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Category: Films

Headline News

Ghost Rider Gets Its Blackheart

Columbia Pictures has announced that Wes Bentley (AMERICAN BEAUTY) has been cast as Blackheart in the upcoming GHOST RIDER feature, reports VARIETY. DAREDEVIL helmer Mark Steven Johnson will direct the film based on the Marvel comic, which chronicles the adventures of stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) who pacts with Mephistopheles to save his true loveís life. Blackheart is Mephistopheles's son as well as chief nemesis. Michael De Luca, Avi Arad, Gary Foster and Ari Arad are producing. Shane Salerno wrote the script with rewrites by Johnson and David S. Goyer.

Destination Headline News

Wong Embarks On Final Destination 3

New Line Cinema has secured the directing serves of James Wong for FINAL DESTINATION 3, reports PRODUCTION WEEKLY. Wong helmed the original film, which he co-wrote with Glen Morgan and Jeffrey Reddick. Based on a script by Wong and Morgan, the third installment follows high school students Wendy Christensen and Kevin Fischer as they try and stop Death from killing off the survivors of a roller coaster accident. FINAL DESTINATION 2 was directed by David R. Ellis and written by J. Mackye Gruber and Eric Bress.

Headline News

Fox Gains Darkness Book Rights

Fox 2000 has bought the film rights to U.K. author Michelle Paver's six-part children's fantasy book series CHRONICLES OF DARKNESS for Fox-based Scott Free Prods., reports VARIETY. Ridley Scott and Erin Upson are set to produce. Paver reportedly received $250,000 against $1 million for the first book, WOLF BROTHER, and is negotiating option fees for the five additional books. U.S. book rights holder HarperCollins Children's Books will release the first book in the States Feb. 15, 2005. The first book was a best seller for publishing house Orion in the U.K.

Headline News

Zemeckis, Gaiman, Avary Get Medieval with Beowulf

Director Robert Zemeckis will team up with PULP FICTION producer Roger Avary and comic legend Neil Gaiman to bring the old English poem, BEOWULF to the big screen. The film will utilize performance capture technology like Zemeckis used on POLAR EXPRESS. Zemeckis will direct the film from a script by Avary and Gaiman with Steve Bingís Shangri-La Ent. producing. Shangri-La is in negotiations with Sony Pictures Ent. to distribute all its films. Producers will include Zemeckis, Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke.

Effects Headline News

Houdini Once Again Dominates Oscar VFX Bakeoff

Reels for THE AVIATOR, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, I, ROBOT and SPIDER-MAN 2 showcased Houdini 3D software at Wednesdays Bakeoff, the competition for Oscar nomination bids among seven contenders held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Headline News

Hitchhiker’s Guide Gets Its Voice

Touchstone Pictures announced that Stephen Fry (TVs JEEVES AND WOOSTER) has been selected to lend his voice to the Guide for THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, reports BBC News. In the film directed by Garth Jennings, The Guide is the indispensable, electronic handbook that every galactic traveler needs. The film is based on Douglas Adams famed satirical sci-fi book.

Headline News

Yates Confirmed as Harry Potter 5 Director

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, January 19, 2005 at 12:00am

Warner Bros. Pictures has officially announced that British television helmer David Yates (STATE OF PLAY, THE WAY WE LIVE NOW) has been signed to direct HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. The film will be produced by David Heyman from a screenplay by Michael Goldenberg (WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, PETER PAN). Production on the film is expected to begin in England in January 2006.

Production Headline News

Stars Lend Voices to Charlotte’s Web

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, January 19, 2005 at 12:00am

Kerner Ent. has announced that Academy Award-winner Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, John Cleese, Steve Buscemi, Cedric The Entertainer, Reba McEntire, Kathy Bates, Thomas Haden Church and Andre Benjamin (Andre 3000) have joined the voice cast of the upcoming live-action/photo real CG animated feature adaptation of E.B. White's CHARLOTTE'S WEB. Jordan Kerner is producing with Gary Winick directing. The film is co-production with Paramount Pictures, Walden Media and Nickelodeon Movies. The feature is scheduled to begin production on Jan. 31, 2005 in Melbourne, Australia.

Story Headline News

Disney Finds Toy Story 3 Story

Walt Disney Feature Animation has greenlit a story for its TOY STORY 3 feature, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The premise comes from Jared Stern, a participant in Disney's feature animation story development program. Stern pitched the idea to the studio, who is keeping details quiet. It has not been decided whether Stern will write the screenplay or other writers will be brought in to craft the first non-Pixar sequel to the TOY STORY franchise.

Headline News

Jackson Digging Lovely Bones

Peter Jackson and partner Fran Walsh have purchased the film rights to the Alice Sebold novel, THE LOVELY BONES, reports VARIETY. FilmFour sold the rights to Jackson and Walsh and will remain a developing partner. Jackson, Walsh and Philippa Boyens plan to begin writing the screenplay next January. Distribution and financing will not be obtained until the script is finished. The move is to ensure that Jackson and Walsh do not have to work under a studio deadline. The film will be produced by Jackson along with Jan Blenkin, Caro Cunningham and Aimee Peyronnet.

Film Headline News

Quinta Makes First Foray into Animation

New French distribution company Quinta Distribution has made its first foray into animation with acquisition of all rights in France for Spanish feature, MIDSUMMER DREAM, reports VARIETY. Quinta plans to release the film in France with 200 prints on June 28, 2005.

THE LIVING FOREST producer Dygra produced the CGI MIDSUMMER, based on Shakespeares play. Portugal's Appia Films co-produced the film and Buena Vista Intl. will distribute the film in Spain this year. The 6 million ($7.9 million) budgeted film was directed by Dygra's Manolo Gomez and Angel de la Cruz.

Headline News

Stars Lend Voice for U.S. Steamboy Release

Anna Paquin (X-MEN), Alfred Molina (SPIDER-MAN 2), and Patrick Stewart (X-MEN, STAR TREK: NEXT GENERATION) will provide the voices for the North American dubbed version of director Katsuhiro Ôtomo's STEAMBOY, reports Sony's Screen Gems will conduct a limited release of the film in theaters starting March 18, 2005.

Headline News

Britney Spears to Star in Madonna's Animated Movie

Pop star Britney Spears has signed on to voice the lead in Madonnas animated film adaptation of the MATERIAL GIRL singers childrens book, THE ENGLISH ROSES, reports Spears will lend her voice to Binah, a young girl who is excluded by the other girls at school because of her beauty. Madonna will voice the role of the Fairy Godmother and David Bowie and Snoop Dogg with also lend their voices. Madonnas husband SNATCH-director Guy Richie will produce the film.

Million Headline News

Shimizu Returns For Second Grudge

Mandate Pictures (formerly known as Senator Intl) has announced that Takashi Shimizu will return to helm THE GRUDGE 2, reports VARIETY. Ghost House Pictures, Mandate's joint genre production label with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, will produce the film. The original American remake of the Japanese cult sensation JU-ON THE GRUDGE grossed out audiences to the tune of $110 million in the States and a global box office take of $143 million.

Series Headline News

Universal Nets Freaky Children’s Series

Universal has obtained the film rights to Darren Shan bestselling childrens book series, CIRQUE DU FREAK, reports VARIETY. Brian Helgeland is attached to write/ exec produce with Lauren Shuler Donner producing. Helgeland plans to base the first film on the first three books in the dozen-book series. Universal hopes this will be a new trilogy for them. The storys main character is named Darren Shan and follows him to an illegal freak show where he is lured into becoming a vampire's assistant in order to save his best friend's life.

Headline News

Tron Reloaded for Remake

Disney has hired scribes Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal to draft a remake screenplay for the 1982 cult classic, TRON, reports VARIETY. Brigham Taylor will supervise the new film.

For the remake the computer world will be expanded with the computer programmer will get trapped in the cyberworld of the Internet. Steven Lisberger wrote and directed to original film, which utilized cutting-edge graphics.

Headline News

Sony Resurrects Sci-Fi Script

Sony has purchased Trevor Sands sci-fi script RESURRECTION, reports VARIETY. Mosaic Media's Charles Roven and Alex Gartner are producing. Shannon Gaulding will shepherd the project for Columbia, with Gloria Fan watching over for Mosaic. The studios are quiet about the flick, which is described as an imaginative sci-fi action-adventure set in the distant future.

Sands wrote the adaptation of Martin Caidins novel, THE SIX BILLION DOLLAR MAN, for Dimension. He will also write and direct THE FOUR JACKS for producer Holly Wiersma (WONDERLAND).

Services Headline News

Eyetronics Announces 2005 Slate

Eyetronics, an international provider of high resolution scanning services and animation-ready 3D models, is coming off its most successful year yet and looks to 2005 with a prestigious slate of projects, including RACING STRIPES, ELEKTRA, the much anticipated CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, BATMAN BEGINS, THE BROTHERS GRIMM, LEGEND OF ZORRO, THE ICE PRINCESS and TRANSPORTER II. Among the recent feature films employing Eyetronics scanning services are ALEXANDER, BLADE: TRINITY, MASTER AND COMMANDER, KING ARTHUR, THE LAST SAMURAI and XXX.

Headline News

Traktor Hunts Down Siphon Sci-Fi Spec

Swedens Traktor has optioned Paul Sloans sci-fi thriller screenplay, SIPHON, reports VARIETY. Traktor will produced the flick with Bryan Brucks. Set in a futuristic world, a female detective tracks a serial killer that may not be human with a most advanced technology available.

Film Headline News

Miyazaki’s Moving Castle Gets Theatrical Release in U.S.

Buena Vista has set plans for a June 2005 release of Hayao Miyazakis highly anticipated animated feature, HOWLS MOVING CASTLE. Since its release in Japan six weeks ago, the film has garnered more than $100 million at the box office. In South Korea, the film is smashing box office records in becoming the most successful Japanese film ever in South Korea.

Headline News

Fockers Still First Family in Box Office Race

Universals MEET THE FOCKERS took first place for the first official weekend of the new year, ended Jan. 9, 2005, taking in $28.5M with an impressive three-week cume of $204.3M. Supernatural thriller WHITE NOISE, also from Universal, opened surprisingly strong in second place with $24.1M. Miramaxs THE AVIATOR (with vfx by Sony Pictures Imageworks and CaféFX) maintained its altitude at number three with $7.5M for a cume of $42.8M.

Henson Headline News

Witch’s Children Bubbles with Henson & WB

Jim Henson Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures have teamed to turn the 2001 children's book THE WITCH'S CHILDREN, written by Ursula Jones and illustrated by Russell Ayto, into a feature film, reports VARIETY. The picture book tells the tale of several witches-in-training whose magic goes awry. Scribe Aline Brosh McKenna (LAWS OF ATTRACTION) will weave the simple story into a tale of a single-mother witch who leaves her magical, but morally questionable, world to raise her kids in the suburbs.

Headline News

McG & Endgame Stay Alive with Horror Flick

McG's production firm Wonderland Sound & Vision and James Stern's Endgame Ent. are set to co-produce horror flick, STAY ALIVE, reports VARIETY. First time director/writer Brent Bell will helm the picture, which follows a group of New Orleans teens as they play a videogame that spurs the losers own death in real life. Endgame will finance the film, which will start shooting in March. Matthew Peterman. McG, Peter Schlessel and Stern will produce, with Wonderland's David Manpearl as co-producer.

Headline News

Superman’s Lois & Lex Come from Beyond the Sea

For Bryan Singers SUPERMAN, Warner Bros. has cast BEYOND THE SEA co-stars Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth as villain Lex Luthor and plucky reporter Lois Lane, respectively. Spaceys deal is locked and Bosworth is in negotiations. The summer tentpole with begin filming in Sydney on March 3, 2005. In October, newcomer Brandon Routh was cast to play the Man of Steel.