British director David Yates has been hired by Warner Bros. to helm HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, reports VARIETY. Yates only has one big screen film under his belt in 1998s THE TICHBORNE CLAIMANT. He is best known for his TV work, which includes THE WAY WE LIVE NOW and miniseries STATE OF PLAY. The fifth film is the mega-franchise is set to start filming in late 2005/early 2006 and arrive in theaters summer 2007.
Category: Visual Effects
With Darren Aronofsky having left the film to work on his pet sci-fi project THE FOUNTAIN, Revolution Studios has hired THE BOURNE SUPREMACY director Paul Greengrass to helm the adaptation of the classic graphic novel, THE WATCHMEN, reports AINT IT COOL NEWS. Lloyd Levin and Larry Gordon are producing the film, which is scheduled to hit theaters summer 2006.
Director Sam Raimi and original producing partners Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell have announced that they will produce a remake of the cult hit THE EVIL DEAD, reports VARIETY. Raimis Ghost House Pictures, the joint venture of Raimi, Tapert and Senator Intl., will produce the film. Senator Intl. will finance the film and retain the worldwide rights. Evp of motion pictures Nathan Kahane will oversee the project. Ghost House is looking for a director to reinvent the series before a new screenplay is written.
Fox 2000 Pictures has hired SHREK writer Joe Stillman to adapt Rick Riordans childrens book, PERCY JACKSON AND THE LIGHTNING THIEF, reports VARIETY. Maverick Films' Guy Oseary is producing the film.
The story chronicles the 12-year-old demigod son of Poseidon, who ventures out into present-day America to rescue his mother, return Zeus' stolen lightning bolt and prevent a civil war among the gods.
MATRIX creators Andy and Larry Wachowski and Joel Silver will produce a film adaptation of Alan Moore's futuristic graphic novel V FOR VENDETTA, reports VARIETY. MATRIX first assistant director James McTeigue is in negotiations with Warner Bros. to make his directing debut on the film.
Taking place in an alternate future, in which Germany wins World War II and Great Britain becomes a fascist state, a terrorist freedom fighter named V begins a violent guerilla war to destroy totalitarianism. A young woman he rescues from the secret police joins his cause.
Nick Films will team with Kerner Ent. as a producer on Paramount's live-action/CG version of E.B. White's CHARLOTTE'S WEB, reports VARIETY. Paramount is also in talks with NARNIA-producer Walden Media to join as a co-financer and producer. Gary Winick will direct the film, which is set to start filming in January. ERIN BROCKOVICH scribe Susannah Grant wrote the initial script followed by Karey Kirkpatrick (CHICKEN RUN) doing revisions.
With the scribe of the first four HARRY POTTER films leaving to direct his own project, Warner Bros. has hired Michael Goldenberg (PETER PAN) to adapt the fifth installment of the series, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The film is slated to begin filming in late 2005 or early 2006 and is set for a summer 2007 release. Goldenberg most recently adapted WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, which Spike Jonze will direct. He also wrote CONTACT and wrote/directed BED OF ROSES.
With all of the fascinating superhero movies in 2004, VFXWORLD asked maven Danny Fingeroth to explore the post-9/11 terrorist vibe as well as the role of CGI. As always, his analysis is lively and thoughtful.
On November 16, 2004, ADV Films will release the first volume of the new expanded and updated FARSCAPE: STARBURST EDITION. The new collection includes documentaries on the series, new audio commentaries with the cast and crew and behind the scenes footage.
Alias MotionBuilder 6 is now available to customers on maintenance. Alias MotionBuilder 6 software will be available to the public in late November. Alias will notify MotionBuilder Pro and Standard customers eligible to receive MotionBuilder 6 with instructions on how to acquire the latest release.
Under the new leadership of exec director Eric Roth, The Visual Effects Society (VES) is looking to the film industry to beef up its star power in announcing the Honorary Committee for the 2005 VES Awards being held Feb. 16 at the Hollywood Palladium. Chaired by George Lucas, the committee includes Peter Jackson, John Lasseter, James Cameron, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, Peter Ellenshaw, Roland Emmerich, Ken Ralston, Richard Taylor, Stan Winston, Dennis Muren, Ed Zwick, Doug Trumbull, John Swallow, Paula Wagner, Danny DeVito, Samuel Jackson and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Sci Fi Channel announced that it has ordered a second season of STARGATE ATLANTIS and a ninth season of STARGATE SG-1. The network has ordered 20 new episodes of each show from MGM Television Ent., and production on both is set to begin in March 2005 for summer premieres.
STARGATE ATLANTIS debuted in July and drew more than 4.2 million viewers, breaking ratings records. The second season will bring back stars Joe Flanigan, Torri Higginson, David Hewlett, Rainbow Sun Francks, Rachel Luttrell and Paul McGillion.
Last week, 70 British companies, including most of the Soho post players, convened the first U.K. Showcase at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood. More than a chance to escape the freezing London weather for sunny L.A., the thriving vfx companies, in particular, were able to tout their recent successes and do a little off-site business with Warner Bros., Fox and Universal, who have outsourced the bulk of their tentpole vfx work to the U.K. over the last few years.
On the heels of its inaugural Leeds event last week, the UK CGI Festival has updated its London lineup of speakers scheduled for Dec. 7-8, 2004, at the Business Design Centre. Steve Goldberg, digital supervisor, Walt Disney Feature Animation, will keynote a presentation on CHICKEN LITTLE on Dec. 7 comprising the studios transformation from 2D to 3D.
London-based vfx house, Double Negative, developed a series of CG shots for BRIDGET JONES: THE END OF REASON, opening Nov. 12, 2004, including one of the films pivotal sequences: The Lonely People. Alex Hope, co-founder, Double Negative, said: For both of these shots, the brief was to very subtly push the limits of realism to create an effect that bordered upon fantasy.
Revolution Studios has announced that Nicolas Cage will star and Lee Tamahori will direct the action thriller NEXT, based on sci-fi author Philip K. Dicks THE GOLDEN MAN, reports VARIETY. TOTAL RECALL scribe Gary Goldman optioned the story and wrote the screenplay on spec, taking the finished tome to Saturn. The film should start filming next summer.
Cage and Saturn Films partner Norm Golightly will produce. Goldman will exec produce, along with Jason Koornick, who owns the rights to Dick's short story. Derek Dauchy will head up the project for the studio.
The Gnomon Workshop, in conjunction with Design Studio Press, will release four new DVDs from Concept Design legend Syd Mead on Nov. 15, 2004, priced at $69. This invaluable addition gives artists and art enthusiasts their first opportunity to see behind the process of this concept design master, whose work span four decades and have appeared in TRON, BLADE RUNNER and 2010.
*THE TECHNIQUES OF SYD MEAD VOLUME 1: THUMBNAIL SKETCHING AND LINE DRAWINGS:
Kids' WB! and Warner Home Video are hosting "I Wanna Be A Wizard Sweepstakes," which will give a winner a walk-on role in the next HARRY POTTER film. From Nov. 22 - 26, 2004, 500 wizards-in-training will win a HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN DVD. Plus, on Nov. 27, the ultimate wizard will be awarded the Grand Prize -- an exclusive walk-on role in HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE.
Digital-Tutors announced the worldwide availability of INTRODUCTION TO 3D: ZBRUSH BASICS training kit -- the latest release in a series of industry leading training resources for digital artists.
GOLDENEYE-director Martin Campbell is in talks to helm the 21st installment in the Bond series, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Like Campbell did with Pierce Brosnan, the helmer will introduce a new actor to the iconic role. Though every British (British Kingdom included) actor with a pulse has been rumored to be taking over the role, producers MGM and Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson have not made any casting calls. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who wrote DIE ANOTHER DAY and THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, have penned the new script and the film is scheduled to hit theaters in 2006.
Hot on the heels of THE INCREDIBLES comes THE POLAR EXPRESS in theaters today in both conventional and incredibly immersive IMAX 3D. Talk about polar opposites in human CGI. Yet after all the preliminary debate about POLAR EXPRESS so-called creep factor, now we can finally judge the total experience. The hard part is defining what it is. Is it animation? Or is it a new hybrid?
DreamWorks has reeled in the domestic distribution rights to the Japanese sci fi/action hit, CASSHERN a blend of live action and various animation techniques, to be released under the banner of its specialty film division, Go Fish Pictures.
With a domestic gross of $75 million in two weeks, it was pretty inevitable that THE GRUDGE would get a sequel. HOLLYWOOD REPORTER reports that Senator International and Ghost House Pictures have hired scribe Stephen Susco to return the cursed-themed film and write a part two. Ghost House Pictures' Sam Raimi and Rob Tappert, Roy Lee and Doug Davidson will return as producers. Star Sarah Michelle Gellar nor director Takashi Shimizu have signed on for THE GRUDGE 2.