Exclusive: Producer Neal Moritz on PREACHER, S.W.A.T. 2, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THE BOYS, MAN-WITCH, and SINBAD

     April 8, 2010

Exclusive Producer Neal Moritz on PREACHER, SWAT 2, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THE BOYS, MAN WITCH, and SINBAD - Now Called THE 8th VOYAGE OF SINBAD.jpg

Continuing my “Seven Days with Producer Neal Moritz” series, tonight I’ve got updates on Preacher, S.W.A.T. 2, the remake of Escape From New York, Man-Witch, The Boys, and Sinbad – which is now called The 8th Voyage of Sinbad.   Some of the highlights are:


  • They’re talking to a new director (wouldn’t say who) as Sam Mendes is going to do James Bond
  • John August wrote the script
  • He envisions shooting Preacher in 2011
  • Talks about John August deciding to spread out the story over a few movies rather than trying for just one film
  • Definitely rated R
  • He told me that John August mentioned he’d be interested in directing the movie himself!

Escape From New York remake

  • They have a script and they’re out to directors
  • They’ve had a few meetings with different directors and a couple of actors really want to play Snake Plissken
  • Gerard Butler hasn’t read the new script but after they hire a director they’ll talk to him again
  • Thinks it will be rated R

Much, much more after the jump:

Neal Moritz (2).jpgS.W.A.T. 2

  • Most likely straight to DVD
  • Filming in Detroit
  • Benny Boom is directing
  • New cast


  • The film is now called The 8th Voyage of Sinbad
  • Adam Shankman is attached as the director
  • Amy Pascal is reading the script
  • Takes place in China

The Boys

  • He just had a meeting with a director he wants to do the project with


  • With Todd Phillips on other projects, they’re looking at other directors

Here’s everything Neal Moritz and I discussed about all the projects.  And if you missed the previous “Sveen Days With Producer Neal Moritz”, here’s what he said about R.I.P.D., Fast and the Furious 5/6 and his remake of Highlander, here’s updates on Shane Black’s Doc Savage, his remake of Total Recall, and what’s up with Flash Gordon, and here’s updates on Jonathan Liebesman’s Battle: Los Angeles, Michel Gondry’s Green Hornet, Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer and a lot of 3D talk.

SWAT movie poster.jpgCollider: What exactly is bubbling right now for you?

Neal Moritz:  I mean the main next things for me obviously we’ve got post on Battle: Los Angeles and post in Green Hornet. We’re doing a DVD movie of S.W.A.T. 2 and…

Did you say it’s straight to DVD?

Moritz:  It probably will be. It probably will be.

Are there people coming back from the first film?

Moritz:  No. No, there’s not.

New cast?

Moritz:  New cast.

Do you think shooting this year?

Moritz:  We start shooting in like 12 weeks in Detroit.

Do you have a director?

Moritz:  Benny Boom is directing it.

And do you have any cast yet?

Moritz:  We’re in the middle of making deals right now.


Moritz:  The next things for me, the next 3…well I’m making Fast and Furious 5 in June/July. We’re doing Jack the Giant Killer with Bryan Singer in July we start that. And then I’m doing The Change Up with David Dobkins directors with Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman for Universal. That’ll start in October. And the next kind of wave for me will be 21 Jump Street, hopefully The Boys, hopefully Escape from New York.  Highlander for sure, I’m doing that with Justin Lin after we finish Fast and the Furious. There’s a submarine movie called Hunter Killer and then I’m going to do R.I.P.D. which is something that I’m really, really excited about. Sinbad hopefully and Preacher are kind of my next wave of stuff.

Jumping into Preacher for a second, what is…there’s been a lot of talk about Preacher for a long time it seems…

preacher_comic_book_image.jpgMoritz:  We now have a terrific script that John August wrote. We were originally talking with Sam Mendes about doing the movie. Sam Mendes is going to go off and do the Bond movie, so there’s another director that we’re talking to right now.

So do you envision that shooting hopefully next year?

Moritz:  I hopefully will be shooting that movie next year.

Jumping into The Boys.

Moritz:  The Boys is something…I have a meeting with a director that I would really like to do the movie with today. There’s a number of actors coming forward saying they want to do the movie. We’re not in a hurry to do it. We want to do it right and we got a really good faithful to the comic book script that Manfradian Hay wrote, who wrote Clash of the Titans and many other things for us including R.I.P.D. and other things. And we love what they’ve done with the script. And we’ve been very careful there’s been a number of people wanting to do the movie. We’re very careful how we’re going to put that movie together.

You mentioned Sinbad earlier. Can you tell people about that?

Moritz:  We finally have a really good script that we’re very excited about. Adam Shankman is attached as the director on that script. The studio’s very excited about it. Amy Pascal is reading the script now. So that’ll determine what happens. It’s a project we’ve had on the boards for quite a while and it’s something that I’d really like to make. It’s called The 8th Voyage of Sinbad. It feels like it’s a movie that I’d want to see and that’s the only way I get ultimately judge what I want to make is what I want to see.

When does it take place?

Moritz:  It takes place in China. I can’t remember what year.

Middle Ages?

Moritz:  Yeah, whenever the original Sinbad took place. But I’ll get you an answer to that. I can’t remember the exact date.

You also mentioned Escape from New York.

Escape from New York movie image (1).jpgMoritz:  Yes, we have a script. We’re out to directors right now. We’ve had quite a few meetings with directors and there’s a couple of actors that are really interested in playing Snake and we’ll see what happens.

Obviously there are a tremendous amount of fans on this franchise. How much do you judge what fans are wanting vs. what’s good for the movie?

Moritz:  Well, you know I have fond memories of a lot of movies and then I go back and watch them and I’m not sure exactly what my biggest fond memories of those movies are. I have a huge affinity for the character of Snake Plissken and I have huge affinity for the central idea of that movie Escape from New York and there’s a lot of characters and a lot of things that I like.  We wouldn’t be going off to try and remake it unless we really liked that movie. But we’re also inventing some new things along the way.

There was talk I believe of Gerard Butler.

Moritz:  Gerard was really interested in playing it. He hasn’t read the new script yet, so we’ll probably have a conversation with him once we get a director on board.

With a project like that, do you envision that a PG-13 or an R?

Moritz:  Probably an R, but see I don’t like to get R-ratings for language. R-rating for violence is okay to me but I think just because somebody says fuck or shit or this or that doesn’t make it a cool movie.

I agree.

Moritz:  So it’s not…and I don’t think it’s that hard to make movies PG-13 anymore. I mean all Fast and Furious have been PG-13 movies and I don’t think there’s anything we would have done differently that if we could have made it an R. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t really…the R, PG-13 isn’t as big a deal to me as you would think.

Zach Galifianakis image.jpgThere was a lot of talk for awhile about you guys doing Man-Witch.

Moritz:  We have a script. We’re hiring another director on it right now. That’s a movie that’s come together, fallen apart many different times.  I think we’re finally on the right track right now. We have a very good director who’s interested in doing it. The hardest part of the movie is going to be who can play that role.

What’s, and I could be wrong about this, but wasn’t Zach (Galifianakis) attached?

Moritz:  When Todd Phillips was going to direct it, it was going to be Zach. It was going to be Jack Black at one point when Todd was going to direct it, so it’s been through a couple of different combinations right now and I think either of them would be really good for the part.

Jumping into Preacher. There was talk about that as a feature. There was talk about that as an HBO movie. There’s been a lot of talk. What’s your guys take on this thing?

Moritz:  We’ve got a great script. John August wrote a script that I think is terrific. The hardest thing was with all the books-the Preacher books-was how to distill it down.  And what he made the smart decision instead of trying to cram everything into one, there’s plenty of room for 2 or 3 movies. So that’s what he’s done and he’s done a really faithful adaption but made it probably more accessible to a broader audience right now. That movie’s definitely R-rated and it’s an amazing central character.

I’m a big fan of John August as a director, is there any chance he could get behind the camera?

Moritz:  You know it’s interesting you say that. I had a meeting with him recently and we started talking about directors and we were talking about some really, you know, lofty directors. And he said you know if you don’t get one of those I’d be interested in it. I said we’ll talk about it.

I really loved his movie The Nines.

Moritz:  Yeah, I did too.


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