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Category: Films

Disney Headline News

Jason Lee is Underdog

Have no fear, Jason Lee is here. MY NAME IS EARL star Lee has signed on to voice for the title character of Underdog for Spyglass Ent. and Walt Disney Pictures' live-action adaptation of the classic 1960s cartoon.

UNDERDOG chronicles the adventures of a humble dog named Shoeshine Boy who turned into the superhero Underdog, who spoke in rhyme. For the film, Shoeshine Boy is adopted by a 12-year-old boy and uses his superpower to protect his love, Polly Purebred, and the citizens of Capitol City from the evil Simon Barsinister, who will be played by Peter Dinklage.

Million Headline News

Mexican Toon Marks Domestic Milestone

Mexican toon UNA PELICULA DE HUEVOS grossed almost 30 million pesos ($2.7 million) this past weekend, making it the second-largest opening for a local film ever behind THE CRIMES OF FATHER AMARO.

Videocine, who released the picture Thursday, April 20, 2006, on 435 screens, will increase the screens to 460 this week.

The film tells the story of a group of talking eggs, trying to live in the human world.

Headline News

Silent Hill Scares Off Box Office Competition

SILENT HILL from Sony claimed the number one position at the weekend box office as it debuted with $20.1M for the period ended April 23, 2006. Moviegoers will still in the mood for horror as Dimension's SCARY MOVIE 4 dropped slightly to the second spot with $16.8 M for a two-week cume of $67.5M.

Live-action Headline News

Star Blazers Anime Going Live-Action

Benderspink and producer Josh C. Kline are set to adapt the classic Japanese anime STAR BLAZERS into a live-action feature, according to the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Known as SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO in Japan, the 1970s franchise spun off three television series, five animated features and a host of merchandise. Voyager Ent. brought the series to the U.S. in the early 1980s.

Headline News

Alien Writer Develops They Bite

ALIEN and TOTAL RECALL writer Dan O'Bannon, former Paramount exec Brian Witten and producer Rob Gallagher are developing sci-fi thriller THEY BITE, reports VARIETY. O'Bannon is set to write and direct. Project is set to go into production this year.

While at Paramount as an svp, Witten oversaw THE LONGEST YARD, FOUR BROTHERS and MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III. He previously worked as a svp at New Line.

Effects Headline News

Look Effects Expands 3D Department for ‘Southland Tales’

Look Effects was awarded the complete visual effects contract for Richard Kellys (DONNIE DARKO, DOMINO) upcoming feature SOUTHLAND TALES. The project is slated for release this fall and stars Sean William Scott, Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Sarah Michelle Geller, among others.

SOUTHLAND TALES is one of only 19 films competing for the coveted Palm DOr at this years Cannes Film Festival.

Production Headline News

Rogue Pictures Acquires Distribution Rights To Driver

Rogue Pictures has acquired distribution rights to Constantin Film and Impact Pictures' production of the movie version of the best-selling videogame DRIVER. Academy Award winner Roger Avary is scripting, and will direct.

Producers on the project are Impact's Jeremy Bolt and Paul W.S. Anderson and Constantin's Bernd Eichinger and Robert Kulzer. Rogue will hold worldwide distribution rights to the title, excluding Germany, Austria, and German-speaking Switzerland, which will be handled by Constantin Film. Foreign sales will be handled by Focus Features Intl.

Star Headline News

J.J. Abrams to Direct Next Star Trek Feature

Paramount has tapped J.J. Abrams to produce, write and direct the 11th STAR TREK feature, scheduled for a 2008 release, reports VARIETY. Damon L Lindelof and Bryan Burk, Abrams' producing team from LOST, also will produce.

Abrams will co-write the script with MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE III scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. The story will focus on the early days of James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, including their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and first outer space mission.

Digital Headline News

Warner Bros. Supports Christie/AIX Digital Cinema Funding Plan

Access Integrated Technologies Inc. has received the commitment of Warner Bros. Studios to release future movies in digital format as part of Christie/AIX's digital cinema nationwide rollout. The sixth studio backing the plan, Warner Bros. will also pay Christie/AIX virtual print fees for each movie booked helping fund exhibitor adoption of digital cinema equipment.

Studios Headline News

Production Begins on Next

Filming has begun in Los Angeles on Revolution Studios' NEXT, a science fiction thriller starring Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore and Jessica Biel. NEXT, which is being directed by Lee Tamahori (XXX: STATE OF THE UNION and DIE ANOTHER DAY), will be released domestically by Columbia Pictures in 2007. IEG Virtual Studios, an affiliate of Initial Ent. Group, holds the international distribution rights.

Version Headline News

Sgt. Rock Finds Writer

John Cox, who has projects in development at the USA Network and ESPN, has been tapped by by Joel Silver for Warner Bros. Pictures to write SGT. ROCK, an adaptation of DC Comics' World War II adventure comic, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Sgt. Frank Rock was the leader of his infantry unit called Easy Company. He first appeared in a 1959 issue of OUR ARMY AT WAR. As the characters popularity rose, the comic was renamed SGT. ROCK in 1977 and ran until 1988.

Imax Headline News

Goblet of Fire Breaks 2-D IMAX Record

IMAX Corp. and Warner Bros. Pictures announced that HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE: The IMAX Experience has grossed more than $20 million, becoming the first digitally re-mastered 2D IMAX release to reach the milestone. The IMAX release has now grossed a total of $20,033,758 million worldwide for a cumulative per screen average of $188,998. The film has shown strong legs since debuting in IMAX theatres, setting numerous records for a Hollywood simultaneous release, including biggest three-day opening weekend and highest per screen average.

Headline News

Scary Easter Record

SCARY MOVIE 4 debuted with the best Easter weekend opening ever $40.2M, for the period ended April 16, 2006. Its also the best opening for the Weinstein Co., which released under its Dimension banner. Meanwhile, Fox/Blue Skys 3D-animated ICE AGE: THE MELTDOWN dropped to second place in its third week, picking up another $20M for a cume of $147.2M. Overseas, THE MELTDOWN has garnered another $250M.

Disney Headline News

Rain Dampens Apocalypto Summer Release

Disney has moved Mel Gibson's Mayan epic APOCALYPTO from late summer to Dec. 8., reports various media outlets. Some say the chief reason is that extensive rain at the South American locations have created production delays that make a summer release unattainable.

The pushback also gives Disney an opportunity to push the film is a clearer field and for award recognition.

Animation Headline News

India’s Celluloid Dreams Announces CG Life After Death

Mumbai-based film firm Celluloid Dreams announced its involvement the CG feature tentatively titled LIFE AFTER DEATH, reports ANIMATION 'XPRESS.

The project is an outsourced assignment, for which Celluloid Dreams will provide the pre-production, including story, script, storyboards, dialogue, voices, background score and character design. The animation will be done by Chennai-based Red Octane.

Celluloid Dreams is set to complete its part by end of July.

Headline News

Three Actors Take A Ride on Water Horse

Emily Watson, Ben Chaplin and Alex Etel (MILLIONS) have signed onto THE WATER HORSE, based on the Dick King Smith novel, reports the trades. Jay Russell is set to direct the film, which is scheduled to start filming in early May in Scotland and New Zealand.

The co-production between Walden Media, Beacon Pictures and Revolution Studios chronicles the tale of a lonely boy in Scotland (Etel) who discovers a mysterious egg on the shore of a lake. When the egg hatches, a mythical sea monster of Scottish legend called the water horse" emerges.

Film Headline News

Fox to Release IDT Ent. & Vanguard’s Space Chimps

Vanguard Animation and IDT Ent. have announced the launch of production of their CG-animated feature film, SPACE CHIMPS, which will be distributed domestically through IDT Ent.s multi-picture deal with Twentieth Century Fox. The comedy follows the galactic misadventures of a hapless descendant of the first chimps in space.

Film Headline News

Tentacle Sex Coming to Live-Action Via Wicked Manga Adaptation

Germany's Stallion Film will adapt notorious Japanese manga WICKED CITY into a live-action English-language film, according to VARIETY. SPAWN director Mark Dippe will helm, co-write and co-produce. Hideyuki Kikuchis bestselling manga was adapted into a cult anime film, which introduced demon tentacle sex into the lexicon.

Johnny Hartmann will also co-adapt the story, which tells the tale of demon beasts from a parallel dimension and the secret resistance that fights to prevent the apocalypse.

Headline News

DreamWorks Animation Gets Ready to Rock with Punk Farm

DreamWorks Animation (DWA) announced that they have just acquired the rights to develop and produce the computer-animated feature PUNK FARM, inspired by Jarrett J. Krosoczkas popular childrens book of the same name. The story was developed by producer Kevin Messick and writer Jim Hecht, the latter of whom most recently co-wrote the animated hit ICE AGE: THE MELTDOWN.

Pitch Headline News

Elf Scribe Pens Sci-Fi Zoo

Universal has caged the rights to the sci-fi comedy pitch ZOO from ELF scribe David Berenbaum, reports VARIETY. Berenbaum developed the pitch from a treatment by Ehren Kruger, who will produce with Daniel Bobker through their Bobker/Kruger company.

The plot is being kept on the down low.

Berenbaums other writing credits include an adaptation of kids' fantasy series THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES, Revolution's upcoming ZOOM'S ACADEMY and Disney's THE HAUNTED MANSION.