Escape From New York

In April we learned that Breck Eisner, director of The Crazies, had signed on to direct the remake of Escape from New York, set up with producer Neal H. Moritz‘s Original Films. The report claimed that Eisner would be developing based on Allan Loeb‘s draft, which sounded horrible.

Earlier this year we learned a bit about the rewrite by the 21/Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps scribe, which is a Snake Plissken origin story combined with some of the plot of the 1981 original. Vulture said the script “nailed the humor in Plissken without slipping into camp, and he changed Snake’s rescue-mission target from a president to a female senator, thereby upping the banter quotient.” Sounds good right?

Well, they also found a much cheaper way to film the story, by changing destroyed Manhattan into a “geographically undesirable, but intact” privately run penal colony which was created “after the detonation of a crude radioactive dirty bomb on the outskirts of the city.” Sounds a horrible idea to me. Much of the appeal of the original film was seeing a post apocalyptic New York City.

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Teaser Trailer: Gore Verbinski’s Rango

Rango

Paramount Pictures has released the first movie trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean helmer Gore Verbinski’s computer animated feature film Rango. Based on an original idea by Verbinski, Rango is scripted by The Aviator scribe John Logan. Johnny Depp stars as an “chameleon with an identity crisis.” PRevious information has stated that Rango  is “a oddly charismatic household pet that goes on an adventure to discover its true self.” The movie co-stars Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, and Timothy Olyphant as The Spirit of the West.

But the most interesting thing about this new project is that Industrial Light & Magic will be doing the animation using “cutting edge techniques” that Verbinski has said, “will allow us to capture and translate every aspect of Johnny’s performance, using it to drive the computer-generated character in a way that has yet to be seen in an animated feature.” Basically it sounds like Verbinski has gone the way of Robert Zemeckis.

The trailer, embedded after the jump, doesn’t really show us much. It’s more of a “what the fuck did I just see” kind of teaser trailers. Watch it now after the jump and please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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hitman2

Update: THR says that Fox has also hired writer Daniel Casey to work on the film. No details are given on whether he’s working from Kyle Ward’s draft or a new script. Original article follows.

We’ve known since at least last summer that Fox is likely to make a sequel to Hitman. The original film made $100m internationally against a $30m budget, and with a new game coming out it didn’t take a magician to figure that Fox would want another movie. Last June the studio set Kyle Ward to write the film, based in part on the forthcoming game Hitman 5. Now there’s a director for Hitman 2: Spanish helmer Daniel Benmayor. Read More »

Timothy Olyphant

A bit of bad news: District 9 star Sharlto Copley is leaving Michael Bay/Steven Spielberg-produced D.J. Caruso-directed adaptation of James Frey and Jobie Hughes‘s teen sci-fi alien book I Am Number Four. Variety reports that he is being replaced by Timothy Olyphant (Live Free or Die Hard, Hitman, Justified). Copley had to bow out due to “scheduling conflicts with his upcoming press obligations for Fox’s The A-Team.”

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The Crazies Movie Trailer #3

the_crazies

The third (and presumably last) trailer for Breck Eisner’s The Crazies has hit, and this one is all about being short and sweet. We covered the first trailer back in October (which featured the Gary Jules cover of “Mad World”), and the second in December, which went a bit more in depth with the setup. The film tells the tale of a small town whose population has been turned into crazy killing machines by some sort of unknown toxin. It stars Timothy Olyphant as a small town sheriff who is trying to survive against the hordes of insane civilians and violent military retaliation, along with his pregnant wife (Radha Mitchell).

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the_crazies_trailer_1

The first trailer for Breck Eisner‘s The Crazies was pretty good, but with one significant misstep: it made heavy use of the song ‘Mad World’, which for the next decade should be considered as owned lock, stock and barrel by Donnie Darko. That aside, the trailer had a fairly intriguing vibe.

This second trailer omits the song, thankfully, and is a bit more straightforward. It gets into a lot less plot, jumping in when things are already going off the rails in a small town. There’s more of a slasher vibe to this cut, which I’m guessing is a deliberate move to skew the film as something more simple than it actually is. Read More »

Set Visit: The Crazies

The Crazies

Remakes get a bad rap amongst filmgoers, and understandably so. Instead of attempting to fulfill the potential hinted at in failed or dated movie projects, Hollywood has proven time and time again that the sole purpose of most remakes is to cash in on the success of the near faultless original films. Occasionally though, there’s a glimmer of hope. A quick glance at two of the best horror films the genre has to offer—The Thing and The Fly—clearly demonstrates that technological advances in filmmaking can be used to more effectively convey an older film’s story. While those films were remakes of ’50s cinema, we’ve also seen a vast of array of ’70s remakes—Dawn of the Dead, The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House on the Left—that have proven to be worthy modern takes on dated (albeit classic) material.

The Crazies, due out September 25, is the latest remake to attempt to join the ranks of those films. Based on the cult classic directed and co-written by George Romero, the film tells the story of a small town struck by insanity when an unknown toxin starts turning its happy, law-abiding citizens into mindless killing machines. Trying desperately to survive both the infected populace and the subsequent military response, the town’s Sherrif (Timothy Olyphant), his pregnant wife (Radha Mitchell), his deputy (Joe Anderson), and an assistant at the medical center (Danielle Panabaker) find themselves forced to band together if they ever intend on getting out of the town alive.

Last week I was granted the opportunity to visit the film’s set at Peach County High School in Georgia, where the crew was getting prepped for a lengthy night shoot. Once there, we first spent some time speaking to director Breck Eisner (Sahara), who explained his stance on remaking the film.

Honestly, any time you do a remake or a reimagining, and this is definitely more of a reimagining than a remake, you want to have target aspects of the movie that they didn’t have access to when they first made it. My theory on remaking movies or reimagining movies is that there should be something that they weren’t able to do the first time around. That you can do differently. So it’s not like just redoing Psycho or redoing a perfect movie, it’s redoing something that had limitations. One of big limitations for [George] Romero was obviously budget. I think he had 200 grand or 275 grand to make the entire movie. We’re obviously spending more money than that—it’s not a big budget movie, but we have better assets so we can represent the government as the scale of the force that it needs to be in a movie like this that is oppressive and realistic for us.

We spent the rest of the evening having the end of that comment proven to us, as we ventured next to a massive field on the outskirts of the high school. Read More »

zahn.jpg

“Man, you guys didn’t go see my Bigfoot movie.”

There’s this pair of shorts, the coolest shorts on Earth in my estimation, that I found on South Beach for $5. I think they’re from the ’70s. Every time I open a drawer to get some socks, I see the shorts and know that my day is going to be a-okay. Oddly, that’s sort of how I feel when I see actor Steve Zahn in a movie, any movie. Zahn has just been cast in The Perfect Getaway, a tourist thriller, from director David Twohy (The Chronicles of Riddick, The Arrival).

The film sort of recalls Forgetting Sarah Marshall stirred up with nasty serial killers, one of which will be played by Timothy Olyphant (Hitman, Deadwood). Zahn will play one half of a newlywed couple honeymooning in Hawaii that comes upon two hikers with murder on their minds. Don’t get blood on the lei, guys, and can we get a cooler title that does not remind one of that Kim Basinger-Alec Baldwin flop remake?

Zahn was last on screen in the maligned Sasquatch-meets-Justin Long comedy Strange Wilderness, and has two festival-trekking flicks, Sunshine Cleaning (7.5) and The Great Buck Howard (7), ready for viewing.

Discuss: Was Steve Zahn’s performance in Rescue Dawn his best yet? Any fans out there of David Twohy’s The Arrival?

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