Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Though 2010’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was a billion dollar global blockbuster, critics hated it. It sits at a rotten 33% on Rotten Tomatoes. Might the producers think “if the movie was adored, maybe we could have made more”? That possibility was certainly part of Tuesday’s news that Pirates of the Caribbean 5, originally scheduled for a July 2015 release date, has been delayed. Disney executives said the film “isn’t there yet” scriptwise, and the delay will allow producer Jerry Bruckerheimer, screenwriter Jeff Nathanson, and directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg to fine tune the script into a film that is critically and financially successful.

That much we know. What we don’t know is what the film is about and what the specific issues are. One site has gotten their hands one the first plot details for the film, rumored to be called Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and they illuminate both that title as well as some potential issues. Read More »

The news you’ve been waiting for is here: Pirates of the Caribbean 5 has taken another step forward! (Contain your excitement, please.) Jeff Nathanson, who wrote Catch Me if You Can, has been hired to write Pirates 5. Two members of the old crew are back, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and star/producer Johnny Depp. There’s no plot to reveal at this point, and some doubt as to which other cast members from previous films will return. There’s also no report about who will direct. Having Nathanson script seems like a good first step, but after the last two films in the series, they’re going to have to show some great footage to generate interest.

Variety has the report, and also mentions that Disney is continuing efforts to develop an Alice in Wonderland sequel.

After the break:

  • G.I. Joe: Retaliation producer denies that reshoots added much more Channing Tatum,
  • The direct to video Fright Night 2 gets an all-new cast,
  • and there are new images from The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia.

Read More »

Almost one year ago to the day, Brett Ratner took over from Steven Spielberg to helm a property Spielberg championed way back in 2008: The 39 Clues. Ratner had been actively developing the film for the past year, but apparently he’s now out and the incredibly busy Shawn Levy is on board to direct.

Based on the an 11-book series, The 39 Clues follows two children who find out they’re part of the most famous family in history, with a lineage that includes Napoleon and Houdini. The pair then sets out on a global treasure hunt to find 39 clues, ingredients to a potion which will create the most powerful person in the world. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Brett Ratner to Direct ‘The 39 Clues’

Because I know many of you just get all giddy when prospective new Brett Ratner films come up, here’s his latest potential project: The 39 Clues, which is not an Alfred Hitchcock remake, but an adaptation of a young-adult book series. It sounds a bit like a kids’ version of National Treasure, and all the details are after the break. Read More »

Is Men in Black III a total oddity in the studio world or merely the next step in the lineage of films like the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels and Iron Man, which famously went into production without solid scripts in place? Men in Black III started production last November, but shooting started with only part of the script fully in place. A hiatus was built into the production, officially to make the most of New York tax incentives and weather conditions, but in reality more than half the script was still not finalized.

Things were meant to get back into gear last month, after Jeff Nathanson spent the hiatus getting the rest of the script knocked out. Then that hiatus was extended until the end of March and David Koepp was brought in to deal with the lingering script issues. Now the clock is ticking and Sony is in the very unusual position of having the first act of an unfinished script in the can. A new feature looks into the long, weird development of Men in Black III and suggests that conflicting personalities are turning an ungainly project into something that teeters on the brink of real failure. Read More »

David Koepp Now Rewriting ‘Men in Black III’

The production schedule for Men in Black III has been a strange thing. A lot of footage was shot for the film last year, then a built-in production break kicked in at Christmas. Originally Sony was going to get the movie back into gear last month, but creative problems pushed the new resume date back to March 28. Jeff Nathanson was hammering out issues with the script along with director Barry Sonnenfeld and others. Now David Koepp (Spider-Man, War of the Worlds, Indy IV) has been brought in to finish the job. Read More »

The production schedule for Barry Sonenfeld‘s Men in Black III has been a strange one. After an initial delay, filming started last year. But a break was planned into the schedule — for reasons innocuous or not, depending upon whom you believe — with the first half of the shoot kicking off last November and running until Christmas. Then there was a planned break, with shooting meant to continue this month.

But now the film won’t have cameras rolling again until March 28, due reportedly to script issues. Read More »

New info on Men in Black 3: the film will start shooting this week in New York, but there’s a wrinkle. The production has hired frequent Steven Spielberg and Brett Ratner collaborator Jeff Nathanson to rewrite/polish one section of the script. (He recently did work on Tower Heist, wrote Rush Hour 2 & 3 and The Terminal, Catch Me If You Can and worked on Indy IV.) The parts that he’s not dealing with shoot this year, and then, after a break, the production will resume to shoot the balance of the picture.

Confused yet? The details involve potential spoilers, so we’ve kept them after the break. (And, really, the spoiler info, such as it is, will likely be revealed in the trailer. We’re just being safe.) Read More »


This is basically an incremental update on Tower Heist, which we’ve known for a while would likely be the new film from director Brett Ratner. The script and cast were reconfigured a while ago from the original conception (at one point described as a “black Ocean’s Eleven“) and Ben Stiller has been attached to star. Now the film is almost ready to shoot, and should have cameras rolling late this fall. Read More »

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Jeff Nathanson and The Secret Life of Houdini

houdini nathanson

IGN has learned that Catch Me if You Can and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull screenwriter Jeff Nathanson might be writing a Houdini movie for Summit Entertainment.

In March it was announced that that Summit had acquired the rights to William Kalush and Larry Sloman‘s biography The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero. The book was somewhat controversial, as it implied that the famous magician and escape artist acted as a spy for Britain and was asked to be an adviser to Czar Nicholas II’s court in pre-revolutionary Russia.

The studio plans to adapt the book into an action thriller “featuring a character who is part Indiana Jones and part Sherlock Holmes.” Sounds like it could be fun. Imagine Indiana Jones, but instead of a whip, he had magic tricks and misdirection. I’m in.