important pickup truck that was stolen from him with the help of his son. The plot synopsis makes the film sound a lot like a modern adaptation of the classic Italian neorealist film, Bicycle Thieves, and it’ll be interesting to see if Weitz can make a film that is even ten percent as good as that one. Hit the jump to check out the plot synopsis and poster for each film.
While speaking to actors about the movie they’re promoting is always great, if you really want to find out why certain decisions were made behind the scenes, you’ve got to talk to the filmmakers and the crew that worked on the movie. And that’s why I think fans of the Twilight movie franchise are going to enjoy my interview with Eric Leven from Tippett Studios. Because during our extended conversation, Leven (who was the visual effects supervisor on The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) discussed why the wolf effects were done a certain way, the difference between Chris Weitz and David Slade on the look of New Moon and Eclipse, is Tippett Studios working on Breaking Dawn, and we also talked about 3D and other projects like Priest and Immortals.
While the entire interview is really interesting as Leven is completely honest about why the wolves looked a certain way, the thing most fans are going to love is the very end of the interview. That’s because he talks about the very limited Twilight collectibles that were made for the New Moon and the Eclipse crew. If you’re a Twilight collector, I’m pretty sure you don’t have these. Hit the jump to watch the interview. It’s time indexed so you can watch the parts you’re interested in.
[Update: Tippett Studios has provided high-res images of the collectibles; check them out after the jump]
With The Twilight Saga: Eclipse finally getting released in a few days, it’s finally time to post the exclusive interviews I did at the junket a few weeks back. While I debated who to post first…I decided to go with screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg.
During the extended interview she discussed how working for director David Slade was different than Catherine Hardwicke and Chris Weitz, how much time she’s spent writing all the Twilight films, what was cut out of Eclipse, and regarding Breaking Dawn…I asked her how long she knew it was going to be two films, when exactly did she start writing the films, what was her reaction to Bill Condon directing the final installments, how has she been working with Condon on the script, and we ended the interview talking about with the 4th book being the most controversial among the fans, how is it for her to tackle the writing. She talks about how some fans want an R rating and she explains why it doesn’t have to be so graphic.
If you’re a fan of the Twilight films, I promise you’ll love the interview. Watch it after the jump and look for more exclusive Twilight interview tomorrow night:
With The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’s June 30 release date just over two months away, LaineyGossip is reporting that Summit is calling for reshoots and that current director David Slade might not be on the other line. Instead, rumor has it they’re reaching out to Catherine Hardwicke, who directed the first Twilight and Chris Weitz, who directed The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
The scenes in question are, reportedly, some fight sequences and sequences between Bella and Edward in a meadow. The problem is that Robert Pattinson is currently shooting Bel Ami overseas and fitting a week of reshoots into his schedule is proving difficult. The Playlist also points out that Hardwicke is already in Vancouver, where Eclipse was shot, working on The Girl With the Red Riding Hood starring Amanda Seyfried so her involvement isn’t as crazy as it sounds.
Hit the jump for my thoughts on what this could mean for the blockbuster film.
It’s time for part two of The Twilight Saga: New Moon; the shirtless wolf extravaganza hits shelves tomorrow with a modest DVD that gives fans just enough, while holding more for a future “special” release.
Hit the jump for more details on the New Moon DVD….
With The Twilight Saga: New Moon hitting DVD and Blu-ray on March 20, I was able to talk with director Chris Weitz about the upcoming release. When the film was getting ready to hit theaters, I asked Chris Weitz about the eventual DVD release and he told me to expect a commentary from Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner and about ten minutes of deleted scenes. So when I got the specs of the DVD/Blu-ray and saw there was no commentary and no deleted scenes, I knew this would be the main topic of conversation. Also, I asked everyone on Twitter to send me questions and a ton of you asked me about the deleted scenes and commentary.
Hit the jump to read or listen to my conversation with Chris Weitz:
When your movie makes over $481 million worldwide in the span of two weeks, the question isn’t whether or not to adapt the final book, but how many movies can you make from that final book? Summit Entertainment, who are at this moment building giant pools of gold coins like the one Scrooge McDuck has in his money vault, are currently figuring out whether or not they can put the pieces in play to turn Breaking Dawn, the final book in the Twilight series, into a two-part movie like what we’ll be seeing with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Variety’s sources say that Summit wants two pictures (can you refer to “common sense” as a source?), but that means clearing two hurdles. The first is whether or not they can afford to pay the higher salaries the lead actors will command for a fifth film. It’s not difficult to overcome this obstacle and Summit knows what they have to do: cut fat checks. Problem solved.
The more complicated issue is in bringing back New Moon director Chris Weitz. Because he brought the budget of New Moon in under $50 million and got along with the cast, he’s the top choice. However, as we reported last week, Weitz is planning to make his next film a smaller piece called The Gardener, which would also be made at Summit. That’s all well and good but gardeners don’t make money; vampires, werewolves, and one-dimensional characters do! Summit wants to have Weitz postpone The Gardener and so the questions for Weitz are A) would he be willing to spend more time away from his family to do an extended shoot; and B) do all of the toilets in his home need to be made from gold and encrusted with diamonds? As we all await the answer to that question, director David Slade pushed forward on the next Twilight film, Eclipse, which will hit theaters on June 20, 2010.