Penelope Cruz to Star in ZOOLANDER 2 as Comedy Sequel Finally Gains Momentum

by     Posted 29 minutes 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 3 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 15 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 20 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 29 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 49 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 56 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 94 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 125 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 129 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 133 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 148 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 155 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.

V/H/S Director David Bruckner in Talks to Helm FRIDAY THE 13TH Reboot

by     Posted 219 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has found its director for the new Friday the 13th rebootThe Wrap reports that genre director David Bruckner is in talks to take the helm of the pic, which Paramount hopes will kick off a new Friday the 13th franchise.  The studio previously attempted to breathe new life into Jason Voorhees with a 2009 redo helmed by Marcus Nispel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), but it never moved forward with further films.  Bruckner has experience in the horror genre having directed the 2007 pic The Signal and the segment “Amateur Night” for the 2012 anthology film V/H/S, so it’ll be interesting to see what his take on Friday the 13th entails.

Just as with the previous reboot, Michael Bay will produce this new film through his Platinum Dunes banner.  The pic already has a March 13, 2015 release date staked out, so if Bruckner’s deal closes the new Friday the 13th reboot would likely move forward rather quickly.  For those keeping count, this will be the 13th iteration of Friday the 13th since the series began in 1980.

Adam McKay to Write and Direct Housing/Credit Crisis Drama THE BIG SHORT for Paramount

by     Posted 241 days ago

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Though filmmaker Adam McKay is best known for helming comedic gems like Anchorman and Step Brothers, his future slate sees him branching out a bit into other genres.  He’s developing an adaptation of the graphic novel The Boys, he’s set to direct the remake Uptown Saturday Night, and now Paramount has announced that McKay will write and direct an adaptation of the Michael Lewis book The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine, which examines the housing and credit bubble of the 2000s.  McKay previously dabbled in politically minded material with the action-comedy The Other Guys, which dealt heavily with corporate greed and corruption, so The Big Short feels like a solid fit for the filmmaker.

Brad Pitt—who produced and starred in the Michael Lewis adaptation Moneyball—will produce The Big Short through his Plan B banner.  No word on where this fits into McKay’s schedule (he’s planning on making Uptown Saturday Night next), but this is certainly promising news.  Read the full press release after the jump.

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