Platinum Studios and The Shop Prods. have chosen Alan McElroy (SPAWN) to write the screenplay for the $18 million budgeted first ever CG theatrical horror feature, BONESAW, based on the Platinum Studios graphic novel by acclaimed Scots writer Rob Moran. Relativity Management, one of Hollywood's leading talent management firms, will be co-financing the picture and is arranging the international elements. Production is set to begin in early 2006, and be completed fall 2007. McElroy will be splitting his time between his Ohio home and the Vancouver production offices of BONESAW.
Digital Vision announced that Industrial Light & Magic has used its AGR4 ME motion-compensated grain & noise management system to prepare the digital cinema master for George Lucas STAR WARS: EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH, which hits theaters May 19, 2005.
Universal Pictures is set to remake Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1963 horror film, THE BIRDS, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes is in talks with the studio to produce along with Peter Guber and his Mandalay Pictures. The new version will be based on the original short story by Daphne Du Maurier, which inspired the Hitchcock film. The story chronicles the events that transpire in a small Pacific Coast town after the birds begin attacking in mass for no reason.
Wes Craven's Craven/Maddalena Films is teaming with Gold Circle Films to produce indie horror flick THE WAITING, written by BOOGEYMAN scribes Juliet Snowden and Stiles White, reports VARIETY. Craven/Maddalena president Marianne Maddalena and Gold Circle president Paul Brooks will produce the film with Craven serving as exec producer. Craven/Maddalena Films vp of development Alix Taylor will co-produce with Wendy Rhoads of Gold Circle, whose Zak Kadison will oversee the project.
PITCH BLACKs Radha Mitchell will star in the film adaptation of the hit videogame SILENT HILL, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. TriStar Pictures will release the film in the States. Christophe Gans (BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF) will helm the $45 million-$50 million picture, which has started production in Toronto.
Universal has tapped funnyman Will Ferrell to star in a big screen adaptation of campy '70s kids show THE LAND OF THE LOST, reports the trades. TV series original exec producers Sid and Marty Krofft will produce the film for the studio along with Mosaic Media Groups Jimmy Miller and Julie Wixson-Darmody. ANCHORMAN director Adam McKay will direct the film based on a screenplay by Chris Henchy (TVs SPIN CITY, ENTOURAGE) and Dennis McNicholas (TVs SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE).
Sydney Pollacks THE INTERPRETER, starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, captured the top spot at the box office in its debut weekend ended April 24, 2005. The old-fashioned suspense thriller took in $22.8M for Universal, upending MGMs remake of THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, last weeks champ, which hauled in $13.7M and $44.3M for a second place finish. Paramounts SAHARA (with vfx from Cinesite and Double Negative) dropped to third with $9M for a cume of $48.9M. Buena Vistas A LOT LIKE LOVE with Amanda Peet and Ashton Kutcher bowed in fourth place with $7.5M.
Cherry Road Films and Darko Ent. announced that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will star opposite Seann William Scott (AMERICAN PIE films, THE DUKES OF HAZZARD) and Sarah Michelle Gellar (THE GRUDGE) in the science-fiction thriller SOUTHLAND TALES for writer-director Richard Kelly (DONNIE DARKO). Sean McKittrick will produce under the Darko Ent. banner he co-founded with Kelly. Cherry Road principals Bo Hyde and Kendall Morgan will produce.
Its still a month away but fans crazy to see STAR WARS: EPISODE III - REVENGE OF THE SITH, have inundated Fandango, the nation's largest online and phone movie ticketing service, which is reporting unprecedented sales for the eagerly awaited movie, with sold-out shows in select markets. The George Lucas epic opens May 19, 2005.
SITH ranks as Fandango's fastest-selling movie to-date, selling five times as many tickets as the company's next best-selling movie (THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST) at this point in the film's sales cycle.
Moviegoers were ready for a good scare as MGMs remake of THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (with vfx from Asylum) debuted in first place with $23.5M for the weekend ended April 17, 2005. Paramounts actioner SAHARA (with vfx from Cinesite and Double Negative) dropped to second place, taking in $13.1M for a cume of $36.4M while Foxs romantic comedy, FEVER PITCH hung in at third place, earning $8.5M, giving it a total $23.6M in its second week of release. Robert Rodriguez SIN CITY collected another $6.7M for Dimension Films is it dropped to fourth place.
OVER THE HEDGE co-director Karey Kirkpatrick has announced that Nick Nolte, Catherine O'Hara, William Shatner, Steve Carell, Eugene Levy, Wanda Sykes and Avril Lavigne have joined the voice cast of the DreamWorks animated comedy, reports BlackFilm.com.
New Line Cinema has hired Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher Hampton (DANGEROUS LIAISONS) to adapt the bestselling British fantasy novel JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL for the big screen.
Based on author Susanna Clarke's critically acclaimed debut novel, the story follows two feuding magicians who attempt to restore English magic in the age of Napoleon and combines the dark mythological fantasy of J.R.R. Tolkien with the social comedy of Jane Austen.
Lucy Liu has signed on to star in Ghost House Pictures horror/thriller, RISE, reports VARIETY. Sebastian Gutierrez has written and will direct the film, which will start shooting this summer.
Liu will play a reporter who wakes up in a morgue to discover she is a vampire, spurring her to seek revenge on the vampires responsible.
Kingsgate Films Greg Shapiro (RULES OF ATTRACTION) and Carsten Lorenz (exec producer of THE GRUDGE) are producing. Ghost House will fully finance the flick. Sister firm Mandate Pictures will handle worldwide sales.
Universal has hired Stuart Beattie to rewrite the film adaptation of famed Midway videogame SPY-HUNTER, reports VARIETY. The film has been close to a production start for awhile now with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson starring and John Woo directing. Universal hopes to have the film ready in time for a big summer 2006 release.
Beatties credits include story on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL and screenplay on COLLATERAL and the upcoming DERAILED, which stars Clive Owen.
Michelle Rodriguez (RESIDENT EVIL), Taryn Manning (8 MILE), Oliver Hudson (TVs THE MOUNTAIN), Hill Harper (THE SKULLS) and Eric Lively (TVs THE L WORD) have signed on to star in Wes Craven-exec produced horror film THE BREED, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. First Look Media and DEJ Prods. are handling worldwide rights. Cravens longtime collaborator Nick Mastandrea will make his directorial debut on the film, which starts filming next week.
After ditching it to virtually remake the entire film with director Renny Harlin, Morgan Creek has decided to release helmer Paul Schraders EXORCIST prequel in theaters on May 20, 2005, according to VARIETY. Warner Bros. Pictures will distribute the film to a limited number of theaters. Having made two complete films for roughly $70 million dollars, the Renny Harlin version of the film grossed only $80 million worldwide.
Sony Pictures Ent. has inked a two-picture distribution deal with Ghost House Pictures, which includes THE GRUDGE 2 and the English-language debut film from the Pang brothers, according to HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Columbia Pictures execs Matt Tolmach, Doug Belgrad and Shannon Gaulding will develop the GRUDGE sequel with Ghost House.
DIC Ent. and Mainframe Ent. have announced the world premiere of the all-new full-length animated feature INSPECTOR GADGETS BIGGEST CAPER EVER: THE CASE OF THE FLYING LIZARD at Cartoons on the Bay 2005 in Positano, Italy.
The movie features the beloved detective in CG animation for the first time. Cartoons on the Bay will screen the film at 9:30 pm on April 27 the inaugural evening of the festival at the Cartoons Village.
Paramounts actioner SAHARA (with vfx from Cinesite and Double Negative) debuted with $18M for the weekend ended April 10, 2005, good enough for the top spot, beating out Robert Rodriguez SIN CITY, last weeks headliner. The visually provocative and stunning adaptation of Frank Millers graphic novels which debuted in the top spot last week collected $14M for Dimension Films in its sophomore outing.
THE MUMMY helmer Stephen Sommers has been tapped by Paramount to write, direct and produce a remake of George Pals 1951 sci-fi film WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, reports VARIETY. Sommers Co. partner Bob Ducsay will also produce. Paramount co-president Tom J Jacobson is shepherding the film. The original flick followed a small group of humans set into space to stop a runaway planet from colliding with the Earth.
Brad Anderson (THE MACHINIST) is in talks to remake George A. Romero's THE CRAZIES for Paramount Pictures, according to the trades. Paramount-based Penn Stations Michael Aguilar and Dean Georgaris are producing. Romero will receive an exec producer role. Ally Shearmur and Andrew Haas will oversee the film for the studio. Scott Kosar (2005s THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, THE MACHINIST) is penning the screenplay. The 1973 flick was set in a Pennsylvania town where the military tries to contain a killer man-made virus.
Imagi Services has announced the voice talent for its upcoming feature CAT TALE. LORD OF THE RINGS star Sean Astin will voice lead character Rover, a cat who grows up in Dogtown by accident and returns to Catopolis to find his roots. Elisha Cuthbert (TVs 24) is Cleo, the feline daughter of a wealthy kitty litter baron and Rovers romantic interest. Stanley Tucci (THE TERMINAL) is Simon, the arrogantly ambitious kitty litter exec who vies for Cleos affections.
Fox is revisiting the lasagna-loving orange cat Garfield in a sequel to GARFIELD: THE MOVIE, which will be directed by Tim Hill (MUPPETS IN SPACE), reports VARIETY. John Davis will produce through his Davis Ent. label. No word on whether the first film stars Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt will return or whether Bill Murray will again voice the fame fat cat.
Hill was a writer on Nick Films' SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE and along with Tim Rubiner, created the short-lived Warner Bros. CG TV series GAME OVER.
DreamWorks Pictures has pacted with Germany's Constantin Film to acquire the domestic distribution rights to the new thriller, PERFUME, based on the bestselling novel by Patrick Suskind.
Set in 18th-century France, the story of murder and obsession centers around a man who, strangely lacking any scent of his own, has a unique talent for identifying smells, which he uses to create the world's finest perfumes. His gift leads to obsession when he turns to murdering young women on the verge of womanhood in order to capture their aroma.
New Line Cinema has secured the feature film rights to MONSTER, Naoki Urasawas best-selling Japanese manga series, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Trilogy Ent.s Neil Kaplan, Pen Densham and John Watson will produce. The psychological thriller tells the tale of a young doctor who saves the life of a little boy only to find out years later that the boy was a brilliant killer. MONSTER has already been adapted into an animated TV series and spawned an 18-volume manga series, which have sold more than 25 million copies in Japan, and has a strong following in Asia and Europe.