DEEPWATER HORIZON Movie Finds Potential New Director in ALL IS LOST Helmer J.C. Chandor

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Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura’s film Deepwater Horizon has been in development for quite some time.  About two years ago, we reported that director Ric Roman Waugh was in talks for the project.  But things never stay the same in Hollywood and, needless to say, at some point during the development process he fell off the project.  The new helmer in talks for the project is All ls Lost writer/director J.C. Chandor.

I actually have yet to see All Is Lost, but I hear it’s a total knockout (some people I trust prefer it to the similarly structured Gravity), so on paper this seems like a wise decision.  Lionsgate/Summit and Participant are going to need someone who can craft a taut piece of work without coming across as disrespectful to the lives that were lost (and the environmental damage that ensued) that day.  Hit the jump for more on Deepwater Horizon.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura Talks TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, Dinobots, What Mark Wahlberg Added to the Story, Sequels, and More

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The day after the world premiere of Transformers: Age of Extinction in Hong Kong, I landed an awesome extended video interview with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.  Since the franchise launched in 2007, he’s produced all the films along with projects like G.I. JoeRedSide Effects,Stardust, and many more.  While we already posted what he had to say about Joe Carnahan’s Five Against a Bullet, G.I. Joe 3, David S. Goyer’s The Breach, the possibility of a Transformers/G.I. Joe crossover movie, and the Dead Rising digital series, it’s finally time for what he had to say about making Age of Extinction.

During the interview he talked about how the story came together for the film, how and why they finally brought in the dinobots, the way they work with Hasbro, how breaking the story led to introducing a new kind of character to the Transformers movie mythology, where the film could go in future sequels, how adding a legitimate action star in Mark Wahlberg changed the dynamic of the human component of the story, and more.  Hit the jump to watch and make sure to see Transformers: Age of Extinction in IMAX 3D if you have the option.  The film will take up the full IMAX frame about 60% of the time and the 3D is great.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura Talks DEAD RISING Digital Series

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As the speed and ease of the internet has made consuming entertainment easier and more accessible, the production side of entertainment has also been evolving.  One of the interesting new avenues in which content is being created is the “digital series”, which combines a serialized, television approach to storytelling with the toned-down budget of internet content.  The digital series has been a swell avenue for certain kinds of material, especially adaptations of beloved properties that may have a smaller fanbase.

Steve recently sat down with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura for an extended interview in anticipation of the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction, and the producer discussed his digital series adaptation of the horror video game franchise Dead Rising.  Di Bonaventura said they’re looking at filmmakers now to bring the project to fruition, and spoke about his love of the series’ mix of humor and stakes.  Read on after the jump.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura Talks the Possibility of a TRANSFORMERS/G.I. JOE Crossover Movie; Says They Don’t Yet See the Advantage of the Idea

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Ever since it became clear that we would have both Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises at the multiplex, fans have been curious to see if a crossover movie would ever materialize.  After all, mixing and matching Transformers and G.I. Joe toys was a staple of many childhoods, and Hasbro is behind both feature film adaptations.  The former film series remains one of the more successful franchises in rotation, with Michael Bay’s fourth film, Transformers: Age of Extinction, poised to make a hefty amount at the box office as well.  As for G.I. Joe, a third film is now in the works with Dwayne Johnson at the center as Roadblock.

Steve recently sat down with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura in anticipation of the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction, and he asked di Bonaventura (who produces both Transformers and G.I. Joe) if a crossover might ever happen.  The producer explained that there’s no need for a mash-up movie when both franchises are going strong on their own, but didn’t rule out the possibility in the far future.  More after the jump.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura Talks David S. Goyer’s THE BREACH; Says It Involves an Accident with the Large Hadron Collider

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Filmmaker David S. Goyer has been very busy in the superhero realm these past few years as the co-writer of The Dark Knight Trilogy and the screenwriter behind last year’s Superman reboot Man of Steel.  Goyer most recently penned the first draft of the Man of Steel follow-up, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but it’s been five years since he was last in the director’s chair on a feature film.  That’s poised to change soon, as Goyer is attached to direct The Breach for Lionsgate, which will see the filmmaker navigating present day sci-fi territory.

While speaking with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura in anticipation of the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction, Steve also steered the conversation towards The Breach.  Di Bonaventura provided an update on the project, saying they’re currently in the process of budgeting and are beginning to talk about cast.  Moreover, the producer provided more details about the story, which will apparently involve an accident with the Large Hadron Collider.  Read on after the jump.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura Talks G.I. JOE 3, New Characters, and More; Currently Meeting with Directors in Hopes of Filming by Early 2015

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Though many were rightfully skeptical of a movie based on a toyline, the Transformers franchise has become one of the highest grossing series of the last few years, with no signs of slowing down for the fourth installment.  The G.I. Joe series, on the other hand, has had a bit more trouble getting off the ground.  2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra grossed a so-so $302 million, and the series went through a semi-reboot with the 2013 sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation.  The Jon M. Chu-directed second film fared better at the box office with $375 million worldwide, but there’s still the sense that the series hasn’t taken off just yet, so expectations are high for G.I. Joe 3.

Though we know that Chu is not returning to direct the next G.I. Joe film, movement on the pic has been fairly quiet the past few months.  Steve recently spoke with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura in anticipation of the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction, and during the conversation di Bonaventura provided a status update on G.I. Joe 3.  The producer revealed they’re finalizing a deal with a screenwriter now and have just started meeting with directors, adding that he hopes to be shooting by February or March 2015.  Moreover, di Bonaventura discussed further expanding the role of Dwayne Johnson’s Roadblock and other new additions to the cast.  Read on after the jump.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura Says Joe Carnahan Is Working on FIVE AGAINST A BULLET; Gives Update on DEEPWATER HORIZON

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As the producer behind the Transformers franchise, the Red series, and films like Salt and The Last Stand, Lorenzo di Bonaventura always has a number of irons in the fire with regards to upcoming projects.  While speaking with the producer at the Transformers: Age of Extinction junket in Hong Kong recently, Steve also took the opportunity to talk with di Bonaventura about the films he has in development, and he provided some promising updates on a few projects.  The producer revealed that director Joe Carnahan is now working on the ensemble action film Five Against a Bullet, and provided a status update on the oil rig disaster film Deepwater Horizon.  Hit the jump to read on.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura Talks TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, Working with Michael Bay, Casting Mark Wahlberg, and Threats from Robots and Humans Alike

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Veteran producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has been with the Transformers franchise from the beginning, and with Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction opening soon, neither of them shows any signs of slowing down.  While on the Detroit set that acted as a stand-in for Hong Kong, I joined a small group of journalists in witnessing a huge action scene unfold, along with cast and crew interviews between shots.  One such interview (and a rather long one at that) was with all-around-awesome producer, di Bonaventura.

He talked about the preparation for these action sequences, how scenes in Hong Kong and China were always part of the script, what makes this film different from the others and yet still a continuation of the franchise, and referencing the previous movies.  In his more candid moments, he shared a few anecdotes about working with Bay and commented on just how great their working relationship really is.  Hit the jump for much, much more.

David S. Goyer to Direct THE BREACH for Lionsgate

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David S. Goyer has set up his next directorial effort, but it won’t be a DC Comics property and it won’t be at Warner Bros.  Heat Vision reports that Goyer will helm an adaptation of the Patrick Lee novel The Breach for Lionsgate, which is an action-thriller that follows a former cop and ex-convict who stumbles across a crashed 747 and a mysterious artifact that will determine the fate of the future.  Goyer has been developing this project for some time with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, but it now looks to be moving forward fairly quickly.

Goyer originated the take on Superman that resulted in Man of Steel and penned the screenplay for the film, and he’s been seen as the man steering some of WB’s DC Comics adaptations.  He wrote the script for the untitled Man of Steel follow-up involving Batman and Superman, but the project recently enlisted Oscar-winning Argo scribe Chris Terrio to do further work on the script.  Hit the jump for more on the project and Goyer’s current slate.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura Talks TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION: “It’s Definitely Not a Reboot”

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We’re less than six months out from the release of Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction, but we don’t know too much about the plot of the film just yet.  Since a tight lid is being kept on the film’s details, we’ll take whatever bits and pieces we can get.  In a recent interview for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, which he also produced, Lorenzo di Bonaventura gave a couple behind-the-scenes details on the production of the fourth Transformers film.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Kelsey GrammerStanley TucciT.J. MillerTitus WelliverHan Geng, Sophia Myles, and Li Bingbing, Transformers: Age of Extinction opens in theaters on June 27, 2014.

Producers Lorenzo di Bonaventure and Mace Neufeld Talk JACK RYAN, the Title, Test Screenings, How Making Movies Has Changed, Future Projects, and More

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Now playing in theaters and IMAX is director Kenneth Branagh’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.  Based on the Tom Clancy character, the original story follows Jack Ryan (played by Chris Pine) as he uncovers a financial terrorist plot.  Starring alongside Pine is Kevin Costner and Keira Knightley with Branagh as the film’s antagonist.

A few days ago I landed an exclusive interview with producers Lorenzo di Bonaventure and Mace Neufeld.  They talked about how making movies has changed over the past few years, the Jack Ryan test screening and how it possibly influenced the final release, who they invite to friends and family screenings, the title Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and if they had any alternate titles that were almost used, filming in London, the casting process, and future projects like The EqualizerG.I. Joe 3 and Red 3.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh, and Producers Mace Neufeld and Lorenzo di Bonaventura Talk JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT

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Tom Clancy’s iconic spy returns to the big screen in Jack Ryan:  Shadow Recruit, a briskly-paced, smart and suspenseful action-thriller directed by Kenneth Branagh who invents a fresh story for the 21st century while staying true to the mythologyWhen a Russian oligarch (Branagh) attempts to trigger a sophisticated act of financial-based terrorism, Ryan (Chris Pine) must turn his counter-terrorism theories into action.  In a world where all motives are suspect and no one can be trusted, every perilous move he makes has world-altering consequences.  Opening January 17th, the film also stars Kevin Costner and Keira Knightley.

At a recent press conference,  Pine, Costner, Branagh, and producers Mace Neufeld and Lorenzo di Bonaventura talked about contemporizing Clancy’s character, what Pine brought to the role, the film’s franchise potential, how Costner’s mentor role differed from its typical portrayal in the spy genre, and the pleasures and challenges for Branagh of directing a tale on global espionage with great actors and exploring the complex threats of a new world order while also respecting the traditional values of its everyday hero.  Branagh and Costner also revealed the real-life mentors like Sean Connery who influenced their careers, and Costner discussed his career longevity and upcoming films, 3 Days to Kill and Black and White.  Hit the jump to read the interview.


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Available via Netflix Watch Instantly as of late December, last weekend I finally got the chance to check out writer/director Joe Swanberg‘s romantic comedy Drinking Buddies. I should disclaim that it’s near impossible for me to be objective when talking about Swanberg given that he’s a fellow Southern Illinois University alum and few things make me prouder than a Saluki film student enjoying success in the industry. That out of the way, I enjoyed the heck out of Drinking Buddies. Much has been made of the film’s stellar cast and I won’t try and dispute those claims at all. As someone who has never watched a minute of Fox’s New Girl, I loved Jake Johnson‘s turn in the pic and I bought he and Olivia Wilde‘s romantic chemistry hook, line, and sinker. As for Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston? Lets just say that I love each of them in almost everything and this is no exception. All in all, Buddies is a funny, sweet, realistic teetering on the verge of understated look at the universal concept of being just friends.

Instant stream recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 includes our Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit set visit coverage, the first look at the Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King starring Ben Kingsley, a set visit recap for Muppets Most Wanted, some villain rumors surrounding Batman vs. Superman, and Adam’s latest installment of Oscar Beat that breaks down the guild nods and what they could mean for Oscar season. Like you might expect, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura Talks the Challenge of Rebooting the Franchise, Casting Chris Pine, and More on the Set of JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT

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As I’ve said many times, while it’s always great to talk to actors, if you really want to find out why certain decisions were made on a film, you always want to talk to the director and the producers.  In the case of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, the set of which I visited in 2012, the one who provided a ton of information was Lorenzo di Bonaventura (who also produced the Transformers franchise, RedRed 2Salt, The Last StandSide EffectsG.I. Joe, and many more).

During an extended group interview on set, di Bonaventura talked about the challenge of rebooting the franchise, why they chose Kenneth Branagh and Chris Pine, how Jack Ryan is a contemporary film that addresses the economic uncertainty and fears in a post-9/11 world, why the film takes place in Moscow and the reasons for filming in London, the action sequences, the kind of villain Branagh plays, and so much more.  Hit the jump to check it out.

28 WEEKS LATER Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo to Helm New Adaptation of PET SEMATARY

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Since his 2011 film Intruders, director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo has been bouncing around reboots.  A couple years ago, he was attached to direct a reboot of The Crow and Highlander, but ended up dropping out of both.  Now he’s headed toward yet another tested property.  According to Variety, he will stick with the horror genre to direct a remake of Paramount’s Pet Sematary.  Based on the novel by Stephen King, the story is about a family that moves in to a home located next to a cemetery (always a bad idea), and they discover that the cemetery can bring its buried creatures back from the dead.  A remake has been kicking around for the past several years, and at one point Alexandre Aja (Piranha 3D) was in talks to directMary Lambert‘s 1989 adaptation grossed $57 million on a $11 million budget.  She then directed the sequel, Pet Sematary II, but it didn’t have the same level of success as its predecessor.

There are no details about how Fresnadillo and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura plan to proceed, but perhaps they should look at the recent version of Stephen King’s Carrie and be careful.  When it comes to remakes, “sometimes dead is better.”

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