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    Thursday
    Sep102015

    King Kong Heading to Warner Bros. for Godzilla Movie Showdown

    Well, can't say this is too unexpected.

    With the 'cinematic universe' becoming a go to thing now for film franchises, Legendary Pictures has announced their King Kong film, Kong: Skull Island, is being moved from Universal to Warner Bros. with a plan to have their big guy match-up with last year's Godzilla reboot.

    Since Legendary left Warner Bros last year and went to Universal, it was quite interesting to hear the production company announce a King Kong film when they had just made another monster film in Godzilla for Warner Bros. The idea was thought that if only this were under the same studio, a showdown of the two famous cinematic monsters in a feature film could finally happen.

    I guess they had the idea the whole time too as Kong: Skull Island will now be distributed under Warner Bros. with it's release date still in place of March 10th, 2017. Production is gearing up to start the end of this year, early next year with a cast that includes Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Corey Hawkins and possibly Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Wilkinson and John C. Reilly. Remember, originally Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons were part of this cast, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. I wonder if this change in direction for the film had anything to do with it?

    Gareth Edwards - who directed last year's Godzilla reboot - is still attached to helm the sequel (due out June 8th, 2018), but now it must be wondered if his vision for the follow-up will be changed by this new plan to connect with King Kong. Also, Max Borenstein, who wrote Godzilla and is writing Godzilla 2, also wrote Kong: Skull Island. Huh, I bet that's just a coincidence.

    Anyway, this all sounds pretty exciting if you're a huge Godzilla fan or King Kong fan or both. I guess they'll have to make Kong much larger for these films though as we all know he scaled that skyskraper, and well, Godzilla is as tall as that.

    We'll keep you posted on more as it becomes available. Sound off with your comments below.

    Source: Deadline

    Wednesday
    Sep092015

    Tom Cruise and Doug Liman Re-Teaming for 'Luna Park'

    Keeping in line with Tom Cruise's MO nowadays, the actor is looking to stay with what works.

    Just as he's been working fluently with Christopher McQuarrie (wrote and directed Jack Reacher, co-wrote Edge of Tomorrow, co-wrote and directed Mission: Impossible - Rouge Nation), he's sticking with Doug Liman as well, who directed Edge of Tomorrow and the recently completed cartel thriller Mena, due out in 2017.

    The new project is Luna Park, a long in-development sci-fi film for Liman, whose been attached for years.

    It follows a group of former renegade space employees who travel the world stealing equipment to get back to the moon, where they must acquire a vital energy source.

    Yeah, doesn't sound the most intriguing, but did you see Edge of Tomorrow? I trust they know what they're doing.

    Luna Park was actually greenlit by Paramount back in 2011 but the studio pulled the plug when their financier, Skydance Productions, backed out due to a ballooning budget. However, given Cruise's great relationship with both Paramount and Skydance Productions, it might be a safe bet to assume they'll end up back together.

    For Cruise though, the guy is like a machine lately, showing no signs of slowing down and hitting practically everything out of the park, even at 53!

    Looking forward to this project.

    Source: Variety

    Tuesday
    Sep082015

    Jason Bourne is Back in First Image from 'Bourne 5'!

    Alright so it's not an official movie still but it's our first look at Matt Damon back as Jason Bourne, and from the looks of it, he's ready to brawl!

    The image comes courtesy of producer Frank Marshall (who has produced all the previous Bourne movies), stating via Twitter:

    First day of principal photography complete and happy to report, BOURNE is back!

    It's not clear where they're currently shooting but from what Damon publicly stated just a few weeks back, they're very likely in Greece as the actor said filming would begin there. We're also not really sure where this scene - which looks to have Bourne partaking in amateur fighting - fits into the movie, but it might be a cool way to open the film and reintroduce audiences to the character.

    All in all, I'm just beyond happy this film is happening, especially with Paul Greengrass back in the director's chair. That man knows how to make a great action movie, period.

    The currently untitled Bourne 5 is due out July 15th, 2016, and also stars Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Viklander, Vincent Cassel and the returning Julia Stiles.

    We'll keep you posted on more of this project as it becomes available.

    Source: Twitter

    Saturday
    Sep052015

    'Jack Reacher 2' Set for October 21st, 2016

    Back during the holiday season of 2012, Paramount released the Tom Cruise starring Jack Reacher, based off the Lee Child's book One Shot, an entry in the ongoing series by the author.

    The film got favorable reviews from both critics and audiences alike (62% on Rotten Tomatoes, 67% liked it), while it did solid business at the box office as well (about $220 million worldwide on a $60 million budget). Even though these were all considered good numbers, the studio wasn't sure about proceeding further as they expected bigger box office and better reviews.

    Low and behold, the power of life after movie theaters.

    Through solid business on the home video market as well as popular viewing on digital platforms like Netflix and Amazon, more and more people got to see what a strong little film Jack Reacher was. Enough so, that Paramount became more comfotable with proceeding with a sequel and we now have a release date set for next year on October 21st, 2016 (the success of Mission: Impossible - Rouge Nation hasn't hurt either).

    While the first film's director Christopher McQuarrie won't be back to helm this installment (he was too busy finishing up on Mission: Impossible), another director Cruise has worked with in the past, Edward Zwick, will be behind the camera. He directed the actor in 2003's The Last Samurai (great, underrated movie).

    The plot this time is based on Child's 2013 Reacher novel, Never Go Back. It is as follows:

    Reacher heads back to his old military base in Virginia to take a woman to dinner who is now the commanding officer. By the time he gets there, she has been arrested, and Reacher finds himself being charged with pummeling one guy and fathering a child with a woman. He can’t remember either transgression but gets to the bottom of it with cunning and sometimes brute force.

    Now it's important to note that while the original film followed the source material of One Shot pretty closely, it did cut out a few notable characters and plots points. Bascially, if you've read Never Go Back, don't expect an direct page-to-screen adaptation.

    Also, with Cruise returning to the title role, he'll have a new female lead to partner with, played by Colbie Smulders. Not much is known about her character other than her name being Danika (who isn't in the book by the way) so she could be playing a new character or a different variation of the female lead from the novel itself. Cruise seems to have a history of getting up and coming actresses into his movies, only to springboard them to that next level of success (Paula Patton in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Rosamund Pike in Jack Reacher, Rebecca Ferguson in Mission: Impossible - Rouge Nation). We'll see if he can do the same for Smulders.

    Lastly, while McQuarrie will be on the project as a producer, expect him to take at least one swipe at the film's script. It was originally written by Richard Wenk and re-written by Zwick himself and his longtime collaborator Marshall Herskovitz. However, when you have a writer as talented as McQuarrie on a film, you don't ignore that resource.

    Anyway, I've written enough about this for the day. We'll keep you posted on more of this project as it becomes available.

    Sources: Paramount, Rotten Tomatoes, Box Office Mojo, The Wrap

    Wednesday
    Sep022015

    Steven Spielberg's 'Ready Player One' Casting Begins

    Casting has indeed begun on Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ernest Cline's novel, Ready Player One, for Warner Bros...and we might not be getting our lead character first.

    Word is that Spielberg will best testing actresses Elle Fanning, Olivia Cooke and Lola Kirke for the role of Art3mis, the avatar of Samantha Cook (which just got spoiled for me because I'm currently reading the book). The avatar exists in the virtual universe of OASIS which is the centerpiece for the sci-fi story. Two other young actresses are believed to be up for the role as well but their names remain a mystery.

    Apparently, the casting director is trying to narrow down the field for Spielberg so he can move quickly on a decision as he's finishing up work on his upcoming Bridge of Spies and The BFG.

    On top of all this, there is also chatter that Nick Robinson from Jurassic World (he played the older brother) is someone being looked at for the lead character of Wade Watts, the story's protagonist, whose avatar goes by the name of Parzival.

    Other than that, no other actors are named.

    So what do I think of all this? Well, I like Elle Fanning, who had such a breakout role in Super 8 (which Spielberg produced). I'm not familar with the other two actresses but I'm sure to be up for such a big role like this they must be tremendously talented like Fanning. As for Nick Robinson's potential for Wade Watts, I like it too, but I wonder who else that casting director has on their list.

    Regardless, it looks like things are full steam ahead on Ready Player One, with production likely starting early to mid next year.

    The film is set for release December 17th, 2017.

    Source: The Wrap, Variety

    Wednesday
    Sep022015

    Vincent Cassel Lands Villain Role in 'Bourne 5'

    We've been keeping you posted on updates regarding the next Bourne film, and now it seems we finally have our big baddie cast: Vincent Cassel.

    While Viggo Mortensen was originally eyed for the role, he likely turned down the offer (better this way so he can play Roland Deschain in The Dark Tower hopefully) and the filmmakers moved onto Cassel for the job.

    Most notably known for Black Swan and Ocean's Twelve, the actor will follow the lead of previous Bourne viilians played by Clive Owen, Karl Urban and Edgar Ramirez.

    While little is known about Cassel's character, it's not surprising to hear he will be playing an assassin tracking Bourne. Cassel is 48 years-old compared to Damon's 44 so this seems like a pretty fitting match-up on screen.

    With filming soon to be underway in Greece if not already, Bourne 5 is gearing up to get going. Matt Damon is of course back, along with director Paul Greengrass. Julia Stiles is returning as well with new additions Tommy Lee Jones and Alicia Viklander coming on-board.

    Bourne 5 is set to hit theaters July 15th, 2016.

    Source: Variety

    Monday
    Aug312015

    R.I.P. Wes Craven (1939 - 2015)

    I don't usually write about the passing of Hollywood folks, but in this case, it seemed warranted.

    Director Wes Craven - widely known for his horror classics (notably A Nightmare on Elm Street and the Scream films) - died yesterday at the age of 76.

    Craven - whose last feature-film was the underrated Scream 4 - had been battling brain caner.

    Despite his penchant for knowing how to scare filmgoers, the man was actually known to be nothing but a nice, gentle guy who people loved working with. Believe it or not, he was actually a college professor before getting into movies. How about that?

    While the director was deemed an icon in the horror film industry, he actually made a well-received dramatic film in 1999 starring Meryl Streep called Music of the Heart, which earned the actress an Academy Award nomination.

    Obviously speaking though, Craven's lasting legacy will live on through his horror films, including the original The Hills Have Eyes and The Last House on the Left, among many others.

    Maybe now is a good time for me to finally get through all of A Nightmare on Elm Street.

    Thanks Wes.

    Sunday
    Aug302015

    Eddie Murphy; Oprah & More Join Mike Epps in Richard Pryor BioPic

     

    In news that isn't super heroes or Star Wars box office, it appears that Mike Epps (yes, the Mike Epps from Resident Evil: Apocalypse) will be joined by Eddie Murphy, Oprah, and Kate Hudson on the long gestating Richard Pryor biography from Lee Daniels, which will start filming in March.

    Murphy, who recieved critical acclaim with his dramatic works in films like Dreamgirls will be playing Pryor's father, with Oprah as Pryor's brothel owning mother. Hudson will play Pryor's widow, Jennifer. 

    Deadline has reported:

     The script is by Bill Condon and Daniels’Empire collaborator Danny Strong, and Bruce Cohen and Jennifer Lee Pryor are deeply involved in the process as producers. There are compelling storylines that will create interest in this film beyond Pryor’s barrier-breaking accomplishments on the standup stage, on TV and in the movies with his politically charged, blue humor. 

    Pryor was a star of the film and stage up until his passing in 2005. The picture begins filming in March, and I'm gonna go ahead and assume this might be a heavy awards-contendor when the time comes...

    Saturday
    Aug292015

    Matt Damon Hints at 'Bourne 5' Plot

    Next year we get the long-desired return of Matt Damon as Jason Bourne; his last outing coming in 2007's trilogy bookend, The Bourne Ultimatum.

    It wasn't always a given the actor would return to his most famous role, especially since the last film closed the character's arc out so well. On top of that though, Damon always insisted he'd only do it if Paul Greengrass came back to direct as well, having done a magnificent job with both The Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum (Doug Liman directed the first film, The Bourne Identity).

    While Universal tried to keep the franchise alive in 2012 with the semi-sequel, The Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner as a new character, the reception was lukewarm at best with all hopes that Damon would come back. Low and behold last fall, it was announced he would reprise the role with Greengrass back behind the camera too.

    Fast forward to next week, filming it set to begin in Greece, yet still nothing is known about the plot. However, Damon recently chatted about the film and gave some insight into what it's about:

    “We always looked at those movies as really about the Bush presidency, and so we kind of had to wait for the world to change. What does the character have to say?"

    “Without giving too much of it away, it’s Bourne through an austerity-riddled Europe and in a post-Snowden world. It seems like enough has changed, you know? There are all these kinds of arguments about spying and civil liberties and the nature of democracy.”

    Damon lastly added that the film begins in Greece - "the birth of democracy" - and ends in Las Vegas - "the most grotesque incarnation of..." - but ended his sentence with a laugh.

    So what does this all mean? Well, it's not surprising the new film will represent a change in the global political landscape. The first film began in a post-9/11 world and ended a year before Bush left office in 2008 so it'll be interesting to see where Bourne exists a near decade later.

    With all that said, I'm just excited this film is happening. I absolutely love, love, love the Bourne trilogy as the series basically took me through high school and into college. The films were more than just action/spy thrillers. They had heart, and you always felt the raw emotion in each film. This is definitely my most anticipated movie of 2016, by far.

    Also starring the returning Julia Stiles, with new additions Alicia Viklander and Tommy Lee Jones, the currently untitled Bourne 5 hits theaters July 15th, 2016 (hey, that's my birthday).

    Source: BuzzFeed

    Sunday
    Aug232015

    'Project Greenlight' is Back; Trailer Released

    Even though this is technically a television show, it is about filmmaking so I figure it can go in the MOVIES section.

    If you had HBO back in the early 2000s, you may remember a documentary series produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck called Project Greenlight. It basically centered on giving a first-time filmmaker an opportunity to make a movie and watch as they go through the trials and tribulations of taking on a feature film.

    The first season actually began way back in 2001 and resulted in the little seen comedy/drama, Stolen Summer. The second season came back in 2003, when then little known actor Shia LaBeouf starred in The Battle of Shaker Heights. Also a comedy/drama and also seen by very few. Finally, we had 2005, when the show moved to Bravo Network and resulted in the horror film, Feast. While this also was seen by very few, it did spawn two sequels so it was certainly more of a success than previous years.

    Now, after over a decade, Project Greenlight is back, not only with HBO but with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck too. The trailer for the upcoming season has been released and while they are once again making what looks to be a comedy/drama, the director this season looks to be a little more demanding and hands-on than previous seasons (asking to rewrite the entire script before shooting will do that).

    Anyway, see for yourself below.

    Project Greenlight premeires Sunday, September 13th at 10pm on HBO.

    Source: HBO

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