Friday, May 29, 2009

H.R. Pufnstuf (2011-2012)


With Land of The Lost heading to theaters during it's press junket, the creators Sid and Marty Krofft talked to Collider about upcoming projects. The biggest project which they talked about was H.R. Pufnstuf. They revealed that it is set up at Sony Pictures with Conrad Vernon directing and Dennis McNicholas (Land of The Lost) writing the script. Vernon has yet to direct a live-action film but has helmed massively successful animated features such as Shrek 2 and Monsters Vs Aliens.



One of the biggest surprises was a bit of hopeful casting for the film. It invovles hiring Johnny Depp to play Wilhelmina W. Witchiepoo. While it's bizzare casting it sounds like something Depp would do. Since he's played Willy Wonka, The Madd Hatter, Sweeney Todd, Jack Sparrow and Edward Scissorhands, odd characters seem to be his specialty.

Eli Roth's Endangered Species (2010-2011)



Eli Roth best known for the Hostel films will be leaving the torture porn genre. So that he can make a studio friendly PG-13 science fiction/monster movie. He revealed some information on the upcoming science fiction project. The film entitled Endangered Species described by Roth as a mix between Cloverfield and Transformers. Although Endangered will be more science fiction based. Cloverfield being the modest of the two with a relatively small budget of 25million. Roth is looking to set the film's budget at around 60million. The rather large budget is to insure as much destruction as possible in the film.



CASTING THOUGHTS:



Thomas Jane (The Mist), Jordan Ladd (Grace), Arron Yoo (Friday The 13th) and Natasha Henstridge (Species, Ghosts of Mars)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Guys & Dolls remake (2011-2012)



There's a rumor that Guy Ritchie will be directing a remake of the musical. It will star Jason Statham and has been described as a mix between Bullitt and Worzel Gummidge. Since the story comes from the Sun and hasn't been announced officially it's only gossip at this point. That being said any film that's being compared to Bullitt is fine in my opinion, musical or otherwise. The original film focused on a gambler who is challenged to take a cold female missionary to Havana, but the bet has a hidden motive to finance a crap game. Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra starred in the 1955 version.

CASTING THOUGHTS:



Gerard Butler and Robert Downey Jr. have both worked with Ritchie and could also be cast. Butler starred in the most recent version of Phantom of The Opera so he has a good chance.

Alien remake (2010-2012)



20th Century Fox is already rebooting the predator franchise with Robert Rodriquez producing and his Troublemaker Studios handling it's production. Now according to Bloody Disgusting Fox is also aiming to remake Alien as well. While I hate the idea of a remake of this classic science fiction horror film. Considering Fox's track record, yet it's almost impossible to move forward with the franchise without a reboot. 20th Century Fox took so many liberties with the series after Aliens. First killing Ripley in Alien 3 and then bringing her back as a alien hybrid clone in Alien Resurrection. They only way to continue would be to reboot the series and invent a brand new chain of events. I'm sure the plan is to spawn more films that could give us the origins of the xenomorphs. The plan is to keep the story almost exactly to the original and will have a single alien on the ship. BD also got an update that it won't be a straight up remake as an origin story.



Ridley Scott along with his brother Tony will be producing. Scott's involvement gives me a reassurance that it might be a great feature. Carl Rinsch who work's for Ridley's Scott Free Productions will helm. Recently Scott visited James Cameron's Avatar set and was in awe of what was going on. I hope the new technology gave him enough inspiration to use it on this project. While the idea of a prequel or sequel headed by Ridley is great, the execution would be very difficult.

CASTING THOUGHT:



It's almost impossible to think someone could fill the shoes of Sigourney Weaver. Weaver would later recivie an Oscar nomination for the same character in Aliens. Ellen Ripley remains one of the strongest female characters in cinematic history. Rachel McAdams (State of Play, Sherlock Holmes) might be a good match since Weaver was also very unassuming. The role of Ripley was originally written for a male but Ridley Scott decided to cast Weaver instead.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Barbarella (2011-2012)


The remake is a relaunch of the classic 1968 science fiction fantasy starring a young Jane Fonda. Originally based on the French comic-book of the same title by Jean-Claude Forest. The original film focused on a 41st century female astronaut who wild adventures and sexual exploration while on a mission to find a scientist named Duran Duran. While the original was a great experimentation of science fiction mixed with the sexual revolution , it was a B-movie at best.




It's been talked about for two years with Robert Rodriquez (Nerveracker) set to direct and Rose McGowan (Planet Terror) starring as Barbarella. Problems had been rumored since Rodriquez cast McGowan combined with the 80million dollar budget. Rodriquez came out and explained the reason he walked involved his family. Recently divorced and sharing custody of his young children Robert would have to spend time away shooting on location in Germany. Even though a 70million dollar budget was arranged he decided to stay closer and focus on TroubleMaker Studio projects in New Mexico. The film has been in development hell ever since.



Universal Pictures and producer Dino De Laurentiis are still hopeful for the film hiring new writers. De Laurentiss says that Barbarella is "far from dead". The writing team of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade best known for Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace originally wrote the first draft. Rewriting the previous script to mold a kid friendly PG-13 rating, considering the source material would be a bad move on their part.

CASTING THOUGHT:



Scarlett Johansson recently went redhead for Iron Man 2 and could be a great casting choice.

Bad Teacher (2010)



A foul-mouthed seventh grade teacher is dumped by her sugar daddy and starts to pursue a colleague, which provokes conflict with the school's model teacher. Written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg (Year One, Ghostbusters 3) and directed by Jake Kasdan (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story). Kasdan's very underrated Walk Hard was an amazing laugh fest so I have high hopes for this one.


CASTING THOUGHTS:



Considering they've worked together previously on Walk Hard the hilarious Kristin Wiig (SNL) could be cast as the bad teacher. She deserves to star in her own film after many scene stealing moments in other comedies over the last couple of years. The only problem is that she's busy enough during Saturday Night Live's season but she's also attached herself to a bunch of films recently.



Collette Wolfe (Observe & Report) and Rachael Harris (The Hangover) are also talented comedic actresses that would be great for this film.

Tomb Raider (2011-2012)



Warner Bros. is reviving the Tomb Raider franchise but without Angelina and the over the top action sequences of the first two films. Producer Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes) says that the film's action will be character driven similar to the original Terminator,. Focusing on the beginnings of Lara Croft's life. The film will not be a prequel or sequel but a reboot. Ignoring the previous films as source material and developing a realistic character. Traditionally Croft is the female equivalent of Indiana Jones/James Bond. Instead of using the ridiculous stories will be more serious and set in the real world. More than likely the change was influenced by the success of Casino Royale and Bourne Ultimatum.



The film will focus on the origins of Lara Croft. Dan Lin has stated previously they will be hiring a young actress. Megan Fox (Transformers 2, Jonah Hex) has been rumored ever since Angelina Jolie was going to be replaced. Fox would make an excellent heroine and Lara Croft could be a better fit than Wonder Woman. Olivia Wilde (Tron 2, Year One) is another name that's been thrown around as well. I could also see Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation), Malin Akerman (Watchmen), Emily Blunt (Wolf Man) and Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia) playing the role.



Depending on the scale of the film and it's location we could end up seeing someone like Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) directing. Ritchie's involvement would depend on if he takes on The Real RockNRolla or Sgt. Rock instead. I could also see James McTeigue (V For Vendetta, Ninja Assassin) taking on the project.


Paul (2010)



The movie revolves around two British slackers who, after visiting Comic-Con, go on a road trip to Area 51, where they encounter a small alien named Paul, who enlists them to find his way home. Greg Mottola the director of Superbad and Adventureland will take on the project.



The British comedy duo of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg will star. Unlike their "Blood & Ice Cream" trilogy Nick will play the lead character. The pair have also written the script.




Seth Rogen (Funny People), Kristen Wiig (Adventureland), Jason Bateman (Extract) and Bill Hader (Superbad) will also star.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Terminator 5 (2011-2012)


With all the faults and missteps of Terminator Salvation this film was still a massive improvement from Rise of The Machines. The look and action scenes really felt like the years prior to glossy future wars of 2029. McG has laid down some great ground work for something that could work very well. Instead of focusing on story they seemed to have rushed the film and it shows. The next movie will have to go through many changes from Salvation so that fans like myself can fully accept this new trilogy.

CASTING/RUMORS:


McG was playing around with plot ideas for the next film. He came up with the idea of Skynet sending it's machine army back in time before Judgment Day. I think it might be a move to have the next film set in present time, which is a bit odd. We've had three films set in the past the trilogy should focus on the future war. There have also been hints that Robert Patrick who played the T-1000 could have a cameo. Patrick would play a scientist who develops the liquid metal technology that is used to create the T-1000. Rose McGowan (Planet Terror) did voice acting for the film's video game and her character could be featured in the sequel.

HOW TO IMPROVE TERMINATOR 5:

-Focus On Story


The writer's strike was the official blame put on the horrible script. I think it had to do with the re-hiring of the writers from Terminator 3. They just can't turn out a good script or story. Jonathan Nolan (Memento) was brought on to try to fix stuff on set but wasn't really given enough time. Give the man the task of at least coming up with a plausible story and ending. Even if Nolan has to leave the project to work on the next Batman film he would have contributed a great ending and starting point. Since Nolan writes his endings first then works backwards. Oscar winning writer Paul Haggis' (Casino Royale, Million Dollar Baby) name was also thrown around and would be a great person to work with Nolan.

-Better Character Development


John Connor: I understand that Salvation was very much the story of Marcus. Although, the film suffered because of this and we didn't see enough of Connor's rise to power. In the film he seemed winy and not in control of anything. Why such wussieness? Make John the strong bad-ass leader we've been waiting for. Connor needs to be seen taking more control and leading large scale fights.


Kyle Reese: We got introduced to a younger Kyle but he didn't get to see much action. He needs to do more fighting and less running. This is the man who inspired both Sarah and John to become such tough soldiers. I wouldn't mind seeing Kyle go through the resistance's training and fighting terminators on his own.


Blair Williams: I really enjoyed watching Blair's scenes. She seemed like the incarnation of Sarah Connor and one of the best additions to the franchise. While the only other female character Kate Brewster, doesn't have seem to be a solider. Blair should become just as important to the resistance as Reese and Connor. A strong female lead was one of the best aspects of the second film.

-Stronger Supporting Cast


Actors like Common, Helena Bonham Carter, Jane Alexander and child actor Jadagrace took the energy from the good performances. Their roles felt out of place and very forced at times. Unlike the tough as nails General Ashdown played by Michael Ironside (Total Recall), who had just enough edge to him.


The solution is to hire quality actors to do cameos or even smaller parts in hopes to bring them back in the final film. When Josh Brolin was first attached to the film it went up a few more notches on the cool meter, so cast him for the second film. Along with some bad-ass resistance soldiers played by Ray Stevenson (Rome, Book of Eli) and Jeremy Renner (Hurt Locker, 28 Weeks Later). None of these actors have shied away from genre focused projects and could bring a toughness the last film was lacking.

-The Resistance's War Against The Machines


The one thing we didn't see was a full out war between the Resistance and Skynet. Both sides seemed very scarce as we saw very few of the machines in battle against the soldiers. I'd like to see a larger force on both sides and less small skirmishes. That opening battle/helicopter scene was such a tease. I had expected the whole film to have that kind of action. We've seen bigger and better stuff from James Cameron back in 1984 and 1991.

-Terminators Are Villains Not Heroes


We've seen three movies with a terminator being heroic. I think they should be just villains and it would awesome to see them bring back Roland Kickinger. Roland is a very menacing guy and could play a great infiltrator terminator.

-Keep or Replace McG?


I think McG pulled off a lot of good things. Considering he had such an awful script to work with and an almost impossible deadline. While most are hesitant to bring back McG I think he could do a better job, if things I've mentioned were improved.


On the other hand I don't see why a director like Len Wiseman (Underworld, Die Hard 4) couldn't jump aboard and improve the franchise. They both have a great visual presence and do action scenes very well.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Deadpool (2011-2012)



Deadpool has officially been announced as a spin-off from X-Men Origins Wolverine. Despite the poor representation of the character the studio has moved forward will a solo film. Ryan Reynolds who plays Wade Wilson/Deadpool says he was only willing to do a Deadpool movie if the studio abides to the original story. A director, writer and cast have yet to be announced but I expect 20th Century Fox to move quickly on this project.




CASTING RUMORS:



Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) recently was spotted in a popular comic shop in L.A. grabbing all the Typhoid Mary comics she get her hands on. The assumption is that she could be researching the role for the Daredevil reboot or the upcoming Deadpool. The name Typhoid Mary is owned by 20th Century Fox and was seen in Elektra. Yet if Marvel Studios goes with her real name or current alias Mutant Zero she could be featured in Avengers. Mutant Zero sports forearm blades similar to Weapon XI/Deadpool in Wolverine.

CASTING THOUGHTS:



Jensen Ackles (My Bloody Valentine) as Christopher Summers aka Cable: Originally the son of Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor (clone of Jean Grey). Cable travels from the future trying to prevent the mutant holocaust. He's worked with and fought Deadpool, the two characters paired up for a comic series.



Emily Blunt (Wolf Man, Sunshine Cleaning) as Neena Thurman aka Domino

Captain America (July 22nd 2011)


After being deemed unfit for military service during WWII, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America's ideals. Joe Johnston will direct, he recently helmed the remake of The Wolf Man. Johnston has also worked on Stars Wars: A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back & Return of The Jedi, Battlestar Galactica (Original TV Show) and Indiana Jones: Raiders of The Lost Ark & Temple of Doom.

CASTING RUMORS:



Many actors have been rumored for the role of Steve Rogers aka Captain America. They include Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Mark Wahlberg, Neal Mcdonough, Aaron Eckhart, and Mark Valley. Also with the awful choices of Matthew Mconaughey and wrestler John Cena. DiCaprio would be my choice since he's the youngest of the group. He's also proven himself a great dramatic/action actor giving great performances in films such as Gangs of New York, Departed, Blood Diamond and Body of Lies.

CASTING THOUGHTS:



Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds) as Johann Schmidt aka Red Skull



Mads Mikkelsen (Clash of The Titans) as Baron Helmut Zemo



Ben Barnes (Narnia:Prince Caspian) as Bucky Barnes aka Winter Solider



Hannah Herzsprung (Reader, Baader Meinof Complex) as Sinthia Schmidt, daughter of Red Skull

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Luke Cage (2011)



Marvel Studios is developing a Luke Cage film. John Singleton (Boyz N The Hood) is attached to direct with rumors of Tyrese Gibson (Transformers) starring. Cage is a African-American superhero with origins from black exploitation comics, similar to Blade. While I believe Singleton could be great for the film, Gibson on the other lacks personality. Considering there are chances the character could be featured in Avengers. I think Marvel should really look at other actors.



Michael Jai White (Dark Knight) gets my vote to play Luke. He's done his share of action movies, along with a memorable cameo as Gambol in the Dark Knight. He may have been apart of the messy live-action Spawn movie. Yet he's made up for this with good performances in Black Dynamite and Undisputed 2. This combined with his impressive background in martial arts, would make him an excellent choice.


Spider-Man 4 (May 6th 2011)



With Sam Raimi and Tobey signed to two more Spider-Man films, now the question is who will the villains be? Raimi said that he hopes the villain or villains would be from the original group that Stan Lee created. The Lizard seems to be a given since he's been set up since the second film. The biggest tease has been Raimi mentioning the addition of Morbius. It would very interesting since Morbius is a vampire adding a massive horror element to the superhero genre. Something we haven't seen since Blade, the first comicbook film that started the serious take on Marvel superheros (not X-Men). Raimi has been hinting ever since he wrapped on his recent horror film Drag Me To Hell that he'd love to add horror into the world of Spider-Man.

SAM RAIMI TALKS ABOUT VAMPIRES

VILLAINS:



Dylan Baker plays Doctor Curt Connors appearing in two films. Doctor Connors becomes the Lizard after an experiment to grow the arm back he had lost using reptile DNA.



Michael Morbius is a college student trying to develop a cure for his blood disease working with vampire bats. He ends up in a similar accident that happens to Doctor Connors. The character was originally in a cut scene from Blade and could be the property of New Line/Warner Brothers. I could see Elijah Wood or Justin Long being cast.

STORY:



It's unknown if Mary Jane will make the fourth film. In the comics Peter ends up dating various girls before settling down with Mary Jane. After the constant problem of MJ being targeted by the villains. To keep her out of harms way they could break up. I expect to see Parker still dating. Perhaps with Betty Brant (Elizabeth Banks) or trying again with Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard). Felicia Hardy could be another love interest.



It might not be a popular idea but it's realistic, we could see the death of Aunt May.

CASTING THOUGHTS:



I'd really like to see Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men) play Kraven The Hunter. Mickey Rourke was rumored to have been offered a role as a villain in Spider-Man 4 along with Iron Man 2.



Kristen Bell (Sarah Marshall) as Felicia Hardy/Black Cat.