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Briefly: Bruce Willis may be bored by action movies, but he keeps making them, in part because we keep watching them. While there are loads of films selling distribution rights this week at the European Film Market, one has done better than many others, because it is a sci-fi tale with Willis in the lead.

VICE will star Willis, Thomas Jane, and Ambyr Childers in a story that is “set on a futuristic resort where synthetic humans serve the rich, who live out their darkest fantasies. The humanoids are reset every night by the resort’s owner Julian (Willis), but one female employee Kelly (Childers) malfunctions and retains every terrifying memory. Realizing what the tourists are doing to the staff members, she sets out to exact revenge.” So, a little Westworld, and a lot of other sci-fi films mixed together. We know roles for Willis and Childers, and so want to bet that Jane plays one of the resorts customers, possibly the one that makes Childers lose it? 

 

Brian A. Miller (The Prince) will direct when the shoot starts next month in Alabama, from a script by Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore. [Variety]

 

 

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Bruce Willis

Despite his declaration last month that he was “a bit bored” of action movies, Bruce Willis is apparently still eager to “earn lots of money” from the genre. The Die Hard star has signed on for The Prince, an action-thriller from Russian director Sarik Andreasyan. Emmet/Furla, who’ve recently worked with Willis on Lay the Favorite and Fire With Fire, will finance and produce. Hit the jump for plot details and more.

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Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has hired Jeremy Passmore (Red Dawn) and Andre Fabrizio to write the script for an action thriller called DMZ, which is set in the tense zone between North and South Korea. The film will be a sort of political action movie, but it also has another component, as a task force sent into the zone discovers something other than the influence of a crazed father-son dictator team waiting within. Read More »

gears_of-war_dude

In March 2007, New Line Cinema announced they would be making a big screen adaptation of Microsoft’s popular video game Gears of War. Collateral and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl screenwriter Stuart Beattie was hired to pen a script after turning in a 21-page treatment. A few months later Live Free or Die Hard helmer Len Wiseman came aboard the project to direct. Wiseman worked on the script with Wanted scribe Chris Morgan for a year, before moving on to Billy Ray (Breach, Shattered Glass).

LA Times now reports that Wiseman is moving on, after having the budget slashed in half. He is now officially signed on to direct the apocalyptic thriller Nocturne, a project he was developing for 20th Century Fox.

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John Woo‘s production company Lion Rock Entertainment is developing a big screen sequel to the classic 1992 Hong Kong action film Hard Boiled. Screenwriters Jeremy Passmore (Special) and Andre Fabrizio (upcoming John Carpenter film The Prince) are penning the adaption of the Woo-produced 2007 video game Strangehold, which was an official sequel to Hard Boiled and featured star Chow Yun-Fat reprising his role as hard-boiled cop Inspector “Tequila” Yuen. I assume the film  being developed for American audiences, as American screenwriters are attached. Which makes me wonder if this would be a real sequel to Hard Boiled, or a stand-alone film which could function as a sequel to Hard Boiled in an alternative universe where the first film took place in the United States (and some people thought Watchmen was confusing?).

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Way back in March, I posted the trailer for Special, a U.S. indie about a heavily-medicated man convinced he has superpowers, as played by Michael Rapaport. The film caught my interest not only due to Dick Ritchie, but also its gritty exploration of a would-be superhero whose body and mind suffer the consequences. Ever since I began reading Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass, which has a similar unflinching premise and launched in April, I’ve wondered if this 2006 flick would score an opportunity to find eyes. Good news.

Cinematical has the new one-sheet, which promotes Special in conjunction with Magnet’s 6-Shooter Film Series, an ace line-up of international genre indies set for theatrical release that includes /Film faves Let the Right One In and Timecrimes, as well as Donkey Punch, Big Man Japan, and Eden Log. Stay tuned for more info on these films and Magnet (a new, hip subdivision of Magnolia Pictures).

Written and directed by Hal Haberman and Jeremy Passmore (who’s co-writing John Carpenter’s The Prince) Special opens on November 21, with an on-demand option on November 7. FYI: The filmmakers and Rapaport have discussed a sequel.

Special Movie Trailer

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Due for release this summer from Magnolia Pictures, Special is a superhero spoof starring New York veteran actor Michael Rapaport (True Romance, The War at Home) about a parking lot cop who is prescribed antidepressants and begins to believe and act like he has super powers.

The film, the debut of writer/director team Hal Haberman and Jeremy Passmore, has garnered solid buzz online thus far and Rapaport recently told MTV that a sequel has been discussed. The trailer below walks the edge of being a goofy comedy and offering dark commentary on mental illness, which seems to represent the film well judging by reviews. Have any of our UK readers seen Special, where it was released late last year and just hit DVD?

[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/special.flv 460 346]

Special starring Michael Rapaport, Josh Peck (Drillbit Taylor, The Wackness) and Paul Blackthorne (24, Lipstick Jungle) is tentatively scheduled for released stateside in June 2008.

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