How about a light and early Movie News Cheat Sheet this time around? No, no special occasion, rather I’m running off to Iceland tonight for the Reykjavík International Film Festival. While I’m way east and north, likely freezing my butt off, here’s the best of the best in movie news to carry you through the workweek.
1. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” Gets a Director and Spidey, But No Gwen Stacy: We’ve known an “Amazing Spider-Man” sequel was likely well before the film’s release, but now it’s confirmed that the franchise will continue and will remain in Marc Webb’s hands. The news via Columbia Pictures also confirms that Andrew Garfield will be back as Peter Parker, but that Emma Stone is only in talks to reprise the role of Gwen Stacy. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is due in theaters on May 2, 2014. (via ComingSoon.net)
2. Daniel Radcliffe Wants “Frankenstein:” As reported by The Wrap, Daniel Radcliffe has his eye on Paul McGuigan’s rendition of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” The script comes from Max Landis and puts a sci-fi spin on the classic tale. Radcliffe is out for the lead role, that of Hunchback, a guy who’s “pathologically dirty and dressed in old clowns clothing.” Currently Twentieth Century Fox has its focus on locking a final script, but thereafter, serious talks with talent will commence.
3. “The Homesman” Gets Streep and Swank: Talk about a hot sell! According to The Wrap, in preparation for the American Film Market, Tommy Lee Jones is loading up the cast of “The Homesman” with some top-notch talent. Jones is writing the film about a pioneer and a frontier woman who take a trio of insane women from Nebraska to Iowa. Jones is also set to direct and lead as the pioneer while Hilary Swank is joining up as the frontier woman. No word on who Meryl Streep will play, but The Wrap’s source notes that she’s part of the AFM package.
4. “The Lone Ranger” Might Finally Wrap: After having to stall filming due to budgetary issues and having a number of delays during production, shooting might soon come to an end for “The Lone Ranger.” Filming kicked off on February 28th in New Mexico and, according to THR, looks to finally wrap up at the end of the month. Of director Gore Verbinski, an insider told THR, “He likes to shoot and shoot and shoot,” and shoot and shoot he did, the production schedule grand total looking to fall between 140 and 150 days at a supposed cost of $250 million.
5. First Look at Evangeline Lilly’s Tauriel: We’ve seen quite a bit of Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and his band of 13 dwarves, but now it’s finally time to get a look at one of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’s” leading ladies, Evangeline Lilly as the head of the Elven guard, Tauriel. Click here to check out the image, which comes from a toy package tracked down by The One Ring.
6. Hathaway and Hemsworth Might Take “Robopocalypse:” It’s official; “Robopocalypse” is inching closer to production! According to THR, not only has Fox and Disney picked up the distribution rights, but Anne Hathaway is currently in talks for the female lead and Chris Hemsworth is in the negotiations phase as well. The film is based on Daniel H. Wilson’s book about humanity’s fight against a robot uprising. Recently recruited producer Tim Rothman notes, “’Robopocalypse’ is the kind of important epic entertainment, a big movie with big ideas, that Steven does better than any filmmaker on earth.” “Robopocalypse” will hit theaters domestically via Disney and internationally via Fox on April 25, 2014.
7. Female Version of “The Expendables” in the Works: Gunfire, explosions and intense hand to hand combat isn’t only for the guys. According to Variety, Adi Shankar is putting together an all-female “Expendables” type of film and snagged Gina Carano as rough and tough lady #1. Apparently his company, 1984 Private Defense Contracts, is currently in talks with a number of other actresses while Dutch Southern is busy writing the script.
8. Hugh Jackman Is Back As Wolverine: It may not have been an easy road to production, but “The Wolverine” is in production and Twentieth Century Fox has proof. The studio recently posted the first picture of Hugh Jackman back in fighting form on Facebook and, damn, the guy is ripped. Check out the image for yourself right here and keep an eye out for more on “The Wolverine” as we near its July 26, 2013 release.
9. Trailers: “Paranormal Activity 4,” “Identity Thief,” “Stoker:” Disappointed in the lack of story in the last “Paranormal Activity 4” trailer? You’re in luck because trailer #2 gets it right, finally presenting a fresh narrative, but one with an intriguing and terrifying link to the past. On the comedy side, we’ve got the first trailer for “Identity Thief” and while the idea of Melissa McCarthy stealing Jason Bateman’s identity is amusing, the gag doesn’t look like it can sustain a full feature. Finally we flip back to the über sinister and creepy side with the trailer for Park Chan-wook’s “Stoker.” With a promotion so methodically malicious, the final product has to be exponentially more disturbing.
10. Box Office: It’s still a bit early for weekend estimates, but Box Office Mojo has the Friday numbers up and running. As expected, “Hotel Transylvania” is leading the pack with an $11 million start. A ways behind is “Looper,” which only accumulated $6.9 million on day one while the other two newcomers, “Pitch Perfect” and “Won’t Back Down” didn’t even manage to crack the top five. Then again, “Pitch Perfect” did amass a total $1.75 million and only with 335 theaters. Come its wide release next weekend, it could be one to watch. So far, “End of Watch” is at #3 with $2.4 million, but could certainly lose out to “House at the End of the Street,” which is right behind with $2.33 million. “Trouble with the Curve” isn’t far off either, taking $2.3 million for Friday.