Thanks to the James Bond film series and stuff like the Tom Clancy Jack Ryan films and the Bourne movies, production companies and studios look at any series of espionage novels with dollar signs in their eyes. Sure, there are many examples of thriller novel to film adaptations that failed to ignite a franchise, but no one ever built a successful movie series by not adapting books.

In 2008 CBS Films bought the rights to a set of books by Vince Flynn that follow CIA Agent Mitch Rapp. Originally the studio planned to adapt the first book in the series, Consent to Kill, with Antoine Fuqua set to direct and various actors in consideration to play Rapp.

That plan was eventually ditched in favor of starting with American Assassin, the book that is eleventh in Flynn’s series, but acts as a prequel. Last year Ed Zwick (The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond) was set to direct, but he has since accepted a deal to make The Great Wall, and CBS decided to move forward without him. In his place Jeffrey Nachmanoff has stepped in. Who? Read More »

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There’s plenty of good stuff in today’s TV Bits, including new trailers for HBO’s Luck and Showtime’s House of Lies, which I’m hoping will help the one bit of really bad news go down a bit easier: NBC’s benching its highly praised but under-watched Community. After the jump:

  • NBC puts Community on hiatus and picks up new show Legends
  • HBO’s Luck, starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, gets a trailer
  • Showrunner Matthew Weiner reveals how he wants AMC’s Mad Men to end
  • Showtime renews Weeds and drops a teaser for House of Lies

Read More »

Celebrity Twitter accounts make some first-look reveals pretty easy. I’m surprised it has taken this long for Arnold Schwarzenegger to tweet out a cast photo from his new action movie The Last Stand. And I’ll say this: in this pic at least, he looks the part of an aged lawman who has retreated to a sheriff post in a small down. That’s Jamie Alexander with Arnie in the header pic; see the full image below for a glimpse of Luis Guzman and Johnny Knoxville as well. Read More »

Today Kim Jee-woon (The Good, the Bad, the Weird and I Saw the Devil) begins shooting his English language debut, The Last Stand. The film is notable for being the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger to a starring role. Arnie plays a former LAPD officer now working as a small-town sheriff, who has to deal with a drug kingpin who is fleeing to Mexico and will pass right through his town.

The obligatory ‘start of production’ press release is below, complete with the same plot synopsis we’ve had for a while. Along with that is the announcement of a few actors who are part of the film, including Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, and one of my personal faves, Harry Dean Stanton. Read More »

The Wire‘s Michael K. Williams (who, like John Goodman, just guest-appeared on Community) was in the running for the title role in Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained, and though he lost the part to Jamie Foxx, he may still end up in the film, in a part written just for him.

Hopefully another new job won’t get in the way; Williams will now also be a producer and actor in Life Garland‘s indie thriller The Suspect, written by Stuart Connelly. Here’s how the writer describes the film: “Two African American social scientists pose as bank robbers in an effort to understand the racial dynamics of small-town law enforcement. However, their experiment takes an unplanned, deadly turn.” That’s a great premise that could be the beginning of a compelling film. We’ll definitely follow the development. Shadow and Act reveals that Isaiah Washington is also set for the film.

After the break, David Duchovny rides a sub, and The Last Stand and Cloud Atlas get new actors. Read More »

It’s an action/thriller casting break this evening, featuring the return of some classic actors to familiar old stomping grounds. So after the break you’ll find:

  • Peter Stormare is a bad guy in Arniold Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand,
  • Anthony Hopkins will hunt a serial killer in Solace,
  • and Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and John Travolta may be confirmed for The Expendables 2.

Read More »

Several months ago, we were among the first to report that Arnold Schwarzenegger was very interested in starring in The Last Stand, an original action movie set up at Lionsgate with Kim Ji-Woon (I Saw The Devil) attached to direct. He eventually decided against it, opting instead for the small character piece Cry Macho, but then some major personal issues stopped all projects in their tracks. A revival of The Last Stand was rumored to be close yesterday, and now it is a certainty. Lionsgate has officially announced that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to movies will, in fact, be The Last Stand, written by Andrew Knauer and Jeffrey Nachmanoff. Read the brand new plot description and more after the jump. Read More »

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