Paramount Pictures has announced that director Brett Ratner’s Hercules will hit theaters on August 8, 2014. The film is an adaptation of Steve Moore’s graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars, which paints the popular character with a darker tone. Dwayne Johnson is set in the title role as “a mercenary who turned his back on the gods following the loss of his family, ‘finding solace only in battle.’” Currently the only other film slated for release in August of 2014 at the moment is Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which opens on August 1st. With a firm release date set, production on the film should get underway later this year.
Quite the action team-up is taking place for the upcoming film Heatseekers. A couple of years ago, we reported that Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes studio had acquired a spec script called Heatseekers for Paramount Pictures. The story centered on aerial “pirates” and was likened to Fast & Furious and Point Break. Now word comes that that Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter helmer Timur Bekmambetov has come aboard the action project to direct, with Bay maintaining his producer role. Hit the jump for more details.
We’ve got some bad news for Jack Reacher fans. Though Paramount’s feature film adaptation of the popular Lee Child book series character made a respectable $15 million on opening weekend and now stands at just a hair over $70 million for its total domestic gross, apparently the film’s box office performance isn’t likely to warrant the production of a sequel. The Tom Cruise-starrer was developed as a potential franchise given the bounty of Jack Reacher source material in Child’s books, but a new report states that the current $153 million worldwide total gross of director Christopher McQuarrie’s pic is short of Paramount’s benchmark for moving forward with a sequel, and the possibility of a follow-up now hinges on the film’s performance in other international territories. Hit the jump for more details.
One of the most anticipated films of this year is undoubtedly Star Trek Into Darkness. Fans have been following the development of the J.J. Abrams-helmed sequel for the past couple of years now, and one of the more peculiar announcements was the news that Into Darkness would be filmed in 2D and post-converted to 3D. It wasn’t exactly a shock that a huge tentpole movie was going to be released in 3D, but it was an interesting decision given Abrams’ previous comments about 3D. The filmmaker had made no secret of the fact that he wasn’t a huge fan of the format, so fans wondered whether he had changed his mind or if Paramount was simply adamant about the film going 3D.
We actually learned about a year ago that it was a case of the latter, but Abrams recently talked a bit more about the decision, admitting that Paramount would only make the film if it were in 3D and saying that he’s actually come around a bit on the format. Hit the jump to read on.
Back in October, Paramount Pictures decided to put Ivan Reitman‘s Draft Day into turnaround. The film was set to star Kevin Costner as Buffalo Bills General Manager Sonny Weaver, who has the chance to save his team when he trades for the number one pick in the draft. However, he’s forced to decide what he’s willing to sacrifice both personally and professionally in order to achieve success. From the premise, it sounds like Moneyball meets football, which seems like an easy sell since you have a critically acclaimed drama crossed with the most popular sport in America.
The project looked like it was destined for production hell, but then it landed on top of The Black List, and now Lionsgate is after Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman‘s spec script. According to Vulture, Lionsgate is currently in negotiations with Reitman and Costner to get the film going again. I dig the premise, so hopefully Lionsgate can get the project off the ground.
Back in 2010, Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal were coming off their Oscar wins for The Hurt Locker, and turning their attention to the crime drama Triple Frontier (also known as Sleeping Dogs). The details of the plot were unknown, but the film was billed as an action-adventure set in a border zone of South America known as “la triple frontera”, a haven for organized crime. Tom Hanks was attached to play one of the leads, and other stars were rumored for the picture including Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Denzel Washington, and Javier Bardem. The plan was to start filming in March 2011. But then Bigelow and Boal decided to hit pause, and do an indie thriller before Triple Frontier. It’s worth noting that Variety shot down a rumor that “the plot concerns the hunt for Osama Bin Laden,” even though that rumor ultimately turned out to be true. However, at that time the indie thriller was about losing Bin Laden in the Tora Bora Mountains; once he was killed, the script had to be updated.
So what happened with Triple Frontier? Hit the jump for more.
Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot have found a director for the intriguing sci-fi pic God Particle. Per Variety, the film “follows an American space station crew left abandoned after a problem with a Hadron accelerator causes Earth to vanish entirely.” It sounds a bit like Danny Boyle‘s Sunshine, though seeing Earth completely disappear might be a bit more disturbing/terrifying for this space crew. J.J. Abrams is set to produce, and newcomer Julius Onah has been hired to tackle directing duties with a script by Oren Uziel (Mortal Kombat: Rebirth). Having helmed a number of critically lauded shorts, Onah recently made his feature directorial debut with the thriller The Girl Is in Trouble. God Particle will be developed through Paramount’s Insurge arm, and thus will be made for a budget around $5-10 million.
As with every Abrams project, further plot details are being kept firmly under wraps. The premise is highly intriguing, though, and is made all the more enticing by the fact that the film will be produced on a smaller budget.
When Michael Bay’s robot explosions return in Transformers 4, we could be seeing a markedly different type of setting being blown to bits. Paramount is apparently hoping to set Bay’s Mark Wahlberg-fronted Transformers sequel in mainland China. The reasoning is less a creative choice and more about box office: the studio hopes that by filming in China and possibly partnering with a local production company, the chances of Transformers 4 getting a wide release in China (and thus bringing in more money) will be greater. Hit the jump for more.
While many have been wondering exactly when we’ll be getting our first look at director J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi sequel Star Trek Into Darkness, it appears that Abrams and Paramount are taking the Christopher Nolan approach in unveiling the first footage from the highly anticipated film. Paramount announced today that they will be releasing the first nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness on 500 IMAX 3D screens on December 14th. The clip will apparently play in front of showings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This is similar to what Nolan did with The Dark Knight Rises, as he screened the prologue for fans exclusively in IMAX theaters in December of last year.
Abrams filmed a few Star Trek Into Darkness scenes with IMAX cameras, and the format seems a fine fit for the sci-fi adventure pic. No word on when a proper trailer will be unveiled, but I’d be shocked if it wasn’t attached to Paramount’s Tom Cruise actioner Jack Reacher, which opens on December 21st. Hit the jump for more, including the full press release.
Fresh off the smashing success of last year’s Brad Bird-helmed Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, it appears that Paramount and Tom Cruise are eager to get things moving on the fifth entry in the franchise. The template of the series has always been that a new director steps in each time and puts a new spin on the espionage-centered conceit, and it looks as though the director of the next entry will indeed be someone new to the franchise: Christopher McQuarrie. Hit the jump for more.
The first trailer for the zombie apocalypse drama World War Z is set to debut later today, but Paramount has gotten a jump on things and released the first official image of Brad Pitt from the film. The adaptation of the Max Brooks zombie novel has gone through a few rough patches in production, with the release date pushed from this coming December to next summer and the third act having been rewritten by Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods) and reshot after production had already wrapped. We got a very brief preview of the trailer the other day that promised a terrifying shit ton of zombies, so hopefully the full film delivers when all is said and done.
Hit the jump to take a look at the image, and check back here on Collider later today to watch the first trailer. Directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace), the film also stars Anthony Mackie, Matthew Fox, Mireille Enos, and James Badge Dale. World War Z opens on June 21st, 2013.
It appears that the Top Gun sequel may be dead. Director Tony Scott, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and star Tom Cruise were all enthusiastic about returning for a fighter pilot follow-up, and The Town scribe Peter Craig had even been drafted to craft a screenplay, but sadly Scott’s death earlier this year looks to have put the project in limbo. The New York Times (via The Playlist) reports that Top Gun 2 “has fallen apart,” dashing hopes of seeing a Maverick/Iceman reunion onscreen.
However, Paramount is still moving forward with plans to release a 3D version of the original Top Gun. NYT adds that the studio is considering a February release for the post-converted pic, possibly with a one-week exclusive showing on domestic IMAX screens. Though I know many were looking forward to seeing what would transpire in Top Gun 2, I can’t help thinking that the follow-up is better left untouched now that Scott is no longer with us.
Warner Bros. is second-guessing its musical adaptation of Jersey Boys. The Jon Favreau-helmed project had been on track at the studio for a January production start date and Christmas 2013 release, but Variety now reports that WB has put the project into turnaround. The film is based on the smash hit musical and tells the story of The Four Seasons, chronicling the group’s rise in the 1960s with such hits as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like a Man.” It’s a whole lot of fun, and having seen the show I’d liken it to a musical version of a lighter Goodfellas.
Hit the jump for more, including why Warner Bros. dropped the project and who Favreau is eyeing for the leads.
An interesting casting rumor is floating around concerning Michael Bay’s upcoming sequel Transformers 4. We know that the follow-up won’t feature any of the human characters from Bay’s first three films, but the director has insisted that the film will not be a reboot. He recently revealed that the sequel will pick up after the annihilation events of Chicago from Dark of the Moon, but it’s assumed that the story will pit the titular robots opposite some fresh faces. Now reports suggest that Bay may be roping in none other than Mark Wahlberg to spice things up. Hit the jump for more.
The fourth installment in the Paranormal Activity franchise literally opened in theaters three days ago, but Paramount has already given a greenlight and a Halloween 2013 release date for Paranormal Activity 5. Though the decision isn’t exactly a shock, many expected Paramount to take a bit more time to figure out how to move forward with the series in the wake of Paranormal Activity 4’s relatively disappointing box office numbers. The found footage horror pic scored only $30 million domestically this weekend, falling short of the opening weekend takes of PA 2 and PA 3. Hit the jump for more.