We’ve got at least eight reasons for you to look forward to what’s to come in the movie industry in this week’s Movie News Cheat Sheet.
First, and most obvious, Lionsgate is on the hunt for a director to helm the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, and they’ve come up with a pretty intriguing list of options. In other sequel news, that Sin City follow-up is finally underway and, supposedly, many of the original stars are expected to return.
We’ve actually got some rumblings in the land of original material, too. There are two intern-related films going into production, The Intern starring Tina Fey and The Internship with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. And how about a book-to-film adaptation from Ti West? I actually think the subject matter in this latest undertaking is far scarier than cultists or hotel ghosts.
Read all about those films and much more in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Hunger Games to Get a New Director: It’s official; Gary Ross is stepping down as director of The Hunger Games franchise. Shed a quick tear because just a day after Ross released his exit statement, Lionsgate’s replacement wish list hit the web – well, three of eight options did at least. As reported by the LA Times, the studio wants a director with enough credits and accolades to his name to meet the approval of author Suzanne Collins. Apparently, Lionsgate has a list of about seven or eight directors and they include Alfonso Cuaron, David Cronenberg and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. I’d pass on Cuaron, but both Cronenberg and Inarritu are intriguing options. Cronenberg isn’t a blockbuster kind of guy, but he could really nail Catching Fire’s serious undertone. As for Iñárritu, his resume is wildly impressive and the fact that he’s worked with producer Jon Kilik before on Babel is a major plus. But still, I can’t help but to wonder, who are the other potentials?
2. Interns Are All the Rage: Being an intern doesn’t really boost your ego, but apparently in Hollywood it’s a hot topic. Not only are Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson getting back together for The Internship, but Paramount just inked a deal to finance and distribute Nancy Meyers’ The Intern. According to ComingSoon, 20th Century Fox’s The Internship will feature Vaughn and Wilson as old school salesmen who lose their jobs and try to make themselves more marketable by interning at a major tech company. Over at Deadline the word is that Tiny Fay will star in The Intern as the founder of a fashion-focused e-business who must take on a senior citizen intern as part of a community outreach effort. The Internship is due to begin production on June 25th while The Intern is expected to do so in the first quarter of 2013.
3. Sharlto Copley Next on Spike Lee’s List for Oldboy: The Oldboy remake casting saga continues. In his venture to bring Chan-wook Park’s Korean film about a man who’s kidnapped, kept as a prisoner for 15 years and then randomly released, Spike Lee locked two leads, Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen. Now he’s on to fill the last major vacant position, the villain. According to Variety, the offer has officially gone out to District 9’s Sharlto Copley to play “a mysterious billionaire” desperate to ruin Brolin’s character’s life. Olsen will step in as the caseworker assisting Brolin with his research into his past. The Mandate Pictures thriller is due to go into production next month in Hungary.
4. Sabrina the Teenage Witch Coming to the Big Screen: The name Sabrina the Teenage Witch implies the main character is a witch, right? Well, not anymore. As reported by Deadline, Sony Pictures is taking the popular 60s Archie Comics character-turned-TV star and making her a superhero. The live action film will be an origin story à la Spider-Man, and tell what happens when Sabrina first discovers her powers, but in an edgier fashion than the Melissa Joan Hart show. Her talking cat Salem is sticking around, but this time he won’t merely be a talking black cat, rather a transformed prince. Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari are on board to pen the script, Don Murphy and Susan Montford will produce and Archie Comics’ Jon Goldwater will be an executive producer.
5. Ti West Has Bedbugs: As a horror junkie, I’ve seen my fair share of scary movies, but the title of Ti West’s latest project alone makes me horrified – Bedbugs. According to Deadline, Tango Pictures recruited West to pen a script based on Ben H. Winters’ novel. The book focuses on the Wendt family who experience strange happenings after moving into a new home in Brooklyn. Soon enough, Susan Wendt not only suspects she’s a victim of bedbugs, but also starts to think she might be losing her mind. However, it turns out there is an explanation for the eerie episodes. Quirk Books associate publisher and creative director Jason Rekulak called the manuscript, “a slow-burning supernatural story with fully realized characters, light on gore but heavy on menace and dread.” Sounds perfect for the guy behind House of the Devil and The Innkeepers.
6. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Could Star in The Counselor: According to Deadline, Brad Pitt and Javier Bardem have been on Ridley Scott’s wish list for The Counselor for quite some time and now it looks like Scott won’t end having to choose between the two; he might get both. Angelina Jolie is supposedly in discussions to step in as the female lead while Bardem could become the film’s villain and Pitt might play a character named West Ray. Michael Fassbender is already locked as The Counselor’s leading man, a top-notch lawyer who opts to dabble in the drug business. Deadline calls the film “No Country For Old Men on steroids.” Production is set to begin in late June, so that still gives Scott quite a bit of time to solidify his cast.
7. Ben Kingsley for Iron Man 3: With Iron Man 3 due in theaters just about a year from now, pre-production is currently underway and director Shane Black still has a major role to fill, his villain. As reported by Variety, Marvel refused to comment on the deal, but insiders are saying that Ben Kingsley will play the villain, but not Mandarin as many have suspected. Apparently his character has something to do with a nanobot virus linking to the fact that the film is supposed to be loosely based on Warren Ellis’ Extremis comic book series. However, THR points out that while Kingsley is in negotiations to play a villain, he won’t be the main villain. The article also mentions that while there could be some truth to the whole nanotechnological virus thing, that idea could be merged with Mandarin after all.
8. Sin City 2 Finally Going into Production: After about seven years of sequel talk, Sin City 2 is finally going into production. Via ComingSoon, the details of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For are being kept on lockdown, but casting is expected to begin next month with a number of the original cast members likely to return. Robert Rodriguez is set to produce alongside Aaron Kaufman and Iliana Nikolic while Harvey and Bob Weinstein as well as Miramax’s Adam Fields will be the film’s executive producers. Frank Miller drafted the screenplay with William Monahan based on his own graphic novel. Production is set to kick off this summer at Troublemaker Studios in Austin, Texas. Rodriguez noted, “I have wanted to re-team with Frank Miller and return to the world he created since the day we wrapped the original, but have felt a duty to the fans to wait until we had something truly exceptional that would meet and exceed what have become epic expectations. A Dame To Kill For will certainly be worth the wait.
9. Trailers: Looper, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, LOL: Turns out the Looper trailer really was worth three trailer teasers. The film rocks a wildly inventive and intricate concept, and the trailer manages to convey it in a wholly digestible manner and make it look incredibly exciting, too. On the lighter side, Greg Heffley is back, and somewhat grown up, too. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series returns for round three, Dog Days, and, like its predecessors, this one looks like it’s packed with childish humor, but the type even adult moviegoers can’t help but to enjoy. LOL, on the other hand, is a high school cliché to the max. Sure, once in a while we actually crave those all too familiar tales of geeks, young love and teen shenanigans, but based on the trailer alone, it’s evident that Miley Cyrus’ version is ridden with problems.
10. Box Office: The Hunger Games has officially enjoyed an entire month as the #1 movie at the box office. The film posted $21.5 million for its fourth weekend out, bringing its domestic grand total to just over $337 million. The Three Stooges had a mediocre start, pulling in $17.1 million on a so-so $4,918 per theater average. The Cabin in the Woods posted a stronger $5,283 average, but playing in about 650 less theaters, so it only took $14.9 million in total. Titanic 3D took a far lesser fall than expected, losing only 32.7% and taking another $11.6 million to the bank. American Reunion, on the other hand, lost half of its opening weekend profits for a $10.7 million second weekend. (via Box Office Mojo)