FilmDistrict, the company spun off from Graham King’s GK FIlms, has been very busy at Cannes. The company has picked up distribution rights to the 3D version of Arabian Nights that we reported on a while back, starring Liam Hemsworth, as well as the Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel romcom Playing the Field.

And now that the lousy announcements are out of the way, there are these, too: FilmDistrict is teaming with TriStar to release Rian Johnson‘s film Looper (we just had the first still from that one on Friday) and Angelina Jolie‘s directorial debut, which now has the title In the Land of Blood and Honey. More info on all four films, after the break. Read More »

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Got a couple of casting possibilities for you guys to mull over, starting with Dwayne Johnson playing the character of Sinbad in Arabian Nights, the $70 million 3D ‘spin’ on the classic collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian folk tales and stories referred to outside of the US as One Thousand and One Nights.

After the break, more on Arabian Nights, and info about a potential new project for ‘the Streep’. Read More »

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I was left flabbergasted by the news that Chuck Russell would be directing a new 3D version of the Arabian Nights…or, at least, he’s directing a film called Arabian Nights. It seems to bear a passing resemblance at best to the original collection of folk tales. The film is about “a young commander who, after his king is killed in a palace coup, joins forces with Sinbad, Aladdin and his genie to rescue Scheherazade and her kingdom from dark powers.”

But now Anthony Hopkins looks to be playing the villain, opposite star Liam Hemsworth as the young commander, and that could be fun. Especially since Hopkins would be Pharotu, “an evil sorcerer who killed Sinbad’s love, a mermaid, and is looking to amass more magic for himself.” You’ll be forgiven for not remembering that character from your original reading of the Thousand Nights and One Night, aka the original Arabian Nights. (Interestingly enough, a listing on the New York Times suggest this role was once aimed at Christoph Waltz.) [THR]

After the break, Robert De Niro and more join The Killer Elite, and Gerard Butler gets some company in Machine Gun Preacher. Read More »

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Liv Tyler and Patrick Wilson will feature in The Ledge, a “suspense thriller” (as opposed to non-suspenseful thrillers) that will mark the feature debut of writer/director Matthew Chapman.

Terrence Howard and Charlie Hunnam co-star in the film about “a man (Hunnam) standing on a high-rise ledge who insists he must jump by noon as the policeman below (Howard) tries to manage the situation.” OK, sounds like Hunnam and Howard are leading the cast, so who will Wilson and Tyler play? Good question. Producer Michael Mailer has a great quote about the production, at least: “As more and more films succumb to the visual wizardry of 3D, ‘The Ledge’ explores the fourth dimension: the interior life of tortured souls hovering over the precipice of emotional nullity. This film is the reason why I became an independent filmmaker and why I continue to suffer in the trenches of independent filmmaking.” Take that, 3D! [THR]

After the break, news on the brother of Thor and a new comedy for Chris Evans and Anna Faris. Read More »

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There have been many filmed versions of the collection of folk stories and other tales called the One Thousand and One Nights, better known in the US as the Arabian Nights. Now we can add one more to the pile.

Who’s directing? That would be Chuck Russell, a man whose films span a broad range of quality: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 (fairly awesome), The Blob remake (great stuff), The Mask (starting to worry) and The Scorpion King (uh-oh). Where’s this Arabian Nights going to fall on his best to worst list? Read More »

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