About a month ago, we reported that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was circling a lead in Robert Zemeckis’ high-wire act, To Reach the Clouds. Now, it looks as if JGL has indeed committed to playing the role of French tightrope walker and high-wire artist, Philippe Petit. The film’s working title is shared with Petit’s memoir, which was adapted by Zemeckis and Christopher Browne. The film will build to a third-act climax which recreates Petit’s “artistic crime of the century” in which he and his co-conspirators snuck to the top of the World Trade Center in 1974 in order to make his famous attempt at crossing between the two towers. In addition to the thrilling caper aspects of the plot, Zemeckis is planning to shoot the movie as a 3D spectacle in the vein of Avatar, Life of Pi and Gravity. Production is scheduled to start this May. (Via Deadline)
Rumors of a Back to the Future stage musical popped up about a year ago, and now it’s official. Back to the Future – The Musical will premiere in London’s West End in 2015—the 30th anniversary of the 1985 movie—with hopes of a Broadway run if successful. Director Robert Zemeckis and his Back to the Future co-writer Bob Gale will write the book with Jamie Lloyd, who will direct the production. Original composer Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard will pen additional music and lyrics alongside songs from the movie like “The Power of Love” and “Johnny B. Goode.”
Hit the jump for quotes from Gale and Lloyd.
We’ve got a few interesting casting stories to get to this afternoon. Briefly:
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt may be leading the next live-action feature from director Robert Zemeckis, the biopic To Reach the Clouds.
- Emile Hirsch has joined the young ensemble cast of American Splendor directors Bob Pulcini and Shari Berman’s coming-of-age indie Ten Thousand Saints.
- Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave) has joined the impressive cast of Todd Haynes’ latest film Carol.
Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned films and casting.
Filmmaker Robert Zemeckis is adding another project to his to-do list, and it may find him returning to the world of animation. Variety reports that the Forrest Gump director will helm an adaptation of the Kate DiCamillo childrens book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, which follows the exploits of a porcelain rabbit. Zemeckis will direct the pic for New Line Cinema with Jeff Stockwell penning the script, but it’s unclear if the film will be entirely animated or if the pic will involve live-action elements. Zemeckis spent a decade toying with motion-capture technology on films ranging from Beowulf to A Christmas Carol before returning to live-action with last year’s Flight.
This news comes on the heels of word that Zemeckis is also attached to direct a live-action adaptation of the documentary Marwencol, which is a drama involving mental illness. That project is apparently being earmarked as Zemeckis’ next film.
Filmmaker Robert Zemeckis made a much-welcomed return to the world of live-action last year with Flight, and it appears that the director has now settled on his follow-up project. Heat Vision reports that Zemeckis is developing a feature film adaptation of director Jeff Malmberg’s 2010 documentary Marwencol for Universal as his next picture. The doc tells the story of Mark Hogancamp, a man who was assaulted by five teens and sent into a nine-day coma. When he awoke, he had no memory of his life, family, or friends. In an effort to cope with the trauma, he began building a 1/6 scale model of a WWII-era Belgian village in his backyard. The figures were made in the image of him, his friends, and surprisingly his attackers, and “allowed him to escape into a fantasy world in which he creates his various scenarios with the dolls.”
Hit the jump for more, including the trailer for the documentary.
When last we reported on the adaptation of Patrick Ness’ futuristic young-adult trilogy Chaos Walking, Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) was set to script the film for Lionsgate. Now, it looks as if Robert Zemeckis (Flight) is in talks to direct. No official deal is in place, but Lionsgate is likely planning ahead with the lucrative The Hunger Games film series concluding in 2015. A pairing of the Oscar-winning director and screenwriter is a great way to interest critics, just as the dystopian coming-of-age story is likely to engage younger audiences.
Hit the jump for more.
Airline pilots, for the most part, are like the mysterious man behind the curtain. Passengers only get a glimpse of them when exiting the plane and hear their voices once in a while over the intercom. These guys have hundreds of lives in their hands and we just take it for granted that they are not drunk out of their minds. Robert Zemeckis‘ Flight is about a very talented alcoholic pilot who averts a major disaster and winds up nosediving right into his dark inner-demons. More on Paramount’s Flight Blu-ray after the jump.
For proof that 2012 was a nutty year for awards contenders, look no further than the Best Director category. Over the past few days, we’ve been looking back how the ebbs and flows of the past 12 months have shaped the awards race in a number of categories, and one of the most dynamic shifts came with Best Director. After the jump, we run down how the race for Oscar glory progressed over the past few months to give us the five nominees who will be vying for the gold on Oscar Sunday. Hit the jump to read on.
Last night at The Aero in Santa Monica, Robert Zemeckis hosted a screening of his newest film: the awards-bait Flight. All weekend The Aero has been hosting a retrospective of Zemeckis and his classic films: Romancing the Stone, Used Cars, Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Castaway. Last night – the final night of the retrospective – Zemeckis was on hand to discuss the Denzel Washington starring ‘adult’ picture. Much has been made of Zemeckis’ return to live action and how this is his most serious film — perhaps in part due to the subject matter: alcoholism, drug abuse, sins of the father, etc… But Flight feels at one with the rest of Zemeckis’ filmography — in that all his films tend to focus on overconfident people (Marty Mcfly, Ellie Arroway, Whip Whitaker) whose resolves are challenged by extraordinary circumstances (an impromptu trip to the past, aliens, a plane crash).
The Q&A with Zemeckis veered from topic to topic – covering Zemeckis’ own love of aviation to how he approaches actors to why he hates being on set. For highlights from the conversation, click through to the jump.
With his latest film, Flight, now in theaters, director Robert Zemeckis reflected on his past movies in a recent interview. Among the pictures discussed was Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a 1988 classic that starred Bob Hoskins and Christopher Lloyd opposite a cavalcade of cartoon critters. Not only did Zemeckis entertain the idea of re-releasing Who Framed Roger Rabbit in post-converted 3D, but he also gave an update on the state of the sequel. Penned by the original writers Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman, Zemeckis said he was happy with the script and that it was quite good. Hit the jump for more, including whether or not Zemeckis thinks any of his other films are due for the 3D treatment or a reboot.
Though much of the East Coast is still a ruin, Hurricane Sandy did not dampen enthusiasm at the weekend box office. Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph was the easy winner with $49.1 million from 3,752 locations. In half as many venues, Paramount’s Flight beat all pre-release projections with its $25 million launch. And while Argo continued to exhibit amazing staying power in third, Universal’s The Man with the Iron Fists was less impressive. The martial arts debut earned an estimated $8.2 million from 1,868 runs for fourth place.
|| Wreck-It Ralph
|| The Man with the Iron Fists
| Taken 2
|| Cloud Atlas
|| Hotel Transylvania
|| Paranormal Activity 4
|| Here Comes the Boom
|| Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
I’ve seen two films that deal with alcoholism this year, and Robert Zemeckis‘ Flight is the weaker of the two. Earlier this year, I saw Smashed, an honest, unflinching look at a woman struggling to get sober. In all fairness, Flight isn’t about the quest to get sober, as much as it brushes up against interesting notions of control. Unfortunately, these notions become overshadowed as the film boils down the protagonist’s weakness into obvious plot points, character motivations, and a sermonizing finish that undermines the promise of a more textured, thoughtful story.
Flight marks the first pairing of Academy Award winners Denzel Washington and director Robert Zemeckis, who returns to live-action dramatic storytelling after a decade of success on the forefront of directing and producing movies utilizing motion capture technology. The screenplay by John Gatins centers on Captain Whip Whitaker (Washington) who miraculously crash lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly everyone on board, but then becomes the target of a follow-up investigation that raises troubling questions about what really happened. Flight also stars John Goodman, Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo, Kelly Reilly, and Bruce Greenwood.
At the film’s recent press day, Washington, Zemeckis, Gatins, Goodman, Leo, Reilly, and Greenwood discussed making the dramatic thriller, what drew them to the project, the attraction and challenges of portraying complex, morally ambiguous characters, setting up a pivotal scene that pays homage to Hitchcock, and writing a suspenseful script that invites the audience to ride along with virtually every character while deciding which one to root for. Greenwood also shared his own harrowing tale of a real-life air travel experience he will never forget, and Washington revealed his recurring dream about flying and reminisced about the 20th anniversary of Malcolm X.
Halloween is right around the corner and with it comes Michael J. Bassett’s Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. The follow-up to Christophe Gans’ 2006 original adaptation of the horror survival game, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D picks up on the even of protagonist Heather Mason’s (Adelaide Clemens) 18th birthday. This new clip features Clemens and co-star Deborah Kara Unger talking as an air-raid siren signals their approaching doom.
And in case you missed our earlier exclusive clip from director Robert Zemeckis’ Flight, we have a bonus one for you this evening. The clip features post-plane crash pilot, Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) in his hospital room being visited by his friend (John Goodman) who must have been pre-Pharmacy in college. Hit the jump to check out the clips.
Director Robert Zemeckis puts a decade of motion capture behind him and returns to live-action fare with Flight, starring Denzel Washington. The John Gatins screenplay centers on a pilot (Washington) who miraculously lands a malfunctioning plane, only to become the focus of a follow-up investigation. Today, we have an exclusive clip to share with you and it is a doozy. It shows off the inciting incident of Flight while highlighting Washington’s grace under pressure, though the same can’t be said for his co-pilot (is it his first day?).
Also starring John Goodman, Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo and James Badge Dale, Flight opens on November 2nd. Hit the jump to check out our exclusive clip, and click here for over 20 images from the film.