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10 items from 2007


Marley & Jennifer & Owen

20 August 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Its one of those projects that already has a solid fan base, it spent many weeks on the NYTimes best sellers’ list and is getting a quick push into production. Variety reports that Jennifer Aniston (whose been signing up for several projects as of late) has signed on along with Owen Wilson. Furthermore, Shawn Levy who was attached to direct finally won’t - David Frankel who hit I out of the park with The Devil Wears Prada will be calling the shots for Marley & Me.Based on Philadelphia Inquirer columnist John Grogan's memoir of life with his yellow Labrador retriever. Marley was adopted by Grogan and his wife. Their idea was to give them a taste of parenthood, but the dog proved to be a hyperactive handful. He wreaks havoc, gets kicked out of obedience school and gets even worse when the children begin to arrive, yet becomes »

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Applegate plays lead in 'Rocker'

12 June 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Christina Applegate has been cast as the female lead opposite Rainn Wilson in The Rocker, which Peter Cattaneo is directing for Fox Atomic. Shawn Levy and Tom McNulty are producing via their 21 Laps Entertainment banner.

Also joining the cast of the music-themed comedy are Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Emma Stone (Superbad), musician-actor Teddy Geiger, Jason Sudeikis (Saturday Night Live), Jane Lynch (The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and Demetri Martin (The Daily Show With Jon Stewart).

The film centers on a failed, over-the-hill drummer (Wilson) who, 20 years after getting booted out of his now uber-famous band, gets a second chance at fame with a new act, a high school garage band headed by his nephew (Josh Gad).

Applegate plays Wilson's love interest and the mother of the lead guitarist in the garage band.

Ryan Jaffe wrote the original screenplay, while Wallace Wolodarsky and Maya Forbes are penning the most recent draft.

Principal photography is set to begin June 18 in Toronto.

President of production Debbie Liebling is overseeing the project for Atomic. »

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Zwart leaps into 'Panther' helming chair

11 June 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Harald Zwart will direct The Pink Panther 2 for Columbia Pictures and MGM.

Steve Martin will reprise his role as the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the modern-day farce. Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber penned the screenplay, which follows the continuing adventures of the French detective.

In January, Sony tapped veteran comedy scribes Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel to rewrite the sequel (HR 1/12).

Robert Simonds is producing, and Shawn Levy, who directed the most recent Pink Panther, is executive producing.

Elizabeth Cantillon and Devon Franklin are overseeing for Sony, which is eyeing a late August start date.

Zwart, whose helming credits include Agent Cody Banks and One Night at McCool's, is repped by ICM. »

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Gad lands 'Rocker' gig at Fox unit

8 June 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Josh Gad will star opposite Rainn Wilson in The Rocker, a music-themed comedy Peter Cattaneo is directing for Fox Atomic. Shawn Levy and Tom McNulty are producing via their 21 Laps Entertainment banner.

The film tells the story of a failed, over-the-hill drummer (Wilson) who, 20 years after getting booted out of his now uber-famous former band, gets a second chance at fame with a new band.

Gad plays Wilson's nephew and head of a high school rock band that Wilson ends up joining.

Ryan Jaffe wrote the original screenplay, while Wallace Wolodarsky and Maya Forbes are penning the most recent draft.

Principal photography is set to start June 18 in Toronto.

President of production Debbie Liebling is overseeing the project for Atomic.

Gad took over Dan Fogler's Tony Award-winning role as William Barfee in "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" on Broadway in 2006. This fall, he stars alongside Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton and Fred Willard in Fox's Back to You, scheduled to air Wednesdays. »

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Kinberg has words for 'Hardy'

18 April 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Mr. & Mrs. Smith scribe Simon Kinberg has been tapped to do an overhaul on Fox 2000's Hardy Men, which Tom Cruise and Ben Stiller are set to topline.

Shawn Levy is attached to direct the big-screen comedy, which follows the grown-up adventures of the Hardy Boys, teen detectives of literary fame.

Stiller is producing with his Red Hour Films partner Stuart Cornfeld. Bob Kosberg, who brought the idea to Stiller several years ago, also is producing. The long-gestating project, which has seen several writers on it, revolves around the Hardy Boys, now grown up and estranged, reuniting to solve a mystery. Kinberg will start from scratch and is expected to take the story in a new direction.

The studio is eyeing a January shoot.

The long-running Hardy Boys book series began in 1927 and was written by various ghost writers under the pen name Franklin W. Dixon. The series' 58 books chronicled the adventures of teens Frank and Joe Hardy, amateur detectives who often helped their father, a private investigator, in solving crimes. »

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Fox makes a deal with 'Devil'

2 March 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

20th Century Fox has acquired Steve Bencich and Ron Friedman's pitch The Devil You Know for mid-six figures against just under $1 million.

Shawn Levy will produce through his Fox-based 21 Laps shingle alongside Gotham Group's Ellen Goldsmith-Vein.

Bencich and Friedman, who penned Open Season, Chicken Little and Brother Bear, will adapt Devil from the children's book by Nathan Hale. Despite Bencich and Friedman's animation pedigree, Devil will be a live-action film.

The book revolves around the Fell family and the little devil that lives in their house. The Fells grow impatient with the demon, who does all sorts of bad things. When the prim and proper Ms. Phisto mysteriously appears and offers to remove the little devil and take his place, the Fells wind up with more than they bargained for.

Plot details of Bencich and Friedman's pitch are being kept under wraps, but the family comedy is described as in the vein of Fox blockbuster Night at the Museum. 21 Laps' Tom McNulty brought the project into the shingle, which also ushered in Museum.

Fox's Emma Watts is shepherding the film for the studio. »

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'Norbit' take hefty at $33.7 mil

11 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Eddie Murphy is proving to be as big of a movie star as the fat suit he wears in the DreamWorks comedy Norbit.

The Academy Award-nominated actor has earned himself the top spot in the North American boxoffice rankings with his latest film, a Paramount Pictures release, just two weekends before he could very well nab his first Oscar statuette off his Dreamgirls performance.

But while Norbit killed with an estimated $33.7 million for the three-day frame, the thriller Hannibal Rising, an MGM release of a film from the Weinstein Co., died at a meager $13.3 million. Hannibal's disappointing opening take dragged down the weekend's boxoffice totals, which saw the top 12 movies down an estimated 10% compared to the same frame last year. It marks the sixth consecutive down weekend of 2007. Universal Pictures' romantic comedy Because I Said So held up well in its second weekend, grossing an estimated $9 million and falling only 31% to nab the third spot in the boxoffice rankings. The Diane Keaton starrer has grossed an estimated $25.6 million in 10 days of release.

Sony Pictures' The Messengers didn't hold up as strongly. Typical for a horror flick, the Screen Gems production, which ranked No. 1 last weekend, fell an estimated 51%, grossing $7.2 million. The film's cume stands at an estimated $24.7 million after two weekends in wide release.

20th Century Fox's Night at the Museum continues to astonish. The film, which has been in theaters for two months, fell only 10% compared to its last frame. In fifth place, the Ben Stiller starrer from director Shawn Levy earned an estimated $5.7 million to put its cume at an astronomical $232 million.

Another Universal holdover also seems to be hanging in there a bit more strongly than expected. The Joe Carnahan-directed Smokin' Aces fell 38% in its third weekend in release, grossing an additional $3.7 million. In seventh place, the R-rated actioner has earned $30.8 million in its 17 days in release. Fox's parody Epic Movie tumbled 47% as it collected $4.5 million, which put it in sixth place.

Oscar-nominated films rounded out the top 10, with Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth continuing to interest audiences. The adult fantasy tale fell only 4% from last weekend on 61 additional theaters. »

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News 'Flash': Levy to helm

5 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Shawn Levy has stepped on board to direct Warner Bros. Pictures' The Flash, the big-screen adaptation of the DC Comics speedster hero. Levy's decision to get involved in the project is his first move since the successful release of his Night at the Museum, a $225 million boxoffice smash.

Charles Roven and Alex Gartner are producing Flash. It is believed that Levy will act in a producing capacity as well.

Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert, the original Flash first appeared in Flash Comics #1 in 1940. In comics lore, there have been four incarnations of the scarlet speedster, who has remained one of DC's most popular characters. He has ability to run and move extremely fast, use superhuman reflexes and violate certain laws of physics, like time travel.

David Goyer, who co-wrote Batman Begins for Warners, had been attached to write, direct and produce a screen adaptation. But Goyer quietly left the project several months ago, though it was not until Friday that he announced his departure on his MySpace page. »

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Scribes adding color to 'Pink'

12 January 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Columbia Pictures has tapped veteran comedy scribes Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel to rewrite the next installment in the Pink Panther franchise.

Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber penned an earlier draft of The Pink Panther 2, which will see Steve Martin return as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau.

Ganz and Mandel are known as the go-to rewrite duo for studio fare, having polished such films as Hitch, 50 First Dates, Fat Albert, National Treasure, Kangaroo Jack, The Notebook and Stuart Little 2.

MGM co-produced the most recent Pink Panther film, which last year earned $158.7 million worldwide. The revamped studio is expected to team again with Sony to co-produce Pink Panther 2.

Sony is negotiating with Shawn Levy, who helmed Pink Panther, to executive produce the sequel. There is no director attached yet.

Robert Simonds is producing, and Sony's Elizabeth Cantillon is overseeing for the studio.

Ganz and Mandel, whose recent credits include Fever Pitch and Robots, have several screenplays in development, including Magic Kingdom for Sale -- Sold at Universal Pictures.

They are repped by CAA. »

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'Museum,' 'Happyness,' 'Dreamgirls' boost b.o.

1 January 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Thanks to a plethora of feel-good films, the final weekend of 2006 was a victorious one at the boxoffice. Strong performances from 20th Century Fox's Night at the Museum, Sony Pictures' The Pursuit of Happyness and Paramount Pictures' Dreamgirls, which is now a bona fide hit thanks to a stellar frame, helped the final holiday weekend of the year beat out 2005 by an estimated 12%.

Museum topped the weekend for a second consecutive frame, earning an estimated $46.7 million during the four days. The two-week-old movie, starring Ben Stiller and directed by Shawn Levy, has grossed $125.7 million.

Happyness, starring Will Smith and directed by Gabriele Muccino, also is holding remarkably well. The film opened in the top spot three weekends ago and has held onto second place for the past two frames, topping more than $100 million.

Dreamgirls, director Bill Condon's adaptation of the Broadway musical from DreamWorks, also has proven to be a success. After a weekend of special engagements and a Christmas Day expansion that saw a one-day take of $8.7 million, the movie's first full wide weekend in theaters garnered a per-screen average of $21,830 for an estimated four-day total of $18.6 million and a cume of $41.6 million, good for a third-place finish overall. After several boxoffice failures such as Rent and The Producers, Dreamgirls marks the first musical hit since 2002's Chicago, which won the Oscar for best picture.

"This is a bigger weekend then 'Chicago' had at any point in its run," said Rob Moore, Paramount's worldwide marketing and distribution president, who pointed to 'Chicago's' highest-grossing weekend of $12.9 million, when it was in more than 2,200 theaters. "The combination of the cast Condon put together and the universal story has really captured people's imagination. It's working everywhere in the country."

Paramount will expand the Beyonce Knowles starrer Jan. 12 to about 1,800 theaters.

No new wide releases hit the boxoffice during the weekend, which gave holdovers more of an opportunity to stretch their market reach and lure in as many holiday customers as possible. »

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10 items from 2007


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