In this week’s Sci-Fi Movies we have several big updates, including David S. Goyer and Jonah Nolan writing the new Superman movie, a short list for the lead role in ‘Captain America’ and confirmation of Mickey Rourke in Conan. There are also updates on the GI. Joe sequel, Battleship, Avatar 2 (and the Avatar DVD/Blu-ray) and a filming update on Batman 3. All that plus a new image from Joseph Kosinski’s Tron Legacy and the latest casting bites, images and videos.
GENRE MOVIE NEWS
David S. Goyer & Jonah Nolan writing Superman: The Man of Steel
David S. Goyer and Jonah Nolan (who collaborated on "The Dark Knight") have reportedly been hired to write the screenplay for the next Superman. According to Latino Review, the new film will be called "The Man of Steel" and Goyer’s story "takes the movies back to the John Byrne incarnation. Modern. Believable. FUN!" "Superman Returns" star Brandon Routh will not reprise his role as Superman and Bryan Singer is also not expected to direct. Mark Millar’s rumored involvement was also shot down. Latino Review’s source reports that Goyer’s story — which is not an origin story — involves Lex Luthor and Brainiac:
["The Man of Steel"] assumes audiences already know about Lois, Clark, Jimmy and Perry. I know the Daily Planet is struggling due to the internet. And I know it sets up a huge Kryptonian mythology.
Shortly after Latino Review’s report broke, IGN broke news that Jonah Nolan would be co-writing the film along with Goyer:
Goyer is in fact on the project, but not only that — his The Dark Knight co-writer Jonah Nolan will also be scripting Superman: The Man of Steel along with him.
Since then Variety has confirmed Goyer is in talks for the Superman project
Nolan’s brother Christopher is expected to executive produce the project, and although he won’t be directing, he will be "hands-on" as a producer.
Batman 3 filming to begin this year?
In related news, Christopher Nolan could begin shooting his "Dark Knight" follow-up this year. According to the blog The Moving Image [via Batman-On-Film], a source relayed to them information that the third film could begin shooting this year [emphasis mine]:
"In the earlier post about the BURKE AND HARE film shoot, I mentioned a source’s experience with Christopher Nolan on the Batman films and INCEPTION. I forgot to mention that he also said sets were either being constructed, or will soon be constructed, for the third BATMAN, with the possibility of shooting toward the end of the year. He also said that they were coming under budget at the end of THE DARK KNIGHT, so they built a whole extra set (possible usage in the third film)."
Short list of actors in contention for the role of Captain America
Marvel Studios and Joe Johnston are testing candidates for the lead role in "The First Avenger: Captain America" and Deadline Hollywood’s Mike Fleming has the short list:
Chace Crawford (CW’s Gossip Girl), John Krasinski (NBC’s The Office), Scott Porter (NBC’s Friday Night Lights), Mike Vogel (Cloverfield), Michael Cassidy (CW’s Privileged), Patrick Flueger (Brothers).
Fleming reports that they also want Garret Hedlund ("Tron Legacy"), but he hasn’t made a test deal yet. Notice the list does NOT include Chris Pine (a rumor that was previously put under serious doubt).
Mickey Rourke confirmed as Conan’s father + Sean Hood to rewrite script
Mickey Rourke is in negotiations to play Conan’s father in Marcus Nispel’s "Conan". This confirms Latino Review’s January scoop that he was offered the role, however Heat Vision reports that the original deal making fell apart and the two parties only came back to the table in the last couple of weeks. In other casting news, pro wrestling star Shad Gaspard revealed that he has auditioned for the role of the main villain Ukafa. Gaspard included the casting call for the role on his MySpace page:
He’s in his 30s-40, very dark-skinned African or African American, massively framed at six-foot-five, gold-toothed, hardened by a lifetime of war, a leader of Kushite Tribemen from the savannahs of Kush. Ukafa is Khalar Singh’s second in command, jealous that Singh’s son, Fariq, will one day be warlord. He obeys his leader but plots the overthrow of his son. He is a mighty warrior and unbeatable in battle until he comes face to face with Conan. LEAD….
In related news, Superhero Hype! reports that Sean Hood has been hired to do a late rewrite to the script. "Conan" stars "Stargate Atlantis’s" Jason Momoa. Shooting is scheduled to begin in Bulgaria on March 15th.
Shane Black to direct Doc Savage
Columbia Pictures has tapped Shane Black ("Kiss Kiss Bang Bang") to direct the big screen adaptation of "Doc Savage".
"Doc Savage is an icon, a character with limitless possibilities," said Columbia co-president Matt Tolmach of the character, who is by turns a scientist, physician, adventurer, inventor, explorer and researcher. "We have had a great experience working with Neal to bring another classic character of the era, the Green Hornet, to a new generation of fans, and we think he and Shane make the ideal team to bring Doc Savage back to the bigscreen."
You may remember that last October AICN & Collider reported that Black had been hired to write the project. At the time it was reported that the character would remain in the 30s and not be modernized. That presumably remains the intent of the studio and creative team.
Tron Legacy: Worldwide limited event this weekend + New image released
Today’s worldwide viral game for Disney’s "Tron Legacy" revealed a new image at the website PitCell.com. The studio is also holding an exclusive limited event this Saturday in five cities around the world. Tickets will be made available at PitCell.com tomorrow for New York (4PM EST), Los Angeles (1PM PST), London (9PM GMT), Toronto (4PM EST) and Sydney (8AM EDT–2/26). Check out the website for theater details. You have to sign up at FlynnLives.com to take part in the event. More than likely theatergoers will be treated to an early look at the trailer (which is launching next week along with "Alice in Wonderland"), although it’s possible an extended scene from the film could be screened (ala "The Dark Knight’s viral campaign). "Tron Legacy" is scheduled to hit conventional and 3D theaters on December 17, 2010.
Avatar DVD/Blu-ray will be released on April 22nd + new sequel details
In an recent interview with the The Wall Street Journal, "Avatar" director James Cameron revealed that the film will hit DVD and Blu-ray on April 22, 2010 (Earth Day) in barebones — just the movie — editions. Cameron added that he expected a value-added edition DVD to be released in November along with a 3D release, but 20th Century Fox quickly shot down the possibility of a 3D release this year: "3D is in the conceptual stage and ‘Avatar’ will not be out on 3D Blu-ray in November." In a separate interview with MTV, Cameron revealed that the DVD will feature some unfinished deleted scenes:
"The unfinished scenes look like a cheesy video game," Cameron explained. "There are the performances; you can really see what the scene would have been, but it doesn’t have that magical realism of the finished film. So to put those scenes in without finishing them… will be for fans. For real fans who want to know more about the characters and so on."
Cameron says only about five or six minutes of deleted scenes were actually finished and could be included if there was a "final" cut. The other 15 or so minutes of deleted scenes were never finished, but could still be included in some way:
"We can probably put in maybe another five or six minutes that was finished, final finished. And we can put in 15 minutes or so of those other scenes that were never finished, that were taken out relatively early in the life cycle of the cut. So we’ll look at programmable branching technology to see what experiences we can give people on the DVD."
With regards to a sequel, Cameron told the WSJ said that he wants to do it "cheaper and faster" and that it will be "a continuation of the same characters. We’re going to widen the universe in quotes, meaning the envelope of the setting of the story." In other news, "Avatar" passed $200 million at IMAX theaters this weekend. Through Tuesday, it has grossed $2.47 billion worldwide. And now for a bit of interesting trivia. The LA Times’ Hero Complex blog reports that both Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal turned down the role of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington).
COMEDY: "Avatar… with Babies"
Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick talk G.I. Joe sequel
Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, recently hired screenwriters for the sequel to last summer’s "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra", told MTV that the sequel will both be more faithful to the toyline and stay faithful to the first film:
"We can say that we will be faithful to the first film,” Reese explained of their plans for the sequel. “We will not be ignoring events from the first in the second." "It will be a sequel," added Wernick. "It will be a continuation of ‘G.I. Joe’ [as it was established last summer]."
‘G.I. Joe’ should be fun, it should be a ride. That’s what we feel like ‘Zombieland’ was, and we hope to bring that to the ‘G.I. Joe’ franchise also.”
The next step in the process is a visit to Hasbro’s headquarters next week:
"[We’ll] talk to the toy guys, take a tour of the facility, see all the old toys, the new toys and just get inspired," Wernick said.
Peter Berg’s Battleship won’t be 3D + casting rumors
Peter Berg’s sci-fi-themed adaptation of the Milton Bradley board game "Battleship" won’t be released in 3D, at least that’s not the plan at the moment:
"No discussion of 3-D at this point. I think that this is going to be a big spectacle in and out of itself," Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner told MTV.
Goldner also offered some details about the film:
"I think it’s a really unique story and unlike a lot of those other alien stories this is really not about aliens that came here to do us harm," producer and Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner told MTV News. "So I think you’ll find the story really interesting in that it doesn’t begin as a fight."
In casting news, the NY Times reports that Jeremy Renner ("The Hurt Locker") is currently in negotiations with Universal Pictures and Berg to play the lead role in the film. "Battleship" is scheduled to hit theaters on May 25, 2012.
Alice in Wonderland
Promotional stills [more at Collider]
A Nightmare on Elm Street
New poster [MySpace]
Storyboard art (from Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie–available Feb. 23rd) [via SCI FI Wire]
Promotional still [IGN]
Possible concept art [via Comic Book Movies]
Toy Story 3
- Ian McShane ("Kings", "Deadwood") is in negotiations to play the pirate Blackbeard in Rob Marshall’s "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"… [THR]
- …in related news, Johnny Depp confirmed that neither Keira Knightley nor Orlando Bloom will return to reprise their roles in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides". [ComingSoon.net]
- DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer, Geoff Johns has confirmed that Mark Strong ("Kick-Ass") will play Sinestro in "Green Lantern". [Geoff Johns]
- William Hurt ("The Incredibly Hulk") said he would be open to reprising his role as General ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross in future Marvel movies if the filmmakers asked: "If they call me, I’ll answer…I would do it." [Cinematical]
- Bill Nighy revealed that he has replaced Eddie Izzard as the voice of Reepicheep in "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader". Izzard voiced the role ‘Prince Caspian’. [NarniaWeb.com via ComingSoon.net]
- Although he may be contractually obligated to appear in other Marvel movies, Don Cheadle ("Iron Man 2") says he has no idea if he’ll be in "The Avengers": ""I don’t know," responded the actor. "We’ll see. There isn’t even a script yet." [IGN]
- Matthew Goode revealed that he has auditioned to play the role of Bilbo Baggins in Guilermo del Toro’s two-part film "The Hobbit". [Telegraph.co.uk]
Alice in Wonderland
Clip: "Clothe this girl" [MySpace]
Behind the scenes featurette: "The New World" [Trailer Addict]
New TV spot: "Changing" [YouTube]
The minions make an appearance on "The Today Show" [Trailer Addict]
How To Train Your Dragon
Featurette: "Dragon Training" [Trailer Addict]
Hot Tub Time Machine
NSFW red band clip [IGN]
New red band (NSFW) trailer [MySpace]
Behind the scenes mini documentary [Empire]
The Last Airbender
Olympics TV spot [YouTube]
Watch another TV spot here
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Featurette: "Creating an Epic" [Collider]
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Interview with Jackson Rathbone [ReelzChannel]
- 20th Century Fox has picked up the rights to the sci-fi book series "Fourth Realm Trilogy" by author John Twelve. "Watchmen" co-writer Alex Tse has been tapped by the studio to adapt. The first book in the series, "The Traveler", was released in 2006. [THR]
- A rare copy of "Action Comics #1" sold for a record $1 million. The comic was said to be in fine condition — with a CGC rating of 8.0 — which is one of the reasons it was able to sell so much higher than the same comic last year ($317,000). [MSNBC]
- The 1980’s era Atari video game "Missile Command" is being developed into a potential Hollywood franchise. [LA Times’ 24 Frames blog]
- Mark Millar, creator of the comic "Kick-Ass" (April 16, 2010) confirmed that a sequel to the upcoming film is in the works. [Milar World]
- Brock Eisner ("The Crazies") revealed that he and his writers have completed work on a long-form outline for "Flash Gordon" and expects the script to be in the hands of the studio "in two months or so". Eisner also revealed that the film will be in 3D. [SCI FI Wire]
- "Avatar" received the most Saturn nominations (10) from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror films. "Sherlock Holmes" was second with eight nominations, followed by "Watchmen" and "Inglourious Basterds" with 7 and "District 9" and "Star Trek" with 6 each. [Saturn Awards]
- A Missouri man has been sentenced to two years in prison and a fine for illegally recording "The Dark Knight" in theaters and then selling pirated DVD copies. [The Wrap]
- "District 9" writer Terri Tatchell is working on an adaptation of the 2008 Canadian short film "Terminus": "It’s about a stone creature that follows this stressed-out guy around, just stressing him more and more," said Tatchell. You can watch the short film embedded below. [io9]
- "Ultimate Spider-Man" writer Brian Michael Bendis will not be writing, and has not consulted, on the new "Spider-Man" movie. [Jinxworld]
- Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") is reportedly developing a documentary with award-winning director Morgan Spulock ("Super Size Me") about Comic-Con fans. [E! Online]
- James Cameron downplayed prior reports that he has spoken with "Spider-Man"director Marc Webb: ""I never talked with them directly…It’s not like I want to tell them how to do it. … It’s more like, just don’t make the same dumbass mistakes that we made for 10 years." [MTV]
- Scott Kosar ("The Crazies") has been hired by Summit Entertainment to work on the script for the studio’s action-orientated Dracula film "Vlad". Actor Charlie Hunnam ("Sons of Anarchy") wrote the original script. [THR]
- Ralph Winter and Terry Botwick have acquired the film rights to Dean Koontz’s "Frankenstein" book series. [Variety]
- The new trailer for "A Nightmare on Elm Street" will go live Thursday morning at 12:01 a.m. PST (3:01 a.m. EST)… [MySpace]
- …In other trailer news, Summit Entertainment announced that the trailer for "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" will debut alongside the studio’s own "Remember Me", which also stars Robert Pattinson, on March 12, 2010. The trailer will be released online earlier that week. [Summit Entertainment]
- In this new viral marketing campaing for "The Crazies", you can put yourself and your friends in the trailer for the film. Details at makeyourfriendscrazy.co.uk.
- Effective yesterday — Tuesday, February 23rd — the 3D Michael Jackson musical "Captain EO" is back playing in the Tomorrowland theater at Disneyland. Watch a video clip highlighting the reopening below. [Disney]
- Wes Craven confirmed that he is in talks to direct "Scream 4", but says that nothing has been finalized yet. [Wes Craven & LA Times’ Hero Complex blog]
- Comic-Con has a contract to stay in San Diego through 2012, but other cities such as Anaheim and Las Vegas are trying to convince the organization to move the convention to their sites due to limited space and growing attendance. The San Diego Convention Center Corp. is currently trying to broker a deal with Comic-Con to keep the event in San Diego through at least 2015. [San Diego Union Tribune via /Film]
- Jamie Bell, who plays the title character in Steven Spielberg’s "The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn", "will be digitally made to look exactly like Hergé’s classic renderings of Tintin." As previously reported, the film is being shot with 3D motion capture. [LA Times’ Hero Complex blog]
- A lawsuit filed by Threshold Entertainment Inc. may hold up Warner Brothers’ development on their "Mortal Kombat" reboot. [The Wrap]
- The Black Pearl has arrived in Hawaii and will be prepped for filming on Rob Marshall’s "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" which is scheduled to begin shooting this summer. [Hawaii News Now via AICN]
- Johnny Depp expects Tim Burton’s adaptation of "Dark Shadows", which Depp is starring in, to get underway this year. [ComingSoon.net]
- Universal Pictures has picked up Rodney Rothman’s spec script "The Something". The project is described as an ensemble comedy/horror hybrid set in deep space. [Variety]