The Transporter cinematographer and District B13 director Pierre Morel broke big with Taken and then retreated back to the action cheese of From Paris With Love. But next he’ll direct an unexpected actor in a new action/thriller. Sean Penn is now set to star in Morel’s adaptation of the thriller novel Prone Gunman.
Peter Travis (Dredd) adapts the 1981 novel by the late Jean-Patrick Manchette. The film version of the tale will feature a covert op who is betrayed and must rely on his skills to survive as he is hunted across Europe. The direction of Morel makes this seem like it could have more in common with Penn’s work in Gangster Squad than the more serious work the actor has delved into for many years. But if the film holds true to the book it could be a bit more unusual. Read More »
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Posted on Monday, October 22nd, 2012 by Angie Han
There’s a lot of new stuff to get through in today’s TV Bits, so let’s get right to it. After the jump:
- AMC and Dish settle legal dispute; AMC resumes airing on Dish
- Why The Walking Dead ended up at AMC instead of HBO or NBC
- NBC euthanizes Animal Practice and brings back Whitney
- Louis C.K. lines up his Saturday Night Live hosting debut
- Taken director Pierre Morel will work on NBC pilot After Hours
- Pitch Perfect helmer Jason Moore will direct ABC’s Trophy Wife
- Brendan Fraser heads to TNT for the drama pilot Legends
- Andy Samberg joins Mike Schur and Dan Goor‘s new comedy
- Craig Robinson lands the lead in Greg Daniels‘ NBC sitcom
- Arrested Development re-hires Carl Weathers, gets a documentary
- Check out Dany, Ser Jorah, and more on Game of Thrones‘ Qarth set
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Posted on Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 by Angie Han
Ken Jeong has built up a respectable career as a supporting actor, most notably on NBC’s Community and the Hangover films, but for his next movie role he’ll be moving a little closer to the spotlight. Jeong is set to star in and produce The Chung Factor, which landed on the 2005 Black List back when it was titled The Ex-Factor. Andy Selsor‘s screenplay revolves around a nice guy who falls in love with a woman, but begins to worry he’ll screw things up and employs an “offbeat” relationship coach (Jeong). Unfortunately, said coach turns out to be the woman’s ex, who wants to win her back and is actively trying to ruin the nice guy’s chances.
It’s great to see the talented and funny Jeong nabbing some bigger parts, but I kind of wish he’d chosen to play the romantic lead. The villain here sounds like he fits a little too comfortably into Jeong’s repertoire of mean weirdos — it would’ve been nice to see him stretch a bit more. [The Wrap]
After the jump, Daenerys Targaryen considers joining Éomer and Prince Caspian as they steal cars in France, while Katheryn Winnick nabs a starring role opposite America’s Trainwreck Charlie Sheen.
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Briefly: Taken director Pierre Morel is following Luc Besson in to the action thriller producing game, and he’s got his first effort set up, with everyone’s new favorite actor on board. Overdrive is about a couple of handsome car thieves, and will star Alex Pettyfer and Matthew Goode. Antonio Negret, who directed Transit for producer Joel Silver, will direct. Read More »
In the pantheon of Big Difficult Adaptations, Frank Herbert‘s novel Dune has stood tall for years. Efforts to make a film in the ’70s stalled, and a film version nearly defeated David Lynch in the early ’80s. (Some, including David Lynch, might say that it did defeat him.) The mini-series adaptation in 2000 can be considered good only by those who judge quality by how many details from the source are crammed onto the screen, and efforts to make a film version since then have resulted in many script drafts, but no actual film.
Paramount has held the rights to Dune for some time, with the project passing through the hands of multiple screenwriters and directors, but now the studio’s option has lapsed. The rights have reverted to Richard P. Rubenstein, the liaison to the Frank Herbert estate and ABC. Read More »
Sam Raimi and District 9 producer Bill Block are putting together a Warner Bros. film called EDF, or Earth Defense Force, which explosively details “Earth’s response to an imminent alien invasion.” (And which seemingly isn’t an adaptation of the video game series in which soldiers fight off endless waves of giant insects, despite the fact that film and game share a name. Perhaps that’s for the best, and there’s word that the film’s name could change.)
Initial reports said that a director would be chosen soon; now Taken director Pierre Morel is circling the project. Read More »
Those waiting to see the prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing this April will instead find flashy cars on screen at the theater. Universal had planned to release their new version of The Thing, directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., starring Joel Edgerson and Mary Elizabeth Winstead on April 29, 2011. However, a studio spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times that film was “not yet ready” and has now been left without a release date.
Instead, they’re bumped Fast Five, the fifth installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise, directed by Justin Lin, starring Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker up into that slot, abandoning its original June 10, 2011 release, “citing the successful release of the franchise’s fourth film in April 2009.” Read how the release date shifts might be a good thing, as well some “creative” issues surrounding another Universal property, their adaptation of Ouija, after the jump. Read More »
Rights holders for big genre, comic book and toy properties are getting smart. In the past few decades we’ve seen many potentially huge adaptations languish as studios and producers waffled about finding the right approach to a project. But in the wake of big-dollar successes from Lord of the Rings to Spider-Man and The Dark Knight, companies such as Hasbro and the rights holders for projects like Dune are demanding new contracts, levying fines for delayed production starts and refusing to grant option extensions to studios that can’t get a project off the ground.
In the past few years, Paramount has held the rights to Dune, and a couple of high-profile directors have taken a crack at the difficult adaptation. Peter Berg was on the film, but then went to make Battleship for Universal. (More on that in a moment.) Pierre Morel (Taken) jumped on to the project, but the word now is that he no longer plans to direct.
So Universal needs a new director, but the clock is ticking. Dune‘s owners will take the project back next year if a film isn’t in motion. Read More »
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