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Category: Films

Headline News

Cast Boards Beowulf

Columbia Pictures is hammering out deals with Ray Winstone (KING ARTHUR), Anthony Hopkins (SILENCE OF THE LAMBS), Brendan Gleeson (TROY) and Robin Wright Penn (FORREST GUMP) to star in director Robert Zemeckis' BEOWULF, reports VARIETY. Steve Bing's Shangri-La Ent. is producing the performance capture feature.

Roger Avary and Neil Gaiman have adapted the Old English epic poem about a knight who slays the monster Grendel and becomes king. Zemeckis and his ImageMovers partners Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke are producing. Martin Shafer will exec produce with the trio writers.

Headline News

Ghost House Grabs Monkey’s Paw

Genre experts Ghost House Pictures will finance and develop the frightening family spec MONKEY'S PAW, from scribes Dave Kajganich and Tom McAlister, according to VARIETY. Ghost House toppers Sam Raimi and Rob Taper will produce along with Kustom Ent. head Tom Lassally and Kustom's Robyn Meisinger.

The story follows a father and his family after a wish-granting artifact begins to wreck havoc on their lives.

Film Headline News

Cameron Readies Project 880

With a December production start for James Cameron's BATTLE ANGEL, the Oscar-winning director is already readying another feature tentatively titled PROJECT 880, his Lightstorm Ent. told the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Cameron plans to shot the film in 3D with custom-designed high-definition cameras as well as a photo-real performance capture technology.

Lightstorm did not give details about PROJECT 880, but did say that Cameron may choose to film that project before BATTLE ANGEL, which has become a difficult film to adapt from Yukito Kishiro's 12 popular Japanese graphic novels.

Film Headline News

Resident Evil 4 Gets Greenlight

Germany's Constantin Film and Impact Pictures have already begun pre-production on RESIDENT EVIL 4 before even filming the third film in the series, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The fourth film will take place in Tokyo.

The third film, RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE, will begins shooting in Australia in either Nov. or Dec. AFTERLIFE will be set in the Nevada desert and then shift to Japan in the third act, setting up the fourth installment.

Digital Headline News

Mr. and Mrs. Smith Ice a Cool $50M in Debut

Move over MADAGASCAR. Foxs MR. AND MRS. SMITH grabbed the second best three-day opening of the year $50.3M thanks to the sultry star power of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The romantic thriller (with vfx by Digital Dimension) finished ahead of the pack for the weekend ended June 12, 2005. Meanwhile, DreamWorks MADAGASCAR fell to second place with $17.1M. The three-week cume for the 3D-animated comedy hit $128.4M. Foxs REVENGE OF THE SITH (with that stunning ILM vfx) held the third spot with $14.8M and has reached $332.1M as it continues its box office descent.

Universal Headline News

Fox & Universal Hang Hat on Halo

20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures have taken the bid from Microsoft to produce a feature film adaptation of videogame HALO, reports VARIETY. The final details are still being hammered out, but for certain Universal will handle domestic rights with Fox taking international.

Headline News

CaféFX Escapes with Angelina Jolie in Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie get vfx help from CaféFX in two exciting escape sequences for Twentieth Century Foxs MR. AND MRS. SMITH, which opens June 10.

They play a married couple who appear bored with their quiet life but, unknown to each other, are actually international assassins whose career paths are about to fatally collide.

Headline News

Williams Phreex Out for Next Animated Feature

John H. Williams is set to produce PHREEX, an animated feature following a group of rejected lab animals, reports the trades. The screenplay was written by Matt Corman and Chris Ord. Williams will begin shopping the project to partners soon.

Williams will produce alongside Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, who have worked with Williams writing his Vanguard houses VALIANT, which the Walt Disney Co. will release August 19.

Headline News

Mission: Impossible 3 to Start July 18

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3, starring Tom Cruise, will commence principal photography on July 18 in Italy. The film, to be directed by J. J. Abrams and filmed on locations across Europe, the U.S. and Asia, is scheduled to be released May 5, 2006. Cruise and his partner, Paula Wagner, will produce for Cruise/Wagner Prods.

Headline News

Justin Lin Signed for Fast and the Furious 3

Justin Lin, director of the Sundance hit BETTER LUCK TOMORROW, has been signed to direct THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS 3. The Universal Pictures release will be produced by Neal H. Moritz, who served in the same capacity on the other films in the series. The third film was written by Chris Morgan (CELLULAR), who places the third entry in Tokyo: in the underground world of Japanese drift racing. Plans call for the film to begin production in the fall 2005.

Million Headline News

Halo Shopped In Top Secret Mode to the Studios

Messengers dressed as the lead space marine in Microsoft videogame HALO descended on the studios June 6 with the screenplay based on the bestselling franchise, reports VARIETY. Microsoft and Bungie Studios paid 28 DAYS LATER writer Alex Garland $1 million to pen the script. Microsoft has also tapped former Columbia Pictures president Peter Schlessel to shepherd the project as well as serve as a producer.

Film Headline News

Paramount Dumps Watchmen

Paramount has stopped development on the highly-anticipated film adaptation of the classic comicbook series, THE WATCHMEN, according to VARIETY. The studio has now put the project into turnaround, allowing producers Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin to shop the Paul Greengrass (THE BOURNE SUPREMACY) directed project to other studios.

Film Headline News

Piranha Gets Chiller Remake

Joe Dante's PIRANHA will get an update care of new production firm Chiller Films, reports VARIETY. Chuck Russell (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3) is set to rewrite the script, using elements from spec script KILLER FISH by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger plus the original's script by John Sayles, which was based on a story by Richard Robertson. Chiller will co-produce the film with Intellectual Properties Worldwide.

Time Headline News

Sony Pushes Panther to 2006

Sony Pictures Releasing has pushed the release of THE PINK PANTHER from Aug. 5 to Feb. 10, 2006, according to trades. Sony acquired the Shawn Levy-directed/ Steve Martin-starrer through its purchase on MGM.

"With the recent acquisition of MGM, we wanted to give our marketing department the time and opportunity to launch this very important franchise," said Sony Pictures Releasing president Rory Bruer. "We've seen the movie, and we really love this film. It's a franchise we believe in and are really excited about, and Steve Martin is great as Clouseau."

Headline News

Madagascar Leaps to Number One; Sith Sets New Record

Despite the current box office malaise, MADAGASCAR took over the top spot after debuting last week at number three. The computer-animated comedy grabbed $28.1M for DreamWorks to reach $100M for the weekend ended June 5, 2005. Paramounts THE LONGEST YARD held the second spot with $26M and a two-week cume of $95.7M. However, despite falling to third place with $25M, Foxs STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH (with its stunning vfx by ILM) managed to break the $300M barrier at a record pace, with its $300.7M total.

Headline News

Rush Hour Director Confirmed for X3

With LAYER CAKE director Matthew Vaughn leaving the project, Twentieth Century Fox and Marvel Ent. have hired RUSH HOUR director Brett Ratner to direct X-MEN 3, reports VARIETY. The film is still set to begin filming in August and hit theaters Memorial Day weekend 2006.

In addition, the studios have also confirmed that Kelsey Grammer (TV's FRAISER) will be playing Beast, Vinnie Jones (SNATCH) will be playing Juggernaut and Maggie Grace (TV's LOST) will be playing Kitty Pryde.

Headline News

Poseidon Remake Sinks Its Leads

Warner Bros. Pictures has announced the lead actors for Wolfgang Petersen's tentpole remake of THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Signed cast members include Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum (PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) and Mike Vogel (THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake). Andre Braugher (TV's HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET) is in negotiations to join the cast.

Digital Headline News

Digital Dimension Creates Seamless 3D for Monster-in-Law

Leading visual effects studio Digital Dimension completed several dozen visual effects shots for the recent New Line feature MONSTER-IN-LAW. Seamless composites and digital effects created by Digital Dimension in collaboration with director of photography Russell Carpenter are a perfect fit for the film's gorgeous Southern California look and sets.

Headline News

X3 Loses Director

With principal photography set to begin Aug. 2, X-MEN 3 has now lost its director for the second time, reports the trades. Replacing Bryan Singer, director of the first two X-MEN films who left to helm SUPERMAN RETURNS, LAYER CAKE director Matthew Vaughn is now stepping down, citing personal reasons. The director had hoped to commute from his home in London to the shoot in Vancouver, but when that seemed impossible he decided that leaving the film was a better choice than uprooting his family.

Headline News

Writers Tinkering on Transformers Live-Action Theatrical

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the team that co-wrote THE ISLAND for Michael Bay, are tinkering on a script to put the Transformer toys on the big screen for what might be Bay's next project, according to SCI FI Wire.

"We're calling it CAMPBELL SOUP: THE MOVIE, because it's the ultimate product placement," Kurtzman told SCI FI Wire. "The big challenge is how do you do it without making it look like it's just about product placement."

Headline News

Ring 3 in the Works

The producing duo of Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are developing a third, scaled-down RING movie, according to SCI FI Wire. The husband-and-wife producing team is planning a different approach and may not need the same mother and son cast of Naomi Watts and David Dorfman, who were in the first two horror movies.

Parkes added, "It's easy to scale down RING 3 as a small picture that's not incredibly expensive. By its very nature it can be a small movie and doesn't need the same cast."

Lucas Headline News

Lucas Greenlights Indy 4

George Lucas has given the greenlight to Jeff Nathanson's recent draft for INDIANA JONES 4, reports VARIETY. Director Steven Spielberg has also given the script a thumbs up and only star Harrison Ford needs to give approval for the film to move into pre-production.

SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION director Frank Darabont had previously written a draft of the script, which passed by Spielberg and Ford, but was rejected by Lucas. Spielberg then enlisted Nathanson to pen the screenplay after having worked with the scribe on CATCH ME IF YOU CAN and THE TERMINAL.

Film Headline News

Exodus Gets Colorful With Two New CG-Animated Films

Exodus Film Group announced the addition of two CG-animated features to their film slate THE HERO OF COLOR CITY and AMARILLO ARMADILLO. These two films are a direct response to overwhelming industry and investor interest in Exodus CG-Animated film IGOR, which is currently in production.

VFX Headline News

Revenge of the Sith Rules Memorial Weekend

STAR WARS: EPISODE III REVENGE OF THE SITH continued its box office dominance for the second consecutive week, grabbing $70M for the four-day Memorial Day weekend ended May 30, 2005. That means that the final STAR WARS saga has earned $270.4M for Fox domestically, continuing to set records for nine-day to 12-day grosses. SITH has also earned $248.9M overseas.

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