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While most studios in Hollywood are betting on superheroes to save the box office, Universal Pictures is doubling down on creature features.
This month, the studio acquired rights to Anne Rice’s “The Vampire Chronicles” book series. In July, it announced plans to create a Marvel-like cinematic universe around Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Invisible Man and the Creature From the Black Lagoon. At the same time, the studio inked an eyebrow-raising 10-year, first-look deal with microbudget horror producer Jason Blum, whose Blumhouse Films is behind the profitable “Paranormal Activity,” “Sinister,” “Insidious” and “The Purge” franchises. Last summer, the studio lured Legendary Entertainment into the fold, and now the production firm is co-financing U’s “Jurassic World” and “Dracula Untold,” and has its own upcoming thrillers, including “As Above, So Below” and King Kong tentpole “Skull Island,” which Universal will release.
As Disney, Fox, Sony and Warner Bros. plant flags »
- Marc Graser
Paris - Walking through the Paris catacombs, it's hard to believe Hollywood hasn't mined this wonder more on the big screen. There have been films that have tried, 2007's "Catacombs" being one of them, but its a rare few that have ever gotten access to shoot in the actual underground tunnels and quarries. The upcoming thriller "As Above/So Below" is the exception. Directed by John Erick Dowdle ("Devil," "The Poughkeepsie Tapes") from a screenplay by Dowdle and his brother Drew, "As Above/So Below" introduces audiences to Scarlet Marlowe (Perdita Weeks), a gutsy archeologist on a global search for an ancient artifact. When she determines this potentially magic object may lie beneath the City of Lights in the Catacombs of Paris she recruits an old flame (Ben Feldman, soon to be seen on NBC's "A to Z") and a few local tunnel experts to check it out. When they »
- Gregory Ellwood
Legendary Pictures' yuletide horror comedy Krampus will ring in the holidays in 2015, opening in theaters Nov. 25. Universal announced the date on Tuesday, in addition to setting Legendary's 3D supernatural military thriller Spectral for release in theaters on Aug. 12, 2016. Universal is handling both titles per its deal with Thomas Tull's Legendary. Krampus isn't the only movie project in the works centered on the centuries-old, devil-like creature known in certain Northern European folklore traditions as Krampus, who is infamous for eating naughty children during the season of giving. Filmmaker Kevin Smith is putting his own spin
- Pamela McClintock
Legendary Pictures announced this afternoon that its holiday horror film Krampus is arriving in theaters on November 25, 2015. This is the next feature film written and directed by Michael Dougherty of Trick 'r Treat.
- Ryan Turek
Universal Pictures has set a 2015 date for horror comedy Krampus, the Christmas-set flick to be directed by Trick ‘R Treat‘s Michael Dougherty. The yuletide frightener co-written by Dougherty, Todd Casey and Zach Shields is based on the ancient legend of a pagan demon who punishes wicked children – a really bad Santa. Producers are Legendary’s Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Alex Garcia. Krampus will hit theaters Wednesday, November 25, 2015 just in time to go up against Disney’s The Good Dinosaur, Fox’s The Martian, and WB’s Midnight Special for the Thanksgiving crowd.
Universal and Legendary have additionally set an August 12, 2016 date for the 3D thriller Spectral, about an elite Special Ops team on the trail of a phantom threat that can’t be explained. Nic Mathieu is directing James Badge Dale, Emily Mortimer, Max Martini and Bruce Greenwood in the pic scripted by Ian Fried, George Nolfi and John Gatins. »
- The Deadline Team
Cinedigm has acquired Us rights to City Of Peace’s faith drama Identical, starring Ashley Judd, Amanda Crew, Seth Green, Joe Pantoliano, Ray Liotta and Erin Cottrell. The film will open on September 5 on 1,200 screens while ancillary is set for »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Shortly after Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla scored $93.2 million during its opening weekend run, Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. revealed that a sequel was in development. Two months later they made Godzilla 2 official at San Diego Comic-Con and now we’ve got a release date to go along with it – June 8, 2018. At the moment, Godzilla 2 has that June 8, 2018 slot all to itself, but summer 2018 is a long way away, so it’ll probably get some company as we get closer. Hit the jump for more on the Godzilla 2 release date. The first film is actually still playing in a handful of theaters and stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche and David Strathairn. No one wants to wait four years for a sequel, but Edwards needs the time. It was announced in San Diego that Edwards will return to direct the next film, »
- Perri Nemiroff
Gareth Edwards, who cut his teeth on the low-budgeted Monsters before directing Godzilla for the studios, will be returning to direct the sequel after he helms an untitled Star Wars spinoff in 2016, from a script by Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli). We don’t know too much about the human cast of the Godzilla sequel, though Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah, all classic adversaries that the King of Monsters faced off against in previous Godzilla films, are all confirmed to be making appearances down the line.
Godzilla has been a priority for Legendary since the first film grossed a solid $507.7 million at the global box office. The project was one in which Legendary CEO Thomas Tull deeply believed, though the classic movie monster’s »
- Isaac Feldberg
“Godzilla 2,” the sequel to Gareth Edwards‘ monster hit “Godzilla” has been set for a June 8, 2018 release date, Warner Bros and Legendary announced on Thursday. Edwards’ “Godzilla” came out in May and grossed $491.3 million at the box office. It starred Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen and Bryan Cranston as well as the classic Japanese movie reptile, who was tasked with saving the world from two other monsters. Also read: Guillermo Del Toro's ‘Pacific Rim 2' Lands 2017 Release Date At Comic Con over the summer, Legendary CEO Thomas Tull told the Hall H crowd that the sequel will see Godzilla. »
- Linda Ge
A sequel to director Gareth Edwards' Godzilla, which was met with critical and financial success upon its release this past May, has been greenlit by Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures. The two companies have now announced that the film will be released in theaters on June 8th, 2018. Edwards is slated to return to the director's chair. During this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego, Legendary CEO Thomas Tull revealed to the 6,000+ crowd in Hall H that the sequel will introduce fan favorite monsters from the Godzilla mythology Mothra, Rodin and Ghidora. At this time there's no word if any cast members will return to reprise their roles. Godzilla, starring Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn and Ken Watanabe, »
- Pietro Filipponi
Will Guillermo del Toro ever get to direct Justice League Dark? Who knows. He’s finishing up an October 2015 release in Crimson Peak, and then moves into 2017′s Pacific Rim 2. After that his schedule is hypothetically open. At Comic-Con, Legendary chairman Thomas Tull teased the filmmaker about possibly letting him make passion projects Into the […]
- Germain Lussier
Later this month, horror fans will find out what lurks in the catacombs beneath Paris when As Above, So Below arrives in theaters. Ahead of the movie’s upcoming release, Universal has given us a look at two clips and behind-the-scenes footage.
“Miles of twisting catacombs lie beneath the streets of Paris, the eternal home to countless souls. When a team of explorers ventures into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the secret of what this city of the dead was meant to contain. A journey into madness and terror, As Above, So Below reaches deep into the human psyche to reveal the personal demons that come back to haunt us all.
Written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle (Quarantine, Devil) and directed by John Erick Dowdle, the psychological thriller is produced by Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Patrick Aiello and Drew Dowdle. Alex Hedlund serves as the executive producer. »
- Jonathan James
Arriving in theaters August 29th is As Above, So Below, a documentary-style horror directed by John Erick Dowdle from a script he co-wrote with brother Drew Dowdle. The film centers on a team of archeologists who venture deep into the Parisian Catacombs in search of an ancient relic, but soon find themselves trapped underground where they're confronted by the demons of their past. Following their Hall H panel at Comic-Con last weekend, I sat down with the pair to chat about the film. They talked about filming in the Catacombs of Paris, delving into the site's amazing history, the film's unexpected alchemical element, their approach to "found footage" filmmaking, collaborating with Legendary CEO Thomas Tull, and a lot more. They also talked about their upcoming film The Coup. Check out what they had to say about As Above So Below after the jump. Question: How did the panel go? John Erick Dowdle »
- Haleigh Foutch
At Comic-Con, Legendary confused attendees quite a bit by unexpectedly unveiling Skull Island at the end of its Hall H panel, which also included Guillermo del Toro speaking about his upcoming film Crimson Peak. Due to the short nature of the tease and its proximity to del Toro speaking on stage about his Gothic horror project, many assumed that Legendary was telling us del Toro would direct the King Kong origin story.
That doesn’t appear to have actually been the case, seeing as Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) has reportedly been offered the movie, but we’re not the only ones who think del Toro would be a terrific choice. Peter Jackson, the director of 2005′s King Kong, recently gave his two cents on Skull Island, voicing enthusiasm for a del Toro-directed version:
“I don’t know anything about it. I’m hearing it from you, for the first time. »
- Isaac Feldberg
If I were asked to make a list of my favorite people, I'm sure Guillermo Del Toro would take up at least three or four spots on the list all by himself. Sure, he's an amazing visual artist, with a rich and detailed imagination that seems to have no limits in scope or variety, and that is something you have to value in an age where we finally have technology that can keep up with him. And, yes, I think he's got a wicked sense of humor that comes out only in the overtly comic moments in his movies but also in the way he plays things straight. He's not above playing around with the audience and the way they expect things to unfold. He'll tell you a story and he'll stick it to you with some violation of convention, and if you're onboard, you'll laugh, and if you're not, »
- Drew McWeeny
The found-footage sub-genre has really come of age, and the Dowdle Brothers ("Quarantine") give it their own supernatural spin with "As Above, So Below" (Aug. 29). But although they were playing with an Indiana Jones-like archaeological bit of horror, John Erick and Drew told me after the Legendary panel in Hall H that the project didn't coalesce until Legendary producer Thomas Tull pitched them the Paris catacombs concept. "Scarlet Marlowe [Perdita Weeks] is our fearless archaeologist who is searching for something and won't be stopped," explains director John Erick, who co-writes with brother Drew. "We were also fascinated with the stories of Nicolas Flamel, who allegedly discovered The Philosopher's Stone. But we wanted the movie to feel almost like: What would happen if you wandered into your own mind? The thing you would never tell another person. What would happen if you found that in a physical space? »
- Bill Desowitz
Saturday afternoon at the end of Legendary Pictures’ Hall H presentation at 2014 San Diego Comic Con International, Studio head Thomas Tull left the crowd with one last surprise — an announcement teaser for a King Kong prequel Skull Island. Instead of surprise and excitement, the crowd was left confused. That was definitely not the […]
The post Why ‘Skull Island’s Surprise Reveal Confused Comic Con’s Hall H appeared first on /Film. »
- Peter Sciretta
At the end of the Legendary panel, studio head Thomas Tull returned to the stage to thank the fans and show off one last thing. The surprise is the announcement of a new King Kong movie titled Skull Island. Thomas Tull announced that they had “been tinkering around with one thing” and showed us some […]
- Peter Sciretta
Few filmmakers have as much geek cred as Guillermo del Toro, who has brought us some of the most visually enchanting fantasy films in cinematic history. He’s the man who made us love the Antichrist with Hellboy, created the terrifying Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth, and who brought us giddily back to our childhood days of mashing together action figures with Pacific Rim (among other stunning accomplishments). So, it wasn’t exactly a shock when his Comic-Con panel in Hall H, showcasing del Toro’s upcoming Crimson Peak, was received with wild excitement from attendees.
Before showing off some material from the horror flick, which is 18 months away from release still, del Toro told fans that the film is “a gothic romance” and, thanks to Legendary, will be R-rated, violent and beautiful. The crowd liked that promise very much. They liked what he had to show even more. »
- Isaac Feldberg
DC bested Marvel at Comic-Con with its film presentation Saturday — at least when it came to early online buzz.
The first look at Warner Bros. and DC’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” edged out Marvel’s “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” generating 112,108 overall mentions and 8,356 intent-to-view mentions, or 7%, according to research group Way to Blue.
“Age of Ultron” received 62,542 overall mentions, but a higher intent-to-see response, with 8,483, or 14%.
When it comes to studio buzz, Warner Bros. again dominated Saturday at Comic-Con with 45% of the conversation. But the company was also aided not only by its bigscreen superheroes but also its shows on TV presenting in San Diego on Saturday, including “Arrow” and “The Vampire Diaries. »
- Marc Graser
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