Rick Jaffa

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Not content simply making a sequel to a successful film, James Cameron has tacked on a third Avatar sequel to the two he already has in development. Deadline reports that all three films will be shot simultaneously in 2014, to be released in December 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively. Either because of the monumental task ahead of him or because he’s finally learned that screenwriting is not his strong suit, Cameron will be teaming with different writers for each sequel script. Avatar 2 will be co-written by Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds), Avatar 3 by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), and Avatar 3 by Shane Salerno (Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem). While this makes Cameron seem a little like a crazy person, remember that the Lord of the Rings series was filmed the same way, and Cameron was already planning to do two Avatars back-to-back in the first place. But at the same time, this Avatar-stravaganza is likely to be one of the riskiest moves Hollywood has ever taken. The first Avatar was one of the most expensive films ever made. Presumably shooting three at a time will demolish that record like a bulldozer composed entirely of other people’s money. There’s no doubt that the sequels will pull in lots of cash, but if the public was to suddenly lose their Avatar fever with future Avatars not yet released, this could be disastrous. Of course, that very thing was what analysts said right before […]

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When word first broke that Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt wouldn’t be returning to direct the sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, there was a moment of panic. But now that they’ve announced that Let Me In director Matt Reeves has stepped in to take the job, things have calmed down a bit, and it’s become time for work on the sequel to move forward. So, what’s the next step? It seems Fox has decided that it’s taking another pass at the script. While a first draft for the film was written by Rise writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, and a second draft was written for Wyatt by Scott Burns (Contagion), now that Wyatt is off of the picture the studio wants to tweak it once again, this time to tailor it to the strengths of Reeves. In order to get the job done, THR reports that they’ve brought on Mark Bomback, the screenwriter who collaborated with Len Wiseman on Live Free or Die Hard and Total Recall; who wrote Tony Scott’s last film, Unstoppable; and who co-wrote Fox’s upcoming super hero sequel The Wolverine.  Of course, what Bomback knows about tailoring a movie to Matt Reeves’ strengths is something of a mystery, but it should be noted that, given his placement on two big Fox properties, the studio must see him as being something of a golden boy these days.

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The past couple years have been a rocky road for Universal Studios. Long strings of costly box office flops like The Wolfman, Cowboys and Aliens, and Your Highness have not been completely balanced by their hits. Even this year, the success of The Lorax and Snow White and the Huntsman don’t completely wipe out the red numbers on the books from Wanderlust, The Five-Year Engagement, and most recently Battleship. Oddly enough, their DVD and Blu-ray releases of catalogue titles have been causing the most buzz. The studio’s 100th Anniversary Blu-ray releases of E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial and Jaws are making as much noise as their releases of Back to the Future and Jurassic Park box sets. Plus, Jurassic Park is getting a high profile re-release in 3D next summer. It only makes sense that the studio goes back to these popular franchises for a new hit. Deadline Isla Nublar is reporting that Universal has found writers for the long-awaited Jurassic Park 4. Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who are best known for penning last summer’s prequel hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes and its upcoming sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, will be tackling the script for the high-profile dinosaur adventure.

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Hopefully Fox will finally tell us what Soylent Green is, too.

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