Last week, we reported that Paul Greengrass was considering three projects as his next film: the Somali pirate drama Maersk Alabama, the racing biopic Rush, and an unknown third project. Now it looks like Maersk Alabama is the frontrunner as Deadline reports that Sony has offered the film to Greengrass and talks are about to begin between the two parties. Deadline adds that the film won’t be an impediment to Greengrass’ delayed MLK assassination drama Memphis and that Maersk will likely be the director’s next film.
The story is based Captain Richard Phillips’ memoir A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea which recounts his three days as a Somali pirate hostage and the dramatic rescue from a team of Navy SEALs. Tom Hanks is attached to play Phillips; Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti, and Kevin Spacey are producing, and Billy Ray (State of Play) wrote the script. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the memoir.
We need more Paul Greengrass in our lives. The kinetic energy and thoughtful subtext he brings to his movies is exhilarating and satisfying and he’s been searching for a new project since Green Zone. He’s circled a remake of Fantastic Voyage, a Cleopatra biopic, and he almost got his MLK assassination drama Memphis off the ground before Universal pulled the plug. Now he’s searching for new projects and Vulture reports that they’re Maersk Alabama, which is an adaptation of A Captain’s Duty, the racing drama Rush, and an untitled project.
We first reported on A Captain’s Duty in March when is was announced that Tom Hanks would play Richard Phillips, the captain of the cargo ship the Maersk Alabama, who agreed to become the hostage of Somali pirates in exchange for the safety of his crew. His memoir recounts his three days as their hostage. Hanks is shooting Cloud Atlas for the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer this summer, and it’s possible that Kathryn Bigelow’s Triple Frontier could still go before cameras this fall if she manages to wrap up Kill Bin Laden. No one likes waiting (except for Tom Hanks in The Terminal), so Greengrass is also considering other projects. Hit the jump for more.
After Universal crushingly declined to move ahead with Paul Greengrass’ Martin Luther King Jr. flick Memphis, it looks like the director will be shelving the project for at least a year, and is now looking at other projects. The Bourne director had been working feverishly on Memphis alongside producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network), in hopes of releasing the film next February in time for MLK weekend. Universal pulled the plug for “scheduling reasons,” though many have said that the MLK estate put pressure on the studio to halt the project.
While most expected Greengrass and Rudin to look elsewhere for Memphis financing, Deadline reports that the director will put the film on hold for at least a year and is now looking at other projects. Chief among Greengrass’ prospects is an adaptation of John D. MacDonald’s novel The Deep Blue Good-By. Hit the jump for more.
Last month, we reported that Paul Greengrass (United 93) had written Memphis, a script that’s centered on the days in Memphis, TN leading up to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was rumored that producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network) was interested in getting the film to Focus Features, Universal’s art house division. However, Deadline makes no mention of Focus Features, which is surprising since this could easily be awards fare and Universal rarely does solo work on serious dramas (although they’ve co-produced plenty of high-brow flicks).
More surprising is that Greengrass is getting back together with Universal. Greengrass was reportedly unhappy with the way they were handling the future of the Bourne franchise and the studio was less than pleased that Green Zone cost a pretty penny and didn’t deliver at the box office. But Greengrass has delivered hits for Universal in the past and he’s one of the best directors working today. It’s not crazy to gamble on him, especially when he’s previously done beautiful work when it comes to films based on historical tragedies. Filming is set to begin in June.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. I know this, because it was my mother’s birthday, and she wondered which nation’s king had just died. Director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum) is well aware of the date, because it serves as the climax of what looks to be his next film, Memphis.
Greengrass’ script is set in the middle of King’s visit to Memphis to support the strike of the black sanitation workers. King was shot on the balcony of his motel room, which incited riots in dozens of cities nationwide. No formal discussions have begun, but producer Scott Rudin (True Grit) is reportedly interested in setting up Memphis with Greengrass at Focus Features. Memphis is one of three MLK-related films currently in the works that we know about.
James Cameron briefly flirted with the idea of directing Cleopatra, a 3D epic with Angelina linked to the title role. That hypothetical sounds like the biggest production ever, but it was not meant to be. Later in the month, it was announced Cameron will be tied up for the forseeable future by two Avatar sequels.
That leaves a high profile directing gig open for the rest of Hollywood’s elite. Producer Scott Rudin (True Grit) revealed that he and Sony Pictures are “pretty close” to landing a director. He didn’t specify, but sources suggest that Paul Greengrass (Green Zone) is under consideration. More after the jump:
Universal is moving ahead with the Jason Bourne franchise and they’re doing it without Matt Damon. As we previously reported, Tony Gilroy will direct The Bourne Legacy from his own script and the movie will be Bourne-less. While initial reports seemed the show that Damon was miffed at his exclusion, in a recent interview with EW, he explains that he thinks it’s a smart move and it opens the door for a future Bourne movie directed by Paul Greengrass (who helmed The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum). Said Damon:
As I understand it, Jason Bourne is alive in the world that Tony’s going to create. I don’t appear in it, but it’s very much that world. As far as Paul and I are concerned, as long as there’s room for us to come in and do another one, we’re thrilled.
Hit the jump for more on what Damon had to say regarding his schedule concerning Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion and Liberace biopic, and Cameron Crowe’s We Built a Zoo.
In the latest “movies about people being miniaturized and sent into another human being’s body through a tiny submarine” news, Laeta Kalogridis, who helped out on the script for James Cameron’s Avatar, has been hired to rewrite the script for the Fantastic Voyage remake. Cameron is producing the film, which is a remake of the 1966 sci-fi flick. Heat Vision reports that Kalogridis, who wrote the fantastic Shutter Island, as well as the less than fantastic Alexander, will be joining Shane Salerno (the Shaft remake) and Cormac and Marianne Wibberly (the National Treasure films) on a growing list of writers who have attempted to tackle this script.
The original Voyage centers on a group of scientists who are shrunk down to miniscule size and sent inside the body of another scientist in order to save his life. As we previously reported, Paul Greengrass (the last two Bourne films) considered directing for a while, but eventually dropped out. Currently, the film is without a director. For more on the project, hit the jump.
Earlier today, we reported that Warner Bros. was offering the director’s chair to Tales from the Gangster Squad to Darren Aronofsky after Ben Affleck decided to pass on the project. Latino Review is now reporting that Warner Bros. has some other major names lined up should Aronofsky choose to go another way (a way that would most likely involve retractable adamantium claws). The five other candidates for the gig are Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend), Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum), Scott Cooper, Greg Berlanti (Life As We Know It), and Martin Campbell (Casino Royale).
Latino Review also reports that they’ve read the script for Tales from the Gangster Squad and “it’s all sorts of kickass.” The story centers on Sgt. John O’ Mara and his off-the-record gang of LAPD officers who attempt to bring down legendary gangster Micky Cohen in the late 1940s.
Universal is reportedly in negotiations with writer-director Tony Gilroy (Duplicity) to helm the fourth Bourne film, tentatively titled The Bourne Legacy. Gilroy recently turned in the script that he was hired to write back in June. Paul Greengrass chose not to return to the series back in December 2009 and franchise star Matt Damon has indicated that he’ll only return if Greengrass comes back. Deadline reports that Universal will make the film whether Damon returns or not, which makes it sounds like the script has Jason Bourne as the star again rather than a relaunch with a new character.
Since they can’t get Greengrass back, getting Gilroy as a replacement is a solid choice since he’s written all of the Bourne movies and has shown himself as a capable director with Duplicity and Michael Clayton. The Bourne Legacy was previously slated for a 2012 release but Deadline says that Universal hasn’t locked in a firm timetable just yet.
Originally set to shoot this summer, Steven Sodebergh’s Liberace biopic starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon has been pushed back to summer 2011. Filming was delayed when Soderbergh decided to go forward with the world-spanning thriller Contagion instead (which will also star Damon as well as Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Marion Cotillard). Now, according to the Las Vegas Sun [via The Playlist], filming has been slightly delayed, but Damon says he’s still on board to play Liberace’s lover Scott Thorson and Douglas is still set to play Liberace.
But if flamboyant 60s entertainers aren’t really your thing, how would you like to have your emotions toyed with by having Damon not completely rule out a return to playing Jason Bourne? Hit the jump for more.
After collaborating on the highly successful Bourne sequels, director Paul Greengrass and star Matt Damon’s third film together had everyone excited. Add in that Greengrass’ most recent non-Bourne movie was the great United 93 and fans were eagerly awaiting Green Zone. After an unorthodox shoot (Damon had to take a break in the middle to film The Informant) the film finally got stuck with an unfortunate March release date. Add in the fact that moviegoers were in the midst of a love affair with another Iraq War movie, The Hurt Locker, which won the Oscar for Best Picture just five days before Green Zone’s release and it would seem that the film was doomed to disappoint. The final film is a solid, yet imperfect thriller, despite Greengrass and Damon’s best efforts. Keep reading for more on the film and its DVD.
Apparently the talk that Bourne Ultimatum director Paul Greengrass was ready to board James Cameron’s production of Fantastic Voyage was a bit premature. Greengrass was in talks to direct the remake of the 1966 film about a group of shrunken scientists who explored the human body, and is in fact the only director to have seen Shane Salerno’s script, but a deal was never finalized. Even though there were questions about how Greengrass’s shaky-cam style would suit the sci-fi tentpole, it was an interesting combination of auteur and concept, so it’s too bad things didn’t work out. It coulda been one of the good ones (whatever that means).
It appears Greengrass may have left the high profile project for greener pastures, though, as he is in talks to direct an upcoming adaptation of Treasure Island from Sherlock Holmes producer Lionel Wigram. Details after the jump:
Director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum, Green Zone) is in talks to helm his first sci-fi feature with the remake of the 1966 flick Fantastic Voyage. After swearing off a fourth Bourne film, Heat Vision reports that the filmmaker is in discussions with 20th Century Fox to direct the picture, which, as we reported last December, would be produced by James Cameron.
For those unfamiliar with the original film, it’s about a group of scientists who shrink themselves, and take a submarine inside a defecting Soviet scientist so they can remove a blood clot from his brain before it kills him. Heat Vision says that the remake will stay close to the original minus the Cold War stuff and with snazzier effects and 3D. To this part of this story, let us all say together as one voice: “Well, duh.”
Hit the jump for my two cents on Greengrass and Fantastic Voyage.
Sometimes a director’s worth isn’t measured by how turns a strong script into a brilliant picture, but by how he makes an entertaining movie out of nothing. By that measure, Green Zone director Paul Greengrass is one of the best filmmakers working today. His latest film is like the next chapter in the Bourne franchise but without interesting characters or a thoughtful narrative. Matt Damon plays a rogue soldier looking for the truth about WMD in Iraq. The film doesn’t embrace the absurdity of how the Iraq War began or the disgusting cost in blood and treasure that resulted. What it does embrace is so much energy that you’ll be too electrified to notice how much you’re missing.