Adam Sandler in Bedtime Stories

As a producer, Adam Sandler has a few actors that he likes to work with over and over. Chief among them is Adam Sandler, so it should come as no surprise that he’s cast himself in Happy Madison’s next big feature, the Chris Columbus-directed Pixels.

Also in the mix for the film are Sandler’s buddy and frequent co-star Kevin James, while Sandler’s Just Go With It love interest Jennifer Aniston is being courted for another role. But the cast isn’t all Happy Madison standbys — Josh Gad, of Frozen and Jobs fame, is circling as well. Hit the jump for more details.

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Happy Madison and Sony were quick to snap up the rights to Patrick Jean’s short Pixels: Retro Gamers in 2010, but since then their plans for a feature adaptation have been moving pretty slowly. The film was set to open in May 2013 and then May 2014, before being pulled off the studio’s release calendar entirely.

All’s not lost, though, as the project seems about to take a big step forward. Chris Columbus is now in early talks to direct the picture, described as a Ghostbusters-style action-comedy. Hit the jump for details.

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Briefly: It always seemed weird that Neill Blomkamp‘s second film, Elysium, would be a March 2013 release. Granted, from what we’ve seen of the movie it looks like smarter, tougher sci-fi than most summer fare. But as the movie features Matt Damon escaping from the polluted surface of Earth to make use of medical technology on an elite space colony called, it also appears to have high entertainment value. I’d hope that a film like that could be marketed into summer success.

Evidently Sony feels the same, as the film is now scheduled for August 9, 2013. That’s a good late-summer berth for a smart sci-fi film, and roughly the same spot in which Blomkamp’s District 9 became a solid hit in 2009. So, all’s good, right? Well, part of the move is based on the fact that the Aug 9 date became vacant when MGM, Sony and Columbia realized that the Jose Padilha reboot of RoboCop is going to need more time in the oven. So that has been pushed to February 7, 2014.

Sony made a couple other small date changes, too, as Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Lefotovers will now open onSeptember 27, 2013, and the feature version of Pixels has been pushed back from a May 23, 2014 date to an unspecified time slot. [Variety]

It’s been a while since we’ve gotten a real update on the video game-inspired Pixels, but it’s moving ahead slowly but surely. While no director has been announced at this time, King of Kong helmer Seth Gordon‘s signed on to executive produce and possibly direct, and while no star has been locked in at this point, Adam Sandler is eyeing it as a potential star vehicle. (No surprise, considering the film is being produced by Sandler’s company Happy Madison.)

Meanwhile, Happy Madison and Sony have just tapped Sandler’s Just Go With It scribe Tim Dowling to rewrite the Pixels script as an action-comedy tentpole in the vein of Ghostbusters. Dowling takes over for frequent Sandler collaborator Tim Herlihy, who began working on the script in 2010. More details after the jump.

 

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As we head into Thanksgiving weekend and gear up to watch what feels like a dozen new releases this weekend, FilmDistrict and Sony have quietly announced new release dates for a few of their projects.

That long-delayed Red Dawn remake that FilmDistrict picked up earlier this fall is now scheduled to drop next fall, while Sony’s Pixels and Singularity have both set dates for 2013. Meanwhile, we finally have a set date for that Kathryn Bigelow project about Osama bin Laden. More details after the jump.

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Tim Herlihy was a writer for Saturday Night Live during Adam Sandler’s tenure as a cast member, and he has also written most of the comedian’s feature films. Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, Big Daddy, Bedtime Stories and more Adam Sandler films all credit him as a writer or co-writer.

Back in May, Mr. Sandler’s production company picked up the rights to develop a feature based on the short film Pixels, directed by Patrick Jean. The company has now set Tim Herlihy to write what has been called ““a Ghostbusters-style action comedy in which characters come out of a video game to wreak havoc in the real world.”

That’s all the info we’ve got right now, but if you missed the short when it made waves in April, you can watch it after the break. [THR] Read More »

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Just a month ago we featured the short Pixels: Retro Gamers, which depicted a bunch of classic gaming characters and icons attacking New York City. Patrick Jean‘s short had a lot of style and no shortage of technique. But the idea was a pretty self-contained one.

A short featuring attacking game icons is great, but how about a feature, where there would also be the neccessity for character and story? I’m not saying it can’t be done, but the task sounds daunting. Nonetheless, Adam Sandler’s production company Happy Madison is going to try, and is taking the project to Sony. Read More »

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