Hollywood has never been a town that likes original ideas. It likes safe and established and easy. But sometimes the attraction to stories with those qualities veers into bizarre obsession. So it has been lately with anything that looks like a fairy tale or romantic fantasy story. We’ve got multiple Snow White movies in development with two racing towards production, several possible Wizard of Oz offshoots, and similar projects like Red Riding Hood, Jack the Giant Killer and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Can we blame the fact that the Harry Potter and Twilight series are nearing the end of their run, leaving producers everywhere scrambling to find new ways to capture audiences that will no longer turn towards those mega-franchises? Do studios need something to start standing in for comic books as source material? Or is it just some zeitgeist current that leaves everyone looking towards dark romantic fantasy? Impossible to tell, really, but the trend isn’t dead yet. Peter Pan is the latest development mini-craze, and no less than five Pan projects are in play right now. Read More »

Some actors attach themselves to scores of films, most of which will never get made, or will never get made with those actors in the cast. Tom Hanks is not one of those actors. He latches on to far fewer projects, and the ones he does pick have a higher probability of getting made.

He’s shooting Stephen Daldry’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close right now, recently set up Disney’s Jungle Cruise with fellow Toy Story voice talent Tim Allen, and has been strongly linked to Kathryn Bigelow’s Triple Frontier.

And now Tom Hanks is attached to play Captain Richard Phillips in Sony’s adaptation of the Captain’s memoir about the Somali pirate hostage situation that went down in 2009. Read More »

Briefly: Last week we told you about a pitch called Peter Pan Begins — a title which was erroneous, as the project is simply called Pan — which was going around town with Channing Tatum attached to star, Billy Ray writing and Joe Roth producing. Now Sony is negotiating to buy the project, with THR saying the studio beat out two other studios, and that the deal is going down for around $1m.

So that’s a million bucks for a story “which seeks to tell the origin of the flying immortal.” What’s the point? Money, of course. Joe Roth was a producer on Alice in Wonderland and, many millions of dollars and two Oscars (gag) later, applying the same approach to Peter Pan probably seems like a good idea. Billy Ray is a solid writer (Breach, Shattered Glass), so perhaps he can turn out something that doesn’t have the rank stench of a bid for Alice-style box office.

Ripping off both J.M. Barrie and Christopher Nolan in one fell swoop, a pitch is now out to Hollywood studios called Peter Pan Begins. The pitch has star Channing Tatum, screenwriter Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, Shattered Glass) and producer Joe Roth all attached. Roth is responsible for producing several films with new spins on classic literature, including Sam Raimi’s Oz, The Great and the Powerful and Snow White and the Huntsman with Kristen Stewart. Not much is known about the film itself except that, based on its title, it aims to tell the origin story of Peter Pan. Read more after the jump. Read More »

We’ve got a great deal of TV odds and ends to present to you, so let’s kick off with one that is a big deal to those involved: Syfy has decided not to pick up Stargate Universe for a third season, which is a nice way of saying the show is canceled.

A Stargate show has been on the air since 1997, but the numbers for the first season of Universe were low — Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, in their best days, had twice the draw of Universe. The final episodes of the show will air as planned. [Variety]

After the break, news on Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, Locke & Key and the proposed 24 spin-off film. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Gary Ross Will Direct ‘The Hunger Games’

The series many feel could take over the movie and publishing business in the way Twilight did just a few years back finally has a captain at the helm. Gary Ross, who directed Seabiscuit and Pleasantville, will in fact be directing the film version of The Hunger Games based on the best selling book by Suzanne Collins for Lionsgate. Ross was “in talks” a few months back, and while the ink has yet to officially dry, the director showed up at the American Film Market this week to build buzz for the project. Not that it needs it. The best selling trilogy of novels, which are about a futuristic society where kids must kill each other on TV (sort of a romance infused Running Man/Battle Royale hybrid for teens) have been gaining exponential popularity in the last few months. We’ve got more after the jump. Read More »


The Secret in Their Eyes was the surprise winner for Best Foreign Language Film during last year’s Academy Awards, beating out the expected contenders A Prophet and The White Ribbon. Many were peeved, but the picture hadn’t even been released in theaters yet, so most were unaware of what an affecting, engrossing film it actually is. Once it finally opened in the US, the picture received glowing reviews, but didn’t exactly light up the box office.

Naturally, that means it’s time for a remake. Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to the original film, and they already have their director: Billy Ray, who wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Breach and Shattered Glass, and co-wrote the screenplay for the equally praised State of Play. (Psst, don’t tell anyone, but he also co-wrote Volcano, Suspect Zero and Flightplan.) Read More »

Gary Ross in Talks to Direct ‘The Hunger Games’


Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) is looking like the man who’ll get the job directing The Hunger Games, a film based on the first of three novels by Suzanne Collins. The story is a sort of Running Man +/- Battle Royale, and has been the impetus for a rat race between directors as diverse as Ross, Sam Mendes, Francis Lawrence, David Slade, Andrew Adamson, Rupert Sanders, and Susanna White. But as things stand, Ross is the man. Read More »


In March 2007, New Line Cinema announced they would be making a big screen adaptation of Microsoft’s popular video game Gears of War. Collateral and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl screenwriter Stuart Beattie was hired to pen a script after turning in a 21-page treatment. A few months later Live Free or Die Hard helmer Len Wiseman came aboard the project to direct. Wiseman worked on the script with Wanted scribe Chris Morgan for a year, before moving on to Billy Ray (Breach, Shattered Glass).

LA Times now reports that Wiseman is moving on, after having the budget slashed in half. He is now officially signed on to direct the apocalyptic thriller Nocturne, a project he was developing for 20th Century Fox.

Read More »

The Last Season of 24?

24 season 8

Variety is reporting something we have been speculating for the past month: Fox’s hit television series 24 will likely end after the conclusion of the current eighth season. The studio and network executives have declined to comment. But is this the end of the show? Apparently the studio is considering shopping the series to other networks, but interest will probably be limited due to the high costs involved.

Read More »