Typically, we hear about screen tests being done for actors. But in the case of Zorro Reborn, which is tentatively set to star Gael Garcia Bernal in a futuristic revamp of the classic character, it is the director that is the object of the test.

The guy in question is Ricardo de Montreuil, who gained a lot of studio attention with his short film The Raven. (No relation to the John Cusack-starring film derived from Edgar Allen Poe.) The short was pretty quickly set up for a feature revamp at Universal, with Montreuil set to direct Mark Wahlberg.

In the meantime, however, he’s going to direct this screen test starring Bernal, which could land him the Zorro Reborn directing gig. Read More »

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Viewfinder: The Black List for Aspiring Filmmakers

Though it started as a very insider thing, The Black List has recently become more popular and mainstream. For those who may not know, it’s an annual list of the year’s best unproduced screenplays as voted on by about 300 Hollywood development executives and high-level assistants. We recently posted the 2010 list and looking back at some previous years (2007, 2008, 2009), films such as Recount, The Beaver and The Social Network all sat near the top of the list. Skim over any of them and you’ll see names of films that are out, are coming out and more. It’s a big deal.

This year, a new Black List of sorts has come out. Dubbed Viewfinder, it’s supposed to do for directors what The Black List did for screenwriters. Viewfinder is a compilation of “the top commercials, shorts and/or music videos of 2010.” Several of the directors on the list already have deals or are in production on films. We’ve even written about a few of them on /Film. For others, though, this could be their big break. After the jump, check out the full list and link to the page where you can watch all the videos including the #1 film on the list, Ricardo de Montreuil’s The Raven, seen above. Read More »

Considering The Raven is so well-known as a poem by Edgar Allen Poe, one would think using those two words as a title would be off the market. Unless, of course, you were actually making a movie about the famous macabre author.

That’s not the case, however, as Mark Wahlberg has locked down a deal with Universal to produce and possibly star in a feature length adaptation of a short film by Ricardo De Montreuil also called The Raven. There are no birds on chamber doors in this story, though, as it’s about a man with powers being chased around Los Angeles by police drones, which are coordinated by a huge ship above the city.

Rumors of this deal were broken over the summer but it hit a few snags on its way to becoming official. The newest piece of information, though, is that De Montreuil, who co-wrote and directed the original short, has signed on to direct a new film called Lowriders. After the jump, read details on both deals and once again watch the short film this feature will be based on. Read More »

The way that short films have been able to lead to feature deals with studios in the past year is rather stunning. The success of Neill Blomkamp, who went from the short Alive in Joburg to the smash success of District 9, helped pave the way for development deals for the filmmakers behind The Gift, Panic Attack and Pixels, among others.

Now Ricardo de Montreuil, whose short The Raven hit the internet in April, reportedly has a deal at Universal, where he’ll expand his short into a feature. Read More »

VOTD: The Raven [Futuristic Sci-Fi Short Film]

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Ricardo de Montreuil‘s six minute sci-fi short film The Raven hit the web this week and has been making noise around Hollywood.

The film tells the story of Chris Black, who “possesses a power that could lead to the destruction of the current regime, and they will stop at nothing to destroy him. The chase is on as Chris runs for his life in this sci-fi thriller set in an alternate and futuristic Los Angeles.” The film was shot on the RED Camera, shot in downtown Los Angeles, and completed for only $5,000.

Some people are even making comparisons to Neill Blomkamp’s Alive in Joburg, and that is one of the film’s problems — it seems to borrow a lot from that short, the feature film it spawned – District 9, as well as Robocop, Minority Report and other sci-fi classics. It looks great, was made on the cheap, but it doesn’t present any real new and different/interesting ideas. Don’t get me wrong, it looks cool, which is why I’m posting it. Watch it now, embedded after the jump.
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