Tom Clancy has found great success expanding his various novels into the video game medium, as developers continue to churn out seemingly endless entries into the Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon series (among others), but when it comes to film, Jack Ryan has cornered the market. Out of the four films that have been adapted from Clancy’s novels, all have featured Ryan, who is easily the author’s most famous and widely recognized character. Now a fifth is in the works, and it’s starring Chris Pine as — what a surprise — Jack Ryan.

But wait, what’s this? For the first time ever, the work of Tom Clancy is actually heading to theaters sans Ryan, with an adaptation of his novel Without Remorse. Though Ryan isn’t featured in the book, the story does take place in the “Ryanverse”. In fact, the book’s central protagonist, former Navy SEAL and CIA operative John Kelly (aka John Clark), has been portrayed twice before in the Jack Ryan films, first by Willem Dafoe in Clear and Present Danger and later by Liev Schreiber in The Sum of All Fears.

Writing the adaptation is The Shield creator Shawn Ryan, who until now has primarily worked in TV, most recently serving as a writer and executive producer on FX’s Terriers.
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Stuart Beattie's Tomorrow When The War Began

Paramount Pictures International has released the full length movie trailer for Stuart Beattie‘s directorial debut  Tomorrow When The War Began. You might recognize Beattie’s name as he is a big Hollywood screenwriter behind such films as Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Collateral, Derailed, 30 Days of Night, Australia, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

The action adventure drama is based on John Marsden’s critically- acclaimed novel, and tells the story of “eight unlikely high school teenagers band together to fight when their country is invaded and their families are taken.” It’s basically Australian’s answer to Red Dawn. The movie stars Caitlin Stasey, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Lincoln Lewis, Deniz Akeniz, Phoebe Tonkin, Chris Pang, Ashleigh Cummings, Andy Ryan, and Colin Friels.

Watch the trailer now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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Tintin buddies Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg might soon be swapping more than spit performance capture data, with IESB reporting that ET’s daddy might be picking up the producing reigns on Halo some years after Jackson laid them down.

They cite ” studio executives” and “close ties to CAA” as offering confirmation that Spielberg is “currently in active negotiations to develop the feature film adaptation”. But why? What can he see in it that Jackson could not?

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Stuart Beattie is starting to promote G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra, but he’s got a lot more projects to talk about. Beattie was recently announced as the writer/director who would adapt the Australian book series that begins with Tomorrow, When the War Began, and he’s got a Tarzan script and a Halo spec that he’s trying to get off the ground. SciFiWire parceled all the info from their interview over a series of articles (here, here and here), and we’ve collected it back together for you. Read More »

Tomorrow when the war_CD_TD12.indd

Who knew that Australia had it’s own Red Dawn? According to THR, Australia screenwriter Stuart Beattie (who also wrote Collateral, GI Joe and the story for Pirates of the Caribbean) is going to write and direct an adaptation of the novel Tomorrow, When the War Began. The film, which he calls “coming of age in a war zone,” will be his directorial debut. The book is the first in a seven-novel young adult series by John Marsden which has become quite popular in Australia. The basic story follows an insurgent band of Australian teenagers who fight against an enemy invasion and occupation of their land. So, yeah, kinda like Red Dawn, not that the John Milius picture and its remake have any lock on the idea of kids fighting the guerrilla fight for their country. Read More »

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Stephen Sommers Replaces Guillermo del Toro on Tarzan

Hack director Stephen Sommers is replacing Guillermo del Toro to direct a live action adaptation of Tarzan for Warner Bros. THR reports that Stuart Beattie will co-write the project with Sommers. del Toro has been attached to the project since it was announced two years ago, but his commitment to The Hobbit has put him out of the running.

Normally if Sommers were to replace del Toro on a film project, I would be up in arms. But the story of Tarzan has never really interested me. And I’m glad Sommers will be confined to a movie I don’t care if he ruins while del Toro’s talents will be better suited to a film I do care about. Sommers, who is responsible for The Mummy films, The Scorpion King and the horrible Van Helsing, is taking a completely new take on the property, rather than adapt from the original book or previous films. Beatie worked with Sommers on G.I. Joe, which explains a lot… or nothing.

George Clooney as Duke in G.I. Joe

Casting Rumors, Screenwriting rumors and official statements, a lot has been happening with the big screen adaptation of G.I. Joe.

First up is a rumor from our friends at IESB: Paramount Pictures has offered the role of Duke to George Clooney. Apparently the big screen star walked away from Joe Carnahan’s White Jazz not only due to scheduling conflicts, but because Clooney is looking for a big blockbuster. Who knows if any of this is indeed true or just Hollywood gossip, and even so, who knows if Clooney would be interested in staring in a G.I. Joe movie. The idea could translate into a really really horrible film, so I’ve assumed that big Hollywood stars would stay far away from such a project. But with Transformers breaking out huge, more big name stars might be willing to take a chance on a project like this. And besides, Clooney put on the nipple-added batsuit with no problems, so he’s not beyond looking stupid in a big screen blockbuster.

The Hollywood Reporter claimed yesterday that Paramount had asked for three different scripts from three different writers (Stuart Beattie, John Lee Hancock, and Brian Koppelman and David Levien) for G.I. Joe, and “will perhaps combine the best parts from each one.” Apparently that is not true. Hancock and Koppelman/Levien were actually brought on board to polish certain scenes from Beattie’s draft before the WGA strike deadline tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Hasbro has posted a statement for fans, hoping to clarify some of the facts behind the development of the live action film.

Hasbro’s G.I. Joe Team wanted to take this opportunity to clarify some of the facts regarding the G.I. Joe live-action movie that we are developing with Paramount Pictures.

First and foremost, we are not changing what the G.I. Joe brand is about.  The name “G.I. Joe” will always be synonymous with bravery and heroism.

The G.I. Joe brand has enjoyed a successful 43-year history, spanning two key generations.  The first was the line of 12-inch “realistic military” figures that were popular with kids in the 1960s and 1970s.

The second generation, was created in 1982, and is based on a cast of fictional heroes and villains that make up the “G.I. Joe vs. Cobra” fantasy.  The premise of this fantasy is the story of the G.I. Joe team, led by Duke, and their “fight for freedom wherever there is trouble” against the evil Cobra Commander and his Cobra force.  This storyline was an instant hit with kids in the early 1980s, spawning a highly popular 3-3/4-inch action figure line, comic book collection and animated series.

This movie will be a modern telling of the “G.I. Joe vs. Cobra” storyline and its compelling characters that Hasbro created 25 years ago.  The G.I. Joe team will not be based in Brussels.  Instead, they will be based out of the “Pit” as they were throughout the 1980s comic book series.  And, in keeping with the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra fantasy, the movie will feature characters and locations from around the world.  Duke, the lead character and head of the G.I. Joe team, will embody the values of bravery and heroism that the first generation of G.I. Joe figures established.

G.I. Joe is a very important property to Hasbro and we thank all of our fans for their enthusiasm.  Without all of you, the brand would not be where it is today.

Thank you.

GI Joe is expected to start production in February with an estimated budget of around $160 million. The movie will hit theaters in 2009.

GI JoeVariety has now confirmed a rumor that hit the movie websites a couple weeks ago: The Mummy series director Stephen Sommers has signed on to direct a big screen live-action G.I. Joe movie. The studio is hiring a writer immediately, IESB is reporting that Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean, Collateral, Derailed, 30 Days of Night, Spy Hunter) is the man for the job. And they probably know, because they were the ones who broke this story a few weeks back. Paramount is fast-tracking the project for a summer 2009 release, which means production will begin this February. Variety claims that Sommers was officially hired after making a pitch to Paramount head Brad Grey and production president Brad Weston on Wednesday.

With characters like Cobra Commander and Serpentor, GI Joe has the potential to be an fun accessible army action film like never seen before. And with so many movies set in Iraq hitting the big screen, a Joe movie has the ability to offer something much different than the norm. Let’s hope Sommers doesn’t screw it up. I’ve genuinely hated most of his later films (Deep Rising, The Mummy Returns, Van Helsing). But I always stuck up for The Mummy.

I’m sure casting announcements will begin in a couple months. We’ll be able to tell what type of movie this could be when we start seeing a list of names. I’m betting that Sgt. Slaughter is probably too old to play himself in this one (which is probably a good thing). They also need to watch out how much patriotism they jam onto the screen. If they don’t get the dosage right it could piss of core conservative fans. If they put too much patriotism, it could scare off everyone else. Patriotism in large doses can be pretty scary. If done right, this could be the next Transformers (sans giant robots…). If done wrong, it could come off as a long inforercial for the U.S. Army.

G.I. Joe started in 1942 as a WWII military magazine comic strip. In the mid-60’s the character became a series of military-themed 12″ articulated action figures produced by the Hasbro toy company. The company later relaunched the action figure line in a smaller, 3 3/4-inch scale in the early 80’s. A comic book and animated television series followed. Over the 1980s, G.I. Joe’s increasing popularity supported an array of spin-off merchandising that included posters, t-shirts, video games, board games, kites, animated movies, and an ongoing animated series.

Len Wiseman

Gears of WarIESB is reporting that that Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman is currently in talks with New Line Cinema to develop and direct both a big screen adaptation of the popular X-Box 360 video game Gears of War and the announced Escape from New York remake.

On March 20th, it was announced that New Line Cinema had purchased the rights to make a Gears of War film, with Collateral and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl screenwriter Stuart Beattie writing the script along with Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, who will be producing it. CAA conducted the auction, which featured a 21 page treatment by Beattie. New Line also announced that the film would hit theaters in 2009.

Released in November, Gears has sold over three million units worldwide, becoming the fourth best selling game of last year (not too shabby for only a two month lead). The game has become a staple in the online gameplay world of Xbox Live. Gears of War follows the soldiers of Delta Squad as they fight to save the human inhabitants of the fictional planet Sera from a relentless subterranean enemy known as The Locust Horde.

escapefromnewyorkbig1.jpgA week earlier the studio also announced plans to remake John Carpenter’s 1981 action classic Escape From New York with 300 star Gerard Butler attached. Butler would play Snake Plissken, the one-eyed convict who must rescue the President of the United States from an inescapable maximum security prison formerly known as Manhattan. The film was set in a dystopian then-future 1997. Kurt Russell originated the role. The 1996 sequel Escape to L.A. was not as popular. Black Hawk Down scribe Ken Nolan is writing the screenplay.

Wiseman has certainly found a home in the geek action genre, after filming Underworld and it’s subsequent sequel. His latest, Live Free or Die Hard has made over $302.4 million worldwide, which is probably enough to give a big Hollywood studio confidence in two big upcoming franchises.

3:10 to Yuma Movie Poster

3:10 to YumaWe haven’t had much (if any) coverage of James Mangold’s 3:10 to Yuma remake on /Film based purely on my dislike of movie westerns. But it seems like everywhere I look there is something else about this new flick. Today it’s the movie poster [via our friends at FirstShowing ComingSoon], which even I must admit, looks very cool.

When a small-time rancher agrees to hold a captured outlaw who’s awaiting a train to go to court in Yuma, a battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher.

The film stars Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Ben Foster, Peter Fonda and Vinessa Shaw. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl screenwriter Stuart Beattie wrote the script. Someone needs to give the marketing guys over at Lionsgate a raise. This is a first class poster. It might be good enough to help sell a western in a time when westerns are clearly out of style. Check out a larger version of the poster after the jump.

Update: Apparently ComingSoon was the first to post this movie poster.

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