Sunday, June 21, 2009

Blog Down For July-August

I rarely post anything personal but I felt like giving people a head's up. The blog's content is going to be a bit slow between July and August. I'll be working in an area without internet so updates won't be happening until the end of each month. I'll try to post things here and there when I can get access. Feel free to keep browsing the extensive archived content which should keep readers busy. I hope everyone has a great summer and keep yourself updated over the summer with the following movie blogs.

Slash Film
Film School Rejects
Latino Review
First Showing

Saturday, June 20, 2009

John Carpenter's The Ward (2010)



Next month one of the many films John Carpenter is developing starts production. The film is an intense psychological thriller set in a mental institution and will have Amber Heard (Mandy Lane, Pineapple Express) starring as the female lead. Kristen (Heard) is a young woman haunted by a mysterious and deadly ghost. As danger creeps closer, she comes to realize that this ghost might be darker than she could have imagined. Carpenter is finally returning to directing since the eight year gap of his last film Ghosts of Mars. It's nice to see Amber Heard returning to horror after her great performance in All The Boys Love Mandy Lane. A film I doubt most North Americans will ever see legally.



Danielle Panabaker (Mr Brooks) and Mamie Gummer (Taking Woodstock) have joined the cast and will play Heard's fellow patients.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tony Scott's Hell's Angels (2011-2012)



An adaptation of Sonny Barger's autobiography Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. Instead of the book by Hunter S. Thompson which was previously reported as the source material. Tony Scott will produce and direct the film. It will go behind cameras after Scott finishes filming Unstoppable. Oscar winning writer Stephen Gaghan (Traffic) has developed a script and is the fourth screenwriter to attempt the project. Sonny Barger was the founder of the Oakland chapter of Hell's Angels and the film will focus on his life in the notorious motorcycle club.

CASTING THOUGHT



I could see either Russell Crowe (Robin Hood) or Josh Brolin (American Gangster) playing Sonny. Both "tough-guy" actors play excellent villains, so I wouldn't be surprised to see their names attached.

The A-Team (June 11th 2010)


Based on the classic 80's television show. A group of Iraq War veterans looks to clear their name with the U.S. military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime for which they were framed. Director John Singleton was attached but has recently been replaced by John Carnahan (Smokin' Aces). Carnahan gave a decent effort with Smokin' Aces. Although the script itself wasn't strong enough for the a-list cast performing it. There is a bit of hope with Michael Brandt and Derek Haas writing the script. The pair are responsible for Wanted and 3:10 To Yuma. We can at least expect an entertaining and fun action flick.


Liam Neeson (Taken) has been officially cast as Col. John "Hannibal" Smith. Bruce Willis was at one point rumored for the role.


Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) has also joined the film even though he's been denying his involvement for a while now. He'll be playing Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck.


Common (American Gangster) is being rumored for Sgt. Bosco "B.A." Baracus. T. Tyrese Gibson (Transformers 2) was also rumored while director John Singleton was still attached.


Woody Harrelson (Zombieland) is rumored for the role of Capt. H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock.

Wanted 2 (2010-2011)



Director Timur Bekmabetov spoke to a Russian website about the progress of the sequel. Bekmabetov talked about the pre-production starting in July with a autumn or winter filming start date. He also revealed shooting locations including America, Russia and India. The budget is estimated to be around 150 million dollars and will be the biggest Hollywood production with a Russian filmmaker.



The big question is, will James McAvoy be back as Wesley and Angelina Jolie's character Fox ? It's been talked about that they would try to resurrect Fox from her suicide. Knowing how unpredictable the world of Wanted is, anything seems possible. The only problem is that there hasn't been any confirmation that either McAvoy or Jolie are even interested in returning. I'm sure with the box office, DVD and video game successes the studio is dying for the stars to return. I have to admit it was enjoyable even if it was mindless action. I wouldn't mind a second or third film. I would like to see Bekmabetov stick with practical special effects that made the first Matrix so great. The CGI blood and effects were a bit overboard in the last film. Hopefully with the larger budget it can be done.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mission Impossible 4 (2011)


It's official, Tom Cruise will be back as Ethan Hunt. Paramount Pictures has officially greenlit a fourth Mission Impossible movie with Cruise in the lead. Both Cruise and J.J. Abrams will produce the film. There hasn't been a director announced since J.J. would have leave the franchise to focus on the second Star Trek film. The fourth installment could have a spring or summer release date in 2011.


It's assumed that Ving Rhames will return as the long time partner Luther. One of the greatest aspects of the third installment was the development of a new team. Unlike the first and second film which had Ethan flying solo missions with Luther. The franchise now feels similar to the original television series. I'd love to see Maggie Q, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Simon Pegg and Laurence Fishburn return in the next movie.

Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps (2010)



One of my favorite Oliver Stone films is getting a sequel. The most surprising thing is that Stone himself will be directing it. It's shocking because Stone isn't known for making sequels to his previous work. Titled "Money Never Sleeps", the interesting aspect is the return of the classic 80's character Gordon Gekko. Gekko embodied everything that defined decadence during the 1980's, along with the greed that fueled it. I'm glad to see both Stone and Douglas apart of the project. With the current economic climate and scandals circling Wall Street this makes it perfect timing for a sequel.



Michael Douglas will return as the iconic Gekko. Shia LaBeouf plays Jacob a young Wall Street trader engaged to Gekko's estranged daughter Winnie (Mulligan). I doubt Stone can replicate the same dynamic that Douglas and Sheen had in the first film.



Javier Bardem (Vicky Christina Barcelona) will play a hedge fund manager named Bretton Woods, that may or may not be the villain of the film. Newcomer Carey Mulligan plays Gekko's estranged daughter Winnie. Both actors bring a bit of class to the project but like previous Oliver Stone films a great cast, directing and editing can't change a bad script. I'm hoping this is a well written film and a return to greatness for Stone.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bond 23 (2010-2011)



The new Bond movies have been very profitable both grossing a combined 1.17 billion worldwide. Daniel Craig still manages to be one of the best Bonds to date and had stated he'll return for at least one more film. We may see the origins or introductions to Bond favorites Moneypenny and Q in the new film. There could also be the return of elaborate gadgets. I just hope they don't go overboard and unrealistic like they did in Die Another Day with the invisible car.



Quantum of Solace was a great companion to Casino Royale. Although it didn't feel like it's own film feeling rushed at moments. The script may have been written quickly to meet the demand for the sequel's release date. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade who wrote both films will return. Along with screenwriter Peter Morgan (Last King of Scotland, The Queen) who will take over writing duties for Paul Haggis. It's rumored that the new film could involve British politics and the opium/heroin drug cartels in Afghanistan. I think it's great to have a Bond film involve realistic/current topics.

CASTING THOUGHTS:



I'm sure they'll be asking John Cleese to return as Q. If that doesn't happen I could see Rowan Atkinson (Black Adder) replacing him.



Thandie Newton (Crash, RockNRolla) would make an excellent Moneypenny.



Fredia Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) and Isabel Lucas (Transformers 2, Daybreakers) would be great Bond girls.

Friday, June 12, 2009

John Carter of Mars (2011-2012)


The swashbuckling genre has been growing with popularity ever since Pirates of The Carribean. Disney and Pixar will tackle the science fiction swashbuckler John Carter. Based on the novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs which spawned a line of Marvel comics. Civil War vet John Carter is transplanted to Mars, where he discovers a lush, wildly diverse planet whose main inhabitants are 12-foot tall green barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, who is in desperate need of a savior.


Andrew Stanton will direct and also wrote the first draft with Michael Chabon (Spider-Man 2) handling re-writes. Stanton is the man behind such wonderful Pixar films such as Toy Story, Wall-E, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc. It's unlikely the film will be as violent as the books considering Pixar's involvement. This will be Pixar's first live-action movie. Robert Rodriquez (Sin City) and Jon Favreau (Iron Man) were both attached to direct at one point.



Taylor Kitsch (Wolverine) will play John Carter. The role was rumored to be offered to both Christian Bale and Tom Cruise. I'm actually glad to see Kitsch playing Carter.



Lynn Collins who also starred with Kitsch in Wolverine will also star. Collins is playing Princess Dejah Thoris.



Thomas Haden Church (Spider-Man 3) during an interview revealed he's also joined the film. It hasn't been confirmed which role he'll play. He stated he'd start work in the spring with live-action beginning around November in Utah, it seems he might play Tars Tarkas. Tars is a native Martian who ends up becoming a friend of Carter. He could also end up playing any of the many other aliens on Mars.



Empire Online listed John Carter as one of Samantha Morton's (Control, Minority Report) upcoming projects.


Here's an example of the conceptual artwork by artist Phil Saunders.

Guillermo del Toro's Frankenstein (2011-2012)



One of the many projects Guillermo has setup at Universal Pictures seems to be gathering speed. During an interview del Toro revealed some information about the project. Most notably that he's cast the monster and the make-up tests will take place soon. It's possible that del Toro could shoot Frankenstein while in New Zealand. Considering production on The Hobbit doesn't take place until the end of the year. He could end up shooting it before or during the filming.



Doug Jones (Hellboy 2, Pan's Labyrinth) will play the Frankstein monster.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Heavy Metal (2010-2012)


David Fincher has been developing a new version of Heavy Metal. The movie will have segments from a bunch of directors and will be as adult oriented as the original film. Being a mix of action, fantasy and science fiction. Each segment could be at least 15mins in length. It's unknown at this point which studio will pick up the project, it's moved around a bit.





Blur Animation Studios will handle the animation for the film. They've recently worked on computer animated film The Goon which is also being produced by Fincher.




DIRECTORS:


David Fincher


James Cameron



Zack Snyder


Gore Verbinski


Mark Osborne

RUMORED DIRECTORS:


Rob Zombie



Peter Chung

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (2010-2012)


There has been talk of a new Buffy movie for a while now. The original film was basis for the massively popular television series. The movie was a dark comedy similar to Army of Darkness and the show was more a teen drama/soap. The new film will be more of a reboot focusing on a new slayer and having a darker/horror theme than the previous incarnations. Disturbingly the creator of both the show and film Joss Whedon will not be involved. Not only will Joss not return they are also looking for a new actress. I think it's about time to bring back Buffy and the new direction sounds interesting. The comedy aspect was done and so was the soap version, here's hoping for the dark gory horror flick.



Megan Fox (Jonah Hex) as usual has been named as a possible new slayer. Fox has become the go to actress for blockbusters these days. She's already been rumored for Wonder Woman, Tomb Raider, She-Hulk and many other projects.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tony Scott's The Warriors (2010-2011)


Tony Scott has been talking since 2005 about remaking the cult classic. Unlike the original film it will have a more realistic setting with the use of factual/active gangs. Not just groups of kids in different Halloween costumes. The plan is change the film's setting from New York City to the harsh ganglands of Los Angeles. A re-imagining rather than a remake it will focus on LA street gangs and most roles will be cast by real life gang members. This isn't a new concept to Tony, he used many real gang members instead of actors in Domino because they felt authentic.



I've read a lot of people are upset about the changes being made. My opinion is that the concept is good but Walter Hill's film had it's flaws. Making a direct copy of it would have turned out terrible. The whole point of a remake (usually) is to improve upon the original. Tony's gritty urban vision could make his movie superior to Walter Hill's.

Tony Scott's Unstoppable (2010-2011)



Director Tony Scott (Domino, Man On Fire) and Denzel Washington have worked on four films previously. Most recently on the remake of The Taking of Pelham 123. They seem to do very well together so it's not surprising Denzel was cast for Scott's next action thriller. Star Trek's Chris Pine who has become a superstar over night will star opposite Washington.



The story centers on an experienced train engineer (Washington) about to be laid off as part of company cutbacks and the newbie (Pine) conductor hired to replace him. They find themselves in a race against time to stop an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train carrying enough combustible liquids and poisonous gas to wipe out a nearby city.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Total Recall remake (2011-2012)


Kurt Wimmer is being tapped to write the script. For a while now there has been talk of remake of the science fiction shoot em up. Wimmer is best known for writing and directing the cult film Equilibrium. The only issue I have with this is that they are going to ignore the original film's future setting for a more contemporary film. It's bizarre that they wouldn't want to bring back the colony on Mars, mutants and alien/futuristic technology. While it's not known who is set to direct, I could see Wimmer himself directing. Philip K. Dick's material is very difficult to adapt to film for every Blade Runner we get a Next or Impostor. I'd rather they make a large scale budget remake of Screamers but that's just my opinion.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

AVATAR 2 (2011-2012)



During the E3 2009 presentation from Ubisoft we finally got a better look of the world of Avatar and planet Pandora. James Cameron spoke at the presentation about the massive creative process between the film's creative team and Ubisoft. Ubisoft worked alongside Avatar's production so that the video game could be the best representation of the film. The two developers worked so closely that Cameron took some things he liked from Ubisoft and added them to the movie. This lead to Cameron (during an interview with Game Spot) talking about all the different vehicles and stories Ubisoft developed themselves that he would love to use in a sequel. He also mentioned that the game developers could also contribute to the sequel's story. From what I've seen with game images and the concept art the film. Avatar could be Cameron's best yet and his greatest science fiction adventure to date.


It's expected to be a juggernaut at the box office and will get a sequel. Cameron has already mentioned previously about a possible trilogy for Avatar as well for Battle Angel. I don't know where this puts Battle Angel's production date. Since it was supposed to be Cameron's next film with it's script being written by Cameron during the filming and post production. Avatar is the story of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) a wounded ex-marine, thrust unwillingly into an effort to settle and exploit Pandora an exotic planet rich in bio-diversity, who eventually crosses over to lead the Nav 'ai an indigenous race in a battle for survival. The Nav 'ai are ten foot tall aliens with blue skin, tiger like stripes and tails.

Films That Should Be Made: The Old Republic



With so many cherished franchises over the last couple of years being rebooted one that deserves a reboot is the Star Wars saga. After a lackluster prequel trilogy that never lived up the greatness of the first trilogy, the saga could use a reboot. Nothing could be a better premise than basing a new franchise on The Old Republic era. It would leave out any need to insert characters from the previous films. Along with allowing new characters, villains and stories to be carried out through a new series of films.



Focusing on a massive war between armies of Jedi and Sith, instead of having droids and clones doing the fighting. Having the Sith as a large presence and threat, instead of hidden in the shadows. One issue I had with the prequels was the use of droids and clones during battles. Mainly because when they died it was almost meaningless. Granted the clones were actually living beings but they were presented similar to ants rather than actual soldiers. It was cheaper for ILM to create massive copies of the same droid or clone solider for battle scenes. I understand that but it lessens the impact of the battles. It would make for better film to have a direct war between Sith and Jedi knights.



Geroge Lucas is the worst enemy to the franchise, seeing what he's done with the prequels and TV projects. Hopefully with influence from Steven Speilberg we could see Peter Jackson or James Cameron taking over writing and directing duties.

CASTING THOUGHTS:



Sam Worthington (Clash of The Titans), James McAvoy (Last King of Scotland), Kevin McKidd (Rome), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Tudors), Matthew Goode (Watchmen), Ian McShane (Sexy Beast), Daniel Craig (Road To Perdition) and Cillian Murphy (Sunshine).



Cate Blanchett (Robin Hood), Helen Mirren (State of Play), Freida Pinto (Slumdog) and Olivia Wilde (Year One).