Sequel, reboot, stage adaptation, sequel, trilogy, sequel – that’s this week’s Movie News Cheat Sheet in a nutshell.
We’ve got sequels for both “Alice in Wonderland” and “Wreck-It Ralph” in the works, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” director Bryan Singer has his eye on the 48 fps format, Guillermo del Toro is prepping to bring “Pan’s Labyrinth” to the stage and more.
However, we do have one major non-franchise highlight and that highlight is Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty.” The film’s been named the best of the year by the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review; will an Academy Award be next? Well, quite a bit will happen in between, but we’ll find out soon enough.
Read on for details on those stories and much more.
1. 48 FPS for “X-Men: Days of Future Past:” Word on the street is that “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in 48 frames per second isn’t all its cracked up to be, but that’s not stopping Bryan Singer from considering it for “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” All Singer did was tweet, Just saw #Hobbit. Having some serious frame rate envy. Amazing and involving. Loved it! And @ianmckellen118, my friend, you are brilliant!,” but considering the guy has a high-profile sequel on deck, you can’t help but to draw a connection. While it’s looking like 48 fps is only worthy of being a fleeting fad, odds are, a few productions beyond “The Hobbit” will wind up giving it a go.
2. Fantastic Four Back in Theaters in 2015: Fox’s “Fantastic Four” reboot has been idling for quite some time, but just this year, things started to pick up again for the project. Not only did the studio recruit “Chronicle” director Josh Trank to helm and Jeremy Slater to pen the script, but now Box Office Mojo is reporting that the film’s got a release date, too – March 6, 2015. Should the film follow a traditional big budget superhero flick timeline, “Fantastic Four” will likely go into production at the end of 2013 or the start of 2014, so it could still be quite a while until the casting craze kicks off.
3. “Pan’s Labyrinth” the Musical: “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” was a pretty big dud, huh? Quality-wise, at least. The title is silly, the plot is lame and, as much as I admire the late Eiko Ishioka, the costumes just aren’t quite right. Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth,” on the other hand, has the potential to match the unprecedented visuals of “The Lion King” on Broadway. As for the plot, “Pan’s Labyrinth” is already leaps and bound beyond the trivial one of “Spider-Man” as, according to Deadline, del Toro and Jeremy Ungar have already adapted the film into book form and that book will be the material seen on stage. The show will also have a pair of Academy Award winners creating the tunes, Paul Williams doing the lyrics and Gustavo Santaolalla handling the music. Apparently del Toro has been hard at work on the project for about four years, so now that the pieces are coming together, we could see this project come to fruition sooner rather than later.
4. “Alice in Wonderland 2” in the Works: Even though “Alice in Wonderland” went on to gross over $1 billion at the worldwide box office, word of a sequel didn’t crop up until just now, over two years after its release. Variety is reporting that Disney has locked Linda Woolverton to return to pen a sequel to the Tim Burton hit. While Woolverton’s resume includes some of the best of the best like “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King,” her rendition of “Alice” isn’t exactly up to par. Hopefully just as much time and energy will go into story details as visuals this time around.
5. “Clerks 3” to be Kevin Smith’s Final Film: A while back, Kevin Smith dubbed “Hit Somebody” his final film. The thing is, “Hit Somebody” went from being two films to just one and then to television miniseries. So does that mean Smith’s swan song will be a television piece? That’s a big, fat no straight from Smith himself. Just the other day, Smith tweeted, “So with the HIT SOMEBODY shift, the minute Jeff Anderson signs on, my last cinematic effort as a writer/director will be CLERKS III. #TaDa.” Clearly a tweet doesn’t make anything official, but considering the guy is a busy tweeter, I wouldn’t be surprised if more “Clerks III” updates cropped up on his feed soon.
6. “Wreck-It Ralph 2” on the Way: Rave reviews and a solid haul at the box office? A “Wreck-It Ralph” sequel was basically a guarantee. But the best part about Disney bringing back Ralph is that the world of “Wreck-It Ralph” is absolutely ripe for expansion. A few more original videogames with loveable characters here, a few more authentic pastime favorites there, another fun. song for the trailer? Now that sounds like a sure thing to me. With “Wreck-It Ralph” first hitting theaters in Australia now, Moviehole’s youngest reporter, Clint Morris’ five-year-old daughter, had the chance to ask John C. Reilly if there would be more Ralph. Reilly revealed, “They wouldn’t make [all that] merchandise, if [Disney] didn’t have plans for other [Wreck-it Ralph] stories,” and, “The movie made $150 million dollars in eleven days, it broke the box-office record for Disney animated movies on opening weekend. If that’s any indication that we’ll be doing a sequel … I bet we’ll be doing a sequel.” Director Rich Moore even went as far to say, “We’ll really come up with something good for Mario to do [in the next film].”
7. First Still from “Ender’s Game:” Stakes are highest for the Battle Room action in the big screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game,” but at least now we know director Gavin Hood got the look of Ender’s dorm in Battle School down. This first image from the November 1, 2013 release gives us a look at Harrison Ford’s Colonel Graff and Asa Butterfield’s Ender having what looks like an unpleasant conversation in the Launchies’ dormitory. It looks like that’s Alai to Ender’s right and you can also catch a glimpse of the “desks,” a tablet computer the kids use to communicate, train and play an often frustrating and difficult mind game, in the background. (via EW)
8. “Zero Dark Thirty” Already Adding Up the Honors: Could Kathryn Bigelow have another Academy Award winner on her hands? It’s still rather early in the process, but, so far, awards season is shaping up that way. Not only did “Zero Dark Thirty” earn the honor of Best Film from the New York Film Critics Circle, but from the National Board of Review, too. On top of that, both organizations named Bigelow Best Director. Say what you want about the weight of all these accolades as they start to pour in ahead of the Academy Awards, but having seen “Zero Dark Thirty” myself, I can at least assure you it’s worthy of the honor.
9. Trailers: “Oblivion,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Storage 24:” Jack Reacher may be all the rage right now, but you better get ready for Jack Harper. Tom Cruise plays action hero yet again in the April 12, 2013 release “Oblivion,” and while the first trailer doesn’t exactly paint the clearest picture, it does suggest the film will be loaded with wild, futuristic battles. Too bad for “Oblivion” the “Star Trek Into Darkness” teaser trailer has also arrived this past week to rain on its parade. “Oblivion” looks good, but this “Star Trek” teaser is easily one of the most powerful we’ve seen this year, and not just because the visuals look incredible, but more so because it acts as a highly effective character piece, and the character at the center of it is downright chilling. Let’s wrap up this section by doing a complete 180 and checking out a thriller that’s, well, not of Hollywood, through-the-roof budget quality, “Storage 24.” The idea of helpless victims being trapped in a storage facility and hunted by what looks like some sort of alien is a little silly, but we all need some good ol’ campy horror fun once in a while, right?
10. Box Office: In true December form, the month’s second weekend was a total dud at the box office. Not only did “Skyfall” edge out “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” for the #1 spot, but “Rise of the Guardians” managed to surpass it as well. “Skyfall” came out on top with $11 million, “Rise of the Guardians” was just behind with $10.5 million and then “Breaking Dawn” took the #3 slot with a weekend four total of $9.2 million. When the actual weekend totals come it, there’s a chance “Breaking Dawn” might even drop down another spot, as the estimates have “Lincoln” nipping at its heels with $9.1 million. “Life of Pi” rounds out the top five with $8.3 million and the weekend’s sole newcomer, “Play for Keeps,” posts a disappointing $6 million opening total, only managing to secure the 6th position. (via Box Office Mojo)