monster truck

Moviegoing audiences love their cars, whether in alien robot form or as high-speed heist tools. Paramount learned that lesson with their lucrative Transformers series, and now they’re preparing to launch a whole other franchise called Monster Trucks.

Paramount Animation has tapped Blue Sky Studios’ Chris Wedge (Ice Age) to direct the original live-action / CG hybrid, which has a script by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger (Kung Fu Panda). Production is expected to get underway next year for a 2015 release. Hit the jump for all the details.

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Is there a movie in development that has been more reviled than Candyland? OK, there probably is. But still, the idea of turning a basically plotless board game laden with sweets into a movie has generated jokes aplenty. The writers are Glenn Berger and Jonathan Aibel, who also scripted two Alvin and the Chimpmunks films (the third is in post now) and two Kung-Fu Panda movies. But those two Kung-Fu Panda movies have earned good reviews, with the second one impressing people who expected just another product from the Dreamworks sequel machine.

So can they turn Candyland into something that might work in the same surprising way as the first Pirates of the Caribbean film? Comments about making a movie that would be “The Lord of the Rings with candy” didn’t do much to sway public opinion, but the writers are still talking about the project in those terms as they do the promotional rounds for Kung-Fu Pands 2. Read a few more comments after the break and see if you’re convinced. Read More »

Of the many projects to come out of Hasbro’s movie wheeling and dealing, there may be none more scorned than Candyland. Based on a board game that really has no plot or any characters that are possessed of more than a name and cartoonish countenance, the film seems far more crass than your typical cash grab. How does that get turned into a movie? Turns out — and many of you likely predicted this already — the strategy is to ape the approach to developing Pirates of the Caribbean, only with a healthy addition of Tolkien. Read More »

This past awards season, The Hollywood Reporter posted full hour long roundtable interviews with the directors, screenwriters, animators and actors of the award season contenders. It seems like that was so successful that they have done the same thing for their Summer 2011 movie preview.

After the jump you can watch a 58-minute roundtable interview with Jonathan Aibel (Kung Fu Panda 2); Greg Berlanti (Green Lantern); Ehren Kruger (Transformers: Dark of the Moon); Christopher Markus (Captain America: The First Avenger); Ashley Edward Miller (Thor) and Roberto Orci (Cowboys & Aliens). I always love hearing Hollywood screenwriters talk about their craft. I especially like hearing from writers behind Hollywood blockbusters, because that arena is such an interesting mix (or some would say compromise) between art, spectacle and commerce, all at a big budget level.

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Want to be depressed? The much-joked-about Candyland movie isn’t dead yet. The crazy deal that Universal signed with Hasbro has the movie based on the sweet-themed board game continuing to draw breath, and now there are new writers on board. Finally! Read More »

Kung Fu Panda 2 on June 3rd 2011

We knew it was in the works, but DreamWorks Animation has officially announced that a 3D sequel to Kung Fu Panda will hit digital theaters and IMAX theatres on June 3rd 2011.

The sequel will follow Po, “the world’s biggest kung fu fan, as he continues his journey as the chosen one who fulfills an ancient prophesy while mastering the art of kung fu.” Jack Black and Angelina Jolie have both signed on to return, with “other original cast members” to be announced (my guess is that everyone important will be back for the sequel). Screenwriters/producers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger are also back for part 2. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dreamworks didn’t take a cue from Pixar and try to rerelease the original film in 3D before then. But that’s just speculation.

Jack Black To Star In Bourne Identity Inspired Comedy

Jack Black has signed on to star in what is being described as a comic take on The Bourne Identity scripted by Kung Fu Panda scribes Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. Black will play an American who washes up on the shores of Cuba with no memory of who he is or how he got there. He comes to the inaccurate conclusion that he must be a superspy like Jason Bourne. Aibel and Berger (King of the Hill, Monsters vs. Aliens) sold the pitch to Universal for seven figures.

The concept sounds slightly appealing, but will probably result in another unwatchable Jack Black comedy. I can just imagine Black runnign around the screen now trying to kick ass Bourne style, completely missing at every step, but somehow things work out for him in the end. Yawn.

source: reuters