In March, we were one of the first to post an animated action short film called Ruin. The short was directed by 2003 Student Academy Award-winner Wes Ball and set “way in the future” in a green post-apocalyptic universe. The film went viral in the days afterward, and signature shots from the short even appear in the pilot and commercials for the upcoming Bad Robot/Jon Favreau-directed series Revolution (and in my opinion, the visual effects from Ruin, look better than any of the effects created for the pilot).
It was only a matter of time before someone in Hollywood convinced Ball to adapt the property into a feature film. Earlier today 20th Century Fox made an offer to acquire the rights with McG set to produce the big screen adaptation.
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Spy films, especially ones that might turn into series, are like crack for studios. Few efforts actually pay off in regular franchises — if duplicating Bond’s success was easy, every studio would have its own Bond — but that doesn’t stop many from trying.
In 2008, Warner Bros. bought the rights to Jon Stock‘s novel Dead Spy Running, which follows suspended MI6 agent Daniel Marchant and opens with a setpiece in which a bomb is attached to a marathon runner. At the time the novel was unpublished, though it was planned as the first of a trilogy of novels. (The second book, Games Traitors Play, was published in 2011.) McG was attached to direct, and Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Syriana) was set to write, which is a big step above McG.
There was a point last year when McG stepped away from directing and was hoping to get Gaghan to take the job. But the screenwriter has other directorial prospects, and now the team is in talks with Jonathan Levine (50/50, The Wackness) to direct. Read More »
Before Bryan Singer was brought on board to direct Superman Returns, McG was developing a Superman reboot titled Superman: Flyby, a screenplay written by a younger JJ Abrams. McG ended up leaving the project when Warner Bros became adamant about shooting the movie in Australia instead of New York City and Canada to save money on Budget. But I sometimes wonder what could have been when it comes to McG’s take on the Man of Steel.
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Posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 by Angie Han
With just days to go until This Means War was scheduled to hit theaters, Fox has shifted its release date yet again. Less last-minute is Summit’s announcement of a fall release date for Alex Cross (formerly I, Alex Cross), which sees Tyler Perry ditching the Madea costume for once. But the biggest piece of news, which remains unconfirmed at the moment, is a possible 2013 release date for The Wolverine. Hit the jump for details on all three pictures. (Update: Fox just confirmed with us that the release date for The Wolverine is legit.)
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It takes a gutsy filmmaker — and, perhaps more to the point, a gutsy studio — to emulate the strange release of the 1985 film Clue. When originally released, Clue went out with three different endings, and audiences didn’t know which one they were going to see. (There’s also a reported fourth ending, but that’s a topic for another post.) The endings were collected for the home video release, and most people have seen the edit of Clue where each possible ending is played in succession.
McG has just finished This Means War, the film in which Tom Hardy and Chris Pine play best friends and fellow CIA operatives who discover they’re both dating the same woman, played by Reese Witherspoon. It’s a big, weird romcom, essentially, and as such might not be the most serious movie around. And so at one stage of development, the idea of doing Clue-style multiple endings was thrown around. No real spoilers follow, but if you don’t want to know anything at all about how this movie might end, beware what lies below the jump. Read More »
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Posted on Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 by Angie Han
An obnoxious first trailer generally isn’t a good sign for a movie, and after that first one hit I would’ve been perfectly content to see no more of McG‘s romantic action comedy This Means War. But nine (non-consecutive) minutes of the film have just been released, and surprisingly, they actually look better than the two or so we’ve already seen.
Chris Pine and Tom Hardy star as best friends and CIA colleagues who find their bond tested when they fall for the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). Naturally, rather than talking things out like reasonable adults, the guys use their government hookups to stalk the object of their affections and sabotage each other. Watch the new footage after the jump.
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Briefly: It is probably shallow to become more interested in a movie when the rating is R rather than PG-13. But then, the action/comedy/romance This Means War looks fairly shallow, so my slightly elevated interest in the movie might be a perfect match for it. The film stars Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as best friends who are also partners in the CIA. But their friendship is torn asunder when they fall for the same woman, played by Reese Witherspoon.
While Fox was hoping to get the film on screens with a PG-13 rating, the MPAA gave it an R, and upon appeal the board upheld the rating. Why is the film R? Does Chris Pine’s head explode? Nope — it is just R for “some sexual content.” Oh, that repressed MPAA! I can’t imagine the sex in the movie being all that crazy, but we’ll see what the story really is when the film is released on Tuesday, February 14. Or, the Valentine’s Day release was the plan; now that the film will go out with an R, perhaps it will be pushed back tpo the 17th once again.
UPDATE: Deadline now reports that “a couple of racy jokes” were cut, and the film was granted a PG-13 rating.
Check out the trailer again after the break. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 by Angie Han
Briefly: Figured out your Valentine’s Day plans yet? Well, here’s one idea for you. Fox has moved McG‘s romantic action-comedy This Means War from Friday, February 17 to Tuesday, February 14. The film stars Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as a pair of best friends and CIA partners whose relationship torn apart when they fall for the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). It doesn’t strike me as the most romantic premise in the world — actually, it kind of sounds like all three of them are being assholes — but between Witherspoon’s chick flick pedigree and the promise of Captain Kirk and Bane running around with high-tech weapons, I suppose the movie’s date night appeal is obvious.
This Means War is the only movie currently scheduled to open on the 14th, but it’ll be up against the previous weekend’s films including The Vow, Safe House, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, and the 3D rerelease of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance and Studio Ghibli’s The Secret World of Arrietty will hit theaters three days later, on the 17th.
Relive the magic of the first This Means War trailer after the jump, and let us know which of these films you’ll be taking your date to when the holiday rolls around.
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This is the first edition in a new regular series where I attempt to answer your questions about the film industry. We’ll be taking a look at the box office, forgotten Hollywood landmarks, the marketing process and more. Sometimes I’ll attempt to answer the question myself, and other times I will contact experts in the particular field to give a more detailed answer. Please feel free to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I decided to start off this series with an easier question, and use it as a jumping-off point to delve into the more complex world of screen credits.
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