Leonard Nimoy to Transform Sentinel Prime01/04/2011
His gravelly vocals were responsible for one of the best Simpsons guest appearances of all time, so we've got high hopes for Leonard Nimoy's stint as the voice of Sentinel Prime in Michael Bay's Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Despite the actor announcing his retirement last year, Spock's sage tones will belong to the robot who is a mentor to Optimus Prime.
This isn't the first time Nimoy has entered the Transformers world having voiced Galvatron in the 1986 animated movie. Bay was, apparently, cautious about approaching the 80-year-old: "I was too scared to ask him," the director told Entertainment Weekly. "Plus, he's married to Susan Bay, who's a cousin of mine. So I had to be careful. I've met him at family functions. But he told me, 'I would be honoured. I'm glad to be back!'"
Ryan Reynolds goes Turbo for snail movie01/04/2011
Every leading man du jour right now from Johnny Depp to Jesse Eisenberg appears to be voicing a loveable animated creature and Ryan Reynolds has hopped on to the bandwagon too. The promoter of fine men's fragrances and future Green Lantern is in talks to lend his voice to Turbo, a new DreamWorks animation about a speedy snail.
As the titular character, Reynolds will voice the adventures of an ordinary garden snail that gains the power of extraordinary speed after a freak accident. David Soren and Shrek Forever After's Darren Lemke have written the script with Soren directing for the first time. Reynolds is also due to appear in DreamWorks' caveman comedy The Croods alongside Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage and Catherine Keener. The Croods is due for release in March 2013, with Turbo arriving a few months later.
Jeremy Renner to take on Bourne?04/04/2011
Wild rumours on the Internet are like dandruff flakes on a hobo's jacket - they're everywhere. The latest bit of Hollywood gossip suggests that The Hurt Locker star Jeremy Renner will be offered the lead role in Tony Gilroy's The Bourne Legacy.
Latino Review is telling anyone who will listen that Universal Pictures opted for the seemingly more bankable Renner ahead of writer-director Gilroy's first choice, Oscar Isaac (currently seen in Sucker Punch).
If Renner is indeed stepping up for the role then he will not be replacing Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, but will appear as a new character in a parallel storyline. Renner's name has been attached to the project for a while now, along with the likes of James Franco, Shia Labeouf, Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano.
Hop skips and jumps to US Box Office success04/04/2011
And the biggest opening weekend of the year so far goes to… Hop? That's right, American audiences lapped up the Russell Brand-ed adventures of the Easter bunny to the tune of $38 million over the weekend as the family comedy laid a golden egg for studio Universal. With a respectable $15 million, Duncan Jones' critically acclaimed Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, landed in second place and creepy horror Insidious debuted just behind in three.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 lived up to its name by not putting up much of fight in relinquishing its place at the top and falls to four, while Limitless can finally see its boundaries at five. Shirtless wonder, Matthew McConaughey, is at six with The Lincoln Lawyer, Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch is bruised and battered at seven, and Rango crawls down to eight. Paul is feeling alienated at nine, while Battle: Los Angeles is giving up the fight at ten.
Will and Jaden Smith team up for sci-fi adventure05/04/2011
After melting our hearts in The Pursuit Of Happyness, Will Smith and son Jaden are set to join forces again for an untitled sci-fi adventure, co-written by M Night Shyamalan. Could the Smiths' star power finally result in a decent film from the director of The Last Airbender?
Shyamalan will be penning the script with Book of Eli writer Gary Whitta and is in negotiations to direct too. The story is set 1,000 years in the future and will follow a father and son as they explore an empty Earth after their ship crashes on the planet. Hmm, sounds a little bit like I Am Legend meets Happyness…
Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad released the following statement: "Night is an outstanding filmmaker who has a tremendous vision for this science-fiction adventure story and we couldn't be more excited to be working again with Jaden after our experiences on The Pursuit of Happyness and The Karate Kid. We're thrilled to have the two of them together on this project."
Keanu Reeves talks Bill and Ted 305/04/2011
Keanu Reeves looks set to revisit his finest role after he revealed that the first draft of the Bill and Ted 3 script is due next month (yes, we've seen The Matrix, and yes, we stick by this statement). The cult duo, played by Reeves and Alex Winter, were last on our screens in 1991 in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, but Reeves has been telling MTV that they will be back in a new outing very soon.
He said that the third film will be "the straight up, most surprising take on where Bill and Ted would be right now if we stopped back in on them." He added: "The fellas [original writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon] went away and cooked it up, but I don't know yet what happened when they put the elements together."
Reeves does know a few plot details though, as he went on to explain: "When we last got together, part of it was that Bill and Ted were supposed to have written the song that saved the world and it hasn't happened. So they've now become kind of possessed by trying to do that. Then there's an element of time and they have to go back."
The new Superman speaks, world listens.06/04/2011
Henry Cavill, or Superman, as he shall forever be known now, recently pressed the flesh at the San Fran WonderCon in support for his lates, the Tarsem-directed The Immortals. Talk, invariably, turned to The Man Of Steel and Zack Snyder's upcoming reboot.
MTV News caught up with Cavill who was positively giddy with excitement about donning the iconic Superman duds. "I'm just picking out as much as I possibly can from the comic book history," says Cavill of his research for the part so far, "because, obviously, it's plastered across there as to who this man is and whatever part of his life you're playing; whatever part of his ultimate journey you're playing, you just need to put into either the building aspects, the building blocks to how he ends up. All those key characteristics that are carried through."
Cavill recently screen tested alongside Amy Adams, who'll be playing Lois Lane. The young star defended the casting choice however and declared that the real life age disparity between the pair won't factor in to the finished film at all.
The Immortals is due for release November 2011.
Grand Theft Auto movie might not happen06/04/2011
Like having your car stolen, you can't help but feel rather bereft at this news. Rockstar Games' vice president of creative Dan Houser was recently honoured at the Tribeca Film Festival as the developer's latest, L.A. Noire, became the first ever game to be entered in to competition at a prestigious film festival. However, he had time too to pour water over any suggestions that Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption might, one day, be turned in to movies.
Chatting to The Hollywood Reporter, Houser had this to say; "virtually all movies made from games are awful, while many games made from movies are also pretty horrible. This will change, but with an ever more discerning audience, the goals of taking something from film-to-games or game-to-film have to be more than financial," said Houser. "If you feel the property has something about it that is universal or could work in another medium, and it is not simply about making easy money, then that is something worthwhile."
He added, "We have explored a lot of movie deals, but we have just chosen not to make a movie. We love movies, but we also love games and that is what we remain focused on. If we were to attempt to make a movie, we would like to make it ourselves, or at least work in collaboration with the best talent, so at least if it is bad, we can know we failed on our own terms. But doing that takes time, and making games properly takes a lot of time. So, we may make movies one day, with the right property and the right partnership, but we have not found the time to do that yet."
Fichtner signs on for Blomkamp's Elysium07/04/2011
Director Neill Blomkamp, he who brought us the incredible District 9, is currently engaged in a little cottage industry bottling magic. At least the studio bankrolling his latest, super duper top-secret sci-fi epic must be hoping so as they've got a lot riding on Elysium.
Due to hit our screens on March 8, 2013, Variety is billing the District 9 / Avatar crossbreed as an R-rated sci-fi film, set 150 years in the future. It has social allegory elements akin to his debut film, couching Elysium in a "very violent, very original" story, according to the director himself.
Ambitious, and rather gutsy, stuff then. And it's quite a cast too that Blomkamp has managed to assemble. Matt Damon will play an unstable ex-con and he'll be joined by Jodie Foster and District 9's very own Sharlto Copley. If all that wasn't enough, the cool credentials for Elysium have hit the roof as William Fichtner, who merrily made off with all the plaudits from Drive Angry, has signed on too. The Heat and Dark Knight star will play an as yet unknown character but the safe money is on an alien villain of some kind.
Hanna director Wright eyes Ronan and McAvoy for Anna Karenina07/04/2011
Some call it the greatest story ever written, others call it a really, really long book. Either way, there's no denying Leo Tolstoy's Anna Kerenina and its place among the all-time greats. Atonement and Hanna director Joe Wright has quite the challenge then as he prepares to bring Tolstoy's epic romance to the big screen with an enviable list of names at his side.
Chatting to The Playlist, Wright commented that; "Keira's confirmed, Jude Law's confirmed, Aaron Johnson's confirmed, Kelly Macdonald's confirmed, Benedict Cumberbatch is confirmed. I'm still waiting on Saorise and James."
It would appear that Hanna star Saorise Ronan and the new Professor X, James McAvoy, are the only pieces of the puzzle remaining for Wright. Meanwhile Knightley is down to play the title character who manages to escape a loveless marriage by doing the dirty with a returning soldier. Law will play Karenin, Anna's dastardly husband, with Johnson down as the lover Vronsky.
Tom Stoppard (Enigma, Shakespeare In Love) has penned the screenplay as Wright and co. aim to have this one with us in time for 2012.
The Crow spreads its wings08/04/2011
Well, at least it only took us 17 years to get here?!?!?! The Crow 're-imagining' has been on the table for some time now, ever since the 1994 comic book adaptation breathed new life in to the undead, vigilante hit and now things are starting to look up for the pasty-faced hero.
Relativity Media have bagged themselves a hot-to-trot director, namely Juan Carlos Fresnadillo - the guy who brought us 28 Weeks Later. The studio are incredibly confident about their long-dormant property as they're preparing to roll cameras on this one as early as September...and that's despite not having a star, nor writer for that matter, on the payroll.
Variety reports that; "Fresnadillo will collaboratively develop the screenplay once a writer is attached to adapt the script from James O'Barr's comic book series."
The story will once again feature Eric Draven (played by the late Brandon Lee in the original film) as he is resurrected from the dead and becomes the titular avenging angel.
Arnie to make his Last Stand?!08/04/2011
Many mocked The Austrian Oak when his long-awaited return to our screens turned out to be an animated TV series entitled The Governator but cinematic titan Arnold Schwarzenegger could yet have the last laugh. It turns out that Arnie could still make his overdue return to leading man status courtesy of Kim Ji-Woon's (The Good, the Bad, the Weird) English-language debut, The Last Stand.
Both Movieweb and Slash Film report that Schwarzenegger is in negotiations to play the central character, a dustbowl sheriff caught up in an international manhunt. Arnie then will be tasked with bringing to custody a drugs cartel boss hightailing it to the Mexican border.
Liam Neeson, as with all projects these days, was originally going to play the sheriff before leaving the project earlier this year in favour of Taken 2.
Your Highness burned by Brand one-two punch11/04/2011
Despite his latest pis getting a sound kicking from US critics, there's no stopping the rise and rise of Dickensian japester Russell Brand. The spindly stand up not only lends his unique dulcet tones to current number 1 Hop but also stars in the remake of Arthur, this week's highest new entry at 2. Co-starring Helen Mirren and Jennifer Garner, Arthur managed to snaffle up $12.6 million in its opening weekend to claim the runners-up spot.
Another new entry at 3 is director Joe Wright's Hanna. The tale of a teenage assassin played by Saoirse Ronan, ably supported by Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett, Hanna took bronze courtesy of $12.3 million on its debut weekend. Riding on the crest of a wave at 4 is new surf teen biog Soul Surfer with Dennis Quaid and AnnaSofia Robb as Insidious, the disturbing new horror from Saw's James Wan, slips to 5.
Danny McBride's fantasy spoof Your Highness is lost in a haze of mediocrity as it debuts with a lacklustre $9.5 million at 6. Rounding out the Chart is Source Code at 7, Limitless falling to 8, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is getting pushed around at 9 and The Lincoln Lawyer parks up at 10.
Shannon confirmed as Zod in newly titled Man Of Steel11/04/2011
The guessing games and constant rumour-mongering stop here as director Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. announce their lead Big Bad for their Superman reboot, now, officially, dubbed Man Of Steel.
Michael Shannon, the Oscar-nominated star of Revolutionary Road, and currently tearing up our TV screens in Martin Scorsese's Boardwalk Empire, has signed on to play General Zod - the anti-Superman played by Terence Stamp in the original movie.
Snyder, in the official press statement released by Warners, gushed; "Zod is not only one of Superman's most formidable enemies, but one of the most significant because he has insights into Superman that others don't. Michael is a powerful actor who can project both the intelligence and the malice of the character, making him perfect for the role."
Shannon then will join Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent. Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception) will co-produce the project and has worked on the screenplay with David S. Goyer (Batman Begins).
Fassbender full of praise for Prometheus12/04/2011
One gets the feeling that 2011 is going to be some year for Michael Fassbender. Not only is he about to deliver a fresher, younger take on Magneto in X-Men: First Class, but he's currently busying himself on the set of Ridley Scott's Prometheus - presently three weeks into the shoot at Pinewood. The Inglourious Basterds star is trading lines with Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron and Idris Elba in an offshoot of Scott's now legendary Alien film of 1979.
Speaking to The Los Angeles Times Fassbender commented that; "I walk on the set and I feel like I'm walking on a spaceship. It's breathtaking. All the various panels and screens and it's just dealing with a top-notch art department and carpenters and the riggers and everything that goes into putting that together. It's just, well, breathtaking, all of it."
Obviously, the soundstage is on lockdown and no story details have emerged as yet. All that we know is that Prometheus 'shares some DNA' (the director's own words) with previous Alien incarnations. Fassbender will be playing an android named David in the film, a progenitor to the likes of Ian Holm and Lance Henriksen in the later instalments.
"I feel I've got it at my fingertips, it's there but challenging and, you know, I'm excited. I've got a few ideas that I'm running with and I think I've got a grasp on it but it's always something that, organically, is moving on its own course. I'm having a lot of fun with it. There's a lot of interesting quirks and niches to him and I'm having a lot of fun exploring it", added Fassbender.
Prometheus is due out June, 2012.
It's samba time at UK Box Office as Rio debuts at No. 112/04/2011
It's perhaps not the most startling of debuts but the £1.5 million garnered by 20th Century Fox's Rio was more than enough to guarantee it a top spot debut at the Box Office. The CGI treat from the guys that brought us Ice Age is sitting pretty as the Easter Holidays approach. Meanwhile Source Code is looking good as Jake Gyllenhaal's time-bending thriller digs its heels in at 2 and Bradley Cooper too is a non-mover at 3 with the well-received Limitless.
The engineered, sickly sweet Easter pic Hop falls three places down to 4 alongside Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch - the original fantasy vision is floundering at the Box Office having made only £1.6 million over two weeks on general release. Roman sword-fest The Eagle slips down one place to 6 as Bollywood rom com Thank You takes a bow at 7.
Unknown, Liam Neeson's Taken-lite thriller, is going nowhere fast at 8, weirdy college dorm frightener The Roommate debuts at 9 and Adam Deacon's Anuvahood falls to 10 in its fourth week on release.
Shyamalan is being taken to School13/04/2011
After the critical debacle of The Last Airbender many thought it but few actually made it happen...until now that is. A new site, dubbed the M. Night School, is dedicating itself to sending M. Night Shyamalan back to film school.
Through charitable donations and user-generated funds the site hope to raise the necessary capital to send the Razzie-winning director to NYU Film School.
M. Night School says: "If we all donate just one dollar, we can send M. Night back to NYU so he gets the help we all so desperately need. Let's make it happen so we can get him enrolled before he starts principal photography on 1000 A.E. (his proposed new film starring Will and Jaden Smith)"
Of course, in all likelihood, Mr. Shyamalan will not-so-gracefully refuse the M. Night School's offer and so the newly-founded site vows to "send the NEXT Tarantino to NYU" instead with all the proceeds raised said site founder Chris Baker when chatting to Entertainment Weekly.
Kosinski on Cruise control for Oblivion13/04/2011
Wow, these Hollywood hotshots really do land on their feet. Just two weeks after his existential sci-fi treatment Oblivion was dropped by Disney, Tron director John Kosinski's latest has been picked up by Universal with the studio giving the green light to, potentially, a $100 million production.
Deadline has the full story and their report suggests that things are really starting to look up for Kosinski's passion project. Tom Cruise of all people, after missing out on the canned At The Mountains Of Madness, will stick it out with the studio and instead board this epic, dystopian future-set vision.
The trade describes the film as a; "futuristic science fiction love story that takes place in an apocalyptic future where most of the population live in clouds above an earth surface that has been rendered for the most part uninhabitable. An earthbound soldier [Cruise] - stuck there repairing drones that patrol and blast a savage alien life form - encounters a beautiful woman who crashed in a craft, and they have an experience that forces him to question his world view."
Rourke's rugby pic still on14/04/2011
Let's face it, Hollywood would be a much duller place without Mickey Rourke. The outspoken, craggy-faced Oscar-nominee has been laying it all on the table in an interview with Vulture. He's been slamming his latest, Passion Play (co-starring Megan Fox) calling it "terrible, another terrible movie". Fair enough. But what about 13 Mickey? The one starring Ray Winstone, Sam Riley and Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson? "It's so bad it can't get out". Ah, ok then.
Still, Mr. Rourke is a little more excited by the prospect of his in pipeline rugby biopic of Welsh egg-chaser Gareth Thomas. Of course this is not entirely news but it's worth pointing out that Rourke, so determined is he to realise this one, will learn Welsh for the role, take up rugby lessons and generally apply himself to the physical extremes necessary to convincingly pull off playing a man twenty years his junior!
Penn and Bale pose for The Last Photograph14/04/2011
Why work with only one, notoriously difficult Hollywood star when you can work with two?!?! The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo director Niels Arden Oplev and 300 scribe Kurt Johnstad have certainly lucked out then as they already have Christian Bale on their books for war thriller The Last Autograph and now Sean Penn is sauntering into town.
The script has been doing the rounds for a while and was once considered as a viable property for 300 director Zack Snyder with the story revolving around a journalist and a retired soldier, who attempt to rescue a kidnap victim in Afghanistan.
Deadline says that Bale would play the reporter, "who witnesses and is the only survivor of an attack on a group of Americans." Sean Penn would be the retired Special Ops soldier who "comes to the scene determined to free a family member who has been kidnapped. The journalist agrees to help identify the kidnappers and travel the rough terrain to find them, in exchange for the story. The road brings them in confrontation with tribal regions of Afghanistan, and none of the diplomats will help."
The Last Photograph should start shooting in 2012 once The Dark Knight Rises wraps and Bale's schedule is clear. The new film marks producer Dark Castle's first foray into non-genre fare.
Zemeckis Knows How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack15/04/2011
You turn your back for a second and all of a sudden that cherished, age-old cinematic staple of 'the garden gnome film' is firmly back on the agenda. After the success of Shakespearean romp Gnomeo & Juliet, it would appear that the big name players are out to snaffle up all the remaining gnome-inspired properties out there. That explains then Robert Zemeckis' interest in How To Survive A Garden Gnome Attack - the handy and humorous survival guide from author Chuck Sambuchino released last year.
The Back To The Future director, and the man who led a one-man crusade at times in support of motion capture performance with his work in Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol, will produce this one through his ImageMovers Digital group and may even direct if the mood takes him, according to Variety.
The book's author Sambuchino describes his tale thusly; "How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack is the only comprehensive survival guide that will help you 1) prevent, 2) prepare for, and 3) ward off an imminent home invasion by the common garden gnome. Once thought of as harmless yard decorations, evidence is mounting that these smiling lawn statues are poised and ready to wreak havoc. The danger is real. And it's here."
Get ready to open a Cannes of whoopass!15/04/2011
We're fast approaching that time of year when half of Hollywood decamps, en-masse to The Croisette to mix it with the arty, European types and pretend that their latest popcorn pleasers are terribly important and Matter. And so it goes that the Cannes 2011 line-up is all but complete with Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, Pedro Almodovar's The Skin That I Live In, Lars Von Trier's Melancholia, and Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin finding their way in competition. There are one or two surprises, chiefly Nicholas Winding Refn's Drive starring Ryan Gosling and Takasi Miike's remake of Harakiri both find themselves shoulder-to-shoulder with more illustrious counterparts.
These days though it's just as much about those films premiering out of competition as it is about the 'worthy' pics going for gold. Surely making the headlines this year will be the first ever screening of Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides with Johnny Depp leading the charge against the planet's combined press at the glamorous festival. You can also steal a look at Jodie Foster's latest, The Beaver - the dark comedy drama that looks to resurrect Mel Gibson's flagging career.
The Skin That I Live In - Pedro Almodovar
L'Apollonide - Betrand Bonello
Footnote - Joseph Cedar
Paterre - Alain Cavalier
Once Upon A Time In Anatolia - Nuri Bilge Ceylan
The Kid With The Bike - The Dardenne Brothers
Le Havre - Aki Kaurismaki
Hanezu no Tsuki - Naomi Kawase
Sleeping Beauty - Julia Leigh
Tree of LIfe - Terrence Malick
La Source de Femmes - Radu Mihaileanu
Polisse - Maiwenn Le Besco
Harakiri - Takashi Miike
We Have A Pope - Nanni Moretti
Melancholia - Lars Von Trier
This Must Be The Place - Paolo Sorrentino
Drive - Nicholas Winding Refn
We Need To Talk About Kevin - Lynne Ramsay
Out of Competition:
The Beaver - Jodie Foster
The Artist - Michel Hazanavicius
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Rob Marshall
La Conquete - Xavier Durringer
Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom Of Doom - Jennifer Yuh
Rio's having a Scream at Wes Craven's expense at US Box Office18/04/2011
Many predicted it would be a glorious return to the US Box Office Chart for a former champion and iconic figurehead of a once dormant genre. Many believed it would vindicate an old maestro's fourth stab at the horror series and help cement his name in cinematic lore. Many were wrong. Yes, Fox's CG tale of a bird out of his comfort zone (better than it sounds we're assured) has dismantled the competition with a hefty $40 million debut to claim the top spot leaving Wes Craven, Ghostface and Scre4m a little worse off as the long-awaited fourth instalment in the slasher series could only manage a $19 million cut to debut at 2.
Russell Brand and friends are hopping mad as Easter treat Hop jumps down two places to 3 with the Dennis Quaid-starring Soul Surfer actually managing to hold its ground at 4 just ahead of Joe Wright's Hanna, which takes a spill down to 5.
Brand's at it again in Arthur at 6, creepy horror Insidious is at 7 with Jake Gyllenhaal's well-received sci-fi mind-bender Source Code down one place to 8. Things are going from bad to much worse for Danny McBride and chums in Your Highness at 9 and Bradley Cooper's Limitless is bidding adieu to the Chart at 10.
Depp not so Lonely as Gosling saddles up for Ranger?18/04/2011
Johnny Depp's been ploughing a lone furrow for quite some time now having saddled up for The Lone Ranger almost a year ago! He'll be playing trusty sidekick Tonto of course but, until now, there's been no hint as to whom he'll actually be kickin' alongside! Early rumours had the likes of Brad Pitt and George Clooney as the gunslinger behind the mask but it would seem that Disney have opted for a much younger, and far more daring, approach.
The Wrap suggests that Ryan Gosling, heading our way soon in Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive and the rom com Crazy Stupid Love, is in very early negotiations to play the Wild West vigilante and star opposite Depp.
The Lone Ranger, otherwise known simply as Reid, is the iconic Texas Ranger once ambushed by outlaws and left for dead only to exact his revenge with the help of the enigmatic Tonto.
However, before we get ahead of ourselves, Gosling's schedule is stacked to say the least and he has already commited to sci-fi remake Logan's Run, which may prohibit him from taking on The Lone Ranger gig.
Jason Statham tries on a new Parker19/04/2011
Jason Statham, spokesman for aspiring Cockney actors everywhere, looks set to be flexing his acting muscles a little more than he did in The Mechanic by starring in noir thriller Parker, directed by Taylor Hackford.
Helen Mirren's other half (Hackford not Statham), will be working on a script from Black Swan co-writer John J McLaughlin, who adapted Donald Westlake's book. Parker tells the tale of a thief with a conscience who lives by a certain code of honour, swearing never to take money from people who need it, while meting out violent justice to those who get in his way.
Hackford told Variety: "I don't want to get stuck in a genre. What I like the most about this piece of material is that you can take a genre piece like this and turn it into a great movie."
James Franco looks for The Stare with Winona Ryder19/04/2011
Workaholic James Franco turns 33 today and what better way to celebrate than signing up to (another) film! The Oscar-nominated star will be joining Winona Ryder in The Stare, the first feature from fledgling production company Waterstone Entertainment.
Deadline reports that Ryder will star as a troubled playwright suffering mental problems as she tries to launch her latest project. She slowly starts to lose her grip on reality as she succumbs to paranoia. Franco will play one of the actors in the production in this Black Swan-esque psychological drama. Franco can currently be seen in Your Highness and is also set to appear in the upcoming Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Oz: The Great and Powerful, among others.
Fast & Furious 6 script in gear20/04/2011
Universal has officially got behind the wheel for another film's worth of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker causing motor mayhem by signing up writer Chris Morgan to pen a script for Fast & Furious 6. This will be Morgan's fourth film with the franchise having worked on the last three outings.
Without a hint of irony, Morgan told the Hollywood Reporter: "I don't want to be the guy who gets a vanity production deal and does nothing. I want to be the guy who goes out there and busts my ass and fixes broken stories and finds material to bring back - quite frankly, as a reward to the studio that has worked with me for so long. We have a very effective partnership, and we want to get some big movies off the ground."
In the meantime, Fast & Furious 5 is out in UK cinemas tomorrow - hang around until after the credits and you'll get an idea of what to expect in the sixth instalment of the franchise.
JGL and Cotillard characters revealed for The Dark Knight Rises20/04/2011
We've known for some time that Inception stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard would be joining the cast of Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, but Warner Bros. has now come out with an official announcement to reveal their characters.
The press release states that contrary to previous rumours, the pair will be playing rather obscure, little known characters identified by Nolan, brother Jonah and co-writer David Goyer. Cotillard will appear as Miranda Tate, a member of the Wayne Enterprises board who aids Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) following the death of Rachel Dawes. Meanwhile, Gordon-Levitt will earn his spurs as John Blake, a Gotham cop given a special assignment by Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman).
Nolan said: "When you collaborate with people as talented as Marion and Joe, it comes as no surprise that you would want to repeat the experience," reports The Wrap. "I immediately thought of them for the roles of Miranda and Blake, and I am looking forward to working with both of them again."
The Dark Knight Rises begins shooting later this year and is planned for release on July 20 2012.
Beckinsale to join Total Recall?21/04/2011
Keeping it firmly in the family, the latest news from Hollywood is that director Len Wiseman has offered his wife, Kate Beckinsale, the role of Lori in his remake of Total Recall.
Deadline reports that Beckinsale could be in line to play the wife of Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), a worker in a factory for the nation of Euromerica who, after having a holiday memory implanted, starts to believe he might be a spy for rival country New Shanghai and unlocks a huge conspiracy.
Wiseman has worked with his missus before on the Underworld franchise, while Beckinsale must be keen to take on the role made famous by Sharon Stone in the 1990 original. Meanwhile, the other significant female role of Melina, a rebel in the original who ends up aiding Quaid, is apparently a two-way tussle between Eva Mendes and Rosario Dawson. Total Recall is due for release on August 22 2012.
Zeta-Jones climbs on to Rock of Ages21/04/2011
Rock of Ages is likely to divide opinion, but we can all agree that adding Catherine Zeta-Jones is a smart move. Director Adam Shankman's film adaptation of the 1980s-set musical has added the Welsh beauty to an already impressive cast.
Rock of Ages tells the tale of a small-town girl (Julianne Hough) living in a lonely world who took a midnight train going anywhere…. Ok, not really. She goes to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams of stardom where she meets aspiring musician Drew (Diego Gonzalez Boneta) and rock star Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise). The story is, of course, told via a series of big hair, big riff rock tunes.
Zeta-Jones, who has been in the news recently after receiving treatment for her bipolar II disorder, will play a brand new character created by Shankman and his writers. "It's a character that we only really came to in the last month," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "She is this hardcore, moral majority, arch-conservative who wants to shut down rock 'n' roll in the great city of Los Angeles."
Sounds like Coyote Ugly meets Footloose. We'll let you decide if that's a good thing. The film begins shooting in Miami next month and also stars Paul Giamatti, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and Mary J Blige.
Rio still flying high in US Box Office26/04/2011
Easter weekend in the US provided the gift of another week at the top of the box office chart for Rio (we would have preferred some Mini Eggs, personally). The Brazilian bird bonanza earned $26 million in its second week to edge out Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family into second place with just a million dollars less. Meanwhile, Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon's Water For Elephants could only muster a third-placed debut with Hop and Scream 4 completing the top five.
The Samuel L. Jackson-narrated documentary African Cats growls into the chart at six, Soul Surfer rides the waves down to seven, and Hanna's deadly skills have pushed her down the chart to eight. The Saw creator's latest venture, Insidious, is down to nine, while Source Code is the last passenger to disembark at ten.
Russell Crowe to direct 77?26/04/2011
There seems to come a time in every Hollywood A-List actor's life when he plays with the idea of getting behind the camera, rather than in front of it, and trying his hand at directing. Now might be that time for Russell Crowe as the Aussie Oscar-winner is reportedly thinking of helming crime drama 77.
Originally conceived by LA Confidential creator James Ellroy and written by Law & Order writer David Matthews, the film will be told from the view of two police officers, connecting two events: the unsolved murder of an LAPD officer in 1974 and a famous shootout between the force and the Symbionese Liberation Army (an American self-styled left-wing urban militant group).
Crowe has previously directed Texas, a documentary about his band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, but 77 would mark his first movie. Deadline reports that the 47-year-old will wait for the latest script before he makes a decision.
Fast & Furious 5 races to UK no. 127/04/2011
The great weather during the Easter weekend couldn't prevent Fast & Furious 5 from speeding away with the UK Box Office crown as the Rio-based actioner earned itself a £5.3 million opening. Still hovering in second place, it's that other Brazil-set adventure, Rio, while Russell Brand's Arthur remake swaggers in at three. Last week's number one, Scream 4, is, fittingly, at four with Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer in Beastly debuting at five.
Brand's other film, Hop, skips and jumps down to six, Red Riding Hood is taking a ride down south to seven, while repeat viewings of Source Code are drying up at eight. Motorbike madness TT3D enters the chart at a respectable ninth place, while Limitless may finally have met its limits at ten.
Arnie will be back as Terminator… seriously27/04/2011
Well, of all the characters he was going to return to, we suppose the Terminator must trump Howard Langston in Jingle All The Way. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former governor of California and a fairly big deal in a little place known as Hollywood is aiming to return to his most popular character in a new film.
Deadline reports that there is a deal in place to develop a new Terminator movie with Schwarzenegger attached to star and producer Robert Cort (Jumanji) overseeing the project. A bidding war between the main studios is expected with Universal and Sony/Lionsgate especially interested. Rumours abound that Fast & Furous 5 director Justin Lin is being prepped by Universal to helm the project, but anybody keen on taking the franchise forward needs to get a move on as all the US rights to the characters revert to James Cameron in 2018.
Arnie has already been linked to Ji-Woon Kim's Last Stand and Antoine Fuqua's The Tomb, yet this would be the role that really gets fans excited.
Javier Bardem signs on to star in The Dark Tower epic28/04/2011
After months of speculation, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower has found its lead actor: Javier Bardem. The Oscar-winner had been linked with the role of gunslinger Roland Deschain for some time, but the New York Post has confirmed that Bardem has now officially signed on the dotted line.
The project is likely to be one of the biggest, most ambitious in cinematic/television/world history; in addition to a trilogy of films, the story will continue through three TV miniseries that will follow each film. King's series is an Old West-inspired fantasy epic following Deschain on a journey to find the mythical Dark Tower, with the hope of saving civilisation.
The New York Post's source said: "Bardem has signed on to the first movie and the miniseries, but the intention is that he will star in all three movies and each of the TV series. It's an enormous deal for any actor, but Bardem was always the first choice."
Howard will direct the first film with shooting planned to begin in September.
Justin Bieber and Mark Wahlberg to team up on basketball movie?28/04/2011
The last time we saw a two-dimensional, squeaky voiced character beloved by children star in a basketball movie with real actors was Space Jam. Sadly, this time round it's not the Looney Tunes, but Justin Bieber who will be showcasing his b-ball skills in a film produced by, and possibly starring, Mark Walhberg.
So, how did this collaboration between the Oscar-nominated actor and chipmunk-faced urchin occur? Deadline reports that Wahlberg was so impressed by Bieber's basketball skills at an all-star NBA game weekend in February that he now can't wait to give him his own movie. Scribe Ian Edelman (How To Make It In America) has been tasked with creating a script about letting the ball be your guide, slam-dunking your dreams, and dribbling through adversity. Wahlberg is likely to star as some kind of mentor figure, but no director is yet attached to the project.
Paramount has set up the deal, no doubt hoping to repeat the success of Bieber's Never Say Never, which made $100m with a budget of $13m.