Dwayne Johnson is Black Adam in ‘Shazam’

the Rock in Shazam

Dwayne Johnson has confirmed the role he’ll play in Shazam, and it isn’t the good guy. The actor tweeted a photo of the villain Black Adam attacking Shazam, along with a quote and text that clearly puts the Rock in the costume of Black Adam. But he probably won’t be an out-and-out bad guy, as word is the film will follow the more recent conception of the character, which casts him as a militant and somewhat reformed anti-hero who struggles to clear his name from past villainous deeds. Read More »

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In Jack the Giant Slayer, Bryan Singer engages in the time-honored tradition of taking a classic fairy tale and reshaping it to fit the times. Current trends being what they are, that means turning the film gritty and (relatively) realistic, with plenty of Lord of the Rings-style action.

Screenwriters David Dobkin and Darren Lemke take the basic touchstones of Jack and the Giant Beanstalk — the poor farm boy, the magic beans, the scary giants — but introduce several brand-new elements to the story. In this version, Jack (Nicholas Hoult) heads upward to rescue a beautiful princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) and stop her evil betrothed (Stanley Tucci) from taking over the kingdom. It’s a version of Jack that’s never been told in all the centuries that the character has been around. So why does it all feel so tiresomely familiar?

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Since co-writing Shrek Forever After a few years ago, Darren Lemke‘s built himself a nice career adapting classic kid-friendly fare into big-screen features. He’s one of the scribes behind the fairy tale retelling Jack the Giant Killer and has worked on reinterpretations of both The Nutcracker and The Wizard of Oz. Outside of the fairyland, he’s doing a fresh draft of the R.L. Stine-based Goosebumps for Columbia — and now he’s added the Jennifer Lopez-produced Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? movie to his plate as well. More details after the jump.

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Dreamworks Animation announced Turbo a while ago; the animated film features Ryan Reynolds as the voice of a garden snail who dreams of being a racing champion.

Today the rest of the major voice cast has been announced, and it features some excellent names. Paul Giamatti, Luis Guzman, Maya Rudolph and more are part of the lineup. And Robert Siegel (The Wrestler, Big Fan) has been announced as a co-writer, which is also a welcome detail. Read More »

Hey, remember that R.L. Stine children’s horror novel series Goosebumps? Columbia Pictures certainly does, and it’s hoping you do, too. Back in 2008, the studio acquired the rights to over 50 of Stine’s books with the intention of bringing the stories to the big screen, but is still struggling to get the project off the ground after several failed attempts. Now the latest writer set to take a crack at the screenplay is Darren Lemke, whose previous credits include Shrek Forever After and the upcoming Jack the Giant Killer. More details after the jump.

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The world as a whole is still trying to forget the unbelievably insane The Nutcracker in 3D, released last year. (And just out on DVD as The Nutcracker: The Untold Story.) The easiest way to forget that the film exists is to make another movie called The Nutcracker, and have this one be a truly family-friendly version.

And so we’ve got this: Adam Shankman (Hairspray, Rock of Ages) will make The Nutcracker for New Line, with this version being “a new take on the classic fairy tale that is being eyed as a tent pole family holiday film for late 2013.” Read More »

Lionsgate has just signed a new two-year first-look deal with Tyler Perry, and no wonder: the guy is a machine who turns out films that cost little and make a mint. The director’s latest for Lionsgate will be Good Deeds, which he’ll write, direct, produce and star in, as Glen Deeds, “an affluent and successful entrepreneur who’s about to get married when he becomes enamored with a down-on-her-luck single mom.” That basic plot setup is as well-worn as most of the character types in all Tyler Perry’s films, but that never seems to matter when it comes time to find an audience. Probably helps, in fact. A lot. The film will shoot later this month in Atlanta.   [Variety]

After the break, Ryan Reynolds plays a snail and one-time hitmaker Vanilla Ice plays a wedding coordinator. Yup, this is one of those articles. Read More »

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According to a new piece at The LA Times, Warner Bros. are currently looking to push ahead with one of their two, long-in-development takes on the Wonderful Wizard of Oz story; meanwhile, Collider are reporting that no movement has been made on either project in over a year and that the Times piece is simply repackaging old information with no real reason to be doing so right now. In fact, they even call it ‘hit whoring’.

Who’s right? I guess we’ll have to wait and see if there’s any action in the next few weeks or so, but I personally wouldn’t be surprised to find Warners chasing after Alice in Wonderland‘s big box office with the nearest thing in reach.

The two projects supposedly in contention are the Josh Olson version, and another one from Darren Lemke, writer on the upcoming fourth Shrek as well as Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer and a New Line take on The Nutcracker.

Meanwhile, Universal have their Wicked film (based on the Oz-related musical of the same name) somewhere along the pipe, and there’s also a John Boorman-directed CG version of Oz that hasn’t been heard of for a while, though is still said to be progressing, if slowly. The future is looking more than a little Baumy.

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