Keira Knightley & Orlando Bloom reuniting for Saturday Night Fever remake?

Pirates Of The Caribbean on-screen couple Keira Knightley & Orlando Bloom are apparently considering a reunion for The Fever Returns, which is either a second sequel or a remake to the 1977 classic dance flick Saturday Night Fever (trailer above), details are unclear. The film will be set in Hoddedson, a small British town and all I can say is….WTF?

ah ah ah ah Stayin Alive! Stayin Alive!

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Disney announcements galore

The Walt Disney Company had a big presentation a couple of days ago where they announced a bunch of new movies, including three starring Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street). These are a new adaptation of The Lone Ranger written by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio (National Treasure: Book Of Secrets) where Depp will play Tonto and George Clooney (Burn After Reading) might play the titular character, a new part live-action/part CGI adaptation of Alice In Wonderland written by Linda Woolverton (Mulan) and directed by frequent collaborator Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd…) so yeah obviously, and as expected, a fourth Pirates Of The Caribbean film.

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It was also announced that Cars 2 would be released in 2011 instead of 2012 and that the story will have Mater joining Lightning McQueen on a world tour. Additionally several short films entitled Car-toons will be set between the two films and will air on the Disney Channel and perhaps before some theatrical films. Thus, the Disney/Pixar film originally planned for 2011, Newt, will instead be released in 2012.

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Blackbeard biopic to be made with a shaky cam

British director Paul Greengrass (the Bourne movies) has added a new film to his list of projects: a movie about the notorious pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, who operated in the Caribbean Sea and the western Atlantic Ocean during the early 18th century.

Written by the Oscar-winning David Franzoni (King Arthur), Blackbeard will be told from the point of view of Lieutenant Robert Maynard, an ex-follower of Blackbeard’s who was later put in charge of his capture. The makers intend this to be the anti-Pirates Of The Caribbean and are aiming for an R rating in the US.

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ILM to fully animate new film Rango for Paramount

A new animated film reuniting versatile director Gore Verbinski with his Pirates Of The Caribbean star Johnny Depp has been announced. Written by John Logan (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street), Rango is based on an original idea by Verbinski which has Depp’s character being “a household pet that goes on an adventure to discover its true self”.

One of the most interesting aspects of the project however, is that George Lucas’ special effects company Industrial Light & Magic (responsible for the visuals of half the American blockbusters you see each year) is set to animate the film, making this the first time the company undertakes such a project. I fully trust their work will be nothing short of amazing, and have included ILM’s sole experience in full animation, the cinematics for the superb video game Star Wars: Bounty Hunter from 2002.

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Keira Knightley isn’t enthusiastic about Pirates 4

Britsh actress Keira Knightley, who plays Elizabeth Swann in the extremely successful Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy and owes much of her fame to those films, isn’t very keen to reprise her role in the proposed fourth movie.

“I think it was wonderful and an amazing opportunity and those films were just extraordinary and I was extremely lucky to be a part of them. But no. I think my pirating days may be over.”

I don’t think Keira needs to worry, as Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 will reportedly focus solely on Johnny Depp’s character Jack Sparrow, the Elizabeth Swann/Will Turner story arc having concluded in the last film.

Walt Disney wants to start production in 2009, but that may be pushed back as many details haven’t been set yet (director, script, cast, etc…). In any case, except a new Pirates movie by 2010/2011. As for Keira Knightley, her latest period drama The Duchess was released five days ago in the UK to generally positive reviews.

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Slew of directors interested in new Heavy Metal movie?

In case you didn’t know, a second sequel to the 1981 cult animated film Heavy Metal is in the works. Like the first two films, it will be a collection of short segments from various directors, including David Fincher (Zodiac). Now, Heavy Metal magazine owner Kevin Eastman says directors Zack Snyder (300), Gore Verbinski (the Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy) and Guillermo Del Toro (the Hellboy films) are all interested in joining the project. Befor you write this off as fact however, keep in mind that this is the same guy who said the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would go live-action again, which turned out to be false (more on that here). The new Heavy Metal is planned for 2010

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Kristen Bell joins Astro Boy voice cast

28 year old Kristen Bell (NBC’s Heroes) has just been added to the voice cast of the forthcoming animated movie Astro Boy. Bell, who for some reason passes as every fanboy’s favorite twenty-something actress, thus joins Freddie Highmore (The Spiderwick Chronicles), Nicolas Cage (Bangkok Dangerous), Bill Nighy (Pirates Of The Caribbean 2 & 3), Donald Sutherland (Fool’s Gold), Eugene Levy (the American Pie films) and Nathan Lane (Swing Vote), among others.

The long-gestating movie is of course based on the manga by legendary artist/animator/doctor Osamu Tezuka (Metropolis), and is directed by David Bowers (Flushed Away) through Imagi Animation (TMNT). The story, adapted by Timothy Harris (Space Jam), goes like this according to Wikipedia:

Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist in the image of the son he has lost. Unable to fulfill the grieving man’s expectations, Astro Boy embarks on a journey in search of acceptance, experiencing betrayal and a netherworld of robot gladiators, before he returns to save Metro City and reconcile with the father who had rejected him.

Astro Boy is expected to release in 2009, but a date has yet to be set.

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