DreamWorks will be screening new clips from Mamoru Oshii's anime film, INNOCENCE: GHOST IN THE SHELL 2, at Otakon 2004, being held from July 30 to Aug. 1, 2004 in Baltimore, Maryland. The screening will be July 30, between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm. Representatives from DreamWorks and Production I.G. will be hosting this special preview in Panel 1. Footage of the sequel will also be shown throughout the three-day convention at the DreamWorks booth (#1223), where free postcards and posters will be available.
Platinum Studios, the comic book entertainment company headed by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, has announced an exclusive deal to acquire and develop Marc Silvestris Top Cow Prods' library of characters and upcoming future projects for film and television.
The deal was crafted and negotiated by Top Cow president Matt Hawkins, who said, I woke up one morning and it just dawned on me that we do this. I spoke with Scott and Marc, and they were both immediately into it.
DreamWorks has set up three unprecedented premieres, spanning two continents, three countries and two major film festivals for its CG feature, SHARK TALE. In addition, members of the film's all-star voice cast and soundtrack talent will be attending all of the premieres.
Nexus directors Smith & Foulkes have created an animated title sequence for Working Title's feature film, THE THUNDERBIRDS, based on the British cult puppet series of the 1960s. Working closely with THUNDERBIRD's director Jonathan Frakes and producer Tim Bevan, Nexus was asked to craft a sequence that captured the light-hearted tone of the movie, but also gave context and background information to a U.S. audience not familiar with the TV series.
For fans of comics, sci-fi, fantasy, animation and everything geeky, Comic-Con is the pilgrimage one must take at least once or they must hand in their lightsabers and turn down their membership in the LORD OF THE RINGS fan club. Held July 22 25, 2004, the event drew a record 75,000 plus fans, industry types and press.
As a way of gaining their own children's fantasy franchise, Regency Enterprises and Fox 2000 Pictures has optioned the rights to Ted Naifeh's COURTNEY CRUMRIN comicbook series, reports VARIETY. Stan Winston and Brian Gilbert are set to produce the film with Sheryl Longin (DICK) penning the screenplay. Stacy Maes and Maria Faillace will oversee the project for Regency and Fox 2000 respectively. The deal gives the studios the rights to COURTNEY CRUMRIN AND THE NIGHT THINGS, COURTNEY CRUMRIN AND THE COVEN OF MYSTICS and COURTNEY CRUMRIN IN THE TWILIGHT KINGDOM.
Continental Film has announced that LORD OF THE RINGS second-unit director Geoff Murphy has signed on to direct the screen adaptation of the fantasy novel THE LAST UNICORN. Michael Pakleppa will produce the film with Julián Doyle, who has worked on visual effects for Monty Python and Terry Gilliam films, serving as special effects unit director. The story was previously adapted as an animated film by Rankin-Bass in 1982. Continental hopes to have the film ready for release in winter 2006. For more information on the production, visit www.the-last-unicorn.net.
DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures have teamed up to bring THE TRANSFORMERS to the big screen. Angry Films heads Don Murphy and Tom DeSanto, who exec produced the X-MEN films, will produce the live-action feature, along with Lorenzo di Bonaventura. The film will be based on a story by DeSanto. Steven Spielberg will exec produce. As part of the agreement, DreamWorks will handle domestic distribution with Paramount handling the film internationally.
Paramount has confirmed that REQUIEM FOR A DREAM helmer Darren Aronofsky will direct the much-anticipated film version of Alan Moore's classic graphic novel THE WATCHMEN, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The long in-development project was originally set to be X-MEN writer David Hayter's first directing job, but he will step aside to let Aronofsky direct the film from his script.
Universal's spy sequel, THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (with vfx by ILM), ruled the box office for the weekend ended July 25, 2004, capturing $52.5M. That was far better than I, ROBOT's second place finish of $21.7M (with vfx by Digital Domain and Patrick Tatopoulos Design). In two weeks, the Will Smith sci-fi thriller from Fox has gathered $95.1M.
U.S. anime producer/distributor ADV Films will premiere its first animated feature, LADY DEATH: THE MOTION Picture on July 23, 2004 at 9:00 pm at the Comic-Con 2004 in San Diego in room 5AB. Director Andrew Orjuela and creator Brian Pulido, among other members of the LADY DEATH creative team, are scheduled to be on hand at the screening Friday night and will also be signing autographs and talking to fans at the ADV booth at 1:00 pm July 22-24 at the convention.
VIZ, LLC has formally announced the North American theatrical premiere of INUYASHA: AFFECTIONS TOUCHING ACROSS TIME, the first feature film of the widely popular anime fantasy series released in the United States. INUYASHA: AFFECTIONS TOUCHING ACROSS TIME will debut at Comic-Con 2004, to be held July 22-25 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. INUYASHA airs on Cartoon Network.
Universal Pictures has made it official; it has purchased the feature film rights to vicar G.P. Taylor bestseller SHADOWMANCER for a seven-digit sum, reports VARIETY. Fortitude Films originally bought the rights to the book in March for $1 million against $6.2 million for the book and will produce the film. Universal will cover Fortitude's original deal, which included 15% of merchandising. Fortitude's Steve Delaportas and Lisa Marie Butkiewicz will produce.
Sony has picked up the rights to animated feature MONSTER HOUSE from DreamWorks, reports VARIETY. Sony plans to make this its second "performance-capture" feature after the release of POLAR EXPRESS this fall. Robert Zemeckis' ImageMovers will produce. MONSTER will begin production at Sony Pictures Imageworks on Aug. 23. DreamWorks partner Steven Spielberg will remain an exec producer of the film.
Based on a pitch by Gil Kenan, who is set to direct the film, the story follows three children who discover that a neighbor's house is a living monster.
Sylvain Chomet, the director the acclaimed THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE, is set to direct the animated feature film DESPEREAUX for Universal, reports VARIETY. Larger Than Life Prods' Gary Ross and Allison Thomas, who produced SEABISCUIT, will produce the film.
There is a Superman! Warner Bros. has announced that its next film in the SUPERMAN franchise will be directed by X-MEN helmer Bryan Singer, reports VARIETY. Previously rumored directors include BATMAN's Tim Burton, RUSH HOUR's Brett Ratner, CHARLIE'S ANGELS' McG and BAD BOYS' Michael Bay. In addition, Bryan Singer will work from a new script from X2 writers Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris. Warner hopes to start filming by the end of the year.
Paramount Pictures has confirmed that director Joe Carnahan has left the director's chair for its MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3, reports VARIETY. The reason given was the Hollywood cliché of creative differences. However, Paramount is still determined to starting filming next month at Berlin's Babelsberg Studios.
Keyframe Digital Prods., a digital animation and visual effects studio based in Ontario, Canada, has completed all vfx work for the feature CRAZY CANUCKS, produced by Alberta Film Works. Keyframe was the exclusive effects house for the movie that will air on CTV this fall.
After years of trying to get the project off the ground, George Romero has found financing for the fourth installment in this DEAD franchise, which includes NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, DAWN OF THE DAY and DAY OF THE DEAD, reports VARIETY. LAND OF THE DEAD will be co-funded by Atmosphere Ent. and Paris-based Wild Bunch. The film will go before cameras in October in Winnipeg or Pittsburgh. Atmosphere chairman/ceo Mark Canton and president Bernie Goldmann will produce, along with Romero's partner Peter Grunwald of Romero Grunwald Prods. Atmosphere's Steve Barnett is exec producer.
New Line Cinema has obtained the feature film rights for the role-playing game VAMPIRE: THE REQUIEM from White Wolf Publishing, reports VARIETY. Adam Fields is set to produce the film, which the studio hopes will launch a franchise. Luke Ryan and Magnus Kim will shepherd the film for the studio.
The game's world follows the night-to-night life of modern vampires. The game will be published Aug. 30 and is a follow-up to 1991's VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE, which was turned into an Activision videogame and the 1996 FOX TV series KINDRED: THE EMBRACED.
Warner Bros. Pictures is developing a cinematic rendition of the Old English, 8th Century poem, BEOWULF, reports VARIETY. Matthew Sand will write the film, which will be produced by Ed McDonnell's Maple Shade Films. Maple Shade director of development exec Dan Stone brought the script to the company. Lynn Harris and David Ortiz will oversee the film for Warner.
Stone said, "Matthew has a unique take on the source material, incorporating elements of the art and mythology of the time period."
Reese Witherspoon (SWEET HOME ALABAMA) and Kristin Chenoweth (SESAME STREET) are in negotiations to share the title role in Walt Disney Animation's RAPUNZEL UNBRAIDED, reports VARIETY. Witherspoon would provide the speaking voice for the character with Chenoweth handling the singing. The in-development CG project is being directed by Glen Keane and produced by Phil Lofaro. Sarah Parriott and Josie McGibbon wrote the screenplay, which gives a new twist on the classic fairy tale.
Svengali Visual Effects has contributed visual effects to GARDEN STATE, Zach Braffs (NBCs SCRUBS) directorial debut that premiered to critical acclaim at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Scheduled for release on July 30, 2004 by Fox Searchlight, GARDEN STATE is a dark, romantic comedy set in New Jersey.
Sony's SPIDER-MAN 2 spun its way to the top of the box office weekend, ended July 12, 2004, catching another $46M in its web with a cume of $257M. The sequel (with vfx from Sony Pictures Imageworks and Radium Inc.) streaked past the $200M milestone in a record eight days, the $250M mark in a record 12 days and is fast approaching the $300M benchmark.