Now playing is DreamWorks Animations’ The Croods. Directed by Kirk De Micco (Space Chimps) and Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon), The Croods centers on a prehistoric family embarking on the world’s first road trip through an uncharted, fantastical and dangerous world. The film features the voice talents of Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Nicolas Cage, Clark Duke, Catherine Keener and Cloris Leachman. For more on The Croods, you can watch 8 clips here.
At the New York City press junket, I was able to speak with De Micco and Sanders. We talked about how they started working together, how the film changed during the development process, how The Croods was originally set up at Aardman as a stop-motion animated movie, casting, technical challenges, whether Guillermo del Toro had any involvement with the film, their working relationship with Jeffrey Katzenberg, the film’s use of 3D, and updates on Hong Kong Phooey and How to Train Your Dragon 2. Hit the jump to watch.
I’ll be the first one to give Hollywood’s reboots/adaptations a chance, but when test footage apparently gets posted online by the director, either the film has been eighty-sixed or there has been some sort of security breach. Such is the quandry with the live-action adaptations of Marvin the Martian and Hong Kong Phooey, which have had a few short minutes of test footage supposedly posted by writer/director Alex Zamm. The Martian picture appears to be more of a self-contained short while Phooey, voiced by Eddie Murphy - though it certainly sounds like an impersonator here, is more of a clip. Hit the jump to check them out.
With Brett Ratner’s comedy Tower Heist opening this weekend, I was able to chat with the busy director on the phone when he was in New York City promoting the movie. Starring Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Gabourey Sidibe, Téa Leoni, Stephen Henderson, Judd Hirsch, Michael Peña, and Alan Alda, Tower Heist centers on a group of disgruntled employees who decide to rob a white-collar criminal living under house arrest in their high-rise after he scams them all out of their savings.
During our wide-ranging conversation, Ratner talked about how he got involved in the project and who was originally going to star in it, the test screening process, deleted scenes, improv, what will be on the Blu-ray/DVD, and what it was like to work with Eddie Murphy. In addition, Ratner talked about producing next year’s Oscars, future projects like Movie 43, 39 Clues, Hercules, Hong Kong Phooey, Beverly Hills Copy 4, Rush Hour 4, the Woody Allen documentary that he’s producing, and a lot more. Hit the jump for the interview and audio.
Brett Ratner is a very busy guy at the moment. He’s currently preparing for the release of his latest directorial effort Tower Heist, which features an all-star cast that includes Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, and Alan Alda, and he’s also gearing up to produce the Academy Awards. In addition, Ratner is juggling a number of other projects. Steve recently got the chance to talk to Ratner and the conversation covered a wide range of topics. In addition to talking about his plan for the Oscars and getting Eddie Murphy as a host, Ratner also spoke about Tarsem Singh’s Untitled Snow White Project which he’s producing, a comprehensive documentary about Woody Allen (which sounds awesome) that he’s also producing, a miniseries on Sidney Korshak, and much more including updates on Beverly Hills Cop 4 and Hong Kong Phooey. Hit the jump to check out the full conversation.
Alcon Entertainment is developing a live-action/animated adaptation of the 1970’s Hanna-Barbera cartoon Hong Kong Phooey, and Mr. Eddie Murphy has been tapped to voice the lead character. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it centered on a dog named Penry who is granted the ability to walk, talk and do kung fu after stumbling into a mystic ceremony that grants him powers. Penry works as a janitor at a police station by day, but patrols the streets at night as Hong Kong Phooey in his “Phooeymobile” with the ever-handy “Hong Kong Book of Kung Fu” manual at his side.
Say what you will about Murphy’s career as of late, but he always delivers great voice work. His fast-talking Donkey was one of the highlights of the Shrek series, and he was memorable as the dragon Mushu in Disney’s Mulan. Alex Zamm (Tooth Fairy 2) is directing Phooey, which presumably will feature an animated title character interacting with live-action actors. Family Guy executive producer David Goodman wrote the script, and Alcon co-founders and co-CEO’s Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove will produce alongside Jay Stern and Brett Ratner. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
I’ve learned over the years that Hanna Barbera, despite their egregious animation shortcuts, is capable of inspiring intense devotion from people who grew up watching their many Saturday AM cartoons. Apparently Brett Ratner is one such devotee as Variety is reporting that he will be producing a live-action feature based on the famed studio’s short-lived 1970s series “Hong Kong Phooey”. The show, about a talking dog living a double life as martial-arts knowing crime fighter, ran for only two seasons on ABC – just long enough to make the show a Hanna Barbera rerun classic. Alex Zamm (“Inspector Gadget 2″) is directing from a script by “Family Guy” executive producer David Goodman, though how they plan on getting a studio interested in updating a series largely unknown to anyone under the age of 30 remains a mystery.