Two film stars pass on, Batman 3, Superman, Spider-Man news, and much more.

October 5th, 2010 | by Marlow Stern | 4 Comments »

R.I.P. TONY CURTIS, ACTING LEGEND.

Oscar-nominated Tony Curtis died at his home in Henderson, Nevada on Wednesday evening from cardiac arrest at the age of 85, reports ABC News. Curtis, who starred in movies ranging from epics like “Spartacus” to screwball comedies like “Some Like It Hot,” passed away peacefully at midnight ET while laying in bed next to his wife. He was a major box office draw in the 1950s and 1960s, highlighted by his 1957 turn in “The Sweet Smell of Success” opposite Burt Lancaster and earned an Oscar nomination for “The Defiant Ones.” Curtis had six wives. One of his two children with Janet Leigh, his first wife, is actress Jamie Lee Curtis. Born Bernard Schwartz on June 3, 1925 in the Bronx, Curtis joined the Marines in World War II. He took the name Tony Curtis when he began his film career in 1949.

R.I.P. SALLY MENKE, TARANTINO’S EDITOR.

Sad news. Quentin Tarantino’s longtime film editor Sally Menke was found dead by searchers in Beachwood Canyon, Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times. Menke, 56, received Oscar nominations for “Inglourious Basterds” and “Pulp Fiction.” She edited every single Tarantino film. The Los Angeles Times says that Menke had gone hiking in the morning, and her friends alerted police after she failed to come home. No cause of death was immediately reported, and it’s unclear whether Los Angeles’ record heat was a factor. Watch Tarantino talk about Menke below as well as the shoutouts to Sally that were done by the cast and crew of Tarantino’s Death Proof and Inglourious Basterds.


JAMES FRANCO GETS ‘D’ IN NYU ACTING CLASS.

Ha. Despite the Oscar buzz for his upcoming role in Danny “Slumdog Millionaire” Boyle’s trapped-hiker flick 127 HOURS, Franco did, in fact, get a ‘D’ in NYU acting class. “I did the work and I did well in everything else,” he confesses to Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman.

SPECIAL ENGAGEMENTS.

Lucasfilm Ltd. announced today that the live-action STAR WARS saga will be converted to 3D. “There are few movies that lend themselves more perfectly to 3D; from the Death Star trench run to the Tatooine Podrace, the ‘Star Wars Saga’ has always delivered an entertainment experience that is completely immersive,” said the statement. Presented by Twentieth Century Fox and Lucasfilm Ltd., the “cutting edge conversion” will be supervised by Industrial Light & Magic. “Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace” is expected to be released theatrically in 2012. A release date has not yet been determined.

AMC Theaters is celebrating the 25th anniversary of BACK TO THE FUTURE by holding two special screenings of the digitally remastered original on 158 screens across 40 cities. The screenings will be held Saturday, October 23rd at 12:30 p.m. and Monday, October 25th at 7:00 p.m. (the night Marty McFly went back in time). All guests will receive a full-sized poster commemorating the 25th anniversary limited release of the movie with their ticket purchase, while supplies last. Each theater will also have special movie-related giveaways prior to the movie as a part of the experience. Read more HERE.

UPCOMING PROJECTS.

Zack Snyder (“Watchmen,” “300”) has been officially confirmed as the director of the upcoming SUPERMAN reboot, reports Deadline. The film will move forward with a script from David Goyer and Jonathan Nolan. Christopher Nolan will “godfather” the production, aiming for a late 2012 release. “I’ve been a big fan of the character for a long time, he’s definitely the king of all superheroes, he’s the one,” said Synyder. “It’s early yet, but I can tell you that what David [Goyer] and Chris [Nolan] have done with the story so far definitely has given me a great insight into a way to make him feel modern. I’ve always felt he was kind of awesome. I’ll finish ‘Sucker Punch’ and get right at it.”

Sir Michael Caine appeared on BBC Radio 1’s “The Chris Moyles Show” on Wednesday to promote his autobiography “The Elephant to Hollywood” and talk turned to director Christopher Nolan’s third BATMAN movie. He said the movie will “probably start in May next year…” Asked if he will be part of the cast, he said, “I assume I’m there. In the movie business, you never believe anything, you assume.” He added that Chris and co-writer Jonathan Nolan are not telling anyone who the villain will be in the new film. In related news, Chris Nolan confirmed to Empire that he is indeed directing, in case you had any doubts. Warner Bros. Pictures is targeting a July 20, 2012 release date for the film.

Excellent! Following a whole mess of rumors, MTV has officially confirmed that a third BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE film is in the early planning stages with word from one of the original film’s stars, Alex Winter (Bill). “[W]e have finally hit upon an idea that we think is pretty great,” said Winter, who also revealed that original writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon are currently working on the screenplay. Recently, Keanu Reeves revealed that, while he is not currently attached to the potential sequel, he’s all for the possibility of returning to the character. On the subject of Keanu, the amazing folks over at Vulture broke the news about the hilarious ‘sad Keanu’ meme to him, and he took it in stride.

Some details have been revealed regarding the Wachowskis’ (“The Matrix” films) next project, COBALT NEURAL 9, courtesy of Vulture. As was previously reported, the film takes place in the near future and deals with a homosexual relationship between a U.S. soldier and an Iraqi. Said to be shot in a Cinéma vérité style, Vulture suggests that much of the film is told through artificial news reports viewed from a narrative point a hundred years in the future. The American character is Butch, a marine who, after falling in love with the Iraqi character, conspires with him to assassinate President George W. Bush. The framework of the film, then, falls in both the future and the recent past, though apparently within an altered history. The odd title apparently has no meaning other than to derail script leaks.

20th Century Fox has acquired the film rights for the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER, to be directed by Timur Bekmambetov and produced by Tim Burton, according to Variety. The script for the 3D project was written by Grahame-Smith. The studio is planning a 2012 release. The following is how publisher Grand Central Publishing describes the book:

Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother’s bedside. She’s been stricken with something the old-timers call “Milk Sickness.”

“My baby boy…” she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother’s fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

Lionsgate previously picked up the film rights to the author’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, which Natalie Portman is attached to star in.

CASTING NEWS.

“Easy A” star Emma Stone will be offered the role of Mary Jane Watson in the upcoming SPIDER-MAN franchise reboot, according to Deadline. “500 Days of Summer” director Marc Webb’s Spider-Man movie will allegedly follow the comics more closely, introducing Gwen Stacey as Peter Parker’s initial love interest, with Stone’s Mary Jane Watson closing in on his heart later in the series. Andrew Garfield, who has earned raves for his portrayal of wronged Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin in “The Social Network,” will play the webbed crusader.

Jodie Foster will star opposite Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, and Matt Dillon in Roman Polanski’s adaptation of the award-winning Broadway play GOD OF CARNAGE, according to Deadline. The movie starts filming in Paris in February, and concerns two pairs of families who must meet after one of the parents’ children is accused of bullying the other (chaos, of course, ensues). The Broadway play starred James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels, and Hope Davis.

Emma Thompson is confirmed for a role in MEN IN BLACK III. Thompson will play Oh, the head of MiB. It is unclear whether her character will serve as a replacement for Rip Torn’s Zed, who appeared in “Men in Black” and “Men in Black II.” Recent legal issues may prevent Torn from returning to the franchise. Thompson would be joining previously-announced cast members Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin and Jemaine Clement. Men in Black III is expected to go into production shortly with a script from Etan Cohen and David Koepp. Barry Sonnenfeld will return to the franchise as director. The film is being planned for release on May 25th, 2012.

COOL NEW TRAILERS.

TRUE GRIT: The Coen Brothers remake of the John Wayne-starring 1969 classic, with Jeff Bridges assuming the Wayne role. Amazing.

THE KING’S SPEECH: Directed by Tom Hooper (“The Damned United”), the Oscar frontrunner is based on the true story of the Queen of England’s father and his remarkable friendship with maverick Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue. The King’s Speech stars Academy Award nominee Colin Firth as King George VI, who unexpectedly becomes King when his brother Edward abdicates the throne. Academy Award Winner Geoffrey Rush stars as Logue, the man who helps the King find a voice with which to lead the nation into war. The cast also includes Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Guy Pearce, Derek Jacobi, Timothy Spall and Michael Gambon. The King’s Speech opens in theaters on November 24.

AT THE MULTIPLEX.

Go. See. The Social Network. It’s the best. Movie. Of. The. Year. Hell, even the Facebook employees took a company outing to see the movie.

…Until next week!

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