Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney is looking to tackle a markedly less controversial subject matter his next venture. The director behind Taxi to the Dark Side and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room is set to helm and produce an untitled four-hour miniseries documentary about the life and music of Frank Sinatra for Alcon Entertainment and HBO. The documentary is described as “an up close and personal examination of Sinatra, his life, his music and the legendary career that stands alone as unquestionably the most celebrated of the century.” The doc will feature never before seen footage, including home movies and professional and private performances by Sinatra.
Frank Marshall is onboard to executive produce the documentary alongside Nancy Sinatra, and it will premiere on HBO once it’s completed. Gibney recently helmed the disturbing Catholic church scandal doc Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God for HBO and the Julian Assange documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, which hits theaters later next month. Hit the jump to read the full press release regarding the Sinatra documentary.
Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. have announced the start of production of director Denis Villeneuve’s (Incedies) dramatic thriller Prisoners. The film stars Hugh Jackman as a working-class Boston father who sets out to track down the man he believes is responsible for kidnapping his daughter and her friend. Along the way, he runs up against the big city detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) assigned to the case. Filming is underway in Georgia, with an impressive supporting cast that includes Paul Dano, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, and Viola Davis.
The screenplay was written by Aaron Guzikowski (Contraband), and Mark Wahlberg is onboard as one of the film’s executive producers. Moreover, genius cinematographer Roger Deakins (Skyfall, No Country for Old Men) is handling the camera work. Hit the jump to read the full press release. Prisoners opens on September 20th of this year.
Back in March, we learned that Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister would be making his feature directorial debut on an untitled thriller for Alcon Entertainment. In not exactly surprising news, it was announced today that Nolan and his producing partner/wife Emma Thomas will be executive producing Pfister’s film. Pfister has served as cinematographer on all of Nolan’s films except Following and he won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his stellar work on Inception. His non-Nolan features include Moneyball and The Italian Job. Though this will be his first feature film, Pfister has previously directed a few commercials.
Also unsurprising, given his partnership with Nolan, is the fact that plot details for the untitled feature are firmly under wraps. The screenplay comes from newcomer Jack Paglen and production is set to get underway this fall or early winter. Hit the jump to read the press release.
Anyone who is fed up with Hollywood remakes may want to avert their eyes on this one. We’ve just received a press release from Alcon Entertainment announcing that the studio is fast-tracking a remake of Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 action/thriller Point Break. Per the release, the remake will be released by Alcon’s home studio, Warner Bros., and they are planning on having Kurt Wimmer’s (Total Recall remake and Salt) screenplay out to directors in the very near future.
As remakes are known to do, the updated Point Break will follow heavily in the footsteps of its predecessor in that it will feature an FBI agent going undercover to investigate a criminal ring within the world of extreme sports. The original starred Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey. For a little more on the project, hit the jump for the full press release and a trailer from the original.
Alcon Entertainment has acquired writer/director David Twohy’s script for the action thriller The Leonardo Job. Per the press release, Twohy is also attached to direct the pic for Alcon which will finance and produce the film. Perhaps best known for his work on the Riddick franchise, Twohy has written and directed both Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick and is looking to begin production soon enough on the as of yet untitled third installment. There is no word on when The Leonardo Job is looking to begin production and/or whether or not it will affect production on the third Riddick.
According to the press release, The Leonardo Job will center on two rival thieves who are hired to track down da Vinci’s “The Battle of Anghiari” painting. As the story goes, the two are eventually forced to work together upon discovering that they aren’t the only ones eyeing the work. For a little more info plotwise, hit the jump for the full press release.
Following on the heels of his feature directorial debut, 2009′s Harry Brown, Daniel Barber is now negotiating a deal that would hand him the reins to another thriller entitled Substitution. If talks go through, Barber would helm the pic for Alcon Entertainment and producers Broderick Johnson, Andrew Kosove, Kevin McCormick, and Steve Crystal. THR describes Substitution as Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 thriller Strangers on a Train meets the rigors of high school.
Ian Shorr (Splinter) is currently penning the script which will see a substitute teacher coerce one of his students into a murderous scheme. I’ve yet to check out Harry Brown, so I’ll refrain from commenting on Barber’s capabilities as a filmmaker. That said, his short film The Tonto Woman was nominated for an Oscar for best live action short in 2008. That has to count for something, right?
Alcon Entertainment is developing a live-action/animated adaptation of the 1970’s Hanna-Barbera cartoon Hong Kong Phooey, and Mr. Eddie Murphy has been tapped to voice the lead character. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it centered on a dog named Penry who is granted the ability to walk, talk and do kung fu after stumbling into a mystic ceremony that grants him powers. Penry works as a janitor at a police station by day, but patrols the streets at night as Hong Kong Phooey in his “Phooeymobile” with the ever-handy “Hong Kong Book of Kung Fu” manual at his side.
Say what you will about Murphy’s career as of late, but he always delivers great voice work. His fast-talking Donkey was one of the highlights of the Shrek series, and he was memorable as the dragon Mushu in Disney’s Mulan. Alex Zamm (Tooth Fairy 2) is directing Phooey, which presumably will feature an animated title character interacting with live-action actors. Family Guy executive producer David Goodman wrote the script, and Alcon co-founders and co-CEO’s Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove will produce alongside Jay Stern and Brett Ratner. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
Director Denis Villeneuve looks to have secured his next film. Villeneuve most recently helmed Incendies, a story of Canadian emigres returning to the Middle East. That film has been met with extremely positive reception, having earned an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and now 24 Frames reports that he’s set to direct the vigilante thriller Prisoners. The Black List script by Aaron Guzikowski tells the story of a working-class Boston father who takes hostage the man he believes is responsible for kidnapping his daughter and her friend.
Prisoners has been in development for quite a while, with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale at one point attached to play the father and a detective, respectively. Leonardo DiCaprio was most recently set to star in the film, but it appears that he’s no longer involved with the project. Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment are producing the flick, so expect more news on the project soon.
Alcon Entertainment, the Warner Bros. based financing and production company is now in final negotiations to acquire the rights to “film, television and ancillary” rights to produced sequels to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner. Though the deal prevents them from directly remaking the original film, Alcon would be free to produce as many sequels and prequels involving the film’s universe as they like. Alcon co-founders/co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove had this to say:
“We are honored and excited to be in business with Bud Yorkin. This is a major acquisition for our company, and a personal favorite film for both of us. We recognize the responsibility we have to do justice to the memory of the original with any prequel or sequel we produce. We have long-term goals for the franchise, and are exploring multi-platform concepts, not just limiting ourselves to one medium only.”
If Alcon is spending all that money to nab the rights, you can bet that they definitely have a sequel/prequel story in mind. Only time will tell what it will involve/how closely related it will be to Scott’s original. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah are teaming up for Joyful Noise, which revolves a small-town gospel choir. As the film begins, the local choir director dies, and his widow (Parton) hopes to take over the job. Though Latifah is placed in charge, the two women join forces to keep the choir from folding. This is Parton’s first starring role in over a decade, after 1992′s Straight Talk.
According to THR, Todd Graff (Bandslam) is set to write and direct the feature for Alcon Entertainment. Graff is also the man behind the upcoming remake of Damn Yankees, with Jim Carrey and Jake Gyllenhaal as the leads.
In news that makes me wish 3D was en vogue during Free Willy era, Alcon Entertainment is recruiting Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Harry Connick Jr. to star in the 3D inspirational family film Dolphin Tale. Charles Martin Smith, whose resume kinda awesomely includes both the similarly pet-centric Air Bud and the pilot for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, will direct.
According to THR, the script from Karen Janszen (A Walk to Remember) is inspired by the true story — the narrative revolves around a boy who befriends Winter, a dolphin who lost its tail in a crab trap. Alcon is looking to cast Judd as the boy’s mother, Connick Jr. as the vet who rescues Winter, and Freeman as the doctor who constructs a prosthetic dolphin limb and (presumably) has an amazing voice.