In an effort to produce more family friendly fare, Sony Pictures is looking to remake their 1995 box-office hit, Jumanji. Now, the studio has attached The Amazing Spider-Man producer, Matt Tolmach to shepherd the project along with original producer, William Teitler. Another of the original film’s producers, Ted Field, will return to executive produce. The Robin Williams-starrer featured two children (one of whom was a young Kirsten Dunst) who played the titular board game, released a man trapped within (Williams) and needed to finish the game in order to restore order to their world. Variety reported on Tolmach’s attachment to the project that hopes to entertain a new generation of kids (and empty the pockets of their parents).
As much as I enjoy film, my first entertainment love will always be music. As such, this weekend finds me in Chicago in anticipation of what could be my final Warped Tour appearance. That’s right, I’m a 26 year-old man (I use the term “man” lightly, of course) who still finds immense joy in the pop-punk genre. Nevertheless, it’s becoming harder and harder for my oldness to blend in with a predominantly sub-18 crowd without looking like a total creep and, therefore, today may very well be my last Warped experience. On the bright side, I still have XBox Live to remind me that I’ve never completely grown up.
Maturity issues aside, on tap in this week’s version of the Top 5 is a slew of interviews for The Amazing Spider-Man, the first trailer and new images for Tom Cruise‘s Jack Reacher, our most anticipated movies from July to September, Savages interviews with Oliver Stone, Blake Lively, etc., and more The Dark Knight Rises coverage than most humans are capable of comprehending. Links and brief recaps for each reside after the break.
A few weeks ago, Sony Pictures invited us to attend the press junket The Amazing Spider-Man. The reboot takes a grittier, more realistic approach to Peter Parker’s journey to becoming your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and sees the wall-crawler struggling to come to grips with the mysterious disappearance of his parents. For more on the film, click here for all of our previous coverage.
During my interview with producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, we talked about rebooting the franchise, the decision to pass on Spider-Man 4, potential crossovers with other superhero movies, the crowded superhero movie marketplace, and more. Hit the jump to check out the interview, and click on the corresponding links for my interviews with co-stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, and Martin Sheen.
Amongst the massive amount of unbridled enthusiasm for The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, it seemed for a bit that Sony’s reboot The Amazing Spider-Man might hit theaters with little fanfare. The pic finally premiered this past Tuesday to a record-setting $35 million and fairly positive reviews, and though we won’t know the full box office impact until later this weekend, the film is certainly off to a promising start. With a healthy box office take, a sequel for The Amazing Spider-Man is all but guaranteed (writers were recently hired to perform a rewrite of James Vanderbilt’s follow-up screenplay). Now an official message from Sony confirms what we already knew: The Amazing Spider-Man is the first in a planned trilogy.
Hit the jump for much more, including evidence that a great deal of Spidey’s origin was cut out of The Amazing Spider-Man at the last minute, and the possible inclusion of the Sinister Six in further films. Beware, MAJOR SPOILERS for The Amazing Spider-Man follow.
A few new bits of marketing from The Amazing Spider-Man have now gone online. Two TV spots highlight the “vigilante” aspect of Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man as well as the web-swinging action, while a new featurette focuses on Rhys Ifans’s villain The Lizard. The latter is interesting in that it gives us our first taste of what it looks/sounds like when The Lizard speaks. I’m still wary of the villain being made up entirely of CGI, and this featurette doesn’t exactly ease my concerns. It’s possible that The Lizard plays better in context, but there still seems to be a disconnect in this featurette with the antagonist; he looks like a computer animated character, therefore he doesn’t feel very threatening.
Hit the jump to take a look at the TV spots and featurette. The film also stars Emma Stone, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen and Sally Field. The Amazing Spider-Man opens in 3D on July 3rd.
Venom fanboys have had to carry around the disappointment of seeing their favorite character shoved into the awful Spider-Man 3. However, producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach have never given up the ghost of the slobbering Spidey foe. As recently as this past March, we reported that Chronicle director Josh Trank was in talks to helm a new movie featuring the villain/anti-hero. However, how do you have Venom without Spider-Man and how do you have a Venom movie if the character isn’t in The Amazing Spider-Man?
Hit the jump for how Venom might fit into the new comic-book world The Amazing Spider-Man is spinning.
Though we’ve been flooded with an insane amount of The Dark Knight Rises content as of late, we’ve actually got another high profile superhero pic headed our way before Christopher Nolan’s Batman takes his bow. The Spider-Man reboot that was borne out of a scrapped development on Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 hits theaters this July courtesy of director Marc Webb and new Spidey Andrew Garfield. Our partners at Omelete recently sat down for a lengthy chat with producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach to discuss the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man.
The duo talked about what made them realize Spider-Man was in need of a reboot, having the opportunity to put a larger focus on the disappearance of Peter Parker’s parents, including Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacey as an intellectual equal to Peter Parker, taking a more practical approach to the effects, the Lizard, and much more. Hit the jump to watch the interview.
Natural Selection director Robbie Pickering has been tapped to direct the creature mash-up The Kitchen Sink for Sony Pictures. Academy Award nominee Jonah Hill (that’s fun to write) was previously eyeing the project as his directorial debut, but he’s since moved on and now Deadline reports that Pickering will take the helm. The story centers on a high-school aged vampire, a zombie, and a human who team up to defend their town from invading aliens. It combines everything that’s so hot right now into one movie, so Sony is presumably hoping they’ve got a hit.
The script was written by Oren Uziel [Correction: Matt Tolmach is the producer] and landed one of the top spots on the 2010 Black List. While the logline could easily be turned into a lazy, teen-aimed comedy, the addition of Pickering gives me hope that we’re in for something more adventurous. It’ll be interesting to see what approach they take with the creatures, and I’m hoping they try to use as many practical effects as possible. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a creature feature that doesn’t rely on CGI for its monsters, and I’d love to see some seriously inventive makeup work. No word on how soon production will begin, but hopefully we hear more soon.
Pineapple Express director David Gordon Green has been set to write and direct an adaptation of Evan Mandery’s novel Q for Columbia Pictures. The novel centers on a man who is visited by a future version of himself who tells him not to marry the love of his life. He acquiesces, but then spends the rest of his life trying to undo his decision all while more future selves try to thwart his plans. THR describes the film’s tone as It’s a Wonderful Life “with a combination of romance, comedy, and drama.” Matt Tolmach is producing alongside Pouya Shahbazian.
I never got around to seeing Your Highness but I’m a huge fan of Pineapple Express. While the director is best known for his recent comedies, he made a name for himself with dramas like George Washington and All the Real Girls. Green’s latest directorial effort, the Jonah Hill comedy The Sitter, opens next month. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the novel Q.
The two biggest panels in Hall H this year are The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 and The Amazing Spider-Man. That’s not to diminish all the other films and TV shows that will be in the Hall, but we all know those are the biggest. But Breaking Dawn is a known quantity. When it comes to Spider-Man, folks are still struggling to understand the reboot. The words “gritty”, “contemporary”, and “realistic” have been thrown around in regards to the film, but what does that mean? At the film’s panel, 6500 people are waiting for director Marc Webb to provide them an answer to that question among others: How will the actors play their roles? What can we expect from the set pieces? How will this stand apart from Sam Raimi’s trilogy? This panel isn’t just a chance to see the new Spider-Man in action, but to convince folks that this reboot can stand on its own.
Hit the jump for the recap of The Amazing Spider-Man panel.
Columbia Pictures has acquired the rights to what is quite possibly the greatest book title ever conceived. Joshua Foer’s best-selling non-fiction novel Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything delves into the intracicies of memory, framed around Foer attending the U.S. Memory Championship. THR reports that Columbia has optioned the rights for Matt Tolmach (The Amazing Spider-Man) to produce. Columbia president Doug Belgrad has this to say regarding the acquisition:
“This is a very special book which transcends the already fascinating subject of memory. By explaining in personal and entertaining fashion a great deal about how our brains work, Joshua has written a book that sheds light on how memory is connected to humanity.”
The book documents fascinating memory stories, including a man whose memory extends only to his last thought and an individual who can memorize the exact order of 1,528 digits in an hour. Though one wonders how the tome will translate into a fictional narrative, it’s possible that Foer’s narration could turn him into the lead character. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the book.
Actor Jonah Hill may soon be getting behind the camera. Hill is currently in negotiations to make his directorial debut with The Kitchen Sink for Sony Pictures. The script, by Oren Uziel (upcoming Mortal Combat reboot), landed on last year’s Black List of the top unproduced screenplays making the rounds. The film tells the story of a high-school aged vampire, a zombie, and a human who team up to defend their town from invading aliens (yep, that’s just about everything but the kitchen sink).
Deadline reports that Matt Tolmach (The Amazing Spider-Man) will produce the flick. Hill is currently busy prepping for 21 Jump Street with Channing Tatum, from a script that Hill co-wrote. He’s got David Gordon Green’s The Sitter coming out on July 12th, and the Brad Pitt starrer Moneyball slated for a September 23rd release.
Sony Pictures is developing a contemporary adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein based on a pitch by Craig Fernandez. Fernandez will write the script while Matt Tolmach will produce through his new company, Matt Tolmach Productions. According to Deadline, this will be Tolmach’s first production at Sony since leaving his post as the company’s co-president to become a producer. Fernandez’ previous credits include the upcoming From Prada to Nada and he’s also written the scripts Everything Must Go (based on Terry Pratchett’s The Bromeliad Trilogy) and an adaptation of Octavia Butler novel Clay’s Ark for DreamWorks Animation. He’s also written The Courageous, which is a futuristic adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s Captain Courageous.
If you’ve never read Frankenstein, you should because it’s awesome. It’s also in the public domain, which means it’s free. Hit the jump for the synopsis.
Columbia Pictures has optioned the rights to Neil Strauss’ non-fiction book Emergency! This Book Will Save Your Life as a possible starring vehicle for Robert Downey Jr. Downey will produce along with his wife and producing partner Susan Downey as well as Michael De Luca. Screenwriter Allan Loeb (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) is handling the script. Strauss’ book has the author learning various survival skills that he will most likely never need to use in his day-to-day life.
Producer Columbia Pictures President Matt Tolmach said of the project in a press release, “Neil Strauss is a tremendous talent and we think Emergency! is his best work yet. It’s a hugely entertaining read that couldn’t be more timely or topical. We think there is a fantastic film in this book and Robert and Susan, and of course, Mike are the perfect producers to take on the themes of this project.”
Hit the jump for a refresher on Downey’s other projects along with the full press release.
Director Len Wiseman (Underworld) is in final negotiations to helm a remake of the 1990 sci-fi flick Total Recall. Based off the Philip K. Dick short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”, the original film was directed by Paul Verhoeven and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. The first half of the movie is a fantastic mind-bender, but once Schwarzenegger gets to Mars, it ditches the mindgames and becomes a B-action movie mixed with the delightfully bizarre (Kuato!).
Producer Matt Tolmach said in the press release, “Len has an incredible love of the genre and a great gift for action. He’ll bring a contemporary feel to the film while taking care with everything we love about Philip K. Dick’s original story.” Hit the jump for the press release and my thoughts on the announcement.