Summit

Highlander Movie

If you had to pick one guy to kick off the Highlander remake, would it be director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo or Ryan Reynolds? Exactly. However, according to Deadline Hollywood, it’s Fresnadillo that has left the production due to creative differences with Summit. He helped develop the project for a year, but never saw the picture the same way the studio did — which marks a bit of a pattern for the filmmaker who also detached himself from Bioshock and The Crow (which he left to direct Highlander). Also like that production, it has a leading man who is stunningly wrong for the role. Reynolds is a charming, funny actor, but he’s not the guy you get to play Duncan MacLeod; he’s the guy you get to play Duncan MacLeod for your MTV Movie Awards spoof intro. At any rate, the loss of Fresnadillo puts the project back into the air, and it’ll be fascinating to see if Summit continues to stick with it, and if they do, what director they’ll ultimately land on. No matter who it is, Reynolds playing the lead is going to feel like putting on a wet bathing suit for a lot of fans, and if Summit decides not to (or can’t) re-cast, they’re going to be shooting themselves in the foot even before the starter gun goes off. That’s not to say that Fresnadillo was the absolute best choice for the potential franchise launch, but Reynolds is still clearly, obviously, gut-reaction-level wrong for this one. […]

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Making a movie about the life of Harry Houdini has been a recent priority of Lionsgate’s Summit for a few good reasons. For one, the famed magician just lived a really interesting life, which would probably make for the rare, non-boring biopic. For another, Houdini is a name that lots of people already recognize, but that hasn’t been the subject of a movie in a while, and studios are always looking for something that has name recognition they can get their hands on. Add that to the fact that there’s a biography out there, by William Kalush and Larry Sloman, called “The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero” that’s very cinematic and pretty much ready-made to be adapted into a film (screenwriter Noah Oppenheim has already done a draft), and putting together a Houdini project seems like something of a no-brainer. But, for some reason (Gary Ross looking at it and eventually passing is probably a contributing factor), Summit has been sitting on this project for a while now without it gaining any real momentum. The good news is, that may soon change, because another notable and talented director is said to be circling the screenplay. According to sources that have spoken to the L.A. Times, Hanna helmer Joe Wright has taken a liking to the script and is currently in negotiations to become attached as director.

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In a year featuring new movies from Wes Anderson, Christopher Nolan, Rian Johnson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Joss Whedon, John Hillcoat, David Cronenberg and Quentin Tarantino, there are some people whose most anticipated film of 2012 is The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. Think about that for a minute. Now that you’re thoroughly disgusted with the youth of the world we can move on to watching the first trailer for the final Twilight film. I say final, but rumors of franchise reboots, 3-D conversion re-releases, spin-offs focused on Jacob’s urge to leg-hump Renesmee, and the possibility that series author Stephenie Meyer may pen another sequel mean this beast will probably never die. Breaking Dawn – Part 2 picks up the action with Bella (Kristen Stewart) having been turned into a vampire by Edward (Robert Pattinson) in order to save her life. She thrives on her new powers, and the happy couple watch in joy as their daughter Renesmee grows at an alarming rate. Just try to imagine clothes shopping for this kid… you buy her a Hunger Games t-shirt only to see her outgrow it by the time you return from the mall. It’s hard to be a vampire! More pressing than wardrobe issues though is the news that the mod vampires in Italy, the Volturi, have declared the child an abomination that must be destroyed. I haven’t read the books, but I can only hope that the ensuing epic battle will be Neville Longbottom’s chance to shine. Check […]

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The world was shocked when, after directing the biggest financial success of his career with The Hunger Games, Gary Ross decided to pass on making the sequel, Catching Fire. Does he hate money? No, it turns out he just hated the too-tight schedule the film has to work under due to its star Jennifer Lawrence’s other commitments. But, do you know who has no such qualms with churning out a Hunger Games sequel on a truncated timeline? I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence. It wasn’t long after Ross dropped out that he stepped in. Only time will tell if Ross was right and Lawrence is stepping into a poisonous situation with Catching Fire; once the second film comes out, we’ll just compare who did the better work. But news that broke today hints at the possibility that Ross and Lawrence might soon be competing for our hearts and minds with more than just their individual takes on Hunger Games material; they might soon be earning comparisons to one another because of dueling Houdini biopics as well.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the movie website equivalent of stuffing a turkey with three chickens and an eel. News of all shapes and sizes finds itself among some strange bedfellows here even if you can’t sleep. We get things started with a metric ton of images and information about The Muppets. If you’re willing to brave the spoilers, /film has everything from character descriptions to photos to trivia. Or, you can let the burning questions wash over you. Why is Kermit behind bars? Does it have anything to do with inter-species sex laws? Why wouldn’t it?

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It’s a shame that Chris Weitz may call it quits on directing this early. While he says below that he may not be done yet, there was something sad about him saying directing just isn’t that “fun” for him anymore. As Weitz pointed out, the news of his possible retirement didn’t quite rank up there with all the crying old ladies Steven Soderbergh got when he announced his a few-years-off retirement, but after Twilight: New Moon, could you blame some people for not protesting? Had the news come out after his latest film was released, A Better Life, there would have been much more disappointment to the idea. If anything good came out of us having to sit through New Moon, Weitz got to make a modest character drama that we don’t see too often. After The Golden Compass (a film he’s publicly called a failure multiple times) and New Moon, it seemed like the director had turned to big-budgeted commerce driven projects, rather than continuing in making great dramas, like About a Boy. But, as he says below, unless you don’t carry enough clout from doing films like Twilight, getting a studio drama like this off the ground wouldn’t be easy. Here’s what director Chris Weitz had to say about leaving filmmaking behind, finding emotional authenticity, and whether or not making A Better Life gave him a brighter outlook on directing.

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Since last summer MTV has been slowly moving their way back into scripted television, something they stepped out of right around 2000. Their first attempt came in the form of the absolutely terrible The Hard Times of RJ Berger, this was followed by a remake of the hit British series Skins. Unfortunately, while a solid (but ultimately failed) attempt at a remake, the series was met with harsh backlash against its content. The backlash combined with the show’s poor ratings ultimately led to its cancellation this past week. Now here we are, saddled with the network’s latest attempt at scripted drama, Teen Wolf. This may be a re-imagining of the Michael J. Fox film from ’85, but the differences are major. MTV’s version is more of an adaptation in name only, and while the series is fraught with problems (many, many problems), it does show, much like Skins, that MTV is willing to grow on a creative level because this is the network’s best scripted series to date.

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Just like that time you got snakes to get rid of the mice infesting your house, and you ended up having to get mongooses to eat the snakes and then honey badgers to eat the mongooses and then armored tanks to get rid of the honey badgers, the next wave of horror romance has infected its next fad. Vampires are now passing the burning sensation in their loins over to Zombies. Summit, as you might guess, is still to blame. The plucky young studio will be using some of its Twi-capital to produce Warm Bodies – the story of a zombie named R that falls for one of his victims’ girlfriends and starts what must be a fetishistic relationship with her. Nicholas Hoult, who plays Beast in the forthcoming X-Men: First Class, is set to star. It’s unclear how this twist on the genre works exactly. Romance and vampires? Got it. Easy. Romance and that mindless mass of rotting flesh trying to constantly eat brains? That’s a different story. Speaking of which, the project is an adaptation of an as-yet-unpublished novel by Isaac Marion. It’s also the next evolution in shoving genre monsters into other formulas and calling it interesting. Of course, as always, it’s the execution that really matters. The bright side is that Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) will be writing and directing, so at least there’s talent bringing a singular vision to the project. Plus, Hoult may prove to be a strong acting presence even without blue CGI […]

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You probably read other movie sites, so you may have already seen articles decrying the idea of Melissa Rosenberg taking on screenwriting duties for Summit’s Highlander remake. Some of them do so just by headlining “Twilight writer set to write Highlander remake.” Pretty gruesome idea, eh? Let me re-title that: “Dexter writer set to write Highlander remake.” Much better. The internet has a short term memory, and even though Rosenberg was brandished with the golden albatross of adapting a group of books with more sizzle than steak in them (aimed at an audience most website runners don’t find themselves in), she also had the good fortune to showcase her talents on a television program with violence, depth, humor, and action. Her abilities in those arenas make her a perfect choice for taking on the material. The bigger question is whether the world needs a reboot of Highlander. Why not? It’s an interesting concept, the original was fun but not masterpiece material, and something has to, has to, has to cleanse the memory of Highlander: The Source from our lives. If there’s anything worth applying a short term memory to, it’s that. Thanks for indulging the inside baseball, but this project sounds incredibly cool. When you look at it the right way. Now about Justin Lin directing… Source: THR

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Somewhere out there, other science fiction writers are tilting their heads, raising their eyebrows, and attempting to figure out how Daniel H. Wilson keeps getting his books optioned for films. Of course, it’s not like those options actually mean much considering that Paramount never did anything with “How To Survive a Robot Uprising.” On the other hand, with “Robopocalypse” going to Spielberg for a 2012 shooting date, and now his “AMP” picked up by Summit for director Alex Proyas (a great, great pick) to take the lead on,  it seems as though Wilson might be entering the film world in earnest soon enough. AMP will focus on a short time in the future where robotics are used to help the disabled but end up essentially giving them super powers over the puny able-bodied masses. Deadline Tulsa describes the book as being like District 9 with its political and scientific implications. If you’re a struggling sci-fi writer out there and want to be even more frustrated, neither of those optioned books even exist yet as books. So, actually, maybe there’s still hope for you too.

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If you didn’t think there was enough cookie-cutter, faux-romantic comedy crap in your life, you’re in luck.

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ChrisWeitzDirecting

He’ll be going ahead with his next project, sure, but it looks like comments about quitting the business came in the heat of the moment.

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twilight-fanart-header

I you loved Patriot Games, you might have loved Twilight.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we laugh and cry about the state of independent filmmaking while eating leftover Halloween candy.

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Either you want to see cute sorority girls prancing around in their underwear or you want to see those bitches get killed. Luckily, the new trailer and pictures for Sorority Row satisfy both needs.

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DCComicAdaptations

There’s an onslaught of DC adaptations coming down the pipeline – either finishing principal production or heading into it – and we’ve got a quick rundown on how to protect yourself.

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Summit options The Secret Life of Houdini

Summit has optioned “The Secret Life of Houdini” and plans to bring the historical figure to the big screen fictional style, complete with whip and fedora.

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Dakota Fanning Tapped for Jane in New Moon

The young star would, ironically, become the biggest name in the movie series, but we’re pretty sure she can handle being small and creepy.

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