Ever wonder how many projects go into development only to never see a green light? Well, there’s a lot, but that doesn’t stop studios from announcing potential projects.
Not only do we have a Farmville movie in the works, but one about Steve Jobs and one about Dr. Seuss, too. Of the bunch, the latter two are the most likely to come to fruition while Farmville could be a ways away. Then again, even if a Farmville movie does happen, how much of the narrative could really be based on the game? Also in the development stage is the big screen version of the TV show Friday Night Lights. While something like this would normally have “rumor” written all over it, based on Connie Britton’s thoughts, there’s a good shot this plan could actually become a reality.
On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got quite a few completed projects returning to theaters. Thanks to the success of the 3D release of The Lion King, Disney is giving Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc. and The Little Mermaid the same treatment. Meanwhile, Summit Entertainment has arranged plans to bring Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse back before the release of Breaking Dawn Part I in November.
Looking for something in between development and re-releases? We’ve got that, too! It’s all here in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. The Farmville Movie Is Coming: As someone with a tendency to get addicted to similar online games, I’m surprised I’m not a Farmville addict. Perhaps the time has come to give the Facebook sensation a go because, according to IGN, Toy Story writers Alex Sokolow and Joel Cohen are working on a Farmville big screen adaptation. The duo explained, “We are also working on several new and very exciting opportunities. We’re in conversations with Zynga to do something with one of their brands. Can’t really say too much on that front yet, but ‘Old MacDonald’ didn’t have a factory, if you get our drift.” IGN attempted to touch base with Zynga to confirm the news, but the company had no comment. Clearly this project is only in the very early stages of development, so, Farmville fans, don’t get your hopes up just yet.
2. Steve Jobs Biopic in the Works: What else is there to say about this other than, duh? I encourage you to read our more formal goodbye to the man behind Apple as well as the slew of wonderfully written remembrance pieces floating around out there, but for the sake of this Cheat Sheet here are the details about the potential Steve Jobs movie – according to Deadline, Sony Pictures is out to snag the rights to Steve Jobs, an upcoming biography by Walter Isaacson. The book is comprised of over 40 interviews and over 100 conversations with friends, family members and co-workers of Jobs. Clearly the rise of Apple is prime big screen material, but, for now, if you’d like a movie-sized taste of how Jobs’ career began, I’d recommend checking out Pirates of Silicon Valley in which Noah Wyle starred as Jobs.
3. Johnny Depp May Go Seuss: After portraying Peter Pan author, J.M. Barrie, in Finding Neverland, Johnny Depp hopes to bring another literary icon to life on the big screen, Dr. Seuss. Illumination Entertainment and Infinitum Nihil are joining forces to develop a live action movie about Dr. Seuss himself, Theodor Geisel. Not only is Depp set to produce the project, but there’s a chance he’ll portray Seuss, too. Apparently CGI à la Alice in Wonderland is out of the question, but, according to THR, the team behind the project is considering some “animated bells and whistles.” In Treatment writer Keith Bunin has been hired to pen the script and Universal Pictures is set to distribute the final product.
4. Paul Walker Boards Hurricane Katrina Film: Apparently Paul Walker likes to do other things than just driving fast cars. As reported by THR, Walker signed on the dotted line to star in Hours, a post-Hurricane Katrina thriller about a father desperately trying to keep his newborn daughter alive in an abandoned New Orleans hospital. Final Destination 5 and The Thing scribe Eric Heisserer is set to make his directorial debut with Hours while Peter Safran produces via Safran Company. The plan is to shoot on location in and around New Orleans starting in March of 2012. Walker or no Walker, the concept itself is quite intriguing as is the idea of Heisserer stepping behind the lens. As a diehard Final Destination fan, any man who can bring the franchise back from the travesty that is The Final Destination has my vote.
5. The Friday Night Lights Movie Is Happening: Well, according to star Connie Britton. But, come on; who needs an official studio confirmation when you’ve got someone as loyal and trustworthy as Tami Taylor telling you it’s a go? Even better, her exact words are, “It’s happening for realsies.” In more serious and telling terms, Britton added, “Pete is totally fired up to do it and I know Jason Katims is talking about writing a script. I think it’s really a matter of … getting everyone’s busy schedules aligned and making it happen.” The question is, who is “everyone?” Britton’s Tami and Kyle Chandler’s Eric Taylor are a must, which means Julie Taylor (Aimee Teegarden) would likely be on board as well, which pulls in Zach Gilford as Matt Saracen. It’s also highly unlikely a Friday Night Lights movie would happen sans Landry Clark (Jesse Plemons) or Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch), and maybe even Tyra Collette (Adrianne Palicki), too. How long will we have to wait? Who really knows, but it is quite comforting to know the odds are in the film’s favor. (via US Magazine)
6. Twilight Heads Back to the Big Screen: No, I’m not referring to the upcoming Breaking Dawn movies, rather the first three films of The Twilight Saga. Leading up to the release of Breaking Dawn Part 1, Fathom Events is teaming up with Summit Entertainment to re-release Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse on November 1st, November 8th and November 15th, respectively. Interested? All three films are set to screen at 7:30pm, but you’ll have to check this listing to see if it’s happening at a theater near you. It should be interesting to see how well these screenings do. Odds are, most of the diehard fans own copies of the film, if not more than one, and those who’ve passed on the franchise likely have no interest in letting Twilight into their lives now. Regardless, Breaking Dawn Part I is poised to make a killing.
7. The Hunger Games District Posters: For those of you who are familiar with The Hunger Games, these district posters are likely a thrill, as they’re the first step towards bringing Panem to life, but, for everyone else, they’re merely stone cold designs. However, Lionsgate is making a noble attempt at bridging that gap and spreading the Hunger Games appeal to those who are still unfamiliar with the books via TheCapitol.pn. The posters’ release is in correlation with when each district moves past the processing page and gives its citizens access to their District Identification Passes. So, after you’re sorted into a district on TheCaptiol.pn, you’re given a seal to support. It’s a method that encourages community while getting fans and newcomers involved and, therefore, making them feel part of the story before the film’s arrival in March.
8. Disney Goes for More 3D Re-Releases: The plan was to release The Lion King in 3D for a mere two weeks, but who pulls a movie that snags $30.2 million in week one only to drop just 27.3% the next? Not only has Disney increased The Lion King’s run, but the studio also made plans for four more of its favorites to get the 3D treatment. On January 13th, 2012 we’ll get Beauty and the Beast then Finding Nemo on September 14th, 2012, followed by Monsters, Inc. on January 18th, 2013 and, lastly, The Little Mermaid on September 13th, 2013. With The Lion King recently surpassing the $80 million mark, clearly Disney is opting to stick with a good thing. (via The Walt Disney Studios)
9. Trailers: The Raven, Young Adult and My Week with Marilyn: How about a little Sherlock Holmes, Zodiac and Saw to kick off this week’s Trailers section? Well, based on the first trailer for The Raven, that’s what it looks to be. John Cusack stars as Edgar Allan Poe who’s forced to team up with Luke Evans’ detective in order to catch the person responsible for a series of murders based on Poe’s writing. On a lighter note, we’ve got the first trailer for Young Adult, the follow up for Juno duo, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody. This one follows Charlize Theron as a recent divorcee who heads back to her hometown to seduce her now married ex-boyfriend. While Young Adult does look to have some of that good old Juno comedy and heart combination, it does seem to have a lighter dose of Cody’s quintessential snarky dialogue, which should go over rather well for a wider range of moviegoers. Feel like spending some time with Marilyn Monroe? Well, Michelle Williams’ Marilyn Monroe. The very first trailer for My Week with Marilyn is here and it gives a general sense of what happens when a young Hollywood wannabe (Eddie Redmayne) spends a week with a husband-free Monroe. The beauty of a 1950’s period piece, a nice amount of zest, some heart and a stellar cast; this one looks to be a good option come November 4th.
10. Box Office: Shawn Levy’s done it again. The director’s wide appeal/big heart tactic drew in a nice $27.3 million for Real Steel, making the top spot at the box office an easy grab. While The Ides of March’s $10.4 million haul may be dwarfed by Real Steel’s big number, a $4,729 per theater average at 2,199 locations isn’t a half bad start. Coming in at #3 is Dolphin Tale, which holds strong taking a mere 34.2% hit and earning another $9.2 million. Similarly, Moneyball dropped just 37.7% and puts another $7.5 million in the bank while 50/50 had a solid second week after a rather rough start, earning another $5.5 million and rounding out the top five. (via Box Office Mojo)