A Monster Calls

Last December, Juan Antonio Bayona booked his highest-profile gig yet: the sequel to World War Z. But before he gets around to directing zombies, he’ll first be reckoning with tree monsters.

The Spanish filmmaker has signed on to direct A Monster Calls, a Black List script written by Patrick Ness based on his own acclaimed novel. The premise suggests a potent combination of fantasy, horror, and drama a la Pan’s Labyrinth — and what do you know, Pan’s Labyrinth producer Belen Atienza is on board as well. Hit the jump for plot details and more.

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Hobbit Unexpected Journey Bilbo

For illegal downloaders, the biggest film of 2013 wasn’t a 2013 film at all, but a big-budget fantasy epic from late 2012. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey topped the list of the most pirated movies of the past twelve months, beating out the likes of Django Unchained, Fast & Furious 6, and Iron Man 3.

The massively budgeted, insanely popular Hobbit is a far less surprising “winner” than last year’s champion, the found-footage party comedy Project X. However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t a few unusual results among the top 10 — like Gangster Squad, the little-seen, little-talked-about crime drama from January. Hit the jump to check out the list.

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World War Z Brad Pitt

Briefly: Brad Pitt is back to produce and star in the sequel to World War Z, but this one will have a new director as Marc Forster will not return. Juan Antonio Bayona (aka J.A. Bayona), who made The Impossible and The Orphanage, will direct the sequel. While there are arguments to be had over The Impossible, the disaster sequence in that film alone suggests that Bayona will be right at home with the big sequences in this film.

No one is set to write yet, and we don’t know how the plot of this sequel will jump off from the Wales-set finale of the first film, but Bayona will work with the writer to shape the script. (Which will hopefully be properly finished before cameras roll this time, to prevent some of that third-act scrambling that cost the first production so much time and money.)

Unusually for a tentpole release, Paramount has not yet set a release date, but expect that to happen soon. 2015 anyone? And this one has got to get a subtitle rather than a number, as World War Z 2 looks a bit like World War Zzz, and no studio wants to suggest we should snooze through the sequel. [THR]

World War Z Forster Pitt

Despite World War Z being one of 2013′s biggest surprise hits, the road to get there was very bumpy. Years of development preceded a difficult production, and during post-production, a whole new ending was written and shot. That raised questions and concerns about the film, most of which were directed at one man: director Marc Forster. It was probably more than any one person should have to handle.

So it’s not a surprise that Forster, who also directed Quantum of Solace and Finding Neverland, will not be back for a sequel, should it come to fruitionRead More »

World War Z Brad Pitt

While many people despise the CinemaSins “Everything Wrong With” videos for being overly nit-picky and mean, it’s damn near impossible to argue with the Screen Junkies ”Honest Trailers.” These serve a similar function, making fun of a well-known movie by pointing out its flaws. The tone is lighter and observations smarter, making the videos funnier and more, well, honest.

Their latest video, for the Brad Pitt zombie hit World War Z, might be the funniest yet. It makes light of the fact the film used so little of the source material, and included a ton of cliches, but still acknowledges that people liked it and the movie performed well.

And while we’re on the topic of World War Z, which is now on Blu-ray, director Marc Forster spoke at length at the scrapped Russia-set ending of the film. Read that, and watch the trailer, below. Read More »

World War Z

World War Z was the surprise blockbuster of the summer. It was a surprise because Marc Forster‘s adaptation of the Max Brooks novel had been in development for years. Then, once it started filming, the real problems began. Producers realized the ending didn’t work, so a new was written and shot, which ended up costing millions. The gamble paid off to the tune of $536 million internationally and counting.

The new ending had more closure than the original one, but also left a world of possibility ahead. And $500 million plus makes it pretty obvious that possibility will be explored in a sequel. But when? Brad Pitt was at the Toronto Film Festival and spoke about the status of a potential World War Z sequel. Read More »

World War Z Star Trek

Fans waiting to see either World War Z or Star Trek Into Darkness before the summer movie season ends are about to get another chance. Hoping to fill a pretty big hole in the release schedule on the summer’s final weekend, Paramount is presenting a double feature of their two summer hits for the price of one ticket. The run starts Friday August 26 and ends Thursday September 5. Read More »

World War Z

Over the past few weeks, Brad Pitt has been cautiously optimistic about a potential sequel to his new zombie film, World War Z. He knows there’s more story to tell and more parts of Max Brooks’ novel to explore, but he was unsure about how the public would embrace the film.

Well, after a $112 million opening weekend ($66 million in the US and $46 million international), which is also the biggest of Pitt’s career, Paramount has decided to move forward on a sequel to World War Z. Read More »

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