Lakeshore Entertainment and Hopscotch Features are making an early big push with their adaptation of The Sword, a graphic novel by Jonathan and Joshua Luna (aka the Luna Brothers). Lakeshore and Hopscotch started by hiring David Hayter (X2) to write the screenplay. The plan is to shoot the first installment in early 2014. Yes, first installment: The Sword comes in four volumes, enough material for a potential franchise in the eyes of the studios.
The Sword is about a young paraplegic, Dara, whose family is brutally murdered by a group with “god-like, supernatural abilities.” Dara discovers an ancient sword that belonged to her father that “not only restores her ability to walk, but it grants her a constantly evolving array of spectacular physical powers.” See the press release after the jump for more details.
Underworld 4 has found its director(s). Heat Vision reports that the Swedish team-up of Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein will take on directorial duties for the film. Underworld 4 will mark the second English-language feature for the pair who also co-directed the 2009 UK thriller Shelter starring Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Showtime’s The Tudors). Marlind and Stein will helm the project for Screen Gems and Lakeshore Entertainment from a script by John Hlavin. Multi-platform scribe J. Michael Straczynski (Changeling & one of my personal favorite comics, Rising Stars) performed rewrite duties for the film.
With the news of Marlind and Stein’s hiring in the bag, the fourth installment of the Underworld franchise continues to take shape. Almost two months ago, we confirmed that Kate Beckinsale would return to her rightful place as the unequivocally bad-ass vampire warrior, Selene. At that time we also reported that the film would begin production in Vancouver during March 2011, with a January 20th, 2012 release in mind.
Katherine Heigl plus a best-selling book series plus a character who is a lingerie buyer/bounty hunter adds up to a very promising prospect for Columbia Pictures and Lakeshore Entertainment. According to Variety, the Grey’s Anatomy star is attached to play the role of Stephanie Plum in the adaptation of Janet Evanovich’s One for the Money. The book spent 75 consecutive weeks on USA Today’s best seller list and has spawned 15 novels, each of which have a number theme.
While she has yet to make a smash box office hit stateside (Knocked Up‘s success is generally attributed to Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow), Heigl’s romantic comedies have done well proportional to their budgets. Her most recent film, The Ugly Truth, grossed $205 million worldwide off a $38 million budget. This was a much greater succcess than her 2006 film, Zyzzyx Road, which cost $2 million but only made $30. That’s $30.00, not $30 million.
Heigl will next appear alongside Ashton Kutcher in the action-comedy Killers, which is set to hit theaters on June 4th.