It’s been a while since we reported on the status of Gold, which previously had Michael Mann (Heat) attached to direct. It looks like Mann has dropped out and Spike Lee (Red Hook Summer) has taken control of the helm. The rags-to-riches tale written by Patrick Massett and John Zinman is based on a true story: set in the 90s, it follows an old-fashioned prospector who happens to stumble upon one of the world’s largest gold mines. Mann is stepping aside to direct the international computer-hacking film Cyber. The Wrap reports that producers are hoping that Gold may be Lee’s next film. Lee is currently in post-production on his Oldboy remake and should be available to start production on Gold this fall, depending on the schedule of their lead, which has yet to be cast.
A few casting stories to share this afternoon. Briefly:
- Chris Pine will be reuniting with his Smokin Aces director Joe Carnahan on the low-budget comedic thriller Stretch opposite Patrick Wilson.
- Homeland star and Broadway veteran Mandy Patinkin has been set in the role of Zach Braff’s father in Braff’s partially Kickstarter-funded directorial effort Wish I Was Here.
- Lust, Caution stars Wei Tang and Leehom Wang have boarded Michael Mann’s untitled cyber thriller starring Chris Hemsworth.
Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned projects.
The line between opinion and truth on news outlets has been getting awfully blurry lately. As corporations dictate the commentaries and presumptions delivered by major media outlets, journalistic integrity seems like a thing of the past. It’s amidst this cloudy backdrop of subjective news sources that Touchstone releases the Blu-ray of Michael Mann’s critically-acclaimed 1999 drama The Insider – a film that examines the perils of allowing corporations to control the news. The film, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards, resonates today more than ever as it pulls back the curtain on contemporary journalism and the sleaziness of the tobacco industry. More on Touchstone’s Blu-ray of The Insider after the jump.
Will there ever be a great movie based on a video game?* I have my doubts. The problem is two-fold: if you stray too far from the material, fans get upset. If you’re too faithful, then you’ve basically recreated the game except the interactive aspect has been removed. But it’s important to keep in mind that most of the videogame movies we’ve seen so far are protagonist-based: Mario, Lara Croft, the Prince of Persia, etc. And then there are movies like Silent Hill and Wing Commander that just aren’t very good. But what if you took a talented director like Duncan Jones (Moon) and let him build a story out of a gigantic video game world? Legendary Pictures plans to do just that by having him adapt World of Warcraft.
Steve recently interviewed Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull, who explained how WoW is going to be a successful video game movie. He also talked about the studio’s other upcoming projects including movies from Michael Mann and the directors of Kon-Tiki. Hit the jump for more, and click on the respective links for what Tull had to say about Man of Steel and Pacific Rim/Godzilla.
Though Chris Hemsworth was geared up and ready to shoot Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi pic Robopocalypse as his next film, The Beard’s recent decision to postpone that project for a few months left a hole in the actor’s schedule. It appears that that hole has now been filled, as director Michael Mann has boarded an untitled thriller at Legendary Pictures with Hemsworth attached to star. Plot details are thin, but the story apparently takes place in the world of cyber threats and attacks. Hit the jump for more.
HBO is bringing together a triple powerhouse of talent to head up its pilot script for Buda Bridge. At the center of the it all is Michael Roskam, who received an Oscar nom in Best Foreign-Language Film for his Belgian production Bullhead. Roskam is set to write and direct the pilot, as well as executive produce. Sharing the producer credit is Michael Mann, who partnered up with David Milch last year for the fantastic (but belegured) horse racing series Luck (also on HBO). Finishing out the trio is Mark Johnson, an executive producer on Breaking Bad. That credit speaks for itself.
Buda Bridge is a Belgian-set crime story set in a Brussels of the near future. A woman is found dead on Buda Bridge, which leads to violent crimes and oddities that unleashes mayhem on the capital city. Twin Peaks: Europe? For more background on the project and the trailer for Bullhead, hit the jump.
HBO has canceled David Milch and Michael Mann‘s horse-racing drama Luck after the third death of a horse this season. The show had been picked up for a second season and filming was underway, but on Tuesday a horse was injured when she “reared, flipped over backwards, and struck her head on the ground.” The on-set veterinarian determined that humane euthanasia was appropriate. Two horses were injured and euthanized during the first season, so apparently HBO was operating on the “Three Dead Horses and You’re Out” rule.
While HBO probably renewed Luck due to its cost and star prestige (the show stars Dustin Hoffman), it wasn’t turning into a breakout hit the size of Boardwalk Empire or Game of Thrones. This isn’t to say that HBO would have gone on in spite of the horse deaths had Luck been a bigger hit, but I don’t think any of the network executives are going to be upset at losing an expensive show that had soft ratings. Hit the jump for a statement from the network.
Michael Mann has added another project to his development pile. Deadline reports that Mann is now in talks to direct the cop thriller The Big Stone Grid for Sony Pictures. The script, by S. Craig Zahler, is described as “a hard-edged thriller in the vein of Seven and Marathon Man,” and centers on two detectives who uncover an extortion ring operating within the secret underbelly of New York City. Michael De Luca (Moneyball) is onboard as producer, and the plan now is for Mann to do a pass on the script with Zahler. Deadline hints that Mann might relocate the action to Los Angeles, as his past crime sagas have all taken place in LA.
Mann is currently serving as executive producer on HBO’s Luck and will likely next direct the sports car drama Go Like Hell. The film chronicles the 1960s battle between Ford and Ferrari when an American car won the Le Mans race for the first time in history. No word on how soon production may begin. Mann is also developing an adaptation of Agincourt which centers on the 15th century battle of Agincourt, and the contemporary adventure film Gold.
The official premiere of Luck just aired this past weekend on Sunday night, but HBO is already so pleased with the series that the cable network announced today that a second season has already been ordered. Director Michael Mann and Deadwood creator David Milch delivered quite the dramatic pilot set in the world of horse racing and gambling with Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte really adding gravitas to the series, likely joining Steve Buscemi and Boardwalk Empire with Emmy nods later this year. The second season will consist of 10 episodes with production resuming at the end of next month and a premiere set sometime in January of 2013. For the full press release, hit the jump.
HBO has released a new trailer for David Milch and Michael Mann’s upcoming horse-gambling drama Luck. If Milch (Deadwood) and Mann (Heat) didn’t already get you excited for the show, here’s the cast: Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Richard Kind, Kevin Dunn, and Michael Gambon. The main plotline focuses on as Ace Bernstain (Hoffman) a man who, after three years in prison, teams with his longtime chauffeur and muscle (Farina), to craft a complex plan involving the Santa Anita racetrack. Of course, this is HBO where there are 3 or 4 plotlines per episode and you have to learn the names of 18 or 19 regular cast members.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. Luck premieres January 2012.
Michael Mann is close to a deal to helm 20th Century Fox’s Go Like Hell. The film is based on the book by A.J. Baime, which focuses on the 1966 battle between Ford and Ferrari when an American car won the Le Mans race for the first time in history. Baime’s story focuses on Henry Ford II, young visionary Lee Iacocca, and former racing champion turned engineer Carroll Shelby. The three worked together to reinvent the Ford company and eventually became the first Americans to win the 24-Hours of Le Mans race in France.
Showblitz reports that while no casting has begun, Brad Pitt has been considered as the lead. Mann has a number of projects that he’s considering as his next directing vehicle, including an adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s Agincourt, a novel centered around the 15th century Battle of Agincourt. He’s also circling the adventure film Gold, produced by Paul Haggis. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of Baime’s Go Like Hell.
Last October, we learned that Michael Mann was considering an adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s Agincourt. Today, ScreenDaily reports that Mann is now officially attached to direct and that Luc Roeg’s Independent is developing the project with Benjamin Ross writing the script. Roeg tells ScreenDaily that Agincourt now has “momentum”, but it’s still too early to predict a start date for filming. Mann recently directed the pilot for the upcoming HBO series Luck. He’s also been circling biopics of notorious Chicago crime boss Tony Accardo and Spanish Civil War photographer Robert Capa.
Cornwell’s novel tells about the famous 15th century Battle of Agincourt through the perspective of young fugitive Nicholas Hook who becomes an archer in King Henry V’s fight against the French. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the novel.
Home Premiere, a Premium VOD service backed by four major studios, is set to launch tomorrow on DirecTV. The service would charge consumers $30 to watch movies only sixty days after they first hit theaters. Theaters, fearing that their revenues will be drastically cut, have responded with threats that range from believable to ridiculous. Now 23 directors and producers, including James Cameron, Michael Bay, Kathryn Bigelow, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson, Michael Mann, and Gore Verbinski have released an open letter siding with the theaters.
In the letter, the signers make the point that just because Premium VOD launches at $30, it doesn’t mean it will stay there and it could conceivably drop to $10 within a few year. Hit the jump for the full letter.
The cable network just premiered their brand new spectacular fantasy series Game of Thrones last night (read my review here), but HBO is already giving us a taste of another new series in their future. The network recently premiered a short featurette on the horse racing series Luck starring Dustin Hoffman with a pilot directed by Michael Mann (Collateral). The series takes a provocative look at horse racing including the owners, gamblers, jockeys and diverse gaming industry players.
Once again, with little effort, HBO has me interested in yet another one of their new drama series. And with a cast that also includes Joan Allen, Michael Gambon, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Kevin Dunn, Richard Kind, Jason Gedrick, Ritchie Coster, Ian Hart, Tom Payne, Kerry Condon, Gary Stevens, and Nick Nolte, this should be something worth seeing down the road. Check out the featurette after the jump for your first look at Luck.
Director Michael Mann is eyeing Gold as his next directing vehicle with Paul Haggis onboard as a producing partner. Said to be in the vein of Treasure of the Sierra Madre, the contemporary thriller centers on a search for, naturally, gold. Written on spec by Patrick Massett and John Zinman (TV’s Friday Night Lights), Heat Vision reports that Haggis was initially looking towards directing the film himself before deciding his plate was too full. He then brought the script to Mann, who took quite a liking to it.
Mann and Haggis will produce the film alongside Michael Nozik, with Mann looking at it as a possible directing vehicle. The three plan on developing the package before going out to studios. While no actors are attached as of yet, Mann sent the script to Leonardo DiCaprio. Mann himself has quite a few projects on the horizon as well, including an adaptation of the Bernard Cornwell novel Agincourt which centers on the 15th century battle between the English and the French.