Daughter of Smoke and Bone

As The Hunger Games: Catching Fire quickly races towards becoming the highest grossing film of 2013, it’s no coincidence studios continue to close deals for similar young adult fare. The latest is Universal, which just signed director Michael Gracey to direct Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the first in a YA trilogy written by Laini TaylorStuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean) adapted the screenplay.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone follows a young woman whose father sends her all over the world on the search for human teeth. Eventually, she realizes he’s in the middle of an epic, etherial battle between good and evil. Read More »

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Tom Hardy has just accepted the role of rock legend Elton John in Rocketman, a biopic directed by Michael Gracey and written by Lee Hall. Focus Features will distribute the film, which starts shooting in Fall 2014. Read the full release below. Read More »

Elton John

Elton John has finally chosen a director to bring his crazy history to life. Rocket Pictures revealed today commercials helmer Michael Gracey will direct Rocketman, the John-centric biopic first announced in 2011.

Scripted by Billy Elliot‘s Lee Hall, Rocketman is no ordinary biographical drama. As befits is colorful subject, the movie is described as “a biographical musical fantasy” that hits upon the most “intense” defining experiences of John’s life and career. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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For quite some time, Disney has been developing a new live-action version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in which the old story would get a fairly modern makeover. Michael Chabon wrote the initial version, but the film has been tweaked a few times over the past decade with directors as disparate as Yuen Wo-ping and Francis Lawrence attached at different times.

Then something happened. Or, really, two somethings happened, as Universal and Relativity Media beat Disney to the punch with Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror, Mirror, both of which are set to open this year. Two live-action Snow White re-tellings is goofy enough, and adding a third would strain audience interest like crazy.

So the Disney movie, which has had various titles over the years (most commonly Snow and the Seven) has been reworked again to eliminate all overt Snow White ties. What’s left is The Order of the Seven, a martial arts action film centered around a young heroine. Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, Hanna) is in talks to take that lead role. Read More »

In 2009, after Hugh Jackman‘s successful Oscar-hosting stint, Fox announced development of The Greatest Showman on Earth, a film about P.T. Barnum that would star Hugh Jackman as the classic American huckster and businessman. We’ve heard nothing about the project since, but it is still a concern over at Fox. And it isn’t just any old biopic — this is a musical, put together by John Palermo, Laurence Mark and screenwriter Jenny Bicks, all of whom worked on Jackman’s Oscar telecast.

Now a director has been hired: effects and commercial veteran Michael Gracey, who was recently set to direct Disney’s Snow White film The Order of the Seven. Read More »

While Relativity and Universal have been publicity dueling with their competing Snow White films, Disney has been slowly developing one of its own. The project, formerly known as Snow and the Seven, has been in development since 2002 with the latest update coming six months ago when Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt came on-board to firm up the script. Disney must have really liked his work because they’ve gone ahead and officially changed the title to The Order of the Seven and hired commercial director and visual effects expert Michael Gracey to direct.

The Order of the Seven will focus primarily on the seven dwarfs who are deadly warriors in a live action, China-set epic. Read more after the jump. Read More »

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Even though Christopher Weekes‘ script The Muppet Man ‘won’ last year’s Black List poll of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood, there was every chance it would never make it to the screen. Essentially a biopic of Jim Henson peppered with fantastical scenes starring The Muppets, it would require the involvement somehow of both the Henson company, who hold the right to his life story and Walt Disney, who hold the rights to his famous felt creations.

Luckily, the two companies appear to have come to an agreement and seem to be pressing ahead with the picture together. They have reportedly even agreed on the director they’d most like for the job. His name is Michael Gracey and this would be his debut feature after a slate of music videos and commercials, most famously the Evian spot with somewhat off-looking roller-babies that went atomic as a viral video.

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