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. As it turns out, in one sense, the title has a very nearly literal implication. In the culmination of a chase scene that winds through and beneath London, the villain Silva, played by Javier Bardem, causes an explosion in a catacomb chamber underneath a London tube station. As a result, a train crashes 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 »

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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Confirmed details on Sam MendesBond 23 are still scarce, but it seems screenwriter John Logan may have let slip a very useful detail about the villain. At a talk earlier this week, Logan hinted that iconic Bond baddie Ernst Stavro Blofeld just might be making an appearance in the upcoming film. Logan didn’t go so far as to actually announce anything, but hey, until we have a better idea of the plot, we’re gonna sit here and read into every dubious crumb of information that gets out. Read more after the jump.

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Here’s a bit of wild speculation about Bond 23 — or possibly not so wild, depending upon how much faith you place in various online translations and reports. Hint: in this case, be cautious. But let’s lay out the steps that have lead some to suspect that the twenty-third James Bond film may be based in part on the most recent Bond novel, and share with it the rather awkward title Carte Blanche. (Which is, I have to say, not anywhere near as awkward as Quantum of Solace. And, not being as awkward, it probably won’t inspire a very funny song by Attack the Block director Joe Cornish.) Read on for the steps that lead to the speculative conclusion… Read More »

Paramount to Pick Up Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Noah’

Darren Aronofsky‘s wish to make his Bible-based fantasy epic Noah an “event” film is about to take one step closer to coming true. The project has been seeking a studio to pay half of its $150 budget — New Regency, which has been with Noah since early on, will cover the other half — and it looks like Paramount will be stepping up to fork over the cash. Though the deal is not yet official, the studio is said to be “close” to signing a deal. Read more details after the jump.

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