EXCLUSIVE: French singer to star in Jackie Chan’s next

UPDATE: French media has been citing this article left and right, which led to Lorie Pester’s talent agency ECI to tweet one of the articles. If that’s not a confirmation I don’t know what is…just remember, you heard it here first!

French singer/actress Lorie Pester has been cast opposite Jackie Chan in the action extravaganza Dragon Blade, currently shooting under the direction of Daniel Lee (Black Mask, 14 Blades,…), we can exclusively report.

The historical epic, which also stars American actors John Cusack (Being John Malkovich) and Adrien Brody (The Pianist), is set to be China’s most expensive production to date with a budget of $65 million. It tells the story of a Roman general (Cusack) who disappears into Han Dynasty China with his 1,000 man legion and is hunted down by Tiberius (Brody), another Roman general. Chan plays a Chinese commander who teams up with Cusack.

Pester spent most of last week shooting scenes for the film in the Gobi desert. It is unclear at this point what role she is playing, but it is safe to say her character is connected to Cusack’s in some way as the two seem to have become fast friends based on their flurry of tweets.

Nevertheless this casting is sure to mark a turning point in the career of the young woman, who has been written off by many in her home country but may end up being an action star to watch. Continue reading

Movie announcements galore

Mike Nichols (Charlie Wilson’s War) will helm a remake of High And Low/The Ransom (trailer above), a detective film by legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai, the film that inspired The Magnificent Seven). David Mamet (Redbelt) wrote the adaptation, which is loosly based on the Evan Hunter novel King’s Ransom. Source.

Mike Sobel, a former criminal lawyer, is writing Skyscraper for Universal Pictures and producer Neal H. Moritz (Made Of Honor). It will be a disaster film in the vein of The Towering Inferno, where construction on a mile-high building in Chicago will take an unexpected and dangerous turn. Source.

Barry Sonnenfeld (RV) is in talks to helm Bronwyn And Clyde, a romantic comedy written by Tom Vaughan and Kristy Dobkin. Source.

Acclaimed filmmaker Gus Van Sant (Paranoid Park) will direct The Electric Kool-Aid Test, based on a non-fiction book by Tom Wolfe (The Right Stuff). The story recounts Wolfe’s experiences with fellow author Ken Kesey (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest) and people called the Merry Pranksters driving around in a school bus and taking LSD. Dustin Lance Black (The Journey Of Jared Price) is writing the script. Source.

Author Neil Gaiman (Beowulf) has confirmed an adaptation of his bestselling The Graveyard Book is in the works. The story tells of a boy raised by ghosts. Source.

Prolific music video director Marc Webb will write and direct the sci-fi flick Age Of Rage, which is described as Children Of Men meets Lord Of The Flies. Source.

Randall Wallace (We Were Soldiers) is adapting the Outlander series of fantasy novels into a potential franchise.

[Diana] Gabaldon’s series of six novels center on an 18th century Scottish Highlander and his time-traveling wife.

From what I hear, the story is more romance than action, but then again, Randall Wallace is writing…Oh wait, he wrote Pearl Harbor, I take that back. Source.

Samuel L. Jackson (Lakeview Terrace) will portray the villain Sho’nuff in a remake of the 1985 martial art cult film The Last Dragon (trailer below).

The updated plot will be along the same lines of the original, centering on young martial arts student Leroy Green in his quest through the streets of New York to achieve the highest level of martial arts accomplishment, known as the Last Dragon. Those who achieve the high ranking possess the Glow, making them the greatest fighter alive.

Dallas Jackson (Uncle P) is writing the adaptation, and producing it. Source.

Ninja Scroll goes live-action

The acclaimed 1993 Japanese animated film Ninja Scroll, original title 獣兵衛忍風帖 is getting an American live-action remake courtesy of Warner Bros.

“Scroll,” set in feudal Japan, revolves around ninja for hire is forced to fight an old enemy who will stop at nothing to overthrow the government.

Alex Tse (Sucker Free City) is adapting the script by original writer/director Yoshiaki Kawajiri (The Animatrix segment Program). Leonardo DiCaprio (Body Of Lies) will produce but not star in the film.

Fun Fact: A Japanese sequel is also in production.

Source