New Line is finally moving forward with their MacGyver movie, and they’ve made a surprising director choice on the project. Variety reports that Saw and Insidious director James Wan is now in talks to helm the adaptation of the 1980s TV series, which already has an existing script by Jason Richman that was recently reworked by Brian and Mark Gunn. For those unaware, the premise of MacGyver centered around the title character (played by Richard Dean Anderson) bringing together random everyday objects in order to save the day. Wan recently directed the supernatural horror film The Conjuring for the studio, and execs were so pleased with the results that they recently moved the release date from this coming January to a prime July date.
A MacGyver movie is all well and good, but the film adaptation will surely have to make some tweaks in order to make the series feel relevant in the modern era. Moreover, it’ll likely be difficult to get audiences to take the premise seriously in the wake of Jorma Taccone’s brilliant comedy MacGruber.
After Journey 2: The Mysterious Island proved to be an international box office smash, New Line Cinema was quick to get all the behind-the-scenes folks back on board for a third go-round in the franchise. Reports indicated that they were quite keen on getting the front-of-camera contributors back under contract as well, and now, it looks like Dwayne “Don’t call me ‘The Rock’, because I’m an actor now” Johnson is in talks to reprise his role as Hank, stepfather to Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson); Johnson first came aboard the franchise to replace Brendan Fraser, who was felled by a tragic case of not wanting to do the second film. Hit the jump for more.
It looks as though New Line has a bona fide franchise on their hands with the Journey to the Center of the Earth movies. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island just passed $270 million worldwide, besting the Brendan Fraser-fronted first movie’s $242 million total gross, and now Heat Vision reports that New Line is moving forward with Journey 3. The studio has closed deals with Journey 2 director Brad Peyton and writers Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn to return for the third (and likely not final) installment. Peyton commented that they’re going to “grow the mythology,” and said that while Journey 2 was definitely a franchise reboot, Journey 3 will be about “making the seminal work in the franchise.” Alrighty then. The film is on a fast track with a targeted 2014 release in mind.
No deals have been discussed with returning cast members, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Josh Hutcherson opts to stick with The Hunger Games instead of the Journey series. Apparently kids really like the 3D franchise, and I’m totally fine with them continuing the series as long as they feature burly action stars or legendary thespians gleefully riding giant CGI creatures in each and every installment.
Despite having no feature films on their resume, Hollywood has faith in cousins Mark and Brian Gunn to further their franchises. Paramount has hired the Gunns to pen the script for the remake of The Monster Squad; Rob Cohen (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor) is on board to produce and direct Squad, which the studio is hoping to kickstart a family-oriented franchise. The original 1987 Monster Squad centers around a cadre of kids who try to stop a plot by Dracula, Frankenstien, The Wolf Man, The Gill Man, and The Mummy to rule the world.
Heat Vision reports that the Cousins Gunn most recently worked on the script for the sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth, which is going now by the name Journey to the Mysterious Island. Brad Peyton has signed on to direct, with Josh Hutcherson taking over lead duties in the possible absence of original star Brendan Fraser.