Dwayne Johnson Confirms Role in Ludlum’s THE JANSON DIRECTIVE; Akiva Goldsman to Write Script

by     Posted 2 days ago

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A couple of months ago Dwayne Johnson was reported to be in talks to star in Universal’s adaptation of Robert Ludlum‘s novel The Janson Directive.  Now it has been confirmed that he is officially cast.  Not only that, but Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman will be writing the script (presumably a page-one rewrite of the draft John Hlavin was commissioned to execute a few years ago).  Make no mistake, Universal wants to fashion this into a Bourne style franchise for Johnson and I… have no problem with that.  It’s gotta be better than The Bourne Legacy.

The story follows a former consular ops agent who goes into business as a private security consultant after becoming uncomfortable with the high number of sanctioned killings as a covert operative.  I’m kind of looking forward to seeing Johnson do serious action work that doesn’t have the wink and nod element built in (though I love the Fast & Furious movies).  Hit the jump for more on The Janson Directive.

TOP 5: TIFF 2014, Dwayne Johnson Cast in Upcoming SHAZAM Film, BIG HERO 6, Fall 2014 Horror Preview, Creepy as Hell CUB Trailer

by     Posted 24 days ago

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This week’s Labor Day holiday afforded me the opportunity to check out a matinee screening of writer/director Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood. I consider myself a sucker for coming-of-age stories and, as such, I went into the movie expecting to like it. I didn’t expect to leave the theater feeling as if I’d just watched the greatest coming-of-age film ever made. From beginning to end, Boyhood feels important. Not “important” in that it demands to be taken seriously, rather in a way that feels as if Linklater is genuinely interested in capturing something authentic and meaningful. I never once got the impression that the timeline in which the film was made was being used as a gimmick for cheap emotional connection. To the contrary, Boyhood earns every emotional beat it hits by way of excellent performances (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke stand out in particular), airtight pacing that documents the highlights of Mason’s adolescence, and sharp writing that makes it feel as if you didn’t miss all that much by bottling up 12 years of life into 165 minutes. I don’t know what kind of award chances Boyhood has and, to be honest, it really doesn’t matter. Awards are beneath this film. It’s a high-water mark not just for Linklater but for the medium in general.

All Boyhood hyperbole aside, this week’s Top 5 features all of our TIFF 2014 coverage to date, Dwayne Johnson being cast as “Black Adam” in Warner Bros. upcoming Shazam pic, interviews for and 24 things to know about Disney’s Big Hero 6, our Fall 2014 Horror Preview, and a disturbingly excellent trailer for the Belgian horror film Cub. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

New Line President on SHAZAM Movie’s Unique Tone; Darren Lemke Penning the Script

by     Posted 27 days ago

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We’ve been talking about Dwayne Johnson and the Shazam movie for a while now, but this morning, it became official; Johnson will portray Black Adam in the film.  Now that the news is out, New Line president Toby Emmerich is talking about the project and teasing its unique tone.

There are rumors floating around that Warner Bros. has tentatively scheduled Shazam for a 2016 release, just after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and if that really is the case, they’ll probably get moving on this soon enough.  Hit the jump for more on what Emmerich said about the project.

Dwayne Johnson Will Be Playing Black Adam in Upcoming SHAZAM Film

by     Posted 27 days ago

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Last month Dwayne Johnson teased fans with an existential dilemma, should he play Shazam?  Or should he play Black Adam?  And now we know.  Johnson will be playing Black Adam in the upcoming DC Comics Shazam adaptation.

Warner Bros. is rumored to have tentatively scheduled a Shazam movie for 2016, which would be right after the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, so this could all tie into their (seemingly rushed) master plan to establish a wider cinematic universe.  Hit the jump for more on Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam.

Four DC Comics Movies URL Registrations Hint at Warner Bros.’ Upcoming Plans

by     Posted 28 days ago

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It’s no secret that Warner Bros. is in the midst of building its own DC Comics Movies slate, crafting its answer to the highly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe.  They’ve already staked out release dates for nine upcoming DC Comics movies, and the in-production Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is looking like one massive Justice League prequel with appearances scheduled for Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and more.  The question on everyone’s minds, though, is in what order will Warner Bros. be introducing more standalone DC comics movies?  Well an answer may have surfaced by way of four URLs that Warner Bros. just registered, which just so happen to match up to four very specific DC comics properties.  More after the jump.

An Introduction to SHAZAM: What Is Dwayne Johnson’s Superhero Debut All About?

by     Posted 38 days ago

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SHAZAM!  With the recent word that Dwayne Johnson will most likely be playing a major role in an upcoming Warner Brothers. adaptation of the comic character Shazam aka Captain Marvel, now seems like a good time to go over what this comic involves, exactly.  Including who is “The Big Red Cheese”, his arch nemesis Black Adam, and which stories are the best “go-to’s” to learn more about both of these characters.  At present, Johnson says he has yet to decide whether he’ll be the hero or the villain of the picture, but rest assured, he’s certainly built and has the charisma to play either.  Hit the jump learn more about Shazam and the upcoming Shazam movie.

Dwayne Johnson Confirms He Will Play Either Shazam or Black Adam in DC Comics Adaptation

by     Posted 43 days ago

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Dwayne Johnson often teases fans with hints of his ongoing talks with DC Comics to bring one of their characters to life.  We are zeroing in on who exactly he will play, but Johnson makes it sound as though even he doesn’t know yet.  According to USA Today, Johnson confirmed he will join a DC Comics adaptation but has not decided between hero Shazam and villain Black Adam.  Whichever role he takes on, Johnson promised, “I am putting my heart and soul and my bones into this role.”

Warner Bros. was rumored to have tentatively scheduled a Shazam movie for 2016—shortly after the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice—so all may be revealed soon enough.  More on Shazam and Black Adam after the break.

Weekend Box Office: LUCY Shines with $44 Million; HERCULES Takes Second with $29 Million

by     Posted 65 days ago

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2014’s summer box office got a rare ray of sunshine this weekend thanks to Lucy.  The sci-fi/action pic easily claimed first place with an estimated $44 million from 3,173 locations – the highest debut for star Scarlett Johansson outside of her Marvel Universe appearances.   Hercules had to settle for a second place, though the action/adventure’s estimated $29 million from 3,595 locations also beat expectations.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Lucy $44,025,000 $44
2.  Hercules $29,000,000 $29
3.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes $16,400,000 $172
4.  The Purge: Anarchy $9,896,000 $51.2
5.  Planes: Fire & Rescue $9,303,000 $35.1
6.  Sex Tape $5,975,000 $26.8
7.  Transformers: Age of Extinction $4,600,000 $236.3
8.  And So It Goes $4,552,000 $4.5
9.  Tammy $3,400,000 $78.1
10.  A Most Wanted Man $2,717,000 $2.7

 

Full story after the jump.

Friday Box Office: LUCY Shows More Muscle Than HERCULES on Opening Day

by     Posted 66 days ago

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It looks like Universal’s decision to move up the release date for Lucy will go down as one of the summer’s smartest plays.  Director Luc Besson’s sci-fi pic was supposed to open in August – not exactly an endorsement of its strong box office potential.  But arriving two weeks earlier than planned, Lucy is now aiming for one of the best sci-fi debuts of 2014 with at least $45 million.  That’s double what the R-rated title was originally projected to earn and is more than enough to make fellow newcomer Hercules look puny by comparison.  The action pic starring Dwayne Johnson came in second on Friday and should earn $28 million on its debut weekend.  That’s right on track with early projections for the film, though the number was supposed to equal a first place finish for the son of Zeus.

Hit the jump for Friday’s top five.

Dwayne Johnson Teases Possible SHAZAM Movie; Announcement Coming at Comic-Con?

by     Posted 71 days ago

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Okay.  So we know that DC and Warner Bros. would really like to play some catchup with Marvel and Disney.  Man of Steel didn’t do especially well, so they’re moving full steam ahead into the Avengers-esque territory of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, which will be shot back-to-back by Zack Snyder.

But wouldn’t it be nice if they put some solo movies in there too?  There were some rumors last month about a potentially leaked Warner Bros. schedule for Comic-Con this week that included a Wonder Woman movie, a Sandman movie and a Shazam movie.  And it’s the latter film that Dwayne Johnson seems to be hinting at.  Hit the jump for more on a possible Shazam movie starring Dwayne Johnson.

HERCULES Images: Dwayne Johnson Battles a Lion, a Giant Boar, and Puny Humans

by     Posted 75 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has released a collection of high-resolution Hercules images from director Brett Ratner’s upcoming sword-and-sandals actioner.  The film is a revisionist take on the classic myth and takes place after Hercules’ famous twelve labors, as we find him “traveling with a group of mercenaries and cashing in on his famous name until he’s hired to train an army for an epic battle.”  Dwayne Johnson takes on the lead role this time around, and as gleaned by these new images, he looks to have his hands full with plenty of foes—both human and non-human.  Also clear from these new images: the man can wear the hell out of a lion hat.

Hit the jump to check out the new Hercules images.  The film also stars John Hurt, Ian McShane, Joseph FiennesPeter Mullan, Rufus Sewell, Robert Maillet, and Irina Shayk.  Hercules opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on July 25th.

Extended HERCULES TV Spot: Dwayne Johnson Battles a Hydra

by     Posted 77 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has released a new, extended Hercules TV spot for director Brett Ratner’s upcoming actioner.  The “revisionist take” on the classic myth takes place after Hercules’ famous twelve labors, as we find him “traveling with a group of mercenaries and cashing in on his famous name until he’s hired to train an army for an epic battle.”  This new footage sells the film’s action angle quite hard, while also revealing that Johnson won’t be denied a few entertaining quips here and there.  I’m a big fan of Johnson, but I’m finding it hard to get excited about Hercules.  The phrases “Inspired” and “Directed by Brett Ratner” don’t exactly go together, but I was hoping for at least some sense of something new or interesting here.  Johnson’s charisma goes a long way, though, so hopefully his presence makes the pic worthwhile.

Hit the jump to watch the new Hercules TV spot.  The film also stars John Hurt, Ian McShane, Joseph FiennesPeter Mullan, Rufus Sewell, Robert Maillet, and Irina ShaykHercules opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on July 25th.

FAST & FURIOUS 7 Wraps Production; Shares Heartfelt Note and New Image Commemorating Tough Shoot

by     Posted 82 days ago

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Shooting has just officially wrapped on Fast & Furious 7.  The tumultuous, to say the least, production faced innumerable hurdles following the tragic death of star Paul Walker in November.  I imagine those involved are glad they pushed on but relieved that the ordeal is drawing to a close.  I also imagine director James Wan has a bear of a post-production schedule ahead of him. Assembling the film in the proper manner to respectfully work around Walker’s death (and the various methods employed in replacing him) has to be a pretty intense juggling act.

Hit the jump to read a heartfelt note from the team and see a new Fast & Furious 7 image.  The film also stars Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Ronda Rousey, Tony Jaa, Nathalie Emmanuel, Lucas Black, John Brotherton, Djimon Hounsou, and Kurt RussellFast & Furious 7 opens in theaters on April 3, 2015.

Dwayne Johnson Eyed for JANSON DIRECTIVE; Sylvester Stallone Teaming Up with Brad Furman for SCARPA

by     Posted 84 days ago

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A couple of intimidating actors are lining up new projects.  Variety reports that Dwayne Johnson is in early talks to star in Universal’s adaptation of Bourne Identity author Robert Ludlum’s book The Janson Directive.  The story follows a former consular ops agent who goes into business as a private security consultant after becoming uncomfortable with the high number of sanctioned killings as a covert operative.  In his new occupation, he teams up with a sharpshooter to take on assignments that he deems worthy of aid.  Johnson is apparently keen on the project, which Universal views as a Bourne-esque franchise tailored for the actor.  Should he sign on, Johnson would also produce.  Universal is currently out to writers to put on the adaptation.

Hit the jump for more on Johnson’s upcoming slate and news regarding a Sylvester Stallone project with Goodfellas pedigree.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura Talks G.I. JOE 3, New Characters, and More; Currently Meeting with Directors in Hopes of Filming by Early 2015

by     Posted 100 days ago

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Though many were rightfully skeptical of a movie based on a toyline, the Transformers franchise has become one of the highest grossing series of the last few years, with no signs of slowing down for the fourth installment.  The G.I. Joe series, on the other hand, has had a bit more trouble getting off the ground.  2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra grossed a so-so $302 million, and the series went through a semi-reboot with the 2013 sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation.  The Jon M. Chu-directed second film fared better at the box office with $375 million worldwide, but there’s still the sense that the series hasn’t taken off just yet, so expectations are high for G.I. Joe 3.

Though we know that Chu is not returning to direct the next G.I. Joe film, movement on the pic has been fairly quiet the past few months.  Steve recently spoke with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura in anticipation of the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction, and during the conversation di Bonaventura provided a status update on G.I. Joe 3.  The producer revealed they’re finalizing a deal with a screenwriter now and have just started meeting with directors, adding that he hopes to be shooting by February or March 2015.  Moreover, di Bonaventura discussed further expanding the role of Dwayne Johnson’s Roadblock and other new additions to the cast.  Read on after the jump.

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