With his performance in The Master ready to be seen by audiences this weekend, Philip Seymour Hoffman is already setting his sights on the director’s chair. Hoffman is set to helm Ezekiel Moss, a Depression Era ghost story from Keith Bunin’s Black List script. This picture would mark Hoffman’s second directorial effort after 2010′s Jack Goes Boating. The story centers on a young boy in a small town who befriends a drifter who claims he can speak to the dead. Hit the jump for more on Hoffman and Ezekiel Moss.
In October 2009, Mandalay Pictures picked up the screen rights to Joe Hill‘s novel Horns. The book centers on “a 26-year-old man who wakes up with a massive hangover and discovers horns sprouting from his head. He becomes convinced that their existence is tied to the unsolved murder of his girlfriend.” That would also be my logical conclusion from sprouting horns on my head. The movie has been churning through development hell ever since, but today Heat Vision reports that Piranha 3D director Alexandre Aja will helm the adaptation. Keith Bunin wrote the screenplay and Mandalay is in the process of packaging the movie in order to secure financing. We reported back in March that Shia LaBeouf was set to star, but Heat Vision makes no mention of him in their story so presumably he’s dropped out.
The plan is to have Aja direct Horns in late spring-early summer 2012 before he moves on to adapt the manga Cobra the Space Pirate. Hit the jump for the synopsis of Joe Hill’s novel.
A sci-fi action project by director John Heffernan may not have a title yet, but it does have a writer. Variety reports that John Glenn, the writer behind Eagle Eye, has been tapped to re-write the script. The project, previously known as Abducted, was picked up by Paramount in June of this year and is set up through Mary Parent’s Disruption Entertainment. Parent and Cale Boyter are producing the pic, pitched as “Die Hard on an alien spaceship.”
Brett Ratner’s next directorial project has itself a writer and a title. Ann Peacock (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) has been tapped to write Hunting Eichmann, an international thriller based on true accounts. Deadline reports that the project follows Israeli agents in their journey to Argentina to capture Adolph Eichmann, one of the major Nazi organizers behind the Holocaust. Ratner and Anthony Bregman (Our Idiot Brother) will produce for Cathy Schulman at Mandalay Pictures.
New Line Cinema is developing a live-action family comedy by the name Furry Friday. (Umm… be careful when you google that.) The story is an animalistic twist on Freaky Friday, where a cat and a dog switch bodies. New Line took one look at the first draft and said, “No, this does not meet our standards for a cat/dog body-switching comedy.” Variety reports the studio has hired David H. Steinberg to rewrite the script. Steinberg is a co-writer on the upcoming Shrek spinoff Puss in Boots, and he’s in post-production on his feature directorial debut, Miss Dial. Cathy Schulman (The Illusionist) and Adam Stone (Limitless), the team that sold the project on spec to New Line, will produce for Mandalay Pictures.
Hit the jump for a mostly irrelevant clip from the Nickelodeon cartoon CatDog.
Mandalay Pictures has solidified its place atop the Joe Hill fanclub by acquiring the film rights to Hill’s short story Twittering from the Circus of the Dead. Heat Vision reports that the studio that is already adapting Hill’s novel Horns for the big screen is quickly assembling a creative team behind their latest Hill acquisition. Per the report, director Todd Lincoln (upcoming The Apparition) is in talks to helm the pic from a screenplay by Chris Borrelli. Hill will serve as an executive producer on the project. In addition to Twittering and Horns, the author (and son of Stephen King) has also seen his comic book series Locke & Key adapted into a television pilot by Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci, Josh Friedman, and director Mark Romanek. His first novel, Heart Shaped Box, currently resides at Warner Bros.
Originally published in the horror anthology The New Dead, Twittering from the Circus of the Dead is told entirely from the perspective of a teenage girl’s tweets as she and her family embark on a cross country road trip. In a somewhat surprising twist, Mandalay has received Hill’s blessing to take the adaptation outside of the zombie genre for fear of over-saturation (apparently a new concern in the film industry). That said, the report doesn’t elaborate on the alterations outside of noting a “few surprise changes.” As for potential director Todd Lincoln, his aforementioned directorial debut The Apparition stars Ashley Greene and Sebastian Stan and is currently eyeing a 2012 release stateside for Dark Castle/Warner Bros.
Shia LaBeouf is attached to star in the feature film adaptation of the Joe Hill novel Horns. LaBeouf will play Ig Perrish, a 26-year-old who drinks heavily on the first anniversary of his girlfriend’s murder and awakes the next morning with horns growing from his head: “As his horns grow bigger, Ig sets out to investigate the unsolved murder of his girlfriend and the case’s connection to his cursed fate.”
Keith Bunin (In Treatment) will adapt the screenplay for Mandalay Pictures, who optioned Horns in 2009 shortly before the book was published. Hit the jump for the full synopsis, plus a look at the other projects Hill and LaBeouf have in development.
Critically acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky is set to direct the upcoming motion picture adaptation of Machine Man, based on Max Barry’s online serialized story. The production will reunite Aronofsky with Mark Heyman, who co-produced The Wrestler, and is currently penning the Machine Man screenplay. Mandalay Pictures will produce the film. Here’s what Variety has on the film:
A gadget geek and engineer working at a forward-thinking tech firm decides to systematically replace his weaker fleshy parts with high-end titanium performance upgrades of his own design. But he isn’t the only one with plans for his superior parts.
Barry wrote the story in serialized form, unveiling one page at a time from March 2009-December 2009 and the entire story will be published as a novel in Spring 2011. Aronofsky will direct Machine Man after Wolverine 2, which will shoot this March for a 2012 release. The prolific director has been linked to various films recently, notably Superman: The Man of Steel, Tales From the Gangster Squad, and Preacher. He will unveil his highly anticipated Black Swan in December. Hit the jump for more.
I don’t know who is writing good horror novels anymore. Granted, I’m more of a non-fiction guy myself (although I currently can’t put down Christopher Moore’s “Lamb”) but the only name I ever associate with successful horror fiction is Stephen King. Of course, King has now become a punch line, especially since upcoming book, “Under the Dome” has the same premise as “The Simpsons Movie”. I don’t know if an association with King helps or hurts a project but since Joe Hill’s “Horns” was just picked up by Mandalay and Joe Hill is King’s son (Hill is short for Hillstrom, his middle name) I guess we’ll find out. Hit the jump for a story that sounds better than one involving a fucking dome.