Lots and lots of filmmakers and actors talking about their upcoming films in this edition of Sequel Bits. After the jump, read quotes about the followin:

  • J.J. Abrams gives a brief update of the development of Mission: Impossible 5.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t sure of when Terminator 5 might happen…
  • …but seems excited about playing Conan in The Legend of Conan.
  • Playmate Crystal McCahill posted some photos from the set of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
  • Sorry everyone, William Shatner does not appear in Star Trek Into Darkness.
  • A Good Day To Die Hard will get a Dolby Atmos sound mix.
  • Actor Rodrigo Santoro talks the story of 300: Rise of an Empire.
  • Tom Selleck is still planning on doing Three Men and a Bride.
  • John Woo would like to direct a third Expendables film, but has some demands.

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Typically, it’s the French New Wave that gets all the news, but Japan had its own New Wave in the ’60s, and one of the key players, whether he would have said as much or not, was Suzuki Seijun. The director worked for Nikkatsu studios, and in the ’60s he started to crank out studio films that grew weirder with each release. One of the formative films in that period was Youth of the Beast, starring the chipmunk-cheeked Shishido Joe.

Though not as wild as some of Suzuki’s later films, Youth of the Beast is a great, weird film. And now it will be remade by John Woo, who will call his version Day of the Beast. Rob Frisbee scripted, and Woo’s long-time producer Terence Chang will produce. Ironically, while Nikkatsu eventually fired Suzuki for his increasingly eccentric films, this production is part of the studio’s 100th Anniversary.

After the break, there’s a trailer for the original Youth of the Beast, and we’ve got some news on the new version of Carrie, and one of the prime movers behind the original Little Shop of Horrors speaks about the new film version of that story. Read More »

There has long been talk of a remake of John Woo‘s standard-setting 1989 action film The Killer. The movie was one of the pictures that focused international attention on both the director and his star Chow Yun-Fat, and it had great influence on action movies that followed. It’s a film that I can vividly remember seeing for the first time, even twenty years later.

Now whether we like it or not a new version — in 3D no less — is really happening, and true to statements they’ve dropped over the years, John Woo and his producing partner Terence Chang are behind it. Read More »

John Woo is in the middle of what might be a renaissance. It’s too early to really make that call, but he’s more active now in the wake of Red Cliff than he’s been in the past few years. And more active with interesting projects — if you haven’t seen Red Cliff it is definitely worth the time; Reign of Assassins looks promising; and there’s the IMAX film Flying Tigers that Woo is preparing to make.

But the spectre of trouble looms. A Variety piece on the director announces that “Woo is hoping to line up A-list talent for his English-language remakes of two hugely influential action films”: Le Samourai and his own The Killer. Read More »

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There’s finally been some movement on John Woo‘s next period war epic, the ’40s aerial fighter movie which we first heard about over a year ago. It was tentatively being referred to as Flying Tiger Heroes, but the title has now been shortened to the snappier sounding Flying Tigers.

Who’s Woo looking to cast in the film? There’s no certainty that this will ever happen, but his ideal candidate is Liam Neeson. Find out more about what he had to say, and about the film’s IMAX prospects, after the break. Read More »

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It’s almost a great, hopefully not sad cosmic joke that Bob and Harvey Weinstein, so famous for buying and then either recutting or shelving Hong Kong films, will distribute John Woo‘s latest made-in-China effort, Reign of Assassins. The Weinstein Company announced today that it has pre-bought North and South American rights to the film, which was produced by John Woo and longtime partner Terence Chang, and co-directed by Woo and Su Chao-Pin, who also wrote. Read More »

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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The story of Marco Polo has been brought to the screen before and will probably be adapted many times in the future. The next film about the explorer could be directed by Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) as Warner Bros. has attached the director to a project based on a pitch by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, who will write a script based on Polo’s adventures. Read More »

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The RZA‘s career in the movies reportedly started with a call from Harvey Weinstein. Here’s how he tells it, in an impersonation of the big man. The phone went, he picked it up, there was a raspy voice and it said:

Hey RZA, it’s Harvey. I want you to be in my movie. You got a new career now.

Such a smooth talker, the big man.

That movie was Derailed, Mikael Halfstrom’s thriller with Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen. Since then, a series of supporting roles and scoring gigs have seen RZA keep his side careers spinning nicely but all of his notable achievements were still on wax, courtesy of the music made through his membership of the Wu Tang Clan. However, that may be about to change with his next step up the cinematic ladder and the advent of his debut as a writer-director. Fingers crossed that The Man With the Iron Fist is a movie as good as his hip hop.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

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It doesn’t look like John Woo will be returning to Hollywood anytime soon. After a string of not-so-great Western films, Woo returned to China and delivered the massive two-part epic Red Cliff. I’ve only seen the first film of the Chinese release (haven’t yet seen the condensed most other countries got), and while it certainly isn’t perfect, it towers above anything Woo delivered while in Hollywood. Now we have a first look at his next project, Jianyu Jianghu (also known for now as Rain of Swords In The Pugilistic World), which stars Michelle Yeoh.

Woo will be co-directing the film with Su Chao-Bin (Silk, Better Than Sex). They’ll be joined by longtime producer bud Terrence Chang. The cast also includes Chang Chen, Kelly Lin, and Barbie Hsu.

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