9 items from 2014
According to Deadline, Sony Pictures is moving forward with a planned reboot of the “Zorro” franchise based on the 2005 Isabel Allende novel, which centers on the young Zorro who witnesses the brutal injustices dealt to Native Americans.
Screenwriter Chris Boal, brother of Mark Boal (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “The Hurt Locker”), has come onboard to rewrite a draft previously penned by Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia. Boal was a competitive fencer on the national circuit before becoming a writer.
This new project will have nothing to do with the Antonio Banderas films The Mask of Zorro and The Legend of Zorro but will have a sort of “Batman Begins” style of approach, with a new backstory, gritty realism and emotional core. So for those of you who have seen the Banderas films, this will follow Anthony Hopkins character’s backstory. There will be swordplay, combined with the martial arts that came »
- Kellvin Chavez
The project is based on Isabel Allende's 2005 novel of the same name, with Stephen Scaia and Matthew Federman previously working on the script. This reboot is said to be less of a traditional swashbuckling tale and more of a dark and gritty version similar to The Dark Knight, giving this iconic character a new origin story with an "emotional core." There will be swordplay featured in the story, although it will be infused with European martial arts that combine swords and daggers with grappling and bare knuckle combat. Before he became a writer, Chris Boal was a competitive fencer on the national circuit.
The Zorro character first appeared in Johnston McCulley's 1919 novella "The Curse of Capistrano", Allende's work is an origin tale and prequel to the events of that story, and contains numerous references to other famous Zorro works including 1998's "The Mask of Zorro".
The project is not to be confused with Fox's rival sci-fi take "Zorro Reborn" which puts the character in a "Mad Max"-esque apocalyptic wasteland.
- Garth Franklin
Columbia Pictures is moving forward with their proposed reboot of the Zorro franchise. Deadline reports that they've hired professional fencer/playwright-turned-screenwriter Chris Boal (the brother of The Hurt Locker scribe Mark Boal) to rewrite the draft previously scripted by Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia, in turn based on the 2005 Isabel Allende novel that served as a mock biography of he fictional character. That book is officially described as follows: A swashbuckling adventure story, "Zorro" reveals the history behind the legendary masked man. Born in Southern California in the late eighteenth century, Diego de la Vega is a child of two worlds. His father is an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner, his mother a Shoshone warrior. From »
Writers alway like to add plot twists. The trophy to Billy Ray and “Captain Phillips” was a popular choice at the Wgaw Saturday, but the talk of the room was the win for Spike Jonze’s “Her.” But maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise. The Warner Bros. film is a quiet powerhouse; in private conversations, many Academy voters have singled it out as their favorite film.
The WGA original screenplay race is especially interesting because the five contenders are the same five cited by Oscar.
The adapted-screenplay win is certainly a boost for Ray and the Sony film but in Oscar terms, it comes with a footnote, since two strong Academy contenders were not WGA eligible: “Philomena” and “12 Years a Slave.”
As Jonze stated in his acceptance, “It’s a high honor coming from writers.” Peer recognition is incomparable. But at this time of year, every awards announcement »
- Tim Gray
Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese nominated as ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ producers: Oscar 2014 (photo: Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’) According to a press release from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the producers nominated for the Martin Scorsese-directed satire-drama The Wolf of Wall Street are the following: Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joey McFarland, and Emma Tillinger Koskoff. Scorsese and DiCaprio are now double Oscar 2014 nominees; Scorsese was also shortlisted as Best Director, while DiCaprio is in the running as Best Actor. Update: Left out of the Oscar 2014 running is The Wolf of Wall Street‘s fifth credited producer, Riza Aziz, Joey McFarland’s partner at producing company Red Granite. Aziz, McFarland, and Koskoff had been the officially listed producers for the 2014 Producers Guild Awards; the Academy’s Producers Branch, however, chose to leave Aziz out while listing Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese in his place. »
- Anna Robinson
WGA Awards 2014 nominations: Woody Allen, ‘American Hustle’ in; ’12 Years a Slave,’ ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’ ineligible (photo: Cate Blanchett and Woody Allen on the ‘Blue Jasmine’ set) The Writers Guild of America has announced the nominees for the 2014 WGA Awards. The lists — adapted and original screenplay, documentary screenplay — mostly feature the expected titles, in addition to a handful of surprises chiefly because several of this year’s top contenders for screenplay awards have failed to meet the WGA’s strict eligibility rules. Among the out-of-contention screenplays for the 2014 WGA Awards were John Ridley’s 12 Years a Slave, Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope’s Philomena, Asghar Farhadi’s The Past, Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix’s Blue Is the Warmest Color, William Nicholson’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Peter Morgan’s Rush, Destin Daniel Cretton’s Short Term 12, and Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station. The winners of the »
- Steve Montgomery
Writers Guild of America’s just-announced nominees have reason for optimism in terms of the upcoming Academy Awards, but they come with a load of footnotes and caveats.
The WGA has a pretty solid track record at predicting Oscar winners, though as far as nominations, there are more discrepancies, due to the guild’s eligibility rules.
Original screenplay candidates are David O. Russell and Eric Singer for “American Hustle”; perennial fave Woody Allen with his 21st nom, “Blue Jasmine”; Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, “Dallas Buyers Club”; Spike Jonze, “Her”; and Bob Nelson, “Nebraska.”
Adapted screenplay: Tracy Letts, “August: Osage County”; Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, “Before Midnight”; Billy Ray, “Captain Phillips”; Peter Berg, “Lone Survivor”; and Terence Winter, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
Many of these contenders will be mentioned again when Oscar noms are announced Jan. 16. But there will undoubtedly be some changes, due to Writers Guild restrictions. »
- Tim Gray
Mixing mainstream and specialty titles, the Writers Guild of America has nominated Tracy Letts for “August: Osage County,” Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke for “Before Midnight,” Billy Ray for “Captain Phillips,” Peter Berg for “Lone Survivor” and Terence Winter for “The Wolf of Wall Street” for its adapted screenplay award.
The WGA selected Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell for “American Hustle,” Woody Allen for “Blue Jasmine,” Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack for “Dallas Buyers Club,” Spike Jonze for “Her” and Bob Nelson for “Nebraska” for top original screenplay.
- Dave McNary
9 items from 2014
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