We still don’t know who might star in Grudge Match, the film in development at Warner Bros. that will put two aging former boxing rivals back in the ring for one last match. Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro have been rumored, but it’s very likely it’s a completely unsubstantiated rumor, no matter how entertaining the idea might be from a distance. (And it makes for a great venn diagram.)

But we’re one step closer to casting now that a director has been found. Peter Segal (Get Smart) will helm the picture from Tim Kelleher‘s script. Read More »

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BLEACH

Warner Bros in in the process of acquiring the live-action movie rights to the Japanese manga Bleach. The bad news is that 50 First Dates and Get Smart director Peter Segal is in talks to produce.

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Shazam! Gets New Writers: Bill Birch and Geoff Johns

captainmarvel2

For a super-powered guy with lightning speed, Captain Marvel moves pretty slow. The Shazam! film, once a New Line project and now part of Warner Bros., has been inching towards the screen for several years. Get Smart‘s Peter Segal remains on board as director, but there are two new contestants in the screenwriting game: Bill Birch and comics luminary Geoff Johns. What’s going on with the film, after the break. Read More »

Peter Segal In Talks to Direct Little Fockers

meet the parents

Little Fockers, the third film in the Meet The Parents trilogy is finally entering the casting stages — Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro and Owen Wilson are in talks with Universal to return. Meet the Parents and Meet The Fockers director Jay Roach will not helm the third film as he’s too busy prepping Dinner For Schmucks,which leaves an opening for a new director. Last month it was reported that the directing candidates were down to three names:

Paul Weitz (In Good Company, About a Boy)
David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer, Role Models)
Peyton Reed
(Bring it On, Yes Man).

Who does Universal want to hire for the threequel? As it turns out, None of the above.

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Peter Segal’s Wardogs

Peter Segal, director of Tommy Boy, 50 First Dates, The Longest Yard and Get Smart, has signed on to helm a action comedy pitch titled Wardogs for MGM. The project was the subject of a bidding war, and MGM ended up spending $1 million for the rights.

Not much is known about the plot of the Ken Kaufman (Curious George, Space Cowboys, Muppets from Space) and David Agosto penned action comedy, except that the ensemble cast will be event-level, like Ocean’s Eleven. $1 million is a fairly big sale for a couple of non name-level screenwriters (ie Shyamalan, Eszterhas, Black, etc), and Segal is a good score. What we do know is that a “war dog” is a dog trained for war. What that has to do with this film, if anything, I have no idea.

source: THR
photo source: WAA

johnny-quest.jpg

IESB speculates that director Peter Segal, currently attached to helm a Shazam feature for Warner Bros., might also be the man who brings the studio’s planned tentpole, Jonny Quest, to the world as well for Summer ’09. Apparently the script by Dan Mazeau is quite strong and in better shooting condition than Billy Batson and the Legend of Shazam. Moroever, the site spoke to Segal recently, who was enthusiastic about the latest screenplay, noted his involvement with getting a Quest flick off the ground in the past, and even discussed casting preferences (The Rock for special agent Roger “Race” Bannon). As you might recall, for over a year now Dwayne Johnson has been attached to play Shazam‘s Black Adam.

At the center of the Jonny Quest franchise is the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, about the titular young boy, his scientist father, his adopted Indian brother, a spastic bulldog, and a snowy haired special agent/bodyguard who hop around the globe pursuing epic cryptozoological and sci-fi adventures. Quest is one of several retro tentpole projects on Hollywood’s burner, including Buck Rogers, Spielberg/Jackson’s Tintin, the now filming Transformers 2, and another live-action He-Man flick (also buzzing loudly at Warner Bros.). Of course, the recent wipe-out of the similarly cheeky/mothballed Speed Racer is no doubt being taken into consideration when updating Quest.

Also of note: David Goyer‘s Supermax, which now looks to have broader box office potential after the success of Iron Man, has been retitled Green Arrow. The well-reviewed script, which sees Green Arrow facing off in a high security prison with DC villains like The Riddler, is by Justin Marks, who wrote the aforemenioned He-Man script that’s driving the Internet nuts right now.

Discuss: Is Jonny Quest the next Speed Racer or the next Transformers/Harry Potter? Is Segal a smart choice? Could Green Arrow be the next Iron Man?

WonderCon: Get Smart

Get Smart

Wonder-Con premiered the newly minted trailer for Get Smart, the big screen adaptation of the 1960s television series created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry that starred Don Adams and Barbara Feldman. It looked good, better than good. Now this is how you make you a trailer: mixing verbal humor, physical comedy, and large-scale action, along with callbacks to the original series, including multiple callbacks (e.g., repeated lines of dialogue).

Director Peter Segal (The Longest Yard, 50 First Dates, Anger Management) was on hand to talk about Get Smart. He started off the panel by saying he wanted to embrace the spirit of the original TV series and bring it up to date for contemporary audiences. Segal then introduced the co-stars, Anne Hathaway and Steve Carell to raucous cheers from the Wonder-Con audience. The Q&A started almost immediately.

One of the first questioners Carell asked whether he was writing anything new (he’s written several episodes of his television series, The Office). Carell said he’s not working on anything right now. As he’s just completed two weeks of jury duty in Los Angeles, he’s going to write or co-write an episode of the Office in which his character gets called on to serve on a jury. Given Carell’s track record, it promises to be hilarious.

Another Wonder-Con attendee asked Carell about whether he’d change or modulate his voice to match Don Adams’ easily recognizable delivery, especially the iconic sentences or phrases that have become synonymous with the character and the series. Hard not to do it like him, stands alone, but hard to get Adams’ voice out of his head. From what we saw and heard in the trailer, Carell’s delivery sounded like a mix between his voice and Adams’ iconic voice.

Another attendee asked about Carell’s start in improv comedy. Carell jokingly said he didn’t want to learn any lines, so improv seemed like the right way to go, but it also just started out as fun, extracurricular activity that eventually segued into comedy and acting.

Another questioner asked Carell thought about doing trying different roles? Answer: Boston Strangler. As long as I get paid, I’m fine, said Carell, but he’ll take whatever might be good or entertaining. Hathaway chimed in with Little Miss Sunshine.

Another attendee asked Hathaway what it was like to work with Carell on Get Smart. She said it was terrible, but quickly corrected herself to say she loved working with him (she was kidding, of course), generously calling Steve one of the comedic masters of our time and it was a pleasure and an honor to work with him. She did say that she was nervous improvising with Carell at first, but eventually got over it.

The next questioner asked about the for the possibility of a sequel, Segal said, “In case you like the movie, I’d like to come back for a sequel.” Segal said was a fun set, great cast., and he’d love to work with them again.

Another questioner asked about the challenges involved in remaking/adapting such a well known, well-liked TV show. Segal reiterated that he wanted to bring the Get Smart characters and their universe to new audiences, but he also wanted to include enough callbacks to the series for fans (so he didn’t really answer the question).

Someone else followed about Barbara Feldman and whether she’d make a cameo in the film, but apparently the answer is no. Other cameos from actors associated with the series have been promised, however. Segal seemed to dance around the question by saying that she never appeared on set, but perhaps she filmed her cameo separately (or not). Hathaway chimed in to say that she considers Feldman an idol and that it was daunting to step into her shoes. She described Feldman’s portrayal of Agent 99 as kind, sophisticated, smart, and elegantly sexy.

Inevitably the question about Segal would do after Get Smart. Shazam, the big screen adaptation of DC’s Captain Marvel (a.k.a., The Big Red Cheese), is still slated at his next project, but the start date has been delayed due to the writer’s strike. Screenwriter John August is back working on the script, however. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is still pegged for the role of Captain Marvel’s nemesis, Black Adam, but Segal didn’t mention any other casting decisions. Given Segal’s track record (comedies), a big-budget, effects-laden film doesn’t seem like his thing, but maybe he’ll surprise us. Hopefully, he won’t make it so kid-friendly that he’ll alienate adults and fans of the character.

Someone asked the panel what movies inspired them to get into filmmaking. Hathaway said Auntie Mame. Segal said Young Frankenstein remake. For Carell, Dr. Strangelove. Seriously. And with that, the Get Smart panel gave way to Disney (e.g., The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Wall-E).

Shazam!: The Rock is Black Adam

The Rock as Black Adam

At the Southland Tales junket earlier today, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson gave us a big update on the big screen adaptation of the Captain Marvel comic book Shazam! Things have changed and Johnson is now playing Black Adam.

“I just met with Pete Segal last night,” The Rock told /Film. “It was a great meeting on Shazam. We’re just waiting for John August to hand in another draft, which will probably be handed in months from now because of the strike.”

“And not Shazam but Black Adam, that’s now very clear. He’s a character that I can’t wait to play. When they first approached me about playing Captain Marvel, they said there is also this interesting character too called Black Adam. This was about a year ago on the set of Get Smart. I said ‘Oh, Okay, Great’.

But it was comic book fans that convinced Johnson to take on the Black Adam character.

“We went down to Comic Con to show the trailer for Get Smart. And there I was talking to all the fans and they were like ‘You should really look into Black Atom.’ So I said to some writer or journalist that I think it’s up to the fans, they should just let me know. And they just let me know in spades – It’s Black Adam! And that dictated to the studio, to the director…”

According to Wikipedia, Black Adam is a morally ambiguous nature has his character fall between the lines of heroism and villainy. The character was originally created in 1945 for the premiere issue of Fawcett Comics’ Marvel Family comic book by Otto Binder and C. C. Beck as an “evil” version of Fawcett’s popular Captain Marvel character. By the early 21st century, Adam had been redefined by DC writers Jerry Ordway, Geoff Johns, and David S. Goyer as a corrupted anti-hero attempting to clear his name. Adam’s personal goal is to enforce justice; however, his ideals of justice, often involving hostile action or execution, are considered extreme by many of the heroes who have attempted to give the former supervillain a second chance. This current version of Black Adam is the former ruler of Kahndaq, a fictional Middle Eastern nation in the DC Universe.

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