Rupert Sanders / 90 Church / George Mastras

As Breaking Bad enters its home stretch, writer/producer George Mastras has found a new place to get his drug drama fix. The Emmy-nominated scribe will adapt the Dean Unkefer memoir 90 Church: The True Story of the Narcotics Squad from Hell, which Universal acquired last year for Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) to direct.

Whereas Breaking Bad focuses mainly on the guy cooking and selling the drugs, though, 90 Church will center on the ruthless agents trying to catch that guy. Hit the jump for more details on the project.

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Rupert Sanders

Rupert Sanders got pulled off the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel after all that drama with star Kristen Stewart last year, but he hasn’t had too much trouble finding a new gig. He was eyed as a possibility for Van Helsing before he landed the sci-fi love story The Juliet. Now he’s attached himself to another new project: The Kill List.

Don’t worry, it’s not a remake of Ben Wheatley’s Kill List — Sanders’ movie is a spy thriller based on a Frederick Forsyth‘s forthcoming novel of the same title. Hit the jump for the details.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

With Johnny Depp‘s schedule quickly filling up and a Summer 2015 release date already locked in, Disney is feeling the pressure to hire a director for Pirates of the Caribbean 5. Rob Marshall, who directed the last film, was rumored to return but he’s already working on Into The Woods. That leaves the door open for someone new.

Deadline reports Disney will make a decision very soon and have narrowed it down to three choices, all of which are very pretty unconventional. They are Fredrik Bond (The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman), the team of Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki) and Rupert Sanders (Snow White And the Huntsman). Read More »

Universal’s been unambiguous about its desire to see a Snow White and the Huntsman 2, but it’s been less clear about the direction it wants that sequel to take. After the studio fast-tracked the follow-up in June, news broke in August that Snow White (Kristen Stewart) could but cut out of the equation altogether — only for the studio issue a denial and insist that they were still “exploring all options.”

Now it looks like they’ve finally made a decision. Stewart is following up last month’s comments about the “strong possibility” of her return with an actual confirmation. More details after the jump.

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Briefly: Guess he’s not going to make the Van Helsing movie soon after all. Rupert Sanders made his big feature debut with Snow White and the Huntsman, and then made his tabloid debut by being caught making out with his Snow White star. That threw plans for the Huntsman sequel into some question, and in the wake of that speculation Sanders was said to be a possible director for the Van Helsing reboot that Universal has planned with Tom Cruise.

Now Sanders is doing a deal with Sony and New Regency to make his next film The Juliet, scripted by Henry Bean from a short story by Alfred Bester. As one of the fathers of science fiction, Bester won the first Hugo award for The Demolished Man, and wrote The Stars My Destination, which has been one of the great never-adapted properties to float through Hollywood.

The film will be “a love story set in a near-futuristic science fiction landscape,” and has been described as “Bonnie and Clyde in space.” [Deadline]

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 »

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First Universal spun the classic Snow White fable into an action-adventure tentpole pic with equal billing for the Huntsman, and now fairy tale princess is about to get dropped from the equation altogether. Even before Snow White and the Huntsman opened, the studio was lining up plans for a sequel. And as of today, that follow-up is still moving forward — only it’s being reconfigured to focus on Chris Hemsworth‘s Huntsman, cutting Kristen Stewart‘s Snow White out completely.

While there are undoubtedly a number of factors that have gone into this decision, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that the news comes weeks after Stewart was discovered to be having an affair with Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders. It’s unclear whether Sanders will be returning to the helm for the spin-off. More details after the jump.

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Snow White and the Huntsman was a slightly rushed production, and a (more than) slightly frustrating viewing experience, but it might be performing well enough that Universal is really going forward with a sequel. The studio started talking to David Koepp about scripting a sequel in the last couple months, and Koepp is now scripting a Hunstman sequel that Universal is looking to fast-track.

Who will direct? Rupert Sanders who made his feature debut with the first movie, is a very possible choice, but he isn’t locked yet. Read More »

Snow White and the Huntsman leaves the most interesting character out of the title: Ravenna, the so-called evil queen who wants Snow White’s heart on a platter. In this telling, the queen is a black widow whose appetite for power is driven by a consuming fury towards all men. Charlize Theron plays Ravenna not with subtlety — nothing in this would-be blockbuster is subtle, from the insistent effects to the poop jokes — but at least a sense that Ravenna nurses a great wound in her soul.

No other character is as captivating. Ravenna is a strange, wild jewel, flawed and brilliant. She’s more than just a cookie-cutter villain, and begs to be the center of the film. If Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent can get her own movie, why can’t Ravenna?

Huntsman doesn’t seem to know what it has, however. It wants to be a fairy tale revision, an action movie, a franchise opener. Even if the movie truly was hers, the monster can’t always be the center of attention; leave the camera on the shark in Jaws and you’ve merely got a documentary. But the film’s approach to retelling the story of Snow White, and of the Huntsman who saves her and the Prince who loves her, is so fractured that all the queen’s dark power is wasted. Read More »