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Category: Films

Headline News

American Pie Helmer Retakes Golden Compass

After dropping out as director of the adaptation of Philip Pullman's sci-fi novel THE GOLDEN COMPASS, AMERICAN PIE director Chris Weitz is again taking the helm of the film as Anand Tucker (SHOPGIRL) steps down, reports VARIETY. Weitz stepped down from the first installment in the HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy due to his concern with never having dealt with daunting technical effects challenges. New Line states that Tucker has left the project due to "differences in creative direction."

The film is still set to lens this fall in the U.K. and hit theaters in November 2007.

Games Headline News

Mutant Chronicles Adds to Cast

Stephen Rea (THE CRYING GAME), Ron Perlman (HELLBOY) and German actor Benno Furmann (JOYEUX NOEL) are joining Thomas Jane and John Malkovich in the sci-fi action thriller THE MUTANT CHRONICLES, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Director Simon Hunter plans to begin shooting this summer.

Headline News

Fox Signs J-Horror Producer Taka Ichise

Twentieth Century Fox has signed Japanese producer Taka Ichise (THE GRUDGE) to a new three-year, first-look deal. The pact, which covers English-language projects, is Taka's first American overall studio deal. The pact will enable Fox to tap his formidable talents as one of the leading figures in the Japanese horror genre.

The deal will also allow for Fox to finance specific Japanese-language projects through Taka's Tokyo-based production company, OZ Co., Ltd. Taka also operates L.A.-based OZLA Pictures Inc.

Film Headline News

Batman Begins Director Develops Prestige

Director Christopher Nolan (BATMAN BEGINS) is well into development on his next project, a supernatural period film called THE PRESTIGE, reports SCI FI WIRE.

"It's a film about two magicians in turn-of-the-century London," Nolan said. "And they enter into a deadly rivalry. And it's the story of how the two of them essentially try and sabotage each other's careers over the years."

Film Headline News

First Flight Short to Screen Before Over the Hedge

DreamWorks Animation will debut a new animated short film, FIRST FLIGHT, on May 19, 2006, exclusively in select New York and Los Angeles theaters, with the opening of the studio's upcoming animated comedy, OVER THE HEDGE.

Written and directed by Cameron Hood and Kyle Jefferson, FIRST FLIGHT is a computer-animated short film about a fastidiously organized businessman, whose perspective on life is forever changed through an unexpected encounter with a tiny fledgling bird.

Headline News

Actors Know Where the Wild Things Are

Warner Bros. and Playtone have tapped Benicio Del Toro, Forest Whitaker, Michelle Williams, Catherine O'Hara, Tom Noonan and Michael Berry to voice the creatures in WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, an adaptation of the Maurice Sendak childrens classic, reports VARIETY and confirmed by a WB spokesperson. Spike Jonze is directing the film, which will combine live-action, animation and puppetry.

Production Headline News

Rush Hour 3 To Lens This Fall

New Line Cinema has officially greenlit RUSH HOUR 3 with stars Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan and director Brett Ratner returning. The film will start production this fall for a planned 2007 release.

Tucker and Chan will reprise their respective roles as LAPD detective James Carter and Chinese Chief Inspector Lee in the film, which will feature the action comedy duo traveling to Paris to battle a wing of the Chinese organized crime family, the Triads.

Disney Headline News

Nightmare to Get Disney Digital 3-D Treatment

On the heels of James Camerons optimistic roadmap for 3-D at last weeks NAB2006, comes news that Disney will reissue TIM BURTONS THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS in digital 3-D for a Halloween engagement beginning Oct. 20, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Industrial Light & Magic, which collaborated with Disney last year on the successful 3-D launch of CHICKEN LITTLE, is currently scanning and converting the stop motion classic with the help of Burton and NIGHTMARE director Henry Selick. Appropriately ghoulish glasses are in the works too.

Headline News

RV Parks in First; Meltdown Passes First Ice Age

With $16.4M, Sonys RV took the top spot at the box office for the period ended April 30, 2006. Universals stirring and controversial UNITED 93 (with vfx from Double Negative) bowed in second with a respectable $11.4M. Buena Vistas STICK IT, another newcomer, landed with $10.8M. Last weeks winner, Sonys SILENT HILL (with vfx from Buf, C.O.R.E. and Mr. X), dropped to fourth place in its second week, with $9.3M and a cume of $34.2M. Dimensions SCARY MOVIE 4 followed in the fifth spot with $7.8M, good enough for a tally of $78.1M.

Beacham Headline News

New Scribe Mounts Clash of the Titans Remake

Warner Bros. Pictures has tapped scribe Travis Beacham (KILLING ON CARNIVAL ROW) to write a remake of the 1981 cult classic CLASH OF THE TITANS. Basil Iwanyk's Thunder Road is producing.

In 2002, Warners hired John Glenn and Travis Adam Adam Wright to write the script.

Beacham darker and more realistic take on the tale will still center on Perseus' journey to save the Princess Andromeda by overcoming the various tasks set forth by Zeus.

Film Headline News

IDT Ent. Brings Everyone’s Hero & More To Cannes 2006

IDT Ent. is gearing up a full slate of projects, including its first theatrical CG feature EVERYONES HERO, to take to Cannes. Executives attending the event include: Neil Braun, president, feature films & television; John Hyde, coo; Andrew Berman, evp, IDT Ent. Sales; and Patti Rose, director, IDT Ent. Sales.

Marvel Headline News

Marvel Announces Film Plans, Favreau To Direct Iron Man

As part of its overall slate of self-produced films based on Marvel superheroes, Marvel Studios has tapped director/actor/writer Jon Favreau (ELF) to direct the big screen adaptation of IRON MAN. In addition to helming, the ZATHURA director will develop the script with the writing team of Arthur Marcum and Matt Holloway (CONVOY).

Film Headline News

Double Negative Recreates United 93 Flight

London-based Double Negative helped director Paul Greengrass realize his documentary-like vision for UNITED 93, the story of the fourth plane to be hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001, opening today (April 28, 2006) from Universal Pictures and Working Title.

Disney Headline News

Jason Lee is Underdog

Have no fear, Jason Lee is here. MY NAME IS EARL star Lee has signed on to voice for the title character of Underdog for Spyglass Ent. and Walt Disney Pictures' live-action adaptation of the classic 1960s cartoon.

UNDERDOG chronicles the adventures of a humble dog named Shoeshine Boy who turned into the superhero Underdog, who spoke in rhyme. For the film, Shoeshine Boy is adopted by a 12-year-old boy and uses his superpower to protect his love, Polly Purebred, and the citizens of Capitol City from the evil Simon Barsinister, who will be played by Peter Dinklage.

Million Headline News

Mexican Toon Marks Domestic Milestone

Mexican toon UNA PELICULA DE HUEVOS grossed almost 30 million pesos ($2.7 million) this past weekend, making it the second-largest opening for a local film ever behind THE CRIMES OF FATHER AMARO.

Videocine, who released the picture Thursday, April 20, 2006, on 435 screens, will increase the screens to 460 this week.

The film tells the story of a group of talking eggs, trying to live in the human world.

Headline News

Silent Hill Scares Off Box Office Competition

SILENT HILL from Sony claimed the number one position at the weekend box office as it debuted with $20.1M for the period ended April 23, 2006. Moviegoers will still in the mood for horror as Dimension's SCARY MOVIE 4 dropped slightly to the second spot with $16.8 M for a two-week cume of $67.5M.

Live-action Headline News

Star Blazers Anime Going Live-Action

Benderspink and producer Josh C. Kline are set to adapt the classic Japanese anime STAR BLAZERS into a live-action feature, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Known as SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO in Japan, the 1970s franchise spun off three television series, five animated features and a host of merchandise. Voyager Ent. brought the series to the U.S. in the early 1980s.

Star Headline News

J.J. Abrams to Direct Next Star Trek Feature

Paramount has tapped J.J. Abrams to produce, write and direct the 11th STAR TREK feature, scheduled for a 2008 release, reports VARIETY. Damon L Lindelof and Bryan Burk, Abrams' producing team from LOST, also will produce.

Abrams will co-write the script with MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE III scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. The story will focus on the early days of James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, including their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and first outer space mission.

Headline News

Alien Writer Develops They Bite

ALIEN and TOTAL RECALL writer Dan O'Bannon, former Paramount exec Brian Witten and producer Rob Gallagher are developing sci-fi thriller THEY BITE, reports VARIETY. O'Bannon is set to write and direct. Project is set to go into production this year.

While at Paramount as an svp, Witten oversaw THE LONGEST YARD, FOUR BROTHERS and MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III. He previously worked as a svp at New Line.

Effects Headline News

Look Effects Expands 3D Department for ‘Southland Tales’

Look Effects was awarded the complete visual effects contract for Richard Kellys (DONNIE DARKO, DOMINO) upcoming feature SOUTHLAND TALES. The project is slated for release this fall and stars Sean William Scott, Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Sarah Michelle Geller, among others.

SOUTHLAND TALES is one of only 19 films competing for the coveted Palm DOr at this years Cannes Film Festival.

Production Headline News

Rogue Pictures Acquires Distribution Rights To Driver

Rogue Pictures has acquired distribution rights to Constantin Film and Impact Pictures' production of the movie version of the best-selling videogame DRIVER. Academy Award winner Roger Avary is scripting, and will direct.

Producers on the project are Impact's Jeremy Bolt and Paul W.S. Anderson and Constantin's Bernd Eichinger and Robert Kulzer. Rogue will hold worldwide distribution rights to the title, excluding Germany, Austria, and German-speaking Switzerland, which will be handled by Constantin Film. Foreign sales will be handled by Focus Features Intl.

Digital Headline News

Warner Bros. Supports Christie/AIX Digital Cinema Funding Plan

Access Integrated Technologies Inc. has received the commitment of Warner Bros. Studios to release future movies in digital format as part of Christie/AIX's digital cinema nationwide rollout. The sixth studio backing the plan, Warner Bros. will also pay Christie/AIX virtual print fees for each movie booked helping fund exhibitor adoption of digital cinema equipment.