Though Akiva Goldsman has been behind some of Hollywood’s biggest hits of the ’90s and ’00s as a screenwriter and a producer, it’s only now that he’s gearing up to make his directorial debut. For the past few years, he’s been trying to get together an adaptation of Mark Helprin‘s magical realism novel Winter’s Tale, and he finally got the green light from Warner Bros. last year. Now the project is taking another big step forward, as two huge names enter talks to star: Russell Crowe and Will Smith. More after the jump.

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The summer of ’08 was a pretty great one for superheroes, with Iron Man kicking off the blockbuster season and The Dark Knight and The Incredible Hulk following months after. One superpowered film that proved not up to par that season, however, was Peter Berg’s Hancock. Starring Will Smith as a disgraced vigilante superhero, the movie seemed at first like a breath of fresh air, but ultimately left viewers disappointed thanks to a poorly conceived, poorly executed plot twist and an oddly uneven tone. Still, it was a box office success, so it wasn’t long before rumors began floating around of a Hancock 2.

Fast-forward three and a half years, and not only are we barely any closer to getting a second Hancock, I’d wager that most moviegoers have forgotten about the first Hancock altogether. Berg and Smith haven’t, though, and Berg insists that the sequel is still in the works — it’s just a matter of getting everyone’s schedules to line up properly. Read more after the jump.

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It feels like just about every network on TV has a Western project in the works by this point, but one of the most recently announced ones also sounds like it could be one of the most promising. Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman are slated to team up for a Western drama about Doc Holliday, the legendary gambler and gunslinger known for his friendship with Wyatt Earp and his involvement in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. The project is an adaptation of Mary Doria Russell‘s acclaimed novel Doc, which was released earlier this year. More details after the jump.

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Akiva Goldsman is still working towards the realization of his first effort as a feature film director. For quite some time, the writer/producer has wanted to bring to the screen an adaptation of Mark Helprin‘s novel Winter’s Tale. In February Warner Bros. agreed to make the film, though at the time it looked like the project was going to have to wait until after the shoot for the first feature in the Dark Tower series, which Goldsman is writing and producing.

With The Dark Tower sidelined for the time being, Goldsman is actively working on Winter’s Tale. A casting shortlist has emerged, and while the picks aren’t final by any means, this will give you an idea of where he’s going with the project. Read More »

‘The Dark Tower’ TV Series Will Air on HBO

Stephen King‘s fantasy Western series The Dark Tower has suffered numerous stops and starts in its slow road to the screen, but the adaptation seems to be inching ever closer to becoming a reality. Though Universal ultimately passed on Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Akiva Goldsman‘s ambitious plan to create a three-part film series and two connected TV seasons based on the books, Grazer sounded optimistic earlier this week when he revealed that he had trimmed $45-$50 million from the budget in an effort to get more companies interested. And today, he announced that while the film portion of the project has yet to find a home, the television part has just found one in HBO. More details after the jump.

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Michael Punke‘s novel The Revenant, a dire revenge tale set in raw 1800s America, has been in the hands of Warner Bros for almost a decade. John Hillcoat was once linked to the film, with Christian Bale said to be attached to star; prior to that Park Chan-wook and Samuel L. Jackson were linked. As you read more info on the tale of a man wronged and bent on retribution, you’ll quickly see why either of those pairings might have been a great idea. But those configurations aren’t happening.

There is a script by Mark L. Smith, and Akiva Goldsman is producing. And now Babel and Biutiful director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is reportedly set to break out of the mode he established in those films by directing The Revenant. Read More »

The boys at Imagine Entertainment aren’t going to let Universal’s brush-off get them down. Not long ago, Universal opted not to fund an adaptation of Stephen King‘s novel series The Dark Tower, which was planned to encompass three feature films and at least two short connective television series. Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman make up the trio that have been trying to assemble the project, and, as intimated by King when Universal turned away, they’re not giving up.

Javier Bardem remains attached to play Roland Deschain in the features. And one venue for the TV aspect of the project could end up being Netflix. Read More »

The writing has been on the wall for a little while now, but here’s the final word: Universal doesn’t want to risk coin on three movies and two connecting TV arcs based on Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower. Imagine Entertainment wants a commitment for more than one film, which is all Universal was willing to sign off on. So the Universal chapter of this story is over. The studio has passed on the project, leaving Ron Howard, Akiva Goldsman and Brian Grazer holding a script, the possible lingering willingness of Javier Bardem to play the lead role, and some big hopes. Read More »

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