Merely a few weeks out from the start of filming, production has been halted on the revenge drama Motor City. The film, from director Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli), has had a rather rocky development, with a number of actors (Dominic Cooper, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jeremy Renner) flirting with the lead only to subsequently drop out. Gerard Butler was finally set in the starring role of a felon who, after being released from prison, begins tracking down the men who framed him, with Adrien Brody onboard as the villain and Mickey Rourke in a supporting role. Filming was set to commence on September 17th, but the crew has now been told to go home due to some complex issues that have arisen behind the scenes. Hit the jump for more details.
Everyone loves a villain, especially when those villains are played by Adrien Brody (Predators) and Jason Momoa (Conan the Barbarian). Brody is in talks to antagonize Gerard Butler (300) in Motor City, a revenge thriller scripted by Chad St. John (The Punisher: Dirty Laundry) and directed by Albert Hughes (Fro Hell). Momoa will star in Wolves, the directorial debut of David Hayter, the writer of 2000′s X-Men. The supernatural flick has Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class) going up against Momoa in a battle of werewolves (Good luck, Till). Hit the jump for more on both pictures.
It’s rough out there for a single film. Just ask revenge flick Motor City, which has been on the lookout for a leading man to settle down with for months now. It thought it had found Mr. Right late last year with up-and-comer Dominic Cooper, but just when things seemed to be getting serious, he was all like “I can’t do this” and left (he just left!). Painful as that was, Motor City refused to sulk and admirably kept itself open, out there, and available. Alas, after promising flirtations with Jake Gyllenhaal and Jeremy Renner ended with an “Oh hey, you’re a real special flick but I’m kind of committed to another film right now,” it seemed like it was time to break out the sweatpants and Haagen-Dazs. But now, when things are at their bleakest, Gerard Butler (a nice enough guy who Motor City totally never thought of as more than a viewer), is starting to look like the one they were meant to be with all along.
Variety reports that the 300 star is in talks to come aboard the Albert Hughes-helmed actioner, as a man who is released from prison and proceeds to hunt down those responsible for putting him there. The pic is slated to start production this June. Hit the jump for more on Motor City.
The lead role in Motor City continues to be a revolving door. Chris Evans came in first. Then Dominic Cooper was on board for months in a more official capacity, until a scheduling conflict forced Cooper to drop out. Jake Gyllenhaal stepped up, but Warner Bros. and Dark Castle couldn’t secure a deal, so it’s back to the drawing board. The struggle may turn out for the best, since Twitch hears the drawing board turned up Jeremy Renner. Renner has reportedly entered into discussions to star as “a felon who, after being released from prison, begins tracking down the men who framed him.” If they can get him, Renner is a powerful presence, which Motor City requires. The original Black List-approved script by Chad St. John is said to contain just a few lines of dialogue. One catch: WB is looking at an April start date, which could pull Renner out of the running for The Counselor, which shoots in May. Sadly, Jeremy Renner cannot be in every movie.
Amber Heard and Gary Oldman are committed to play the romantic interest and the “kingpin-type pulling the strings,” respectively. Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) is directing.
Gary Oldman is finally an Oscar nominee for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and the actor looks to have chosen a baddie role as his next project. Heat Vision reports that Oldman is in talks to reunite with his Book of Eli director Albert Hughes for the revenge thriller Motor City. The film centers on a man who gets released from prison and sets out on a revenge mission to hunt down the people who framed him. Dominic Cooper (The Devil’s Double) is set as the male lead opposite Amber Heard (The Rum Diary) who plays the woman he loves. Oldman will play “a kingpin-type pulling the strings and who has his hooks into the woman. An April production start date is being eyed.
Oldman consistently turns in fantastic performances, and he’s set to star in a number of upcoming projects. He’ll be seen this summer in The Dark Knight Rises (obviously), followed by the star-studded adaptation of The Wettest County this fall. He’s also been rumored for the role of Merlin in Warner Bros.’ Arthur & Lancelot, but that project is currently on hold as the studio works out some budget issues.
Director Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) has found his female lead for the thriller Motor City. Deadline reports that Amber Heard (The Rum Diary) has landed the female lead in the pic opposite Dominic Cooper. The film centers on a man who gets released from prison and sets out on a revenge mission to hunt down the people who framed him. There are currently no details on Heard’s role, but the actress has been gaining traction as of late starring in Drive Angry, NBC’s now-cancelled The Playboy Club, and most recently The Rum Diary with Johnny Depp.
Cooper recently starred in Captain America: The First Avenger and drew positive remarks for his performance in this year’s The Devil’s Double. He’ll next be seen in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Motor City was scripted by Chad St. John. The film will be Hughes’ first solo directorial effort, as he helmed his previous pics alongside brother Allen. Joel Silver is producing, and with the two leads set expect to hear more casting news soon.
Ever since he wandered away from Akira, Warner Bros has apparently been anxious to sign Menace II Society director Albert Hughes onto one of their upcoming movies. Today it looks as though a project has been found that will keep Hughes at the good ol’ WB and that project is Motor City. The film is a pretty simple revenge picture about a small town crook who is wrongfully sent to jail and comes out determined to punish those responsible. It’s generic stuff, but the twist is that the much beloved script apparently contains only a single line of dialogue. This has the makings of a pretty out there blockbuster action movie and apparently Captain America himself Chris Evans is in talks to play the lead role (how could he possibly memorize all of the dialogue?). Could be interesting. Could get made. Hit the jump for more details.
Director Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) will no longer be directing Warner Bros. adaptation of the acclaimed manga Akira. Hughes left the project over “creative differences”, but before you assume that’s the nice way of saying Hughes told the studio to fuck straight off, Deadline reports that he still plans to set up a different movie at the studio in the near future.
It’s possible that Hughes left the film over the studio’s uncertainty over who to cast in the lead roles of Tetsuo and Kaneda. At first, they were looking at a diverse array of actors ranging from rising stars like Andrew Garfield and Garrett Hedlund to more established names like Robert Pattinson and Chris Pine. But then Keanu Reeves started circling the project and suddenly Warner Bros wanted a more established box office star. However, he passed on the film and now the studio is back to their original list. That has to be frustrating for a director and I’m not surprised that Hughes has backed out. Hit the jump for more details on the project.
The live-action version of Akira may actually be happening. After Warner Bros. secured a co-financer for the $230 million pricetag (Legendary Pictures, who just recently backed out of the deal), and Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves turned in a rewrite of the script that had everyone eager to get going, producers began searching for their cast. Directors the Hughes brothers have been searching for an A-lister with global appeal to star in the flick (you don’t gamble that amount of money without ensuring that you’re gonna rake in serious international revenue), but for a while it seemed like they were searching in vain.
Now, Vulture reports that Keanu Reeves is in very early talks to take on the starring role in the film. Based upon the manga and the 1988 anime adaptation, Akira centers on teenager Shōtarō Kaneda and his quest to stop his friend Tetsuo from destroying Neo-Tokyo. Hit the jump for more on the project.
[Update: Heat Vision reports that Reeves is in talks for the role of Kaneda, the gang leader.]
Warner Bros. has hired Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves to do a polish on the script for the Hughes Brothers’ adaptation of the Japanese manga Akira. For those unfamiliar with the manga and the 1988 anime adaptation, the story centers on teenager Shōtarō Kaneda and his quest to stop his friend Tetsuo from destroying Neo-Tokyo. Per Variety, “the latest version of the script was penned by Albert Torres (Henry Poole Is Here), with earlier drafts by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby and Gary Whitta.” The problem is that “polish” is a very flexible word when it comes to script work and there aren’t any details on what Kloves’ polish will entail. However, since Kloves has done strong work on the Harry Potter films (he wrote all of them except for Order of the Phoenix), he seems like the right guy to take a crack at helping to condense the six-volume manga into a live-action feature film.
As we reported yesterday, Warner Bros. won’t greenlight the film until they can attach a major star to play Kaneda. Strangely, Vulture’s story said that Warners was courting Brad Pitt for Kaneda (he passed on the role), which could mean that the script has re-tooled the character to be significantly older.
“It’s a man on a mission with something that everybody wants,” Allen Hughes said of the story for The Book of Eli, his forthcoming action film starring Denzel Washington. “It’s pretty simple. One man is trying to get something somewhere.”
In late March of 2009, Collider visited the New Mexico set of the film, and we were met by torrential waves of dust and debris that filled every last nook and cranny in about five minutes. Unfortunately, we were there for about ten hours.
Hughes, who is co-directing with his brother Albert, explained how the film’s postapocalyptic world came to look quite so unhospitable. “We allude to a nuclear war, he said. “We also talk about what happened environmentally; it’s a combination of a lot of things – diseases, famine, war. It started with a war and now the whole system’s collapsed.”
Albert, meanwhile, detailed the story’s origins. “[Gary Whitta] is from the video game world, and he probably liked a lot of the post-apocalyptic movies,” Hughes said. “I thought it was interesting, the kind of spiritual or religious angle he had on it. It’s not based on any particular thing that I know of, [but] I mean, it does hint towards a lot of other movies.” When asked whether the film had a Western influence, Albert indicated that they were shying away from direct references to films, much less familiar genres. Much more after the jump:
Given the wealth of remakes, adaptations and updates on studio release schedules these days, movies made from original screenplays have become a rare commodity, at least for folks disinterested in Alvin and the Chipmunks. The Book of Eli was written by Gary Whitta, a newcomer with only one other credit to his IMDB resume – the forthcoming live-action version of Akira – and as directed by Allen and Albert Hughes, it promises to be more than the exception that proves the rule. Starring Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis and Gary Oldman, the film follows a lone warrior (Washington) as he navigates a dusty, violent, post-apocalyptic landscape, and Collider was recently invited to check out its fantastic, futuristic, and most of all dusty landscape.
The film was shot in New Mexico, the production location for several other recent blockbusters including Observe and Report and Terminator Salvation. The set we visited was a short distance from the Albuquerque airport, but by the time we arrived at the razed landfill where shooting was to take place, virtually all remnants of civilization were forgotten: tumbleweed (seriously) and dusty plains were the only sights for miles in every direction. Except, of course, for the set itself – a dilapidated house built especially for a big action set piece, some of which we hoped to watch as it was shot.