INFERNO Still Happening With Tom Hanks and Ron Howard; Italy Shoot Planned for April

by     Posted 23 days ago

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We last reported on this over a year ago, so this update isn’t meant to break any new revelatory information as much as it is to remind you that, yes, Inferno is still happening.  The film is of course the third installment in director Ron Howard’s ongoing adaptation of Dan Brown’s hugely popular book series.  Tom Hanks is still set to reprise his role as Robert Langdon.  The book features Langdon attempting to solve a riddle once again, this time influenced by Inferno, the first part of Dante Alighieri’s 14th century epic poem, “Divine Comedy.”

And now we know that the project is finally set to start shooting in Italy this April (with a script by previously reported writer David Koepp).  This means that the prior release date  of December 18, 2015 will likely be tossed out in favor of a 2016 date.  Personally, I’m not a huge fan of this series, but it’s happening so there you go.  Maybe the new “Langdon has amnesia” angle will help keep my interest this time out?  That seems legitimately more interesting than anything from the first two films.  Hit the jump for more on Inferno.

Ron Howard to Direct a Beatles Documentary About Their Touring Years

by     Posted 64 days ago

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So, who saw that Jay-Z documentary Made in America?  You’ll have to let us know what you think of Ron Howard’s doc directing skills because the Academy Award-winning narrative director has signed on to direct another documentary, a film covering the touring years of The Beatles.

The film will pick up at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in the early 60s and run straight through to Candlestick Park, San Francisco where the Beatles held their very last public concert in 1966, all while Beatlemania raged on.  Apple Corps Ltd., White Horse Pictures and Imagine Entertainment are producing the project and have full support from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison. Hit the jump for more.

Ron Howard to Direct THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HARRY QUEBERT AFFAIR for Warner Bros.

by     Posted 148 days ago

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It might not be a household name here in the States just yet, but The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair, from Swiss novelist Joël Dicker, is currently sweeping Europe.  Warner Bros. decided to keep ahead of the trend, and has acquired the film fights, with Ron Howard attached to direct; Howard will also produce along with Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment.  Deals for producers Eugenie Grandval and Claire Lundberg are also in the works.  The book’s story follows a young, hotshot novelist who finds himself in the midst of scandal as his American literary mentor is implicated in the disappearance and murder of a 15-year-old girl.  Hit the jump for more.

Ron Howard in Talks to Direct THE JUNGLE BOOK for Warner Bros.

by     Posted 216 days ago

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It appears that filmmaker Ron Howard may soon be heading back into family friendly territory.  A month after director Alejandro González Iñárritu fell off the project, Heat Vision reports that Howard is currently in talks to take the helm of Warner Bros.’ live-action The Jungle Book adaptation.  The studio is in a bit of a race to get the project off the ground, as Jon Favreau is helming another live-action adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling book for Disney with an October 2015 release date already set.  Warner Bros.’ picture is being produced by Steve Kloves, who wrote all but one of the Harry Potter films for the studio, and his daughter Callie Kloves wrote the screenplay for this new Jungle Book film.  Should Howard sign on, he would also produce this new adaptation.  Hit the jump for more on the project and Howard’s very busy slate.

HERO Director Zhang Yimou in Talks to Direct Robert Ludlum Adaptation THE PARSIFAL MOSAIC

by     Posted 217 days ago

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Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou may be making the move to a big studio feature.  Per Heat Vision, the director behind martial arts epics like Hero and The House of Flying Daggers and the incredible opening ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympics is in talks to helm an adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s spy novel The Parsifal Mosaic for Universal Pictures.  Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are producing the film, which revolves around a U.S. intelligence agent who, after witnessing the death of his KGB double agent lover, later sees her alive in Rome.  He subsequently sets out to discover the truth behind the conspiracy, which involves a mole named Parsifal.  Ludlum, of course, is the author behind the popular Bourne Identity series of books, and David Self (Road to Perdition) penned the screenplay adaptation.

Yimou’s last feature film was the big-budget Chinese epic The Flowers of War, starring Christian Bale.  He’ll likely be putting his own stamp on The Parsifal Mosaic, as THR’s report adds that the next step is finding a writer to work with the filmmaker.  Read the synopsis of the book after the jump.

Ron Howard to Direct MENA Based on the True Story of Gun-Runner and Drug Trafficker Barry Seal

by     Posted 220 days ago

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As I said in my review of Ron Howard‘s latest film, Rush, I really hope the director has turned a corner in his career.  His upcoming film, In the Heart of the Sea, has great source material, but the director is then slated to direct an adaptation of Dan Brown‘s Robert Langdon novel Inferno with Tom Hanks returning to play the role.  However, movement on that film has been quiet even though it’s set for a December 2015 release.  It’s possible Howard will instead move to direct Gary Spinelli‘s spec script Mena, which Universal just paid a cool $1 million for after winning a bidding war with Sony.

Hit the jump for more.

RUSH Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 236 days ago

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As a director, Ron Howard has always described himself as a journeyman who put the story first.  He’s never embraced a particular visual style, which means he can make something great, or something less than, but it’s always going to be determined by the material and the performers.  2013’s Rush is one of his better films, though it didn’t catch on domestically.  Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl star as ultra-competitive Formula One race car drivers who approach the sport differently, but eventually come to respect each other.  My review of the Blu-ray follows after the jump.

Aaron Paul Says He Has Met with Ron Howard about Playing Eddie Dean in THE DARK TOWER

by     Posted 240 days ago

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A feature film adaptation of The Dark Tower has been in development for a long, long time.  A number of directors have tried to crack the Stephen King source material, including J.J. Abrams, but most recently Ron Howard has been barreling forward with an ambitious adaptation that would involve three feature films and a television element.  Howard initially developed the project at Universal before the studio passed over budget concerns, then Warner Bros. considered picking it up, only to subsequently back out.  When last we heard, Howard said he was still developing the project but he and producer Brian Grazer had agreed to no longer comment on the film’s progress or timetable.

This brings us to Sundance, naturally.  Aaron Paul has long been a fan-favorite to play the character of Eddie Dean in The Dark Tower, and while promoting his new film Hellion at the Sundance Film Festival, Paul revealed that he has indeed met with Howard to discuss the role.  Read on after the jump.

Ron Howard Shares Photos from the Set of IN THE HEART OF THE SEA

by     Posted 323 days ago

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Rush was one of Ron Howard‘s best films in decades, and hopefully this is the beginning of career resurgence when it comes to quality.  His next film, In the Heart of the Sea, certainly has the potential with its incredible true story.  In 1819, the whaling ship Essex was rammed by an angry sperm whale in the South Pacific.  The surviving crew drifted for 90 days in three tiny whaleboats and encountered disease, hunger, and eventually cannibalism.  Howard has released a couple set photos of the production working on the last day of their interior tank work.

Hit the jump to check out the images, and click here for more photos from the set.  In the Heart of the Sea stars Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson, and Benjamin Walker.

Friday Box Office: CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 Grabs $9.3 Million on First Day

by     Posted 355 days ago

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After an animation dry spell that left Disney’s Planes the only feature flying for nearly two months, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 lifted-off on Friday. The sequel to 2009’s 3D hit earned an estimated $9.3 million from 4,002 locations, which means that a new September record is probably not on the menu for the Sony release. At this time last year, Hotel Transylvania banked $10.9 million on its way to that record-setting $42.5 million first weekend. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 seems destined for about $37 million by Sunday – short of a record but well ahead of the $30.3 million debut of the first Cloudy.

After a good start in just five locations last weekend, Ron Howard’s Rush expanded its run on Friday. From 2,297 locations, the racing drama earned an estimated $3.7 million for second place. The frame’s remaining new releases ran about even on Friday: R-rated comedy Don Jon (directed by and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt) took in $3.27 million from 2,422 locations while romantic comedy Baggage Claim booked $3.29 from 2,027 runs. Check back tomorrow for full details.

   Title Friday Total
1.    Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 $9,300,000 $9.3
2.    Rush $3,700,000 $3.96
3.    Prisoners $3,380,000 $31
4.    Baggage Claim $3,290,000 $3.29
5.    Don Jon $3,275,000 $3.27

TOP 5: RUSH Interviews, Fact-Checking the Science of BREAKING BAD, Fox Bringing Commissioner Gordon Series GOTHAM to TV, DON JON Interviews, Cinemath

by     Posted 355 days ago

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Perhaps the combination of my new found love of fantasy football and my fondness of sports documentaries in general make me a less than unbiased voice, but I can’t recommend writer/director Rory Karpf‘s documentary The Book of Manning enough. The made for TV doc premiered on ESPN this past week and it blew me away from a perspective that had nothing to do with sports or athletic achievement and everything to do with its noteworthy focus on parenting, family, and legacy. This may not seem like a huge achievement on paper, but when your film’s protagonists are some of the most highly decorated football players in the history of the sport, it’s a testament to the patriarch, Archie Manning, that the biggest takeaway I have from The Book of Manning isn’t how many records he set at Ole Miss or how many of those records his son Eli broke decades later, it’s that our families and kids are the most important responsibilities we can have and the way that we treat both is ultimately what defines us as people.

Now that I’ve hit you over the head with an “After School Special” message right out of the gate, this week’s Top 5 features Rush interviews with Ron Howard, Chris Hemsworth and more, our resident scientist Dave Trumbore fact-checking the science behind Breaking Bad, Fox landing a new television series based on Batman’s Commissioner Gordon, Don Jon interviews with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and more, and a new Cinemath installment focusing on adjusting for box office inflation and the inherent dangers of comparing Gone with the Wind to The Avengers. As is often the case, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.

Production Begins on Ron Howard’s IN THE HEART OF THE SEA Starring Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, and Cillian Murphy

by     Posted 359 days ago

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Ron Howard’s F1 racing drama Rush opens in theaters everywhere this weekend, but the filmmaker is already knee-deep in production on his next film.  It was announced today that filming is underway in the UK on Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea, which tells the story of the real life sea disaster of the whaleship Essex, a harrowing ordeal that inspired Herman Melvile’s Moby Dick.  In 1819, the ship was rammed by an angry sperm whale in the South Pacific.  The surviving crew drifted for 90 days in three tiny whaleboats and encountered disease, hunger, and eventually cannibalism.

We’ve already seen some set photos of Howard’s period-specific sets and ships, and there will likely be a frame story device in the pic since Ben Whishaw has been cast as Melville and Brendan Gleeson is poised to play an older version of Tom Holland’s character.  Chris Hemsworth leads a cast that also includes Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, and Jordi Molla.  Hit the jump for the full press release, and click here to watch Steve’s recent interview with Howard.

Ron Howard Talks RUSH, the Challenges of Adapting the True Events to the Big Screen, EDtv, Future Projects, and More

by     Posted 359 days ago

ron-howard-rush-interview-sliceOne of my favorite films at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was director Ron Howard’s Rush.  Based on true events, the film takes place in the world of Formula One racing, and chronicles the 1970s rivalry between Austrian driver Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) and British driver James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) leading up to their intense competition in 1976.  Rush also stars Olivia Wilde and Alexandra Maria Lara.

While at TIFF, I landed a video interview with Howard.   He talked about making Rush, what made him nervous during pre-production, the length of his assembly cut, if he thought he was ahead of the reality TV curve with EDtv, future projects, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

RUSH Review

by     Posted 364 days ago

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For the past decade, I’ve approached Ron Howard‘s films with a mix of trepidation and outright dread.  Apollo 13 is an amazing piece of filmmaking, but from there, he’s seemed content to play it safe to the point of inertia.  A Beautiful Mind may be daring in its direction, but its story is worthy of a TV movie.  Considering the horrors of the Robert Langdon movies, the unwatchable Oscar-bait Cinderella Man, and the low-ball The Dilemma, my skepticism towards his latest picture, Rush, was more than warranted.  Thankfully, Howard seems to be alive again as he goes full throttle on taking the viewer inside the world of Formula 1 racing.  More importantly, he has a worthwhile story at the center.  While Howard still feels the need to spoon-feed the themes, the strong performances and intensity of the racing scenes make his latest picture a ride worth taking.

Ron Howard Says THE DARK TOWER Still in Development; No Longer Commenting on Film’s Progress or Timetable

by     Posted 1 year, 1 day ago

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The lengthy and drama-filled development of The Dark Tower will make for a damn fine book one day.  A feature film adaptation of Stephen King’s book series has been in the works for years, and most recently director Ron Howard has been working with screenwriter Akiva Goldsman to get the project to the screen.  There have been plenty of ups, downs, and exciting possibilities along the way, with the duo floating a three-film adaptation that would be bridged by two TV miniseries seasons.  The last we heard on the project was that Warner Bros. had passed but MRC might be looking to pick up the rights.  That was over a year ago.

Now Ron Howard has given a public update on the adaptation, confirming that it is indeed still alive and kicking.  However, after the media whirlwind that surrounded the first go of development, he and Goldsman have agreed to go on radio silence about the pic’s progress.  Hit the jump for more.

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