If only Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman‘s business savvy were equal to their screenwriting talent. The duo have no problem getting attached to blockbuster properties, and while part of that is being credited on previously successful blockbusters, there are other big-budget screenwriters who don’t become so prolific. In addition to moving into television with Sleepy Hollow and plans to produce feature adaptations of Locke & Key and Dragonology, Orci and Kurtzman are also developing remakes of Van Helsing and The Mummy because it’s great to make movies no one wanted. But it turns out they’ve got big plans for Universal’s stable of horror icons beyond simple remakes.
Hit the jump for more.
At the recent Los Angeles press day for Skyfall, I was able to speak with director Sam Mendes. During our extended conversation we talked about fan reaction to Skyfall, whether it was tough to land cinematographer Roger Deakins, deleted scenes, what will be on the eventual Blu-ray, whether he will direct another James Bond film, Javier Bardem’s character’s sexuality, crafting his own version of a Bond story rather than being beholden to the Bond mythos, and a lot more. In addition, we talked about his Preacher adaptation, whether he would direct a comic book movie like Justice League (and his thoughts on the comic book movie genre), his vampire hunter TV series featuring Van Helsing with John Logan (which he will produce and possibly direct the pilot), and more.
I absolutely loved Skyfall. Sam Mendes has crafted one of the best James Bond movies ever made. While the Bond franchise is now 50 years old, Mendes has shown the best might be yet to come. I really can’t recommend this film enough. For all our Skyfall coverage including our review, clips, posters, my set visit and more, click here. Skyfall also stars Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Helen McCrory, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Berenice Marlohe and Ben Whishaw. Hit the jump to watch the interview.
Early reports have director Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) circling the Van Helsing reboot that stars Tom Cruise and is being produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Sanders and Universal apparently have mutual interest in maintaining their working relationship. While the feature debut of Sanders brought modest box office success, the film was eventually overshadowed by the rumored affair between the director and star Kristen Stewart. Cruise is currently filming All You Need is Kill and there is a good chance that Van Helsing will be his next project. In other words, Universal needs to lock down a director soon. Can Sanders resurrect Van Helsing? Hit the jump for more.
Though Tom Cruise had been involved in a reboot of Van Helsing since 2010, the project didn’t actually get moving until this past May when it was announced that Star Trek and Transformers screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman would be producing the pic with Cruise set to star. Given that Orci and Kurtzman are juggling a number of major projects at the moment (Star Trek 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Ender’s Game, and the release of People Like Us), we haven’t heard much about the direction this reboot will take.
Kurtzman recently talked to us about how The Dark Knight‘s realistic influence has informed their take on the story, and now the producer has spoken a bit more about grounding their Van Helsing in reality and how their version will differ from previous iterations of the story. Hit the jump for more.
People Like Us is a family dramedy inspired by true events from the life of writer/director Alex Kurtzman. The story follows Sam (Chris Pine), a twenty-something guy who learns that his father has suddenly died, leaving behind a secret 30-year-old daughter (Elizabeth Banks) that Sam never knew about, and he is forced to re-examine his own life and re-think everything he thought he knew about his family.
At the film’s press day, Alex Kurtzman talked to Collider about deciding to share such a personal story with the world, the advantages and disadvantages in writing something without a set deadline, what made him decide to direct, and how important the casting was for the tone of the movie. He also talked about the emotional experience of returning to the Enterprise for the Star Trek sequel, what made he and business partner Roberto Orci want to sign on to write the sequel for The Amazing Spider-Man, how they just wrapped Ender’s Game (which takes place 70 years after a horrific alien war) and Now You See Me (about FBI agents who track a team of illusionists that pull off bank heists during their performances) as producers, and how excited they are to be rebooting Van Helsing and The Mummy. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
This weekend, Collider got to participate in the press junket for People Like Us, a family dramedy inspired by true events from the life of writer/director Alex Kurtzman. The story follows Sam (Chris Pine), a twenty-something guy who learns that his father has suddenly died, leaving behind a secret 30-year-old daughter (Elizabeth Banks) that Sam never knew about, and he is forced to re-examine his own life and re-think everything he thought he knew about his family.
While we will post what Kurtzman had to say about his feature film debut closer to its June 29th release, we did want to share what he had to say to us about the emotional experience of returning to the Enterprise for the Star Trek sequel, how insane it was to be able to really walk around the ship, how the set was built for the hallways to connect so that director J.J. Abrams could play whole scenes without a cut, and how they’re still in discussion about when the first official images or teaser trailer might be released. He also talked about what made he and business partner Roberto Orci want to sign on to write the sequel for The Amazing Spider-Man, how they just wrapped Ender’s Game (which takes place 70 years after a horrific alien war) and Now You See Me (about FBI agents who track a team of illusionists that pull off bank heists during their performances) as producers, and how excited they are to be rebooting Van Helsing and The Mummy. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Star Trek screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman recently signed an exclusive two-year producing deal with Universal Pictures. The studio has now sent out a press release announcing that the duo will take on reboots of The Mummy and Van Helsing with Tom Cruise attached to co-produce and star in the latter. Last month, we reported that Prometheus co-writer Jon Spaihts has been tapped to write the reboot of The Mummy. As for Van Helsing, Cruise has been involved with the property since 2010, but at the time, the product went into stasis after Guillermo Del Toro declined to direct. At the time, Cruise and Del Toro were set to team for At the Mountains of Madness, but Universal pulled the plug because they wouldn’t give Del Toro the budget and R-rating he wanted.
Hit the jump for the press release. Orci and Kurtzman were recently hired to write the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man. It’s important to note that the successful producing/screenwriting duo are currently not attached to write the scripts for either The Mummy or Van Helsing although they’ll obviously have major input.
When you’re an ultra-talented director who has an undeniable eye for stunning visuals and an Oscar nomination under your belt, signing onto one project normally means passing on numerous others. Such is the case for Guillermo del Toro. A few days ago, we told you that both del Toro and James Cameron have signed on to respectively direct/produce an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness. With that deal in the can, and a summer 2011 3D shoot in mind, the question is raised: who/what did del Toro say “thanks, but no thanks” to?
Now, Vulture answers that question. Hit the jump for the vampire slayer-laden info.
When Guillermo del Toro dropped out of directing The Hobbit, many people were understandable disappointed. After all, getting GDT behind the camera for The Hobbit seemed like a match made in heaven, and it seemed like everyone in cyberspace was in universal agreement. Which is rare.
Since he dropped out, many have been guessing what he might do next. We reported a rumor he might do Van Helsing at Universal. With the online chatter, del Toro even responded to the rumors, saying he’s only in talks for the project. So the big question is…what is he going to direct next? According to del Toro, we aren’t going to have to wait much longer to find out as he just announced he will tell everyone at Comic-Con next month! Hit the jump for more.
Now that he’s left The Hobbit, everyone’s asking “What’s super-brilliant director Guillermo del Toro going to do next?” Pajiba says that he’s taking on Dracula-hunter Van Helsing. That’s kind of ballsy when you stop to consider that Stephen Sommers pretty much ruined that name with his atrocious 2004 film. Thankfully, Universal’s new stab at the character won’t be a remake but a completely new film based off a treatment by del Toro. The new take will also be an action-horror film (although the “horror” in Van Helsing was in no way scary), but when del Toro takes on that genre, you get an awesome movie like Blade II.
But just to be clear: Pajiba does not say that del Toro will direct the film. At this point, he’s only producing and writing the treatment. Del Toro also has plenty of other projects to choose from: He’s producing an adaptation of the DC comics character Deadman, Frankenstein, The Drood, The Witches, an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Death: The High Cost of Living, and (fingers crossed) Hellboy 3. But del Toro could direct traffic and I’d still watch.
Halloween brings out the ghosts, ghouls and reissues of Haloween favorites and “favorites.” Universal, one of the great studios for catalog Blu-ray releases has put out two cult-classics, and one film that might strain to be some day. My reviews of An America Werewolf in London, Army of Darkness and Van Helsing after the jump.