Continuing with its recent model of mining older properties for content, MGM is moving forward with a new take on The Pink Panther. Heat Vision reports that the studio is developing a live-action/animation hybrid iteration of the classic character, with The Simpsons Movie director David Silverman onboard to take the helm. The focus of the new movie will be on the titular panther himself instead of inspector Jacques Clouseau, and The Simpsons writer Michael Price is in talks to pen the script. Hit the jump for more on the new movie.
MGM’s The Idolmaker remake has a new director. Though Ryan Gosling was initially attached to star in and direct a new iteration of Taylor Hackford’s 1980 musical drama, he subsequently left the project. Now Variety reports that Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer is in talks to take the helm as Justin Timberlake has closed a deal to produce. The original film starred Ray Sharkey and told the story of a songwriter/manager searching for “the next big thing.” The pic was based on the life of concert promoter and manager Bob Marcucci, but it’s unknown if this new iteration will still take cues from Marcucci’s life or if it will explore new territory.
Brewer certainly has experience with music-themed projects, as he wrote and directed 2005’s Hustle & Flow and the 2011 Footloose remake. Since he has a tendency to also write the films that he directs, one imagines he’ll have a hand in the screenplay for The Idolmaker. Watch the trailer for the original film after the jump.
While the Fast & Furious franchise is currently on its seventh installment and fourth director, the series was first kicked into gear with 2001′s The Fast and the Furious as a street racing film from director Rob Cohen. He went on to direct the over-the-top actioner xXx and last year’s James Patterson adaptation Alex Cross, but now he has his sights set on a remake of a 1980s favorite. The Wrap reports that Cohen will helm a redo of the 1989 Patrick Swayze pic Road House for MGM. The original film revolved around a charming bouncer with a mysterious past who is hired to tame a rather dingy dive bar. Michael Stokes wrote the script for the remake.
Hit the jump to relive Patrick Swayze badassery by way of the trailer for the original Road House, and start dream-casting actors suitable to fill Swayze’s shoes in the comments section.
The legacy of the James Bond film franchise is not without its twists and turns, many of which are excellently captured in the documentary Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007. One of the more difficult stories related to the film series involves Thunderball, which began with an original screenplay by Bond creator Ian Fleming and Kevin McClory, before Fleming decided to cut McClory out of the picture and publish the novel Thunderball—based on the idea the two hatched together—with nary a mention of McClory. The result was a decades-long legal battle and two “unofficial” Bond films (Thunderball and Never Say Never Again), but at long last the entanglement has ended.
Hit the jump for more, including what this means for the Bond franchise going forward.
The Addams Family, a group described as “creepy”, “kooky”, “mysterious”, “spooky”, and “all together ookie”, will be returning to the big screen as an animated movie. The macabre family has enjoyed numerous forms since they were created in 1938 by cartoonist Charles Addams for The New Yorker. Their most popular incarnations were the original live-action series, which ran from 1964-1966, and the hit 1991 film starring Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston, Christina Ricci, and Christopher Lloyd. The sequel, Addams Family Values, flopped, and the third movie, Addams Family Reunion, went straight-to-video, but the delightfully strange clan made a bit of a comeback with a 2010 Broadway musical. A return to movie theaters is overdue.
Hit the jump for more.
Director Jose Padilha’s upcoming RoboCop will grace the ginormous IMAX screens when it hits theaters next year. Sony and MGM announced today that the film will be digitally re-mastered into the IMAX format, giving fans the opportunity to check it out on the big, big screen. Joel Kinnaman leads the redo, which takes place in 2028 and finds the sleazy OminiCorp putting its drone technology to use on domestic grounds by way of a part-man, part-robot police officer. The experiment on Kinnaman is meant to be the first of many RoboCops that the company hopes to put in every city around the country, but obviously things don’t go as planned. Watch the trailer here.
The film also stars Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael K. Williams, Jennifer Ehle, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. If you missed Steve’s recent interview with Baruchel about the film, click here. RoboCop opens in traditional theaters and IMAX on February 7, 2014.
MGM continues to move forward on its new adaptation of the 1880 Lew Wallace novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of The Christ, and it appears that the studio has a rather visually-inclined director in mind to tackle the redo. Deadline reports that Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter director Timur Bekmambetov is in talks to direct the Biblical epic, which was of course previously realized onscreen by director William Wyler in the Charlton Heston-fronted 1959 classic Ben-Hur. MGM’s new adaptation is said to be more faithful to the book and diverges heavily from the Heston film, as it will also tell the parallel tale of Jesus Christ in addition to the Ben-Hur story. Hit the jump for more.
Director Ryan Coogler’s feature film debut Fruitvale Station took the Sundance Film Festival by storm earlier this year, picking up a handful of awards and becoming one of the most talked-about films of the fest. The Weinstein Company quickly swooped in and picked the film up for distribution, and the true-life story started opening in theaters a couple of weekends ago ahead of what’s sure to be an intense awards season run. Now it appears that Coogler is ready to team up with his Fruitvale Station star Michael B. Jordan sooner rather than later, as the two are in early talks to make a Rocky spinoff film focusing on the grandson of Carl Weathers’ Apollo Creed. Hit the jump for more.
MGM and Paramount Pictures have announced that principal photography is currently underway on director Brett Ratner’s ensemble-action film Hercules. The film stars Dwayne Johnson as the titular demigod and is based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars, but the official logline describes the pic as “a revisionist take on the classic myth set in a grounded world where the supernatural does not exist.” Making a Herclues movie without any semblance of the supernatural is a bit odd, but the story of Ratner’s film finds the titular character traveling ancient Greece with five faithful companions sometime after “the legend” that we’re familiar with.
Hit the jump to read the full official synopsis for the film. Written by Ryan Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos, the pic also stars Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan, John Hurt, Rebecca Ferguson, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Askel Hennie, and Reece Ritchie. Hercules opens on July 25, 2014.
MGM has picked up the rights to Ben Karlin‘s humorous anthology, Things I’ve Learned from Women Who’ve Dumped Me. The book is collection of essays from celebrated comedians including Stephen Colbert, Patton Oswalt, Larry David, Will Forte, and Andy Richter as well as best-selling authors/columnists Dan Savage, A.J. Jacobs, and many more. It’s a very funny and surprisingly touching book where the authors’ talent for self-deprecation and insight shines through. According to Deadline, Kyle Pennenkamp & Scott Turpel (the upcoming Get a Job) will write the script, which will cull the book “for the ingredients to a male-oriented comedy.” That phrase has me a bit worried since the essays aren’t misogynistic and can appeal to both genders.
Hit the jump for a synopsis of the book. Karlin co-wrote and produced the upcoming comedy A.C.O.D. (click here for my review from Sundance), and is currently a co-executive producer on Modern Family. He previously worked as an executive producer on both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.
MGM has solidified its replacement for director Joe Carnahan (The Grey) on its remake of the 1974 Charles Bronson film Death Wish. Carnahan had been developing the project for over a year before he dropped out last month when he and MGM didn’t see eye-to-eye on who should play the film’s protagonist, a liberal architect who sets out for vengeance after his wife and daughter are attacked. The studio wanted Bruce Willis for the role, but Carnahan was keen on going a different way.
Now Variety reports that director Gerardo Naranjo, who most recently helmed the Spanish-language thriller Miss Bala, is in talks to step in. Carnahan wrote the script for Death Wish alongside John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris, and the report notes that Brad Pitt and Will Smith were previously approached to star in addition to Willis. Naranjo is also attached to direct the romantic drama The Mountain Between Us at Fox, which is hoping to land a big star as its lead as well.
Fifty years later, the Bond franchise is astoundingly stronger than ever, as Skyfall joined the $1 billion worldwide club in December. MGM understandably wants to jump back into the series sooner than later. On a conference call with investors, MGM CEO Gary Barber promised:
“We are currently developing the screenplay and working with our partners. We look forward to developing the script soon and signing a director. We are hoping within the next 3 years it will be released.” [Reuters]
Skyfall director Sam Mendes will not return, but Barber says they “look forward to announcing a director soon.” Mendes hatched a story idea with John Logan before he left, and Logan will stay on to write Bond 24. Daniel Craig is signed for at least two more films, so the immediate future of the Bond series is bright.
MGM’s remake of the 1976 horror film The Town That Dreaded Sundown is moving forward, and some major players have boarded the project behind the scenes. We first learned that the remake was in development this past November, but now Heat Vision reports that Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy is teaming up with producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity franchise, Insidious) on the project. The original slasher film was based on five unsolved, grisly murders in 1946 Texarkana and became a cult hit.
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is in talks to direct the horror remake, which has a script by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Carrie remake, Glee). Gomez-Rejon has previously helmed a number of episodes of Glee and American Horror Story: Asylum, and is also a prolific second-unit director who most recently worked on Argo. This new Sundown is said to keep the original film’s cinema verite style with an added procedural element akin to Zodiac. Murphy also revealed that they’re doing a “weird meta thing with it,” whatever that means. Production is gearing up to begin this spring. Hit the jump to watch the trailer for the original film.
Thanks to the smashing box office success of Skyfall ($1.03 billion) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ($886 million and counting), MGM has a built up quite the purse, and now they’re looking to commit some of that profit to a fairly high profile remake. Per Deadline, MGM is buying a spec script for a new version of Ben-Hur, based on the 1880 Lew Wallace novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of The Christ. Wallace’s novel was famously immortalized onscreen by director William Wyler in 1959 with the classic epic Ben-Hur, starring Charlton Heston, and the novel was also previously adapted in the 1925 silent film Ben-Hur: A Tale of The Christ. This new adaptation was scripted by Keith Clarke and will be produced by Sean Daniel and Joni Levin. The reboot is more faithful to the book and diverges heavily from the Heston film, as it will also tell the parallel tale of Jesus Christ in addition to the Ben-Hur story. Hit the jump for more details.
MGM is planning to remake the 1976 flick The Town That Dreaded Sundown. The slasher flick was based on five unsolved, grisly murders in 1946 Texarkana. “The Phantom Killer” has a memorable look as his mask is nothing more than a sack-cloth with an eyehole. I saw the film earlier this year, and it reminded me of Wes Craven‘s Last House on the Left as it had truly horrific scenes but then awkwardly moved to comic scenes featuring inept lawmen.
The challenge in remaking The Town That Dreaded Sundown is figuring out how to make it more than a generic slasher film. Halloween hadn’t come out yet in 1976, so the slasher subgenre was relatively lean when Sundown came out. Now that audiences know how slasher movies work, I’m curious to see how the new filmmakers will try to get scares out of the plot. It might be best to return to the original’s “true crime” vibe since the narration is the film’s most effective aspect. According to Variety, MGM is “asking agents for possible takes from writers to reboot the Charles B. Pierce film.” Hit the jump to check out the trailer.