New Line Cinema

THE CONJURING

When Warner Bros. put The Hangover into production, they gave Todd Phillips $35M and a ton of creative freedom (they only seemed to intervene when the director wanted to use real Tasers on his actors). The idea was that if he stayed under that budget, he could cast who he wanted (those guys?) and make the comedy he envisioned with limited studio interference. It was an admirable move that became even easier to praise when the movie destroyed box office records and launched a franchise with three new stars. The Conjuring is a different beast, but its connection to The Hangover (not simply that they have the same distributor) is an interesting one for the sole reason of timing. Released months apart from each other, the final Hangover installment scored another $112M domestic from a budget of $103M (from humble beginnings…), and in less time, James Wan‘s haunted house movie will overtake that domestic amount for $15M less than the cost of the original Hangover. There’s a big lesson here, and hopefully Hollywood is paying attention (but they probably aren’t).

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Y: The Last Man Movie May Someday Be Made

Take this news with a hefty grain of salt. If Vulture‘s “well placed sources” are to be believed, an adaptation of Y: The Last Man may finally be heading towards production with New Line Cinema. The studio first optioned Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra‘s popular comic book way back in 2003, but a steady series of false starts followed with directors and stars attaching then detaching themselves from the project. That’s not entirely a bad thing though seeing as two of the more recent names included DJ Caruso and Shia “Look at my serious penis!” LaBeouf. David Goyer, Zachary Levi, Louis Leterrier, and Alicia Keys have also been mentioned in various capacities.

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Speaking of Development Hell, New Line is back to the drawing board on Y: The Last Man. The good news? There’s a drawing board. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the production company has hired seasoned television writers Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia to craft a new script. The pair have experience born from shows like Jericho, Warehouse 13 and Human Target and they inherit a project with a lot of baggage to it. Presumably their hiring drops that baggage completely so that everyone can come to it with fresh eyes that have seen a lot on the small screen, but are just getting started on the big. Arguably, that’s a good thing. It’s a stunning comic book series from the brilliant mind of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. It demands to be made into an equally impressive film. So far, no one involved has been up to that task, so it’s great that the torch has been passed. As for this latest attempt at finding an anchor, it’s unclear. There’s something exciting about that. Hopefully this is the combination that makes it happen, and makes it happen in the right way.

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Despite the obstetrical impossible, Mean Girls has labored to deliver Mean Moms – a follow-up of sorts to the Lindsay Lohan-starring comedy. It also stems from an advice book written by Rosalind Wiseman, and shares a producer in Jill Messick. Plus, the logline in exactly the same, but in reverse: “A happily married mother of two moves from small town America to the high class suburbs and is faced with confronting the cutthroat world of competitive parenting.” Replace bitchy teenage girls with bitchy mothers, and you’ve got a movie. Or it’s close at least. Variety is reporting that New Line has hired writing partners Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (The Vow) to rewrite the current script. It’s also important to note that Kohn and Silverstein have been behind Cubic Zirconia Era rom-coms like He’s Just Not That Into You and Valentine’s Day (where they earned a story credit). This may be an unfair comparison, especially with that resume, but it seems unlikely that they’ll be able to craft something as sharp and still human as Tina Fey did with Mean Girls. There’s a huge difference between character and caricature, so far this team’s writing doesn’t show that they know that difference. Is there any chance this next project won’t be a movie version of Real Housewives of Wherever?

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According to Variety, the John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein writing team whose been crafting the words behind a remake of National Lampoon’s Vacation are now in talks to direct the film. It would be the first feature directing job for both, even though no amount of movies can make Daley not the guy from Freak and Geeks. It’s being produced by David Dobkin over at New Line, and at the very least involves the high concept of good old Rusty Griswold takes his loving family out on the road. Who knows what adventures they’ll get into from there. So why pick two newcomers to the directing game? Because they have a strong short film resume. Their latest is Audio Tour which features Will Forte as a man who leaves a museum with his tour guiding headphones still on and learns way too much about the world around him. Check it out for yourself:

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In a film that will eventually become The Rite Stuff when Friedberg and Seltzer spoof the exorcism subgenre poorly, Anthony Hopkins plays the elder Priest giving advice to the younger, doubt-filled one. This is nothing new, but the trailer has the nice sheen of interesting cinematography that makes it seem like the film might be worth that second look. In the effort of full disclosure, Sir Hopkins has cleansed my everlasting soul of a demon before. Don’t let that keep you from enjoying the trailer for The Rite:

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It was one of those things that completely exploded without any noise. The Sun ran a story claiming that Martin Freeman had to turn down an offer to play Bilbo Baggins for The Hobbit because of a scheduling conflict with a BBC show about Sherlock Holmes. Now, the word is out that New Line and MGM have returned to the actor with a proposed schedule that would allow him to do both. Letting the thought of missing out on millions of dollars, a chance to work with Peter Jackson and the opportunity of creating an iconic role slip away for a moment – the big news here is that Freeman might actually get to step into the hairy feet of Bilbo. There’s quite possibly no better actor for the gig. That is, if the movies ever actually get made. [EW]

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Return to the original nightmare to remind yourself of a time when Freddy was actually frightening.

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The Coroners Report

The news spatters against the wall and its oh so beautiful! Nightmare on Elm Street! Jason Voorhees! Molly Hartley! It’s all inside!

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If you’ve been too busy hitting the clubs, flashing your privates and carrying around your miniature teacup chi-poodle to notice, the newest hot trend is suing the pants off someone.

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New Line bags screenings of Michel Gondry’s most accessible flick all over the country. This, for all intents and purposes, is a very bad move.

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Love in the Time of Cholera Poster

Love in the Time of Cholera is a gorgeous disaster of a film. The movie is filled with some rich visuals and scenery, but that is about the only good quality that can be said of it.

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