Filmmaker J.C. Chandor took on the recent financial crisis in his talky director debut Margin Call and then chronicled one man’s nearly dialogue-free attempt to survive on the open ocean in All Is Lost, and now he’s setting his sights on something entirely different yet again for another upcoming feature. Deadline reports that Chandor is writing with an eye to direct a film about legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, who as head coach led the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships and won the first two Super Bowls. Hit the jump for more on the project.
Michael Dougherty‘s Trick ‘r Treat has built up a cult fanbase since it was first screened at Butt-Numb-a-Thon in 2007. From there, it went through multiple festivals including Fangoria Convention, Fantasia Film Festival, and Fantastic Fest. The movie finally received a limited release in 2009, and the cult has continued to grow. For those unfamiliar with the film, it’s an anthology of loosely-related Halloween stories that all have a darkly comic twist. The cult following has kept the surprises secret, and while I don’t personally find the movie scary, I thought it was quite clever.
But for the die-hard fans, there’s some terrific news: Trick ‘r Treat 2 was announced during the Q&A at last night’s fan screening for the original. There are no details beyond the announcement, but you can hit the jump to check out the panel.
The Hot Wheels movie now has a director. Heat Vision reports that Legendary Pictures has tapped prestigious second-unit director and stunt coordinator Simon Crane to take the helm of Hot Wheels, which is based on the Mattel toy line of the same name. The story takes place after a dangerous military device has fallen into the hands of a criminal, which forces a washed-up Illinois State Trooper to fight the man his father once put behind bars. How this ties into cars is unknown, but with the Fast & Furious franchise making serious money on its fifth and sixth entries and a Need for Speed film poised to hit theaters next year, Legendary is clearly game to get in on the car craze.
Crane’s resume as a second-unit director includes work on films like World War Z, Troy, and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, so he has plenty of experience with blockbuster filmmaking. Art Marcum and Matt Holloway wrote the initial script for this iteration of Hot Wheels, but Legendary has tapped Paul Attanasio (Quiz Show) to do a rewrite. Joe Roth (Alice in Wonderland) is producing.
Here’s a bit of acquisition news for you today:
- Legendary Pictures has picked up Reminiscence, a sci-fi thriller spec script from Lisa Joy, under their deal with Universal.
- DreamWorks has acquired Spark, an upcoming novel from writer John Twelve Hawks.
Hit the jump for more on both pictures.
The World of Warcraft movie now has an official release date. Universal Pictures announced today that director Duncan Jones’ Warcraft will be released on December 18, 2015, ensuring at least one fantasy epic event movie will be in theaters for the holiday season. Officially described as “an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict,” Warcraft will square off directly against Ron Howard’s Dan Brown adaptation Inferno on the pre-Christmas date, but rumors have swirled that Star Wars: Episode VII might be eyeing a December date as well. We recently learned that Paula Patton is in negotiations for a lead role in the film with Colin Farrell also being eyed for a lead, and the short list for a couple of other roles reportedly includes Paul Dano, Anton Yelchin, Travis Fimmel, and Anson Mount.
Legendary Pictures is producing Warcraft, which will be distributed by Universal Pictures as part of Legendary’s new deal with the studio after cutting ties with Warner Bros. Jones also wrote the screenplay with Charles Leavitt, and Charles Roven is producing alongside Alex Gartner, Thomas Tull, and Jon Jashni. Filming is slated to begin on January 13th.
Legendary Pictures is hitting the ground running with its new distribution deal under Universal. After severing its relationship with Warner Bros., Thomas Tull’s Legendary Pictures is eyeing Dracula as its first project with Universal. Production on the film is already underway in Ireland with Luke Evans taking on the titular role, but Variety reports that Legendary is in talks to come aboard and co-finance the project. Gary Shore directs the pic, which tells the origin story of the classic creature and is slated for release on August 8, 2014.
Additionally, Legendary is considering co-funding the high-profile Jurassic Park 4. Hit the jump for more on the studio’s deal with Universal.
The World of Warcraft movie is finally coming to fruition. After Legendary showed off a highly promising reel of test footage from Moon director Duncan Jones’ adaptation at Comic-Con, the studio announced that filming would begin in early 2014. Indeed it will, as Production Weekly now reports that filming on Warcraft is officially slated to begin on January 13th in Vancouver. Casting has yet to be announced, but if the January date sticks then we should expect to hear word on that front very soon.
Recent rumors suggest that the film will be a full-blooded fantasy pic in the vein of The Lord of the Rings, and it’s said to more closely follow the real time strategy video games from the mid-90s instead of the current iteration of the game—that will be saved for further installments in the potential franchise. Warcraft is being eyed for release in 2015.
A surprising bit of custody business has been settled as a result of the divorce between Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. The two studios will part ways at the end of this year when their current contract expires, and Legendary has already set up a distribution deal with Universal Pictures after opting not to renew its WB deal. Just the other day we learned that Legendary agreed to give up its stake in the Man of Steel sequel in exchange for a portion of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, which is a co-production between Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures, and now it appears that Warner Bros. is dropping the upcoming fantasy-adventure film Seventh Son altogether. As a result, the film’s release date is now in flux.
Hit the jump for more, including a rundown of the Warner Bros./Legendary projects that are still in question.
When director Zack Snyder’s Superman vs. Batman film hits theaters in 2015, the pic will not be boasting the Legendary Pictures logo. The studio has decided to end its partnership with Warner Bros. later this year when their contract comes to a conclusion, but Legendary still stood to maintain its stake in the Man of Steel follow-up. However, The Wrap now reports that Legendary has agreed to give up its stake in Superman vs. Batman in return for a portion of Christopher Nolan’s 2014 sci-fi film Interstellar. Legendary previously co-produced Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy as well as Inception, so the studio certainly has a relationship with the filmmaker.
Interstellar is a co-production between Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. and is sure to make a killing at the box office, so Legendary stands to make a healthy amount of money on Nolan’s latest. At the end of its partnership with Warner Bros., Legendary will begin its new contract with Universal Pictures.
About half an hour ago, the audience in Hall H got an unexpected trailer. In an open, alien-looking desert, a human warrior seemingly stands alone. He drinks the last water from a skein, and drops it on the ground. He draws a magnificent sword, and steps forward to examine the bones of a fallen soldier. He picks up a fancy-looking shield. He begins circling around, facing off an unseen enemy. The camera pulls back and reveals…an orc wielding a giant battle axe. The two continue to circle each other. Then they charge forward, screaming at each other, and the final shot is the orc leaping in the air, bringing down the axe, and we cut to black. Then the title comes up: WARCRAFT. The crowd goes wild. This is the kind of fun surprise that Comic-Con can provide, and Legendary in particular has become so adept at providing. Hit the jump for more.
At the recent San Francisco press day for Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, I landed an exclusive interview with Legendary Pictures’ CEO Thomas Tull. During our wide-ranging conversation we talked about the newest toys he’s added to his collection, how Legendary is financing more of what they’re producing (they financed 75% of Pac Rim and 100% of 42), if the changing home video dynamics changed the way they think about what they’re producing, casting in a worldwide marketplace, if they would consider making a different cut of a movie like Marvel did with Iron Man 3 for China, how the finished film compares to what he originally envisioned, finding the right tone, Comic-Con, Godzilla, Legendary’s project with Michael Mann and Chris Hemsworth, and a lot more. Hit the jump for what he had to say.
Finally, while many projects aren’t worth the extra ticket price for 3D, I strongly recommend paying the extra money to see Pac Rim in IMAX 3D. It’s definitely worth it.
We previously reported that the partnership between production company Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Studios was coming to a close. Legendary, the company behind Inception, The Hangover, 42 as well as adapting the The Dark Knight Trilogy, Man of Steel, and other Warner Bros. properties, will now go to Universal Pictures. Tull confirmed the news to The Wrap on the red carpet of Legendary and Warner’s latest picture, Pacific Rim. Tull reportedly wanted to go beyond what Warner could offer, namely “a theme park and a television and cable network.” The official announcement will likely come later today.
It’s a big step forward for Legendary now that they can produce films, but also develop content for television, whether it be through NBC or cable channels USA and SyFy. There’s also the matter of Universal’s own franchises, which can be co-financed with the studio. Legendary had massive success with franchises that had been languishing at Warners, and I’ll be interested to see what they’ll do over at Universal. [Update: We've added the press release after the jump.]
One of the most fruitful studio partnerships in recent memory is coming to an end. While there had been word for months that Legendary Pictures was looking to part ways with Warner Bros. at the end of its current contract cycle, some hoped that the executive restructuring at WB might convince Legendary to stay. However, sources at both studios have reportedly confirmed that talks to renegotiate have ended and Legendary is now proceeding with more serious talks elsewhere. Apparently the top contenders at this point are Universal, Sony, and Fox, with Lionsgate also in the running. Hit the jump for more.
Legendary Pictures has released a new image from the set of director Gareth Edwards’ upcoming Godzilla redo. As opposed to showing off some of the destruction from the titular creature’s path, this new image features some military personnel standing around what looks to be some sort of exotic location. We’ve yet to see any official images of the film’s actors in action, but I expect that will change next month at Comic-Con where I’d be surprised if Legendary didn’t show off some footage from the film—especially given that Comic-Con is where they premiered Edwards’ sizzle reel last year before the film had even been greenlit.
Hit the jump to check out the latest set image. The film stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Bryan Crantson, Ken Watanabe, and Richard T. Jones. Godzilla opens in 3D on May 16, 2014.
From time to time I like to use the opening paragraph to discuss my latest screenprint investments and/or dream items. This week I’m playing a similar note as I recently picked up Olly Moss‘ “Batman’s Rogues Gallery” set on eBay for very close to what the timed edition went for originally. Those of you who follow posters and prints know how redeeming it can be to finally get an item you originally missed out on without having to pay exponentially more than its original asking price. Now, if only Ken Taylor‘s Halloween print would stop being so rare/expensive, I could officially run out of room on my walls.
I’ll stop gushing and leave any more in-depth poster/print talk to our own Limited Paper. For my part, this week’s Top 5 includes the first trailer and a video blog recap of 10 minutes of footage from Neill Blomkamp‘s Elysium, our White House Down set visit recap, an exclusive interview with Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull, the first trailers for Ron Howard‘s Rush, and an extended interview with Mondo CEO Justin Ishmael. As is customary, a brief recap and link to each is ready and waiting for your attention after the jump.