Add another one to the massive list of Guillermo del Toro’s ongoing projects (he just wrapped on Pacific Rim and will spend the next year in post, but is also attached to direct Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson, is producing the animated Day of the Dead and his production effort, Rise of the Guardians debuts November 21st). This time around, del Toro is optioning a spec script by Adam Robitel, a protege of Bryan Singer’s (X-Men). The Bloody Benders is a genre-mashup that is equal parts Western, horror, thriller and love story. It centers on the true accounts of the Benders, a family who ran a hotel on the outskirts of the Kansas prairie in 1873. As the title suggests, the Benders were not the most accommodating of hosts; up to 20 people that checked in were robbed and murdered without the Benders ever being prosecuted. Sounds like a picture that’s thematically right up del Toro’s alley. Hit the jump for more on The Bloody Benders.
Today in strange reboot news, Sony is planning a “edgy” revamp of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The studio is apparently developing a live-action film iteration of the character that will recast her as a superhero. The character originated in 1960s Archie comics and has been adapted into both animated and live-action series for television. Most of us probably remember Sabrina as played by Melissa Joan Hart in the TV series that ran from 1996 to 2000. Hit the jump for more on this odd reboot of the character.
Captain Planet was a cartoon from the mid-90s that conjures up great nostalgia for those who watched it and pledged never to pollute ever again. That’s why the Earth is as clean as it is right now: because of a cartoon where teenagers summoned a flying blue man to beat up polluters. Now we’ve received a press release announcing that producer Don Murphy (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) and Cartoon Network are developing a live-action Captain Planet movie.
For those unfamiliar with the series, five teenagers across the globe, called “Planeteers”, received special rings that bestowed superpowers and together the rings could summon Captain Planet. Individually, four of the rings could summon useful elements: Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water. The fifth ring was “Heart” aka “We Ran out of Ancient Elements”. The Heart kid had the power to make people care and to speak with animals. Maybe his power needs to be readjusted for the film. However, he also had a pet monkey, so they have to keep that. Hit the jump for the press release.
Screenwriter David Hayter (X2, Watchmen) has been tapped to write the screenplay for the adaptation of Anne McCaffrey’s sci-fi/fantasy series The Dragonriders of Pern. Hayter will adapt Dragonflight, which is the first in a series of novels that began in 1968 and continue to this day. Dragonflight centers on “an elite group of warriors who take to the skies on the backs of giant, fire-breathing, telepathic dragons to save the wondrously exotic planet of Pern from a terrifying airborne menace.” McCaffrey had this to say:
“The fans and I have been waiting, not so patiently, for a long time to see Pern and her characters on the big screen. I couldn’t be more thrilled that a writer with David’s tremendous creativity and track record of translating beloved source material into fantastic movies has decided to make this his next epic adventure.”
Don Murphy has come aboard to executive produce the project, which will be an international co-production financed by several distribution partners around the world. No director is currently attached, but production is set to begin in 2012. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the book and the full press release.
In September of last year, we reported that Guillermo del Toro wanted Tom Cruise to star in At the Mountains of Madness. The film—which is based on the horror novella by H.P. Lovecraft and recounts a scientific expedition that uncovers ancient horrors dwelling in the mountains of Antarctica—has long been a passion project of del Toro’s and it looked like he was finally going to get it off the ground as a 3D film and with James Cameron attached as a producer. Cruise had been circling the role as recently as last month and it looks like he’s finally on board. Producer Don Murphy tells io9 that not only is Cruise attached to star, but filming is scheduled to begin in June.
Murphy also added that “the script is very close to the H.P. Lovecraft source material,” which I find puzzling. Hit the jump for my thoughts on Cruise signing on and the difficulty in adapting Lovecraft’s story. [Update: The Playlist just tweeted that reps for Cruise say he's not yet confirmed for the film; Update 2: Hitfix has learned that Murphy was quoted indirectly. The producer directly tells Hitfix, "no start date has been set AT ALL."]
Update 3: Steve here. I’ve been told that Universal killed the project on Friday and del Toro is going to take on Pacific Rim. Read our story here.
The screen rights for The Day of the Triffids recently went on sale and sparked a bidding war. Warner Bros. was among the interested parties, hoping to land it for their resident Harry Potter director David Yates. But in the end, Mandate Pictures triumphed, nabbing the property in a seven-figure deal at the behest of Sam Raimi.
An adolescent Raimi ranked the 1962 film among his favorites, and called upon his partnership with Mandate to acquire Triffids as a directing vehicle. The post-apocalyptic tale of Triffids originated in a 1951 science fiction novel by John Wyndham. Hit the jump for a synopsis.
After the release of Eclipse, we’re more than halfway through the Twilight Saga, but gothic teens need not fear the end of the vampire craze anytime soon. Producers Don Murphy (Transformers) and Michael Preger (Village of the Damned) are teaming to adapt Vampire Academy, the six-part series from Richelle Mead. The novels are centered around Rose Hathaway, a 17-year-old half human/half vampire who… well, the logline should really be printed in full, so we’ll save it for after the jump.
The first image from director Shawn Levy’s Real Steel has been released via USA Today. While the movie only started principal photography earlier today, Touchstone Pictures decided to stay ahead of any leaks by releasing the first image of Hugh Jackman and a robot today. And you know what…it’s a very smart move as this image looks great. Disney has also released the official synopsis:
A gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future, where the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech, “Real Steel” stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money piecing together low-end bots from scrap metal to get from one underground boxing venue to the next. When Charlie hits rock bottom, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build and train a championship contender. As the stakes in the brutal, no-holds-barred arena are raised, Charlie and Max, against all odds, get one last shot at a comeback.
UPDATE: Disney has sent over a high-resolution uncropped version of the image which let’s us see the head of the robot. Also, the robot is called Noisy Boy. More after the jump:
One of the best films I saw at this year’s Sundance Film festival was director Vincenzo Natali’s Splice. Starring Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley as genetic scientists that create a new life form with severe consequences, the film is original, dark, twisted, and it looks like a Hollywood produced film. That’s probably why Joel Silver agreed to distribute Splice through his Dark Castle label (via Warner Bros.) and it’s getting released June 4th. Trust me, the film is absolutely worth seeing.
Anyway, earlier today I did the press day for Splice and in the near future you can expect interviews with the cast and director Vincenzo Natali. Until then…hit the jump to check out five clips from the film and 18 images. I’ve also incvluded the full synopsis: