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Category: Films

Headline News

Superman Returns to Open Two Days Early

Perhaps encouraged by the record-breaking opening of X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, Warner Bros. Pictures has pushed up the release of SUPERMAN RETURNS to June 28, giving it two more days at the box office before Disneys PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MANS CHEST opens on July 7.

Meanwhile, two animated features have swapped release dates: Warner Bros. has moved up THE ANT BULLY a week to July 28 after Paramount pushed back THE BARNYARD a week to Aug. 4.

Series Headline News

Ryan Producers Ride Pern Into Theaters

Anne McCaffrey's best-selling and long-running sci-fi/fantasy series THE DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN will fly into theaters via Canadian production company Copperheart Ent, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Copperheart, which produced Chris Landreths 2005 Oscar-winning animated short RYAN, has optioned the 19-book series, which began with DRAGONFLIGHT in 1968.

Focus Headline News

Ang Lee Lusts Over WWII-Era Thriller

Ang Lee has pacted with Focus Features to direct LUST, CAUTION, an espionage thriller set in WWII-era Shanghai. Bill Kong, who previously produced Lee's CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, will produce. Focus Features ceo James Schamus will exec produce.

Films Headline News

Harryhausen Presents Mindfire Productions

Ray Harryhausen will team with Mindfire Ent. on a series of new movies, telefilms, videogames and merchandising under the "Ray Harryhausen Presents" moniker, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The projects will be based on Harryhausens unproduced works.

Several scripts are already in development one set in Greek mythology and the other an alien invasion tale. The first film is set to start production in the fall.

Headline News

Da Vinci Script Writer To Adapt Dan Brown's Angels & Demons

Sony sees a sequel for worldwide hit, THE DA VINCI CODE, in Dan Browns first religious thriller, ANGELS & DEMONS, hiring Akiva Goldsman to adapt, reports VARIETY. DA VINCI made $231.8 million worldwide in its first five days.

The studio hopes to bring DA VINCI producing team of Brian Grazer and John Calley onto the project. Though no deals have been set, director Ron Howard and star Tom Hanks will have a first look at the new film.

Film Headline News

Sony Pictures Classics Snatches Persepolis Rights

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the North American rights to PERSEPOLIS, an animated feature based on Iranian author Marjane Satrapi's autobiolgraphical graphic novels, reports VARIETY. Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud co-wrote and are co-directing the film, which is being co-produced by 2.4.7. Films and France 3 Cinema.

2.4.7. Films Marc-Antoine Robert and Xavier Rigault are producing with Kathleen Kennedy (MUNICH, WAR OF THE WORLDS) exec producing.

Series Headline News

X-Files 2 Discovers Writer

Frank Spotnitz, the man behind much of the mythology of THE X-FILES, has been hired to help write the next movie based on the hit series, reports SCI FI WIRE.

Long in development, the second X-FILES film has mainly been held up by legal matters between series creator Chris Carter and 20th Century Fox. "David, Gillian and I, and even Chris Carter, all have deals in place, and once the legal issues are over with, we will go on with it," Spotnitz said. "I'm hoping it will get resolved soon."

Story Headline News

WB Picks Up Anime Brave Story for Germany

Warner Bros. has snatched up the German rights to anime feature BRAVE STORY, helmed by Koichi Chigira, VARIETY reports. Fuji TV and Gonzo Digimation produced the film, which is being representing internationally by Pony Canyon. Warner Bros. is already the films distributor in Japan and has the first option in various other regions. Budgeted at 1 billion yen ($9 million), the film is based on a manga by Miyuki Miyabe about a boy who lives in a world called Vision.

Headline News

Da Vinci Goes Over Box Office Hedge

Capturing $77M, THE DA VINCI CODE exceeded low expectations and overcame negative reviews during its opening weekend ended May 21, 2006. In fact, the controversial blockbuster from Sony Pictures (with vfx from MPC and Rainmaker UK, among others) collected an exceptional opening worldwide gross of $238.1, according to the studio, second only to STAR WARS: EPISODE III. Sony is even contemplating making Dan Browns literary prequel, ANGELS AND DEMONS, into a movie.

Dreamworks Headline News

HP, AMD Power Over the Hedge

HP technology helped DreamWorks Animation SKG create the 3D-animated feature, OVER THE HEDGE, which was released today in U.S. theaters and is showing at the 59th Cannes International Film Festival.

HP, which is DreamWorks Animation's preferred technology provider, delivered servers, workstations and HP Halo collaboration studios to meet the demanding business and production needs required to create the new animated comedy.

Animation Headline News

endorphin Used to Create Realistic Chaos in Poseidon

NaturalMotion Ltd. announced that its award-winning endorphin software was used by Giant Killer Robots to create several character animation sequences for POSEIDON. endorphins ability to quickly and easily generate realistic animation allowed the teams to create very demanding and destructive shots that would have been near impossible to achieve using traditional tools.

Entertainment Headline News

IDT Ent. Gets Sheepish With CG Feature

IDT Ent. has announced the start of production on a new CG-animated feature film, titled SHEEPISH. The film, in production at the companys West Coast headquarters in Burbank, is a comic twist on the old saying beware of wolves in sheeps clothing. Animation will be done at IDT Ent.s studio in Toronto.

Films Headline News

Grind House Stalks Easter Weekend 2007

Dimension Films has announced that GRIND HOUSE, the highly-anticipated collaboration from directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, will be released in theaters Easter weekend, 2007.

"The Easter holiday was a record-breaking weekend for Dimension this year with SCARY MOVIE 4, and we are confident that GRIND HOUSE will do extremely well in this slot," said Bob Weinstein, co-chairman of Dimension Films.

Headline News

Del Toro & Cuaron Team on Dahl’s Witches

Guillermo del Toro (HELLBOY) and Alfonso Cuaron (HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN) have been hired by Warner Bros. to make an adaptation of Roald Dahl's 1973 book, THE WITCHES, reports VARIETY. Del Toro will write and direct with Cuaron producing via his New York-based company Esperanto.

In regards to Nicolas Roegs 1989 adaptation, Del Toro said, "The Roeg film is a brilliant movie but certain aspects are a departure from Dahl's original. Dahl had the brilliance of writing children's stories, which shocked adults.

Headline News

Dean Devlin to Make Directorial Debut With Ghosting

Producer Dean Devlin (INDEPENDENCE DAY and FLYBOYS) will helm his first film as director, GHOSTING, a vfx-filled paranormal thriller, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Devlin will begin shooting early next year after principal photography is complete on his sci-fi adventure, ISOBAR.

Devlin will also produce GHOSTING for his company Electric Ent. with in-house partners Kearie Peak and Marc Roskin.

Disney Headline News

Narnia, Fantastic Four Sequels Change Release Dates

Disney has moved THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN from Dec. 14, 2007, to summer 2008, to avoid direct competition with Columbia Pictures fantasy, THE WATER HORSE, which is slated to open Dec. 8, 2007, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Both are produced by Walden Media. The move also gives NARNIA director Andrew Adamson and his crew extra time, according to Walt Disney Studios svp of publicity, Dennis Rice.

Animation Headline News

CIS Hollywood Leverages Massive on Poseidon

Massive Software's artificial life-driven animation system has been adopted by CIS Hollywood to produce digital visual effects for Warner Bros. POSEIDON.

CIS Hollywood acquired single license of Massive to complete a number of POSEIDON shots that required realistic digital characters. These included establishing shots and other sequences showing people in passageways, as well as shots of crewmembers, waiters and cooks in the ships galley and a large party scene.

Features Headline News

Focus Features Picks Up Laika’s Coraline

Focus Features has acquired the world rights to Laika Ent.s stop-motion feature, CORALINE, based on the book by Neil Gaiman, reports VARIETY.

The film features the voice of Dakota Fanning as a young girl who walks through a secret door in her new house where she discovers an alternate version of her life.

Laika supervising director Henry Selick is adapted the script and will co-helm alongside Mike Cachuela. Pandemonium Films head Bill Mechanic is producing with Laika's Mary Sandell. They Might Be Giants will provide the songs.

Game Headline News

Disney & Bruckheimer Choose Game Boys to Save World

Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films have grabbed the right to GAME BOYS, an action spec by Tom Ropelewski (LOOK WHO'S TALKING NOW) and Evan Katz (TVs 24), according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Jerry Bruckheimer will produce.

The tale follows two thirtysomething videogame addicts whom are recruited by the Department of Homeland Security to lead a geek army set to battle creatures that have emerged from a videogame they have mastered.

Black Headline News

Jack Black Set to Remake Film History’s Biggest Blockbusters

New Line Cinema has obtained domestic rights to writer-director Michel Gondry's next project, BE KIND REWIND, starring Jack Black, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Gondry's partner in Partizan Prods., Georges Bermann, is producing.

Headline News

Bratz Coming to the Big Screen

MGA Ent. Inc., Avi Arad Prods. and Crystal Sky Pictures will team to bring MGA's famous BRATZ dolls to the big screen. A screenplay, tentatively entitled BRATZ, is in the process of being written with a targeted production start of late fall 2006 in Los Angeles.

Under the deal, Crystal Sky Pictures will finance a live-action feature film based on the popular BRATZ characters. MGA's founder/ceo Isaac Larian, Avi Arad and Crystal Sky's chairman Steven Paul will produce the picture, and Crystal Sky Pictures president Benedict Carver will exec produce.

Film Headline News

Weinsteins Pick Up Tsui Hark’s Seven Sword Rights

The Weinstein Co. (TWC) has acquired all theatrical and video rights in the U.S. to the martial arts epic, SEVEN SWORDS, directed by the master of kung-fu action films, Tsui Hark (ZU WARRIORS, ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA). Cheung ChiSing and Chun TinNam adapted the screenplay based on the original novel, SEVEN SWORDSMEN FROM MT. TIAN, and it was produced by Lee JooIck, Ma Zhongjun and Pan Zhizhong. Richard Wong, Hong BongChul and Zhang Yong serve as exec producers.