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?

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New Trailer: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

Response to footage of The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, the new film from cult director David Fincher (Zodiac), has been rather lukewarm so far but I must say this trailer looks amazing, just like the first one. Naturally, this new trailer gives us more insight into the movie’s plot and it seems fascinating, while reminding me a bit of last year’s Youth Without Youth, the overlooked comeback of legendary director Francis Ford Coppola (The Rainmaker).

Written by Eric Roth (Lucky You) and Robin Swicord (The Jane Austen Book Club), based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby), The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button tells the story of a man who’s born with the body of an old man and who grows younger as he ages. It stars Brad Pitt (Burn After Reading), Cate Blanchett (Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull), Tilda Swinton (Burn After Reading), Elle Fanning (Reservation Road, also Charlotte’s Web actress Dakota’s younger sister), Elias Koteas (Shooter), Jason Flemyng (Mirrors) and Julia Ormond (Kit Kittredge: An American Girl) among others.

In any case, this promises another brilliant performance for Pitt. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button will premiere around Christmas in the US and Australia and in most other countries in January & February 2009. But to me the real question is, what’s with all the Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett pairings recently? First they were supposed to co-star in The Fountain, then they were together in Babel and now this…WTF?

New Trailer: Bride Wars

The UK trailer for the new romantic comedy Bride Wars, starring Anne Hathaway (Get Smart) and Kate Hudson (My Best Friend’s Girl), has just been released and while I like the two actresses I must say it really doesn’t look that good. Still, it’s probably just the trailer that’s very badly put together and judging from the pedigree involved, the film should be quite entertaining.

Bride Wars tells the story of two best friends who become bitter rivals when they accidentally schedule their respective weddings the same day. The film co-stars Candice Bergen (ABC’s Boston Legal), Bryan Greenberg (ABC’s October Road) and Chris Pratt (Wanted). It is directed by Gary Winick (Charlotte’s Web) and was written by Greg DePaul (Saving Silverman), and relative newcomers June Raphael & Casey Wilson. Bride Wars will premiere in the US on January 9th, 2009. Will you go watch it?

New Trailer: The Soloist

Honestly this trailer looks rather poorly made to me, but The Soloist remains one of my most anticipated films of this year, simply because it marks the third feature effort for British director Joe Wright, whose previous two films, Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, are amazing masterpieces which you should watch if you haven’t already.

The Soloist is based on the true story of schizophrenic violinist prodigy Nathaniel Ayers and the Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez who rediscovered him as a homeless man playing half-broken instruments on LA street corners. Lopez went on to befriend Ayers and wrote a series of articles on him, followed by a book which served as the basis for this film.

Talented screenwriter Susannah Grant (Charlotte’s Web) penned the adaptation, which stars Jamie Foxx (The Kingdom), Robert Downey Jr. (Tropic Thunder) and Catherine Keener (Into The Wild). The Soloist will premiere in the US on November 21st.

New Trailer: The Secret Life Of Bees

Written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball), The Secret Life Of Bees is a forthcoming adventure/drama based on a bestselling novel by Sue Monk Kidd. Here’s the book’s synopsis, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily’s fierce-hearted black “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina – a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introuced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna.

From the looks of the trailer, this seems like it could a nice movie, in a wholesome fun for the whole family kind of way (sort of like The Pursuit Of Happyness, which isn’t surprising since Will Smith is producing). Set for release in the USA on October 17th, The Secret Life Of Bees stars Dakota Fanning (Charlotte’s Web), who’s turning into a very pretty girl, Queen Latifah (Mad Money), Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls), Alicia Keys (Smokin’ Aces), Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda), Paul Bettany (The Da Vinci Code) and Hilarie Burton (The CW’s One Tree Hill).