Nicolas Winding Refn in Early Talks to Direct Haunted Hotel Film THE BRINGING

by     Posted 139 days ago

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Though one could argue that Nicolas Winding Refn has already made a number of horror films, he now looks poised to tackle the genre in earnest—on a big studio movie, no less.  Deadline reports that the Drive director is in early talks to helm The Bringing, a haunted hotel pic for Sony Pictures.  The idea for the film was spurred by the strange death of a woman at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles who was found in the water tanks.  Video surfaced of the woman acting erratically in the hotel elevator, and the Cecil has been home to a number of suicides over the years.  The event inspired Brandon and Phillip Murphy to pen a script on spec revolving around a man investigating a death at the hotel, only to find himself stumbling into a nightmare.

Hit the jump for more on the project and Refn’s current slate.

SMURFS Reboot Pushed to August 2016; Adam Sandler’s PIXELS Set for May 15, 2015; GOOSEBUMPS Moved Up to August 7, 2015

by     Posted 152 days ago

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Sony Pictures has unveiled new release dates for a few of its upcoming films.  Briefly:

  • Untitled Smurfs Movie – The fully animated Smurfs reboot has been pushed from August 2015 to August 5, 2016 in order to give animators enough time to, you know, finish the movie.  The 2015 date was set when the pic was initially going to be another live-action/CG sequel to the existing franchise, but now director Kelly Asbury plans an entirely animated reimagining more in line with Peyo’s original artwork.
  • Pixels – Director Chris Columbus’ alien invasion film Pixels will open in theaters on May 15, 2015 opposite Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road.  The film stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and Peter Dinklage and revolves around 80s arcade gamers who are enlisted to help defeat alien invaders.
  • Goosebumps – The family friendly Goosebumps adaptation has been moved up from March 2016 to August 7, 2015, where it faces Assassin’s CreedJack Black stars in the adaptation as author R.L. Stine himself, as he finds his own creations coming to life.

Sony Moving Forward with Live-Action BARBIE Comedy in Hopes of Creating a New Franchise

by     Posted 160 days ago

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It’s no secret that studios are high on branded IP.  When you make a movie out of Transformers or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or He-Man, there’s the assumption that you’re already starting with a built-in audience, plus audiences immediately know what a Transformers movie entails as opposed to something wholly original like the upcoming sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending—introducing that to audiences is tricky.  And as evidenced by this February’s The LEGO Movie, it’s possible to make genuinely great films out of material that has zero backstory or mythology.

Which brings us to Barbie.  Sony Pictures is currently moving forward with a live-action feature film adaptation of the 50-year-old toy, and they’ve got big plans for the property with their eye on jumpstarting a new franchise.  Hit the jump for more, including what the Barbie movie entails.

Danny Boyle in Talks to Direct Steve Jobs Biopic; Leonardo DiCaprio Eyed to Star

by     Posted 162 days ago

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Sony Pictures is wasting no time in finding a new director for its high-profile Steve Jobs biopic.  The film initially looked to be a Social Network reunion, as David Fincher circled the Aaron Sorkin-penned project for a bit before falling off when Sony balked at his stipulations for directing.  Now, a mere week later, Danny Boyle has entered the conversation, and the Slumdog Millionaire filmmaker is eyeing the project as a potential The Beach reunion with Leonardo DiCaprio as his top choice to take on the leading role.  More after the jump.

Marvel Crossover Alert: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 Will Feature X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST Clip After the Credits [Updated]

by     Posted 167 days ago

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An unexpected Marvel crossover is happening, though it’s not the kind everyone’s been hoping for.  It has been confirmed that a clip from X-Men: Days of Future Past will be play after the credits roll on The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  This is not only weird because previews of upcoming movies usually come before the film and not after, but because X-Men and Spider-Man are owned by separate studios.  Yes, they’re both Marvel comics properties, but Fox retains the rights to all X-Men characters while Sony is in control of all things Spidey.  This has been the principal hurdle preventing possible crossovers between the Spider-Man/X-Men/Avengers universes, since the practicality of any “team-up” film would necessitate a split of profits between major studios.

Hit the jump for more on this odd move, and what it could mean for the future. [Update: A full explanation regarding why Sony agreed to promote Fox's Days of Future Past for free has surfaced.  Details after the jump.]

David Fincher Exits Steve Jobs Biopic after Sony Balks at Demands

by     Posted 169 days ago

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David Fincher reteaming with his Oscar-winning The Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin for an ambitious, non-traditional biopic of visionary Steve Jobs almost seemed too good to be true—and now perhaps it is.  We learned in February that Fincher had entered talks with Sony Pictures to direct the studio’s Steve Jobs film based on a screenplay by Sorkin, but now word comes that Fincher has dropped out of negotiations after Sony balked at the filmmaker’s request for a $10 million payday up front as well as control over the film’s marketing.  Hit the jump to read on.

A Look at Future Marvel Comics Adaptations by 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, and Marvel Studios

by     Posted 171 days ago

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I think we can safely say that we are living in a golden age … a golden age of comic book movies.  From follow-ups to the Avengers franchise, to a newly rebooted Spider-Man series, to past and present X-Men uniting to fight giant robots, who would have thought we’d ever see any of this during the days when we were lucky to get a Blade movie once in a blue moon? Though with this glut of costumed heroes hitting the silver screen, it’s sometimes hard to keep straight what is rumor and what is fact.  Seems like the perfect time to walk through what has been confirmed and what is still rumor in the world of Marvel’s mutants, gods, and charismatic billionaires in iron suits.

Hit the jump for an overview of the future Marvel comics adaptations—from Marvel Studios, Sony Pictures, and 20th Century Fox—that we have on tap for the coming years.

KICK-ASS 2 Writer/Director Jeff Wadlow to Rewrite MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE

by     Posted 173 days ago

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The Masters of the Universe movie still doesn’t have a director, but it does have a new writer.  Sony has been developing a reboot of the Mattel adaptation for a few years now, with G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon M. Chu previously attached to take the helm.  Chu subsequently departed the project later last year as Pirates of the Caribbean co-writer Terry Rossio came aboard to rewrite the screenplay, but apparently the project still has a significant amount of development left to go, as Kick-Ass 2 writer/director Jeff Wadlow has now signed on to do another rewrite of the script.

Hit the jump for more, including the possibility of Wadlow taking the helm.

Sony Sets Chris Boal to Write “Gritty, DARK KNIGHT-Style” ZORRO Reboot

by     Posted 207 days ago

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Hollywood has been trying to reboot the Zorro franchise for a few years now, and it looks like things are heating up for the project once again.  Two years ago, a futuristic reboot called Zorro Reborn was planned at 20th Century Fox that would have painted the titular character as more of a vigilante than a hero.  Gael Garcia Bernal was poised to star, but the film never materialized.  Now there’s movement on a new adaptation of the character, as Sony is gearing up to start work on a Zorro film described as a “gritty” reboot of the swashbuckler.  Hit the jump for more.

Josh Gad and Kevin James in Early Talks to Join Chris Columbus’ Long-Gestating PIXELS; Adam Sandler to Star [Updated]

by     Posted 216 days ago

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Sony Pictures’ long-in-the-works adaptation of the short film Pixels is finally moving towards a production start.  The studio teamed up with Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company to adapt Patrick Jean’s short film of the same name three years ago, but movement on the video game-themed project has been slow.  Now, after setting family friendly filmmaker Chris Columbus (Harry Potter 1 and 2) to direct last year, Josh Gad and Kevin James are in line to possibly lead the pic as champion arcade gamers who are needed to help defeat alien attacks who have an affinity for 80s arcade games.  Hit the jump for more, including the original short.

[Update: The Wrap adds that Sandler will also be leading the cast of Pixels with Jennifer Aniston in the mix for the female lead, though scheduling may ultimately prevent her from signing on.]

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

by     Posted 217 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 218 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 219 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 228 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 229 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.

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