The latest James Bond adventure in the longest running film franchise, BOND 22 (a working title), has commenced principal photography at Pinewood Studios in London. Daniel Craig (CASINO ROYALE) reprises his role as agent 007. Marc Forster (THE KITE RUNNER) has signed on to direct the franchise's first direct sequel. Kevin Tod Haug, who has collaborated previously with Forster on THE KITE RUNNER, STRANGER THAN FICTION and FINDING NEVERLAND, is visual effects designer.
Geographical Region: South America
Commercial and music video director Ruben Fleischer is in talks to helm Columbia Pictures' horror comedy ZOMBIELAND, reports VARIETY.
Penned by Rhett Reese-Paul Wernick, the story follows the world's most scared man as he finds the courage to lead a group of survivors when zombies take over the world.
Pariah Films' Gavin Polone is producing.
The studio hopes to start production in April.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse, now famous for his role as McLovin in SUPERBAD, has joined the cast of Columbia's YEAR ONE, which is being produced by SUPERBAD's Judd Apatow, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Fellow thespians in talks to join the cast include Oliver Platt, David Cross, Vinnie Jones and Juno Temple.
Starring Jack Black and Michael Cera (JUNO, SUPERBAD), the biblical era comedy's plot is being kept secret. Written by Harold Ramis, Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, the film will be directed by Ramis as well.
Sundance Institute announced today the program of short films selected to screen at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. This year the Festival Short Film Program comprises 83 short films representing 17 countries from 5,107 submissions, from U.S. and international filmmakers. Submissions grew by more than 15% over last year. The 2008 Sundance Film Festival runs Jan. 17-27, 2008, with screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah.
The animated shorts include:
THE ADVENTURES OF BAXTER & MCGUIRE: "The Boss" by Mike Blum
Jacquelyn Martino, a renowned researcher and graduate from MIT, was recently selected to chair SIGGRAPH 2008, the 35th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. With the theme Evolve, SIGGRAPH returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center. The conference will take place Aug. 11-15, with the exhibition occurring Aug. 12-14.
CBS Films has optioned the supernatural high school novel BEASTLY, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
Set in the modern day, the book tells the tale of a teacher who is cursed by a student, which turns him into a hairy beast. Alex Flinn wrote the book, which HarperTeen published this past fall.
With the writers strike still in full swing, the project has no screenwriter, but the studio hopes to have the film ready for winter 2009.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: RAZOR UNRATED EXTENDED EDITION, arrives in stores today (Dec. 4) from Universal Studios Home Ent. ($26.98).
THE BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: RAZOR UNRATED EXTENDED EDITION DVD contains an extended version of the two-hour broadcast event on SCI FI that includes all-new characters and more action and vfx than any previous episode in the popular series, as well as behind-the-scenes interviews with the series' creators.
Koji Yamamura's FRANZ KAFKA'S A COUNTRY DOCTOR has won the Grand Prize at this year's I Castelli Animati festival in Rome. The other winners were:
* Special Jury Prize: MADAME TUTLI-PUTLI, Chris Lavis, Maciek Szczerbovski, Canada* Best First Work: FOG-NIEBLA, Emilio Ramos, Mexico* Best European Film: MARATHON, Kaspar Jancis, Estonia* Best Non-Narrative Film: BRUISED (BLAUWBLAUW), Sandy Claes, Daan Wampers, Belgium; WITH MY QUANTUM STROKE (MEET MIJN KVANTORSLAG), Pieter Vanluffelen, Belgium
Studio B Prods. has completed deals with Knowledge Network and SCN, two Canadian educational TV networks, for the animated short CLANCY WITH THE PUCK. Both broadcasters will air the short in high rotation, beginning Dec. 1, 2007. In addition, leading independent Canadian publisher Raincoast Books has shipped the hardcover picture book of the same name, which is packaged with a DVD of the film, into Canada and the U.S.
SplutterFish has launched Brazil r/s version 2.0. Brazil r/s v2 provides fast speed and performance and offers a natural, accessible workflow. In addition, SplutterFish also announced the immediate availability of its first Professional-Edition beta version (2.1 Pro-Beta), which introduces even more new features, and is available exclusively to Brazil r/s v2 Professional Edition clients.
Viacom's MTV Networks Argentina has appointed Juan Frontini Creative Director of MTV Latin America. The appointment is part of MTV Networks Latin America's strategy to regionalize and expand its programming and production operations locally. Based in Buenos Aires, Frontini will report to Sean Saylor, Vice President of Creative for MTV and VH1 Latin America, based in Miami Florida.
Steven Spielberg's CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (with landmark vfx supervised by Doug Trumbull) arrives Nov. 13 on Blu-ray Disc as CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND: 30TH ANNIVERSARY ULTIMATE EDITION (Sony Pictures Home Ent., $49.95). There is also a standard DVD set that retails for $39.95.
The Weinstein Co. has picked up the U.S., U.K. and Australia rights to KILL BULJO, a Norwegian spoof of KILL BILL, VARIETY reports. The $250,000 feature has become an unexpected international hit and has been sold in Japan, Poland, Turkey, Germany, Thailand, the Benelux countries, France, Brazil, Israel, Romania, South Africa, Russia, the Baltic countries, Spain, Bulgaria and Portugal.
Weinstein will most likely release the film direct-to-DVD.
Tommy Wirkola co-wrote, co-produced and directed the film with a group of his friends, via Yellow Bastard Prods.
Zumbakamera has launched a new chapter in its Flash webseries BENDITO MACHINE, which coincides with the debut of the website www.benditomachine.com.
The website will include an online t-shirt store with exclusive designs from the show and free download sections. New chapters of the series will premiere every two to three months until the ten-episode season is complete.
Scott Free Prods. has tapped Josh Lucas (POSEIDON) to headline TELL-TALE, a contemporary spin on Edgar Allan Poe's THE TELL-TALE HEART, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Michael Cuesta will direct the psychological thriller.
The loosely inspired adaptation will find Lucas as a single father, who, after having a heart transplant, is compelled to find the killer of the donor before he is murdered himself.
Time Warner Inc. has announced the election of Jeffrey L. Bewkes as CEO of Time Warner Inc., effective January 1, 2008. Bewkes, who currently serves as president and COO, will retain the title of president. He will succeed Richard D. Parsons, who will remain as chairman of the board.
Leading Chinese online game developer Perfect World Co., Ltd. today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Indonesia's PT. Lyto Datarindo Fortuna ("LYTO") to license the company's PERFECT WORLD II game in Indonesia.
PERFECT WORLD II is a large-scale 3D MMORPG that was first launched in China in November, 2006. Since then the game has been licensed to companies in eleven countries and regions, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Brazil and the Philippines.
From Argentina to Mexico, and everywhere in between, Sesame Workshop content, through the PLAZA SESAMO (Spanish) and VILA SESAMO (Portuguese) brands, now covers 100% of Latin America on pay and terrestrial television.
Entity FX seamlessly leverages digital vfx to support a young man's journey away from civilization in search of himself in INTO THE WILD (Paramount Vantage), directed by Sean Penn.
ZODIAC screenwriter James Vanderbilt has been hired to write the script for SPIDER-MAN 4, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Laura Ziskin is returning to produce the Columbia Pictures film. No deals have been made with director Sam Raimi and stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst.
Though the plot is being kept secret, word is that this installment will include fewer villains and plotlines than SPIDER-MAN 3, which many critics complained was bloated.
France's Marathon Media has concluded several new deals for its leading kids shows MONSTER BUSTER CLUB, FAMOUS FIVE ON THE CASE and TOTALLY SPIES, reports C21 MEDIA.
MONSTER BUSTER CLUB (52x56), which was pre-sold to Super RTL in Germany, has been picked up by RTVE (Spain), RTV (Slovenia), RTE (Ireland), LNK (Lithuania), Arabic network MBC, Radio Canada and Denmark's TV2. Additional negotiations are in progress in the U.S., Italy, Turkey, Singapore, South Africa and Brazil.
VFX artist/director Toby Wilkins has been hired to helm THE GRUDGE 3, VARIETY reports. Ghost House Pictures hopes to begin production in January.
Wilkins is making his feature film debut on ContentFilm's horror film SPLINTER. He previously worked with Ghost House on a series of shorts called TALES OF THE GRUDGE, which were made to promote THE GRUDGE 2, and were directed by Takashi Shimizu, creator of the original JU-ON series on which THE GRUDGE franchise is based.
Illusion Studios, one of the leading entertainment companies in Argentina, has adopted Storyboard Pro and Harmony from Toon Boom Animation to produce its animation projects digitally.
Imagi Animation Studios has appointed Ken Tsumura to the newly created position of EVP of Production, Hong Kong. Tsumura will assume oversight of all production and studio operations at Imagi headquarters in Chai Wan (Hong Kong) and will report jointly to Francis Kao, Co-CEO & Chief Creative Officer and Douglas Glen, Co-CEO.
300 screenwriter Michael Gordon has been hired by Sony to pen a screen adaptation of the popular online game EVERQUEST, according to VARIETY. Avi Arad, the former head of Marvel Studios, is the producer. Columbia Pictures has had the project in development for years, however Gordon is the first writer tapped to put his spin on the material.