In Development

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

There are certain rivalries that never die, no matter how much time has passed, no matter what has happened in the world. Coke vs. Pepsi. Rocky Balboa vs. Ivan Drago. The Harlem Globetrotters vs. The Washington Generals. And then there’s the battle that raged on in the early 1990s, still lasting until this day, between the people who loved their SEGA gaming systems, and the people sitting firmly in camp Nintendo. Best bros and collaborators Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have recognized the significance of this era of gaming and are taking Console Wars to the big screen, a film that chronicles the deep, dark war between the established company with beloved franchises (Nintendo) and the scrappy arcade folks with big dreams and creative characters — SEGA, who re-entered the scene with the SEGA Mega Drive.

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Tina Fey

While Tina Fey has made her mark in the film world through a number of movies even before she ruled the proverbial comedy club as Liz Lemon, her film career has been characterized by two important factors: those movies have often been flops, and she hasn’t gotten her due time as the star of her own vehicle yet. Obviously, Fey gets top billing whenever she’s in a film, but it’s often shared with the likes of another extremely likeable comedian who’s there to split the limelight — and a little bit of the downfall, if we’re going to be honest — when it comes premiere time: Paul Rudd (Admission), Steve Carell (Date Night), and Amy Poehler (Baby Mama). Now Fey finally has the chance to shine on her own with a film that she’s also producing alongside Lorne Michaels. The Taliban Shuffle is an adaptation of journalist Kim Parker’s book “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Fey will be portraying Parker back in 2002 as she travels on assignment to Kabul, Afghanistan. Parker has little experience with world travel and does not speak Arabic, so her job proves to be difficult from the onset. But as she continues to push on through and get her assignment done, she grows to love the Middle East and the people who live there — while also feeling like peace is impossible for the turmoiled region.

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Man from UNCLE

Guy Ritchie’s take on NBC’s espionage series is arriving early next year, with a theatrical debut January 16, 2015, over Martin Luther King weekend. Starring Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill, this will be the first return of the property to mainstream audiences in over thirty years. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ran from 1964 to 1968, and starred secret agents Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) and, no joke, a guy named Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn), as a two-man team defending the free world from the nefarious organization, THRUSH. One of the unique aspects of the show was creator Sam Rolfe and producer Norman Felton’s narrative of international cooperation, with the two main agents hailing from North America and Russia, working for an international organization united under one cause.

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If, five or six years ago, you were to pose the question, “hey, wouldn’t it be great if Bret Easton Ellis and Kanye West were to make a movie together?” you’d probably be gawked at like a crazy person. Today, if you were to do the same, you’d probably be gawked at like a crazy person. But at least you’d have the facts on your side. Because Kanye West and Bret Easton Ellis are working on some kind of film collaboration. Unfortunately, that’s all we really know for now — it’s a project that will involve the visual medium of film, and will merge the minds of West and Ellis. Pesky details like “story” and “if West will be starring, directing, or just using his likeness as the film’s grand inspiration” are being kept extremely hush-hush. But when pressed about the project in a Vice interview, Ellis could at least admit this: “It’s in Kanye Land, and that’s subject to a whole other time frame. He came and asked me to write the film. I didn’t want to at first. Then I listened to Yeezus. It was early summer last year and I was driving in my car. He’d given me an advance copy, and I thought, regardless of whether I’m right for this project, I want to work with whoever made this. So fuck it, I said yes. And that’s how it happened. That was seven or eight months ago. We’ll see what happens.”

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Monster Trucks

Following the success of The LEGO Movie, it’s naturally en vogue for studios to immediately rush out and peg the next toy-based film to match the same magic. Though there have been toy centric films in the past that haven’t quite mustered up as much sheer joy, rave reviews or the approval of entire families – giving you very pointed side-eye, Battleship — now that it’s safe to say that LEGO is a box office hit, it’s time to move on to the next big adventure. The latest film to make it out of Toys ‘R Us and toward the big screen is Monster Trucks, Paramount’s big-budget answer to the Transformers franchise, except starring some Hasbro branded Tonka trucks. Few details are given about the film at this point, except to say that the flick, directed by Ice Age‘s Chris Wedge and written by Kung Fu Panda‘s Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, has a plot that’s a cross between The Goonies and Transformers. So, what it sounds like the world is getting sometime in the near future is a Transformers Lite for the kiddie set, minus the LaBeouf and the violence and very PG-13 suggestive sexual content.

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Ron Howard

With director Alejandro González Iñárritu (21 Grams, Babel) dropping out of the project due to scheduling issues related to post-production duties on his latest film, Birdman, Warner Bros. has approached Ron Howard to take the helm on their live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book. The script, written by screenwriter Callie Kloves, is an adaptation from novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling’s short stories featuring feral jungle child, Mowgli, and his animal pals Bagheera and Baloo, and the ever awful Bengal tiger, Shere Khan.

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Tarzan

Pre-production has officially begun on the Alexander Skarsgård-led Tarzan movie from Warner Bros., set to be filmed in 3D, and coming with a swath of big names attached. Due to arrive July 1, 2016, Harry Potter vet David Yates will direct the live-action film, with a screenplay based on the writings of Tarzan creator and author Egar Rice Burroughs, whom also created the much beloved John Carter. Yates’ film will be joining Zack Snyder’s 2016 untitled Man of Steel sequel as yet another big, summer tentpole for Warner Bros. What a difference a new year makes, as April of 2013, the project was considered mothballed due to budgetary and casting issues, the most noteworthy of which was a rumored difficulty in getting Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx onboard. It appears now that Foxx may be out of the equation all the same, as the current cast includes The Wolf of Wall Street star Margot Robbie as Jane, Django Unchained actor Christoph Waltz, and Samuel L. Jackson (who is not Laurence Fishburne). Jessica Chastain was also a name attached to the project last year, but like Foxx, also appears to have moved on.

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It’s been a long time since we’ve heard or seen anything from Jack Black. Considering that he’s famous mostly for scat singing (loudly scat singing, I might add) and exposing his very ample stomach, that’s no small feat. But ever since the twin flops of Year One and Gulliver‘s Travels – flops that occurred four and five years ago, respectively — there hasn’t been much mainstream Black for public consumption. That might change, however, with The D-Train. The Hollywood Reporter has Black set to star in the upcoming comedy, where he would play a lonely doofus still longing for the acceptance of his high school peers  who also happens to be the chairman of his twenty-year high school reunion. The film will find Black’s character traveling from Middle America to Hollywood to convince the most popular kid in school, who’s now a washed-up commercial actor, to come home for the big celebration. James Marsden is attached to play the former cool kid, while Mike White will play Black’s one friend from his high school days. Nat Faxon is also joining the film in an unknown role. The premise, on its own, doesn’t sound too remarkable. Add in first-time directors Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel, whose previous credits include the screenplay for Jim Carrey’s Yes Man and the short-lived animated series Allen Gregory, and things begin to look a little dire for The D-Train.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen in

Do people still buzz about things, or is that a term from the 90s that’s just serving to show my age? You know, bees buzz, and if you get a bunch of people talking about something they start to sound like bees, so something that gets people talking has buzz? Anyway, someone who deserves a heck of a lot more buzz than he’s getting at this point in his career is Jonathan Levine. He’s the sort of filmmaker who’s done nothing but good work so far, who seems to improve as a filmmaker with every movie he makes, but who still hasn’t managed to get to that next level where cinephiles all know his name and you can sell a project just by saying that he made it. Given his track record to this point, that seems more like a failure of the people who have been marketing his movies than a failure of his work, because his stuff is not only really good, it’s all had a certain element of mainstream appeal. You’d think that if more people saw his films, or at least were better made aware that the same guy has done all of his stuff, then his name would become a commodity pretty quickly.

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Larry the Cable Guy

Larry the Cable Guy is still a thing, folks. It’s true. Larry, real name Daniel Whitney, has managed to sustain a weird level of pop culture relevance since debuting his redneck persona in the early nineties. The Blue Collar Comedy Tour staple alongside comedians Ron White, Bill Engvall, and ringleader Jef Foxworthy, Whitney has hosted Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy on the History Channel (“Larry’s Favorite Stuff” is a particularly touching episode), voiced the beloved tow truck Mater in Pixar’s Cars franchise, and swung a Golden Raspberry Award in 2013′s A Madea Christmas. Dude Ain’t going away, and both Fox and WWE Studios have every intention of keeping Larry Cable Guyin’ in 2014 with the weirdly random announcement of a sequel to 1996′s Jingle All the Way.

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Rob Ford

Everyone’s favorite Canadian party boy is getting his own movie. Yes, Never Say Never and Believe and that grainy footage of a Miami DUI arrest already exist. But you’re thinking of the wrong Canuck. Rob Ford, the red-faced, embattled Mayor of Toronto is getting his story adapted to the big screen — as if we’re not seeing it unfold right in front of us every day in sports jersey-ed, crack smoking slow motion. Ford, whose greatest hits include falling over in the street more than once and telling a crowd of reporters on live TV (again, in public, on TV, this cannot be stressed enough) that he didn’t sexually harass an employee because he fully enjoys giving his wife cunnilingus at home, is no stranger to a little publicity. But after a Toronto Star journalist’s book about all the data she’s accumulated covering the man, his family and his shenanigans over his time in office was released just last week, a Toronto production company has snatched up the rights to the story just seven days later. Ford’s star is about to shine just a bit brighter.

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Ed Skrein

Sorry folks, no more greased up Jason Statham getting punchy for you…at least so far a the Transporter franchise is concerned. What you and The Stath do on your own time is your business. As recently reported, Luc Besson announced a deal for three additional Transporter films during last year’s Cannes Film Festival, all sans Statham, being that these new entries will be a franchise reboot. The latest incarnation of stunt driving martial arts tough guy Frank Martin will be thirty-year-old Game of Thrones alumnus Ed Skrein, who played Daenerys Targaryen ally Daario Naharis in HBO’s ratings juggernaut. The Englishman doesn’t have a terribly deep resume, but the full faith of Besson and EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert, who told Variety, “We searched everywhere to find a fresh face who had the potential to become an action movie star, and we’ve found the right match with Ed Skrein, who is not only a great actor, but also has enough charisma and physical stamina to play Frank Martin with brio.”

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LeBron James

When I think comedy and the Miami Heat’s big three, I’m generally looking at Chris Bosh interview-bombing Dwayne Wade and LeBron James, but James has bigger aspirations than fooling around between quarters. I mean, naturally. He’s the King. James, in association with Mike O’Malley, Tom Werner,  Maverick Carter, and Paul Wachter, now have a six episode series order by Starz for their basketball-centric half-hour scripted television project, Survivor’s Guilt.  To be written and executive-produced by O’Malley, the show will focus on young basketball prodigy Cam Calloway, who moves to Georgia with his cousin Reggie Vaughn after signing a multi-million dollar contract to play for their pro basketball franchise. They contend with his sudden fame and fortune, family hangers-on, and Cam’s struggles to hold on to the community from which he came.

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Chip N Dale

There are a few rules in the House of Mouse. If you’re not a pretty pretty princess, some grand creation concocted by Pixar or Mickey and his main friends themselves, you probably haven’t been getting a lot of attention over the last few years. But even Disney understands that you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to revive something that was popular in the 1990s. Ah yes, did you hear that? It’s the sound of a thousand true 90s kids collectively remembering. Disney has decided to revive Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers for a new generation, transforming the cartoon about the two little chipmunks into a live action CG hybrid film. Though Chip and Dale have appeared in Disney cartoons going as far back as a 1943 short film, their real time to shine was in the 90s television series, where the twosome ran the tiniest detective agency and helped rescue their animal clients — cases that are “too small” for the regular human police to handle. When will humans learn?

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wolf

Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street was one of those movies that really divided people. It was super-long, it was full of super-disgusting things, and it never fully showed its hand in regards to how you were supposed to be feeling about all of the repetitive debauchery it put up on the screen. Some people think that it’s a sharp takedown of the behavior of Wall Street executives, while others think that it’s a piece of exploitation trash, meant to do little other than glorify greed, drug abuse, and philandering. That’s a pretty wide divide to exist between opinions regarding the same movie. What pretty much everyone can absolutely agree upon in regards to The Wolf of Wall Street, however, is that two of its lead actors, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, put a powerful mix of chemistry on display as they played a pair of best friends/garbage human beings—with that infamous scene where they both take too many quaaludes and wind up experiencing a drug-induced freakout making an exceptionally strong case for the theory that these guys need to team up more often so that they can keep making weird movie magic together. And it looks like our wish has been granted. Deadline has news that Fox also sees potential in the DiCaprio and Hill pairing, so they’ve bought the rights to a story that will get them back together on set as soon as possible.

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David O Russell and Jennifer Lawrence

Scorsese and De Niro. McQueen and Fassbender. Tarantino and L. Jackson. Sometimes the forces of filmmaking are so profound that director and actor are willed into a state of artistic BFFship; a bond that cannot be broken unless some homewrecker named Leonardo DiCaprio saunters into Gangs of New York with the intention of stealing away another man’s bestie. Now, the latest pair of cinematic buds seems to be David O. Russell and Jennifer Lawrence. They’ve spent Russell’s last two films together (Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle), and today Deadline reports their intent for a three-in-a-row teaming. It seems Russell is in talks to direct a biopic of Joy Mangano, the world’s leading pioneer of self-wringing squishy mop-thing technology, and he’s looking at Lawrence to star.

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Insert Fish Here

Listen, I know we’ve all been waiting with bated breath for that The Incredible Mr. Limpet remake to finally get out the door and into theaters. Details have been scarce ever since the project was first announced in the late 90s- first, Kung Pow: Enter the Fist mastermind Steve Oedekerk was ready to direct, with Jim Carrey as the astounding man-fish. Oedekerk stepped down, but the troops were rallied and Brad Bird was offered the gig. Then, Bird caught a glimpse of Mr. Limpet’s new look: a CGI fish with Carrey’s human face transplanted on via mo-cap. He described it thusly: “If you saw this in the water, you would get out of the water and run screaming and tell everyone the world was ending.” Plans for the film fell apart shortly afterward. Then, they fell back together when Enchanted director Kevin Lima boarded the project. Zach Galifianakis was in talks to play a presumably less horrifying Mr. Limpet, and then Richard Linklater later found himself in talks to replace Lima. Yet neither man was officially sworn in; the best we got was a single source from the LA Times claiming that “Warner Bros. is set to make it official and hire Linklater.” Save for that one bit of potential confirmation, every other Limpet-related headline on Earth still ended with a pesky question mark.

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On some days, social media provides a terrific set of tools for our modern world. And on other days, social media provides us with six minutes of Vin Diesel awkwardly shuffle-dancing around his living room to a series of pop songs.  Today, of course, brings the latter. The video (posted to the actor’s Facebook page), begins without warning or explanation. Diesel simply starts up Katy Perry‘s “Dark Horse” and begins to gyrate around, seemingly unburdened by rhythm, stopping only to thrust his face uncomfortably close to his webcam and mouth the lyrics. What could possibly inspire such a fervent display of dance-thusiasm? Had Mr. Diesel accidentally come into contact with the hallucinogenic Colorado River Toad immediately beforehand? Once “Dark Horse” dies down, the answer becomes clear: the cause for celebration is Diesel’s 2013 release, Riddick, which had just been crowned number one on the DVD sales charts. This rousing success prompted a call from Universal, who shared not only the good news, but also pledged their support for a fourth Riddick film: “They want to develop the next one,” says Diesel. From here, the actor discusses the Grammys before clicking over to Beyonce‘s “Drunk in Love” and releasing his inner dance demons once more.

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King Arthur

Long ago, in a time called 2011, development began at Warner Bros. on a film called Arthur & Lancelot. Set to star Game of Thrones‘ Kit Harrington and Robocop‘s Joel Kinnaman in the leads alongside Colin Farrell and directed by David Dobkin, it was to be a retelling of the King Arthur tale, but the project ultimately fell through due to budgetary problems; $130m was a bit much for the sword in the stone. Even prior to that, Warner Bros. gave the go ahead on a 2010 remake of the 1981 film Excalibur, with Bryan Singer at the helm — which also failed to get off the ground. Now Guy Ritchie, who had once attempted to make his own film with a script by Trainspotting writer John Hodge (it fell through when Dobkin’s movie looked like it was going to get made), is teaming with the studio to get back in the sword business with a King Arthur story on a much more massive scale. Massive, as in a six film franchise which will apparently spare no detail in the legendary tale of the war king, the wizard Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table.

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If you’ve kept up with Kevin Smith recently, you’ve probably noticed that he was never really clued in on the news of his retirement that he announced. While it was once reported that Clerks III would be the writer and director’s final film, he’s since started crafting a whole new slate of films With Tusk, the story of a podcaster who goes missing and winds up in the clutches of a lonely seafarer just looking for someone to fill his human-sized walrus suit for awhile (bummer), Smith has his thriller quota almost completed. After production wraps, he’ll be moving on to the long-awaited Clerks III on April 7. And eventually, we’ll also be getting the apocalypse flick Helena Handbag — that one where mankind and Hell team up to defeat a vengeful, murderous Jesus. It might be awhile before we see that one. Just in case you thought he might be slacking on the production front while playing shuffleboard, Smith has another project in the works that came about based on a conversation on the Edumacation podcast; that makes this the third screenplay to come out of podcasting, with Tusk and Helena Handbag being the other two (maybe we should all get one?). Smith and comedy writer Andy McElfresh have teamed up to make Christmas a little bleaker by finally bringing the tale of The Krampus to the big screen.

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