'Sin City'; 'Mr. Toad'; 'Muppets 2'; New Pixar films & 'Battle Angel' update
Dimension Films has announced that deals have been made and casting is underway on a sequel to Sin City –the film on which director Robert Rodriguez exited the DGA because they would not let creator Frank Miller share directorial credit.
Since Disney has had a huge success in turning their Pirates of the Caribbean ride into four movies (and counting), they’ve decided to adapt Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride -one their longest-running attractions- into a live action/CGI feature film. By the way, elements of Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 classic children’s book The Wind in the Willows have been adapted before by Disney, in particular the 1949 film The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. And the ride is one of the few attractions that are still running at park since it opened in 1955. Pete Candeland, a commercial and video helmer, has been hired to direct, but the project is still seeking a writer.
In a recent interview, James Cameron confirmed he’s still interested in doing an adaptation of the manga Battle Angel, but admits it’s still a long way off. His two Avatar sequels take presences first, with the first one tentatively set for 2016. Asked about another director who could do it, Cameron said “It would have to be pried out of my cold, dead fingers… but on the other hand I don’t want to take it to my grave, either.”
NBC has confirmed that Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal –already picked up to series, will follow the current basic cable format of 13 episode seasons. Fuller also pitched the show to the network as a seven-season series which would include stories from various Harris books. The show will use the backstory from Thomas Harris’ novel Red Dragon as the basis for the setup with Dr. Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) working together to solve crimes, the latter unaware of the former’s psychopathic tendencies. The story will also begin as a procedural following two highly intelligent men solving crimes, but the dynamic will change once Lecter is revealed to be a serial killer – “There is a cheery disposition to our Hannibal. He’s not being telegraphed as a villain. If the audience didn’t know who he was, they wouldn’t see him coming. What we have is Alfred Hitchcock’s principle of suspense — show the audience the bomb under the table and let them sweat when it’s going to go boom.” Several male characters from the books are also becoming women.
At the Cinema Con in Las Vegas, Disney announced a slate of production, including a confirmation that there will be –surprise, surprise- a sequel to last winter’s The Muppets. Director James Bobin will return to helm with a script written by Bobin and Nicholas Stoller. Also announced were three new Pixar movies that begin in May 2014 with The Good Dinosaur, which is comedy from director Bob Peterson, co-director Peter Sohn and producer John Walker. The story is about what would happen “if the cataclysmic asteroid that forever changed life on Earth actually missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct?” Also in the pipeline is Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside The Mind. “Pixar takes audiences on incredible journeys into extraordinary worlds: from the darkest depths of the ocean to the top of the tepui mountains in South America; from the fictional metropolis of Monstropolis to a futuristic fantasy of outer space. From director Pete Docter (Up, Monsters, Inc.) and producer Jonas Rivera (Up), the inventive new film will take you to a place that everyone knows, but no one has ever seen: the world inside the human mind.” The film is slated for release June 19, 2015. Following –probably in 2016- is the Untitled Pixar Movie About Dia De Los Muertos: From director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson, the filmmaking team behind the Academy Award-winning Toy Story 3, comes a wholly original Pixar Animation Studios film that delves into the vibrant holiday of Día de los Muertos.
Jessica Chastain, Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce have been added to the cast of Iron Man 3, which begins filming in North Carolina in May under writer/director Shane Black. The role for Chastain is said to be the character of Dr. Maya Hansen who developed the Extremis nanotechnology that’s a big part of the upcoming film. Pearce would play geneticist Aldrich Killian, the co-creator of the Extremis technology which Iron Man adopts after Killian sells it to terrorists. Based on a Warren Ellis’ six-issue mini-series, the story focuses heavily on the spread of a virus through nanotechnology. Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Robert Downey, Jr. return. Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow will not be back.
Following years of delays and setbacks, Mad Max: Fury Road will finally go before the cameras in May. Supermodel Abbey Lee Kershaw has been the recent sign-up to this $130 million production from director George Miller. At last report Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron will star in the lead roles.
Still a few months away from Marc Webb’s rebooted The Amazing Spider-Man, Sony is pushing ahead with a sequel and is paying big bucks to have Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek, Transformers and Mission: Impossible III) whip out a script. Sony already has a release date for a sequel, May 2, 2014 and wants production to start early next year.
Seth MacFarlane’s planned reboot The Flintstones is now back into developmental hell. At first it was announced the delay was due to MacFarlane’s busy schedule: overseeing three animated shows on FOX, developing and update of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, plus all the publicity for his live action, directorial debut Ted, was occupying his time. It seems though MacFarlane announcement about “choosing” to put the project on hold was a small part of a much bigger story. The real reason stems, in part, from Fox president Kevin Reilly, who “liked” MacFarlane’s ideas, but “didn’t love it.” Given an option of starting over from scratch or tabling it, it looks like he took the latter.
Ever since some rock stars have won Oscars for not only singing songs for movies, but also a scoring them as well, Hollywood has rushed to their million dollar mansions to offer them a chance to score more films. I’m sure they flush these people’s egos by saying not only can they win a Grammy but an Oscar as well if the soundtrack scores big. Perhaps that’s the mindset when Disney announced they’ve hired Jack White, formerly of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs, to score the overly expensive Western The Lone Ranger film and perform on the soundtrack?