Following the surprise success of Universal’s Pitch Perfect last year, DreamWorks is getting in on the a capella craze. The studio has picked up a pitch about the story behind the a capella group Straight No Chaser, which was formed by ten Indiana University students in 1996. The group was fairly successful in the late 1990s but disbanded three years after forming, only to see a video of their 1998 performance of “12 Days of Christmas” go viral in 2006 when it was uploaded to YouTube. Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman saw the video and quickly got the group back together, signing a five-record deal and bringing Straight No Chaser widespread mainstream success. Hit the jump for more.
Director Nicolas Winding Refn is currently busy in post-production on his Drive follow-up, Only God Forgives, but apparently he’s eyeing a graphic novel adaptation as a future project. Deadline reports that Refn is in talks with DreamWorks to direct Button Man, based on the graphic novel Button Man: The Killing Game by John Wagner and Arthur Ranson. The story centers on “a hired gun who’s offered a fortune to take part in a game organized by bored millionaires that sets trained killers against one another in a fight to the death.” When the protagonist becomes disgusted and decides he wants out, he realizes that his only escape may be to kill the millionaires who are funding the competition. Hit the jump for more.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard much regarding Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the Daniel H. Wilson novel Robopocalypse. Almost a year ago, we reported that the director would make the pic his next film after War Horse (due out this December 28th). However, it now looks as if his historical drama Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt will take on that role with a potential December 2012 release in sight. All of that no news stuff ends today, though, as reports are filing in that DreamWorks and Fox will co-finance Robopocalypse with the former distributing the film domestically and the latter internationally (news that should be welcomed by those hoping to see the film follow Lincoln).
Cloverfield‘s Drew Goddard has penned the script for Robopocalypse based upon the aforementioned Wilson novel which hit bookshelves this June. For those unfamiliar, the book is set in the near future and tells the story of an artificial intelligence named Archos who assumes the persona of an innocent boy and takes over control of the global network, turning our own technology against us. For a little more on the project, hit the jump to read a full synopsis of Wilson’s novel.
[Update: THR reports that Robopocalypse will hit theaters on July 3rd, 2013.]
Back in June, we told you about director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) leaving his long-gestating Tupac Shakur project in favor of a boxing drama entitled Southpaw. Written by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, Southpaw was picked up by DreamWorks as a pitch with Eminem attached to lead the pic in his first performance since 2002′s 8 Mile. Fast-forward to the present and DreamWorks has essentially given the film back to Fuqua and co. to market to other potential takers. Sutter’s Southpaw script would see Eminem play a welterweight boxing champion who crashes hard following an unspecified tragedy. As a result, the heart of the film will see him make a comeback for the ages so as to supplement he and his young daughter.
No specific reasons are being cited for DreamWorks’ move, but Deadline purports that Southpaw‘s budget (rumored to be around $30 million) could be the culprit. The general theory is that a budget closer to the one utilized by The Fighter (in the low $20 million range) would be more enticing in a market that is fighter-heavy already (i.e. The Fighter and Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy’s upcoming Warrior). All this in mind, given the talent behind Southpaw, I would guess that we’ll be hearing about the project landing on its feet somewhere sooner rather than later.
DreamWorks Pictures is bringing their 3D reimagining of Fright Night to Comic-Con this year in a big way. The studio announced today that in addition to a Hall H panel featuring stars Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Imogen Poots, as well as director Craig Gillespie and screenwriter Marti Noxon, a special advance screening of the film will take place at the convention. If that’s not enough, they’re also throwing a “fan appreciation party,” which I can only assume involves people dressing up as vampires. Oh and punch. Lots of punch.
In celebration of the event, the studio is offering two fans the chance to win a VIP trip to San Diego for the convention. As a tie-in to their “Fright Night Feeding Frenzy” social media campaign, the fan that “spreads the frenzy the farthest” each week wins a prize. Hit the jump to read the full press release. Fright Night opens August 19th.
Sally Field is officially set to portray Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming biopic Lincoln. After years of development, it looks like Spielberg is finally moving forward with the film. Daniel Day-Lewis is set to play Lincoln himself (long-attached Liam Neeson dropped out of the picture last summer). Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright/screenwriter Tony Kushner (Munich) wrote the screenplay based on the book Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Spielberg had this to say regarding Field’s casting:
“I’m excited to be working with Sally for the first time. I’ve admired her films and she has always been my first choice to portray all the fragility and complexity that was Mary Todd Lincoln.”
Field had been mentioned with regards to the role for quite a while, but she’s now officially signed on. The actress recently nabbed the role of Aunt May in The Amazing Spider-Man. Lincoln will focus on “the political collision of Lincoln and the powerful men of his cabinet on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War.” Filming is set to begin this fall, with an eye towards a fourth-quarter 2012 release. This one just jumped to the top of my “most anticipated” list for 2012. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
In addition to the hi-res images it released yesterday, DreamWorks is taking its promotional efforts up a notch with the release of six new movie clips from its upcoming sci-fi/action film I Am Number Four. Starring Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron, Timothy Olyphant, and Teresa Palmer, the film tells the story of a teen named John (Pettyfer) whose mysterious abilities make him a target for death. To check out all of our previous coverage of I Am Number Four, click here.
Hit the jump to check out the clips. Directed by D.J. Caruso, I Am Number Four hits theaters on February 18th.
According to Risky Biz Blog, DreamWorks Pictures has picked up The Escort, a spec script by Justin Adler (whose picture to the right is also courtesy of Risky Biz Blog). The road-trip comedy “centers on an irresponsible airline steward who is forced to escort a 14-year-old to Boston when the plane is grounded for engine trouble.” Sounds plausible. RBB says it has “echoes of Dutch and Planes, Trains, & Automobiles,” which is really impressive when you stop and consider that no one has ever said a film has echoes of the 1991 Ed O’Neill comedy Dutch.
Adler’s previous work includes writing and producing duties on the TV series, Better Off Ted, Samantha Who?, Less Than Perfect, and Futurama. The film is being produced by Tom McNulty (Date Night; The Rocker).