Briefly: The team behind Transformers, Star Trek Into Darkness and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 are at it again, this time wearing their producer hats. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci just sold an original sci-fi pitch to Universal called Sagittarius. They developed the idea long with Steven Karczynski, who’ll write the screenplay.

Karczynski’s Black List script, The Umbra, has Martin Campbell attached to direct while Kurtzman and Orci are producing November’s Ender’s Game and have multiple other projects in development at Universal, such as a remake (or new version) of Van Helsing.

No word on what Sagittarius is about but it’s the latest in a long line of new, high end sci-fi making its way around Hollywood. [Deadline].

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Universal really, really wants their The Mummy reboot to work. Last spring, the studio set Prometheus co-writer Jon Spaihts to pen a modern-day reboot of the classic franchise. Now, they’re bringing in some extra help in the form of Hunger Games scribe Billy Ray.

While it’s pretty typical for a high-profile tentpole pic to go through multiple writers, this is a special case. Ray isn’t doing a rewrite of Spaihts’ script. Instead, he’s putting together a totally separate screenplay with an unrelated storyline. You know, just in case the other one totally sucks. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Everyone has an opinion in today’s Star Wars Bits. After the jump:

  • Zachary Quinto and Roberto Orci are happy for J.J. Abrams,
  • Read the official statement from Disney announcing the spinoffs,
  • Author Timothy Zahn has thoughts on young Han Solo casting,
  • Check out an epic, action-packed fan-made trailer for Episode VII,
  • And legendary makeup artist Stuart Freeborn has died at the age of 98.

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Hopefully Locke & Key fans didn’t shut away their hopes of seeing the comic book series in live action, because a new door to that reality might have opened. A report from Latino Review states that after Fox passed on the pilot for the show based on the Joe Hill graphic novel, Universal entered the mix with an eye on making the property a feature film trilogy. Screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who are currently penning The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for Sony, were producers on the show and will reportedly not only fill that role on the movie, but will write it as well. Read more after the jump. Read More »

We call it Sequel Bits, but technically speaking, two of these items are about prequels, not sequels. After the jump:

  • Watch a short animated prequel to The Man with the Iron Fists
  • Star Trek Into Darkness will get a prequel comic book miniseries
  • Is Michael Bay planning to shoot Transformers 4 in London?
  • Latest Skyfall clip has 007 and Q meeting for the first time
  • Which Skyfall stars are already signed on for future Bond films?
  • Zach Galifiankis goes for an eventful drive in The Hangover Part III set video

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Is it time to look ahead to 2013 already? After the jump:

  • The Hangover 3 will shoot in Orange County, CA
  • Paul Walker is recovering from a Fast Six injury
  • Monsters Inc.‘s Mike is Billy Crystal‘s favorite role
  • Liam Neeson collected $10 million for Taken 2
  • Matt Damon probably won’t play Bourne again
  • Roberto Orci defends the one-second Star Trek clip
  • Over-the-hill movie stars team up in Red 2 set photos
  • See a new photo from Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines

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We’ll very likely see another film featuring Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman character from Snow White and the Huntsman, but the precise details of that SWATH sequel seem up in the air. A small part of the uncertainty around that project is due to the public and embarrassing affair between Snow White director Rupert Sanders and his star Kristen Stewart. It’s a thing I hate even mentioning, because it should have nothing to do with anything other than their lives, but in this case it seems to be having some ripples in the film business as well.

So there’s another big project that Universal wants to get moving: the new version of Van Helsing that has Tom Cruise attached to star and Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Cowboys & Aliens, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) scripting. And it’s starting to look like we might see Sanders stepping in to direct that film, with the potential Snow White and the Huntsman sequel going to another director. Read More »

Sorry Kirsten Dunst, you’re the latest to be replaced in Sony/Columbia’s Spider-Man series. With Marc Webb confirmed to return as director for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the studio is moving forward with casting for the film, and there are a couple big reveals today.

One is that Electro is rumored as “one of the villains” under consideration for the sequel. The other is that Mary Jane Watson, played by Dunst in Sam Raimi’s films, is definitely going to appear. And Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) is the likely choice to play her. Read More »

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