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 low-fi indie Monsters gave director Gareth Edwards a big-screen career virtually overnight, and in addition to working on the new incarnation of Godzilla for Legendary Pictures he has been developing another follow-up project in relative quiet. Late last summer we got a few details on the movie, which was then untitled.

We learned that the film is about “a young human child (probably around 5 years old) and a robot who travel across the galaxy in search of mankind’s origin in a world void of humanity and filled with robots.” The report was that Edwards was pitching the project as “a robot Star Wars.” (And hopefully not now “a robot Prometheus.”)

Now we’ve learned that the film may be called Forever, and in an interview with one producer, Timur Bekmambetov, a few other minor details have been revealed. Read More »

Now that we’ve seen the trailers for both of next year’s Snow White adaptations, it’s time to turn our attentions to another fairy tale that’s getting the Hollywood revamp treatment. Starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters picks up with the titular siblings years after their traumatic encounter with a cannibalistic witch. As adults, the duo have become bounty hunters determined to cleanse the countryside of witches.

So, what exactly do a pair of childhood fairy tale victims turned vengeful grownups look like? Hit the jump for the first glimpse of Renner and Arterton in costume and ready for business.

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Looks like Tom Cruise is really going to star in Doug Liman‘s All You Need Is Kill, the film that has been given the shorthand description ‘Starship Troopers meets Groundhog Day‘ thanks to a plot that follows a soldier in a future war who is killed, but relives his final day like a gamer replaying a video game level over and over until he is able to think and fight his way out of the loop. For now it also looks like All You Need Is Kill will be the title going forward – there was a point when we thought the film might be retitled. (And that could still happen.)

That makes the second big futuristic story Cruise is set to anchor — the other is Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion. That one is likely to be Cruise’s next movie, with All You Need Is Kill following after. Doug Liman has insisted to Cruise that the two sci-fi films will be completely different from one another, and whatever you think of Cruise, the simple fact is that we’re getting two new sci-fi films that aren’t based on big existing franchises, thanks in part to his interest in them. Read More »

Doug Liman is working to pull together a film based on the script All You Need is Kill, which tells the story of a young soldier in a future war who steps out into battle and is promptly killed, only to wake up hours earlier, alive once more. He relives that loop many times, dying over and over, until he builds the skills to survive. People keep calling the project ‘Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers,’ and that’s pretty accurate. Just sprinkle in a bit of Col. Kassad’s story from Dan Simmons’ Hyperion novels and you’ve got the idea.

Last time we heard about the film WB was reportedly looking at Brad Pitt to star. Now the studio is talking to Tom Cruise about taking the lead. And the project might have a new title, either We Mortals Are or We Are Mortals. Read More »

In Hollywood, everyone is always looking for a foot in the door. The belief is once you get that foot in the door, the sky is the limit. Dante Harper certainly believes that. The screenwriter developed Black Hole for David Fincher which led him to rewrite Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, he’s penned a Timothy McVeigh biopic called Dreamland and his biggest break, All You Need Is Kill, is now casting under director Doug Liman.

His star keeps rising, too, because Sony just hired Harper to adapt Isaac Asimov‘s Foundation which Roland Emmerich has been attached to since 2009. Last we heard, Emmerich wanted to film make the sci-fi trilogy “very different from other science-fiction movies” without “the burden of too big a budget.” Harper must bring that to the project. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Is this the Akira situation all over again? You might remember that a few months ago, when Warner Bros. was really trying to get the live-action version of Akira going under the direction of Albert Hughes, there were a great many stories about how the studio wanted to cast the film. The primary thrust seemed to be that the teenage characters in the original manga and anime were going to be significantly older in the live-action version. That all became a non-issue when Hughes bowed out and the film was slowed-down as it was re-budgeted and set up for Jaume Collet-Serra to direct, however.

The same thing could be happening again, however, with the adaptation of Hiroshi Sakurazaka‘s All You Need is Kill, for which Brad Pitt is reportedly being sought. Read More »

The Black List has been released. The annual list is compiled with a poll of 300 (up from last year’s 250) development executives and high-level assistants, and contains a ranking of the hot screenplays making the rounds in Hollywoodland, which were written in, or are somehow uniquely associated with, 2010 and will not be released in theaters during this calendar year. Basically, the black list contains the hottest projects in Hollywood that you haven’t heard of yet.

Note: The headline is a slightly inaccurate, because a lot of these screenplays have already been acquired (six of the top ten listed), a bunch are in production now, and some have even finished production. One of this year’s top ten screenplays, J.C. Chandor‘s Margin Call, about the last 24 hours at now-defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers is already in the can and set to premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival with Chandor at the helm and Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany star. The top screenplay om the list, College Republicans, already has Shia LaBeouf and Paul Dano attached to star.

Started in 2005 by a young executive at Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way, who polled 90+ peers to send him their 10 favorite new unproduced screenplays to read over the holidays. The underground list was e-mailed around and quickly became a Hollywood phenomenon. To give you an idea, the top three entries of the 2005 list where Things We Lost in the Fire, Juno, and Lars and the Real Girl. However it should be noted that a warning appears at the beginning of the list:

“THE BLACK LIST is not a “best of” list. It is, at best, a “most liked” list.”

Also, it should be noted that many people in recent years have begun accuse participants for pushing their own/friends clients.

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