With casting already underway on David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel Gone Girl, it’s no surprise to learn that his planned big-budget feature 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is kaput. A couple months ago, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that production had been pushed back to 2014 due to the inability to find a lead actor to commit to the project. However, The Playlist reports that the movie has been dead for months, and the report was “apparently a desperate bid by the Aussie government to entice the filmmakers and producers into continuing with this project that would bring millions of dollars in jobs to their movie industry.”
Fincher did try his damndest to make the picture happen, but couldn’t wrangle a bankable lead actor. Brad Pitt passed to do Fury, Matt Damon and Daniel Craig didn’t want to commit to the a 140-day shoot away from their families, Channing Tatum wasn’t seen as a bankable enough, and Fincher didn’t agree with Disney’s suggestion to cast Chris Hemsworth. Rather than continue fighting for his expensive project that was already a risky proposition for Disney (and one that now seems ludicrous considering the massive failures the studio had in trying to adapt older properties with John Carter and The Lone Ranger), Fincher moved to Gone Girl. So where does that leave his other major project, The Girl Who Played with Fire? Hit the jump for more.
We’ve got some very exciting James Bond news to share today. While it’s been looking like Skyfall director Sam Mendes was going to return to direct Bond 24 for a while, Sony officially announced today that Mendes has closed his deal to helm the pic, with Skyfall scribe John Logan onboard to write the screenplay. Moreover, a release date for the film has been firmed up, as Bond 24 now joins the absolutely insane list of films that will hit theaters in 2015. The pic will open in the UK on October 23, 2015, and in the US on November 6, 2015. It’s essentially the same release date strategy as Skyfall.
The pic is currently slated to open in the US opposite Edgar Wright’s Marvel film Ant-Man and the untitled Peanuts movie, but one imagines Marvel will alter the Ant-Man release date slightly so Bond and the superhero pic don’t cannibalize each other at the box office. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
Sony has tapped Greg Berlanti to helm a fascinating robot uprising film called Epsilon. The sci-fi actioner has a script by Zombieland and G.I. Joe: Retaliation scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and takes place in the aftermath of a failed robot uprising, in which Earth operates on almost no electronics. In the world of the film, the remaining robots have taken refuge on a space station where they begin to raise their own human lab rats, which they train to act as their agents. The film’s protagonist is a man who discovers he is more human than he thought. Heat Vision reports that Berlanti has close a deal to direct the pic, with Michael De Luca onboard to produce alongside Reese and Wernick.
Berlanti is best known as the executive producer and showrunner of such TV series as Brothers & Sisters, Everwood, and No Ordinary Family. On the feature front, Berlanti scripted Green Lantern and the 2010 comedy/drama Life as We Know It, but most recently he has been serving as executive producer and showrunner on The CW’s Arrow. Epsilon certainly has a interesting take on the “robot uprising” conceit, and it marks Berlanti’s biggest directorial project to date. Here’s hoping he delivers the goods.
Just as Warner Bros. is celebrating its successful launch of what will hopefully be a fruitful DC Comics Movie Universe with the release of Man of Steel, Sony and Marvel have swooped in to steal some of that DC thunder. Sony Pictures has announced that The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 will be released in theaters on June 10, 2016 and May 4, 2018, respectively. The studio rebooted the Spidey franchise last year with director Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man to the tune of over $750 million in worldwide box office, and Webb is currently hard at work filming the follow-up. However, it appears as though Sony is wasting no time in continuing the franchise even further. Hit the jump for more.
A minor yet amusing piece of news regarding the 21 Jump Street sequel has been announced. Embedded in a press release that announced a remake of the French film A Prophet produced by Neal Moritz, Sony has revealed that the title of the Jump Street sequel will be, appropriately enough, 22 Jump Street. Not too much is known about the follow-up as of now, but directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are expected to return, and the story will find Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s characters infiltrating a college campus. Moreover, Moritz previously told us that Ice Cube will indeed be reprising his fantastic role as Captain Dickson. 22 Jump Street will open in theaters on June 13, 2014.
Sony Pictures has acquired the Engligh-language remake rights to the 2010 French crime film A Prophet. Directed by Jacques Audiard, the original film tells the story of a young man imprisoned for petty crime who rises to power in a prison crime syndicate after he is mentored by the boss. A Prophet was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar in 2010 and picked up considerable critical acclaim during its theatrical and festival run. Neal H. Moritz is onboard to produce the English remake, and he’s a bit of an interesting choice given that his previous credits are more action-oriented tentpoles including the Fast & Furious franchise, 21 Jump Street, and I Am Legend. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of take on the material this remake involves.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer for Audiard’s film and to read the full press release.
After Sam Mendes opted not to return to helm the upcoming 24th installment of the James Bond franchise, Eon and Sony Pictures have been on the hunt for a new director with an eye towards getting the next film out by 2016. While rumors swirled recently that Christopher Nolan was considering the job, the notion seemed highly unlikely because A.) he’s busy prepping to shoot Interstellar this summer and B.) he has already stated in the past that he’d like to direct a Bond film when he can reboot the franchise with a new actor.
Following Mendes’ Skyfall will be no small task, but it appears that Eon and Sony are aiming for the cream of the filmmaking crop as directors such as Ang Lee, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Iron Man 3 helmer Shane Black have reportedly been considered for the director’s chair. Hit the jump for more. [Update: Now Deadline reports that Sam Mendes has changed his mind and is in talks to return to helm Bond 24. Read the full story here.]
As the director of the film with the second highest grossing opening weekend of all time, Iron Man 3 co-writer and helmer Shane Black has likely been inundated with a number of offers over the past few days. However, it appears that the Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director will be making his next project a property that he’s already been developing for some time. Sony Pictures Entertainment announced today that Black will co-write and direct Doc Savage as his next film. The pic is a feature film adaptation of a popular character from the 1930s and 40s. Doc Savage has been described as “a mix of Sherlock Holmes’ deductive abilities, Tarzan’s outstanding physical abilities, Craig Kennedy’s scientific education, and Abraham Lincoln’s goodness,” and so it provides a nice adventure avenue for which Black to imbue with his distinctive sensibilities.
Black recently told Steve that he was still planning on making Doc Savage and seemed to hint that it could be his next film, and this press announcement from Sony confirms that the director is eyeing Savage as his follow-up to Iron Man 3. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
Fresh off their Oscar wins for producing Argo, it appears that producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov are zeroing in on yet another project from the same source writer. Joshuah Bearman wrote the 2007 Wired article that was adapted into the screenplay for Argo, and now The Wrap reports that Clooney and Heslov are planning to produce an adaptation of Bearman’s upcoming article “Coronado High.” As the article has yet to be published, further details are fairly thin. The story is said to involve “a group of teenagers who are used to smuggle drugs in Coronado, California,” which is a wealthy resort city near San Diego.
Sony Pictures is in talks to acquire the project, and it is being planned as a potential directing vehicle for Clooney. The multitalented Clooney is currently directing the WWII film Monuments Men, which he co-wrote with Heslov and also stars in. That film is set for release this December.
It appears that director Ruben Fleischer is ready to try his hand at sci-fi. The Wrap reports that Fleischer is returning to Sony Pictures—where he made Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less—to helm an untitled sci-fi/fantasy pic. Fleischer pitched the idea for the film himself, and Eric Pearson has been tapped to pen the screenplay. The plot is being kept under wraps, but it’s decidedly different territory for the filmmaker who is coming off his period drama/actioner Gangster Squad. While Fleischer found great success with Zombieland, the postponement of Gangster Squad‘s release didn’t seem to work in that star-studded film’s favor, as it tallied up a worldwide gross of just over $100 million against a $60 million budget.
Fleischer is also developing an adaptation of the video game Spy Hunter at Warner Bros. to direct, but it’s unknown what he’ll tackle as his next project. Gangster Squad had some tone issues, but I’m definitely interested to see what Fleischer will do within the sci-fi genre.
One of the most pleasant surprises of 2012 was Sony’s 21 Jump Street adaptation. While remakes and reboots are usually developed with an eye towards appealing to the widest possible audience, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller crafted a wonderfully peculiar and hilarious comedy that benefitted from some excellent chemistry between stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. As the R-rated film grossed over $200 million worldwide, both fans and Sony were keen on moving forward with a sequel. Screenwriter Michael Bacall has been working on the script for the follow-up alongside Hill, and Sony recently announced that they’re planning the film for a 2014 release.
Steve recently sat down for a lengthy interview with producer Neal Moritz, and during their wide-ranging conversation Moritz talked quite a bit about 21 Jump Street 2. He confirmed that the story finds Tatum and Hill infiltrating a college campus, Ice Cube is set to return as Captain Dickson, and he also noted that Lord and Miller are attached to direct with an eye towards a summer 2014 release date. Hit the jump to read on.
Just two days after signing on to topline Focus, Will Smith seems intent on keeping himself busy, with two films possibly lined up after the grifter pic. The action star is reportedly considering two projects he’s had on his radar for quite a while, the first of which is the drama American Can, where he’d be taking the role of a “reluctant hero” during the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina for director Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai). On top of that, there is the possibility that Smith would also star in the thriller The Accountant. Hit the jump for more.
Sony Pictures has found a director for its feature film adaptation of the popular R.L. Stine books Goosebumps, as Deadline reports that Rob Letterman is in talks to take the helm of the film. For those unfamiliar, Stine has penned over 50 books under the Goosebumps moniker, all of which put a “spooky” spin on countless stories aimed at kids. Jack the Giant Killer and Shrek Forever After scribe Darren Lemke came on to pen the script over a year ago, but with Letterman now aboard as director we have a better idea of the direction Sony will be taking with the film.
Letterman’s past directorial credits include the family friendly pics Monsters vs. Aliens, Gullivers Travels, and Shark Tale, so we can reasonably assume that Goosebumps will take a similar approach to the story; I wouldn’t be surprised if Sony was using its successful animated pic Hotel Transylvania as a guidepost. There’s no word on whether the film will take on a specific Goosebumps story, but I was always partial to The Haunted Mask and Say Cheese and Die!
Sony Pictures has given Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell’s next film a prime awards season release date later this year. The untitled project (formerly known as American Bullshit) will hit theaters in limited release on December 13th before going wide on Christmas Day. The pic is based on a real-life undercover sting operation called Abscam, which was set up in the 1980s by a con artist working for the FBI who rooted out corruption in Congress.
The cast reads like a “Best Of” from Russell’s filmography, as Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale are set in the leads with Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K., Jeremy Renner, and Alessandro Nivola (Face/Off) rounding out the ensemble. Hit the jump for more.
Good Times is headed to the big screen. Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network, No Country for Old Men) are developing a feature film adaptation of the popular 1970s CBS sitcom Good Times, and Deadline reports that Phil Johnston (Wreck-It Ralph) has been tapped to pen the script. Created by Eric Monte and Mike Evans, Good Times took place in Chicago and centered on a working classic couple played by Esther Rolle and John Amos struggling to raise their three children in a poor inner-city neighborhood. The series was hailed for tackling serious social issues at the time while also mixing light-hearted comedy.
The feature film iteration of Good Times will take place in the 1960s, which should make for some interesting story dynamics. Hit the jump to watch the intro for the show.