Yet another remake is in the works, and this time it’s an update of a John Hughes classic. Universal is planning a redo of Hughes’ 1985 sci-fi comedy Weird Science, and they’ve tapped 21 Jump Street, Project X, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World screenwriter Michael Bacall to write the screenplay. Joel Silver—who produced the original—is onboard to produce what is being planned as an edgier R-rated comedy akin to Jump Street and The Hangover.
The original stars Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith as two high school nerds who are inspired by Frankenstein to create the perfect woman using their computer. Once they start interacting with the beautiful creation, played by Kelly LeBrock, they come to realize that she’s much more than a sex object. Hit the jump for more.
John Carpenter’s 1981 post-apocalyptic thriller Escape from New York is the latest property to get a face-lift. The original starred Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken, an eye-patching wearing, bank-robbing convict tasked with venturing into the maximum security prison that has become Manhattan in order to rescue the President (Donald Pleasence) and gain his freedom. A reboot was attempted a few years ago but New Line let the rights lapse. Now, Joel Silver’s Silver Pictures and Studio Canal are teaming up to bring a new look (and a new face) to the franchise with plans of an origin story and eventual trilogy. Hit the jump for more.
Director Pierre Morel is looking to helm yet another action-thriller. Heat Vision reports that the Taken director is in talks to direct the thriller adaptation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s novel Prone Gunman. Penned by Peter Travis (Dredd), the film will star Sean Penn as an international operative who is betrayed by his organization and led on a cat-and-mouse chase across Europe. Joel Silver is producing, and the pic is being set up as a potential action franchise for the Oscar-winning Penn.
Production is looking to begin this spring in several European locations. Morel has experience in turning veteran actors into action stars, as Taken launched Liam Neeson into a career that’s now full of action thrillers. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the novel.
Producer Joel Silver and his production company Silver Pictures has picked up Rich Wilkes‘ spec script Straight Edge. According to THR, the action flick is set in Los Angeles and “revolves around a heist gone wrong and follows a slew of colorful characters, ranging from corrupt cops to Southland gang members.” Those who have read the script says it harkens back to Silver’s earlier films, 48 Hours, Lethal Weapon, and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. To draw comparisons to two Shane Black is a high bar, especially for a writer whose previous credits include Airheads and xXx. Wilkes also has some unproduced scripts to his name including a draft of Iron Fist for Marvel and an adaptation of the Motley Crue biography, The Dirt.
Silver is in the process of packaging Straight Edge with a filmmaker and cast before taking it to Universal (where he has a distribution deal) or another studio. Silver Pictures is also behind the recently-wrapped Liam Neeson flick Non-Stop, and is the studio behind the upcoming action flicks Prone Gunman and The Outsider, and the period crime thriller Sanctuary.
Last week, Steve attended the American Film Market (AFM) and was able to bring back some first images, posters, and synopses for a handful of upcoming projects. One such film happens to be the Liam Neeson-fronted action thriller Non-Stop, for which we now have the first detailed synopsis. The story takes place during an international flight on which Neeson is an Air Mashal. His character begins to receive a series of text messages from someone who threatens to kill a passenger every 20 minutes until $150 million is transferred into a secret account.
Neeson reunites with Unknown director Jaume Collet-Serra for the pic, which is described as a mix of a mystery, actioner, and a Hitchcockian thriller. Moreover, Collet-Serra has assembled a surprisingly top-notch cast that includes Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy, and Michelle Dockery. Hit the jump to read the full synopsis, which includes more detail.
Opening this weekend is director Olivier Megaton‘s Taken 2. In the sequel, Liam Neeson’s character unwisely takes his family on a European vacation, only to find himself and his wife (Famke Janssen) taken hostage by the family members of the henchmen that Neeson brutally murdered in the first film. The film also stars Maggie Grace and Rade Serbedzija. For more on the film, here’s four clips and all our previous coverage.
Last week in New York City I got to sit down with Neeson for an exclusive interview. We talked about whether he was hesitant to do a sequel, what it was like to film in Istanbul, whether the script changed during production, and more. In addition, we also talked about what it was like to host Saturday Night Live, how he was unclear regarding the nature of his role in The Dark Knight Rises or if he’d even make the final cut, whether he’ll work again with Joe Carnahan and if he knows anything about Mark Millar‘s Nemesis. He also talked playing an air marshal in director Jaume Collet-Serra‘s upcoming action film Non-Stop, which is being produced by Joel Silver. Hit the jump to watch.
After the surprise hit of the military thriller Act of Valor earlier this year, director Mike McCoy is set to go once more into the breach with Line of Sight. The Warner Bros. picture and Joel Silver production centers on an elite commando unit tasked with transporting sensitive cargo amidst an impending global threat. The twist on this tale is that it will be told from a point of view similar to a first-person shooter. Perhaps that’s why Peter O’Brien, who wrote the video game Halo: Reach, was brought in to polish up the F. Scott Frazier spec script. Heat Vision also reports that Ben Affleck was previously attached to direct, but left the picture, which allowed the Bandito Brothers director to step in.
Merely a few weeks out from the start of filming, production has been halted on the revenge drama Motor City. The film, from director Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli), has had a rather rocky development, with a number of actors (Dominic Cooper, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jeremy Renner) flirting with the lead only to subsequently drop out. Gerard Butler was finally set in the starring role of a felon who, after being released from prison, begins tracking down the men who framed him, with Adrien Brody onboard as the villain and Mickey Rourke in a supporting role. Filming was set to commence on September 17th, but the crew has now been told to go home due to some complex issues that have arisen behind the scenes. Hit the jump for more details.
It looks like audiences had better things to do than go to the movies this weekend, as only one feature managed to earn over $10 million at the box office. That distinction went to The Expendables 2, which claimed its second weekend on top with a meager $13.5 million. Holdovers made up the remainder of the top five while a mixed bag of new releases struggled over late-summer scraps.
||The Expendables 2
||The Bourne Legacy
||The Dark Knight Rises
||Odd Life of Timothy Green
||2016 Obama’s America
||Hit and Run
The long-in-development feature film adaptation of the DC Comic Lobo now has new life. Deadline reports that Journey 2: The Mysterious Island director Brad Peyton has been set by Warner Bros. to rewrite and direct an adaptation of the alien bounty hunter character. Guy Ritchie was previously attached to direct the project, but subsequently fell out. The character is an anti-hero who was created by Roger Slifer and Keith Giffen “as an indictment of the Punisher, Wolverine, hero prototype” but ironically became popular for his violent tendencies.
One could see Guy Ritchie making a fairly entertaining adaptation of the character, but choosing the guy who made Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore to direct is just baffling. It’s slightly possible that his take could be just as raw and edgy as the comic calls for, but I’m doubtful. Whatever the case, WB must have taken a liking to Peyton’s pitch as he’ll be handling a rewrite of the script himself. First up, though, Peyton has a third installment of the Journey franchise to direct.
He’s been a Jedi master, a wilderness survivor and a man with a particular set of skills. Now, Liam Neeson will put all (or at least some) of those skills to the test as he toplines the airplane thriller, Non-Stop. Via Joel Silver’s Dark Castle Entertainment, Non-Stop is a self-contained thrill ride that takes place on board an international flight. Neeson is in negotiations to play an aging air marshal who faces a threat during said flight, and probably eliminates it swiftly and with extreme prejudice. Hit the jump for more on Non-Stop.
In a joint venture that will encourage all sorts of action and darkness, Joel Silver’s Dark Castle Home Entertainment has teamed with Courtney Solomon’s After Dark Films for the action-movie franchise, After Dark Action. The team-up will include five feature films with an international cast that includes Jean Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Christian Slater, Jim Caviezel, Peter Weller and Cung Le. The lineup will hit video-on-demand starting on May 11th, but there will also be a theatrical showcase for each of the pictures via a film festival in nationwide markets. Hit the jump to see what films will be part of After Dark Action.
The feature film remake of the popular Broadway musical Gypsy is back on. Over a year ago we learned that Barbra Streisand was in talks to star in an update of the Tony Award-winning musical from Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents, and today it was announced that producer Joel Silver has set Julian Fellowes to write the screenplay for the remake, with Streisand officially onboard to play Momma Rose. The musical is based on the memoirs of burlesque dancer Gypse Rose Lee and centers on Lee’s relationship with her mother, the OG “stage mom” prototype now prevalent in pop culture. Hit the jump for more on Fellowes and Gypsy.
In October, we reported that Warner Bros. and producer Joel Silver had acquired the rights to Ross Macdonald‘s Lew Archer mystery novels with the hopes of turning the series into a film franchise. The first film would be based on the eighth Archer book, 1959′s The Galton Case. Today, Deadline reports that the studio has hired Peter Landesman to write the screenplay.
In The Galton Case, “Archer is hired to track down the lost heir to the Galton fortune. His path leads him through a trail of murder, deception and a tangle of secrets.” The Galton Case wouldn’t be Archer’s first trip to the big screen. The character was previously by Paul Newman in 1966′s Harper and 1975′s The Drowning Pool. Hit the jump for more on Landesman.
Sylvester Stallone is single-handedly trying to resurrect good old fashioned kick-ass action movies. He literally pushed himself to the breaking point on The Expendables and reprised his most famous roles in the films Rocky Balboa and Rambo. Now, Stallone is venturing into new territory with the graphic novel adaptation, Bullet to the Head, and it looks like he’ll be overseeing the final cut of the film. It was recently reported that Warner Bros. had erased the film from its April 13th release date without providing any information as to why or updating it with a new release. Sources now point to a November release date for the film due to Stallone needing the additional time to approve a final cut. Bullet to the Head follows a New Orleans hitman (Stallone) who teams up with a New York cop (Sung Kang of Fast Five) to track down the killers of their respective partners. Hit the jump for more on Bullet to the Head.