Fun fact: six 2013 releases were voted into the current IMDB Top 250. The sixth movie on that list is Prisoners, which I must admit surprised me. The movie earned a modest $122 million worldwide and landed just one Oscar nomination for legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins, but connected with a passionate audience. Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve already has another movie with Jake Gyllenhaal, Enemy, set for a March 14 release, but Villeneuve had no trouble lining up the next project.
Heat Vision reports Villeneuve signed on to direct an adaptation of Ted Chiang Nebula-winning short story The Story of Your Life. Eric Heisserer (The Thing) penned the script about an expert linguist recruited by the military to determine whether alien invaders come in peace : “As she learns to communicate with the aliens, she begins experiencing vivid flashbacks that become the key to unlocking the greater mystery about the true purpose of their visit.” Production is tentatively scheduled for later this year.
The first trailer for writer/director Eric Heisserer’s (The Thing) Hurricane Katrina drama Hours has been released online. The film stars Paul Walker as a man grieving with the recent passing of his wife while attempting to keep his premature newborn daughter alive after they are abandoned in a New Orleans hospital during landfall of Hurricane Katrina. Power failures, looters, and rising flood waters complicate matters for Walker’s character, as he struggles to survive. The film looks like an intense Hallmark movie or a very special episode of ER, but I guess it’s nice to see Walker stretching with more dramatic material.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Genesis Rodriguez and is currently awaiting a release date.
The 2012 Black List has been released. For those unfamiliar with the Black List, it’s usually described as a list of the most-liked unproduced screenplays circling Hollywood even though A) the list is promoted by people who have a vested interest in making sure the script gets into development so this is more of a sales technique than a serious evaluation; B) some of these scripts are in production. In the case of the latter, Transcendence is in pre-production with Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pifster directing and Johnny Depp attached to star. The highest-ranked film, Draft Day, is currently in turnaround with Kevin Costner set to star and Ivan Reitman on board to direct.
Noteworthy inclusions on the list are biopics of Hillary Clinton and Dr. Seuss as well as screenplays from Jeremy Slater (Fantastic Four reboot), Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber ((500) Days of Summer), Eric Heisserer (Final Destination 5), Zack Whedon (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog), and more. Hit the jump for the full list.
The very busy Shawn Levy is adding another project to his development docket, though this time it’s only in a producing capacity. FilmNation Entertainment announced today that it would finance and produce the sci-fi thriller Story of Your Life alongside Lava Bear Films, with Levy producing the pic via his 21 Laps banner with partner Dan Levine. Written by Eric Heisserer (The Thing), the film is based on a short story by Ted Chiang that takes place immediately after aliens land around the globe and centers on a linguist who is recruited by the US government in a race to decipher their intentions on Earth.
Commercials director Nic Mathieu is set to direct, and the pic is being fast-tracked with casting beginning immediately for a planned 2013 production start-date. Levy most recently wrapped his latest directorial project, the Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn comedy The Internship, and earlier this month signed on to helm the ensemble dramedy adaptation This Is Where I Leave You. Hit the jump to read the full press release concerning Story of Your Life.
Paul Walker is in New Orleans fighting to keep his newborn daughter alive in the wake of a devastating hurricane. That’s the premise of Walker’s new suspense drama, Hours, which the The Fast and the Furious actor is currently filming in The Big Easy. Walker stars as Nolan, a man grieving with the recent passing of his wife while attempting to keep his premature newborn daughter alive after they are abandoned in a New Orleans hospital during landfall of Hurricane Katrina. Complicating matters are the rising floodwaters and frequent power outages that threaten to shut down his daughter’s incubator. The project is one that hits close to Walker’s heart; he’s a father to a 13-year-old daughter. Subject matter aside, the reportedly long hours in front of the camera make this film one of Walker’s toughest films yet. Hours also stars Genesis Rodriguez (Casa de mi Padre) and was written and directed by Eric Heisserer (The Thing). Hit the jump for much more on the project.
The Thing is a horrifying and intelligent creature with purpose. Sadly, the same cannot be said of its new movie. Much like the horrifying hybrids its eponymous alien becomes, Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s The Thing doesn’t know what it wants to be. Officially, the film is a prequel to John Carpenter’s 1982 classic horror film of the same name. However, by copying certain elements of the original’s plot* and pacing, the new film is torn between how much it should emulate and how much it should invent.
We’ve got a few casting stories for you this afternoon. First up, Aubrey Plaza (who regularly kills it on NBC’s Parks and Recreation) has joined the cast of Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charlie Swan III. The indie stars Charlie Sheen (essentially playing himself) as a successful graphic designer whose fame and fortune have made him irresistible to women. His life goes south quickly when his girlfriend breaks up with him, and he starts having delirious fantasies about his long list of exes. Variety reports that Plaza will play a producer who works with Sheen at his design company. The cast also includes Jason Schwartzman, who shared some screen time with Plaza in Judd Apatow’s Funny People.
Hit the jump for the casting news of the Hurricane Katrina thriller Hours and the Julianne Moore indie comedy The English Teacher.
Sometimes you get what you want. If you have been a fan of the previous entries in the Final Destination series, the fifth entry is ready to prove that this franchise hasn’t given in to death just yet. A sequel like this one could feel like more of the same, yet the magnificence of going over the top with ridiculous deaths is half of the charm of the series. People are going to die, in a certain order, but the other appeal is that you never know what is going to get them and when. At least, that should be the setup, and that’s exactly what Final Destination 5 gets right. Director Steven Quale and screenwriter Eric Heisserer embrace the inevitability of the deaths, but don’t telegraph the how. Along the way we are treated to two outstanding set pieces, even more deaths, and pleasing use of 3D where it counts. The film plays as more black comedy than horror, but there are cringe worthy moments that don’t involve the gore. Hit the jump for my full review.
Steven Quale, who served as the second unit director and visual effects supervisor on James Cameron’s Avatar and the second unit director on Titanic, has signed on to helm Final Destination 5, which will be in 3D. Variety reports that Quale also worked on the visual effects for Terminator 2: Judgment Day and co-directed the documentary Aliens of the Deep with Cameron. The latest Final Destination will once again be produced by Craig Perry. A Nightmare on Elm Street screenwriter Eric Heisserer is penning the script. What is that script? It’s “…bad things happen.” The importance of getting a guy like Quale is that you need a strong director since these movies are all about the elaborate, Rube Goldberg-inspired kills.
Last year’s The Final Destination managed to gross $182 million worldwide. Final Destination 5 (tentative title) is slated to hit theaters on August 26, 2011.
The remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street woke up to a $32.2 million opening weekend. It’s no surprise that TheWrap is reporting that Warner Bros. has committed to telling the next chapter of Freddy Krueger in 3D. At the junket for the film, producer Brad Fuller said that “Freddy always has a story to tell.” Unsurprisingly, he thinks it can be told in 3D. Telling Dread Central:
We think that 3D movies have to be designed and written as such. If Eric (Heisserer) and Wesley (Strick) came to us with a Nightmare sequel script that is for a 3D movie, we’d be fools not to make it. Using 3D for a Nightmare sequel has to work conceptually for us, though. I don’t want to shoehorn the story just so we can use 3D technology. I do really think this movie and the visual style would work well within a 3D environment, though, so you never know.
I know the answer right now: it will be in 3D. Of course, I thought Friday the 13th Part II was a done deal, and that film is deader than a bunch of teenagers at a remote cabin in the woods.
Eric Heisserer, who wrote the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street and the upcoming prequel for The Thing, has been hired to pen the screenplay for Final Destination 5 (which will be in 3D). For those who don’t know, all of the Final Destination movies work like so: 1.) Main character has premonition of horrific disaster; 2.) Main character and supporting characters escape horrific disaster; 3.) Death comes to finish off each surviving character in the most elaborate fashion possible; 4.) Profit. Each film has a modest budget and rakes in about $50 million. The Final Destination was supposed to be the last one but then it grossed $181 million worldwide and here we are.
Heat Vision says not much is known about the plot (although I think I laid it out right there) but one of the characters will be undergoing laser-eye surgery. I’m waiting for the Final Destination where Death takes out a character during a vaginoplasty. New Line is hoping that Heisserer will break up the repetition of the series. I suppose you could do that by having Death kill people in five seconds rather than five minutes.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton will need to flee from the warmest place to hide (hint: it’s Man) as they’ve been cast to lead Matthijs Van Heijningen’s remake of/prequel to John Carpenter’s classic 1982 horror film, The Thing. Heat Vision reports that Winstead, “will play a Ph.D. candidate who joins a Norwegian research team in Antarctica after it discovers an alien ship in the ice. When a trapped organism is freed and begins a series of attacks, she is forced to team with a blue-collar mercenary helicopter pilot (Edgerton) to stop the rampage.” I believe I speak for everyone who has seen Carpenter’s film when I say, “Good luck with that.”
Hit the jump for a brief history of The Thing along with some more details on the project.
I’m no horror aficionado but John Carpenter’s The Thing is definitely in my Top 5 scariest movies. Now Production Weekly is reporting that the prequel to the 1982 film will begin shooting this March in Toronto and continue filming through June. Director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. will be working from a script by Ronald D. Moore (the TV remake of Battlestar Galactica) and Eric Heisserer (the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street). For those who don’t remember, the 1982 film began with a Norwegian helicopter trying to kill a runaway dog only to have its pilot and passenger killed in the confusion. While The Thing eventually makes it clear why they were trying to kill the dog, Moore’s script focused on what led up to that helicopter chase. It’s unclear how much Heisserer changed and what they’re going for tonally with this prequel. I do hope the tagline for the prequel will be, “Okay, so it turns out there’s actually a warmer place to hide than man.”