John Landis Still Working on Biopic of EC Comics Publisher and Co-Creator Bill Gaines

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Director John Landis still wants to make a film about Bill Gaines, the publisher and co-creator of EC Comics (Tales from the Crypt, Mad Magazine).  Deadline is reporting it as an exclusive, but the news actually broke over two years ago.  Granted a lot can happen in two years and it’s good to know that Landis still wants to make this movie.  The drama around Gaines isn’t so much personal, as much as it is a fascinating slice of history when the government cracked down on comic books due to the belief that they caused “juvenile delinquency.”  It wasn’t totally unfounded cause for concern. I’ve lost track of how many people have stabbed to death because of Archie over the years.

Landis is currently working on the dark romantic comedy Burke & Hare starring Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis as the two real-life graverobbers/murderers from 19th century Scotland.  Speaking about the film at Cannes, Landis described it as “a sweet and charming film about a couple of killers.”

Andy Serkis Interview – Talks THE HOBBIT, TINTIN, BURKE & HARE and SEX & DRUGS & ROCK & ROLL

by     Posted 4 years, 216 days ago

Andy Serkis slice

Andy Serkis is in flux.  Again.  In an industry thick with top-flight thespians known for a complete immersion with each new role, the 46 year-old stands apart because of his whole-hearted embrace of new technology.  From his complex portrayals of Gollum in The Lord of The Rings trilogy and the title role in King Kong to his work as Captain Haddock in Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn and his return to Middle Earth on The Hobbit films, no other actor has consistently morphed from project to project, over the past decade, with the same combination of acting ability and performance capture innovation.

However, the biggest innovation in Andy Serkis’ latest project, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, is Serkis himself.  He reportedly lost nearly 30 pounds, worked out the right side of his body while letting his left side go weak and wore a leg caliper for months to mold himself into the polio-afflicted British punk icon Ian Dury.  His role off-camera also changed, as he conceived and shaped the film with the screenwriter Paul Viragh.  Add those responsibilities to his recently formed production company, a new performance capture studio/academy and you have a man in transition.

Collider caught up with Serkis for a revealing conversation about his changing career and his own background.  Hit the jump for the audio and transcription, along with plenty of stories on The Hobbit, Tintin, Burke & Hare, Steven Spielberg. Guillermo del Toro, John Landis and, of course, Peter Jackson.

Promo Poster for BURKE & HARE Starring Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, and Isla Fisher

by     Posted 4 years, 219 days ago

One of my most-anticipated films right now is John Landis’ Burke & Hare.  It stars Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis as real-life 19th century graverobbers/murderers William Burke and William Hare.  Not only am I excited to see how Pegg and Serkis will play off each other, but this is Landis’ first film in over a decade.  Seeing as the guy directed some all-time great films like An American Werewolf in London and The Blues Brothers, there’s reason to be excited.  Throw in an excellent supporting cast (Tim Curry, Isla Fisher, Jessica Hynes, Tom Wilkinson, Ronnie Corbett, Bill Bailey) and I don’t understand how someone could not be excited for this flick.

Peter over at /Film is over the Cannes Film Festival and he snapped a picture of the promo poster for the film.  Exaggerated facial expressions and the cheesy tagline don’t deter me one bit.  I want to see this movie.

Hit the jump to check out the poster and the film’s synopsis.  Burke & Hare is slated to come out in the UK sometime this year.

First Official Image of Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis in John Landis’ BURKE & HARE

by     Posted 4 years, 270 days ago


The first official image from the upcoming black comedy, Burke & Hare has just been released.

Directed by John Landis, the film stars Simon Pegg (Star Trek) and Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) in the title roles,  and is based on the true story of two 19th century serial murderers and grave robbers who discover the highly profitable business of providing cadavers to a medical school in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The film is currently in production and is slated to be released later this year. Burke & Hare also stars Isla Fisher, Tim Curry, John Cleese, and Tom Wilkinson. Now that’s a comedic movie line-up that we can all look forward to.

Hit the jump to check out the intriguing image from Empire Online and the complete synopsis.

Isla Fisher & Tom Wilkinson Join Simon Pegg & Andy Serkis in John Landis’ BURKE & HARE

by     Posted 4 years, 331 days ago


Yesterday, we reported on a tweet by Simon Pegg that said David Tennant had been replaced by Andy Serkis in John Landis’ upcoming historical horror flick Burke & Hare.  However, Pegg quickly deleted his twitter post and we were left to wonder if he prematurely tweeted.  It happens to lots of guys.  And girls.  But Heat Vision now confirms that Serkis has replaced Tennant (who has moved off the project to join the upcoming NBC pilot Rex is Not My Lawyer); plus, Isla Fisher and Tom Wilkinson have also been cast.

Pegg and Serkis will play the 19th-century killers William Burke and William Hare, respectively, who started murdering folks so they could cash in on some sweet cadaver money when they sold the corpses to doctors who wanted to study anatomy.  Fisher will play Burke’s girlfriend, “an actress looking for a patron who might or might not be an accomplice to the murders.”  As for Wilkinson, he’ll play “Dr. Robert Knox, an anatomy lecturer looking for fresh corpses.”  And what ever Dr. Knox wants to use those corpses for is his business.

Burke & Hare is scheduled to begin filming on January 31st in Edinburgh and London.

It Is No Longer Pegg & Tennant, But Now Pegg & Serkis for BURKE & HARE

by     Posted 4 years, 332 days ago


John Landis, who created one of the greatest horror films of all-time with An American Werewolf in London, is directing his first feature film in over a decade with Burke & Hare, a real-life story about 19th century killers William Burke and William Hare who made money by selling cadavers to doctors by not waiting for people to die of natural causes, but sped up the process by just murdering innocent people outright.  The film was originally set to star Simon Pegg as Burke and David Tennant as Hare.  But in a Twitter post today, Pegg revealed that Tennant has dropped out of the project and has been replaced with Andy Serkis.  No disrespect to Tennant, but you can’t go wrong with Serkis.  Well, maybe if you cast him as Captain America or something, but for the most part, you can’t go wrong with Serkis.

However, Pegg has since deleted his tweet.  Maybe he realized it was too early to reveal that news, or it has since turned out that Serkis will play Captain America.  Whatever happens, we’ll keep you updated on this story.  And for more on Burke & Hare, check out what we learned about the film from our AFM coverage back in November.

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