Looting its way deeper into the record books, Disneys PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MANS CHEST (with terrific vfx support from ILM) racked up another $35.2M for the weekend ended July 23, 2006, on its way to $321.8M the fastest film ever to reach the $300M mark.
In an animation panel, Kevin Koch, head of the Animation Guild, said that a new 2D film, titled, THE FROG PRINCESS, is in development at Disney. Moreover, Eric Goldberg, who has returned to Disney to work on animated shorts, said that LITTLE MERMAID directors Ron Clements and John Musker will be helming the film. Additionally, Chuck Williams will be heading up a shorts programing at the Mouse House.
Comic-Con Intl returns to San Diego with a Friday lineup that featured the world premiere of footage from ERAGON, STARDUST and SNAKES ON A PLANE.
Continuing its strategy to independently develop and produce a new slate of feature films, Marvel Studios has signed director Louis Leterrier (TRANSPORTER 2, UNLEASHED) to helm a new big screen adaptation of THE INCREDIBLE HULK.
Exodus Film Group announced that Christian Slater, Steve Buscemi and John Cleese will lend their voices to Exodus' CG-animated feature comedy, IGOR. The Weinstein Co. (TWC) has an all encompassing distribution deal for the film including North America as well as representing international rights. TWC recently returned from the Cannes Film Festival having sold the film into most foreign territories.
Guillermo del Toro is in talks to partner with Don Murphy's Angry Films to bring cult DC Comics DEADMAN to the big screen for Warner Bros. Pictures, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Del Toro will develop comics-to-film adaptation with Murphy and Susan Montford.
With the 2006 Comic-Con upon us, new announcements of comics-to-film adaptations are flooding out. VARIETY reports that Warner Bros. Pictures is set to bring DC Comics cult favorite DOOM PATROL to the big screen. Akiva Goldsman will produce through his Warners-based Weed Road Pictures. Adam Turner will pen the screenplay.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire's Hatchling Studio's short film THE TOLL is set to premiere July 20, 2006, at the Comic-Con Intl Independent Film Festival in San Diego, California.
Written and directed by Zack Pike, THE TOLL is a computer animated mockumentary featuring a troll that lives under a bridge. As the camera rolls, the troll's comments on work, life and love range from somewhat inappropriate to outrageously delusional, slowly revealing the hilariously tragic figure of a monster in denial.
Fox Atomic, the new youth-focused division of Fox Filmed Ent., announced its 2006-2007 lineup and theatrical release dates for three of their upcoming films. TURISTAS, a recent acquisition, will jump start the studios slate on Dec. 1, 2006, followed by THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2 and 28 WEEKS LATER, both going into production this summer, and being released in theaters in 2007. Also on the production slate for Fox Atomic is a re-imagining of the 1984 classic REVENGE OF THE NERDS and THE COMEBACKS, a sports comedy.
Odd Lot Ent. announced that Frank Miller (SIN CITY) will adapt and direct THE SPIRIT, based on Will Eisners influential comic strip, and will talk about the project for the first time at a panel at this years Comic-Con Intl on Saturday, July 22, 2006.
REAL D, the leader in the delivery of premium digital 3-D experiences, will present Columbia Pictures' animated MONSTER HOUSE in the REAL D Cinema format. MONSTER HOUSE represents the widest 3-D rollout worldwide day-and-date with the 2-D release on July 21. MONSTER HOUSE is the second release in REAL D and the second animated feature to employ the groundbreaking performance capture innovation (Imagemotion) developed by Sony Pictures Imageworks.
Christina Applegate (ANCHORMAN) has joined the voice cast of Bob Saget's FARCE OF THE PENGUINS as the female lead, reports VARIETY. Cast also includes Samuel L. Jackson, Lewis Black and Mo'Nique. ThinkFilm is financing. Its a co-production with Permut Presentations and Saget's Two Angels Prods. The film will use archival footage of penguins to bring the story to life.
Kiefer Sutherland will lend his voice to the character of Raistlin Majere in the animated feature, DRAGONLANCE. Sutherland joins a voice cast that includes Lucy Lawless (XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS) as Goldmoon, Michael Rosenbaum (SMALLVILLE) as Tanis Half-Elven and Michelle Trachtenberg (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) as Tika Waylan.
Moving Picture Co. (MPC) of London was hired to create the little man character in Sony/Revolutions LITTLE MAN, while London-based Cinesite contributed 210 vfx shots to the Wayan brothers comedy.
The Wayans filmmaking team enlisted visual effects supervisor Alex Bicknell and visual effects producer Rob Yamamoto to oversee the complex effects process, which included hiring outside effects houses, to watching over daily principal photography, to overseeing post-production.
Continuing its record-breaking pace, Disneys PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MANS CHEST (with terrific vfx support from ILM) looted another $62.3M in its second weekend for the period ended July 16, 2006. That brings the staggering 10-day cume to $258.3M, shattering the previous record set by REVENGE OF THE SITH. In addition, DEAD MANS CHEST clamed the fast to $200M and is the third highest grossing second weekend ever behind SHREK 2 and SPIDER-MAN.
Miramax plans to highlights its latest acquisition from France the motion capture film, RENAISSANCE. The studio will be located at booth #5469.
Directed by Christian Volckman, RENAISSANCE takes film noir to its most stylized edge, utilizing live action motion capture, animated in 3D and rendered in high contrast black & white to create a graphic novel look.
Pierre Spengler, one of the first three SUPERMAN films, will return to comicbook inspired films with a 12-picture deal drawn from titles in the catalog of French graphic novel publisher Humanoides Associes, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
The first will be the live-action film I AM LEGION, adapted from the World War II political intrigue written by Fabien Nury and illustrated by U.S. graphic artist John Cassaday.
Spengler's company, Clubdeal Ltd., will produce the films, whike he is talks with a U.S. distributor to release all 12 films in the U.S.
Jamie Foxx and his manager Jaime Rucker King are set to produce THE POWER OF DUFF, joining Marc Platt, who already has been developing the feature film via his Marc Platt Prods, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Foxx and King will help develop the drama, which Foxx may star in.
Universal won the script in a bidding war last year, paying $900,000 against $1.25 million. Russell Crowe, Ron Howard and Tom Hanks have circled the project as well.
DreamWorks Animation announced the final cast for SHREK THE THIRD. The original casts from SHREK and SHREK 2 Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Rupert Everett, Julie Andrews and John Cleese will reprise their roles.
Lionsgate has picked up the Cruise/Wagner-produced remake of THE EYE out of turnaround from Paramount, reports VARIETY. The studio is now in talks with Jessica Alba to star and French helmers David Moreau and Xavier Palud to direct.
Lionsgate hopes to shoot the film this winter.
Directed by Danny and Oxide Pang, the original thriller follows a cornea transplant recipient who starts seeing disturbing images, which spurs her to find out what happened to the donor of her new eyes.
Visual effects studio FrameFlows, including its US-based producers and international staff of artists based in Chennai, India, worked directly with the vfx team at Sony Pictures Imageworks to provide 3D tracking, wire removal, rotoscoping and compositing work on effects shots for CLICK from Columbia Pictures/Revolution Studios.
Exceeding even the initial record-breaking estimate by $3M, Disneys PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MANS CHEST (with cutting edge vfx by ILM) broke out with an astounding $135.6M over the three-day weekend ended July 9, 2006. This swats SPIDER-MANs $114.8M. Other records smashed include best single and opening day ($55.8M), beating REVENGE OF THE SITHs $50M, and fastest to $100M (two days flat).
Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie will join Jack Black, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Dustin Hoffman and Ian McShane in the cast of the computer-animated comedy, KUNG FU PANDA. The DreamWorks Animation film will reunite Jolie and Black who voiced lead characters together in the 2004 animated comedy, SHARK TALE.
Samuel L. Jackson has leapt on board Regency Enterprises' sci-fi thriller, JUMPER, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Doug Liman is set to direct.
Based on the Steven Gould novel, the tale follows a kid from a broken home who discovers that he has the ability to teleport. As he searches for the man he believes is responsible for the death of his mother, the kid draws the attention of the National Security Agency and another youth with the same abilities.
The Christian media company Good News Holdings is developing a horror film franchise based on the upcoming DUDLEYTOWN series of teen novels by Bodie Ingelvie, VARIETY reports. Good News previously optioned Anne Rice's biblical epic about Jesus.
Good News will team with Illinois-based Bible publisher Tyndale House Publishers on DUDLEYTOWN, which is set in a town that is deserted following a series of disappearances and murders.