In this week’s Sci-Fi Movies column we have new details on the Judge Dredd, Captain America, and Ghostsbusters III movies, plus there is lots of director updates on Wolverine 2, Deadpool, Clash of the Titans 2, and the next Fantastic Four movie, All that and more, including the latest casting bites, images and videos.
GENRE MOVIE NEWS
Judge Dredd movie, starring Karl Urban, will be called…
…"Dredd", just "Dredd". That’s according to IM Global, who is currently selling the $45M 3D film at the Toronto Film Festival. The film stars "Star Trek’s" Karl Urban as the title character. IM Global has also released a new synopsis describing the Pete Travis-directed film [via IGN]:
DREDD takes us to the wild streets of Mega City One, the lone oasis of quasi-civilization on Cursed Earth. Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) is the most feared of elite Street Judges, with the power to enforce the law, sentence offenders and execute them on the spot – if necessary. The endlessly inventive mind of writer Alex Garland and the frenetic vision of director Pete Travis bring DREDD to life as a futuristic neo-noir action film that returns the celebrated character to the dark, visceral incarnation from John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra’s revered comic strip.
In other news, Olivia Thirlby ("Juno") has joined the cast. Thirlby will play Cassandra Anderson, "the telepathic rookie who shadows Dredd".
New details on Ghostbusters III
We already know that "Ghostbusters III" is expected to feature a new team of Ghost Busters — handed the reigns from Egon, Peter, Ray and Winston — but there are now new details on the potential storyline of the third film. Bloody Disgusting reports that the film will focus on Dana’s (Sigourney Weaver) son, Oscar:
Early word from an insider is that the (hinted at) love affair between Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) and Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) has a much bigger impact on the franchise than just an angry Vigo (Wilhelm von Homburg).
From what we’re told, it will be revealed that Dana’s son Oscar is in fact Peter’s child as well. Furthermore, Oscar is now 21-ish and ready to take the reigns of his father’s ghost busting business!
In addition to Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson all returning, Rick Moranis (who would come out of retirement) and Sigourney Weaver are expected to reprise their roles. "Ghostbusters III" is being scripted by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky ("The Office").
Captain America will feature several Marvel easter eggs
Director Joe Johnston revealed that "Captain America: The First Avenger" will include several easter eggs to other upcoming Marvel films [Comic Book Movie]:
"There are links between all the Marvel films, mostly ones that only the fans will pick up on. We have several subtle references to certain elements in Thor, but since Captain America is a period picture taking place in the ’40s, there are fewer opportunities for contemporary links to the rest of the Marvel universe. We can, however, create events in our story that will be paid off in Avengers and other Marvel pictures.
In other news, Stanley Tucci told Cinema Blend that his character Dr. Abraham Erskine, the man responsible for giving Steve Rogers his Captain America powers, will be in about six scenes. Although he has only a small part in the film, Tucci complimented the project and its script, saying it was "really well written". "Captain America: The First Avenger" is scheduled to hit conventional and 3D theaters on July 22, 2011.
Director updates: Liebesman to helm Clash of Titans 2 + Aronofsky & Slade battle for Wolverine 2, Rodriguez frontrunner for Deadpool
A number of high profile genre projects have made some strides in the last week on picking their directors:
- Jonathan Liebesman ("Battle: Los Angeles") has agreed to terms with Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures to direct a sequel to Louis Leterrier’s "Clash of the Titans", Sam Worthington and Gemma Arterton are both expected to reprise their roles for the film, which will be written by Dan Mazeau ("The Flash") and David Leslie Johnson ("Red Riding Hood"). Greg Berlanti ("Green Lantern") wrote the treatment with the duo.
- In other directing news, Darren Aronofsky has been added to the shortlist of potential directors for the "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" follow-up. Deadline reports that Aronofsky and David Slade are the top contenders for the project, but Slade is still the frontrunner (Robert Schwentke was in the mix but has since opted out of the competition)
- And lastly, Robert Rodriguez continues to be the top choice of Fox to direct the "Deadpool" spin-off, but scheduling is an issue due to Spy Kids 4 and promoting Machete:
Fox interested in Bruce Willis for voice of The Thing in Fantastic Four reboot? + Director rumors
It has already been reported that Fox will use CG for the character The Thing in the "Fantastic Four" reboot, and now we have a name attached to potentially voice the character…Bruce Willis. Comic Book Movie reports that their inside source has told them Fox wants Willis to play Ben Grimm in an early scene/credits sequence and voice the new fully CG Thing. No word yet on if Willis will receive an offer from the studio. In related news, CBM reports that three directors are in contention for directing duties on the project: Joe Carnahan ("The A-Team"), David Yates ("Harry Potter") and James McTeigue ("V for Vendetta").
Darren Aronofsky says he didn’t leave Robocop because of the 3D
The last bit of genre director news comes from Darren Aronofsky who says, contrary to earlier reports, he didn’t leave MGM’s "Robocop" project because of the studio’s desire to shoot in 3D, rather it was because of MGM’s dire financial situation: "The studio is in question, as everyone knows, with ‘The Hobbit’ and all that stuff, and ‘Black Swan’ was ready to go. It just became an easy decision.". In fact, Aronofsky says he’s open to shooting in 3D. And what about Robocop? Would he return if asked? "We’ll see what happens with it down the line," he said.
Mark Millar claiming Kick-Ass 2 has been greenlit
Mark Millar was on Radio 5 in the UK and according to a report via AICN, the "Kick-Ass" creator claimed that the sequel to the big-screen version has been greenlit due to strong DVD sales and it "will go ahead and be based on Millar’s follow up comic". Mark Millar has been known to exaggerate in the past (he still claims "Wanted 2" will be made), so don’t take this news as anything more than a rumor at this point. Also, the DVD sales of "Kick-Ass", while solid, are nothing to brag about. According to The Numbers, the DVD has sold 737,376 through three weeks (of data available) with revenue of $16.3M. Lionsgate paid $60M for the domestic and worldwide distribution rights and spent between $25-30M in advertising. The film brought in about $96M worldwide — studio’s take, on average, a little more than half of box office revenue — so "Kick-Ass" isn’t exactly a hot property for Lionsgate.
PREVIEW Videos & Images
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Promotional still [MTV]
Set images [more at Conan Movie Blog]
Cowboys & Aliens
Set image [The Sun]
Promotional stills [Fangoria]
First look at David Tennant as Peter Vincent [Shock Till You Drop]
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Let Me In
International (France) movie poster [IMP Awards]
Clip: "Car Attack" [Teaser-Trailer]
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
International (Russia) movie poster [IMP Awards]
Red band TV spot [YouTube]
Movie poster [Vulture]
Never Let Me Go
Artwork (Note: The project is no longer in development) [more at Disney Pixar | Facebook]
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Set images (including first look at Ian McShane as Blackbeard) [more at PopSugar]
Resident Evil: Afterlife
International (Japan) character posters [more at IMP Awards]
Four clips [Collider]
Rise of the Apes
Promotional stills [Warner Brothers / YourEntNow]
Terminator 2: The Opera [YouTube]
Concept art for new Disney theme park, "ElecTRONica" [Disney Parks Blog]
- M. Night Shyamalan says the idea he had for a sequel to "Unbreakable" has been "cannibalized…for one of the ‘Night Chronicles". Shyamalan added: "I fleshed it out more and more, and thought, ‘This could be a standalone movie,’" he said. "I’ll just say it: the third ‘Night Chronicles’ movie is what would have been the sequel [to ‘Unbreakable’]. So now I need to come up with a new idea." [MTV]
- DC Comics’ upcoming direct-to-video film "Superman/Batman: Apocalypse" will debut on the big-screen in Los Angeles (September 21, 2010) and New York (September 23). The DVD and Blu-ray will be released on September 28. [WB / YourEntNow]
- Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D sci-fi film "Gravity" may not get made: "Gravity…is suddenly in danger of falling back to earth after Angellina Jolie said no to a full court press and a big money offer to star in the film. It has put Warner Bros in a bind. The studio needs an actress who can hold the screen and draw an audience to an $80 million film."
- Check out a script review of Guilermo del Toro’s "At the Mountains of Madness" at The Temple of Ghoul [via Blastr]
- "Flash Gordon" director Mike Hodges reveals that a sequel was intended, but a conflict between the film’s star Sam J. Jones and producer Dino De Laurentiis resulted in the sequel being dropped. [Total Sci-Fi Online via Blastr]
- Marvel’s "Runaways" is scheduled to begin shooting in March 2011 in Los Angeles under the fake production title "Small Faces". [Production Weekly via /Film]
- Barry Levinson’s sci-fi thriller "Isopod" has been re-named "The Bay". [Production Weekly]
- "Transformers 3" director Michael Bay says the film’s budget is not $400M: "Lester [Speight] is a moron. He has no clue about much, other then to try to get internet hype. He’s been on the movie a total of 10 days, the guys is just letting his ass talk. Movie is $ just above Revenge. He knows not to talk about this movie!"
- George Miller’s "Mad Max: Fury Road" will use 138 cars and bikes and features 298 stunts. [Transmoto via Moviehole]
- Robert Rodriguez’s "Machete" just edged out "The American" at the box office on Friday according to early estimates: $3.9M vs. $3.8M. The two films will finish a close 1 and 2 (too early to say which film will finish #1 for the weekend)… [Box Office Mojo]
- ..Check out interviews with Robert Rodriguez, Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez. [Collider, (2)]
- …In last week’s box office, "The Last Exorcism" opened in second place with $20.4M, while "Avatar: Special Edition" opened in 11th place with $4.0M pushing the domestic cume of "Avatar" past $750M…
- …And in international box office last week, the four-week reign of "Inception" was ended as "The Last Airbender" expanded into Mexico and China to take in $20.3 million over the August 27-29 weekend (current worldwide cume is $252.9M). "Inception" was a strong second place with $17 million (current worldwide cume is $660.7M). [Variety]
- …Speaking of "The Last Airbender", director M. Night Shyamalan remains open to doing a sequel: "I don’t [know], because there are so many factors they take into account…I guess it will get into an area where it becomes a discussion — like pros and cons," he added. [MTV]
- "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn" screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg promises the on-screen birth scene will be "as intense as it is in the book," adding "I don’t think it’s about the amount of blood you show…It’s about the intensity of it. It’s on their faces. It’s all from Bella’s point of view when you’re seeing what’s going. It should feel visceral. I think it’s going to be pretty intense". [E! Online]
- Greg Strause, co-director of "Skyline", calls "total bullshit" on Sony’s accusations that he and his brother/co-director Colin ripped off Sony’s "Battle: Los Angeles": "…We work on a movie with aliens involved with it, if not every year, then every other year. We worked on ‘Avatar,’ ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still,’ ‘Invasion.’ It’s all about aliens. That’s what our company does. And everyone knows that" [MTV]
- Duncan Jones’ "Moon" follow-up "Source Code" will be released on March 11, 2011. [Film Source Code]
- Ridley Scott’s "Alien" prequels will take place 30 years before the events of the 1979 original: "The film will be really tough, really nasty," he notes. "It’s the dark side of the moon. We are talking about gods and engineers. Engineers of space. And were the aliens designed as a form of biological warfare? Or biology that would go in and clean up a planet?" [The Independent]
- Dwayne Johnson will star in "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island", co-starring Josh Hutcherson. A sequel to the 2008 hit "Journey to the Center of the Earth", the sequel which will be "loosely based" on Jules Verne’s "The Mysterious Island". Fraser starred in the 2008 film, but will not return for ‘Journey 2’. [Heat Vision]
- 20th Century Fox is said to be interested in Stephen Moyer ("True Blood") to play Dr. Doom in the next "Fantastic Four" movie… [Comic Book Movie]
- …Also, between the choices of Adrien Brody and Jonathan Rhys Meyers for the role of Mr. Fantastic, the studio is said to be "strongly leaning" towards Brody. [CBM]
- "Avatar" spoilers… Actress Sigourney Weaver leaves the door open on the possibility of her character returning for "Avatar 2": "She didn’t maybe die. Maybe she’s just in the tree…I’m not allowed to say anything, but he [James Cameron] certainly made a lot of notes over the last year of where to move on," Weaver said. "I think he really wants to keep the team together as much as he can." [Blastr]
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson are reported to be "loosely" attached to star in the Diablo Cody-produced adaptation of S.G. Browne’s "Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament". [Pajiba]
- Rami Malek ("The Pacific") has joined the cast of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2" [ET Online]
- Sylvester McCoy has revealed that he is in negotiations for a role in "The Hobbit": "I am being cast in The Hobbit,” he said. “We’re currently in negotiations – there are two of us under consideration. It’s not the Bilbo role, but could be bigger." There are reports that McCoy could be playing Radagast the Brown. [Dunoon Observer/Argyllshire Standard via The One Ring]
- There’s a report that Universal Pictures wants James McAvoy to star in Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of the H.P Lovecraft novel "At the Mountains of Madness", but del Toro wants Tom Cruise. Chris Pine’s name has also been in the mix, but his busy schedule puts him out of the running. [Collider]
- David Koechner, Nicholas D’Agosto, P.J. Byrne and Ellen Wroe have joined the cast of "5nal Destination". Also, Tony Todd has been confirmed to be reprising his role as Mr. Bludworth. [Heat Vision]
- Sinqua Walls, Chris Carmack, Alyssa Diaz and Joel David Moore have joined the cast of David Ellis’ ("Snakes on a Plane") "Shark Night 3D". [Heat Vision]
- Marvel Studios has re-issued its casting call for the part of Nico in the upcoming big-screen adaptation of "Runaways". The new casting call makes clear they are seekingn Asian-Americans to try out for the role. [Racebending via io9]