Marc Webb Confirmed to Direct THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 3; Sony Plans to Release a SPIDER-MAN Film Every Year

by     Posted 156 days ago

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Sony Pictures is making big plans for its Spider-Man franchise and beyond.  When the studio announced plans to move forward with a Venom spinoff and a Sinister Six film in addition to further adventures in the proper Spider-Man series, it became clear that the studio was keen on building its own mini-universe not unlike Marvel’s interconnected franchises.  Now it appears that the plan involves releasing a new Spider-Man film every year for the foreseeable future.  That begins with 2016’s The Amazing Spider-Man 3, which the studio has now confirmed that Marc Webb will indeed be returning to direct.  Hit the jump for more.

Sony Developing THE EQUALIZER 2 Following Positive Test Scores; Denzel Washington Expected to Return

by     Posted 157 days ago

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Sony Pictures is hoping to get a jump on the presumed-hype for director Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming thriller The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington, by getting the ball rolling on the sequel well in advance.  The first pic doesn’t open in theaters until September, but it  apparently scored through the roof during a recent test screening, bringing back the highest scores for an R-rated film in Sony’s history.  As a result, the studio is keen on developing the follow-up in the hopes that the film makes waves when it hits theaters this fall.  Hit the jump for more.  

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to Adapt Upcoming Book CONSOLE WARS; Based on Behind-the-Scenes Battle between Nintendo and Sega

by     Posted 158 days ago

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Last year, South Park astutely pointed out (as they usually do) how “wars” between consoles are done for PR rather than the benefit of the actual consumers, so the “battle” between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was nonsense.  But championing a video game console is nothing new, and it began in earnest back in the 1990s as Sega and Nintendo went head-to-head.  Author Blake Harris has penned a book on the history between the two companies, Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation, and it will be released in August.  Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network) have picked up the movie rights, and have brought on Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to write and direct.

Hit the jump for more.

Cameron Crowe’s Untitled Film Starring Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone Set for Christmas Day 2014 Release

by     Posted 167 days ago

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Writer/director Cameron Crowe’s untitled next film will serve as a nifty Christmas Present this year.  Sony Pictures has slated the untitled picture for release on December 25, 2014, where it will square off against Disney’s musical Into the Woods, the comedy sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and director Angelina Jolie’s war drama Unbroken.  Crowe’s picture is described as a romantic comedy and stars Bradley Cooper as a defense contractor overseeing a weapons satellite launch from Hawaii who teams up with (and falls for) an Air Force pilot (Emma Stone) to scuttle the launch.  The very solid ensemble cast is filled out by Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin, Rachel McAdams, and Danny McBride.

Crowe’s last directorial effort, 2011’s We Bought a Zoo, also opened on Christmas Day, and I’m eager to see what the filmmaker has cooked up this time around.

Sony Will Release Sacha Baron Cohen’s New Comedy GRIMSBY on July 31, 2015

by     Posted 168 days ago

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You can now add a Sacha Baron Cohen comedy to the crowded 2015 film slate.  We learned last year that Cohen would be teaming up with Now You See Me director Louis Leterrier for his next film, Grimsby, and now Deadline reports that the film has moved from Paramount to Sony Pictures, which will distribute the pic on July 31, 2015.  The story revolves around a British black-ops spy who is forced to go on the run with his long-lost brother, an idiotic English soccer hooligan, with Cohen playing the latter.  The comedian penned the script with his Borat co-writer Peter Baynham and Oscar-nominated Philomena co-writer Phil Johnston.  Production is set to begin this summer.

The only other film slated for release on July 31st is Fox’s Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars, but that pic doesn’t have a firm director yet so who knows whether that will stick.  However, Grimsby will likely have considerable box office competition from a film opening a week earlier, Judd Apatow’s next comedy Trainwreck.

Paul Greengrass Courted to Direct Sony’s David Ignatius Adaptation THE DIRECTOR

by     Posted 197 days ago

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Sony Pictures has won an intense bidding war for author David Ignatius’ upcoming spy novel The Director, and the studio is hoping to stay in business with Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass on the project.  The Wrap reports that Scott Rudin is producing the pic for Sony, and both the studio and Rudin are hoping to attach Greengrass as the director.  Rudin worked with Greengrass on Captain Phillips and that film is poised to land some major Oscar nominations tomorrow, so the pairing on The Director wouldn’t be a stretch.  Ignatius’ spy novel kicks off when a newly appointed CIA director is faced with the possibility that the agency may have been hacked.  The director then enlists a computer-savvy agent to conduct a mole hunt in Europe and the U.S.

Greengrass has yet to choose a follow-up project to Captain Phillips, and while he continues to develop his MLK drama Memphis, he recently stated that it wouldn’t be his next film. We should hear something more concrete about his future plans once the awards madness dies down.  Hit the jump to read a synopsis of Ignatius’ novel.

Breaking Down Sony’s Villainous SPIDER-MAN Spin-Offs VENOM and THE SINISTER SIX

by     Posted 230 days ago

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A few weeks ago, Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-Chairman Amy Pascal hinted at expanding the Spider-Man universe, and I’ve been saying for months that the company’s superhero strategy rests on supervillains since they only have one superhero, Spider-Man (creating a superhero from scratch is apparently verboten).  Their only option is to dig into Spidey’s vast rogues gallery, and that’s exactly what they’re going to do.  Last night, Sony outlined how they plan to compete with Disney/Marvel, Warner Bros/DC Comics, and 20th Century Fox (X-Men and Fantastic Four).

Hit the jump for more details on the studio’s plan.

James Bond Lawsuit Settlement Opens the Door for the Return of Blofeld and SPECTRE

by     Posted 258 days ago

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The legacy of the James Bond film franchise is not without its twists and turns, many of which are excellently captured in the documentary Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007.  One of the more difficult stories related to the film series involves Thunderball, which began with an original screenplay by Bond creator Ian Fleming and Kevin McClory, before Fleming decided to cut McClory out of the picture and publish the novel Thunderball—based on the idea the two hatched together—with nary a mention of McClory.  The result was a decades-long legal battle and two “unofficial” Bond films (Thunderball and Never Say Never Again), but at long last the entanglement has ended.

Hit the jump for more, including what this means for the Bond franchise going forward.

Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Jeff Pinkner to Pen THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 3 Screenplay; Marc Webb Eyed to Return

by     Posted 302 days ago

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Sony is once again getting a jump on its next Spider-Man sequel, as the studio has tapped a trio of scribes to start penning the screenplay for The Amazing Spider-Man 3Alex Kurtzmn, Roberto Orci, and Jeff Pinkner are credited with the screenplay for next May’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Sony has now hired the trio to begin work on The Amazing Spider-Man 3.  The studio clearly has big plans for the rebooted Spidey franchise, as it recently set release dates for both Spidey 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 for June 2016 and May 2018, respectively.  Hit the jump for more, including the likelihood of director Marc Webb returning for the third installment.

Jason Segel to Star in Real-Life Maple Syrup Heist Comedy; HORRIBLE BOSSES Director Seth Gordon Will Helm

by     Posted 310 days ago

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Sony Pictures has just acquired a stranger-than-fiction pitch that will see Jason Segel playing a maple syrup thief.  Inspired by real events reported by Anne Sutherland in the Montreal Gazette, the film chronicles the 2012 heist of over $20 million worth of maple syrup that was stolen from Quebec’s Federation of Maple Syrup Producers (this is a real thing that exists).  As of now, over 20 individuals have been arrested in connection to the maple syrup crime (also a thing that exists).  Segel is attached to star and Horrible Bosses director Seth Gordon is onboard to direct.  Hit the jump for more.

Sony to Produce Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Jonah Hill’s R-Rated Animated Comedy SAUSAGE PARTY; 2015 Release Eyed

by     Posted 310 days ago

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Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Evan Goldberg have long talked about an idea for an R-rated animated film, and now it appears that the raunchy pic will finally come to fruition.  Sony Pictures announced today that it will partner with Annapurna Pictures on Sausage Party, which was written by Rogen, Goldberg, Kyle Hunter, and Ariel Shaffir based on an idea by Rogen, Goldberg, and Hill.  The story follows one sausage’s “quest to discover the truth about his existence,” as he falls out of a shopping cart and, along with his friends, embarks on a journey to return to his aisle before the 4th of July sale.

Voice casting has yet to be announced, but Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2) and Greg Tiernan will be directing the pic with an eye towards a 2015 release date.  Rogen and Goldberg made their directorial debut with this summer’s excellent This Is the End and are currently helming the Rogen/James Franco comedy The Interview.  Hit the jump for the full press release.

Neill Blomkamp’s CHAPPIE to Be Released on March 27, 2015

by     Posted 345 days ago

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Though Elysium has only been in theaters for a couple of weeks, Sony has already given director Neill Blomkamp’s next film a release date.  The sci-fi pic Chappie will open in theaters on March 27, 2015, adding yet another film to look forward to in what’s shaping up to be the busiest moviegoing year in history.  The only other film currently set for release on 3/27 is DreamWorks Animation’s spinoff The Penguins of Madagascar, but Marvel is poised to invade every available screen a little over a month later when The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens on May 1st.

With Chappie, Blomkamp reunites with his Elysium and District 9 star Sharlto Copley once again.  The pic tells the story of a robot (Copley) imbued with artificial intelligence who is stolen by two local gangsters who want to use him for their own nefarious purposes.  Ninja and Yolandi Visser are onboard to play said gangsters.  Production on Chappie begins this fall in South Africa, but it appears that Blomkamp will need plenty of time to complete the film’s extensive visual effects.

Sony and MRC to Finance Neill Blomkamp’s Sci-Fi Film CHAPPIE; Official Synopsis Released

by     Posted 352 days ago

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Following last weekend’s slightly disappointing box office opening of Elysium, Sony Pictures has decided to back another one of writer/director Neill Blomkamp’s films.  The studio is teaming up with MRC to finance Blomkamp’s next pic, the sci-fi film Chappie.  The pic “tells the story of a robot imbued with artificial intelligence who is stolen by two local gangsters who want to use him for their own nefarious purposes.”  Sharlto Copley is already onboard to voice the titular robot, and Ninja and Yolandi Visser (aka Die Antwoord) are set to play the two gangsters.  Dev Patel was reported as being in early talks for a role a few months ago, but there’s no mention of the actor in this official press release.  Blomkamp recently revealed that there’s one more role he’s trying to fill, so this may be it.

Blomkamp wrote the script for Chappie with Terri Tatchell (District 9) and will also produce the pic alongside Simon Kinberg, who also produced Elysium.  Filming is poised to begin this fall.  Hit the jump to read the full press release, which includes the logline.

GREY’S ANATOMY Creator Shonda Rhimes to Pen Sony’s WAR CORRESPONDENTS

by     Posted 1 year, 2 days ago

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ABC staple Shonda Rhimes is returning to feature films.  Before creating the incredibly successful ABC dramas/soaps Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal, Rhimes penned the screenplays for The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement and Crossroads.  Now THR reports that Rhimes will return to the world of features to write the screenplay for the drama War Correspondents.  The project, which focuses on the lives of female war correspondents, was initially developed by Rhimes as a potential TV series, but stalled when the Iraq War began.  Now Sony has decided to turn the idea into a feature film, and Rhimes will pen the screenplay with longtime producing partner Mark Gordon (Source Code) onboard to produce.

Rhimes continues to run Grey’s Anatomy and most recently developed the successful ABC series Scandal, which returns for a second season this fall and garnered Emmy nominations for stars Kerry Washington and Dan Bucatinsky.  No director is yet attached to War Correspondents, but development will be moving forward at Sony in the coming months.

David Fincher’s 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA Is Dead; Director Likely off GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE Despite Recent Rewrite

by     Posted 1 year, 14 days ago

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With casting already underway on David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel Gone Girl, it’s no surprise to learn that his planned big-budget feature 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is kaput.  A couple months ago, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that production had been pushed back to 2014 due to the inability to find a lead actor to commit to the project.  However, The Playlist reports that the movie has been dead for months, and the report was “apparently a desperate bid by the Aussie government to entice the filmmakers and producers into continuing with this project that would bring millions of dollars in jobs to their movie industry.”

Fincher did try his damndest to make the picture happen, but couldn’t wrangle a bankable lead actor.  Brad Pitt passed to do Fury, Matt Damon and Daniel Craig didn’t want to commit to the a 140-day shoot away from their families, Channing Tatum wasn’t seen as a bankable enough, and Fincher didn’t agree with Disney’s suggestion to cast Chris Hemsworth.  Rather than continue fighting for his expensive project that was already a risky proposition for Disney (and one that now seems ludicrous considering the massive failures the studio had in trying to adapt older properties with John Carter and The Lone Ranger), Fincher moved to Gone Girl.  So where does that leave his other major project, The Girl Who Played with Fire?  Hit the jump for more.

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