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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|| Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
|| Baggage Claim
|| Don Jon
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.
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.
One 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.
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.
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.
We’ve cobbled together a collection of new images from the following films:
- Need for Speed – Scott Waugh’s film adaptation of the street racing video game franchise starring Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Dakota Johnson, Kid Cudi, Imogen Poots and Michael Keaton opens March 14, 2014.
- Horrible Bosses 2 – The Sean Anders-directed sequel (which star Jason Bateman recently talked about in an interview with Steve) is about to kick into production with stars Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis.
- In the Heart of the Sea – Ron Howard’s film about the whaling ship Essex that inspired Herman Melville’s famous whale tale stars Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson and Benjamin Walker.
Hit the jump to check out the images.
Director Ron Howard’s Rush delves into the competitive world of Formula 1 racing with this true-life tale of racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Played by Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds) respectively, Rush chronicles their ongoing feud both on and off the race track as they push themselves to extremes in an all-out effort to win. We’ve got seven clips from the film for you to get a taste before it opens later this month.
Also starring Olivia Wilde (TRON: Legacy) and Alexandra Maria Lara (Imagine), Rush opens September 27th. Hit the jump to watch the clips.
Universal Pictures has released a batch of high-resolution images from director Ron Howard’s new film Rush. 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)—primarily during the 1976 season. The pic has earned strong marks during its premiere screenings at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and I’m eager to see the film myself.
Hit the jump to take a look at the images. The film also stars Olivia Wilde and Alexandra Maria Lara. Rush opens in theaters on September 27th.