Search form

Category: Films

Series Headline News

Wolfgang Petersen Casts Spell on Xanth Fantasy Series

Warner Bros. has snatched up the rights to the fantasy novel series XANTH to be produced by TROY helmer Wolfgang Petersen along with TROY writer David Benioff and Diana Rathbun of Petersen's Radiant Prods, reports VARIETY. Radiant's Samuel Dickerman will exec produce.

A SPELL FOR CHAMELEON is the first book in the series, which chronicles a boy named Bink in the world of Xanth, where all the inhabitants must possess magical powers or face banishment.

Headline News

Zemeckis Brings Polar Express Style to Measle and the Wrathmonk

Warner Bros. and Robert Zemeckis' ImageMovers have bought the film rights to Ian Ogilvy's yet-to-be-published three book series, MEASLE AND THE WRATHMONK with the intention to turn the story into a "performance capture" animated film like Zemeckis' POLAR EXPRESS, reports VARIETY. Zemeckis, along with ImageMovers partner Jack Rapke and president Bennett Schneir, made the purchase.

Production Headline News

Production Begins on Mexican Toon, Maya

This week marks the start of production on the Spanish-language feature MAYA, produced by actor Bruno Bichir and pop singer Emmanuel for Escarabajo Producciones. Ricardo Arnaiz will direct the $3 million budgeted film with animation supervision being handled by Mike Kunkel (TARZAN, HERCULES). Music will be supervised by Antonio Zepeda. Lending voice talent will be actor Andres Bustamante (TV's TELETON). The film is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2005.

Headline News

Indian Actress Nagma to Direct English 3D Film

Aashish Chananas Media Factor has teamed up with Indian actress Nagma to produce a 3D animated children's feature. Nagma will direct and create the story for the film, which will be in English. Nagma is multi-dashed celeb in India dabbling in fashion, the Art of Living spiritual movement as well as politics.

Film Headline News

Sony Pictures Classics To Bring Flying Daggers to States

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the North American rights to Zhang Yimou's HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS, which is screening out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Yimou's last film the highly anticipated Academy-Award nominated HERO will be released by Miramax in the U.S. August 20, 2004.

Sony Pictures Classics in a statement said, "This is our sixth film from a filmmaker regarded as one of the very best in the world. It is an honor and thrill for us to be working once again both with Zhang Yimou and our good friend, his producer, Bill Kong."

Headline News

Universal Options Graphic Novel Tommysaurus Rex

Universal Pictures has scooped up Doug TenNapel's graphic novel TOMMYSAURUS REX for $1 million. The Image Comics title will hit stores in the summer. As part of the deal, TenNapel would adapt the novel for the studio if they ask. BRUCE ALMIGHTY director Tom Shadyac will develop the project.

Headline News

Death, Jr. Game Gets Movie Option

Sony-based production and management company Circle of Confusion have announced a new movie development deal with Backbone Ent. for its upcoming game, DEATH, JR. The agreement also includes a comic book. The film is being developed as a potential directing vehicle for director Larry Guterman (CATS & DOGS, SON OF THE MASK) under his producing shingle Orange Grove Ent. Guterman's partner Holly Rawlinson will co-produce the feature with Circle of Confusion.

Film Headline News

Pirates 2 & 3 To Hit Theaters in 2006

Disney announced its plans for the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise at the North American Theatre Owners annual meeting. Production will been on booth the second and third film soon with both film arriving in theaters in 2006 released six months apart. has also confirmed that Johnny Depp's wish of Rolling Stones' Keith Richards playing Captain Jack Sparrow's dad in the sequel will come true. Depp has long said that he modeled his performance on the legendary rocker.

Disney Headline News

Disney's Jungle Cruise Goes From Ride to Feature

Despite previous reports that the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels would be the last amusement park ride turned feature film, The Walt Disney Co. has announced that it plans to turn the Jungle Cruise ride into an adventure flick, reported HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. "It's completely inspired by and relates to the ride and will contain elements of the ride in the story," producer David Hoberman said.

Film Headline News

Shrek 3 & 4 in the Works

DreamWorks principle Jeffrey Katzenberg announced at the Cannes Film Festival that work has already begun on SHREK 3 and SHREK 4. Katzenberg said that after the first film the studio worked out the story of Shrek and the unanswered question left open in the original. SHREK 2, which hits theaters on May 19, 2004, answers the issues surrounding how Princess Fiona was left in the tower and how her parents would react to Shrek as her husband.

Film Headline News

Dimension Brings Tekken to Big Screen

Dimension Films have signed on to distribute in the U.S. Gaga Communications and Crystal Sky Group's film adaptation of Namco's popular videogame franchise TEKKEN, reports VARIETY. In addition, Charles Stone (DRUMLINE) has signed on to direct. The film will have a budget around $60 million. Overseeing the production for Dimension are co-presidents Andrew Rona and Brad Weston, as well as Bob Weinstein.

Books Headline News

Gaiman's Books of Magic Gets Swedish Directors

Warner Bros. Pictures has signed Swedish directors Simon Sandquist and Joel Bergvall for the film adaptation of DC Comics' BOOKS OF MAGIC, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. First published as a mini-series in 1990, the comic follows a teenager who studies magic in contemporary London. Neil Gaiman, the author of the original story and the novel, will serve as exec producer.

Studios Headline News

Hellboy II Rises at Revolution

Revolution Studios has greenlit HELLBOY II, with original film's writer and director Guillermo del Toro and producers Lawrence Gordon, Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Ent. and Lloyd Levin all returning. HELLBOY creator Mike Mignola is developing the new story with del Toro.

"HELLBOY was a tremendously successful and unique project," said Revolution Studios partner Todd Garner. "It was Guillermo's vision that brought the film to the marketplace, and we are delighted to be working with him again."

Imax Headline News

Polar Express Goes 3D for IMAX

IMAX Corp. and Warner Bros. Pictures have struck a deal where the CGI feature, THE POLAR EXPRESS will screen in IMAX 3D format day-and-date with the release of the film in conventional theaters, Nov. 19, 2004. The film will be digitally converted into IMAX 3D using both the proprietary IMAX 3D conversion process and IMAX DMR(R) (Digitally Re-mastering) technology.

Effects Headline News

Zoic's Peristere Tapped as VFX Supervisor for Serenity

Continuing a collaboration that has lasted eight years, director Joss Whedon and Zoic Studios' vfx supervisor Loni Peristere are reunited for the upcoming Universal feature SERENITY. The move marks the most ambitious feature to date for Los Angeles-based Zoic.

Comedy Headline News

A Mean Opening for Paramount's Girls

Paramount's MEAN GIRLS raked in a surprising $24.4M for the box office lead in its debut for weekend ended May 2, 2004. The teen comedy outpaced Fox's MAN ON FIRE, last week's leader powered by Denzel Washington a post 9/11 thirst for revenge, which took in $15M for a second place finish with $44.2M. Coming in third was Sony/Revolution's Jennifer Garner comedy, 13 GOING ON 30, which collected $9.8M for a cume of $35M. Debuting in fourth, fifth and sixth were Lions Gate's GODSEND, New Line's LAWS OF ATTRACTION and DreamWorks' ENVY with $6.8M, $6.7M and $6.1M, respectively.

Headline News

Jinx Graphic Novel Turns Feature at Universal

Universal Pictures is teaming with Charlize Theron's Delilah Films to turn Brian Michael Bendis' graphic novel JINX into a live-action feature, reports VARIETY. Oscar-winning Theron is set to star as well as produce along with partner Meagan Riley-Grant and Circle of Confusion partners David Engel, Lawrence Mattis and Jason Lust. The crime noir story follows a bounty hunter who teams with an accused murdered to locate millions in missing mob money. Bendis' other graphic novel titles include ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, DAREDEVIL, ULTIMATE X-MEN and POWERS, which is in development at Sony.

Film Headline News

Ryan Short to Premiere at Cannes, Annecy and SIGGRAPH

Chris Landreth's new 3D-animated short film, RYAN, will have three premieres this summer, screening at festivals in France, Canada and the U.S. The 14-minute film will have its world premiere at Cannes 43rd International Critic's Week (May 13-21, 2004). The Canadian premiere will take place at the World-wide Short Film Festival in Toronto (May 11-16). It will also screen in competition at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival (June 7-12) in France. The U.S. premiere will be at the SIGGRAPH 2004 Computer Animation Festival in Los Angeles (August 8-12).

Films Headline News

Cinema Management Group Heads to Cannes with Indie 3D Feature

Edward Noeltner, svp, international distribution and head of sales at Miramax Films, has opened Cinema Management Group LLC (CMG), a new international motion picture licensing, distribution, marketing and sales firm, which will be taking the indie 3D feature HOODWINKED: THE TRUE STORY OF RED RIDING HOOD to the Cannes Film Market. From writer/director Cory Edwards and his writer/co-directors Todd Edwards and Tony Leech, the animated comedy is in post-production with an August 2004 completion date. Maurice Kanbar, Sue Bea Montgomery, Preston Stutzman and David Lovegren produced this Kanbar Ent.

Total Headline News

Man on Fire Blazes Past Kill Bill

The Denzel Washington revenge thriller, MAN ON FIRE, outpaced the Jennifer Garner comedy, 13 GOING ON 30, at the box office for the weekend ended April 25, 2004. The Fox film grabbed $22.7M compared to Universals $21M in their debuts. Meanwhile, Miramaxs KILL BILL VOL. 2 (with vfx by K.N.B. EFX Group) slipped nearly 59% in its second week to $10.4M and a cume of $42.9M. Lions Gates THE PUNISHER (with vfx by Fantasy II Film Effects) dipped nearly 55% in its sophomore outing to finish fourth with a total of $24.1M.

Headline News

Peter Jackson Attached to Lovely Bones

After KING KONG, Peter Jackson and partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are eyeing Alice Sebold's bestselling novel, THE LOVELY BONES, reports VARIETY. Closer in tone to Jackson's HEAVENLY CREATURES than LORD OF THE RINGS, BONES tells the story of a deceased 14-year-old girl who looks down from heaven to watch her grieving family and find the person who raped and murdered her.