The Impossible is, at its core, an inspirational drama. But director Juan Antonio Bayona didn’t stray too far from his genre roots with the disaster flick, diving headfirst into the gore and horror caused by the tsunami. Bayona showed a skilled hand with both sides of The Impossible and confirmed he is a filmmaker to watch after his promising debut, the horror film The Orphanage.
According to Variety, Bayona’s will take on a new genre with his next project, an untitled science fiction movie scripted by Eric Roth. No details on the story yet, but Roth has been nominated for three Oscars (The Insider, Munich, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and won one (Forrest Gump) so it’s in good hands. Kevin McCormick (Gangster Squad) is producing for Warner Bros.
I offered a similar sentiment following the tragedy at Aurora, CO back in July and I’ll do the same today: the event that unfolded yesterday in Newtown, CT is inexcusable and genuinely heartbreaking, even from a distance. The optimist in me wants to believe that any negative situation can be used to educate and improve the world we live in going forward. In this case, I’m hopeful but unsure that’s possible. On behalf of everyone here at Collider, I want to offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of those who were lost yesterday.
As petty as it may seem, I feel fortunate to be able to offer a bit of diversion to your day with this week’s Top 5. Included in a trailer-heavy rotation this week is a new cut from Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel, The Hobbit interviews with Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis and more, the first trailer for Guillermo del Toro‘s Pacific Rim, Andre’s coverage from his Gangster Squad set visit, and the first look at Will Smith and Jaden Smith gallivanting across the human unfriendly Mother Earth found in M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth. A brief recap and link to each will greet you after the jump.
Dan Lin and Kevin McCormick are two of the producer on Gangster Squad, and both saw the film as a chance to take a period story and make it fresh for modern audiences. The films that kept coming up were Sherlock Holmes (which Lin was a producer on) and The Untouchables. They spoke at length about the origin of the film, its director and cast, and the vibe they were going for with the movie. Our on-set interview with Lin and McCormick follows after the jump.
Casey Affleck and screenwriter Chuck Maclean just pitched Boston Strangler, a thriller about the serial killer charged with the murder of fourteen women in the early 1960s, to Warner Bros. Know how you just thought to yourself, “Yeah, I’d watch that.” Warner Bros. thought the same thing and bought the pitch. According to Deadline, the script by Maclean will view the case through the perspective of “an ambitious detective who is willing to risk career and life in a race to bring down the most notorious sexual predator of the day, while battling a political cover-up by corrupt politicians and lawyers trying to save their careers.” In addition to producing, Affleck is looking to star the detective in the “Strangler Squad” who investigated the crimes. Kevin McCormick (Gangster Squad) will produce through his Langley Park banner.
Hit the jump for more on the murder (or possibly murderers?) known as the Boston Strangler.
Following on the heels of his feature directorial debut, 2009′s Harry Brown, Daniel Barber is now negotiating a deal that would hand him the reins to another thriller entitled Substitution. If talks go through, Barber would helm the pic for Alcon Entertainment and producers Broderick Johnson, Andrew Kosove, Kevin McCormick, and Steve Crystal. THR describes Substitution as Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 thriller Strangers on a Train meets the rigors of high school.
Ian Shorr (Splinter) is currently penning the script which will see a substitute teacher coerce one of his students into a murderous scheme. I’ve yet to check out Harry Brown, so I’ll refrain from commenting on Barber’s capabilities as a filmmaker. That said, his short film The Tonto Woman was nominated for an Oscar for best live action short in 2008. That has to count for something, right?
Supernatural creator Eric Kripke has sold his spec script, Haunted, to Warner Bros. with intent to direct the pic. According to Variety, Haunted will tell the classic haunted house story from the perspective of the ghost. In addition to his work on Supernatural and Haunted, Kripke also penned 2005′s Boogeyman starring, you guessed it, 7th Heaven‘s own Barry Watson. Haunted will mark his feature directorial debut. Green Lantern producer/screenwriter Greg Berlanti will co-produce Haunted alongside Kevin McCormick’s Langley Park label.
Jack Thorne (UK’s Skins) has been tapped to pen a film adaptation of the Helen Simonson novel Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. Deadline reports that Thorne will write the script for producers Paula Mazur and Mitchell Kaplan (of the Mazur Kaplan Company) and Kevin McCormick (of Langley Park Pictures) who have acquired film rights to the book. Simonson’s debut effort was a bestseller upon being released by Random House in 2010 and centers on the relationship between a retired British army major and a Pakistani woman who runs his local convenience store. In addition to Skins and Major Pettigrew, Thorne also penned The Scouting Book for Boys and has adapted A Long Way Down by author Nick Hornby.
To learn more about Major Pettigrew, hit the jump for a synopsis of Simonson’s novel.
Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to the British children’s television comedy Rentaghost. Variety reports the studio is developing Rentaghost as a vehicle for Russell Brand, with “a similar tone to Beetlejuice and Gremlins.” The original series, which ran from 1976-1984, centers on a company which rents ghosts out for various tasks. Brand is meant to play Fred Mumford, “a recently deceased loser who feels he can find work for ghosts whose lives were as failed as his.” Brand will produce along with Kevin McCormick (Hard Ball), Gail Berman (Angel), and Lloyd Braun (Accidentally on Purpose).
Hit the jump for a fuller synopsis of the TV series and a recap of the projects Brand is attached to.