It may seem like there are a ton of new projects hitting this week, and that’s because the American Film Market is getting under way. That’s where indies go to find financing and distribution partnerships, and so it’s one of a couple big marketplace events where producers announce new films. One of the most promising so far is Genius, which has changed up its cast a bit.

Once meant to star Sean Penn, the film will now pair Michael Fassbender and Colin Firth for the first time, in a film about the relationship between author Thomas Wolfe and his long-time editor Max Perkins. In the days where editors often seem more like proofreaders than true literary guiding lights, Maxwell Perkins remains famous for his work with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe, among other writers.

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Before the credits roll in Sam MendesSkyfall, the usual proclamation is made: “James Bond Will Return.” We thought we had plans for that return unraveled last week when screenwriter John Logan was hired to write the next two Bond films for star Daniel Craig. Even more exciting, those reports said that the two movies would link into one overall story, a first in the Bond universe.

Unfortunately that’s not true, say the Bond star. In a new interview he calls the proposition “impossible.” Listen to his quote and more after the jump. Read More »

The twenty-third James Bond film, Skyfall, opens in the UK today, and if early reviews are anything like a barometer of public opinion, it could be the most successful film of the franchise. We know that Daniel Craig will likely make two more Bond films, and EON Productions isn’t wasting any time setting the twenty-fourth film in motion.

The current report is that Skyfall co-writer John Logan is already set to write the next Bond movie. But there’s a change from the way these films have been scripted in recent years, as he’ll work solo at the outset. Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who have worked on Bond films since The World is Not Enough, are moving on. While Logan rewrote their initial draft for Skyfall, now he’s the first guy in line for the follow-up.

Update: Logan will actually write two films; details are added below.

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The twenty-third James Bond film, which once again stars Daniel Craig and is directed by Sam Mendes, is called Skyfall. Now we know that the title is close to literal in one sense. In the culmination of a chase scene through and beneath London, the villain Silva, played by Javier Bardem, causes an explosion in a catacomb chamber underneath a London tube station, and a train comes crashing down on Bond’s head.

Skyfall has been shooting at the massive Pinewood Studios west of London, and on the tremendous 007 stage at that location the production replicated a large section of tube tunnel and the accompanying platform, and created both the chamber in which Bond and Silva have their confrontation, and the full-size train that crashes into it.

Last week I went to Pinewood to see part of that confrontation being filmed. While Sony and EON Productions are reluctant to give too much away at this point, still six months away from the late October/early November release of the film, we learned more than a few new things about the third outing of our modern James Bond, and I’ll detail them below. Read More »

This is more of a minor status update than a giant news break, but for those who like to see Darren Aronofsky making movies rather than videos and commercials, it is good news. Deals are done for the director, who last released Black Swan in 2010, to make his epic take on the Biblical story of Noah, with Russell Crowe in the lead role. Read More »

Briefly: After years and years of thinking about the movie and prepping ideas for the project, Darren Aronofsky is finally going to get his chance to re-tell the story of Noah, the Ark and the Flood. Aronofsky is now in talks with Russell Crowe to have the actor play the title role in Noah when the film shoots starting in July. Read More »

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Of the nine movies currently up for Best Picture, Martin Scorsese‘s Hugo is my personal favorite. There’s so much I love about the film, from its eye-popping visuals and impeccable use of 3D to its inspiring tale and lovable performances. I’m not the only one that feels that way, of course — Hugo‘s been a popular pick on many critics’ lists and awards ballots. And now, as Academy voters mull over their final decisions, Paramount is eager to remind everyone of Hugo‘s many wonderful qualities.

The studio has released a six-minute featurette titled “The Magic of Hugo,” which goes behind the scenes to look at the hows and whys of making the picture. Scorsese, editor Thelma Schoonmaker, production designer Dante Ferretti, producer Graham King, visual effects supervisor Robert Legato, composer Howard Shore, and stars Ben Kingsley and Sacha Baron Cohen all appear to discuss their work on the project, and to talk about what made the film so special. Watch it after the jump.

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Late late year, the rights to one of Broadway’s biggest hits went up on the auction block. Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons was coveted by Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox. They all lost out. GK Films paid over seven figures for the musical and after a year without any movement, they’ve finally hired a screenwriter.

John Logan will adapt the real life rags to riches story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, a legendary musical group who went from the street corners of New Jersey to massive musical success with songs such as Oh What A Night, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Rag Doll, Sherry, and Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You. Recently, Logan wrote Hugo for Martin Scorsese but he also wrote Gladiator for Ridley Scott, Any Given Sunday for Oliver Stone, Sweeney Todd for Tim Burton and Rango for Gore Verbinski. Two of his latest scripts, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and Sam Mendes’ James Bond film Skyfall, are currently in production. Wow. What a resume.

Read more about the film after the jump. Read More »

Paramount and New Regency jointly announced today that they will distribute Darren Aronofsky‘s long gestating biblical epic Noah — a big screen adaptation of Noah’s Ark that Darren has been developing since he was 13-years-old. The deal between Paramount and New Regency was previously reported on the site when the deal was in talks, but it has now been confirmed. 20th Century Fox was also bidding on the project, which has a reported $150 million budget. John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator) is currently working on rewrites of the script; Christian Bale has been rumored as a top choice to play the lead.

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