Briefly: Lot of news coming out of Viacom’s quarterly earnings report today. For gamers, there’s the news that Viacom is looking to sell Rock Band developer Harmonix. On the movie side, Viacom COO Tom Dooley listed several films that Viacom and Paramount are looking to have produced for release after September 2011. They include the Platinum Dunes version of TMNT, the new Jack Ryan film, and sequels to GI Joe and Zoolander. Guess that ends part of the speculation about Zoolander 2. Otherwise, this is merely a progress report for other films.

These movies are all in the script stage at best. Art Marcum and Matt Holloway have been writing TMNT for Platinum Dunes; Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are writing GI Joe 2 (what aren’t they writing?) and Justin Theroux is writing and planning to direct Zoolander 2. The Jack Ryan film is farthest along, as it has Jack Bender set to direct Chris Pine, but that’s also in a rewrite stage, with Anthony Peckham tapped for a new draft at the end of September. Expect that one to go into production first. The earnings call also mentioned Star Trek 2, but didn’t offer any new reports — that’s in the script stage now, too. [THR]


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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Paramount Pictures have finally announced screenwriters for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie which has been in development Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes. HeatVision has learned that Iron Man screenwriters Art Marcum and Matt Holloway have been hired to write the new movie adaptation. The screenwriting duo also has credits on Punisher: War Zone, and in development versions of Highlander and Buck Rogers.

You may recall that last year Nickelodeon paid $60m for global rights to the characters, and Viacom has been devleoping not only a new big screen movie but also a television series. Strangely, a recently leaked Paramount memo listed the project as “draft not looking great”. They might have been talking about the previously announced John Fusco script.

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Fast & Furious Director To Remake Highlander


Summit Entertainment has announced that Justin Lin will direct a re-imagination (ie reboot) of Highlander. Of course, Summit hopes that this reboot with “spur a new franchise for the studio.”

Lin made his name with the awesome High School-based indie crime drama Better Luck Tomorrow in 2002 (if you haven’t seen it, add it to your netflix queue), but has since turned out mostly generic Hollywood crap like Annapolis, Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Fast & Furious. The good news is that Iron Man screenwriters Art Marcum and Matt Holloway are working on the new take, which will expand on Highlander’s original core mythology of immortals battling amongst us, hunting each other through the ages by tapping its newly minted creative team to take its re-imagination to new heights.

Full press release after the jump.

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Rayyyden! Sorry, wrong movie, but at least I didn’t intro with an iffy “there can only be one” joke. Writing team Art Marcum and Matt Holloway previously scribed Iron Man (btw: 9/10) as well as this December’s Punisher: War Zone, and now they will envision a reboot for 1986’s bit of sci-fi brilliance Highlander for Summit Entertainment. And, of course, if this one proves successful, there will be more. Described as a cocktail of “contemporary settings, action, mythology and medieval Scotland,” Summit prez Patrick Wachsberger practically danced a jig, confessing to Variety…

“I have always dreamed of reinventing this franchise.”

The original Highlander was one of the first franchises from my memory that constantly got knocked up and squeezed out terrible (-looking) offspring at the neighborhood video store. The flick is also Will Ferrell’s (as Ricky Bobby) favorite movie. Partially set in the 16th Century (circa the ’80s), Christopher Lambert (above) starred as a Scottish warrior and one of the world’s Immortals, manly types who walk the Earth, including modern day NYC, looking to decapitate each other with swords due to a mysterious force called the Quickening. To this day, it still plays like a fever dream I had using my bookbag as a scratchy pillow. More on this as it develops…

Discuss: How do you feel about Hollywood’s latest recovery from their endless remake ball pit? I’ll watch a $100 million (just speculating) Highlander movie, fine.