Akiva Goldsman

Dwayne Johnson in Get Smart

Because the sky is blue and grass is green and we all have to pay taxes and one day die, Dwayne Johnson is going to fulfill his destiny as an actor and machine-like human by playing a secret agent (a real one, not a silly one as he did in Get Smart). The world’s most lovable former wrestler turned Scorpion King turned adrenaline fueled action star confirmed over Twitter that he’ll be starring in an adaptation of The Janson Directive, a project that’s been in gestation over at Universal for some time. You’ve got competition, Jason Bourne — there’s a new Robert Ludlum-penned mystery man in town. With that tweet, Johnson also confirmed that The Janson Directive is being propelled forward with a script by Akiva Goldsman. It’s promising news when you hear that the Oscar-winning writer of A Beautiful Mind is penning the script; it’s another when you remember that he’s also the writer of A Winter’s Tale. Until the flying horse stops haunting our dreams, we can’t stop talking about it, buddy.

read more...

Dreamworks

Back in 2002, an unsuspecting horror movie ruined the lives of pretty much anyone who mistakenly thought they were just in for a fun time with friends at the theater only to instead develop lifelong phobias of backyard wells, VHS tapes, staticky televisions, girls with untrimmed bangs and being told you have to wait for anything for seven days. The Ring, Gore Verbinski’s exercise in seeing exactly how long it would take before he could convince Naomi Watts to punch a little girl in the face, is now a terrifying horror classic. It was followed in 2005 with a still scary, but not as fetal position-inducing second film from Hideo Nakata — who actually helmed the 1998 scare-fest Ringu, the nightmarish inspiration for the American films as well as a handful of other sequels and spin-offs. Now, almost 10 years after the last victim popped that unmarked video tape into their VCR, the third American installment is going to drag itself out of the television and wreak havoc on another journalist who’s just trying to do her job by figuring out why all these local kids are melting and molding into strange shapes after watching a mysterious old film. Dubbed The Ring 3D — because the only thing more horrifying than watching Samara throw herself at people full force and steal their souls is feeling like she’s doing it to you — the film is set to be written by Oscar-winning scribe Akiva Goldsman. Now that’s scary.

read more...

Space Invaders Gameplay

Cross another item off the list of “things I am marginally aware of that have yet to be made into a movie.” Space Invaders, the classic arcade game you’ve probably picked up at some point in your life, is getting the filmic treatment from Warner Bros. The Wrap reports Akiva Goldsman, of Fringe, I Am Legend and, most recently, A Winter’s Tale, is producing the great pixelated epic, along with Joby Harold and Tory Tunnell. This isn’t the first time Warners has tried to get a Space Invaders movie off the ground. In 2010, the studio sent another band of producers to Taito, the Japanese company behind the game, to bend a knee and beg for the rights. It didn’t work out. This time, though, all the parties are aligned. Now, you may be saying to yourself, “What? No. Space Invaders has almost nothing of substance that could translate into a movie. It’s just a basic game layout with a mildly iconic ship design. There isn’t a movie here.” And you’d be right. But you’d also be forgetting Battleship, which took a few similar-sized scraps of source material and managed to glue them together in a way that resembled a feature film. But Battleship was a Michael Bay-inspired mess of moving parts and incoherency, which begs the question: can Space Invaders do any better?

read more...

Winters_Tale_19

I went to the movies on Friday night. Surrounded by friends in just the right mood, and a bit buzzed, I sat down to a 7:45pm screening of Winter’s Tale. And you know what? I had a fantastic time. It’s terrible, of course. Akiva Goldsman‘s directorial debut isn’t so much a train wreck as it is the colliding of planets, à la Melancholia. This apparently genuine attempt at epic, magical romance is the most spectacular disaster I have seen in a long, long time. Nothing works. The plot doesn’t make any sense, the actors all seem to be performing in different movies, and it is blissfully unaware of its own silliness. If I had to smack a label on it, I’d call it the perfect midnight movie. But what does that actually mean?

read more...

review winters tale

What to make of a time-spanning romance featuring Lucifer in a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt, a flying horse named Deus Ex Machina, and a woman killed by a too-warm penis? What indeed. Winter’s Tale opens in present day New York City and stays there for a full three minutes before jumping back to 1895 and a ship filled with hopeful immigrants. One couple is turned away, but desperate for their infant son’s future they lower him into the water and toss his fate to the waves. Quick cut to 21 years later, and Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) is a petty thief on the run. Yes. Colin Farrell plays a 21 year-old. He’s on the run from Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe), a demonic mob boss intent on killing Peter for some unknown slight, but before heading out of town Peter makes time for one last score at the home of newspaper editor Isaac Penn (William Hurt). What he doesn’t know is that Penn’s deathly ill but still gorgeous daughter, Beverly (Jessica Brown Findlay), is tickling the ivories inside, and one admittedly well-written meet-cute later the beginning of a great love has stirred in their loins and in the air between them. Poor pronoun reference there, but it’s not inaccurate.

read more...

Beautiful Mind Commentary

Ron Howard is at his best when he’s directing award contenders. “Oscar bait” would be the cynical way to label them, but the sincerity of Howard’s movies makes it difficult to approach them with that type of mindset. As much as I love Night Shift and Parenthood, those movies were sometime ago, and since then, Howard has jumped from making lightweight entertainment to audience-friendly dramas. After the Robert Langdon movies and The Dilemma, I hoped to see him make more movies like A Beautiful Mind. He’s now returned to that territory with Rush. What makes Howard’s take on material like the Formula One rivalry work is the amount of fun he brings to potentially heavy drama. He certainly achieved that balance with A Beautiful Mind as well. The movie may deal with mental illness, but the espionage segments of the film are as exciting as a Bond movie, and there’s genuine joy to be found in the romance. For the release of Rush, I gave a listen to an engaging Howard with the commentary he supplied for his 2001 Best Picture Winner. Here’s what I learned.

read more...

What is Casting Couch? It’s where Hollywood moms come every day to find out if their actor kids have gotten a job. Remember that movie about the day JFK got shot that Tom Hanks was putting together because these days he’s such a history loving, lame dad? It’s called Parkland, and it just put together an awesome cast. According to Collider, director Vincent Bugliosi has signed the terrific trio of Paul Giamatti, Jackie Weaver, and Billy Boy Thornton to headline the cast. There’s no word on what characters they’ll be playing, but my guess is Giamatti will be JFK, Thornton will be Jackie O, and Weaver will be Lee Harvey Oswald. Makes sense, no?

read more...

Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman must not have put out enough finger sandwiches because Variety is reporting that Warners has passed on their ambitious Dark Tower project which has already morphed quite a bit in attempts to appease studio sensibilities. Most notably, Universal turned down the film, but while Warners was the next suitor in line, the future of the movie is no wholly uncertain. Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Media Right Capital (Ted, Elysium) is now in talks to finance which might be a good fit. However, if MRC takes on the promise of three feature films and a television series, it might be a larger signal of studio potency flagging while independent groups begin handling bigger budget fare. It still remains to be seen whether MRC will take the gamble, and it will be a gamble, but at this point it’s only safe to say that The Dark Tower isn’t completely dead.

read more...

According to Deadline Hollywood, Warners is going to decide within the next two weeks whether it wants to move forward with the Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman-led adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” series. With Javier Bardem out now, the filmmakers are looking to Russell Crowe to play gunslinger Roland Deschain. Crowe could plausibly play the part with the grit, grisel and quiet nuance it deserves, but his potential casting (and, yes, the potential of the project happening at all) almost doesn’t matter. Why? Because it’ll still be a muted Howard/Goldsman project. Both have managed to make interesting movies amongst mediocre ones, but they just aren’t daring enough to make this compelling.

read more...

At this rate, the saga of bringing Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower series to the big screen will be almost as harrowing as the book (but only about 1/100th as long). The earliest I remember hearing about it was back in 2008 when J.J. Abrams kept having his name pop up everywhere. Of course, things didn’t seem really concrete until Ron Howard saddled up to ride, but then he backed out after everyone ever laughed at his budget and vision of 30 movies and 200 television miniseries. None of that has fazed Brian Grazer. The shrewd producer told The Playlist that he, Howard, and writer Akiva Goldsman did some reworking on both the script and the numbers, and came up with something even more destined to get made than the previous incarnation was supposed to be. The money quote: “We found a way to cut out $45m out of the budget without changing the scope and actually giving it a good ending. In the $140m draft, the ending wasn’t quite as satisfying. Now, we’ve got $45m, $50m out of the way and a really satisfying ending. It’s gonna get made.” Fingers tightly crossed that “really satisfying ending” doesn’t equal Roland riding off in the sunset. On that front, it’s unclear whether or not Javier Bardem is still interested in the main role or the dusty trail to get this thing in the can, but with Goldsman and Howard still on board (again), it’s still a shadow of the project that […]

read more...

Francis Lawrence keeps himself busy, and it shows when you look at his untrusty IMDB page. The director’s name has been tied to a lot of projects in the past few years – Survivor, Sgt. Rock, Houdini, and more — but many of those films aren’t ones Lawrence will be making. In my interview with the director, we spent some time discussing what may be next for him, either Houdini or Unbroken, and why certain projects didn’t come together. First off, Lawrence won’t be adapting Survivor, which he backed away from over two years ago. Not because the project died while he was working on it, but over a tonal issue:

read more...

The Lost Symbol is the third book in a series of them written by Dan Brown. Already the first two books in the series, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, have been made into big time film adaptations starring Tom Hanks, and the longtime plan has been for this third book to become a movie as well. But recent events have show that it’s going to be made by a different creative team than the people who were behind the first two.

read more...

Not too long ago there were reports floating around that some corporate reshuffling over at NBCUniversal was probably going to lead to their gigantic Dark Tower project being cancelled. Originally, the Stephen King novels were set to be adapted into three feature films and two series of television specials by director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, but in trying economic times putting so many eggs into one risky basket started looking like not so great an idea. Or maybe it didn’t. In an interview with Inside Movies, Howard is saying that the project just got pushed back a bit, but it’s still going to happen. He explains, “We had to pull back to our September start date due to budget delays and ongoing story development and logistical issues, but Dark Tower is moving forward.” So, at least according to the director, this project is still moving forward, but in what form? One thing that we can probably forget about is all of the casting rumors we’ve heard so far. Putting the project off makes it hard to predict whose schedule will be able to sync up with such an expansive project. Howard said, “We’re thinking of starting in early spring now. I can’t really say who’ll be in it yet, but Javier Bardem has shown a great deal of interest. We’ll know by the end of the summer… “

read more...

Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series of novels is like a nerd dream come true. There are so many books, so many characters, and so much story that you could spend countless hours getting lost in them. But what makes them such a beloved set of novels also makes them a hugely daunting task for a film adaptation. Despite the popularity of the series, and the name brand value of Stephen King going back for decades, in order to present the “Dark Tower” series in any sort of respectable light it would take countless millions of dollars and who knows how much screen time. When Universal green lit the series for production and announced that it would become not just a trilogy of films, but instead a trilogy of films with two television series sandwiched in between their releases, it seemed too good to be true. Never before had we seen that level of commitment to a source material or that amount of ambition put into a project. But now there are rumblings that this whole scheme might not come to pass after all. You see, that plan was made back before there was a bunch of big corporate shakeups in the world of NBCUniversal and Steve Burke was named the new CEO of the company. Such is life when the biggest movie studios are one and the same with the biggest corporations. Now everything that costs big bucks is being looked over with a new set of eyes and a […]

read more...

It seems monumental to devote your life and career to one role for the better part of a decade. With The Dark Tower, it was bound to be someone, and according to Deadline Destry, it looks like Javier Bardem is going to be the one to say “I do” to what might be the commitment of his career. With three planned films and two television movies, this project is unheard of, but it’s nice to see an Oscar-winning actor with such force play Roland Deschain. The deal being worked out currently will apparently cover the first film and the first television movie with options on two sequel films. The second television movie will be a prequel and, understandably, not feature Deschain at that age. It’s still so tough to know what to make of all of this. The project is a dream come true for King and “Dark Tower” fans alike, but it’s also a skulking behemoth being directed by Ron Howard, who’s famous for being good but not great, and written by Akiva Goldsman, who’s famous for not even coming close to good. The big question there is whether Bardem can affect that creative world. He’s not some puff player, and he’s worked with better storytellers, so there’s a chance that his inclusion in this project might shave some of the expositional excess off of the script. Bardem is about to sign away a big chunk of his life. He’d better have a say in that destiny. I realize […]

read more...

It was almost five months ago that we first reported the heartbreaking news that the film rights to Stephen King’s epic seven book series, The Dark Tower, had slipped into the hands of pure evil mediocrity. The details hadn’t been worked out yet, but the core piece of information was Ron Howard and Akiva ‘The Hack’ Goldsman being named as director and screenwriter for the feature film adaptations. We followed this news a few days later with our list of twelve writers and directors far better suited for the material. Not surprisingly, our voices were ignored and Hollywood chose to stick with the Howard/Goldsman team. And while that news still sucks we can’t help but be intrigued, interested, and possibly even impressed with the just revealed details of that arrangement. Stephen King’s The Dark Tower is coming to the big screen… and the small screen. Before returning to the big screen. Then back to the small screen… then, well, you get the idea.

read more...

Fantastic Four Reborn

Harry Knowles seems to think that this is the new title for an upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four. It makes sense, as he also lays down word that the film will be a complete reboot of the Fantastic Four saga. As you know, Fox needs to keep making Fantastic Four movies in order to keep the rights to the property, else they will lose it back to Marvel Studios and Disney.

read more...

Akiva Goldsman, the screenwriter who penned Cinderella Man, A Beautiful Mind, I Robot, I Legend, to name a handful, is going to direct. He’ll step behind the camera to direct Man and Wife.

read more...

Unhappy with the team taking a crack at Stephen King’s beloved epic, Rob Hunter tosses out a dozen names that would be better at bringing the gunslinger to life.

read more...

Has there ever been a better example of a good news/bad news situation?

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+
published: 12.05.2014
C+


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3