Book Of Eli gets into gear

Remember that new sci-fi action movie starring Denzel Washington (American Gangster)? Well things are getting moving as Gary Oldman (Gordon in the new Batman films and Sirius Black in the Harry Potter franchise) has signed on as well.

“Eli” revolves around a lone warrior (Washington) who must fight to bring society the knowledge that could be the key to its redemption. Oldman has been set to portray the despot of a small makeshift town who’s determined to take possession of the book Eli’s guarding.

Written by newcomer Gary Whitta and Anthony Peckham (Don’t Say A Word), Book Of Eli marks the return of sibling directors Allen & Albert Hughes (From Hell), the film will start shooting in New Mexico this February for a January 2010 release.

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Dracula to return, officially that is

Dracula is such an omnipresent figure of today’s culture it’s sometimes easy to forget that he isn’t a product of mythical lore but rather a relatively recent (1897) literary creation by author Bram Stoker (above), just like Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter and no, not The Three Musketeers because those actually really existed.

Now Bram’s great gand-nephew Dacre Stoker has gathered discarded notes from his renowned ancestor’s archives and has set about writing an official sequel to the original book, set 25 years later and titled Dracula: The Un-Dead, with the help of genre specialist Ian Holt.

The book will only be released by this time next year but the movie rights have already been sold, and the adaptation will start shooting in June 2009! Dutch filmmaker Jan De Bont (Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life) will produce and probably direct. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but if we’re getting the sequel to a story, shouldn’t we get a new adaptation of the original first?

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New Trailer: Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories is a new Disney movie directed by Adam Shankman (Hairspray), starring Adam Sandler (You Don’t Mess With The Zohan), Keri Russell (August Rush), Guy Pearce (Traitor), Courteney Cox Arquette (FX’s Dirt), Russell Brand (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Aisha Tyler (Balls Of Fury), Lucy Lawless (Sci Fi’s Battlestar Galactica), Jonathan Pryce (Leatherheads) and Richard Griffiths (the Harry Potter films) among others.

The film, written by Matt Lopez (The Wild) and Tim Herlihy (Mr. Deeds), focuses on a guy who discovers that the bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew mysteriously come true. Bedtime Stories premieres in most countries around Christmas/New Year’s. I think Sandler is a great, underrated actor, but this seems to be among his lesser films. In any case there’ll always be Keri and Courteney to look at, so that’s a plus. What do you guys think?

Suck on this Warner Bros, Hari Puttar FTW!

If you’ve already been to this site, you’ve probably heard about the Harry Potter/Hari Puttar lawsuit Warner Bros initiated about a month ago. If not, the gist is that Warner Bros filed a lawsuit against Indian company Mirchii Movies over the latter’s film Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors, complaining it resembled its Harry Potter property a tad too much. Of course, Hari has nothing in common with Harry and is actually more of a Home Alone ripoff. You can read more about it here (including Hari Puttar‘s trailer) and here.

As I predicted, Warner Bros succeeded only in embarassing themselves, as Indian courts rejected the complaint yesterday on grounds that the stories are in no way similar and that Warner knew of the film since 2005 (!). Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors will now come out this Friday in India, instead of the September 12th release originally planned.

In related Potter news, 25 minutes of the sixth film’s IMAX presentation will be converted for a 3D presentation. Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince will open worldwide in mid-July 2009.

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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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Tragedy befalls Helena Bonham Carter

Our condoleances go out to Mrs Carter and her family as four members of the Carter clan brutally died this week after their tour bus blew a tire and flipped over during a South African safari. MSN Movies reports:

Carter’s aunt, 74-year-old Brenda Bonham Carter, and her husband Francis Kirkwood, 75, were killed along with Marcus Egerton-Warburton, the 14-year-old son of Carter’s cousin, Fiona. Fiona is said to have suffered a broken collarbone in the accident. Her other son, Piers, reportedly suffered whiplash injuries. The fourth victim is believed to be Kay Boardman, the wife of Fiona’s brother Graham.

Helena Bonham Carter, a British actress, is best known in recent years for her roles in husband Tim Burton’s films and her part as dark witch Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter movies. She will next be seen on the big screen in 2009, in the blockbusters Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince and Terminator Salvation.

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Harry Potter attacks Hari Puttar

In what can only be labeled a bitch move, Warner Bros has filed a lawsuit against Indian production company Mirchi Movies regarding the forthcoming film Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors. The reason? Warner feels the movie is taking advantage of the Harry Potter name. WB spokeswoman Deborah Lincoln tells The Hollywood Reporter:

“We have recently commenced proceedings against parties involved in the production and distribution of a movie entitled ‘Hari Puttar’. Warner Bros. values and protects intellectual property rights. However, it is our policy not to discuss publicly the details of any ongoing litigation.”

Mirchi CEO Munish Purii retorded:

We registered the ‘Hari Puttar’ title in 2005 and it’s unfortunate that Warner has chosen to file a case so close to our film’s release. In my opinion, I don’t think our title has any similarity or links with ‘Harry Potter.’

The irony here? Mr Purii is actually the one who’s right. From the looks of Hari Puttar‘s trailer, the movie has nothing to do with the world’s most famous teenage wizard and is actually eerily similar to the Home Alone franchise, a property owned by Twentieth Century-Fox. So if anyone should file a lawsuit against Hari Puttar, it ought to be Fox, a company currently tangled with Warner in a messy battle over the Watchmen rights (god, it’s like a vicious circle).

Article continues after the jump. Also, Hari Puttar trailer.

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