Idris Elba as Shere Khan

Disney has picked up momentum in developing its version of The Jungle Book, which is set to be a live-action film with extensive CG embellishment. The project has just cast Idris Elba as Shere Khan, the tiger whose name literally means “king.” Elba has a regal bearing no matter what he’s doing, and even his voice alone should be able to command respect, and instill fear. Read More »

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Jon Favreau Chef

The 2014 Sundance Film Festival hasn’t even started yet and the second huge American film festival on the calendar is already announcing its lineup. That would be South by Southwest 2014, which takes place in Austin TX from March 7-15. The two biggest announcements so far are for opening night, which will feature the world premiere of Chef, directed by Jon Favreau, and the highly anticipated Veronica Mars film. (Which became a Kickstarter sensation during last year’s festival.) But that’s not all. A conversation with Alejendro Jodorowsky, a new film co-written by Mark Duplass, and more are in the first announcements. Read about the first batch of films playing at SXSW 2014 below. Read More »

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The Sword of Shannara, from author Terry Brooks, is kind of a cold-war revision of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ideas. The book features all the fantasy trappings of Tolkien’s novels — so much so that critics dinged Brooks for rampant borrowing — but gives it all a nuclear origin, as the novels take place thousands of years after apocalyptic wars mutated mankind into elves and dwarves, and changed the geographic layout of Earth.

The book was also very successful, and it spawned two direct sequels and ultimately became the thing that dominates Brooks’ career — he’s got more Shannara books set for 2014 and 2015, almost 40 years after the publication of his first. With all the interest in YA and fantasy novel properties from studios since The Lord of the Rings was a success, it is possibly only the very Tolkien-lite characteristics of Shannara that have kept the books from being adapted. Not that people haven’t tried, as producers who started working with the rights in 2007 have now hit pay dirt.

MTV is now developing Shannara, a TV series, with Jon Favreau signed to direct the pilot. Read More »

Alice in Wonderland

Briefly: Wow, that was fast. Mere weeks after first hearing about Jon Favreau‘s live-action 3D remake of The Jungle Book, Disney has given the film a release date. It’ll open October 9, 2015, making it the first film to claim a date in that month. But that’s not all. Disney also announced the follow up to the billion dollar hit Alice in Wonderland will come out a year later. Alice in Wonderland 2, starring Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska, opens May 27, 2016. James Bobin (The Muppets) will direct.

Also, Ron Howard‘s sea-bound film, Heart of the Sea starring Chris Hemsworth, will be released March 13, 2015. [ERC]

Jon Favreau Jungle Book

Jon Favreau is in talks to finally make that big budget Disney family movie we’re been waiting for. No, not Magic Kingdom. Instead, the director of Iron Man and Iron Man 2 is in negotiations to direct a new version of Rudyard Kipling‘s classic tale The Jungle Book. Read More »

Bradley Cooper

There’s a showdown brewing in the kitchen. Years ago, David Fincher was attached to direct a film called Chef. His version never happened, but John Wells, whose film adaptation of Osage: Orange County just debuted a trailer, is going to make the movie from the script by Steven Knight. The Weinstein Company is behind the film, and they’ve just landed Bradley Cooper as the star. Good job, guys!

But while that Chef was floundering, before Wells and Cooper came on, Jon Favreau wrote his own indie called Chef, and has recruited actors like Robert Downey Jr. and Sofia Vergara (and possibly Scarlett Johansson) to join him. He plans to shoot the film this summer.

So who gets the title? The film that had it first, or the movie that shoots first? How about the one with the more powerful lawyers? Read More »

downey-favreau-header

The ascent of Robert Downey Jr. from near-outcast status to major movie star can be traced in part to Jon Favreau, who lobbied to cast Downey as Tony Stark in Iron Man. The success of the film minted the actor as a bona-fide star, and also helped push Favreau’s directorial career to a new level.

Now the two will work together once again on a much smaller project: an indie ensemble comedy called Chef. (Not to be confused with the project of the same name that once had David Fincher attached to direct.) Favreau scripted, and has assembled a cast that also features Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, and Bobby Cannavale. Read More »

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A couple weeks ago I got the opportunity to sit down with Marvel head Kevin Feige and Iron Man 3 writer/director Shane Black.

We’ve run some of the answers over the last week as stand-alone posts, but you can read the whole interview transcript after the jump, including collecting Back to the Future memorabilia, Iron Man at Disneyland, transforming a superhero movie into a detective story, Patton Oswalt’s Star Wars/Marvel crossover rant, if it was weird for Black to direct Jon Favreau in an Iron Man movie, how Iron Man 3 sets-up future Marvel films, Tony Stark’s unexpected team-up with a child, how Marvel deals with leaks, misinformation and the rumors of the age of the internet.
Read More »

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