Welcome to October! Even though we’re creeping closer to Halloween, the Movie News Cheat Sheet almost entirely steers clear of spooky territory. Beyond a new trailer for Paranormal Activity 3 and claims that John Travolta is a vampire, the material here is rather tame.
We’ve got some exciting casting news to share including Frank or Francis‘ double dose of Kevin Kline as well as Flight‘s growing roster that now boasts names like John Goodman and Melissa Leo in addition to Denzel Washington and potentially Don Cheadle. Warner Bros. is looking to hire as well, but the studio is scouring the market for a director rather than an actor. Christopher Nolan, Michael Bay and Alfonso Cuaron are at the top of the studio’s list to helm the new big screen version of The Twilight Zone.
Keep an eye out for some key release date swaps involving two Steven Spielberg projects as well as news of yet another legal woe involving The Hangover Part II. Unfortunately, this Cheat Sheet has to end on a bit of a sour not as this week’s box office turned out to be an incredible disappointment.
But, hey, odds are that doesn’t directly affect you in the least, so enjoy the fact that you are in the know on the latest box office news as well as much more courtesy of this week’s Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Frank or Francis Gets Cage, Black, Carell and Kline: Not only does Charlie Kaufman have Jack Black, Steve Carell and Nicolas Cage lined up for his second directing venture, Frank or Francis, but now he’s got Kevin Kline, too – in two roles! The Hollywood musical satire follows a movie director and an online blogger who enjoys criticizing the director’s efforts. Kline’s first part is that of Richard Waller, the brother of director Jonathan Waller, and his second is Richard Head, an animatronic head that helps Jonathan create a film with the widest appeal possible with zero concern for artistic integrity. Black is set to play Francis, the Internet writer, while Carell is in talks to play the director, Frank. Cage is on board as The Emcee, an actor known for his work in quintessential commercial films. As reported by Variety, casting director Jeanne McCarthy will also fill two female singing roles before production begins in January.
2. More Legal Troubles for The Hangover Part II: The tattoo lawsuit, an injured stunt double – how many legal woes can one film handle? Hopefully The Hangover Part II has room for one more because according to The Salt Lake Tribune, the film got mixed up in an issue at Brewvies Cinema Pub. The location is governed by a Utah liquor statute forbidding “bars and clubs from showing images of certain sex acts and full frontal nudity.” Clearly that restriction doesn’t jibe well with the material in The Hangover II. But, luckily for Warner Bros., it’s Brewvies that’s getting slapping with the $1,627 fine. Sure, that’s mere pocket change to a big Hollywood studio, but it must be nice not to have to add another lawsuit to The Hangover’s legal profile. (via CinemaBlend)
3. Release Date Shuffle: We’ve got news of some release date shifts you should be aware of. Steven Spielberg opted to take The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn’s December 23rd release date and bump it up to the 21st, likely an effort to reap the benefits of the holiday weekend, but also putting it up against some fierce competition, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Spielberg also scratched War Horse’s December 28th release date and set it to open on Sunday the 25th, lining it up with the alien invasion film The Darkest Hour. Puss in Boots is also arriving early, Paramount swapping the film’s original November 4th release date with a slot on October 28th, oddly making that day jam packed with five wide releases and leaving the 4th with just two. You’d think top priority would be to avoid potentially devastating competition, but it seems as though both Puss and Tintin are running straight into it. (via Box Office Mojo)
4. Nolan, Bay or Cuaron May Helm the New Twilight Zone: Warner Bros. has the rights to bring The Twilight Zone back to the big screen and the studio is looking to put them to the best use possible. Rather than divide the film into sections and give each to a different director like in 1983, this time, Warner Bros. is looking for a single helmer to bring a single storyline to life. According to Variety, the studio has its eye on Christopher Nolan, Michael Bay, Alfonso Cuaron and maybe David Yates for the job. Nolan is at the top of the list and has a strong relationship with Warner Bros., but Variety sites similarities to Inception as a potential reason for Nolan to pass. Should Bay snag the gig, this would be his first venture with Warner Bros., but there’s a chance he’ll have to decline should Pain and Gain pose a scheduling conflict. Cuaron, on the other hand, is wrapping Gravity and has no plans to move onto another film after. Apparently Rupert Wyatt is also an option courtesy of the success of Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
5. John Travolta’s A Vampire, Too: Apparently we’ve got an industry full of vampires. A couple of weeks ago we told you about an image of a man from 1807 with an eerie resemblance to Nicolas Cage up for auction on eBay. Now, as reported by Gawker, there’s a similar item available that looks a lot like John Travolta. The vampire accusation was amusing the first time around, but I’m not about to fall for this one twice. I’m betting the creator of the Travolta item saw the hype around the Cage one and wanted some attention of his or her own. Or, perhaps it’s the same individual attempting to make a buck off the far-too-hyped items. Well, it doesn’t look like that’ll ever happen because both listings have since been taken down.
6. Goodman, Leo, Dale and Geraghty Take Flight: Like Denzel Washington’s casting wasn’t enough? Not only did Bruce Greenwood close a deal to join Robert Zemeckis’ Flight, but both Don Cheadle and Kelly Reilly are in negotiations, too. On top of that, THR reports that The Hurt Locker’s Brian Geraghty signed on to play Washington’s co-pilot, a man who finds religion after their engine malfunctions and they crash. THR also broke the news of Melissa Leo and James Badge Dale’s involvement. Apparently Leo is set to play an investigator out to convict Washington of negligence while Dale will portray a cancer patient. From Deadline comes the news of John Goodman’s casting. He joins the roster as Washington’s friend who helps him with his troubles. Flight can’t take off soon enough!
7. The BGF Coming to the Big Screen: Did you enjoy seeing a childhood favorite on the big screen when Warner Bros. brought Where the Wild Things Are to life? How about seeing The BFG get the book-to-film treatment? As reported by The Wrap, DreamWorks nabbed the rights to the Roald Dahl classic and lined up Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall to produce. E.T. scribe Melissa Mathison is set to adapt the book about a young girl named Sophie who befriends the Big Friendly Giant. It should be interesting to see what the studio opts to do with The BFG. The live action attempt at adapting Where the Wild Things Are created quite a bit of buzz, but in terms of box office numbers, it barely earned back its $100 million production budget. However, from an aesthetic standpoint, I’d be more excited about a BFG film if DreamWorks opted to hone the tone and style attempted by Spike Jonez.
8. More Prometheus Plot Revealed: When an official synopsis hits the web, you expect to learn at least a little something about an upcoming film. However, when the synopsis of the top-secret Prometheus finally arrived, it merely consisted of 70 words that ultimately told us what we already knew – Ridley Scott is directing a film about scientists that are stranded on a distant planet and learn things about “life’s ultimate mystery,” whatever that is. Well, now we’ve got a little something more to sink our teeth into courtesy of the film’s Facebook page. The film’s new logline adds, “a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.” No, it’s not much, but that still paints the clearest picture to date. The only element that’s still up in the air is Prometheus’ connection to Alien and the Space Jockey.
9. Trailers: Contraband, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Paranormal Activity 3: Mark Wahlberg is up to no good in the trailer for Contraband. After giving up a life of crime, Wahlberg’s character is forced to step back in for the sake of his little brother’s safety. Action, guns and violence abound in the trailer for this thriller. On a calmer, yet more emotional level is the trailer for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Thomas Horn stars as a young boy who loses his father on 9/11 and becomes determined to put a key he finds in his father’s closet to use. Lastly, just in time for the spookiest month of the year, we get a brand new trailer for Paranormal Activity 3. Sure, it looks like more of the same to a point, but there’s a reason this franchise is still going strong, we love what it offers.
10. Box Office: It’s a sad week for the box office. Not only did all four new wide releases fail to crack the top three, but the vets that trumped them weren’t even particularly high earners. Dolphin Tale’s $14.2 million helped it secure the top spot while Moneyball’s 35.9% drop, left it with $12.5 million and the second position for week two. The Lion King dropped nearly 50%, giving it another $11.1 million, bringing its grand total to about $80 million. 50/50 came in fourth with $8.9 million on a lackluster $3,604 per theater average. Surprisingly, snagging the fifth spot from far wider releases Dream House and What’s Your Number? , is Courageous which managed to secure the strongest opening of the newcomers. The TriStar release opened with an impressive $7,580 per theater average and a total of $8.8 million. (via Box Office Mojo)