Columbia Pictures

IntroGongman

We are guaranteed to see them before every film, most of them we can recall beat by beat with perfect memory. They were made by artists whose names we don’t know, and feature mystery figures and unknown places we’ll never see in real life. But they were real at some point, and in some cases still are. Here are the people and places behind the studio logos you see every day.

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Despite the fact that it opened to mixed reviews and didn’t bring in as much coin as the movies in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, director Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man was profitable enough that it was sure to spawn at least one sequel. Given the fact that the reboot wasn’t successful enough to be crowed about as a home run, and Webb was reportedly looking for a raise to work on a second film, however, it was always in doubt who would actually end up helming a second go-around with the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man. We can all stop speculating now though, because Columbia Pictures has announced [via THR] that Webb has been signed for the sequel and will reunite with stars Andrew Garfield and (most likely) Emma Stone to begin shooting sometime in early 2013. At this point the film has been slotted in for a May 2, 2014 release.

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Metal Gear Solid

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the game, creator Hideo Kojima gave fans a big birthday present. After years of trying to make it happen, a Metal Gear: Solid movie is back on track with major producer Avi Arad and Columbia Pictures. After building up massive comic book properties like Spider-Man, Arad is now in the business of adapting video games. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is up on deck, and now it’s time for Solid Snake – who has appropriately spent years not being seen – to get his own feature. It was probably the time that Paul Thomas Anderson was rumored to be interested in the project that stood out the most in its development history, but with a big stage announcement like this, Arad is putting a lot of weight behind making this thing a reality. The question of who should write and direct is a big one, but perhaps an even better one is whether or not a movie can somehow outdo a video game series that’s so cinematic to begin with. [The Verge]

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The Boys Comic Book

Director Adam McKay (Anchorman, Eastbound & Down) might not be the first person you would expect to be pushing to get an adaptation of an ultra-violent Garth Ennis comic up on the big screen, but nonetheless the comedy veteran has been involved in putting together a film version of the creator’s anti-superhero yarn “The Boys” for quite a while now. For the longest time the director was set to put the project together for Columbia Pictures, but those plans hit a snag in February when the studio suddenly dropped it. Nonetheless, the director assured us that the film was not necessarily dead, and that he had multiple studios chomping at the bit to come on board and see that development of the property continued. Though, in the process of kicking the project around from place to place, it had unfortunately gone from being a faithfully hard-R recreation of Ennis’ work, to one that would have to be PG-13. Or, as McKay put it, “It’s now PG-13. But I found cool ways to keep it edgy. Nolan does so much with that rating. I want this movie to have the conceptual floor of MIB: the police for the superheroes, with the bad ass action groove of The Matrix or Oldboy.”

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Wow. The trailer for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance contains a lot of chain whip cracking, a lot of skulls on fire, and that wacky flaming vomit/urine combination that got Fure so hot under the collar. Considering the history of the movie and the weight of the first film’s failure that Vengeance carries around its neck, it’s probably a great idea to watch both trailers side by side to see what each production was going for. And whether they achieved it:

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30 Minutes or Less is a movie that takes risks. In a flat landscape of studio movies that seem mostly to be shoved into a formula that doesn’t quite work anymore, watching this film is like drinking an ice cold lemonade on a hot summer day that’s been spiked with stuff that would put hair on your chest. For all the laughs and gore of Zombieland, director Ruben Fleischer seems to have taken this comedy about a pizza boy forced to rob a bank simply to further prove he can get away with anything he wants. And he gets away with it, because the movies he makes are damned funny. This is a film for adults that grabs its anatomy, goes about its business, and doesn’t care to cater to any particular sensibility. It’s because of that attitude that it all works so well. The direction, the actors, and the writing commit fully to the premise, and sells us on the bit by sheer willpower (and a healthy amount of adult language and situations).

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This fall Roland Emmerich will release his latest film, Anonymous, a period piece drama about the true origins of William Shakespeare’s work. Yes, that Roland Emmerich. But fear not, fans of movie that blow up the entire Earth but still don’t manage to get beyond boring, the master of that genre will soon be back at his craft, where he belongs. THR is reporting that the director of such fine disaster fare as 2012, and The Day After Tomorrow is readying to shoot a new script that he wrote himself, probably over at Columbia.

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Culture Warrior

You hear the phrase “This movie could never be made today” quite often, and it’s typically a thinly veiled means by which a creative team allows themselves to administer loving pats on their own backs. But in the context of at a 35th anniversary exhibition of the restoration of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver with a justifiably disgruntled Paul Schrader in attendance, such a sentence rings profoundly and depressingly true. Like many of you, I’ve seen Taxi Driver many times before. For many, it’s a formative moment in becoming a cinephile. But I had never until last weekend seen the film outside of a private setting. And in a public screening, on the big screen, I’m happy to say the film still has the potential to shock and profoundly affect viewers so many decades on. For me personally it was the most disturbing of any time I’d ever seen the film, and I was appropriately uncomfortable despite anticipating the film’s every beat. Perhaps it was because I was sharing the film’s stakes with a crowd instead of by myself or with a small group of people, or perhaps the content comes across as so much more subversive when projected onto a giant screen, or perhaps it was because the aura of a room always feels different when the creative talent involved is in attendance. For whatever reason, I found the film to be more upsetting than in any other context of viewing. But one of the most appalling moments of Taxi […]

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That comic book all the kids seem to love, “Preacher,” has been tied with “Y: The Last Man” for Closest To Becoming a Movie Without Actually Becoming a Movie for what seems like a few years (because it has been). Now, / is reporting that D.J. Caruso might be the man for the job if I Am Number Four does solidly at the box office. Is he the best choice? No. Is he the worst? No. He’s exactly in between. Disturbia was a middling thriller, Eagle Eye was a convoluted mess, so there’s nothing in Caruso’s current body of work to show that he could pull this off. Making Preacher would take brass buttons and would be a harder R than Caruso has probably seen let alone directed. If done right. The other option is for Caruso to take over the helm and water everything down until the story about an ex-Man of the Cloth hunting down God with a vampire and hit-woman because a PG-13 delight that all the kids can enjoy. I suppose this all might mean that Joe Carnahan never worked out. Just like Tank Girl director Rachel Talalay. Just like Sam Mendes. Caruso simply hasn’t shown that he could handle the subject matter which makes him a boring choice. It would be a shame to hand over an explosive property to a director who’s avoided adult situations like avian flu (especially since it would most likely mean neutering a great script from John August and a […]

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He’s already got some scars on his cheek and some tears in his spandex. The reboot of Spider-Man has a lot to prove. It’s a continuation of a franchise with none of the previous players, a restart for something still fresh in the minds of fans. Still, this first picture of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man goes a long way to help out. Normally, flat pictures don’t do much to help the look of a grown man in a goofy outfit, but here, Peter Parker not only looks ready to scrap – he looks like he just did.

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Everyone’s favorite web-slinger has found a new hope.

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ThisIsIt

This Is It is a stunning look at something that’s both epic and personal. Beautiful. Thrilling. Revealing. This film is a great documentary that delivers a larger-than-life figure in his natural environment as both a mega-celebrity and just a man standing alone on a stage.

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Michael Mann wants to direct a film about famous war photographer Robert Capa, but there’s no word on how he’ll deal with Capa’s soiled legacy. Only how he’ll deal with his bitterly personal love story.

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GreenHornetProduction

At this point, I’m wondering if this production can hold on to its actors long enough to get them in front of a camera. Especially since the camera is already running.

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total-recall-1

I know, I know. There’s a hilarious joke to be made about memory when it comes to this movie being remade. But I refuse to come off my high horse to make it. Mostly because riding a baked horse seems dangerous in the first place.

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Dan Aykroyd in Ghostbusters

Allow me to rescue you from the landslide of Oscar reactions, commentary and punditry by talking about something that should interest everyone. And by everyone, I mean everyone.

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xXx

Columbia Pictures is in talks with producer Joe Roth for a new version of xXx, one that would bring back star Vin Diesel and director Rob Cohen. The question is: why?

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Ah, the brilliance of movie marketing — always providing ample opportunities for a schlub like me to make a drug reference in conjunction with one of my favorite on-screen characters.

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Will Smith to Play The Last Pharaoh

At least, that is what Braveheart screenwriter Randall Wallace has in mind. According to Variety, Wallace has signed on with Columbia pictures to write The Last Pharaoh.

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Dan Aykroyd gave his two cents, now we have word that Columbia Pictures is dead serious about making Ghostbusters 3 a reality.

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