After Brett Ratner dropped out of directing Conan due to “scheduling conflicts,” V For Vendetta director James McTeigue was tipped to be the top choice to helm the project. CHUD is now reporting that while Nu-Image/Millenium want McTeigue, Lionsgate is interested in three different choices:
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Check out a new production photo (above) from Neil Marshall‘s epic action film Centurion. Also, the recent issue of Total Film Magazine (#154) features an article with more production photos. See a preview after the jump.
Set in 117 AD, the film tells the story of a group of Roman soldiers who must fight for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is decimated in a devastating guerrilla attack. The film just wrapped production.
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Our friends at Rotten Tomatoes went to the set of Neil Marshall‘s epic action film Centurion and have posted a short behind the scenes video which intercuts filming with on set interviews.
I’d recommend that anyone who wants to know more about the movie just watch the video because it explains everything in a minute and a half. Set in 117 AD, the film tells the story of a group of Roman soldiers who must fight for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is decimated in a devastating guerrilla attack. For those who might not remember, Neil Marshall broke onto the scene with Dog Soldiers, but the horror film The Descent gained him more mainstream attention. His follow-up last year, Doomsday, was critically and publicly slammed. Centurion, from all indications thus far, seems like it is a lot more focused. Watch the video embedded after the jump.
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On Thursday, we played pinata with the rumor that Brett Ratner was in talks to helm the $100 million R-rated Conan reboot. Well, Latino Review put the gossip in focus, reporting that Ratner merely took a meeting with Nu Image, and evidently so have a lot of other directors. We think a few of them would be ace for the job.
Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor (Crank, Crank 2, Crank 3/3D, Game, Jonah Hex)
At Slashfilm: In Crank We Trust (a lot). With their debut feature, the duo hit the ground running with so much batty confidence and aggression that we’ll support any genre fare they wish to assault with a bullet-time rig or a gazillion consumer-grade cameras and a mulleted Corey Haim. Moral: If someone throws a ridiculous house party, from then on you just need an invite. Imagining what these guys would do for barbaric decapitations, naked women nestled in animal furs, and a botched crucifixion with vultures (if applicable in the reboot) makes us want to sell your sister to James Earl Jones to make it happen. And their down-to-earth relationship with movie sites would quickly dust off the skepticism amongst readers who didn’t grow up with Milius’s version. But aren’t they insanely busy?
Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later, Intacto)
If LR is on the money with this list of prospects, it seems that Nu Image wants to invest in a director(s) with turbo-powered visuals and style to spare. Fresnadillo is apparently scheduled to meet with producers, and he’s a guy we’d recommend for several projects of Conan‘s magnitude…if we didn’t keep forgetting about the dude! In the summer of 2007, the sequel to Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later was supposed to put the Spanish hotshot on the fanboy map; alas it fell well below Fox Atomic’s box office expectations. That said, along with the 10 people at my screening and the New York Times, I was knocked-over by how well he handled action, tension, gore, clever subtext, and a modern flare too often attributed to coked-out music video directors. I was possibly even more knocked-over by future runs-ins with 28WL haters and meh’ers. Fresnadillo is likely seen as untested for the dinero at play here, but the talent is obvious. With a solid cast, he’s a fantastic gamble. Take advantage.
Other directors who’ve sat down with Nu Image include the long rumoured Neil Marshall (The Descent, Doomsday), James McTeigue (V For Vendetta, Ninja Assassin, Wachowski Bros’ protege), Greg and Colin Strause (AVP-R, fuck this), and Robert Rodriguez, who’s been attached to a reboot for years, and is said to remain choice numero uno, but he can’t work it in. Oh yeah, and Brett Ratner (Chris Tucker’s career, swimming pools). So, the list is pretty encouraging, with a few welcome surprises. More as it develops.
Discuss: Out of the directors here, who would you choose? Why do you think the level of interest in a Conan reboot isn’t incredibly strong?
His recent, loud homage to Mad Max and killer viruses, Doomsday, was mostly ignored and deflated quickly at the box office, but genre director Neil Marshall is still going strong. He’s now attached to his second project of the month, an L.A.-set action mystery vehicle for Hugh Jackman at Universal entitled Drive that looks to be his next film. An adaptation of author James Sallis‘s neo-noir of the same name, Jackman will star as a Hollywood stunt driver who enjoys a double-life as a getaway man for robberies. In the book, one of the heists backfires and Jackman’s character earns a bounty on his life.
“This is something I haven’t done before, and I’ve wanted to bring a British sensibility to an L.A. shoot and a scorched classic film noir concept,” Marshall told Variety. “Hoss is a fantastic writer, and he’s written three amazing car chases in the film. He’s turned them into dramatic scenes as opposed to the usual crash, bang, wallop. I would like to be shooting it this summer.”
Last week it was announced that Marshall will also direct Sacrilege, a Western horror flick that he ambitiously described as “Unforgiven by way of H.P. Lovecraft,” with a dash of The Thing. Drive was adapted by Hossein Amini, who wrote The Golden Compass sequel The Subtle Knife as well as the long-delayed Elmore Leonard crime adaptation Killshot (um, IMDB says it’s due April ’08).
I’m curious what Marshall means by bringing a “British sensibility” to L.A. for Drive. His currently has one of the more active mid-level fanboy-centric careers in the industry right now, and it will be interesting to see if he continues to build on the promise seen with The Descent or if he goes the way of a Simon West.
Discuss: Drive or Sacrilege, which sounds cooler? If you skipped it, why did you miss Doomsday? What didn’t grab you about it? If you saw it, worth the ticket?
Have any Slashfilm readers in Hollywood seen the following costumed street team promoting Neil Marshall‘s Doomsday near Franklin and Highland? I’m not sure if this stunt would even grab my attention in L.A., because so many people in L.A. dress this ridiculously. In the book The Game such loud “fashion” is even referred to as “peacocking” I think. Either way, it’s worth a shot, as Marshall’s Mad Max-meets-proto-virus apocalypse flick is not tracking so great at the moment for its release next weekend. So, if you think Neil Marshall is the right guy to tackle a remake of Conan (I’m not so sure), go see it and/or honk, honk, honk.
Source Link: Flickr
A few days ago Rob Zombie was said to be up for the skull-and-horn adorned director’s chair on the 2009 Lionsgate tent-pole Conan. The plethora of dried blood and fur, swords, mating calls and battle cries that drenched my imagination when I heard this rumor was lovely. Zombie could do both the classic barbaric character and John Milius’s wild original film supreme justice. Of course, now we now know that Zombie’s next film will be Tyrannosaurus Rex, with word growing that it’s a hardcore flick about bikers, set for late summer 2009. No Conan for him.
Another name swirling in the rumor mill is Xavier Gens, who helmed the flashy video game flick Hitman. I do not want to see Gens’s $100 million Conan. He needs to sharpen his teeth hard on non-iconic material like Vanikoro first. The other name circulating right now is Neil Marshall, who batted a nice fanboy double with Dog Soldiers and the cave-horror crowd pleaser The Descent.
Marshall’s Mad Max-meets-cliche-apocalyptic-virus semi-epic Doomsday opens in March, and I’m sure its reception on the Net will play into his chances for the Conan gig. If the producers wish to wait that long. At 38 and with his career on the come up, we still haven’t seen Marshall’s biggest visions, but his work thus far has focused too much on the visceral and there’s a British B-movie filter at play that doesn’t work for me for this flick. What a Conan epic needs is a director who will not compromise at all, like Milius. You know that scene in Conan the Barbarian where Arnold is nailed to a cross, and suddenly his eyes explode and he rips into the neck of a lingering vulture with no-hands and keeps biting until it makes you shockingly hungry? I remember seeing that and going “Note to self, I have never and will never see that again in a movie.”
That’s what I feel Zombie would have brought (here come the “redneck profanity doesn’t belong in the Hyborian Age” quips.). To me this film is not about the action, it’s about the R-rating and the most gung-ho macho expression fathomable. If Marshall or Gens snags it, my attention automatically refocuses on Matthew Vaughn’s shoot-the-moon take on Thor.
Who do you want to bring Conan back?
The Descent was one of my favorite films of 2005 (maybe not on my top 10, but probably my top 20). And I’m not a huge horror fan, so for me to like a horror film this much it must have offered something more than the typical slasher flick. And that’s the best way to describe The Descent. Instead of an idiotic cast of OC-star model-looking teens, it starred a group of Women. It had some nice ideas, and some good scares. They’re already working on a sequel, to be called The De2ent, and Fangoria talked to Neil Marshall, who offered up information on the new director.
Â ”I will not be directing The Descent 2, but I will be overseeing every aspect of the production. There’s nothing to oversee yet, though, as the script is currently being written. My Descent editor Jon Harris will make his feature directing debut with the sequel, and I can’t think of a better man for the job.”
No story details were revealed, but I’m sure the studio will probably ruin the idea in an attempt to make it more marketable (OC-like-actors…etc), which is the case with most sequels. And a first time director is usually never a good sign. However, film editors usually become good directors because they know how to shoot for the edit.
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