Warner Bros. has acquired a pitch from Lucky Number Slevin scribe Jason Smilovic entitled The Architect. Per THR, Smilovic’s pitch is a chase thriller set in 1840s Europe and tells the story of an art thief who is in the midst of evading an investigator seeking to bring him down. In addition to Lucky Number Slevin, Smilovic also has experience in the television industry having written and produced on series’ such as Bionic Woman, My Own Worst Enemy, Kidnapped, and the Out of Sight TV spinoff, Karen Sisco. Smilovic will co-produce The Architect alongside Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Tyler Mitchell, and Marisa Yeres.
Warner Bros. has hired scribe Tom Gormican to adapt the etiquette writings of the late Emily Post. According to THR, the untitled project will be in the vein of Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison’s 1964 classic My Fair Lady and will tell the story of “a prissy Emily Post manners coach who attempts to turn a guy’s guy into a refined gentleman.” Gormican’s previous output includes the Black-List alum Are We Officially Dating?. He has also sold a romantic-comedy pitch entitled Save the Date which Neal Mortiz will produce.
If you want to get a better idea of what to expect from Gormican’s adaptation, hit the jump for a synopsis of Emily Post’s best-selling book, Etiquette.
While many dueling Martin Luther King Jr. projects are in various stages of development at the moment, it looks like DreamWorks and Warner Bros. have decided to combine their competing projects and co-finance a MLK film together. DreamWorks acquired the rights to Martin Luther King Jr.’s story back in 2009, securing the cooperation of the King estate as well as the rights to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Warner Bros., on the other hand, had scribe Kario Salem (The Score) on board. Salem spent three years researching and doing interviews for his screenplay.
After Universal abruptly pulled out of financing director Paul Greengrass’ controversial film Memphis (covering the days leading up to MLK’s assassination) following pressure from the King estate, THR reports that DreamWorks and Warner Bros. decided to combine the strengths of their respective projects and create a film together, with Salem in negotiations to write the screenplay. Hit the jump for more.
Clint Eastwood and Beyonce will join forces in the latest iteration of the musical A Star is Born for Warner Brothers. With Beyonce starring and Eastwood both producing and directing Will Fetters’ (Remember Me) script, the film will mark the fourth time A Star is Born has graced the silver screen in the United States. The most recent version was released in 1976. That film starred Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand and earned Streisand and lyricist Paul Williams an Oscar for best original song.
For those unfamiliar with the material, A Star is Born tells of a romantic relationship between an alcoholic star on his way out and a young female artist on the rise (in this most recent case, Beyonce). There is no word on who might fill the coveted role of “aging alcoholic star,” however, Deadline poses that Warner Bros. might have hopes of pairing Beyonce with human-summer-blockbuster Will Smith. A Star is Born is currently aiming to begin shooting this fall.
MGM and Warner Bros. have announced that Peter Jackson’s dual films covering the J.R.R. Tolkien novel The Hobbit will get worldwide distribution by Warner Bros. MGM held international rights, but they’ve worked out a deal with WB to use their resources to handle all avenues of distribution except for international television licensing. So what does this all mean? After months of stopping and starting, The Hobbit is pushing forward. Here’s what the press release highlights:
- Production will begin in February 2011
- Both Hobbit films will be in 3D
- Hobbit Part One has target release of December 2012
- Hobbit Part Two has target release of December 2013
- WB is handling theatrical distribution around the world
To get up to date with everything we (and by association, you) know about The Hobbit, click here. To check out the full press release, hit the jump.
Gareth Edwards will direct the latest iteration of Godzilla for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. According to Heat Vision, Edwards will work with a yet-to-be-named writer (Dave Callaham of The Expendables was originally tapped to pen the script) in developing Godzilla (a property that Legendary gathered the rights to back in March 2010).
The British filmmaker, known for his knack for creating stellar digital effects at rock-bottom prices, has gained a lot of steam of late with the release of his sci-fi film Monsters which premiered at SXSW in 2010 before picking up distribution from Magnet Releasing in October. In addition to landing Godzilla, Edwards was also recently tapped to work alongside Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov in writing/directing a “futuristic sci-fi project.“ If you’re looking for more from Edwards, you can click here to check out an exclusive interview we conducted with the fast-rising filmmaker back in October.
Ben Affleck is quickly becoming a Warner Brothers favorite. With The Town (which Warner Bros. distributed) garnering approximately $50 million at the box office as of last weekend and with it enjoying even greater critical success (currently rocking a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes), the studio has now offered Affleck the director’s chair for the L.A. crime drama Tales from the Gangster Squad. The script, penned by Castle writer and former L.A. cop Will Beall, tells the story of an off-the-record gang of LAPD officers who attempt to force legendary gangster Micky Cohen out of town in the late 1940s. The script draws substantially from the 2008 series of articles, also entitled Tales from the Gangster Squad, written by Los Angeles Times reporter Paul Lieberman.
As for Affleck, we recently reported that he had discussed directing (along with most every other director in the known universe) The Man of Steel for Warner Brothers but had dropped out of the running. According to Vulture, the momentum-inclined director is also mulling over the possibility of directing Howard Gordon’s (24) Showtime pilot Homeland as well as a “two-hander at Warner Bros. that might star his old pal Matt Damon.”
If Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of The Hobbit were a person, I have to believe it would wake up every morning asking itself, “Why even bother getting out of bed?” Whether you’re talking about how MGM’s finances (or lack thereof) are potentially forcing the studio to shop the project to the highest bidder, or how its choice for Bilbo Baggins may or may not be too busy to appear in the film, it seems as if The Hobbit just can’t catch a break. And now, just when we thought filming could begin in January, international labor unions are advising actors not to participate in the film, citing it as a “non-union production.” Luckily for the hard-luck project, co-writer/director Peter Jackson isn’t taking this one lying down.
In response to the “Member Alert” issued last Friday by the Screen Actors Guild, Jackson has issued an open letter refuting the claims made against his film. Moreover, to prove he’s not taking the potential boycott lightly, his response features a threat to move the film out of New Zealand and into Eastern Europe. Disclaimer: if the business/politics of film production doesn’t interest you, you may want to move along. Otherwise, to check out Jackson’s lengthy, occasionally redundant, yet seemingly rational response, hit the jump.
While The Book of Eli is not yet the runaway blockbuster that Warner Brothers may have hoped for, the studio is apparently satisfied enough with the film’s directors to offer them a crack at one of the most prized scripts on the WB development slate. According to Vulture, The Hughes Brothers have been tapped to direct the live-action adaptation of the manga-turned-anime-classic, Akira. You know, the one with the killer bikes? and the creepy kid? and the, oh hell… TETSUUOOOOOOOOOOO!! Details after the jump.
As reported by Screen Daily, Warner Brothers has picked up the remake rights to South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. Various folks from Bonaventura Pictures, CJ Entertainment, and Room 101 will produce, while Brian Tucker has been tapped to write the script. The original film is the first in Chan-wook’s fanboy-adored Vengeance Trilogy. For the uninitiated, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is a noirish, violent, and ultra-graphic crime thriller that follows two men as they become ensnared on opposing ends of a grueling series of desperate acts and unfortunate twists of fate that ultimately results in both characters sinking to the darkest of depths in intersecting quests for…you guessed it…vengeance. It was released in 2002 to disappointing box office results in both South Korea and North America but managed to pick up a cult following.
Hit the jump for why film geeks around the world likely just felt a great disturbance in the force.