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Category: Films

Animation Headline News

Fantastic Films New Thru the Moebius Strip Rep

Fantastic Films Intl. is the new rep for the 3D CGI feature, THRU THE MOEBIUS STRIP, reports DAILY VARIETY. The feature, started in France, was ultimately produced by Shanghai animation studio GDC Entertainment.

German-owned Senator Intl. originally repped the film at the American Film Market in February 2004. Los Angeles-based Fantastic, now handles worldwide rights.

Headline News

Hanks to Star in The Da Vinci Code

Tom Hanks will play famed symbologist Robert Langdon in Columbia Pictures upcoming film adaptation based on Dan Browns best-selling thriller THE DA VINCI CODE, slated for release May 19, 2006. Ron Howard will direct from a script by Akiva Goldsman, who previously collaborated on Oscar-winner A BEAUTIFUL MIND. Brian Grazer and John Calley will produce. Presumably vfx, with lots of potential for virtual environments, would be handled by Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Game Headline News

Game Creator To Adapt Oz for Bruckheimer

Uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer has optioned the videogame series OZ as well as tapped creator American McGee to adapt the film script, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Bruckheimer has put in place a trilogy deal with Walt Disney Co. based on the property, which serves as a prequel to the classic L. Frank Baum book, THE WIZARD OF OZ.

McGee will pen the first films script and outline two sequels. McGee and writer Camden Joy have already completed an 500-page illustrated novelization of the game, which Warner Books will publish.

Marvel Headline News

Nick Cassavetes to Direct Iron Man

New Line Cinema and Marvel Studios have signed Nick Cassavetes (THE NOTEBOOK, JOHN Q) to direct the highly-anticipated big screen adaptation of IRON MAN. The film is scheduled to be a 2006 tentpole release. The project, which is being produced by Marvel Studios' ceo Avi Arad and Angry Films' Don Murphy, is based on a script by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, and David Hayter. The studios will begin casting immediately.

Total Headline News

Disney Thankful for November Box Office

With NATIONAL TREASURE and THE INCREDIBLES taking first and second place in the Thanksgiving Holiday box office ended Nov. 28, 2004, The Walt Disney Co. becomes the first studio to reap such an honor. In fact, the entire month of November belonged to the House of Mouse, as both films dominated the top of the chart also a record.

Imax Headline News

Robots to Receive IMAX Release March 11

Hot on the heels of its record-breaking 3D launch of THE POLAR EXPRESS, IMAX has struck a deal with Twentieth Century Fox to release Blue Skys ROBOTS in the DMR (Digital Re-mastering) large-format process. Chris Wedges 3D-animated follow-up to his ICE AGE hit opens March 11, 2005.

Million Headline News

Howl's Moving Castle Leads Animation Box Office Overseas

Animation master Hayao Miyazaki' continues his box office success in his home country of Japan with the record breaking debut of his new feature, HOWLS MOVING CASTLE, reports VARIETY. The film made $14.3 million on 448 screens last weekend, accounting for 72% of the territory's entire box office. It is expected that a third of Japans population will see the film. The film had the third highest debut, behind the first two HARRY POTTER films.

Live-action Headline News

Cameron Confirmed Next Film As Live-Action Anime Remake

Director James Cameron (TITANIC and TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY) confirmed on NPR (National Public Radio) that his next directing gig will be on the live-action adaptation of Yukito Kishiro's BATTLE ANGEL ALITA.

"We're in pre-production right now on a project called BATTLE ANGEL, which is something I've been working on for several years and we're just, we're finishing up the shooting draft right now. We've been designing, it's a big science fiction film and a couple things that will be interesting about this project," he says in the interview.

Imax Headline News

IMAX 3D Polar Express Continues Record Run

Despite its failure to catch on at the dominant box office, THE POLAR EXPRESS has clearly been a boon for IMAX, as the large-format companys maiden 3D feature grossed approximately $2,050,000 over the weekend, following last weekends record $2.1M gross. Playing on 60 screens in North America, the movie registered a noteworthy estimated per screen average of $34,000 for the period ended Nov. 21, 2004, and has now grossed a total of almost $6 million in only 11 days in IMAX theaters.

Total Headline News

National Treasure and SpongeBob Overtake The Incredibles

Two newcomers bested THE INCREDIBLES for the weekend ended Nov. 21, 2004: Buena Vistas Jerry Bruckheimer actioner, NATIONAL TREASURE, which tallied $35.1M and Paramount/Nickelodeons THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE, which soaked up a terrific $32M. So much for the demise of 2D animation.

Meanwhile, Disney/Pixars THE INCREDIBLES brought in another $26.5M for a third-place finish and a hefty $177.5M in three weeks.

Film Headline News

Harry 5 Gets New Director

British director David Yates has been hired by Warner Bros. to helm HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, reports VARIETY. Yates only has one big screen film under his belt in 1998s THE TICHBORNE CLAIMANT. He is best known for his TV work, which includes THE WAY WE LIVE NOW and miniseries STATE OF PLAY. The fifth film is the mega-franchise is set to start filming in late 2005/early 2006 and arrive in theaters summer 2007.

Headline News

Shrek 2’s Puss in Boots Get Own Feature

Writers Ed Decter and John Strauss (THE LIZZIE MAGUIRE MOVIE) have been hired by DreamWorks to pen an animated feature spin-off for the Puss in Boots character from SHREK 2, reports VARIETY. Voiced by Antonio Banderas, the character stole most of its scenes in the uber-hit sequel. DreamWorks has not made a decision whether the film will be a theatrical or direct-to-video release.

Film Headline News

Bourne Supremacy Director Takes on Watchmen

With Darren Aronofsky having left the film to work on his pet sci-fi project THE FOUNTAIN, Revolution Studios has hired THE BOURNE SUPREMACY director Paul Greengrass to helm the adaptation of the classic graphic novel, THE WATCHMEN, reports AINT IT COOL NEWS. Lloyd Levin and Larry Gordon are producing the film, which is scheduled to hit theaters summer 2006.

Film Headline News

Raimi to Remake Evil Dead

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, November 18, 2004 at 12:00am

Director Sam Raimi and original producing partners Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell have announced that they will produce a remake of the cult hit THE EVIL DEAD, reports VARIETY. Raimis Ghost House Pictures, the joint venture of Raimi, Tapert and Senator Intl., will produce the film. Senator Intl. will finance the film and retain the worldwide rights. Evp of motion pictures Nathan Kahane will oversee the project. Ghost House is looking for a director to reinvent the series before a new screenplay is written.

Headline News

Shrek Scribe Tackles Lightning Thief

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, November 18, 2004 at 12:00am

Fox 2000 Pictures has hired SHREK writer Joe Stillman to adapt Rick Riordans childrens book, PERCY JACKSON AND THE LIGHTNING THIEF, reports VARIETY. Maverick Films' Guy Oseary is producing the film.

The story chronicles the 12-year-old demigod son of Poseidon, who ventures out into present-day America to rescue his mother, return Zeus' stolen lightning bolt and prevent a civil war among the gods.

Film Headline News

Wachowskis Develop V for Vendetta

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, November 18, 2004 at 12:00am

MATRIX creators Andy and Larry Wachowski and Joel Silver will produce a film adaptation of Alan Moore's futuristic graphic novel V FOR VENDETTA, reports VARIETY. MATRIX first assistant director James McTeigue is in negotiations with Warner Bros. to make his directing debut on the film.

Taking place in an alternate future, in which Germany wins World War II and Great Britain becomes a fascist state, a terrorist freedom fighter named V begins a violent guerilla war to destroy totalitarianism. A young woman he rescues from the secret police joins his cause.

Animation Headline News

DreamVision Studios Announces 3D Animation Biopic

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 17, 2004 at 12:00am

DreamVision Motion Pictures and Television has announced the production of the 3D animated musical ANNA, which will premiere the "DreamVision Animation" label.

Based upon the highly anticipated forthcoming book UNSHAKABLE, written by Paula Felps, the film chronicles the true events that began on December 23, 2002, and now affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of children on the other side of the world.

Headline News

Nick Joins Live-Action/CG Charlotte’s Web Team

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 17, 2004 at 12:00am

Nick Films will team with Kerner Ent. as a producer on Paramount's live-action/CG version of E.B. White's CHARLOTTE'S WEB, reports VARIETY. Paramount is also in talks with NARNIA-producer Walden Media to join as a co-financer and producer. Gary Winick will direct the film, which is set to start filming in January. ERIN BROCKOVICH scribe Susannah Grant wrote the initial script followed by Karey Kirkpatrick (CHICKEN RUN) doing revisions.

Headline News

New Writer Assigned to Harry Potter 5

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, November 17, 2004 at 12:00am

With the scribe of the first four HARRY POTTER films leaving to direct his own project, Warner Bros. has hired Michael Goldenberg (PETER PAN) to adapt the fifth installment of the series, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The film is slated to begin filming in late 2005 or early 2006 and is set for a summer 2007 release. Goldenberg most recently adapted WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, which Spike Jonze will direct. He also wrote CONTACT and wrote/directed BED OF ROSES.

Million Headline News

Polar Express Sets Opening IMAX Record

THE POLAR EXPRESS has set an opening weekend record for a Hollywood film released in Imax Corp.'s giant-screen format, reports REUTERS. Co-ceo Brad Wechsler said the film grossed $2.1 million over the weekend in 59 North American Imax theaters with a total gross of $3 million since its Wednesday debut.

Disney Headline News

Disney Moves Ahead on Toy Story 3

Walt Disney Studios is moving full steam ahead on a second sequel to TOY STORY, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Disney is setting up a digital studio in Glendale, California, to produce the film without the participation of original producer Pixar. David Stainton, president of Walt Disney Feature Animation, is heading up the project along with Andrew Millstein, who headed the company's defunct Orlando animation facility. The Mouse House is courting 3D animation and visual effects wizards from other studios to come and work on the film.

Imax Headline News

The Incredibles Holds Off The Polar Express

With only a 28% dropoff in its second weekend, Disney/Pixars THE INCREDIBLES continued its box office assault for the period ended Nov. 14, 2004. The 3D-animated superhero homage tallied $50.2M on its way to $143.2M, which sent Pixar stock soaring to a record $90 a share on Monday.

Headline News

Double Negative Captures Lonely London for Bridget Jones Sequel

London-based vfx house, Double Negative, developed a series of CG shots for BRIDGET JONES: THE END OF REASON, opening Nov. 12, 2004, including one of the films pivotal sequences: The Lonely People. Alex Hope, co-founder, Double Negative, said: For both of these shots, the brief was to very subtly push the limits of realism to create an effect that bordered upon fantasy.

Story Headline News

Another Philip K. Dick Story Cinematically Golden

Revolution Studios has announced that Nicolas Cage will star and Lee Tamahori will direct the action thriller NEXT, based on sci-fi author Philip K. Dicks THE GOLDEN MAN, reports VARIETY. TOTAL RECALL scribe Gary Goldman optioned the story and wrote the screenplay on spec, taking the finished tome to Saturn. The film should start filming next summer.

Cage and Saturn Films partner Norm Golightly will produce. Goldman will exec produce, along with Jason Koornick, who owns the rights to Dick's short story. Derek Dauchy will head up the project for the studio.