Prepare yourself for some serious homoeroticism if the TOP GUN 2 rumors are to be believed. The film’s original helmer, Tony Scott, is confirmed to be moving forward on the sequel, according to HitFix, who had a chance to talk with the director about the project, still in the earliest planning stages. Scott explained that his plan for the follow-up is to chart the development of the Air Force fighter pilot into the present day, inspired partially by a young Air Force pilot he met on a flight who runs drone simulations. In contrast to Tom Cruise’s character in the first film, the sequel will explore the evolution of the remote-control pilot. Still unconfirmed is whether or not Cruise will return to his star-making role of Maverick as well as when, exactly, the sequel will move forward. As it stands, the script for the film appears to still be in the research phase (with The Usual Suspects’ Christopher McQuarrie approached to write the first draft) and Scott made clear that it would not be his very next production.
Yes, New Line Cinema’s THE HOBBIT, based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, has officially been greenlit. “The two films based on The Hobbit are now greenlit and will begin principal photography in February 2011, under the direction of Peter Jackson, it was jointly announced today by Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Operating Officer, New Line Cinema, Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. and Steve Cooper, co-Chief Executive Officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.,” said a press release. Martin Freeman (BBC’s The Office, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) will star as the film’s protagonist, Bilbo Baggins. And, despite protracted negotiations and union problems, filming will remain in New Zealand.
In an interview with Hero Complex, Christopher Nolan revealed that the title for his third Batman movie will be THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. He added that the villain “won’t be the Riddler.” “We’ll use many of the same characters as we have all along, and we’ll be introducing some new ones,” Nolan said cryptically. He also said that the studio has agreed with him not to shoot the film in 3D, but that he’ll be experimenting with the scope of IMAX in unprecedented ways. “We’re looking to do something technologically that’s never been done before,” Nolan explained. The filmmaker also reiterated that The Dark Knight rises will close out the trilogy. “Our ambition for the third movie is to complete a story that has begun,” Nolan said. “This is not starting over. This is not rebooting. We’re finishing something and keeping a consistency with what’s come before has real value.” The Dark Knight Rises is scheduled for a July 20, 2012 release.
Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman announced that Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron has agreed to make AVATAR 2 and 3 as his next films. Cameron, who had always viewed Avatar as the creation of a new world and mythology, will begin work on the scripts early next year with an eye towards commencing production later in 2011. Cameron will decide if he will shoot the films back-to-back after he completes the scripts, but the release of the first, as yet untitled sequel, is targeted for December 2014, with the third film contemplated for a December 2015 release.
Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock and Oprah Winfrey will star in a new comedy from Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City films and series) at Universal Pictures. King will write and direct the untitled film, set in and around the world of a “Home Shopping” type network and follows the characters as they make their way through the maze of mania that surrounds marketing, marriages and the media.
Darren Afronofsky (The Wrestler, the upcoming Black Swan) will not only direct WOLVERINE 2, starring Hugh Jackman as the titanium-clawed Marvel action hero, but will also direct MACHINE MAN, an adaptation of Max Barry’s “Machine Man,” reports Variety. The project, to be scripted by Mark Heyman (who co-wrote Aronosky’s Black Swan) will adapt Barry’s story, which originally appeared on the author’s website in serial form with a single page released each day as it was written. Not to be confused with the Marvel comics character, Machine Man concerns a tech engineer who, tired of going through life average and unnoticed, replaces parts of his body with titanium upgrades of his own design. He then discovers that he isn’t the only one with plans for his new body. The full story is available at Barry’s website: www.maxberry.com.
Exclusive Media Group and Cross Creek Pictures will finance George Clooney’s fourth film as director, THE IDEAS OF MARCH (formerly known as Farragut North). Adapted by Clooney and Heslov (co-writer on the Oscar-nominated Good Night and Good Luck) from playwright Beau Willimon’s award-winning 2008 play “Farragut North,” it will co-star Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood, with more casting to be announced before the film begins shooting in February 2011 in Michigan and Ohio. Set in the world of politics, Clooney will play Governor Morris, a candidate running in the presidential primary race for the Democratic Party ticket. Gosling plays his press spokesman, Giamatti plays a rival campaign manager, Tomei plays a reporter for The New York Times, and Wood plays an intern for the campaign.
Francis Ford Coppola has already started production on his next film, a thriller entitled TWIXT NOW AND SUNRISE, reports Deadline. Based on a short story by Coppola, the film will star Val Kilmer as a horror author. He will be joined by Bruce Dern and Elle Fanning in unknown roles. Little is currently known about the film’s plot, though the title is a direct reference to a 1835 short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown,” set in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts. The title character, Goodman Brown is returning home to his wife, Faith, when he encounters a man in the forest who is likely the Devil
Liam Neeson is replacing Mel Gibson in the cameo role as a tattoo artist in THE HANGOVER 2. “I just got a call to do a one day shoot on ‘Hangover 2’ as a tattooist in Thailand, and that’s all I know about it,” Neeson told Variety. “ just laughed my leg off when I saw ‘The Hangover,’ I was shooting in Berlin earlier this year and rented it on the hotel TV.” Director Todd Phillips said in a statement on Thursday that they were no longer going with Gibson following protests from the cast and crew, reportedly led by Galifianakis. “I thought Mel would have been great in the movie and I had the full backing of Jeff Robinov and his team,” said Phillips, “But I realize filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and this decision ultimately did not have the full support of my entire cast and crew.” Neeson was then asked by his The A-Team co-star Bradley Cooper to take on the role.
Due Date and The Hangover 2 star Zach Galifianakis, however, WILL be making a cameo in the upcoming THE MUPPETS, E! Online learned in a video interview with both Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr., co-stars of Due Date. Galifianakis will shoot for “a couple of days,” meaning his role is likely just a cameo.
Mark Wahlberg is in final talks to star in Seth McFarlane’s directing debut, TED. The creator of Fox’s Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show will direct the film “about a grown man whose cherished teddy bear comes to life as the result of a childhood wish, causing all sorts of complications.” The teddy bear will be a CGI creation and voiced by MacFarlane.
Hopefully this is better than Taking Woodstock. Director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) is gearing up to start filming the long-anticipated adaptation of Yann Martel’s bestselling novel LIFE OF PI early next year with the casting of 17-year-old newcomer Suraj Sharma in the title role of a boy who is stranded in a tiny boat for 227 days with a number of zoo animals, including a Bengal tiger, saved from his family’s ship before it sinks. Lee spent months looking over 3,000 auditions to fill the role before finding Sharma, a student in Delhi, India. Directing from a script by Finding Neverland’s David Magee, Lee will start principal photography in January, shooting the entire film in 3D in Taiwan and India. 20th Century Fox has slated a holiday release for Life of Pi on December 14, 2012.
Due Date and The Hangover star Zach Galifianakis appeared on Bill Maher’s HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher and, presumably advocating for Prop 19, smoked a joint live on air. Hilarious.
French electro duo Daft Punk, who scored the upcoming TRON: LEGACY, have released a music video for their song “Derezzed” off the film’s soundtrack. Check it out.
The official trailer for the Justin Bieber biopic, NEVER SAY NEVER, has hit the Internet. The film, directed by Step Up 3D helmer Jon Chu, follows Bieber’s rise from an unknown Canadian musician, to YouTube sensation, to selling out mega-arena’s worldwide. The film opens February 11, 2011.
Entertainment Tonight visited the Chicago set of TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON and you can now watch the show’s full segment below. Michael Bay’s third installment, starring Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong, Patrick Dempsey, Alan Tudyk and John Turturro, opens in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D on July 1, 2011.
AT THE MULTIPLEX.
Don’t’ be dismayed by this past (crap) weekend that saw SAW 3D as the only new Hollywood entry. This weekend, you can check out Danny Boyle’s riveting film 127 HOURS, starring James Franco as a trapped hiker forced to amputate his arm to survive; the funny Zach Galifianakis/Robert Downey Jr. road comedy DUE DATE, from The Hangover director Todd Phillips; the animated superhero comedy MEGAMIND, featuring the voices of Will Ferrell and Brad Pitt; Tyler Perry’s FOR COLORED GIRLS; and, for the doc lover, the great Alex Gibney’s CLIENT 9: THE RISE AND FALL OF ELIOT SPITZER.
Until next time!
Tags: Ang Lee, Avatar, Bill Maher, christopher nolan, Daft Punk, darren aronofsky, Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, justin bieber, Liam Neeson, Life of Pi, Machine Man, Mark Wahlberg, marlow stern, Michael Bay, michael patrick king, Never Say Never, Peter Jackson, Real Time with Bill Maher, Seth McFarlane, Suraj Sharma, Ted, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hangover 2, The Hobbit, The Ideas of March, The Muppets, Top Gun 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Tron: Legacy, Twixt Now and Sunrise, weekly blog, Zach Galifianakis
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