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Aja Talks "Cobra" Manga Adaptation Status

1 hour ago

Though mostly known for horror movies like "Piranha" and the upcoming "Horns", filmmaker Alexandre Aja's long gestating dream project is a film adaptation of the Japanese sci-fi manga series "Cobra" (aka. "Space Cobra").

Several years ago he and Gregory Levasseur were teaming up to pen a live-action adaptation, and Cinema Blend recently asked him at Comic Con how it was progressing. Turns out the budget is the problem:

"It's a huge, huge project. Super expensive. Like $150 million-plus. It can only be done with a major movie star and most of them are not available for like five years. So we're still working and trying to make it happen."

The manga, which has sold 30 million copies and was adapted to television in the early 80s, follows a bored office worker who pays to experience a customized dream. Though he asks to be the king of a harem, he gets thrusts into an adventure involving pirates, »

- Garth Franklin

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Jackson On More "Smaug," "Dam Busters" Remake

1 hour ago

If there was a surprise about "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" extended edition, it's the fact that it wasn't really that extended - the film scoring only an additional 13 minutes on top of its theatrical 169 minute runtime for a total of 182 minutes.

That quotient is being upped for the sequel. Filmmaker Peter Jackson confirmed at Comic Con that the upcoming "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" will clock in with around 25 minutes of extra footage. He tells Deadline:

"The Smaug movie, we've got 25 or 26 minutes of pretty good stuff for that DVD. The first one, there wasn't that much we left on the cutting room floor and it wasn't earth shattering. But this is worthwhile stuff that you haven't seen before."

'Smaug' has a 161 minute runtime, meaning the additions will bring it up to a 186 minute film.

With his work on the final "The Hobbit" drawing to a close, Jackson »

- Garth Franklin

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Pegg, Johnson Play It Vague On "Star Wars"

1 hour ago

During press rounds at Comic Con, actor Benedict Cumberbatch let slip a comment that didn't confirm but did seem to suggest that rumors of actor Simon Pegg making a small appearance in "Star Wars: Episode VII" are true.

Speaking with Vulture, Pegg was asked about this and said he won't be seen on screen. He uses his wording very carefully though, in such a way that it now has people thinking he'll have a voice role:

"Well, J.J. uses me in different roles, and we're good friends. I feel like my face in Star Wars would pop people out of the movie. Look, I love Star Wars, and I don't want people to watch and go, 'Oh, there's Simon Pegg's face.' The film is cleverly cast with these amazing, unknown actors."

When asked outright if he wasn't in the film, he smiled and said:

"Of course I visited the set. »

- Garth Franklin

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Aussie "Ninja Turtles" Poster Scores Criticism

1 hour ago

As the Northern Hemisphere heads into the back end of Summer, day-and-date film releases have all but dried up - a fact that can be visibly seen by the lack of social media whinging by those who bemoan the few weeks every May when overseas audiences get a handful of blockbusters first.

Paramount's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" for example doesn't hit overseas in quite a few places until several weeks after its U.S. launch. Here in Australia, it's scheduled to open a full month later on September 11th.

Unfortunately a poster for the film crafted by the local distributor opted to use the clearly spelled out release date with the image of the turtles falling out of an exploding New York skyscraper. Here's the same poster, but without the specific Aussie release date.

It's a rookie marketing mistake that would've probably gone unseen in the pre-Internet age. These days? »

- Garth Franklin

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Game Promos: Halo, Duty, Unity, Last

5 hours ago

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

343 Industries previewed the new "Halo: The Master Chief Collection" at this year's Comic-Con and confirmed players will be able to run campaign mode starting in the first "Halo" and playing straight through to the end of "Halo 4".

The game's user interface allows you to jump into which ever "Halo" game and whichever mission they want. Players can chose which game-specific multi-player mode they would like to experience, and have access to over one-hundred maps for multiplayer including the likes of Zanzibar, Coagulation and Ascension from "Halo 2". 'Flashback' mode allows you toggle between the original and remastered graphics.

As for the remaster itself, it's more extensive than you might think. Blur Studio updated the cinematics for the new collection and remastered "Halo 2" with the help of new motion capture and animation. Every character and asset got a refresh and the result looks pretty spectacular:

Call of »

- Garth Franklin

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Casting: Hodge, Gooding, Livingston, Moore

5 hours ago

Straight Outta Compton

Aldis Hodge ("Turn") will play Mc Ren and Neil Brown, Jr. ("The Walking Dead") will play DJ Yella in F. Gary Gray's upcoming N.W.A. biopic "Straight Outta Compton" at Universal Pictures.

The duo join O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell have been cast as Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-e respectively in the story of the five members of the famed 1980s rap group. [Source: Deadline]

Big Time in Hollywood

Cuba Gooding Jr, Michael Madsen and Keith David have joined the cast of Comedy Central’s new scripted series "Big Time In Hollywood, Fl." Gooding will play a fictionalized version of himself, Madsen will play a grizzled and alcoholic P.I., David will play a federal agent sent to investigate Cartel activity.

The story follows two delusional brothers and self-proclaimed filmmakers (Alex Anfanger, Lenny Jacobson), who are kicked out of their parents' house and forced »

- Garth Franklin

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Game News: Arkham, Journey, PS4, Mass

5 hours ago

Batman: Arkham Knight

Jason Todd himself, The Red Hood, is set to serve as a playable character in the upcoming "Batman: Arkham Knight" in missions exclusive to Us gamers who preorder at Gamestop.

The missions will be part of an exclusive story mode, alongside the already announced story missions for Harley Quinn. As with all Arkham characters, he's getting a makeover which in this case is more akin to his New 52 look. [Source: ]

Journey & The Unfinished Swan

A list of playable titles at Gamescom 2014 in Germany has allegedly confirmed that two of the most acclaimed PS3 indie games are coming to the Playstation 4 later this year - "Journey" and "The Unfinished Swan". If so they will likely be updated to run at 1080p/60fps. [Source: Segment Next]

PS4 - Dlna

A verified employee from Sony appeared on the PlayStation 4 subreddit recently to talk about upcoming features for the console. One of the most frequent »

- Garth Franklin

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New Trailer & Posters: "The Maze Runner"

8 hours ago

Aside from maybe "The Hunger Games," the most male-skewing of the young adult novel to film adaptations of late appears to be Fox's "The Maze Runner" opening in September. Boasting a strong concept and great leading star in the form of Dylan O'Brien ("Teen Wolf"), the question is can this overcome the curse of this genre that has seen all but a handful of efforts in it struggle.

Following the first trailer earlier this year, Fox has released a new trailer and a whole slew of new posters for the film, all of which can be seen below:

»

- Garth Franklin

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J.R. Ramirez To Play Wildcat On"Arrow"

8 hours ago

J.R. Ramirez ("Emily Owens, MD," "Power") has been cast as Ted 'Wildcat' Grant on the upcoming third season of "Arrow" on The CW. The character it set to be introduced on the show in the upcoming third season with the role potentially being a recurring one.

In the comics, he was the mentor of various masked vigilantes including the Black Canary. In "Arrow" he'll serve a pivotal role in Laurel Lance's arc this season. His character in this version is a former boxer who now runs a gym for underprivileged youth.

Wildcat is one of several major DC comic characters joining the show this season, the most high-profile addition being villain Ra’s al Ghul whom has yet to be cast.

Source: Deadline »

- Garth Franklin

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"Avatar" Sequels To Film For Nearly A Year

9 hours ago

Out doing press for "Guardians of the Galaxy," actress Zoe Saldana has spoken briefly about the upcoming "Avatar" sequels and when they will head into production. She tells The Mirror:

"James Cameron is still working on the final drafts of the script and then everyone in the cast will get the call.

We're going to be shooting mainly in Los Angeles and that will make things easier for me since I live there.

Because we're doing the sequels back-to-back and it's going to take at least eight or nine months or more to finish the (three) films."

»

- Garth Franklin

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Joe Cornish Offered Legendary's "Skull Island"

9 hours ago

"Attack the Block" director Joe Cornish has reportedly been offered the upcoming King Kong reboot "Skull Island" for Legendary Pictures.

The origin story will deal with the giant gorilla and his life on an island of prehistoric monsters before he was taken into captivity.

"Godzilla" scribe Max Borenstein will be writing the script for the film which was announced this past weekend at Comic Con. The film is targeting a November 2016 release.

Cornish's next project is Universal's "Section 6" starring Jack O'Connell as a young British Wwi veteran tasked with a secret mission to recover coded assassination orders in Russia in 1919.

Source: Deadline »

- Garth Franklin

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Photo: A Drone From "Avengers: Age of Ultron"

9 hours ago

A photo of yet another prop from Joss Whedon's "Avengers: Age of Ultron," on display at the San Diego Comic Con this weekend, has gone online. This one showcasing one of Ultron's drones as it was being packed away.

Photo: @Avengers Age of Ultron - Ultron drone prop seen leaving @Comic_Con!! http://t.co/GD9C9kUutE

— Iron ☀ Man (@antman8o8) July 29, 2014 »

- Garth Franklin

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Trailer: Asylum's Female Expendables Clone

9 hours ago

Just before "The Expendables 3" hits cinemas, "Sharknado" producers The Asylum is releasing its own low-budget rip-off version "Mercenaries". Several female action heroes including Kristanna Loken, Vivica A Fox, Zoe Bell, Cynthia Rothrock and even Stallone's ex Brigitte Nielsen star in the film which has scored a trailer you can see below.

Christopher Ray directs the story of a diplomat captured and imprisoned while touring a war zone. A team of elite female commandos is assembled to infiltrate a women's prison for a daring rescue. The project hits VOD and select theaters on August 8th.

»

- Garth Franklin

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News Bits: Hitman, Chain, Berliner, Money

9 hours ago

Hitman: Agent 47

20th Century Fox has released several more photos from their upcoming film based on the "Hitman" video game series, including out first look at Zachary Quinto as the villain along with more shots of Rupert Friend as the assassin. [Source: 411 Mania]

Chain of Events

Morten Tyldum ("The Imitation Game," "Headhunters") has come on to direct the film adaptation of the Swedish thriller “Chain of Events”. Mark L. Smith is attached to adapt the script.

Frederick T. Olsson penned the script which follows a washed-up cryptologist who finds himself pulled into an international conspiracy that claims to have created a way to map out all human disasters and terrorism through our DNA. [Source: Variety]

The Berliner

Universal Pictures has picked up the action spy thriller script "Berliner" which F. Scott Frazier, Chris Cowles and Chris Morgan will produce. The script is set in 1961 and centers on an agent from the Oss who »

- Garth Franklin

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"Fifty Shades" Trailer Is Year's Most Popular

28 July 2014 6:04 PM, PDT

The first trailer for the much anticipated film adaptation of E.L. James' erotic drama "Fifty Shades of Grey" has racked up a stunning 36.4 million YouTube views since its release on Thursday. The stats come from technology firm Zefr which tracks the numbers.

Those numbers mean 'Shades' had the best opening week for any trailer in 2014, beating the 31 million views for the first "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" trailer in March, and high-profile trailer launches for "Godzilla" (26.3M), "Transformers: Age of Extinction" (26.3M) and "Dumb and Dumber Too" (23.5M).

The "Fifty Shades" trailer was released in time to play before copies of "Lucy" which topped the box-office this past weekend. 'Shades' arrives in cinemas on Valentine’s Day next year.

Source: Heat Vision »

- Garth Franklin

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Paul Greengrass To Helm "Agent Storm" Film

28 July 2014 6:04 PM, PDT

"Captain Phillips" director Paul Greengrass and producer Scott Rudin are re-teaming for a film adaptation of the true story tale "Agent Storm" for Sony Pictures.

The story centers on Morten Storm (pictured), a one-time Islamic radical who eventually became a double agent for the CIA, MI6 and Danish intelligence.

He ultimately must betray his friend and mentor al-Awlaki - al-Qaeda's biggest threat to the West. Storm, Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister wrote the book.

Greengrass is eyeing it as a directorial effort and also may adapt it.

Source: THR »

- Garth Franklin

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Extended "Kill Bill" Could Hit Cinemas Next Year

28 July 2014 5:36 PM, PDT

For quite a few years filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has talked about a re-release of "Kill Bill," or rather 'The Whole Bloody Affair' version which rejoins the project into the original four-hour opus screened at Cannes back in 2003 and briefly in Los Angeles in 2011.

During his appearance at San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend, Tarantino revealed that he and The Weinstein Company have had discussions about releasing the film theatrically next year. Here's what he had to say:

What’s going on with that is originally back when Kill Bill was going to be one movie, I wrote an even longer anime sequence. So you see in the movie [O-Ren] kill her boss but then there was that long hair guy… The big sequence was her fighting that guy.

I.G. [The Japanese Anime Studio] who did Ghost in the Shell said we can’t do that and finish it in time for your thing. And »

- Garth Franklin

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Casting: Green, Walken, Campbell, Michele

28 July 2014 5:27 PM, PDT

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Eva Green is in negotiations to star in Tim Burton's adaptation of Ransom Riggs' novel "Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” at 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment. Green would play the title character, who acts as a guardian for the orphans.

The story follows a teenager who finds himself transported to an island where he must help protect a group of orphans with special powers from creatures out to destroy them. [Source: Variety]

The Jungle Book

Christopher Walken and Giancarlo Esposito have joined the cast of Jon Favreau's "The Jungle Book" adaptation at Disney Pictures.

Walken plays King Louie, the ruler of a troop of monkeys and apes, Esposito will voice Akela, the leader of the wolf pack. [Source: ]

Purgatory

Bruce Campbell ("Evil Dead") and James Buckley ("The Inbetweeners") have joined the cast of Gene Fallaize's fantasy feature Welcome to Purgatory at Cupsogue Pictures. »

- Garth Franklin

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Tarantino Considers Sci-Fi, New "Body Snatchers"

28 July 2014 1:45 PM, PDT

Along with confirming that "The Hateful Eight" is going to go into production, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino revealed at his recent San Diego Comic Con panel that he's considering a sci-fi tale, albeit a non-space opera one. This would mark the first time he's ever considered it after showing zero interest in the past:

"If you had asked me a few years ago I would have said: "Nah, not really, I don't know." But i have a little idea right now. It's a little flower, you know, like a bean sprout, but those tend to grow into stalks. This would be the first time I wouldn't say, 'No, not really.' This is the first time I'd say, 'Maybe.'

It wouldn't be a spaceship-y type thing - traveling through space, going to other planets - it would be more of an Earth-bound sci-fi thing, but sci-fi nonetheless."

What could it be? »

- Garth Franklin

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"Lucy" Compared To "2001," "Inception," "Leon"

28 July 2014 1:43 PM, PDT

Reviews for Luc Besson's "Lucy" are pretty good but not great, which is in fact the best reviews the French filmmaker has had for one of his directorial efforts in a long time.

Audiences seemed to go for it as well, the film scoring $44 million at the box-office this weekend, easily pushing aside Dwayne Johnson-starring "Hercules" to take the top spot. It is also scoring well with women, with around half the film audience being females of a variety of ages rather than the mostly male-skewing audience these kinds of action films tend to pull.

Now, Besson's Statement of Intent for the film has managed to make its way online where in it talks about how the film's three acts shift in tone and how by the third it becomes a strange reality-bending experience. Besson aimed high with the films he cites, including his own "Leon The Professional »

- Garth Franklin

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