With author Seth Grahame-Smith’s Dark Shadows debuting May 11th and his adaptation of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter due out in theaters on June 22nd, you might be wondering what else the writer is up to. Well, since the adaptation of his novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is still stuck in development hell, Warner Bros. is moving ahead with his new book, Unholy Night. The story is a re-imagining of the Biblical “Three Wise Men.” Canon says that these men came bearing gifts to the newborn Jesus, but Grahame-Smith has a different take. Apparently, they were three thieves that were forced into protecting Mary, Joseph and Jesus from some good Old Testament evil. The book doesn’t hit the shelves until April 10th, but you can get a look at the type of gory story you’re in for with this new book trailer. Hit the jump to check it out.
David Katzenberg is set to make his feature directorial debut with the teen thriller The Waiting. Variety reports that Katzbenberg will direct and produce through his KatzSmith production banner alongside Pride and Prejudice and Zombies author/screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith. The story centers on “two young filmmakers who decide to create the illusion of a haunting on an unsuspecting neighbor.” Naturally, the pic will use a combination of found footage and traditional narrative. It appears my Christmas wish to abolish the found footage genre altogether has gone in vain. Mr. Claus, you’ll be hearing from my lawyers.
Katzenberg and Grahame-Smith created the MTV series The Hard Times of RJ Berger. Katzenberg has directed episodes of that series and MTV’s Awkward. Grahame-Smith has a busy slate ahead of him, as two projects he wrote are set to open this year: Dark Shadows and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. He’s also hard at work writing a Beetlejuice sequel and an adaptation of his action-oriented Three Wise Men novel Unholy Night. If you missed Steve’s interviews with the scribe where he gave updates on the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie, the Beetlejuice sequel, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, be sure to check them out.
At last weekend’s WonderCon, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter director Timur Bekmambetov, star Ben Walker and author/screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith showed off a new trailer and an extended section of a big action set piece that featured all the principal cast. If you missed Dave’s recap of the panel, click here. You can also watch the new trailer here. For those just hearing about the project, the film re-imagines our 16th President as a statesman by day and a vampire slayer by night.
Shortly before the panel, I got to sit down with Grahame-Smith. We talked about being at WonderCon, the collaboration between himself, Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov and 20th Century Fox on the project, how has the project changed along the way, and and what they learned from their friends and family screening. Hit the jump to watch.
Seth Grahame-Smith is becoming the go-to guy for genre projects. After writing a number of tongue-in-cheek comedy books, Grahame-Smith broke big with his novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in which he mixed a zombie plot into Jane Austen’s classic novel. He followed that book up with another mash-up, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and now both properties are getting the big screen treatment. Grahame-Smith wrote the screenplay for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and was tapped by Tim Burton to write his adaptation of the cult soap series Dark Shadows. Burton was so impressed with Grahame-Smith’s work that he hired him to write a sequel to the horror-comedy classic Beetlejuice (read Grahame-Smith’s update on that project here).
Steve recently got the chance to speak with Grahame-Smith at WonderCon where he was promoting the upcoming release of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The scribe gave an update on the long-in-development feature adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, his next book Unholy Night (which is also getting the movie treatment), talked about the tone of Dark Shadows and fan response to the trailer, and more. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
Director Tim Burton looks to be returning to his comedic roots with his upcoming film Dark Shadows. The first trailer premiered the other day, and the main comparison that came to mind tone-wise when watching the trailer was Burton’s masterwork Beetlejuice. The ghoulishly funny 1988 film is a classic, and rumors of a sequel have lingered for quite a few years now. We got a brief update from Burton back in January, when he confirmed that his Dark Shadows screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith was working on a screenplay.
Steve got to speak with Grahame-Smith earlier today at WonderCon where the screenwriter was promoting Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and he gave an update on the Beetlejuice sequel confirming that Michael Keaton would return to star and Burton would produce. He also revealed that the film will take place 26 or 27 years after the original, and teased what the premise might involve. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is selling itself as one of the most exciting genre films hitting this summer. To get people in the mood Fox hosted an event in Springfield, Illinois – the home of Lincoln’s tomb, and his library and museum. That evening director Timur Bekmambetov, writer Seth Grahame-Smith, producer Jim Lemley, and the film’s Abraham Lincoln himself Benjamin Walker were given a tour and hosted an event where they showed the film’s trailer, four film clips, and answered some questions. After the jump, check out video from Lincoln’s Tomb, the vault where some amazing historical artifacts are kept, and a number of images.
For Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, we were taken to Springfield, Illinois to talk to star Benjamin Walker, director Timur Bekmambetov, producer Jim Lemley and writer Seth Grahame-Smith. They showed us the film’s trailer, producer Tim Burton’s introduction, a behind the scenes featurette, and gave us a Q&A for over 30 minutes. Here’s a few of the things they talked about:
- On casting Benjamin Walker, they saw him playing Bloody Andrew Jackson
- It was shot in Louisiana for budgetary reasons
- Writer Seth Grahame-Smith sees the film as like a superhero origin story
- Expect it to be bloody and scary
- There is the possibility of a sequel
- For the director, it was about finding the reality of the fantasy
- The original story came from seeing Twlight books and Lincoln biographies
Hit the jump for the video and transcript.
We recently brought you a new image from Tim Burton’s adaptation of the cult classic TV series Dark Shadows, and now we have quite a few words from the director on a few of his upcoming projects. He’s currently in post-production on Dark Shadows, which tells the story of a vampire (played by Johnny Depp) who attempts to reintegrate with his descendants after being buried for 200 years. In addition to talking about the setting, tone, and characters of Dark Shadows, Burton gave an update on the Beetlejuice sequel that Seth Grahame-Smith is writing and revealed that they’ll be testing an IMAX version of Frankenweenie. Hit the jump for all the details.
Seth Grahame-Smith is quickly becoming a household name. His breakout came with the novels Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which were subsequently put into development as feature films (Vampire Hunter is already in post-production, whereas Zombies is stuck in a bit of a development hell). He wrote the initial scripts for both films, was subsequently drafted to pen Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, and created the MTV series The Hard Times of RJ Berger. Now Warner Bros. is said to be paying in the vicinity of $2 million for Grahame-Smith’s next book, the biblical-themed action-adventure Unholy Night, which tells the story of the Three Wise Men. Hit the jump for more on this Hollywoodized iteration of the biblical tale.
With The Hunger Games set to pick up where the Twilight franchise leaves off next year, studios are constantly mining books for the next big moneymaker. Warner Bros. had put its stock in The Scorpio Races, a young adult fantasy novel by author Maggie Stiefvater. The recently-released book follows a young woman who is the first female to enter her island’s annual horse race. In this case, the horses are flesh eating creatures from Celtic lore. Romantic.
Stiefvater also authored the best-selling, young adult Shiver trilogy about werewolves and first loves. The Scorpio Races will be produced through KatzSmith Productions, by David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith. Hit the jump for more on The Scorpio Races.
Seth Grahame-Smith is still waiting for his first produced feature script to reach theaters, but once it does, we’re in for a flurry of credits. Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows is up first on May 11, 2012, followed by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter on June 22, 2012. Next, Grahame-Smith will reunite with Burton to script a Beetlejuice reboot, and develop the comedy spec From Mia with Love at Fox. Just to keep things interesting, Grahame-Smith and his KatzSmith producing partner David Katzenberg are now pitching the work of other writers. KatzSmith signed a first-look producing deal with Warner Bros. earlier this month—as of yesterday, their first sale is Jonathan W. Stokes’ dark comedy script Murders and Acquisitions. The story contrasts a career in finance with the life of a hitman: “Both worlds collide when an ousted CEO decides to hire an assassin to kill the corporate raider who stole his company.”
The story behind the sale is pretty neat, and worth your time after the jump.
David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith and their KatzSmith production company have signed a two-year first-look deal with Warner Brothers. One of the first projects under that deal is a Beetlejuice reboot because of course it is. For those who haven’t seen the original: stop making me feel old. Tim Burton’s 1988 comedy starred Michael Keaton as the eponymous character, a mischievous ghoul who teams with a young woman (Winona Ryder) to get her parents out of their new home so it can be restored to its dead owners (Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin). Deadline reports that the deal grew out of Grahame-Smith’s screenwriting work on Tim Burton’s next film, Dark Shadows, an adaptation of the 1960s horror TV series. Grahame-Smith, who came to popularity out of his gimmick novels Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (film adaptations are in the works for both), is contracted to write two scripts under the deal and Beetlejuice could be one of them.
Hit the jump for other projects KatzSmith has in the works.
After testing the waters with Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, and Scarlett Johansson, Lionsgate has offered the female lead in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to Emma Stone. Heat Vision reports on the offer to play Elizabeth Bennet, a zombie-killing heroine who sees her quest to save England from the undead made more difficult by the arrival of Fitzwilliam Darcy. The role was originally filled by Natalie Portman and has been vacant since the Oscar-winning actress decided to act solely in a producing capacity on the pic. Craig Gillespie (Fright Night remake) will direct Pride from an updated script by Fright Night scribe Marti Noxon.
For more on the project, hit the jump to check out a synopsis of Seth Grahame-Smith’s book which the film will adapt. If Stone accepts Lionsgate’s offer, Pride would be another high-profile pic for the actress who recently wrapped director Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man. She can also be seen alongside Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell in Crazy, Stupid, Love. due out July 29th and stars in The Help which is slated to hit theaters on August 12th.
It looks as if scribe Marti Noxon (I Am Number Four) will reunite with director Craig Gillespie on Lionsgate’s adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestselling parody novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Having recently teamed-up for the upcoming Fright Night remake starring Colin Farrel and Anton Yelchin, TheWrap reports that Noxon has written a new Zombies draft for Gillespie who took the helm back in April. At that time, it was believed that the director would use a script by David O. Russell (The Fighter). It now looks as if Russell’s effort will fall to the wayside to make room for Noxon’s draft.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has yet to cast any roles after Natalie Portman dropped out of the lead to act solely as a producer. For those unfamiliar, Grahame-Smith’s book tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet, a zombie-killing heroine who sees her efforts to save England from the undead interrupted by fellow hunter Fitzwilliam Darcy. For more on the project, hit the jump to check out a more detailed synopsis of the book.
20th Century Fox has acquired a comedy spec script written by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter scribe Seth Grahame-Smith alongside David Katzenberg, Bryan Shukoff and Kevin Chesley. Titled From Mia With Love, the John Hughes-style coming of age comedy is described as a mix of Weird Science and Risky Business and centers on three guys who decide to lose their virginity by ordering a Russian mail-order bride, who then refuses to leave (as most Russian mail-order brides tend to do).
Deadline reports that Katzenberg will direct, with he and Grahame-Smith producing. Katzenberg and Grahame-Smith are executive producers on MTV’s The Hard Times of R.J. Berger, on which Shukoff and Chesley are scribes. Katzenberg and Grahame-Smith were contenders to direct the film version of Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but the job ended up going to Timur Bekmambetov.