Back in Business with a Big Bunch of News

If you’re a regular visitor to the site, which you should be, you’ve obviously noticed it hasn’t been updated this past week. Fear not, this was only a temporary hiatus, brought upon me by circumstances I had absolutely no control over. Indeed don’t think it was all fun and no work for me here, no… Not one film was watched, I was just extremely busy elsewhere, but I am back now and The Movie Planet will normally resume its regular output later today. In the meantime, there’s obviously been a crapload of film news during my absence, and I’ve decided to get through all the major stuff quickly in a sort of mega-“Links Of The Week” edition, enabling me to have a clean slate upon my next post. Enjoy.

Movie Announcements

New hotshot comedy actor Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express) will produce and have a supporting role in I’m With Cancer, based on the experiences of producer Will Reiser (Da Ali G Show), who wrote the script here.

Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) will make his English-language debut with an adaptation of David Moody’s novel Hater, written by Glen Mazzara (16 episodes of FX’s The Shield), here.

The 2004 French heist movie Cash Truck (original title Le Convoyeur) is getting a remake in English, titled Armored, adapted by David Ayer (Harsh Times) &  Andrew Kevin Walker (Sleepy Hollow), potentially directed by F. Gary Gray (Be Cool) and potentially starring Eric Bana (The Other Boleyn Girl) here.

Acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Body Of Lies) will return to sci-fi and direct an adaptation of the novel The Forever War, a project he’s been pursuing for 25 years here.

20th Century-Fox has hired screenwriter Allan Loeb (21) to pen a sequel to the 1987 classic Wall Street here.

A big budget Chinese movie based on the legend of Hua Mulan has been announced here. It will be the fifth Chinese film on the subject and the first since 1964.

Bull Durham director Ron Shelton has declared he’s thinking about a sequel here. Star Kevin Costner has however recently stated he’d never do one.

Writer/Director Nancy Meyers (The Holiday) is making a new romantic comedy, which will star Steve Martin (Baby Mama), Meryl Streep (Mamma Mia!), Alec Baldwin (My Best Friend’s Girl) here.

Gary Winick (Charlotte’s Web) will direct the revenge comedy Rat Bastard, written by duo Heather McGowan & Niels Mueller (Tadpolehere.

The French comic book series Du Plomb Dans La Tête (literally something like A Bullet In The Head), will be adapted into the American film Headshot here.

A new muppet movie, a detective comedy titled Happytime Murders will be made, directed by Brian Henson (Muppet Treasure Island) and written by Todd Berger (Chasing Christmas) here.

Steve Carell (Get Smart) will star in the Napoleonic comedy The Adventures Of Brigadier Gerard, based on short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes) here.

Musical sensation Elton John (The Lion King) is writing a musical that will star Ben Stiller (Tropic Thunder) here.

Amy Adams (Charlie Wilson’s War) will star in the romantic comedy Leap Year here.

The multitalented Kevin Smith (Clerks 1 & 2) is planning a space comedy here.

Liev Schreiber (Love In The Time Of Cholera), Helen Hunt (Bobby) and Carla Gugino (Righteous Kill) will star in the drama Every Day here.

Plot Announcements

Actor/Director Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby) reveals the plot for his latest movie, Gran Torino, here.

The plot and songs for the untitled new romantic comedy by Cameron Crowe (Elizabethtown), starring Ben Stiller (Tropic Thunder) and Reese Witherspoon (Rendition) has been revealed here.

The plot for Full Love, the promising second directorial effort for action superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme (JCVD), has been revealed here.

The plot for the new Star Trek movie has been revealed here.

Casting & Various Hiring News

Despite the next Superman movie being a franchise reboot, Brandon Routh will apparently return in the lead here.

Actor Brad Pitt (Burn After Reading) has stepped down from the Micky Ward boxing biopic The Fighter, to be directed by Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain) and starring Mark Wahlberg (The Happening), leaving that film’s future in jeopardy here.

 The Fame remake has been cast here.

Talented actor Don Cheadle (Traitor) has replaced talented actor Terrence Howard (Iron Man) as the hero’s best buddy Jim Rhodes in Iron Man 2 here. Howard is confused and upset.

Relative newcomer Brad Ingelsby has been hired to adapt the comic book Sleeper here.

Third film co-writer George Nolfi will write the fourth Bourne film here.

It seems Brett Ratner (the Rush Hour films) will direct the new Conan movie here.

Movie Cancellations

Lethal Weapon 5 won’t be made, as co-lead Mel Gibson turned down the script here.

Acclaimed director David Fincher (Zodiac) believes his long-gestating adaptation of Rendezvous With Rama will never get made here.

It seems the long-gestating Goonies 2 won’t be happening after all here.

The eagerly anticipated new He-Man movie has been canceled here.

Other

One of the best teen movies of recent times, 10 Things I Hate About You, is getting adapted for television here.

There’s gonna be a roller coaster based on the Saw franchise here…What?

Disney to make Arab movies

Walt Disney Pictures, which already produces movies in France, China and India (at least) in addition to their regular roster of American pics, is now eyeing the Arabian peninsula and is in talks to finance The Last Of The Storytellers from Lebanese director Chadi Zeneddine (Falling From Earth), which would mark their first film in Arabic and will likely start filming by the end of next year.

Disney has big plans for the Middle East. The Arab world has a population of some 300 million people, and with two-thirds under age 30, the market is a natural for family-friendly Disney fare. Disney expects to announce two more Arabic-language features in time for the fifth edition of the Dubai Film Festival, which unspools in December.

“There’s a lot of opportunity for us in the Middle East,” said a Disney exec, who insisted on anonymity. “There’s a lot of room for growth for us. It’s the international territory that we’re most excited about expanding into.”

Disney’s arabian move is expected to be followed by other American studios, such as 20th Century-Fox. I can already repeat what I said following Disney’s recent announcement of big Indian plans: I’m really glad American studios are finally seeing the importance of international markets, but I wish they’d use their power to distribute the films they produce in other countries worldwide.

Source

Comic Book Reboots: Sheena & Daredevil

Once one of the best-known action screenwriters in Hollywood, Steven E. De Souza (Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life) is planning to readapt Sheena: Queen Of The Jungle, the other well-known comic book created by the legendary Will Eisner (The Spirit), and thinks Jessica Alba (The Love Guru) would be a perfect fit for the role. Pretty much a female Tarzan, Sheena was already brought to the big screen in 1984 and also had several shows based on her adventures.

Also, 20th Century-Fox co-chairman Tom Rothman gave a little more insight into the planned Daredevil reboot. However, he seems to dislike calling it a reboot, so could it actually be a sequel? If so, hurray!

A Daredevil, to use your words, reboot, is something we are thinking very seriously about. I think that the thing the Hulk showed although, it did what it did, is that it is possible, that if you really do it right the audience will give you a second chance. That it is possible. And I think that you see that when they did Batman Begins, the first Nolan movie, that you can have made some mistakes along the way or movies that the audience wasn’t that crazy about and then given the proper amount of time and the right creative vision behind it, you can, to use your word, reboot. It needs a visionary at the level that Chris Nolan was. It needs someone, it needs a director, honestly, who has a genuine vision. What we wouldn’t do is just do it for the sake of doing it. Right? What we try to do is to get a creative engine for it, that really had a great vision for it, that’s what we would look for.

If they’re going the route of The Incredible Hulk, where it goes in a new direction but can still be considered a sequel to the first movie, then hell yeah, I’m all for it.

Source: TunaFlix

Sequelitis part 4: Avatar, Something Of The Dead and Tomb Raider 3

Avatar, the long-awaited return of director James Cameron more than ten years after Titanic (what is it with all these Titanic comebacks happening at once?) hasn’t even come out yet that 20th Century-Fox co-chairman Tom Rothman is already talking franchise possibilities. His reason? “It’s just a great story”.

Meanwhile, more the details have come out on the recently announced untitled continuation of George A. Romero’s infamous zombie saga:

Plot involves inhabitants of an isolated island off the North American coast who find their relatives rising from the dead to eat their kin. The leaders of the island feud over whether or not to kill their reanimated relatives or preserve them in hopes of finding a cure.

The film is currently shooting in Canada and stars a bunch of people you’ve probably never heard of.

Finally, rumors of a third installment in the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider franchise are swirling again due to the approaching release of the latest video game in the franchise, Tomb Raider: Underworld, and producers are apparently in talks to get Angelina Jolie (Wanted) back in the famous role. The only problem? Angelina isn’t, and never was right for the part of Lara Croft in my opinion.

Sources: /Film and TunaFlix

Give Babylon A.D. a second chance, watch the “real version”

I saw Babylon A.D. today, and while I won’t write a full review of it at this time, I do have a few things I want to say. Babylon A.D. has been a pet project for acclaimed French director Mathieu Kassovitz (Gothika) for many years, with him being a huge fan of Maurice Georges Dantec’s source novel Babylon Babies. The film had a very troubled shoot and was delayed from its original release date in early 2008. Ultimately, most people had already dismissed the film before it was released, and the final nail in its coffin was when both Kassovitz and lead actor Vin Diesel (Find Me Guilty) trashed the film before its American release. Here’s the catch though: they were talking about the Fox version of the film.

Yes, there are two versions of Babylon A.D., one which runs 90 minutes and is distributed by 20th Century-Fox in the US, Canada, UK and some other countries, and another by Studio Canal, which doesn’t mention Fox at all and lasts 11 minutes more. Now this doesn’t mean that Fox simply cut out 11 minutes from the film and released it…they actually cut out much more, and replaced it with footage that isn’t in the longer version. I haven’t seen the Fox version, but I’ve read about it and can thus tell you that Fox basically removed significant parts of plot development and replaced them with action scenes that are completely absent from the Studio Canal version… Fox changed the beginning, Fox changed the ending, Fox changed the dialogues, Fox changed everything.

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Fox wants more X-Men spinoffs (yes!) and a Daredevil reboot (why?)

With X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the X-Men prequel, to be released by next May, and X-Men Origins: Magneto (another prequel) to follow soon after, 20th Century-Fox have decided they have a gold mine and are planning at least two more spinoffs: a “Young X-Men” movie (Generation X?) and a film focusing on the high-tech mercenary Deadpool, whom Ryan Reynolds (Definitely, Maybe) plays in Wolverine. I say go for it, as long as you keep the films consistent with one another.

Additionally, Fox is considering a reboot of the Daredevil franchise, which spawned a 2003 film starring Ben Affleck (Hollywoodland) as the titular hero and the 2005 spinoff clunker Elektra, and wall I can say is why? Why can’t we simply have a Daredevil 2? The first film isn’t anywhere near the failure most people seem to think it is. Exceeding its budget by 100 million dollars worldwide, it was well received by many, and even some people who hated it loved the director’s cut which adds 30 minutes to the film, including an entire subplot. Hell, I even know quite a few people who prefer it to Spider-Man! Why must there be a reboot? Blame Christopher Nolan. Not long ago, Jason Statham (Death Race) expressed interest in taking the role, with long time Daredevil writer Frank Miller’s support. I like Jason, but that’s just a bad choice.

Source

Movie Of The Day: Eragon (2006)

After the first installments of Harry Potter and The Lord Of The Rings rocked the global box-office back in 2001, American  movie studios started buying the rights of every fantasy book they could find in the hope of striking cinematic gold. Barely any executive was able to shout “cha-ching” however, as only a handful of these opportunist films have proved successful, namely Disney’s The Chronicles Of Narnia and New Line’s The Golden Compass (sure, it bombed in the US, but it was huge everywhere else). Indeed, in their rush to shell out movies about magical worlds, studios seem to have mostly forgotten what made Potter and Rings so successful: it’s not only an established fanbase and an otherworldly setting, but mainly faithfulness, and a creative team truly invested in the source material.

Which brings us to Eragon, which is adapted from the first book in Chistopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle. The movie was directed by first-timer Stefen Fangmeier, a visual effects supervisor on films such as A Series Of Unfortunate Events, and adpated to screenplay form by Peter Buchman (Jurassic Park III). It stars newcomer Edward Speleers in the title role, as well as Jeremy Irons (Kingdom Of Heaven), Sienna Guillory (Resident Evil: Apocalypse), Robert Carlyle (28 Weeks Later), John Malkovich (Beowulf), Garett Hedlund (Death Sentence), Djimon Hounsou (Never Back Down), Rachel Weisz’s voice (Definitely, Maybe) and pop singer Joss Stone in her first (albeit brief) film role.

Eragon‘s story goes pretty much like this: Once upon a time, peace was kept by an order of knights with special abilities. One of these knights turned to evil however, and betrayed his comrades, killing them all (or did he?) and establishing himself as ruler of everywhere. Years later, a young blond male living at his uncle’s farm stumbles upon something stolen from the evil lord. After his family is killed, he is recruited by a wise old ex-knight and sets on a journey to join a small band of dedicated rebels, to whom the stolen item could prove extremely useful. Along the way, they will venture into one of the enemy’s fortresses to rescue the young princess who stole the thing in the first place. Sound familiar? Review and trailer after the jump.

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