Despite receiving mostly negative reviews, the action sequel Taken 2 scored big with audiences this past weekend. The Liam Neeson-fronted action film took in $50 million at the box office opening weekend, and a success of that magnitude in this moviegoing climate means one thing: more sequels! A recent interview with Taken 2 scribe Robert Mark Kamen reveals just that, as he talked frankly about the likelihood of making another follow-up in the wake of Taken 2’s success. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
New Regency has picked up The Sword, a modern samurai tale adapted from Stephen Hunter’s novel, “The 47th Samurai.” Screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen (The Fifth Element) has been tapped to pen the adaptation. Kamen, noted for his co-writing efforts with Luc Besson, will adapt the 2008 novel which centers on retired Marine, Bob Lee Swagger. (Another of the Swagger-centric novels, “Point of Impact,” was adapted for the Mark Wahlberg film, Shooter.) In the novel, Swagger is tasked with finding a sword won by his father during the battle of Iwo Jima, only to find out that it’s a priceless artifact desired by legions of unsavory characters. With Kamen on board, expect more action than you can swing a sword at. Hit the jump for more on The Sword.
In a bidding war today, Universal dropped a six-figure sum to pick up the spec script, The Disciple Program as a star vehicle for Mark Wahlberg. Written by debut screenwriter Tyler Marceca, The Disciple Program centers on a man who begins to investigate his wife’s murder and finds a conspiracy that goes much deeper than he ever imagined. The Manchurian Candidate-style thriller will be directed by Morton Tyldum (Headhunters) with Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson set to produce. Variety reports that Wahlberg had previously commented that he liked Tyldum’s film Headhunters and was interested in participating in the remake, if there were to be one. While it doesn’t look like that remake will happen any time soon, at least Wahlberg gets his wish to work with Tyldum. Hit the jump for more on The Disciple Program.
Paul Walker is taking a break from the high-octane world of The Fast and the Furious to join the equally adrenaline-pumping heights of Parkour. Walker is currently in talks to star in Brick Mansions, the American revision of Banlieue 13 (District B13) with a script by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (Taken). Besson co-wrote the original Paris-set film starring Parkour-creator David Belle (District 13: Ultimatum), who will reprise his original role in the remake.
Brick Mansions will be set in an American city, with Walker slotted to play an undercover detective tracking down a drug dealer who has stolen a weapon of mass destruction. The chase leads into the ghetto known as Brick Mansions, where he enlists help from Lino (Belle), who knows the streets better than anyone and isn’t afraid of the drug dealers. Hit the jump for more on Brick Mansions.
You know what I was thinking the other day? A lot of things, but not among them: “The world needs a remake of the 1988 Jean Claude Van Damme action flick Bloodsport.” But we’re getting it anyway as ScreenDaily reports that director Phillip Noyce (Salt) will helm the remake (or as it’s being called, a “reinvention”, which is a fancier way of saying remake) for producers Ed Pressman and Alberto Lensi. The original film was about a soldier who goes AWOL to fight in a tournament so he can uphold his master’s honor. Robert Mark Kamen (Taken) wrote the script for the remake, which will follow “an American who goes to Brazil to recover from the violence he has experienced in Afghanistan who gets involved in a martial arts contest.” Yes, that logic makes no sense.
Noyce is also attached to direct an adaptation of Tim Winton’s Dirt Music, the time-travel flick Timeless, the submarine action-thriller Hunter Killer, and the drama Our Wild Life. It’s not surprising that he would be attached to such a diversity of projects although he usually traffics in the thriller genre with an edge towards espionage.
The trailer for the action-thriller Colombiana has gone online. Working from a script by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (Taken), the film stars Zoe Saldana as woman who, after witnessing her parents’ murder as a child in Bogota, grows up to be a stone-cold assassin. While she works during the day as a hitwoman, at night she deals out vigilante justice in her quest to take down the mobsters responsible for the death of her parents. I like the idea of a female batman who uses a gun, but this may be the most generic action movie trailer I’ve ever seen. I’m a fan of Saldana so hopefully the movie has more personality and individually than the trailer.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Michael Vartan, Callum Blue, and Cliff Curtis. Colombiana opens September 2nd.
Zoe Saldana is in early talks to play the lead in the action-drama Columbia. Directed by Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3) from a script by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (Taken), here’s how Heat Vision breaks down the plot:
“Columbiana” is set in Latin America and the U.S. Saldana would play a young woman who, after witnessing her parents’ murder as a child in Bogota, grows up to be a stone-cold assassin. She works for her uncle as a hitman by day, but her personal time is spent engaging in vigilante murders that she hopes will lead her to her ultimate target: the mobster responsible for her parents’ death.
Saldana recently co-starred in The Losers and Death at a Funeral and will next be seen in the crime-thriller Takers. The actress was in two of the biggest hits of last year with Star Trek and Avatar.