Doug Liman’s schedule is becoming quite crowded. The Mr. and Mrs. Smith filmmaker most recently completed the upcoming sci-fi pic Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise, and now Warner Bros. is looking to stay in business with Liman as Heat Vision reports that he is currently in negotiations to direct an adaptation of Railhead, an upcoming book by author Philip Reeve. Warner Bros. recently acquired the novel, which takes place in a futuristic society in which trains run through space portals. The crux of the story revolves around a petty thief who is hired to steal an object that turns out to be much more powerful that he was led to believe.
The book doesn’t hit shelves until Fall 2015, but WB has gotten a jump on the material. Next up for Liman, though, is the video game adaptation Splinter Cell, which has Tom Hardy set to star. That starts production later this year for a planned 2015 release.
Warner Bros. has set the Magic Mike 2 release date for July 3, 2015. 2015 is already ridiculously crowded, but I have to admire a studio scheduling the sequel to an indie dramedy about male strippers for one of the biggest blockbuster weekends of the year. Even better, it will face off against Terminator: Genesis, and while audiences are used to getting their big action fix on the July 4th weekend, I wouldn’t rule out Magic Mike 2 as highly effective counter-programming. There’s more than one way to set off fireworks. One of those ways involves cock pumps.
In a recent interview, Magic Mike 2 star Channing Tatum said that “everyone” will likely return for the sequel. I hope that the movie is good and that they’ll be seeing a lot of laaawwwwwbreakers.
It appears that filmmaker Guy Ritchie has firmed up King Arthur as his next project. We learned a few months ago that Ritchie was looking to direct a new version of the King Arthur tale at Warner Bros., envisioned as a tentpole fantasy epic that would span six feature films. There’s no telling if the franchise will indeed stretch to six films, but today Warner Bros. announced a July 22, 2016 release date (in 2D and 3D, naturally) for the first step, the Ritchie-helmed King Arthur. Hit the jump for more on the project.
Marvel has been celebrated for their big gamble of bridging together multiple superhero movies and creating a “cinematic universe”. But where there’s a winner there must also be a loser, and Warner Bros., which owns DC Comics, has come under fire for not being able to have the same level of success with DC superhero movies. To be fair, DC is under no obligation to follow the same gameplan as Marvel, and it’s not like it would be impossible to have a bunch of great superhero movies that remain in separate universes. Warner Bros. is already leaning towards that approach by putting superheroes like Green Arrow and The Flash on television but not ruling them out as participants in a big screen feature.
Since David S. Goyer wrote the screenplay for Man of Steel, worked on The Dark Knight Rises trilogy, and is now overseeing the DC Vertigo projects Constantine and Sandman, he’s become the go-to guy for inquiring about the studio’s plans for adapting their DC Comics. Hit the jump for what he had to say regarding the creation of DC Cinematic Universe.
Warner Bros. has already had a huge hit in 2014 with The LEGO Movie, and they could have a very successful summer with the releases of Godzilla, Edge of Tomorrow, Jersey Boys, and more. But like all major studios, WB is looking to build sturdy franchises for the years ahead. In an interview with the New York Times, Warner Bros. C.E.O. Kevin Tsujihara talked about his plans for the studio. Specifically, he touched on the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, building off The LEGO Movie, and the future of the adapting DC superheroes.
Hit the jump for more.
Warner Bros. and Disney are developing competing live-action adaptations of The Jungle Book. When director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel) departed the WB project and Idris Elba signed on to voice Shere Khan in the Jon Faverau edition, Disney took the early lead. But Warner Bros. is not ready to throw in the towel just yet. After sending out feelers to Ron Howard, WB found their director in Andy Serkis. Serkis is best known as the godfather of motion-capture acting, the man behind Gollum of Lord of the Rings and Caesar of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The Jungle Book will be Serkis’ feature directorial debut (depending on the status of his Animal Farm adaptation), but he served as the second unit director for The Hobbit movies—no walk in the park.
In Rudyard Kipling’s short stories, the orphaned boy Mowgli is raised by wolves, befriends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the black panther, and fights the tiger Shere Khan, so there are plenty of CG/mo-cap characters for Serkis to curate. More after the jump.
We’ve got a few casting stories to attend to this afternoon. Briefly:
- Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to the memoir The Priority List: A Teacher’s Final Quest to Discover Life’s Greatest Lessons with Steve Carell attached to star and produce.
- Community and Mad Men actress (and MeowMeowBeans expert) Alison Brie has been cast alongside Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart in the comedy Get Hard.
- Director Joe Wright and Warner Bros. have found their lead for the Peter Pan reimagining Pan in newcomer Levi Miller.
Hit the jump for more details on the aforementioned casting.
It looks like an adaptation of one of crime novelist Jo Nesbø’s books is coming close to fruition. A few years ago, Working Title purchased Nesbø’s The Snowman and Summit acquired the rights to Headhunters, but neither project has materialized in the ensuing time. Last year, Warner Bros. acquired the rights to the upcoming novel Blood on Snow as a potential starring vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio, and now Deadline reports that Safe House director Daniel Espinosa is in talks to develop to direct the adaptation. Now, “develop to direct” isn’t the same as “direct in the next few months” so we still may be a ways off from the Blood on Snow film, but this is certainly a step forward. Hit the jump for more.
We live in a box office climate dominated by sequels, reboots, and remakes. A known property is a much safer bet for a studio than an original film, and even when one original idea somehow makes it through the pipeline and proves to be a massive success (eg. Inception), it’s singled out as an anomaly rather than incentive to generate more original properties. As such, the major studios are always on the hunt for ways to reboot or extend franchises, and if a new report is to be believed, one such property destined for a kickstart just might be a new trilogy of The Matrix films. Hit the jump to read on.
One of the most popular video game franchises of the past few years is on track to potentially become a movie. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to Minecraft, an open world-style game from Swedish indie developer Mojang AB. The game was initially released to the public in 2009 as a developmental version, followed by the official full release in November 2011. It’s a creative game in which players are able to build practically anything they want out of textured cubes in a 3D environment, with multiple modes allowing the player to either fight for survival or let their imagination run wild by simply creating. Hit the jump for more on the project.
A few months ago, Joseph Gordon-Levitt signed on to produce an adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s Sandman alongside Warner Bros.’ go-to comic-book-guy, David Goyer (Batman Begins, Man of Steel). For those unfamiliar with Gaiman’s comic, it centers on Morpheus (a.k.a. Dream), the Lord of Dreams but also expands to follow his six siblings Death, Desire, Destruction, Delirium (formerly Delight), Despair, and Destiny. It’s a wonderful comic book, and it’s not easy to translate beyond its tame first arc (“Preludes and Nocturnes”), which has Dream escaping from a prison and trying to reclaim his objects of power.
This story will probably be the basis for the film, and Deadline reports that Jack Thorne will write the screenplay based on a pitch from Goyer. Thorne wrote the script for How I Live Now (a film I didn’t particularly care for) and the adaptation of Nick Hornby‘s novel A Long Way Down. Personally, I don’t think Sandman needs to go into another medium, but hopefully Thorne, Goyer, and Gordon-Levitt (who the studio hopes will also direct and star in the picture) have found an interesting way to translate it to the big screen.
The 2013 awards race will finally come to a close on Sunday with the Academy Awards, so naturally there’s no time to waste when it comes to looking at Awards Season 2014. Paul Thomas Anderson‘s last two films, There Will Be Blood and The Master, both racked up multiple nominations, and Warner Bros. is angling for his next movie, an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon‘s detective novel Inherent Vice, to do the same. The studio has set Inherent Vice to open on December 12th. Currently, its competition will be Ridley Scott‘s biblical epic Exodus and the family movie Paddington. I’m curious to see if Warners plans to run Vice through the festival circuit before its theatrical release.
Hit the jump for more on Inherent Vice and release dates for Entourage and The Intern.
Warner Bros. has announced early 2015 release dates for a pair of upcoming films. The studio will release the comedy Get Hard on March 27, 2015, where it will square off against Neill Blomkamp’s (Elysium) sci-fi comedy Chappie and the animated spinoff The Penguins of Madagascar. Get Hard stars Will Ferrell as a wealthy investment banker who enlists the man who washes his car (Kevin Hart) to help prepare him for a maximum security prison sentence. Tropic Thunder and Men in Black 3 screenwriter Etan Cohen makes his directorial debut on the pic, which starts production this spring.
Additionally, the studio will release director Jaume Collet-Serra’s (Unknown) actioner Run All Night on February 6, 2015 directly opposite the long-delayed fantasy film Seventh Son. Run All Night stars Liam Neeson as an aging hitman who, in order to protect his wife and son, must take on his former boss in a single night. The film also stars Joel Kinnaman and Ed Harris and marks the third collaboration between Neeson and Collet-Serra, who most recently teamed up on Non-Stop.
Bradley Cooper is apparently going for the trifecta for starring in films whose titles begin with the word “American.” He’s nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for American Hustle, his next film is the real-life drama American Sniper, and now he’s attached to star in the crime thriller American Blood. THR reports that Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to the Ben Sanders novel of the same name, which revolves around a NYPD officer-turned-mob-informant who gets involved with a dangerous investigation concerning a missing woman while living in witness protection in New Mexico. Cooper is attached to star in the potentially franchise-igniting pic with Andrew Sodroski (Holland, Michigan) penning the screenplay. A director has not yet been as it’s still early days on the project; the book doesn’t even hit shelves until Fall 2015.
Hit the jump for more on Cooper’s upcoming slate.
Everything will continue to be awesome. With the incredibly impressive box office hold of The LEGO Movie, it was inevitable that Warner Bros. would be moving forward with a sequel. The studio began developing a follow-up with screenwriter Jared Stern (Mr. Popper’s Penguins) weeks before the film’s release, and now Box Office Mojo reports that Warner Bros. has slated the untitled sequel for release on May 26, 2017. It’s unclear who will be spearheading the film behind the scenes, but LEGO Movie writers/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller previously said that they would probably produce the follow-up, so one imagines they won’t be returning as directors; they’re no doubt fielding a flood of offers for other projects at the moment.
After opening to $69 million and overwhelmingly positive reviews, The LEGO Movie’s current worldwide gross already stands at $202 million after just two weeks in release, and it’s expected to maintain its hold on the box office again this weekend. WB is also developing a Ninjago movie and a recent report suggested that it might hit theaters before a LEGO Movie sequel, but it appears that the further adventures of Emmet and Co. will instead come first.