New Line has picked up the action-comedy pitch Spy Guys. Jorma Taccone (MacGruber) is attached to direct from a script by Adam Sztykiel (Due Date). The story centers on a framed CIA agent who becomes an enemy of the state while attending a friend’s European wedding. The spy reveals his undercover identity to his civilian friends, and they go on the run to clear his name. That’s a solid premise, and it is encouraging that the skewed mind behind MacGruber is in charge. Plus it is nice to see Taccone get a second chance after his feature directorial debut failed to gross even $10 million worldwide in 2010.
Heat Vision reports that Taccone’s Lonely Island collaborators Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer will produce along with John Rickard (Horrible Bosses).
New Line has spent the last year developing the earthquake disaster flick San Andreas: 3D, and last month entered into negotiations with Brad Peyton (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island) to direct. Screenwriter Allan Loeb (The Dilemma) started work on the screenplay, but Variety reports New Line will bring Carlton Cuse (Lost) on board for a rewrite. Amid the California earthquake, the story follows “one man who must make the treacherous journey across the state to rescue his estranged daughter.”
Once Lost ended in 2010, co-showrunner Damon Lindelof launched straight into feature writing gigs on the likes of Prometheus and Star Trek 2. Cuse briefly stepped out of the limelight while he set up projects, including the Psycho prequel series The Bates Motel and an action/adventure starring Hugh Jackman.
Apparently New Line Cinema is pleased with the team behind the scenes of Journey 2: The Mysterious Island because they’ve decided to keep the same group on board for a potential third installment. If plans for Journey 3 move ahead, director Brad Peyton will carry over, along with writers Brian Gunn, Mark Gunn and Richard Outten, and producers Beau Flynn, Charlotte Huggins and Tripp Vincent. This bodes well for the sequel (which releases on February 10th) since we can assume it tested well over the weekend. The film, based on Jules Verne’s “Mysterious Island” follows Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) as he searches for his missing grandfather (Michael Caine) on an island crawling with dangerous wildlife. Hit the jump for more.
Having made a name for herself in the genre of “raunchy comedies,” Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) is sticking with what works. McCarthy’s script for Tammy involves an overweight woman who takes a road trip with her diabetic grandmother (who drinks and swears like a sailor) after McCarthy is laid off from a fast food restaurant and discovers her husband’s affair. New Line has preemptively picked up the project, with McCarthy both as the star and executive producer.
McCarthy seems unencumbered by portraying a brash, overweight woman in her most successful roles, and let’s face it, it’s working. After her breakout performance in Bridesmaids and her recurring Emmy-winning work on CBS’s Mike & Molly, McCarthy seems to have cornered the market. Hit the jump for more on McCarthy.
With his feature directorial effort A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas slated to hit theaters later this year on November 4th, Todd Strauss-Schulson is already ironing out the details to once again work with New Line Cinema. Heat Vision reports that Strauss-Schulson is currently attached to helm a Brazillian-set untitled action/adventure/comedy pitch for the studio. Per the report, Strauss-Schulson will produce and co-develop the project alongside former Late Show with David Letterman scribe Chris Galletta who will pen the eventual script.
Further details regarding the film are currently underwraps. Prior to landing A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, Strauss-Schulson had worked extensively in the world of comedy shorts. As for Galletta, the writer’s 2009 Blacklist script Toy’s House is currently casting over Big Beach Films which previously produced titles such as Away We Go, Sunshine Cleaning, and most recently Lucky starring Colin Hanks and Paul Rudd’s Our Idiot Brother on August 26th.
Those of you concerned about the amount of remakes currently circling Hollywood now have one less project to worry about. The long-gestating remake of John Carpenter’s 1981 Escape from New York has been dropped by New Line. Over the course of its development, the remake had names such as Gerard Butler and Jeremy Renner reportedly interested in taking on the role of Snake Plissken made famous by Kurt Russell. From a directorial perspective, Breck Eisner (The Crazies) was most recently attached to the project with a script co-written by Allan Loeb (The Switch) and set up at producer Neal Moritz’s Original Films banner.
For those unfamiliar with the film, Escape from New York is set in a post-apocalyptic New York City that has been downgraded (or upgraded depending on how you feel about NYC) to a maximum-security prison. As the story goes, the eyepatch-wielding/convicted felon Plissken takes on the challenging task of rescuing the President (Donald Pleasence) from the prison kingpin (Isaac Hayes). The stakes? If he succeeds, he is pardoned of his crimes. If he fails, a device he’s wearing will kill him. While those hoping to live in an Escape from New York remake-free world can breathe a sigh of relief for now, Deadline does well to point out that New Line’s dropping of the property also means that the film is back up for grabs. In other words, we aren’t out of the woods just yet.
Dwayne Johnson is in negotiations to star in Snitch, an action thriller that New Line has been developing for years. Ric Roman Waugh (Felon) will direct and rewrite the script by Justin Haythe, which centers on a suburban dad who goes undercover to convict a drug dealer in order to reduce his teenage son’s 30-year prison sentence. That logline first sounded silly to me, but it turns out Snitch is based on the true story of devoted father James Settembrino, as documented in the Frontline segment “Snitch.” Read more about the story after the jump.
Earlier this week, there was a rumor that Martin Freeman (UK version of The Office) had turned down the role of Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit due to a scheduling conflict with the BBC series Sherlock. EW now reports that Freeman is still in negotiations with New Line and MGM and is working out a deal to do both projects. Freeman’s not a name-actor who could open the movie, but I think he’s a brilliant choice to play Bilbo and clearly the Hobbit producers feel the same way. Also, The Hobbit doesn’t need a star as the property is big enough on its own.
For a brief history on long and winding road to get The Hobbit in front of cameras, hit the jump.
The pot-centric comedy We’re the Millers has been kicking around in development for years now, with Steve Buscemi attached at one point (no longer). New Line would like to finally get the concept on screen. According to 24 Frames, Millers centers on a veteran pot dealer who “decides to create a fake family (the eponymous Millers) to move a large shipment of marijuana across the U.S. border from Mexico.”
Most of talent linked to the project have an associable credit on their filmography. Steve Faber and Bob Fisher (Wedding Crashers) wrote the first draft. Dan Fybel and Rich Rinaldi (The Sarah Silverman Program) are currently working on a rewrite. Sean Anders and John Morris (writers of Hot Tub Time Machine) are in the running to direct. Even Burr Steers, best known as the director of such Zac Efron vehicles as 17 Again and Charlie St. Cloud, and owner of a fantastic name, directed a 2005 episode of Weeds. There have been hints of greatness in the work of Anders/Morris, particularly Sex Drive — but I’d like to see the pair write for themselves. So I like Steers for the gig, provided he can find a role for Efron, and New Line calls it “Burr Steers’ We Are the Millers.” There’s always the possibility that Millers could again fail to gain momentum, but if New Line gets it going, the results could be interesting.
Breaking news! Are you ready for this? Because it’s totally gonna blow your mind. Ok, ok. Here we go: the fifth film in the Final Destination franchise will be called… drumroll… 5nal Destination. Clever, right? Because it’s the fifth one!
Set to be directed by Steven Quale (interestingly enough, the second unit director on Avatar), the 3D flick from New Line will start filming in September, targeting August 26, 2011 as the release date. Hit the jump for some inside info on this utterly unpredictable film.
Brad Peyton is close to making a deal to direct New Line and Walden Media’s Journey to the Center of the Earth 2, and Brendan Fraser will reportedly not be starring in the sequel. Deadline reports the studio is moving ahead with the film, with Josh Hutcherson as the star. Hutcherson played the nephew of Fraser’s character in the original. The original film made $242 million worldwide, and without Fraser, New Line would have to back the film with a much lesser-known actor. Fraser left the film due to scheduling conflicts that made original director Eric Brevig unavailable and forced New Line to replace him with Brad Peyton, the director of Warner Bros.’ upcoming Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. Brevig’s next film will be Yogi Bear. New Line is planning on a Fall 2011 release for the Journey to the Center of the Earth sequel.
Of course with the project still being put together and Fraser’s recent movie Furry Vengeance not exactly lighting up the box office, there is still a chance he could return for the sequel. More as we hear it.
While rumors of another Vacation movie being developed is hardly new, it seems the rumor is actually real. According to Variety, New Line is getting ready to follow a new generation of the Griswold family on an adventure. To make it happen, the studio has hired screenwriters Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (Sam Weir from Freaks and Geeks!) to pen the update. David Dobkin’s (Wedding Crashers) is going to produce. For more on where the Griswold’s will go, hit the jump:
If anyone knows how to keep a franchise going, it’s National Lampoon. Just take a look at how many”Van Wilder” movies have been made, even after Ryan Reynolds jumped ship. Well, it looks like one of their classics is on the way back, but this time without their hands at the wheel. In an as-of-yet unnamed “Vacation” sequel, Clark Griswold’s son Rusty is all grown up and has a family of his own–one that he can drag on another trip of slapstick and misadventure. More on the project after the jump.