James McTeigue (V For Vendetta, Ninja Assassin) is putting the finishing touches on The Raven, which stars John Cusack as author Edgar Allan Poe. The story is a fictionalized look at the writer’s last days, when he embarks upon a search for a killer who may be copying events from Poe’s novels. Now Relativity has picked up distribution rights to the film, but a release date has not yet been set. Hope for October; maybe Relativity will have the balls to go up against Contagion and Paranormal Activity 3 on Oct 21.

Read the relevant portions of the press release after the break, along with info on the pickup of Morgan Spurlock’s new film by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions. Read More »

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Here’s your first official look at John Cusack as famed gothic author Edgar Allan Poe in The Raven, directed by James McTeigue (V For Vendetta, Ninja Assassin). We’ve seen one image of the actor in costume, but this is obviously a finished, approved promo shot as opposed to the previous paparazzi on-set snap. The film presents a fictionalized look at the writer’s last days, when he embarks upon a search for a killer who may be copying events from Poe’s novels.

See a full version after the break. Read More »

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Fox isn’t going to begin production on their Fantastic Four reboot until after X-Men: First Class is completed, but that’s not stopping them from looking at various actors and directors to come on board. First there were rumors of the studio pursuing Adrien Brody and Amber Heard to star in the film, and now even more rumored possibilities have come to light, revealing the film’s directorial candidates, as well as who Fox wants to voice The Thing (who will be an entirely CGI creation this time around). Read More »

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Wachowski siblings protege and V For Vendetta director James McTeigue has been planning to direct The Raven for the past year, and at one point had Jeremy Renner and Ewan McGregor both in talks for roles (perhaps the same role?) in the film. We don’t know what happened with Mcgregor, while Renner is obviously going to be quite busy, between The Avengers, Mission: Impossible 4 (we’ll keep using that title for now) and possibly Paul Thomas Anderson’s project The Master.

But John Cusack has some free time, and today the actor said he’s confirmed to play Edgar Allan Poe in the film by McTeigue. Read More »

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Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting, Big Fish) and Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) are both in talks to co-star in Ninja Assassin and V For Vendetta director James McTeigue‘s upcoming period thriller The Raven. Renner is also in talks with Universal Pictures for Peter Berg‘s big screen adaptation of the board game Battleship. But The New York Times says that Renner has had “no fewer than five meetings to star in another project, which he declines to reveal” and that both Battleship and this mystery project are both planned for a Summer shoot, which means the actor must make a choice. Movieline suggests that the mystery role might be to co-star alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s scientology movie The Master.
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I’m not going to over-simplify and proclaim that making a good ninja movie is the easiest thing in the world. But I never would have guessed that doing so is as difficult as James McTeigue‘s Ninja Assassin makes it appear. This is a big-budget movie with a top-flight crew and a star blessed with undeniable magnetism, not to mention the R-rated freedom to provide the copious blood and gore that so many genre fans crave. Yet it plays no better than a cheap direct to DVD feature. Ninja Assassin is a forgettable throwaway, a waste of creative talent and the audience’s time. Read More »

Ninja Assassin Red Band Movie Trailer

Ninja Assassin

Advance word on James McTeigue’s Ninja Assassin hasn’t been too hot, but perhaps this newly released red band trailer can change your mind. Not surprisingly, it’s blood drenched and features more gore than in previous trailers—and we also see far more extensive use of CG this time around. We’ve previously reported on footage of Rain training for the film, but with this trailer it’s hard to see any of that put to use.

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A few new clips slipped by us right as last week ended at the holiday weekend began. Well, two of them slipped by, and I hedged on posting the clip from Survival of the Dead at first because it’s fairly lousy, and that makes me sad. See all three (or whichever ones you choose) after the break. Read More »

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