Warner Bros.’ remake of the 1971 Bill Cosby/Sidney Poitier comedy Uptown Saturday Night is getting a rewrite. Variety reports that Forgetting Sarah Marshall director and Get Him to the Greek scribe Nicholas Stoller has been brought on to pen a rewrite of the script in an effort to fast-track the redo. The project has a promising pedigree, with Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers) onboard to direct and Will Smith and Denzel Washington attached to star. The original film revolved around two friends who sneak out to visit a high-class illegal club, only to find themselves in hot water.
McKay wants Uptown Saturday Night to be his next film after completing Anchorman 2 and Smith and Washington must both approve of the script before things move forward, so Stoller is hoping to have a draft ready by next month. If the script delivers, all involved are geared up to start production next summer.
20th Century Fox has tapped Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) to direct the adventure picture The City That Sailed, now officially starring Will Smith (Independence Day). Scripted by Audrey Wells (The Game Plan), the story “centers on a father and daughter on the island of Manhattan as it breaks loose and sails across the Atlantic Ocean.” With Smith as the father, I’ll give you three guesses on who will likely play the daughter. Hit the jump for more.
Like Crazy writer/director Drake Doremus has developed a reputation for crafting intimate and engrossing relationship dramas using his signature improvisational style, and for his next project the filmmaker plans to apply his talents to the sci-fi genre. I spoke with Doremus earlier this year at Sundance where he premiered his excellent new drama Breathe In, and the director noted that he planned on venturing “into the futuristic, semi sci-fi love story land,” but utilizing his improvisational style. Now Deadline reports that Doremus is courting Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult to star in the pic, titled Equals, for an early 2014 production start date.
Plot details regarding Equals are unknown at this point, but Moon scribe Nathan Parker penned the screenplay. Doremus’ shooting style involves improvising nearly every scene, so if Hoult and Stewart sign on, they’ll have a hefty job ahead of them. Hit the jump for news concerning Will Smith starring in a supernatural thriller.
The question of whether or not Will Smith will be in Independence Day 2 continues to churn on. Four months ago, director Roland Emmerich said Smith wouldn’t be returning for the sequel. Then two months ago, Smith was apparently in talks to reprise his role as fighter pilot/alien puncher Captain Steven Hiller. Uncertainty continues to swirl around the project, and it looks like it will move forward with or without Smith. Emmerich has screenplays to do either, and he’s not afraid to use them.
Hit the jump for more.
Though producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s recent hits are mostly massive, wide-appeal tentpole fare like the Pirates of the Caribbean series and National Treasure, he made a name for himself in the 1980s and 1990s for producing more R-rated content like Bad Boys and, to great success, Beverly Hills Cop. Though CBS passed on a pilot adaptation of Beverly Hills Cop earlier this year, Paramount is now trying to get a fourth feature film off the ground and it appears that Bruckehimer—who produced the first and second BHC films—is keen on coming back to produce the fourth film. Moreover, the report adds that Bruckheimer is helping develop a script for the long-awaited Bad Boys 3 (!!!). Hit the jump for more.
Although Independence Day director Roland Emmerich previously stated that star Will Smith wouldn’t be involved in the film’s sequel, in part for fear of him overshadowing the cast, it now looks as if the two are at least entering into talks. Perhaps the lackluster performances of some of Smith’s recent efforts have spurred him into dipping into the well of previous films, especially since he’s rumored to be involved in sequels to Hancock, Bad Boys and I, Robot. What’s one more?
Whether Smith is involved in the planned Independence Day sequel or not, Emmerich isn’t sure that the film will hit Fox’s target release date of summer 2015, saying it’s likely to open in summer of 2016. For those of you who like measuring your own time on this Earth relative to movie releases, that’s 20 years since the original debuted. Hit the jump for more, including a video with Emmerich himself and a bit about progress on the Stargate franchise reboot.
While there had been renewed talk about a potential sequel to director Roland Emmerich’s 1996 over the past few years, the director started speaking pretty seriously about the prospect of a follow-up last year. Fox finally solidified the project just the other day by announcing a July 3, 2015 release date for Independence Day 2, and now we’ve got a whole new film’s worth of alien invasion to look forward to. When Emmerich first started talking more seriously about an Independence Day follow-up, he revealed that he and co-writer/producer Dean Devlin were penning not one but two sequels. A couple of months ago, the director said that both films will take place 20 years after the original and Part 1 will end with a cliffhanger that leads directly into Part 2, but it appears that the second sequel may no longer be a foregone conclusion.
Steve recently spoke with Emmerich at the press day for his upcoming actioner White House Down, and the director talked briefly about the Independence Day sequel, confirming that it is likely his next film and revealing that they’re only focusing on doing one sequel for the time being. The filmmaker also reiterated that Will Smith will not be returning. Hit the jump for more.
After leading the biggest Memorial Day box office of all time, Fast & Furious 6 remained on top for a second weekend with an estimated $34.5 million. The film’s 65% drop left plenty of room for a new release to take over top honors – provided that new release wasn’t Sony’s After Earth. The sci-fi adventure was aiming for a $35-$40 million debut. Instead, the combined star-power of Will and Jaden Smith was only good enough for third place behind Now You See Me… a genuine upset for a film from the supposedly ‘cursed’ genre of magic.
|| Fast & Furious 6
|| Now You See Me
|| After Earth
|| Star Trek Into Darkness
|| The Hangover Part III
|| Iron Man 3
|| The Great Gatsby
All of the hooplah surrounding Arrested Development Season 4′s debut on Netflix last weekend got me waxing nostalgic for another beloved series that was all too short-lived: Paul Feig‘s Freaks and Geeks. When you consider its impressive shelf life, it’s hard to believe the series only aired on NBC for one season and consists of merely 18 episodes. For the sake of comparison, ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager will air its series finale this Monday and will finish with five seasons and 121 episodes in hand. Continuing down that path, Freaks and Geeks averaged just above 6.5 million weekly viewers during its run while Secret Life‘s most watched episode to date (the Season 2 premiere) garnered a little over 4.5 million viewers. In addition to the frustration I feel for having 103 more Secret Life episodes to never watch than Freaks and Geeks episodes to cherish, this also provides an interesting example of the ratings expectations/requirements of a network series in comparison to that of a cable series.
I could go on and on doing my best Brendan Bettinger: Stats Genius impersonation but the real reason I’m here is to present this week’s Top 5. In this installment you have at your disposal our visit to the set of Man of Steel, Allison watching the Indiana Jones movies for the first time, After Earth interviews with Will and Jaden Smith, another set visit for The Wolverine, and Matt’s review of the aforementioned fourth season of Arrested Development. As you’ve grown to expect, a brief recap and link to each of the above makes its home after the jump.
With director M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth opening this weekend, Sony Pictures invited us to the Virgin Galactic Spaceport in New Mexico for the press junket. As you can imagine, it was an amazing place to talk about the movie. If you’re not familiar with the plot, After Earth stars Will Smith and Jaden Smith as a father and son who crash land on a post-apocalyptic Earth, and it’s up to the son to fight for survival when the father is seriously injured. For more on the film, watch three clips and some behind-the-scenes footage. After Earth also stars Sophie Okonedo and Zoe Kravitz.
During our interview with Will Smith, he talked about how After Earth is the first film on which he’s received a “Story By” credit, how the project changed along the way, getting to work with his son, how the project came together, doing press at the Virgin Spaceport, and more. In addition, I’ve heard rumblings that Smith is done with the Men in Black franchise, so I asked him the status of a Men in Black 4. The way he talked about the franchise, it sounds like he’s cool with the third film being the last installment. Hit the jump to watch.
The metaphor of a young bird leaving the nest is a lesson all children learn, and usually at a young age (it’s just not enforced until much later). Someone looked at this lesson, must have thought, “I like it, but how can we make it cost over $100 million?”, and the result was After Earth. It’s not a bad lesson, but it’s hardly enough to support an entire movie. Resting almost entirely on lead actors Jaden and Will Smith, director and co-writer M. Night Shyamalan surrounds the picture with sub-par special effects and bland action scenes. Jaden Smith provides a strong lead performance, but his character is undermined by the story’s laughably literal moments, and a journey that rarely enthralls and never surprises.
With director M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming sci-fi film After Earth opening May 31st, Sony Pictures has provided us with three clips and over three minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the film. The film stars Will Smith and Jaden Smith as a father and son who crash land on a post-apocalyptic Earth, and it’s up to the son to fight for survival when the father is seriously injured. While we’ve previously posted some of the clips, you can now watch them all in one place. In addition, the behind-the-scenes footage is great if you’d like to see what it was like on set. After Earth also stars Sophie Okonedo and Zoe Kravitz.
Hit the jump to watch the clips and look for exclusive video interviews with Will and Jaden Smith the week of release.
Will Smith is setting his sights on a reboot of a classic Western in the near future. Warner Bros. has been developing a remake of Sam Peckinpah’s classic 1969 film The Wild Bunch for a couple of years now, with Tony Scott most recently attached to take the helm. Scott sadly passed away before his iteration of the film could make it to the screen, but Warner Bros. is still keen on getting this thing going and they’re roping in some major star power to move it forward as Will Smith is currently in negotiations to star in and produce the Wild Bunch remake. Hit the jump for more.
Sony Pictures has released the first clip from director M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming sci-fi film After Earth. The pic stars Will Smith and Jaden Smith as a father and son who crash land on a post-apocalyptic Earth, and it’s up to the son to fight for survival when the father is seriously injured. This debut clip shows how all of the action is put into motion, as we see Will Smith’s Cypher Raige (I still can’t get over that character name) explaining to his son that in order to get to the plane’s distress beacon, he will have to travel a very long distance over an incredibly harsh terrain.
Hit the jump to watch the clip. The film also stars Sophie Okonedo and Zoe Kravitz. After Earth opens on May 31st.
To this point, all of the marketing for After Earth have highlighted Will and Jaden Smith, which is understandable. They’re the lead actors, and Will Smith is a movie star. But there are other actors in the movie, and we now have the first images of co-stars Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda) and Zoe Kravitz (X-Men: First Class). The film centers Kitai Raige (Jaden Smith) and his father Cypher (Will Smith), who crash land on a post-apocalyptic Earth, and it’s up to Kitai to fight for survival when Cypher is seriously injured. Okonedo plays Cypher’s wife, and Kravitz plays their eldest daughter. I don’t know the size of their roles, but I appreciate the film for having a primarily black cast since that never happens when it comes to blockbuster action films.
Hit the jump to check out the images. After Earth opens May 31st.