American Pie returning to theaters?

 

Following the franchise’s third outing in 2003, American Wedding aka American Pie: The Wedding, Universal Pictures produced three straight-to-DVD sequels featuring none of the original cast apart from Eugene Levy (Jim’s Dad) and Chris Owen’s Sherman (in the first one) and focusing on members of Stifler’s family (the character played by Seann William Scott).

The success of these video outings has prompted Universal to think of a new theatrical installment, featuring the original cast of course. No one’s been signed on to the as yet untitled flick, but since none of the cast have really it hit big (with the possible exception of Scott), I don’t really see anyone turning down the flick. Are you interested in a new American Pie flick with the original cast?

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Guillermo Del Toro will now also write books

Despite everything else on his plate right now, Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro (the Hellboy films) will find the time to co-write a trilogy of vampire thrillers with Chuck Hogan, whose novel The Prince Of Thieves was recently announced as being adapted by and with Ben Affleck (Hollywoodland).

Story will revolve around an invasion of New York City by a vampiric virus. Series will trace the roots of the vampiric race back to its Old Testament origins.

The books will be published by HarperCollins in the U.K., and a special edition will be published simultaneously by the company’s Spanish-language imprint, Rayo, in the U.S.

Del Toro is currently in pre-production of two films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and will then enter a long-term deal with Universal Pictures.

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New Moby Dick to become a special effects bonanza

Universal Pictures is planning yet another adaptation of Herman Melville’s classic 1851 novel Moby Dick, and are looking to take it the brainless summer blockbuster route with Russian-Kazakh director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) at the helm. What’s more, the story will be modernized and robbed of its point.

Gone is the first-person narration by the young seaman Ishmael, who observes how Ahab’s obsession with killing the great white whale overwhelms his good judgment as captain.

This change will allow them to depict the whale’s decimation of other ships prior to its encounter with Ahab’s Pequod, and Ahab will be depicted more as a charismatic leader than a brooding obsessive.

The screenwriting duo responsible for this rape are the illustrious Adam Cooper & Bill Collage (Accepted). Meanwhile, Melville is rolling over in his grave and Michael Bay (Transformers) is wondering whether they’ll finally let him film John Steinbeck’s East Of Eden the way it was “meant to be seen”. No word on whether noted whale lover Hayden Panettiere (NBC’s Heroes) is already boycotiing the film.

Fun Fact: Techno musician Moby is in fact Herman Melville’s great-great-great-grandnephew.

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The Trouble With Tintin

Universal Pictures has pulled out of Steven Spielberg’s (the Indiana Jones films) and Peter Jackson’s (King Kong) forthcoming Tintin trilogy because they didn’t agree upon how much the directors should be paid (Spielberg and Jackson wanted 30% of the gross). Now correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t issues such as salary be discussed in the early stages rather than when the movie is supposed to start filming? In any case, Paramount Pictures has stepped in, despite the studio’s current sour relationship with Spielberg.

In related news, British actor Simon Pegg has revealed that he and his Hot Fuzz co-star Nick Frost have been offered the role of detectives Thompson and Thomson (aka Dupond and Dupont originally) in the films, but didn’t say if he’d accepted the part or not.

The Tintin films will be based on one of the most popular and timeless comic books of all time, from Belgian author/artist Hergé. Spielberg has been trying to adapt the books since the early eighties, and is clearly passionate about the project, so even though I’m not convinced about the motion-capture route they’re taking, I trust them.

My only problem with the films is that they seem to be casting only English actors in the roles, whereas Tintin is of course originally in French. Ever since this project was announced I’ve been hesitating about starting a petition demanding the film be made originally in French, with subtitled and dubbed versions released in the US and other countries, but I guess it’s too late now.

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Thirst to get a big release in the US? How about not?

Word has surfaced that Universal Pictures and Focus Features are pitching in to finance Thirst, the new vampire film from celebrated director Park Chan-Wook (Old Boy), and that Focus will distribute the currently shooting film in the US. A lot of people are taking this as a sign that the movie will get some sort of important release in America…All I can say is hold your horses.

You may not know this, but American studios have been financing foreign films for quite some time. As far as I know, Warner Bros has produced French, Italian and Indian films, Walt Disney has made French, Indian and Chinese ones and Columbia has financed Indian and Chinese movies.

Inexplicably, of all these films, barely a handful of them have received any kind of release in the US, and while you can argue that Focus Features is different than other studios, keep in mind they botched Lust, Caution‘s release last year. Thirst will more than likely be one of those movies you’ll have to seek out if you live in the United States, the country where foreign films aren’t allowed.

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Took them long enough: Disturbia getting sued

Nearly everyone with an ounce of movie culture calls Disturbia a Rear Window remake when talking about the 2007 surprise hit film, despite the fact that it isn’t, at least officially. Now, more than a year later, Sheldon Abend Revocable Trust, the owners of Murder From A Fixed Viewpoint (the Cornell Woolrich short story that served as the basis for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film) have taken notice and are finally suing Universal Pictures and DreamWorks for copyright infringement. While Disturbia is a good movie, all I can say is, it’s about time!

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Inside Man 2 gets a screenwriter

While promoting his new World War 2 movie Miracle At St. Anna, director Spike Lee has confirmed that things are moving forward for his planned sequel to Inside Man, his most successful movie to date. According to Lee, screenwriter Terry George (Reservation Road) is currently in talks with Universal Pictures to pen the script, which will feature the original film’s characters.

Personally, I have trouble figuring out how an Inside Man sequel would work. Another heist by the same crew, being investigated by the same cop? I guess we’ll find out when the movie is released come 2010.

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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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Sony to distribute Broken Embraces in the US

Sony’s specialty division Sony Pictures Classics has picked up the US distribution rights for Broken Embraces (original title Los Abrazos Rotos), the latest movie from acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar (Volver). This is somewhat surprising because while Sony has distributed many of Almodóvar’s films in the past, Universal Pictures participated in the financing.

In other words, yet another foreign film that Americans won’t see unless they live in a big city and are actually aware of its release. Why can’t US companies give international films big releases? Some people argue that Americans won’t read subtitles, to this I reply The Passion Of The Christ, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Apocalypto, etc… All you need to do is market the film well and reap the rewards. And for those who won’t read subtitles, dubbing works well for American films overeseas.

Broken Embraces will be a film-noir thriller centering on a four-person love story and reunites Pedro Almodóvar with Volver actresses Penélope Cruz and Blanca Portillo as well as actor Lluís Homar (Bad Education). It will premiere in Spain on March of next year.

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Danny Elfman to score The Wolf Man, whole world utters loud “Duh!”

Superstar music master Danny Elfman (Hellboy II) has just been announced as the composer for Universal’s forthcoming remake of The Wolf Man. Elfman, who’s best known for his frequent collaborations with director Tim Burton as well as his theme for The Simpsons, is a good choice in my opinion, in addition to being a very obvious one (he did score Sleepy Hollow after all). I for one am looking forward to what musical wonders Mr Elfman will come up with.

The Wolf Man, a remake of the 1941 classic, will premiere on April 3rd in the US, UK and Denmark, with the rest of the world following shortly. Footage from the film was shown at this year’s Comic-Con, to very enthusiastic response. The premise of the film, which was written by Andrew Kevin Walker  (hey, Sleepy Hollow!) and David Self (Road To Perdition), goes like this, according to Wikipedia:

Set in the late 1880s, the film keeps the plotline of the original, with Lawrence Talbot meeting his father following the death of his brother. The film details events during Lawrence’s past that led to his estrangement from his father (which includes Gwen), and the setting is expanded from Blackmore (now identified as the village from the original) to London.[3] The official synopsis states Talbot was traumatized by his mother’s death as a child, while Gwen Conliffe is his brother’s fiancée. Following his brother’s disappearance, Talbot hunts a murderer, which turns out to be a werewolf, and the curse is passed on.

The film was originally to be directed by the über-talented Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo), but he left very early on due to budget disagreements, with the pretty competent Joe Johnston (Hidalgo) taking over as helmsman. Benicio Del Toro (Things We Lost In The Fire) plays the lead character and is joined Anthony Hopkins (Beowulf), Hugo Weaving (V For Vendetta) and Emily Blunt (Charlie Wilson’s War).

The Wolf Man will be Universal’s third attempt at resurrecting their old horror franchises, following the success of The Mummy and the failure of Van Helsing (a seriously underrated movie by the way). It seems as though The Wolf Man, which features makeup from maestro Rick Baker (Norbit), will be a decidedly more serious-minded affair than those movies, which turned away some moviegoers with their more light, fun approach to the source material.

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