Filmmaker Robert Zemeckis is adding another project to his to-do list, and it may find him returning to the world of animation. Variety reports that the Forrest Gump director will helm an adaptation of the Kate DiCamillo childrens book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, which follows the exploits of a porcelain rabbit. Zemeckis will direct the pic for New Line Cinema with Jeff Stockwell penning the script, but it’s unclear if the film will be entirely animated or if the pic will involve live-action elements. Zemeckis spent a decade toying with motion-capture technology on films ranging from Beowulf to A Christmas Carol before returning to live-action with last year’s Flight.
This news comes on the heels of word that Zemeckis is also attached to direct a live-action adaptation of the documentary Marwencol, which is a drama involving mental illness. That project is apparently being earmarked as Zemeckis’ next film.
New Line Cinema is moving forward with its remake of the 1979 George Burns caper comedy Going in Style, and a trio of fine actors are circling the pic. While The Incredible Burt Wonderstone director Don Scardino was initially attached to direct, Variety now reports that Ted Melfi—who penned the screenplay—is in talks to direct the pic. Moreover, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin are apparently circling the three leads in the film, which finds a trio of elderly friends organizing a bank robbery just for kicks. News of Freeman, Caine, and Arkin’s involvement isn’t explicitly spelled out in the story but instead appeared in the original URL, so perhaps their involvement is tentative at best.
Melfi recently made his feature directorial debut on the highly sought-after drama St. Vincent de Van Nuys, which pairs Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy in an emotional dramedy that had a number of actors vying for the leads. We should hear more firm word on the cast of Going in Style soon. Hit the jump for the original’s trailer.
The long-promised sequel to the very funny 2011 comedy Horrible Bosses has lost its director. Seth Gordon was poised to return to the director’s chair for Horrible Bosses 2, but THR reports that the helmer has now dropped out due to scheduling issues. Apparently Gordon is busy with his ABC series The Goldbergs and other commitments, which would have conflicted with the proposed fall production start-date. Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day are all poised to reprise their roles for the follow-up after over a year and a half of negotiations, but movement on the project since they signed on has been quiet. Nevertheless, New Line Cinema is still determined to get filming underway this fall, and the studio has now begun a search for a new director.
Gordon most recently helmed the comedy Identity Thief, which opened to impressive box office earlier this year. The filmmaker is looking to try his hand at the thriller genre with Universal’s One Night on the Hudson, which will also star Day and Sudeikis.
Director James Wan’s upcoming horror film The Conjuring comes with some pretty high expectations when it opens in theaters this weekend. Originally scheduled for release this past January, Warner Bros. moved the film to a prime summer release date after test screenings went through the roof. Early reviews have been incredibly positive for the film, and now it appears that a sequel is already being developed ahead of what is expected to be a solid box office run. The film is based on the true story of the husband and wife paranormal investigator duo of Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), and the idea now is to build a possible series of films around the team’s investigations. Hit the jump for more.
The gang is getting back together. When screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein first started talking about their new Vacation film—which stars Ed Helms as a grown Rusty Griswold—the duo made no secret of the fact that they hoped to rope in some of the original castmembers for the pic. Earlier this month the duo told me that they planned on bringing people back, and now it appears that they’re nearing a deal as Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo are officially in negotiations to reprise their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold in Vacation. Hit the jump for more.
Rusty Griswold’s wife has been found. Ed Helms is set to star as the grown-up version of the Vacation character in Horrible Bosses screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein’s upcoming sequel/reboot Vacation, and now the excellent Christina Applegate has entered talks to take on the New Line pic’s female lead. The story finds Rusty taking his own family on a road trip to Wally World, and THR reports that Applegate is poised to star as Rusty’s wife, described as “strong-willed” and “losing interest” in her husband.
During a recent interview with the scribes, Daley and Goldstein told me that they hope to bring back some of the franchise’s original castmembers in this new film (ie. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo). Applegate is a fantastic comedic actress and seems a swell fit to lead the pic opposite Helms. She is currently filming the sequel Anchorman: The Legend Continues. Production on Vacation begins this June in New Mexico and Atlanta.
Just yesterday we learned that Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone, also an actor and screenwriter, had formed their own production banner and set up three new projects, and now the two continue their Hollywood takeover as they’re poised to make their directorial debut. One of the first projects McCarthy attached herself to after her breakout role in Bridesmaids was a road trip comedy called Tammy, which she also co-wrote with Falcone. After a few directors became attached and subsequently dropped off—including The Help’s Tate Taylor—New Line has decided to tap McCarthy and Falcone to take the helm. Hit the jump for more.
New Line Cinema has found a director for its long-gestating adaptation of the Brian K. Vaughan graphic novel Y: The Last Man. The dystopian story centers on Yorick, the last surviving man after an epidemic kills every other mammal with a Y chromosome. We reported last September that the project was a priority for the studio and they were vetting possible directors. The pressure was on to find the right person for the pic, as a number of candidates have come and gone including DJ Caruso (Disturbia), who was attached to the project for a considerable amount of time. Now that director search has seemingly ended, as the studio has settled on commercials helmer Dan Trachtenberg to bring the adaptation to fruition. Hit the jump for more details.
New Line is finally moving forward with their MacGyver movie, and they’ve made a surprising director choice on the project. Variety reports that Saw and Insidious director James Wan is now in talks to helm the adaptation of the 1980s TV series, which already has an existing script by Jason Richman that was recently reworked by Brian and Mark Gunn. For those unaware, the premise of MacGyver centered around the title character (played by Richard Dean Anderson) bringing together random everyday objects in order to save the day. Wan recently directed the supernatural horror film The Conjuring for the studio, and execs were so pleased with the results that they recently moved the release date from this coming January to a prime July date.
A MacGyver movie is all well and good, but the film adaptation will surely have to make some tweaks in order to make the series feel relevant in the modern era. Moreover, it’ll likely be difficult to get audiences to take the premise seriously in the wake of Jorma Taccone’s brilliant comedy MacGruber.
It seems that New Line Cinema hasn’t forgotten about their plans to adapt Y: The Last Man after all, according to a new report. After a recent script submission from Jericho scribes Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia, the studio was apparently pleased enough to move the project up in their priority list. The Eisner Award-winning series written by Brian K. Vaughn and illustrated by Pia Guerra centers on Yorick, the last surviving man after an epidemic kills every other mammal with a Y chromosome. Hit the jump for more on the project in development.
Director James Bobin is now onboard to direct the spy film Agent Zigzag. The Muppets director will helm the adaptation of the Ben McIntyre novel for New Line and Playtone Pictures, with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman producing. The story centers on a professional criminal who became a double agent during World War II. “He won the trust of German intelligence services even as he reported back to the spymasters of MI5.” Rowan Joffe (Brighton Rock) was hired to write the script early last year for Mike Newell (Prince of Persia) to direct, but it appears Newell is no longer with the project.
Agent Zigzag is a bit of a change of pace for Bobin, as last year’s The Muppets was his feature directorial debut following stints on comedy series like Da Alie G Show and The Flight of the Conchords, but the novel apparently includes farcical elements. Hit the jump for more, including a synopsis of the novel.
Coming on the heels of news that NBC’s 30 Rock will be returning for a 13-episode final season next year, Alec Baldwin appears to be filling his hiatus spots with a couple of projects with familiar friends. First up, Deadline reports that Baldwin will re-team with Woody Allen on the writer/director’s next untitled project. Baldwin stars in Allen’s latest film, To Rome with Love, and apparently Allen took a liking to the actor as he’s decided to include him in his next feature. After spending the past few years shooting abroad, the untitled film is set to shoot in San Francisco and New York this year.
Sally Hawkins (Happy Go-Lucky) is in talks to star as one of two female leads in the dramedy, with Cate Blanchett and Bradley Cooper apparently eyeing other roles in the pic. Hit the jump for news concerning Baldwin re-teaming with Russell Brand.
Antoine Fuqua is adding yet another project to his crowded directorial development slate. Variety reports that the Training Day director is in talks to helm the crime drama Chicagoland for New Line Cinema. Plot details are thin, but the story apparently revolves around some sort of heist. Fuqua has come in and out of a number of projects in the last year, and he’s currently attached to direct Steel Town, the crime spree pic Storming Las Vegas, and the Eminem boxing drama Southpaw. Variety notes that it’s unknown which of these projects is closest to production, so we still don’t know what Fuqua’s next film will be.
Peter Morgan (The Queen) wrote the script for Chicagoland, and apparently a number of directors were pursuing the gig, including Stephen Gaghan (Syriana). I haven’t been impressed with Fuqua’s recent output so I’m not exactly sure why he won out over a talent like Gaghan, but New Line must have taken a liking to his pitch. Nevertheless, we’ll have to wait and see if this project actually comes to fruition.
New Line Cinema is looking to stay in the Seth Gordon business as the studio as set their Horrible Bosses director to helm the comedy The Has-Beens. Variety’s report on the matter states that the logline is being kept under wraps, but the script was written by The Colbert Report scribe Max Werner. Horrible Bosses was a huge hit for an R-rated comedy, and Gordon is next set to direct Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in the crime comedy Identity Thief. Werner also wrote Fun Size, which opens on October 26th. That film centers on a teenager who loses her brother on Halloween and must find him before returning home. The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz makes his feature directorial debut.
I flat-out loved Horrible Bosses, so I’m happy to see Gordon continuing to capitalize on the film’s success. Hopefully we hear more about The Has-Beens soon. Identity Thief is set to open on May 10th, 2013.
Will Ferrell is heading back to college. New Line Cinema has acquired the rights to Andrew Ferguson’s book Crazy U: One Dad’s Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College and they’ve attached the Old School star to play the titular father. Deadline reports that Crazy U is being developed as a potential star vehicle for Ferrell, and he’ll produce alongside Gary Sanchez’s Adam McKay and Jessica Elbaum. The memoir chronicles Ferguson’s journey to get his son into the perfect college, highlighting the father’s obsessive compulsion to do everything exactly right. Ferguson notes his meeting with a private college consultant, preparations for the SAT, talking with essay coaches, and more OCD over-parenting adventures.
The material could veer heavily into cheese territory in different hands, but Ferrell is a swell choice to tackle the outlandish father character. If they go the Step Brothers route and up the weird factor, we could be in for another comedy home run from the Farrell-McKay team. Hit the jump to read a synopsis for the book.