Legendary Pictures

Godzilla 1954

According to Variety, Godzilla making $93m (and $103m more outside the US)  in its opening weekend is enough for Warner Bros. and Legendary to partner up on a sequel. A franchise has officially been born, and since franchises no longer die (see: Spider-Man et al.), that means Godzilla is going to be staring hungrily at buildings and trains for years to come. Just look at that face. He’s practically drooling. Of course, another 60 years of movies is a nice present for the misunderstood monster’s 60th birthday. Fortunately, even though our reviewer wasn’t a big fan, most people seem happy with the latest outing, particularly the last 30 minutes. Particularly coming off the 1998 disaster, Gareth Edwards has crafted something impressive. Now, since we’re bound to see Godzilla 2 (hopefully versus Batman) in 2017, there’s a full range of older enemies for him to face, the small possibility of the filmmakers coming up with new enemies and the fan-favorite impossibility of a Pacific Rim crossover. Since we only know that the wheels are turning, there are plenty of questions for the franchise to face. Whether or not they’ll stick with Edwards or if he’ll move on to a movie that isn’t based on terrifying beasties being the first on the list. Second on the list is what will happen if Godzilla’s box office take drops the same way Amazing Spider-Man 2 did in its second weekend. Granted, we’re getting a sequel for it, too. It’s unlikely anyone will be angry about a new take on this […]

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Trick r Treat 2

Sam is coming back. At a screening of Trick ‘r Treat last night, director Michael Dougherty and the film’s patchwork trickster announced that they were planning a sequel through Legendary. Considering the production company’s split from Warners (and the shelf the studio forced the first film onto for years), it’s a good assumption that Warners won’t be involved. Although there are no details (and no script) currently, Dougherty claimed that the new anthology would move beyond the werewolves, zombies and vampires of the first to explore new stuff that goes bump on Halloween night. Trick ‘r Treat 2 is very, very welcome news as the first was a fun rarity in the October landscape. If it can maintain the caliber of the stories and the joyful tone of bloodlust, a new installment would be an excellent new tradition. At the very least it would offer more variety than the same house fully of cabinets opening themselves. [Legendary]

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Hot Wheels Crash

Just a few days ago when Katey Rich at Cinemablend wrote about the end of Stretch Armstrong‘s development representing a bigger end to the small fad of toy movies, it felt gut-level right. That may have been wishful thinking. Obviously Transformers is still going strong, and now Variety reports that Legendary is pushing ahead with a movie based on Hot Wheels. Granted, that means the movie is essentially based on “automobiles,” which is the Brick Tamland method of film production. However, there are two reasons to be hopeful for what the tiny little cars can produce. The first is Paul Attanasio, who wrote Donnie Brasco, The Sum of All Fears and a handful of other pulpy genre goodies. He’s taking over on script duty with a draft from Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Iron Man) in hand. The second is Simon Crane, a veteran director who has done a ridiculous amount of second unit duty — including stints on World War Z, Salt and Quantum of Solace that act as the tip of the career iceberg. With fingers crossed tightly that they won’t merely mimic Fast and Furious or pitch crashable toys for two hours, it looks like the age of toy movies has a few more miles to go before it sleeps. Fortunately, it has a palpably talented pair at the helm.

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World of Warcraft Aubrey Plaza

It’s been a long, harrowing journey, but it’s almost close to starting. Blizzard has been developing World of Warcraft for a very long time, initially earning excitement for hiring Sam Raimi in 2009, but after the director dropped out last year, the news of Duncan Jones replacing him was bittersweet. He’s undoubtedly a great choice, yet after waiting so long for it to happen, it was natural to question whether the movie would actually happen. Well now it will. Or at least someone’s paying rent. Production Weekly has posted that Legendary Pictures has set up its offices for the film at Canadian Motion Picture Park (apparently Azeroth is in Vancouver) with an eye to start production January 13, 2014. So far, the plan to release it in 2015 is still on target. No word yet on whether Aubrey Plaza and Mr. T will star. In fact, there haven’t been any casting announcements yet, but they’re almost guaranteed to land in the coming months.

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Legendary

A new film partnership has just been born. Legendary Entertainment has entered a five-year deal with Universal Pictures, which will include the financing, distribution, and marketing of Legendary’s films, as well as expansion into other projects. As reported by Variety, the deal officially begins at the start of 2014. Legendary is still waiting on their current agreement with Warner Bros to expire, which will happen at the end of the year.

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Frank Darabont

Though Frank Darabont’s translation of Robert Kirkman’s “The Walking Dead” comic book from the page to the small screen for AMC was a process full of tumult—given that Darabont famously fired his whole writing staff after the first season and was eventually replaced as show runner himself—it’s hard to argue the fact that the foundation he laid in creating that show was a solid one, and has resulted in a huge hit for AMC that has captured the attention of horror fans all over the world. So it should come as no surprise that his next project is going to involve working with genre-heavy material once again. Deadline is reporting that he’s just been brought on board Legendary’s upcoming reboot of the Godzilla franchise to give their script a final rewrite. The script, as it currently stands, was written by The Seventh Son scribe, Max Berenstein. Darabont’s hiring is coming at the same time that Legendary is having disagreements with two of the producers on the film, Dan Lin and Roy Lee. The basis of the disagreement seems to be that Lin and Lee were two of the people at the beginning of Legendary’s deal to license the Godzilla rights from Japanese production company Toho, so they feel that they should be getting more money than Legendary is giving them, and Legendary feels like they’re in their rights to drop Lin and Lee, which would still leave three of their people on the project with producers’ credits as well as […]

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Pacific Rim Comic-Con Poster

Hearing Guillermo Del Toro speak is a thing of blazing beauty, not just because of the creative way the man curses, but because he’s a breathing ball of insight into how movies should and can be made. He’s a superfan who has the talent to build what he’s passionate about. That latest passion is giant robots and the world of Pacific Rim. Comic-Con attendees lucky enough to get into Hall H (meaning they got in line by 3:30am or something) got an ear-full at the Legendary panel, but even though this video doesn’t feature the exciting footage shown at the convention, it still features almost half an hour of Del Toro and company geeking out on sci-fi.

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You’re familiar with Tim Miller‘s work if you’ve seen The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo‘s ingenious title sequence (and if you haven’t, you can see it below). His visual effects company Blur has also done work for video games like “Batman: Arkham City” and “Resident Evil: Raccoon City.” The point is – he’s a stellar artist and he’s making comic book-laden moves into the world of feature film directing. He’s attached to The Goon (if it ever gets off the ground) and Deadpool (ditto), but now Deadline Danbury is reporting that he’s been hired to helm Gravel for Legendary Pictures. The project is based on the Warren Ellis and Mike Wolfer comic book that sees agent William Gravel, an S.A.S. agent who uses magic to earn money on the side by battling all sorts of creatures and beasties. It’s unconfirmed, but likely, that Ellis wrote it while drinking Scotch. It feels like lately there have been a heavy handful of very cool announcements, and this just adds to that pile. And then smothers that pile in thick, black goo. (Check out the Tim Miller-crafted Dragon Tattoo title sequence below.)

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Never let it be said that director Alex Proyas didn’t have a tremendous vision for his big screen adaptation of John Milton’s epic poem of the same name, but that same ambition appears to be what has sunk Paradise Lost for good. Reports are now coming in from various outlets that the project, with a huge budget that already exceeded $120m and a vision that included technology that, as Variety’s Jeff Sneider puts it, “wasn’t there,” has been killed by Legendary Pictures. Proyas was hired for the gig back in September of 2010 and, since then, had gathered an impressive and up-and-coming cast for the epic tale of angelic battles, including Bradley Cooper, Benjamin Walker, Casey Affleck, Djimon Hounsou, Diego González Boneta, and Camilla Belle. The film’s shooting schedule was already moved from January to early this summer, but that’s all moot now that the film has been scrapped entirely.

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Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull has been trying to get his Here There Be Monsters project going for quite a while. It’s a story of his own creation that tells the tale of John Paul Jones’ life as a Revolutionary War-era Naval Captain, but with a twist. In this telling of Jones’ story, there are added giant sea monsters and the like. As if Jones’ exploits weren’t exciting enough already. In order to shepherd his dream to reality, Tull hired veteran screenwriter Brian Helgeland to get together a script, and he’s been searching around for a director as well. At one point it was looking like Robert Zemeckis might come on board, but that never came to fruition, and not much has been said about the film since. Hope is not lost for Tull and his dream of telling stories where historical figures grapple with giant squid, however, as someone close to the situation is telling Vulture that the project has new life.

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Comic-Con. A place of joy. A place of wonder. A place of really awesome costumes. Thursday marked the start of New York Comic-Con 2011. Not nearly as land mark as SDCC (which some would say is a benefit), but certainly not at the bottom of the scrap heap. In a city bustling with the creative minds from all walks of life, it would only make sense that once a year, those creative minds come together for one giant weekend of awesomeness. And we’re here to bring you all of it.

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Ever since Seth Grahame-Smith’s “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” got picked up to be adapted into a feature film, there has been a rush to make movies where supernatural elements get inserted into inappropriate places. This is no problem for me as I’m a big fan of both supernatural elements and inserting things into inappropriate places. With “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” Grahame-Smith himself moved the venue from classic literature to historical events, and now Legendary Pictures is looking to keep that trend alive with their new film Here There Be Monsters. Legendary CEO Thomas Tull has come up with the concept for the film, and he has hired Brian Helgeland to write the script. Helgeland is the guy who wrote L.A. Confidential, but don’t get too excited because he’s also the guy who wrote the 2010 version of Robin Hood. Whether he’s the right choice for this project or not will remain to be seen. The focus of the film follows around Revolutionary War naval hero John Paul Jones. You know, the guy who said that he had, “not yet begun to fight.” Everyone knows that Jones captained the USS Ranger during his time fighting against the British, but what this film presupposes is that he was also grappling with giant sea monsters at the same time. Revolutionary War naval battles and sea monster wrangling are two concepts that could make two great movies. Smoosh them together and you get some sort of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of a movie. […]

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After returning home at 4am after wherever that party was, Robert Fure, Jack Giroux and Cole Abaius blacked out in their hotel room overlooking the San Diego Convention Center and communicated their favorite moments of Day Two of Comic-Con through their shared dream state. If you read the first day’s best, you’ll recognize that not a lot of movie moments make the list, and that’s sadly because of a smaller presence here at the convention, but Day Two brought a bit more heat. And sand-filled nudity. Here are some of our favorite things from Day Two:

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I know what you’re thinking. With how bad the last attempt at a Hollywood Godzilla movie was, and given the fact that Guillermo del Toro already has a different movie about a big monster coming out of the Pacific in the works, who needs another Godzilla film? Well, turns out Legendary Pictures does, because they keep trying to make one. Or were you asking a rhetorical question? The newest news about their long gestating project is that they’ve hired writer David Goyer to rewrite the current script floating around that was done by David Callaham. Legendary has learned from the mistakes of Sony’s big, glossy Godzilla movie from ’98, so they’re getting the guy who wrote gritty, down to Earth genre stuff like Blade and The Dark Knight to work his magic on the property.

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Can’t get enough movies that exist for no reason other than as a framework for car chases and as a way to promote a brand name? Then boy do I have some good news for you. Legendary Pictures is close to signing a deal with Mattel for the rights to make a Hot Wheels feature film. Yeah, that’s right, you’re remembering Hot Wheels correctly. They’re little cars that kids play with, replicas of real cars in most cases. So, essentially, Legendary Pictures is spending money on licensing the rights to a film that’s sole concept is “cars”.

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Earlier in the day, I typed a news post while standing up because I’d jumped out of my chair for joy. At the Mountains of Madness was finally set to go into production this summer. The record is now being corrected, and it turns out that it was false joy and pipe dreams put forth by producer Don Murphy trying to pressure an answer from Universal. That answer is no. It’s unclear why, and I’m checking with Universal for their side of the story, but the assumption seems to be that the R-rating and cost were a bit too much for them to handle. Instead, Guillermo Del Toro might move on to deliver a PG-13 big-budget piece of work called Pacific Rim that was written by Clash of the Titans writer Travis Beacham and deals with the world defending itself from alien monsters in the future. Del Toro and monsters is a good fit, and it’s set up at Legendary, but its high concept sounds eerily familiar. Like, say, Battleship. Or Battle: Los Angeles. That’s a shallow assessment, but that doesn’t mean it’s incorrect.

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In some alternate universe out there, there’s a film by Paul Greengrass starring Anthony Mackie as the talented and troubled Jimi Hendrix. Sadly, we don’t live in that universe because Experience Hendrix has officially denied the rights to the man’s music to be used for the project. The explanation given was that they feared the film would hurt sales of the back catalog. Of course, anyone who’s kept up with the aborted attempts and the successful adaptations of Hendrix’s life knows that’s just a press-friendly excuse. The real reason is a fear of how the guitar master will be portrayed when it comes to his drug abuse.

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An official press release from Legendary Pictures last evening has announced that the development of the BioWare video game Mass Effect for the big screen is now underway.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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