Lions Gates SAW II (with vfx from C.O.R.E.) carved up a surprising $31.7M at the box office for its Halloween weekend bow ended Oct. 30, 2005. Sonys THE LEGEND OF ZORRO (with vfx from Peerless Camera Co. and Digiscope) debuted in a distant second with $16.3M. Universals PRIME followed in third, as another newcomer, with $6.2M. Slipping to fourth was DreamWorks DREAMER: INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY (with vfx by Hammerhead), which brought in $6.1M for a two-week cume of $17.3M.
Disneys DINOSAUR director Ralph Zondag has been hired by Regency Enterprises to direct its first CG feature, OLLIE THE OTTER. Regency, which is based out of 20th Century Fox, is co-financing the film with CritterPix, a San Rafael, California-based animation studio. Gary Goldman is producing with Regency's Alexa Amin shepherding for the studio.
Uwe Boll, a producer/director gaining a name for himself for adapting videogames into features, has optioned the rights to the violent videogame POSTAL and announced that his film adaptation of the DUNGEON SIEGE game will be split into two films to be released a month apart from each other, reports VARIETY. Boll will release the two IN THE NAME OF THE KING: A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE films on Nov. 3, 2006, and Dec. 1, 2006, via his new distribution firm, Event Film. The films star Jason Statham, Ray Liotta and Leelee Sobieski.
Paramount is in final talks with LAYER CAKE director Matthew Vaughn to direct and produce an adaptation of Neil Gaiman's adult fairy tale STARDUST, according to VARIETY. Vaughn wrote the script with writing partner Jane Goldman.
Dimension has tapped director Mikael Hafstrom (upcoming Weinstein Co. release DERAILED) and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura to tackle the adaptation of the Stephen King short story 1408, which has rewrittem by ED WOOD screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, reports VARIETY. The original script was penned by Matt Greenberg.
Producers Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, chairman of Platinum Studios, and Gale Anne Hurd, founder of Valhalla Motion Pictures and producer of THE TERMINATOR and this years upcoming AEON FLUX, announced that they are developing Top Cows spiritually themed comicbook MAGDALENA as a feature film. Kevin Taft, who recently signed a writing deal for New Line Cinemas ALONE, has been tapped to pen the script.
Daniel H. Wilson, a 27-year-old Ph.D. candidate in robotics at Carnegie Mellon, has optioned the film rights to his first book HOW TO SURVIVE A ROBOT UPRISING to Michael DeLuca Prods., reports SCI-FI WIRE. A film treatment based on the book, which hits stores Nov. 7, 2005, has already been written by Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant (Comedy Central's RENO 911).
The long-in-the-works CG feature, FOODFIGHT!, has announced its star-studded voice cast, according to VARIETY. Charlie Sheen (TVs TWO AND A HALF MEN), Eva Longoria (TVs DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES), Wayne Brady (TVs THE WAYNE BRADY SHOW), Chris Kattan (FEVER PITCH) and Christopher Lloyd (BACK TO THE FUTURE) will provide the voices for the Threshold Animation Studios and Lions Gate Family Ent. production.
AMELIE director Jean-Pierre Jeunet is the latest helmer to sign on to direct Fox 2000's adaptation of the Man Booker Prize-winning Yann Martel novel LIFE OF PI, reports VARIETY. Jeunet will also team with his writing partner Guillaume Laurant to pen the script.
Novel follows the journey of a 16-year-old boy from India to Canada. After a ship wreck, the boy becomes the sole human survivor on a lifeboat with a hyena, an injured zebra and a hungry tiger.
Fox has hired SWORDFISH writer Skip Woods to turn the videogame HITMAN into a feature film vehicle for Vin Diesel, according to VARIETY. The studio purchased the film rights to the Eidos game in June from producers Chuck Gordon and Adrian Askarieh. Diesel is set to exec produce with Daniel Alter producing and Fox president of production Hutch Parker and evp Alex Young overseeing. The story follows international assassin, Agent 47, who works for a mysterious agency dubbed the Agency.
DOOM (with vfx by Framestore CFC and Double Negative) proved to be a tepid box office leader, despite its popularity as a First Person Shooter videogame. For the weekend ended Oct. 23, 2005, the Universal release debuted at $15.4M. Bowing in second place was DreamWorks family drama, DREAMER: INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY (with vfx by Hammerhead), which brought in $9.1M. Following in third was Aardman/DreamWorks WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT. The stop-motion gem (with vfx from MPC) took in $8.5M and now has a three-week cume of $43.9M.
CaféFX blends reality and fantasy in a series of 3D effects for the main titles and several key sequences in SHOPGIRL, the romantic comedy starring Claire Danes and Steve Martin, based on Martin's bestselling novella. The movie, directed by Anand Tucker and distributed by Touchstone Pictures, opens today (Oct. 21).
As a way to restart the franchise, Warner Bros. Pictures is developing a remake of the original 1982 horror film, CREEPSHOW, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Roy Lee and Doug Davison of Vertigo Ent. will produce along side Taka Ichise of OZ LA, Tony Ludwig and James Dudelson, the original rights holder. WB is looking for writers.
LAIKA announced that Dakota Fanning (DREAMER, WAR OF THE WORLDS, MAN ON FIRE) will voice the title character in LAIKA Ent.s first full length animated feature, CORALINE.
The acclaimed animation director Henry Selick (NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH) is writing and directing the film, which is based on the international bestselling novel by Neil Gaiman. Former 20th Century Fox chairman/ceo Bill Mechanic and his Pandemonium Films will co-produce with LAIKA. Mary Sandell is producer for LAIKA.
It was only two week ago that Walt Disney Studios announced that DOMINO director Tony Scott had stepped down from the helmers chair on the thriller DÉJÀ VU. Now the trades reports that Scott has returned to the film, which seems will be able to film in New Orleans as originally planned. Jerry Bruckheimer is producing will Denzel Washington starring.
SAHARA-helmer Breck Eisner has been hired by Universal Pictures to remake CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Gary Ross, whose father Arthur Ross was a writer on the 1954 original, is producing out of his Larger Than Life production shingle. Gary Ross wrote the current version of the screenplay and Tedi Safarian wrote a previous draft.
HELLBOY star Ron Perlman will provide the voice of Conan for CONAN: RED NAILS, the forthcoming 2D/3D animated feature film. Marg Helgenberger (TVs CSI) and James Marsden (X-MEN) round out a voice cast that also includes Clancy Brown, Cree Summer and Mark Hamill.
Universal has purchased a sci-fi pitch from Simon Kinberg (MR. AND MRS. SMITH) and Brett Matthews (THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: DARK FURY, BIONICLE: THE FEATURE), according to VARIETY. Matthews, who also wrote episodes of FIREFLY, will pen the script. Kinberg will produce with Circle of Confusions David Engel and Lawrence Mattis. Circle of Confusions Jason Lust and David Alpert will exec produce. The plot of the film is under wraps, but its described as what BOURNE IDENTITY did for action movies, this will attempt to do for sci-fi movies."
Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films have won the bidding war to purchase Ahmet Zappas upcoming children's book, THE MONSTROUS MEMOIRS OF A MIGHTY MCFEARLESS, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The deal is reportedly worth six-figures.
The book pursues the story of a brother and sister who are descendants of legendary monster hunters on their journey to a far-off castle to rescue their father. Zappa, son of rocker Frank Zappa, illustrated more than 300 monsters for the book. Random House will publish it in August 2006.
Multi-hyphenate Jon Favreau has set up his original story, NEANDERTHALS, at Sony Pictures Animation (SPA). Details and plotline of NEANDERTHALS, however, are being kept in a cave under a large boulder protected by a mastodon.
The director of the blockbuster holiday comedy ELF, the family sci-fi film ZATHURA: A SPACE ADVENTURE (due in theaters from Columbia Pictures on Nov. 11) and the upcoming JOHN CARTER OF MARS will write and produce the 3D animated feature.
The remake of John Carpenters THE FOG (with vfx by Hydraulx) debuted at number one at the box office for the weekend ended Oct. 16, 2005, with Sony/Revolution collecting $11.7M. Coming in a very close second with $11.5M was DreamWorks/Aardmans WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT. The stop-motion gem (with vfx from MPC) now has a two-week cume of $33.1M. Debuting in third place was Cameron Crowes romantic comedy, ELIZABETHTOWN (with vfx from Digital Filmworks and Flash Film Works), which offered up $10.6M to Paramount.
Universal Pictures confirmed today that James Newton Howard has replaced Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore on KING KONG.
Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, MGM and Sony Pictures Ent. have made it official Daniel Craig has been cast in the role of the legendary British secret agent, James Bond, in the highly anticipated 007 adventure thriller CASINO ROYALE.
IDT Ent. Sales will handle worldwide sales for its computer-generated animated feature film Yankee Irving, which it will begin selling at the American Film Market. The film set to be released in U.S. theaters in August 2006, by 20th Century Fox. The film features an all-star cast, including Rob Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, William H. Macy, Brian Dennehy, Mandy Patinkin, Robert Wagner, Richard Kind, Raven-Symone, Dana Reeve, and Joe Torre and introduces Jake T. Austin, 10, as the voice of the title character.
As part of a yearlong test between Warner Bros., Nippon Telegraph & Telephone and Toho Cinemas, CORPSE BRIDE will be the first film to be distributed over fiber-optic lines. The features will be in 4K format, the highest resolution currently available for digital cinema. The movies will be beamed over NTT's fiber-optic lines from WB's Burbank headquarters to three Toho theaters in Osaka and Tokyo.