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Ron Howard‘s latest film, Rush, isn’t even yet in theaters across most of the world, but the filmmaker is already making his next movie.

That movie is Heart of the Sea, a period adventure film based on a novel by Nathaniel Philbrick. It tells the true story that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and stars Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy and Ben Whishaw. Working from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Jurassic World, Avatar sequels) and Charles Leavitt (Blood Diamond, Warcraft), production started two weeks ago in the UK but Warner Bros. just officially announced the shoot. Below, read the press release which has a ton of other information on the film. Read More »

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Briefly: Yesterday we heard that James Cameron had brought in Sarah Connors Chronicles writer Josh Friedman to help script Avatar 2. Turns out, there’s a lot more going on in the Avatar camp than that one personnel addition.

In fact, Fox and Cameron are now officially planning three Avatar sequels. The film trio will be shot in a manner akin to Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth films — that is, all films shooting more or less as one — with release windows planned for Decembers in 2016, 2017, and 2018. We’ve heard before that there could be a fourth film in the series, and Sigourney Weaver recently said that there was a plan to shoot them back to back. Filming begins next year.

In addition to Friedman’s script work on the second film, Cameron has recruited Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of Planet of The Apes) to write the third and Shane Salerno (Salinger) to script the fourth in the expanded suite of sequels. [Deadline]

Matt Reeves is about to take over the world. The director of Cloverfield and Let Me In now confirmed to helm Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The director of that film, Rupert Wyatt, was expected to return for this follow-up, but left the project due to a rumored problem with the production and release schedule. Reeves was the studio’s top choice to replace him.

Once again written by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes which will continue the story of Caesar (Andy Serkis) and tell the next chapter of how he, along with the help of a rapidly spreading virus, will eventually change the world into what’s seen in the 1968 film starring Charlton Heston. It’s scheduled for release May 23, 2014. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Life finds a way, right? That can hold true for the life of film franchises, even ones that lay dormant for a decade or more.

A fourth Jurassic Park film has been a project hovering in various states of limbo since not long after the release of Joe Johnston’s Jurassic Park III in 2001. Last year Thor writer Mark Protosevich was working with Steven Spielberg to come up with ideas for a fourth film, and now Universal has taken the next step.

Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who wrote Rise of the Planet of the Apes, will write Jurassic Part IV for Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy. Read More »

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of the biggest surprises of 2011. Directed by relative newcomer Rupert Wyatt and delving back into a franchise that most people felt had long since died, the movie’s high quality helped it break out as a undeniable hit, grossing $176 million domestically. As tends to be the case, plans for a sequel were set into motion almost immediately and over the next few months Wyatt signed to return as director, star Andy Serkis was given a new deal and the original screenwriters, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, began to write the sequel to the prequel.

The Hollywood Reporter now says Scott Z. Burns, the writer behind Contagion, The Informant! and The Bourne Ultimatum, has signed to work on the film. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Fox is already at work pulling together a film to follow Rupert Wyatt‘s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which became a surprise audience and critical favorite this summer. Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, writers on Rise, are writing the next film, which Wyatt is currently slated to direct.

We don’t know any specifics about the sequel at this point, despite the fact that Wyatt has said a lot of things about where it could possibly go. But the screenwriters recently made one comment that fans of the film might find interesting. That’s below, and I suppose it’s worth noting that really talking about their comment requires some spoilers for Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Read More »

If you’ve seen either version of Planet of the Apes, the overall outcome of Rupert Wyatt‘s Rise of the Planet of the Apes shouldn’t have come as a huge shock — the end result is spelled out right there in the title, after all. But there was one key element of the ending that nearly turned out very differently, until a very late reshoot shifted the fate of one of its major characters. And given that the film ultimately wound up grossing $409 million worldwide, essentially guaranteeing a sequel or two, it was probably a pretty wise move on the part of the filmmakers. Read more about the alternate ending after the jump. (Spoilers for Rise of the Planet of the Apes follow, obviously.)

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The history of Rise of the Apes, the Planet of the Apes prequel to be directed by The Escapist‘s Rupert Wyatt, goes back a few years. It was set in motion at Fox by Scott Frank, who developed a script called Caesar, which was intended as “a hard science fiction film about humans that use science to create hyper-intelligent chimpanzees.” Obviously, the primary super-chimp created in the story is Caesar, and that creature sets in motion events that eventually lead to Planet of the Apes.

A few things have changed, with a new script by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa, but Caesar is still in the story with a primary role. And now he’ll be played by an actor with great simian experience: Andy Serkis. Read More »

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