James Mangold in Talks for Joe Namath Biopic

James Mangold directs Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine

James Mangold is looking to direct a movie about a larger-than-life figure who’s not a Marvel superhero. The Wolverine and Walk the Line helmer may be getting back into biopics with a film about Joe Namath, the legendary New York quarterback. Hit the jump for more details on the new project.

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Universal’s been taking their good sweet time on the sequel to 2008′s Wanted, but fans needn’t fret just yet. The studio (re)hired Derek Haas and Michael Brandt to write the script last year, and the former now says they’re readying the second draft.

As for big changes from the last film, Haas reveals the unsurprising news that Angelina Jolie will not reprise her role as Fox. Instead, Wesley (James McAvoy) will be hanging out with a new female pal. Read more after the jump.

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With so much sequel news breaking every day, this little post we call Sequel Bits is becoming a semi-regular feature. That truth probably makes most of us feel like /Film commenter brock_rox who wrote the following after the last installment. “It’s sad that we live in a world where a column especially devoted to sequel news has to exist. We brought this upon ourselves.” Very true, sir. However, the fact of the matter is most of us harbor an unsubstantiated desire for these sequels to live up to the expectations of their predecessors. And while that’s oh-so-rarely the case, as movie fans, you’ve gotta believe. Hence Sequel Bits will exist every once in a while.

Will these films live up to their predecessors? You be the judge. After the jump read about:

  • Wanted 2 screenwriters Michael Brandt and Derek Haas are writing the sequel in the hopes Timur Bekmambetov returns to direct
  • The second Tintin film will not be Prisoners Of The Sun. It may, however, be the plot of Tintin 3.
  • The American Film Market provides our first look at a poster for Step Up 4 and the logo of the Evil Dead remake.

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Ken Jeong has built up a respectable career as a supporting actor, most notably on NBC’s Community and the Hangover films, but for his next movie role he’ll be moving a little closer to the spotlight. Jeong is set to star in and produce The Chung Factor, which landed on the 2005 Black List back when it was titled The Ex-Factor. Andy Selsor‘s screenplay revolves around a nice guy who falls in love with a woman, but begins to worry he’ll screw things up and employs an “offbeat” relationship coach (Jeong). Unfortunately, said coach turns out to be the woman’s ex, who wants to win her back and is actively trying to ruin the nice guy’s chances.

It’s great to see the talented and funny Jeong nabbing some bigger parts, but I kind of wish he’d chosen to play the romantic lead. The villain here sounds like he fits a little too comfortably into Jeong’s repertoire of mean weirdos — it would’ve been nice to see him stretch a bit more. [The Wrap]

After the jump, Daenerys Targaryen considers joining Éomer and Prince Caspian as they steal cars in France, while Katheryn Winnick nabs a starring role opposite America’s Trainwreck Charlie Sheen.

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The idea of a sequel to the 2008 film Wanted, based on Mark Millar’s comic series, has been floating around since before the first film even opened. Back in ’08 Wanted screenwriters Derek Haas and Michael Brandt (who shared screen credit with Chris Morgan) were supposedly hired to script the sequel, but the fact of the theoretical film has never been very certain. Evan Spiliotopoulos, co-writer of Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, was later hired to write a draft. As the producers tried and failed to persuade Angelina Jolie to return for a sequel (a difficult task, given how she ended up in the first film) it looked like Wanted 2 might not happen.

The last time we heard from original director Timur Bekmambetov, he said discussions with Universal were ongoing with respect to the sequel, but the schedule of lead actor James McAvoy was problematic, as was the degree of control Universal wanted over the film. Now Derek Haas says he and Brandt have been hired to script the sequel once more. And with that news, Wanted creator Mark Millar is taking the opportunity to tease more movie developments. Read More »

Briefly: Taken director Pierre Morel is following Luc Besson in to the action thriller producing game, and he’s got his first effort set up, with everyone’s new favorite actor on board. Overdrive is about a couple of handsome car thieves, and will star Alex Pettyfer and Matthew Goode. Antonio Negret, who directed Transit for producer Joel Silver, will direct. Read More »

Jeffrey Dean Morgan to Star in ‘The Courier’

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Briefly: Hany Abu-Assad, whose very good film Paradise Now was released in 2005, finally has a new feature gearing up to shoot. The Courier is an action film scripted by Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, about “a courier who has taken on improbable missions and never missed a drop.”

Deadline says that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is committing to the title role. The site expands on the plot, saying that Morgan’s character is “hired to deliver a briefcase to a notorious underworld figure that can’t be found. The courier finds himself pursued by corrupt cops, double-crossing feds and rival crime bosses.”

The film will shoot in September in New Orleans. The plot sounds standard enough, but I like Morgan’s work and am really curious to see what Hany Abu-Assad does with the material, so we’ll stay on top of developments surrounding this one.

alien_legion_3

When I scan through my newsreader each morning, I really don’t expect to see a feature-length article about a comic series like Alien Legion in a major US paper. The comic was one of the early efforts from Epic Comics, the direct-sales Marvel imprint that skirted the comics code beginning in the early ’80s. The comic’s concept was simple: the French Foreign Legion in space, with a rogues gallery of humans and aliens fighting alongside one another.

The title has long been on many fanboy wishlists for adaptation to film, and while things have been simmering for a long time, it seems that the heat is being turned up, if only incrementally. Read More »

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