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Monday, May 31, 2010

Guillermo del Toro bids goodbye to "The Horbit"

By Siewaun

Yes, to all Horbit fans out there, this is for real! Guillermo del Toro has announced that he is leaving his "The Horbit" two movies director's position due to production delays.

Guillermo yesterday wrote an official announcement on The Lord of the Rings fansite, "In light of ongoing delays in the setting of a start date for filming "The Hobbit," I am faced with the hardest decision of my life. After nearly two years of living, breathing and designing a world as rich as Tolkien’s Middle Earth, I must, with great regret, take leave from helming these wonderful pictures. I remain grateful to Peter, Fran and Philippa Boyens, New Line and Warner Brothers and to all my crew in New Zealand. I’ve been privileged to work in one of the greatest countries on earth with some of the best people ever in our craft and my life will be forever changed.

"The blessings have been plenty, but the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project. Both as a co-writer and as a director, I wlsh the production nothing but the very best of luck and I will be first in line to see the finished product. I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director", says Guillermo.

But who can blame him, I mean, he has a long list of other projects such as HP Lovecraft’s "At the Mountains of Madness", "Frankenstein", "Drood", "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and "Slaughterhouse-Five", and he has spend two years in New Zealand waiting for production to start when he could actually film one or two other movies during the time. And with production date is still uncertain, how long does he needs to or two more years? What would you do if you were in his shoes?

Though, Guillermo said that he will continue co-writing the script with Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillippa Boyens.

Peter Jackson said, "We understand how the protracted development time on these two films, due to reasons beyond anyone’s control – has compromised his commitment to other long term projects. The bottom line is that Guillermo just didn’t feel he could commit six years to living in New Zealand, exclusively making these films, when his original commitment was for three years."


Friday, May 28, 2010

James McAvoy is Charles Xavier in "X-Men: First Class"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

James McAvoy, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in Atonement, and starred opposite Angelina Jolie in "Wanted," has signed on to play the young Professor Charles Xavier in "X-Men: First Class."

The story centers on two young men, Charles Xavier (McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (yet unnown), discovering their superhuman powers. They were close friends before they took the names Professor X and Magneto. They worked together with other Mutants to stop a threat to the world, but in the process, a rift opened between them, which leads to the war between Magneto's Brotherhood and Professor X's X-Men.

Bryan Singer, who directed the original "X-Men" and its sequel "X-Men 2," came up with the story, but will not direct this time, instead handed over the directing job to director Matthew Vaughn ("Stardust," "Kick-Ass").

Singer will produce the feature alongside Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg.

Shooting is scheduled to begin this summer and will be released on June 3, 2011.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wilson Yip to make new version of "A Chinese Ghost Story"

By Siewaun

Wilson Yip, director of the critical acclaimed and box office success martial arts movies "Ip Man" and "Ip Man 2" has set his eyes on a ghost story for his next project.

Yip announced on Tuesday that he will direct the movie titled "A Chinese Ghost Story," based on the original story, written by 17th-century Chinese author Pu Songling, which tells the love story of a tax collector, Ning Caichen, and a ghost named Nie Xiaoqian.

"A Chinese Ghost Story" was famously brought onto big screen in 1987 by producer Tsui Hark, and won huge popularity for Leslie Cheung in Japan and raised Joey Wong's stardom for the lead role they played in the movie.

Yip said that his version will not be the sequel to the Tsui Hark one, but rather a completely new spin on the story, and will be enhanced with computer-generated special effects.

A production kick off ceremony will be held during the upcoming Shanghai International Film Festival (June 12 to 20).

No dates are mentioned as of when casting will begin.

I'm a huge fan of the Tsui Hark version, and I rather that they don't do any remake, but well, I trust Wilson Yip will make the new one even better after seeing his directing quality in "Ip Man." And of course, the star status of Leslie Cheung and Joey Wong will be hard to beat!


Alison Pill joins Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Canadian actress Alison Pill "Milk," "Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World" has signed on to Woody Allen's upcoming "Midnight in Paris" feature.

Pill will co-star alongside Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni, Michael Sheen, Nina Arianda, Tom Hiddleston, Corey Stoll, Mimi Kennedy and Kurt Fuller.

Movie is a romantic comedy about a family traveling to the city for business, including a young engaged couple that has their lives transformed throughout the journey.

Letty Aronson, Steve Tenenbaum and Jaume Roures are producing the movie, which is one of the three features from the three-pic financing deal Allen's Gravier Productions made with Spanish media conglom Mediapro.

Spain's Imagina International Sales will handle most of international sales.

Shooting is scheduled to begin this summer in Paris.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Legendary acquires "Mass Effect" movie rights

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Legendary Pictures, under it's co-production and co-financing agreement with Warner Bros., will develop Electronic Arts' action role-playing game series "Mass Effect" into a feature film after picking up the feature rights.

BioWare, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts, developed "Mass Effect" for the Xbox 360, and the story takes place in the year 2183, with the player, assuming the role of an elite human soldier named Commander Shepard of starship SSV Normandy, who leads a team on a mission to defeat an ancient alien race that invades the galaxy every 50,000 years and wipes out all organic life.

Mark Protosevich "I Am Legend" is in negotiations to write the script for the sci-fi feature.

"Mass Effect" executive producer Casey Hudson was quoted as saying, "At BioWare, we've always thought of 'Mass Effect' as having the depth, emotion and plot twists perfectly suited for an adaptation to a motion picture."

Legendary's Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni will produce the film with Avi and Ari Arad, while BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk will executive producing alongside Hudson.

Warner Bros. will distribute the film worldwide.


Box Office May 21-23 Results

1. Shrek Forever After - $71,250,000
2. Iron Man 2 - $26,600,000
3. Robin Hood - $18,700,000
4. Letters to Juliet - $9,100,000
5. Just Wright - $4,225,000
6. MacGruber - $4,100,000
7. Date Night - $2,825,000
8. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) - $2,285,000
9. How to Train Your Dragon - $1,850,000
10. Kites - $953,000


Friday, May 21, 2010

James Franco creates intelligent apes in "Rise of the Apes"

By Siewaun
Reference: heatvisionblog

James Franco (" Pineapple Express," "Milk") has secured the lead role in 20th Century Fox's "Rise of the Apes," a prequel to "Planet of the Apes."

Rupert Wyatt, who directed the award winning British prison escape thriller "The Escapist," is set to direct the prequel from script written by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa.

Franco will star as a determined scientist who becomes a crucial figure in the war between humans and apes.

Set in modern day San Francisco, "Rise" centers on Franco's scientist character who has been working on a cure for Alzheimer's that is being tested on apes. When one of the test subject, named Caesar, begins to evolve rapidly, and the scientist takes him home to live with him and protects him from cruel doctors.

With WETA Digital on board, the audience will not see actors in apes costume, but rather a photo-realistic apes, created using some of the groundbreaking technologies developed for "Avatar."

Chernin Entertainment's founder Peter Chernin and film division chief Dylan Clark are co-producing along with Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa.

Shooting is scheduled to begin July 5 in British Columbia, and will be released on June 24, 2011.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Megan Fox axed from "Transformers 3"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Paramount and director Michael Bay have decided to drop Megan Fox from the third series of the blockbuster "Transformers" franchise.

Sources indicated that the reason for the decision is because Paramount and Bay are taking another direction on "Transformers 3" plotline, and it would be more suitable to have a new love interest for Shia LaBeouf's onscreen character, Sam Witwicky; and that the decision has nothing to do with Fox comparing Bay to Adolf Hitler during a previous magazine interview.

It was also revealed that casting for Fox's replacement will begin immediately, and Gemma Arterton "Prince of Persia" is said to be the top choice to replace her, while other possible candidates include models Bar Rafaeli, Miranda Kerr and Brooklyn Decker.

Meanwhile, Patrick Dempsey, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich and Ken Jeong have joined the returning cast of Shia LaBeouf, Kevin Dunn and Julie White.

Bay will direct from the script by Screenwriter Ehren Kruger, who is now working on the script.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce will produce the feature, and Steven Spielberg will executive producing.

Shooting has started this week in Los Angeles, and will then move location to various place in the U.S. Release date for the feature is scheduled for July 1, 2011.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vanessa Paradis joins Vallee's "Cafe de Flore"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

French actress-singer Vanessa Paradis is set to star in director Jean-Marc Vallee's "Cafe de Flore," a French-Canadian romantic feature.

Canadian film director Vallee ("C.R.A.Z.Y.," "The Young Victoria") will direct the feature from his own script, which is a two parallel stories feature; story set in the 1960s Paris tells of a devoted mother (Paradis) to a child with developmental disability; while story set in present day Montreal tells of a couple.

Vallee was quoted as saying to Daily Variety, "It's an epic love story that deals with supernatural forces."

Montreal-based Item7, Crazyfilms and Paris-based Monkey Pack Films are co-producing the two stories feature, with Pierre Even and Marie-Claude Poulin producing for Item 7; Vallee producing for Crazyfilms; and Jean-Yves Robin, Nicolas Coppermann and Vanessa Fourgeaud producing for Monkey Pack films.

Shooting is scheduled to begin this summer in Montreal, before moving location to Paris.


Ellen Page to star in feature adaptation of Cynthia Wade's "Freeheld"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Canadian actress Ellen Page, best known for starring in Jason Reitman's comedy-drama "Juno," will be starring in the big screen adaptation of Cynthia Wade's documentary film "Freeheld."

Screenwriter/director Ron Nyswaner has announced that will adapt the 2007 Oscar-winning short docu into a feature film specially for Page.

Wade's "Freeheld" is a true story, centers on police officer Laurel Hester who has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, fights against the Board of Chosen Freeholders of Ocean County, New Jersey to extend her pension benefits to her domestic partner, Stacie.

Producer James D. Stern will finance the production through his Endgame Entertainment banner, and will also co-produce alongside Wade and Kelly Bush of Vie Entertainment, and Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher of Double Feature Films. Doug Hansen and Adam Del Deo of Endgame will executive produce.

Stern was quoted as say,"As a documentarian and feature producer, you always look for powerful stories with subject matter that will resonate with audiences, and Cynthia's remarkable chronicle of the battle forged by two women did just that."


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cameron Crowe set to direct Fox's "We Bought a Zoo"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Cameron Crowe, who wrote, directed and produced the Oscar winning movies "Jerry Maguire" and "Almost Famous," is set to direct 20th Century Fox's feature "We Bought a Zoo."

Casting will begin once Crowe completes rewriting the original script written by Aline Brosh McKenna.

Movie is based on Benjamin Mee's memoir, which is about a widowed man who buys a dilapidated zoo in hopes of making a fresh start after his wife died from a fatal illness. He and his children, along with a small but loyal staff, work to get the zoo reopened.

Julie Yorn ("Bride Wars," "Alice") is producing the feature, which is scheduled to be released in December 23, 2011.


McDormand agrees that "This Must Be the Place"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Oscar winning actress, Frances McDormand ("Fargo," "Burn After Reading") is in advance talks to star alongside Sean Penn in Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's English-language debut feature "This Must Be the Place."

Sorrentino ("Le conseguenze dell'amore," "Il Divo") will direct the movie from the script which he co-wrote with Umberto Contarello.

Movie centers on a retired aging rock star (Penn) who, out of boredom, takes on the quest of finding an ex-Nazi war criminal who ordered his father's execution in a concentration camp.

Producer Nicola Giuliano, under his Indigo Film banner, will co-produce alongside his Italian partner Lucky Red, France's Arp Selection and Ireland's Element Pictures.

Shooting is schedule to begin in Dublin this August, before moving location to U.S.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Waltz, Lerman, Stevenson, Jovovich, Evans, Mikkelsen on board Anderson's "Three Musketeers"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Paul W.S. Anderson's 3D version "The Three Musketeers" has cast Christoph Waltz, Logan Lerman, Ray Stevenson, Milla Jovovich, Luke Evans and Madds Mikkelsen for key starring roles.

Anderson will direct and produce the 3D version of Alexandre Dumas' adventure tale from the script he co-wrote with Andrew Davies for Summit Entertainment.

"The Three Musketeers" is about a young musketeer by the name of D'Artagnan, who join forces with Athos, Porthos and Aramis, the veteran musketeers, to fight against the villian Cardinal Richelieu.

Waltz, who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Inglourious Basterds," will star as Richelieu.

Lerman "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" plays D'Artagnan, Stevenson ("Rome," "Punisher: War Zone") stars as Porthos, and Evans ("Clash of the Titans," "Immortals") plays Aramis.

Mikkelsen "Clash of the Titans" will play the villainous Comte de Rochefort, and Jovovich will star as the spy Milady de Winter.

Jeremy Bolt of Impact Pictures is co-producing with Robert Kulzer of Constantin Film. Constantin will finance the production, while Summit is handling domestic distribution and foreign sales.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in September.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros.' version of "The Three Musketeers" will be directed by Doug Liman ("Mr. & Mrs. Smith," "Jumper"). Lionel Wigram, who also produced "Sherlock Holmes" for Warners, will produce the movie. Peter Straughan "The Men Who Stare at Goats" has been hired to write the screenplay.


Melanie Thierry joins director Andre Techine's "Unforgivable"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Melanie Thierry, best known to international audiences for her starring role in the 2008 movie Babylon A.D., and recently won the César Awards for her breakthrough performance in "Le dernier pour la route," will star alongside Carole Bouquet "Trop belle pour toi" and Andre Dussollier "On connaît la chanson" in director Andre Techine's "Unforgivable (working title)."

The movie which is based on Philippe Djian's novel, tells of a successful writer in his 60s who struggles to carry on with his life after the death of his wife and daughter in a car accident.

Said Ben Said's Paris-based SBS will produce the movie, and TF1 International will sell the movie to buyers at Cannes. Theatrical release in France will be handled by UGC Distribution.

Shooting, which will take 10 weeks to complete, begins this week in Venice.


Box Office May 7-9 Results

1 Iron Man 2 - $133,600,000
2 A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) - $9,170,000
3 How to Train Your Dragon - $6,760,000
4 Date Night - $5,300,00
5 The Back-up Plan - $4,345,000
6 Furry Vengeance - $4,000,000
7 Clash of the Titans (2010) - $2,305,000
8 Death at a Funeral (2010) - $2,100,000
9 The Losers - $1,800,000
10 Babies - $1,575,594


Box Office May 8-9 Results (Japan)

2 Trick The Movie Psychic Battle Royale (JPN.) - Toho
3 Nodame Cantabile The Movie II (JPN.) - Toho
4 Detective Conan The Lost Ship In The Sky (JPN.Animation) - Toho
6 Gintama (JPN.Animation) - WB
7 Crayon Shin Chan 2010 (JPN.Animation) - Toho
8 SHUTTER ISLAND - Paramount
9 Miracle Girls Neva-da Stop Dreaming (JPN.) - Shochiku
10 THE BOX - Showgate


Monday, May 10, 2010

"Iron Man 2" is No. 1 for the 2nd week at overseas B.O.

By Siewaun
Reference: thehollywoodreporter

Paramount and Marvel Entertainment's "Iron Man 2" sat comfortably on top for the second straight week at the International box office, with $57.2 million from 10,774 screens in 61 markets, and accumulated a total of $194 million overseas earnings, reports THR.

The Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow starrer earned an estimated $133.6 million in its domestic opening weekend, thus making the total of worldwide earnings to $327.6 million.

With the total earnings, the sequel is now $71 million short the total overseas earnings of the original "Iron Man," and chances are high that it will overtakes the original very soon.

"Iron Man 2," which debuted April 28 at overseas territories, got a huge earnings in China with $7.3 million from about 3,000 screens.

It also took the No. 1 ranking in France and U.K. by earning $4 million from 655 screens, and $4.9 million from 426 screens respectively. "Iron Man 2" drew a combined opening earnings of $3.88 million to take the No.1 spot in Germany and Austria.

Other countries where it also took the top spot are Korea with $4.7 million from 834 locations for a market earnings of $22 million, Australia, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, Italy and Mexico.

Disney's "Alice in Wonderland," which earned $12.5 million from 5,946 screens in 54 territories, took the No. 2 spot. Warner Bros.' "Clash of the Titans," came in third with $8.8 million earnings at more than 7,200 screens in 61 territories.

At No. 4 is Warners and New Line Cinema's "A Nightmare on Elm Street," and at No. 5 is 20th Century Fox's "Date Night," which scored $4.7 million from 2,750 screens in 50 territories.

DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon" took the sixth spot with $4.5 million from 4,249 screens in 60 territories. Sony's "The Back-Up Plan" is No. 7 with $4.3 million from 1,360 screens in 24 territories.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Spielberg to direct and produce "War Horse"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Steven Spielberg has finally decides to direct World War I epic "War Horse" after all.

Steven Spielberg and his DreamWorks partner, Stacey Snider, have acquired the feature rights to Michael Morpurgo's novel "War Horse" last fall.

Screenwriters Lee Hall "Billy Elliot" and Richard Curtis has been hired to write the adaptation of Morpurgo's novel of the same name.

The movie tells of an the the extraordinary bond between a young boy named Albert and a horse named Joey that are separated but whose fates continue to be intertwined over the course of WWI.

Spielberg will co-produce the adventure drama with Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Revel Guest.

Spielberg was quoted as say, "From the moment I read (the book), I knew this was a film I wanted DreamWorks to make. It's heart and it's message provide a story that can be felt in every country."

"War Horse" is a children's fiction novel by Michael Morpurgo, first published in Great Britain by Kaye & Ward publishers in 1982, and was runner-up for the prestigious Whitbread Award in the same year.

The epic feature will be released by Disney and DreamWorks on the 10th of August, 2011.


Ang Lee authorized to make movie on Teresa Teng

By Siewaun

According to CRI, Chinese website reports that the life story Taiwan super star singer Teresa Teng will be put on big screen.

Director Ang Lee revealed that he was given the authorization by Teresa Teng's family to make a movie about her life.

Mainland Chinese actress Tang Wei was choosen by Lee to star as Teng because Teng's family says Tang Wei has a very similar face and temperament to Teresa Teng, and they consider Tang Wei to be the only actress who could play Teng.

According to, the family has signed a contract with the investment company Polybona, and will wait until Lee completes his other project before starting with this project.

There have been other works in memory of Teresa Teng, whose 15th death anniversary is coming up in four days, which is on the 8th of May.

"Comrades, Almost a Love Story," a 1996 Hong Kong film starring Maggie Cheung and Leon Lai, and directed by Peter Chan, is about how Teng's song made a young couple fall in love. Hong Kong singer Faye Wong has also made records of all Teng's songs, with approval by Teng's family.


Jones, Huston, Parsons have joined "The Big Year"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Rashida Jones "I Love You, Man," Anjelica Huston ("The Royal Tenenbaums," "When in Rome") and Jim Parsons "The Big Bang Theory" have joined Fox 2000 comedy "The Big Year." The movie stars Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson in the lead role.

Rosamund Pike, JoBeth Williams, Brian Dennehy, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Anderson and Tim Blake Nelson also joined in, while Kevin Pollak and Joel McHale are in negotiations.

Director David Frankel ("The Devil Wears Prada," "Marley & Me") will direct from script written by Howard Franklin, which was adapted from Mark Obmascik's 1998 novel of the same name.

"The Big Year" tells of three men (Martin, Black, Wilson) who try to outdo each other during a year-long competition to spot the rarest birds in North America.

Jones stars as the love interest of Black's character as an avid birder in the contest. Huston plays an avid birder who captains ocean-going expeditions. Parsons plays the author of a popular avian blog.

Ben Stiller and Stuart Cornfeld, through their Red Hour Films banner are co-producing the comedy with Karen Rosenfelt and Deuce Three Productions' Curtis Hanson and Carol Fenelon.

Shooting which will be taking place in locations throughout Canada, begins today.


Box office Apr. 30-May 2 Results

1 A Nightmare on Elm Street - $32,205,000
2 How to Train Your Dragon - $10,825,000
3 Date Night - $7,600,000
4 The Back-up Plan - $7,240,000
5 Furry Vengeance - $6,500,000
6 The Losers - $6,000,000
7 Clash of the Titans - $5,980,000
8 Kick-Ass - $4,450,000
9 Death at a Funeral - $4,000,000
10 Oceans - $2,621,000