Is this the Akira situation all over again? You might remember that a few months ago, when Warner Bros. was really trying to get the live-action version of Akira going under the direction of Albert Hughes, there were a great many stories about how the studio wanted to cast the film. The primary thrust seemed to be that the teenage characters in the original manga and anime were going to be significantly older in the live-action version. That all became a non-issue when Hughes bowed out and the film was slowed-down as it was re-budgeted and set up for Jaume Collet-Serra to direct, however.

The same thing could be happening again, however, with the adaptation of Hiroshi Sakurazaka‘s All You Need is Kill, for which Brad Pitt is reportedly being sought. Read More »

The Black List has been released. The annual list is compiled with a poll of 300 (up from last year’s 250) development executives and high-level assistants, and contains a ranking of the hot screenplays making the rounds in Hollywoodland, which were written in, or are somehow uniquely associated with, 2010 and will not be released in theaters during this calendar year. Basically, the black list contains the hottest projects in Hollywood that you haven’t heard of yet.

Note: The headline is a slightly inaccurate, because a lot of these screenplays have already been acquired (six of the top ten listed), a bunch are in production now, and some have even finished production. One of this year’s top ten screenplays, J.C. Chandor‘s Margin Call, about the last 24 hours at now-defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers is already in the can and set to premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival with Chandor at the helm and Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany star. The top screenplay om the list, College Republicans, already has Shia LaBeouf and Paul Dano attached to star.

Started in 2005 by a young executive at Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way, who polled 90+ peers to send him their 10 favorite new unproduced screenplays to read over the holidays. The underground list was e-mailed around and quickly became a Hollywood phenomenon. To give you an idea, the top three entries of the 2005 list where Things We Lost in the Fire, Juno, and Lars and the Real Girl. However it should be noted that a warning appears at the beginning of the list:

“THE BLACK LIST is not a “best of” list. It is, at best, a “most liked” list.”

Also, it should be noted that many people in recent years have begun accuse participants for pushing their own/friends clients.

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Industry tracking boards are reporting a couple interesting items today:

  • Ben Affleck has apparently been offered the lead role in Antoine Fuqua’s (Bait, King Arthur, Shooter, Training Day) upcoming adaptation of the Vince Flynn novel Consent to Kill which Lorenzo di Bonaventura (GI Joe, Transformers) is producing for CBS Films.
  • Ryan Gosling has apparently been offered the role of “Private Billy Cage” in Doug Liman‘s sci-fi project All You Need Is Kill.

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In June, Doug Liman‘s name was attached to the Warner Bros. sci-fi project All You Need Is Kill. At the time I thought the pairing of Liman and a ‘Starship Troopers meets Groundhog Day‘ story was odd, given that Liman is known to be rather on the indecisive side when it comes to directing style. But something clicked between Liman and WB, because he’s now confirmed to direct the film. Read More »


Doug Liman may be moving from the adventurous romantic past to the technologically-obsessed future. While he’s been prepping The Three Musketeers for Warner Bros., it now looks as if he’ll skip that movie and take the directorial gig on the ‘Groundhog Day with aliens’ movie All You Need Is Kill. Read More »


Dante Harper‘s film CV is a varied one: editing a documentary about Static-X; directing and acting in the surrealist black comedy The Delicate Art of the Rifle; a small mountain of production manager credits, very often on DVD supplements; a little role in The Onion Movie; scripting an adaptation of Charles Burns’ Black Hole. Add to this the not insignificant pay day he’s just scored for a spec-script adaptation of the Japanese novel All You Need is Kill. He certainly gets around, and I’m sure he’s destined for full-on cult status with a resume like that.

All You Need is Kill is a hideously Engrishy-y title, don’t you think? Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s original novel, published in English by the Manga-maestros at Viz, is about a young soldier sent out to fight an alien menace. When he gets killed in action, a time loop repeats the day, and he fights and dies again. And again. And again. Run, Soldier Run! This concept has been compared to Groundhog Day, of course, but to my mind the most obvious similarities in this case are to a video game. Especially as the soldier finds his combat skills increasing, slowly and subtly, in each iteration.

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