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.
Columbia Pictures has released a new trailer for The Tourist, the international thriller which stars Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. Depp plays an American on vacation in Paris and Venice who becomes entangled in the web of intrigue spun by the enigmatic Elise (Jolie). Paul Bettany, Rufus Sewell, and Timothy Dalton also star; Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others) directs. Hit the jump to check out the new trailer.
by Jason Barr Posted: September 13th, 2010 at 4:27 pm
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has debuted an on-demand DVD pressing known as “Screen Classics by Request.” This means that, effective today, Sony (which owns Columbia Pictures) is offering consumers the opportunity to purchase DVD copies of classic films from the Columbia film vault for the first time ever. When I take stock of all the things I can have “on-demand” in life (HBO, Showtime, Hot Pockets), I have to admit that DVDs of previously unreleased classic films ranks pretty high.
Hit the jump for more details on Sony’s classic DVD venture including what titles are currently available.
by Jason Barr Posted: August 27th, 2010 at 7:19 am
Having already mastered the ancient art of “Kung Fu for Pandas,” the writing-team of Cyrus Voris and Ethan Reiff (Kung Fu Panda) are now poised to take on karate (for humans). Heat Vision is reporting that the two have landed the coveted gig of penning the sequel to Harald Zwart’s The Karate Kid starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. To be honest, given the immediate decision to make a sequel, I’m a little surprised that it took almost two and a half months for Columbia to name a writer(s). Then again, I guess you can never be too careful when putting together a film that mass audiences are most likely going to see regardless of if it was written by able-minded gents such as Voris and Reiff or a less apt writer with a lower price tag (like myself for instance).
As of now, Columbia is declining to release any setting or plot details for the sequel (the guys just got hired, give them a chance to celebrate). In spite of its approximately $40 million budget, 2010’s The Karate Kid has grossed nearly $300 million worldwide. In short, be prepared for a long line of “new” Karate Kid films to come your way in the future.
Columbia Pictures has released the first trailer for James L. Brooks’ How Do You Know, a romantic comedy led by an impressive cast of Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Jack Nicholson, and Kathryn Hahn. The film centers on a love triangle between a professional baseball player (Wilson), a white collar executive (Rudd), and the object of their affection (Witherspoon). Check out the trailer after the jump.
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.
Andrew Garfield (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) will play Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Marc Webb’s Spider-Man reboot. Garfield’s casting follows months of speculation about who would don the webs. Garfield was among the final list of contenders along with Jamie Bell, Anton Yelchin, Aaron Johnson, Logan Lerman, Alden Ehrenreich, Frank Dillane, Michael Angarano, and Josh Hutcherson. Hutcherson had reportedly been offered the role yesterday.
Whether that’s true or if he turned it down is irrelevant (although I can’t imagine anyone turning it down). Columbia Pictures has sent out a press release confirming Garfield as Spider-Man. I liked Garfield in Parnassus, and he’s going to get a lot more exposure later this year when he’s seen in David Fincher’s Facebook movie The Social Network and Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go. Hit the jump for quotes from Webb and the producers regarding Garfield’s casting. Spider-Man is set to open in 3D on July 3, 2012.
Update: We’ve been given some pictures and video from today’s event in Mexico where director Marc Webb and producers Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin made the big announcement. You can see Andrew Garfield looked shocked as he stepped onto the world stage. Hit the jump to check everything out. It’s after the highlights from the press release:
Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) is developing the action-comedy Babe in the Woods at Columbia Pictures. Written by Mike White, the film centers on a female freshman from the Midwest who arrives at Yale and becomes a target of the New Jersey mob. White will produce the project through his Rip Cord Productions banner. Rip Cord’s David Bernad will also serve as a producer on the film.
Presidents of Columbia Pictures Matt Tolmach said in a press release, “Our experience working with Ruben on Zombieland was nothing short of amazing. We love what Mike did with this script and could not be more thrilled to develop Babe in the Woods with these two guys. They bring the perfect blend of comedy and attitude to their projects.”
Fleischer is currently developing 30 Minutes or Less for Columbia which stars Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari and Jesse Eisenberg.
A little over a month ago we posted an awesome short film by Patrick Jean called Pixels. In the film, 8-bit favorites Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Frogger, and others decide to destroy New York City by turning everything they touch into 3D pixels. It’s one of the most original short films I’ve seen in a long time.
After the film was released, it spread everywhere. I saw tons of Facebook and Tweets about the short and it would make sense that Hollywood might notice. And according to Deadline, they have, as Columbia Pictures and Happy Madison are in early talks to develop a movie based on Pixels and they want to make it in 3D. More after the jump:
Columbia Pictures has announced that Men in Black III will be in 3D and hit theaters on May 25, 2012. In their press release, Columbia (which is owned by Sony Pictures) confirms that Will Smith and Barry Sonnenfeld will return to star and direct, respectively. However, the press release clarifies that Tommy Lee Jones is not yet attached, but is in “advanced negotiations”. The studio also revealed that Josh Brolin (who was rumored to be circling the film) is in talks to play a young version of Tommy Lee Jones’ character, Agent K (a theory that was floated when Brolin’s name first cropped up in connection to MIB 3). While I don’t think we need a third Men in Black movie, having Brolin pay a young Tommy Lee Jones is kind of brilliant.
It’s also interesting to note that we previously assumed that Men in Black III would be aiming for a summer 2011 release so Sony would have a fighter in the summer blockbuster war. I don’t currently have any theories as to why they’re holding it for so long.
Hit the jump to check out the full press release.
Nicolas Cage wanted to be in a superhero movie so badly that he decided to do Ghost Rider, a character who works better as a biker tattoo than a protagonist. But Columbia Pictures wants a sequel and Vulture reports that if Cage can’t make it this year, they’ll go ahead without him. Why leave the actor behind? Because the if the studio can’t get a film in production by November 14th, the rights automatically revert to Marvel and its new owner, Disney.
The issue is that Cage may opt to do National Treasure 3, which could shoot as early as the fall and possibly net the actor a larger paycheck. But Vulture notes that Columbia wants a blockbuster for 2011 and their Spider-Man reboot isn’t slated to hit theaters until summer 2012. The studio needs a star like Cage to sell the movie worldwide due to the character’s lack of name-recognition. But they also need to get the film rolling and soon. Hit the jump for more details about the project from when Steve spoke to producer Mike De Luca back in January.
Two houses are about to get trashed again – one by a party and another by popcorn. The Hollywood Cog over at Pajiba is reporting that remakes of the 1985 film Real Genius and 1990′s House Party are currently in development. Columbia Pictures and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment have the Real Genius remake under their banner while Brett Ratner’s Rat Entertainment and New Line Cinema are overseeing the House Party reboot. For more hit the jump:
Vin Diesel and director Rob Cohen will return to the xXx franchise and shoot the third installment with 3D cameras. Diesel and Cohen launched what was supposed to be a star vehicle franchise for the actor in 2002, but Diesel dropped out for the sequel and Cohen only served as executive producer Deadline reports that Columbia Pictures is in talks with Paramount to take over the franchise, finance production and distribute the film in late 2011 or early 2012. Here’s the “plot”:
Xander Cage (Diesel) is left for dead, but returns to execute a very difficult assignment that only he can pull off.
No word if that mission requires out-running an avalanche on a snowboard or awkwardly making out with Asia Argento. The film will be set mostly in Europe and Samuel L. Jackson will return as Cage’s handler, Agent Augustus Gibbons. Diesel plans to begin shooting on the new xXx after he wraps on Fast Five, the 5th installment in the Fast and Furious franchise. Meanwhile, Cohen is shooting Coke’s first 3D commercial, which is great because what stopped me from buying Coca-Cola was that their ads were only in 2D.
For those who need a brief refresher on the character, hit the jump.
“Pioneer Woman” Ree Drummond had made out quite well by writing about her shift from life in LA to life on a cattle ranch in Oklahoma. Her blog, thepioneerwoman.com, gets 2 million unique readers a month and her cookbook was a NY Times #1 best seller. But now she’s headed back to Hollywood – or at least her story is. Deadline has reported that Columbia Pictures is developing Drummond’s story into a potential romcom vehicle for Reese Witherspoon.
Pioneer Woman is sure to center around Drummond’s relationship with “Marlboro Man”, the cowboy she fell in love with and changed her life to be with.
Ivan Reitman’s confirmed this past January that he was directing Ghostbusters III, so the news that Columbia wants a younger director to take on the project is pretty shocking. Vulture is now reporting that Columbia is looking to take the project in a somewhat different direction, one that doesn’t involve Reitman.
The third film is currently being written by The Office writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and it’s been rumored since the start of development that the plan would be to involve a younger group of Ghostbusters as to reboot the popular franchise. However this plan doesn’t involve Reitman, who is now 63 years old. Columbia is hoping to get a younger director to fill the shoes, like they have with the new Spider-Man director Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer).
Hit the jump to see why Columbia’s decision to get rid of Reitman could potentially end with the cancellation of Ghostbusters III.