What is Steven Spielberg up to? That’s the question that is, more often than not, on everyone’s minds, as one of the most famous and successful directors of our time ponders what film he will make next. Spielberg is a notoriously flirtatious filmmaker, eyeing or developing certain projects for long stretches of time before eventually deciding not to take them helm. When he does finally settle on his next directorial effort, it all happens rather quickly and quietly as the filmmaker is known for shooting incredibly fast.
Over the past year or so since Lincoln hit theaters, the director has considered helming both a big-budget sci-fi epic and a smaller scale true story drama, but now a remake of a classic musical has apparently caught his eye, as a Spielberg-led West Side Story remake could be on the horizon. Hit the jump for more.
In a bit of a bidding battle, 20th Century Fox has acquired the Soviet spy thriller Cold Comfort for Marc Webb to direct. Deadline reports that plenty of other studios and directors were in the mix given that the material lends itself to a strong comedic performance for a lead actor in the vein of Jonah Hill, and Fox will develop the property as a directing vehicle for Webb, who will also produce. The pic is an adaptation of the upcoming novel Cold Comfort (aka How to Catch a Russian Spy) by columnist Ellis Henican and follows an American civilian who convinced the FBI to allow him to help bring down a Russian agent on American soil. Hit the jump for more on when Webb might be able to tackle the material.
True Detective is the best show currently on TV, and part of the reason for that is director Cary Fukunaga, who helmed all eight episodes of the season. Hopefully, fans of True Detective have rushed out to check out his two excellent features Sin Nombre and Jane Eyre, and they’ll look forward to his upcoming projects. His next projects is the African child soldier drama Beasts of No Nation starring Idris Elba, and he’s also attached to a two-film adaptation of Stephen King‘s It as well as an adaptation of Paul Kix‘s World War II book Noble Assassin. According to Deadline, Fukunaga will be adding another war story to his slate after preemptively selling an untitled pitch to fox. The only details about the project are that “it’s set in a contemporary wartime context” and will be written by Nicole Riegel.
Deadline also reports that Fukunaga will stay on with True Detective in an executive producer capacity. “Executive Producer” is an elastic term, and with so much else on Fukunaga’s plate, we don’t know how involved he’ll be in season two, but it’s good to know that he’s not departing the show entirely.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill both received Oscar nominations for their performances in Martin Scorsese’s true story The Wolf of Wall Street, and now the pair are keen on teaming up once again for another film based on a real-life event. Deadline reports that 20th Century Fox has acquired the rights to author Marie Brenner’s 1997 Vanity Fair article called “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” which recounts the story of a man who was hailed as a hero for discovering a backpack bomb during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and was subsequently vilified when he became a potential suspect.
The story encapsulates the power of the 24-hour news cycle and how quickly it destroyed one man’s life, and it should make for excellent film fodder. Read on after the jump.
Last year, Darren Aronofsky entered early negotiations to direct 20th Century Fox’s adaptation of the Jason Matthews spy novel Red Sparrow. Heat Vision reports Aronofsky has moved on from the project, and is now looking elsewhere for his follow-up to the biblical epic Noah (due in theaters March 28). Fox still has high hopes for the project and will now focus on finding a writer to adapt the script. Given that development will take time, the report suggests Fox could leave the door open if Aronofsky wants to return when the project is ready.
Steve Zaillian (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Garrett Basch (The Cold Light of Day), and Peter Chernin (Oblivion) are on board as producers. Read the book synopsis after the jump.
A few release date announcements and shifts for 20th Century Fox films have been made today via Box Office Mojo. Briefly:
- 20th Century Fox will release the untitled Planet of the Apes sequel on July 29, 2016. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves returns to take the helm.
- Fox’s Poltergeist reboot will open on February 13, 2015, where it will square off opposite Fifty Shades of Grey. Directed by Gil Kenan (Monster House), the horror redo stars Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt.
- In lieu of the Fifty Shades competition, Fox has moved the Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Longest Ride from February 13, 2015 to April 3, 2015 where it will open against Insidious 3 and the sci-fi pic Passengers.
- The buddy comedy Let’s Be Cops, starring Jake Johnson (New Girl) and Damon Wayans Jr. (Happy Endings) will open later this year on August 15, 2014. Its competition will be the action sequel The Expendables 3 and the childrens book adaptation The Giver.
- Finally, Fox has shifted Night at the Museum 3 up from Christmas Day to December 19, 2014, where it squares off against the Annie remake and The Hobbit: There and Back Again.
20th Century Fox appears to be very happy with how the Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel is turning out under the direction of Matt Reeves. The Let Me In filmmaker is now set to take the helm of the untitled third Planet of the Apes film in this new prequel trilogy, which will follow directly after this summer’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Reeves stepped in to take the helm of Dawn when Rise director Rupert Wyatt departed the project over creative differences. The follow-up takes place 15 years after the events of the first film and finds Caesar (Andy Serkis) attempting to assert his dominance over the apes while a small human colony struggles to survive in San Francisco.
Hit the jump for more on Planet of the Apes 3, including the possibility of Reeves having a hand in the screenplay.
20th Century Fox’s remake of the musical Guys and Dolls is starting to materialize. Deadline reports that the studio has tapped The Hunger Games: Mockingjay scribe Danny Strong to pen the script for the redo, which is a high priority for Fox. Strong first gained notice for writing the political HBO films Game Change and Recount, but lately he’s become a bit of a go-to screenwriter. He wrote the final two installments of the Hunger Games franchise Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2, he penned the historical drama Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and he also wrote Ron Howard’s upcoming Dan Brown adaptation The Lost Symbol. With the Guys and Dolls gig, he can now add “movie musical” to his resume.
A Guys and Dolls remake has been in the works for many, many years, but a few months ago Fox expressed interest in crafting a new iteration for a young generation with an eye on Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt taking on the starring roles. With Strong now on scripting duties, expect to hear more firm word about the project next year.
20th Century Fox is atop a short list of movie studios looking to adapt Mark Millar’s upcoming comic book, a space fantasy adventure titled Starlight. Intended to be a six-part miniseries, Starlight is described as a mash-up of Flash Gordon and The Dark Knight Returns, as it centers on a space hero returning to Earth to settle down, but is called into action when his old spaceship shows up. The comic, written by Millar and illustrated by Goran Parlov, will show up in stores next March under the Image comics banner. Hit the jump for more on its potential movie adaptation.
20th Century Fox has acquired the feature rights to the Agatha Christie classic Murder on the Orient Express. The book takes place on the luxurious train, stuck in a snowdrift in Yugoslavia. That night a man is murdered, but fortunately cunning detective Hercule Poirot is aboard to solve the case. THR reports Ridley Scott (Prometheus) will produce alongside Mark Gordon (Source Code) and Simon Kinberg (Elysium). Scott is currently shooting the Biblical epic Exodus and recently stated his next two projects are already set, so he is likely too busy to direct the Christie adaptation.
Albert Finney played Poirot in the 1974 adaptation that earned six Oscar nominations. Alfred Molina took on the role in 2001 TV movie that was not received quite so well. Fox is still looking for a writer, so no word on who might play the Belgian detective this time around. But I expect a thorough casting search since there are 33 novels and 50 short stories that offer plenty of material for a Poirot franchise if Murder on the Orient Express is successful. Check out the book synopsis and 1974 trailer after the break.
Bridesmaids director Paul Feig is not exactly lacking for material, and he may be adding another potential project to his slate. Deadline reports that Feig is attached to produce and possibly direct an untitled comedy pitch for 20th Century Fox. Plot details are under wraps, but Feig hatched the idea as “a vehicle for a group of ethnically diverse comic actresses.” Melissa Stack, who recently wrote the upcoming Cameron Diaz comedy The Other Woman, is attached to pen the script. Feig will produce alongside Jessie Henderson under their Feigco banner, which aims to make R-rated comedies at Fox.
Feig is coming off the success of this summer’s Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy comedy The Heat and he will next direct McCarthy in the spy comedy Susan Cooper, which also stars Jason Statham and Bridesmaids co-star Rose Byrne. Additionally, he is developing a The Heat spinoff focusing on the characters played by Jamie Denbo and Jessica Chaffin.
Since The Avengers, Marvel Studios has been setting the superhero blockbuster tone and watching all the other studios try to scramble together whatever costumed crusaders they have. Marvel took the time to build up to Avengers and the company has the character library to move forward at a steady, deliberate pace. Meanwhile, this week has made it abundantly clear how badly the other studios want an Avengers-like movie and the universe to go with it. Wonder Woman will now be in the Batman/Superman movie; The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is so eager to lead into the Sinister Six, it’s probably showing off its post-credits scene in the first trailer; and X-Men: Days of Future Past is still five months away, but yesterday Bryan Singer was already tweeting about the next movie, X-Men: Apocalypse. We don’t know if these movies will be good, but we know they’ll be big.
In an effort to go even bigger, 20th Century Fox has made a deal with X-Men writer Simon Kinberg to create a Marvel-style movie universe for the studio. Hit the jump for more.
20th Century Fox has announced a slew of release date updates. Briefly:
- The Fantastic Four will now open in the midst of summer on June 19, 2015 instead of March 6, 2015. Josh Trank directs.
- The Assassin’s Creed movie has been pushed from June to August 7, 2015. Michael Fassbender is producing and will star in the video game adaptation.
- Director Matthew Vaughn’s graphic novel adaptation The Secret Service has been pushed out of 2014 to March 6, 2015, taking over Fantastic Four’s previous date.
- The spy comedy Susan Cooper will open on May 22, 2015. Paul Feig directs and Melissa McCarthy stars, possibly opposite Jason Statham.
- An Untitled Vince Vaughn Movie (previously referred to as Business Trip) will open on October 24, 2014.
Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned projects.
James Mangold‘s The Wolverine partially succeeded simply because it went against the trend of current superhero movies. The spin-off sequel was still stuck between serious drama and cartoonish action, but at least the stakes were worthwhile without having to put the entire world at jeopardy (that plotline will come with Wolverine’s next adventure, X-Men: Days of Future Past). With Iron Man stopping an army off Extremis soldiers, Thor battling to save his world of Asgard, helicarriers crashing into Washington D.C. in Captain America’s upcoming film, and Guardians of the Galaxy having to, well, guard an entire galaxy, Wolverine can be the only game in town where a superhero can fight for lower stakes but maintain the personal drama.
Hit the jump for how this game might continue with Mangold, Hugh Jackman, and producer Lauren Shuler Donner.
20th Century Fox has set David Fincher‘s adaptation of Gillian Flynn‘s best-selling novel Gone Girl for October 3, 2014. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike star in the lead roles of a story that centers on the disappearance of a man’s wife and the resulting investigation that follows. The cast also includes Tyler Perry, Kim Dickens, Emily Ratajkowski, Patrick Fugit, Carrie Coon, and Neil Patrick Harris. Gone Girl will share the weekend with Dracula Untold starring Luke Evans. The fall release date for Gone Girl isn’t too surprising when you consider that David Fincher now caries an awards pedigree, and he’s working from popular source material.
Hit the jump for new release dates for the new adaptation of Frankenstein starring Daniel Radcliffe, and for the Guillermo del Toro-produced animated film Book of Life.