Briefly: Universal and Platinum Dunes continue to develop a movie based on the Ouija board, that supernatural telegraph that is somewhere between a board game and parlor trick. Making a good movie out of Ouija will certainly a hell of a parlor trick, and to help with the process the companies have just hired Simon Kinberg, the guy who wrote Mr. and Mrs. Smith, X-Men: The Last Stand, and co-wrote a draft of Sherlock Holmes. (Not, sadly, the BBC’s Sherlock.) He also wrote This Means War, which Ouija director McG just finished.

He’ll be polishing the previous draft by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis (Tron Legacy). What happened to the work done by the last reported hire, Evan Spiliotopoulos? Not sure if his work is playing into the new draft going forward. But given that, as the LA Times says, Simon Kinberg’s “specialty is big, upscale — and sometimes comedic — action pieces,”this hire makes sense. After all, we’d already heard that Ouija is planned as a family adventure movie with a tone akin to an Indiana Jones movie.

McG’s ‘Ouija’ Gets a New Writer

Perhaps you were hoping that the Universal collaboration with Hasbro would somehow fail to produce the Ouija Board movie that we’ve been promised. (Or warned of, take your pic.) But the Platinum Dunes-produced, McG-directed film is very much alive. Tron Legacy writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz were originally on the script, but they’re now dealing with their TV show Once Upon a Time and Ouija consequently needs a new writer. That the new guy has a lot of Disney experience might surprise you, until realizing that he also worked on Universal’s Wanted 2. Read More »

Fox set release dates for two films today: the McG action/comedy/romance This Means War will get a Valentine-ish bow on February 17, 2012. The film has Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as CIA agents literally fighting over Reese Witherspoon. Til Schweiger, Angela Bassett, Chelsea Handler and David Koechner are all in the film, too. Can the idea of Chris Pine and Tom Hardy trying to destroy one another overcome the disdain some of you might have for McG? Only a trailer will tell, but I’m eager to see some footage.

And then Chronicle got a February 3 2012 date. That one is written by up and coming writer Max Landis, and has Big Fan editor Josh Trank set to direct. It follows “three Portland teens after they develop powers from exposure to a mysterious substance.” We don’t know much more, but will present any further info as it comes along.

It’s hard to believe this is some kind of coincidence. On the same weekend a sci-fi invasion film, Battle: Los Angeles, is number one at the box office making a solid $36 million, two major studios pick up major science fiction pitches. Sony has purchased a movie called Agent OX, produced by Battle: LA producer Neil Moritz, which is about a human spy on an alien planet and 20th Century Fox has purchased an untitled sci-fi adventure with McG attached as a producer with an eye on directing. I’d like this think this is some kind of coincidence, just two random acts of chance, but we know better. Hollywood is once again piggybacking off of proven success. Is there a bright side? Read more about both potential films after the jump. Read More »

Will McG Direct the ‘Wonder Woman’ TV Pilot?

Now that David E. Kelley‘s new version of Wonder Woman is set up at NBC, it’s time to get the pilot going. When we heard a few days ago that the show had landed at the network there was no word on who might direct or star, but now we’ve got one possible name: McG is rumored to be the choice to direct the pilot. Read More »

Right before the holidays, we reported the director’s chair for the big budget adventure film Ouija was down to two directors: Breck Eisner and McG. Well, Charlie’s Angels have defeated The Crazies and Universal Pictures has chosen McG to direct the film, based on the Hasbro board game, written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Lost, TRON: Legacy) and scheduled for release November 9, 2012. There’s more after the break. Read More »

If one were to use a Quija board to figure out who will be directing the big budget adaptation of the popular party game, the planchette might illuminate the letters M-C-G. McG, the director of Charlie’s Angels and Terminator Salvation, recently wrapped shooting This Means War with Chris Pine and Tom Hardy and pitched his take on the project to Universal on Friday, according to Heat Vision. He’s up against Breck Eisner, director of The Crazies and Sahara, who presented his take on the Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (Lost, TRON: Legacy) scripted film the week prior.

All that’s known about the Platinum Dunes produced film is that it’s not the traditional supernatural take on the Quija board. Instead, it’s a big, adventure movie in the tone of Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean and several directors, such as Sylvain White (The Losers) and Pierre Morel (Taken), have pitched the studio to no avail.

With a November 9, 2012 release date already set in place, chances are a director will be named in the coming weeks. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Everyone know the jolt of fear that runs through your body when you think you’ve forgotten something in a taxi cab. Well imagine the jolt if, instead of a cell phone, it was your daughter left in the cab and you only had a few hours to find her. That’s the rough plot of Medallion, which will feature Nicolas Cage as former master thief, searching for his daughter, who has been taken hostage and locked in the trunk of a Medallion Taxi Cab in New York City. Read More »

One of the first pieces of online film journalism to truly legitimize the profession was Drew McWeeny’s September 2002 evisceration of a J.J. Abrams script for a film eventually referred to as Superman: Flyby. McWeeny, then working for Ain’t It Cool News under the name “Moriarty,” ripped apart Abrams’ script so completely, and in such a public forum, that he is widely credited for killing the film. To this day, the piece is a fantastic read.

This was before Superman returned and before Batman began. At the time, Warner Brothers was hoping to reinvent their superhero franchises with filmmakers like McG and Brett Ratner. They couldn’t know that the man who would eventually revitalize Batman was already working for them or that their Superman screenwriter would do the same for Paramount and Star Trek years later. This wasn’t the J.J. Abrams of Mission: Impossible or Lost. This was the Alias and Felicity J.J. Abrams.

Years later, we’ve got a tiny glimpse at what might have been if Abrams’ script got made, as well as another huge “almost” in Superman movie lore. Special effects guru Steve Johnson, who was responsible for revealing the Tim Burton costume tests for a failed late Nineties Superman reboot, posted a gallery on his Facebook with concept art for different Superman costumes as well as some sketches of Doomsday, who apparently was being considered as a villain if director Bryan Singer got a second crack at the Man of Steel after Superman Returns. Check them out and more after the break. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Add one more to the cast of McG‘s This Means War, in which Chris Pine and Tom Hardy go to war over the affections of Reese Witherspoon. (Angela Bassett was just cast the other day.) Mad Men‘s Abigail Spencer has signed on; she’ll play Tom Hardy’s ex-wife. Personally, I might do more fighting over her than Reese Witherspoon, but that’s just me. [THR]

After the break, Ben Foster joins a Mark Wahlberg movie, and John Singleton will direct the younger Hemsworth. Read More »