Happy weekend and a happy Father’s Day to all you Shockya.com readers out there with kiddies. What better way to come down from a day packed with love, presents and good BBQ food than a Movie News Cheat Sheet?
Not only do we have updates on plans for San Diego Comic Con and a wrap up of all the material that emerged from the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, but the latest on two much-talked-about projects that have yet to reach the green light, the Hot Wheels movie and Jurassic Park 4. We’ve also got some casting news to share for both the Percy Jackson sequel and The Hobbit, plus a little something Twilight-related to help you Twihards hold out until November.
Okay, I wouldn’t say this edition of the Movie News Cheat Sheet is particularly manly man-friendly, but there is a little treat towards the end of the piece. What is it? Here’s a hint; think swords, blood and a certain barbarian.
1. Own A Steamy Prop From Twilight: Brace yourselves Twihards because director Catherine Hardwicke kept a little something from the set of the first film and might put it up for auction. Well, actually it’s a big something, story-wise and physically. It’s the actual bed in which Edward and Bella (Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart) shared their first kiss. As reported by Hollywood Life, “if fans showed enough demand for the item, she would put it up for auction in order to benefit the Step Up Women’s Network.” (via Cinemablend)
2. The Road to San Diego Comic Con: With Comic Con 2011 just about a month away, studios are gearing up in order to make the biggest bang possible. Well, most of them at least. As reported by the New York Times, Warner Bros., Disney, Dreamworks and Marvel are too cool to join in on the fun. Universal has no problem filling the void. In fact, according to Hero Complex, the studio plans to premiere its potential summer blockbuster Cowboys & Aliens right there at the event. Summit Entertainment will also hit the convention full force showing off the latest from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn as well as The Darkest Hour and The Three Musketeers.
3. Licensing Expo Promo Posters: The Licensing International Expo just wrapped up in Las Vegas and while that does mean tons of new info on the hottest upcoming consumer products, it also featured a slew of film promotion material. There was a ton of promo poster sightings my favorite of which, naturally, is the one for The Hunger Games, which rocks the iconic Mockingjay symbol. It’s tough to praise or pick on these posters as they generally consist of the bear minimum, the film’s title and perhaps an image. However, Marvel opted to spice things up for its promo poster for The Avengers and it backfired big time, as the design is incredibly cluttered and unappealing. Head on over to Coming Soon to check out their full gallery of photos from the event, which packs just about every promo poster on the floor.
4. Academy Awards Best Picture Policy Changes Again: Just two years after putting their 10-nominee strategy into effect, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is shaking up the arrangement yet again. Basically, this year, the only way a film can receive a nominations is if it gets at least 5% of the first place votes. Ultimately, we’ll be left with somewhere between five and ten nominees for Best Picture. In other Academy news, the organizers recently extended membership invitations to 178 artists including Russell Brand, Jesse Eisenberg, Jennifer Lawrence, Lisa Cholodenko, Tom Hooper and more. (via Oscars.org)
5. Steven Spielberg Gets The Ball Rolling On Jurassic Park 4: Even though its profits were meager as compared to its predecessors, ever since the release of Jurassic Park 3 back in 2001, the idea of a fourth film has been floating around. It’s been tough to tell whether or not the talk is mere rumor, but this latest update seems to be the biggest step towards making JP4 a reality in quite a while. Jurassic Park and The Lost World director, Steve Spielberg, has been working with writer Mark Protosevich to come up with some ideas for a fourth installment. On the other hand, Universal warns that this in no way implies a script is imminent as “the discussions have been purely exploratory.” (via THR)
6. More Toys Vying for a Hollywood Green Light: Stretch Armstrong, Ouija and Monopoly are all getting their own feature films, why can’t Hot Wheels? The tiny racers are making another a play for a toy-to-screen adaptation and Legendary Entertainment is eager to get them into the spotlight, which likely has a little something to do with Fast Five’s monumental success. In fact, the plan is to make the film suitable for the Fast and Furious audience rather than the kiddies who fit the toy’s age range. Now the question is, will another car-related film derail the project before it picks up again? Yes, right now it’s trying to ride the Fast Five wave, but should another Speed Racer come along, it could stop the Hot Wheels movie dead in its tracks yet again. (via Variety)
7. Percy Jackson Gets Its Star Back: Its $88.8 million domestic haul isn’t particularly impressive, but its $226.5 million worldwide intake was enough to compel Fox to give a second Percy Jackson film the go-ahead. But what would a Percy Jackson sequel be without its Percy Jackson, Logan Lerman? Since the first film, Lerman has been on the up and up, adding some high profile projects to his resume, but apparently, becoming too big for the Percy Jackson franchise isn’t an option as “Fox 2000 has exercised the option on star Logan Lerman.” Fox also recruited Diary of a Wimpy Kid director Thor Freudenthal to helm Percy Jackson 2, which is on the fast track and could even make it to the big screen as soon as 2012. (via LA Times)
8. The Hobbit Adds Two: Even as filming is heavily underway, Peter Jackson continues to add to the cast of The Hobbit. Luke Evans of the upcoming films The Three Musketeers and Immortals has been recruited to play Bard the Grim, the heir of King Girion of Dale. As the king was killed by the dragon Smaug, that means the talking dragon is now a role in need of casting. We’ve known for quite a bit that Benedict Cumberbatch snagged a part in The Hobbit. Turns out, Cumberbatch will not only voice Smaug, the Necromancer of Dol Guldur as well. And that’s not all; in addition to simply voicing these characters, Cumberbatch will follow in Andy Serkis’ footsteps and develop Smaug using motion capture technology. (via Deadline)
9. Trailers: Harry Potter, Conan The Barbarian, The Muppets: The last trailer for the last movie; how sad? Actually it is and not specifically in terms of the beloved franchise coming to an end, but as a franchise that has continually offered up some of the best of the best in promotional material and, sure enough, this very last trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is no different. Ever since the teaser trailer, I’ve continually dismissed Conan The Barbarian as another lame sword and sandals movie along the lines of Clash of the Titans. Well, apparently a hefty dose of bright red blood is all the production needed to get me on board because the red band theatrical trailer has arrived and it’s downright wicked. On a less violent note, as much as I’ve enjoyed The Muppets teasers that poking fun at the latest in big screen fair, it’s nice to see a theatrical trailer promoting the actual movie itself. Jason Segel and Amy Adams appear to be having a blast and the trailer certainly suggests the audience will feel the same.
10. Box Office: $52.7 million may sound like a lot of money, but when you compare it to the $200 million it cost to make Green Lantern, it’s clearly far less than stellar. On the brighter side, Super 8 saw a lesser drop than expected, only falling 40.1% from week on to two. Its $21.3 million haul kept it ahead of the weekend’s other new wide release, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, which posted a subpar $18.2 million opening weekend total. Coming in at #4 is X-Men: First Class, which amassed $11.5 million in week three, followed by The Hangover Part II, which took in another $9.6 million, just edging out Kung Fu Panda 2 and its $8.7 million for the fifth position. (via Box Office Mojo)
By Perri Nemiroff