Fans eager to see a vampiric take on the Biblical story of Cain and Abel can now rest easy, as Sony Pictures has agreed to move forward with The Redemption of Cain. The film, which tells the story of Cain and Abel with, you know, vampires, got a boost this summer when it was reported that Will Smith was looking to possibly make his directorial debut on the project. The Wrap reports that Sony is moving forward with the pic with an eye towards starting production in July 2013, but there’s no update on whether Smith will direct and/or star.
What is known is that Smith’s Overbrooke Entertainment is producing the film and casting is set to begin in the next few weeks. Filming will take place in London and Jordan, with exteriors to be shot in Morocco. Details regarding exactly how vampires will factor into the Cain and Abel story are unknown, but I’m strangely curious to see this project come together. Hopefully we hear more solid word regarding Smith’s involvement soon.
Despite missing the point of Richard Matheson‘s original novel and using crummy CG, I Am Legend made $585 million worldwide because that’s just what Will Smith does. For those who missed the flick, Smith played scientist Robert Neville, the last man in a post-apocalyptic world that was taken over by mutant vampires. Back in September 2008, we reported that Warner Bros. had hired D.B. Weiss (now the co-creator of Game of Thrones) to pen the screenplay for a prequel based on input by Smith, I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence, producer James Lassiter, and co-writer Akiva Goldsman. Then the movie lapsed into development hell, and I hoped it would stay there.
But Warner Bros. has remembered the dormant project, and now they along with Overbrook Entertainment and Goldsman have closed a deal to make another installment in the franchise. Hit the jump for more.
by Jeff Ames Posted: August 20th, 2011 at 6:24 am
What do you do when you’re offered the chance to direct Thor 2? You agree to direct a cowboy movie. At least that’s the vibe I’m getting from this latest news, courtesy of Variety, who claim Game of Thrones director Brian Kirk is circling Paper Wings, a rodeo drama about a rootin’ tootin’ bull riding champ who falls in love with a country singer. Think 8 Seconds meets Pure Country meets Top Gun. And speaking of Top Gun, word is Maverick himself has stepped in and offered his services on the project, going so far as to select Kirk for the gig. He may even star in the film. More after the jump.
In what some might read as a sign of the impending apocalypse, Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher are poised to team for the buddy comedy What Would Kenny Do?. I am not among the prophets of doom, in part because the script by Chris Baldi (which made the 2008 Black List of Hollywood’s best unproduced screenplays) has a great hook: “A teenager meets a hologram claiming to be the adult version of himself; the hologram then helps guide the teen through high school.” Bieber would play the teen, Kutcher the hologram. Sony Pictures is currently looking a new writer to rewrite the script, so maybe it won’t sound quite so fresh at the end of the development process. More after the break:
We are still over a year away from the May 25, 2012 release of Men in Black III, the official end to Will Smith’s three-and-a-half year hiatus from movies following Seven Pounds. Smith is attached to about a dozen projects that could be his next: an Annie remake with daughter Willow, the epic-sounding The City That Sailed (we were this close), the Wachowski Robin Hood re-imagining Hood. Two other candidates suggest his Smith has kept his nose in the Good Book. There’s The Legend of Cain, a vampiric take on the story of Cain and Abel, and Joe, a modern version of the harrowing tale of Job.
Screenwriting team Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (The Fighter) sold Joe to Sony Pictures and Smith’s production company Overbrook Entertainment; Smith is attached to star. In a recent interview, Tamasy spoke about their approach to updating the Biblical story, and revealed the studio wants to sign The Fighter director David O. Russell to helm Joe. Read what Tamasy had to say after the jump.
by Jason Barr Posted: January 26th, 2011 at 11:19 am
It’s official: the Will Smith/Jay-Z Annie remake is going into production. One week ago, we reported that the pair were in talks to revamp the classic property as a starring vehicle for Smith’s daughter Willow. At that time, however, it was believed that Jay-Z’s contribution would be confined to the film’s music. The press release we received today, though, confirms that the self-proclaimed “best rapper alive” will team-up with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment as a co-producer on the project. In addition to Overbrook and Jay-Z’s (a.k.a. Shawn Carter) involvement, Sony Pictures Entertainment will help develop the Annie remake.
For more on the project, hit the jump to check out the full press release.
Will Smith developed a remake of The Karate Kid for son Jaden, and it was the surprise hit of the summer with a sequel on the way. But the Fresh Prince is not one to play favorites with his offspring. Let’s see, what 1980s film would be perfect for a gift to daughter Willow Smith? Oh, of course: Annie. The property originated in 1924 as Little Orphan Annie, a comic strip about a parentlessly plucky young redhead. And the Broadway musical opened in 1977. But the film based on the musical premiered in 1982, so it counts.
The idea of “The Smiths Present Annie” is plenty entertaining on its own. But gee whiskers, it gets better: Jay-Z is in talks to collaborate on the music. Details after the jump:
Michael Lerner (Deadlines) has sold his pitch for Wheeler Dealers to Paramount Pictures, based on the story of American arms dealer and president of AEY, Inc. Efraim Diveroli. AEY landed a $300 million contract to supply ordinance to Afghan security forces in 2007, when Diveroli was only 21 years old. Diveroli pleaded guilty to charges of supplying prohibited Chinese ammunition earlier this week, and was sentenced to four years in prison.
According to Variety, the project is set up at Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment as well as Brett Ratner’s Rat Entertainment. Lerner is a former Newsweek foreign correspondent and freelance journalist, who last year sold his script Game Theory to Summit Enertainment. Game Theory centers on “a college professor and game theorist who gets sucked into a large-scale global incident.” If this screenwriting thing pans out, it sounds like we have a well-informed new voice in the political thriller genre — though of course I’ll always confuse him with the Michael Lerner who played Mayor Ebert in Godzilla.
Will Smith has chosen his next starring role, and he found it in the only source material grand enough for Hollywood’s last true movie star: the Bible. Smith is attached to star in The Legend of Cain, a re-telling of the murderous sibling rivalry in the book of Genesis; Smith will produce with wife Jada Pinkett Smith, James Lassiter, and Ken Stovitz under his Overbrook Entertainment banner. Deadline reports that the script from Caleeb Pinkett and Dan Knauf (Carnivàle) has a “vampiric twist”, though the nature of the revision is unspecified. There is no studio or director on board, but with Smith reporting to the Men in Black III production in August, there is ample time to position Cain as his follow-up effort. More after the jump:
Will Smith last appeared on screen in the 2008 drama Seven Pounds. The next film he officially has on the books is Men in Black III, which hits theaters May 25, 2012. I hope the Fresh Prince drops another curse-free album in that time, but at the very least, we can look forward to “Will Smith: Producer.” His Overbrook Entertainment produced this summer’s Karate Kid remake as a vehicle for son Jaden, and Smith is currently developing a feature with James Lassiter and Kevin Stovitz based on the life of Dr. S. Allen Counter, “modern-day explorer and African-American neuroscience professor.” He must have an awesome business card. More after the jump: