Fox Searchlight Developing a J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic

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Warner Bros. is the lucky studio behind three Lord of Rings movies and another three Hobbit films, but Fox Searchlight will be the one who finally brings the genius behind those fantasy epics to the big screen. And no, I don’t mean Peter Jackson.

The studio has just set David Gleeson to script a biopic of author J.R.R. Tolkien, which for now is simply being called Tolkien. Peter Chernin (The Heat) will produce. Hit the jump for more details on the project.

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It seems like each week we get word of yet another new project inspired on some fairy tale or other, but The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, based on the novel by Christopher Healy, sounds more promising than most. Perhaps it’s because it’s not so much a rehash of any specific fable as it is a sort of sequel to several of them, picking up with the handsome princes of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel after they supposedly head off to live happily ever after with their princesses. Though the source material won’t hit bookshelves until May 1, the movie rights have already been snapped up by Fox Animation, with Chernin Entertainment attached to produce. More details after the jump.

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Fox Hires Writer to Reboot Daredevil

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We’ve known that this would be happening, but a last-minute Friday report from Mike Fleming at Deadline Hollywood confirms Daredevil as the latest superhero reboot. David Scarpa, writer of The Last Castle and Fox’s The Day the Earth Stood Still remake, is scripting. No other talent is announced at this point. Peter Chernin, who is also working on that new Planet of the Apes movie, is producing.

Just in case you have any doubt about how things will go with other Marvel character movies lodged at studios like Fox, Fleming notes that this reboot is going forward for one simple reason: unless Fox moves forward with Daredevil the studio risks losing the character to Marvel/Disney. Yeah, that means we’ll still be hearing about Fantastic Four and likely Silver Surfer movies at some point, too. (The LA Times followed up with a report about the reboot, but doesn’t offer any other new info)

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Despite the fact that I don’t think anyone is much of a fan of the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes remake, Fox has slowly been developing another film in the same vein. Dubbed Caesar, the film was written by Scott Frank, and was only sort of a Planet of the Apes movie. The film would tell the story of Caesar, an ape which becomes super-intelligent and leads a simian uprising, allowing the tale to be essentially a very early prologue to the late world of Planet of the Apes. (Though Frank said explicitly that it was not a remake of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.)

But two weeks ago, Devin at CHUD reported that the movie was essentially dead after Scott Frank walked away from it. Now there’s a contrary report which says that, while Frank has indeed left the project, it remains very much alive. Read More »

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I’m a sucker (and I do mean sucker) for a good high-concept plot idea, and it sounds that Ann Brashares’ novel My Name is Memory hangs on a corker. The book won’t be published until next June so there’s no way of knowing yet if this smarty pants concept is at the centre of a good story or a bad one but the hook alone intrigues me. Essentially a romance story, the story actually starts with an awkward stalker moment when a couple meet at college and the young man claims that the two of them have been reincarnated over and over as lovers in different time periods and while she can’t remember any of this, he can. That idea gives me the creeps, but of course, in Brashare’s book, he manages to provide her with an explanation, calm things down and get the romance rolling again in this era.

There’s a little bit of The Time Traveller’s Wife in there, I think, while other comparisons to Twilight are, for some reason, also forthcoming. I guess its the notion of a genre-fied young romance.

I’ve got an explanatory excerpt from the novel after the break, as well as some details of the studio bidding war that saw the rights go for a “high six against seven figures” sum.

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