There’s an entire generation of moviegoers who only know the character of Van Helsing from the abysmal 2004 movie starring Hugh Jackman, and that should be a recognized as one of our great international shames. Introduced in the pages of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, Dr. Abraham Van Helsing is one of the horror genre’s greatest heroes, a character who has endured as long as the titular vampire himself. Before he was reimagined as a globetrotting 19th century James Bond, Van Helsing was a scientist and a scholar, a professor whose greatest weapon against the supernatural was his vast knowledge of science and the occult. Although his presence in the public domain has allowed any number of actors to play him (Casper Van Dien, anyone?), Van Helsing has been memorably portrayed by brilliant actors like Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence Olivier, and Peter Cushing, who built a cornerstone of his magnificent career around hurting Christopher Lee’s Dracula.
My fondness for this character made the Hugh Jackman movie hurt even more, but it also gives me hope that the new solo outing for the character being planned as part of Universal’s new cinematic monsters universe could be good. There have been incredible cinematic Van Helsings before and there is always room for more…and screenwriter Eric Heisserer is saying some very interesting things.
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Van Helsing is a bad movie. It’s about as soulless as a popcorn movie gets. Director Stephen Sommers brought some fun to the original Mummy reboot, but he stripped Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Van Helsing of their appeal in his garish film. There’s been talk of a reboot for a few years now, and it was once speculated the film would be directed by Guillermo del Toro (Crimson Peak) and star the picture’s producer, Tom Cruise. Universal is still developing the film, and they just brought aboard two screenwriters to co-write Van Helsing.
Learn more about the project after the jump.
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We recently heard that Valiant Entertainment scored millions to turn Valiant comic book series like Bloodshot, Harbinger and Archer & Armstrong into film franchises. Now Valiant has announced a five-picture deal with Sony Pictures, which will bring two series, Bloodshot and Harbinger, to theaters starting in 2017.
Eric Heisserer (The Thing, Story of Your Life) is working on scripts for both, and the Bloodshot movie director — sorry, directors — will be David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, who made John Wick. Read More »
The Black List 2014 has been released. The annual list is compiled with a poll of over 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, 2014 and will not be released in theaters during this calendar year. Basically, The Black List is a list of the hottest projects in Hollywood that you haven’t heard of yet.
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There are thousands of writers out there pounding away at their scripts, most of which are destined to be read by only a few people. While more movies are getting made now than ever, at the same time that reflects only a small percentage of the work put to page by aspiring writers. Anything that can help draw attention to unproduced scripts is a great thing. And while there are some well-known options for your basic drama script, there aren’t so many for genre projects. In the last five years, The Blood List has worked as a resource to highlight un-produced horror and genre scripts. The Blood List 2014 features thirteen new titles, and expands to include TV pilots, novels, and a set of new voices.
Check out a set of this year’s Blood List selections below, several of which you’ll almost certainly be seeing in theaters over the next couple years. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 by Angie Han
Amy Adams has worked with some pretty impressive directors in the past, and now she’s adding Denis Villeneuve to her list. The American Hustle actress is in early talks to star in Villeneuve’s Story of Your Life, a sci-fi thriller about an alien landing. The script by Eric Heisserer landed on the Black List in 2012. Hit the jump to find out whom Adams will be playing and more.
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Posted on Thursday, October 24th, 2013 by Angie Han
We’re used to seeing Paul Walker drive really fast — across Brazil, across Europe, across South Africa — but Hours has him engaged in a very different kind of race. Against Hurricane Katrina. Yup.
Walker stars as Nolan, a new dad who finds himself trapped in the ultimate worst-case scenario. His wife (Genesis Rodriguez) goes into labor weeks early, dying while giving birth to a tiny baby girl who can’t even breathe without the aid of machines.
Then, as if that weren’t terrible enough, the levees break, New Orleans is evacuated, and the power goes off. Nolan is left alone in the hospital to keep his daughter alive via a hand-cranked generator, which can only provide power for three minutes at a time. Watch the trailer after the jump.
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After being fairly quiet for the past few years, Paul Walker is enjoying a nice little career spike. There’s the intense anticipation for Fast & Furious 6, and he also locked up the lead role in a potential new Hitman franchise.
Before his new car-racing thriller hits, however, Walker will be seen at SXSW in the lead role of Hours, a disaster thriller set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Walker plays a new father whose child is stranded in a New Orleans hospital after Katrina hits, leaving him desperate to preserve the child’s life. Writer/director Eric Heisserer is best-known for horror scripts such as the recent A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Thing entries, but here he looks to have come up with something with a broader appeal.
Check out the trailer below. Read More »
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Posted on Monday, December 17th, 2012 by Angie Han
Just as we’re enjoying the last of 2012’s cinematic offerings, the latest edition of the Black List has hit the web. The annual survey highlights the hottest unproduced screenplays of the year, as based on the votes of hundreds of executives.
The term “unproduced” is used rather vaguely here. Some of these scripts (like Ivan Reitman‘s Draft Day and Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence) already have a director or star attached, while others are still floating around in search of the right studio or producer. The subjects and honorees range greatly as well. Nazi hunters, Hillary Clinton, the NFL, and time-traveling teens are among the subjects of this year’s winners, and the screenwriters run the gamut from industry newcomers to seasoned pros.
Hit the jump to read the full list.
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Posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2011 by Angie Han
Julia Stiles is set to co-star in David O. Russell‘s The Silver Linings Playbook, based on Matthew Quick‘s novel. The story centers around a former high school teacher (Bradley Cooper) who’s just been released from a four-year stint at a mental hospital into the care of his mother (Jacki Weaver). Upon his release, he tries to win back his ex-wife but eventually falls into a romance with an troubled young widow (Jennifer Lawrence). Stiles has landed the role of Lawrence’s older sister.
But perhaps the more exciting bit of news is that Chris Tucker, who entered talks last month to play Cooper’s friend from the institution, is now in final negotiations to take the role. I got a little worried last week, when stories of Weaver’s casting didn’t mention Tucker’s name, but I’m happy to see I was overreacting. If Tucker finalizes the deal, Silver Linings Playbook will be his first film part since 2007’s Rush Hour 3. [Deadline]
After the jump, April Ludgate watches Charlie Harper lose his mind, and Paul Walker deals with the aftermath of Katrina.
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