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?

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Movie Of The Day: Melinda And Melinda (2004)

A writer, director and sometimes actor who’s enjoyed considerably more success abroad than in his own country but is nevertheless regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and able to attract big names to his projects, Woody Allen (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) is an incredibly prolific and rythmic worker, churning out one film a year like clockwork. Melinda And Melinda marks his 2004 offering, though it was released in 2005 in numerous countries.

Actually two stories in one (thus the title), the film has two playwrights arguing about whether life at its core is tragic or comic. One of their friends thus suggests a challenge by setting the premise of a troubled woman crashing a dinner party and asking whether the subsequent events would evolve into a tragedy or a comedy. Naturally, we see both options unfold at the same time.

As is common for Woody Allen films, Melinda And Melinda stars a substantial amount of notable people including Radha Mitchell (The Children Of Huang Shi), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Redbelt), Will Ferrell (Step Brothers), Jonny Lee Miller (Aeon Flux), Amanda Peet (The X-Files: I Want To Believe), Chloë Sevigny (Zodiac), Wallace Shawn (Kit Kittredge: An American Girl), Josh Brolin (American Gangster) and Steve Carrell (Get Smart) among others. Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

New Trailer: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

Response to footage of The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, the new film from cult director David Fincher (Zodiac), has been rather lukewarm so far but I must say this trailer looks amazing, just like the first one. Naturally, this new trailer gives us more insight into the movie’s plot and it seems fascinating, while reminding me a bit of last year’s Youth Without Youth, the overlooked comeback of legendary director Francis Ford Coppola (The Rainmaker).

Written by Eric Roth (Lucky You) and Robin Swicord (The Jane Austen Book Club), based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby), The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button tells the story of a man who’s born with the body of an old man and who grows younger as he ages. It stars Brad Pitt (Burn After Reading), Cate Blanchett (Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull), Tilda Swinton (Burn After Reading), Elle Fanning (Reservation Road, also Charlotte’s Web actress Dakota’s younger sister), Elias Koteas (Shooter), Jason Flemyng (Mirrors) and Julia Ormond (Kit Kittredge: An American Girl) among others.

In any case, this promises another brilliant performance for Pitt. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button will premiere around Christmas in the US and Australia and in most other countries in January & February 2009. But to me the real question is, what’s with all the Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett pairings recently? First they were supposed to co-star in The Fountain, then they were together in Babel and now this…WTF?

Original team back for Spider-Man 4 and 5!!! Also, Venom news

It’s official, director Sam Raimi and lead actor Tobey Maguire will return for the next two Spider-Man movies, which may even shoot back-to-back! Kirsten Dunst, who plays the hero’s love interest Mary Jane Watson, is not locked in but she’s expected to return as well (it’s not like she has anything else going on right now). Earlier this week, Bryce Dallas Howard expressed interest in returning as Gwen Stacy, the competing love interest she played in Spider-Man 3 (more on that here). My advice, kill off Kirsten in the opening credits, continue with Bryce.

As for the villain, though it hasn’t been officially announced, most people believe it will be The Lizard, as his human persona was featured in the two previous movies (played by Dylan Bakers).  But then again, most people thought The Lizard would be the third movie’s villain. James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) has been writing the films, the first of which will come out in May 2011.

In related news, a Venom spin-off is still planned, and Topher Grace, the actor who portrayed him in Spider-Man 3, will most likely star despite previous reports to the contrary. It is unknown as to when a Venom movie can be expected. Also, what would Venom do on his own?

Finally, that Spider-Man 4 auction ended at a whooping 28100 dollars. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read this.

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Matt Damon to discover the Cleveland Torso Murderer?

Matt Damon (the Bourne movies) is reportedly in talks to star in Torso for director David Fincher (Zodiac). If cast, Damon will play Eliot Ness, the famous Cleveland chief of police and former head of “The Untouchables” who spearheaded the search for the Cleveland Torso Murderer, so named because he only left the torsos of his victims, making them very difficult to identify.

Ehren Kruger (The Brothers Grimm) adapted the script from the Eisner Award winning comic book by Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko, itself inspired by the true crime story. Torso‘s release is currently set for next year.

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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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Bryce, James, and Sam discuss Spider-Man 4

Actress Bryce Dallas Howard, who played the part of Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man 3, would love to be back for the fourth outing of the web-slinger’s franchise, but understands if they leave her out of it.

“You know, honestly, I would love to be apart of any continuation of the franchise. But, I also really understand that there’s so many different story lines that the fans are really excited to see, and the studio, and the producers, and the filmmakers really need to appease everyone,” the actress said. “Whether or not Gwen Stacy comes back, I mean, I wish it was up to me, but it’s not. But yes, if they’d call me, I’d be there in a heart beat.”

As for James Cromwell, who played her father in the film, he believes their characters should appear at the beginning of the film, only to immediately perish (huh?). Finally, Sam Raimi, director of the three previous films, has stated that he would definitely love to be part of Spider-Man 4 in some capacity, but didn’t elaborate as to what capacity he was referring to.

Spider-Man 4 is being written by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) and will pave the way for two more movies in the popular franchise. The rest of the cast and crew are unknown at this point, but hero Tobey Maguire expects he’ll be back if Sam Raimi is directing again and heroine Kirsten Dunst believes the film can’t possibly be a success if she’s not in it (yeah, right). My advice? Do the opposite of the the comics: kill off Kirsten Dunst and keep Bryce Dalls Howard. The movie will come out in 2011.

By the way, you still have more than three days to buy your way into the film, with the auction currently at 5501,99 American dollars (more on that here)

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