Though it wasn’t exactly a commercial success, the 2010 comedy MacGruber has become a sort of cult hit as of late. Its absurdity is only matched by its hilarity, and I find myself liking the movie more and more with each viewing. As such, it comes as great news that MacGruber director (and The Lonely Island member) Jorma Taccone is attached to direct a new action-comedy for New Line based on the Image comic The Great Unknown, written by Duncan Rouleau. Rouleau is a part of Man of Action Studios, the group behind the Ben 10 empire and Disney XD’s Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. Michael Starrbury will pen the script for the pic, which centers on “a slacker with delusions of grandeur who believes his so-called great ideas are popping up elsewhere.” Since no one believes that his ideas are being stolen, he sets out on a quest to “solve the mystery behind the idea thefts.” Hit the jump for more.
By now, most of the world knows that Apple visionary Steve Jobs has passed away from his battle with pancreatic cancer. As is normally the case with such high-profile individuals as Jobs, people want to know their life story to commiserate with their struggles and celebrate their successes. So it comes as no surprise that the soon-to-be-published biography, Steve Jobs, has already sold its feature rights.
Sony Pictures has acquired the rights to the only authorized bio by Walter Isaacson, the former CNN chairman and Time Magazine managing editor. The hot commodity became even hotter with the news of Jobs’ death, moving its publication date up almost a month. This feature will mark the second movie chronicling Jobs’ rise, the first being The Pirates of Silicon Valley, which TNT re-aired recently. Hit the jump for more on the project.
Marc Guggenheim, who was one of the scribes behind this summer’s Green Lantern, has been tapped by Disney to pen a rather unique time travel pic called Time Zones. The sci-fi fantasy adventure takes place in a world where a spontaneous event has caused different geographical regions of the Earth to be replaced with the topographical layout from differing time periods. In essence, it could be 1450 in England, 350 B.C. in Egypt, and 2154 in the United States. The story centers on a man who realizes that the sudden availability of time travel gives him the chance to change the past and prevent his wife’s death. He sets out on an adventure with his estranged daughter in tow to try to change the course of history.
While time travel has become a rather stale staple of contemporary storytelling, this concept actually sounds really cool. The idea of seeing modern civilization forced to cope with the labor-intensive geography of the past is more than a little compelling, and with Disney behind the pic you can expect some big-budget production value. Now it’s time to take bets on what time period each region will get (fingers crossed for colonial America). Heat Vision reports that Mark Gordon (Source Code, 2012) is onboard to produce. Guggenheim, whose resume also includes work on Flash Forward and Eli Stone, is also scripting an untitled female detective feature for the Mouse House.
Several months ago, we learned Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans) was circling a disaster film (then called Gravity) with this cool premise: “a father who has to search for his lost child as the world stops spinning and Earth begins to lose its gravity.” Leterrier has officially signed on to produce and direct the movie, now called G, for Universal Pictures. The project is based on an original idea by producer Guymon Casady (The Expendables) that has drawn comparisons to The Day After Tomorrow and Taken. Leterrier, Casady, and fellow producers Mark Gordon (2012), George Nolfi and Michael Hackett (The Adjustment Bureau) are currently looking for writers to turn the visually rich logline into a script.
Heat Version confirms that Leterrier will first direct Now You See Me, a heist thriller that pits FBI agents against “a super team of the world’s greatest illusionists.” Leterrier previously demonstrated a penchant for single-letter titles with his interest in the acclaimed comic book Y: The Last Man. I believe Y: The Last Man will reach the screen before I die (hopefully after I read it), but it seems increasingly unlikely that Leterrier will own the “Directed by” credit. Leterrier has two “go” projects on his plate, while last we checked he was struggling to find financing for Y. No matter — Now You See Me has potential, and G sounds positively cool.
The screen rights for The Day of the Triffids recently went on sale and sparked a bidding war. Warner Bros. was among the interested parties, hoping to land it for their resident Harry Potter director David Yates. But in the end, Mandate Pictures triumphed, nabbing the property in a seven-figure deal at the behest of Sam Raimi.
An adolescent Raimi ranked the 1962 film among his favorites, and called upon his partnership with Mandate to acquire Triffids as a directing vehicle. The post-apocalyptic tale of Triffids originated in a 1951 science fiction novel by John Wyndham. Hit the jump for a synopsis.
Depending on the type of career young heartthrob Zac Efron wants to have, The Lucky One is exactly the right choice, or… not. Will Fetters’ script is based on a novel from Nicholas Sparks, who also provided the source material for A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Dear John, and The Last Song. With a Sparks novel, you know what you’re going to get: young people in love, a North Carolina setting, and about $80 million domestic.
There is a bit of a twist on The Lucky One, in that the female “lead” may not even be a speaking part. Efron would play a Marine who carries a photograph of an anonymous woman in his pocket during his three tours in Iraq as a good luck charm. Upon returning to the Tar Heel State, Efron seeks out his picturesque dream girl. If you want to hear a bit more about this project (meh), or a “high octane” script that Efron is eying (hmm), hit the jump.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde continues to be a hot property even though it’s 124-years-old. Heat Vision reports that Skydance Productions, Dark Horse Entertainment, and producer Mark Gordon are working to adapt Cole Haddon’s comic The Strange Case of Hyde. Hyde “seeks to give it a fresh take by making the split personality the center of a Victorian-era action-adventure that sees him go head-to-head against a historical villain.” Alan Moore and his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen could not be reached for comment.
Hit the jump for more on this project as well other Jekyll-Hyde projects in development.
Wayne McClammy, the director of the hilarious Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel shorts “I’m Fucking Matt Damon” and “I’m Fucking Ben Affleck,” is in negotiations with Universal to direct their upcoming comedy Desperados. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Isla Fisher may star in the project, which is currently in development. Mark Gordon and Jason Blum will produce the film written by Ellen Rapaport which is described as a “female version of The Hangover.” The film is about a woman who sends her new boyfriend an angry email when he doesn’t contact her after they have sex, but it turns out he’s in a coma in a hospital in Mexico so she and her friends go to erase the email before he wakes up. Production is set to start by the end of the year.
Hit the jump to check out “I’m Fucking Matt Damon” and “I’m Fucking Ben Affleck”.