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Exclusive: In a development that bodes well for the coming avalanche of acquisition titles that starts tomorrow at the Toronto Film Festival, Relativity has closed a seven-figure deal for U.S. distribution rights to The Woman In Black 2. That is the sequel to the hit 2012 haunted house film that starred Daniel Radcliffe and was distributed in the U.S. by CBS Films. The sequel rights were controlled by Hammer and eOne, and the deal was brokered by CAA. The original grossed $54 million domestically and $128 million worldwide.
While buyers tell me they don’t see an obvious gotta-have-it title at Toronto like last year’s Can A Song Save Your Life, there is certainly an appetite for films that has been evident in festivals this year from Sundance to Berlin and Cannes. The Woman In Black 2 deal closed today, hours before Warner Bros opens the festival with the Robert Downey Jr-starrer The Judge. »
- Mike Fleming Jr
While studios tout records, market share and No. 1 status based on box office grosses, we thought it’d be a good idea to look at some of this year’s summer films (tentpoles and not) to see how their budgets stacked up against their worldwide grosses to date. These budget numbers do not include domestic/international marketing and distribution costs, nor do they take into account the splits with exhibitors, but they do give an idea of outlay and income. Bear in mind, that while some of the biggest offshore grosses come from China, the studios are only getting a 25% cut from that territory. Also, some of these pictures will end up doing well in home entertainment and may make a profit over time — as in, a few years.
Here are some of the films we were able to compile from smallest to highest budgets with worldwide grosses (and percentage »
- Anita Busch and Nancy Tartaglione
It’s an unusual one to be pushing but it seems Warner Bros are continuing to collect all the right materials for their Looney Tunes ‘Acme‘ project – which is currently a work-in-progress title.
There have been numerous rumours and plans announced over recent years but now bigger developments are happening with X-men: First Class writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz on-board. There’s also a likelihood that John Requa and Glenn Ficarra may join in a directorial capacity, they wrote I Love You Philip Morris and have just finished directing Margot Robbie and Will Smith in Focus and they previously gave us Crazy Stupid Love.
The idea behind this movie would be delving into the classic Looney Tunes cartoons from Warner Bros. Steve Carell is attached with Dan Lin and Roy Lee on the production side. Those latter two most recently brought to life The Lego Movie but we’re »
- Dan Bullock
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
It’s been more than a year since we heard about Departure, but it appears as though a lot has happened in that time. Billy Ray is no longer attached to direct the film (though his screenwriting credit remains intact), instead David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada, Marley and Me) will take the helm. The story for this one sounds kind of spooky and cool, almost like a Twilight Zone episode, and concerns aviation anomalies. Ray will also produce the film alongside Joe Drake, Nathan Kahane, John Middleton and Roy Lee for Good Universe. The film is said to be a sci-fi romance, but I’m hoping it leans more on the former genre with this concept. Hit the jump for more on Departure. Here's the official synopsis for Departure: Based on true stories of documented but never-explained avionic phenomenon, Departure follows a brilliant man in 1973 Miami investigating how »
- Evan Dickson
(Cbr) Warner Bros. is at last ready to open its order from the Acme Corporation. According to Variety, the studio has hired "X-Men: First Class" writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz to pen its "Looney Tunes" spinoff "Acme." Steve Carell is attached to star, while Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, directors of "Crazy Stupid Love" and the upcoming "Focus," are in early talks to helm. As longtime viewers of "Looney Tunes" well know, Acme is a fictional mail-order company that features prominently in the Road Runner cartoons, supplying Wile E. Coyote with all kinds of improbable products, from a rocket sled to dehydrated boulders to earthquake pills. Acme also played a role in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" and "Tiny Toon Adventures." Warner Bros. bought the "Acme" pitch in 2010 from "Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu" writers Kevin and Dan Hageman, who had a hand in developing the stories for "Hotel Transylvania" and "The Lego Movie. »
- Kevin Melrose, Comic Book Resources
The writing duo behind X-Men: First Class Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz have reportedly been hired by Warner Bros. to work on their script for Acme, a live action/CGI hybrid based on the company made famous by Looney Tunes.
The Hollywood Reporter are also saying that Crazy Stupid Love directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are also in discussions to helm the project with Steve Carrell (Foxcatcher) in line to star. The movie will be produced by Dan Lin and Roy Lee (The Lego Movie).
Acme is the fictional company that features prominent in Looney Tunes cartoons, used frequently by Wile E. Coyote in his mishaps while trying to get the Road Runner. They also played a big part in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. The plot for Acme is currently unknown, but the movie will not focus on the Looney Tunes characters but will most likely feature them. The »
- Luke Owen
Actor Steve Carell and "X-Men: First Class" scribes Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz are teaming for an untitled movie at Warner Bros. Pictures about the Acme Corporation, the famed fictional manufacturer of crazy and dangerous products in the various "Looney Tunes" cartoons.
Plot details are being kept under wraps, but Carell is attached to star and Dan Lin and Roy Lee ("The Lego Movie") will produce. "Crazy Stupid Love" directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are also in early negotiations to direct the project which has its roots in the classic cartoons like "Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner" and "Daffy Duck".
The project will be a CG/live-action hybrid and is reportedly being envisioned as an event movie that will also possibly launch a franchise. It will not, however, center on the Looney Tunes characters.
Source: Heat Vision »
- Garth Franklin
The story follows a brilliant man in 1973 Miami who is investigating how a 727 suddenly vanished into thin air and then reappeared in the exact same spot 10 minutes later. As mysterious occurrences continue to transpire with increasing frequency in the skies, the investigation becomes personal when the love of his life is on one of the planes affected.
Frankel last directed “One Chance” with James Corbin. He is repped by Wme and Anonymous Content.
- Justin Kroll
The Warner Bros. Looney Tunes-based feature film “Acme” looks to be gaining speed, as the studio has set “X-Men: First Class” scribes Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz to pen the script. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, helmers of “Crazy Stupid Love” and the upcoming “Focus,” are in early talks to direct.
After the success of “The Lego Movie,” which Lin produced, the studio is looking to fill the pipeline with animated properties that appeal to several demographics. »
- Justin Kroll
The Devil Wears Prada helmer David Frankel has taken over the directing reins of Good Universe’s sci-fi romance Departure. Oscar-nominated Billy Ray penned the script and was previously set to direct the tale of a brilliant Faa investigator who is obsessed with learning how a 727 suddenly vanished into thin air and then reappeared in the exact same spot ten minutes later. As mysterious occurrences continue to occur with increasing frequency in the skies over Miami, the investigation becomes personal when the employee’s beloved wife is on one of the planes affected.
Jim Whitaker and Ray will produce. Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane will executive produce alongside John Middleton and Roy Lee. Spencer Wong is overseeing for Good Universe with Adam Borba for Whitaker Entertainment. Project was inspired by the book Ghosts Of The Air by Martin Caidin. Frankel is repped by Wme and managed by Anonymous Content. Bill P. »
- Jen Yamato
Some possible and Really good news for fans of the massive Stephen King novel The Stand has come in. Deadline is reporting that Matthew McConaughey is being eyed by Warner Bros. to play the role of Randall Flagg in the adaptation of King’s apocalyptic masterpiece novel that Josh Boone will direct.
The site goes on to report that this is far from a done deal, but holy shit, can you just imagine what McConaughey could do with a role that is for all intents and purposes the personification of evil?
"We’re gonna do one, three-hour, R-rated version with an amazing A-list cast across the board," Boone said in a previous interview. "Every single one of those characters will be somebody you recognize and somebody you relate to. And it’s gonna be awesome."
He continued, "I’m really excited. It’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever »
- Steve Barton
We caught up last week with writer Jeff Buhler, who provided us with updates on his scripted remakes of The Grudge, Jacob’s Ladder, and director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s Pet Sematary reboot for Paramount.
Buhler, who is known to genre audiences for scripting 2008’s Clive Barker-inspired Midnight Meat Train and writing and directing that year’s feature Insanitarium, said of the script he penned of the remake of the 1990 film Jacob’s Ladder for Ld Entertainment with director James Foley attached to helm, “The script has been finished for some time.”
“Foley’s enthusiasm is very high, and he’s coming to this project with a lot of ideas,” he expounded.
“From what I understand, when he was up for this job, he basically told [executive producer] Mickey Lidell that if they hired a different director, he would murder them. That’s the level of enthusiasm we are talking about. »
- Sean Decker
Warner Bros. has set two more release dates after announcing eleven yesterday, staking a claim in Memorial Day weekend 2018 and 2019. Insider sources claim these are for two more movies in the lucrative Lego franchise.
The Lego Movie grossed $468 million worldwide earlier in the year, with Warner Bros. having already set up The Lego Movie 2 for a May 26, 2017 release date. And a first Ninjago movie is ready to be released on September 23, 2016.
This year's The Lego Movie gave Warner Bros. its first substantial animated franchise, with the studio unable to get a foothold in the animation side of the business until now. It also helps that the movie only cost $60 million to make.
“They’re here.” It’s unknown if this popular and creepy line from Tobe Hooper’s 1982 horror film, Poltergeist, will make its way into Fox’s remake, but one thing is now certain: we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out. Originally slated for a February 13th, 2015 unveiling, Fox will now release their Poltergeist remake next summer.
Deadline reports that the Poltergeist remake is now scheduled for a July 24th, 2015 release, reportedly making it the first theatrical horror release of next summer (though this will likely change as future release dates of other films are revealed and/or changed). Filling the abandoned Valentine’s Day weekend slot is Matthew Vaughn’s comic-book based Kingsman: The Secret Service (previously slated for an October 24th, 2014 release), which will share the romantic weekend spotlight with Fifty Shades of Grey.
- Derek Anderson
Carrie Brownstein currently helps flesh out the modern hipsters and weirdos of the Pacific Northwest on the IFC comedy Portlandia. But her newest writing project looks to the past: As Variety reports, Brownstein has signed on to write a film adaptation of the U.K. series Lost in Austen, which finds a modern day Brooklynite transported to the world (19th century England) of Jane Austen's 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice.
Lost in Austen will be Brownstein's first film writing credit; it was one of screenwriter Nora Ephron's unfinished projects »
Columbia Pictures, Neal Street Productions and Good Universe announced today that multi-hyphenate Peabody winner and Emmy nominated writer Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia) has been tapped to complete work on Lost in Austen based on the original UK television series. Lost in Austen will be the first feature writing project for Brownstein and was one of Nora Ephron's unfinished works.
Brownsteinis the co-creator, co-writer and co-star of IFC's hit comedy Portlandia and is also a musician. She will next appear in Jill Soloway's Transparent for Amazon and Todd Haynes' Carol, which stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.
"Carrie is smart and funny and original, and the project is very lucky to have her."
In Lost in Austen, Amanda lives and works in present day Brooklyn, until she suddenly finds herself »
It’s the first feature writing project for Brownstein, and one of Nora Ephron’s unfinished works at the time of the screenwriter’s death in 2012.
Columbia Pictures, Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris of Neal Street Productions, and Nathan Kahane of Good Universe will produce. Damien Timmer and Michele Buck of Mammoth Screen and Nicolas Brown of Neal Street will executive produce alongside John Middleton, Roy Lee and Joe Drake.
“Carrie is smart and funny and original, and the project is very lucky to have her,” said Sam Mendes, producer and partner of Neal Street.
- Dave McNary
The assignment marks the feature debut of the Emmy-nominated writer and the project is based on the original UK television series.
Damien Timmer and Michele Buck of Mammoth Screen and Nicolas Brown of Neal Street are the executive producers alongside John Middleton, Roy Lee and Joe Drake. Erin Westerman will oversee the project for Good Universe.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
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