Harry_Houdini

 

Harry Houdini has the subject of much interest in Hollywood for the past couple of years, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at your local theater listings. We’ve barely heard a peep about Summit’s Houdini spy film since Dean Parisot entered talks to direct last summer, and DreamWorks doesn’t seem to have done much with Voices From the Dead since buying it in 2011.

Sony’s competing project doesn’t seem to be very far along, either, but it is at least moving. Chronicle scribe Max Landis has reportedly been tapped to do yet another rewrite of the screenplay. Hit the jump for the latest on the film

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Chronicle

We know exactly where Superman’s indestructibility comes from, or how mild-mannerd Bruce Banner turned into a giant green rage monster. But unlike their more mainstream counterparts, Josh Trank‘s Chronicle didn’t spend a whole lot of time dwelling on how, exactly, the boys got their powers. The film seemed far less interested in the sci-fi mechanics of their abilities than in what the guys did with them once they had them.

All of which is a rambly way to say that it never really even occurred to me to wonder just what happened to those kids that fateful night. But if you’re curious, screenwriter Max Landis does have an explanation, and you can read it after the jump — along with a little more information about his Chronicle sequel that never was. (Spoilers follow.)

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adventureland

Briefly: An argument threatened to tear friendships asunder earlier this year, as audiences were divided over the merits of new summer-set coming of age movie The Way Way Back in relation to the effectiveness of Greg Mottola’s similar movie Adventureland. Clearly, Mottola’s movie has landed in the public consciousness. Which means this new project from two participants might have an advantage from day one.

The Adventureland duo of Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, both enjoying higher profile gigs now than when they swam together for Mottola, are going to be on screen together again. Their new project sounds a lot more weird than their last pairing however. American Ultra, scripted by Max Landis (Chronicle), is written as an action comedy and will have Nima Nourizadeh (Project X) directing.

The actors will play a stoner and his girlfriend, whose lives get weird “when Mike’s past comes back to haunt him, and he becomes the target of a government operation set to wipe him out.” Producer Anthony Bregman says “Simply put, ‘American Ultra’ will be the most fun you can possibly have in a movie theater without the use of drugs, fireworks, or canola oil.” I don’t know quite what that means, but we’ll probably find out in 2015; the film is scheduled to shoot next spring. [THR]

maxlandis

Max Landis may be off the Chronicle sequel, but he’s not done telling superpowered stories. The writer, who’s also known for his 2011 short The Death and Return of Superman, has indicated that he’d love to see a new version of Green Lantern — and that he actually plans to pitch another concept for Wonder Woman. Hit the jump to read his comments.

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Chronicle

The first Chronicle did well enough that Fox quickly snapped screenwriter Max Landis back up to pen a sequel. But then word spread that the studio was displeased with Landis’ take, and several months later Landis confirmed that he’d been taken off the film.

Part of the problem had been that Fox wanted Chronicle 2 to be more of the same, while Landis had something completely new and different in mind. Now he’s offered some juicy details on what, exactly, that something was — along with an admission that Fox may have been right to drop his original idea. Hit the jump to read his comments.

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One-Last-Dive

Summer’s a great time for horror and thrills that take place in the water. Jaws set a standard for horror in the deep, leading to dozens of films that take advantage of the inherent distrust many people have of an environment in which they are very much an intruder.

Director Jason Eisener has a horror segment featuring a bit of water action, and a lot of POV footage, that you can watch right now as part of V/H/S/2. (Available On Demand.) But if you want something more immediate, check out the 70-second film One Last Dive, which has a nice setup and a weird payoff that will make some of you jump out of your seat. As a bonus, it comes with three other one-minute films from other directors. Read More »

James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class

Paul McGuigan‘s upcoming version of Frankenstein, scripted by Max Landis, has just found its second lead.

James McAvoy has been cast as Dr. Frankenstein; he’ll share the screen with Daniel Radcliffe, who has long been attached to play Igor, the lead in this unique spin on the classic tale.

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Tom Hiddleston toys

Want to watch Tom Hiddleston reenact the plot of Thor: The Dark World with action figures? What’s going on on the set of X-Men Days of Future Past? How will Scarlet Witch look in Avengers: Age of Ultron? Who wins in a fight, The Avengers or the Guardians of the Galaxy? Which Superman story did Max Landis want to bring to TV? What’s up with Bucky’s hair in Captain America The Winter Soldier? When is the new Thor: The Dark World trailer coming? And who is the heart of Guardians of the Galaxy? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

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