I’ve been doing this long enough to know that I can easily be wrong about a project, especially when it’s in its nascent stages. So much changes over the course of production, and sometimes a logline can’t do a premise justice. But I can’t wrap my mind around anyone remaking Videodrome. And yet, today Deadline reports that Adam Berg, who has directed popular commercials, is on board to helm a remake of David Cronenberg‘s classic film. Ehren Kruger, who’s been attached to the project since 2009 and is the screenwriter behind such masterpieces as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Reindeer Games, scripted the remake.
For those unfamiliar with the original film, it’s about a TV executive looking for the sleaziest possible content for his channel, Civic TV, and comes across the disturbing show “Videodrome”, which causes him to have disturbing hallucinations. According to Deadline, Berg and Kruger plan to “modernize the concept, infusing it with the possibilities of nano-technology and blow it up into a large-scale sci-fi action thriller.” Hit the jump for my reaction.
With production wrapped on Michael Bay’s $20 million passion project, the dark comedy Pain and Gain, the director is now turning more of his attention to his fourth—and “final”—film in the Transformers franchise. We know that Transformers 4 won’t feature any of the human cast from the previous three films, there will be redesigns for some of the robots, it’s set for release in the summer of 2014, and it’s been described as a reboot of sorts. Now that he’s moved on to the post-production phase of Pain and Gain, Bay recently talked a bit about where Transformers 4 will go storywise and asserted that the film is not a reboot. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
If you were hoping the script for Transformer 4 would be better than the previous movies, it’s time to let that hope go. THR reports that Ehren Kruger, who co-wrote Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and took sole credit on Transformers: Dark of the Moon, will once again be breaking out his cocktail napkins for Michael Bay‘s reboot of the series. Paramount Pictures’ President of Production Adam Goodman also confirmed that Shia LaBeouf will definitely not return for the franchise’s next installment.
Hit the jump for a recap on what we know about Transformers 4, and click here for Goodman’s updates on other Paramount projects. Transformers 4 is slated for June 29, 2014.
Coming off the failed franchise-starter I Am Number Four, director D.J. Caruso is looking to take another stab at sci-fi. The director is now in final negotiations to direct the sci-fi disaster film Invertigo. The story concerns a long-lost NASA space probe under the influence of “dark energy” that mysteriously crashes on earth and proceeds to disrupt and reverse the pull of gravity. Skyscrapers and bridges are ripped from the ground and rivers “rain from the sky” as a team mounts a mission into upside-down Manhattan to avert the planet’s destruction. Hit the jump for more on this ludicrous premise.
The noble Yeti: a creature neglected by modern cinema. We lavish our attentions on vampires and zombies, but the Yeti goes ignored and unloved. Until now. THR reports that awful screenwriter Ehren Kruger (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) will write the screenplay for director Brian Beletic‘s untitled adventure movie based on Disney’s Matterhorn ride. Per the logline, “The story centers on five young adventure seekers — an action sports guy, travel guide, cartographer, archeologist and escape artist — who venture into the Alps for mysterious reasons and face Yetis that guard a secret.” In other Kruger news, Variety reports that he and co-writer Bradley Cramp have sold their script Invertigo, but there are no details on the plot. Presumably, the plot does not involve yetis and is therefore less worthy of our attention.
The scope has been broadened beyond the Matterhorn and Disney hopes “to keep part of the movie grounded in hardcore adventure.” As well they should. Softcore adventuring will not do when it comes to YETI SECRETS. [Artwork above by Kiareri]
In a down economy, everyone is looking for unique ways to save a few million dollars. When you have a billion dollar franchise like Hasbro’s Transformers, every million counts. Noting the rising costs of special effects, advanced planning for marketing tie-ins and laborious contract negations, Paramount is considering shooting the fourth and fifth installments back-to-back. Hasbro CEO announced at the company’s third quarter earnings conference that they were actively discussing this strategy with Paramount, director Michael Bay and producer Steven Spielberg. With Shia LaBeouf not returning, this frees up some room for a new face of the franchise…perhaps, Jason Statham?
Hit the jump for more on Transformers 4 and 5.
When Scream first hit theaters in 1996, it took pop-culture by storm. Now, director Wes Craven returns to the franchise in a new decade with Scream 4. During production of the flick, it was announced that screenwriter Kevin Williamson (who scripted the first two Scream films) was being replaced with Ehren Kruger (who wrote the third Scream film, which was received, um, not well…). Craven made everyone uneasy when, shortly after that news broke, he tweeted from the set “No longer in control of the script.” The director recently sat down with Total Film magazine (via ScreamTrilogy) to discuss the issue:
“I was just stating the fact. In some ways it’s a Wes Craven film, and in way it’s not entirely, because it’s not a script I have control of. It’s ultimately controlled by what the studio wants in the script. My job is much more bringing whatever experience and expertise and creativity I can. Look, there was a bumpy period when things shifted over from Kevin to Ehren. I signed up to do a script by Kevin and unfortunately that didn’t go all the way through the shooting. But it certainly is Kevin’s script and concept and ideas and themes.”
For more, including 4 new images from the film, hit the jump. [Update: We've updated the article with the hi-res version of the images]
When I woke up yesterday morning, I knew very little about the 3rd Transformers movie besides the title (Transformers: Dark of the Moon). However, due to spending 3 hours with Michael Bay and the fact that he was willing to show us the teaser trailer, a montage of footage from the entire movie, and then he took the visiting journalists into his private editing suite and showed a huge chuck of footage from the final 3rd of the film, I know a tremendous amount about what’s almost certainly his last Transformers film. And if it really is his last one, I think he’s going to go out with a huge home-run.
So here’s what you need to know: while Bay asked us not to reveal any of the spoilers we learned while visiting his editing room, he talked to us for over two hours over lunch and he discussed making the movie, why he used 3D cameras, what made him cast Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as Megan Fox’s replacement, editing in 3D, how much was shot in 3D and how much will be post converted, and so much more. If you’re a fan of the Transformers franchise, you really should hit the jump:
Danish filmmaker Niels Arden Oplev, helmer of the critically-lauded adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, has signed on for CBS Film’s The Keep. Based on Jennifer Egan’s novel of the same title, the gothic thriller follows a pair of cousins who are forced to confront their childhood demons while restoring a secluded medieval castle. Scribe Ehren Kruger (The Ring) shopped the screenplay to Rogue Pictures in 2006, but the deal deflated with Relativity’s acquisition of the production house. David Fincher is currently filming a re-adaptation of Dragon Tattoo with Daniel Craig in the starring role as muckraking journalist Mikael Blomkvist.
Hit the jump for a synopsis of The Keep as well as my thoughts on Oplev helming the adaptation.
Scream 4 has just killed off a major player. Zap2It reports that “significant script changes have created some tension on the set” and that screenwriter/series co-creator Kevin Williamson has left the project. This follows the news that Lauren Graham dropped out after her role was reduced to almost nothing and Hayden Panettiere’s is “beyond frustrated” that her part was “dumbed down significantly.” In an attempt to stop the bleeding, screenwriter Ehren Kruger has come on board to handle the script. Kruger penned the screenplay for Scream 3 and most recently wrote the script for Transformers 3 (he was also a co-writer on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen).
Williamson is reportedly out of the project entirely so I wouldn’t count on his continued participation for Scream 5 and Scream 6, which he was working on according to Wes Craven. Hit the jump for a list of people still involved with Scream 4, which hits theaters on April 15, 2011. [UPDATE - New details on the current situation after the jump.]
So much for needing a little down time before jumping into “Transformers 3″. Michael Bay just announced that today is Day 1 on “Transformers 3″ and that they’re already shooting for a release date of July 1st, 2011 which would put it against Peter Berg’s “Battleship”. If both movies hold this release dates (and I can’t imagine Universal not blinking and pushing “Battleship” to another date), then expect to see a moment in “Transformers 3″ where a Decepticon or an Autobot (whatever the non-existent logic of the story dictates) destroy a fleet of battleships. Actually, you should just expect that anyway.
Read the full text of Michael Bay’s announcement along with my thoughts after the jump.