Sci-Fi Movies this week includes updates on Captain America, John Carter of Mars, Cowboys & Aliens and Dune, plus we’ve got news on 3D conversions for Clash of the Titans and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (and possibly even Transformers 3). Plus more coverage on the new domestic box office champ Avatar (including new DVD/Blu-ray and sequel details) and more including the latest casting bites, images and videos.
GENRE MOVIE NEWS
Clash of the Titans, Deadly Hallows & Transformers 3 in 3D
It looks like "Avatar" may be living up to the hype and changing the way movies are made. Warner Brothers has made official what we reported last week: "Clash of the Titans" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1" will be released in 3D. The studio also confirmed that "Clash of the Titans" will be pushed back one week to April 2nd of this year. ‘Deathly Hallows, Part 1’ is still scheduled to be released on November 19th.
Meanwhile, Variety reports that Paramount Pictures is in talks with "Transformers 3" director Michael Bay and ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) about going 3D with the film. Talk is currently surrounding whether to shoot in 3D — which could delay its release — or have the film converted to 3D in post-production.
Clash of the Titans international trailer [IGN]
More from Morel On Dune Remake + maybe 3D too
Director Pierre Morel ("From Paris with Love") told MTV that none of the elements from Peter Berg’s "Dune" script will be used in his take on property:
"We’re starting from scratch," Morel said. "Peter had an approach which was not mine at all, and we’re starting over again. I don’t think we’re going to keep any elements of the Peter Berg script."
Morel added that a deal announcing the writers for the project will be made "official" next week. Morel expanded on his intentions for the project in an interview with the Tribeca Film blog, once again re-iterating his desire to remain faithful to Frank Herbert’s novel:
"…I want to stay true to the book. Saying that, I also think that there’s a lot of scenes that are not described in the books—it’s just mentioned, like the bad guys attacking something—and it might make sense to include those in the movie, not just by mentioning it but showing them, and that would maybe [call for] some action scenes, yes. It’s not about action. It’s not the point. It’s not about [making] an action movie. It’s just doing Dune. It’s like a huge universe thing, and there’s such a fanbase, like guys who have been reading that forever—you can’t mess with that.
Finally, Morel told MTV that he would "love [Dune] to be 3D": "It’s the kind of movie that has the scope to be 3D," Morel said. "Will they do it in 3D? I’d push for that, but I don’t know. As a viewer, I’ve just been watching Avatar with my kids twice in the theater already and had a blast. It’s an amazing experience."
Daniel Craig Confirmed for Cowboys & Aliens; Olivia Wilde In Talks
Daniel Craig (aka James Bond) is officially in as the lead character Zeke Jackson in director Jon Favreau’s adaptation of the graphic novel "Cowboys & Aliens". "Star Trek" vets Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are producing the project and wrote the script with "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof. Craig replaces Robert Downey Jr. who in January had to drop out of the project over a scheduling conflict with the proposed "Sherlock Holmes" sequel. According to THR’s Heat Vision Blog, Wilde will play a character named Ella who "joins up with [a] mysterious gunslinger [Craig] in an unlikely uprising against an alien invasion."
Trailers for Johnston’s Wolfman + WW2 Captain America & Casting Soon
"The Wolfman" director Joe Johnston offered some story details about his next project, "The First Avenger: Captain America". In an interview with Film Journal [via Screen Rant], Johnston revealed that the film’s story will take place during World War II and the present day:
The film, [Johnston] says at this early stage, will begin "in 1942, 1943" during World War II. "The stuff in the ’60s and ’70s [comic books] we’re sort of avoiding. We’re going back to the ’40s, and then forward to what they’re doing with Captain America now."
In related news, Johnston told SCI FI Wire that the casting process will begin soon:
"We need to cast it soon," Johnston said. "We have a very short list, but we’re still juggling actors here. I’d say within the next couple of weeks we’ll have ourselves a Captain America, I hope."
Check out some new videos from Johnston’s "The Wolfman", which opens next Friday, February 12th, below.
New clip: Transformation [Trailer Addict]
Behind the scenes: Benicio Del Toro [Yahoo! Movies]
Disney Releases Official Synopsis for John Carter of Mars
Walt Disney has released the official synopsis for director Andrew Stanton’s adaptation of "John Carter of Mars", which has begun production in London [Collider]:
From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton (”Finding Nemo,” “WALL-E”), JOHN CARTER OF MARS brings this captivating hero to the big screen in a stunning adventure epic set on the wounded planet of Mars, a world inhabited by warrior tribes and exotic desert beings. Based on the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Barsoom Series,” the film chronicles the journey of Civil-War veteran John Carter (TAYLOR KITSCH), who finds himself battling a new and mysterious war amidst a host of strange Martian inhabitants, including Tars Tarkas (WILLEM DAFOE) and Dejah Thoris (LYNN COLLINS).
Avatar At $2B Worldwide + DVD/Blu-ray Talk and Sequel Rumors
Over the weekend, "Avatar" broke the 7th weekend record with $31.3 million which helped propel it past $2 billion worldwide, becoming the first film in box office history to reach that mark. "Avatar" was already the #1 film overseas and worldwide, but yesterday (Tuesday), it cleared its last major hurdle. Sitting at $601.1 million domestically, "Avatar" is now the all-time #1 film domestically (beating the $600.8 million recorded by "Titanic"). Considering this weekend’s competition — "Dear John" and "From Paris with Love" — "Avatar" will very likely hold the number one spot again.
Meanwhile, some news has broken out over the past week with regards to potential sequel and the upcoming DVD/Blu-ray release. Speaking to analysts during his company’s quarterly earnings call, News Corp. (parent company of 20th Century Fox) CEO and Chairman Rupert Murdoch revealed that the studio is in "very early talks" with director James Cameron for a sequel. However, Murdoch was quick to caution analysts "not to hold your breath for an early one", indicating a longer than normal development cycle for the sequel. The issue of the DVD/Blu-ray release was also brought up, with Murdoch signaling a release sometime during the company’s current fiscal year — which ends June 30th — but not in 3D (at least not at first). In related news, MarketSaw has some early details on the proposed sequel, which they claim will be made within the next 4 years:
Just what is being discussed right now? Well for one, what we saw in AVATAR’s finale was just a battle. AVATAR 2 will be full blown war. War is coming – Jim Cameron war that is! We know that Cameron and Landau are taking AVATAR sequels OFF of Pandora and I am working closely with my sources to determine exactly where they will take place.
And finally, remember that 70-minute "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace" review? Well Mike from Milwaukee, WI is back with this two-part 18-minute review of "Avatar" (although I personally didn’t find it as funny as his ‘Phantom Menace’ review). Watch it below.
Watch part two here
Trailer and image from "The Losers" featuring Zoe Saldana
The next project for Avatar and Star Trek Star Zoe Saldana is "The Losers", an adaption from the graphic novel of the same name. Zoe plays "Aisha" who is a cold-blooded combat expert. This week a new trailer for the film was released and a new promo image.
Movie trailer [MSN Movies]
And here is a new promotional image from the film [via LA Times’ Hero Complex blog]
Promotional stills [one more at HitFix]
More concept art [io9]
Hot Tub Time Machine
Movie poster [EW]
UK quad poster [Empire]
The Last Airbender
International poster [Empire]
Promotional stills [more at Collider]
Character design — B&W — first look [UGO]
Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn [/Film]
Alice in Wonderland
"Alice (Underground)" (End credit song) [YouTube]
Two new TV spots [Collider]
New clip: "Is He Dead?" [Hulu]
International red band trailer [MSN]
- "Green Lantern" star Ryan Reynolds says that he has been in constant contact with screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick: "I talk to them every single day. We’re all very sick of each other already. It’s actually a really wonderful creative trifecta — we’re having a very good time." [MTV Splash Page]
- Italian director Gabriele Muccion is in advanced talks to direct the Keanu Reeves sci-fi romantic drama "Passengers". The film is described as "a love story set on a spaceship." [Variety]
- Universal Pictures has created a viral website for the Union, the company that sells robotic organs in the upcoming film "Repo Men". Check it out at theunioncares.com.
- Here’s how Anna Kendrick, who plays Stacey Pilgrim in Edgar Wright’s "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World", describes the film: "There’s nothing to compare it to. It’s like the energy from ‘Ferris Bueller’ and the action from ‘Kill Bill.’ It’s amazing"… [MTV Movies Blog]
- …Speaking of ‘Scott Pilgrim’, Universal Pictures has set an August 13, 2010 release date for the film. Putting it up against the Sylvester Stallone directing/producing/starring action film "The Expendables"… [BOM]
- …And in other release date news, MGM has pushed back the release of "Hot Tub Time Machine" by one week to March 26th while Magnolia has set a May 28th release date for "George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead". [BOM]
- Check out two on-set interviews — from 2008 — with "Kick-Ass" director Matthew Vaugn and star Aaron Johnson at CBR here and here.
- "Flight of the Conchords" co-creator James Bobin has been offered — and accepted — directing duties on Disney’s upcoming "Muppets" movie. [THR’s Heat Vision Blog & NY Mag’s Vulture Blog]
- There’s a rumor that "Jurassic Park" and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" could be hitting Blu-ray this November 4th. "Jurassic Park III" was not listed. [Planete HD via Blu-ray.com]
- Guy Ritchie’s "Sherlock Holmes" is getting an early home video release. Warner Brothers has announced that the nearly $400M-grossing adventure film starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law will hit DVD and Blu-ray on March 30th, just three months after its theatrical release… [DVD Active]
- …Here are a few more home video release dates: "The Box" (Feb. 23rd), "2012" (March 2nd), "Where the Wild Things Are" (March 2nd) and "Ninja Assassin" (March 16th). Worth noting, one of the bonus features on the "Ninja Assassin" Blu-ray will be a sneak peak at Louis Leterrier’s "Clash of the Titans". [DVD Active]
- In a recent interview with comic book writer Mark Millar ("Wanted"), Millar revealed that the script for the sequel is "almost ready" and that he expects it to begin shooting soon. He also revealed some basic plot details. Watch the interview below ("Wanted 2" talk starts at 3:05). [IGN]
- Lakeshore has picked up the script for "I, Frankenstein". The project is based on a comic from "Underworld" co-creator Kevin Grevioux (who wrote the script). Patrick Tatopoulos ("Underworld: Rise of the Lycans") is attached to direct. [THR’s Heat Vision Blog]
- "Incredible Hulk" director Louis Leterrier suspects Edward Norton would reprise his role as Bruce Banner/Hulk in "The Avengers", but only if it was a different take on the character: "That would be a problem if you do the same thing over and over again. Edward’s never done the same movie twice, so I don’t think he would do that." [MTV Splash Page]
- Paris’ Buf Compagnie will serve as the lead Visual Effects house on "Thor". [Variety]
- As you may remember, 19 months ago the old animatronic Kong attraction was destroyed in a fire on the Universal Theme Park back lot. Since then, Peter Jackson (who directed the 2005 remake) has been working with a group of special effects experts to create a new more realistic 3D attraction that will open at the park this summer. [LA Times]
- Producer Joel Silver says the feature film adaptation of the "Sgt. Rock" comic books will not be based in 1940s Europe and will instead be set in the future: "What we’ve done is gone back to it and we’ve done a new draft that actually came in this week." [LA Times’s Hero Complex Blog]
- Based on seeing the production designs and reading Alex Garland’s script for "Judge Dredd", ‘Dredd’ creator John Wagner says he’s hopeful about the project: "While I can’t go into detail about the content I can say that it’s high-octane, edge of the seat stuff, and gives a far truer representation of Dredd than the first movie". [2000AD Review via io9]
- "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" may have topped its predecessor in box office receipts ($402.1M domestically), but the film didn’t play all that well with critics and now the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation has released its nominees for the worst movies of the year and ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ tied with "Land of the Lost" for the most nominations with seven, including for worst picture and worst director. [Razzies.com]
- Sam Raimi is currently attached to direct "The Shadow" for Sony Pictures and given his recent departure from "Spider-Man 4", the director is reportedly interested in making the film his next project. You can check out a script review over at IESB.
- Zac Efron has signed a deal to star in "Fire", Universal Pictures’ adaptation of the Image Comics graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis. [Deadline Hollywood]
- Shawn Roberts plays Albert Wesker in "Resident Evil: Afterlife": [He’s the] head of the Umbrella Corporation who is responsible for the outbreak of the T-virus, or the Uroboros virus", Roberts revealed. [Shock Till You Drop]
- Nicholas Hoult has joined the cast of George Miller’s "Mad Max: Fury Road". Teresa Palmer, Zoe Kravitz and Adelaide Clemens are also in talks to join. Hoult will play a character named Nux, and Kravitz a character named Five Wives who is part of a group which includes Palmer and Clemens who "are part of a convoy being chased by bad guys". [THR’s Heat Vision Blog]