Scott Frank interview

Back in the early 1990s, filmmaker Scott Frank began writing his debut novel “Shaker,” which is now available in paperback. It’s the story of an unassuming hitman, an embarrassing mayor, a sharp cop with a checkered past, a young street gang, and an unrelenting earthquake. They all affect each other in a Los Angeles-set story, unmistakably from the director of The Lookout and A Walk Among the Tombstones and the writer behind two beloved Elmore Leonard film adaptations, Get Shorty and Out of Sight.

Shaker‘s characters are on a comically dark, dramatic, and violent journey that concludes at a famous location that calls to mind some other great thrillers from the ’90s. In addition to discussing Logan, which Frank co-wrote, he also told us about the experience of completing Shaker years after he first imagined the story’s tragic, seemingly childlike hitman, Roy Cooper.

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Scott Frank interview

Right from the start of Logan, it’s obvious James Mangold‘s film isn’t your average superhero movie. Putting aside the R-rating the filmmaker doesn’t waste, there’s also the fact that comic book heroes rarely look as broken and feel as real as Hugh Jackman does in his final outing as the beloved mutant. The story isn’t about a hero who saves the day; it’s about a man who desperately needs saving.

The unconventional comic book movie, which is always more interested in its three central characters than hurrying up to the next set piece, is co-written by Mangold, Michael Green (American Gods), and Scott Frank. Frank is the writer behind two knockout Elmore Leonard adaptations, the director of The Lookout and A Walk Among the Tombstones, and the author behind Shaker.

We recently spoke with Frank about Logan, his novel, and more after he wrapped shooting his western Netflix series, Godless. We’ll be sharing more from our conversation with the writer-director in the coming days, but in the meantime, you can read our spoiler discussion about Mangold’s film below.

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Logan Sabertooth Cameo

Liev Schreiber is a great actor given a not-so-great role in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The Ray Donavon star wasn’t playing a particularly dynamic version of Sabretooth in that comic book movie. It ended up being the first and last time we saw Schreiber as the character, but there was some chatter about him returning for Logan. According to the film’s co-writer, Scott Frank (The Lookout), they considered having him lend Wolverine a hand during his journey.

Below, learn about director James Mangold‘s scrapped idea for a Logan Sabretooth cameo.

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karyn kusama horror movie

The makers of The Invitation are teaming up with Scott Frank, the Academy Award-nominated writer-director behind The Lookout and A Walk Among the Tombstones. Frank is producing director Karyn Kusama‘s Breed, which is based on Chase Novack‘s 2013 horror novel. Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi are writing the adaptation.

Below, learn more about Karyn Kusama’s Breed movie.

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godless series

Remember when Steven Soderbergh retired for about a minute or so? Well, the director of Magic Mike, Traffic, and Ocean’s 11 has been busier than ever since he said he was done making movies, but his attention has turned to the small screen and the television medium has welcomed him with open arms. If you haven’t watched his Cinemax series The Knick, you have homework – watching one of our most versatile filmmakers play with longform storytelling without a major movie studio breathing down neck has been a huge treat. The Knick isn’t just great TV, it’s great Soderbergh. Full-stop.

But Soderbergh has been spreading the love to anyone who wants it. He executive produced the Amazon series Red Oaks and has a hand in the upcoming Starz series based on his 2009 film The Girlfriend Experience. Now, he’s going where all interesting filmmakers ultimately end up: Netflix. And he’s making a western.

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Gotham Villains

What character trait does Ben Affleck share with his character in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? Which cast member from the original Flash TV show is also returning to the new Flash TV show? Did the writer of The Wolverine like how the movie turned out? Want to see a trailer and images from the new season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Is there a real life Rocket Raccoon promoting Guardians of the Galaxy in Japan? Is Alan Moore coming back to regular comics? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

A Walk Among the Tombstones trailer

It seems like a film adaptation of Lawrence Block‘s novel A Walk Among the Tombstones has been in the offing for a very long time. We’ve seen Block’s Matt Scudder character on film before, played by Jeff Bridges in Eight Million Ways to Die. But now Liam Neeson takes on the character for an adaptation of Block’s 1992 novel.  Scott Frank directs, and this adaptation looks as if it will be very faithful to the tone and grim purpose of Block’s novel. It’s pretty bleak stuff, with Neeson-as-Scudder hired to help a less than upstanding guy find the men who killed his wife. Watch the trailer below. Read More »

pitch-perfect-header

Universal Pictures just dated seven major upcoming releases including three in 2015. The biggest titles are Guillermo del Toro‘s Crimson Peak, which will hit regular and IMAX theaters October 16, 2015 and Pitch Perfect 2, which’ll be out May 15, 2015. There’s also Baltasar Kormákur‘s star-studded Everest on February 27, 2015 and the Platinum Dunes film Ouija on October 24 of this year. Read about all those and more below. Read More »

Once upon a time it looked like Harrison Ford might play Matt Scudder in an adaptation of Lawrence Block‘s novel A Walk Among the Tombstones. Scripted by Scott Frank (Minority Report, Out of Sight) the film has been in development for quite a while. This week it got some new juice, however, with financing from Exclusive Media and Cross Creek Pictures and Liam Neeson set to star as the alcoholic ex-cop Scudder. Read More »

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Briefly: Another story that is the subject of several different development projects is the life of Harry Houdini. One movie that hopes to exploit his story is the Columbia project simply called Houdini, which for the past few months has had Francis Lawrence (Water For Elephants, I Am Legend) attached to direct. Last time we checked in there was no screenwriter attached, but that all changes now. Scott Frank has been hired to write. (He penned Out of Sight and Minority Report, among other films.)

THR has this news, but doesn’t offer any more significant detail about the project other than the fact that it has been kicking around Columbia in different forms for some time, and that Francis Lawrence and producer Jimmy Miller helped push it forward with their own ‘fresh take.’ What is that take? We don’t know. I love Houdini, and think he is truly one of the most fascinating figures from the turn of the century, but the competition to make a new film based on his life arouses no particular excitement. Mostly because I assume that, in the race to get one project done first, the only thing that will really matter is going to end up being just that: being first.