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Category: Films

Universal Headline News

King Kong Principal Photography Begins

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, September 2, 2004 at 12:00am

Principal photography is set to begin in September on Peter Jacksons KING KONG. Jackson will shoot the epic action flick on location in his native New Zealand. Set to star in the Universal Pictures release is Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts (21 GRAMS), Golden Globe nominee Jack Black (SCHOOL OF ROCK) and Academy Award winner Adrien Brody (THE PIANIST).

Television Headline News

TripleTake Media Options Pen Dragon

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 1, 2004 at 12:00am

TripleTake Media has optioned the screenplay PEN DRAGON from first-time screenwriter Christopher Canole for film, television and comic book/graphic novel publishing. PEN DRAGON is the story of Leo, a teenager who obtains Leonardo Da Vinci's actual drawing set from an old illustrator by the name of Merle Lin that brings to real life anything that the pens draw.

Headline News

Theron Injured, Aeon Flux in Flux

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 1, 2004 at 12:00am

Oscar winning star of the upcoming live-action AEON FLUX feature, Charlize Theron, was injured on the set of the Paramount production, which has put the film in limbo, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The production shut down could last up to six weeks.

The ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that she was injured during a wire-fu stunt. Unit publicist Jeanmarie Carrasco said, "She sustained an injury, and we are closing down for a few weeks so that she can be 100% when she returns. She wasn't hospitalized, but I can't comment on anything specific about her injuries."

Animation Headline News

Madhouse to Animate Highlander Feature

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, September 1, 2004 at 12:00am

Davis-Panzer Prods. and Imagi Intl. have tapped TOKYO GODFATHER production house Madhouse to produce a planned HIGHLANDER animated feature. HIGHLANDER TV series head writer David Abramowitz is set to write the script. Supervising the production will be associate producers Kevin Eastman (HEAVY METAL 2000) and Joe Pearson. Peter Davis and William Panzer are set to produce, with Thomas K. Gray and Galen Walker exec producing. The film should be complete in spring 2006.

Headline News

Kill Bill 1 & 2 Combo to Hit Theaters

Quentin Tarantino has said that he plans to bring a combined version of his KILL BILL films to theaters, reports USA TODAY. Spurred by strong DVD sales, Tarantino, who owns the copyright to the full-length version of the film, hopes to have the film in theaters early next year.

"It's not just like slapping the two together," he says. "There are slight changes, and it has an intermission, like a '60s movie."

Games Headline News

Paramount Acquiring Film Rights to Midway Games' Area 51

Paramount Pictures is acquiring the worldwide film rights to Midway Games' AREA 51, an action-packed thriller videogame scheduled for release in March 2005 for PlayStation2 and Xbox.

"AREA 51 brings some of the most cutting-edge technology to the gaming world," said Christine Peters (HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS) who will be collaborating with the game developer to produce the film. "Bringing the game's riveting and suspenseful concepts to the big screen will be an exciting motion picture breakthrough."

Headline News

Mira Nair Offered Potter 5 Director’s Job

MONSOON WEDDING and VANITY FAIR director Mira Nair has offered the chance to direct, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, reports THE TIMES OF INDIA.

"I'm getting offers to direct HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. I read it over the weekend. I'm still deciding," she said. "I'm not letting all this go to my head. I'm grounded. I practice detachment, it helps me keep my balance. I'm a Dilliwalli, only an asana gets me on my head! My son Zoharan's excited. I've seen all the HARRY POTTER movies with him."

Headline News

Hero Provides Late Summer Box Office Punch

Miramaxs HERO, the dazzling Jet Li actioner, brought in a record-breaking $18M in its debut for the weekend ended Aug. 29, 2004, beating out BRING IT ON for the best end of August opening ever. And, at 2,031 theaters, it surpassed CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON to become the widest Asian release of all time.

Film Headline News

Gilliam’s Grimm Gets Bumped a Year

Famed director Terry Gilliam seems to not be able to get a flick in theaters these days. With his production of DON QUIXOTE being shut down midway, the BRAZIL helmer moved onto film THE BROTHERS GRIMM, which was originally set to reach theaters fall 2004 then it was moved to February 2005 and now Dimension Films has bumped the fantastic account of the fairy tale writers, The Brothers Grimm, to Nov. 23, 2005.

Series Headline News

Fanning to Headline Potential Alice in Wonderland Series

Ten-year-old acting phenom Dakota Fanning is in negotiations with DreamWorks to headline a series of films based on Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The screenplays have been adapted by Les Bohem, who created the Sci Fi Channels epic mini-series TAKEN, which starred Fanning. The effects heavy films will stick very close to the source material. Industry Ent. will produce the film with Mark Sourian and Keith Addis sheparding the project for DreamWorks.

Film Headline News

New Zealand Gets Into Fantasy Epic Game for Itself

Wellington-based Silverscreen Prods. and visual effects company Oktobor are forming a company with Taiwan-based Equinox Film to produce a $40 million epic fantasy based on a popular Asian legend, titled LADY WHITE SNAKE, reports THE DOMINION POST. The film will be in English and is set for release in 2008 before the Beijing Olympics.

Marvel Headline News

Marvel’s Deathlok Gets New Scribe

Paramount and Marvel Studios have hired David Self (ROAD TO PERDITION) to rewrite the screen adaptation of Marvel Comics DEATHLOK, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Stu Zicherman and Raven Metzner (ELEKTRA) wrote the first draft. The story follows everyman who becomes a test subject for a technology research lab that transforms him into a living computer. Marvel Studios' Avi Arad and Crystal Sky Prods. Steven Paul are producing. No director has been seen. DIE ANOTHER DAY helmer Lee Tamahori had long been attached to direct, but has since stepped down.

Headline News

Barnyard Rounds Up Supporting Voice Cast

Paramount Pictures has announced that Emmy Award-winning actor Danny Glover (LETHAL WEAPON), Sam Elliott (HULK) and Wanda Sykes (TVs CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM) have joined the voice cast of the CG feature, THE BARNYARD. The three new cast members will be joining Kevin James (TVs THE KING OF QUEENS) and Courteney Cox (TVs FRIENDS). The film is written, produced and directed by Steve Oedekerk (BRUCE ALMIGHTY, ACE VENTURA).

Headline News

Conran Confims Princess of Mars

Writer/director Kerry Conran (SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, opening Sept. 17, 2004), confirmed with VFXWORLD that he has committed to directing Paramount's A PRINCESS OF MARS as his sophomore project. The sci-fi action epic, scheduled for release in 2006, is based on the first book in Edgar Rice Burroughs' 11-volume series, JOHN CARTER OF MARS, which concerns an American Civil War hero that finds himself transported to Mars.

Film Headline News

Weisman Flies in to Helm Widow’s Broom

GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE director Sam Weisman has been tapped to direct WIDOW'S BROOM for Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The film is based on a book by JUMANJI and POLAR EXPRESS scribe Chris Van Allsburg, who will be adapting his book for the screen. Van Allsburg's production firm Golden Mean will produce the film along with Radar Pictures. Golden Mean partner Bill Teitler will serve as producer. Karen Rosenfelt and Julia Pistor will shepard the project for Paramount and Nickelodeon respectively. The film will go into production early 2005.

Headline News

Sony Animation Taps Barbershop Scribe for Big Nasty

Sony Pictures Animation has hired BARBERSHOP scribe Don D. Scott to pen the CGI outer space CG musical, BIG NASTY, reports VARIETY. Scott will also produce the picture through his the Bridge production house along with Sean Bailey of Live Planet. Penney Finkelman Cox and Nate Hopper will oversee the film for Sony.

Film Headline News

Will Eisner's The Spirit Coming to the Big Screen

Odd Lot Ent. and Batfilm have acquired the feature film rights to comic legend Will Eisner's THE SPIRIT. Odd Lot's Gigi Pritzker and Deborah Del Prete (THE WEDDING PLANNER) and Batfilm's Michael Uslan (BATMAN BEGINS, CATWOMAN, CONSTANTINE) will produce the film. Benjamin Melniker and Steve Maier are attached as exec producer with F.J. DeSanto and Linda McDonough as co-producers.

Team Headline News

Puppet Sex Won’t Get Team America An NC-17

Rumors on the Internet have been buzzing of late that graphic puppet sex will land SOUTH PARKs Trey Parker and Matt Stones new marionette film, TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE, an NC-17 rating from the MPAA. However, the demented duo are contractually obligated to give distributor Paramount Pictures a cut that squeaks out an R-rating, reports VARIETY. Parker and Stone are not new to debating issues with the MPAA. SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER, UNCUT also received an NC-17 at first.

Headline News

Aeon Flux Supporting Cast Announced

Valhalla Motion Pictures and MTV Films have announced the supporting cast for their live-action adaptation of Peter Chungs animated cult TV series, AEON FLUX. Joining Oscar-winning actresses Charlize Theron (MONSTER) and Frances McDormand (FARGO) will be Marton Csokas (XXX), Jonny Lee Miller (HACKERS), Sophie Okonedo (DIRTY PRETTY THINGS), Amelia Warner (QUILLS) and Caroline Chikezie (U.K. TVs THE FOOTBALLERS WIVES. The flick is scheduled for theatrical release in 2005. Paramount Pictures and Lakeshore Ent. will distribute.

Animation Headline News

Surfs Up at Sony Animation

Sony Pictures Animation has put its second CG-animated feature into production, SURFS UP, a documentary-style look at penguin surfing, co-directed by Ash Brannon (TOY STORY 2) and Chris Buck (TARZAN), slated for a 2007 release.

Unlike the buddy comedy, OPEN SEASON, directed by Jill Culton, which will have a very graphic and squash-and-stretch design, SURFS UP will contain a much more natural approach.

Animation Headline News

Red Kite Sails to Scotland with New Film Studio for Nocturna

Animation production company Red Kite makes its foray into theatrical-release animation, launching Red Kite Films with a major new feature-length film NOCTURNA. The film is a collaboration with Filmax Animation (Spain) and Animakids (France), set for theatrical release at Christmas 2006.

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