Weird Science

Michael Bacall‘s effort to bring 21 Jump Street into the 21st century proved more successful than anyone would’ve guessed. The 2012 remake picked up an impressive $200 million at the box office and a slew of glowing reviews on top of that. Now he’ll try to recreate that success with another well liked ’80s property, John HughesWeird Science.

The project is set up at Universal, with Joel Silver producing. It’s very familiar property for both the studio and the producer, who were also behind the 1985 original. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Escape from New York poster by Jay Shaw

Today, Empire ran a great new photo of the original Escape From New York team of director John Carpenter and star Kurt Russell. Along with the pic, Carpenter commented on the potential new reboot of Escape From New York (“they don’t know where they’re going with it”) and Russell opined on the problem with casting a new version of his character Snake Plissken. “If you’re going to do him, do him young. He’s one of those guys,” Russell says. “When it comes to Snake, I can tell you one thing… he’s American. It’s really important that he’s American.”

Appropriately enough, we’ve now got some potential casting options for the reboot/prequel, and neither is an American actor. Tom Hardy and Jason Statham are the two actors that have been newly rumored as the possible new Plissken in the film Joel Silver is setting up to be the first in a new trilogy. Read More »

escape-from-ny

Most of the biggest John Carpenter properties have either been remake or given some sort of new life (Halloween, The Fog, The Thing) or have been targeted for potential remakes (They Live, Escape From New York).

Escape From New York tells the story of a convict who is sent into Manhattan — now a maximum security prison hellhole — to rescue the President of the United States, who has crashed on the island and is hostage to a local kingpin. The Escape remake was left dead in the water at New Line two years back when the option lapsed, but now it has been given new life. (And not as the Guy Pearce film Lockout, which does have a pretty similar plot outline.)

Joel Silver (The Matrix) is working with StudioCanal to produce a reboot in the hopes of launching a new franchise.

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With movie adaptations being made of every book, TV series, video game, action figure, and boardgame in sight, it was only a matter of time before Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 found its way to the big screen. Joel Silver signed on to make a live-action feature version of the popular sci-fi series back in 2011, and while there haven’t been a ton of updates since then it’s now taking a step forward as up-and-coming writer Ryan Engle boards. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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It seems like just about every aging actor is angling for their own action franchise nowadays, whether it’s the geriatric warriors of the Expendables and Red films, Liam Neeson in the Taken movies, Bruce Willis in the ongoing Die Hard saga, or Kevin Costner with the upcoming Jack Ryan reboot. But we probably wouldn’t have guessed that Sean Penn would be one of them.

Penn has entered negotiations for Prone Gunman, an action thriller envisioned as the first in a potential series. This is still Penn we’re talking about, however, so Prone Gunman isn’t just another mindless pulse-pounder. It’s an adaptation of a novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette, a French noir writer with an interest in leftist politics and the human condition. More details after the jump.

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Joel Silver‘s producing resume reads like a laundry list of the best (or at least biggest) action films of the past three decades: Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours, Predator, Demolition Man, The Matrix, Sherlock Holmes and on and on. Many of those, especially over the past twenty years, were at Warner Bros. where his Silver Pictures had a lucrative producing deal and spot on the lot. Rumors had been circulating that Silver (above right, with director Todd Phillips) might be parting ways with the studio. Monday, Variety reported Warner Bros. will be paying the producer $30 million for the rights to all the films he produced at the studio, finally severing ties that go back 25 years. He’ll obviously still be producing, just not from the Warner Bros. lot. In fact, he might already have a new deal at Universal. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Project X, released last Friday, got some people angry, but Warner Bros. isn’t among those irritated by the teen party movie. The low-budget film is considered a success with $21m earned so far, and the studio and producers Todd Phillips and Joel Silver are already putting together plans for a sequel.

Michael Bacall (story and co-writer on the first movie) is working on a sequel treatment with Matt Drake. They started that work before the film was released, and in the wake of its success are moving forward. Until that’s handed in we’re not likely to get any more info, including whether or not any of the main cast (Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Brown) will return, or if the sequel would focus on different kids. [THR]

After the break, The Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard talks about a Cloverfield sequel, Rose Byrne pitches Bridesmaids in Space, and Journey 3 director Brad Peyton hints at the film’s scope. Read More »

Project X

For a while now we’ve been hearing about Todd Phillips and Joel Silver-produced low-budget hard-R comedy film Project X. The project was set-up at Warner Bros with a $12 million budget, with Phillips serving as producer and creative godfather’ for commercial turned first time feature film director Nima Nourizade. The comedy follows three high school seniors who “throw a birthday party to make a name for themselves,” but  as the night progresses, “things spiral out of control as word of the party spreads.” Warner Bros has been test screening the film recently, and members of the recruited audience in attendance have been chatting it up on the IMDB message boards and twitter.

What did they think? Find out after the jump.

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Briefly: It was a little over a year ago that we heard that Drive and Bronson director Nicolas Winding Refn would like to make a film featuring the long-running DC Comics character Wonder Woman. He has talked about the project here and there, saying that he thinks Drive co-star Christina Hendricks would make a perfect Wonder Woman. But DC and Warner Bros. have not extended any offer to him to make the film.

At the Empire Big Screen festival this past weekend, The Playlist recorded Refn talking about the idea of a Wonder Woman movie. And it sounds as if the success of Logan’s Run, which he is making at Warners with Wonder Woman producer Joel Silver, could directly impact his chances. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

So, Jeremy Renner has finally given up one of the roughly five million roles he’s been linked to since he became Hollywood’s hottest rising star. The Playlist reports that Sam Rockwell is currently in negotiations to replace Renner as the lead in Better Living Through Chemistry, an indie drama by Geoff Moore and David Posamentier. Rockwell would be playing an unhappily married pharmacist who enters an affair with a trophy wife customer (Jennifer Garner). As their prescription drug-fueled romance escalates, things spin out of control and the two begin plotting to kill her husband.

Much as I like Renner, I’m equally happy to see the talented Rockwell in the part. Moore and Posamentier are building up quite the cast — in addition to Rockwell and Garner, the film is also set to star Dame Judi Dench and Michelle Monaghan.

After the jump, Justin Timberlake picks up a new gig, and Wizards of Waverly Place actor Gregg Sulkin joins fellow tween faves Booboo Stewart and Harry Shum, Jr. in Quentin Lee’s new film.

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