Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekly News Round-Up - Jan. 11-17, 2010

Films in the Works

Likely due to the script concerns reported on in last week's News Round-Up, Tobey Maguire and director Sam Raimi have dropped out of Spider-Man 4. Sony plans to continue with a fourth Spider-Man film, but they intend to change it to a movie that focuses on Peter Parker in high school. [Associated Press] Sony has apparently concocted a wish list of directors they would like to see take over the franchise, including James Cameron, David Fincher and Wes Anderson. However, it looks like 500 Days of Summer's Marc Webb might be the likely candidate. [Deadline Hollywood]

Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie will co-star in The Tourist for Oscar-winning director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others). The spy film follows an American tourist (Depp) who becomes entangled with a female Interpol agent (Jolie). [Entertainment Weekly]

Marc Forster (Stranger Than Fiction, Quantum of Solace) will direct Leonardo DiCaprio in the political thriller The Chancellor Manuscript. The film, an adaptation of the novel by Robert Ludlum (the Bourne franchise), is about an author who finds himself as a target of operatives who think his latest manuscript about blackmailed D.C. power brokers hits too close to home. [Variety] DiCaprio will also provide the voiceover narration for the upcoming Hubble 3D, which transports viewers to the Orion Nebula and beyond. [Coming Soon]

Brad Pitt and Matt Damon will provide voices for the sequel to the 2006 animated penguin movie Happy Feet. Original voice talent Elijah Wood and Robin Williams are also back for Happy Feet 2, which will hit theaters in 3D on November 28, 2011. [Movieline]

Writer-director Robert Zemeckis has found the cast for his remake of The Beatles' animated classic Yellow Submarine. Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) will play George Harrison, Dean Lennox Kelly (TV miniseries "Cranford") will play John Lennon, Peter Serafinowicz (Shaun of the Dead) will play Paul McCartney and Adam Campbell (Date Movie) will play Ringo Starr. As he did with both The Polar Express and A Christmas Carol, Zemeckis will be using 3D performance-capturing technology. Actual Beatles songs will also be used in the film; Beatles tribute band Fab 4 will be doing the motion-capture work for the performance sequences. [Hollywood Reporter]

Tom Hanks will be returning to the director's chair for Larry Crowne, which he also wrote. He and Julia Roberts will co-star in the film, a comedy about a middle-aged man who reinvents himself and finds a new career. [Deadline Hollywood]

Daniel Craig is in negotiations to star in director Jon Favreau's comic book adaptation Cowboys & Aliens, following the news that Robert Downey Jr. has dropped out of the leading role due to scheduling conflicts. The film follows cowboys and Native Americans in the Old West who ban together when an alien spaceship crashes in their area. [Collider]

According to Vin Diesel's Facebook, two more Fast and Furious films are in the works.

Also, Jurassic Park IV will be happening, according to director Joe Johnston, with a fifth and sixth likely to make up a second trilogy. [BoxOffice]

Peter Sarsgaard is in negotiations to play Dr. Hector Hammond, the villain in the upcoming comic book adaptation Green Lantern. Ryan Reynolds has already signed on to play the titular hero, and Blake Lively will be playing love interest Carol Ferris. [Hollywood Reporter]

Ivan Reitman, who directed and produced the first two Ghostbusters movies, has confirmed that he will direct Ghostbusters 3. [MTV]

Jake Gyllenhaal (Brothers), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air) and Michelle Monaghan (Eagle Eye) will co-star in the sci-fi thriller Source Code from director Duncan Jones (Moon). [Hollywood Reporter]

Kevin Spacey will co-star in the Chinese film Inseparable as an American who befriends a Chinese investigative reporter. [The Guardian]

Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis will co-star in Will, which follows a man (Rudd) who lives in a world where everyone's actions are scripted by someone in heaven. One day, his heavenly writer (Galifianakis) decides to take the day off. The film was written by comedian Demetri Martin and will be directed by Little Miss Sunshine's Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton. [Hollywood Reporter]

Actor Will Arnett revealed to Coming Soon that a big screen version of the TV show "Arrested Development" should start filming sometime this year.

John Malkovich is joining Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Richard Dreyfuss, Ernest Borgnine, Brian Cox and Julian McMahon for the comic book adaptation Red, which follows a retired black-ops agent (Willis) as he goes head-to-head with assassins that arrive to kill him. [Hollywood Reporter]

Nathan Fillion and Linda Cardellini are joining Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon for writer-director James Gunn's Super, a superhero comedy that follows a man (Wilson) who is prompted to become "The Crimson Bolt" after his wife (Tyler) leaves him for a smooth-talking drug dealer (Bacon). [Coming Soon]

Phoenix Pictures and Lionsgate will be adapting the pregnancy guide What to Expect When You're Expecting into a romantic comedy. [Variety]

Film Festivals

The members of the five juries for the Sundance Film Festival have been announced. Author Russell Banks (The Sweet Hereafter), producer Jason Kilot (Welcome to the Dollhouse), director Karyn Kusama (Jennifer's Body), actress Parker Posey (Best in Show) and cinematographer Robert Yeoman (The Royal Tenenbaums) make up the U.S. Dramatic Competition Jury. Filmmaker Greg Barker (Sergio), documentarian Dayna Goldfine (Ballets Russes), entertainment journalist Nancy Miller (Wired), filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) and filmmaker Ondi Timoner (Dig) make up the U.S. Documentary Competition Jury. Filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal (Manufactured Landscapes), journalist Jeffrey Brown (PBS' "NewsHour") and film programmer Asako Fujioka (Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival) make up the World Cinema Documentary Competition Jury. Filmmaker Alison Maclean (Jesus' Son), film critic Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly) and producer Joni Sighvatsson (Wild at Heart) make up the World Cinema Dramatic Competition Jury. Filmmaker Sterlin Harjo (Four Sheets to the Wind), writer-editor Brent Hoff (Wolphin DVD) and producer Christine Vachon make up the Shorts Competition Jury. The 2010 Sundance Film Festival will take place Jan. 21-31 in Park City, Utah. More information can be found here.

Alec Baldwin will receive an award for Excellence in Acting at the Boulder International Film Festival on Feb. 14. More information can be found here.


Eric Rohmer, legendary French New Wave filmmaker (My Night at Maud's, Claire's Knee) and former editor-in-chief of Cahiers du Cinema, died on January 11. He was 89. [Reuters]

Dennis Stock, a photographer who took well-known pictures of actors such as James Dean and Audrey Hepburn, also died on January 11. He was 81. [The New York Times]

In Other News

George Clooney will co-host the "Hope for Haiti" telethon that will air on multiple networks on Jan. 22 to raise money for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. [The New York Times]

Golden Globe-winning actor Michael C. Hall (Gamer, TV's "Dexter") has revealed that he has been battling Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer. However, he says he's close to completing treatment and the disease is in remission. [People]

Classic film fans can rejoice, due to the recent announcement that The African Queen, directed by John Huston and co-starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, will be available for the first time on DVD (and Blu-ray) on March 23. Bonus features include a behind-the-scenes documentary. [USA Today]

The Hollywood Stock Exchange, which has served as a venue for cinephiles to buy and sell stocks in filmmakers, actors and films for free since 1998, will soon become a little more realistic. Sometime in the next 90 days, HSX will launch a second site that will allow participants to trade with real money. [Hollywood Reporter]

Multi-hyphenate Steve Martin has penned two new books. The first is Late for School, a children's book that is based on one of Martin's songs, and will hit bookstores in September. The second is Woman, One, a novel about the fine art world that will be available in November. [The New York Times]

On Jan. 13, Johnny Depp was honored with a life-size statue of him in Serbia, unveiled by director Emir Kusturica. [Associated Press]

Hugh Jackman has signed on to become an international spokesman for Lipton Ice Tea. [The Guardian]

Nintendo and Netflix recently announced that Wii owners with a broadband Internet connection and who have at least the $9-a-month Netflix subscription plan will be able to stream movies and TV shows after inserting a free software disc provided by Netflix. [The New York Times]

Film and television composers are looking to form a union, the Association of Media Composers and Lyricists, which would be a first since the Composers and Lyricists Guild of America dissolved in 1982 after a long legal battle with the studios. Organizers need to get two-thirds of working composers involved for it to really take off. [Hollywood Reporter]

The tracklisting for the soundtrack to Tim Burton's upcoming Alice in Wonderland has been revealed. It features songs by Robert Smith (of The Cure), Mark Hoppus (of Blink-182) and Franz Ferdinand. The soundtrack hits store shelves on March 2, and the film hits theaters on March 5. [MySpace]

Walt Disney Co. has announced that Oren Aviv, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, has resigned. [Reuters]

The band Weezer will be providing a song for the Shrek Forever After soundtrack. [Pitchfork]


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