Now that the New York Comic Con detox is complete, it’s time for your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
In addition to the big screen updates coming out of the Javits Center, there were loads of prime casting updates making the rounds on the web. Marvel is inching closer to selecting its Ant-Man while Universal and Focus Features went back to start in casting Christian Grey for their adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Colin Trevorrow locked in a lead for “Jurassic World,” as did Brad Peyton for his earthquake disaster film, “San Andreas.”
Interested in reading more about those stories, checking out some racy “Nymphomaniac” posters, digging in to “Elysium’s” new legal woes, and more? You’ve got your chance thanks to this week’s Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. New York Comic Con: Another New York Comic Con has come and gone. This year’s line-up featured a number of hot television properties, but was a little light on the film front. Spike Lee’s “Oldboy” made its way into the main hall and while the scene screened looked promising, the large majority of the Q&A involved hardcore fans of the original grilling Mark Protosevich on why he had to make a new version. The “Hercules: The Legend Begins” panel was a bit of a bust. Even though it followed the highly anticipated “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Walking Dead” panels, the large majority of the theater filtered out before Kellan Lutz and co. hit the stage. However, that turned out to be a major plus for those that hung around because the cast gave a few lucky audience members signed props from the film. The strongest big screen entry at NYCC 2013 was undoubtedly “Vampire Academy.” Even though the film wasn’t worthy of the main hall, it filled a smaller room, featured one of the most informative and enjoyable Q&As, and showed off a winning trailer.
2. Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Paul Rudd for Ant-Man?: It looks like Marvel’s “Ant-Man” might avoid getting swept up in the casting rumor mill. If Variety’s report is accurate, studio executives and director Edgar Wright have narrowed it down to Joseph Gordon Levitt and Paul Rudd for the role of Henry Pym, a brilliant scientist who concocts a chemical giving him the ability to alter his size. While wearing a helmet that controls ants, he shrinks down to their size and becomes Ant-Man. The outlet warns that another actor could make his way into the mix, but at the moment, it’ll either be Gordon Levitt or Rudd. Both are expected to meet with Wright one last time before an offer is made. “Ant-Man” is locked for a July 31, 2015 release.
3. Ty Simpkins Locked to Lead “Jurassic World:” Ty Simpkins is building quite the resume. Not only did he star in the “Insidious” films and play Harley Keener in “Iron Man 3,” but now he’s landed a leading role in Colin Trevorrow’s “Jurassic World.” According to Deadline, Jake Johnson is also in the mix, but Universal hasn’t confirmed his involvement nor the status of Bryce Dallas Howard’s negotiations. “Jurassic World” is due in theaters on June 12, 2015.
4. Charlie Hunnam Out of “Fifty Shades of Grey:” Welcome to the “Fifty Shades of Grey” meltdown. After riding high on the hype of big casting news, the book-to-film adaptation lost one of its two stars, Charlie Hunnam. Further putting the state of the project into question is news that Universal and Focus Features have opted to bring aboard Patrick Marber to polish the script. Of course, this begs the question, did Hunnam bail because the writing wasn’t up to his standards? According to THR, Marber was hired before Hunnam dropped out and the script will be ready for the planned November start date – that is if they find a new Christian Grey. Apparently Universal is hard at work trying to fill the role and is currently considering Jamie Dornan, Alexander Skarsgård, Theo James and Christian Cooke. As reported by Deadline, the studio is also currently negotiating with Jennifer Ehle to take the role of Anastasia Steele’s (Dakota Johnson) mother.
5. “Short Term 12” Director Eyeing “The Glass Castle” with Jennifer Lawrence: If you don’t know who Destin Cretton is, you haven’t been seeing the right films this year. Cretton is the man behind the festival hit “Short Term 12” and, as expected, that film turned him into an in-demand director. According to Variety, Cretton is currently in early negotiations for his “Short Term 12” follow-up, “The Glass Castle.” Jennifer Lawrence is already locked to star in the adaption of the Jeannette Walls memoire. The narrative focuses on a young girl and her dysfunctional family. Her mother choses to paint over parental duties and her father hits the bottle to avoid their troubling financial situation, leaving Jeannette and her siblings to fend for themselves.
6. Dwayne Johnson to Take on an Earthquake in “San Andreas:” Based on the photos streaming in from the “Hercules” set, Dwayne Johnson is beefy enough to take on anyone and anything – even an earthquake. According to THR, Johnson just closed a deal to lead Brad Peyton’s disaster film, “San Andreas.” New Line is hoping to “out-Roland Emmerich Roland Emmerich” with the story of a “rugged helicopter pilot” who travels across the state of California to save his estranged daughter after the region is rocked by a vicious earthquake. Filming is expected to being in April to put the movie on track for a 2015 release.
7. “Nymphomaniac” Posters: Only Lars von Trier would release a series of posters featuring his cast showing off their O faces. After all the talk about Shia LaBeouf’s sex tape audition and the reveal of the sex body double technique, a collection of 14 posters for the two-volume feature, “Nymphomaniac,” have arrived, revealing what some big names might look like during a very private moment. As outrageous as it sounds, the art campaign is actually incredibly evocative and quite beautiful. You can catch all 14 prints for yourself over at Cinema Blend.
8. Neill Blomkamp Sued Over “Elysium:” “Elysium” hit theaters over two months ago, but, according to The Wrap, screenwriter Steve Wilson Briggs is now claiming that Neill Blomkamp stole his ideas. Briggs is suing Sony Pictures, TriStar, Media Rights Captain, QED International, and Blomkamp for copyright infringement, citing similarities between his script, “Butterfly Driver,” and “Elysium.” Briggs claims that the filmmakers gained access to his work when he submitted the script to TriggerStreet.com and then deliberately tried to hide the transgression.
9. Trailers: “The Starving Games,” “Charlie Countryman,” “Hercules: The Legend Begins:” For those of you who still have patience for Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer spoof movies, the new “Starving Games” trailer is for you. The promo is marginally successful thanks to the “Hunger Games” narrative, but when it comes to original material and jokes, it’s pretty clear that this spoof just doesn’t have it. On the other hand, the new trailer for the Sundance entry “Charlie Countryman” does function as an exceptional draw thanks to the enigmatic narrative, but even more so due to the appeal of Shia LaBeouf’s performance. Last up is the new trailer for “Hercules: The Legend Beings.” No, not the Hercules movie featuring Dwayne Johnson, rather the one starring Kellan Lutz. Didn’t know there was a second Hercules feature in the works? You’re better off.
10. Box Office: “Gravity” blew away the competition yet again. Not only did the film hold on to the top spot, but it only dropped a mere 22.6%, giving it another $43.2 million to take to the bank. Even though “Captain Phillips” didn’t come anywhere close to that total, its $25.7 million start is still strong enough considering the film is expected to turn its awards buzz into a long, profitable theatrical run. The #3 spot went to “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” which only fell 34.3% making the move from weekend two to three, letting it take another $13.8 million to the bank. “Machete Kills” was lucky to take the fourth spot with its deeply disappointing $3.8 million start. With that $1,512 per theater average, it’s just about a sure thing that Machete won’t return for another go-around. “Runner Runner” suffered a 51.1% hit, but managed to trump “Prisoner’s” $3.6 million with $3.8 million of its own to secure the #5 spot. (via Box Office Mojo)