You know what’s great about this week’s Movie News Cheat Sheet? It isn’t a list of movie news talking points relegated to school or work. You can talk film all you want at a party, BBQ, or whatever you have planned because it’s a three-day weekend!
In between beers and hamburgers you can show off how you’re in the know by speculating on who might replace Tom Cruise in “The Man from U.NC.L.E.” or perhaps how and if Evan Peters’ “X-Men: Days of Future Past” character will fit into “The Avengers 2.” There’s also loads of news out of the Cannes Film Festival with the Palme d’Or winner, “Blue is the Warmest Color,” and the Grand Prix recipient, “Inside Llewyn Davis,” both solidifying themselves as must-sees.
Load up on the hottest industry news via your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet, hit the pool, down a hot dog or two, and have a very happy Memorial Day.
1. Tom Cruise Out of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.:” We’ve got yet another setback for Warner Bros’ “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” Originally the TV to film adaptation about two United Network Command for Law Enforcement agents taking on the evil forces of Thrush was due to star George Clooney with Steven Soderbergh behind the lens, but when Clooney departed for back and neck surgery, Soderbergh followed soon thereafter. The studio kept the bar high by replacing that duo with Tom Cruise and Guy Ritchie but now, according to Deadline, Cruise is backing out too so he can dedicate his time to producing and starring in “Mission: Impossible 5.” Ritchie is still committed and planning for a fall start, so now Warner Bros is forging forward to find Armie Hammer a new co-star.
2. Evan Peters is Quicksilver: No more rumor mill. It’s official. Evan Peters is Quicksilver. Bryan Singer broke the news on Twitter, writing, “Thrilled to say #EvanPeters is joining #XMen #DaysOfFuturePast as #Quicksilver.” Now the question is, where does that leave Scarlet Witch? After Joss Whedon dubbed Saoirse Ronan the “prototype” for the character, Ronan herself told The Mary Sue, “I’d love to be in it.” But now, of course, these are two different movies we’re talking about here, begging the next question, how are these two characters going to cross over from “X-Men: Days of Future Past” to “The Avengers 2?” Admittedly I know little to nothing about the source material and the rules of the mythology, so I defer to Screen Rant, which poses three possibilities of which the third is easily the most appeal – “Beginning with ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past,’ the Scarlet Witch/Quicksilver introduced in Singer’s film are the same pair going to show up in ‘The Avengers 2,’ meaning Evan Peters may have just been cast in The Avengers 2 as well.” Considering Whedon is still writing “The Avengers 2,” it’ll likely be quite some time until we get a concrete answer, but now that Peters is 100% for “Days of Future Past,” a Scarlet Witch casting announcement is bound to crop up for that one soon. From there it’ll be a waiting game to see if Whedon brings the same actors over for his movie.
3. “Travis McGee” Gets a Writer: Is “Travis McGee” finally moving forward? Considering the adaptation of “The Deep Blue Good-by” has been floating around since 2008, I’ll believe it when the thing finally goes into production. However, according to THR, the project did take a step forward by recruiting author Dennis Lehane to pen the script. “Deep Blue Good-by” is the first of a 21-book series about Travis McGee, a “salvage consultant” who recovers money or property wrongfully taken from the rightful owner and makes a living by keeping half the value for himself. After all these years, Leonardo DiCaprio is still attached to star and produce via Appian Way, making this his fourth collaboration with Lehane.
4. “The School of Good and Evil” Movie in the Works: Considering producer Joe Roth has been doing very well for himself with films like “Alice in Wonderland,” “Snow White and the Huntsman,” and “Oz the Great and Powerful,” it’s no wonder he’s moving on to the adaptation of “The School for Good and Evil” next. The Soman Chainani novel features a school that trains students to become the good and evil characters in fairytales. Sophie and Agatha are best friends just starting their studies, but both are positive of their fate – Sophie will end up in the School for Good while Agatha is prime for the School of Evil. However, when Sophie winds up stuck with classes like Death Curses and Henchmen Training and Agatha must take Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication, the the official synopses asks, “But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are …?” According to Deadline, Universal forked over seven figures for this baby, but during a time when moviegoers are drooling over YA book-to-film adaptations with female protagonists, it could result in significant returns, especially because this is only the first book of a planned trilogy.
5. “Timecop” Reboot on the Way: The Timecops are coming back! Or perhaps it’s traveling forward? According to Heat Vision, Universal has a remake of the 1994 Jean-Claude Van Damme starrer “Timecop” in development. In that original film, time travel exists in 2004 and the Time Enforcement Commission (TEC) is created to stop people from illegally using the technology. The outlet dubs Universals’ “Timecop” a “reboot” and “re-imagining,” and notes that the studio is currently on the hunt for a writer.
6. Fox Takes Zac Efron-Starrer “Narc:” As reported by Deadline, Fox just snagged the life rights for “Narc.” The film is based on the true story of an All-American college student who become a police informant. Zac Efron is on board to play that student, a Frat president and lacrosse team captain who gets caught getting the goods for a party. He’s permitted to carry on his everyday life on campus under one condition; he become a narc and helps the police catch the criminals responsible. “The Maze Runner” scribe, Grant Myers, is locked to pen the script while Efron’s manager and producing partner, Jason Barrett, is set to executive produce alongside Doug Banker.
7. Release Date Update: Bust out your calendar. There’s a number of release date changes and updates worth noting. Jason Reitman’s “Labor Day” has officially been slated for a Christmas Day release while Spike Jonze’s “Her” will hit theaters the month before, on November 20, 2013. “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” will get a jump on its competition, as Sony bumped it up to a Wednesday, August 21st release instead of its original Friday, August 23rd drop date. The Vince Vaughn starrer “Delivery Man” shuffled around a bit, too, moving from October 4th back to November 22nd where it’ll go up against “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” While “Catching Fire” is expected to be just as big of a box office hog as the first “Hunger Games” film, “Delivery Man” could be better off going up against one monstrous new release rather than three films of a smaller scale. “Old Boy,” on the other hand, made a release day move that could be a bit of a tossup. It ditched “Captain Phillips” and “Haunts” on October 11th to face “Paranormal Activity 5” on October 25th. Halloween weekend is never really a big one at the box office, save for the “Paranormal Activity” franchise, so the “Oldboy” draw at the time of the month is questionable. And lastly, way down the line, we’ll have the big screen adaptation of “Assassin’s Creed” arriving in theaters on May 22, 2015. (via Box Office Mojo)
8. Cannes 2013: And that’s a wrap on Cannes 2013. The big winner is “Blue is the Warmest Color,” which was awarded the Palme d’Or while the Coen Brothers took the Grand Prix for “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Harvey Weinstein walked away with his hands full, The Weinstein Company snatching up the Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska-starred, “Carol,” “The Young and Prodigious Spivet” featuring Helena Bonham Carter, and Todd Haynes’ “Far From Heaven,” which is due to shoot in the fall. TWC joined forces with Relativity to take the US rights to “Jane Got A Gun” while the Radius-TWC branch of Weinstein’s company picked up the FIPRESCI Prize winner “Blue Ruin” and Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut “Man of Tai Chi.” Cannes’ sole major studio film in competition, Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska,” made off with some lukewarm reviews, The Guardian giving it four out of five stars, but IndieWire grading it a B- and calling it “affably unexceptional.” Meanwhile, Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Only God Forgives” got flak for being too violent. The Guardian called it “bloated, corpulent and borderline repulsive,” but then went on to say, “there’s something magnificent about it just the same.” Screen Daily pointed out, “For many, it will be hard to look beyond the explicit violence and rather thinly drawn plot and characters,” but again, also highlighted its assets noting that it’s also “an immersive and brutally intriguing film.” Oh, and while everyone was indulging in highly anticipated screenings and lavish parties, there were two jewelry heists, one of which involved $1.4 million in Chopard jewelry and the other a necklace worth $2.6 million.
9. Trailers: “We’re the Millers,” “Metallica Through the Never,” “The Act of Killing:” Jennifer Aniston doesn’t have very many commercial comedies to her name worth showing off, but “We’re the Millers” actually looks like it could be a great deal of fun. Not only are a handful of the jokes in the film’s new trailer quite amusing, but the charm of the family dynamic suggests the film might have some heart, too. Unless you’re familiar with “Metallica Through the Never,” the film’s first trailer will likely be more confusing than appealing as it’s tough to tell whether the thing is selling a narrative or a straight 3D concert movie, but, then again, it’s Metallica and Dane DeHaan; the pairing itself is enough to raise intrigue. Last up is one that’s wildly moving, but it’s also so disturbing it might make you think twice before jumping into the full feature. “The Act of Killing” is a documentary from Joshua Oppenheimer that shows what happens when death squad leaders are tasked with recreating their mass murders in the form of their favorite American movies. The film’s iTunes Trailer page calls it “an unsettling journey deep into the imaginations of mass murderers and the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit,” but that’s not just a mere selling point. After watching the trailer, you’ll already accept it as fact.
10. Box Office: As expected, “Fast & Furious 6” absolutely demolished the box office. Not only did the film pull in a total of $98.5 million, but it did so on a stellar $26,935 per theater average. Even with “Fast & Furious” taking such a massive chunk of the pie, “The Hangover Part III” still managed to pull in $42.4 million. It’s not a particularly strong start considering the franchise’s track record, but at least it’ll cover that $103 million production budget shorty. The 3rd spot went to “Star Trek into Darkness,” which held on fairly strong, dropping just 45.8% and taking another $38 million to the bank. It’s no “The Croods,” but “Epic” still managed to accumulate $34.2 million for weekend one. With no new animated competition entering the race until “Monsters University” on June 21st, hopefully it’ll get the chance to stretch its legs a bit. “Iron Man 3” rounds out the top five, dropping 45.7% from weekend three to four, which gives it another $19.4 million and brings its domestic total to just over $367 million. (via Box Office Mojo)