Akiva Goldsman has spent the last several years developing an adaptation of Mark Helprin‘s novel Winter’s Tale. He signed a deal this time last year to make Winter’s Tale his directorial debut, but the progress was impeded when the budget for the supernatural period thriller became a concern at Warner Bros. Goldsman turned to a pair of marketable A-listers he’s worked with for help: Russell Crowe (Goldsman wrote A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man) and Will Smith (I, Robot and I Am Legend) have agreed to appear in the film, so the project is back on track with $20 million subtracted from the projected budget. Goldsman is now looking to cast the young leads: Heat Vision hears Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Tom Hiddleston (Thor), Lily Collins (Abduction), Bella Heathcote (In Time), and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downtown Abbey) will undergo testing over the next two weeks.
The early 20th-century tale centers on “a thief on the run who, when breaking into a wealthy man’s home, strikes up a relationship with the man’s terminally ill daughter.” Hit the jump for the full book synopsis.
Despite missing the point of Richard Matheson‘s original novel and using crummy CG, I Am Legend made $585 million worldwide because that’s just what Will Smith does. For those who missed the flick, Smith played scientist Robert Neville, the last man in a post-apocalyptic world that was taken over by mutant vampires. Back in September 2008, we reported that Warner Bros. had hired D.B. Weiss (now the co-creator of Game of Thrones) to pen the screenplay for a prequel based on input by Smith, I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence, producer James Lassiter, and co-writer Akiva Goldsman. Then the movie lapsed into development hell, and I hoped it would stay there.
But Warner Bros. has remembered the dormant project, and now they along with Overbrook Entertainment and Goldsman have closed a deal to make another installment in the franchise. Hit the jump for more.
Exactly one year ago today, we reported that Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) was set to make his directorial debut with an adaptation of Mark Helprin’s novel Winter’s Tale. The fantasy tells the story of a thief, a dying girl, and a flying white horse in 19th century and contemporary Manhattan. The $75 million film was set up at Warner Bros., but we’ve heard practically nothing about the project since that announcement. Apparently the film has been languishing at the studio over financial issues (why wouldn’t WB want to pay $75 million for a drama starring a flying horse?), but now Goldsman’s project has gained a considerable amount of steam with two casting coups: Russell Crowe and Will Smith. Hit the jump for more, including a synopsis of the novel.
The Old West just got a new TV series treatment in the form of Hell on Wheels on AMC. Now HBO, who already delved into the drama with Deadwood, is heading back to the saloon. Deadline has word that Akiva Goldsman, the writer behind films like A Beautiful Mind, I Am Legend and more than a dozen episodes of Fringe, has set up a new two-year overall at HBO which begins with an untitled Western drama series about Doc Holliday. Accepted screenwriters Adam Cooper and Bill Collage will write the series which is inspired by Mary Doria Russell’s novel Doc and also executive produce with Goldsman. In addition, Ron Howard is attached to direct the pilot if the series is ordered. Guess that gestating Dark Tower adaptation really got Howard and Goldsman deep into the Western genre.
A big focus of the series will be a story from Holliday’s life never before told on the screen: a love triangle between the gunslinger, his prostitute wife Kate Elder and his best friend and Old West icon Wyatt Earp. For a rundown of Russell’s novel, check out the synopsis and review of the book after the jump.
It may have been too good to be true. After first committing to an incredibly ambitious adaptation of Stephen King’s series The Dark Tower that spanned three films and two seasons of a TV show, Universal put the brakes on the project asking director Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman to scale the project down to make for a more feasible budget. The summer start date was pushed back to early next year while everyone involved worked to bring the budget down.
Well now it looks like the new version of the adaptation wasn’t scaled-down enough, as Universal has passed on financing the ambitious undertaking. Hit the jump for the details.
To say Ron Howard’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower is ambitious is a bit of an understatement. When the project was first announced, it was hard to believe that something like that could get made in this budget-conscious age. Howard and producer Brian Grazer’s plan for The Dark Tower was to make three films and two seasons of a TV show, with the TV components bridging the gap between the larger-scale films. When it actually looked like this crazy concoction might happen, Universal pulled the production start-date (which was supposed to be this fall) and was working with Howard and co. to bring the budget down.
While some fans were concerned that the whole project may be waylaid, Howard and Grazer recently sat down to talk about the adaptation and they seem quite optimistic, stating that screenwriter Akiva Goldsman is now at work rewriting his screenplays to bring the budget down. Hit the jump to see what else the producing duo had to say about The Dark Tower.
Maybe it really was just too good to be true. Last week, we reported that Universal was reconsidering their commitment to Ron Howard’s insanely ambitious adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, which would span three feature films and two seasons of a TV show. Now THR reports that the project will remain at Universal, but Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman have regrouped and are attempting to bring what most certainly has to be a mammoth budget down to something more feasible.
The fall production start date has now been shelved, with no replacement date announced, but it’s rumored that they may be ready to go sometime early next year. However, what this means for star Javier Bardem’s involvement is unclear. His deal requires a great deal of his time be blocked out for the series, but pushing the start date back may interfere with other projects the actor has lined up. Howard will be directing at least the first film and first episode of the TV series. For now, we can be thankful that the project wasn’t shelved altogether. To catch up on all our coverage of The Dark Tower so far, click here.
Just over a month ago, director Darren Aronofsky dropped out of The Wolverine at the last minute. The project, which was set to start filming in March, was left in a state of limbo without a director and with their shooting location of Japan ravaged by a giant earthquake. Now, it looks like Aronofsky is closing in on his next directorial effort following last year’s critical lauded Black Swan.
Vulture reports that Aronofsky is eyeing the sci-fi film Human Nature. The spec script by Jeff Welch, which has been around for 15 years, centers on “man who is cryogenically frozen and wakes up years later to a world in which humans have become pets of another species.” George Clooney is attaching himself to star, with producer Akiva Goldsman (I Am Legend) currently budgeting the flick. If everything works out, this is expected to be the director’s next project. Aronofsky, Clooney and sci-fi? Count me in.
Universal Pictures and sister company NBC Universal Television Entertainment have massive plans to adapt The Dark Tower, the sprawling series of horror-fantasy novels by Stephen King. Up first is a Dark Tower feature film, the first in a planned trilogy. Ron Howard will direct, Javier Bardem will play Roland Deschain. Then NBC will premiere a Dark Tower television series to bridge the gaps between films. Deadline reports Mark Verheiden has signed on to co-write and executive produce the series with Akiva Goldsman (Fringe).
Prior reports suggest the first TV season serves as a prequel. After the release of the second film, Bardem will take over the role for the second season. Verheiden’s resume is steeped in genre fare: Smallville, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Caprica. More recently, Verheiden was co-executive producer on the alien invasion series Falling Skies, which premieres June 19 on TNT.
Read a synopsis for the Dark Tower series after the break.
Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (Angels & Demons) has signed on to write and direct an adaptation of the Mark Helprin novel Winter’s Tale. Goldsman has directed four episodes of Fringe (which he produces) and one episode of Kings, but this will be his feature directorial debut. Goldsman was reportedly drawn to the fantasy of Winter’s Tale, which tells the story of “a thief, a dying girl and a flying white horse in 19th Century and contemporary Manhattan.” According to Deadline, Warner Bros. is setting up the adaptation with a relatively large $75 million budget. The studio has begun the casting search in preparation for a spring 2012 start.
Goldsman should have his hands full until then (and beyond) as the writer tasked with adapting Stephen King’s Dark Tower series for Universal. Goldsman has written the first Dark Tower film and is on tap to script first season of television; he is on board as at least a producer for the other two films in the trilogy and subsequent TV seasons in the ambitious franchise. Hit the jump for a synopsis of Winter’s Tale.
Well that was fast. Earlier today, we told you that Christian Bale was the current frontrunner to be cast as the lead in Ron Howard’s ambitious adaption of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Now, it’s being reported that Javier Bardem has officially been offered the lead role of gunslinger Roland Deschain in the film. The part has been one of the most hotly sought after in Hollywood at the moment, with the shortlist of actors being considered for the part growing every day. The book series will be adapted into three films by screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind), with a two-season TV series bridging the gaps between each film. Hit the jump for the details on how all of this will work, including how one of the TV seasons might be a prequel.
Warner Bros. and Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road have purchased the rights to the Olatunde Osunsanmi script, Dark Moon. The producers reportedly paid high six-figures for the drama with Osunsanmi set to direct as well. The script presumes that 1972′s Apollo 17 launch was not the final lunar landing mission of the program and, according to Deadline, “uses found footage to make the case for a black ops post-Apollo mission sent to the moon to explore previously classified discoveries and its unintended and disturbing consequences.”
The “found footage” approach is a familiar one for Osunsanmi who also wrote/directed 2009′s The Fourth Kind. While that film was largely hammered by critics, it made around $48 million worldwide against a modest budget estimated to have been in and/or around the $10 million range. In addition to Dark Moon, Osunsanmi is also attached to direct the action/thriller The Commuter for Gold Circle Films and has adapted Robert Buettner’s alien-attack novel Orphanage for Davis Entertainment.
Universal has announced plans to make a film trilogy and television series out of Stephen King’s epic Dark Tower book series with Ron Howard set to direct the first film. An adaptation of The Dark Tower has long been in the works with J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindeloff attempting to tackle the project for a few years before giving up last year. A few months passed before we got news that Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman had gotten the rights from King and were either planning a trilogy of films or a film that would be followed by a TV series.
Now, we have news of what exactly the plan is going to be. Hit the jump for the full details along with the press release.
Screenwriter Alex Garland (28 Days Later) is in negotiations to pen the screenplay for Carl Rinsch’s remake of the 1976 sci-fi film Logan’s Run. The plot centers on a future where people must die when they reach a certain age. Anyone who refuses is a “runner” and they’re hunted down by operatives known as “Sandmen”. Logan is a Sandman who is forced to become a runner. According to Heat Vision, producers Joel Silver and Akiva Goldsman are looking for the new film to incorporate the expanded world presented in William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson’s 1967 novel.
Garland’s most recent screenplay credit is for Mark Romanek’s upcoming Never Let Me Go. Rinsch is attached to multiple projects including The Gift, a remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon, and 47 Ronin.
While many might have thought we’d seen the last of John McClane on a movie screen, 20th Century Fox is currently developing a 5th installment of the Die Hard franchise after the last film, Live Free or Die Hard, made $383 million at the worldwide box office. When a film is that profitable, it’s no surprise the studio wants another. And thanks to Harry at AICN, we’ve got what the film might be called: Die Hard 24/7.
The other bit of news in the same article is an update on the next Fantastic Four movie. As we reported last year, Akiva Goldsman is producing the project and it’s a complete reboot of the franchise. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the tentative title is Fantastic Four Reborn.
Of course titles change all the time, so until Fox sends out a press release, I’d not get too worked up over either one. More as we hear it.