Better late than never, right? Thanks to a certain hurricane that shall remain nameless, your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet comes a day late, but gives you all of the movie discussion topics necessary to help you ride out the rest of the work week with ease.
We’ve got some big casting news in the mix, ranging from solid confirmations to rumors. Alexander Skarsgård is all set for Henry-Alex Rubin’s Disconnect, but Simon West is still merely working with a wish list when casting The Expendables 2. Joe Kosinski has a nice group of ladies all vying to star in Horizons opposite Tom Cruise and Rob Corddry is close to closing a deal for a role in Warm Bodies.
We’ve also got some sequels apparently getting off the ground including Scary Movie 5 and The Last Exorcism, while Universal opts out of McG’s Ouija. Perhaps Universal is trying to avoid the fate the three new wide releases met this weekend. Sure, that hurricane affected the box office numbers, but rain or shine, these films just didn’t have what it takes to earn the big bucks.
Check all of that out and much more in this week’s Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Alexander Skarsgård and More to Suffer from Disconnect: Murderball director Henry-Alex Rubin is switching gears, straying from the documentary realm to make his narrative debut with Disconnect. Alexander Skarsgård joins his ensemble cast as an ex-Marine whose troubles with his wife lead him to have an affair. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Michael Nyqvist’s character is a man Skarsgård suspects is attempting to steal his identity. Warrior’s Frank Grillo is also on board as a computer safety expert, trying to protect his son (Colin Ford) from web-based threats. Lastly, Andrea Riseborough will play a TV reporter in pursuit of a story on a male model with a scandalous online side job. Variety’s general synopsis says the film “follows a large ensemble of characters who are affected — and in some cases destroyed — by the Internet and other forms of modern communication.” We’ve only got five cast members thus far, so I’d like to bet this roster will grow in the near future. Production is set to begin next month on a budget that falls within the $8 to $10 million range.
2. Joe Kosinski on the Hunt for Tom Cruise’s Horizons Co-Star: Horizons? Yes, Horizons. Apparently the production ditched Oblivion and is going with the new working title, Horizons. But that’s not even the big news; Variety reports director Joe Kosinski has amassed quite the group of actresses to test for the lead female role. Star Tom Cruise’s character, Jack, is a guy who calls the clouds above Earth home. However, his job requires him to head down to Earth to fix up some drones in need of repair, devices that keep what’s left of humanity safe from evil ETs. Without further ado, the ladies vying for that coveted role are Jessica Chastain, Olivia Wilde, Brit Marling, Noomi Rapace and Olga Kurylenko. As I’m still feeling all warm and fuzzy from The Help, I’m siding with Chastain, although knowing little to nothing about what the role entails, it’s tough to narrow down the options just yet. Horizons is set for a July 19th, 2013 release.
3. Warm Bodies Gets Rob Corddry: If you have yet to read Isaac Marion’s book Warm Bodies, I’d suggest you get on top of it because this is a book-to-film adaptation that has the potential to shake up Hollywood’s obsession with supernatural creatures. The film will star Nicholas Hoult as R, a zombie who’s thrown off when a living woman (Teresa Palmer) inspires him to want more than just roaming around, groaning and eating flesh. As reported by Variety, Rob Corddry is currently in talks to play M, a zombie friend of R’s. I always imagined M to be a bit closer in age to R and rather bulky, as at a point he steps in as a bodyguard-type, but with some makeup, there’s no reason to think Corddry couldn’t pull it off. Then again, Corddry is primarily known for his comedic work. M isn’t exactly a funny zombie. It’s definitely going to be a challenge for Corddry to not only get serious, but shed the majority of his emotions to portray a lifeless character, all while still giving M some degree of personality.
4. Simon West Wants Taylor Lautner, Nic Cage & Donnie Yen for The Expendables 2: Director Simon West continues his rampage to make Expendables 2 bigger, better and more star-studded than the first. He’s already got the vets including Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Bruce Willis, but now he’s pursuing the names on his wish list, which is topped by acting martial artist Donnie Yen. As we previously reported, West also has his eye on John Travolta and Chuck Norris and now Nicolas Cage, Taylor Lautner, Christian Slater and Christopher Lambert are apparently candidates, too. Will West get them? Certainly not all of them. Sure, The Expendables made a killing at the box office last summer, but ultimately, some of these options are guys that should have better things to do. Then again, if West can show them the money, who’s going to say no?
(via Twitch Film & Moviehole)
5. My Movie Crashed and Burned: Sure, terrible reviews may be enough to justify a shoddy film’s poor performance at the box office, but ever think about how the individuals responsible for such a critical and financial failure must feel? Conan the Barbarian screenwriter, Sean Hood, took to Quora to express his thoughts about his big budget blunder. Hood recaps his feelings from when he first signed on, to the watching the tracking numbers crash prior to the release, up to his sentiments post-opening weekend. Hood writes, “You make light of it, of course. You joke and shrug. But the blow to your ego and reputation can’t be brushed off.” Sure, most of the piece is lamenting the film’s failure, but before wrapping up, Hood touches on his father’s experience vying for a seat in a prestigious philharmonic and how his steadfastness got him past a major disappointment and onto a fantastic opportunity. Click here to check out the piece in full, as it’s certainly a worthy read.
(via Cinema Blend)
6. Who Didn’t See This Coming? Universal Drops Ouija Movie: Damn, I should have printed this in black and white months ago; skepticism was sky high when Universal announced plans to make a movie inspired by the Ouija board game. The outlook never got much brighter from there. Pierre Morel signed on to direct only to drop out in November and then McG snatched it up. Enough said there. Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis penned the first draft of the script and then Evan Spiliotopoulos and Simon Kinberg came in to give it a shot. As reported by Vulture, enough is enough and, just after axing the Clue remake, Universal is waving goodbye to Ouija. However, McG isn’t ready to let go just yet and has plans to shop the piece around to other studios in the coming weeks.
7. Scary Movie 5 Might Really Be Coming: It’s been over five years since Scary Movies 4 hit and rumors of a fifth film first cropped up, but it looks as though the production is finally firing up for real. Bloody Disgusting reported that Dimension films hired Stephen Leff, John Aboud and Michael Colton to put pen to paper to bring the franchise back. The studio’s also sent offers to Scary Movie vets, Regina Hall, Anthony Anderson and Kevin Hart, to reprise their roles. While we have heard quite a bit about the series coming back to no avail over the past years, this does seem like a rather assertive step forward. Regardless, does anyone even want another Scary Movie? There’s been so much nonsense in the more recent installments that it’s easy to forget the first one was actually really funny; it was on TV the other night and I was surprised to find myself laughing out loud. Still, that’s not enough to redeem the series and, personally, I’ve got hopes this news will fade away into nothing just like all the other reports.
8. The Last Exorcism Sequel Gets a Writer: Now here’s some sequel news with a little more validity to it, and value for that matter. Just last summer, The Last Exorcism took its $1.8 million price tag and demolished it, earning $20.4 million in its opening weekend alone. According to THR, a year later, the producers are finally moving along with plans for a sequel by hiring writer Damien Chazelle to pen a script. No word on exactly what route Dimension plans to take with this film – prequel, sequel, etc. – but for those of you who have seen the first film, there’s no denying that the original left the option to continue the story wide open. As for the obligatory question, does anyone even want a sequel? Here, I’m going with yes. Sure, the first film wrapped up with a weak and rushed third act, but otherwise, it was well made and genuinely scary. I wouldn’t mind returning for round two.
9. Trailers: Julia’s Eyes, The Rum Diary, The Way: While one Guillermo del Toro production begins its run in theaters, another makes its trailer debut. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark will leave you checking under your bed at night and then this new trailer for Julia’s Eyes will leave you with a fear of macular degeneration. Del Toro is out to scare and scar us all, which is fine by me! On a lighter note, the first trailer for the book-to-film adaptation The Rum Diary has arrived and it shows off Johnny Depp as Paul Kemp, a journalist who relocates to Puerto Rico and gets tangled up in a corrupt businessman’s (Aaron Eckhart) scheme to put life on the island in the wealthy’s favor. Last up we’ve got the trailer for Emilio Estevez’s The Way. Estevez directs his father, Martin Sheen, as a man who loses his son while he walked the Camino de Santiago. To honor his memory, Sheen’s character heads out to complete the journey.
10. Box Office: And you thought last weekend’s numbers were bad. While The Help and Rise of the Planet of the Apes are still going strong, all of the newcomers tanked, big time. The Help topped the list again with another $14.5 million courtesy of a minimal 27.4% drop. Colombiana surprisingly turned out to be the highest earner of the new releases, taking in $10.4 million and snagging the second position on the top five. Apes takes #3 with $8.9 million just barely edging out Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and its $8.5 million week one haul. Rounding out the top five is Our Idiot Brother, which is already in the green, but with a $5 million budget, that’s not saying much. Despite its star-studded cast, Our Idiot Brother wraps its first weekend out with only $7 million. (via Box Office Mojo)