In Development

Bradley Cooper

After The Hangover made unheard of gobs of money, some of the sharper minds in Hollywood started to wonder if its appeal was just a fluke, or if one if its featured performers, Bradley Cooper, might be ready to step out of comedy ensembles and anchor his own films as a star. He got his shot with Limitless, and was largely successful, so after that things seemed to be full-speed ahead for Bradley Cooper: movie star. Now that he’s gotten an Oscar nomination for his work in Silver Linings Playbook, he sees his career reaching yet another crossroads, however. If he’s able to keep the momentum of this newfound respect and recognition going over the course of his next few film choices, we could see him become one of the premiere names in Hollywood: a George Clooney, Brad Pitt, or a Tom Cruise. So, what’s the first post-nomination job that he’s accepted? According to Deadline, Warner Bros. has just closed what’s being described as a “high six figure deal” to obtain the rights to the Howard Blum book “Dark Invasion,” which they intend on developing as the next big starring vehicle for Cooper. “Dark Invasion” is a new book that hasn’t hit shelves yet, so probably you’re wondering what it’s all about. Is it a sweeping sci-fi epic involving star ships and invading alien hordes? No, not at all. Turns out it’s a non-fiction thriller set back in 1915.

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John McAfee

If you’ve read Joshua Davis’ shocking “Wired” article, “John McAfee’s Last Stand,” which chronicles the strange places anti-virus software creator John McAfee’s life has gone in recent years, then you know that he’s not the sort of person you typically envision when you think of someone who used to program for NASA. Instead what you get is a vision of a tattooed gun nut whose recent life has involved alleged murders, isolated compounds in Belize, police conspiracies, accusations of narcotics trafficking, escapes to Guatemala, fake heart attacks, and an eventual deportation back to the United States. Sounds like an interesting story, right? The kind that could make for a good movie? Yeah, you see where this is going. Variety has learned that Warner Bros. is in final negotiations to acquire the film rights to Davis’ article, and they’ve hired the Crazy, Stupid, Love team of John Requa and Glenn Ficarra to adapt it into a screenplay and direct it as a feature. Seeing as Requa and Ficarra have already done interesting work adapting somebody’s crazy real-life story into a feature film with 2009’s I Love You Phillip Morris, they’re likely to be a good fit to bring to life a character as eccentric and mysterious as McAfee.

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Ben Affleck

Hot off of his Oscar non-nomination for directing Argo, increasingly beloved on Twitter Hollywood personality Ben Affleck has confirmed that his next project as a director is going to be an adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel, “Live by Night.” It’s long been thought that this material was one of the things that Affleck planned on working on, but given his now in-demand status as a director, his ongoing acting career, and the time he spends being the center of ridiculous political rumors, it was never quite clear when or if he was going to get around to it. In a recent interview with MTV [via Coming Soon], however, Matt Damon’s possible best friend revealed that the Lehane adaptation is officially going to be the next thing he works on. In fact, the exact words he used were, “Basically, I’m doing this movie called Live by Night, and I’m trying to meet this schedule in order to do it and meet the back end so I can have it released at the right time.” This tightness in scheduling, it turns out, is the reason he had to drop out of acting opposite Kristen Stewart in Focus. So what’s Live by Night going to be all about? For the scoop, let’s turn to the novel’s trusty Amazon description, which describes it by saying:

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Paul Thomas Anderson

Speculation surrounding what Paul Thomas Anderson’s next project is going to be like is usually intense enough in the film geek community, but when the guy starts making claims in interviews that his next film is going to be like a Cheech and Chong movie, well then people really start scratching their heads. The project in question is called Inherent Vice, and it’s an adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel that the director has been said to have been working on for about as long as we’ve known he was going to make The Master. Pynchon’s book is set in ’60s-era Los Angeles and features a drug-soaked private investigator named Larry “Doc” Sportello as its protagonist. It’s a story that’s awash with music and cultural references from the era, and in a profile that The New York Times did on Anderson, he gave the publication a little bit of insight into what the process of adapting this rich tapestry of experience from the page to the screen has been like. What’s most notable is that, unlike how we heard There Will Be Blood was an adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s book “Oil!” and then the two proved to only have loose connections, this time around Anderson is looking to do a fairly faithful adaptation of Pynchon’s work, so much so that he seems to have been working with the author, who is famously reclusive and not prone to accepting visitors. When asked to elaborate on the cooperation that’s gone on between […]

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Pitch Perfect

Given its success at the box office, and the fact that movies about singing, or cheerleading, or whatnot always seem to get sequels, it was probably something of a given that this year’s surprisingly good a cappella movie Pitch Perfect would spawn a franchise. What is a little bit surprising though is that it sounds like it’s going to be getting a proper sequel, with several of the cast members coming back, and not just a straight-to-video farce where some unknown girl from the Disney channel explains to us that she’s Fat Amy’s cousin Chubby Debby, or whatever. The scoop regarding movement on a sequel comes from Movie Web, who sat down with that actor who played the sensitive guy from the first film, Skylar Astin, and had him spill the beans regarding where talk regarding a sequel is. Astin revealed to the site, “I do have a meeting with a Universal representative next week. And I know that Rebel Wilson had hers last weekend. It’s definitely a talking point.” Of course, one big name that Astin left out of his comments is Pitch Perfect’s lead actress, Anna Kendrick. Given the acclaim that she’s received for both her dramatic as well as her comedic work, and the grand possibilities of where her career could be headed very quickly, it would make sense that Kendrick would be the cast member most reticent to agreeing to appear in what might be a chintzy sequel. It will be interesting to see if her […]

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Director of film and builder of podcast empires Kevin Smith has been talking about his retirement as a movie man for quite a while now. The plan, until very recently, has been for him to go out with a film called Hit Somebody, an epic in scope hockey movie that follows a sports career from its beginning in the ’50s all the way through to its end in the ’80s. What wasn’t quite clear was exactly what form Hit Somebody was going to take. At first it was thought to be one film, then it got confirmed that it was going to be split into two films, and then, just a couple days ago, Smith confirmed on Episode 99 of his ‘Jay & Silent Bob Get Old’ podcast [via /Film] that it’s now going to be split into six hour-long episodes of a mini-series, to be aired on a yet to be named TV channel. That’s not the end of the story though. Apparently Smith still wants to make one big final film that he can market as his retirement project, and earlier today he took to his Twitter account to fill everybody in on what that would be. He started things off by explaining to his followers that, “Since HIT SOMEBODY is now gonna be a mini-series, yes – that leaves room for a new final flick before I retire from directing feature films.” And then followed that up by dropping the fairly big bombshell that, “ … the […]

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Morten Tyldum

If you’ve yet to check out Norwegian director Morten Tyldum’s 2011 release, Headhunters, then it’s high time you tracked it down and finally gave it a go. Not only is it one of the most brutal, gross, unique, and exciting action thrillers that have come out in a long time, but you’re also going to need to know what Tyldum is capable of in order to properly get excited for the news that he’s just signed on to make another movie. Deadline reports that his new project is called The Imitation Game, and it’s coming from a Black List script by Graham Moore that was adapted from an Alan Turing biography that Andrew Hodges wrote called “Alan Turing: The Enigma.” The film was originally set to be made by Warner Bros., with J Blakeson on to direct and rumors that Leonardo DiCaprio would star, but the studio dropped the project back in August. For those that might not know, Turing was a pretty interesting guy whose rich life could make for good movie fodder in a number of ways. Just take a look at the source material’s Amazon description, which states: “Hodges tells how Turing’s revolutionary idea of 1936–the concept of a universal machine–laid the foundation for the modern computer and how Turing brought the idea to practical realization in 1945 with his electronic design. The book also tells how this work was directly related to Turing’s leading role in breaking the German Enigma ciphers during World War II, a […]

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Johnny Depp to Start in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Let’s take a trip back in time to the magical year of 2010. If someone with modern eyes were to go back and try to live in these olden times, they’d discover themselves in a topsy-turvy bizarro world where the economy was in the toilet, a charismatic figure by the name of Barack Obama was in the White House, and Terry Gilliam was going to make a movie about Don Quixote starring Robert Duvall and Johnny Depp. A lot has changed since then. Ewan McGregor replaced Johnny Depp in Gilliam’s movie, then Gilliam’s movie got cancelled completely, and the White House…well, I’m not sure who’s living there these days. Who can keep track? Even after all these years though, one thing hasn’t changed: Johnny Depp is still really into the character of Don Quixote. That’s why he’s teaming up with Disney to start developing a new feature film about Miguel de Cervantes’ creation. Deadline has the scoop that the untitled pitch has been shipped out for screenwriting duties to Steve Pink (Grosse Pointe Blank, High Fidelity) and Jeff Morris (The True Memoirs of an International Assassin). Little is known about the project at this point, but it’s said that it’s going to be a modern imagining of the Don Quixote story.

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Francis Ford Coppola

Despite the fact that he’s best known for his sweeping, epic-in-scope work from the ‘70s like The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, director Francis Ford Coppola has been spending his recent years making smaller, more experimental, or at least more under the radar projects like Tetro and Twixt. Yet, even with a smaller scale bringing lower expectations, his most recent work hasn’t been able to gain the same level of esteem as the smaller films of his past, like say 1974’s The Conversation. So what does a directing legend have to do to make a dang impact in this town? Some comments he made while pushing his new five film Blu-ray box set to Inside Movies suggest that he’s planning on returning to his epic roots. When explaining why he’s recently moved from the relative seclusion of his Napa Valley vineyard to new offices at Paramount, Coppola said, “I have a secret investor that has infinite money. I learned what I learned from my three smaller films, and wanted to write a bigger film. I’ve been writing it. It’s so ambitious so I decided to go to L.A. and make a film out of a studio that has all the costume rentals, and where all the actors are.”

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Seth MacFarlane

Even though Seth MacFarlane’s animated shows for Fox, Family Guy and American Dad, have been hugely successful, MacFarlane himself still gets a lot of guff from critics for his shows being too formulaic and his talent being overstated. He relies too much on pop culture references and absurdist asides, people say. All of his characters’ voices sound the same, people say. But, in the last year or so, we’ve really seen MacFarlane take the first few steps toward branching out and proving that he has more to offer the entertainment industry than his critics would suggest. The biggest step toward that goal was proving that he can write and direct a successful feature film with Ted. Despite a few dissenting voices complaining that MacFarlane’s voice for Ted’s CG teddy bear sounded too much like his voice for Peter Griffin, most everyone was in agreement that MacFarlane had directed one of the year’s best feature comedies, and the box office results more than backed its positive reviews up. Ted brought in about ten times the coin that it cost to make. Suddenly, MacFarlane finds himself in the elite club of being a money-making filmmaker, and a whole new world of possibilities has opened up for him. So what’s he going to do with his newfound clout? Not rest on his laurels, that’s for sure. Not only is he all set to host this year’s Academy Awards, which should boost his profile in the culture even higher, but now THR is reporting […]

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Guillermo Del Toro has added so many projects to his wish list of cool things that he’d like to make that keeping up with every movie he’s attached to make and what order he’s supposed to make them in could be a full time job. But, despite the fact that this list is ever-expanding and ever-changing, it is sometimes possible to know for sure what movie he’s going to be doing next, and Deadline has a report that seems to solidify the fact that the next project he actually sits down and completes is going to be a ghost story called Crimson Peak. Backed by Legendary Pictures, Crimson Peak comes from a script that Del Toro wrote with his frequent collaborator Matthew Robbins. The current plan is for the director to work through another rewrite alongside Lucinda Coxon, and then start production on the film sometime in early 2014. This gives him plenty of time to wrap up his publicity work for Pacific Rim and also film a pilot for an FX show called The Strain, to which he is already committed. What do we know about Crimson Peak so far? We know that it’s a story Del Toro has described as being very set-oriented, and one that is supposed to work in the conventions of the ghost story genre, but give them a modern twist. The director says that he’s using this project as an opportunity to honor some of his favorite horror movies of the past, including “Robert […]

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Jennifer Lee

Seeing as Wreck-It Ralph was Disney Animation’s most well-received movie in quite a while, the studio has wasted no time in getting one of its main creative talents to work on a new project. Today they announced in a press release [via ComingSoon] that Ralph co-writer Jennifer Lee is not only going to be handling some writing duties on their upcoming animated feature, Frozen, but that she will also be serving as co-director alongside studio vet Chris Buck (Tarzan, Surf’s Up). Frozen is an adventure tale about a magical kingdom that’s suffering under a spell that keeps it trapped in a perpetual winter. Its main characters are a brave young girl named Anna, a burly mountain man named Kristoff, and a reindeer sidekick named Sven. The main thrust of the film’s narrative is said to be this trio’s journey to find the Snow Queen and find a way to reverse her spell, which of course leads to them encountering treacherous mountain passes, all sorts of magical whatsits, mystical trolls, comical snowmen, and who knows how many other examples of weirdness along the way. Forgetting Sarah Marshall’s Kristen Bell and Enchanted’s Idina Menzel are already on board to supply voices.

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Now that he’s had his screenplay Argo produced as one of the highest-profile films of the year, and one of the front-runners for all of those little golden statues that are going to be given out during the upcoming awards season, screenwriter Chris Terrio finds himself in the position of suddenly being a sought-after talent. So what’s his next move going to be? Variety says that he’s going to be writing a crime movie for George Clooney and Paul Greengrass. To be more specific, Clooney and Grant Heslov, the team behind Argo, will be producing this new feature, Paul Greengrass will be directing, and Clooney will also star. There isn’t yet any word on what exactly this movie is going to be about, but seeing as Argo was such a success, Terrio has had several scripts strong enough to appear on the Black List, Greengrass earned himself quite a few fans with his handling of the Bourne franchise, and George Clooney is one of the few bankable stars left in the business, one would have to consider this new project to be one of the highest profile currently in development, even with no other information available.

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The Forever War Cover

After making a real stinker with Robin Hood, veteran director Ridley Scott seemed to get some of his mojo back by revisiting his Alien roots with his most recent film, Prometheus. Script problems aside, that movie had quite a bit going for it, not the least of which were a couple strong performances and a load of jaw-dropping visuals. So why not try to keep a good thing going by sticking to the sci-fi genre? To that end, Fox 2000 has optioned a classic sci-fi novel for the director to bring to the big screen. According to Deadline, the studio has hired Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters scribe Dante Harper to adapt Joe Haldeman’s Nebula- and Hugo-winning 1974 novel “The Forever War.” Scott himself describes the book as being, “a science-fiction epic, a bit of ‘The Odyssey’ by way of Blade Runner, built on a brilliant, disorienting premise.”

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Susan Boyle

The sort of fame that comes from appearing on reality television can be fleeting. Remember Puck, the filthy bike messenger who put his finger in Pedro’s peanut butter on MTV’s The Real World? No? Let’s go with something more recent. How about Richard Hatch, the manipulative nudist from CBS’ Survivor? Still no? Omarosa, that bitch from The Apprentice? William Hung, that Ricky Martin wannabe from American Idol? At one point these people were the darlings of popular culture, and now their names conjure up barely a glimmer of recognition. Hopefully for Fox Searchlight the name Susan Boyle is recent enough that it’s still at the tips of everyone’s brains though, because Deadline Hollywood is reporting that they’ve just signed off on a deal that gives them the rights to her life story. It turns out that, in the time since her revelatory 2009 performance on Britain’s Got Talent, where she taught the world that even people who aren’t 16-year-old girls with hair extensions can sing, Boyle has been spending her time doing things like cutting albums and signing deals to have a stage musical about her life story made.

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Once upon a time, Michael Gates Gill’s memoir, “How Starbucks Saved My Life,” was optioned by Universal to become a film that would be directed by Gus Van Sant and would star Tom Hanks. Chances are, that would have been awesome. It didn’t end up happening though, so get it out of your head now. It’s done. That’s the bad news. The good news is that Deadline has gotten word that The Weinstein Company has just swooped in and gobbled up the rights to the book, which will likely give it a second shot at becoming a film. For those of you not familiar with Gill’s story, you’re probably wondering how exactly Starbucks (yes, we’re talking about the coffee chain here) could have saved someone’s life. It certainly wasn’t through the quality of their over-roasted beans—am I right, hipsters? Ahem. Anyway, “How Starbucks Saved My Life” makes more sense if you hear its full title, “How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else.” It’s Gill’s account of how falling on hard times and actually having to get a job and work for a living gave him a new perspective and generally saved him from a life of behaving like an entitled goon. Suddenly he has to answer to someone who is younger than him, has darker skin, and is equipped with lady parts, he has to actually do manual labor in order to receive a paycheck, and once he gets said check he […]

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Insidious

Despite producer Jason Blum’s initial comments that he wouldn’t get behind a sequel to 2010’s possession horror, Insidious, unless he was presented with a story that really made sense, it always seemed like a sequel was going to be inevitable anyway. Not only is Insidious one of the mostly widely well-reviewed horror movies of the last decade, but it also managed to make a whole bunch of money without having a very big budget. That’s too good of a formula for the Hollywood money-making machine to abandon. So, sure enough, last February we got word that director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell were both coming back, and Insidious 2 was officially in the works. The press release issued for the film today [via ComingSoon] brings a couple of more surprises with it as well, though. Despite the fact that the original Insidious ended with a situation that looked pretty grim for the family that it featured, and you might have imagined that a sequel would introduce us to a whole new cast of characters battling a similar evil spirit, the money men behind this sequel say that Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, and Ty Simpkins will all be back for this new film, reprising their roles from the original. Is it likely that Wan and Whannell have come up with a great story that will bring these characters back for more hauntings and manage to make sense in the process, or can we take the returns of the […]

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David Goyer

Given his writing credits on superhero epics like The Dark Knight, Man of Steel, and even the first three Blade movies, David Goyer is no stranger to high profile filmmaking. Which is experience that should serve him well as he transitions over from being a writer to someone who’s doing more work as a producer. Especially considering the latest project he has a hand in putting together is an adaptation of Patrick Lee’s epic end-of-the-world thriller, “The Breach,” a film that Goyer is producing alongside Transformers’ Lorenzo di Bonaventura. What exactly is The Breach going to be about? Well, if you’ve read the book you know, but for those of us ignorant on the subject, the studio seems to be giving the simple synopsis that it’s a story about, “an ex-cop who races to prevent an artifact from bringing about an apocalypse.” Sounds like bad stuff already, but the book’s Amazon description hints at an even larger scope. Its rundown of the novel’s plot reads:

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The Magic Castle

Private clubs for magicians might seem like the silly sort of thing that only exists in the movies, but they’re actually very real, and probably the most famous one is housed in historic Hollywood haunt The Magic Castle. This is the place where Academy of Magical Arts President (also a real thing) Neil Patrick Harris (yep, Doogie) regularly holds private events where the greatest magicians in the world come and perform to a select, invitation-only audience. The building is spooky-looking, full of secrets, and would probably make a great setting for a movie. Or, at least, that’s what Radar Pictures is hoping, because they’ve just hired Andrew Barrer and Gabe Ferrari to write a script set in the location, which McG will then direct. Barrer and Ferrari are no strangers to mystical things, as they’re currently at work writing a big screen treatment of Sabrina the Teenage Witch for Sony. Maybe the research they do there will carry over to writing a movie about a Magic Castle?

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Hathaway and Hemsworth

If you’re looking for a movie about cyborgs that has a creative team with a good amount of solid, robot-related sci-fi experience under their belt, then Amped might be the project for you. THR has word that this is going to be the next film for director Alex Proyas, who first captured film fans’ attentions with things like The Crow and Dark City, and later went on to make his robot bones with 2004’s I, Robot. Proyas isn’t the only robot-friendly name with a hand in the creation of this project, either. Amped comes from a Daniel H. Wilson novel of the same name; and if you don’t know who Wilson is, he’s a contributor to “Popular Mechanics” as their “resident roboticist,” and he wrote the novels “How to Survive a Robot Uprising,” “How to Build a Robot Army,” and “Robopocalypse,” which is serving as the source material for Steven Spielberg’s next film. The guy knows his robots. But what, exactly, is the story that Proyas’ eye for sci-fi visuals will be bringing to the big screen? Let’s let the original novel’s Amazon description fill us in:

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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