This week’s Sci-Fi Movies features news on 3D releases of Clash of the Titans and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, a possible delay for The Hobbit, a breakdown of characters to be featured in The Avengers, an update on the planned Planet of the Apes reboot Caesar, casting decisions for Conan and Dracula: Year Zero and more, including a box office update on Avatar and the latest casting bites, images and videos.
GENRE MOVIE NEWS
Clash of the Titans & Harry Potter 7 Going 3D
Last week we reported on news that Warner Brothers had commissioned 3D tests for "Clash of the Titans" and that they were going to decide whether to convert the entire film to 3D by the first week of February. Now, THR’s Heat Vision Blog is reporting that the studio is very happy with the tests and are moving forward with the conversion. Not only that, but WB was reportedly so pleased with the tests that they have decided to release the two-part ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ in 3D as well (the beginning sequence in the most recent film, ‘Half-Blood Prince’, was done in 3D). According to Heat Vision, the cost for conversion is $5 million for each film (so $10 million between ‘Part I’ and ‘Part II’), but WB will pay for the the 3D glasses which brings the cost up an additional $5M per film. WB is expected to confirm the "Clash of the Titans" 3D news with an announcement by week’s end — with the film now scheduled to hit theaters one week later on April 2, 2010 — and an official announcement on the ‘Harry Potter’ films is also expected soon. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I" is still scheduled to hit theaters on November 19, 2010, with ‘Part II’ following on July 15, 2011 release.
Behind-the-scenes with director Louis Leterrier [MTV Movies Blog]
The Hobbit Likely Delayed to late 2012
Turns out those earlier rumors about delays for the two-part "The Hobbit" were accurate. In an article at Variety focusing on New Line, Warner Brothers head Alan Horn revealed that the first film will probably be delayed a year:
Horn won’t predict when the first of the two "Hobbit" films will be out, but says the most probable scenario would be a release in the fourth quarter of 2012.
"It’s a big bet for us. But it’s one we think will pay off given the success of ‘Lord of the Rings,’" says [New Line President Toby] Emmerich. "This is one of the few movies it feels like people are waiting for."
Previously, "The Hobbit: Part I" was expected to be released in December 2011, followed by ‘Part II’ in December 2012. In other news, Orlando Bloom (Legolas in "The Lord of the Rings") told MTV that he would be interested in playing a role in "The Hobbit" (perhaps as Legolas’ father Thranduil): "I shot an e-mail to Pete and I said, ‘You know, if you want me to don the blonde wig and pointy ears again, I’d be honored to do it,’" Bloom revealed. "He said, ‘Well, we’ll see.’ They’re very, very hush-hush." Video below.
Jason Momoa Cast as Conan + Mickey Rourke In Talks for Role of Conan’s Dad
Lionsgate has settled on Jason Momoa ("Stargate Atlantis") to star in Marcus Nispel’s "Conan". Of course last week we reported on news — through Deadline Hollywood’s Mike Fleming who also reported the casting news — that the studio had narrowed the field to Momoa and Kellen Lutz, but wanted to take more time looking another actor before making the final decision. Latino Review reports that the other actor was Jared Padalecki of "Supernatural" who worked with Nispel on "Friday the 13th", but they ultimately came around to choosing Momoa. Here’s how they made their decision [Latino Review]:
What was the game changer?
Why the change of heart for the studio?
Momoa came into Lionsgate late last week after the Fleming story broke and met with everyone at the studio and charmed the pants off the executives.
Apparently, Momoa is good in the room.
Momoa also screen tested yet again this week.
So there you have it folks, Jason Momoa is your new Conan.
And in other casting news, Latino Review reports that the role of Conan’s dad, Corin, has been offered to Mickey Rourke ("Iron Man 2"). "Conan" is on track to begin production on March 15th. There is no release date yet, although 2011 is the expected release year.
Fox’s Planet of the Apes Reboot Still Alive
Even though Scott Frank is off Fox’s "Caesar", the proposed "Planet of the Apes" remake that Frank wrote and was to direct, Vulture is reporting that the project is still in development at the studio:
Production and agency insiders both confirm that Fox has hired writer Jamie Moss (Street Kings) to rework Frank’s version, and the original writers, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (The Relic, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle), were recently brought back to polish the dialogue.
Courtesy Vulture, here’s a quick rundown of the premise of the project, and how the studio got to where they are now:
Frank’s Apes script, code-named Caesar, showed how genetic experiments on apes led to their evolutionary eclipse of humans. “Caesar” refers to the genetically altered leader of the simian rebellion, so dubbed because the ape was capable of grand strategic thinking on par with Julius Caesar (whose own surname means “hairy” in Latin). The “Caesar” code name also foreshadowed the script’s plot: Just as the actual Julius Caesar set Rome on the path to the Roman Empire, the experimental ape’s escape sets in motion his fellow hirsute hominids’ (wait for it … ) guerrilla war and subsequent dominance.
The studio, however, wanted to pursue a different tack than Frank, and the writer-director was unwilling to change direction, according to a production source. As [producer Scott] Rudin was only on board because Frank had asked him to serve as producer (the two had enjoyed working together on Jodie Foster’s Little Man Tate twenty years ago), he left as well. But now that it’s been handed to Chernin, the presumed-dead project is red hot again. For one thing, as part of his golden parachute from News Corporation, Chernin has several “put” pictures — essentially, a commitment from the studio to get several movies made, even if the studio brass objects. But insiders tell Vulture that Chernin may not even need to waste one of his puts: The studio wants to make the Caesar project, post haste. A director is expected to be hired imminently.
Chloe Moretz Talks Kick-Ass
Chloe Moretz plays Hit-Girl in "Kick-Ass", Matthew Vaugn’s adaptation of the Mark Millar comic book series of the same name, and the actress was interviewed by MTV about the film. Here’s how she described the film:
MTV: Give us the film’s plot, in your own words.
Moretz: Basically, Aaron Johnson plays Kick-Ass. He’s a regular, everyday kid — a nerdy comic book fan. He’s like, "Why doesn’t anyone ever try to be Batman? Just a normal guy turned hero?" So he goes out, tries, and gets totally beaten up; he gets stabbed, and then run over by a car. He gets all this [prosthetic] metal put into his back so he can walk, otherwise he’d be totally paralyzed. And that becomes almost like a human shield on his back, so if you hit him he won’t feel it. So, he goes out and [tries to be a hero] again and succeeds. That’s when [Hit-Girl] and Big Daddy come in.
And here’s an excerpt of Moretz describing her character:
MTV: And you’re Hit-Girl, a badass little-girl superhero.
Moretz: Yes, and Big Daddy is played by Nicolas Cage. We show up at his house, say, "We know about you," and he realizes we’re real vigilantes. I’ve been trained since I was a baby to be this crazy assassin girl. What I like about the character is that she’s an assassin, but at the same time she is still just an 11-year-old girl. She doesn’t know any better; it’s just how she was raised.
Head on over to MTV to read the rest of the interview. "Kick-Ass" hits theaters on April 16, 2010.
Sherlock Holmes Sequel Means Guy Ritchie Likely Out as Lobo Director
Due to Warner Brothers’ desire to fast-track a sequel to "Sherlock Holmes", Guy Ritchie is expected to pull out of "Lobo", according to producer Joel Silver:
“I don’t think he’s going to do it now,” Silver said of Ritchie directing “Lobo.” “The studio wants us and Guy to focus on making another ‘Sherlock Holmes.’ So I think we’re going to be doing that. But we’re seeing what happens with this. Everybody is analyzing everything. It’s all kind of happening right now as we talk. ‘Sherlock’ is sitting at just about $400 million in worldwide gross and showing itself to be pretty effective and pretty strong. So we’re trying to see if we can do something quickly with another ‘Sherlock Holmes’ movie. We have some ideas and some good story points.”
As for "Lobo", Silver says that he expects WB will now be on the hunt for a new director:
“I would guess a different director,” said Silver, who is producing “Lobo” with Akiva Goldsman and Andrew Rona. “It’s all happening at once now. Everybody is talking about everything …. It’s an ongoing conversation. Downey loves the experience of playing Sherlock and would love to play him again, and I’d love to see him play it again. Jude and all of them will be back and it will be great.”
"Sherlock Holmes" has been a tremendous success for Warner Brothers, with its worldwide gross approaching $400 million.
Avengers Lineup Confirmed + Including Hulk
Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige was interviewed by SFX magazine [via World of Superheroes] about several of the studio’s upcoming movies, and in the article confirmed the lineup for "The Avengers" [emphasis mine]:
"My only concern is that when we launch a franchise.. whichever characters franchise that may be, it should stand on its own two feet. With Iron Man being the first one out of the gate, thank goodness that’s what happened. Everyone loved it. Its our job to do the same with Thor and Captain America two years from now, so by the time The Avengers comes in 2012 its not just a team super hero movie with a bunch of characters with powers, its three people, four including Hulk, five including Nick Fury-who you have seen before in other movies, coming together for the very first time."
Meanwhile, "The Incredible Hulk" director Louis Leterrier told MTV that it would be "too simplistic" if they were to make Hulk the villain in the film, something that has been hinted at in the past:
"He’s not really a villain," said the filmmaker. "If Hulk is a villain, that’s too simplistic."
"What’s great about Marvel is that it’s never good guy and bad guy, hero and villain — it’s more complex than that," he explained. "Hulk could be in trouble and chased by Iron Man, no problem. But I don’t think he would end up the villain, killing people and being villainous of his own free will."
"The Avengers" is scheduled to hit theaters on May 4, 2012.
Avatar Highest-Grossing Film of All-Time
James Cameron is the king of the world…again. Cameron’s "Avatar" broke "Titanic’s" worldwide record on Monday. Through today, the film has grossed an astonishing $1.878 billion worldwide (and it also broke the 6th weekend record over the weekend with $34.9M domestic). The previous worldwide record was $1.843 billion. Of course adjusting for inflation "Avatar" is not the all-time champion (and for that matter neither is "Titanic"), however, that doesn’t diminish what "Avatar" has been able to accomplish, especially when considering it has only been in domestic release for 40 days. Breaking it down, "Avatar" is at $558.2M domestically (#2 all-time) and $1.32B overseas (#1 all-time). The next record to fall will be "Titanic’s" all-time domestic mark of $600.8M. In other news, a poster on Avatar-Forums.com discovered an image of Sam Worthington’s character Jake Sully from a scene that was deleted from the film. Check it out below.
Alice in Wonderland
Promotional stills [more at MTV Movies Blog]
Iron Man 2
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark (Iron Man) [Collider]
Is this a hint that Iron Man is using the Extremis armor? (also note the triangular design on his suit) [CBR]
Promotional stills of Mega Mind (voiced by Will Ferrell) and Metro Man (voiced by Brad Pitt) [io9]
The Last Airbender
Two new movie posters [Yahoo! Movies]
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief
Movie posters [more at IMP Awards]
Toy Story 3
Recording session with Tom Hanks (Woody) [LeeUnkrich]
Non-watermarked, high-resolution Yellow Lightcycle banner [Cinema Blend]
Final movie poster [Shock Till You Drop]
- Sam Worthington is in negotiations to star as the lead in Alex Proya’s "Dracula: Year Zero". [Latino Review; confirmed by THR]
- Tennis star Novak Djokovic reportedly has been offered a role in "Iron Man 2". [Novak Djokovic via CBR]
- Samuel L. Jackson (who made a came as Nick Fury in "Iron Man") says he hasn’t heard anything about reprising the role in Kenneth Branagh’s "Thor": ""Nobody’s told me anything," Jackson laughed when asked about the "Thor" role. "I was reading the trades last week and I saw the cast list. My name was in it, so maybe I am doing something that I don’t know about and I’ll hear about it soon." [MTV Splash Page]
- Sir Anthony Hopkins offered some thoughts about playing Odin in Kenneth Branagh’s "Thor": "I’ve already grown a beard in preparation for the role, but when I put on my long wig on I look just like Billy Connolly. In fact I look so much like him I’m thinking maybe I’ll play Odin with a Glasweigan accent.". [Scottish Herald via Bleeding Cool]
- Michael John has been cast in "Jonax Hex", which is currently undergoing several reshoots. [@MichaelPapajohn]
- Kate Mara confirmed that she’s in "Iron Man 2", but she is only in one scene and it is not as Bethany Cabe. [Movieline]
Hot Tub Time Machine
Red band movie trailer [HitFix]
Movie trailer [YouTube]
Preview of bonus feature "Breaking the Frame" from the DVD / Blu-ray
- Early preproduction is underway for "Sympathy for the Devil", a supernatural movie about humans caught in a battle between heaven and hell. Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Duhamel star. [Latino Review]
- Sony Pictures has picked up the film rights to a series of three novels by Jeff Somers. Trevor Sands has been tapped to adapt the first book, "The Electric Church". The three novels are set in the near future where Earth is run by a federation of nations and governed by a council. [THR’s Heat Vision Blog]
- Filming on "Real Steel", starring Hugh Jackman as Charlie, a former boxer-turned-trainer of boxing robots, begins in Michigan in June. [Production Weekly]
- D.J. Caruso has been tapped to direct "I Am Number Four", DreamWorks’ adapation of the upcoming science fiction novel by James Frey and Jobie Hughes. "I Am Number Four" is about "a group of nine aliens who escaped their home planet just before it was annihilated by a rival species. Hiding out on Earth, the title character disguises himself as a human high schooler, only to discover he is being hunted still by his planet’s enemy." [THR’s Heat Vision Blog]
- Summit Entertainment has hired Jonathan Levine to write and direct the studio’s adaptation of the upcoming Isaac Marion novel "Warm Bodies". The story is based on the short story "I Am A Zombie Filled With Love". [The Playlist]
- Director Matt Reeves describes the tone of "Let Me In", the adaptation of the 2008 Swedish film "Let the Right One In", as being darker than "Twilight": "Whereas "Twilight" is kind of a fantasy, this will be a darker, scarier kind of journey," he said. [MTV]
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" director Edgar Wright revealed that a cut of the film is complete, but they’re "still tinkering" with it, adding "It’s a different thing doing a film with lots of effects in it; it’s like another stage to have production be going on during the edit, which is an on-going thing. It’s like a painting, basically." [MTV]
- The February issue of Wizard Magazine features an expose on "Iron Man 2", containing casting interviews and other behind-the-scenes information. Check out an overview of their feature over at Comic Book Movie.
- …Speaking of which, buzz is high from screenings featuring that early cut… [various reviews/comments via /Film]
- …And check out an interview with Brandon Routh talking about his role as Todd Ingram in the film (and more) over at IESB.
- "Green Lantern" director Martin Campbell revealed that several of the film’s scenes will be in space: "The initial trip up there, the training sessions he has to go through in order to become a Green Lantern. Then, of course at the end, he goes back up to Oa again," adding "There are a couple of bits [on Earth] in between [the space scenes]," said Campbell. "I think there will be enough [of a balance between space and Earth] to satisfy everybody."… [MTV Splash Page]
- …And in related news, Warner Brothers has tapped Sony Pictures Imageworks ("The Day After Tomorrow", "I Am Legend") as the lead visual effects studio for "Green Lantern". [Variety]
- …And finally, check out an interview with star Ryan Reynolds talking about his co-star Blake Lively, who plays his love interest Carol Ferris. [MTV Splash Page]
- The newest trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s "The Last Airbender" will feature all the main characters of the film and run about 2 minutes in length. [Frank Miller via /Film]
- Howard Shore has been hired by Summit Entertainment to score "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"… [MovieScore Magazine via /Film]
- …Meanwhile, most of Danny Elfman’s music is back in the score for Joe Johnston’s "The Wolfman". You may remember that Elfman was off the project last November. Also, Conrad Pope has been brought in to contribute music to the score. [CineMusic via /Film]
- Lionsgate came out on top in a recent bidding war for the rights to distribute Robert Rodriguez’s "Machete". The studio agreed to pay $9 million upfront with a backend gross participation for Rodriguez — reported in the 10%-12% range — who Indie-financed the $20-million feature. [Deadline Hollywood]
- There’s a report that "Gremlins 3" is "in the early stages" of development "with still lots of hurdles to pass" and will be released in 3D. [MarketSaw]
- As is custom in Hollywood these days, "Clash of the Titans" director Louis Leterrier says he has ideas for sequels should the film prove successful and Warner Brothers were to greenlight more of them: "We’ve talked about it loosely…you just give them some ideas. You draw an arc for your character. I’m not saying I know what exactly will happen to Perseus in the next two movies, but I know the direction and it’s pretty exciting." [MTV]
- Casey Hudson, BioWare project director of the upcoming video game "Mass Effect 2", says there is "a tremendous amount of interest from people in Hollywood to make a major motion picture about ‘Mass Effect,’" he said. "The most important thing for us is, we don’t just want to see a movie get made. We want to see a great movie get made, if it’s going to get done at all." [MTV Movies Blog]
- "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" director Rob Marshall has already had talks with star Johnny Depp: "We’ve now started, officially," he revealed. "I’m talking to Johnny and it’s been great. I’ve been working already. I’m spending a lot of time with [producer] Jerry Bruckheimer. Learning this whole adventure of this… different genre for me, which I feel so at home [with] already." [MTV Movies Blog]
- Disney has pushed back the release of "Beauty and the Beast 3D" to sometime in 2011. The 2D to 3D converted feature was originally scheduled to be released into theaters this February. [Stitch Kingdom]
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt, rumored to be a possible Peter Parker in Marc Webb’s "Spider-Man", says he’s "had some really cool conversations about what he wants to do with it, and I think it’s going to be a really good movie." Although there has been some skepticism in regards to Sony rebooting the franchise, Gordon-Levitt sounded an optimistic tone: "I think it’s the smartest thing they could have done because movies like that are good when they’re not just big action movies, but when they have a humanity to them and a heart, like ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Iron Man,’ " he explained. [MTV Splash Page]
- U2’s The Edge says that despite all the production delays, the musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark" (for which he and U2 front man Bono wrote the score) is still happening: "We’re just waiting until all the production issues get resolved," The Edge said, adding "It’s going to happen at some point. It’s really a case of when — that’s the question." The musical was recently pushed back to fall 2010. [MTV Splash Page]
- Warner Brothers is moving forward with a new version of "Mortal Kombat" with Oren Uziel in talks to write. [Bloody Disgusting]
- Kevin Greutert will not be directing "Paranormal Activity 2". Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures have exercised an option and installed Greutert as director of "Saw VII 3D". Paramount must now look for a new director for "Paranormal Activity 2". As expected, Greutert is not pleased and expressed his displeasure on his blog (which he has since deleted but you can still find here). [Deadline Hollywood]
- George Lucas’ Lucasfilm is producing a CGI-animated musical. David Berenbaum ("Elf") wrote the script and Kevin Munroe ("TMNT") is directing. There’s no name yet and very little is known about the plot, although it has been revealed that the film will feature fairies. [THR’s Heat Vision Blog]
- "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" director Michael Bay said he’s currently scouting locations in Chicago, Detroit and Washington D.C. for the third film and offered this brief comment on the script: "The script is feeling very different from the other two". [Michael Bay]