Off we go into another week of news n’stuff!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Wait- Dixie Mafia?” story, Liam Hemsworth and Vince Vaughn have joined Clark Duke’s feature directorial debut Arkansas, which Duke wrote and will also star in, VMI Worldwide President Andre Reis announced Thursday.
Arkansas follows a pair of drug runners in the Dixie Mafia, whose lives get turned upside down when a drug deal goes horribly wrong.
Arkansas is produced by Patrick Hibler, Jeff Rice, Martin Sprock and Storyboard Media. Media Finance Capital’s David Gilbery and Charles Dorfman funded the film and will also serve as executive producers alongside Hercules Film Fund. Rhea Films’ Paris Kasidokostas-Latsis, Terry Dougas and Jean-Luc De Fanti, Don Kee Productions’ Jason Allison, Michael S. Smith and Franchesca Lantz, Andre Relis, Elisabeth Costa de Beauregard and Phil Kim are also executive producing.
Who knew there was such a thing as a ‘Dixie Mafia’? Do they play The Godfather theme on a banjo?
IN THIS WEEK’S “Surprisingly, both still working” story, Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn will costar in crime thriller Dragged Across Concrete, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap. The title sounds more like what it will feel like watching these two in a film together.
The project, from filmmaker S. Craig Zahler, will be shown to buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin. WME Global is handling domestic rights, while Bloom is handling international sales.
The story follows two policemen, Gibson and Vaughn, who get suspended when a video of their strong-arming tactics gets leaked. With no other options and low on cash, the duo embark on a dangerous journey to the underworld, where they find things lurking that they didn’t expect.
Keith Kjarval of Unified Pictures is producing alongside Dallas Sonnier under his new Cinestate banner, and Jack Heller of Assemble Media. Wayne Marc Godfrey and Robert Jones from The Fyzz Facility will executive produce. Unified Film Fund I is financing.
“Dragged Across Concrete is best suited to my goal of making a heartfelt, surprising, sad, funny, shocking, and memorable world with multiple viewpoints,” said Zahler in a statement. “As is often the case in my novels and screenplays, the protagonists are in perilous circumstances against which they struggle in different and surprising–though logical–ways. I am absolutely thrilled to have Mel and Vince agree to play the lead roles.”
This story is actually not new info, just new to me.
IN THIS WEEK’S “I think we knew this” story, we all assumed this would happen, and now it’s official: John Krasinski is writing the Quiet Place sequel. The minute a sequel for the hit horror film was announced, it was confirmed that Krasinski would be involved in some capacity. While he may not direct, it’s clear now that he’ll definitely be contributing to the script.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Bob Dylan inspires” story, Luca Guadagnino’s next project is inspired by one of Bob Dylan’s most iconic albums.
The Suspiria director is attached to direct a film based on Dylan’s 1975 album “Blood on the Tracks.” The Fisher King scribe Richard LaGravenese will write the screenplay, individuals with knowledge of the project confirmed to TheWrap.
The film is based on an idea by RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira, who is producing with Guadagnino, reteaming with him after previously producing Call Me By Your Name. RT’s Sophie Mas and Lourenço Sant’ Anna are executive producing alongside Marco Morabito.
The film will revolve around some of the central themes of Dylan’s album, which included “Tangled Up in Blue,” “Simple Twist of Fate” and “Shelter from the Storm.”
“Bringing this project to life is a dream to me,” Teixeira said in a statement. “We worked for a very long time to find the right way into Bob Dylan’s work and having collaborators such as Luca and Richard are an absolute privilege.”
The project was first mentioned in a profile of Guadagnino in The New Yorker, which described a meeting between Guadagnino and LaGravenese. The article said that Guadagnino was asked to direct the project, but only if LaGravenese, who he had previously never met, would write the screenplay. It also said that LaGravenese wrote a 180-page screenplay between April and July.
“When they’re repressing, we dramatize the repression, and what that does to them,” LaGravenese told The New Yorker. “And we dramatize what happens when you let your passions take over too much.”
IN THIS WEEK’S “Love triangle” story, Sebastian Stan and Jamie Dornan are set to compete for the affections of Shailene Woodley in an untitled new indie film from director Drake Doremus, Collider has learned.
Woodley will play an artist who dumps her longtime boyfriend, but her attempt to take a break from dating ends when she quickly finds herself in two passionate romances — one with Dornan’s artsy writer, the other with Stan’s passionate bad boy. Matthew Gray Gubler will co-star in the LA-set film, which Doremus co-wrote with novelist Jardine Libaire.
CJ Entertainment is developing, financing and producing the movie, which starts filming in Los Angeles this week. CJ’s Tae-sung Jeong and Francis Chung will produce alongside Robert George and Doremus, while CJ’s Jerry Ko will serve as an executive producer. CJ executives Fred Lee and Jihyun Ok will oversee the project on behalf of the company.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Some more Dracula, then” story, BBC One and Netflix have staked a new project from Sherlock creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. The UK-based network and streamer have ordered “Dracula,” a TV adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic novel.
The three-part 90-minute mini-series is written, executive produced and created by Moffat and Gatiss, and will re-introduce the world to Dracula, the vampire who made evil sexy. Per Netflix, “In Transylvania in 1897, the blood drinking Count is drawing his plans against Victorian London. And be warned: the dead travel fast.”
“There have always been stories about great evil,” Moffat and Gatiss said. “What’s special about Dracula, is that Bram Stoker gave evil its own hero.”
The series was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content and Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama. Moffat and Gatiss executive produce alongside Sue Vertue for Hartswood Films, Ben Irving for BBC and Larry Tanz for Netflix.
Dracula will premiere on BBC One in the UK and launch on Netflix elsewhere, and China, where the service is not available. The mini-series hails from Hartswood Films and is a co-production between BBC One and Netflix.
People never seem to tire of telling this story. i mean, it’s a great story and all, but do we really need another telling now, even by Moffat and Gatiss?
IN THIS WEEK’s “Animated classics go big” story, Warner Bros. has big ambitions for its animation division, and the studio has zeroed in on the talent to help steer the ship on two popular properties.
Sources tell Variety that Warners and Warner Animation Group (WAG) are in negotiations with Shaft helmer Tim Story to direct the new Tom and Jerry live-action/animated hybrid. The studio has also brought on Chris Columbus as creative producer on the new Scooby-Doo animated movie.
Tom and Jerry is expected to be the first live-action hybrid to shoot in 2019 and insiders say timing helped when it came to landing the Ride Along director, who had worked in animation. Story recently finished production on New Line’s Shaft reboot, and was talking to WB execs about what he was interested in doing next. When the classic cartoon property was brought up, Story immediately mentioned his admiration for the characters and how he’d love tackling that property.
For that film, the plan is to shoot in the real world with animated versions of the familiar cat and mouse duo. Sources also say that since Tom and Jerry didn’t speak and relied on physical comedy to draw laughs, this version will stick to that style and not cast actors to voice the duo. That decision should also help add to the international appeal of the film.
The studio is also making a Wile E. Coyote vs. ACME hybrid feature, with Chris McKay from the Lego universe helping shepherd development.
On the animation side, the untitled Scooby-Doo movie is full steam ahead with an expected release date in the first quarter of 2020. Columbus’ interest in the film started when he was developing the Gremlins reboot, which he is producing.
WAG is also gearing up on its Jetsons movie with Matt Lieberman and Sausage Party director Conrad Vernon, and is also in deep development on Flintstones and Wacky Races features.
Well, Warner Bros. certainly seems to have a serious investment with animation. I’m all for that. Let’s just see how much of this turns out to be good.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Long time coming” story, Judy Blume is finally allowing the movie industry to take a crack at her most beloved novel.
The author has been famously reluctant to let Hollywood adapt her hugely influential 1970 coming-of-age novel Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, but has now granted the rights to the team behind The Edge of Seventeen. The long-awaited adaptation will be helmed by Kelly Fremon Craig, who made her directorial debut with the vastly underrated teen dramedy.
Deadline reports that Blume has granted the rights of Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret to producer James L. Brooks’ Gracie Films and Kelly Fremon Craig, who previously teamed up for the acclaimed 2016 The Edge of Seventeen.
This is the first time the adaptation-allergic Blume has granted the rights to this novel, which follows the titular sixth-grade girl while she navigates the pains of puberty, religion, and first crushes. Only two of her novels have made the leap to the screen before: the 1978 TV movie adaptation of Forever, and the 2012 adaptation of Tiger Eyes. Blume has been notoriously reluctant to hand over the rights to her seminal classic, Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, but in August, the author tweeted that “the time has come.”
IN THIS WEEK’S “Slowest movie release ever” story, The Flash standalone movie has been hit with yet another delay, as Warner Bros. pushes back the expected production start date for Ezra Miller‘s solo superhero film.
Now it seems that Miller, who was cast as the scarlet speedster back in 2014, will have to wait at least three more years until he gets his solo movie.
Variety reports that The Flash solo movie has been delayed again, and you may have to blame Fantastic Beasts for that. After facing numerous delays and a rotating line-up of directors, Warner Bros. is again pushing back the start of filming on the still untitled standalone Flash movie, which had originally been expected to begin shooting in March 2019.
The reported reason is that Miller’s obligations to the third Fantastic Beasts movie took precedence. The third film in the Harry Potter spin-off series, in which Miller plays a key supporting character, begins shooting in July 2019. And since The Flash movie — which curiously, never received an official green light from the studio — is still undergoing script revisions, the studio decided to push production to late 2019, putting the potential The Flash release date on track for 2021.
Currently, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the co-writers of Spider-Man: Homecoming, are attached as the directors for the untitled Flash movie.
At this point, Warner Bros. needs to just give up on their DC Universe and start over.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Old British guys commit crimes” story, Saban Films has bought U.S. distribution rights to James Marsh’s crime drama King of Thieves, starring Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon, Ray Winstone, and Charlie Cox.
Working Title Films’ Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner produced the pic alongside Michelle Wright and Ali Jafaar, with Studiocanal financing. King of Thieves will be released next year.
Joe Penhall wrote the script, based on source material from Vanity Fair’s Mark Seal and The Guardian’s veteran crime reporter Duncan Campbell about the 2015 Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company burglary, the biggest heist in U.K. history.
Caine portrays 76-year-old Brian Reader, who pulled together a band of misfit criminals who were mostly in their 60s and 70s. Posing as servicemen during the Easter bank holiday, they drilled a hole into the wall of the safe and escaped with allegedly over £200 million worth of stolen jewels and money. Reader was arrested a month later and his associates were eventually captured.
The movie has grossed more than $7 million in its U.K. release. Bromiley and Jonathan Saba negotiated the deal for Saban Films along with Studiocanal, and Anne Chérel and Loubna Berrada on behalf of the filmmakers.
Well, the cast is stellar, for sure. Based on a true story, this one could be fun.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Push it, push it real good” story, Disney has moved Jungle Cruise, the Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt starring vehicle, back nine months to July 24, 2020.
Disney also unset an untitled Marvel movie that was previously set for one weekend after Jungle Cruise’s new date on July 31, 2020. Jungle Cruise was previously dated for October 2019.
Dwayne Johnson also tweeted the announcement for the film’s new date, promising an “adventure of a lifetime.”
Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows) is directing the film based on the Disney World ride, which takes guests on a tour of the rivers, filled with animals and reptiles of the world. Michael Green (Logan) wrote the most recent draft of the script, rewriting the screenplay by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti and Jack Whitehall also co-star.
Curiously, there is no reason given for the push. Probably, though, it’s just that Dwayne Johnson is so damn busy. It’s not like we won’t be getting our fill of him in those 9 extra months.
And IN THIS WEEK’S “Surprise!” story, Marvel appears to have pushed Guardians of the Galaxy until 2021.
Although Marvel will reportedly still use Gunn’s script, we’re waiting to see who will take his place as director. Now it seems Marvel has reportedly given itself more time to decide who that replacement will be. According to a new listings report from Production Weekly, the beginning of production was pushed to February 2021.
The movie was originally set to begin filming in February 2019 with hopes that it’d be out sometime in 2020. But if production really has been moved to 2021, then we’ll have to wait even longer.
I suppose this was inevitable. Stupid Disney, making stupid decisions.They are going to feel pretty stupid if James Gunns’ Suicide Squad 2 is really good – he is writing the script. If he directs it, too, well, it could give Warner Bros. and the DC Universe just what they need to start measuring up to Marvel.
And that’s another week of info from the world of celluloid madness. See ya next time!