With four wide releases opening this post-Oscar weekend, Hollywood news is predictably pretty slow. So we decided to throw together three smaller stories into one article just so you can get your weekend fix all in one place.
First up, Brian K. Vaughan, former writer on Lost and creator of Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina signed with a new agency: Verve. And while agency turnover is boring, buried in the Hollywood Reporter’s story about it is a nugget about Vaughan working on a screenplay he plans to direct and an update on Runaways. Interesting. Second, legendary Disney animator Glen Keane is reportedly not too happy with Disney’s upcoming slate of animated films and is being actively wooed by DreamWorks Animation. Also interesting. And finally, Paramount has set a release date for the Jon Chu-directed G.I. Joe sequel: August 10, 2012. Kind of interesting. Read more about all of this after the break.
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One of the comic book adaptations that just keeps kicking is Y: The Last Man. For some time DJ Caruso (Disturbia, Eagle Eye) wanted to make the movie with Shia LaBeouf starring. He wanted to make a trilogy of films, but getting a first script New Line liked and the studio to agree to make a trilogy is something that hasn’t happened.
Earlier this year there was word that Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk, Clash of the Titans) wanted to direct the adaptation. Now he’s actually talked about it. And, yes, he does want to make it, but New Line still doesn’t have an approach in mind. Read More »
Lucas Cruikshank might not be a name known to a lot of you, but his face is familiar to a legion of young YouTube watchers. He’s the kid who created Fred, the fast-paced, squeaky-voiced character with enough of a following on YouTube to earn his own feature film. (Even if it did mostly go straight to DVD.) And now he’s reportedly testing for a part in the Marvel movie Runaways. Read More »
For the last couple years, director DJ Caruso and his Disturbia and Eagle Eye star Shia LaBeouf were talking about adapting Brian K Vaughn‘s post-apocalyptic series Y: The Last Man. It was an ambitious plan, which could have led to multiple films tackling the bulk of the sixty-issue series. Then, while promoting Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, LaBeouf said he was backing away from Y because the character was too much like his Transformers character. But now, because rising stars almost never say they’ll never do a project, LaBeouf says it could still happen. Read More »
In a day of superhero overload, Brian K Vaughn‘s Y: The Last Man is the perfect comic book series for a Hollywood big screen (or even small screen) adaptation. If you haven’t yet read the series, pick up the paperback (or the new hardcover) of the first volume, as I very highly recommend it.
Disturbia director DJ Caruso has been trying to get the project off the ground for a few years now, and Caruso’s frequent star Shia LaBeouf was interested in starring in a film adaptation. A script was in development, the first in a reported trilogy of adaptations — a potential franchise. But as time has passed, so has Shia’s interest. The Transformers star now tells Wizard Magazine that he’s not currently willing to make the film, and he may be too old for the role by the time that the project does get greenlit.
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We’ve known for a while that D.J. Caruso‘s first film in a planned Y: The Last Man trilogy was aiming for 2010, and he’s given a new update to UGO. The director of Disturbia and Eagle Eye confirms that the script by Carl Ellsworth (Disturbia, Red Eye) was turned in last week to Warner Bros., a studio that’s said to be heavily enthusiastic and committed to the big budget endeavor. Moreover, he added that while Shia LaBeouf remains attached to the main character—a young Brooklynite named Yorick Brown who becomes the last man on an Earth populated with combative, horny women—the previously rumored Alicia Keys is not a lock to play Yorick’s government-hired protector codenamed 355…
“She’s definitely someone to consider. I thought she did a really cool job in [Smokin’ Aces]… So really, the one thing, I think I’ve mentioned this to you, I’m going for, and it’s not quite there yet on the page. I’d love to have sort of a (Robert) DeNiro/(Charles) Grodin relationship between 355 and (Yorick). Kind of a Midnight Run relationship…I think Alicia’s a great girl and everything but I have to make sure that she can handle the acting part of it.”
Midnight Run, eh? We’re big fans of the comic series at Slashfilm, so here’s hoping Caruso goes with another actress, possibly an unknown, and not the musician/aspiring Bond Girl. One name I’ve heard tossed around a bit with fans is Vivica Fox, based, I’m guessing, on her surprisingly good, albeit brief, performance and action skills in Kill Bill. She’s a little old for the part though, even if she did deliver laughs and sex appeal on Curb Your Enthusiasm. All requisites for 355. Any casting suggestions in the comments? And Caruso informs that fans have already mentioned Kill Bill‘s Lucy Liu for the part of Dr. Mann—a brilliant hands-on Chinese/Japanese geneticist who happens to be a lesbian—but he hasn’t given any actresses much consideration. Mann would play a larger part in a proposed second film.
Caruso let it be known that Yorick’s monkey Ampersand—a seminal character in the comics—will in fact be a real monkey in the film(s). Great news. It worked in Matthew Broderick’s Project X, and it can work here (no monkey pilots).
Brian K. Vaughn‘s Y: The Last Man is going to be really tough to develop. There’s the sheer size—Caruso has implied that all or part of the subplot with Yorick’s girlfriend in Australia may be kiboshed—but also enough philosophical implications and discussions therein, not to mention pop-culture references, to stretch out a semester in college. And while the comic books are “R-rated” (violence, sexuality), this will most likely be a PG-13 summer popcorn film(s). Caruso seems to have a good communication going with Vaughn, so we’re optimistic, but he’ll need to channel some early Spielbergian wonder and some of that director’s dark period tone and visuals to see it through. We’ll avoid referencing a certain scene in Indy IV.
Discuss: Any casting suggestions for Ampersand? 355?
Today during our visit to Dreamworks, we got the chance to talk to Eagle Eye director D.J. Caruso with a group of select online journalists. During the discussion, the big screen adaptation of Brian K Vaughn’s Y: The Last Man came up, and Caruso dropped some potentially exciting news:
“What happened is New Line is now part of Warner Bros, and Warner Bros is now really high on the project. And Carl Ellsworth will probably be handing in a script to Warner Bros/New Line [real soon].”
Caruso says that in a perfect world, the film will hit theaters in Summer 2010.
“I was talking to Shia [LaBeouf] about this yesterday when we were looping him, because he really wants to do it as well, I would like to prep this movie in October, and start shooting it by January. Warner Bros keeps saying ‘We need movies for 2010′ I’m like ‘We’re the movie!’” said Caruso. “[Shia] wants to do it, I want to do it. I think we just need to worry about him being exhausted, so I told him, if I prep it in the fall and we start in January, that’s a nice big break.”
Y: The Last Man is my favorite comic book series of all time. Shia would play Yorick Brown, a young amateur escape artist, and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand, who instantly become the last two men on Earth after something mysterious simultaneously kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome – including embryos, fertilized eggs, and even sperm. Society is plunged into chaos as infrastructures collapse and the surviving women everywhere try to cope with the loss of the men. Yorick goes on a mission to find his girlfriend Beth, who was on vacation in Australia. However, DJ says that they aren’t planning “to follow that through-line [with his girlfriend Beth] out too much in the first film.” Yes, I said the FIRST FILM.
“I definitely see it as a trilogy. I see the first movie ending basically where you pick up six weeks after the incident then progressing down only a five or six week journey from that point on until the end of the first movie,” revealed Caruso. “It’s been hard in a good way just because there is so much good stuff to choose from. And every-time you start throwing certain scenes in the screenplay, you’ll see that it sort of dislodges and starts to head a different way.”
“We did something earlier where we sort of separated Yorick from Ampersand for a brief moment of time when Yorrick gets very sick. Also, the 355/Yorrick relationship, we’ve been working on that and not getting that right. Yorrick to me is so solid. It’s really like 355 and her joining with Yorrick that has been… and act three and where do you end the first movie, and where do you go from there.
Caruso claims that co-creator Brian K Vaughn is apparently “really happy” with the direction they have taken.
“I just want to fine tune it before I give it to the studio because I always think that first impression… Because to them Y: The Last Man… Now its Warner Bros. So you’re reeducating a whole different group of people.”
Caruso says that if the project was greenlit, it would probably be produced by Warner Bros and not “New Line” as it would probably be over the certain budget threshold that separated the two production labels.
“I’m still gonna give it to Tobey and Rick who are at New Line but I don’t know the policies at all. All I know is my agent keeps going ‘Oh my god, Warner Bros wants this’, which is great!”
DreamWorks has acquired Roundtable, a new action comedy spec script from comic book and LOST scribe Brian K Vaughn. The story for Roundtable revolves around “Merlin assembling a bunch of modern-day knights to battle a resurrected ancient evil, only to discover that today’s knights are all washed-up athletes, cowardly scientists or Academy Award-winning actors.” Apparently it’s an update to the classic King Arthur legend, described as more Ghostbusters than Excalibur. Sounds like an incredibly strange concept if you ask me, but Vaughn has earned my faith.
His Y: The Last Man is the greatest comic book series ever created. It’s very accessible, if you don’t like comic books I highly m you pick up the first trade paperback at Barnes and Nobles – You’ll be hooked. His other comic books, Ex Machina, Runaways, and Pride of Baghdad, have all been highly acclaimed. Y: The Last Man and Runaways are both being developed into big screen films. Recently he’s been working as a writer and co-producer on the hit television show LOST.
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