We’re back with another eventful week of happenings and tidbits in the film world. Onward!
In this week’s “Listen up, ya hockey pucks”, story, legendary insult comic Don Rickles has passed away of kidney failure. He was 90. Wow. He was awesome.
In this week’s “Whola lotta flop” story, Ghost in the Shell is tanking hard at the box office. It only made $ 19 million it’s opening weekend, which is half what Boss Baby made in the same three days. Wow. The reviews have been mediocre so far. I’ll get around to seeing it eventually.
UPDATE: It has been projected that Ghost in the Shell will likely lose from $60 million to as much as $ 100 million dollars. The budget was about $ 110 million, but some say it was actually as much as $ 180 million. Gee, ya think Paramount and Dreamworks thought it would make more than that? Whoops.
In this week’s “About time” story, Legendary is giving something a reboot we actually need. They have hired veteran writer Eric Roth to pen a new version of Dune. And for the director? Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Arrival). Well, that all sounds promising, yes? And I think it’s time for someone to do a worthy version of author Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel.
This Legendary deal also includes the rights to do TV projects based on the Dune material. The projects would be produced by Villeneuve, Mary Parent and Cale Boyter, with Brian Herbert, Byron Merritt, Thomas Tull and Kim Herbert serving as executive producers. Kevin J Anderson will serve as a creative consultant.
In this week’s ” You’re it!” story, Jeremy Renner and Hannibal Buress are negotiating to join Ed Helms in the New Line comedy Tag, sources tell Variety.
Jeff Tomsic is on board to direct from a script by Mark Steilen and Rob McKittrick. Todd Garner, Steilen, and Sean Robins are producing.
The film is based on a true story featured in the Wall Street Journal about a group of friends who have been playing a no-holds-barred version of the children’s game Tag for the last 30 years. Wow, that is a serious game of Tag. Think of the commitment that takes.
In this week’s “Ok, a little MORE Will and Grace” story, NBC has ordered an additionally two episodes for the new Will and Grace series on top of it’s already 10 episodes scheduled. The series brings back all the original cast and creative team, including James Burrows to direct.
In this week’s “Lando Calrissian is HOW old?” story, Billy Dee Williams turned 80 years old Thursday. Wow, really? That makes him a few years older than Harrison Ford.
In this week’s “The Death of Conan” story, it looks like the whole Arnold Schwarzenggar film, The Legend of Conan, won’t be getting made after all. Of course, Arnold s holding onto a sliver of hope, but producer Chris Morgan is pretty certain.
“Our take was Conan, 30 years later, a story like the Clint Eastwood Unforgiven. It was so awesome. Ultimately, the budget was big, the studio was not really sure of the title, and the relevance in the marketplace. They ended up letting it go. I think they’re gonna look to do a TV show or something with it. But just to be associated with it, pitch it to Arnold, have him get so excited, there was a moment of magic for me, personally [laughs]. You never know, down the road we may revisit!”
Yeah, that’s what they all say.
In this week’s “Disney will make ANYthing into a movie”, story, for years Disney has had a project in development based on their Jungle Cruise ride. Yeah, you heard me. Years ago it was going to star Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, but a lot has changed. Now it has Dwayne Johnson officially attached to star.
Disney and Dwayne Johnson have so much going on it’s a wonder they have any clue what they’re doing. Disney is loaded with Star Wars, Pixar and Marvel, PLUS remaking all of theeir animated films into live action ones. And Johnson? He’s got Baywatch this summer, then Jumanji later in the year. THEN he’s set to film Rampage in a few months before taking on the China-set action film Skyscraper. And then he’ll get to the Jungle Cruise movie.
I’m still trying to figure out what the Hell the plot is going to be for a movie based on the Jungle Cruise ride. Uh, ok, sure, they’re going to go to the jungle. That’s obvious. But there seems to be a lot of filler needed here. Supposedly it takes place in the 1920’s, and has a fair amount of comedy in it, so that’s something.
In this week’s “Actor reveals he is a big dork” story, Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike, Smurfs: The Lost Village), is writing a script for a new Dungeons & Dragons film, along with a playwright pal from Carnegie Melon. Apparently he’s a hardcore fan of the classic role playing game.
The actor believes that D&D should get the film treatment is deserves (especially after the horrible adaptation back in 2000, and it’s two forgettable sequels.) Manganiello also revealed that he “held a creative summit with Wizards of the Coast, the creative force behind Dungeons & Dragons, to talk about ‘where [the film] could go, what it should look like, and what it should be,’” so he’s not letting this one go anytime soon. As he explained, Manganiello and his partner are “talking to all the right parties” to get the film going.
In this week’s “Must-see movie” story, Magnolia Pictures has picked up US and international rights from Xyz Films to John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut Lucky. John Carroll Lynch is often best known as Norm Gunderson in the film Fargo, and as Drew Carey’s cross-dressing broghter on the Drew Carey Show. He was in the show Carnivale, American Horror Story, and recently in the film The Founder as Mac McDonald. You’ll know him when you see him and he’s brilliant.
The comedic drama about mortality, loneliness, spirituality, and human connection stars Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston, Ed Begley Jr. and Tom Skerritt. That is a cast to die for!
Lucky premiered at SXSW and Magnolia plans a theatrical release later in the year on the story about a 90-year-old atheist’s spiritual journey.
“Lucky is an uplifting, beautifully crafted paean to one of the most iconic actors of any era,” Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles said. “John has truly captured the one-of-a-kind spirit of Harry Dean Stanton with this charming and moving film.”
“This project is a love letter to Harry Dean Stanton, and Magnolia gets that completely,” Lynch said. “We are thrilled they have become part of our team and couldn’t imagine a better home for the film. I’m so excited for audiences to see this and Harry’s brilliant work, as well as the amazing work of the entire ensemble.”
In this week’s “Wait- who’s making a new movie?” story, Saban films has acquired North American distribution rights to John Stockwell’s Armed Response starring Wesley Snipes.
Anne Heche, WWE superstar Seth Rollins, Gene Simmons and Dave Annable also star in the sci-fi thriller. The film, with a script by Matt Savelloni, follows a team of highly trained operatives who find themselves trapped inside an isolated military compound after its AI is suddenly shut down. The crew begins to experience strange and horrific phenomena as they attempt to uncover what killed the previous team.
The project, from WWE Studios, Simmons and Erebus Pictures, is now in post production. “Armed Response is a unique story, with the look and feel of a sci-fi epic,” said Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley.
Hey, Bill, I got news for ya. It’s not that unique. Well, at least Wesley Snipes is still getting work. #whocares
In this week’s “Worst box office showing Award” story, Shia LeBeouf’s new film, Man Down, opened in the U.K. and sold exactly THREE tickets, equaling a total of $ 26. Granted, it only screened in one theater, and the subject matter is somewhat America focused – a U.S. soldier dealing with PTSD – but that is embarrassingly low ticket sales.
On top of that, it only took in $ 454,490 in the States. The reviews of the film weren’t stellar. The film also stars Kate Mara, Gary Oldman, and Jai Courtney. Man Down will be pulled from theaters in the U.K. on Thursday (yesterday).
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie-goer, looking forward to…The Fate of the Furious! No, really.