Great googly-moogly! It’s another week already?! Get ready for more scintillating, tidbits of information that are sure to astound and vex!
Prepare for the sound of crying and gnashing of teeth (or perhaps less of that) from self-proclaimed romantics everywhere: Nicholas Sparks Productions shuts down! That’s right, the romantic novelist’s four-year-old film and television company is shutting it’s doors for good, a spokeswoman for Sparks confirmed.
The company has been taking up space on the Warner Bros. lot and was set up to develop Spark’s novels into films or TV projects. That would seem fairly obvious, wouldn’t it? So far, 11 of his 18 novels have been made into movies, starting with Message In A Bottle in 1999, and The Notebook in 2004, and a slew of other films that I haven’t seen because I am the farthest from that demographic as is possible.
Those first few films, however, made $ 100 million in the box office, even up to 2010’s Dear John. The last one, The Choice, in 2016, only made about $ 18 million. Maybe that’s the reason for shutting down? But no reason is really given, according to the sources at Variety. Let’s just say I’m not going to miss any of this stuff. But have no fear, teary-eyed Spark’s fans, he’s got a new book coming out this October. Surely someone will fall in love in it, or have their heart broken, or some combination of those things.
In this week’s “Is 22 years too long to wait?” story, after a lot of whatever nonsense goes on as production companies think about bringing back a franchise that might make them money, we’re finally getting a Beverly Hills Cop 4! No, please, don’t clap – oh, you’re not. Ok, then. Well, the only way it seems they could get this done is by getting a pair of Brussels-based directors of Moroccan descent interested in making it.
At one time there was going to be a TV show spin-off about Axel Foley’s son. Ok. Apparently they made a pilot and it tested so well that instead of the show, Paramount went back to green-lighting a film. Of course, we have to ask ourselves, if the show tested so well, why not make it and try to find a network for it? Maybe somebody’s nose was growing when they said the show tested well?
Nevertheless, these Brussels-based film makers are co-directors Adil Arbi and Bilal Fallah. They made a film called Black, a crime drama that screened last year at the Toronto International Film Festival, and opened in France last March. Apparently Eddie Murphy saw it and loved it and said ‘yes’ to Beverly Hills Cop 4. A script is even being worked on by Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec.
In this week’s “Is this classing things up or is she slumming?” story, the amazing Helen Mirren has joined the cast of Fast and Furious 8! She is in final negotiations and has confirmed that the deal is almost complete, she told Elle magazine in an interview. She will be joining the usual suspects, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Ludacris, Jason Staham, and Tyrese Gibson, along with Kurt Russel, Charlize Theron, and Scott Eastwood. That’s crazy, I’m so in.
In this week’s “Random trilogy” story, the upcoming film, Soldado, the sequel to Sicario, will actually be the beginning of a new stand alone trilogy. According to director Stefano Sollima, “the idea is to make three anthology movies with some of the core actors and [set] in the same world.”, or so he told The Independent. “Soldado,” the first of these, will apparently have little else in common with Denis Villeneuve’s drug-war drama from last year. So it’s actually a new and different story than Sicario, it just uses the same characters. Okie doke.
In this week’s “Let’s Kill Satan” story, the director of The Hallow, Corin Hardy, has made a deal with Paramount Pictures to direct Hell Bent, which has been described as something like “Dirty Dozen Goes To Hell”. Mike Finch has scripted the film, and Paramount seems keen on fast-tracking it.
In Hell Bent, a group of mercenaries imprisoned in a Brazilian jail are murdered and led into the depths of Hell by a priest who wishes to use their skills to kill Satan before he brings Hell to Earth. Sounds fun!
In this week’s “Whatever” story, the new Ocean’s 11 spin-off film directed by Gary Ross is now tentatively called Ocean’s 8. Genius. But with a cast that includes Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Elizabeth Banks, and MAYBE Jennifer Lawrence, perhaps it WILL be genius. Or it’ll be such a bad script that even that group of talented women can’t save it. We’ll see.
In this week’s “Wait for it…” story, Scarlett Johansson is starring in next summer’s Rock That Body, a raunchy comedy in which five friends rent a beach house in Miami for a bachelorette party and – it gets out of control!
The film is slated to release on June 23, 2017, the same day as Transformers: The Last Knight. No, no, keep waiting for it…
Rock That Body is directed by Lucia Aniello from a script she wrote with partner Paul W. Downs. They also write Comedy Central’s Broad City, AND are also involved in a project they describe as “a female spinoff of the 21 Jump Street franchise.” AAAAAHHH! WHHHHYYYYY!?!? Now you can stop waiting. Let’s all just commit Seppuku, shall we?
In this week’s “I don’t know, just a sci-fi movie story?” story, Paramount Pictures has set a release date of November 11th for it’s new sci-fi film Arrival, directed by Denis Villenueve. The film stars Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, and apparently took the 2014 Cannes market by storm. That sounds promising, yes?
Arrival is an adaptation of the Ted Chiang short story. Scripted by Eric Heisserer, the thriller takes place after alien crafts land around the world. An expert linguist is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat. As she learns to communicate with the aliens, she begins experiencing vivid flashbacks that become the key to unlocking the greater mystery about the true purpose of their visit.
In this week’s “Another fuckin’ reboot franchise” story, Paramount is close to finalizing the rights to The Saint, based on the book series by Leslie Charteris. It was once a popular TV show starring Roger Moore, and then in 1997, a movie with Val Kilmer. More old stuff being rehashed. Yippee.
In this week’s “What did I just say about reboots?” story, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin to are going to reboot Stargate. Turns out, according to Devlin, he and Emmerich had planned for a trilogy when Stargate originally came out, but then the property was taken away from them to make TV shows, so there wasn’t much they could do until now. Now they’re going to go back to the beginning to tell the story they way they wanted to initially, and create a whole film universe. Won’t that be fun? Ha – actually, I’m kinda interested. Going back to what they did best.
In this week’s “How many of these are there, now?” story, Warner Bros. is looking to add yet another version of A Star Is Born to the three already is existence. Bradley Cooper is set to star – and direct. He’s been seen with Lady Gaga, and it may be that she’s to be the leading lady. That was not intentional. I suppose it’s been enough years since the 1976 version to warrant a remake. It seems like every generation needs their updated version to appeal to even though you have at least one perfectly good adaptation already. Are they just trying to make this over and over again until they think they get it right?
In this week’s “Stage to Screen” story, the hit Broadway show, Wicked, will finally be made into a film, and will hit screens December 20, 2019. Stephen Daldry is directing the film and Marc Platt is producing. They are also collaborating on the screenplay with writer Winnie Holzman and musical lyricist Stephen Schwartz. You kids have fun!
In this weeks’ “Ask a dumb question…” story, Fox News anchor, Bret Baier, asked the Dalai Lama in an interview if he had ever seen the movie Caddyshack. He asked this because of a joke in the film about how being a golf caddy was similar to being the Dalai Lama. It was immediately clear that the Dalai Lama had never seen, nor heard of, the film. Once again, Fox News manages to end up with their foot in their mouth. Awkward.
Even when someone at Fox News tries to be cool, they look like a douche. Thanks for tuning in this week!
~ Neil T. Weakley, you average movie-goer, impatiently waiting for the potential awesomeness of Independence Day: Resurgence.