A script that finds serious studio favor can push a project from long-simmering development into full boil, and that seems to have happened with Sony and The Equalizer. Based on the TV series in which Edward Woodward played a former covert ops expert who donates his services to people in trouble, the film will star Denzel Washington as a new version of the title character.

Richard Wenk recently turned in a new script draft, and Sony likes it enough to push for an April 2013 start date, with a shoot likely to take place in Boston. Some details about the new Equalizer are after the break. Read More »

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The Paramount adaptation of Max Brooks‘ novel World War Z, directed by Marc Forster with Brad Pitt in the lead role, ran into some trouble months ago. The film’s release date was pushed and extensive reshoots scheduled to create footage that addresses big story deficiencies. As part of that reshoot process, Damon Lindelof was hired to rewrite the end of the film. (That move raised some eyebrows, given the general perception of Lindelof’s facility with endings as seen in Lost and Prometheus.)

Turns out that’s not quite what happened, however. While Lindelof came up with the idea for the new ending, he didn’t have time to write the script, and so the real work fell to Drew Goddard, who wrote for Lost, scripted Cloverfield, and co-wrote and directed and The Cabin in the Woods.

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Over the weekend we saw a low-quality Russian-dubbed version of the trailer for Christopher McQuarrie‘s film Jack Reacher in which Tom Cruise plays a serious hardass ex-MP drawn into what seems like an open-and-shut sniper killing. Now the real thing has arrived, and it clears up a couple things. One is that the color palette of the film is nowhere near as dingy as the last look suggested. (We can now see the detail of Reacher’s scars shown as he’s dressing at the opening.) It also begs the question of how well Cruise and the script are really going to mesh with expectations fans have for the character, but I can wait for the full film to figure that out.

Otherwise it’s the same trailer, opening with a small monologue from the guy who is arrested for the crime that sets the story in motion, and ending with Reacher demonstrating to a few local tough guys that they aren’t nearly as hard as they want to be. Check it out below. Read More »

A Russian version of the teaser trailer for Christopher McQuarrie‘s Jack Reacher has come online, and it marks the first good look most of us have had at the film. Tom Cruise stars as Lee Child‘s fan-favorite hero Jack Reacher. He’s a former military policeman who lives out his post-Army career as an itinerant who has a tendency to get drawn into violent, weird situations as he explores America.

This film is an adaptation of the novel One Shot, in which a sniper kills a handful of people in a midwestern American city, and while in police custody has only one request: “get me Jack Reacher.”

While there was no shortage of consternation over the casting of Cruise as Reacher, who in Child’s novels is described as a hulk of a man, the weirdest thing here might be the car-centric editing of the trailer. Those familiar with the Reacher novels know the character isn’t really car-oriented. The whole car thing, combined with the dingy, moody visuals, help suggest overtones of Drive. It’s an interesting ad angle to take.

I’m looking forward to really seeing how the film turned out, but in the meantime check out the Russian trailer below. Sadly, there is no view of Werner Herzog, who plays the villain. Read More »

Below is a new look at Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, the title character of Christopher McQuarrie‘s upcoming Paramount film. It’s an old trick to say that Cruise just looks like Cruise here, because of course he does — that’s the whole point of hiring someone at his level of fame, especially to anchor an action thriller.

The film Jack Reacher adapts Lee Child‘s novel One Shot, in which the presence of itinerant former military policeman Jack Reacher is requested by a man accused of killing several people at random with a sniper rifle. The weird thing is: Reacher once arrested the same guy, a former serviceman, for another crime, and so he can’t figure out why the guy now seems to want his help. The film also features a supporting cast with some attention-getting names: Werner Herzog as the villain, and Rosamund Pike, Robert Duvall, Richard Jenkins and Michael Raymond-James (so good in Terriers) in other roles.

Check out the first real image of Cruise as Reacher below. Read More »

This became apparent last week when images of studio ad banners (seen above and below) started to come out of Cannes, but now the change is official: Paramount has changed the name of Christopher McQuarrie‘s new Tom Cruise action/thriller from One Shot to Jack Reacher.

The film is an adaptation of Lee Child‘s novel One Shot. It stars Cruise as Child’s persistent hero Jack Reacher, a former Army MP who wanders the US, finding one unlikely and typically violent adventure after another. One Shot is the ninth Reacher book, and the name change is very likely meant to draw in potential viewers who’ve read one of the Reacher adventures, but might not spark to the specific title of this source novel. Read More »

Monday at CinemaCon, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation presented footage from their upcoming 2012 slate to a room full of theater exhibitors (and a few press). After the jump you will find a video blog I recorded with Frosty from Collider reacting to 25 minutes of Madagascar 3, 15 minutes of Rise of the Guardians, three scenes from Christopher McQuarrie‘s One Shot starring Tom Cruise and a sequence from Sacha Baron Cohen‘s The Dictator. You may be surprised at what we liked and we we didn’t care for. We previously covered the GI Joe: Retaliation sizzle reel in a previous video blog elsewhere on the site, so we won’t repeat our reactions here.

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Christopher McQuarrie‘s adaptation of Lee Child‘s thriller novel One Shot is moving forward with Tom Cruise in the lead role of hulking ex-military cop Jack Reacher, who is drawn into a strange plot involving sniper shootings in a mid-size town.

To say that fans have been unenthusiastic about that casting choice is an understatement. A recent re-read of the novel gave me a good idea of how the character will be adapted to suit Cruise, and so I’m ready to see what McQuarrie is going to offer. But I’ve had many conversations with others who aren’t so sure. Cruise seems quite aware of that uncertainty, as he talks publicly about his role in the film. Read More »

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