As a way of gaining their own children's fantasy franchise, Regency Enterprises and Fox 2000 Pictures has optioned the rights to Ted Naifeh's COURTNEY CRUMRIN comicbook series, reports VARIETY. Stan Winston and Brian Gilbert are set to produce the film with Sheryl Longin (DICK) penning the screenplay. Stacy Maes and Maria Faillace will oversee the project for Regency and Fox 2000 respectively. The deal gives the studios the rights to COURTNEY CRUMRIN AND THE NIGHT THINGS, COURTNEY CRUMRIN AND THE COVEN OF MYSTICS and COURTNEY CRUMRIN IN THE TWILIGHT KINGDOM.
Category: Visual Effects
Continental Film has announced that LORD OF THE RINGS second-unit director Geoff Murphy has signed on to direct the screen adaptation of the fantasy novel THE LAST UNICORN. Michael Pakleppa will produce the film with Julián Doyle, who has worked on visual effects for Monty Python and Terry Gilliam films, serving as special effects unit director. The story was previously adapted as an animated film by Rankin-Bass in 1982. Continental hopes to have the film ready for release in winter 2006. For more information on the production, visit www.the-last-unicorn.net.
Paramount has confirmed that REQUIEM FOR A DREAM helmer Darren Aronofsky will direct the much-anticipated film version of Alan Moore's classic graphic novel THE WATCHMEN, reports HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The long in-development project was originally set to be X-MEN writer David Hayter's first directing job, but he will step aside to let Aronofsky direct the film from his script.
Paramount Pictures will be previewing its forthcoming action/adventure, SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, and puppet-starring action spoof TEAM AMERICA WORLD POLICE at the 35th Annual Comic-Con International Convention. Working with convention organizers, the studio will unveil a first look at SKY CAPTAIN presented by the film's star, two-time Academy Award nominee Jude Law, along with co-stars Bai Ling and Giovanni Ribisi, writer/director Kerry Conran and producers Jon Avnet and Marsha Oglesby.
VFXWorld continues its informative coverage this month of non-entertainment 3D advancements with "3D Visualization in Education." Mary Ann Skweres uncovers the rapid rise of 3D animation as a valuable teaching tool throughout educational institutions - paving the way for all kinds of scientific and engineering breakthroughs. Then, later in the week, Bruce Shutan discovers "The Real CSI and Beyond" in his examination of vfx artists and animators specializing in the hot field of forensics and medical science.
Universal Pictures has made it official; it has purchased the feature film rights to vicar G.P. Taylor bestseller SHADOWMANCER for a seven-digit sum, reports VARIETY. Fortitude Films originally bought the rights to the book in March for $1 million against $6.2 million for the book and will produce the film. Universal will cover Fortitude's original deal, which included 15% of merchandising. Fortitude's Steve Delaportas and Lisa Marie Butkiewicz will produce.
The Gnomon Workshop has six new DVDs touting the concept design work of Mark Goerner and Neville Page in conjunction with Design Studio Press. Goerner's two titles illustrate sketching and rendering interior spaces; and Neville Page's four DVDs take you through character design, painting and detailed techniques for rendering eyes and flesh.
MILLENNIUM, Chris Carter's 1996 follow-up series after THE X-FILES, bows on DVD July 20, 2004 (Fox Home Ent., $59.98). THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON arrives with all 22 episodes on six discs. This bleak thriller stars Lance Henriksen as a mind reading profiler who joins a mysterious crime busting organization that takes on the most bizarre cases. Naturally it's full of grand conspiracies and spooky supernatural subtext. VFX by Area 51.
cebas Computer GmbH will demo its upcoming release of finalRender Stage-2 for Alias Maya 6 at SIGGRAPH 2004, to be held Aug. 8-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Cebas' premiere rendering tool for Alias Maya 6 will be available to view live at booth# 2039.
finalRender Stage-2 for Maya 6 offers the following feature set for the first time for Maya users:
Framestore CFC has appointed Andy Boyd as the company's new head of 3D, commercials. Boyd came to the company from Glassworks last September, and has already amassed an impressive list of credits at Framestore, including work on Goodyear HALFPIPE, Lynx TOUCH, Daewoo SHEET and the Post Office ANT spots. His most recent project has been the forthcoming Johnnie Walker TREE, which features noteworthy 3D arboreal action.
Digital-Tutors (DT), an award-winning service of PL Studios Inc., announced the release of its mental ray training kit for Maya. This highly requested training kit provides core data needed to learn the extremely powerful mental ray rendering system. The mental ray kit features step-by-step instructions on sub-surface scattering, hdri, global illumination, final gathering, displacement mapping, light baking and more.
Icecandy Ent. recently provided more than 20 vfx shots for Sci Fi Channel's upcoming feature, SLIPSTREAM, from Promark Ent. Working with director David van Eyssen, Icecandy developed on-screen graphics, composited effects and created the main title sequence for the time-travel based action drama using Profound Effects' Useful Things 1.6.
Paramount Pictures has confirmed that director Joe Carnahan has left the director's chair for its MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 3, reports VARIETY. The reason given was the Hollywood cliché of creative differences. However, Paramount is still determined to starting filming next month at Berlin's Babelsberg Studios.
There is a Superman! Warner Bros. has announced that its next film in the SUPERMAN franchise will be directed by X-MEN helmer Bryan Singer, reports VARIETY. Previously rumored directors include BATMAN's Tim Burton, RUSH HOUR's Brett Ratner, CHARLIE'S ANGELS' McG and BAD BOYS' Michael Bay. In addition, Bryan Singer will work from a new script from X2 writers Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris. Warner hopes to start filming by the end of the year.
Keyframe Digital Prods., a digital animation and visual effects studio based in Ontario, Canada, has completed all vfx work for the feature CRAZY CANUCKS, produced by Alberta Film Works. Keyframe was the exclusive effects house for the movie that will air on CTV this fall.
After years of trying to get the project off the ground, George Romero has found financing for the fourth installment in this DEAD franchise, which includes NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, DAWN OF THE DAY and DAY OF THE DEAD, reports VARIETY. LAND OF THE DEAD will be co-funded by Atmosphere Ent. and Paris-based Wild Bunch. The film will go before cameras in October in Winnipeg or Pittsburgh. Atmosphere chairman/ceo Mark Canton and president Bernie Goldmann will produce, along with Romero's partner Peter Grunwald of Romero Grunwald Prods. Atmosphere's Steve Barnett is exec producer.
New Line Cinema has obtained the feature film rights for the role-playing game VAMPIRE: THE REQUIEM from White Wolf Publishing, reports VARIETY. Adam Fields is set to produce the film, which the studio hopes will launch a franchise. Luke Ryan and Magnus Kim will shepherd the film for the studio.
The game's world follows the night-to-night life of modern vampires. The game will be published Aug. 30 and is a follow-up to 1991's VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE, which was turned into an Activision videogame and the 1996 FOX TV series KINDRED: THE EMBRACED.
Warner Bros. Pictures is developing a cinematic rendition of the Old English, 8th Century poem, BEOWULF, reports VARIETY. Matthew Sand will write the film, which will be produced by Ed McDonnell's Maple Shade Films. Maple Shade director of development exec Dan Stone brought the script to the company. Lynn Harris and David Ortiz will oversee the film for Warner.
Stone said, "Matthew has a unique take on the source material, incorporating elements of the art and mythology of the time period."
Twentieth Century Fox Home Ent. has announced that THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW will hit DVD shelves on Oct. 5, 2004 ($29.98). The disc will include deleted scenes as well as commentaries by director Roland Emmerich, producer Mark Gordon, screenwriter Jeffrey Nachmanoff, cinematographer Ueli Steiger, production designer Barry Chusid and editor David Brenner. Also included among the goodies will be an interactive audio demo and DVD-ROM Weblinks.
Coinciding with Discreet's release of flint and smoke for the Linux operating system, GenArts Inc. announced Sapphire Plug-ins for them.
Featuring the same familiar interface and wide range of effects and features that Discreet users have long depended on, Sapphire for flint and smoke on Linux is available immediately for $6,000. The software can be purchased directly from GenArts, or from Discreet's extensive worldwide network of resellers and sales representatives.
With SPIDER-MAN 2 breaking box office records and upping the visual effects stakes, Ellen Wolff chats with supervisor John Dykstra about the superhero's vertiginous flights of fancy and the challenges of integrating Doc Ock's digital and mechanical tentacles.
Philip Anschutz's Walden Media has left Disney for Fox, reports VARIETY. The AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS producer will team with Fox on five features, including Kate DiCamillo's BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE (due for release January 2005); Katherine Paterson's BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA; Lois Lowry's THE GIVER; Wendy Orr's NIM'S ISLAND; and Adam Mortimer's as-yet-unpublished comicbook proposal BIBLIONAUTS. Unlike the past Disney deal, the Fox agreement is neither exclusive nor constrained by time limits.
Svengali Visual Effects has contributed visual effects to GARDEN STATE, Zach Braffs (NBCs SCRUBS) directorial debut that premiered to critical acclaim at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Scheduled for release on July 30, 2004 by Fox Searchlight, GARDEN STATE is a dark, romantic comedy set in New Jersey.
Producer Tony Adams and Marvel Comics are negotiating a deal to bring Spider-Man to the stage as a musical, reports VARIETY. Reportedly Neil Jordan of CRYING GAME fame would pen the script with music by U2's Bono and The Edge. LION KING stage director and FRIDA film helmer Julie Taymor would take the director's seat on the project.