New Trailer & Poster: Angels & Demons

Sony Pictures has just released the first trailer for Angels & Demons, the second film in the franchise following author Dan Brown’s hero, Harvard symbologist Robert Langon, after 2006’s The Da Vinci Code. Tom Hanks returns in the lead, as do most of Da Vinci‘s crew, including director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, who co-penned the adaptation with David Koepp (Ghost Town). Joining the cast are Ewan McGregor (Deception), Ayelet Zurer (Vantage Point) and Stellan Skarsgård (Mamma Mia!). My one question is why did they make such a big deal of hiring a French actress to play Sophie Neveu in the first film only to have an Israeli portray Vittoria here?

This trailer is certainly riveting, and a much better one than that first look of The Da Vinci Code, which simply showed cracks in the Mona Lisa. I agree with the general feeling that Angels & Demons (which came before Da Vinci) is a much better novel than its more famous little brother, and interestingly enough, I found it also quite pro-christianity. Then again, I also felt that The Da Vinci Code wasn’t that anti-christianity. In any case, I wonder if Angels & Demons will be set as a prequel, or if it was reworked as a sequel. Angels & Demons will be released worldwide mid-May 2009. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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American Pie returning to theaters?

 

Following the franchise’s third outing in 2003, American Wedding aka American Pie: The Wedding, Universal Pictures produced three straight-to-DVD sequels featuring none of the original cast apart from Eugene Levy (Jim’s Dad) and Chris Owen’s Sherman (in the first one) and focusing on members of Stifler’s family (the character played by Seann William Scott).

The success of these video outings has prompted Universal to think of a new theatrical installment, featuring the original cast of course. No one’s been signed on to the as yet untitled flick, but since none of the cast have really it hit big (with the possible exception of Scott), I don’t really see anyone turning down the flick. Are you interested in a new American Pie flick with the original cast?

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Cast announcements: Couples Retreat, The Avengers and a new Jonas Bros/Farrelly Bros movie

Internationally-known French superstar Jean Reno (Flyboys) will join Vince Vaughn (Fred Claus), Jon Favreau (Iron Man), Jason Bateman (Hancock), Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Malin Akerman (27 Dresses), Kristin Davis (Sex And The City) and Faizon Love (Idlewild) in Couples Retreat for directing newcomer Peter Billingsley.

Story follows four couples who go to a tropical island resort, where they discover that participation in the resort’s couples therapy is not optional.

Favreau wrote the script and production is set to start very soon. Source.

Tween fraternal singing sensations Nick, Joe, Kevin and Frankie Jonas will make their feature film debut in Walter The Farting Dog for sibling helmers Peter and Bobby Farrelly (The Heartbreak Kid). Oh my.

The title character in the “Walter” books is a fat dog with severe flatulence. The brothers play musicians whose parents are asked to care for the dog by an aunt just before she passes away.

“By the time they’ve driven the dog home, everybody’s head is out the window of the family station wagon but Frankie, and only because he has a serious sinus problem and doesn’t notice the stench coming from Walter,” said Peter Farrelly.

While his brothers play music, Frankie and the gaseous hound get involved in a plot that involves liberating a koi fish and thwarting jewel thieves.

Based on a series of bestselling books by William Kotzwinkle (A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master) and Glenn Murray, the screenplay is written by  duo Alec Sokolow & Joel Cohen (Daddy Day Camp). The film is set to be the start of a franchise. Source.

Last but definitely not least, Robert Downey Jr. and Terrence Howard replacement Don Cheadle (Traitor) have both officially signed onto The Avengers, where they will continute to portray Tony Stark/Iron Man and Jim Rhodes/War Machine respectively.

In a movie event, The Avengers will bring together the super hero team of Marvel Comics characters for the first time ever, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk and more, as they are forced to band together to battle the biggest foe they’ve ever faced.

In addition, Iron Man helmer Jon Favreau will serve as executive producer on the film, which is set for July 15th, 2011 in the US (no word on whether he’ll reprise his role as Stark’s driver). So does this mean no other Iron Man characters will appear? Or just that their contracts aren’t ready yet? Source.

Dimension goes Extreme straight-to-DVD

Dimension Films, the specialty branch of The Weinstein Company (previously Miramax) has greenlit eighteen straight-to-DVD flicks for its Dimension Extreme label which are budgeted at 3 to 6 million dollars each.

TWC co-chairman Bob Weinstein said the films, mostly sequels, prequels, remakes or spinoffs of TWC/Dimension titles, could debut in a particular ancillary arena — DVD, VOD, TV or the Web — depending on a closer look as they near release.

Thus expect new movies in the worlds of Hell Ride, Children Of The Corn, Midnight Man, Piranha, Halloween, etc…

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Nick Fury’s role expanded in Iron Man 2

Popular actor Samuel L. Jackson (Lakeview Terrace) has recently stated that, as expected, his Nick Fury role that was no more than a cameo in this summer’s early hit Iron Man, and which almost nobody saw because it was after the credits, will be much larger in the sequel, which is expected to hit screens in May 2010. According to Jackson, this comes straight from director Jon Favreau’s mouth, and really it’s to be expected since Iron Man 2 will be the last present-day-set Marvel film leading into The Avengers as The First Avenger: Captain America will be set during World War 2 and Thor, well, is about a god in Asgard. In related Thor news, Daniel Craig (the current James Bond actor) has recently turned down the chance to play the lead.

Run for your lives, Big Momma’s House 3 is coming

As if the first two times weren’t enough, a third Big Momma’s House has been confirmed to being on the fast-track. Now I haven’t seen either of the previous films, which tell of an FBI agent played by Martin Lawrence (College Road Trip) who goes undercover disguised as a fat black woman in order to capture criminals, but the first one is supposedly bad and the second one is widely viewed as one of the worst films of all time. So why make a third? Well, they do make money and that’s what counts. The real question though, is what is it with African American “funnymen” and dressing up as fat black women? Martin, Eddie Murphy, Tyler Perry,… they all do it!

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Paul W.S. Anderson is about to start work on Resident Evil 4

Filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson (Death Race), aka the “mastermind” behind the Resident Evil movie franchise  (he only directed the first one, but wrote and produced all three installments) has recently stated he will soon start tackling the unavoidable next sequel, saying thet he’s writing “an adaptation of the Long Good Friday right now, set in present-day Miami. Then I will probably write Resident Evil 4.”

Each film in the franchise ends with a tease to the sequel, so judging from Resident Evil: Extinction you can expect the film to take place at least partly in Tokyo, Japan. Aside from the rather poor writing (especially for the second movie’s ending), my main beef with these movies is how much they stray from their video game source, both in tone and storywise (much like most video game adaptations).

Heck the films feel more like video games than the games themselves. Then again, Extinction is the flick that has the least in common with the games, becoming some sort of Mad Max with zombies, and ended up arguably being the franchise’s best film and a great return to form for Highlander director Russell Mulcahy.  Yet one can argue that this is because the previous two entries had so little to do with the games that what they did have in common was more distracting than anything else.

So while Resident Evil 4 may prove to turn into an entertaining action movie, I’d still like to see a Resident Evil movie done right. Sure there’s that new CGI movie but that one simply expands on the games’ storyline, instead of retelling it. The Anderson series needs to be concluded in a final installment, enabling a more respectful filmmaker to reboot the franchise in my opinion.

 

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