SPY KIDS director Robert Rodriguez has signed on to helm a feature version of Edgar Rice Burroughs' sci-fi classic, A PRINCESS OF MARS, for Paramount Pictures, reported VARIETY. The film will be produced by Alphaville Prods. and Rodriguez's Troublemaker Studios. Alphaville's Sean Daniel and Jim Jacks, along with Rodriguez Troublemaker's Elizabeth Avellan, will produce the project, which is set to begin production early next year. The film will be based on the first book in the 11-novel JOHN CARTER OF MARS series. THE CELL screenwriter Mark Protosevich is penning the script.
Category: Visual Effects
The Game Developers Conference 2004 (GDC), held March 22-26 in San Jose, California, has updated its Visual Arts Track lineup, which is designed "to take art and animation in new directions." Sessions are focused on intermediate and advanced artists and are expanded in length to walk attendees step-by- step through the latest tools and technologies.
Keynotes:"From Visual Anti-Establishmentarianism to Ubiquity and Back"John GaetaVisual effects supervisor for the feature films THE MATRIX, THE MATRIX RELOADED, AND THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS
After three successful years rhinofx, the New York visual effects studio, has launched a new division offering 3D previsualization. Having ventured into visual effects projects for film, television and video games, rhinofx is doubling its workspace in their New York midtown office building. A larger workforce and more artist stations are in place and previs services are being ramped up to form the new division called rhinofx previz.
Digital Artist Agency (DAA) has signed THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST visual effects supervisor Ted Rae to feature, television and commercial projects.
In addition to his work in Italy on the Mel Gibson religious epic that raked in a heavenly $125M in its first five days, Rae also served as the film's second unit director and second unit dp. Rae was additionally responsible for vfx design, realtime motion control, miniature photography, CGI and digital compositing.
The Walt Disney Studios has entered into an agreement with Walden Media to co-finance and distribute the long-awaited motion picture THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, the first book published in C.S. Lewis' famed series. SHREK-helmer Andrew Adamson will direct the live-action film, which is due out Christmas 2005. As part of deal, the two companies have left open an option for future films in the seven-book series.
Lions Gate Ent. has been granted film rights to develop, produce and distribute theatrical films based upon Marvel properties -- IRON FIST and BLACK WIDOW. Marvel and Lions Gate will share equally in certain revenues derived from the properties, with Lions Gate funding development, production and distribution and Marvel handling all merchandising in connection with the films. The companies have also announced their plans to begin developing THE PUNISHER II.
Kodak has released two new film stocks that incorporate the companys advanced VISION2 color negative film technology, adding 100- and 200-speed, ultra-fine grain color negative films to the product line.
Robert Rodriguez (SPY KIDS franchise, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO) has signed on to direct the screen adaptation of Frank Miller's classic crime saga, SIN CITY. The feature will be based on the three graphic novels SIN CITY, THAT YELLOW BASTARD and THE BIG FAT KILL. Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellan will produce the project through their Troublemaker Studios. Andrew Rona and Brad Weston, co-presidents of Dimension, will oversee the project for the studio.
Steven B. Cohen, a pioneer in digital technologies used to edit and screen feature films, has joined Ascent Media Creative Services in the newly created post of vp of feature film services. In his new role, Cohen will develop leading edge digital services for use in film production; including digital dailies, location and studio screening rooms, digital cinema previews and the digital intermediate process.
Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST exceeded all projections, grabbing a whopping $26,556,573 on Wednesday, nailing the biggest opening day gross for a movie released outside of summer and holiday seasons, even subtracting the $3M from private church group screenings on Monday and Tuesday that were lumped in by indie distributor Newmarket.
As February comes to a close, so does the awards season, with the Academy Awards taking place on Sunday, the 29th, thanks to leap year. Will it be the momentous coronation of RETURN OF THE KING, the final breathtaking installment of Peter Jackson's ambitious LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy? That's the prognosis.
Daybreak Prods' Chuck Gordon and Prime Universe Prods' Adrian Askarieh have gained the feature rights to Jason Henderson comicbook series SWORD OF DRACULA from Image Comics, reported Icv2.com. Gordon's credits include the DIE HARD movies and Askarieh is producing of the forthcoming SPY HUNTER, based on the classic computer game. No director, writer or cast has been announced for the project yet.
Every studio is looking for its own HARRY POTTER series and New Line is putting its hopes in German children's fantasy tale, INKHEART. VARIETY reported that after a lengthy negotiation process, New Line has obtained the rights to develop author Cornelia Funke's book into a feature franchise. This deal will extend to any future books in what is planned to be a trilogy.
Screen Gems and Lakeshore Ent. have announced they will start production on UNDERWORLD 2 in fall 2004, reported VARIETY. Stars Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman are expected to return as the vampire and werewolf in love. Director Len Wiseman will return with original scriptwriter Danny McBride, scheduled to turn in a screenplay by April. Wiseman and McBride sold the original spec script to Screen Gems, which was given a budget of $24 million and went on to gross $51 million in the U.S.
RTzen announced the arrival of RT/shader, a visual shader, editing tool for production artists, technical artists and programmers. RTZen believes it represents the next milestone in realtime hardware shader development, since artists return to the role of primary author of shaders for realtime applications. RT/shader, which will officially launch at GDC for $1,995, uses a patent-pending technology to automatically create high-level shader language code while the user assembles the shader from standard visual components such as texture, reflection and brightness.
Project Dogwaffle, the award-winning paint software program, which recently launched v.2, has now announced a 2.0b patch with more speed, mouse caching, new plug-ins and bug fixes. The patch requires Dogwaffle 2.0 already installed on your PC and checks for its validity.
It is a free patch. The size is about 1.25 MB.
Go to www.thebest3d.com/dogwaffle/freebies/2dot0b.html for downloading instructions.
German firm Boll KG, lead by producer/director Uwe Boll, has picked up the rights to bring another game, FAR CRY, to the big screen, reported HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The company adapted HOUSE OF THE DEAD in 2003 and is in post-production on ALONE IN THE DARK with BLOODRAYNE and HUNTER: THE RECKONING in development for 2005. FAR CRY is a first person shooter game from Germany's Crytek. The picture is budgeted at $25 million and should start filming next year in a tropical setting. Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer, who adapted ALONE, will write the script.
Ascent Media is launching a new set of services that allow advertising agencies to work with the world's best post-production talent-without leaving their hometown. UP Sessions enables Ascent Media clients to participate in telecine sessions, and other picture critical finishing work, from remote sites in realtime while interacting with the artists performing the work. UP Sessions encompasses three different products that facilitate virtual collaboration: UP Satellite, UP Fiber and UP Web.
Not content with his theatrical 3D experiment, Robert Rodriguez has fine-tuned SPY KIDS 3-D - GAME OVER for DVD (Walt Disney Home Video, $29.99), which streets on Feb. 24, 2004, making it even more dynamic in the home theater. Thanks to James Cameron's revolutionary 3D camera that he developed for GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS and his upcoming feature, Rodriguez was able to utilize more 3D effects than he originally intended.
Universal will be releasing DR. SEUSS' THE CAT IN THE HAT, based on the classic children's book, on DVD and VHS March 16, 2004. The pricing for the release is $26.98 SRP/$19.95 MAP for DVD and $24.98 SRP/$15.95 MAP for VHS. The film was directed by MEN IN BLACK production designer Bo Welch and produced by THE GRINCH producer Brian Grazer.
Interactive DVD exclusives include:
With the future of the DAREDEVIL franchise in the dark, Fox and Regency Enterprises are moving ahead with the production of ELEKTRA with negotiations beginning with director Rob Bowman, reported VARIETY. Jennifer Garner has already signed on to reprise her role as the Greek assassin. DAREDEVIL helmer Mark Steven Johnson along with his Horseshoe Bay partner Gary Foster will be producing the film. Marvel's patron saint of production Avi Arad will also be producing. Bowman previously directed the feature X-FILES film and REIGN OF FIRE.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING took home four honors, including Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Motion Picture, at the second annual VES Awards held last night at a black-tie gala at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award to filmmaker George Lucas by Academy Award-winning director James Cameron. SMALLVILLE had two big wins as did PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL and THE MATRIX RELOADED.
Miramax has signed indie king Kevin Smith (CLERKS) to write and direct a feature film version of THE GREEN HORNET, reported VARIETY. The script should be finished by late summer and the studio hopes to have the film ready as a summer tentpole in 2005. Universal had long been developing the film until it sold the rights to Miramax in 2002 for $3 million.