Hey kids, maybe if you murder a couple hundred people for the mob, Mickey Rourke will star in your life story, too. Stay in school. Last month, we wrote about the beef had by true crime writer and biographer, Philip Carlo, with actor/model Channing Tatum portraying Richard “The Ice Man” Kuklinksi in a feature film based on his book The Ice Man. Carlo deemed Tatum unworthy to play the infamous goon, who died in prison in 2006. Rubbing in his dislike for the young actor, Carlo put in a commendable word for the veteran Rourke. Well, the disagreement between Carlo and mega-producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura led to the latter’s rights expiring on the project last month; in the meantime, Rourke got in touch with Carlo and now he’s apparently set to star. Carlo says via the NY Post that Rourke thinks the movie could “be his Raging Bull.” Not the smoothest comparison in my opinion…
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For all of the blame being placed on “flyover state people” for the success of G.I. Joe, the most outspoken journo-champions for this trendy daycare fare are based in L.A. and New York. It’s one thing to be an adult cashing a check by playing a literal piece of plastic—that is to say: gross—it’s another stumble entirely to be an intelligent adult cheering the result. But predictably, the careers of the actors involved in Joe will benefit, and Channing Tatum, the pin-up version of the guys who carouse Wal-Mart parking lots on Saturday night, is one of ‘em. Evidently, Tatum was to play the lead in a biopic about Richard Kuklinksi aka The Ice Man (above), possibly the most-publicized serial-murderer/mafia hitman of recent times. No more. Author Phil Carlo, who penned the adapted best-selling biography on the Ice Man, has humorously called bullshit on Tatum’s casting, thus placing the project in development hell (alongside its subject, no less)…
I really hated the idea of Channing Tatum,” Carlo tells the NY Post. I told [G.I. Joe mega-producer] Lorenzo di Bonaventura that this is not the guy to play one of the most feared killers of the 20th Century,” Carlo said. “I think Mickey Rourke would really be good. He’s got that sense of danger, and there’s a similarity between the two. But it’s not Channing Tatum.”
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When movie studios are developing big budget big screen movies based on Stretch Armstrong and Candyland, I knew it was only a matter of time before Hollywood started to mine some of the classic video games of the children of the 70′s/80′s. Universal has won a four-studio bidding war to win the film rights to the classic Atari video game Asteroids. Newcomer Matthew Lopez, who came out of Disney’s writing program and did work on Bedtime Stories, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Race to Witch Mountain, has been hired to write the screen adaptation.
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Paramount Pictures and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura have acquired the rights to the popular Image Comics series Lions, Tigers and Bears. Oh My! Unicorn scribe Joey Aucoin is writing the film based on his pitch. Created by Mike Bullock, the story, which began as a four issue min-series, follows a young boy named Joey Price who discovers that his stuffed animals come to life during the middle of the night to protect him from a group of closet monsters called The “Beasties”. Sounds a little bit like a cross between toy story and Monsters, Inc. The official plot synopsis follows:
“A child’s instinctual need for the comfort of a stuffed animal is rooted in a reality long forgotten by the adult world. The hidden truth is that these companions have been defending children since the dawn of time. Follow young Joey on the adventure of a lifetime as he travels through the Stuffed Animal Kingdom, a journey that puts the fate of all the world’s children in his hands and brings him face to face with his destiny.”
For those interested, you can buy the first collected volume, titled “Fear and Pride,” from Amazon for around $11.
Columbia Pictures has released the first two photos of Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt in Phillip Noyce‘s thriller Salt. The film tells the story of a CIA officer who is outed as a Russian sleeper spy, and must evade capture by those who are convinced she’s aiming to assassinate the president. The photos aren’t much to look at, just Jolie wearing different color wigs — definitely nothing we haven’t seen before.
Described as Alias meets James Bond / Jason Bourne, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura says the film is “a reality-based spy movie with action set pieces as thrilling as the most crowd-pleasing movies of this genre.” But while the Jason Bourne series asks the question “Who Am I?,” Bonaventura says “the question of Salt is, ‘We know everything about her, but do we?’ [Her pursuers] have a ton of information to act on, but that’s where they begin to question what is real and what isn’t.” He continues:
“People who think they know the real her may or may not. Those who think they can tell whether she’s in a disguise also may or may not. You’re supposed to be kept guessing. She tells you her agenda, but are you supposed to believe it?”
You can read the whole article on USAToday.com.
The new issue of Toyfair has an interview with Transformers producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who reveals a bunch of new info bits from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Anything from the specs of Devastator to the origins of The Fallen (possible spoiler). You’ve been warned, continue after the jump.
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Shia LaBeouf has signed on to star in Paramount’s big screen adaptation of John Grisham‘s legal thriller The Associate. Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers, GI Joe) is producing. So what’s it about? Here is the official plot description:
“It’s a deadly game of blackmail. And they’re making him play. Kyle McAvoy is one of the outstanding legal students of his generation: he’s good looking, has a brilliant mind and a glittering future ahead of him. But he has a secret from his past, a secret that threatens to destroy his fledgling career and, possibly, his entire life.
One night that secret catches up with him in the form of some bad men in a dark alley — they have a deeply compromising video of the incident that haunts him. The men make it clear to Kyle that he no longer owns his own future — that he must do as they tell him, or the video will be made public knowledge, with all the unpleasant consequences. What price do they demand for Kyle’s secret? Strangely, it is for Kyle to do exactly what any ambitious young lawyer would want to do: take a job in New York as an associate at the largest law firm in the world, a job that is incredibly well paid and, with mammoth hours and outrageous billing, could lead to partnership and a fortune.
But Kyle won’t be working for the company, but against it — passing on the secrets of the company’s biggest trial to date, a dispute between two defense contractors worth billions of dollars to the victor. Now Kyle is caught between the criminal forces manipulating him and the FBI, who would love to unmask the conspiracy. Will his intellect, cunning and bravery be enough to extricate him from an impossible dilemma? Full of twists and turns and reminiscent of The Firm, The Associate is vintage John Grisham.”
Previous Grisham novels to be adapted to the big screen include: The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury and Skipping Christmas (Christmas with the Kranks). The Associate sound like typical Grisham, complete with the normal Grisham title. Strangely, the international cover of the book (seen below in blue) actually looks like a scene from LaBeouf’s Eagle Eye.
The book is set to be released on January 27th 2009, and the 384-page hardcover is available for preorder on Amazon for $18.45.
Comic Book writer Warren Ellis is finally headed to the big screen. Summit Entertainment (Twilight) announced this morning, a big screen adaptation of Ellis’ Red, about a former black-ops CIA agent who is forced out of retirement when a high-tech assassin shows up to kill him. The comic, first published as a three-issue mini-series by WildStorm (a division of DC Comics) in 2003, is being adapted for the screen by brothers Erich and Jon Hoeber, who also wrote the adaptations of Whiteout and Alice. According to THR, the film will focus on the idea of an older operative set who is set in his ways having to contend with younger and more fit agents as well as modern techniques and technology. The project is being produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura (GI Joe, Transformers).
Last week it was revealed that Warner Bros is developing a big screen adaptation of Ellis’ Ocean. When thousands of coffins containing a sleeping alien race and a giant weapon of mass destruction are discovered beneath the ice on one of Jupiter’s moons, a sinister representative of a powerful conglomerate seeks to exploit the discovery for their own purposes. Newcomer Ryan Condal has been hired to pen the screenplay based on Ellis’ original six issue comic book series.
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