The Angry Birds movie is moving full-speed ahead, as Sony Pictures Entertainment announced today that it has acquired worldwide distribution rights to the feature film adaptation of the popular video game. Rovio Entertainment is developing, producing, and financing the pic itself, with John Cohen (Despicable Me) and David Maisel (Iron Man) onboard to produce the 3D animated film. We previously knew that Rovio was targeting a 2016 release date, and Sony has firmed that up by announcing Angry Birds will hit theaters on July 1, 2016.
A director or screenwriter has yet to be announced and story details are non-existent, but this is an incredibly lucrative property that is bound to do big business with the younger crowd when it hits theaters on the Fourth of July weekend in 2016. Production is slated to begin in the next few months, at which point we should learn more about the animated comedy. Hit the jump to read the press release.
Last summer, Sony announced they were preparing a 21 Jump Street sequel. Jonah Hill followed up to say he was working on the script with Michael Bacall and expected to start filming in September 2013. It looks like all is going according to plan, as Sony announced 21 Jump Street 2 as part of their 2014 slate at CinemaCon. 21 Jump Street was too funny to leave alone and lends itself to a case-of-the-week comedy franchise, so I look forward to another adventure. (21 Jump Street: The College Years?)
Hill and Channing Tatum are expected to reprise their starring roles. Dave Franco says that despite plot logistics, he heard there is a place for him in the sequel. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are currently hard at work on the Lego movie, but it sounds like there will be room in their schedule to return to Jump Street.
by Jason Barr Posted: February 23rd, 2013 at 11:48 am
I’m opening myself up to complete public failure here, but in the spirit of Oscar weekend I thought it might be fun to share with peers and readers alike my picks for tomorrow’s 85th Academy Awards. Worst case scenario, I figure, is that my picks are so woefully off base that I’m quickly offered a well-compensated position within the Republican Party as a polling analyst. High hopes, I know, but ultimately it’s all in the name of fun. Here’s to hoping you the reader will enjoy comparing your predictions against my own and sleeping better at night as a result of your superior Oscar guessing power.
My half-witted Oscar picks aside, this week’s edition features category previews plus Adam and Matt’s own predictions, Snitch interviews with Dwayne Johnson and more, a character guide to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, a roundup of recent Star Wars: Episode VII talk, and Sony’s PlayStation 4 announcement. Something that resembles a brief recap and link to each is starved for your attention after the jump.
Surprise! Those still crossing their fingers for the very long in-development Ghostbusters 3 were granted a glimmer of hope when we recently learned that the sequel could start filming next summer, but that hope has now swiftly been dashed out. Due to some financial uneasiness, Sony Pictures Entertainment is currently reassessing all of their projects in the pipeline. Per THR, any decision on Ghostbusters 3 has been postponed until the end of March, which means that the hoped-for Summer 2013 start date is no longer a possibility. Should Sony ultimately decide to move forward with the sequel, filming likely wouldn’t be able to get underway until next fall at the earliest.
The most recent draft of the script was written by Etan Cohen, and Ghostbusters I and II director Ivan Reitman had been set to return. I’m not sure we really need another Ghostbusters movie (especially now that Bill Murray is out), and I remain skeptical as to whether Ghostbusters 3 will actually come to fruition.
Three of Tinsel Town’s brightest stars are about to secure the dough to make their next motion pictures*:
- Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox will team up to finance and distribute George Clooney‘s WWII-era art heist drama Monuments Men.
- Paramount Pictures closed a deal to acquire the T.S. Nowlin script Our Name Is Adam, with Tom Cruise attached to star as an astronaut who travels back in time and works with his younger self.
- Paramount is also eying Adam Sandler’s next comedy, an untitled project that Sandler will shoot after Grown Ups 2. [Update: Hit the jump for the title and info on Sandler's upcoming comedy.]
More on each project—including some surprise Bill Murray goodness—after the jump.
Fans eager to see a vampiric take on the Biblical story of Cain and Abel can now rest easy, as Sony Pictures has agreed to move forward with The Redemption of Cain. The film, which tells the story of Cain and Abel with, you know, vampires, got a boost this summer when it was reported that Will Smith was looking to possibly make his directorial debut on the project. The Wrap reports that Sony is moving forward with the pic with an eye towards starting production in July 2013, but there’s no update on whether Smith will direct and/or star.
What is known is that Smith’s Overbrooke Entertainment is producing the film and casting is set to begin in the next few weeks. Filming will take place in London and Jordan, with exteriors to be shot in Morocco. Details regarding exactly how vampires will factor into the Cain and Abel story are unknown, but I’m strangely curious to see this project come together. Hopefully we hear more solid word regarding Smith’s involvement soon.
2010’s The Social Network proved that, with the genius pairing of an incredibly talented screenwriter (Aaron Sorkin) and director (David Fincher), a movie about something as trite as Facebook could be compelling, relevant, and entertaining. With the success of that film still lingering, Sony may be looking at giving the same kind of treatment to another business-centered, “behind-the-scenes” film about a uniquely modern luxury: video games.
Battles have been waged in boardrooms for decades between rival video game console companies, with Microsoft and Sony currently duking it with the Xbox and PlayStation, respectively. Now word comes that Sony may be developing a feature film to tell their side of this “Console Wars” story. Hit the jump for more.
Sony wants Marc Webb to direct the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man, and Webb wants to come back to continue the story he started to tell in the first movie. Yet last we heard, the studio feared that Webb may not be able to return due to “obstacles”. The problem is Fox Searchlight, who has a claim on Webb—the director still owes the studio that made (500) Days of Summer at least one more film. Fox gave Webb some time to direct The Amazing Spider-Man, but is understandably unwilling to give him another couple years to make the sequel. Unfortunately for Webb, Sony needs to find a new director soon to make the announced May 2, 2014 release date for the Amazing Spider-Man sequel. So if Webb can’t make The Amazing Spider-Man 2 next, he can’t make it at all. Hit the jump for a possible solution.
Earlier this week, we reported that The Amazing Spider-Man world might be branching out to include the spin-off Venom even though the eponymous character doesn’t appear in Spidey’s movie. Instead, the plan would be to reverse engineer a future crossover a la The Avengers. However, this crossover would stay within Sony Pictures. We’re still waiting for studios to realize the mutual benefit of crossing over their Marvel properties, but it turns out that Sony and Disney almost made the first deal to do so.
Hit the jump to find out how The Amazing Spider-Man and The Avengers almost crossed over. The Amazing Spider-Man opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on July 3rd.
Sony premiered a 4-minute “super preview” for The Amazing Spider-Man tonight during America’s Got Talent. For those of you wondering, a super preview is about 90 seconds of one extended (and cut-down) action set piece, followed by two-and-a-half minutes of trailer (this trailer, pretty much). Thankfully, the scene in question is absolutely justifies the super preview treatment. I love that the sequence, in which the Lizard (played by Rhys Ifans) knocks several cars off a bridge, is uniquely Spider-Man rather than something you could insert into any superhero movie. Not just in the way Spidey snatches every car from the water below with his web shooters, but also the way Peter Parker (played by the soulful Andrew Garfield) can relate to the young kid he saves thanks to his relative youth among the premier comic book heroes.
Emma Stone, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, and Sally Field also star in The Amazing Spider-Man, directed by Marc Webb for a July 3 release. Watch the super preview after the jump.
When Sony took the stage at CinemaCon 2012 yesterday afternoon in Las Vegas, they had a short one hour window to show off their various upcoming movies. As we sat in the darkened theater waiting for the presentation to begin, we debated how could they have the stars and filmmakers talk about their movies and also show off tons of footage. But rather than follow the typical studio roadmap, Sony decided to just show a non-stop sizzle reel sans movie stars that included the world premiere of Skyfall footage (a teaser trailer) and tons of new footage from all their 2012 films included The Amazing Spider-Man, Total Recall, Looper, Resident Evil: Retribution, Hope Springs, Premium Rush, Hotel Transylvania, Sparkle, That’s My Boy, and Men in Black 3. More after the jump.
Before you check out the purportedly untold story of The Amazing Spider-Man, Sony wants to give you an opportunity to revisit the told story… on Blu-ray! The studio will re-release Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man trilogy on Blu-ray June 12, just prior to the July 2 release date of the Amazing reboot. According to Heat Vision, the new set won’t add too much to the previously released Blu-rays for Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, and Spider-Man 3. But there is the promise of “collectable O-Ring packaging” and a code for a free ticket to The Amazing Spider-Man. At the very least, the known quality of the trilogy (two-thirds of it, anyway) will serve as a good hedge in case the reboot is only as good as most reboots are. To get you in the mood, I embedded the Tobey Maguire-narrated trailer for the first movie after the jump.
by Ben Garman Posted: January 8th, 2012 at 10:42 am
George Clooney has kicked off work on a new project, a big-budget affair set in Europe during World War II. Clooney will be writing, directing and starring in the movie, entitled Monuments Men, which will follow a group of art experts selected by the US Government to locate and retrieve artwork stolen by the Nazis. The film will be based on the Robert M. Edsel book “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History”. Hit the jump for Clooney’s comments, as well as the full synopsis of the book.
While director David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is far from a box office bomb, the feature film adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s bestselling crime novel hasn’t exactly broken records. The $90 million pic has grossed a little over $60 million domestically since its release on December 20th, but given the widespread popularity of Larsson’s book series many believed the film would be performing better. While Sony has been planning on adapting all three books in Larsson’s Millennium series from the start, Dragon Tattoo’s box office performance had me wondering if their plan would be altered. My question was given an answer today, with the news that Sony is still moving forward with an adaptation of The Girl Who Played with Fire. Hit the jump for more.
When we reported that Sony Pictures had planned to adapt Assassin’s Creed, we told you that “Ubisoft has set the terms of the deal to be a more active participant in the movie’s development.” Mark that as the understatement of the year, because details have emerged suggesting that Ubisoft now exercises an unheard of amount of control over the project. Says one insider: “As a director, even Steven Spielberg cannot get this kind of deal.”
Sony apparently has granted Ubisoft control over the budget, casting, script and release date, in a deal that sets a dangerous precedent. Though, in the history of video game franchises made into movies, there have been more busts than blockbusters. Perhaps Ubisoft and Sony think this is the answer to the problem. Or perhaps Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot threatened the studio execs with a hidden blade. Hit the jump for more details.