Up in the Air co-writer Sheldon Turner has been tapped to tackle an actioner for Relativity Media. Per Deadline, the scribe will write and possibly direct the gritty action thriller Borderland, which is described as “a modern day Western meets Magnificent Seven.” The story centers on a newly installed mayor in a resort town who enlists a band of ex and current Special Forces operatives to train the townspeople to fight back against a violent cartel that has moved in. The goal with the project is “to give an authentic depiction of post-war life for elite soldiers.”
Borderland is one of a number of projects that Turner is currently developing. He plans to make his feature directorial debut on his script Two Minutes to Midnight, which he and his producing partner Jennifer Klein recently got out of turnaround at Fox. Turner has long been developing By Virtue Fall as a directorial vehicle as well, but it’s unknown when that project will finally get off the ground. Eric Bana and Armie Hammer are attached to star. Turner most recently penned Everest, which Doug Liman will direct.
Screenwriter Kevin Costello has set up two projects with producers Sheldon Turner and Jennifer Klein (Pearl Harbor). The first is Epic Fail, a 20th Century Fox comedy about “a down-on-his-luck high school teacher who recruits two students to stage his wife’s kidnapping so he can play the hero and rekindle their marriage.” That’s a solid premise that becomes more promising once you hear Jon Hamm is circling the lead role. Hamm has stuck to supporting roles outside of his Emmy-nominated work on Mad Men. But that will change once Hamm takes on the lead role in the (presumably inspirational) Disney sports movie Million Dollar Arm. Mark Teitelman, and ESPN veteran who honed is craft on such fine programs as Monday Night Football, is attached to direct.
Hit the jump for details on Costello’s other project, Six Month Curse.
Warner Bros. is taking the lead on anti-poaching films with some big names attached. Two projects focusing on the illegal poaching of endangered animals in Africa will be produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way, Tom Hardy’s Executive Options and Tobey Maguire’s Material Pictures. We previously reported on this back in August, but it looks as if the premise might have evolved. The first of these pictures, written by Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air) based off an idea by Hardy, will be set up as a star vehicle for The Dark Knight Rises actor. The untitled picture will be set in Africa with Hardy as a special forces soldier who signs on with his friend to train anti-poaching personnel in the Zimbabwe bush. Hardy’s character falls in love with the land and the animals he is trying to protect, which spells doom for the poachers. For news on the second picture, hit the jump.
Tom Hardy is one of the most intense actors in the game today; he’ll need that fire in his attempt to summit Mt. Everest in director Doug Liman’s (The Bourne Identity) new picture about the indomitable peak. Everest, adapted from Jeffrey Archer’s book, Paths Of Glory, Everest, by Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air), centers on George Mallory and his three attempts in the early 1920s to become the first man to climb the world’s highest mountain. Two guesses on who Hardy is in talks to play. Hit the jump for more.
If you’re a fan of military thrillers, this has been a good week for you: there’s news that Kevin Costner may join Kenneth Branagh’s Jack Ryan reboot, Christopher McQuarrie is adapting Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse and the first trailer for Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty film has premiered. Now there’s news of Oscar-nominated screenwriter Sheldon Turner being attached to Sony’s adaptation of Richard A. Clarke’s novel, The Scorpion’s Gate. The geopolitical thriller centers on a coup that supplants Middle Eastern rule and incites a struggle for power that could result in all-out nuclear war. Hit the jump for more on The Scorpion’s Gate.
Director Doug Liman (Mr. & Mrs. Smith) recently had his sci-fi heist flick Luna put on hold, and he turned his attention to the sci-fi action movie All You Need Is Kill, but now he’s got a non sci-fi project on the horizon. Deadline reports that Liman is on board to direct Everest based on Jeffrey Archer’s book Paths of Glory with the screenplay written by Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air). The non-fiction novel chronicles British mountain-climber George Mallory’s three attempts to reach the top of Mount Everest. Mallory was a devoted family man and his attempts to climb Everest made him a hero to Great Britain, but he fell short of his attempts to reach the top without oxygen tanks in 1921 and 1922. Mallory and his climbing partner Sandy Irvine changed their tactics for their final 1924 climb, but they disappeared into the clouds as they made their final approach and were never heard from again. Debate continues to this day as to whether or not they actually made it to the peak.
Liman, who is an avid climber and a fan of Mallory’s story, still has Luna and All You Need Is Kill in addition to Everest, and there’s no word on which of these three projects will go before cameras first, although Deadline says Everest “is a priority at Sony.” Hit the jump for a synopsis of Paths of Glory.
Over 40 years after Arthur Penn’s classic Bonnie and Clyde, director Neil Burger (Limitless) is set to take on the story of the outlaw duo once more. Variety reports that Burger will direct an adaptation of Jeff Guinn’s non-fiction book Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde. Up in the Air co-writer Sheldon Turner is taking on scripting duties, with Sean and Bryan Furst set to produce. Guinn’s book tells a deromanticized account of the two’s streak of bank robberies which left seven dead bodies in its wake. No word on how soon the film will go into production, but Burger recently signed on to write and direct the high-profile adaptation of the video game Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune after David O. Russel left the project. Hit the jump for a synopsis of Guinn’s book.
Last summer we reported that Eric Bana and Colin Farrell were in talks to co-star in By Virtue Fall, the directorial debut of Up in the Air screenwriter Sheldon Turner. Farrell eventually dropped off the project but Bana has signed on and according to 24 Frames, he’ll be joined by James Spader, Ryan Phillippe, and Carla Gugino. The story concerns “two ATF agents who find themselves on opposite sides of the friendship divide after one sells out the other.”
Bana tells 24 Frames that he hopes to make By Virtue Fall his next project after finishing the thriller Blackbird with Olivia Wilde. He’ll be seen in theaters this week alongside Cate Blanchett and Saoirse Ronan in Joe Wright’s Hanna.
Director Michael Mann (Heat) has hired Sheldon Turner, the screenwriter partly responsible for Clooney comedy Up In The Air, to write his new crime thriller, Big Tuna. The movie will be a biopic of Chicago crime lord Tony Accardo, and his young protege Sam Giancana, who eventually replaced him. For Michael Mann, this will be his second attempt at a gangster biopic, the first being the disappointing Public Enemies last year, which starred Johnny Depp as notorious bank robber, John Dillinger. Variety reports that Mann’s chosen scribe, Sheldon Turner, is a wanted man himself at the minute, attached to numerous high profile projects including his directorial debut, By Virtue Fall, starring Colin Farrell and Eric Bana, and as producer for rom-com, Kiss and Tell. Hit the jump for more on Big Tuna and both men involved.
Jeremy Renner seems to be one of most in-demand actors working row. Yesterday, we reported on the news that he is up for the role of Hansel in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Now, Deadline reports that the actor might replace Colin Farrell in By Virtue Fall, the upcoming directorial debut of screenwriter Sheldon Turner’s (Up in the Air). The film co-stars Eric Bana and “charts a professional and personal relationship between two characters that evolves from friendship to betrayal and retribution.” However, it seems Renner may not be able to replace Farrell in the film. Hit the jump to find out why.
Ryan Reynolds and Bradley Cooper are attached to co-star in an untitled action comedy written by Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air). Per Risky Business, “The story follows two friends, who are also San Francisco cops, whose fathers were once partners on the police force. The older generation is forced out of retirement to help their sons crack a case, with typically antagonistic results.” Risky adds that the flick “is meant to have an updated Lethal Weapon flavor that plays into edgier R-rated territory.”
Reynolds will next be seen in the thriller Buried and the superhero movie Green Lantern. He’s set to begin shooting the comedy The Change-Up with Jason Bateman, and is also attached to comic-book movies Deadpool and R.I.P.D., and the spy-thriller Safe House with Denzel Washington. As for Cooper, he’ll be seen in theaters next year in the sci-fi thriller The Dark Fields. He’s also set to star in The Hangover 2 and an untitled comedy-drama based on a pitch from writer Allen Loeb (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps).
Screenwriter Mark Protosevich entered the world of comic book adaptations with a screenplay credit for Marvel Studios’ Thor, and it feels homey enough that he’s thinking of settling down for awhile. Variety reports Protosevich has signed on to bring the upcoming Ape Entertainment comic series Freakshow to the big screen. The scribe is considering Freakshow as a vehicle for his directorial debut; he will produce with Jennifer Klein (Pearl Harbor) and Sheldon Turner, who recently earned an Oscar nomination for his work on the Up in the Air script. Hit the jump to learn a bit more about the source material.
Eric Bana and Colin Farrell are reportedly circling Up in the Air co-writer Sheldon Turner’s directorial debut, By Virtue Fall. Deadline reports that both actors “sparked to Turner’s script” which “charts a professional and personal relationship between two characters that evolves from friendship to betrayal and retribution.” However, Deadline also notes that the indie is “no slamdunk” and that both actors want more money for the gig, but Bana is further along in negotiations than Farrell.
Farrell is currently signed on to the remake of Fright Night, the dark comedy Horrible Bosses, and David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis. Bana recently wrapped shooting on Joe Wright’s dramatic-thriller Hanna co-starring Cate Blanchett and Saoirse Ronan.
After racking up numerous awards with Jason Reitman (the bearded gent in the photo above) for their screenplay for Up in the Air, Sheldon Turner is now set to make his directorial debut with By Virtue Fall, which he also wrote. According to Variety, the story “revolves around a man who is framed by his mentor and winds up in prison. Once released, he’s fixated on getting revenge on his former partner, who has flourished in his new life and tried to cleanse himself of the past.” Here’s an idea if you’re planning to frame someone in order to send them to prison: make sure they don’t get out of prison. People who are framed don’t learn to turn the other cheek in prison. At least not in that sense of the phrase.
Speaking of making By Virtue Fall the first film he’ll direct, Turner said, “[Directing] is something that I’ve long held in high regard. I approach it cautiously and reverently. This script was the first I’ve written that made me feel like I had no choice but to embark on my directing career.” The Hurt Locker producer Nicolas Chariter will finance and produce the thriller.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts added momentum to The Hurt Locker awards train tonight as they award the film Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Sound. Hurt Locker‘s awards in the technical categories are particularly interesting because perhaps Academy-thinking that usually awards those categories to the big blockbuster movies, i.e. Avatar. But perhaps BAFTA and Oscar voters on the same wavelength and despite the massive box office of Cameron’s tech demo, the Academy could recognize the impressive editing, sound, and achievement in other technical categories (although Avatar won the BAFTA for best visual effects and it’s a lock to win the Oscar in that category as well).
Other nice victories included Colin Firth for Best Actor (A Serious Man), Carey Mulligan for Best Actress (An Education), and my personal favorite: Outstanding British Debut to Duncan Jones for Moon. He gave a very sweet acceptance speech and I’ve included video of it after the jump along with the full list of winners.