Alamo Drafthouse and other Theaters Denied Permission by Paramount to Show TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE

by     Posted 4 days ago

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This is why we can’t have nice things when people give into terrorism.  Terrorism wants us to be afraid, and fear causes people to make bad decisions.  Movie theaters—places where people are already reluctant to go for a variety of reasons—pulled The Interview following non-credible threats from the cyber-terrorists who attacked Sony.  Sony subsequently canceled the film’s release, and after slightly mulling over a VOD release, decided against it with no further plans for release (passing on VOD may have been a way to collect on the insurance).  These are bad decisions that can set a dangerous precedent and ramifications.  We already saw a glimpse of it yesterday with New Regency canceling the Gore Verbinski comedy Pyongyang.

The Alamo Drafthouse responded to being unable to show The Interview by making the good decision to show another comedy that poked fun at North Korea, Team America: World Police, a film that holds up on its own merits, not just because it’s become timely.  But now Paramount Pictures is shutting down screenings; screenings that would tell terrorists, “We will not let you control what we are and aren’t allowed to watch.  We don’t live in your shithole country.”  Hit the jump for more.

EARTH TO ECHO Director David Green in Talks to Direct TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2; Bepop and Rocksteady to Appear

by     Posted 18 days ago

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A director swap is on tap for a burgeoning franchise.  To the surprise to some, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a box office success when it opened in theaters this past August, going on to gross $477 million worldwide.  Critical reaction was less than stellar, but audiences (namely kids) seemed to dig this new motion-capture-enhanced iteration of the titular Turtles.  Paramount officially dated a sequel for June 3, 2016, and Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: LA) seemed enthused about the prospect of returning for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 with ideas about where the franchise could go in a further installment.  However, Paramount Pictures has opted to take a new approach to the follow-up, and they have their eye on Earth to Echo director David Green to take the reins.

Hit the jump for more, including which comics characters are poised to appear in the sequel.

Penelope Cruz Joins ZOOLANDER 2 as Comedy Sequel Finally Gains Momentum

by     Posted 32 days ago

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Just a few years ago, filmmakers were lamenting the fact that despite the cult success their comedies had enjoyed over the years, studios just weren’t willing to foot the bill for a follow-up.  Director Adam McKay was famously ready to throw in the towel on Anchorman 2 before one last phone call to Paramount led to the film finally coming together, and it enjoyed modest success at the box office last year.  Just last week, Dumb and Dumber To opened in theaters at the Number One spot, proving once again that a comedy sequel released years after the original (in this case a decade) still has an audience.  Which leads us to Zoolander 2.  The original Ben Stiller-led and directed comedy pulled in only $60 million at the worldwide box office, but it gained a massive following on home video over the years.

Stiller has been trying to get the follow-up off the ground for some time now, and it finally looks as if the project has momentum as Penelope Cruz is signing on to star.  Much more after the jump. 

Paramount and AMC Theaters Want You to See All 169 Minutes of INTERSTELLAR as Many Times as You Want with an “Unlimited Ticket”

by     Posted 35 days ago

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I have mixed feelings about Interstellar, but I have no doubt that if you want to see it, you have to see it on the big screen (preferably IMAX).  And if you loved Interstellar, you probably want to see it again and again except ticket prices are ridiculously high.  Paramount and AMC Theaters are teaming up to solve this problem by offering an “Unlimited Ticket”.  First, you have to be an AMC Stubs member (it’s actually not a bad membership on its own), and then the cost of an unlimited ticket is $19.99 to $34.99 based on the location of the 330 participating theaters across the country.  If you already bought a ticket for Interstellar, you can upgrade for $14.99.  The ticket works at any AMC theater and for any format of the film, including IMAX.

Sweet deal, right?  If you love Interstellar and want to keep seeing it, this is a solid value.  But I think what’s more valuable is this concept, which I’d like to see applied to other big movies.  Interstellar isn’t having the same box office hold as The Dark Knight and Inception, Nolan movies that people were happily shelling out cash to see repeatedly.  I’m curious if any other studio will take this “Unlimited Ticket” concept and apply it to any film that may doing well, but not well enough that it can comfortably count on repeat business.  Hit the jump for the press release, which contains more details.

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg Confirmed to Reunite for DADDY’S HOME; Filming Starts This Year

by     Posted 47 days ago

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The Other Guys stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are officially set to reunite.  We heard a few months ago that Wahlberg might be replacing Vince Vaughn in the comedy Daddy’s Home, and Paramount announced today that indeed Ferrell and Wahlberg will be toplining the film.  Ferrell will star as a mild-mannered radio executive who strives to become the best stepdad to his wife’s two children, but complications ensue when their freewheeling and freeloading real father turns up.  Ferrell and Wahlberg subsequently compete for the affection of the kids.  That’s My Boy and Horrible Bosses 2 helmer Sean Anders will direct, and filming is expected to get underway later this year.  Ferrell and Wahlberg had great chemistry in The Other Guys, so I’m excited by the prospect of them playing off of one another once again.

Brian Burns (Entourage) wrote the initial screenplay, but Paramount notes that the script has revisions by Adam McKay, Anders and John Morris (Horrible Bosses 2), Chris Henchy (The Other Guys), and Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder).  Ferrell, McKay, and Henchy are producing through their Gary Sanchez Productions banner, with Anders also onboard as a producer.  Read the full press release after the jump.

Alex Garland to Write and Direct Enviro-Horror Thriller ANNIHILATION

by     Posted 52 days ago

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Just yesterday, the trailer debuted for 28 Days Later, Dredd, and Sunshine writer Alex Garland’s directorial debut, the fantastic-looking sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, and now Garland is lining up another incredibly promising directorial project.  Variety reports that he has been tapped by Paramount to write and direct an adaptation of the first book in Jeff VanderMeer’s excellent Southern Reach trilogy, Annihilation. The books are at once terrifying and incredibly compelling, with each novel written from a different perspective and with a unique authorial voice.

The first book, Annihilation, follows the expedition of four women who are sent into the mysterious “Area X”, a portion of land in the United States that has been secretly quarantined due to abnormal activity.  They are the twelfth expedition sent into Area X.  The second ended in mass suicide, the third in a hail of gunfire as the members turned on one another, and the eleventh expedition returned as shells of their former selves, all dying of cancer shortly after coming back.  More after the jump.

Charlie Kaufman to Rewrite IQ 83 for Steve Carell to Star

by     Posted 61 days ago

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It looks like Charlie Kaufman and Steve Carell may work together after all.  Carell was originally set to star in the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind scribe’s excellent-sounding musical Frank or Francis, but the feature was postponed due to lack of financing.  He then turned his attention to the FX pilot How and Why, only to see the network pass on picking it up to series earlier this year.  Now Kaufman has been tapped to rewrite a star vehicle for Carell, and it sounds kind of great.  The Adaptation. and Being John Malkovich screenwriter will pen an adaptation of Arthur Herzog’s science-fiction novel IQ 83, which revolves around the outbreak of a disease that is slowly making everyone dumber.  More after the jump.

Yes, Really: Dwayne Johnson to Lead the BAYWATCH Movie

by     Posted 81 days ago

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Dwayne Johnson has aptly been labeled “franchise steroids” for his ability to revitalize series like The Fast and the Furious, G.I. Joe, and even Journey to the Center of the Earth with his incredible charisma and screen presence.  This will be put to the ultimate test very soon, as THR now reports that Johnson is attached to star in the Baywatch movie for Paramount Pictures.  Moreover, the writing team of Sean Anders and John Morris have come aboard to direct the film after making their helming debut on the upcoming comedy Horrible Bosses 2.  More on this development after the jump.

William Monahan to Adapt Teen Informant Exposé THE THROWAWAYS

by     Posted 88 days ago

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Paramount Pictures and Academy Award winning screenwriter William Monahan (The Departed) just snatched up some rather riveting yet tragic source material.  Via his two-year first-look deal with Paramount through his company Henceforth Pictures, Monahan will adapt Sarah Stillman’s 2012 true-crime New Yorker article, “The Throwaways.”

The piece chronicles what happened when police turned young offenders into informants and sent them on dangerous and disturbingly risky assignments.  Hit the jump for more on the planned The Throwaways adaptation.

Jason Reitman’s MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN Release Date Set for October 3rd

by     Posted 126 days ago

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We now know when director Jason Reitman’s next film will be arriving in theaters.  In Contention reports that the Men, Women & Children release date has been set for a limited bow on October 3rd, with a wider expansion planned for October 17th where it will square off directly against Gone Girl.  Men, Women & Children revolves around a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their lives.  Adam Sandler leads an ensemble cast that includes Rosemarie DewittJennifer GarnerJudy GreerDean NorrisJ.K. SimmonsAnsel Elgort, and Emma Thompson.

Reitman’s 2013 film, Labor Day, was somewhat abandoned by Paramount and dumped in January, but it appears that the studio is taking good care of the Up in the Air filmmaker’s next effort as it and Interstellar are Paramount’s only Oscar prospects this year.  It’s certainly possible Men, Women & Children could be in the awards conversation, and I look forward to catching its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in a couple of weeks.  Check back tomorrow to watch the first trailer.

THE RING 3 Moving Forward with Director F. Javier Gutierrez

by     Posted 157 days ago

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Like their principal villains, horror movie franchises rarely die.  If there’s not a new sequel to be made, there’s a remake in the works.  If the remake didn’t take off, go with a reboot that’s loosely connected to the original franchise.  As such, though it’s been nine years since the last installment, it appears that The Ring 3 is finally moving forward.  Director Gore Verbinski’s 2002 American remake of the Japanese horror film The Ring was a massive crossover hit, grossing $249.3 million at the box office.  A few years later, Ringu director Hideo Nakata was brought in to helm the 2005 sequel The Ring Two.  Though the overall response was significantly less enthusiastic, the pic drew in a respectable $161.5 million worldwide.

A third The Ring film has been discussed for some time, but the project never gained any real momentum.  Now, however, Paramount has decided it’s time to move forward in earnest, bringing in F. Javier Guiterrez to take the helm.  More after the jump.

Martin Scorsese’s SILENCE Targeted for November 2015 Release Date as Paramount Acquires Distribution

by     Posted 161 days ago

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Things are firming up for Martin Scorsese’s next film, his long-developed passion project Silence.  The filmmaker has been working on an adaptation of the Shusaku Endo novel for years and is finally gearing up to begin production this year with Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Ken Watanabe, and Liam Neeson set to star, and now Deadline reports that Paramount is in talks to acquire the pic for a planned November 2015 release.  The Silence release date puts the film right in the heart of awards season.

The story takes place in 17th century Japan and revolves around two Jesuit priests who face persecution as they search for their mentor and work to spread Christianity.  It’s heady subject matter, but the prospect of Scorsese and the impeccably talented Garfield bringing the film to fruition is extremely exciting.

Comic-Con 2014 Schedule for Wednesday’s Preview Night and Thursday, July 24th Includes CONSTANTINE, HANNIBAL, BATMAN ’66, and More

by     Posted 165 days ago

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The Comic-Con 2014 scheduled for Wednesday’s July 23rd’s Preview Night and Thursday, July 24th has been announced.  As they’ve done in previous years, Preview Night will offer fans a first look at the pilots for upcoming shows.  This year’s lineup is for The Flash, Constantine, and iZombie plus a brand new episode Teen Titans Go!.  On Thursday, you’ll get a much stronger Hall H lineup than last year with presentations from DreamWorks Animation, The Giver, Paramount Pictures, Entertainment Weekly’s: The Visionaries (the “visionaries” haven’t been announced yet, but usually this is a fascinating panel), and a look at the upcoming Batman ’66 Blu-ray set.  Folks in Ballroom 20, which hosts plenty of TV panels, will get to see presentations for 24, Teen Wolf, Hannibal, and Penny Dreadful.  Then there’s an outlier with Sony Pictures doing a presentation in the Indigo Ballroom over the in Hilton Bayfront Hotel.  That’s how packed Comic-Con is this year: there’s no room for a major studio that’s bringing Goosebumps and Pixels.

Hit the jump for Comic-Con 2014 schedule highlights from Wednesday’s July 23rd’s Preview Night and Thursday, July 24th.  The 2014 San Diego Comic-Con will run from July 23rd to July 27th.

Sarah Polley in Talks to Write and Possibly Direct John Green Adaptation LOOKING FOR ALASKA

by     Posted 180 days ago

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Not only was the swell and emotional drama The Fault in Our Stars one of the biggest surprise successes of the year, but the film is also poised to be one of the most profitable.  Following positive reviews and a hefty opening weekend, the pic just recently crossed the $100 million mark at the box office against a budget of just $12 million.  Author John Green—whose who wrote the book—was a big presence during the film’s marketing campaign, and now another one of his books is poised to get the feature treatment following the success of Fault.

Paramount Pictures is currently in talks with filmmaker Sarah Polley to write and possibly direct an adaptation of Green’s debut novel, the coming-of-age story Looking for Alaska.  Hit the jump for more.

Paramount Announces Big 2016 with TRANSFORMERS 5, G.I. JOE 3, HANSEL & GRETEL 2, BEN-HUR, STAR TREK 3, and More

by     Posted 187 days ago

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I’m currently dreading the summer onslaught of 2015, but it looks like there will be no rest for the wicked as 2016 is already setting up for more blockbuster mayhem.  Having Captain America 3 and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice set for the same release date was already an ill-omen (although I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them moves), and running down the scheduled list of 2016 movies is already nerve-wracking.

Paramount has now stepped into remind us that they have plenty of films set for 2016 as well.  Looking ahead to the now-quaint summer 2014 they still have Transformers: Age of Extinction, Hercules, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  In 2015, they’re set to release The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Terminator: Genesis, a new Friday the 13th, and Mission: Impossible 5.  So what’s on tap for 2016?  Hit the jump for more.

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