Not satisfied with having one movie due this year as a director, Clint Eastwood will follow-up November’s Changeling starring Angelina Jolie with a mystery project entitled Gran Torino that is being fast tracked by Warner Bros. for a release in December. I like how the Hollywood legend habitually and quietly moves in for the Oscar kill before I can even argue with the sun. Eastwood is also set to star in the film, which will mark his first performance since 2004′s Best Picture/Best Director winner Million Dollar Baby.
Based on the title alone, there is already speculation that the classic Ford Turino automobile will figure into the plot. I can only hope that this is Dirty Harry’s Death Proof. Eastwood is also attached to direct Morgan Freeman in the Nelson Mandela biopic The Human Factor, with Matt Damon also attached (and Oscar).
Discuss: What is Eastwood’s best film as a director after Unforgiven? Not a popular choice at all, but I’ve always been partial to 1993′s A Perfect World.Â
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Has Tony Stark met his match? With grosses expected to be as high as $360 million in its first week alone, Grand Theft Auto IV, the long, long awaited sequel to Rock Star Games‘ classic video game franchise, will no doubt out gross Jon Favreau‘s Iron Man. That is not the showdown alluded to in the headline. These two stunning pop culture goliaths will duke it out for fanboys’ dollars and attention spans at the same time, with GTA IV dropping on Xbox and PS3 worldwide on April 29th and Iron Man on May 2nd domestically, with remaining global territories set both before and after.
One has to wonder how much consideration Paramount Pictures and Marvel have and are giving this worldwide clusterf**k of awesome. Should they be worried? You guys and gals tell them in the comments. Over at GameDaily, an analyst named Mike Hickey, who works for GTA‘s distributor, Take-Two, is quoted as giving a big “Duh!” Hickey says GTA IV could be bigger than Halo 3, and we all remember Hollywood execs’ eyes watering in awe when Bungie Studios opened up the skies to rake in torrential fanboy moolah back in September…
“We anticipate the video game release of GTA IV on April 29th could dampen the potential from Iron Man‘s theatrical release on May 2nd,” said Hickey. “The domestic box office’s first week of May release schedule includes Iron Man, Made of Honor, Redbelt and Son of Rambow. The last significant video game release, Halo 3, generated over $300 million in sales from its first week in the market. Halo 3 was released on just one platform, the Xbox 360, and attached nearly 50% of the installed base.
GTA IV will be released on both the Xbox 360 and PS3, which have both significantly increased their installed bases since the release of Halo 3. A GTA IV 25% attach rate to a combined Xbox 360 and PS3 installed base at its April 29th release would imply 5.8 million units sold or roughly $360 million in retail sales the first week of the game’s release.”
With a budget around $200 million, not counting considerable marketing costs et al, Iron Man is obviously a huge investment, and thankfully everything we’ve seen and heard from the film thus far is aces. But this showdown will definitely be interesting, and perhaps even set precedent for cinema versus video game pissing matches for years to come.
Discuss: Should Paramount and Marvel be worried? Will you be holed up exploring a vast and violent GTA New York City, too busy watching and rewatching Iron Man, or (I know, it’s crazy) both?
Acclaimed sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke has died at age 90. Clarke is probably best known as the writer of Stanley Kubrick’s landmark film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Clark is considered a scientific visionary, known as “the godfather of the telecommunications satellite”. He also foretold future technological ideas such as space stations, the moon landing, cellular phones, and even the Internet. Clark wrote 80 fiction and nonfiction books and wrote more than 100 short stories (not including hundreds of articles and essays).
David Fincher has been trying for years to develop a big screen adaptation of Clarke’s popular 1973 novel Rendezvous with Rama. Set in the 22nd century, a group of human explorers, who intercept a thirty-mile-long cylindrical alien starship that passes through Earth’s solar system, and attempt to unlock its mysteries.
Clarke is also the third in a series of geek idols to die in the last two weeks, which fits into the theory that everything happens in 3′s (“The Rule of Three’s”). The first was Gary Gygax, best known for co-creating the pioneering role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). The second happened earlier today, Oscar-winning director and writer Anthony Minghella died at age 54.
You have to give Judd Apatow credit for still not having a single sequel, especially a Knocked Up with Twins, on his vast production buffet. MTV recently spoke to him about the sequelitis that all big producers feel at one point or another, and Apatow admitted there is one film, Anchorman starring Will Ferrell as ‘stachioed newscaster dumbass Ron Burgundy, that is due for a follow-up. Fortunately, or unfortunately, if this sounds like a good idea to ya, Apatow wants Ferrell to do it when he’s wearing diapers for old-timer, as opposed to comic, relief.
“The movie that probably has a best shot at a sequel is Anchorman. Ron Burgundy would be hilarious at 70-years-old, being the anchor,” Apatow said. “We all think it would be fun to see him up on his feet again doing what only he can do. That would be awesome â€“ but it could only happen in 30 years.”
Ferrell recently updated the Net on several unlikely sequels (Old School 2, Elf 2), but omitted Anchorman. I’m not saying Ferrell was implying that an Anchorman 2 will happen before three decades have passed; but I do think the image of a liver-spotted septuagenarian Burgundy taking multiple shots of liquor as he gets out of bed in the nerve-addling era of blogs, Twitter and YouPorn leaves an ocean of possibilities. How about you?
Discuss: Anchorman Deux? Would you like to see Apatow do a sequel to any of his flicks?
Oscar-winning director and writer Anthony Minghella died on Tuesday at age 54. The Guardian reports that the director suffered a fatal hemorrhage after a “routine operation” was motivated by a growth on his neck which was suspected to be “cancer of the tonsils and neck.” The surgery took place last week and everything looked good, until “he developed a haemorrhage last night and they were not able to stop it.”
Minghella’s Memorable Film Credits include:
- The English Patient (1996) 9 Oscar Wins including Best Picture. Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.
- The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) Nominated for 5 Oscars
- Cold Mountain (2003) Nominated for 7 Oscars
- Breaking and Entering (2006)
After countless delays (to some fanboys’ enjoyment), the Justice League of America 2009 tent pole from Australian director George Miller has hit another snag, a major one that has been months in the making. The production was just refused a tax rebate vital to filming down under by the Australian government. Miller is right angry…
“A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Australian film industry is being frittered away because of very lazy thinking,” Miller told The Sydney Morning Herald. “If that’s going to be the final decision, they’re throwing away hundreds of millions of dollars of investment that the rest of the world is competing for and, much more significantly, highly skilled creative jobs. …It feels to me like I’m not fighting for this film. I’m fighting for the Australian film industry.”
The tax rebate was turned down because the powers that be think the film will be seen as All-American and not Australian upon release. What does this mean for the D.C. Comics dream team currently starring Megan Gale, Adam Brody and other unproven, fresh faces? Over at Action-Figure.com, a writer speculates that the suits want to move the film to Canada now, and goes so far to say that sources have told him Miller, who was key to getting the rebate, may be replaced along with the entire generally C-list cast. Wishful thinking or is Warner Bros. simply over it?
Can you imagine if The Dark Knight was the last Batman film for actor Christian Bale? Clearly no person plays more into the monumental equation of a trilogy starring him than director Christopher Nolan. Bale recently spoke with EW about a second sequel to Batman Begins, or as the odd interviewer incorrectly called it, Batman “film number six”(I counted seven, Peter counted eight with the Adam West film)…
Interviewer: So do you think there will be a part 3 of Batman?
Christian Bale: Um, look, let’s wait and see…
Interviewer: Or, I guess it’d be part 6.
Christian Bale: No, no, no, no, no. [Smiling] Part 3 is what I’d consider it, yeah, I don’t say part 6. Batman begins – that was the beginning there, with all due respect to the others. We are re-creating this. You know, obviously the decision is out of my hands. I would, knowing the Dark Knight story, I would like very much to complete a trilogy. And I think that knowing the story of The Dark Knight, it leaves you anticipating something that really can get very, very interesting for a third. Now, the question would be: Is Chris going to be doing it? Because to me I find it tricky to imagine working on it without it being a collaboration with Chris.
Sounds good, but it won’t be cheap. Bale was signed for three films way back when, including a Batman “team-up” movie. There was a time when a third film in Nolan’s series was strongly rumored to be the trial of the Joker (screenwriter David Goyer even said so back in 2006) but that piped down even before Heath Ledger’s passing, and Two Face’s appearance in TDK would also negate it.
With general interest already through the roof for TDK partially due to the best early trailer of the summer flock, and one of the strongest viral campaigns ever, the first sequel is going to rock registers and hopefully fanboys’ minds as well. A third film would be ideal and everything points to it happening with Nolan and/or Bale at this stage. But hey, it’s Hollywood, nothing is a sure thing.
Discuss: What are the chances we’ll see a Batman 3? If Christopher Nolan suddenly (and uncharacteristically) said, “I won’t do another Batman film unless it’s the last one…and I mean ever!” would that be worth a Warner Bros. handshake?
Buried in this report covering yesterday’s Wizard World convention in L.A. is the news via a panel that Samuel L. Jackson may not have a cameo as Marvel character Nick Fury in Iron Man after all. Nearly a year ago AICN reported the casting news as a definite for the summer blockbuster, and since then everyone from Avi Arad to Jackson to director Jon Favreau has reluctantly nodded “yes.” Even IMDB and Wikipedia have it listed as fact. Top that!
The panel, which consisted of Wizard‘s Ricky Purdin and Toyfare‘s Adam Tracy, maintained that Jackson is still Nick Fury and seemed to imply that the footage with Jackson and Robert Downey Jr. might appear elsewhere. CHUD just sprinkled their ellipses, and we’ll throw out a giant …but where?! as well. Moreover, the panel confirmed that a crossover between The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man is still happening as rumored.
So, would the Fury cameo pop up on the Iron Man DVD? That’s no way to launch a character that has an individual action tent pole film scheduled in the next couple years. Might it be used in promotional materials? Promoting what? Coolness? Will it appear in The Incredible Hulk? On one hand that seems like too much “Uma, Oprah” crossover, but could turn out great. Cutting room floor? Gasp. Somewhere Jackson chews on a cigar and laughs at his laptop. More on this if it develops…
Discuss: Whaaa happen? Throw some guesses in the Easter basket. And who’s the ideal director to realize a Nick Fury flick starring Jackson?
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