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Category: Films

Headline News Polar Express Unveiled at Press Event

A group of journalists from around the world were treated Thursday afternoon to the first sneak peek of THE POLAR EXPRESS (opening Nov. 10) in the Steven Ross Theater on the Warner Bros. lot. They screened several work-in-progress clips, including the opening scene, which looked far smoother and more polished than the trailer. They also screened a demo performance capture session with star Tom Hanks, who portrays five characters from the Christmas fantasy about a train bound for the North Pole on Christmas Eve.

Headline News Doom Blasts Forward with New Director

Universal Pictures has secured the services of director Andrzej Bartkowiak (CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE) for the feature adaptation of legendary videogame DOOM, reports VARIETY. Bartkowiak will be replacing Enda McCallion, who was to make his directorial debut on the film. McCallion had to leave for personal reasons. Filming is set to start in mid-October. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and John Wells are producing the film from a screenplay by Dave Callaham. The zombie hacking videogame was produced by id Software and Activision.

Headline News Sci-Fi Cosmonaut Lands Scribes

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 9, 2004 at 12:00am

Warner Bros. Pictures has tapped scribes Robert and Michelle King (ANGELS IN THE INFIELD) to adapt the screenplay for the sci-fi thriller COSMONAUT, reports VARIETY. Mace Neufeld (LOST IN SPACE) and Teddy Tenenbaum (writer on TVs DEAD ZONE) have been developing the project for the studio and will serve as producers along with Basil Iwanyk (K-19: THE WIDOWMAKER). Warner Bros. Pictures vp of production Aditya Sood is overseeing the project.

Headline News Max Howard to Exec Produce Exodus' CGI Feature Igor

Veteran animation exec Max Howard is set to exec produce Exodus Film Groups upcoming CGI-animated film, IGOR, an irreverent comedy with a new twist on the classic mad scientist/monster genre.

Chris McKenna penned the screenplay about a mad scientist's hunchbacked lab assistant who dreams of becoming a mad scientist in his own right and win the coveted first place award at the annual Evil Science Fair.

Headline News Eyetronics Scans for Contortionist VFX in Exorcist: The Beginning

In reproducing the famed spider walk from THE EXORCIST for the prequel, EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING, Pixel Magic of Toluca Lake, California (www.pixelmagicfx.com), called on the 3D scanning expertise of Eyetronics.

Headline News Spiderwick Nets Simpsons Writer

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 2, 2004 at 12:00am

Brent Forrester (TVs THE SIMPSONS, KING OF THE HILL) has netted himself a writing gig on Nickelodeon Movies, Atmosphere Ent. MM and the Gotham Groups THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Atmosphere's Mark Canton, Nickelodeon's Julia Pistor and Gotham ceo Ellen Goldsmith-Vein will produce. The film will be based on the five-part series written by Holly Black and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi, who will be serving as exec producers on the project.

Headline News Aftermath Comics Land Film Deal

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 2, 2004 at 12:00am

Devils Due comics AFTERMATH line has been licensed for film, TV and videogames to producers Adrian Askarieh (SPY-HUNTER) and Daniel Alter, reports VARIETY. The comic titles include BLADE OF KUMORI, a modern female samurai; DEFEX, college students who alter their DNA; BREAKDOWN, the private life of the world's first superhero; and INFANTRY, the survivor of a military experiment.

Headline News King Kong Principal Photography Begins

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 2, 2004 at 12:00am

Principal photography is set to begin in September on Peter Jacksons KING KONG. Jackson will shoot the epic action flick on location in his native New Zealand. Set to star in the Universal Pictures release is Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts (21 GRAMS), Golden Globe nominee Jack Black (SCHOOL OF ROCK) and Academy Award winner Adrien Brody (THE PIANIST).

Headline News Theron Injured, Aeon Flux in Flux

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 1, 2004 at 12:00am

Oscar winning star of the upcoming live-action AEON FLUX feature, Charlize Theron, was injured on the set of the Paramount production, which has put the film in limbo, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The production shut down could last up to six weeks.

The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that she was injured during a wire-fu stunt. Unit publicist Jeanmarie Carrasco said, "She sustained an injury, and we are closing down for a few weeks so that she can be 100% when she returns. She wasn't hospitalized, but I can't comment on anything specific about her injuries."

Headline News Madhouse to Animate Highlander Feature

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 1, 2004 at 12:00am

Davis-Panzer Prods. and Imagi Intl. have tapped TOKYO GODFATHER production house Madhouse to produce a planned HIGHLANDER animated feature. HIGHLANDER TV series head writer David Abramowitz is set to write the script. Supervising the production will be associate producers Kevin Eastman (HEAVY METAL 2000) and Joe Pearson. Peter Davis and William Panzer are set to produce, with Thomas K. Gray and Galen Walker exec producing. The film should be complete in spring 2006.

Headline News TripleTake Media Options Pen Dragon

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 1, 2004 at 12:00am

TripleTake Media has optioned the screenplay PEN DRAGON from first-time screenwriter Christopher Canole for film, television and comic book/graphic novel publishing. PEN DRAGON is the story of Leo, a teenager who obtains Leonardo Da Vinci's actual drawing set from an old illustrator by the name of Merle Lin that brings to real life anything that the pens draw.

Headline News Kill Bill 1 & 2 Combo to Hit Theaters

Quentin Tarantino has said that he plans to bring a combined version of his KILL BILL films to theaters, reports USA TODAY. Spurred by strong DVD sales, Tarantino, who owns the copyright to the full-length version of the film, hopes to have the film in theaters early next year.

"It's not just like slapping the two together," he says. "There are slight changes, and it has an intermission, like a '60s movie."

Headline News Paramount Acquiring Film Rights to Midway Games' Area 51

Paramount Pictures is acquiring the worldwide film rights to Midway Games' AREA 51, an action-packed thriller videogame scheduled for release in March 2005 for PlayStation2 and Xbox.

"AREA 51 brings some of the most cutting-edge technology to the gaming world," said Christine Peters (HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS) who will be collaborating with the game developer to produce the film. "Bringing the game's riveting and suspenseful concepts to the big screen will be an exciting motion picture breakthrough."

Headline News Mira Nair Offered Potter 5 Director’s Job

MONSOON WEDDING and VANITY FAIR director Mira Nair has offered the chance to direct, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, reports THE TIMES OF INDIA.

"I'm getting offers to direct HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. I read it over the weekend. I'm still deciding," she said. "I'm not letting all this go to my head. I'm grounded. I practice detachment, it helps me keep my balance. I'm a Dilliwalli, only an asana gets me on my head! My son Zoharan's excited. I've seen all the HARRY POTTER movies with him."

Headline News Hero Provides Late Summer Box Office Punch

Miramaxs HERO, the dazzling Jet Li actioner, brought in a record-breaking $18M in its debut for the weekend ended Aug. 29, 2004, beating out BRING IT ON for the best end of August opening ever. And, at 2,031 theaters, it surpassed CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON to become the widest Asian release of all time.

Headline News Gilliam’s Grimm Gets Bumped a Year

Famed director Terry Gilliam seems to not be able to get a flick in theaters these days. With his production of DON QUIXOTE being shut down midway, the BRAZIL helmer moved onto film THE BROTHERS GRIMM, which was originally set to reach theaters fall 2004 then it was moved to February 2005 and now Dimension Films has bumped the fantastic account of the fairy tale writers, The Brothers Grimm, to Nov. 23, 2005.

Headline News Fanning to Headline Potential Alice in Wonderland Series

Ten-year-old acting phenom Dakota Fanning is in negotiations with DreamWorks to headline a series of films based on Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The screenplays have been adapted by Les Bohem, who created the Sci Fi Channels epic mini-series TAKEN, which starred Fanning. The effects heavy films will stick very close to the source material. Industry Ent. will produce the film with Mark Sourian and Keith Addis sheparding the project for DreamWorks.

Headline News New Zealand Gets Into Fantasy Epic Game for Itself

Wellington-based Silverscreen Prods. and visual effects company Oktobor are forming a company with Taiwan-based Equinox Film to produce a $40 million epic fantasy based on a popular Asian legend, titled LADY WHITE SNAKE, reports THE DOMINION POST. The film will be in English and is set for release in 2008 before the Beijing Olympics.

Headline News Marvel’s Deathlok Gets New Scribe

Paramount and Marvel Studios have hired David Self (ROAD TO PERDITION) to rewrite the screen adaptation of Marvel Comics DEATHLOK, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Stu Zicherman and Raven Metzner (ELEKTRA) wrote the first draft. The story follows everyman who becomes a test subject for a technology research lab that transforms him into a living computer. Marvel Studios' Avi Arad and Crystal Sky Prods. Steven Paul are producing. No director has been seen. DIE ANOTHER DAY helmer Lee Tamahori had long been attached to direct, but has since stepped down.

Headline News Barnyard Rounds Up Supporting Voice Cast

Paramount Pictures has announced that Emmy Award-winning actor Danny Glover (LETHAL WEAPON), Sam Elliott (HULK) and Wanda Sykes (TVs CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM) have joined the voice cast of the CG feature, THE BARNYARD. The three new cast members will be joining Kevin James (TVs THE KING OF QUEENS) and Courteney Cox (TVs FRIENDS). The film is written, produced and directed by Steve Oedekerk (BRUCE ALMIGHTY, ACE VENTURA).

Headline News Conran Confims Princess of Mars

Writer/director Kerry Conran (SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, opening Sept. 17, 2004), confirmed with VFXWORLD that he has committed to directing Paramount's A PRINCESS OF MARS as his sophomore project. The sci-fi action epic, scheduled for release in 2006, is based on the first book in Edgar Rice Burroughs' 11-volume series, JOHN CARTER OF MARS, which concerns an American Civil War hero that finds himself transported to Mars.

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