Jack Bender blossomed into a superstar TV director by helming 37 episodes of Lost. Bender has been trying to parlay that into his feature directorial debut, but he had to drop out of the Jack Ryan reboot, and we’ve heard nothing about 7 Minutes in Heaven since it was announced in 2010. Heat Vision reports Bender is developing a new project , Devolution, at Legendary. The studio is keeping the plot details for the thriller. But the other members of the creative team suggest this will be a genre picture. Max Brooks, author of zombie novel World War Z, came up with the idea. David Leslie Johnson, credited writer on two The Walking Dead episodes, will write the script. The title would be appropriate for a zombie thriller, but we ought to wait for confirmation on that. I just want Bender to get a feature project in front of cameras soon, to see what he can do with a bigger canvas.
The long-in-the-works reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise (The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games) has hit yet another snag. Chris Pine landed the lead in the film way back in 2009, then Lost director/executive producer Jack Bender came aboard to helm the film later the next year. Movement on the project was quiet for some time after Bender signed on, then the film went through a series of rewrites. David Koepp was most recently brought on to do a polish, but due to the numerous script delays Paramount was forced to let Pine shoot J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel first. The latest issue plaguing the production is a biggie: Bender is no longer the director. Hit the jump for more.
One of the most anticipated midseason premieres of 2012 is the J.J. Abrams produced Alcatraz, a supernatural procedural about a team of detectives who hunt and capture inmates from the infamous island prison after the convicts begin to mysteriously appear in modern day San Francisco.
To promote the show, Fox flew select journalists out to the bay area for a premiere party and screening at the prison (here’s my recap of the event). While on location, I got to talk to stars Sam Neill, Robert Forester and Parminder Nagra and Executive Producer and Director Jack Bender about their work on the show. During the interviews we discussed how the series will end, researching time travel, potential appearances by Machinegun Kelly, what it’s like to sit in a real electric chair and much, much more. Hit the jump for the video interviews.
It looks like Paramount really is serious about getting their Jack Ryan reboot right. The studio has now brought in screenwriter David Koepp (Jurassic Park) to rewrite the script for the franchise reboot starring Chris Pine. Originally, Steven Zaillian, who wrote the script for the Jack Ryan flick Clear and Present Danger, was brought in to rewrite, but he subsequently had a change of heart.
Lost’s Jack Bender is still on board to direct, and Deadline reports that the studio is aiming for a January start-date on the flick, after Pine finishes filming Star Trek 2. The problem with that, though, is that the Star Trek sequel still doesn’t officially have a director. J.J. Abrams is expected to return, but he’s awaiting a final script, which is still being tweaked by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof. Last we heard, Paramount was hoping to get Star Trek 2 rolling this fall in order to meet the June 29th, 2012 release date, but Pine moving on to the Jack Ryan reboot in January seems a bit premature. We’ll see if all goes according to plan.
Screenwriter Steve Zaillian (American Gangster) is set to re-write the script for the upcoming Jack Ryan reboot starring Chris Pine. According to Deadline, the film (previously titled Moscow) is not based on any of author Tom Clancy’s previous books. When we last heard about the film, it was reported that the plot would have Ryan working as an analyst for a Russian billionaire but having to go on the run after being implicated in a terrorist plot. Paramount hopes to start production on the film later this year with Lost director Jack Bender at the helm. Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing.
Zaillian previously wrote the screenplay for the Jack Ryan film Clear and Present Danger starring Harrison Ford. Zaillian recently penned the scripts for Moneyball and David Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. He was also recently hired to rewrite the remake the thriller Timecrimes.
Screenwriter Anthony Peckham (Sherlock Holmes) has been tapped to work on the script for Paramount’s upcoming Jack Ryan flick. Tentatively titled “Moscow“, the film will star Chris Pine with Jack Bender (Lost) at the helm. Heat Vision doesn’t offer any details on the current plot beyond saying it will “tell the story of Ryan’s early career [and is] in Russia, with terrorist acts as a backdrop.” Last month, we reported that Ryan is “fresh-from-the-Marines and goes to work as an analyst for a Russian billionaire, but winds up on the run after being implicated in a terrorist plot.” The new Ryan movie will serve as a reboot for the franchise and Paramount is hoping to begin shooting later this year or early 2011. The last Jack Ryan film was 2002′s The Sum of All Fears.
Peckham’s other screenwriting credits include Invcitus and Don’t Say a Word. He also worked on The Book of Eli.
Jack Bender is rightly regarded as one of television’s premier directors, best known as the go-to guy for all of the key episodes of Lost. Bender is in the process of parlaying that reputation into a career in features, having recently signed on to helm Moscow, the next installment of the Jack Ryan franchise. Now he’s developing a thriller with Lost producer J.J. Abrams entitled 7 Minutes to Heaven. Like all the projects housed under Abrams’ Bad Robot banner, the plot details of 7 Minutes are under wraps. However, according to Heat Vision, “it is known to focus on two teens who go into a closet as part of the titular game and find all their friends dead when they come back out.” Whoa — I just got chills.
The original idea comes from Bender, and the pair is currently looking for a capable writer to flesh it out. It is expected that Paramount will ultimately distribute 7 Minutes, if only because of Abrams’ past ties to the studio.
Jack Ryan, hero of numerous Tom Clancy novels, has a director for his next adventure. Vulture reports that Jack Bender is “a cat’s breath away” from directing Moscow, the next installment in the Jack Ryan franchise. In the new film, Ryan (played by Chris Pine, who I think is a great choice for the role), is “fresh-from-the-Marines and goes to work as an analyst for a Russian billionaire, but winds up on the run after being implicated in a terrorist plot.” As we reported in April, Ryan is a Wall Street broker at the beginning of the film and (spoiler alert) eventually he has to save his wife as she’s been taken hostage by the billionaire. However, it’s possible that since April these particular elements have either been changed or removed entirely.
Bender directed some of Lost‘s most popular episodes including “Walkabout”, “The Constant”, and the finales for each of the show’s six seasons (he also directed the all the season premieres except for the pilot and season five). Vulture notes the fun fact that Bender is also a painter and was responsible for the Desmond’s expressionist mural inside the hatch.
J.J. Abrams was at Monday night’s Fox All-Star Party for the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour on behalf of his sophomore television Fringe. But, with so many things on his plate, like the final season of Lost, his new pilot for the NBC spy series Undercovers and the 2012 sequel for Star Trek, Abrams had plenty to talk about and was more than happy to do so.
During an informal chat, the director/writer/producer talked about possible fan reaction to the last season of Lost, how he’d like to set up Fringe with the same type of end-game, his preparation to direct the pilot for Undercovers and how there’s a release date for Star Trek 2, but no finished script yet. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
Until a week ago, I had never seen more than thirty seconds of Lost. There’s a good reason for this: I don’t watch TV. That’s not because I’m a snob, it’s because I always have a pile of movies to watch. And as that is the case, making time to watch television has always been a luxury I’ve denied myself. So, with that in mind there’s going to be two types of people reading this. People like me who never watched the show, and those who are religious about it, or got turned off at some point. I will gear the first part of the review for those who haven’t seen it and the second part for those who have. It’s all after the jump: