For the past few years, Paramount enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with DreamWorks Animation, releasing tons of successful films like Rango, Kung Fu Panda, How To Train Your Dragon and more. Last summer, though, DreamWorks Animation announced they’d be parting ways with the studio, leaving Paramount without a strong animation presence. Paramount Animation was born.

Variety now reports Paramount has begun independently developing projects with filmmakers like J.J. Abrams (Mission: Impossible, Star Trek) and Mary Parent (Noah, Pacific Rim) as well as tapping their kids TV channel, Nickelodeon, for more feature ideas. Which means we might see films based on Dora the Explorer, The Legend of Korra or Monkey Quest. Read more after the jump, including the official announcements of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 2 and The New Kid. Read More »

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Neither M. Night Shyamalan, Will Smith or Jaden Smith showed up at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, but their new movie did. After Earth had a subdued, small panel Saturday morning featuring screenwriter Gary Whitta (Book of Eli) and director of photography Peter Suschitzky (The Empire Strikes Back) talking about the world in which the 2013 sci-fi action film is set.

After the jump, you can watch the first viral teaser for the film as well as several revealing clips from the panel itself. Read More »

Buried in the incredibly busy Saturday schedule for San Diego Comic-Con 2012 is a panel concerning M. Night Shyamalan‘s latest film, After Earth. The sci-fi film, which stars Will and Jaden Smith, seems like a natural fit for Comic-Con, but neither the director or its two leads will be in attendance.

Instead, the panel will be in a medium sized room. It will feature the screenwriter and director of photography, and focus more on the comic books designed to accompany the film than it will on the movie itself. Seems like an odd approach but, in this reveal, we do get the first official plot synopsis of the movie. Most of the information has been rumored before but now it’s official. Check it out below. Read More »

M Night Shyamalan Joins Twitter and Facebook

Say what you will about M Night Shyamalan, but one thing this filmmaker isn’t is up to date on the latest promotional services offered by the internet. He only joined the web two years ago with a untraditional explorable haunted mansion website MNightShyamalan.com. And now M Night has finally decided to open up Twitter and Facebook accounts.  While his Twitter and Facebook are currently unverified, links to both of the accounts were shared on Google+ by screenwriter Gary Whitta. Seems good enough as verified to me, considering Whitta wrote Night’s upcoming film One Thousand A.E..

Once the hottest new director in the business, Night’s public reputation has reached an all time low after the release of The Happening and The Last Airbender. Even the mention of Night’s name as producer in trailers for Devil resulted in groans in theaters around the world. Entering the social webspace might allow the filmmaker to connect directly with his fans and critics, and repair the relationship while he goes into production, on what many believe, will be the filmmaker’s comeback film.

Way back in 2009, we reported on a couple of comic book adaptations in development: Lions, Tigers and Bears, about a boy whose stuffed animals come to life; and The Nye Incidents, based on a Devil’s Due comic about an alien abductee serial killer. Neither project got much farther than the early stages, however, and we eventually forgot about them altogether. (Or at least I did. Maybe you didn’t. I don’t know your life.)

Now, news comes that both projects are back on track again. Get updates on both, plus info on a potential Penny Arcade-inspired film, after the jump.

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There has been a lot of small news of late on the Warner Bros. remake of Akira, which will be directed by Albert Hughes and produced by he and his brother Allen for Appian Way and WB. James Franco, Mila Kunis and Brad Pitt were reportedly all offered roles, and WB seems keen on casting a big name in the lead.

Now there is word — and this is the most reliable report we’ve had on the film so far — that Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves is going to polish the script written by Albert Torres (Henry Poole is Here). Read More »

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Gary Whitta has come a long way in a few years. Once the editor of PC Gamer magazine, Whitta wrote The Book of Eli and at least one draft of the live-action Akira movie(s). Now another script of his, Reaper, has been given a new title, Undying, and found a star in Kurt Russell. Read More »

The Hughes Brothers have been absent from the big screen for far too long. Their last feature, the so-so adaptation of Alan Moore’s From Hell with Johnny Depp, was released way back in 2001. Since then, they’ve dabbled in docs and TV work, so I’m pretty astounded by my acute anticipation for Hughes Bros movies. I mean, the wild-eyed energy and knack for cool they displayed with Menace II Society and Dead Presidents made a stir in the industry more than 10 years ago.

Denzel Washington will star in the directors’ Book of Eli for mega-producer Joel Silver. Described by screenwriter Gary Whitta (upcoming Akira movies) as a “kind of post-apocalyptic Western,” here’s the logline…

A lone hero fights his way across the wasteland of post-apocalyptic America. He’s the protector of a sacred book that may hold the key to saving humanity.

A rewrite of Witta’s script was done by Anthony Peckham, who scribed Clint Eastwood’s planned Nelson Mandela biopic, The Human Factor, and Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. I look forward to hearing more about this project because my kneejerk reaction is a blockbuster-drippy version of I Am Legend sans mutants rather than a dystopian nightmare-scape a la the buzz surrounding this winter’s The Road. But truthfully, Washington always lowers my hopes for grimly-sounding material. Too much the surface charmer. The writers’ credits are admittedly intriguing and Albert and Allen Hughes remain more hit than miss.

Discuss: Are you a Hughes Bros. fan? Based on the talent involved and the premise, what’s your gut intution for Book of Eli?

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