robert zemeckis philippe petit

Briefly: Two movies with major star-power were just given slots on the release schedule. The biggest one is To Reach the Clouds, Robert Zemeckis‘ 3D film about high-wire walker Philippe Petit. The film will star Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ben Kingsley. It’ll be out October 2, 2015. Read more about it here.

Then there’s Ricki and the Flash, the Jonathan Demme-directed, Diablo Cody-written drama starring Meryl Streep. It’ll be released June 26, 2015, some much needed counter programming in the packed summer. There’s plot info here. [ERC Box Office]


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To Reach the Clouds Ben Kingsley

Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, and Charlotte Le Bon are set to join Joseph Gordon-Levitt on the Manhattan skyline. The trio have just been cast in Robert ZemeckisTo Reach the Clouds, about high-wire walker Philippe Petit‘s 1974 attempt to walk between the Twin Towers — 1,350 feet off the ground. Get all the details on their roles after the jump.

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This Roger Rabbit deleted scene explains so much. A video has been brought to our attention from the DVD of Robert Zemeckis‘ 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. In it, Zemeckis and his crew discuss a deleted scene they refer to as “The Pig Head Sequence” which was the first completed scene in the film, but was later cut out. The scene explains why Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) awkwardly comes into in his office to meet Jessica Rabbit with his shirt off in the final film. He was washing off a giant ‘toon pig head.

Below, watch the Roger Rabbit deleted scene as well as some behind the scenes looks at how it was created. Read More »


Briefly: Updating on a story from a month ago, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is now firmly confirmed to star for Robert Zemeckis when the director makes his dramatic retelling of the doc Man on Wire. With plans to shoot in May, To Reach the Clouds will be the first project from Tom Rothman’s revamped TriStar Pictures.

The film follows Philippe Petit, who in 1974 fulfilled a six-year plan of stringing a wire between the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York, and spent hours walking back and forth across the steel cable, 1,350 feet above the air.

Deadline call the project a “3D experiential film” and highlights one of the more interesting aspects, the heist-movie angle in which Petit and his crew spend much of their effort sneaking materials up into the towers to stretch and support the cable. 

Back to the Future

Two years ago Bob Gale cautioned Back to the Future fans not to believe everything they read with respect to the idea of the 1985 film becoming a Broadway musical. Now we know the real deal: the film is being turned into a London West End musical — a totally different thing! (That’s sarcasm.) The Back to the Future musical is real: Gale and Robert Zemeckis are working with Amblin, Universal Stage Productions (WickedBilly Elliot), and producer Colin Ingram on the stage work.

Music for the show will be written by Alan Silvestri, and Jamie Lloyd is directing. We’ve got a new statement from Gale, below, along with some more info.  Read More »


We see movie stars zipping around the New York City skyline (or at least a CG version of it) all the time, but it’s usually in the context of superhero movies. For one of his next films, however, Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play a mere mortal who managed to do so without the benefit of web shooters, high-tech suits, freak genetic mutations, or otherwordly gifts.

Gordon-Levitt has taken the lead in Robert ZemeckisTo Reach the Clouds, about the French high-wire walker Philippe Petit. Among Petit’s best known achievements is his 1974 World Trade Center walk, which was chronicled in the 2008 documentary Man on Wire. Hit the jump for more details on the project.

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After making Flight, Robert Zemeckis recently was set to make a dramatic adaptation of the 2010 documentary Marwencol. But that’s not the only thing he’s got percolating. The director is now attached to an adaptation of a book that New Line has been trying to film for seven years. Kate DiCamillo‘s 2006 novel The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is about the adventures of a porcelain rabbit, with the tale starting in the ’30s, then following the rabbit as it changes owners over a period of time. Read More »


Robert Zemeckis could follow up one fact-based live-action drama with another. The filmmaker has signed on to direct Marwencol, based on the acclaimed 2010 documentary of the same title. While no stars are currently attached, Zemeckis and Universal are hoping to land a big-name actor like Leonardo DiCaprio for the lead.

At the center of the story is Mark Hogancamp, a man who emerged from a head injury with severe amnesia. As therapy, he started constructing a 1/6 scale model of a World War II-era Belgian village. Hit the jump for more details on this project and Hogancamp’s remarkable story.

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/Film reader Paul Bullock discovered an awesome television profile on 34-year-old director Steven Spielberg which was aired on Japanese television in the Christmas of 1982, and has been virtually unseen by American audiences. If you’re even half the Spielberg-fanatic that I am, you’ll need to watch the entirety of the special. The special features a tour through Steven’s early Amblin’s offices and his Los Angeles home, behind the scenes footage of Spielberg directing his segment from Twilight Zone: The Movie. We get to see interview clips featuring Spielberg’s mother Leah Adler, Melissa Matheson (screenwriter of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial) and his young secretary just turned producer Kathleen Kennedy (now the head of LucasFilm), Spielberg’s thoughts on 1980’s television (Cheers, St Elsewhere, Hill St Blues…etc), his then attestant Kathleen Switzer (later a producer on movies like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Apollo 18), and many others. We get to drive with Spielberg to the studio lot with his dog on his lap, Robert Zemeckis talking with his two mentors John Milius and Spielberg while they eat eel and pumpkin pie together. We get to spend some time with Spielberg sitting at the piano with John Williams talking about their music collaborations. Interspliced with clips from his early films and even some behind the scenes b-roll footage. The special also features all the vintage commercial breaks, filled with fun Japanese commercials. Watch this now, or bookmark this link to watch later.

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