The new Terminator film has taken another step forward closer to production. Last month we learned that Megan Ellison’s brother, David Ellison, had come aboard the project to co-produce the next installment of the franchise through his Skydance Pictures banner alongside Megan’s Annapurna Pictures, and now the producers have tapped a couple of writers to start work on the script. Deadline reports that Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier will write the script for the new Terminator film, though further details are understandably being kept under wraps.
Kalogridis previously penned the scripts for Shutter Island and Alexander, as well as the pilot for the TV series Bionic Woman. Lussier, meanwhile, was responsible for writing 2011’s Drive Angry and received a “story by” credit on Dracula 2000, which he also directed. As I mentioned, we know next to nothing about where this new Terminator stands in relation to the previous films, but Megan Ellison has confirmed that it will indeed be rated R. With screenwriters now firmly onboard, expect to hear more news regarding the next Terminator sooner rather than later.
Producer Megan Ellison has been plenty busy financing films like The Master, Killing Them Softly, and Zero Dark Thirty through her Annapurna Pictures banner, so you’d be forgiven for forgetting that she’s also the person behind the new Terminator film. Ellison bought the rights to the franchise over a year ago with plans to move forward on a new movie, but after a few starts and stops, not much has come to fruition. Per Deadline, she has now brought on her brother, David Ellison (True Grit, Star Trek Into Darkness), to be her financial and creative partner on the project as the rights deal for the franchise has now officially come to a close.
The film still has no script or studio attached, but David Ellison’s close relationship with Tom Cruise (he produced Ghost Protocol and Jack Reacher and is also producing M:I 5) has many wondering if Cruise might eventually be a part of the new Terminator film. It’s frankly too early to start that kind of speculation, but I wouldn’t completely rule the notion out. The Ellison siblings are now starting from scratch on the new Terminator as they set out to find a screenwriter to put on the project.
A few days ago we reported screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed, Kingdom of Heaven) was going to adapt Park Chan-wook’s fantastic 2005 film Sympathy for Lady Vengeance with Charlize Theron set to star and produce along with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures. For those unfamiliar with the original, Lady Vengeance “is the story of a woman who for reasons of her own completes a prison term for a murder she did not commit, reemerging to punish the killer, and avenge the dead.” The film is the final chapter in Park’s “Vengeance Trilogy” following Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy.
Shortly after the news broke, I reached out to Monahan to see if he could offer us any additional information about how the project came together. In addition, we talked about whether he’s started writing it yet, if Sympathy could take place in Boston, whether it would be watered down for American audiences, when did he first see Park Chan-wook’s movies and does he have a favorite, his adapting process and much more. Finally, as we reported earlier this year, Monahan is set to get behind the camera again with Mojave. He told me he starts to shoot early next year and we’ll hear about casting in the coming weeks. Hit the jump for more.
It’s been a bit of a long road for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master. The project was pretty much dead until Megan Ellison and her Annapurna Pictures resurrected the film and provided the financing (thanks for that, Ms. Ellison!). In December, we heard that the film was likely to be released at near the end of the year. PTA fan site Cigarettes and Red Vines contacted Ellison about the release date, and she responded:
@cigsandredvines I know you guys are waiting on a release date for ‘the Master’, and it’s still a bit early, but I’d keep my eyes on October
Hit the jump for more.
Director Gore Verbinski is currently in New Mexico filming his big-budget adaptation of The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. Depp will play Tonto, the sidekick of the Ranger (Hammer), and the film co-stars Helena Bonham Carter, Ruth Wilson, James Frain, and Tom Wilkinson. There aren’t any details on the plot, but in October, Depp said they were re-inventing the character of Tonto to be more than a sidekick, and that “Tonto probably believes that The Lone Ranger is his slave, his sidekick.” Verbinski has now provided some new details on the film along with updates on his other projects including Cary Fukunaga‘s Spaceless, Chris Milk‘s Bitterroot, and the new adaptation of the board game Clue. Hit the jump for more.
Though Terminator 5 is currently without a director or screenwriter, a brief yet relieving update regarding the project was revealed a couple of days ago. Megan Ellison, who holds the rights to Terminator 5 and is the savior/financier of many projects including Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest effort, was asked on Twitter what kind of rating the fifth installment would carry. She responded simply:
“We can’t really tell you guys anything about Terminator BUT it will be an R rated film as God and James Cameron intended.”
Hallelujah! Following the disaster that was Terminator: Salvation, it’s refreshing to know that Terminator 5 will return to the less compromised quality of the earlier films. Fast Five helmer Justin Lin was onboard to direct, but was forced to drop out in order to finish out the Fast and Furious series. Hopefully we’ll hear more regarding Terminator 5 soon. Until then, fans can rest a bit easier.
The concept behind this summer’s Danger Mouse album Rome was a neat one, especially for Collider readers. Danger Mouse and Italian composer Daniele Luppi were inspired by the music from spaghetti westerns. They recorded the album using vintage equipment, often with musicians from the era who worked on spaghetti western soundtracks. The process is about to come full circle, as Rome will soon be turned into a movie. First, though, things will take a sharp left into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Music video director Chris Milk will helm the project, based on the Alden Bell novel The Reapers Are the Angels. The story centers on a young girl who “can’t remember a time before the zombies”; she struggles to survive as she wanders the desolate landscape, plagued by inner turmoil.
I don’t know the album or the book enough to tell you how they fit together. Maybe you can deduce the link yourself after the jump with the full book synopsis and a few cuts from Rome.
Although Director Justin Lin (Fast Five) is still enthusiastic about the Terminator reboot, a scheduling conflict has arisen that may temporarily terminate his involvement. The Terminator franchise rights holder, Megan Ellison, is looking to start production on the first of two new installments by the last quarter of 2012. Since Lin’s The Fast and the Furious 6 has a release date of May 2013, his schedule doesn’t jive. However, if Ellison and Arnold Schwarzenegger can hold off on production until Lin is finished, there’s a chance he may still be involved.
The timeline doesn’t look all that rushed as reports indicate that Ellison has yet to acquire a script or, for that matter, a screenwriter. No studios have signed on though several have expressed interest. However, there is a minor cause for concern: due to a series of legal trickeries and copyright speak, James Cameron will actually regain the rights to the franchise in 2018. Hopefully Ellison and company can get a couple of installments churned out before then. Hit the jump for what you can expect from a Terminator reboot.
Arnold Schwarzenegger put his acting career on hold when it was discovered he had a in-no-way-surprising secret love child with his housekeeper. That threw a wrench into Justin Lin’s Terminator 5 but producer Megan Ellison, who now holds the rights to the franchise, isn’t going to sit around waiting until the public moves on to the next scandal and forgets that Schwarzenegger is no hero. With that in mind, What’s Playing has some interesting rumors to report on the film.
First up, the new film may bring back original characters Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor but it may do so in a Star Trek-style alternate timeline fashion where new actors could play the roles and take them in a new direction. Since the franchise has always included some element of time travel, a fractured timeline wouldn’t be a crazy idea (especially since they already used that premise to spin off the short-lived The Sarah Connor Chronicles). That’s a solid way to reboot the franchise and it would be even better if they could just cut out Schwarzenegger entirely. But I could live with his casting if it didn’t mean another disturbing rumor coming to fruition. Hit the jump for more.
Columbia Pictures has acquired domestic rights to Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s (The Hurt Locker) next movie, which has the working title Kill Bin Laden. The press release says, “the film focuses on the black ops mission to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, which culminated in his death earlier this month during a high-stakes raid on his compound in Pakistan. Bigelow and Boal have been developing the project since 2008 and plan to incorporate recent events into the film.”
We knew the project was moving forward because Joel Edgerton was recently cast as one of the special operatives. However, the press release says they’re going to start filming this summer and it’ll be released in late 2012. As one of the many who thought The Hurt Locker was a brilliant movie that not enough people got to see, I’m happy that Bigelow and Boal’s next release will be everywhere. Hit the jump for the full press release which has some quotes.
Lionsgate has missed out on the rights to The Terminator franchise again. After losing the bidding war to Pacificor back in February 2010, the rights went back up for sale at Cannes and Lionsgate once again tried to grab the franchise. But on Wednesday we learned that Megan Ellison, whose Annapurna Pictures had taken to backing prestige directors like Paul Thomas Anderson and Kathryn Bigelow, unexpectedly threw her hat into the ring. Now Deadline is reporting that Ellison has won the bidding war and it’s a surprising film to add to her indie-dominated portfolio. Hit the jump for more on Ellison’s other projects and my thoughts on her Terminator acquisition.
Producer Megan Ellison and her Annapurna Pictures have entered a bidding war with Lionsgate over the rights to the Terminator franchise. As you may recall, Ellison previously has set her production company to backing smaller films with acclaimed directors like Paul Thomas Anderson’s untitled religious drama and Inherent Vice, and Kathryn Bigelow’s hunt for Osama Bin Laden film. It looked like Lionsgate was going to win the rights with a bid yesterday, but Deadline reports that Ellison has submitted a higher amount even though she doesn’t have a distributor locked in (although it’s probably not too difficult to find a studio willing to distribute a Terminator film).
Hit the jump for more on this potential deal.
First off, a little perspective: I am aware that the extent to which the long-awaited death of Osama Bin Laden affects movies is miniscule compared to the closure and sense of justice that death provides to those affected by Al-Qaeda’s terrorism. If a sense of closure for families that lost someone on 9/11 is a “10″, then news about a Bin Laden movie is about 0.0001. But we’re a movie news site and the death of this hated piece of shit has affected various movies in production, most notably, Kathryn Bigelow’s Kill Bin Laden.
As we’ve previously reported Bigelow and Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal want to do a smaller movie before moving on to the international drug crime drama, Triple Frontier. In January, we reported that the indie thriller was about the hunt for Bin Laden, but then Variety updated their story to say the film had nothing to do with Bin Laden. What could have led them to originally think that it did? Apparently the script is called “Kill Bin Laden”. And it actually does have something to do with the recent Al-Qaeda corpse. Hit the jump for more.
Producer Megan Ellison has recently been proving herself to be the patron saint of film nerds. In addition to backing Paul Thomas Anderson‘s adaptation of Inherent Vice and his untitled Scientology movie, as well as a movie about WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange, it now looks like Ellison and her Annapurna Pictures are acquiring an untitled satire that would re-team director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman.
We reported back in December that the Being John Malkovich and Adaptation duo were pitching a new film, so presumably this is it. Deadline reports that the untitled satire is “about how world leaders gather to figure out all the seismic events that will take place in the worlds, from oil prices to wars that will be waged.” I have a feeling that the project will be a tough sell, but I’m glad that Ellison is clearly up to the challenge.
If you’ve been yearning for a new Paul Thomas Anderson film like the rest of us cinephiles, we’ve got some very good news for you. It looks like billionaire heiress Megan Ellison (daughter of Oracle boss Larry Ellison) is in negotiations to co-finance not one, but two new Paul Thomas Anderson films! The writer/director had been working on a religious drama said to revolve around the founding of a Scientology-like religion tentatively titled The Master, but was getting nowhere finding financing (this is Hollywood after all; just look at the vitriol spewed at Paul Haggis following his denunciation of Scientology).
The film was set to star Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the founder of a spiritual movement called the Cause, with Jeremy Renner taking on the role of his young protégé. Vulture reports that Renner was forced to drop out of the project given his full schedule (offers started pouring in following his Oscar-nominated turn in The Hurt Locker), but Hoffman is still attached to the film. Hit the jump for much more, including the status of Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pychon’s period crime-drama Inherent Vice.