Bourne cash-in finally kicks in

Following the incredible success of the three Jason Bourne movies, one would have thought that Hollywood would be quick to adapt every Robert Ludlum book in sight. It was surprisingly not the case however as the only thing we got is a TV-movie based on a novel bearing Ludlum’s name but not actually written by him.

Now celebrated Canadian director David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises) is in talks to helm The Matarese Circle, which was adapted by duo Michael Brandt & Derek Haas (Wanted) and will star Denzel Washington (American Gangster).

In the 1979 book, two rival intelligence agents, one American, one Soviet, find themselves working together to ferret out and vanquish members of a mysterious group of criminals called the Matarese that has infiltrated the highest levels of American government. Ludlum published a sequel to “Circle,” “The Matarese Countdown,” in 1997, but the studio did not acquire the rights to it.

Cronenberg would definitely be a very interesting choice, and this would mark his biggest film yet, but the real question is, why the hell did MGM not buy the sequel rights? Just imagine the mess if a rival studio decides to snatch them.

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The Hobbit movies in jeopardy!

The descendants of J.R.R. Tolkien, the man who wrote The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, have given New Line Cinema a deadline: they have ten days to pay them 150 million dollars in unpaid LOTR royalties or the case will go to trial in October, thus indefintely delaying the two planned Hobbit movies from director Guillermo Del Toro (the Hellboy films).

As for New Line, they’re no stranger to lawsuits when it comes to Tolkien. Some of you may remember LOTR trilogy director Peter Jackson suing them over not being paid what he was owed, and a legal battle with MGM over who actually owns the movie rights to The Hobbit. New Line should just man up and pay up in my opinion.

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Guillermo Del Toro inks long-term deal with Universal Pictures

Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro (the Hellboy movies) has agreed to direct four new movies and produce scores of others for Universal Pictures by 2017. The deal will come into effect in 2012, as soon as Del Toro finishes work on his two Hobbit movies for MGM and New Line Cinema.

The films Del Toro will direct are new adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, as well as an adaptation of Dan Simmons’ upcoming Drood, a novel chronicling the last days of author Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist). Strangely, no Hellboy 3.

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Has the Poltergeist remake found its director?

It was recently reported that MGM is developing a remake of the 1982 horror classic Poltergeist, and now it appears the’ve found their director. Ukrainian-born filmmaker Vadim Perelman (House Of Sand And Fog) is currently in heavy negotations, and things are supposedly looking quite good. It’s not a lock, but this would be a very interesting choice. House Of Sand And Fog, which was Perelman’s first film, is a stunning masterpiece…watch it if you haven’t already. Superb visuals, stellar acting, entrancing music and engrossing script, that movie has it all.

The Poltergeist remake is currently being written by the Juliet Snowden and Stiles White duo (Boogeyman). Most people cowered in fear at the thought that these two were adapting the classic, as Boogeyman is generally regarded as a turd, but I will go on record as saying that Boogeyman is a seriously underrated movie. That film is sadly misunderstood by its watchers but actually has a very original, clever story that is shakespearian in a way. It is also a rare 21st century American mainstream horror movie that isn’t a remake or a sequel. So yes, I think that if this wirting/directing team is final, the new Poltergeist could end up pleasantly surprising many, many people.

The original Poltergeist, which I haven’t seen yet, was directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1 & 2) on an original story by the legendary Steven Spielberg (do you really need an intro?), who co-wrote the script with the Michael Grais and Mark Victor duo (Marked For Death). It is widely regarded as one of the scariest movies ever made and was followed by two sequels. There was also a spin-off TV show in the mid-to-late nineties, Poltergeist: The Legacy, but it apparently doesn’t have much (if anything) to do with the films.

Poltergeist is slated for 2009, but the real question is, will the infamous real-life “curse” carry on to the remake?

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New 007 movie pushed back one week in US. Collective head scratching from fans.

Following Warner Bros’ decision to move the next Harry Potter movie’s release from November 2008 to  July 2009, Hollywood studios have decided to play the “Release date shuffle game”. First Twilight is pushed up, and now Quantum Of Solace is pushed back…huh?! Yes, the next Bond movie will now open on November 14th in the US instead of November 7th. Mr Jeff Blake, who works marketing and distribution for Sony Pictures had this to say:

We believe Nov. 14 is a great date that allows us to play straight through Thanksgiving and right into Christmas. We believe this decision will give the public a wider opportunity to see the film over the holiday.

Ok Jeff, whatever you say. Fun fact however: Quantum Of Solace will open in France and the UK on October 31st, and in more than half the world between November 5th and November 7th. So I’ll see the movie half a month before anyone in America does, high five to me!

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