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As a writer and producer, Akiva Goldsman has enjoyed an enviable career working on projects like A Beautiful Mind, I, Robot, and I Am Legend. But this winter, he’s finding himself in some new territory as he shoots his feature directorial debut Winter’s Tale.

Based on the novel by Mark Helperin, the romantic fantasy follows a thief named Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) who breaks into a seemingly empty mansion in Victorian-era New York City. Once inside, he’s surprised to meet and fall for Beverly Penn (Downton Abbey‘s Jessica Brown Findlay), the dying young woman cloistered within. Russell Crowe also stars, as a criminal boss named Pearly Soames who has it in for Peter. A handful of photos from the set have hit the web, and you can check them out after the jump.

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Media Rights Capital has turned into a financing powerhouse — the company has a deal with David Fincher, and is making the new version of the series House of Cards that he is producing and partially directing. The company also financed some of Cloud Atlas; Neill Blomkamp’s second film, Elysium; and this summer’s hit Ted. MRC has cash to throw around, in other words, and because one of the key players there is a big fan of Stephen King and The Dark Tower, it looks like some of that cash is going to go into Imagine Entertainment’s multi-film and TV series adaptation of the novels. Read More »

Has The Dark Tower finally fallen? Imagine Entertainment partners Ron Howard and Brian Grazer have been working up a very ambitious three-film and dual-TV series cycle of productions to adapt Stephen King‘s epic novel series. But last summer Universal decided not to finance the project, and Imagine took The Dark Tower to other studios. In March, Warner Bros. showed interest and for the past months screenwriter Akiva Goldsman has been doing script revisions to make it more budget-conscious.

Goldsman recently delivered his latest draft, and there was the possibility that Russell Crowe would play the lead character Roland “the Gunslinger” Deschain. But now Warners has passed as well, leaving the project with a very uncertain future. Read More »

Thanks to her performance as Lady Sybil Crawley in the two seasons of Downton Abbey, which has become an unexpected smash hit for PBS in the US, Jessica Brown Findlay is on the cusp of being far more well-known than her otherwise limited on-screen resume would lead you to expect.

Her sharp and Abbey-related career upswing is very likely what helped bring Findlay to the attention of writer producer and now director Akiva Goldsman, who is about to make his feature directorial debut with an adaptation of Mark Helperin‘s novel Winter’s Tale. Goldsman has now chosen Findlay to be the woman at the center of the story, who falls in love with a thief who breaks into her mansion home. Read More »

Fittingly for Stephen King‘s long, winding novel series The Dark Tower, the road to the screen for the property has been a weird and bumpy one. Conceived by Ron Howard, Akiva Goldsman and Brian Grazer as a very ambitious adaptation that would involve three films and two connective television mini-series, the adaptation was originally housed at Universal, thanks to the company’s deal with Grazer and Howard’s Imagine Entertainment.

But Universal balked at the cost of the project, and so Imagine went shopping with The Dark Tower, which has had Javier Bardem attached to star as the Gunslinger, Roland Deschain.

Now it looks like Warner Bros., which has already been planning a multi-film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, is likely to pick up The Dark Tower. But will any of the project’s ambition change? Read More »

Steve Carell Buys a ‘Magic Kingdom’

It’s starting to feel like every time we turn around, Steve Carell has attached himself to yet another project. Having wrapped Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and Great Hope Springs, Carell’s now in the midst of filming The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and lending his voice to Despicable Me 2, with Charlie Kaufman’s Frank or Francis lined up next.

Beyond that, he’s attached to Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, the Dave Barry adaptation Lunatics, John Carney’s The Dogs of Babel, the Black List script Conviction, and another film with Crazy, Stupid, Love. directors Glenn Ficarra & John Requa. And now, we can add the comedic fantasy Magic Kingdom for Sale — SOLD! to that list as well. Good grief. More details after the jump.

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The long-threatened sequel to the 2007 Will Smith movie I Am Legend is moving again. Warner Bros. has signed Akiva Goldsman and Overbrook Entertainment to create another film in which Will Smith will reprise the role of ‘last man on Earth’ Robert Neville. Arash Amel will script. Read More »

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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