Sony wants Marc Webb to direct the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man, and Webb wants to come back to continue the story he started to tell in the first movie. Yet last we heard, the studio feared that Webb may not be able to return due to “obstacles”. The problem is Fox Searchlight, who has a claim on Webb—the director still owes the studio that made (500) Days of Summer at least one more film. Fox gave Webb some time to direct The Amazing Spider-Man, but is understandably unwilling to give him another couple years to make the sequel. Unfortunately for Webb, Sony needs to find a new director soon to make the announced May 2, 2014 release date for the Amazing Spider-Man sequel. So if Webb can’t make The Amazing Spider-Man 2 next, he can’t make it at all. Hit the jump for a possible solution.
Columbia has hired scribe Scott Frank (Minority Report) to pen its Harry Houdini-centered drama, cleverly titled Houdini. Director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) has been attached to helm the project since March and Heat Vision confirms that he and Frank will team up to bring a “grounded” vision of the legendary escape artist. Per the report, Houdini will feature the namesake attempting to expose a spiritualist as a fraud only to get caught up in what appears to be a “tragic scam.”
Similar to the rat race that Snow White is currently competing in (which Brendan so mathematically details here), Houdini also has several tales currently in development. In addition to Columbia’s Houdini, DreamWorks acquired the rights to J. Michael Straczynski’s (creator of Babylon 5 and personal favorite comic series Rising Stars) Houdini/Sir Arthur Conan Doyle script Voices from the Dead back in February. Not long after that news, Summit hired Noah Oppenheim to pen an adaptation of William Kalush’s book The Secret Life of Houdini. For better or worse, it doesn’t look as if moviegoers should have any shortage of Houdini content coming their way over the next few years.
by Jason Barr Posted: September 15th, 2010 at 9:43 pm
The fifth grader in me just hit the jackpot. Screenwriter Carl Ellsworth (Disturbia) has agreed to a deal with Columbia Pictures to write a live-action feature adaptation of the R.L. Stine book series Goosebumps. Per Risky Business, Neal Moritz will produce (through his Original Film label) the Ellsworth adaptation for Columbia, who hopes to create a potential “family-driven franchise” of live-action films based on the material. Columbia first purchased the rights to Goosebumps in 2008 and, at that time, writers Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander (1408) tried their hand at adapting the material to no avail. As for Ellsworth, in addition to Disturbia, his writing credits date all the way back to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series where he penned a single episode. Recently, he has written films such as Red Eye, The Last House on the Left remake, as well as the upcoming remake of Red Dawn.
For a Goosebumps fun fact as well as my take on the adaptation, hit the jump.
If you’re a fan of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, then you already know the name Chris Pratt. The actor plays Pawnee, Indiana’s favorite shoeshiner, Andy Dwyer, on the Thursday night comedy and is consistently one of the funniest characters on the show (for the record, I prefer Scarecrow Boat to Mouse Rat). Pratt will soon be taking his talents to the big screen with a role in the Columbia drama, Moneyball.
While he is no stranger to film — Pratt has recently appeared in Wanted and Jennifer’s Body — this role has the potential to be a huge step forward for the actor as he will be working alongside the likes of Brad Pitt and Philip Seymour Hoffman. For more information on the film as well as the character Pratt will be portraying, hit the jump.