After a Sunday and Monday in transit, your Movie News Cheat Sheet is coming at you straight from the quiet, relaxing, and rather humid Delray Beach, Florida.
We’ve got a few release date announcements worth noting. Seth MacFarlane revealed plans to have “Ted 2” ready for a Passover 2015 release while “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” was pushed back yet again, now due to arrive in August 2014. There’s also poor “Seventh Son,” which not only lost its January 2014 slot, but never even got a new release date.
Ready for the details on those stories, a behind-the-scenes video from the set of “Hercules,” some thoughts from Vin Diesel on voicing Groot, and more? It’s all coming at you in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. “Ted 2” Due for Passover 2015: “Ted” was an obvious hit the moment it opened to the tune of $54.4 million and then went on to earn a total of $549.4 million during its worldwide theatrical run, but we’ll still have to wait until April 2015 for the sequel. Seth MacFarlane is currently working on “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” but he’s still making plans for “Ted 2” and even took to Twitter to announce, “RT @JohnnyMctardo: @SethMacFarlane when is Ted 2? // We’re aiming for a 2015 Passover release date.”
2. Bradley Cooper May Be Lance Armstrong #2: We may have two of our three Lance Armstrongs. Ben Foster is locked to portray the disgraced cyclist in Stephen Frears’ film for Working Title and now, according to Deadline, Bradley Cooper is in talks to produce Jay Roach’s film for Warner Bros and Atlas Entertainment and also to take one of the film’s two leading roles, one of which is Armstrong. “Red Blooded American” will focus on the infamous doping scandal, highlighting both Armstrong and Tyler Hamilton, Armstrong’s former teammate who revealed to “60 Minutes” what Armstrong was up to behind closed doors. This one could be a race to the finished because not only is “Red Blooded American” expected to be fast tracked, but the Ben Foster film could begin filming this fall. There’s also the Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot production based on “Cycle Of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong,” which apparently once courted Cooper for the lead role, too.
3. “Seventh Son” Moves Again: “Seventh Son” is already having a particularly tough time and it hasn’t even hit theaters yet. The film was originally set to arrive in February of 2013, but got bumped back to October and then seemingly dumped in a January 2014 slot. Now, not only is the film losing yet another release date, but it’s switching studios, too. According to THR, Legendary fully financed the film and made plans for Warner Bros to distrusted. However, now that the partnership between those two companies has come to an end, so has the release arrangement for “Seventh Son.” The Sergei Bodrov-directed film now belongs to Universal Pictures, but they’ve yet to set a new release date. “Interstellar” and “Man of Steel” also got caught up in this mix, but Warner Bros and Legendary have already agreed to give “Interstellar” to Legendary and let Warner Bros take “Man of Steel.” Other films that could feel the effect of this separation include “300: Rise of an Empire,” “Godzilla,” and “Warcraft.”
4. Sam Trammell Joins “The Fault in Our Stars:” It’s becoming more and more necessary to keep an eye on Josh Boone’s next project, the book-to-film adaptation of “The Fault in Our Stars.” Boone already has Shailene Woodley locked to lead as Hazel, a 16-year-old diagnosed with Stage 4 Thyroid cancer with metastasis on her lungs as well as Woodley’s “Divergent” co-star, Ansel Elgort, to play Augustus Waters, a boy who lost a leg to osteosarcoma that falls for Hazel. Boone also opted to reunite with his “Stuck in Love” star, Nat Wolff, and give him to role of Isaac while Laura Dern recently joined the cast as Hazel’s mother. Now, according to The Wrap, Hazel has a father, too, and it’s yet another example of pitch perfect casting. The outlet reports that “True Blood’s” Sam Trammell will take the role of Hazel’s loving and very emotional father. Filming is due to begin later this month in Pittsburgh with the film heading towards a rumored mid-2014 or 2015 release.
5. Vin Diesel on Voicing “Guardians of the Galaxy’s” Groot: After hyping up his meeting with Marvel Studios, Vin Diesel finally came clean, confirming that he will voice Groot, a tree-like alien, for James Gunn in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” According to The LA Times, Diesel made the announcement during a Hollywood Foreign Press Association luncheon and then told Hero Complex, “As an actor, not everything has to be the most obvious choice … So if everybody thinks you’re going to go for this one thing and you flip it entirely and go for the strangest Marvel character, it’s interesting.” So now Diesel officially joins Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax The Destroyer, Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser, Michael Rooker as Yondu, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Djimon Hounsou as Korath, Benicio del Toro as The Collector, John C. Reilly as Rhomann Dey, and Glenn Close as Nova Prime in the Marvel August 1, 2014 release.
6. Dwayne Johnson’s “Hercules” Set Video: This one isn’t particularly newsworthy per se, but it does offer a behind-the-scenes look at a highly anticipated feature as well as a nice laugh. Dwayne Johnson is currently on the set of Hercules, and even though he’s in the midst of filming, Johnson took the time to Instagram a video with this message: “On a movie set we have a ‘Prop Supervisor’ who’s job is to make sure everything’s 100% perfect before the Assistant Director yells..’Aaand ACTION’. Today we have Prop Supervisor Mickey who’s ensuring the drapes are perfectly still for our take once I get in position. What Mickey doesn’t know is I’m a beast w/ a vice grip and once my hands get ahold of you.. you become my lunch.” Click here to check out what Johnson is referring to for yourself.
7. “Thor: The Dark World” Schedules Reshoots for More Loki: “Thor: The Dark World” is due in theaters in less than three months, but the filmmakers are still shooting additional material. While at D23, director Alan Taylor told Collider, “We’re literally shooting some things this week. Anthony Hopkins is back in town. We’re gonna be getting some stuff from him.” Referencing additional footage shot with Tom Hiddleston, Taylor noted, “We’re adding scenes, creating scenes, writing scenes for the first time … We realized how well Loki was working in the movie, and we wanted to do more with him.” The key here is to know that these aren’t reshoots, but additional photography. As Taylor explains in the interview, he isn’t redoing things he screwed up, rather he’s abiding by Marvel’s process of making a movie, assessing what they have, and then using time and money set aside earlier to improve it in anyway they can. Click here to watch Collider’s video interview for yourself. It’s well worth a watch.
8. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Pushed Back Again: The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” release date shuffle continues. After a lengthy development process, Paramount finally locked the film for a Christmas 2013 debut, but soon thereafter delayed it until May 2014. After that, the studio opted to bump it back another few weeks to June 6, 2014 and now is uprooting the film yet again. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” will now hit theaters on August 8, 2014 against Universal’s “Dracula” and DreamWorks’ “The Hundred-Foot Journey.” THR points out that this is likely a financial decision that will benefit the film. Had it remained in the June 6th spot, it would have arrived in theaters a week after “The Good Dinosaur” and two weeks before “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” diminishing its family audience. Even though that does make sense, the release date shift still means “Turtles” will arrive a week after “Guardians of the Galaxy” and also go head-to-head with another family-friendly film. Perhaps it’s a better scenario, but the film will face some serious competition no matter what.
9. Trailers: “Blue Caprice,” “A.C.O.D.,” “Vampire Academy:” After being showered with praise at Sundance, the trailer for “Blue Caprice” has arrived, further proving it’s a must-see. The film features Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond as the 2002 Beltway snipers, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, and, as a film about such an event should be, this trailer suggests we could be in for a particularly unnerving experience come September 13th. The trailer for the Stu Zicherman comedy “A.C.O.D.,” on the other hand, isn’t as convincing. The cast and family dynamic seem to be winners, but the promo lacks a hook and, therefore, does leave you with much anticipation for the film’s release. The first teaser for the book-to-film adaptation for “Vampire Academy” is in a similar position. The promo has hints of Mark Water’s authorial expressivity, which is what suggests it might be a standout, but until we get a better sense of how he’s adapted the story details, it’s tough to gauge what we’ve got coming our way on February 14, 2014.
10. Box Office: Turns out “Kick-Ass 2” wasn’t the big winner we predicted. “The Butler” wound up trouncing the competition with an $8,400 per theater average and $24.6 million weekend one total. “We’re the Millers” came in second thanks to a particularly minimal weekend one to two decline. It lost just 32% and took another $18 million to the bank. “Elysium” dropped a hefty 54.1%, but still managed to keep on top of “Planes” and snag the #3 spot. It posted $13.7 million for its second weekend out while “Planes” dropped 39.8% and took $13.4 million. And lastly we’ve got poor “Kick-Ass 2” in the #5 spot. It only managed to take $4,535 per theater and that means it accumulated just $13.3 million for its opening weekend. (via Box Office Mojo)