When director Michael Bay’s sequel Transformers 4 hits theaters next year, we’ll be seeing plenty of robot destruction overseas on the screen. We learned last November that Paramount was hoping to partner with a Chinese production company on the tentpole and set a fair amount of the film’s action in the country in order to boost its box office prospects in the lucrative country. It appears that plan has now come to fruition, as Paramount announced today that it is partnering with China Movie Channel and Jiaflix Enterprises on Transformers 4, with production set to take place in China and the film poised to feature a number of Chinese actors and actresses. Hit the jump for more, including the full press release.
Hugh Jackman has made his first film commitment since landing a Best Actor Oscar nomination for last year’s Les Miserables. The actor has signed on to star in Paramount’s feature film adaptation of the upcoming Harlan Coben mystery novel Six Years. The book tells the story of Jake Fisher, a man who, after having watched the love of his life marry another man six years prior, decides to attend this other man’s funeral in the hopes of spotting his former flame. Once Jake realizes that the mourning widow is not Natalie but another woman entirely, his past memories with Natalie are thrown into question. Hit the jump for more.
Paramount Pictures is now officially developing a sequel to this past January’s R-rated genre pic Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. You’d be forgiven for being a bit surprised at the news, as the film was a flop domestically with a total gross of just $54.6 million. However, overseas the film has now taken in over $150 million. Against a purported budget of $50 million, the pic’s worldwide gross of $205 million is apparently enough to justify moving forward with the follow-up, as Deadline reports that a sequel is now officially in development. Hit the jump for more.
Director Will Gluck is adding another potential project to his growing development pile. Gluck most recently helmed the better-than-they-ought-to-be Easy A and Friends with Benefits and is currently prepping to start filming the Annie remake later this year with Best Actress nominee and Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhane Wallis set as the lead. Though Annie is next on his docket, Gluck hasn’t stopped searching for other future projects as he has just attached himself to direct the action-adventure film Agatha for Paramount Pictures.
Written on spec by Allison Schroeder, Agatha envisions what happened to mystery author Agatha Christie during the 11 days she went missing in December of 1926. Plot details are unknown at this time, but the film’s tone is described as “a female Sherlock Holmes meets Romancing the Stone.” Hit the jump for more on the source incident, Christie’s mysterious disappearance.
Director Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow) is lining up his next project. Brewer last helmed the surprisingly entertaining 2011 remake of Footloose, and now Deadline reports that he’s set to write and direct the drama Gangster Princess of Beverly Hills. The pic is based on a Rolling Stone article by Sabrina Rubin Erdley about Lisette Lee, a drug mule who portrayed herself to be an heiress to the Samsung fortune as well as an actress, singer, and model. Lee was caught trafficking 500 pounds of pot into Ohio and was sentenced to six years in prison. Brewer will pen the script and direct for Paramount, with Erwin Stoff set to produce.
The filmmaker had planned on helming Tarzan for Warner Bros. before Harry Potter director David Yates stepped in and took the gig instead. In addition to Gangster Princess of Beverly Hills, Brewer is also set to direct the Fox pilot Boomerang, starring Felicity Huffman and Anthony LaPaglia.
A question that has stunted many philosophers and scholars throughout the ages—who will direct Star Wars 7?—was finally answered earlier this week with the news that J.J. Abrams will be taking the helm of the new Star Wars film. The revelation was met with an even amount of joy, outrage, and confusion by the fan community, as one man will now be crossing the streams of Star Wars and Star Trek.
With anticipation for Abrams’ sequel Star Trek Into Darkness at a fever pitch (and the film poised to do big, big box office), Paramount is likely eager to get a third Star Trek film into production sooner rather than later. The studio’s vice chairman has now spoken up to ease fans’ concern over Abrams’ other franchises, clarifying the filmmaker’s role in Star Trek 3 and Mission: Impossible 5 going forward. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
A Lance Armstrong movie is indeed moving forward, but it’s probably not the one that the famous cyclist had in mind. A biopic of the seven-time Tour de France champion had been in development for a quite a while with Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal involved in the project at different times, but now following Armstrong’s confession regarding doping charges, a feature film is in the works that focuses on the darker side of the cyclist’s life. Deadline reports that J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk have acquired the screen rights to the book proposal Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong by author Juliet Macur.
It’s unclear in what capacity Abrams and Burk will be involved, but one assumes they’re solely onboard as producers. Paramount Pictures and Abrams and Burke’s Bad Robot will produce the film, which is likely to draw a considerable amount of attention.
While director Ron Howard is currently knee-deep in post-production on his upcoming Formula 1 racing drama Rush, it appears that he may have found his next project. Howard is now attached to direct an adaptation of the 2003 Israeli TV movie Kol Ma She’Yesh Li (translated to All I’ve Got). The project has been in development at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot for a couple of years, but it looks like Howard’s involvement will start moving this thing closer to production. Hit the jump for more details on the film, which is described as a mix between The Notebook and Albert Brooks’ fantastic 1991 pic Defending Your Life.
Paramount Pictures has announced that director Brett Ratner’s Hercules will hit theaters on August 8, 2014. The film is an adaptation of Steve Moore’s graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars, which paints the popular character with a darker tone. Dwayne Johnson is set in the title role as “a mercenary who turned his back on the gods following the loss of his family, ‘finding solace only in battle.’” Currently the only other film slated for release in August of 2014 at the moment is Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which opens on August 1st. With a firm release date set, production on the film should get underway later this year.
Quite the action team-up is taking place for the upcoming film Heatseekers. A couple of years ago, we reported that Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes studio had acquired a spec script called Heatseekers for Paramount Pictures. The story centered on aerial “pirates” and was likened to Fast & Furious and Point Break. Now word comes that that Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter helmer Timur Bekmambetov has come aboard the action project to direct, with Bay maintaining his producer role. Hit the jump for more details.
We’ve got some bad news for Jack Reacher fans. Though Paramount’s feature film adaptation of the popular Lee Child book series character made a respectable $15 million on opening weekend and now stands at just a hair over $70 million for its total domestic gross, apparently the film’s box office performance isn’t likely to warrant the production of a sequel. The Tom Cruise-starrer was developed as a potential franchise given the bounty of Jack Reacher source material in Child’s books, but a new report states that the current $153 million worldwide total gross of director Christopher McQuarrie’s pic is short of Paramount’s benchmark for moving forward with a sequel, and the possibility of a follow-up now hinges on the film’s performance in other international territories. Hit the jump for more details.
One of the most anticipated films of this year is undoubtedly Star Trek Into Darkness. Fans have been following the development of the J.J. Abrams-helmed sequel for the past couple of years now, and one of the more peculiar announcements was the news that Into Darkness would be filmed in 2D and post-converted to 3D. It wasn’t exactly a shock that a huge tentpole movie was going to be released in 3D, but it was an interesting decision given Abrams’ previous comments about 3D. The filmmaker had made no secret of the fact that he wasn’t a huge fan of the format, so fans wondered whether he had changed his mind or if Paramount was simply adamant about the film going 3D.
We actually learned about a year ago that it was a case of the latter, but Abrams recently talked a bit more about the decision, admitting that Paramount would only make the film if it were in 3D and saying that he’s actually come around a bit on the format. Hit the jump to read on.
Back in October, Paramount Pictures decided to put Ivan Reitman‘s Draft Day into turnaround. The film was set to star Kevin Costner as Buffalo Bills General Manager Sonny Weaver, who has the chance to save his team when he trades for the number one pick in the draft. However, he’s forced to decide what he’s willing to sacrifice both personally and professionally in order to achieve success. From the premise, it sounds like Moneyball meets football, which seems like an easy sell since you have a critically acclaimed drama crossed with the most popular sport in America.
The project looked like it was destined for production hell, but then it landed on top of The Black List, and now Lionsgate is after Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman‘s spec script. According to Vulture, Lionsgate is currently in negotiations with Reitman and Costner to get the film going again. I dig the premise, so hopefully Lionsgate can get the project off the ground.
Back in 2010, Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal were coming off their Oscar wins for The Hurt Locker, and turning their attention to the crime drama Triple Frontier (also known as Sleeping Dogs). The details of the plot were unknown, but the film was billed as an action-adventure set in a border zone of South America known as “la triple frontera”, a haven for organized crime. Tom Hanks was attached to play one of the leads, and other stars were rumored for the picture including Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Denzel Washington, and Javier Bardem. The plan was to start filming in March 2011. But then Bigelow and Boal decided to hit pause, and do an indie thriller before Triple Frontier. It’s worth noting that Variety shot down a rumor that “the plot concerns the hunt for Osama Bin Laden,” even though that rumor ultimately turned out to be true. However, at that time the indie thriller was about losing Bin Laden in the Tora Bora Mountains; once he was killed, the script had to be updated.
So what happened with Triple Frontier? Hit the jump for more.
Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot have found a director for the intriguing sci-fi pic God Particle. Per Variety, the film “follows an American space station crew left abandoned after a problem with a Hadron accelerator causes Earth to vanish entirely.” It sounds a bit like Danny Boyle‘s Sunshine, though seeing Earth completely disappear might be a bit more disturbing/terrifying for this space crew. J.J. Abrams is set to produce, and newcomer Julius Onah has been hired to tackle directing duties with a script by Oren Uziel (Mortal Kombat: Rebirth). Having helmed a number of critically lauded shorts, Onah recently made his feature directorial debut with the thriller The Girl Is in Trouble. God Particle will be developed through Paramount’s Insurge arm, and thus will be made for a budget around $5-10 million.
As with every Abrams project, further plot details are being kept firmly under wraps. The premise is highly intriguing, though, and is made all the more enticing by the fact that the film will be produced on a smaller budget.