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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Karl Urban Confirmed For Judge Dredd Reboot

Karl Urban Confirmed For Judge Dredd Reboot

Karl Urban has been confirmed for the leading role in Judge Dredd by producers Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich of the new film. Urban had been rumoured for the role already, but in a Movie-Con Q&A this evening the pair confirmed that he has been cast for the film, shooting in South Africa soon.

“The main thing about Dredd is that it’s a fantastic comic that was completely messed up 20 years ago," said Macdonald. "Our idea is to make a very hard, R-rated, gritty, realistic movie of Dredd in Megacity, so we’ve got to get the tone right. He’s not going to take off his helmet. His bike is going to feel real. He’s going to hit people and it’s going to feel real."

"There’s been a change in comic-book movies; they were treated unseriously and now they’re treated seriously. We’ve cast a guy called Karl Urban to play Dredd. We’ll be shooting in Johannesburg, it’s being directed by Pete Travis, we’re shooting with the people who did District 9 – and if we get it right, Alex has a couple of ideas for other stories as well. It’s not based on any one comic, and John Wagner is involved in every decision."


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Terminator Film To Be Animated:Terminator 3000

 Next Terminator Film To Be Animated:Terminator 3000

The next Terminator film will be in the form of animation from  Hannover House. Hannover House C.E.O. Eric Parkinson handled the distribution of the original "Terminator" feature will develop a 3D animated $70 million dollar budgeted film production called Terminator 3000. The film will stay true to the Terminator franchise and will take place some time around the original film.

Also make sure you read this great article by guest By Jonathan Cyfer
Check out the full Press Release below for more details:

NEW YORK, NY, Aug 12, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Hannover House, the entertainment distribution division of Target Development Group, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: TDGI) (www.HannoverHouse.com), has entered into a feature film development venture with Vancouver-based Red Bear Entertainment, for "Terminator 3000," envisioned as a $70-million dollar budgeted, 3-D animated feature film based on the characters and situations introduced in the original "Terminator" feature. Hannover House C.E.O. Eric Parkinson previously served as C.E.O. of Hemdale Home Video, Inc. and Hemdale Communications, Inc., and handled the distribution of the original "Terminator" feature.

Story details for "Terminator 3000" are being kept under close wraps, but the writers and production team have a stated goal of minimizing violence in order to obtain a PG-13 level of material.

Hemdale produced and distributed director James Cameron's original "Terminator" feature, but released the sequel rights in 1990 to Carolco, which later transferred the rights to ultimately end up under the control of Halcyon Media. Santa Barbara based Pacificor, LLC prevailed in the most recent auction and transfer of rights to the franchise in January, and retains approval and licensing authority over the proposed "Terminator 3000" project.

Hannover House and Red Bear Entertainment will release details of the production timing, financing and principal production personnel later this year, in advance of a proposed January, 2011 start.

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Sections 27A & 21E of the amended Securities and Exchange Acts of 1933-34, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby. Although the company believes that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements contained herein are reasonable, there can be no assurance that these statements included in this press release will prove accurate.

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"Old Spice Guy" Isaiah Mustafa Lands First Movie Role

"Old Spice Guy" Isaiah Mustafa Land First Movie Role

Isaiah Mustafa, currently better known as the Old Spice Guy because of his insanely popular adverts (see the original below), has managed to turn web popularity into film roles. He's now joined the cast of Tyler Perry's next big outing, Madea's Big Happy Family, and also landed a small part in Horrible Bosses.



To tell you the truth I have never seen or wanted to watch any of Tyler Perry's films before but with the casting of Mustafa maybe. Shit I don't think he could even make me want to watch on of Perry's films

Mustafa was already due to work with Perry in a small role in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, but has now switched from that slightly more indie project back to Perry's mainstream Madea franchise, and a much bigger role. He'll play a guy called Calvin, who has two tickets to that thing that you love is struggling with his marriage and family relationships.

Loretta Devine will play his mother-in-law and Bow Wow ( will play his brother. Perry himself (profiled in the current issue of Empire, fact fans) will once again don drag to play the outspoken Madea. The film's shooting now in Atlanta.


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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sly Talks Expendables Sequel

Sly Talks Expendables Sequel

It's not to late to start talking about making a sequel to a film even before it is released in theaters.  Sly and investors are hoping that the film will open huge (which I think it will) so that they can roll out a sequel to the movie.

If this does perform, I think it will open a little more liquidity in funding the sequel. I have an idea ready to go. People think doing a sequel is easy, but it's not because you need the element of surprise. I'm going to try to do something that's quite radical.

I am excited to see this movie that all males who grew up in the 80's always hoped for the Big three in one movie together. Then you add in Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren, Giselle Itie, Eric Roberts, David Zayas and Steve Austin. Sounds like a great combination. We'll find out at the box office if it worked and if we get a sequel.

To read a great review head on over to TheArnoldFans.

Here's the Synopsis for the first film:

THE EXPENDABLES is a hard-hitting action/thriller about a group of mercenaries hired to infiltrate a South American country and overthrow its ruthless dictator. Once the mission begins, the men realize things aren’t quite as they appear, finding themselves caught in a dangerous web of deceit and betrayal. With their mission thwarted and an innocent life in danger, the men struggle with an even tougher challenge - one that threatens to destroy this Band of Brothers.

Barney Ross (Stallone) is a man with nothing to lose. Fearless and void of emotion, he is the leader, the sage and the strategist of this tight-knit band of men who live on the fringe. His only attachment is to his pickup truck, his seaplane and his team of loyal modern-day warriors. His is a true cynic who describes what he does as “removing those hard to get at stains.” The team behind him is made up of Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), former SAS and a savant with anything that has a blade; Yin Yang (Jet Li), a master at close-quarter combat; Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), who has known Barney for ten years and is a long-barrel weapons specialist; Toll Road (Randy Couture), a skilled demolitions expert and considered the intellect of the group; and Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), a combat veteran and an expert in precision sniping who struggles with his own demons.

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The Tillman Story Trailer And Gets A Rated "R"

The Tillman Story Trailer And Gets A Rated "R"

The Weinstein Co announced today that the filmmakers are appealing the "R" ratings which the MPAA just gave The Tillman Story documentary about to be released in theaters August 20th. Of course, far be it from Weinsteins to miss an opportunity to generate controversy and enjoy the ensuing free publicity for their film.  But in this case director Amir Bar Lev and producer John Battsek have an excellent argument when the rating will be appealed on August 12th in Los Angeles. According to The Weinstein Co, the MPAA gave the film that "R" rating based on its “excessive language”.

“Of course there is excessive language,” states John Battsek. “This is a film that follows a truly exemplary family torn apart by the death of their loved one and the barrage of government deceit they encountered in their pursuit of the honest truth. We should be looking at this film as a way to show our younger generation the power of true family values and the sometimes unfortunate failings of our government.”

Watch the trailer after the Jump..



Agreed Bar Lev: “The language in this film is not gratuitous. I think this is how many people would react when faced with the unthinkable. Giving this film an 'R' rating prevents young people from seeing this film; the very people who should be exposed to a great American like Pat Tillman.”

“This is one of the most important films I’ve distributed in my career” Harvey Weinstein said in his company's press release, “and I want my teenage daughter, and the nation’s young adults to be able to watch Pat’s story. We need to learn from this story and limiting who can see it is not the answer.”

When Pat Tillman gave up his professional football career to join the Army Rangers in 2002, he became an instant symbol of patriotic fervor and unflinching duty. But the truth about Pat Tillman is far more complex, and ultimately far more heroic, then the caricature. And when the government tried to turn his death into propaganda, they took on the wrong family. From her home in Northern California, Pat’s mother, Dannie Tillman, led the family’s crusade to reveal the truth beneath the mythology of their son’s life and death. The Tillman Story resounds with emotion and insight, and goes beyond an indictment of the government to touch on themes as timeless as the notion of heroism itself.

The Tillman Story opens limited August 20th, 2010


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John Belushi To Get A Second Life

John Belushi To Get A Second Life

John Belushi may be getting a (second) second life on the big screen.

"The Pursuit of Happyness" screenwriter Steven Conrad and "The Hangover" director-producer Todd Phillips are developing a biographical film about the late comedian's life. Warner Bros. recently acquired the rights from Belushi's estate.

Conrad will script the project and Phillips will produce, though he has not yet committed to directing it. Alexandra Milchan and Bonnie Timmerman are also producing.

In a typically difficult process that saw the rights deal come together, then fall apart, then come back together again, the project would be the latest attempt at a full-scale biopic about the "Saturday Night Live" cast member and film star who died of a drug overdose in 1982 at age 33.

Belushi's life was famously detailed in Bob Woodward's 1985 biography, "Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi." That book is not part of the rights deal, unsurprisingly, since it was widely criticized by Belushi's family and comedy peers when it was published. When "Wired" was subsequently turned into a 1989 feature starring Michael Chiklis, Belushi's friends and family publicly boycotted the film, which then OD'd at the box office.



Belushi's widow, Judith, published her own oral history, "Belushi: A Biography," in 2005. She will be an executive producer on the project, as Judith Belushi Pisano (she's since remarried).

The Chicago-born Belushi was a member of the Second City comedy troupe before becoming one of the original performers on "SNL" from 1975 until 1979, when he left to pursue a film career full-time. His feature resume includes "National Lampoon's Animal House" (1978), "1941" (1979), "The Blues Brothers" (1980), "Continental Divide" (1981) and "Neighbors" (1981).
Belushi was also slotted for roles opposite frequent collaborator Dan Aykroyd in "Ghostbusters" (1984) and "Spies Like Us" (1985) -- both co-written by Aykroyd -- before he passed away.

It's unclear whether adjacent rights to prominent figures in Belushi's life, such as manager Bernie Brillstein and "SNL" colleagues Aykroyd, Lorne Michaels and Chevy Chase, have also been acquired by the studio.

The role is sure to be intensely pursued by high-profile comic talents, as Belushi was the progenitor of a certain kind of manic, aggressively goofy comedy that played in both sketch format and features, paving the way for everyone from John Candy to Chris Farley and Will Ferrell.

One actor mentioned as a potential strong fit for the iconic role is newly ubiquitous Zach Galifianakis, who starred for Phillips in both "The Hangover" and the upcoming "Due Date." But Galifianakis is already 40 years old, as is Jack Black, another funnyman who embodies much of Belushi's zany spirit (In 2008, Black was quoted as saying he would turn down any offer to star in a Belushi biopic, saying, "His life is not as funny as his work, and watching me do an imitation of him doing his 'Saturday Night Live' bits won't be as funny as watching him do his 'SNL' bits.)

The next generation has fielded a roster of 21st century versions that could potentially pull off the role -- Jonah Hill (26), Seth Rogen (28), Ethan Suplee (34) and Tyler Labine (32), who actually appeared as Belushi in the 2005 NBC movie, "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Mork & Mindy.'"


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Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 3 Trailer

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 3 Trailer

Here is the first trailer for Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 3. The clip itself shows some awesome action from the upcoming season. The season will premiere on Friday Sept. 19 at 9 PM, with a special one-hour event.

Watch the trailer after the Jump..



Here's the official description for Clone Wars season three:

Mystery, intrigue and adventure await our heroes with all-new action-packed episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. As war continues to rage throughout the galaxy, the dark side grows even stronger and the Jedi Knights are pushed to the breaking point. The lines between good and evil become blurred as secrets are revealed, truths are questioned and alliances are betrayed. Loyalties are tested as new enemies emerge and heroes rise – and fall.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars season three launches on Friday Sept. 19 at 9 PM, with a special one-hour event.


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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Skyline" Movie Trailer

"Skyline" Movie Trailer-Don't Look Up

Universal Pictures has unleashed the trailer for the film "Skyline," which  stars Donald Faison, Eric Balfour, David Zayas, Scottie Thompson and Brittany Daniel.

Like moths to a flame, the light source is drawing people outside before they suddenly vanish into the air. They soon discover an otherwordly force is swallowing the entire human population off the face of the earth. Now our band of survivors must fight for their lives as the world unravels around them.

Watch the trailer after the Jump..



The Movie's special effects are provided by The company"Hydraulx" which also provided special effects for Avatar and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.


Skyline is scheduled to be released on November 12th 2010.

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Television's Top Paid Actors And Actress

Television's Top Paid Actors And Actress

Hugh Laurie, Charlie Sheen, Matt Lauer, Ryan Seacrest and, naturally, Oprah Winfrey are among TV's highest-paid performers in various categories according to a newly released salary breakdown.

Though studios have been cracking down on paydays overall to keep costs in line amid sinking broadcast ratings, key performers still draw stunning numbers, with indispensable performers like the Sheens and Snookis of the world continuing to leverage salary bumps.

Here's a select sample of some of the top performers from TV Guide's survey (for the full list go here):

Drama actors (per episode):

Hugh Laurie (House) $400,000+
Christopher Meloni & Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU) $395,000 (each)
David Caruso (CSI: Miami) $375,000
Marg Helgenberger (CSI) $375,000
Laurence Fishburne (CSI) $350,000
Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice) $200,000
Nathan Fillion (Castle) $100,000
Jon Hamm (Mad Men) $100,000
Alex O'Loughlin (Hawaii Five-0) $100,000

Talk show hosts (per year):

Oprah Winfrey $315 million
Judge Judy Sheindlin $45 million
David Letterman (The Late Show) $28 million
Jay Leno (The Tonight Show) $25 million
Conan O'Brien (The Conan O'Brien Show) $10 million

(Judge Judy makes four times as much as Conan? So wrong...)

Reality:

Ryan Seacrest (American Idol) $15 million
Joel McHale (The Soup) $2 million
Piers Morgan (America's Got Talent) $2 million
Kate Gosselin (Kate Plus Eight) $250,000 per episode
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi (Jersey Shore) $30,000 per episode

(Of course, there are many reality performers who make far more than Snooki ... but you can't have a list nowadays without her).

Comedy actors (per episode):

Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men) $1.25 million
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men) $550,000
Dan Castellaneta and Julie Kavner (The Simpsons) $400,000
Tina Fey (30 Rock) $350,000
Jeremy Piven (Entourage) $350,000
Steve Carell (The Office) $297,000
Ed O'Neill (Modern Family) $100,000
Betty White (Hot in Cleveland) $75,000

News (per year):

Matt Lauer (Today) $16 million +
Katie Couric (CBS) $15 million
Bill O'Reilly (Fox News) $10 million
Keith Olbermann (MSNBC) $7 million
Wolf Blitzer (CNN) $3 million


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SAW VII 3-D Mind-Blowing Poster & Trailer

SAW VII 3-D Head Pounding Poster & Trailer

Lionsgate has released yet another 3D motion poster for their upcoming  final Saw film, SAW VII 3-D check out the new literally mind-blowing 3D motion poster below.

See the poster and trailer after the Jump..





The cast of the film includes Tobin Bell, Cary Elwes, Costas Mandylor and Betsy Russell all return with the addition of Sean Patrick Flanery, Gina Holden, Chad Donella, Laurence Anthony, Dean Armstrong and Naomi Snieckus

Here is the official plot synopsis:

This October, one of the biggest, most successful horror franchises in movie history arrives in theaters in vivid, chilling 3-D with the release of Lionsgate’s SAW VII 3-D.

As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw’s brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror...

The first theatrical feature to be shot exclusively on the cutting-edge SI-3D digital camera system, SAW VII 3-D brings the horrifying games of Jigsaw to life like never before.

SAW 3D motion poster which debuted on MTV.com yesterday.


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"I Spit On Your Grave" Trailer

"I Spit On Your Grave" Trailer

A remake of the controversial 1979 cult classic, I Spit On Your Grave is about Aspiring writer Jennifer Hills moves to a small town in order to write her first novel. Upon ordering food from the supermarket, she meets the grocery store delivery boy, a mentally handicapped man named Matthew. Three disturbed local men who frequently harass and torment Matthew take notice of Jennifer's presence and begin to harass her. This harassment quickly evolves into more sinister taunts and actions, and culminates with the men attacking Jennifer and brutally sodomizing and gang raping her. The men also force Matthew to have sex with Jennifer during the attack. Following the assault, the men order Matthew to kill her in an attempt to cover up their crime. Matthew cannot bring himself to do this, instead dabbing the knife in her blood to make it appear to the men that he has completed the task. After two weeks of recuperation and recovery, Jennifer pieces together a grisly plan for revenge.

Watch the trailer after the Jump..



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SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark Set To Take The Stage

SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark Set To Take The Stage

Lead producer Michael Cohl announced today that SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark will begin preview performances on Broadway on Sunday, November 14, 2010, at 3 p.m., with Opening Night set for Tuesday evening, December 21. Directed by Julie Taymor and featuring a book by Julie Taymor and Glen berger, and new music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge, SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark will open at Broadway's Foxwoods Theatre (213 West 42nd Street). See below for a first look at the set!

Mr. Cohl also announced that joining the previously announced Reeve Carney as ‘Peter Parker/Spider-Man,' are Tony® Award nominee Jennifer Damiano as ‘Mary Jane Watson' and Patrick Page as ‘Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin.'

Flying and choreography rehearsals for select cast members began on July 19, and the full company will begin rehearsals on August 16.

Drawing from more than 40 years of Marvel comic books for inspiration, SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark spins a new take on the mythic tale of Peter Parker, a teenager whose unremarkable life in Queens is turned upside-down-literally-when he's bitten by a genetically-altered spider and wakes up the next morning clinging to the ceiling. Bullied by his classmates and tortured by an unrelenting crush on next-door-neighbor Mary Jane Watson, this science geek discovers he has suddenly been endowed with astonishing powers. He ­soon learns, however, that "with great power comes great responsibility." Maligned by the media, buffeted by financial woes, and stretched thin by the expectations of the world-at-large, Peter now must struggle to navigate the perilous and peculiar demands of being a web-slinging superhero. With the characters in SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark ranging from old familiar favorites to supervillains never-before imagined, Spider-Man's battles will hurtle the audience through a story both recognizable and unexpected, culminating in an eye-popping, ultimate test for this iconic figure.

SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark features music and lyrics by 22-time Grammy® Award-winners Bono and The Edge of U2 with direction by Tony® Award-winner Julie Taymor (The Tempest, Across The Universe, The Lion King) and a book by Julie Taymor and GLen berger (Underneath The Lintel). The creative team includes Daniel Ezralow (Choreography), George Tsypin (Scenic Design), Academy Award®-winner Eiko Ishioka (Costume Design), Tony® Award-winner Donald Holder (Lighting Design), Jonathan Deans (Sound Design) and Teese Gohl (Musical Supervision). Casting is by Telsey + Co.

SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark is produced by Michael Cohl, Jeremiah J. Harris, HELLO Entertainment/David Garfinkle, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Land Line Productions, by association with Marvel Entertainment.


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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hollywood Killing Superhero Movies? Vaughn Thinks So

Hollywood Killing Superhero Movies? Vaughn Thinks So

The clock is ticking on the superhero craze in Hollywood, according to Matthew Vaughn, the director now filming "X-Men: First Class" for Fox in London.

"It's been mined to death and in some cases the quality control is not what it's supposed to be," Vaughn said. "People are just going to get bored of it."

Vaughn, who produced, directed and co-wrote "Kick-Ass," says he pounced on the chance to make a film about the uncanny mutants from Marvel Comics because he expects the current boom in superhero cinema to fizzle out in the near future.

"I've always wanted to do a big-budget superhero film and I think we've kind of crossed the Rubicon with superhero films," Vaughn said. "I think [the opportunity to do one], it's only going to be there two or three more times."

"Then," he added, "the genre is going to be dead for a while because the audience has just been pummeled too much."

Next summer, "X-Men: First Class" will join "Captain America: The First Avenger," "Thor" and "Green Lantern" in a parade of costumed heroes in big-budget films at the cineplex.

Vaughn said audience fatigue is already starting to set in. The subject material can't sustain the Hollywood trample, he said, and the inevitable box-office duds and derivative projects will mark the end of the gold rush by studios.

"It is a crowded room," Vaughn said "It's too crowded."

The 39-year-old filmmaker (who is married to German model Claudia Schiffer) is known for a candor that is rare in Hollywood circles.

He had been in talks to direct the third "X-Men" film but that didn't work out (he instead went off to make the underrated "Stardust") and the superhero project went to Brett Ratner ("Rush Hour"), who delivered "X-Men: The Last Stand," the 2006 film that became the biggest money-maker in the franchise despite far more sour reviews than the two previous films.

Vaughn didn't shy away from slagging on Ratner's film: "As it happens, I could have made something a hundred times better than the film that was eventually made," Vaughn told the Daily Telegraph. "It sounds arrogant, but I could have done something with far more emotion and heart."

Vaughn made his mark in movies as the producer of three Guy Ritchie films -- "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," "Snatch" and "Swept Away." He made his directorial debut with "Layer Cake" in 2004. "X-Men: First Class," starring James McAvoy as Charles Xavier (aka Professor X) and Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr (aka, Magneto) is due in theaters in June 2011.


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Andrew W. Marlowe Talks Nick Fury Film

Andrew W. Marlowe Talks Nick Fury Film

If you haven't heard of Andrew W. Marlowe, he is the man behind the hit show on ABC called Castle. He spoke to Movieweb at Comic-Con this year and they got the dirt on the Nick Fury film he wrote.  The script itself was written before Samuel L. Jackson got the role of Nick Fury in the marvel films.






To watch the announcement of the entire cast of The Avengers Movie Click Here.


Marlowe wrote the script for Nick Fury, a film that centers on the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in the Marvel universe, most recently portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson in Iron Man and Iron Man 2. Click on the video interview below to see what Marlowe has to say about this film in development.


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New Tarzan Film To Get The 3D Treatment

New Tarzan Film To Get The 3D Treatment

Germany's Constantin Film is swinging into "Tarzan," launching development of a 3D animated feature.

Constantin acquired animation rights to the "Tarzan" novels from the estate of author Edgar Rice Burroughs. The first book in the series, "Tarzan of the Apes," was published in 1912 and spawned numerous sequels and related works. The character became strongly identified with Johnny Weismuller after he starred as Tarzan in a series of MGM features in the 1930s, helping the Ape Man become one of the world's best-known literary figures.

In "Tarzan of the Apes," Tarzan is born in the jungles of Africa to a stranded English aristocratic couple. When they are killed, the infant is adopted and raised by a clan of apes. He discovers his true origins when he comes upon the cabin of his late parents.

Kulzer is a producer on two upcoming 3D projects -- "Resident Evil: Afterlife," opening this fall, and "The Three Musketeers," which begins shooting this month.


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"Chronicles" Of John And Max Landis

"Chronicles" Of John And Max Landis

Twentieth Century Fox is in negotiations to pick up "Chronicle," a spec script from the son of director John Landis, Max Landis, while first-time director Josh Trank is attached to helm the super-power project.

According to the studio, the story focuses on the lives of three Portland teens that become exposed to a mysterious substance in the woods, and, as a result, begin to develop incredible powers. They work together to hone their skills for fun, until personal and family problems begin to turn them against one another.

"Chronicle" is being eyed to be told in hand-held, documentary-style that has been slowly gaining popularity with movies such as "Cloverfield" and "Paranormal Activity."

 While he directed a web series titled "Killpoint" in 2007 and was the editor on "Big Fan," Robert Siegel's indie starring Patton Oswalt, Trank may have that style of filmmaking in his genes; he is the son of documentary filmmaker Richard Trank, who won a best documentary Oscar as a producer on 1997's "The Long Way Home." This will be Trank's first feature project.

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Quantum Leap Into Film By: Jonathan Cyfer

Quantum Leap Into Film
By: Jonathan Cyfer

I learned this morning that the television show Quantum Leap (1989-1993) is going to be made into a film. I have mixed feelings about this. I'm a fan of the original show, primarily because of the "buddy chemistry" between the show's two stars, Scott Bakula (as Dr. Sam Beckett) and Dean Stockwell (as Al Calavicci). Of course, I'm also a sucker for a good time travel story and Donald Bellisario's creation managed to hold its quality for the four years the show was on the air.

On the other hand, I don't think that every single television show ever made must be made into a film, either because film producers think it would be a good way to make money or because they lack any sort of creative vision and thus have to recycle the ideas of others. My first inclination is to say, if Quantum Leap needs to be remade, remake it as a TV show.

However, since nobody listens to me anyway, I might as well accept Quantum Leap as a film and move on. That said, there were things about the show I thought could have been improved. If a Quantum Leap film is to be made, it would be a good time to fix some of the more obvious "holes" in the show's nature. First, a basic background.

Dr Sam Beckett is a genius who creates a time travel project based on a rather simple premise. He theorizes that a person should be able to time travel within their own lifetime. Imagine a person's life is a string, with one end representing the person's birth and the other end, the person's death. Now crumple the string in your hand into a ball. The string now intersects at a large number of points along its length. These are the points at which a person can "leap back" into a moment in history.



That's what happens to Sam but there's a problem (well, more than one). Once Sam leaps, his memory is almost completely wiped out and he has no idea who he is or what he's doing there (more on this later).

Unlike most time travel stories, Sam doesn't materialize in the past as himself. He "leaps into" the life of a person who exists at that point in time. Sam is still Sam, but he appears to everyone else as if he's the person he has leapt into. Meanwhile, the person Sam is replacing actually changes places with him in time, and is transported into the future (Sam's present).

Sam's best friend and a member of the project's senior staff Al, is able to communicate with Sam by projecting a hologram of himself into the past, homing in on Sam's brain waves. In this fashion, only Sam (for the most part) can see and hear Al. Al can't affect anything in the past, since only his image is transported back...he is still really in the present in a holographic chamber. In this manner, Al is able to help Sam fill in some of the blanks in his memory. Eventually, he starts to recall bits and pieces of his personal history along with most of his skills, which are considerable.

The show's premise is that God or fate or time somehow wants or needs Sam to fix a wrong in the past and make it right. Once he's in a time period and situation he cannot leap back out again until he's fixed it and, failing that, he'll be trapped forever in another person's life in the past. To help Sam on each "mission", Al uses a remote hand held to communicate with the project's supercomputer Ziggy (who in one episode is described as an artificial intelligence with the ego of Barbra Streisand). The hand held technology isn't perfect and one of my favorite moments in just about every episode is when Al has to hit the hand held, like a faulty transistor radio, to get information out of it.

Once Sam solves whatever problem he's been put there for (which isn't always what he thinks it is), he leaps out of one person and time and into another, usually at some critical or embarrassing moment. Sam has even leapt into women and although still Sam and still a guy, he appears to everyone else (including the lust-driven Al) as a woman. He's also leapt into children, a mentally challenged person, a blind person, and a person without legs, all the time retaining the abilities of his actual brain and body.

The summary on

When Sam is in the past and is wearing the aura of the person he's leapt into, that person is in the future in someplace called "the waiting room". Once Sam is done fixing their life, Sam leaves and the person leaps back into their own life. Problem: does the person remember what Sam did or don't they? If they do, the problem is they might also remember the future, screwing things up in their past. If they don't, then they have one heck of a memory gap and have no idea what Sam did to fix their lives, possibly resulting in their undoing the process.

One suggestion would be to have Sam somehow "superimposed" on the person he leaps into so that they are held suspended in some pocket in time but their brains "record" the changes Sam makes. When same leaves and the person resumes their life, they can remember the changes without necessarily understanding why they were made. Some made up scientific explanation will have to be introduced, but it'll be better than having various people from the past leaping into the future all the time and then having amnesia about their lives for whatever time period same happens to be occupying their existence.

Another issue (and this will be hard to resist) is to not have Sam interact in any famous point in history or with any (future) famous people. Almost all time travel stories are based on changing a famous event (JFK's assassination, for instance), but there's just a ton of history that can be mined without dredging up famous events.

The Quantum Leap show did a very good job of avoiding history book history for the most part, but later in the series, probably to engage more of an audience, it had Sam leap into Lee Harvey Oswald (speaking of JFK's assassination), Dr. Ruth Westheimer, help Chubby Checker develop the twist, and launched Stephen King's launch horror writing career. Cute, but I could have lived without these episodes.

Do not, do not, do not give in to the temptation to have Sam fix all of the problems in his own life>! Sam's brother was originally killed in Vietnam and Sam is eventually allowed to save his life, fix the life of his sister who originally married an abusive alcoholic, and even saved Al's marriage which originally ended when Al was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam era and presumed dead.

The show (or movie) shouldn't be about fixing everybody's everything. There should be problems that Sam can't or at least shouldn't fix and, if he does, the "fix" actually makes things worse.

The resolution. At the end of the TV show, it's revealed that Sam is never allowed to leap home. This brings up a problem with his time travel theory. If Sam can only leap within a segment of time between his birth and his death and, during his lifetime, he's launched into a perpetual existence of time traveling, when does he die? How is the end point defined? Would it mean he would never die and thus could leap into any event in his "future"?

I know, with rare exceptions, TV producers and writers are loathe to resolve a Run For Your Life premise in a show, just in case there's a way to bring the show back later on, but good guys deserve happy endings. At some point, enough is enough. Sam deserves to eventually come home, be reunited with his wife (who he forgets all about while leaping in time, thanks to his "swiss-cheese memory"), and either keep tinkering with time travel or trash the project (create an ending that sets up the sequel).

Oh, one other thing. Why does the Quantum Leap Project exist? Assuming the military is funding it (Al's a US Navy Rear Admiral and former astronaut), what do they hope to gain out of the project? Answering this question could introduce some interesting "sinister conspiracy" aspects to the show and even provide a different purpose for Sam's seemingly random leaps in time.

As much as I like Scott Bakula as an actor, I don't see that he absolutely needs to reprise his role as Sam. I'm sure another actor will be able to do the role justice. I am however profoundly sorry that Dean Stockwell is now considered too old to play Al. He absolutely made the show and his portrayal of Al and interactions with Sam were the highlight of every episode. Finding an actor who can recapture Stockwell's performance will be one of the biggest chores for the team making the Quantum Leap film.

This isn't a film I think has to be made, but if it's going to happen, I can't wait to see how the film makers pull it off. On the TV series, each episode was a different leap into a different life and situation. Episodic leaps can make a movie seem fragmented and disjointed unless, at least covertly, the leaps all have something in common (here comes my military sinister conspiracy theory again).

Like I said, I'd prefer it if Quantum Leap made its return on the small screen, but if a film is in its future, I wish it, and everyone involved, all the best.

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Read Jonathan Cyfer's blog The Missing Man


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Monday, August 9, 2010

Scott Bakula: Quantum Leap Film On It's Way

Scott Bakula: Quantum Leap Film On It's Way

Not sure how we missed this news coming out of Comic-Con until now, but for Quantum Leap fans, it might have been the BIGGEST news to come out of Comic-Con. Quantum Leap will be back. And it will be back on the big screen.

At the "A Leap of Faith—A Quantum Leap Retrospective" panel, Scott Bakula shared the big news with the 600 fans who attended:

The good news is that Don [Quantum Leap creator Donald P. Bellisario] is working on the film script and has a big time Hollywood producer who wants to do it ... It's about time. But what I always thought would happen, happened ... [that he's now too old for the role]. But Dean [Stockwell, who played Al] and I will have a part in it somehow.

Don did say that as he was writing, he told me he was having trouble, 'getting you and Dean out of my head.' But I know he will do it.

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The Other Guys Takes Down Inception

The Other Guys Takes Down Inception

The US box office charts this weekend were taken over by a pair of bumbling, enthusiastic cops as Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg and director Adam McKay drove The Other Guys to the top spot and knocked the brain-itching former champ Inception down to second place. Ferrell in particular will be happy with the result, as it’s his most successful film for a while, notching up $35.6 million in its first three days.

Chris Nolan won’t be too broken-hearted, though – Inception still managed to do decent business, raking in $18.6 million and placing well ahead of the week’s other wide new entry, Step Up 3D. The third dimension didn’t seem to boost to dance pic, which opened with $15.5 million. The remainder of the top five was made up of Salt, with $11.1 million, and Dinner for Schmucks, which dropped from second place with $10.5 million.

Thanks to Schmucks, the middle of the charts is a Steve Carell-fest, with Despicable Me still showing strong legs, earning $9.4 million for sixth place. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, meanwhile, sank down one place to seventh with $6.9 million.

Eighth place was filled with Zac Efron weepie Charlie St Cloud, which brought home $4.7 million, ahead of Toy Story 3 in ninth, as the ‘toon finally slid towards the bottom of the top 10 with $3 million added to a running US total of $396.3 million. It's now overtaken Finding Nemo worldwide, fact-fans, to become Pixar's highest-grossing film to date. And finally, in 10th, this year’s plucky indie, The Kids Are All Right, which bounced back up from 12th place to warn $2.6 million. It now has $14 million in the bank – not bad for a budget of around $4 million…


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Dwayne Johnson On Set Of Fast Five

Dwayne Johnson On Set Of Fast Five

We get our first look at Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson on the set of Fast Five (Fast and Furious 5.) He is  seen on set with Elsa Pataky who look to be playing his partner, by the matching outfits.





There aren't many details on the plot of the film but I did find this out:

A sequel to be entitled Fast Five is to star Vin Diesel, Sung Kang, Paul Walker, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Elsa Pataky, Joaquim de Almeida, Charisma Carpenter, TJ Hassan, Connor Platt, The Timp, Reece Fletcher, Don Omar, Tego Calderon, Ludacris. Chris Morgan and Justin Lin will also return as writer and director, respectively. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has signed on to Fast Five to reportedly play a lawman in pursuit of the two main characters.Tyrese Gibson will also return as Roman Pearce from the second film.Gibson was approached to appear in the fourth film but was unable due to scheduling conflicts. Ludacris announced that he had traveled to Puerto Rico to be in the film.

Fast Five is scheduled to be released on June 10, 2011.

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Jackass 3D Trailer

Jackass 3D Trailer

We got our hands on the trailer for the upcoming film Jackass 3D. The trailer was first screened at Comic-Con this year. I have no clue how these guys come up with some of this shit. Do we really need another Jackass movie?

Watch the trailer after the Jump..



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