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Category: Films

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.

Headline News

Producer Steve Bing Puts $80M Into Polar Express

Independent producer Steve Bing of Shangri-La Ent. has forked over $80 million to co-finance Warner Bros. feature, POLAR EXPRESS, reports VARIETY. Bing will not take a personal producing credit on the film, but the credits will read: "a Castle Rock presentation of a Shangri-La production." Unlike gap financing that must be repaid to an investor, Bing is taking the same financial risk as Warner, who will retain distribution rights worldwide.

Movie Headline News

Clifford’s Really Big Movie Sees Wider Territory

Warner Bros. and Scholastic are taking their animated CLIFFORDS REALLY BIG MOVIE on a bigger walk to more theaters on April 23, 3004, rolling out the theatrical to 471 houses across the U.S., following the test openings in several markets in February 2004.

Headline News

Darren Aronfosky To Direct Watchmen

Darren Aronfosky is being named as the director of WATCHMEN, reports AIN'T IT COOL NEWS. The site says that Aronfosky will tackle the classic graphic novel after he finishes THE FOUNTAIN. David Hayter (X-MEN, X2: X-MEN UNITED) has written the screenplay for the film.

Headline News

Iron Man Gets X-Men Screenwriter

David Hayter (X-MEN, X2: X-MEN UNITED) has been hired to rewrite IRON MAN for New Line Cinema, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (TV's SMALLVILLE) wrote the previous draft. The Marvel comic told the story of billionaire industrialist Tony Stark, who creates an armored suit allowing him to fly and shoot repulsor rays. The comic began in the 1960s and brought Iron Man up against the Viet Cong, however the film will take place in a modern setting.

Headline News

Sky Captain Now Bound for Sept. 17

Caught in the tight web of SPIDER-MAN 2, which has been pushed up to June 30, 2004, Paramount Pictures has decided to postpone the release of SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW from June 25 to Sept. 17, which gives the experimental CG adventure more time to find its audience, according to the studio.

Headline News

Donnie Darko Returns to Theaters with New F/X

Newmarket Films has announced that it will be releasing in theaters a new director's cut of sci-fi cult favorite DONNIE DARKO, reports VARIETY. The new version will include 21 minutes of footage not in the original release and beefed up visual effects. The new cut will debut May 29 at the Seattle Film Festival then roll out in theaters slowly starting in July. The original theatrical release in 2001 only grossed $517,375, but the film has found a cult following on DVD, grossing $10 million.

Henson Headline News

MGM & Jim Henson Co. Sign Two-Year Pact

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM) and The Jim Henson Co. have signed a two-year first-look deal to produce live-action feature films. The Henson-MGM deal came together after a successful relationship working together on the hit family comedy GOOD BOY!, a live-action film produced by Jim Henson Pictures, which one of the most profitable releases for MGM in 2003.

Animation Headline News

A Scanner Darkly Gains Toon Director

Section 8 and A Thousand Words have hired Bob Sabiston as the animation director on Richard Linklater's adaptation of Philip K. Dick's sci-fi novel A SCANNER DARKLY. Sabiston also served as the animation director on Linklater's WAKING LIFE. The animator has directed such shorts as SNACK AND DRINK and ROADHEAD.

Headline News

Revenge Pays Kill Bill Vol. 2 Top Box Office

Audiences will pay to see an ass-kicking woman seek vengeance as evidenced by the $25.1M opening box office turned in by Miramaxs KILL BILL VOL. 2 to take the number one spot and best the October 2003 $22.1M opening of KILL BILL, VOL. 1. BILL 2, with vfx by K.NM.B. EFX Group, easily knocked out the competition from Marvel Studios and Lions Gates THE PUNISHER, which debuted in second place with $13.8M.

Headline News

Malkovich Hitches Ride on 'Guide to the Galaxy'

John Malkovich has been added to the cast of THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, Disney's adaptation of the Douglas Adams novel, reported THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Malkovich is set to play religious cult leader Humma Kavula, a character created by Adams exclusively for the long-in-the-making film production. The film is set to start shooting this month in London, with former commercials director Garth Jennings helming.

Headline News

Artbeats Releases New Ultra Collections at NAB 2004

Artbeats, an industry leader in royalty-free stock footage for film, video and multimedia professionals, today announced it would release its new Ultra collections at the 2004 National Assn. of Broadcasters Convention (NAB). Featuring captivating slow motion imagery, Artbeats' Ultra collections offer an entirely new perspective to fire, water and motion, and provide some of the most unique royalty-free footage available at this year's NAB.

Film Headline News

Joe Blow Short Lands Landmark Theatre Run

JOE BLOW, the latest Vinton Studios short film, directed and conceived by Emmy Award-winning director Mark Gustafson, bows at Landmark Theatres starting April 16, 2004 in New York City and LA with wider distribution to follow. The short film will run prior to the steamy drama YOUNG ADAM, starring Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton.

Headline News

Cleese & Curry Join Valiant Cast

MONTY PYTHON member John Cleese and LEGEND's devilish actor Tim Curry have joined the voice cast of Vanguard Animation's CG feature VALIANT, reported THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Cleese will play an Allied pigeon, trapped behind enemy lines. Curry will lend his voice to one of the baddies on the Falcon Brigade.

Million Headline News

Both Versions of Exorcist Prequel to Reach DVD

In a story that will never die, Morgan Creek has announced that it will release both the Paul Schrader and Renny Harlin versions of its EXORCIST prequel on DVD, reported VARIETY. Schrader was the original director on the project, but his version was not the fright fest Morgan Creek was looking for. The production house then hired Renny Harlin to punch up the film, which led to an almost entire re-shoot of the film with a revamped screenplay.

Effects Headline News

The Orphanage Tapped for 'Day After Tomorrow' FX

The Orphanage has been tapped to finish more than 45 vfx shot on Fox's THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW before it hits theaters May 28, 2004. Orphanage visual effects supervisor Remo Balcells and visual effects producer Jody Echegaray will oversee a team of 60 effects wizards, creating digital environments, character animation and particle simulations. Marc Sadeghi will serve as exec producer for Orphanage. Digital Domain and ILM are the chief fx shops on the film.

Headline News

Nexus to Provide New 3D Pink Panther Makeover

VFXWorld has confirmed that the Pink Panther will be sporting a brand new 3D animated look for the main title sequence of the upcoming live-action PINK PANTHER feature starring Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau. London-based Nexus Prods. (which produced the highly touted CATCH ME IF YOU CAN main titles) will be doing the animation honors.

In a recent interview with AWN, David DePatie, co-creator and co-copyright owner of the animated Pink Panther character, expressed concern about early CGI tests, suggesting that they made the Panther "look too round and kind of chubby."

Film Headline News

WB Announces Release Date for Harry Potter 4?

Warner Bros. has announced that HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE will be released in theaters Nov. 18, 2005, reported However, VFXWorld has learn from WB that the production team was not set a firm date for the film's release. Directed by Mike Newell (FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL), the fourth film in the popular series will go into production later this year. Unlike the other POTTER films that begin with Harry at his aunt and uncle Dursley's house, this film will kick off with Harry and friends attending the International Quidditch Cup.

Animation Headline News

Beatle McCartney Dreams of Making Disney-like Feature

Sir Paul McCartney would someday like to make a traditional Disney-like animated feature and is currently developing a story that he first wants to publish as a children's book. In fact, he told journalists, including REUTERS, that it's been his ambition since he was a Beatle back in the '60s. As part of a baby step toward achieving that goal, McCartney has produced PAUL MCCARTNEY: THE MUSIC AND ANIMATION COLLECTION, a DVD to be released through Miramax Home Ent. on April 13. The DVD contains three animated musical shorts made in collaboration with director Geoff Dunbar.

Headline News

A Passionate Resurrection at the Box Office

In its seventh week in release, Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST jumped back to number one with $15.2M, thanks to the Easter holiday weekend ended April 11, 2004. So far, the biblical epic (with vfx by Keith Vanderlaan's Captive Audience) has racked up a phenomenal $353M to place eighth on the all-time list.