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Category: Films

Stop-motion Headline News

Wes Anderson to Direct Fantastic Mr. Fox Stop-Motion Feature

First it was Luc Bessen, now indie wunderkind Wes Anderson has moved from the live-action director's chair into more animated seating. Anderson has teamed with Revolution Studios to write and direct a stop-motion feature version of Roald Dahl's THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX, reports VARIETY. Andersons producing partner on LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU Noah Baumbach will co-pen the screenplay. Sony will distribute the flick. The book finds a crafty fox and his family under threat from three dumb, plug-ugly farmers for stealing chickens.

Headline News

Sony Lands Superman’s Return

As expected, Sony Pictures Imageworks got the SUPERMAN RETURNS gig after Warner Bros. took it away from ESC Ent., forcing it to close shop and go on hiatus, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Former Imageworks staffer Mark Stetson, who is supervising vfx for Warner Bros., was instrumental in helping Sony beat out ILM in the bidding.

Studios Headline News

Fog Rolls In At Revolution Studios

Revolution Studios is set to remake John Carpenters 1980 horror flick, THE FOG, reports VARIETY. THE CORE scribe Cooper Layne has been hired to pen the screenplay. Debra Hill and Carpenter, who wrote the original, will produce along with David Foster. Production is scheduled to begin in February. The original film was set in a Northern California coastal town where a thick fog descends and brings back the drowned seaman who died in a shipwreck 100 years prior.

Lucas Headline News

Catch Me/Terminal Scribe Given Crack at Indy 4

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, October 27, 2004 at 12:00am

With George Lucas rejecting the last script from Frank Darabont, Lucas and director Steven Spielberg have hired CATCH ME IF YOU CAN/THE TERMINAL scribe Jeff Nathanson to take a crack at penning the fourth installment of INDIANA JONES, reports VARIETY.

Headline News

Picture Mill Drips Blood in Grudge Main Titles

Picture Mill introduces the unexpected world of Japanese horror with a sequence steeped in blood and fear for director Takashi Shimizus American debut, THE GRUDGE, the unexpected horror hit from Columbia Pictures and Sam Raimis Ghost House.

Animation Headline News

Appleseed Coming to American Theaters

Geneon Ent. will be releasing the highly anticipated anime feature APPLESEED to the theaters in the U.S. Opening Jan. 14, 2005, in select cities, the film is based on the manga story by Masamune Shirow (GHOST IN THE SHELL) and directed by Shinji Aramaki (BUBBLEGUM CRISIS). APPLESEED features a groundbreaking animation style, "3D Live Anime," utilizing motion capture animation techniques. The film was released theatrically in Japan earlier this year.

Headline News

Willis Replaces Carrey in Over the Hedge

Bruce Willis is set to replace Jim Carrey as the con-artist raccoon R.J. in DreamWorks' OVER THE HEDGE, which is scheduled to arrive in theaters May 19, 2006. The animated comedy is based on Michael Fry and T. Lewis comic strip. Garry Shandling will voice the pessimistic turtle Verne. The film will follow R.J.s exploitative plans after his woodland neighborhood begins to be encroached upon by a development.

Headline News

The Grudge Takes a Bite Out of Shark Tale

Sonys Americanized horror remake of JU-ON, THE GRUDGE, toppled SHARK TALE from the top of the box office chart for the weekend ended Oct. 24, 2004, scaring up a whopping $39.1M. Meanwhile, the DreamWorks 3D-animated smash added another $14M for second place to run its impressive total to nearly $137M. Miramaxs SHALL WE DANCE moved up to third place with $8.5M and $24.4M so far. Universals FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS slipped to fourth with $6.9M and $47.2M.

Headline News

Scribes Stalked for Hunter Script

Director Uwe Boll and producer Shawn Williamson have hired screenwriters David Schneider and Drew Daywalt (STARK RAVING MAD) to write a feature adaptation of Vivendi Universals videogame, HUNTER: THE RECKONING, reports VARIETY. The story follows a group of men and women who are given supernatural to combat monsters. Pre-production is scheduled to start in February in British Columbia. Boll is not new to bringing videogames to the screen with adaptations of HOUSE OF THE DEAD, ALONE IN THE DARK and BLOODRAYNE, which just finished production.

Film Headline News

Silent Hill Coming to Theaters Via Pulp Fiction Scribe

PULP FICTION scribe Roger Avary is writing a bigscreen adaptation of the Konami videogame franchise SILENT HILL, reports VARIETY. Samuel Hadida (RESIDENT EVIL) is producing and financing the film through his Davis Film Prods. BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF helmer Christophe Gans will direct the film. Focus Features will handle sales oversees with Hadida's Metropolitan Film handling the French rights. North American rights are still available. The game follows the story of a mother and daughter who seek to discover the secrets of a seemingly abandoned town. A March production start is planned.

Imax Headline News

Spider-Man 2 A Big Draw for IMAX in India

India's two commercially operated IMAX theaters reported the highest grossing screens in the country for SPIDER-MAN 2. The film was converted using IMAX DMR (Digital Re- Mastering) technology and released in India at the same time as the conventional 35mm version. In the 10 weeks since its release, nearly 130,000 people have visited the PRASADS IMAX Theatre in Hyderabad and the Adlabs IMAX Theatre in Mumbai to experience SPIDER-MAN 2 in IMAX's format.

Headline News

Singer Officially Names His Superman

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, October 20, 2004 at 12:00am

The long search is finally over for the next Superman. Latino Review originally broke the news over the weekend and VARIETY confirmed that director Brian Singer has chosen relative unknown Brandon Routh to don the red cape. A contract has not been signed, but production hopes to start shooting in Australia in November. Routh has had roles on television series ONE LIFE TO LIVE, GILMORE GIRLS, WILL & GRACE and COLD CASE. He will make his film debut in the forthcoming thriller DEADLY.

Headline News

Regency Gets First CG Feature with Ollie the Otter

Regency Enterprises and CritterPix Studios will develop Regency's first-ever CG animated feature film, based on the children's bestseller OLLIE THE OTTER by Kelly Alan Williamson. Regency will head creative development on the picture as well as has the option of investing in CritterPix and to co-finance the movie's production. Longtime Don Bluth producing partner Gary Goldman will direct the film. JC Davis, founder of Johnny Cat Prods., will exec produce.

Story Headline News

Young Merlin Optioned for the Big Screen

UWPictures/O-Group, Ltd. and Three Kings Ent. have optioned YOUNG MERLIN, written by Robert Kahn. The coming-of-age story of Merlin, envisioned as the first chapter in a three-part franchise, is a live-action feature combined with CG. Purchase price for the film, budgeted at $25 million, was mid-six figures. The project will shoot in the U.K. at the end of the year.

Film Headline News

Miramax to Release Magic Roundabout In U.S.

Miramax has acquired the North and South American distribution rights to CG-animated feature SPRUNG! THE MAGIC ROUNDABOUT from Pathe Pictures Intl., reports VARIETY. In post-production and set to be completed in January, SPRUNG is based on the U.K. puppet TV series. Pathe will release the film in France and the U.K. in February.

Effects Headline News

CaféFX Works The Dust Factory

Independent-minded effects studio CaféFX helped design the mysterious fantasy world of Eric Small's directorial debut, THE DUST FACTORY, the indie film currently being distributed by MGM.

THE DUST FACTORY is an adventure about the love and friendship between two teenagers who help each other through a difficult time in their lives.

Headline News

Julia Roberts To Become Ant Bully

Julia Roberts has been hired to lead to voice cast for Warner Bros. and Playtones production of ANT BULLY, directed by JIMMY NEUTRON creator John Davis, reports VARIETY. The cast also includes Zach Tyler, Shirley MacLaine, Paul Giamatti, Alan Cumming, Cheri Oteri and Ricardo Montalban. Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman will produce along with Davis and his DNA Prods.

Film Headline News

Easter Egg Escapade To Debut At Hollywood Film Festival

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, October 13, 2004 at 12:00am

The animated feature THE EASTER EGG ESCAPADE will make its West Coast debut at the 8th Annual Hollywood Film Festival, on Oct. 17 at 5:00 p.m., at the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood. In attendance will be Sandra Bernhard (TVs ROSEANNE), who voices one of the main characters and will help director John Michael Williams introduce the movie. Guests will be greeted by the films seven-foot mascot, Good Gracious Grasshopper. A 30-minute Q&A with Bernhard and Williams immediately follows the screening.

Wild Headline News

Wild Brain Reveals More About Opus

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, October 13, 2004 at 12:00am

After last weeks announcement that San Francisco-based animation studio Wild Brain had inked a multi-year deal to make 3D-animated films with Miramax and Dimension Films, AWN got a few more details about OPUS, the proposed spin-off of the wisecracking penguin from Berkeley Breatheds Pulitzer Prize-winning BLOOM COUNTY strip.

Headline News

Pixel Magic VFX Drive Taxi

Pixel Magic recently took on the duty of chasing bank robber supermodels through Grand Central Station and the streets of New York for Foxs TAXI, culminating in a high-speed car duel on an elevated unfinished highway by performing more than 300 visual effects. They included greenscreen composites, CG cars, CG bridges, CG matte paintings, wire removals and assorted fixes.

Headline News

Kruger to Write John Carter of Mars for Conran

SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW director Kerry Conran has selected screenwriter Ehren Kruger (THE RING and THE RING 2) to rewrite A PRINCESS OF MARS, which has been retitled JOHN CARTER OF MARS, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER reports.

The Paramout Pictures production, based on the first installment in Edgar Rice Burroughs 11-book series, concerns a Civil War vet who is mysteriously transported to Mars, where he faces even more fantastic adventures. Alphavilles Jim Jacks and Sean Daniel are producing. Mark Protosevich turned in the previous draft.

Digital Headline News

Shark Tale Withstands Friday Night Lights

DreamWorks SHARK TALE withstood Universals football pic, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS in its second outing at the box office for the weekend ended Oct. 10, 2004. The 3D-animated gangster satire dipped 34% but still managed a hefty $31.3M for a total gross of $87.3M, while second place finisher, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, caught $20.2M worth of tickets. Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Ent. made company history by crossing the $1B threshold in both North America and overseas for the third year in a row. This puts it in the company of Disney and Warner Bros. for such a feat.

Dreamworks Headline News

DreamWorks Lands Warner as Teammate on The Island

Warner Bros. Pictures has joined DreamWorks on the production of Michael Bays THE ISLAND, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The two studios will share the cost of the $100 million film with DreamWorks distributing the film in the U.S. and Warner taking the film internationally. Caspian Tredwell-Owen wrote the original screenplay, with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci turning other drafts. Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and Ian Bryce are producing.