Brent Forrester (TVs THE SIMPSONS, KING OF THE HILL) has netted himself a writing gig on Nickelodeon Movies, Atmosphere Ent. MM and the Gotham Groups THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Atmosphere's Mark Canton, Nickelodeon's Julia Pistor and Gotham ceo Ellen Goldsmith-Vein will produce. The film will be based on the five-part series written by Holly Black and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi, who will be serving as exec producers on the project.
Devils Due comics AFTERMATH line has been licensed for film, TV and videogames to producers Adrian Askarieh (SPY-HUNTER) and Daniel Alter, reports VARIETY. The comic titles include BLADE OF KUMORI, a modern female samurai; DEFEX, college students who alter their DNA; BREAKDOWN, the private life of the world's first superhero; and INFANTRY, the survivor of a military experiment.
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).
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.
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."
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.
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."
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."
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."
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.
IMAX is seeing increased success with its digitally remastering technology IMAX DMR on the release of SPIDER-MAN 2: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE as well as a growing presence in China.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.