Dan Jinks

Theory of Everything Comic Cover

According to Deadline Hollywood, Fox has purchased a science fiction pitch for a story about a brilliant/crackpot scientist who invents astounding things and has to save his thought-to-be-dead wife from another dimension. Theory of Everything comes from Dan Casey and Nick Nantell, and proves at least two things. One, that mainstream science fiction is headed into some truly, wondrously insane territory. Two, that making a comic book first seems to be a handy key for closing a deal. We’ve heard for years that producers and execs have asked writers to turn their ideas into graphic novels before moving forward with a movie — if only to enable the studio to slap “Based on the Graphic Novel” on posters. Here, Casey and Nantell (along with artist Thomas Nachlik) created the book for Top Cow‘s Pilot Season, when the publisher tosses out a batch of one-off books and lets readers vote on which should continue. Theory was not the winner, but it clearly got the right eyes on it, and having what amounts to a storyboarded proof-of-concept must have made it easier for Fox and for producer Dan Jinks (American Beauty) to get on board. Now the only question is if Stephen Hawking will make a cameo.

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Robert Downey Jr

It’s been a long time since we’ve talked about producer Dan Jinks trying to get a live action version of Pinocchio together over at Warner Bros. So long that many people probably assumed that the project was dead. That’s not the case though. As a matter of fact, it’s probably about to get quite a bit of attention. THR is reporting that none other than Tim F’n Burton has taken an interest in the Pinocchio script, which was written by Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller. And I know what you’re thinking already…who wants to see a version of Pinocchio starring Johnny Depp as the puppet and Helena Bonham Carter as Geppetto in drag? Don’t be so quick to judge. Early reports don’t say anything about Depp or Carter at all. As a matter of fact, apparently Burton wants Robert Downey Jr. to come on board to be his Italian puppeteer. How’s that for a switch?

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Drama fans have been fairly under-served in the past few years. There have been some phenomenal films, from Blue Valentine to Rabbit Hole to foreign fare like Dogtooth, but there haven’t been a huge number of them, and the ones that came out sometimes barely saw theaters outside New York and LA. So it’s good news that David Lindsay-Abaire will be adapting his own play, “Good People” for the screen, following the success of Rabbit Hole. The great news is that the personnel involved is stellar. According to LA Times Blog, the movie will focus on Margie Walsh (played by Frances McDormand, reprising her role from the play). Walsh is a sharp-witted woman who left high school to take care of her mentally handicapped daughter, loses her low-paying job, and seeks employment working for a successful former classmate. Laughter and tears ensue.

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At first glance, the idea that Warners would want to make a movie about the little wooden boy whose nose grows when he tells a lie seems moronic. Not only has the tale been tried before to disastrous results, it’s also been tried before to transcendent results – giving the world a Disney version that continues to act as the prime example of the story’s existence on film. However, with Dan Jinks producing, it’s a bit of a different story. Jinks (funny name, serious producer) was on board for Pushing Daisies and for Big Fish, as well as Milk and American Beauty. The point? He has been involved in some great projects so dismissing him outright for shooting for the wishing star here is a bit premature. He’s going to need help. That’s where this handy guide comes in. If you’re thinking about making a movie about Pinocchio, here’s a simple way to make it great.

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