Legendary Pictures has picked up Martin Helgeland‘s spec script for Slayer. Per THR, “Slayer is described as a modern-day story about a young doctor whose estranged father dies and he finds out the old man was a dragon and creature slayer. The doctor must become a slayer too.” What a terrible profession switch. Med school is extensive and ridiculously expensive, and when you finally get to be a doctor, you learn that you now have to slay dragons. There’s no residency for that profession.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a live-action dragon story. They’re part of Game of Thrones, but when it comes to feature films, I believe the last major one was Reign of Fire. I’m always up for some good, old-fashioned dragon hunting since I love the blend of a gigantic, ancient creature battling against puny humans. Of course, all dragons cower in fear when faced with a medical degree. [Artist credit: Mauricio Herrara]
We were just starting to get excited about Paradise Lost. Neat concept art. A solid cast in Benjamin Walker, Bradley Cooper, Casey Affleck, and Dijmon Hounsou. A great pitch from director Alex Proyas:
“It’s not just armies battling in an epic war. This is an adventure about the origins of good and evil after Lucifer’s rebellion gets him cast out of Heaven and leads to a struggle with his brother archangel over the soul of mankind, starting with Adam and Eve.”
Alas, we must wait to see the adaptation of John Milton’s classic work come to fruition. It was announced tonight that Legendary Pictures is putting plans for a January start date on hold, because all the cool elements of this project add up to too much money. Details after the jump.
Do you like your Ghostbusters a little on the darker, more serious side? If so, writer Ian Fried’s Spectral might be right up your ghost-bustin’ alley. Legendary Pictures has acquired the feature rights in a six-figure deal. Spectral, pitched as a darker version of Ghostbusters with a more serious tone, features a contemporary, militaristic approach to fighting supernatural creatures. When evil ghosts take over Manhattan, a special ops group is brought in to take them down. Fried is an up-and-coming writer who turned in a 2010 Black List screenplay, The Ever After Murders, which featured fairy tale characters investigating murder scenes. More recently, Fried received a lot of attention for his treatment of Gaslight, a serial-killing Gothic tale featuring Florence Nightingale and Jack the Ripper.
Though the script is set in Manhattan at present, Heat Vision’s report cautions that locations and details may change as writing progresses. The report also remarks on Fried’s unique presentation of his material. The writer put together a “rip reel” with clips of various movie scenes to simulate what the final tone, pacing and visual aesthetic should be. Looks like it did the trick.
I was hoping at Comic-Con Legendary Pictures would clarify their plans for the Mass Effect movie they’re developing. But the extent of their presentation was basically, “Hey, we’re still making a Mass Effect movie. Thanks for stopping by.” Now Legendary has put up Twitter questions that were supposed to be asked during the panel but were skipped due to time constraints.
The biggest piece of new info is that Mass Effect “will be a completely new story.” Screenwriter Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend) previously said his script would be “following and honoring the story,” and Legendary’s comment doesn’t negate that statement. BioWare hasn’t created a single story for Mass Effect as much as it’s created an entire world. Yes, there’s an overarching storyline involving an ancient evil race out to destroy the galaxy, but BioWare has put far more effort into developing the various species, planets, characters, and so forth to the point that any writer could conceivably drop a new Commander Shepard story into the mix and still have it fit. Hit the jump for more. [Update: Now Legendary has changed their tune. Hit the jump for what they're saying now.]
Benjamin Walker, the man who will be Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, is in negotiations with Legendary Pictures to star in Alex Proyas’ adaptation of Paradise Lost. Walker is up for the role of Michael, the archangel engaged in an epic battle of good and evil with Lucifer (Bradley Cooper), who mounts an army after after he is cast out of heaven. Proyas is striving for a distinct and magnificent aesthetic with cutting-edge visual effects. Hunter was very impressed with what he saw at the Comic-Con panel, suggesting “this movie could be one of the most visually breathtaking things ever projected on the silver screen.” To give us a taste, Legendary released this enigmatic piece of concept art.
Production will begin in January in Sidney, which allows Cooper to shoot The Silver Linings Playbook in the fall. Legendary is eying the end of 2013 for the 3D release. Hit the jump to hear how Proyas describes his vision for the film.
Legendary Films held their first ever Comic-Con panel today kicked off their inaugural run with aplomb, bringing out plenty of A-list talent and displaying concept art for four different projects.
In addition to Pacific Rim, Legendary brought Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Sergei Bodrov and Alicia Vikander for Seventh Son, Bradley Cooper and Alex Proyas for Paradise Lost, and Mark Protosevich and Casey Hudson for Mass Effect. Read on for a summary of the presentation and details on the concept art.
There’s plenty of good stuff to see at this year’s Comic-Con. There’s too much good stuff. You could clone yourself seven times and you and your many selves still probably couldn’t see everything worth seeing. I am without a cloning machine (damn you, lazy scientists) and I will be covering only Hall H this year. After the jump, I’ve listed the five panels I’m most interested in seeing in Hall H as well as the five panels I wish I could attend outside of Comic-Con’s biggest room.
David Goyer is set to write Gareth Edwards’ upcoming Godzilla reboot. Deadline reports that Goyer will write a screenplay based off a draft by David Callaham. While Mike Fleming raves about how Legendary Pictures is smart to get a pro like Goyer on board because he’s had so much success launching franchises, but let’s look at the films Goyer directed because those are the scripts that are almost certainly 100% his: Blade: Trinity, The Invisible, and The Unborn. All of those movies are terrible. What about his ABC series Flash Forward? Also terrible, and then rightfully canceled. Yes, Goyer has a track record of having a screenwriting credit on movies that make a lot of money, but that doesn’t mean he writes good movies.
I’m also wary that “Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible,” because that’s not what I want out of a Godzilla movie. You can have authentic characters, but I don’t want “authenticity” out of a giant mutant lizard whose hobbies include destroying metropolitan areas and fighting other giant monsters.
If you’re going to make a blockbuster, why worry about silly little things like plot and characters when the real moneymaker is the merchandise? That’s the most important part of the whole filmmaking process, right? Okay, so that’s not exactly the way movie fans may like to look at tentpole productions, but it is sadly the type of thinking that’s gotten us three Transformers movies, a G.I. Joe picture, a possible Monopoly film (it certainly hasn’t hurt the massive influx of superhero projects either).
Very, very soon, it could be this type of thinking that will get us a Hot Wheels movie as well. That’s right, the little metal cars of your yourth could be coming to the big screen. Legendary Entertainment is currently in negotiations with Mattel to buy up the big screen rights to the toy cars for a blockbuster that would be released through Legendary’s base, Warner Bros. It’s hardly the first time someone has tried to produce a Hot Wheels movie, but considering that the company openly plans to capitalize on the success of Universal’s Fast Five and target the teen/immature adult market, it seems frighteningly close to becoming a reality. Hit the jump for more details.
Idris Elba (Thor, The Wire) is an actor I’m glad to see in virtually any role. His presence is the only reason I was able to endure 2009′s thriller Obsessed and he is perhaps the number one reason why 2007′s This Christmas has been adopted into my annual holiday fare (yeah, I really just referenced both of those films in the same sentence). While I may be alone in my devotion to This Christmas, it seems as if I’m not the only one who likes seeing Elba land roles as TheWrap reports that Legendary Pictures wants the actor for Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi project Pacific Rim. In case your memory escapes you, Pacific Rim stars Charlie Hunnam and is a monster flick set within two worlds. Back in March, we laid out some potential plot elements from the film and we now know that Travis Beacham’s script will see humans take on alien invaders by piloting giant robots (or “mecha”). When you potentially combine del Toro, Elba, and giant robotic constructs, you may as well just go ahead and deduct the box office dollars directly from my bank account.
In addition to possibly taking on Pacific Rim, Elba is also rumored to be in contention to play the namesake in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. He is currently filming Ridley Scott’s Prometheus alongside Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender and has a starring role in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance with Nicolas Cage. Those films are due out June 8th and February 17th, 2012 respectively.
In early April, we reported that Robert Redford was set to star in a biopic about Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey from writer-director Brian Hegleland. The film would center on Rickey’s decision to integrate Major League Baseball by hiring Jackie Robinson. At the time, I voiced my disappointment that we would have to see Robinson’s story through Rickey’s perspective when—all due respect to Rickey’s legacy—it was Robinson’s story that was worth telling on its own.
Now it looks like I’ve gotten my way. Legendary Pictures has sent out a press release annoucning that Helgeland will still write and direct, but it now looks like the movie is now about Robinson. Nowhere in the press release is Rickey mentioned. While Robinson’s story was previously filmed as The Jackie Robinson Story, and that movie actually starred Robinson as himself. For the new biopic, Legendary will collaborate with Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson on the picture. While I’m not the biggest fan of Helgeland (for every L.A. Confidential, there’s a Robin Hood, Cirque du Freak, and The Taking of Pelham 123 remake), I hope he’ll do justice to Robinson’s story. Hit the jump for the press release.
Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures reportedly offered Alex Pettyfer and Jennifer Lawrence the parts of Tom and Alice in The Seventh Son — the upcoming adaptation of the first book in the Last Apprentice series — but they passed on the roles. Since then, the studios cast out a wide net: Sam Claflin, Caleb Landry-Jones, James Frecheville for Tom; Alicia Vikander, Imogen Poots, Felicity Jones, Gabrielle Wild, and Dianna Agron for Alice. Variety reports that Claflin and Vikander have emerged from the young Hollywood scuffle to enter negotiations to star. Claflin is poised for a breakout as the effective Orlando Bloom replacement in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Vikander is a Swedish actress seeking her first credit in Hollywood — WB and Legendary considered her earlier in the year for a role in the sequel to Clash of the Titans.
From a creative standpoint, Vikander may have lucked out. Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, and their ten combined Oscar nominations are in talks to play the Spook and Mother Malkin, respectively, for director Sergey Bodrov (Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan). Joseph Delaney’s young adult novels center on “a 13-year-old who’s the seventh son of a seventh son and learns about wizardry from a forbidding spook.” Read the synopsis for Revenge of the Witch, the first in the series, after the break.
While the film community is still reeling from the heartbreaking news that Universal and director Guillermo del Toro were unable to agree upon terms for a greenlight on the big-budget R-rated adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness, invariably killing the project for now, it may indeed be time to move on. The silver lining that came with news of Madness’ demise was that del Toro would quickly move on to direct a film he’s had in development for a while, Pacific Rim. Now, details regarding the closely-guarded plot may have broken. Here’s what News in Film has to say regarding the “two worlds” that the film takes place in:
“The first [world] is an alternate version of Earth in the near future, decades after an historic date in November 2012 when the first kaiju, a towering Godzilla-like beast, emerged from a hole in the Pacific Ocean and attacked the city of Osaka, Japan. The second [world] is ‘The Anteverse,’ another universe on the other side of that gaping portal, 5 miles below our ocean’s surface.”
That sure sounds like it’s right up del Toro’s alley. However, given the secrecy regarding the film, take this plot description with a grain of salt for now as nothing’s been confirmed. For more details on the supposed plot hit the jump. Beware: possible spoilers for the first act may lurk below.
Writer-director-producer Guillermo del Toro deserves better. He’s one of the most imaginative and creative filmmakers working today and he hasn’t gotten behind a camera since 2008′s Hellboy II: The Golden Army. He left The Hobbit last May because there was no start date in sight and now, as some kind of cruel cosmic joke, The Hobbit is starting production (now with Peter Jackson at the helm) and del Toro may be stuck in a false start on his new project, At the Mountains of Madness. As Universal stalls on del Toro’s dream project, Deadline reports that Legendary Pictures his trying to get del Toro to direct the PG-13 monster movie Pacific Rim.
You may recall Pacific Rim as the movie that was rumored to be the Godzilla reboot, but turned out not be a non-Godzilla affiliated monster movie. Del Toro was offered the project back in October, but responded that he was not involved with Godzilla, a fact which didn’t preclude his participation in Pacific Rim since it’s not the Godzilla reboot (that film is being handled by Monsters director Gareth Edwards). Hit the jump for more on this tale of two del Toro projects.
Update: Steve here. I’ve been told that Universal killed At the Mountains of Madness on Friday and del Toro is going to take on Pacific Rim as his next film. I’m sure this will all be worked out over the next few days. I’m just sad that one of my favorite filmmakers is having so many problems getting a film made.
by Jason Barr Posted: January 4th, 2011 at 5:53 pm
Gareth Edwards will direct the latest iteration of Godzilla for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. According to Heat Vision, Edwards will work with a yet-to-be-named writer (Dave Callaham of The Expendables was originally tapped to pen the script) in developing Godzilla (a property that Legendary gathered the rights to back in March 2010).
The British filmmaker, known for his knack for creating stellar digital effects at rock-bottom prices, has gained a lot of steam of late with the release of his sci-fi film Monsters which premiered at SXSW in 2010 before picking up distribution from Magnet Releasing in October. In addition to landing Godzilla, Edwards was also recently tapped to work alongside Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov in writing/directing a “futuristic sci-fi project.“ If you’re looking for more from Edwards, you can click here to check out an exclusive interview we conducted with the fast-rising filmmaker back in October.