It appears as though the feature film adaptation of The Equalizer may have found a director. The adaptation of the 1980s crime series has seen a number of filmmakers flirt with the idea of taking the helm, with Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn most recently attached to direct before dropping out last month. With an eye towards starting production in June and Denzel Washington set to star, Sony is ready to get this thing moving, and now it looks like Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt might be the man for the job as he’s entered early negotiations to take the helm. Hit the jump for more.
If The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had been the smashing success Sony hoped for, we would probably be getting the sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire, by the end of this year. Surprisingly, audiences didn’t want to watch “The Feel Bad Movie of Christmas”, and while the film managed to gross $232 million worldwide, it was still a disappointment when you consider the $90 million budget. Sony wants to continue The Millennium Series, but the studio is carefully considering how to proceed.
Hit the jump for what the future may hold for Lisbeth Salander.
Development on Sony’s musical remake of Annie continues, and the project has both gained and lost a player. The project was first announced in early 2011 with Will Smith and Jay-Z producing the redo as a starring vehicle for Smith’s daughter Willow Smith. Willow is now 12 years old and has since outgrown the lead role, so she is no longer attached to star. However, movement on the project continues as Easy A and Friends with Benefits helmer Will Gluck is now in negotiations to direct. Hit the jump for more.
The long-gestating biopic Cleopatra may have finally found a director, and it’s a good ‘un. The project has been in development for a number of years with Angelina Jolie attached to star as the Egyptian queen. Both James Cameron and Paul Greengrass flirted with the idea of directing before ultimately moving on, and most recently David Fincher was attached to the project before dropping off last summer. The pic has a script by Eric Roth (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), based on Stacy Schiff’s book Cleopatra: A Life, and now another top-tier filmmaker is eyeing the gig: Ang Lee. Hit the jump for more details.
In December, we reported the exciting news that Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn was in talks to direct Denzel Washington in an adaptation of the 1980s crime series, The Equalizer. The show centered on Robert McCall (originally played by Edward Woodward), a former covert operations officer who dedicated his life to helping people in trouble. Washington will play McCall in the adaptation, although the movie will only share the conceit of the show. Unfortunately, we’ve learned that while Sony was close to closing a deal with Refn, the deal fell apart at the last minute due to unknown reasons.
We’ve also learned that Sony remains hot on adapting The Equalizer, and is continuing to search for a new director to start shooting in May with Washington still attached to star. If you want to get a better sense of the TV series, hit the jump to see the intro for The Equalizer. Refn’s new film, Only God Forgives, opens on May 23rd. The director is still attached to the remake of Logan’s Run and an adaptation of the graphic novel, Button Man.
Quite the interesting director/star pairing looks to be in the works. A remake of the 1980s crime series The Equalizer has been in development for the past few years, with Denzel Washington most recently signing on to star. Last we heard, Sony was compiling a shortlist of directors for the project, and on that list was Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn. The studio has finally made a decision on who will take the helm of the project, and it is indeed Mr. Refn. Hit the jump for more details, including a release date for Refn’s next film Only God Forgives.
Much interest has surrounded Sony’s biopic of the late innovator Steve Jobs, but it now looks like we have a clear idea of what to expect when the film eventually hits theaters. The Oscar-winning The Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin has been tasked with crafting the screenplay for the adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s biography Steve Jobs, and he previously revealed that his film won’t be a straight biography “because it’s very difficult to shake the cradle-to-grave structure of a biography.”
Many assumed the eschewing of the cradle-to-grave structure meant that Sorkin’s film would focus on a short period of time in Jobs’ life, but now the West Wing creator has revealed that he’s got something wholly unique in mind for the film’s structure: three 30-minute scenes that will play out in real time. Hit the jump for more. [Update: We've updated the article with video of Sorkin talking about the film.]
Oscar season must be getting closer, as couple of interesting awards-related stories have surfaced today. First up, Lionsgate’s comedy Stand Up Guys is getting an awards-qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles on December 14th, per THR. The film stars Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin as retired gangsters who reunite for one last epic night where, naturally, everything goes to hell. I’m not sure how strong the chances are of generating a nomination or two for some of the cast, but it can’t hurt for Lionsgate to try. The pic opens wide on January 11th.
Additionally, it looks like Sony may be rethinking their release strategy with the highly anticipated “kill Bin Laden” drama Zero Dark Thirty. Hit the jump for more.
The Spider-Man reboot The Amazing Spider-Man was a sizeable hit this summer at the box office, but the film was surrounded by an air of production troubles. The film was only director Marc Webb’s second feature, and was a huge step up from his swell but small-scale debut (500) Days of Summer. A fair amount of reshoots took place, and when the film hit theaters we saw that much of the footage from the film’s marketing (including the entire “Untold Story” storyline) had been removed from the finished pic.
Sony hired Transformers and Star Trek scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to rewrite the script for a sequel before the first film came out, but Webb’s involvement in the follow-up was less clear. Though many assumed another director would be brought in to helm a more commercial (ie. action-centric) sequel, it now looks like Webb is coming back after all with his leads in tow. Hit the jump for more.
It’s been a decade since Doug Liman helmed the spy-actioner The Bourne Identity, but it appears he’s readying a return to the genre. Deadline reports that Sony has acquired author Olen Steinhauer’s series of novels The Tourist, Nearest Exit, and An American Spy with Liman attached to direct. Matt Corman and Chris Ord (Covert Affairs) are set to write the screenplay for an adaptation of The Tourist. The series centers on Milo Weaver, “a burned out spy for a clandestine US intelligence agency that battles global organized crime, terrorists and the like.” Weaver’s happiness is threatened when an investigation into the death of a target he’s been hunting begins.
The story feels like familiar territory for Liman, but he made two entertaining action-thrillers with Bourne and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, so it’s reasonable to assume he’d bring the same enthusiasm to this material. He’s next set to direct the sci-fi actioner All You Need Is Kill with Tom Cruise, but with Corman and Ord just now getting to work on the script it may be some time before we see The Tourist move forward.
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.
Director David Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a sizeable hit when it opened last December, but the film wasn’t the runaway box office success that some were expecting. It’s global take of $232 million was enough to justify an adaptation of author Steig Larsson’s sequel The Girl who Played with Fire, but development on the follow-up has been slow-going.
Fincher has yet to officially attach himself as the director of Fire, and rumblings of head-butting between the director and Sony during the production of Dragon Tattoo didn’t exactly make Fincher’s return for the sequel a sure thing. However, in a recent interview Fincher revealed that he’s still very much mulling over a return to the world of Lisbeth Salander. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
It appears we’ll never get to see David Fincher’s iteration of Cleopatra. The director began eyeing the project back in March of 2011, but now it appears that talks between Fincher and Sony have broken off and he’s no longer involved. Angelina Jolie has long been attached to star in the film based on Stacy Schiff’s book Cleopatra: A Life. Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button scribe Eric Roth entered talks to pen the screenplay late last year, but the last update about the project came from Fincher himself last December:
“Cleopatra, I haven’t even begun. I’ve just spoken with Angie [Angelina Jolie] and Eric [Roth] and I’m trying to figure out how to weigh in. It’s just a discussion about what can it be, what are people expecting, what do we need to do to destroy that?”
Hit the jump for more on the future of Cleopatra and what other projects Fincher is circling for his feature film follow-up to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Well here’s a project we haven’t heard about in years. In 2008, it was announced that writer/director Cameron Crowe’s post-Elizabethtown project would be a romantic comedy called Deep Tiki. Ben Stiller and Reese Witherspoon were attached to star, but due to scheduling conflicts with the two actors Crowe had to keep pushing production back. Months came and went with no update, until we ultimately learned that development had stalled. Crowe’s first narrative feature since 2005 eventually came in the form of last year’s We Bought a Zoo, and I assumed that Deep Tiki was dead.
Now it appears that following a rewrite by Crowe, development on Deep Tiki has picked up again with none other than Emma Stone is set to star. Hit the jump for much more.