Walden Media has optioned the animated the animated pitch, TORTOISE AND HIPPO, according to VARIETY. SHREK co-writer Roger S.H. Schulman will write the script. The film will be a combination of live action and photo-real CGI animation.
DC Comicss THE LOSERS has been selected for a big screen adaptation from Warner Bros. Pictures, reports VARIETY. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS helmer Peter Berg and Akiva Goldsman will produce the film, with Berg to write the script and possibly directing. John Cameron and Sarah Aubrey of Berg's Film 44 will also produce along with Kerry Foster for Goldsman's Weed Road.
The film chronicles the adventures of a highly skilled CIA team as they are attacked by their own agency and left for dead. The title was recently revived under the Vertigo label after a 30-year hiatus.
DreamWorks Animation ceo Jeffrey Katzenberg announced that the studio will produce a sequel to MADAGASCAR, which has now passed the $500-million mark at the worldwide box office, making it the companys most successful original movie ever.
Katzenberg also announced that Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith will be reprising their roles. He said he was looking forward to other original cast members returning to their roles for the sequel.
The sequel will once again be produced by Mireille Soria and co-directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath.
TIM BURTONS CORPSE BRIDE, Warner Bros. Pictures stop motion animated feature directed by Mike Johnson and Tim Burton, utilizes the visual-effects services of London-based Moving Picture Co. (MPC) on 460 shots, supervised by MPCs Jessica Norman. The picture was color graded by Max Horton in the MPC DI lab.
TIM BURTONS CORPSE BRIDE made its North American debut Saturday night at the Toronto International Film Festival, and the director and a few of his collaborators commented on the stop motion animated feature at Sundays press junket.
Screen Gems THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE surprised everyone with its screaming debut of $30M for the weekend ended Sept. 11, 2005. Budgeted at $19M, the indie horror/courtroom drama, contains vfx from Captive Audience Prods.
MTV Films announced that it has acquired an option on the worldwide film rights to the award-winning, action-horror videogame property, THE SUFFERING, from Surreal Software, a subsidiary of Midway Games Inc.
Revolution Studios has optioned a comedy pitch titled HENCHMAN VS. SIDEKICK via the studios former founding partner Todd Garner's new production house Broken Road, reports VARIETY. The spoof follows the fight between a sidekick and a henchman after their respective superhero and supervillain kill each other. Writers Kathy Gori and Alan Berger hatched the idea.
Columbia Pictures has hired former music video director David Slade to helm the horror film 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, according to the trades. Ghost House Pictures will be the production firm on the film with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert producing. Grant Curtis will shepherd the film for Ghost House. Mike Richardson, Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane will serve as exec producers. Shannon Gaulding and Adam Milano will shepherd for Columbia.
The disappointing summer ended with a bang, as Foxs action thriller, TRANSPORTER 2 (with vfx by big red pixel), broke the Labor Day opening record with $20.1M for the holiday period ended Sept. 5, 2005. Overall, the Labor Day box office topped last years, as the summer closed 9% lower than the record-breaking 94 season.
Kidtoon Films, a company that distributes family films to theaters for weekend morning screenings, has announced it has acquired two new Warner Bros. Animation titles the Tom & Jerry feature THE FAST AND THE FURRY and SCOOBY-DOO IN WHERE'S MY MUMMY? Kidtoon programs also include shorts and sing-alongs.
"The Kidtoon Film promotional theatrical release brings beloved classic characters in new, fun-filled movies to the big screen for kids," said Dorinda Marticorena, vp of kids and sports marketing for Warner Home Video.
MAGNIFICENT DESOLATION: WALKING ON THE MOON 3D, a Playtone/IMAX 3D space film, presented and narrated by Tom Hanks, will feature an all-star voice cast of top Hollywood talent, including Paul Newman, Matt Damon, Matthew McConaughey, Morgan Freeman, John Travolta, Gary Sinise and Bill Paxton. It opens exclusively in IMAX theaters starting Sept. 23.
MILLION DOLLAR BABY scribe Paul Haggis has been hired to rewrite the script for Sony and MGM's 21st installment of the lucrative Bond franchise, according to HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The movie is based on the 1953 Ian Fleming novel, CASINO ROYALE, which is the first, darkest and most violent of the Bond books. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who penned the Bond films THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH and DIE ANOTHER DAY, took the spin at the screenplay.
For the second consecutive week, THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN ruled the box office for the weekend ended Aug. 28, 2005, the first time an R-rated film has done so since last years THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. The Universal comedy raked in $16.2M for a total of $48.5M. Dimensions THE BROTHERS GRIMM (with vfx by Peerless Camera Co. Ltd., Lip Sync Post and Artem Ltd.) bowed in second with $15M. DreamWorks RED EYE (with vfx by Digital Dream) slipped to third place with $10.2M for a two-week cume of $32.5M. Paramounts FOUR BROTHERS (with vfx by Mr.
With Stephen Sommers, leaving the project, Paramount has tapped Steven Spielberg to produce their remake of sci-fi flick, WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, according to the trades. The 1951 original was an inspiration for 1998s DEEP IMPACT, which Spielberg produced. In addition to wrapping up directing on MUNICH, Spielberg is producing DreamWorks' upcoming MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA and Sony's LEGEND OF ZORRO. For Paramount, hes been working with George Lucas and writer Jeff Nathanson on the development of a fourth INDIANA JONES film.
With Jim Carrey declining to reprise his role in a BRUCE ALMIGHTY sequel, Universal has tapped the original films co-star Steve Carell to reprise his role as Bruces anchorman nemesis, giving him a mission to build a new ark in preparation for second Great Flood, according to VARIETY. Titled EVAN ALMIGHTY, the film will garner THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN star close to $5 million. Thats 10 times what he earned for VIRGIN.
Screenwriter Zach Helm will make his directing debut filming his script MR. MAGORIUM'S WONDER EMPORIUM, reports VARIETY. Natalie Portman is set to star in the family film along with Dustin Hoffman. When the owner of a magical toy store dies, the shop is willed to his manager (Portman), who struggles with depression and keeping the business alive. Film Colony and Mandate Pictures are producing. James Garavente and Richard N. Gladstein will serves as producers with Jim Miller co-producing. Exec producer will be Nathan Kahane.
London-based Moving Picture Co. (MPC) will handle VFX work on director Danny Boyles latest sci-fi feature, THE UNTITLED SUNSHINE PROJECT, announced this week by DNA Films and Fox Searchlight Pictures. MPCs vfx supervisor is Tom Wood (KINGDOM OF HEAVEN). Principal photography began Aug. 22 in London. Boyle is once again teamed up with scribe Alex Garland, who last worked together on 28 DAYS LATER, which MPC also worked on.
SEVEN SWORDS, a new epic Chinese feature film by director Tsui Hark, was realized with six of Autodesk's media and entertainment solutions. Based on Liang Yu-Shen's classic novel SEVEN SWORDSMEN FROM MOUNT TIAN, the film will be released worldwide in fall 2005.
IDT Ent. announced that Rob Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Brian Dennehy, William H. Macy, Mandy Patinkin, Dana Reeve, Robert Wagner, Richard Kind, Raven-Symone and New York Yankees manager Joe Torre will head an all-star voice cast in its first CG-animated feature film, YANKEE IRVING. In addition, Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning composer John Debney will create the films original score.
Fox and Universal have finalized their deal with Microsoft to turn hit videogame HALO into a feature film for release summer 2007, according to VARIETY. As part of the deal, the studios will dole out $5 million against 10% of the gross to the house that Bill Gates built.
Universal will handle production and domestic distribution with Fox covering foreign distribution and will split revenues 50/50.
A researcher in Kyoto has discover a lost Japanese animated film made around 1900, making it the oldest of its kind in the country, reports MAINICHI INTERACTIVE.
Iconography expert Natsuki Matsumoto and animation historian Nobuyuki Tsugata at the Osaka University of Arts believe that the film was made roughly 10 years prior to an animation produced in 1917, which was previously deemed Japan's oldest.
Another R-rated comedy found its way to the top of the box office chart in its debut Universals THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN grossed $21.4M for the weekend ended Aug. 21, 2005. DreamWorks RED EYE, the Wes Craven airplane thriller (with vfx by Digital Dream), bowed in second with $16.1M.
Sahara Percept is set to make a major theatrical push for Silvertoons 2D animated feature, HANUMAN, reports ANIMATION 'XPRESS.
Sahara Motion Pictures coo Sandeep Bhargava said, "We are treating the 2D animated feature Hanuman as a mainstream release and will be giving it a full push on our part. We hope that the movie will be appreciated. For HANUMAN, we have a slew of marketing innovations and ground activities planned across the country. We also plan to develop and market merchandise around the movie.
Angelina Jolie will star as the queen of darkness in BEOWULF, director Robert Zemeckis latest feature that will rely on the same performance capture technique at Sony Pictures Imageworks (Imagemotion) used on THE POLAR EXPRESS and next summers MONSTER HOUSE, reports VARIETY.
Distribution may wind up at Paramount domestically and Warner Bros. internationally.
Jolie will play the queen that tempts the Viking that would be king. Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Brendan Gleeson, Robin Wright Penn and John Malkovich.