Brothers Grimm TV series

The Brothers Grimm, hampered by the Weinsteins, budget squabbles and post-production delays, isn’t the finest moment for any of the people involved, and especially not for director Terry Gilliam. But the film lives on as part of the Miramax library, and now the company is turning it into a Brothers Grimm TV series.

Matt Damon probably won’t reprise his role as one half of the sibling duo that (in the film’s twisted telling) was a medieval con artist team before being known as chroniclers of folk tales. And since his on-screen partner was the late Heath Ledger, new casting will certainly be required. But there is one talent returning from the original film, and (sadly) it isn’t Terry Gilliam. Read More »

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Dumbo live-action remake

Dumbo is coming back to theaters in new form, and the film now has a director.

Tim Burton was part of the beginning of Disney’s current foray into live-action reinventions of its classic animated catalog, as he directed Alice in Wonderland, released early in 2010. Disney has followed that with Maleficent and the new Cinderella, with live-action versions of Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book on the way along with an Alice sequel. We’ve known there was a plan for a live-action version of Dumbo, and now Burton will direct it. Read More »

Rats of NIMH series

The children’s book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH has been adapted to film once before. When Don Bluth and his compatriots broke away from Disney to form their own animation studio in the late ’70s their first feature effort was The Secret of NIMH, which adapted the book. (And did so pretty liberally in some ways.) Now MGM has picked up rights to Robert C. O’Brien‘s book, and plans a new hybrid live-action/animated Rats of NIMH series. Read More »

dumbo live-action

When I talked to Ehren Kruger about writing Transformers films for Michael Bay, he commented that there were times the work was more like writing a Cirque du Soleil show than writing a movie. Now Kruger will have a chance to work in a literal circus setting, at least for some scenes. He’s been tapped to script a Dumbo live-action remake for Disney. In fact, Kruger is producing the film for Disney, with Justin Springer (Tron: Legacy, Oblivion). We have a few more details below. Read More »

Transformers 4

There’s a very short list of Hollywood producers who are names unto themselves. On that list is Lorenzo di Bonaventura, of both the G.I. Joe and Transformers franchises. He’s also the producer of Salt, Red, Side Effects, Jack Ryan, Beverly Hills Cop 4 and more. The guy is a proven hit-maker with a great handle on the pulse of mainstream audiences.

His latest film, Transformers: Age of Extinction, is more of the same. Despite being savaged by critics, audiences are once again turning out for the franchise. On the occasion of that release, we had the pleasure of speaking with di Bonaventura about a few things. We talked about producing for Michael Bay, and the choice of using Dinobots not only in the film, but in the marketing as well. I asked about the length of the film, the inevitability of Bay leaving the franchise, and what the ending of this film means for Transformers 5, currently slotted for 2016. Finally, I just had to ask about my favorite Transformer, Hot Rod. Read all his answers below in our full interview with Transformers: Age of Extinction producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura Read More »

transformers logical sense

The Transformers films — or at least the three sequels to Michael Bay‘s first film in the series — disregard story concepts left and right. Characters are secondary to spectacle; geography and time are subservient to the impact of a beauty shot; standard narrative building blocks regularly fall by the wayside. So how does one write one of these films? We talked to Ehren Kruger, who has written all three Transformers sequels, about the process of putting a film like this on the page.

If you need a capsule version of our short conversation, it is this quote: “When you’re talking about aliens, robotic machines which disguise themselves as vehicles and animals, you start to make your peace with the idea that logical sense doesn’t have to be the be-all, end-all.” Which means that the creators of the Transformers films are throwing logic and narrative structure out the window consciously, if not deliberately. For a bit more exploration of that concept, read our short interview below. Read More »

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I try to be open-minded about remakes, and maybe, somehow, I’ll get around to being slightly more open-minded about this one. But for the time being, the idea of Ehren Kruger scripting a remake of David Cronenberg‘s Videodrome for commercial director Adam Berg pretty much sucks from every angle. That’s the Ehren Kruger who wrote the last two Transformers movies, and is scripting the fourth, by the way.

Berg’s biggest calling card to date is a Phillips commercial tracking through a frozen moment in a cops and robbers shootout. See that below. A nice little piece of film, to be sure, but there was never a point during the commercial’s runtime where I thought “let this guy play with one of the most unique pieces of filmed science fiction.” But Universal has been convinced to do just that, following through on the remake idea none of us ever figured would actually happen. “Death to Videodrome,” indeed. (Serious gore at that link.)

Read a bit more about the plans for the Videodrome remake below.

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Director D.J. Caruso may have begun to establish himself with the film The Salton Sea and some episodes of The Shield, but his real big break came thanks to the success of Disturbia in 2007. The film was a modern teen-targeting thriller that riffed on Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie Rear Window. It nearly established a pattern of films that are modern updates of other Hitchcock thrillers, though so far we’ve seen a lot more of those go into the development process than we’ve seen emerge as actual films.

Caruso, meanwhile, went on to Eagle Eye, I Am Number Four, and his recently wrapped YA adaptation Goat Island, a sort of passion project based on novel The Goats.

Now Caruso has a new project, and it sounds like another Hitchcock riff, as the title is Invertigo. But the sci-fi thriller, written by Ehren Kruger and Bradley Cramp, actually features a crashed satellite, inverted gravity in NYC, and big effects. Read More »

Last year Disney began active development of a film tenuously connected to the Disneyland Matterhorn ride. Jason Dean Hall was hired to write a film that was called The Hill last summer, and then Brian Beletic became attached to direct the project. Now Ehren Kruger (The Ring, Scream 3, Transformers: Dark of the Moon) has been hired to rewrite the picture that has evolved to be about a group of adventurers who run into Yeti in the Alps. Read More »