Relativity Media

THOR

First it was Mark Wahlberg, then it was Bradley Cooper, then whispers of James McAvoy. That’s not even counting the director swapping, but according to The Wrap, Relativity Media is now in talks with Tom Hiddleston to star in a remake of The Crow. At this point, any news about this project comes with its own salt, but this piece finally comes with a dark silver lining. Back in February, word was that McAvoy was close to taking the mascara-drowned role of Eric Draven if his X-Men schedule didn’t get in the way. Perhaps it has, or perhaps the deal simply didn’t work out, but now Hiddleston has stepped in with a preliminary make-up test and another to come. Filming is scheduled for this fall. That, too, comes with a shaker of salt. McAvoy was an interesting prospect, but if he isn’t available, Hiddleston brings a lot more excitement to the reboot than Wahlberg or Cooper ever did. Funny that Relativity finally decided to check in with actors that can do dark and brooding for a character that does nothing but. If they can secure him, this reboot will finally make sense.

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Ric Roman Waugh

  According to a press release, Ric Roman Waugh (whose latest film, Snitch, hits theaters in early 2013) has been hired by Relativity Media to rewrite and direct a science fiction thriller being called Tipping Point. So what comic book is it based off of? Or dated novel that’s just found a resurgence? Or unpublished manuscript that’s about to hit the Best Seller List? It’s based on nothing. The original work from the brain of newcomer Todd Stein focuses on a future where the population of the planet is groping at 10 billion, and society has taken China’s One-child Policy and run with it — promising death if you procreate without the proper paperwork. All of that’s well and good for one Population Control Officer, until he finds out he’s chasing (with intent to kill) a former lover and his 12-year-old son he didn’t know existed. It’s a great time for original sci-fi, and this sounds like a fascinating concept handed over to a workman director. There’s no denying the Blade Runner by way of Repo Men feel of the thriller aspect, but there’s something graceful about seeing those plots in what’s considered to be a thoroughly modern problem. Waugh has built a strong career as a stuntman, and his transition to writing and directing seems to be going smoothly — picking projects with broad appeal and, so far, doing them with technical skill and little risk. Let’s see if that changes with this new project.

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America’s kick-ass sweetheart Jennifer Lawrence is hot coming off of The Hunger Games which is probably why now is a great time for Relativity to toss out a trailer for House at the End of the Street which features a typical ghost story and an unnerving amount of wife-beater buoyancy from a costume designer and cinematographer who were clearly impressed with Lawrence’s acting assets. Seriously. They seem more concerned with her chest than the team behind The Unborn was with Odette Yustman’s ass in white underwear. Welcome to average horror film marketing. The story focuses on a mother and daughter (Elizabeth Shue and Lawrence) who move into an old house right next to one where a brutal homicide took place. The twist? It was a young girl who killed her parents, and her brother is still alive. Someone forgot to leave Samara at the bottom of the well. The title definitely evokes Wes Craven’s first flick The Last House on the Left, but hopefully it will have something up its sleeve, because this trailer doesn’t benefit so much from its story as it does the incredible luck of casting a young star who just shot into the stratosphere (and an interesting reverse-motion gimmick). Check it out for yourself:

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If you’ve been paying attention to Act of Valor’s aggressive marketing campaign, you’re aware that it’s a fictional film starring real-life active-duty Navy SEALs that aims for as much realism as possible in its depiction of their tactics and missions. That’s a fascinating concept and it’s been seamlessly executed by filmmakers Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh. Initially conceived as a training film, the picture gradually evolved into the hybrid that it is once the co-directors sold the SEALs on the project, proposing to “take Top Gun, pull Maverick out and put in the real Maverick,” as Waugh told the Los Angeles Times. But at the end of the day, this is a long-winded SEALs recruitment tool, a noble gesture that’s just not sufficient basis for a feature film. The usual cynicism with which one would greet a feature-length ad doesn’t apply because, obviously, if there’s any group that deserves this sort of heroic treatment, the SEALs are it. The worldview on display here is aggressively simplistic, of course, but the essential, elemental purpose behind the picture is a noble one — paying tribute to these soldiers who put themselves in extreme harm’s way for the rest of us.

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Unless you happen to be from Chile, you might not have ever heard of director Nicolas Lopez. But chances are you soon will. After creating the top grossing Chilean films in both 2010 and 2011 with Que Pena Tu Vida and Que Pena Tu Boda, the director is next moving on to helm Aftershock, the newest film from Eli Roth. This one is a disaster movie that Roth and Lopez wrote together, and that Roth will be starring in. Apparently the idea for the film came to Lopez after his country was hit with a pretty bad earthquake back in 2010, but it’s got some of Roth’s horror sensibility in there as well. The story is largely about dangerous patients that escape an insane asylum after the quake. If horror fans have any sort of issue with getting some Lopez mixed in with their Roth, then maybe this awesome quote from the director will assuage your fears: “I was a fan of Cabin Fever and Hostel, and I love that we’re mixing our sensibility. People will be shocked when they see this movie. It’s nothing that you could expect. I want this to be my Robocop.” Anybody who doesn’t think their career is complete until they’ve made their Robocop is okay with me. Roth thinks he’s pretty okay too. When talking about his collaborator he said, “He has the incredible combination of commercial sensibility with an artistic eye, and what he has done here in Chile with their film industry […]

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Hasbro saw dollar signs after Transformers, and they’ve gotten greedy. It’s one thing to take toy robots and convert them into movie stars, but projects like Monopoly and Ouija Board sounded too ridiculous (and non-cinematic) to make the transition. First, Universal backed out of a new Clue, then the Ouija Board movie, then Monopoly and now they’re getting out of another project born from their toymaker partnership. According to Deadline Deltino, Stretch Armstrong is dead at Universal. The project, like the flour-filled rubber toy, would have starred Taylor Lautner with Rob Letterman set to direct. Speculating on the reasons is futile and a waste of the time we could all spend celebrating. Universal may be regretting that major Hasbro deal now, but they’re wising up to the shifting needs of an audience that wants story and not plastic. The project isn’t completely done, though. It’s found a home over at Relativity Media – which is sort of sad considering the risk-taking that studio has done in the past few years. This, of course, is a risk of a different kind. It’s a formula that only appears to work these days. It’s a project that has all the elements for success, but doesn’t pass the smell test in the first place. The new press release from Relativity also doesn’t include anything about Lautner or Letterman. Looks like they’re officially done with Stretch as well. If only everyone were. Hopefully this doesn’t hurt the chances of a Happy Fun Ball movie. That […]

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Though his older brother Chris Hemsworth jumped a bit ahead in terms of fame factor after starring as Thor in the Marvel Comics movie of the same name, it’s starting to look like younger brother Liam Hemsworth is poised for a comeback. He’s all set to play Gale Hawthorne in the sure to be ridiculously high profile The Hunger Games as well as join forces with a bunch of action movie legends as Bill ‘The Kid’ Timmons in The Expendables 2 coming up in 2012. And, you know what they say in Hollywood (not really), with great notoriety comes great castability, so Hemsworth is now seeing some offers for starring roles coming in as well. According to THR, the young up-and-comer is currently negotiating with Relativity Media to take the lead in their upcoming drama Timeless, which is about a man who is struggling to develop a scientific method of turning back time after the death of his wife. You know what that means fellas: all this one needs is some shots of Hemsworth’s handsome face looking sad, some swelling music, and a declaration of never letting love die in the trailer, and your girlfriend is going to absolutely force you into the theater to see this one.

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Although the real question keeping Hollywood awake in 2012 is “Does Winston Wolf clean up dead hookers on Yom Kippur?”, the fine folks over at HitFix have put forth a handful of queries of varying importance which filmmakers, studios and fans might have on their minds this year. It’s their 15 Questions Keeping Hollywood Awake in 2012. With concerns from Lindsay Lohan’s possible last chance to Joss Whedon’s first real shot with The Avengers, it’s an intriguing list that might prove 2012 to be both an endlessly fascinating and completely irrelevant year in the stories behind the movies. Will Smith, Found Footage, Hunger Games, Dark Knight Rises and more. HitFix has questions, and here are the answers:

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Ness/Capone, as you’ve probably guessed, is a film about Eliot Ness’ hunting of famed gangster Al Capone during the Prohibition era of the 1920s. The story of Ness and Capone has been told plenty of times before, perhaps most notably in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, but Ness/Capone is said to present its own little twist on the material. The script, written by Grant Pierce Myers, was good enough to make the 2010 Black List of best, unproduced scripts, and it’s said to look at the lives of Ness and Capone with more shades of gray than we’ve seen from the story so far. Rather than Ness being the hero and Capone the villain, Ness/Capone is a more complicated look at the rivals, and it paints Ness as an adrenaline junkie who became addicted to the chase and the infamy that his dealings with Capone brought him. He’s big into bullying bad guys, bedding dames, and showing off for the press. Deadline Lincolnwood is reporting that this unproduced script won’t be able to be called as much for long, as Relativity Media is currently negotiating with director James McTeigue to helm the project and get things moving. McTeigue is best known for stylish actioners like V for Vendetta and Ninja Assassin, so he should be an appropriate choice for this more kinetic, action-packed look at the life of Ness.

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It’s been a while since we have heard about the possibility of a live action version of the 80s cartoon Voltron. Back in October of 2009 it was reported that The Dark Knight producer Charles Roven was working with rights-holder World Event Prods. to get a movie on track, and also there was some business with UTA assisting them in bringing the product to multiple platforms. In general, it was the typical Hollywood quagmire of company names and rights issues, and who knows what. But now, quite a while later, things seem to be moving in a more concrete direction. Roven, still involved with the project in some way, has helped bring the rights over to Relativity Media. They now apparently have a live action Voltron movie optioned, and they’ve brought on Thomas Dean Donnelly (Conan the Barbarian) and Joshua Oppenheimer (Sahara) to write a screenplay.

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The last time the country was (for the most part) united was when an idiot called a movie theater to complain about being kicked out for being an idiot. The time before that, it’s because we killed a guy watching a grainy television on his couch just a few miles away from a police station. Relativity Media is gambling $13m on the unifying power of the latter (and hopefully audiences will benefit from the unifying force of the former), because they’ve paid that hefty sum (plus $30m in advertising) to distribute Act of Valor – a high concept action flick featuring Navy SEALs playing Navy SEALs. According to Deadline Abbottabad, the film was scripted by 300 writer Kurt Johnstad with stunt coordinators Mike “Mouse” McCoy and Scott Waugh taking the reins as co-directors. So what’s it about? A group of Navy SEALs heading into enemy territory to save a CIA agent. There’s nothing wrong with high concept, especially since they had intense cooperation with the government and military. Expect this film to show off some heavy action and some taken-from-real-life mission sequences. The wild card here is the untrained actors. Audie Murphy played himself, and it worked out really well. However, taking pure amateurs and placing them into leading roles is always a gamble. Sure, they’re uniquely qualified for the action sequences, but that doesn’t mean the dialogue won’t go down with a chunk of salt. Then again, an action film like this doesn’t need to be Shakespeare. Or so […]

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The last time I heard about The Cooler and Running Scared director Wayne Kramer, he was jumping off of Sylvester Stallone’s upcoming hitman movie Headshot because they couldn’t agree on a direction for the film. Kramer reportedly wanted to make it more dark and violent, while Stallone was looking for a lighter, more humorous approach. Needless to say, at the thought of Stallone doing more comedy, I easily fell down on Kramer’s side of the disagreement. So now that he’s gotten some distance between himself and the Headshot debacle, what is the director going to try for next? According to Deadline Tembisa he’s going to be filming Ecstasia, an original script that he wrote himself, for Relativity Media. Ecstasia is said to tell the story of an alternate universe where love no longer exists. In order to feel any sort of emotional attachment to someone, people must go through a medical procedure called “commitment” which sends emotional signals to your brain through an implanted computer chip. The problem is, commitment is a very expensive procedure to maintain, so when couples run out of money they either have to resort to desperate measures to keep it going, or fall out of love completely. Ecstasia centers on a couple that is in just such a predicament. Given Kramer’s penchant for the dark, I’ll be interested to see just what those “desperate measures” end up being. And also what his explanation is for people who can’t fall in love wanting to fall in […]

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One of the “Snow White” projects just got its title character even if it doesn’t have a title yet. Lily Collins – who played Sandra Bullock’s character’s daughter in The Blind Side – will star as the fairest one of all for Relativity Media’s version of the fairy tale being directed by Tarsem Singh. The movie already has Julia Roberts signed on as the Evil Queen who creates the Sleeping Death, and Armie Hammer as the handsome prince who saves the day with a kiss. All of it seems like the formulation of a fairy tale, but Singh is gauranteed to make the thing look eye-bleedingly beautiful even if the story and acting sinks. This might be sacrilege, but I guess I never realized there was much of a story to the story. Snow White is left in the forest, hangs out with a bunch of dwarfs, gets attacked for being too pretty, and then gets kissed, right? Is there really much going on to create a feature narrative here that doesn’t feature a ton of songs? I ask this honestly. [THR]

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The Armageddon vs Deep Impact of old German folktales is currently raging, and the production teams behind both are busying themselves trying to find the pure unadulterated embodiments of evil. Universal is looking to Charlize Theron to play their nasty witch queen for Snow White and the Huntsman, while Relativity is looking to Julia Roberts for The Brothers Grimm: Snow White. (And just for fun, the movie Maleficent is also in development to provide yet a third actress the opportunity for the role to play a totally different witch from a different story.) Both are perfectly fine actresses, and Roberts scared the hell out of everyone with her performance in Eat Pray Love. Plus, it will be a sight to see these two veterans give us their own spins on an iconic character within a few months of one another. Who do you think is going to be scarier? [Cinematical]

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While there’s no title for it yet, the prospect of Relativity Media doing an adaptation of the Grimm Snow White isn’t exactly something to whistle while you work about. The story has been done before, and promising that it will be “edgy” is comical, because I doubt the wicked queen will be eating what she thinks is a human heart (just like in the heartwarming tale of our youth!). Or maybe she will now that Tarsem Singh has signed on to direct. The man is a visual master, and a dark fairy tale is exactly the kind of project that sees him rubbing his hands together and cackling in sheer delight at the possibilities. This is exciting news. The production is aimed at families still, and it’s not to be confused with Snow White and the Huntsman which is set up over at Universal, but there’s assurance now that even if the story is terrible, the film will look spectacular. [The Wrap]

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CaranoSoderberghKnockout

With two down, Soderbergh is soldiering through after Moneyball fell through. Staying inside the world of espionage, it looks like he may have a gorgeous, talented MMA star by his side for Knockout.

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atlasshruggedbanner

It’s time to pretend that you read one of the books on your Required Reading list from freshman year so you can have an opinion on whether Atlas Shrugged would make it as a film.

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