Jason Hall recently became quite the coveted screenwriter when his adaptation of American Sniper piqued the interest of both Bradley Cooper and Steven Spielberg, and now that Spielberg has committed to the project as his next film with Cooper in the lead role, Hall is setting up other future projects. On that note, DreamWorks in early talks with Hall to write an adaptation of author David Finkel’s non-fiction book Thank You For Your Service. The book examines the profound effect that the recent wars have had on the men and women in the armed services, specifically examining the effects of PTSD. Interestingly, Spielberg is apparently mulling over the possibility of reteaming with his Lincoln star Daniel Day-Lewis on the project. Hit the jump for more.
Movies about chefs seem to be all the rage at the moment. Bradley Cooper and Jon Favreau are currently prepping two separate films about professional cooks, both called Chef, and now Chocolat director Lasse Hallstrom has been tapped to direct an adaptation of the Richard C. Morais novel The Hundred-Foot Journey for DreamWorks. The story centers on the rivalry between an Indian restaurant that is 100 feet away from a three-Michelin-star restaurant in France, with the eccentric French chef reluctantly forming a bond with the young Indian boy whose family owns the quaint Indian restaurant. Casting has yet to be confirmed, but Deadline reports that Helen Mirren will be playing the French chef Madame Mallory.
Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) wrote the screenplay adaptation and the film boasts Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Juliet Blake as producers. Hallstrom most recently helmed the Nicholas Sparks adaptation Safe Haven, but the Cider House Rules filmmaker certainly knows his way around a touching dramedy. Hit the jump to read a synopsis for the book.
DreamWorks’ developing remake of the classic 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film Rebecca now has a director. Deadline reports that Nikolaj Arcel has been tapped to take the helm of the film, which has a script by Eastern Promises scribe Steven Knight. Arcel most recently helmed the Danish film A Royal Affair, which was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar this year. Arcel is expected to do a quick rewrite on the script, but the report notes that his hiring already has young actresses eyeing the film.
The story of Rebecca enters on a young woman who marries a rich widower, only to find that her husband’s late wife still haunts their mansion estate. The redo will apparently be closer to Daphne Du Maurier’s source novel than Hitchcock’s film, but remaking Hitch’s only Best Picture winner is still a tall order.
Plans for the sequel to Steven Spielberg’s first foray into animated features, The Adventures of Tintin, appear to be moving right along. Last we heard, Peter Jackson—who will direct the follow-up—said he hoped to film the performance-capture portion of the movie sometime this year for a planned 2015 release. Now Steven Spielberg—who will produce the film—has confirmed as much, saying that he still hopes the sequel will be in theaters by Christmas 2015. Hit the jump for more, including news concerning a new film from Spielberg that takes place in India.
DreamWorks is getting into reimagining-legends business. According to Deadline, the studio has closed mid-six figure against seven figure deal for the Robin Hood reimagining Merry Men with Scott Waugh (Act of Valor) attached to direct. Brad Ingelsby (Out of the Furnace) wrote the script, which will reportedly be “an ensemble piece centered around the supporting characters Little John, Friar Tuck, Maid Marian and Will Scarlet. There is a high-concept revenge angle that tonally is reminiscent of The Dirty Dozen and Ocean’s Eleven.” I really like the sound of this approach, and I hope they stick to it. For those who don’t know, Ridley Scott‘s forgettable Robin Hood was originally a script entitled Nottingham, which was a detective story told from the perspective of the Sheriff of Nottingham. We don’t need another Robin Hood story that’s too afraid to play with a centuries-old character.
Waugh is currently attached to direct the adaptation of the video game Need for Speed starring Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, and Michael Keaton. As for Ingelsby, he also wrote the script for Jaume Collet-Serra‘s thriller, Run All Night starring Liam Neeson.
A couple askew projects made a deal today:
- DreamWorks optioned The Good Luck of Right Now, a new manuscript by Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook. The story follows four outsiders who, grieving, come together to form an unlikely family.
- 13th Sign Pictures will produce and finance the conspiracy thriller Dallas in Wonderland, set in the months leading up to the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.
Hit the jump for details on both projects.
Today, DreamWorks Animation presented a sneak peek at the three films set for release in 2013: The Croods, Turbo and Mr. Peabody & Sherman. While the films are in varying stages of completeness, clips from each movie were screened to give the audience a sense of tone, story and aesthetics. Not familiar with the movies in question? Here’s a look at the relevant directors and voice casts:
- The Croods – Directed by Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco, and featuring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman and Clark Duke, The Croods opens March 22, 2013 in 3D.
- Turbo – Directed by David Soren and featuring a voice cast including Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Peña, Luis Guzman, Bill Hader, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Kurtwood Smith, Snoop Dogg and Samuel L. Jackson, Turbo opens July 19, 2013 in 3D.
- Mr. Peabody & Sherman – Directed by Rob Minkoff and featuring the voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter, Allison Janney, Stephen Colbert, Stephen Tobolowsky, Mel Brooks, Leslie Mann and Stanley Tucci, Mr. Peabody & Sherman opens November 1, 2013 in 3D.
Hit the jump for a recap of the sneak peeks.
DreamWorks is looking to pick up the rights to M.L. Stedman’s debut novel The Light Between Oceans. Variety reports that the studio is in exclusive talks to acquire the rights, with Harry Potter’s David Heyman set to produce alongside Jeffrey Clifford through his Heyday Films banner. The story takes place on a remote Australian island following World War II and “follows a lighthouse keeper and his wife who are faced with a moral dilemma when a boat washes ashore with a dead man and an infant. When they decide to raise the child as their own, the consequences are devastating.”
It sounds like a rather harrowing story, and I can see why DreamWorks was so eager to pick the book up. DreamWorks co-chair and CEO Stacey Snider noted that they imagine the story as “a sweeping, classic film,” and Heyman definitely has a solid track record. Hit the jump to read the synopsis for The Light Between Oceans.
One of many films about the WikiLeaks scandal and/or founder Julian Assange currently in development is now moving forward. We previously knew that Benedict Cumberbatch was set to play Assange in DreamWorks’ adaptation of Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s book Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange At The World’s Most Dangerous Website with Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Twilight: Breaking Dawn) looking to direct, and now it appears that the second lead role has been filled. Variety reports that James McAvoy will star alongside Cumberbatch as Domscheit-Berg, Assange’s right hand man. Hit the jump for more on the film.
DreamWorks’ adaptation of the popular video game franchise Need for Speed has found one of its two leads. EW reports that Breaking Bad star and two-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul has been set to topline the racing film. Act of Valor helmer Scott Waugh is set to direct from a script by George Gatins, but very little is known about the film’s story. Presumably Need for Speed will center on street racing of some sort, though the pic isn’t based on a particular title in the game series. DreamWorks hopes this is the first in a franchise of films, so this is very big news for Paul.
Paul has shown tremendous talent opposite Bryan Cranston on AMC’s Breaking Bad, but that show will sadly come to an end next year as the final batch of episodes air. He’ll be seen this fall in the drama Smashed opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead and is also starring in the adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel A Long Way Down, but it’ll be fun to see him tackle the action genre with Need for Speed. The film is set for release on February 7th, 2014. Cars, yo!
A number of films centering on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are in the works at the moment, but the one that seems to be gaining the most momentum comes from Gods and Monsters director Bill Condon. Just this past July we learned that Jeremy Renner was keen on playing Assange in DreamWorks’ iteration of the story, but now Deadline hears that Sherlock and Star Trek 2 star Benedict Cumberbatch is the one being discussed for the role. Moreover, the studio is also mulling over the idea of The Killing and RoboCop star Joel Kinnaman playing Assange’s right hand man, Daniel Domscheit.
Cumberbatch and Kinnaman certainly have the acting chops to pull this off, but no solid conversations appear to have taken place just yet. Condon hasn’t officially committed to directing yet either (though he’s likely to), but one assumes he’d be happy to helm a character-centered drama like this in the wake of directing the two-part Twilight finale. Hopefully we hear more firm word soon, but a Cumberbatch/Kinnaman team-up sounds like a solid idea.
Chris Hemsworth has already had a very busy year, and his schedule is showing no signs of slowing down. After turns in The Cabin in the Woods, The Avengers, and Snow White and the Huntsman, Hemsworth has now become attached to the long-in-development adaptation of author Nathaniel Philbrick’s novel In the Heart of the Sea. The book recounts the real life sea disaster of the whaleship Essex, a harrowing ordeal that inspired Herman Melvilee’s Moby Dick. In 1819, the ship was rammed by an angry sperm whale in the South Pacific. The surviving crew drifted for 90 days in three tiny whaleboats and encountered disease, hunger, and eventually cannibalism. Hit the jump for more, including a synopsis of the book.
Last month we learned that Electronic Arts and DreamWorks were teaming up to bring the popular video game franchise Need for Speed to the big screen. Real Steel scribe John Gatins was tapped to develop a pitch for the film, and now Variety reports that Act of Valor director Scott Waugh is in talks to take the helm. Gatins developed the pitch alongside his brother, George, who is the sole credited writer on the screenplay. The film is planned as a potential tentpole in the vein of the Fast and Furious franchise, and with that series switching to the heist genre with the upcoming Fast and Furious 6, Need for Speed should fill the void for street racing fanatics.
You’d be forgiven for mistaking Act of Valor for Call of Duty: The Movie, so Waugh seems an appropriate choice to adapt the Need for Speed video game series. I wouldn’t be surprised if he brings the POV camera style from Act of Valor to Need for Speed, in which case I’ll most likely be in need of a vomit bag when watching the film. Waugh is also attached to direct Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Unknown Soldier.
A few weeks ago, it was announced that Ken Scott would be writing and directing a remake of his 2011 hit French-Canadian comedy Starbuck for DreamWorks. Now Variety reports that Vince Vaughn has entered into negotiations to star in the pic. The comedy centers on a middle-aged man who finds out that he fathered 533 children via sperm donation. His life is turned upside down when a few hundred of the donor babies “express an irrepressible need to meet their father.” Hit the jump for more, including the trailer for Scott’s original film.
DreamWorks is making moves on the feature film Starbuck. Sadly, this isn’t a Battlestar Galactica spinoff starring the very kick-ass Katee Sackhoff, as the studio is instead planning a remake of the 2011 French-Canadian film of the same name. The comedy centers on a middle-aged man who finds out that he fathered 533 children via sperm donation. His life is turned upside down when a few hundred of the donor babies “express an irrepressible need to meet their father.” In a strange decision, DreamWorks has set the original co-writer and director Ken Scott to write and direct the remake. Hit the jump for more, including the trailer for the original film.