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.
The Orphanage recently completed six months of vfx work on THE HOST, South Koreas most ambitious movie to date, which will have its world premiere on May 21 in the Directors Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival (which runs May 18-21).
Paramounts MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III sunk Warner Bros. POSEIDON at the box office for the weekend period ended May 14, 2006. Despite a second-week drop of nearly 48%, M:I:III (with vfx from ILM) posted $25M for a cume of $85.1M. POSEIDON (with vfx from ILM and MPC) debuted with a disappointing $22.1M. Dropping to third place was Sonys RV, with $9.9M and a three-week cume of $43.2M. Foxs romantic comedy, JUST MY LUCK debuted in the fourth spot with $5.6M. Freestyles AN AMERICAN HAUNTING followed in fifth with $3.56M and $10.8M.
Rob Cohen has been tapped the helm ARROW, a martial arts flick being produced by Basil Iwanyks Thunder Road at Warner Bros. Pictures, reports the trades. Details of Brandon Noonans script are being kept secret. Thunder Road's Mary Viola is shepherding the project, along with Marc Pitre for Cohen. Dan Lin and Jess Rosenthal are overseeing for the studio.
The Weinstein Co. will represent all international rights to the CG-animated feature comedy, IGOR, from Exodus Film Group. IGOR is being produced by John D. Eraklis and seasoned animation exec Max Howard, who has collaborated on such animated blockbusters as THE LION KING, ALADDIN, SPACE JAM and THE IRON GIANT. The Weinstein Co. will distribute the film in North America and will begin selling the international territories at the Cannes Film Festival.
There will be a seven-minute clip from X-MEN: THE LAST STAND (opening May 26, 2006, from Fox) going live tonight (May 12, 2006) at midnight EST exclusively at www.dell.com/x-men.
Also on the site is access to a sweepstakes to win Dells XPS X-MEN: THE LAST STAND Collectors Edition computer system. The system, based on a next-generation XPS gaming desktop, is custom painted with images from X-MEN: THE LAST STAND. It is valued at about $10,000. Entries for the sweepstakes will be accepted through June 18.
Walden Media and New Line will begin production on JOURNEY 3-D in Montreal in June, casting Josh Hutcherson (RV, ZATHURA: A SPACE ADVENTURE) opposite Brendan Fraser, reports VARIETY.
Hutcherson will portray the nephew of a geologist (Fraser) who stumbles upon a mystery with strange creatures while on an expedition.
After a jolting first scene, Picture Mill was asked to create an energetic title sequence that reminds the audience of the excitement of the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise. Driven by a new rescoring of the classic Lalo Schifrin theme, the short sequence makes a bridge between the raw energy of the shocking first scene, and a scene that takes place several weeks earlier. The final sequence is a combination of high-speed fuse photography and 3D credits, seamlessly merged in a barrage of sparks, heat and fire.
POSEIDON will be released in IMAX theaters worldwide on Friday (May 12, 2006), in addition to conventional theaters. Poseidon is the second IMAX DMR film release from Warner Bros. Pictures in 2006, in a series of five scheduled for the year. It represents the 10th collaboration between IMAX and Warner Bros., including the IMAX original films NASCAR 3D: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE and DEEP SEA 3-D: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE.
Blizzard Ent. Inc. and Legendary Pictures announced that they have entered into an agreement to develop a live-action film based on Blizzard's award-winning WARCRAFT universe. Based on the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the movie rights for the best-selling game universe, and both companies are now focused on translating the world to the big screen.
The Weinstein Co. has acquired the rights to develop and produce a feature film based on the original hit television series, KNIGHT RIDER. The rights were purchased from Glen A. Larson (KNIGHT RIDER, MAGNUM P.I., FALL GUY, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA), the original creator of the television show, and he will write the script and exec produce the project through his production company Glen A. Larson Prods. David Price brought the project to The Weinstein Co.'s attention and will co-produce it.
Paramounts MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III (with vfx by ILM) debuted with a less than stellar $47.7M, but still managed to lead the box office for the period ended May 7, 2006. Sonys RV, last weeks leader, slipped to second place with $11M and a two-week cume of $30.9M. Freestyles AN AMERICAN HAUNTING bowed in third with $5.7M. Buena Vistas STICK IT followed in fourth with $5.4M and a two-week cume of $17.9M. Universals UNITED 93 (with vfx from Double Negative) fell 53% in its second week to fifth place with $5.3M and a $20.1M tally.
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.
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.
Entertainment Rights Plc. announced an agreement with Kidtoon Films which will see global brand SHE-RA, PRINCESS OF POWER appear in U.S. movie theatres, in the feature length animated movie SHE-RA, PRINCESS OF POWER, THE SECRET OF THE SWORD.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).