IN FEAR Director Jeremy Lovering to Helm Haunted Hotel Film THE BRINGING

by     Posted One week ago

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Sony Pictures’ horror film The Bringing looked like an incredibly promising project earlier this year when Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn entered negotiations to take the helm.  Unfortunately, he subsequently left the project, but now Deadline reports that the studio is forging ahead with Jeremy Lovering now in talks to direct.  The idea for the film was spurred by the strange death of a woman at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles who was found in the water tanks.  Video surfaced of the woman acting erratically in the hotel elevator, and the Cecil has been home to a number of suicides over the years.  The script by Brandon and Philip Murphy revolves around a man investigating a strange death at the hotel who finds himself stumbling into a nightmare.

Lovering helmed the Sherlock Season 3 opener “The Empty Hearse” as well as the 2013 horror film In Fear.  I haven’t seen the latter, but his work on Sherlock was certainly swell.  If Refn saw something in The Bringing, hopefully Lovering can turn out a successful haunted house movie.

Shane Black to Direct Remo Williams Adaptation THE DESTROYER for Sony

by     Posted One week ago

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It was pretty much a given that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang helmer Shane Black would have some heat coming off of directing the $1.5 billion-grossing Iron Man 3, but the guy is amassing a seriously stacked docket of upcoming projects.  The latest one to be added is an adaptation of the long-running Warren Murphy book series The Destroyer.  Sony Pictures announced today that Black will direct a feature film adaptation of the adventure series, with Fight Club scribe Jim Uhls penning the screenplay alongside James Mullaney.  The story follows Newark cop Remo Williams, who is framed, sentenced to death, executed, and then resurrected in order to serve as the enforcement arm for a top-secret division of the US government called CURE.  The Dark Knight and Man of Steel producer Charles Roven will produce.

Hit the jump for more on The Destroyer movie and Black’s current slate of upcoming projects.

Sony to Digitally Alter THE INTERVIEW to Remove Military Buttons; May also Cut Face-Melting Scene

by     Posted 15 days ago

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Last week, Sony moved Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg‘s comedy The Interview from October 10th to December 25th.  It seemed like a savvy bit of counter-programming where the R-rated comedy, which is about a TV interviewer (James Franco) and his producer (Rogen) being tasked with assassinating Kim Jong Un, would play against family films and dramas.  However, it now looks like the delay is due to technical reasons.  According to THR, Sony “is digitally altering thousands of buttons worn by characters in the film because they depict the actual hardware worn by the North Korean military to honor the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, 31, and his late father, Kim Jong Il (showcasing military decorations would be considered blasphemous to the nuclear-armed nation).”  That’s how crazy you can be when you have nukes: You can make people spend time and money in order to hide buttons.

There’s also concern over a face-melting scene, which is a bit more understandable.  Hit the jump for more.

PIXELS Release Date Pushed to July 24, 2015

by     Posted 16 days ago

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Earlier today, Sony Pictures moved up the release date for its Brad Pitt-fronted WWII drama Fury, but now the studio’s Pixels release date is being pushed back.  Originally scheduled for May 15, 2015, director Chris Columbus’ action-adventure pic will now open on July 24, 2015.  The film stars Adam Sandler and revolves around a group of 80s arcade game champions who are called upon to help defend earth from alien invaders who have misinterpreted our classic arcade games as a declaration of war.  The cast includes Josh Gad, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Brian Cox, and a mullet-sporting Peter Dinklage, and while we haven’t seen any footage just yet, it actually sounds like one of the most promising Adam Sandler movies in some time.  Hit the jump for more on the film and its new release date.

Sony Planning Female SPIDER-MAN Spinoff for 2017 Release

by     Posted 24 days ago

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Though the studio is certainly celebrating the success of Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios was once again called out this weekend for its lack of a female superhero movie, and rightfully so.  The superhero genre is bigger than ever, but even in the midst of numerous $200 million plus tentpoles from various studios, we have yet to see a female-led franchise pic.  All of this despite the fact that female moviegoers make up a hefty portion of audiences (the Guardians opening weekend was 44% female—the biggest yet for a Marvel movie), and yet are massively underrepresented at the marketplace.  When studios do decide to make quality female-led features, the results speak for themselves.  Just look at the grosses of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen.

And so now it looks like the time has finally come for one of the majors to move forward with a female-led superhero pic, but it’s actually coming from the least likely of sources: Sony Pictures.  The studio holds the rights to just one comic-book franchise, Spider-Man, but now it appears that they’re keen on breaking new ground with a female Spider-Man spinoff movie, which could hit theaters as soon as 2017.  Much more on this film after the jump.

Paul Feig Eyed to Direct GHOSTBUSTERS 3; May Be Total Reboot with Female-Led Cast

by     Posted 26 days ago

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The Ghostbusters 3 saga continues.  It seems like we’ve been reading about/reporting on a third Ghostbusters film or reboot for close to a decade now, with Dan Aykroyd promising every few months that a new Ghostbusters film is “really close” to happening/shooting/being released.  Some solid movement actually occurred earlier this year, as Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II director Ivan Reitman decided to step back and simply produce the next Ghostbusters film while working closely with Sony to find a new director for the project.

At that time, we heard that Sony was hoping to start production on Ghostbusters 3 in early 2015, and while 21 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie helmers Phil Lord and Chris Miller quickly emerged as favorites to direct, subsequent reports suggested they turned the project down (indeed, they seemed to imply that they had some sort of discussions with Sony about the project in our interview from June). But now there’s some forward momentum on the project, as Bridesmaids and The Heat director Paul Feig is apparently being courted as the new Ghostbusters 3 director.  However, instead of a sequel, sources indicate that Feig might actually be spearheading a new Ghostbusters reboot with a female cast.  More after the jump.

SINISTER SIX Release Date Set for November 11, 2016; THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 3 Pushed to 2018

by     Posted 36 days ago

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Two Sony superhero projects that seemed to be very much in doubt over the past few months (ever since The Amazing Spider-Man 2 failed to match expectations at the box office) are now back on the map in a major way.  Sony has just announced firm release dates for both the villain spinoff The Sinister Six and The Amazing Spider-Man 3.  It’s not all confetti though, since this means The Amazing Spider-Man 3 will be pushed one year beyond the already rumored release date shift to 2017.

All of this means that The Sinister Six release date will be November 11th, 2016 while The Amazing Spider-Man 3 has to wait all the way until May 4th, 2018.  That last date might not be such a bad thing, as it gives Sony and director Marc Webb (if he stays attached) more time to course correct a franchise that has been sinking at an alarming rate.  Hit the jump for more on The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and Sinister Six release dates.

Comic-Con 2014 Schedule for Wednesday’s Preview Night and Thursday, July 24th Includes CONSTANTINE, HANNIBAL, BATMAN ’66, and More

by     Posted 49 days ago

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The Comic-Con 2014 scheduled for Wednesday’s July 23rd’s Preview Night and Thursday, July 24th has been announced.  As they’ve done in previous years, Preview Night will offer fans a first look at the pilots for upcoming shows.  This year’s lineup is for The Flash, Constantine, and iZombie plus a brand new episode Teen Titans Go!.  On Thursday, you’ll get a much stronger Hall H lineup than last year with presentations from DreamWorks Animation, The Giver, Paramount Pictures, Entertainment Weekly’s: The Visionaries (the “visionaries” haven’t been announced yet, but usually this is a fascinating panel), and a look at the upcoming Batman ’66 Blu-ray set.  Folks in Ballroom 20, which hosts plenty of TV panels, will get to see presentations for 24, Teen Wolf, Hannibal, and Penny Dreadful.  Then there’s an outlier with Sony Pictures doing a presentation in the Indigo Ballroom over the in Hilton Bayfront Hotel.  That’s how packed Comic-Con is this year: there’s no room for a major studio that’s bringing Goosebumps and Pixels.

Hit the jump for Comic-Con 2014 schedule highlights from Wednesday’s July 23rd’s Preview Night and Thursday, July 24th.  The 2014 San Diego Comic-Con will run from July 23rd to July 27th.

Nicolas Winding Refn Will Not Direct Haunted Hotel Film THE BRINGING

by     Posted 76 days ago

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Following yesterday’s disappointing news that Guillermo del Toro has dropped out of directing Beauty and the Beast, another bummer has surfaced by way of a potential Nicolas Winding Refn project.  Last month, we learned that the Drive filmmaker was in talks to make an exciting haunted hotel film for Sony called The Bringing.  Unfortunately, Variety reporter Justin Kroll says negotiations stalled and Refn will not be directing the pic after all.  I was really looking forward to seeing what a studio-backed horror film from the guy who made Only God Forgives would look like, but it appears that’s not going to be happening anytime soon.

Nevertheless, Refn recently confirmed that his next pic will be the indie horror thriller I Walk with the Dead, so there’s still plenty to look forward to.  Sony likely still wants to move forward with The Bringing, so we’ll probably hear a director confirmation for the project in the coming months.

CAPTAIN AMERICA 2 Directors Joe and Anthony Russo Take Over THE GRAY MAN

by     Posted 91 days ago

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The long-gestating adaptation of Mark Greaney’s thriller novel The Gray Man has changed hands.  The story follows a former CIA operative and current assassin who must fight his way across Europe, past special forces teams, in order to save the life of his handler.  The project was set up several years ago with James Grey directing and Brad Pitt attached to star, but it languished in development hell as Grey and Pitt became busy with other films.  The rights recently lapsed, producers Joe Roth and Palek Patel subsequently swooped it up, and now Sony Pictures is in control of the property and Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo have been attached to write and direct.

Hit the jump for more on The Gray Man movie, which is being planned as the first in a potential franchise.

Kristen Wiig Joins Zach Galifianakis Comedy; Aaron Paul and Helen Mirren Join EYE; Dave Franco Leads INTERN’S HANDBOOK, and More

by     Posted 104 days ago

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We’ve got a number of casting stories to attend to.  Briefly:

  • Kristen Wiig has joined Zach Galifianakis and Owen Wilson in an untitled Relativity comedy from Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess.
  • Aaron Paul and Helen Mirren are joining Colin Firth in the military drone drama Eye in the Sky.
  • Sony is developing an adaptation of The Intern’s Handbook as a star vehicle for Dave Franco.
  • Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) will play Bonnie and Clyde in Go Down Together.

Hit the jump for more on the casting.

Nicolas Winding Refn in Early Talks to Direct Haunted Hotel Film THE BRINGING

by     Posted 106 days ago

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Though one could argue that Nicolas Winding Refn has already made a number of horror films, he now looks poised to tackle the genre in earnest—on a big studio movie, no less.  Deadline reports that the Drive director is in early talks to helm The Bringing, a haunted hotel pic for Sony Pictures.  The idea for the film was spurred by the strange death of a woman at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles who was found in the water tanks.  Video surfaced of the woman acting erratically in the hotel elevator, and the Cecil has been home to a number of suicides over the years.  The event inspired Brandon and Phillip Murphy to pen a script on spec revolving around a man investigating a death at the hotel, only to find himself stumbling into a nightmare.

Hit the jump for more on the project and Refn’s current slate.

SMURFS Reboot Pushed to August 2016; Adam Sandler’s PIXELS Set for May 15, 2015; GOOSEBUMPS Moved Up to August 7, 2015

by     Posted 119 days ago

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Sony Pictures has unveiled new release dates for a few of its upcoming films.  Briefly:

  • Untitled Smurfs Movie – The fully animated Smurfs reboot has been pushed from August 2015 to August 5, 2016 in order to give animators enough time to, you know, finish the movie.  The 2015 date was set when the pic was initially going to be another live-action/CG sequel to the existing franchise, but now director Kelly Asbury plans an entirely animated reimagining more in line with Peyo’s original artwork.
  • Pixels – Director Chris Columbus’ alien invasion film Pixels will open in theaters on May 15, 2015 opposite Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road.  The film stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and Peter Dinklage and revolves around 80s arcade gamers who are enlisted to help defeat alien invaders.
  • Goosebumps – The family friendly Goosebumps adaptation has been moved up from March 2016 to August 7, 2015, where it faces Assassin’s CreedJack Black stars in the adaptation as author R.L. Stine himself, as he finds his own creations coming to life.

Sony Moving Forward with Live-Action BARBIE Comedy in Hopes of Creating a New Franchise

by     Posted 127 days ago

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It’s no secret that studios are high on branded IP.  When you make a movie out of Transformers or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or He-Man, there’s the assumption that you’re already starting with a built-in audience, plus audiences immediately know what a Transformers movie entails as opposed to something wholly original like the upcoming sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending—introducing that to audiences is tricky.  And as evidenced by this February’s The LEGO Movie, it’s possible to make genuinely great films out of material that has zero backstory or mythology.

Which brings us to Barbie.  Sony Pictures is currently moving forward with a live-action feature film adaptation of the 50-year-old toy, and they’ve got big plans for the property with their eye on jumpstarting a new franchise.  Hit the jump for more, including what the Barbie movie entails.

Danny Boyle in Talks to Direct Steve Jobs Biopic; Leonardo DiCaprio Eyed to Star

by     Posted 129 days ago

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Sony Pictures is wasting no time in finding a new director for its high-profile Steve Jobs biopic.  The film initially looked to be a Social Network reunion, as David Fincher circled the Aaron Sorkin-penned project for a bit before falling off when Sony balked at his stipulations for directing.  Now, a mere week later, Danny Boyle has entered the conversation, and the Slumdog Millionaire filmmaker is eyeing the project as a potential The Beach reunion with Leonardo DiCaprio as his top choice to take on the leading role.  More after the jump.

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