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).
Funnyman Ben Stiller (Tropic Thunder) is apparently in consideration to direct The Trial Of The Chicago 7, a court movie based on real events which Steven Spielberg (the Indiana Jones films) has been dragging along for a couple of years. Paul Greengrass, director of the last two Bourne films, was attached to the pic in August.
The script was written by Aaron Sorkin (Charlie Wilson’s War) and a few actors are already attached, namely Sacha Baron Cohen (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street), Will Smith (Hancock) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War).
As far as I know, Stiller has never strayed, even slightly, from comedy, so if this confirms, will he pull it off? I find that comic actors are often of excellent dramatic performances, but what about comedy directors? On a side note, the events were also recently the subject of an animated documentary titled Chicago 10.
Series stars Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith are reportedly game for a third outing of the popular alien cop franchise according to series producer Walter Parkes. Al that’s needed now is an opening in the actors’ schedules as Smith is busy with a gazillion projects including The Last Pharaoh and an I Am Legend prequel while Jones is hard at work shooting Islands In The Stream, his second movie as a director. That and there’s no script yet. Anyway, Men In Black III (MIIIB?), are you interested?
After months of speculation, a prequel to last year’s sci-fi hit I Am Legend is now officially underway with director Francis Lawrence and star Will Smith set to return and newcomer D.B. White penning the script. The film will follow Smith’s character Robert Neville a few days before and a few days after a virus mutates mankind. I was extremely disappointed by I Am Legend, especially considering Lawrence’s previous film Constantine, so I’m pretty much unexcited, how about you?
Will Smith has been cast in the role of Nubian pharaoh Taharqa in The Last Pharaoh, the forthcoming peplum from little-known British director Christopher Miles (The Clandestine Marriage). Written by Randall Wallace (We Were Soldiers), the film will reportedly center on Egypt’s conflict with Assyria from 677 B.C. onwards.
Unlike a lot of people I’ve been very impressed with quite a few of the recent ancient/medieval epics, so I think this could turn out to be a pretty good film and Ancient Egypt hasn’t been depicted in a serious film for a very long time. Still, one must wonder how Christopher Miles became involved with such a grand scale film.
Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington (American Gangster) is hoping to emulate Will Smith’s I Am Legend, it seems. Indeed, the actor has signed on for the lead role in the forthcoming dystopian sci-fi flick The Book Of Eli from fraternal directing duo Albert and Allen Hughes (From Hell). The story you ask?
A lone hero fights his way across the wasteland of post-apocalyptic America. He’s the protector of a sacred book that may hold the key to saving humanity.
The film, which could easily surpass Smith’s lackluster effort, is scripted by newcomer Gary Whitta and Anthony Peckham (Don’t Say A Word). The film is still very much in the planning stages, so no release date is set.
A crime comedy directed by Sam Weisman (Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star), What’s The Worst That Could Happen? stars Martin Lawrence (College Road Trip) and Danny DeVito (FX’s It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia), along with John Leguizamo (The Happening), Carmen Ejogo (NBC’s Kidnapped), the late Bernie Mac (Transformers) and William Fichtner (The Dark Knight). It is based on a novel by Donald E. Westlake (Payback), which was adapted by Matthew Chapman (Runaway Jury).
Lawrence plays a thief who fails to successfully rob a billionaire’s beach house, as said billionaire, played by Danny DeVito, was there. The billionaire then steals the thief’s lucky ring, which was just given to him by his girlfriend (Ejogo). Since the billionaire refuses to give back the ring, the thief vows to make his life miserable by embarassing him in front of his peers and robbing him again, and again, and again…and again. Trailer and review after the jump.
Written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball), The Secret Life Of Bees is a forthcoming adventure/drama based on a bestselling novel by Sue Monk Kidd. Here’s the book’s synopsis, courtesy of Wikipedia:
Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily’s fierce-hearted black “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina – a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introuced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna.
From the looks of the trailer, this seems like it could a nice movie, in a wholesome fun for the whole family kind of way (sort of like The Pursuit Of Happyness, which isn’t surprising since Will Smith is producing). Set for release in the USA on October 17th, The Secret Life Of Bees stars Dakota Fanning (Charlotte’s Web), who’s turning into a very pretty girl, Queen Latifah (Mad Money), Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls), Alicia Keys (Smokin’ Aces), Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda), Paul Bettany (The Da Vinci Code) and Hilarie Burton (The CW’s One Tree Hill).