Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Three more join JOHN CARTER OF MARS


"James Purefoy [(TV's 'The Philantropist')] and Mark Strong [(upcoming Sherlock Holmes)] have joined the cast of John Carter of Mars, Disney's adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs books that Andrew Stanton is directing.

Thomas Haden Church [(Spider-Man 3)] said earlier this summer that he was probably on board, and that's confirmed now as well.

Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins topline the film, which centers on a Civil War veteran (Kitsch) who finds himself mysteriously transported to Mars, where he becomes embroiled with the planet's warring people.

Church plays Tal Hajus, an ambitious and vicious Thark warrior who is biding his time to be a ruler.

Purefoy plays Kantos Kan, the captain of the Xavarian, the kingdom of Helium’s grand warship. Strong is Matai Shang, the ruler of the Thems with godlike status.

Also in the movie are Willem Dafoe, Samantha Morton, Dominic West, and Polly Walker.

Disney is planning a Summer 2012 release for the film."

Cool. Can't wait to see first look pictures.

Jessica Alba loves the FOCKERS


"The Hollywood Reporter's 'Risky Biz Blog' got the scoop that actress Jessica Alba is in negotiations to join Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro and company in Paul Weitz's Little Fockers, the third chapter in the comedy series that kicked off in 2000 with Meet the Parents. She will play an attractive pharmaceutical rep whose looks wreak havoc on male characters in the story.

The production is set to begin in a few months for a release on July 30, 2010."

Hahaha! I could see this happening. Awesome!

THE GREEN HORNET meets John Connor!


"Skipping over all the personal stuff in this article at People about Edward Furlong, you'll come across the following:

'He has gotten really upset – anybody would,' the friend says of Furlong, who is slated to start production on The Green Hornet this weekend. 'We're trying to get him back to a place where he's calming down and talking to everybody.'

That's the first time we've heard of the Terminator 2: Judgment Day star having a role in The Green Hornet, opening in theaters on December 17, 2010. If confirmed, he's joining Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, Jay Chou, Edward James Olmos, David Harbour, Tom Wilkinson and Christoph Waltz in the Michel Gondry-directed comic book adaptation."

Where have you been, Mr. John Connor?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"It's in your nature to destroy yourselves."


"The Los Angeles Times has a lengthy and extensive report on the status of Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek's Halcyon Holdings, who bought the rights to the Terminator franchise for $25 million in 2007 in order to produce this summer's Terminator Salvation, but who have now hired the financial advisory firm FTI Capital Advisors to look into their options, having filed for bankruptcy. The thought is that the sale of the rights to the franchise could help make the production company solvent again.

For much of the earlier part of the year, there was a lot of talk about there being a Terminator 5, mostly coming from McG, but the poor reaction and box office showing of Salvation, at least domestically didn't seem to warrant another installment."

That's what you get for making such a humorless movie with a lead actor who can't keep his mouth shut.


"Sony has joined Lionsgate in the bidding on the rights to the Terminator franchise.... The studio submitted a bid on Thursday, the final day for submitting offers.

Lionsgate stepped up last month as the first bidder for the rights to the Terminator franchise with a 'stalking horse' or floor bid of $15 million and a 5% cut of future gross receipts.

Halcyon Group put the franchise up for sale in September. The auction for the assets--which include the rights to future Terminator movies, TV series, DVDs and merchandise--will be held Monday at the offices of FTI Consulting in Los Angeles, followed by a bankruptcy court hearing two days later.

If Lionsgate doesn't win the auction, it will receive $750,000 as a breakup fee from the winning bidder."

Thursday, September 24, 2009


From MTV Movie Blog:

"In an exclusive interview with MTV News, WALL-E writer/director Andrew Stanton dished the most details yet about the progress of his next feature, John Carter of Mars, an adaptation of a nearly hundred-year-old serialized novel about a Civil War vet mysteriously transported to the Red Planet, where he encounters all manner of alien adventures.

'It’s real,' Stanton assured us. 'We’re full bore on it right now. We’re over the hump of the writing phase, and we’re certainly far from rewrites.' Before he could even get to that point, Stanton had to solve a problem that had stymied filmmakers for eighty years: How do you turn the six separate installments of the novel into a coherent whole? 'I don’t want to be dissing it,' he said, 'but it almost had an absence of a story for a feature film because it was very episodic. In its day it was a comic book. I mean, this book was written in 1912. It was the comic book you got in the time before there was such thing as comic books. So, it was really just about the next fight, the next adventure, the next romance.'

'The key was putting a story into it and creating characters that had to grow and real basic stuff that we all know a movie needs,' he explained. Messing with a classic of the fantasy genre is always risky, but Stanton believes the passage of time is on his side. 'Fortunately it’s an old enough story,' he said. 'There isn’t such huge allegiance to it that people won’t mind that we muck with it a bit to hopefully amplify the essence of what made me interested in it as a young kid and hopefully will keep me interested in it as an .' Another vital realization, Stanton told us, was that John Carter of Mars could not be a strictly computer animated feature like past creations Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc.

'There’s so much in it that can’t be real,' he said. 'It’s the perfect definition of a hybrid movie,' utilizing both live actors and computer-based animation [as he did on WALL-E, a first for Pixar]."

Also from MTV Movie Blog:

"From the sound of things, Disney's adaptation of the nearly hundred-year-old sci-fi series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter of Mars, is going to start as early as January of next year. The start had previously been pushed back from November. Pre-production continues to move steadily forward nonetheless on the hybrid live action/CGI film.

As co-star Lynn Collins told MTV's Josh Horowitz last week on the New York red carpet for The Burning Plain, she's already seen workups of fight sequences she'll have to film and, last week, some initial effects work kicked into gear. 'We're actually getting into some hair and makeup tests this week to see what the look is like,' said Collins, who plays the humanoid Martian princess Dejah Thoris. 'It's really collaborative and really creative and I'm really excited about it.'

The preliminary idea is not to bury Collins under prosthetics and heavy-duty makeup but to create a look that would not be out of place on a tropical island. 'I think they're going more like a really great tan, like the best-tan-you-can-ever-imagine type of thing,' she said. 'I've yet to find it. Maybe the makeup team will be able to.' There's no word yet how the rest of the cast will end up looking. Joining Collins in John Carter is her X-Men Origins: Wolverine co-star Taylor Kitsch as the title character, a Civil War vet inexplicably transported to the Red Planet, where he stumbles upon all manner of alien adventures.

'Taylor is so amazing,' Collins said. 'We went to Pixar and saw some of the workups of some of the fighting that we have to do. I was like, 'Oh my god, there's just no guy better for the job. He's so athletic and wonderful and such a great actor and so positive.'"

Calling her character 'a priestess of science and letters,' Collins extolled co-writer/director Andrew Stanton's (WALL-E, Finding Nemo) vision for John Carter. 'Edgar Rice Burroughs was a really smart writer, so smart that some of the stuff I can hardly wrap my head around, so that's up to Pixar to see if they can put in visually to life,' the actress said, adding, 'It's completely satirical and politically on point, I'd say.'"

I thought the movie was all Disney. Apparently not, now that Pixar is on the list.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

GHOST Writer 2


"Variety is reporting that Columbia Pictures is moving forward with a sequel to Ghost Rider. David Goyer is in early talks to create the story and supervise writers for a film expected to once again star Nicolas Cage.

The trade adds that plans are under way to base the sequel on a script written years ago by Goyer (The Dark Knight, Blade franchise). The original Ghost Rider was written by director Mark Steven Johnson. The second installment will be produced by Avi Arad, Michael De Luca and Steven Paul, with Gary Foster serving as executive producer."

Maybe with the writer of The Dark Knight, it might actually be good! STAY AWAY FROM WESTERNS!!

The BARBIE Movie? Seriously?


"Universal Pictures has acquired the film rights to Mattel's Barbie to make a live-action feature.

Laurence Mark (Julie & Julia, Jerry Maguire) is producing the movie.

Universal also distributes Mattel's animated Barbie movies.

Barbie general manager/Mattel senior vice president Richard Dickson and Barbie vice president entertainment Rob Hudnut will executive produce."

Like what is Barbie gonna say, "I have thoughts! I wanna write a blog! Oh, Julia, you make sound so easy!" And Ken? "YOU. COMPLETE. ME."


TITANIC and T2 in 3D?

From MTV Movie Blog:

"Even if James Cameron's Avatar somehow doesn't hit big with audiences this December, the filmmaker may soon have a couple more 3-D movies in theaters. Proven successes no less. Cameron's production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, believes it will be ready to announce a 3-D re-release for Titanic within the next six months, and they have been doing tests on Terminator 2: Judgment Day for a similar reissue.

Imagine: Leonardo DiCaprio saying 'I'm the king of the world' while seemingly sitting on your lap. Okay, so the first section of Titanic doesn't seem to lend themselves to 3-D in an exciting way, but you know it'll look cool when the boat starts going down. Scary too. Bodies that originally fell towards the camera on their way into the icy water will now likely be headed into the audience thanks to the added dimension.

As for T2, it's not definite that the sequel will be given a 3-D re-release. Visitors to Universal Studios have been able to see a Terminator-based 3-D film with T2 3D: Battle Across Time since the mid-90s.

Still, other studios and production companies are beginning to think more about 3-D conversions. Just look at Toy Story and Toy Story 2, which are about to be re-released in the format next week. George Lucas has always teased about doing 3-D versions of the Star Wars movies, while a Universal exec says his studio is waiting to see how the Pixar re-releases do before planning anything (will we see Back to the Future 3-D if they're a success?).

Reportedly, some in Hollywood don't see the profit being there for 3-D re-releases until the same tech for home entertainment is widely available to and popular with consumers. The goods are already there, with Cameron even shilling for Panasonic's 3-D TVs with Avatar footage. But obviously it will be awhile before there's one of these products in enough American homes."

I could honestly care less about Titanic BUT TERMINATOR 2 IN 3D?! THAT'S SWEET!!

EVEN SWEETER - someone's even considering BACK TO THE FUTURE IN 3D?! AWESOME!!!

Sony Pictures is the master OF THE UNIVERSE


"Just weeks after the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe movie left Warner Bros. Pictures, Mattel is finalizing a deal with Columbia Pictures. Escape Artists will produce the project.

Sony and Escape Artists' Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch will now start developing the project from scratch. John Stevenson had been attached to direct but is no longer attached.

In the big screen adaptation of the signature Mattel toy line, He-Man is a brawny prince who transforms into a warrior who becomes the last hope for a magical land called Eternia, which is being ravaged by technology and the evil Skeletor."

Jaimie Alexander loves THOR too!


"Jaimie Alexander ('Kyle XY') and Colm Feore [('24')] have joined the cast of Marvel Studios' comic book adaptation Thor, to be directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Alexander and Feore join Chris Hemsworth, already cast as Thor; Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki, the god of mischief who serves as the movie's villain; and Natalie Portman is Thor's human love, Jane Foster.

In Marvel's epic , Alexander is playing Sif, a skilled Asgardian warrior who can hold her own against any man. She also is one of Thor's loves.

Feore's character is shrouded in mystery, though it is known to be a villain.

The Thor movie spans the Marvel Universe; from present day Earth to the realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth."

I was wondering when Sif was gonna get cast.

Bryan Singer retells JACK THE GIANT KILLER


"Bryan Singer has signed on to direct Jack the Giant Killer, the fantasy adventure from New Line and Legendary Pictures.

The film, written by Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard), takes an adult look at the Jack and the Beanstalk legend. When a princess is kidnapped, a long-standing peace between men and giants becomes threatened, and a young farmer is given an opportunity to lead a dangerous expedition to the giant kingdom to rescue her.

Neal Moritz is producing via his Original Film along with David Dobkin."

Oh, but we thought you liked big guys, Mr. Singer?

Friend Requests from Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake


"Columbia Pictures and director David Fincher [(Zodiac and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)] have cast Jesse Eisenberg [(Adventureland, upcoming Zombieland)], Justin Timberlake [(Black Snake Moan, Shrek The Third and The Love Guru)] and Andrew Garfield [(The Other Boleyn Girl, upcoming The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus)] in The Social Network, the drama about the formation of Facebook written by Aaron Sorkin.

Eisenberg will play Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg; Timberlake will play Sean Parker, the Napster co-founder who became Facebook's founding president; and Andrew Garfield will play Eduardo Saverin, the Facebook co-founder who fell out with Zuckerberg over money.

Production will begin next month in Boston and then move to Los Angeles.

Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti and Cean Chaffin will produce. Kevin Spacey is executive producer."

HA!! Justin Timberlake... in a drama?!

Johnson and Jackson fight THE OTHER GUYS


"Dwayne Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson and Steve Coogan will star in the Columbia Pictures comedy The Other Guys, to be directed by Adam McKay.

Johnson and Jackson will play super cops in the film. Coogan is set as the villain. They join the previously-announced Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton and Damon Wayans Jr.

Johnson and Jackson will play an elite cop tandem whose exploits are the envy of the department and the second-tier fellow cops played by Ferrell and Wahlberg.

The movie was written by Chris Henchy and McKay."

OH MY GOSH!! Two great actors working together in a comedy with Will Ferrell and another great actor Mark Wahlberg!! AWESOME!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dick Cook steps down from Disney


"Just a week after he made some big announcements at the D23 Expo, Dick Cook is no longer chairman of the Walt Disney Studios. Cook and The Walt Disney Company President and CEO Bob Iger both released statements. First up is Cook:

'I am stepping down from my role as chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, effective immediately.

I have loved every minute of my 38 years that I have worked at Disney... from the beginning as a ride operator on Disneyland's steam train and monorail to my position as chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. To wrap up my Disney experience in a neatly bundled statement is close to impossible. But what I will say is, during my time at the Studio, we have achieved many industry and Company milestones. Our talent roster is simply the best in the business. I believe our slate of upcoming motion pictures is the best in our history. But most of all, I love the people, my colleagues, my teammates, who are the most talented, dedicated and loyal folks in the world. I know that I leave the Studio in their exceptional hands.

I have been contemplating this for some time now and feel it's the right time for me to move on to new adventures... and in the words of one of my baseball heroes, Yogi Berra, 'If you come to a fork in the road, take it'.'

And the statement from Bob Iger:

'Throughout his distinguished 38-year Disney career, Dick Cook's outstanding creative instincts and incomparable showmanship have truly enriched this company and significantly impacted Disney's great legacy,' said Disney CEO Bob Iger. 'We thank Dick for his tremendous passion for Disney, and his many accomplishments and contributions to The Walt Disney Studios, including a very promising upcoming film slate. On behalf of everyone at Disney, we wish him the best with all the future has to offer.'

Johnny Depp also shared his reaction about Dick Cook leaving the studio with the Los Angeles times. Depp said he is 'shocked and very sad' because Cook was the reason he signed on to the Pirates of the Caribbean films and that Cook was his biggest supporter when other executives didn't agree with how Depp was playing the role on set. He also commented on the fourth Pirates movie, which Cook revealed just last week would be titled Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and be released Summer 2011:

As for the fourth planned Pirates movie, Depp said while he has a potential deal in place that will depend on how good the script is, his passion for the project at the moment has been severely dampened by the news that Cook will no longer be around.

'There's a fissure, a crack in my enthusiasm at the moment,' Depp said. 'It was all born in that office.'"


Friday, September 18, 2009

Patrick Swayze was meant to be a ZOMBIE?


"When writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick set out to find an actor to cameo in their horror-comedy Zombieland, their initial choice was Patrick Swayze who passed away earlier this week.

'That was many years ago, before he got sick,' explains Reese. The script got its start as a television pilot before it was groomed for the big screen and found its stars Jesse Eisenberg (as Columbus) and Woody Harrelson (as Tallahassee). 'It was [going to be] a Patrick Swayze zombie. They got attacked by him zombified and we had these wonderful moments where they found a potter's wheel and there's Columbus on the wheel and these other hands come up behind him [(referencing Ghost)] and it's Patrick Swayze the zombie. Ultimately, they fight and Patrick bull rushes Tallahassee who grabs him and lifts him into the air, a la Jennifer Grey [(referencing Dirty Dancing)], and smashes him into a pillar.'

When Swayze unfortunately had to bow out, Reese and Wernick set their sights on a number of other actors including Sylvester Stallone, Joe Pesci, Mark Hamill, The Rock [(Dwayne Johnson)], Kevin Bacon, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Matthew McConaughey. But none of them worked out."

And they eventually cast Bill Murray.

Here's two trailers to them:



Thursday, September 17, 2009

TRON LEGACY rides into 3D


"Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and IMAX Corporation today announced that Tron Legacy, the intense, high-tech 3D adventure starring Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde, will be released to IMAX theatres in IMAX 3D simultaneously with the film's wide release on December 17, 2010. Directed by Joseph Kosinski, Tron Legacy will be digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience with IMAX DMR (Digital Re-Mastering) technology. Tron Legacy is the third film of the previously announced five-picture agreement between IMAX and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

'This is an ideal movie for IMAX's immersive format,' said Mark Zoradi, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group. 'Tron Legacy already packs a punch in Disney Digital 3D, and to give audiences the option to experience the enhanced premium IMAX 3D version is a real treat. We're particularly excited to reach a much wider audience now that the IMAX network is expanding with its digital locations.'

'2010 is shaping up to be a powerful year for IMAX 3D releases, and Disney's Tron Legacy is a great addition,' said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. 'We believe the buzz that already surrounds this film, combined with its fan-boy following and high-tech visual effects makes it a perfect fit for IMAX and we look forward to its release next year.'

'We share a common goal with our partners at Disney, which is to transport people to places they normally can't go, and the world of Tron is certainly one of those cool places,' added Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. 'Since I saw the first glimpse of Tron Legacy in 3D over a year ago, I've felt it was the perfect match for the The IMAX Experience.'

Tron Legacy is set in a digital world that's unlike anything ever captured on the big screen. Sam Flynn (Hedlund), the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn (Bridges), looks into his father's disappearance and finds himself pulled into the digital world of Tron where his father has been living for 25 years. Along with Kevin's loyal confidant Quorra (Wilde), father and son embark on a life-and-death journey of escape across a visually-stunning cyber universe that has become far more advanced and exceedingly dangerous. The 3D adventure is directed by Joseph Kosinski and produced by Sean Baily, Jeffrey Silver, Steven Lisberger and written by Lisberger, Richard Jeffries, Brian Klugman & Lee Stemthal, Eddy Kitsis & Adam Horowitz, and Bill Wheeler."

This isn't really new news because they announced it in the VFX Concept Test.

What is newsworthy is now we know the name of the character of Olivia Wilde - Quorra. Interesting, but not near as enduring as 'Yori'.

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS begins 2010?


"Tim Pocock, who played the young Scott Summers/Cyclops in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, has revealed that he will reprise the role in 20th Century Fox's X-Men: First Class.

'Currently Australian TV series till February 2010...then X-Men: First Class," he said on his Twitter account. Wolverine producer Lauren Shuler Donner recently hinted that a new X-Men movie would start production in 2010.

Written by Josh Schwartz, the film will likely draw from elements of the Marvel Comic of the same name, launched in 2006."

Always good to hear from Lauren Shuler Donner, wife of Richard Donner (the father of the superhero genre in the film industry)!


Apparently, Tim Pocock was the victim of a cruel, cruel prank.

From Twitter:

"Victim of cruel prank. Last tweet = NOT me. AM filming Aussie show till 2010. no official word on XM:FC but am interested. please post retraction."

JJ Abrams updates on STAR TREK sequel and M:I IV


"Both the Los Angeles Times and SCI FI Wire got a chance to talk to J.J. Abrams about the status of the Star Trek sequel and Mission: Impossible IV. Abrams gave this interesting quote to the former about the new Star Trek film:

'The ambition for a sequel to Star Trek is to make a movie that's worthy of the audience and not just another movie, you know, just a second movie that feels tacked on. The first movie was so concerned with just setting up the characters -- their meeting each and galvanizing that family -- that in many ways a sequel will have a very different mission. it needs to do what [the late 'Trek' creator Gene] Roddenberry did so well, which is allegory. It needs to tell a story that has connection to what is familiar and what is relevant. It also needs to tell it in a spectacular way that hides the machinery and in a primarily entertaining and hopefully moving story. There needs to be relevance, yes, and that doesn't mean it should be pretentious. If there are simple truths -- truths connected to what we live -- that elevates any story -- that's true with any story.'

Meanwhile, SCI FI Wire got a brief update on Mission: Impossible IV:

SCIFI: Any momentum on Mission: Impossible IV?

Abrams: Yeah, we have a really cool story. It's being written right now by Andre Nemec and Josh Applebaum.

SCIFI: What's your ETA on when you'll see the draft?

Abrams: We're hoping to get it soon, like by the end of the year.

SCIFI: Could it work out for you to direct it?

Abrams: I'm open to anything."

OH!! So he's not offended now by doing sequels to movies based on Leonard Nimoy TV shows! Nice save, pal.


This is what writer Roberto Orci had to say -

From TrekMovie:

'We’ve literally had two meetings now. We haven’t decided anything but we’re starting to circle around some ideas. We got a lot of fan response from the first one and a considerable amount of critical response and one of the things we heard was, ‘Make sure the next one deals with modern-day issues.’ We’re trying to keep it as up-to-date and as reflective of what’s going on today as possible. So that’s one thing, to make it reflect the things that we are all dealing with today.'

'[LA Times writer] asked Orci somewhat flippantly if that meant we might see Starfleet grappling with the ethics of or dealing with a rising ist threat or perhaps a painful, politicized war with the Klingons - 'Well yeah, those are the kind of issues we’re talking about. Wow, you’re good! But seriously that’s the way we’re thinking, that’s an approach. So if you have any ideas … '"


THE A-TEAM gets a Murdock and a Biel


"Last week, it was rumored that District 9 star Sharlto Copley was joining the cast of Fox's The A-Team as Capt. 'Howling Mad' Murdock. Variety has now confirmed that casting and also reports that Jessica Biel is in final talks to join as well.

Biel is set to play an Army general pursuing the team who is the ex-love of Cooper's character 'Faceman'.

The two join Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper and Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson in the Joe Carnahan-directed action-adventure, scheduled to be released on June 11, 2010. Ridley Scott, Jules Daly and Stephen J. Cannell are producing the film, written by Skip Woods."

COOL!! Me and a friend of mine are closely watching this movie. He'll be thrilled to know that somebody from District 9 will be in the film. And who doesn't love a hottie like Jessica Biel?

Here's what Sharlto Copley and the original Dwight Schultz look like:

Shawn Levy is the man of STEEL


"Action director Peter Berg, who had been talking with DreamWorks about taking on the studio's futuristic robot boxing movie Real Steel, has moved on, opening up the gig to Shawn Levy.

Levy is known for directing and producing broad, hit comedies such as the two Night at the Museum movies, which have grossed nearly $1 billion in worldwide box office. But the Steel story line takes place in a near future where human boxing has been outlawed, and heavy, humanoid robots slug it out in the ring instead. Into this world step a father and his estranged teenage son, who train an extraordinary fighter.

Levy's participation could mean a change in tone for the adventure project and/or a stretching of the creative muscles for the director, who has signed on with DreamWorks to take a swing at it.

'I'm thrilled to be working with Shawn on this project,' DreamWorks CEO and co-chair Stacey Snider said. 'He's a master of combining heart and human stories with fantastic visuals. I'm sure that in his capable hands, Real Steel will be a film that touches and excites all audiences."

John Gatins (Dreamer) is writing the most recent draft of the Real Steel screenplay.

Angry Films' Don Murphy and Susan Montford are producing. Steven Spielberg will exec produce along with ImageMovers' Jack Rapke, Robert Zemeckis and Steve Starkey. Levy also will serve in a producing capacity.

DreamWorks originally purchased the Dan Gilroy-penned spec in 2003 for ImageMovers to produce, and new Paramount Film Group president Adam Goodman developed it there as production president. Screenwriters Jeremy Leven (The Notebook) and Les Bohem (The Alamo) worked on the script as well.

The project was then among those that DreamWorks purchased from Paramount when it split from the studio last fall. In recent months, DreamWorks has been bustling with activity as it completed its multistrand financing deals with India's Reliance ADA and a syndication of banks.

Steel would be distributed by Disney.

The project began generating heat this summer when Berg (Hancock) started circling it. The director ultimately decided to concentrate on two Universal projects -- an adaptation of the Hasbro game Battleship and the Afghan war story Lone Survivor -- so Spielberg called Levy last week to ask if he were interested.

'Steven's passion for this project was absolutely infectious and I'm so excited to bring this story to life,' Levy said. 'In a movie filled with these mechanical warriors, at its core Real Steel is an incredibly human story.'

Levy is finishing up his latest comedy, Date Night, which Fox will release in April. He has a dozen other projects in development as a director and producer through his 21 Laps Entertainment banner."

Awesome!! The first major Disney movie from both Steven Spielberg and Shawn Levy, two of my directing heroes!! YAY!!

So is this like Rocky but with robots?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

MICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT trailer gets released!


"Columbia Pictures has released the trailer for Michael Jackson's This Is It, the Kenny Ortega-directed film that will play in theaters for two weeks starting on October 28th.

Michael Jackson's This Is It will offer Jackson fans and music lovers worldwide a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts that would have taken place beginning this summer in London's O2 Arena. Chronicling the months from April through June, 2009, the film is produced with the full support of the Estate of Michael Jackson and drawn from more than one hundred hours of behind-the-scenes footage, featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show. Audiences will be given a privileged and private look at Jackson as he has never been seen before. In raw and candid detail, Michael Jackson's This Is It captures the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect, creative genius and great artist at work as he creates and perfects his final show. Kenny Ortega, who was both Michael Jackson's creative partner and the director of the stage show is also directing the film, which is being produced by Randy Phillips, Kenny Ortega and Paul Gongaware. Executive producers are John Branca and John McClain. The film will be distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures Releasing.

Tickets for the limited two-week engagement of the film go on sale beginning September 27."

A CHRISTMAS CAROL trailer finally arrives!


"Walt Disney Pictures has provided us with the trailer for A Christmas Carol, writer/director Robert Zemeckis' adaptation featuring Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins, Robin Wright Penn and Cary Elwes.

Opening in conventional and IMAX theaters on November 6th, the film captures the fantastical essence of the classic Dickens tale in a groundbreaking 3D motion picture event. Carrey plays eight different characters in the film, including the alternate versions of Scrooge.

Ebenezer Scrooge begins the Christmas holiday with his usual miserly contempt, barking at his faithful clerk and his cheery nephew. But when the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come take him on an eye-opening journey revealing truths Old Scrooge is reluctant to face, he must open his heart to undo years of ill will before it's too late."

Saw this trailer back when I went to see I Love You, Beth Cooper and now they're finally putting it out on the Internet! Finally!!

Yes, I know it's the UK trailer. How the more fitting to see a British movie with an American/Canadian star from an American director from an American movie studio!


New trailer!

SPIDER-MAN 4 to swing into IMAX


"IMAX Corporation and Columbia Pictures today announced that the highly-anticipated action-adventure Spider-Man 4, will be released to IMAX(R) theatres simultaneously with the film's worldwide release on May 5, 2011. The fourth installment of the successful Spider-Man franchise, based on the Marvel Comicbook character, will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. The film will be distributed by Columbia Pictures domestically and by Sony Pictures Releasing International overseas.

To date, the Spider-Man motion pictures have generated more than $2.5 billion in worldwide box office receipts.

'The last two Spider-Man releases have been available in IMAX theaters, and we're very much looking forward to our return to a wider IMAX theatre network with this exciting new chapter in the continuing adventures of Spider-Man,' said Rory Bruer, President, Worldwide Distribution for Sony Pictures Releasing. 'The addition of so many new IMAX locations will give even more fans of Spider-Man an opportunity to experience the action and adventure in a unique way.'

'Spider-Man continues to be one of the world's most popular motion picture franchises, and we are very excited to include the latest chapter as part of our 2011 slate,' said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. 'Our network has grown significantly and we continue to roll-out new theatres virtually every week, giving more moviegoers the opportunity to experience the movie in IMAX.'

'We're so excited to once again work with our friends at Columbia Pictures, Sony and Marvel to bring this beloved superhero back to IMAX theatres,' said Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. 'The Spider-Man franchise has been so important to the growth of our network and fan base over the years and we're certainly looking forward to re-teaming with the entire cast and production team to bring this next chapter to moviegoers worldwide.'

Spider-Man 4 will reunite director Sam Raimi with stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. The screenplay is currently being adapted by Gary Ross. Producers are Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad, Todd Black and Grant Curtis. Executive producers are Stan Lee, Todd Hallowell and Josh Donen.

The IMAX release will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience with proprietary IMAX DMR(R) (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images coupled with IMAX's customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie."

Cool!! Although I need to find a better IMAX theatre than the "educational" Pink Palace one in Memphis. The closest ones are in Chattanooga and Knoxville. I'm probably gonna pick Knoxville for next year in college for I'm seeing this one and Tron Legacy.



"With the formation of DC Entertainment, many thought a new film in the Superman franchise would be one of the big things the company would concentrate on. Not so, DC Entertainment Diane Nelson told MTV:

'We actually don't have any current plans for Superman,' said Nelson when asked if the new environment (and the recent legal decision regarding the character) made a 'Superman' movie more or less likely in the near future... We've obviously done a lot of great things behind the property in our history, and it's a key part of the family, but we don't have current plans behind Superman,' she said.'"

Don't worry. One's gonna get made. If the United States legal system has to actually dissemble Warner Bros., DC Entertainment and DC Comics itself to do it!

Robert Downey Jr. sees HARVEY?


"In an article at Variety talking about how Steven Spielberg still wants to make his Abraham Lincoln biopic now that Robert Redford is starting The Conspirator, the trade mentions who may be Spielberg's choice to topline his Harvey remake:

Spielberg is presently focusing on his 'reimagining' of Harvey with Robert Downey Jr. possibly playing the man who sees an invisible rabbit.

Regarding the two Lincoln films, Redford's movie focuses on a young woman charged with conspiring to kill Lincoln, while Spielberg's project will focus on the president's anguish over the length and toll of the Civil War."

Wow! I really don't see Robert Downey Jr. as the next Jimmy Stewart but that doesn't mean I won't go see the movie!

As for Lincoln, is Liam Neeson still attached to play the 16th President?

Patrick Swayze has passed...


"Actor Patrick Swayze, who went from Broadway dancer to Hollywood star in box-office hits like Dirty Dancing and Ghost, died on Monday after a two year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

'Patrick Swayze passed away peacefully today with family at his side after facing the challenges of his illness for the last 20 months,' said a statement released Monday evening by his publicist, Annett Wolf.

Swayze was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, one of the most ly forms of the disease, in January 2008. He said at the time that the cancer had already spread to his liver. Since then, he starred in the TV series 'The Beast.'

Swayze became a pop ure icon with 1987's Dirty Dancing, which earned Golden Globe nominations and spawned the Oscar-winning hit single '(I've Had) The Time of My Life.' The film earned $214 million worldwide. Swayze co-wrote and performed the song 'She's Like the Wind' for the movie's soundtrack, which went to No. 3 on the pop music charts.

In 1990, Ghost was an even bigger hit than Dirty Dancing earning $505 million around the world.

His breakout roles came in 1983's The Outsiders and 1984's Red Dawn in which he and future Dirty Dancing co-star Jennifer Grey played teenagers fighting invading Russians.

Swayze's credits also included Steel Dawn, Road House, Point Break, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, and the TV mini-series 'North and South.'"

I seriously need to watch Ghost and Red Dawn.

BATTLESHIP sets sail for July 2011!


"Universal Pictures has set a July 1, 2011 for the Peter Berg-directed Battleship, a live-action adaptation of Hasbro's board game.

Variety says the deal is part of a two-picture pact Berg has made with the studio, where he'll follow Battleship with the Afghan war drama Lone Survivor.

The Battleship script was written by Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber. Production is scheduled to begin next spring.

Berg called the film 'a contemporary story of an international five-ship fleet engaged in a very dynamic, violent and intense battle.'

Other projects in development for Berg, including Dune and Hancock 2, will come later.

Other Hasbro adaptations in the works at Universal include Stretch Armstrong (April 11, 2011) with Steve Oedekerk, Clue with Gore Verbinski, Monopoly with Ridley Scott, Candy Land with Kevin Lima and Ouija with Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes."

I'm hoping he puts at least some humor in it, like The Rundown and Hancock.

Monday, September 14, 2009

TRANSFORMERS III comes together


"Michael Bay's official website got an update from the director on his future projects:

* He will be meeting later this week with Steven Spielberg, and Ehren Kruger to discuss ideas for Transformers III. By the end of the week he should have an idea if Transformers III will hit your local cineplex in the summer of 2011 or 2012."

He did say July 4th, 2012. Is it remotely possible he can get it in faster than that.

Oh, and for anybody interested, it also mentions Bad Boys III possibly coming before or after Transformers III. Does this mean Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are coming back?

THE GREEN HORNET gets a villain!


"Christoph Waltz, who stole the show in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, has been cast as the villain in Columbia Pictures' The Green Hornet! Deadline Hollywood reports:

'I'm told that ICM's actor Christoph Waltz who won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival for playing a in Inglourious Basterds (and is a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination) has now been cast as villain Chudnofsky in Sony's The Green Hornet opposite Seth Rogen and Cameron Diaz.'"

Never heard of him. Never saw the movie.

Who is Michael Sheen in TRON LEGACY?


"The most recent announcement was that [Michael] Sheen would be playing a role in Disney's upcoming Tron Legacy and everyone automatically assumed he'd be playing a villain but earlier, he revealed exclusively to that he would in fact be playing a nightclub host in the Tron world.

'That was amazing, because there's a lot of green screen in that,' he told us, 'But my stuff was mainly in this amazing set that they built because I'm a nightclub host, so they built the nightclub and there were hundreds of extras and it was one of those great scenes where there's just loads going on.'

He went on to comment on the much-viewed short film (the Grid VFX Concept Test) that was used as a demo to get the film greenlit, saying that the movie has far surpassed the impressive CG work in that film. '[Director Joseph Kosinski] did that to get Disney to give the okay to make the film. Joe now says that he doesn't like people seeing that because it's moved on so much from that, and that looks awesome.'"

Dang. If he says that the Concept Test compared to the real thing is nothing more than a screensaver then we're in for a world of digital awesomeness come next December!

Indy 5 is Coming Together says... Indy!


"Harrison Ford told France's Le Figaro (via People) that 'the story for the new Indiana Jones is in the process of taking form. Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and myself are agreed on what the fifth adventure will concern, and George is actively at work. If the script is good, I'll be very happy to put the costume on again.'

The fourth film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was released on May 28, 2008 and earned $786.6 million worldwide. It was made for about $185 million."


Even More TOY STORY 3 News!


"D23 has come to a close tonight with the premiere of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3D. At the head of the event, Toy Story 3, director Lee Unkrich joined producer Darla Anderson for an exclusive preview of the 2010 film.

In addition to the already-screened trailer and Ken doll interview, the pair showed off an exclusive test animation of Spanish-speaking Buzz Lightyear (the trailer features a scene of Buzz being 're-set' electronically by the other toys, resulting in him adopting a Spanish persona). The 15-second test had Buzz Flamenco dancing, wooing Jessie who, at the end of the scene, gleefully pulls him offscreen.

Just as the night seemed about ready to lead into the 3D version of the first Toy Story, Unkrich and Anderson revealed that they had one more surprise: the first full scene from Toy Story 3 screened anywhere.

The scene opens with Andy's room. It's recognizable as the room from his youth, but the walls are now covered with different posters and there's fewer toys on the floor. Andy's mom comes in and tells Andy that, since he's heading off to college on Friday (in three days) he needs to decide what he's keeping, what he's donating to Sunnyside day care, and what he's just throwing out. Andy's sister, Molly comes in, demanding that he hurry along in the process since she'll be taking his room when he's gone. She walks over to a chest and opens it, revealing all the recognizable toys, and making fun of Andy for still having them. The mom scolds Molly as well, saying that she, too, needs to get some of her junk cleaned out.

Molly heads off to her room (reading 'Tween' magazine) and starts throwing toys into a 'Sunnyside' box. She throws in an Eight-Ball and then Barbie as the other toys watch with horror from Andy's chest. Hamm has a great joke here, saying 'I call the convertible!' while all the other toys are aghast.

Andy opens a trash bag and starts putting toys in it. He puts in Jessie, Rex, Hamm, Bullseye, Mr. Potato Head and a bunch of three-eyed Martians. Soon every toy is inside the bag except for Buzz and Woody who Andy holds in either hand, trying to make his decision. He finally throws Buzz in the bag and pulls Woody aside for his 'college' box.

Andy pulls the bag out into the hallway, pulling the cord above his head for the attic but just then Molly asks for help with something and he has to leave the bag in hall. The mom ends up coming by and finding it, mistaking it for trash and carrying it out to the curb.

Woody watches in horror from Andy's window as the trash truck approaches, now just a few houses down. He jumps to the floor and calls for the dog, Buster, who makes an amazing cameo, now old, slow, overweight and very, very grey.

Realizing that Buster can't help him, Woody runs to the window and grabs a pair of scissors, leaping to a drainpipe and crawling down into the yard. Inside the garbage bag, the toys are panicked, trying to tear open a hole so they can escape. Buzz realizes that they might be able to use Rex's tail to break a hole and they all push him against the plastic.

Woody makes it to the bags on the curb just as the trash truck is showing up. Avoiding the gaze of the trash men, he cuts a bag at a time, but finds only trash bags. Before he can reach the bag of toys, the trash man grabs everything on the curb and throws it into the back of his truck. Woody watches in horror as the trash compactor comes on, crushing all the garbage bags.

Woody shouts, 'Buzz! Jessie!' in and the scene cuts, to be continued."

Pure Toy Story comedy and entertainment.

TOY STORY 3 gets even more cast members!


"Disney•Pixar's John Lasseter announced today at the D23 Expo that Jeff Garlin (Wall-E), Bonnie Hunt (Monsters, Inc., Cars) and Whoopi Goldberg are joining the voice cast for Toy Story 3, but their characters were not revealed.

John Morris, who voiced young Andy in Toy Story and Toy Story 2, will be back as 18-year-old Andy in the third film as well.

They join the previously-announced voice cast of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris, John Morris, Laurie Metcalf, R. Lee Ermey, Jodi Benson, Ned Beatty, Michael Keaton and Timothy Dalton.

Lee Unkrich (co-director of Toy Story 2 and Finding Nemo) is directing from a script by Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine). Toy Story 3 is scheduled for a June 18, 2010 release in Disney Digital 3-D."

Oh, now that's interesting. Three Pixar veterans and an Oscar-winner. Can't wait!

Further info on

"During the Pixar presentation at the D23 Expo, John Lasseter treated the packed crowd of Toy Story fans to the new trailer for the upcoming third film in the franchise.

The footage we saw starts off with home videos of Andy as a young boy. We see him playing with his toys and then it cuts to him getting ready to leave for college.

He's in his room on the computer and his mom walks in asking what he's going to do with his old toys. You see Woody and Buzz in a toy box with the others.

The toys all then have a meeting to talk about what they think their future is. Woody calms down Rex as he worries about the possibility of being thrown away.

Andy then comes back, picks up Woody and Buzz, then walks out of his room. We're not sure where he's going until the next scene where we see the toys in what looks like to be a day care or preschool. Little kids are terrorizing them and they try to make a run for it.

It looks like they successfully breakout, but where they go is unclear.

Lasseter told the audience he understand what's it like watching your kids grow up and leave for college and said he thinks a lot of people will be able to relate.

Also of note: There appear to be new lines for Slinky Dog. We're not sure if it's a Jim Varney impersonator or if they're unused lines from outtakes.

Toy Story 3 is scheduled to hit theaters on June 18, 2010 in Disney Digital 3-D."


Bruce Campbell is back in SPIDER-MAN 4


"At the premiere for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs on Saturday, Bruce Campbell told Access Hollywood that Spider-Man 4 will start in January 2010 and that he'll have a larger part:

'The actor, who has a long relationship with director Sam Raimi via his lead role in the Evil trilogy, made memorable cameos in the first three Spider-Man films.

However, he may have a bigger role this time around. Bruce told Access that in the next installment in the superhero franchise, he’s been told he has a major part – but didn’t yet know anything about his character.'

Columbia Pictures has scheduled the fourth installment for a May 6, 2011 release."

Like you can't make a Pirates of the Caribbean movie without Johnny Depp, you can't make a Spider-Man movie without Bruce Campbell. "Groovy."

Maybe he's playing Mysterio?

SMURFS get kicked out of December


"As expected, Sony Pictures has moved the CG-animated The Smurfs away from a December 17, 2010 release, where it would have faced The Green Hornet, Tron Legacy and Yogi Bear.

Instead, the studio is eyeing a July 29, 2011 release date for the 3D adaptation of the characters created by Belgian cartoonist Pierre Culliford (AKA Peyo). The film currently has the slot to itself. Marvel Studios' The First Avenger: Captain America is scheduled to be released a week earlier, on July 22, 2011.

It was expected, because The Green Hornet is also a Sony release and the studio announced that film was going to be moved to Dec. 17, 2010 just a couple of weeks ago.

The Smurfs will be directed by Raja Gosnell."

Well, now it has a chance to do some major profits. Wonder when they'll announce the cast? For that matter, who's gonna play Captain America?

STAR TOURS II is finally confirmed!!


"Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo announced today at the D23 Expo in Anaheim that the 'Star Tours II' attraction is coming to Disneyland and Hollywood Studios in 2011. Here is the full press release, which talks about more of what's ahead, followed by a clip of the attraction:

'Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo detailed plans for future lands, attractions and adventures that will be delighting Disney guests for years to come, at the first D23 Expo. Most notable among the announcements were the confirmation of an all-new Star Tours attraction and the largest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

'Storytelling is the DNA of Disney dreams and we're always exploring new ways to tell new stories in new places,' Rasulo told a crowd at the Anaheim Convention Center in California before taking them on a 'behind-the-magic' tour of their favorite Disney destinations.

Rasulo announced that a new 3-D version of the tremendously-popular 'Star Tours' attraction will debut at the Disneyland Resort and Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2011. Based on the iconic Lucasfilm Star Wars films, the attraction will include immersive new elements that will take guests to many familiar places in the Star Wars galaxy."

This is awesome!! However, I've never been on the original ride, so this looks like I'd better head down to Florida before it's too late. "Help me, Walt Disney. You're my only hope."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jeff Bridges shows his TRUE GRIT


"Jeff Bridges is in talks to star in Joel and Ethan Coen's remake of True Grit for Paramount Pictures. He last worked with the Coens on 1998's The Big Lebowski.

Bridges would play the role that won John Wayne an Oscar for the 1969 original.

The film, which also reunites the Coens with their No Country for Old Men producing partner Scott Rudin, has been redrafted by the brothers to be more faithful to the Charles Portis novel on which the original film was based.

The story centers on a 14-year-old who tags along with an aging U.S. marshal, Rooster Cogburn, and another lawman to track the outlaw who killed her father."

Huh. Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn? He's no replacement for John Wayne (like there could ever be) but I'm interested.



"The Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan, have gained an entirely new level of respect and appreciation as filmmakers over the last few years thanks to their Oscar-winning adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men and last year's box office hit Burn After Reading. Having their names attached to a movie called True Grit has gotten a lot of interest because the 1969 John Wayne movie of the same name is a popular Western. In fact, the Coens have decided to go back to the Charles Portis novel of the same name to create their own movie based on it.

'We did see it as kids. I don't know if Joel's seen it since,' Ethan said once the movie was mentioned. 'It made very little impression on me, the movie. We subsequently both read the book and the book made a huge impression and I guess that's kind of why we're interested in doing the movie.'

'It's not a great movie but it is a great book actually,' his brother continued.

'It's not really a remake, it's an adaptation,' Ethan admitted to which Joel added, 'Yeah, we were trying to figure out what it was the other day, too. What do you call it?'

They're hoping that this project will be next although they're not sure and are hoping that it will get done in the spring.

Despite there having been word out of Toronto that Jeff Bridges aka "The Dude" from The Big Lebowski was the frontrunner for the John Wayne role in the new movie, the brothers remained coy about confirming that, merely saying, 'We're talking to somebody.'"

Other D23 Expo Info


"Among a bevy of surprise guests at today's D23 Expo presentation, Tim Burton offered attendees a look at the 3D teaser for Alice in Wonderland (the same version currently available online) and confirmed that he'll be following it up with Frankenweenie, a full stop-motion adaptation of his original live-action short film that tells the story of a dog brought back to life by a mad scientist kid. Also confirmed was a 2011 release date."

"Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook officially named Summer 2012 as the release date for Pixar's John Carter of Mars, claiming that the film will, indeed, be live-action with intense special effects.

Following the announcement, Johnny Depp appeared in full Jack Sparrow costume, taking the stage and announcing a Summer 2011 release date for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the new title for the fourth installment!

Speculation has already begun that the subtitle On Stranger Tides refers to author Tim Powers' novel with the same name. The following is the official description of the book:

'Puppeteer John Chandagnac, who was sailing to Jamaica to get revenge on the uncle who had stolen his father's inheritance, has no choice but to join the buccaneers who have taken him prisoner--and soon, known now as the pirate Jack Shandy, he finds himself learning to survive in a treacherous new world of cutlass-fights, sea-battles, and voodoo magic on sun-blinded tropical islands. The legendary Blackbeard is assembling a ruthless navy of pirates living and undead to voyage to the fabled Fountain of Youth, and Jack Shandy must use magic, swordsmanship, and even his puppeteer skills to free himself and the girl he has fallen in love with from Blackbeard's deadly supernatural domination.'

At the end of the third Pirates movie, it is shown that both Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) are next eyeing the Fountain of Youth. Barbossa has 'stolen' the Black Pearl back from Sparrow, but Sparrow has cut out the most important part of Barbossa's map to the Fountain of Youth.

If they will be adapting the book, will Sparrow and Barbossa have to team up again against Blackbeard? We'll have to wait and see how it will turn out."

"Roaring applause from Disney fans filled the Anaheim Convention Center Arena as the Muppets took the stage, performing a song and dance number live on-stage. At the conclusion of the performance, Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook officially announced that the upcoming Muppet film (written by Jason Segel) will be titled The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made.

This title references an old title, developed Jim Henson in 1985 but never produced that would have featured Gonzo directing a Hollywood film and quickly blowing the project's budget. Though unconfirmed, it is likely that this new film will mirror the same storyline."

All interesting happenings! Can't wait for new developments!!



"Surprise guests [at D23 Expo] Jerry Bruckheimer and Nicolas Cage showed off two of next year's big summer films, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Prince of Persia debuted the first trailer (which, though Bruckheimer claimed wasn't complete, seemed ready to go effects-wise). The trailer featured quite a bit of Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan and explained the basic plot: there is a magical dagger that offers the bearer the power to travel through time. Ben Kingsley (as the evil Nizam) wants to steal it and use it it to destroy the world, so Dastan and Tamina (Gemma Arterton) have to take it to 'the secret guardian temple' where it can be safe. There's quite a bit of fast cutting and flirting between Dastan and Tamina. At one point, they appear to be in disguise as servants and she asks if he's carrying the dagger. He tells her that she'll have to do a pretty thorough search to find it.

Cage told the audience that Fantasia was 'the most beautiful film of all time' and explained that The Sorcerer's Apprentice was the kind of movie he felt was important to make in the world today. The footage shown mixed behind-the-scenes shots with actual segments from film. In it, Cage plays Balthazar Blake, an ancient sorcerer who has been searching for an apprentice 'since the time of Merlin'. He finds it in young Jay Baruchel, who seems completely taken aback at the prospect of becoming a sorcerer himself.

Among the scenes showcased were glimpses of the famous broom sequence, originally from Fantasia and a quick shot of a live-action hat matching the conical blue one that Mickey Mouse wears in the feature.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is slated for May 28, 2010, while The Sorcerer's Apprentice is scheduled to hit theaters July 16, 2010."

Can't wait for trailers!!



"Robert Zemeckis himself took the stage and showed off a 3-D Yellow Submarine logo, featuring a submarine design that looks like a literal 3D translation of the classic cartoon version.

'You're going to see Pepperland and the Blue Meanies like never before', said Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook, 'and it will feature the greatest soundtrack of all time.'

Here is the full press release sent out after the announcement was made:

'The Walt Disney Studios has made a deal with Apple Corps Ltd. to develop a new 3D performance capture adaptation of the 1968 hit animated film Yellow Submarine to be written and directed by Robert Zemeckis, it was announced today at the D23 Expo by Dick Cook, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. The film will be created by ImageMovers Digital, Disney's state-of-the-art performance capture animation studio operated in conjunction with Zemeckis and his partners, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey, who will serve as producers on the project.

For this fantastic new voyage to Pepperland, Zemeckis will incorporate the 16 Beatles songs and recordings from the original motion picture licensed from Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC and EMI-Capitol Records, respectively. The songs include 'All Together Now,' 'All You Need Is Love,' 'Eleanor Rigby,' 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' and 'With A Little Help From My Friends' while combining his unique vision and style to bring this dazzling tale to life.

In making the announcement, Cook said, 'This is truly an inspired collaboration, and a wonderful opportunity to revisit one of the most imaginative and memorable musical fantasies of all time. To be working with the amazing folks at Apple Corps, and to have Bob helming the sub is truly as good as it gets. With all those incredible Beatles songs and imagery, the spectacular vision of Bob and his pioneering team at ImageMovers Digital, and a classic adventure full of wit and action, we're sure that moviegoers are going to have a great time on this latest trip to Pepperland.'

Zemeckis said, 'Yellow Submarine is one of the greatest fantasy films of all time, and making this new 3D performance capture movie is a dream come true for me. With the latest advances in technology, we will be able to take moviegoers on a voyage unlike any other, and bring new excitement and dimension to Pepperland and the various sea worlds they encounter. I'm thrilled to be working with the good folks at Apple Corps and our partners at Disney on this epic retelling of one of my all time favorite films.'

Jeff Jones, CEO, Apple Corps Ltd., said, 'With The Beatles and Walt Disney Studios, we have a partnership between two of the best loved creative entities in the world. We're very excited about the magical fantasy that will result from this collaboration. The marriage of the music of The Beatles with the talent and technical wizardry of Robert Zemeckis and ImageMovers Digital should produce something very special. We look forward to working with Bob and his team on realising his new vision for Yellow Submarine'.

The original motion picture (released in the U.S. on November 13, 1968) based on the music of The Beatles was directed by George Dunning and featured the inspired art direction and design of Heinz Edelmann. The movie is set in Pepperland, an undersea paradise inhabited by music lovers who live in peace and harmony and are protected by Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. That is... until they are threatened by the music hating Blue Meanies. It's up to John, Paul, George and Ringo to set off on a magical adventure in their yellow submarine and bring music and harmony back to Pepperland. "

More from

As part of his surprise appearance at D23, Robert Zemeckis showed off a first look a the full 3D trailer for A Christmas Carol.

Expanding from the footage that is currently touring the country on the film's train exhibit, this trailer gave a glimpse at both the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Future, both played by Jim Carrey (who has eight different characters in the film, including the alternate versions of Scrooge).

The Ghost of Christmas Present appears as a huge, viking-like being with an enormous beard. He's gigantic and talks down to a tiny Ebenezer Scrooge, who only seems to come up to his ankle.
The Ghost of Christmas Future is only glimpsed at, but is completely draped in a hooded robe with its face completely obscured (very similar to Neil Gaiman's Destiny in the 'Sandman' series).

The trailer also features a segment of the film that seems to have Scrooge in a snowy London street, but shrunk down to inches in height with a squeaky, high-pitched voice.

A Christmas Carol is slated to hit theaters on November 6th."

I'm feeling two cool Robert Zemeckis movies coming!!

Disney Double Dares Guillermo del Toro!


"With a special video recording from New Zealand, Guillermo del Toro announced, moments ago, his partnership with Disney for a new label entitled 'Disney Double Dare You', featuring 'full family' films with horror bent.

The label will include books, merchandise and films. The first film in the series will be titled Trollhunters and will be followed by a series of films, all developed by del Toro.

The stories will apparently be tied together by, the words of del Toro, 'One feature that shall remain secret, but that you shall soon be very familiar with.'

Here's the full press release sent out after the announcement was made:

'The Walt Disney Studios, in collaboration with acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, The Hobbit), is launching a new production label called 'Disney Double Dare You' (DDY), to create new animated films full of chills and thrills for audiences of all ages, it was announced today at the D23 Expo by Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. All films will be produced under the guidance of del Toro, who originated the concept and the design of DDY and who will also direct certain projects. The first project in development for the new label is called Trollhunters, an original del Toro story which he will produce.

Commenting on the announcement, Cook said, 'Guillermo is a brilliant and visionary filmmaker, and we're excited to be launching this new label with him. His knowledge and appreciation for Disney films, along with his penchant for creating worlds of fantasy, presented a great opportunity for us to explore a whole new genre of filmmaking for moviegoers of all ages. We have admired Guillermo's imaginative approach to filmmaking for some time, and now we're proud to be working with him to create films full of imaginative delights and lots of thrills at the same time.'

Del Toro added, 'As a director, I love to take audiences into fantastic new worlds and provide them with some anxious moments in the process. It is part of the Disney canon to create thrilling, unforgettable moments and villains in all their classic films. It is my privilege for DDY to continue in this tradition. To partner up with The Walt Disney Studios, with the support of Dick Cook and John Lasseter, is to belong to a storytelling partnership that I admire deeply. It is a true honor. I look forward to coming up with fresh and original stories that will take Disney films in a whole new direction. The emphasis is on fun, and we have some great ideas already on the storyboards.'

Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth received six Academy Award® nominations in 2007, including one for his original screenplay, and went on to win three awards. That film also received a BAFTA Award for Best Film not in the English Language. His other directing credits include Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, The Devil's Backbone, Cronos, and Mimic, among others. Del Toro is currently directing back-to-back feature film adaptations of the Tolkien classic, The Hobbit, for release in 2011 and 2012."

There's a collaboration I didn't see coming. Family films with a horror bent, huh? Maybe something like The Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Disney CEO lays down fears on Marvel and CAPTAIN EO


"Walt Disney Company President and CEO Bob Iger made a surprise press conference appearance at Disney's D23 Expo, answering questions about the expo and Disney's plans for the future.

One of the hot questions was in regard to Disney's announcement last week that the company had acquired Marvel Entertainment, the news of which (so far) has not made any appearance at the Expo.

Iger stressed the notion that fans can expect Marvel to continue to operate as it has.

'We're not planning on any 'Disneyfication' of Marvel,' said Iger, '...Our intention is to keep Marvel as an entity.'

Iger went on to explain that he has met with a great many Marvel talents and that, like the acquisition of Pixar, Disney's primary goal is to stay on the sidelines and let the artists do what they do best.

He did admit that he was excited about the chance for some cross-pollination in the future, though nothing is planned as of yet.

Iger reiterated that part of what is so intriguing about Marvel is that the deal is designed to play out in the long run, having characters that 'transcend gender and age.' In the short term, Disney just has to wait until some of the Marvel deals already in place with other studios and theme parks 'work their course' and, until then, 'there isn't much planning to be done.'

Another question asked about the possible return of Michael Jackson's Captain EO to the Disney Amusement Parks. Though Iger firmly stated that there are no plans at this time, he admitted that he doesn't fully rule out the possibility, explaining that the film was recently screened for himself and other Disney executives.

'It's actually really good,' said Iger, 'There's a simplicity to it. [Michael Jackson] is charming.'

'We are looking at it,' he went on, 'It's the kind of thing that, if we did it, would get a fair amount of attention and we want to make sure we do it right.'"

Good to know the Big Boss is keeping things flowing.

HANCOCK 2 will have Will Smith and Charlize Theron

From Slashfilm:

"Not long ago we heard that a sequel to Hancock, the goofy, sometime fun, sometimes just dumb superhero flick starring Will Smith, was almost certainly a go. Questions ed, however, primarily with respect to the cast. Would Will Smith return? What about Charlize Theron? According to director Peter Berg, the answer to both questions is yes.

Speaking to MTV, Berg recently said 'everybody’s going to come back for a sequel.' Not a surprise for Theron, since she’s already said she’d return if everyone else came back for another go-round. ('With those guys? If everybody’s on board? Yeah!' Theron told MTV last year. 'Riding the Will Smith train is a really nice train to ride.') Will Smith’s involvement isn’t exactly a surprise, but if he’s really locked in then expect to hear about this going forward quickly. As one of the only true global superstars, nothing gets a big movie greenlit faster than a -up from Smith.

Not that we know what the movie might be about. Adam Fierro and Glen Mazzara are writing, but that’s all we’ve got. Berg once said that there might be another god out there somewhere, which means another high-profile talent to add to the cast.

Spoiler time, if you haven’t seen the first film: we learned that Smith and Theron’s characters were really ages-old gods who become weaker when they’re near each other. Improbably they both ended up in LA, connected by Jason Bateman’s character. So now a third god? The resolution to the original film was a huge, ridiculous cop-out (the notion of Hancock really being an alcoholic human superhero was a lot more interesting) so this angle doesn’t sound appealing at all."

I agree. Make this better.

No ANT-MAN for Pixar

From Slashfilm:

"After Disney announced that they would be acquiring Marvel Entertainment, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed during a confrence call that 'Pixar boss John Lasseter talked to the Marvel guys about' the possibility of working together on a Pixar film, and 'they all got excited about it. We think there’s ultimately some exciting product that come of that. Sparks will fly!' Then earlier this week Entertainment Weekly reported that 'Pixar already has their eye on Ant-Man.' If that is true, both director Edgar Wright and Marvel head Kevin Feige know nothing about it…

CHUD contacted Wright, who has been developing the big screen adaptation for the last five years, for comment. Wright confirmed that he’s still attached to the project, but hasn’t had much time to work with Joe Cornish on the second draft because of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

'I just spoke to Kevin Feige for the first time since I wrapped and we are meeting this week to discuss the next phase,' wrote Wright. 'The news that Pixar is involved is not wholly accurate and a little premature to comment on. I love Pixar’s work more than anyone and indeed would love to collaborate with them.'

It seems pretty opbvious that the rumor started as an idea in all the Disney/Marvel speculation, and somehow morphed into news in this big Hollywood game of telephone. Wright, like others, also questions the idea that Pixar would be interested in doing 'a shrinking film' since 'Toy Story and A Bug’s Life already cover this territory to some extent.' As for Wright’s take on the second teir superhero character…

'It’s true that the character is not considered one of the Marvel brand leaders and that is precisely what excites me about it. I want to make a film inside the Marvel Universe that is something a little different; a genre film within the superhero genre so to speak,' says Wright. 'My spin on Ant-Man is very different than a straight superhero origin - and very much live action. At some point in this century, I intend to stop talking about it and make the [darn] thing.'"



"Following his presentation this morning at Anaheim's D23 Expo, John Lasseter held a press conference, fielding questions about upcoming projects, including dismissing a rumor that Pixar may be looking at Marvel Studios' Ant-Man and offering a sly 'no comment' on potential sequels to other Pixar properties.

'I had met all the folks from Marvel a couple of times and they're terrific,' says Lasseter a man of few words regarding Pixar's interest in Marvel properties, 'The whole 'Ant-Man' thing is just a rumor.'"


THE LOVELY BONES gets limited...


"....Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones, which the studio will release in limited theaters on December 11th. It then expands into more theaters on Christmas Day before going wide on January 15th. Based on the critically acclaimed best-selling novel by Alice Sebold, the film centers on a young who has been ed and watches over her family – and her killer – from heaven. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal."

AWWW!!! I hope it comes to Memphis (and the area surrounding it) quickly!!

John Lasseter presents the Future of Disney Animations!


"In addition to last night's news that Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi will voice [characters in] Rapunzel, John Lasseter was also in London today to reveal news and show clips that were expected to premiere at D23 Expo.

Empire magazine attended the presentation in which Lasseter revealed that Timothy Dalton will voice a character called Mr. Pricklepants in Toy Story 3, 'who's something of a luvvie and wears lederhosen.' The magazine described a animation test they saw of the character and the trailer:

'We saw a tiny animation test with Mr. Pricklepants (who's cute in a spiky way), but the big news was a lengthy Toy Story 3 clip and trailer. The clip showed Andy packing from college, and emptying all his toys into a black bin bag for storage in the attic. He hesitates over Woody and Buzz, finally putting Woody in the box of things to take for college. But all the toys are panicked - especially Woody, who's worried for his friends. When Andy is distracted by his little sister and leaves the garbage bag on the landing instead of upstairs in the attic, his mother takes it out to the [curb] - and a frantic Woody has to save his friends from a rapidly approaching [garbage truck].

We also saw the as-yet unreleased trailer, which showed bits of the same scene, but developed the story. Clearly the toys end up being sent to a daycare centre, where they are horribly abused by the little kids - and after that it's time for a break-out attempt to find a safe haven, and hopefully a new owner, in a cruel world. It looks every bit as good as its titanic predecessors.'

Empire also says Lasseter revealed the story for Cars 2:

'The story sees Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), his pit team and new pit boss Mater head around the world for the Race of Champions, to take place in five different countries and involve the champions of different disciplines like Formula One and rally driving. First up is a race in Tokyo, starting at Mount Fuji and heading downtown (somewhat reminiscent of 'Mater's Tall Tales' short ['Tokyo Mater'] about drift-racing); then there's a German race through the Black Forest; then 'Porto Corsa' in Italy, which is based partly on the Monte Carlo Grand Prix; then a 24-hour race around Paris (...somewhat like Le Mans...) and finally a thrilling climax in London, approaching Buckingham Palace (where the guards appear to be Land Rovers).'

But all this racing is not the only focus. Mater, who we know from the series of cartoon shorts 'Mater's Tall Tales' is prone to exaggeration, gets involved in a 'Hitchcockian' case of mistaken identity, saves the life of a British secret agent called Finn McMissile (who looks a heck of a lot like an Aston Martin) and becomes embroiled in a huge spy thriller. Only no-one believes him. That too comes to a head at Buckingham Palace.

Along the way there are towtruck-abroad pictures to be taken at the Oktoberfest in Germany (where Mater wears 'Materhosen') and harassing the aforementioned Palace Guards.'

Next up was a presentation on the new Winnie the Pooh movie that is in the works:

'Lasseter followed that - and a series of gorgeous production stills - with Winnie-the-Pooh, which the studio is bringing back to the big screen in spring of 2011, and which we are assured will not just be for little kids. The writers went through the archives and the books of A.A. Milne and found five stories that had never been filmed, combining the plots of all five into a feature-length story. Burny Mattinson, an animator who's been at Disney for over 50 years and who worked with Walt on the original Pooh films, is working closely with directors Steve Anderson, Clark Spencer and Don Hall.'

And lastly they saw concept art for The Bear and the Bow:

'It's Pixar's first real attempt at a leading female character (and a female director in Brenda Chapman), and focuses on Merida (Reese Witherspoon), a princess in 10th century Scotland. She's something of a wild child who's most at home in the Highlands rather than in the family castle, and is somewhat alienated from her family: King Fergus (Billy Connolly), Queen Eleanor (Emma Thompson) and her much younger triplet brothers. We don't know many details of the plot, except that it's less about finding a prince and more about Merida's relationship with her mother... but we do know that there will be a baddie, who's a [unknown] (she prefers 'Wise Woman') and is voiced by Julie Walters. Only concept art for that one, but gorgeous concept art.'"

A NEW WINNIE-THE-POOH MOVIE?! AND TIMOTHY DALTON (James Bond and the villain from The Rocketeer) IN TOY STORY 3?!

RAPUNZEL braids up a new cast!


"Mandy Moore will voice the title character in Walt Disney Pictures' Digital 3D-animated Rapunzel, while 'Chuck' star Zachary Levi has been cast as the voice of the bandit who finds himself on the road with the rebellious, teenage hair apparent.

Byron Howard and Nathan Greno will direct the film, inspired by the Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Roy Conli is producing and Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin) will compose the film's music.

Rapunzel is scheduled for a holiday 2010 release.

The project was previously known as 'Rapunzel Unbraided', but Disney•Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter started from scratch after he came on board.

The new version 'picks up with the princess, famous for her 70 feet of golden hair, after she's been stolen from her parents' castle as an infant and imprisoned. Now a teenager, Rapunzel escapes and goes on the run with a bandit as her captor pursues them.'"

I'll buy that. Zachary Levi is hilarious! But then again, Zacks/Zachs stick together.

Separate Ways (UNIVERSES Apart)


"Variety reports that Warner Bros. and Mattel are parting ways on Masters of the Universe, the new live-action adaptation of the Mattel toy line that the studio and producer Joel Silver have been developing since 2007.

The trade says that Mattel and WB didn't see eye to eye over the direction of the project and made a mutual decision to let the option lapse this month.

Mattel will take back the property and set it up elsewhere. The expectation is that director John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda) will remain with the project, but not Silver, who is exclusive to WB."

Maybe Fox or Universal can handle this. Who knows? Only Skeletor knows.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bud Fox is Back


"The New York Times interviewed Oliver Stone recently about Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, which 20th Century Fox has scheduled for an April 23, 2010 release.

'When Gekko comes out of prison in the beginning of this movie, he essentially has to redefine himself, redefine his character,' Mr. Stone said. 'He's looking for that second chance.'

The rest of the cast includes Shia LaBeouf as Jake Moore, a young trader who is the fiancé of Gekko's daughter, played by Carey Mulligan; Josh Brolin as the head of an investment bank; Frank Langella as Jake's mentor; and Susan Sarandon as Jake's mother. Charlie Sheen, who played the central role of Bud Fox, a young trader, in the original, will make a cameo in the sequel. for the film, which will be released by 20th Century Fox next April, begins this week in New York.

'We sort of started over with the story of a young man who is at the center of it, and how he needs Gordon Gekko's help to navigate those waters,' said Alex Young, co-president of production at 20th Century Fox."

Good to see the two main stars of the original Wall Street back together again!

UPDATE: I've just noticed. POST #300!!!

See a Poster Like You've Never Seen It Before!


"Yahoo! Movies has the first look at the poster for Michael Jackson's This Is It, the Kenny Ortega-directed film that will play in theaters for two weeks starting on October 28th.

This Is It offers Jackson fans and music lovers worldwide a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts that would have taken place beginning this summer in London's O2 Arena."


Direct from Kenny Ortega's Twitter:

"THIS IS IT is being released October 28th Internationally. The Trailer will be released in September. Promise, that's all I know More Soon"

DC Comics gets new life?


"Deadline Hollywood is reporting that a lot of DC Comics film properties may get a new life as Warner Bros. is restructuring DC Comics. If an official announcement is made, we'll post that later, but here is an excerpt from Nikki Finki's report:

'I've learned that the announcement may be made as soon as later today. The restructuring of the stand-alone DC Comics business is being described to me as Warner Bros Pictures Group president Jeff Robinov's first priority since having his contract re-upped by Time Warner. I know what everybody is thinking: that this move is in response to the announcement August 31st that Disney is buying Marvel. You can think that, but you would be wrong. This change has been in the works quietly for two years ever since Robinov moved into the top slot. 'It was Jeff's idea to have DC Comics reporting to him, and DC will be his direct responsibility with Diane Nelson,' an insider confided to me. I've also learned that Robinov for months has quietly gone to producers like Chuck Roven and Joel Silver and Akiva Goldman 'call back' all their existing high profile DC titles in development like The Flash and Wonder Woman. Not only was that shocking to the producers, but even more so when they found out this was part of Robinov's strategy to severely limit the number of gross players on the projects. Producers were told that they may get the titles back to develop, but with far less rich deals. 'Jeff always wanted some kind of oversight of DC, and now he wants Warner's to hold onto ownership,' my insider explains. (My understanding is that Joel Silver, who is buddies with Robinov, was told he can continue to develop low profile The Losers under the Dark Castle banner. But his 10 years of developing Wonder Woman is history now.)"

Whatever happened to Green Lantern?


In the words of Jason Lee from Clerks II, "Well, that was fast!"

"Warner Bros. has officially announced the restructuring of DC Comics into a new company:

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (WBEI) has created DC Entertainment Inc., a new company founded to fully realize the power and value of the DC Comics brand and characters across all media and platforms, to be run by Diane Nelson, it was announced today by Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, and Alan Horn, President & COO, Warner Bros.

DC Entertainment, a separate division of WBEI, will be charged with strategically integrating the DC Comics business, brand and characters deeply into Warner Bros. Entertainment and all its content and distribution businesses. DC Entertainment, which will work with each of the Warner Bros. divisions, will also tap into the tremendous expertise the Studio has in building and sustaining franchises and prioritize DC properties as key titles and growth drivers across all of the Studio, including feature films, television, interactive entertainment, direct-to-consumer platforms and consumer products. The DC Comics publishing business will remain the cornerstone of DC Entertainment, releasing approximately 90 comic books through its various imprints and 30 graphic novels a month and continuing to build on its creative leadership in the comic book industry.

In her new role, Nelson will report to Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, in order to best capitalize on DC Entertainment's theatrical development and production activities and their importance to drive its overall business with each of the divisions of Warner Bros.

Nelson will bring her expertise and more than 20 years' experience in creative brand management, strategic marketing and content development and production to ensuring DC Entertainment's dual mission of marshalling Warner Bros.' resources to maximize the potential of the DC brand while remaining respectful of and collaborative with creators, talent, fans and source material. Additionally, Nelson will continue to oversee the franchise management of the Harry Potter property, which she has done since 2000, and also continue to represent the Studio's interests with the author of the Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling. Nelson will segue from her post as President, Warner Premiere but maintain oversight responsibilities of that division. (An executive succession plan for Warner Premiere will be announced shortly.)

Paul Levitz, who has served as President & Publisher of DC Comics since 2002, will segue from that role to return to his roots as a writer for DC and become a contributing editor and overall consultant to DCE. This transition will take place as expeditiously as possible without disrupting DC's business operations.

In his new role, Levitz will be called upon for his deep knowledge and more than three-decade history with DC Comics, both as a comic creator and an executive. Besides serving as a writer on a number of DC Comics titles, he will be a contributing editor and consultant to DC Entertainment on projects in various media. Additionally, he will consult as needed on the transition and integration of the DC Comics organization into DC Entertainment and will utilize his unique experience, knowledge and relationships with the comics industry's creative community to help achieve DC Entertainment's goal of maximizing the value of DC properties. Further, Levitz will advise DC Entertainment on creative and rights-holder relationships, in particular regarding the legacy relationships that have been a part of DC Comics for decades.

Widely recognized and respected for his support of writers, artists and creators in the comics industry, Levitz is best known creatively for his work with DC Comics, having written most of the classic DC characters, including Batman, Wonder Woman and the Superman newspaper strip. At Comicon International in 2008, Levitz was awarded the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award as part of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the only industry executive ever so honored.

'DC Comics and its super hero characters are truly touchstones of popular ure, and the formation of DC Entertainment is a major step in our company's efforts to realize the full potential of this incredible wellspring of creative properties,' said Meyer. 'Diane knows our studio as a creative executive, a marketer and a senior manager, and this varied background will help her effectively and creatively integrate the DC brand and properties across all our businesses. We're also thrilled that Paul will remain involved with DC and we'll be able to tap his expertise to help us reach our goals for this new business.'

'It's no secret that DC has myriad rich and untapped possibilities from its deep library of iconic and lesser-known characters,' said Horn. 'While we've had great success in films and television, the formation of DC Entertainment will help us to bring more DC properties across additional platforms to fans around the world, while maintaining brand integrity and authenticity. Diane is a terrific choice to lead DC Entertainment, and with Paul in his new role as a valued consultant and contributing editor, both our company and comic fans win.'

'Based on the great success we've had working with DC Comics to create some of the most popular and successful super hero films of all time, I've long believed that there was much more we could do across all of Warner Bros.' businesses with this great body of characters and stories' said Robinov. 'The prioritization of DC and the creation of DC Entertainment is a great opportunity that reaches far beyond the film group. There are endless creative possibilities to build upon the many significant successes already achieved by my colleagues Kevin Tsujihara and the Home Entertainment Group in the videogame, home video and direct-to-platform arenas and Bruce Rosenblum and the Television Group in live-action, animated and digital series. Collectively, we have the ability to grow a body of properties highlighting the iconic characters and the diversity of the creative output of DC Comics.'

'The founding of DC Entertainment fully recognizes our desire to provide both the DC properties and fans the type of content that is only possible through a concerted cross-company, multi-platform effort,' said Nelson. 'DC Entertainment will help us to formally take the great working relationships between DC Comics and various Warner Bros. businesses to the next level in order to maximize every opportunity to bring DC's unrivalled collection of titles and characters to life.'

'After so many roles at DC, it's exciting to look forward to focusing on my writing and being able to remain a part of the company I love as it grows into its next stage,' said Levitz. 'It's a new golden age for comics and DC's great characters, and I hope my new position will allow me to contribute to that magic time.'

DC Comics will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2010 (NEW FUN COMICS #1, the first DC comic, began publishing in 1935), at which time more explicit details regarding DC Entertainment's corporate and management structure, film and content release slate, creative roster and business objectives will be unveiled at a multi-faceted anniversary celebration and press conference in the first quarter of the year.

Current DC properties in development and/or production at Warner Bros. Entertainment include:

-- 'Human Target' is being produced by Warner Bros. Television for a mid-season debut on Fox.

-- 'Midnight Mass' is in series development at Warner Bros. Television for consideration for the 2010-11 season.

-- Jonah Hex, Warner Bros. Pictures' supernatural Western starring Josh Brolin, Megan Fox and John Malkovich, recently wrapped production in Louisiana.

-- The Losers, Dark Castle/Warner Bros. Pictures' action-adventure drama starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana and Chris Evans, began principal photography mid-July in Puerto Rico.

-- Green Lantern, Warner Bros. Pictures' next big superhero tentpole release, recently cast Ryan Reynolds as the titular character. The film has a projected second quarter 2011 release date.

-- Lobo, based on the DC Comics anti-hero, has Guy Ritchie attached as a director; Joel Silver, Akiva Goldsman and Andrew Rona are producing for Silver Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures.

-- Warner Premiere's direct-to-platform DVD animated release of Green Lantern: First Flight debuted July 28.

-- Warner Bros. Animation currently produces 'Batman: The Brave and the Bold,' which airs on Cartoon Network.

-- Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released 'Batman: Arkham Asylum' on August 25, a dark, action packed videogame adventure for Xbox 360 videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation3 computer entertainment system and Games for Windows.

Prior to being named President, DC Entertainment, Nelson most recently served as President, Warner Premiere since its founding in 2006. Warner Premiere is a Studio-based production company which develops and produces high-quality, direct-to-DVD and short-form digital content, including the highly successful line of DC Universe animated DVD titles, and also pioneered the development of the motion comics category. Under Nelson's leadership, Warner Premiere functions as a full-service production entity with its own resources and release schedule, furthering the Studio's mandate of being a destination for both established and up-and-coming talent to create stand-alone properties as well as experiment in new media.

Before that, Nelson served as Executive Vice President, Global Brand Management, Warner Bros. Entertainment, with the primary responsibility of working cross-divisionally and throughout Time Warner to maximize and optimize all the various windows and outlets available to the Studio's signature franchises, brands and event properties on a global basis. In this post, Nelson's primary focus was the management of the Harry Potter brand, which she has overseen since the brand's launch at the Studio in 1999. These efforts have helped drive the success of the brand to become the most successful film franchise of all time, as well as a respected consumer property that has generated billions of dollars for the Studio.

At Global Brand Management, Nelson and her team of more than 15 employees worked in all media and platforms to support a number of other key franchise properties, including The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Happy Feet, The Polar Express and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory among others.

Prior to overseeing Global Brand Management, Nelson had served as Executive Vice President, Domestic Marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures. Nelson rose quickly through the ranks, having also served as Senior Vice President, Domestic Marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures and prior to that, Senior Vice President, Family Entertainment, Warner Bros. Corporate Worldwide Marketing and Planning. She was also Vice President, Worldwide Corporate Promotions, a post to which she was promoted in March 1998, after joining the Studio in September 1996 as Director of Worldwide Corporate Promotions.

Nelson came to the Studio from Walt Disney Records, where she served as Director of National Promotions. She is a graduate of Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Communications."