A new overseer has been assigned to the Namibia-based filming location of director George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road. Concerns about the film falling behind schedule and beginning to go over budget (not to mention the cost of flying executives to and from Africa) have necessitated the placement of Warner Bros. producer, Denise Di Novi on location. While she won’t have producer credits on the film, Di Novi will be responsible for supervising the production as a “studio representative.” The film, which started shooting in July, is reportedly still expected to wrap by the end of November.
Mad Max: Fury Road starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Nicholas Hoult and Zoe Kravitz, is due out next year. Hit the jump for more.
Best-selling author Nicholas Sparks and producer Denise Di Novi sat down with us for a roundtable interview to talk about The Lucky One, which marks the fourth Sparks’ novels that Di Novi has brought to the big screen. In the film’s central role, Zac Efron stars as Logan, a U.S. Marine who returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive — a photograph he found of a woman he doesn’t even know. He embarks on a journey of discovery and healing that leads to her and the realization that she could be much more than his good luck charm.
Sparks and Di Novi talked about their collaboration, what Zac Efron brought to the role, and the way they approached bringing the story to the big screen to ensure the character of Logan remained universal, original and interesting. They also revealed how Efron invested a lot of passion, enthusiasm and hard work into transforming himself to make his character believable and to honor the experiences of young Marines who had served in Iraq. Sparks also discussed the differences between a novel and a script and the principles he follows whenever he works on a film to make sure it maintains the spirit and the intent of the overall story.
After two decades working in television, Simon Curtis cobbled together a solid feature debut with My Week With Marylin. Variety says he is now looking to show his range has a filmmaker, and to do so signed on to direct Click to Connect. The script by Liz Tuccillo follows “a collection of characters, ranging in age from their 20s to 60s, whose approach to online dating varies according to their circumstances and past experiences.” Tuccillo co-authored the book He’s Just Not That Into You; the movie adaptation helped kick off this string of romantic anthologies including Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Day, and the upcoming What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Another Tuccillo book, How to Be Single, is already being turned into another example for Drew Barrymore‘s budding directorial career.
Denise Di Novi and Alison Greenspan (Monte Carlo) will produce for DiNovi Pictures—they sold the pitch with Tuccillo to Fox 2000. If the prior romanthologies are any indication, a star-studded cast will be announced over the next several weeks.
The live-action feature film adaptation of The Jetsons has been lingering in development for over a decade now, and a couple of writers have just been tapped to perform a new rewrite. Variety reports that Van Robichaux and Evan Susser are now set to pen a new draft of the script. The writing duo are behind the Star Wars-themed Black List script Chewie. Last summer, producer Denise Di Novi talked about why The Jetsons feature has been so tough to crack:
“Part of it is that every couple of years, the genre kind of changes. I really credit Jeff Robinov at Warner Bros. with this. In choosing Christopher Nolan to do Batman, he really exploded the expectations on adapting all these kinds of titles. The pressure is on to really make them the coolest movies, and not the cornball cartoon movies. Every couple years it’s changed what they thought the movie should be and I’m hoping now we’re hitting it at the right time. I’ve never given up on that movie.”
Robert Rodriguez was previously attached to direct, but he’s no longer involved. I’m incredibly excited about the prospect of a live-action Jetsons feature, but I also understand that it’s a super hard tone to nail down. Hopefully Robinchaux and Susser have a strong vision for the pic.
With the final Harry Potter movie continuing to slaughter records at the box office and the shirtless circus known as the Twilight series set to wrap up within the next twelve months, the search is on for the next big fantasy film franchise. Having franchise on your production slate that guarantees an annual billion dollar box office/DVD gross looks pretty damn good to studio execs, so they’re constantly on the look out for the next film series that will make magic-loving tweens squeal with delight. That’s why Warner Brothers acquired the screen rights to Deborah Harkness’ debut novel A Discovery Of Witches today. The book is the first part of a trilogy that features witches, vampires, and swooning. In other words, there are a few Warner Brothers execs in an office somewhere salivating over projected box office grosses right now. Hit the jump for more info on the potential franchise.
Earlier today, I was in New York to do the press junket for Crazy, Stupid, Love. I’ll have the full roundtable interviews on the site closer to the film’s release date, but I wanted to provide some quick updates on future projects I learned from stars Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and producer Denise Di Novi. Hit the jump for an update from Carell on Civil Warriors, Ryan Gosling talking about Logan’s Run and Only God Forgives, Emma Stone commenting on the tone of The Amazing Spider-Man, and producer Denise Di Novi speaking about the current state of her adaptations for The Jetsons and The Illustrated Man as well as the Guillermo del Toro-produced adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.