HELLBOY star Ron Perlman will provide the voice of Conan for CONAN: RED NAILS, the forthcoming 2D/3D animated feature film. Marg Helgenberger (TVs CSI) and James Marsden (X-MEN) round out a voice cast that also includes Clancy Brown, Cree Summer and Mark Hamill.
Universal has purchased a sci-fi pitch from Simon Kinberg (MR. AND MRS. SMITH) and Brett Matthews (THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: DARK FURY, BIONICLE: THE FEATURE), according to VARIETY. Matthews, who also wrote episodes of FIREFLY, will pen the script. Kinberg will produce with Circle of Confusions David Engel and Lawrence Mattis. Circle of Confusions Jason Lust and David Alpert will exec produce. The plot of the film is under wraps, but its described as what BOURNE IDENTITY did for action movies, this will attempt to do for sci-fi movies."
Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films have won the bidding war to purchase Ahmet Zappas upcoming children's book, THE MONSTROUS MEMOIRS OF A MIGHTY MCFEARLESS, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The deal is reportedly worth six-figures.
The book pursues the story of a brother and sister who are descendants of legendary monster hunters on their journey to a far-off castle to rescue their father. Zappa, son of rocker Frank Zappa, illustrated more than 300 monsters for the book. Random House will publish it in August 2006.
Multi-hyphenate Jon Favreau has set up his original story, NEANDERTHALS, at Sony Pictures Animation (SPA). Details and plotline of NEANDERTHALS, however, are being kept in a cave under a large boulder protected by a mastodon.
The director of the blockbuster holiday comedy ELF, the family sci-fi film ZATHURA: A SPACE ADVENTURE (due in theaters from Columbia Pictures on Nov. 11) and the upcoming JOHN CARTER OF MARS will write and produce the 3D animated feature.
The remake of John Carpenters THE FOG (with vfx by Hydraulx) debuted at number one at the box office for the weekend ended Oct. 16, 2005, with Sony/Revolution collecting $11.7M. Coming in a very close second with $11.5M was DreamWorks/Aardmans WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT. The stop-motion gem (with vfx from MPC) now has a two-week cume of $33.1M. Debuting in third place was Cameron Crowes romantic comedy, ELIZABETHTOWN (with vfx from Digital Filmworks and Flash Film Works), which offered up $10.6M to Paramount.
Universal Pictures confirmed today that James Newton Howard has replaced Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore on KING KONG.
Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, MGM and Sony Pictures Ent. have made it official Daniel Craig has been cast in the role of the legendary British secret agent, James Bond, in the highly anticipated 007 adventure thriller CASINO ROYALE.
IDT Ent. Sales will handle worldwide sales for its computer-generated animated feature film Yankee Irving, which it will begin selling at the American Film Market. The film set to be released in U.S. theaters in August 2006, by 20th Century Fox. The film features an all-star cast, including Rob Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, William H. Macy, Brian Dennehy, Mandy Patinkin, Robert Wagner, Richard Kind, Raven-Symone, Dana Reeve, and Joe Torre and introduces Jake T. Austin, 10, as the voice of the title character.
As part of a yearlong test between Warner Bros., Nippon Telegraph & Telephone and Toho Cinemas, CORPSE BRIDE will be the first film to be distributed over fiber-optic lines. The features will be in 4K format, the highest resolution currently available for digital cinema. The movies will be beamed over NTT's fiber-optic lines from WB's Burbank headquarters to three Toho theaters in Osaka and Tokyo.
IMAXs new MAGNIFICENT DESOLATION: WALKING ON THE MOON 3D takes viewers back to the United States lunar landings, using the high res, large-screen 3D format for a compelling lunar experience.
Behind the scenes, the format posed challenges for visual effects providers Digital Dimension and Sassoon Film Design. The large screen necessitated a 4K resolution, and the 3D process required that separate images be processed for left and right eyes.
While Aardman Animation studios in Bristol, England, was tragically engulfed in flames today, destroying its entire history, its latest stop motion feature, WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT debuted at the top of the U.S. box office for the weekend ended Oct. 9, 2005. The DreamWorks release (with vfx from MPC) posted $16M.
Rogue Pictures, Universal's NYC-based genre unit, has teamed with L.A.-based Crystal Sky Pictures to produce DOOMSDAY, the next film from DOG SOLDIERS writer-director Neil Marshall, reports VARIETY. This is the first project greenlit from Rogues new president of production Andrew Rona. The film is a futuristic action thriller with political overtones, set in northern England and Scotland. Rogue will hold worldwide rights to the film, which they hope to get into production next spring in the U.K.
Twentieth Century Fox has tapped Shawn Levy and his 21 Laps Ent. to produce the live-action/CG feature, A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM. The deal will see Levy direct the picture as part of a two-year, nonexclusive, first-look production pact with the studio.
Paramount announced that ELF and ZATHURA director Jon Favreau has been hired to direct the film adaptation of JOHN CARTER OF MARS, reports the trades. Previously, SKY CAPTAIN helmer Kerry Conran was attached to direct after Robert Rodriguez had to step down from the production after he quit the Directors Guild. Exec producer Harry Knowles said on his website Aint It Cool News that Conran left the film to work on another pulp sci-fi project that he was more passionate about.
The finishing touches were completed on Warner Bros. DUMA during digital intermediate (DI) timing sessions with director Carroll Ballard (THE BLACK STALLION, FLY AWAY HOME) at LaserPacific in Hollywood. DUMA is an adventure story that revolves around the relationship between a boy and an orphaned cheetah rescued in the wilds of Africa.
Movie audiences are in for a double treat as DreamWorks bundles up an animated short featuring the adorable penguins from MADAGASCAR to play with the new movie, WALLACE AND GROMIT: CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT, opening in theaters today (Oct. 5, 2005) in the U.S. The penguins star in DreamWorks Animations, A CHRISTMAS CAPER, directed by Gary Trousdale.
Columbia Pictures has tapped INDEPENDENCE DAY director Roland Emmerich to direct 10,000 B.C., a prehistoric epic that depicts tribal life at the dawn of modern man, according to the trades. This film is the first under Emmerich's production deal with Columbia, which he signed in April.
John Orloff (HBO's BAND OF BROTHERS) is writing a new draft of the script, which is based on an idea that Emmerich forged a decade ago. Emmerich and Harald Kloser wrote the original screenplay.
Director Tony Scott has left Touchstone Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer thriller DÉJÀ VU, reports VARIETY. Scotts spokesman states that the move is due to logistical and scheduling problems that were created by Hurricane Katrinas destruction of New Orleans, the films key location. Filming was set to begin today (Oct. 5, 2005).
Vanguard Films has announced that they have acquired the feature comedy GNOMES!, written by Micah Herman and Kyle Newman. The high concept plot centers on a boy who discovers that the garden gnomes in his backyard are actually alive. When the boy starts to suspect that his mom's new suitor is a gnome-eating troll, the boy enlists the gnomes' help and all sorts of trouble ensues. Herman and Newman are slated to direct the project.
Bungie, creator of the HALO game, has announced that Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh have joined the film adaptation of the game as exec producers. In addition, WETA will be fabricating Covenant weapons, building life-sized Forerunner structures and handling live-action/CG integration for the project. Universals Mary Parent and Scott Stuber are producing.
Fox Animation has hired Matthew Weiss to pen an feature script based on the Emily the Strange character created by Rob Reger, reports VARIETY. The live-action feature will contain some animation.
IMAX Corp. and Warner Bros. Pictures announced that HAPPY FEET, the animated musical comedy about a tap-dancing Emperor Penguin and his adventures in the Antarctic, will be released domestically in IMAX 3D simultaneous with the film's 2D premiere in conventional theaters on Nov. 17, 2006. The film is directed by George Miller (the BABE films and the MAD MAX trilogy), with an all-star ensemble cast, featuring the voices of Nicole Kidman, Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Hugh Jackman and Brittany Murphy.
NewTek Inc. announced that Zoic Studios relied on the award-winning LightWave 3D as a key tool in producing visual effects shots for Universal Pictures SERENITY, directed by Joss Whedon film. Zoic produced about 220 shots for the film, and for many of these LightWave was used to model, texture, animate, light and render the 3D elements. Of those assets that were created in other 3D applications, many were subsequently rendered in LightWave.
For the second consecutive week, Buena Vistas FLIGHTPLAN (with vfx Lola Visual Effects and Peerless Camera Co.) led the box office for the weekend ended Oct. 2, 2005, bringing in $14.8M for a total of $45.9M. Debuting in second place was Universals SERENITY (with vfx from Zoic and Rhythm + Hues, among others), with a less than stellar $10.086M. TIM BURTONS CORPSE BRIDE, the stop motion feature with vfx from MPC, fell to third place with $10.033M. The Warner Bros. release now totals $33.1M.