New Pictures: The Last House On The Left

Friday The 13th isn’t the only Sean S. Cunningham-related remake to come out next year. Indeed the 66 year old filmmaker served as a producer on The Last House On The Left, the controversial 1972 writing/directing debut from good friend Wes Craven (Red Eye). Noted for its incredibly graphic scenes and made for less than $90000, the film has long been unavailable in several countries such as the UK and Australia until recently due to censorship.

Now thanks to the success of the recent remake of Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes, several other remakes of the horror master’s movies are being planned, the first of which is obviously The Last House On The Left, courtesy of Rogue Pictures. Produced by Craven and Cunningham, the film marks the second feature directing effort (and first English-language movie) for Greek director Denis Eliadis (Harcore) while the screenplay was adapted by newcomer Adam Alleca and Carl Ellsworth (Disturbia).

Like the original, the new movie will feature a gang of criminals who kidnap, rape and murder a couple of teenage girls before unknowingly seeking refuge at one of the girls’ parents’ house while hiding from the police. The parents then realize who their guests are and decide to have their revenge. The remake stars Sara Paxton (Superhero Movie), Monica Potter (Saw), Garret Dillahunt (The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford) and Tony Goldwyn (The Last Samurai) among others and will be released sometime next year. I’ve included the 1972 film’s trailer after the jump.

Fun Fact: The 1972 original was heavily inspired by the Ingmar Bergman-directed 1960 Swedish film The Virgin Spring, winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar and Golden Globe in 1961.

Continue reading

New Trailer & Poster: Friday The 13th

Friday The 13th is undoubtedly one of the biggest, most enduring and recognizable horror franchises in movie history. It all started with John Carpenter‘s seminal 1978 slasher Halloween (recently remade by Rob Zombie) which paved the way for the 1980 release of the original Friday The 13th. Directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller and Ron Kurz, the film was a big success (in no small part thanks to its tiny $700000 budget) and eleven movies later the producers decided it was time to reboot the franchise.

Enter Platinum Dunes, a production company headed by Michael Bay (director of Transformers), Brad Fuller and Andrew Form that specializes in horror movies (mainly remakes) much like the Joel Silver/Robert Zemeckis-headed Dark Castle Entertainment and the Sam Raimi-headed Ghost House Pictures. Originally in talks with Jonathan Liebesman (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning), Platinum Dunes finally chose to put Marcus Nispel (Pathfinder) in charge, the director who provided them with their best received film, the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Written by Freddy Vs. Jason scribes Damian Shannon & Mark Swift, the film will reportedly not be a direct remake but will instead take elements from the first three films in the franchise and go in its own direction. The movie stars Jared Padalecki (The CW’s Supernatural), Danielle Panabaker (CBS’ Shark), Amanda Righetti (Role Models), Travis Van Winkle (Meet The Spartans), Aaron Yoo (Nick And Norah’s Infinte Playlist) and Derek Mears (The Hills Have Eyes 2) among others.

It will premiere on February 12th, 2009 in Argentina, Germany, Portugal, Russia and the Netherlands, and come out the next day in a few other countries including the USA and the UK. You can check out four pictures from the new flick here and I have included the trailers for the first three films of the franchise after the jump. Don’t forget to tell me what you think in the comments.

Continue reading

“We’re baaaack.”, also other site announcements

Obvious update: Well I obviosly spoke too soon concerning the return of the site. But we ARE back now.

Finally! After two weeks of inactivity, computer troubles are finally over and updates will resume (The problems apparently came from the motherboard). I will not cover the extensive back catalogue of film news that has accumulated since I went offline, but here are some of the most interesting tidbits (at least in my opinion):

  • Sylvester Stallone (Rambo), Jason Statham (Death Race) and Jet Li (The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor) will co-star in The Expendables, an action movie set in South America which will be written and directed by Stallone himself. Stallone has of course plenty of experience in the field having written or co-written most of his films and directed quite a few of them (including the last Rambo film and four of the Rocky movies).
  • Joe Johnston, director of such films as Hidalgo, Jurassic Park III and October Sky will direct The First Avenger: Captain America, another of the cross-over comic book films Marvel Studios is making in the lead up to The Avengers (others include Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Iron Man 2). You know what I’d love? That they manage to include a crossover with the X-Men franchise, seeing as both this and the forthcoming X-Men Origins: Magneto will be set during World War II.
  • Acclaimed British director Ridley Scott (Body Of Lies) will direct an adaptation of the popular board game Monopoly.
  • Will Smith’s son Jaden, already seen in The Pursuit Of Happyness with his father, will play the lead in a remake of The Karate Kid.
  • Speaking of Will Smith, he’ll star in a remake of the South Korean cult film Oldboy which will be directed by Steven Spielberg (you know, the Indiana Jones films)
  • Lethal Weapon 5 isn’t completely dead after all and may happen eventually, according to series producer Joel Silver.
  • And of course, there’s the very sad news that bestselling author Michael Crichton died of cancer at age 66 on November 4th. Crichton’s novels have inspired films such as Jurassic Park, The 13th Warrior, Sphere, Congo, The Andromeda Strain, Timeline and many others. In addition he created the long-running medical show ER, wrote a few original screenplays such as Twister and even did a bit of directing with films like Westworld, Coma, The First Great Train Robbery and a few others.

As for the site, I’m happy to report that the hiatus did nothing to slow viewership, in fact these past three days have been our busiest ever with slightly less than two thousand visits per day on average. However, The Movie Planet will have a slight change in focus. Seeing as how this is for now a one-man operation and that I do lead a rather busy life, I will only give proper news posts to items which particularly interest me and cover the rest of the daily film news in a round-up sort of way. Thus I hope I’ll be able to write more articles in the vein of the one I penned about Babylon A.D., and you can expect such writings on the subject of Quantum Of Solace, The Happening and the High School Musical franchise soon (I hope to have my Quantum Of Solace “review” later today, but you can already see my score of the film on the What We’ve Been Watching page).

Finally, you can now contact The Movie Planet at themovieplanetblog@gmail.com, how cool is that?

Keira Knightley & Orlando Bloom reuniting for Saturday Night Fever remake?

Pirates Of The Caribbean on-screen couple Keira Knightley & Orlando Bloom are apparently considering a reunion for The Fever Returns, which is either a second sequel or a remake to the 1977 classic dance flick Saturday Night Fever (trailer above), details are unclear. The film will be set in Hoddedson, a small British town and all I can say is….WTF?

ah ah ah ah Stayin Alive! Stayin Alive!

 Source

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.

George Clooney for The Birds remake?

 

According to original star Rod Taylor, Burn After Reading actor George Clooney is the main contender for the lead role in Platinum Dunes’ planned 2009 The Birds remake.

“I often cringe when I hear mention of remakes, but I’ll hold judgement, especially since I’ve been told Clooney’s the favourite.”

Based on a shot story by Daphne Du Maurier (Rebecca), the original movie is of course one of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous and tells of birds developing a hostile attitude towards humans. The film is to be helmed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) and also stars Naomi Watts (Funny Games).

Fun Fact: The Hitchcock film received an apparently horrible sequel in 1994, The Birds II: Land’s End directed by Rick Rosenthal (Halloween II and Halloween: Resurrection) who chose to be credited as the infamous Alan Smithee and featuring original lead Tippi Hedren in a different role for some reason.

Source

Cleopatra: The 3D Musical

Prolific director Steven Soderbergh (the Ocean’s movies) is setting up a 30 million dollar 3D musical on the life of Cleopatra, the famous Egyptian queen. For the role, the filmmaker is hoping to reunite with his Ocean’s Twelve actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, while Hugh Jackman (Deception) is in talks to play Marc Antony, Cleopatra’s lover.

The best-known film about the supposedly beautiful queen is undoubtedly the 1963 epic Cleopatra. Soderbergh’s next, the two-part Che Guevara biopic, will premiere in the US in December, and he will release several other films before the Cleopatra project, including The Informant, The Girlfriend Experience and his Liberace biopic.

Source