Joe Wright’s ‘Pan’ Origin Story Hits June 2015

Joe Wright on Hanna set

Briefly: The director of Anna Karenina, Hanna, Atonement and Pride & Prejudice has set his next film. Joe Wright‘s Pan will hit theaters June 26, 2015 in 3D. Though a full cast has yet to be announced, Javier Bardem is thought to be playing the villainous Blackbeard in an origin story that follows an orphan to Neverland where he saves the day and battles evil pirates. The film has been pitched for years as a “darker” take on the Peter Pan story. However, the 3D and competitive summer release makes it sound like it’s a big, rousing adventure film. Read More »

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The Counselor

Briefly: Warner Bros. has Joe Wright (Atonement, Hanna) in talks to direct the studio’s new Peter Pan origin story. While the idea of a modern, gritty Peter Pan origin story isn’t the most appealing thing (Warners has been said to want to “give Pan the Batman Begins treatment”) the idea of Joe Wright directing goes a long way towards redeeming it. (Or at least towards spit-shining the pitch.)

Now Deadline says that WB has offered the prime villain role to Javier Bardem. He would play Blackbeard, the “captain of the bad guys” that are troubling Neverland, and against whom Peter leads a rebellion. So, two questions. Can he a) take the job and b) keep his hair from The Counselor? Read More »

Joe Wright in Talks for Peter Pan Origin Story

Joe Wright on Hanna set

The “reimagined fairy tale” genre is getting tired at this point, but when a really interesting director signs on to one it’s tough to complain. Joe Wright is in talks to helm a Peter Pan origin story for Warner Bros., from a script by Jason Fuchs.

Try not to get this one mixed up with the other J.M. Barrie-inspired pic, Disney’s Peter and the Starcatchers, or the other other one, Sony’s Pan. More details about Wright’s version after the jump.

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The Little Mermaid

Like Cinderella, Snow White, and her other fairy tale sistren before her, the Little Mermaid is getting her very own cinematic live-action adaptation. And happily for the iconic fish-woman, she’s got some seriously promising talent backing her up.

Kelly Marcel has just been tapped to rewrite The Little Mermaid for director Joe Wright. Though the most famous incarnation of the tale is likely the 1989 animation, pictured above, Wright and Marcel won’t be telling Disney’s version of the tale. Instead, it’ll draw from the Little Angel Theatre’s stage production, based on Hans Christian Anderson‘s classic story. Hit the jump for more details.

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Fifty Shades of Grey

For months now Universal’s division Focus Features has been developing a film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, the runaway bestseller that began as Twilight fan fiction and grew into a sensation that turned every supermarket into a purveyor of bondage fantasies. The story follows the kinky romantic and sexual relationship between 27-year-old billionaire Christian Grey and naive college student Anastasia Steele.

Producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti have been overseeing the creation of a script, written by Kelly Marcell, and trying to figure out who can direct the film. If faithful to the novel, the movie will have to be a hard-R drama with far more sexual overtones than we usually get in a studio film. Actually, to hell with overtones — this thing is just sex. Strip out the sex, and there’s barely a book. Not your typical studio fare, but that’s the lure of dollar signs for you. (And, keep in mind, Focus is among the few major players that can claim to have released an NC-17 film.)

Now the report is that Joe Wright, who has traded in both literary adaptations (Pride and Prejudice, Anna Karenina) and modern fantasy (Hanna) is the guy the producers want for the film.

Update: Wright won’t make the film. Details below.

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Joe Wright certainly has a thing for literary adaptations, as evidenced by his films Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, and Anna Karenina. Now he’s looking to direct yet another book-inspired movie, but this one moves him back to the present day and into a whole other genre. Wright has just been attached to direct Focus Features’ The Ocean at the End of the Lane, based on an upcoming novel by Neil Gaiman

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I think I like Joe Wright more when he’s working in a tweaked genre mode. Wright’s literary films (such as Atonement and Pride & Prejudice) are great, but it’s Hanna that really stuck with me. And with his version of Anna Karenina finished, he might be edging back towards the unusual with The Secret Life of Houdini, a biopic of the famous escape artist and anti-Spiritualist that tackles some of the more outrageous stories about Houdini’s life. Wright is reportedly in early talks to make the film that once had Gary Ross attached. Read More »

If last month’s first trailer for Anna Karenina gave us an intriguing taste of the sumptuous theatricality of Joe Wright‘s adaptation, this new six-minute clip offers a big, juicy bite. As Wright explains in the introductory voiceover, nearly the entire film was filmed on over a hundred sets, nearly all constructed inside a single dilapidated theater. And he takes full advantage of the setting, turning what could’ve been a staid period drama into something rich, ambitious, and altogether unique.

Historical romance queen Keira Knightley stars as the title character, a 19th century Russian aristocrat who enters into a passionate and destructive affair with the charismatic Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Watch the clip after the jump.

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