Man of Steel director Zack Snyder’s career was kicked into high gear with his swell 2004 remake of the George Romero zombie classic Dawn of the Dead, and now it appears that a follow-up remake may finally be coming to fruition. After first announcing plans for a redo earlier this year, Deadline reports that Millennium Films has now tapped Mark Tonderai (House at the End of the Street) to helm a modern day remake of Romero’s 1985 Dawn follow-up Day of the Dead, which revolved around a small group of military officers and scientists dwelling in an underground bunker during the zombie apocalypse. The new film will take place “years after the zombie plague has wiped out most of Earth’s population” and will center on a team of scientists and survivors who, in trying to find a cure for the zombie epidemic, end up opening a Pandora’s box.
Hit the jump for more on the latest entry in the crowded field of zombie-themed entertainment offerings.
The Raven director James McTeigue is lining up his next project, and things are moving rather quickly. Deadline reports that McTeigue will helm the thriller Survivor for Millennium Films, with Milla Jovovich, Emma Thompson, Pierce Brosnan, and Angela Bassett set to star. Jovovich leads the cast as a State Department employee stationed in London who is tasked with preventing terrorists from entering the United States. When she is targeted for death and framed for crimes she didn’t commit, she must race to clear her name and stop a large-scale attack from reaching Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Fingers crossed this is really the long-awaited prequel to the 2012 celebrity-filled romcom New Year’s Eve.
Production on Survivor is set to begin in London on January 20th with a script by Bill Shelby. McTeigue, who also directed V for Vendetta, has a number of other projects in various stages of development, including a remake of the Jean-Claude Van Damme martial arts pic Bloodsport for Relativity Media.
Earlier this year, producers Lati Grobman and Christa Campbell released their remake/reboot/sequel/whatever, Texas Chainsaw 3D. According to Deadline, the duo are now teaming with Millennium Films and setting their sights on remaking George A. Romero‘s Day of the Dead. Although Dawn of the Dead is arguably the most revered of Romero’s zombie films, Day is a strong installment as it takes a science-vs-military approach, and puts the charming zombie “Bub” in the middle. Grobman says their remake “will honor Romero’s original vision” by ditching the popular fast-moving zombies and returning to the slow shufflers. “Our goal is to reset the genre by finding the perfect balance between nostalgia and modernity,” Grobman says, “all while crafting a story that has both heart and brains — literally.” You know. Because zombies eat people.
While the gut reaction is to rebel against remaking a perfectly good movie, we should remember that far more skepticism was leveled at the remake of Dawn of the Dead, and that turned out to be a fun movie in its own right. Day was already remade as a direct-to-DVD feature in 2008, but the new remake will be $10-20 million, and presumably aim for theatrical release. A winter start date is being eyed for a 2014 release.
If you had to see a movie by Renny Harlin or Brett Ratner, which would you choose? Audiences will have to face that question (because in my Saw-like example, you must choose) because Ratner’s Hercules will now be facing competition from Harlin’s Hercules 3D. Although Harlin hasn’t has a hit film since the Clinton Administration, Millennium has tasked the director to helm a $70 million tentpole based on the Greek demigod. THR reports that preproduction has already begun, casting is expected to begin in the next few weeks, and cameras should be rolling by May so the film can make a March 2014 release date. The rush will get Hercules 3D to theaters before Ratner’s film, which opens August 8, 2014.
Hit the jump for more.
The feature film adaptation of playwright/screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire’s play Good People just took a big step forward. The Wrap reports that Millennium Films is packaging the feature project with James Franco looking to possibly star. The drama is set in the working-class, predominantly Irish Boston neighborhood Southie and centers on Margie, a high school dropout and single mother of a mentally disabled daughter who struggles to make ends meet. She strikes up a relationship with a former classmate, which anchors the class politics explored in the film.
When the film was previously being developed Frances McDormand was attached to reprise her role as Margie from the play, but it’s unclear if she’s still poised to star in this new incarnation. Lindsay-Abaire wrote the script himself, and in a recent interview with Steve he revealed that he was a bit hesitant about whether the story will make a good film or not. Nevertheless, Millennium Films is in the process of packaging what they hope will be a Franco-led feature film adaptation. [Update: The Wrap has updated their story to reflect that they erroneously identified the Good People project as the Lindsay-Abaire adaptation. In fact, Franco is looking to star in a wholly different film also called Good People, a crime thriller based on a novel by Marcus Sakey.]
There’s a lot of American Film Market (AFM) craziness on the way with announcements, confirmations, first images and synopses from plenty of upcoming films. The Expendables 3 has looked like it’s pretty much a go since August, and a flyer from Nu Media/Millennium Films has confirmed that the studios are selling the international distribution rights, which will likely help fund the upcoming action flick. A more surprising announcement is that Nu Media/Millennium Films are planning The Mechanic 2, a sequel to the 2011 action flick about a hitman (Jason Statham) and his protégé (Ben Foster). We have absolutely no details on the plot for either sequel, but The Mechanic 2 is a bit of a surprise since the original flopped at the box office.
We’ll be sure to bring you any updates on both projects as we get them. Hit the jump for a full look at the flyer, which also includes Nu Media/Millennium Films’ non-sequels.
The last we heard of Joel Schmacher’s hostage thriller Trespass was back in October 2010 when plenty of images from the film were released. The movie then went surprisingly quiet considering it starred Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman plus a solid supporting cast that included Ben Mendelsohn (Animal Kingdom) and Liana Liberato (Trust). Then in June it was picked up by Millennium and presumably it was going to get a solid theatrical release. Now it looks like it went quiet for a reason. Movieline picked up a now-deleted tweet that showed the first poster for the film. The poster’s a little bland but a new poster is a sign of life, right? Well yes and no. At the bottom of the poster the release date is listed as October 14th but VideoETA and Amazon say the movie hits DVD and VOD on November 1st. That means that the theatrical release will likely be limited to the major markets.
While we’ll wait for official confirmation on this one, it does fit with why we’ve heard so little on this film and the fact that Schumacher hasn’t made a good movie since 2000′s Tigerland. While it’s nothing new for a movie with name actors to head straight to DVD, I’m now curious to see exactly how bad it had to be to send it dump it on VOD so soon after a theatrical run. In the meantime, hit the jump to check out the poster.
When we first heard that Nicolas Cage had signed on to star opposite Nicole Kidman in director Joel Schumacher’s Trespass, the general reaction wasn’t too positive due to the notably spotty track record of the three parties involved in recent years. Yet we tend to love Cage around these parts, warts and all. So it gives me no pleasure to pass along the news that Cage appears to have dropped out of the production just two weeks shy of the start date. Details after the jump.
Director F. Gary Gray (Law Abiding Citizen) is reportedly at the top of the short list to helm the adaptation of the video game Kane & Lynch with Bruce Willis and Jamie Foxx attached to star. We reported a couple weeks ago that Wayne Kramer (The Cooler) was in talks to direct after stunt effects coordinator Simon Crane dropped off the project. In that same article, we noted that Gray had been offered the project, but turned it down. It looks like the studio, Millennium Films, has been able to bring Gray back to the table. According to Heat Vision, director Roger Donaldson (The Bank Job) is also on the short list.
The video game follows death-row inmate Kane (Willis) who, along with a schizophrenic killer named Lynch (Foxx), is sprung by Kane’s former team so that they can retrieve a stolen microchip that’s worth a fortune. Lynch acts as the team’s watchdog in order to save his wife and daughter. I’m sure the mother and daughter will be overjoyed to see their schizophrenic killer husband and father again. Production is set to begin this August.
Last month, we reported that the resurgent Mickey Rourke was in talks to play Corin, Conan’s father, in Marcus Nispel’s Conan. Now, Deadline is reporting that Rourke is indeed in talks to star in Conan, but he is also in negotiations to appear in Tarsem’s War of the Gods as King Hyperion.
Conan seemed to be the only suitor for Rourke’s services, with production set to begin near the end of March in Bulgaria, but that is being threatened. War of the Gods is set to film in in early April. Of the two, the choice seems to be obviously, especially with the recent signing of Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) to star alongside Henry Cavill in War of the Gods.
For more on the potential conflicting schedules of War of the Gods and Conan, along with news of Conan rewrites, hit the jump.