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Category: Films

Headline News

Viggo Mortensen to Lead A History of Violence

Viggo Mortensen has been tapped to star in the New Line Cinema adaptation of graphic novel, A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, reports VARIETY. David Cronenberg is set to direct from a script by Josh Olson (INFESTED). The film set to go before cameras in the fall.

Based on the Paradox Press graphic novel by John Wagner, Mortensen will play a small town diner owner who lives peacefully with his lawyer wife and children, until a random act of violence propels him to hero status in press and brings him to the unwanted attention of thugs who believe he is a former colleague on the lam.

Story Headline News

Disney Gets Déjà Vu From Jerry Bruckheimer

Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films have bought Terry Rossio (SHREK, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN) and Bill Marsilii's romantic thriller script DEJA VU for several million dollars, reports VARIETY. Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group president Nina Jacobson will oversee movie with evp production Jason Reed. Rossio and his writing partner Ted Elliott will exec produce with Jerry Bruckheimer Films' Mike Stenson and Chad Oman, who originally brought the script to Bruckheimer.

Live-action Headline News

Jetsons Live-Action Feature a Go

When talking with CATWOMAN producer Denise Di Novi, IGN Filmforce discovered that her next project will be a live-action adaptation of the classic cartoon, THE JETSONS. Di Novi said they will be working off a script by Sam Harper (CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, JUST MARRIED, ROOKIE OF THE YEAR). Adam Shankman (BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE) is set to direct the film for Warner Bros.

Animation Headline News

Vanguard Acquires Zabajaba Jungle

Vanguard Animation has secured the rights to William Steig's THE ZABAJABA JUNGLE from the author's estate, reports VARIETY. Published in 1991, the book chronicles the story of a young boy who journeys through a jungle to find his kidnapped parents.

Vanguard Animation is in production on VALIANT, with Ewan McGregor, for Disney and HAPPILY N'EVER AFTER, starring Sigourney Weaver, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar. The studio also has SPACE CHIMPS in development.

Headline News

Kevin James Joins CG Feature Barnyard

Kevin James (THE KING OF QUEENS) will voice the lead character, Otis in the upcoming Nick Movies feature, THE BARNYARD to be distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film is being written, produced and directed by Steve Oedekerk (BRUCE ALMIGHTY, ACE VENTURA). BARNYARD takes a humorous look at what really happens in a barnyard when the farmer is away, as Otis and his misfit friends enjoy playing tricks on humans, singing, dancing and partying. Paul Marshal serves as producer with exec producing by Julia Pistor and Albie Hecht.

Headline News

"13 Going on 30" Director to Helm Live-Action Charlotte's Web

Paramount has named 13 GOING ON 30 helmer Gary Winick as director of a live-action/CG version of E.B. White's classic all-time best selling children's tale, CHARLOTTE'S WEB, reports VARIETY. Jordan Kerner (SNOW DOGS) will produce the film from a screenplay first drafted by Susannah Grant (ERIN BROCKOVICH) then revised by Karey Kirkpatrick (CHICKEN RUN, CURIOUS GEORGE).

Universal Headline News

Universal Buys Rights to DC Graphic Novel The Psycho

Universal Pictures has secured the screen rights for the DC graphic novel THE PSYCHO, reports VARIETY. The studio has hired Jeffrey Nachmanoff (THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW) to pen the script. Based on a three-issue series by James Hudnall and Dan Brereton, the story is an action-thriller about a government agent who reveals a technology used to genetically transforms people into superhumans.

Headline News

Woo To Direct Clancy's Rainbow Six

Busy director John Woo has signed on to direct Paramount feature adaptation of Tom Clancy's RAINBOW SIX, reports VARIETY. The long in-development pic was originally brought to Paramount by Artists Management Group's Michael Ovitz in 1999. Michael Shiffer, Bill Wisher, Art Monterastelli, Frank Capello and John Enbom have all taken cracks at the script over the years. The story follows former CIA agent John Clark, who leaves the agency to set up an U.K.-based multinational organization that fights terrorism.

Live-action Headline News

Tartakovsky To Write & Helm Live-Action Astroboy

Sony Pictures Entertainment has signed SAMURAI JACK and DEXTER'S LABORATORY creator Genndy Tartakovsky to write and direct a live-action version of the anime classic ASTROBOY, reports VARIETY. The long in-development picture will be produced by Don Murphy of Angryfilms, and Lisa Henson and Kristine Belson of Jim Henson Pictures.

Dreamworks Headline News

Shrek 3 Script Details Announced

With DreamWorks founder Jeffery Katzenberg previously talking up more SHREK sequels at Cannes, DreamWorks has announced that HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS scribes Peter Seaman and Jeffrey Price will write the screenplay for SHREK 3. In addition, Jon Zack (PERFECT SCORE) has been hired as a script consultant.

Headline News

Shrek 2 and Tomorrow Rule Memorial Box Office

DreamWorks' SHREK 2 and Fox's THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW made quite a one-two punch over the Memorial Day box office period ended May 31, 2004, propelling the best four-day take in the history of the biz. DreamWorks' SHREK 2 grabbed $95.5M (the best second-week tally ever) and a staggering $260.3M to date.

Film Headline News

Cinesite Wins High Profile VFX Slate

Cinesite (Europe) Ltd. has been awarded major visual effects and model contracts for a large slate of high profile films scheduled for release at the end of 2004 and 2005, including CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (Warner Bros.), HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE (Warner Bros.), HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (Disney) and ALFIE (Paramount Pictures).

Effects Headline News

Discreet's Systems Help Create Deep Freeze for Day After Tomorrow

Discreet announced that its 3ds max professional animation, modeling and rendering application and flame visual effects system were used to create seamless CGI for Fox's THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, which opens May 28.

Trailer Headline News

Full Polar Express Trailer Coming June 1st

The full trailer to one of the most debated "animated" (director Robert Zemeckis doesn't like to call it that) films of the year, POLAR EXPRESS will go online June 1, 2004. It will make its theatrical debut in front of Warner Bros.' HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN, one June 4. The trailer will be available online as a special feature of The Daily Prophet on the Harry Potter site, www.harrypotter.com.

Films Headline News

Dygra Films Sells CG Dream to Medusa

Dygra Films (THE LIVING FOREST) has announced that it has sold the Italian rights to its 3D animated feature, MIDSUMMER DREAM to Medusa, reports VARIETY. This deal adds to deal with ABC-Cinemien for Benelux, Front Row for the Middle East, Noah for Israel, Media Source for China, Summerstorm for Hong Kong and Taiwan and Box Office for Thailand. Spanish international sales company Lumina Films acquired overseas sales rights outside Spain and Portugal last fall.

Team Headline News

Zoic Provides a Big CG Chill to Day After Tomorrow

Zoic Studios helped create the illusion of cold via 47 shots in which visible breath is seen in the Fox feature THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, which opens May 28. Working in decidedly warmer temperatures then they were replicating, Zoic's team animated for three months perfecting the extensive breath scenes needed in a frozen New York. The shots were created using Maya, combustion and flame.

Zoic credits:

VFX producer: Raoul Y. BologniniVFX super: Rocco Passionino

Time Headline News

Eternal Sunshine Director Becomes Master of Space and Time

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND helmer Michel Gondry has been named as the director of Rudy Rucker's sci-fi thriller MASTER OF SPACE AND TIME, reports VARIETY. As well, Jack Black (SHALLOW HAL) has been tapped to star. French production company Midi Minuit is in negotiations to bring the project to DreamWorks for Walter Parkes and Laurie McDonald (GLADIATOR) to produce. Gondry worked with Midi Minuit on music videos before be crossed over into features. The story follows two mad scientists who discover a way to control reality.

Headline News

Harrison Ford Godsend for Cameron-Produced Sci-Fi Pic

With the next INDIANA JONES flick put on the back burners, Harrison Ford has signed on to star in outer space thriller GODSPEED, which will be produced by James Cameron via his Lightstorm Ent., reports VARIETY. The film is set to use the same 3D technology that Cameron used on his documentary GHOST OF THE ABYSS. Joining Cameron in the producer's chair will be Lightstorm's Rae Sanchini and Jon Landau.

Film Headline News

Penn To Script Spy-Hunter

X2 writer Zak Penn is negotiating to script Universal Pictures' SPY-HUNTER feature, reports VARIETY. Recently, the studio announced that action superstar John Woo would direct the film. Set to star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the film is an adaptation of the long-running Midway videogame franchise, which features a spy in a suped sports car set out to defeat a cartel seeking world domination. Chuck Gordon and Adrian Askarieh with Woo and partner Terrence Chang of Lion Rock will produce.

Series Headline News

About a Boy Helmer Gets Dark Materials to Work With

New Line Cinema has hired ABOUT A BOY director Chris Weitz to helm the film version of Philip Pullman's award-winning fantasy book series, HIS DARK MATERIALS, reports VARIETY. Tom Stoppard (BRAZIL) wrote the adaptation of the first novel THE GOLDEN COMPASS. The series chronicles two kids in parallel universes who battle shape-shifting creatures, witches and armored polar bears. New Line production president Toby Emmerich will oversee the film.

Film Headline News

ESC & Stan Winston Join Superman

Even though the next SUPERMAN feature still lacks a headliner, Warner Bros. has assigned the picture's f/x work to ESC Ent, with Stan Winston consulting on the design of a prototype Superman's suit. Kim Libreri will serve as visual effects supervisor on the film, which hopes to go before cameras early next year. The film is being scheduled for a summer 2006 release. CHARLIE'S ANGELS helmer McG will direct the flick from a script by ALIAS creator J.J. Abrams.

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