Steve Zaillian

London Traffic Jam

While Danny Boyle is busy celebrating the history of Great Britain with giant inflatable arm-flailing Voldemorts, Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian are preparing to explore what might happen if the worst case travel scenario crippled the country’s infrastructure. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project was born from a 2003 dramatized documentary called The Day Britain Stopped which aired on the BBC. The villain of the feature is us – the hordes of commuting individuals that make up the mass clogging overtaxed transportation routes. There’s a worker strike, a train accident and the country’s roads are transformed into a parking lot during one of the busiest and coldest times of year. Scott and Zaillian will be using the film as inspiration for their take, which is set up at Fox. The last time these two got together it was for American Gangster, but it’s still unclear whether Denzel Washington will play the A3212 into London. However, it’s still a fascinating twist on the disaster genre that could use a bit more exploration. At the very least, it’s something we can all relate to.

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It’s been a year filled with silent screen stars seeking redemption, the 1920s coming alive in Paris, a young boy searching for the first great director, sex addicts in New York City, horses going to war, maids of dishonor, and skulls getting crushed in elevators. Now it’s time to celebrate all of those things and more with the 84th annual Academy Awards. They’ve come a long way since the Hotel Roosevelt in 1929 (although sex addicts have almost always been a fixture). Get to ready to smile, ball your fists with snubbed rage, or be generally unsurprised. Here they are. The 2012 Oscar nominees:

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Sony isn’t slowing down on its adaptations of Steig Larsson‘s best-selling novels, so according to Entertainment Weekly, we’ll get a healthy dose of Lisbeth Salander and The Girl Who Played With Fire soon. Undoubtedly, unless the second one struggles worse, we’ll have The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest soon after that. Apparently there was some question as to the plan when The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo didn’t perform at insanely high levels. So far, the $90m-budget film has scored $72m worldwide, which isn’t all that great, but it’s still early in its life as a release at two weeks old. It’s not the crazy phenomenon that the Niels Arden Oplev flicks, but lightning so rarely strikes the same franchise twice. No matter what a studio believes. Checking the scoreboard, Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig are both signed up for two more movies, Steve Zaillian is already working on the script for the second film, but David Fincher is not secured. Maybe he’ll come back, maybe they’ll need to find a new director. Either way, the train is leaving the station and headed for a late 2013 release. Would you want to see Fincher stay on?

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He’s already writing the script, so why not take a seat in the director’s chair as well? Steve Zaillian is probably best known as a writer (for modern classics like Schindler’s List and for this year’s double feature of Moneyball and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), but he’s also done some strong directing work with Searching For Bobby Fischer and A Civil Action. He’s already on board to write a remake of Nacho Vigalondo’s Timecrimes, and now The Playlist is reporting that he’s considering directing as well. It would undoubtedly be a different sandbox for him to play in, but the biggest question is whether the magic of the original can be maintained in a domestic version from a man more known for broadly appealing adult drama. The original is rightfully hailed, but it’s also a cult movie for a reason. Plus, when Zaillian infamously remade All the King’s Men, he never saw the original film, and the result was disastrous. At least with Vigalondo’s work, there’s no other source material, so Zaillian had to watch it in order to write the script. You know, theoretically. And, yes, this is another foreign remake under Zaillian’s belt. It’s an interesting new line of work to go into.

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Your mission, if you choose to accept it… During an undercover mission in Prague, IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) witnesses his spy team picked off one by one—including his mentor and friend, Jim Phelps (Jon Voight). With the blame of sabotage and treason on his head, Hunt goes on the run to clear his name, entrap the real conspirators and deliver the perfect dose of tentpole bravado.

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As the only literate Reject, it’s my duty to find the latest, the greatest and the untouched classics that would make great source material for film adaptations. I read so you don’t have to. A hospital full of doctors, nurses and patients looks out on a city under siege by the deadly force of a category 5 hurricane. The water level is rising, the electricity will give out eventually, and a group of medical practitioners that are exhausted by 40+ hours of work without sleep have to make the crucial decisions about who has a chance of living and who doesn’t. Sound dramatic enough? Of course it does. Because it happened. The hurricane is Hurricane Katrina, the hospital is Memorial in New Orleans, and the decisions were impossible. Yes, it would make one hell of a movie.

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The prospect of remaking Nacho Vigalondo’s Timecrimes might seem sacrilege to some who obsess over the cult film from the insane director (who is solely responsible for making “Chaos Reigns!” the catch phrase of Fantastic Fest 2009), but it’s a good candidate for a remake here in the States. This is the sort of project that gets people to go back and view the criminally under-seen original. For a while, Steve Zaillian was signed on to produce the flick, but now he’s taking over the writing duties as well. That’s a formidable match. The science fiction element of a man accidentally traveling back in time and knocking over the dominoes that lead to a horrific crime is something that, obviously, Zaillian hasn’t had a chance to apply his impressive talents to yet. But the man knows character and he knows tension and he knows drama. Plus, as Drew over at HitFix astutely points out, his involvement as the writer could get some heavy directors (like Cronenberg) to turn their gaze to it. As long as Vigalondo is still involved, this may be one of a handful of remakes that’s actually warranted.

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moneyballisout

After some disagreements on the script, and no other takers, Sony has officially killed the project, and Brad Pitt is looking for something else to do.

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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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