“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?

Dr. Strange movie coming after The Avengers

Mystic Update: Outspoken Doctor Strange fan Neil Gaiman (Beowulf) says he would love to write the movie.

Kevin Feige, president of production for Marvel Studios, has expressed his enthusiasm at the thought of a Dr. Strange movie.

“Very much so,” Feige said. “I’d say in the next year, year and a half, as we start putting together our film slate for 2012 and 2013, I would not be shocked if we saw Dr. Strange on those lists. I love the idea of tapping into the magical realm of the Marvel Universe, which is fairly significant and hasn’t yet seen life on screen.

I’ll admit to not knowing that much about the character, but Doctor Strange is the “Sorcerer Supreme” in the Marvel Universe and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, who also co-created Spider-Man. Head over to his Wikipedia page to know more.

There has actually been a live-action adaptation of the comic book before, which was a TV-movie for CBS back in 1978 (trailer here) and was apparently relatively well received. Other than that the character has appeared on screen in a number of Marvel animated series and had his own straight-to-DVD animated film in 2007 (trailer here).

The mega-successes of Iron Man and The Dark Knight this year are a sure sign that comic book movies still attract moviegoers, and one can only appreciate the way Marvel is taking more control over its properties and making them share a same continuity, as they should. That being said, how do you feel about a Dr. Strange flick? Vote and tell me in the comments.

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Fun Stuff: Hollywood Hair Makeover

Ever wondered how you’d look like with your favorite celebrity’s hairstyle? Well now you can thanks to Instyle and its Hollywood Virtual Hair Makeover. The downside? It’s geared for women so it’s only female celebs. But it’s still totally worth it because: it’s 100% free, you can upload as many photos as you want, it’s damn hilarious to see yourself with elaborate feminine hairstyles and most of all it looks pretty damn realistic as you can see from the above pics of actor Brad Pitt (Burn After Reading) sporting the hairstyles of his three high profile romances: Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man), Jennifer Aniston (The Break-Up) and Angelina Jolie (Changeling).

More Fun Stuff

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.

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?

New Trailer and Poster: Confessions Of A Shopaholic

Confessions Of A Shopaholic, based on a series of novels by Sophie Kinsella has long been hyped as the new The Devil Wears Prada. There’s only one problem though, that movie was actually good, while this looks bad, bad, bad. In any case the film will premiere in the US and Russia just before Valentine’s Day 2009.

Adapted by Tim Firth (Calendar Girls) and Tracey Jackson (The Guru), Confessions Of A Shopaholic tells, obviously enough of a compulsive shopper who gets in over her head in financial trouble. Directed by P.J. Hogan (Peter Pan), the film stars Isla Fisher (Definitely, Maybe), Hugh Dancy (The Jane Austen Book Club), Krysten Ritter (What Happens In Vegas), Joan Cusack (Kit Kittredge: An American Girl), John Goodman (Speed Racer), Leslie Bibb (Iron Man), Kristin Scott Thomas (The Other Boleyn Girl) and John Lithgow (Dreamgirls).

I’m actually a guy who enjoys so-called “chick flicks” but this just made me cringe, from the unfunny silliness of it all to the way Fisher says “Gucci”…*shudder*…What do you think? Also, why the hell is action man Jerry Bruckheimer (the National Treasure films) producing this?

 

Hollywood has gone IMAX crazy

After both Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye) both expressing their wish to shoot part of their next respective films in the IMAX format, word has come out that director Michael Bay (Transformers) actually is doing it right now with the currently-filming Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen. This year’s record breaking The Dark Knight is the culprit responsible for starting the trend.

As you may or may not know, IMAX screens, in addition to being much bigger, are much more square-shaped than “normal” ones, with an aspect ratio of 143/100 as compared to 185/100 which is the standard for most films these days. I wasn’t lucky enough to catch The Dark Knight in IMAX but a lot of people who did insist it is truly amazing to behold. From what I understand, the image would expand for certain scenes, offering the viewer a greater immersion into the film.

If any of you have seen The Dark Knight in IMAX, please tell me is it really worth all the hassle? Is IMAX the big new cinematic revolution?

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Thor finally gets a director, maybe

After director Matthew Vaughn (Stardust) bailed out to helm Kick-Ass and D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye) threw his name in the mix, another filmmaker is now attached to Marvel Studios’ forthcoming adaptation of the comic book Thor, one that is the most unusual and the most interesting.

Indeed it’s none other than Northern Irish actor/director Kenneth Branagh (Much Ado About Nothing), who is probably being sought for his strong affinity with shakespearean themes, which are apparently prominent in the comic. If this pans out, I’m convinced Branagh could churn out an amazing film.

Thor will be firmly set in the same continuity as Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and other forthcoming Marvel films, and like those movies will lead into the planned 2011 The Avengers movie. Thor will be released in 2010. The screenplay was written by Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend).

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Christmas Trailers: Four Christmases & Nothing Like The Holidays

The end of year is looming so naturally, Christmas-themed movies! Both these films deal with holiday family reunions with Four Christmases taking the more comedic gag approach and Nothing Like The Holidays appearing to be more of the “heartwarming” type of movie. While both films look nice, I’d say I have a preference for the less commercial Nothing Like The Holidays. Tell me what you think in the comments. 

Four Christmases

Four Christmases is directed by Seth Gordon (The King Of Kong) and written by newcomers Matt R. Allen & Caleb Wilson with Jon Lucas & Scott Moore (Rebound). It stars Vince Vaughn (Fred Claus), Reese Witherspoon (Rendition), Robert Duvall (We Own The Night), Jon Favreau (Iron Man), Sissy Spacek (Hot Rod) and country singer Tim McGraw (The Kingdom) among others. It premiers in the US on Novmber 26th.

Nothing Like The Holidays

Nothing Like The Holidays is directed by Alfredo De Villa (Adrift In Manhattan) and written by Rick Najera (1 episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman), Alison Swan (Mixing Nia) and newcomer Ted Perkins. It stars John Leguizamo (Righteous Kill), Alfred Molina (Silk), Freddy Rodriguez (Grindhouse), Jay Hernandez (Lakeview Terrace) and Luis Guzmán (Cleaner) among others. It premieres in the US on October 12th and was previously titled Humboldt Park.

Y: The Last Man to be in IMAX?

Following The Dark Knight‘s acclaimed use of IMAX for certain key scenes, it seems Hollywood believes the future of cinema lies in the super big screen. First, Iron Man director Jon Favreau expressed his wish to shoot part of Shellhead’s sequel in the format, and now it’s D.J. Caruso’s (Disturbia) turn for his forthcoming adaptation of Y: The Last Man.

According to Wikipedia, Y: The Last Man is “about the only man to survive the mysterious simultaneous death of every male mammal on Earth”. The adaptation was penned by Disturbia scribe Carl Ellsworth and will reunite Caruso with star Shia LaBeouf (Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull) for the third time.

As you may or may not know, IMAX screens are much more square-shaped than “normal” ones, with an aspect ratio of 143/100 as compared to 185/100 which is the standard for most films these days. I wasn’t lucky enough to catch The Dark Knight in IMAX but a lot of people who did insist it is truly amazing to behold. From what I understand, the image would expand for certain scenes, offering the viewer a greater immersion into the film. So sure, why not?

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