April 30, 2009

Gambit (2011-2013)

Fox is set to greenlight spin-offs from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Gambit is a character X-Men fans have been waiting for ever since the first film. The studio believed the reason he never made the other films was that his story was too large and was too popular. To end up being a throw away character with just a small cameo. It makes sense since a majority of mutants didn't get much screen time. They had planned on making a full feature but had to introduce the character first.

Possible Plot:

It's likely they'll be staying clear from any X-Men involvement until the fourth X-Men film. It could start off during Remy's time in The Thieves Guild. Where he falls in love with Bella Donna, a mutant apart of the Assassin's Guild. He also encounters Candra an ex-lover who is now in control of the Guilds. After killing Bella Donna's brother in self-defense he is banished from the Guilds. That could lead to Gambit's time in The Marauders. Lead by Mr. Sinister, which also included members Mystique and Sabertooth. Sinister offers Gambit surgery to control his powers. In exchange Remy would work for him in The Marauders. The group is responsible for the mass murder of another group of mutants called The Morlocks. There is also a love story between Sabertooth and Mystique which could be explored in the film.

Casting Thoughts:

Amber Heard (Rum Diary) as Bella Donna

Marley Shelton (Sin City, Planet Terror) as Candra

Dougray Scott (Mission Impossible 2) as Nathaniel Essex aka Mr. Sinister

Hansel & Gretel (TBA)

Tommy Wirkola director and co-writer of Dead Snow has an idea for a film. Hansel and Gretel, fifteen years after their ordeal with the witch and the gingerbread house, are now bounty hunters who go after witches. It's caught the attention of Adam McKay and Will Ferrell they want their company Gary Sanchez Prods. to produce it. They see the film as a horror comedy in the vein of Shaun of The Dead and Evil Dead 2, with possibilities of a trilogy. I'm a big fan of the Adam McKay films Step Brothers, Talladega Nights and Anchorman. So having him develop a hardcore horror comedy sounds like it could be insanely fun and gory.

April 29, 2009

Films That Should Be Made: The Strain

Based on the vampire novel trilogy co-written by Guillermo del Toro (Hobbit) and Chuck Hogan. In the novel, vampirism is treated as a viral outbreak set in modern New York City. Similar to his reaper concept (Blade 2), having the vampires treated as a biohazard mixing science fiction within the vampire genre. The concept reminds me of REC and 28 Days Later.

Guillermo wants to bring back the horror and scary elements back to the vampire genre. Instead of "the romantic tales of vampires biting the necks of beautiful people". With lame vampire films like Twilight and the sequels taking all horror elements and lore out the stories. Vampire films are becoming more kid friendly and dull. If we saw these novels developed into films I think more "real" vampire movies will make a return. I could see one of the many directors that del Toro helps out end up helming the films.

A few directors I'd like to see take this on: Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza (REC), Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes) or Vincenzo Natali (Splice, Cube).

Pierre Morel's Untitled Tokyo Action Flick

Pierre Morel (Taken) isn't finished with the action genre just yet. Even after making the international hit Taken and the upcoming From Paris With Love, he's bringing his intense action style to Japan. The film sounds like a mix between Ridley Scott's Black Rain, Bourne films and Taken. "CIA operative, stationed in Japan but on the verge of retirement, who is ordered to carry out a final mission. He finds himself caught in the middle of an international conspiracy."

Films That Should Be Made: Velvet Assassin

I think with the new release it's bound to become optioned as film. The story has the appeal of a female assassin along with the setting of World War II. It doesn't seem like the average video game film option. The game is inspired by a real life World War II secret agent/saboteur Violette Szabo. I can assume after Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds success, studios will try to develop more World War II action films. This along with the live-action adaptation of Return to Castle Wolfenstein could set new standards for video game films.

Casting Thought:

Eva Green (Franklyn, Casino Royale) as Violette Summer: Green could make a decent Violette having an almost flawless British accent for a French actress. Her bilingual skills could be an asset if the film ends up set in occupied France. I'm sure she could also pick up German easier than most actresses. Along with the fact she has a similar look to the character.

April 28, 2009

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2011)

The new live-action reboot will be in the same vein of Batman Begins, Casino Royale and new Star Trek. A re-invisioning of the origin of the turtles which is based on the non-kid-friendly original comic series. It's dark, gritty and very violent compared to the goofy 1987 cartoon series which inspired the first three films. I wouldn't be surprised to see a hard R version with violence and tone similar to 300. A high profile director could attach themselves to the project.

They will keep the stuntman in a suit concept but will now use CGI faces, more than likely using the same technology we saw in Watchmen. The characters that will make the film will be April O'Neil, Casey Jones, Shredder and Splinter. It was hinted that the story of Dr. Baxter Stockman and the mousers could also make the movie.

Casting Thoughts:

Lauren Lee Smith (Pathology, CSI, Trick r' Treat) as April O'Neil

Ken Watanabe (Last Samurai, Batman Begins) as Shredder

Sam Witwer (Game, The Mist, Battlestar Galactica) as Casey Jones

Ridley Scott's Alien 5

There has been confirmation that 20th Century Fox really wants to make a solid sequel to the greatest science fiction franchise. The best part is that they won't do it without Ridley Scott and are very interested in whatever he wants to make. It was hinted that there could be talks as soon as Ridley is finished with Robin Hood. The options at this point could be a direct sequel to Alien Resurrection, a prequel or reboot of the series. There was even talk of a collaboration between Ridley and James Cameron. Perhaps having Cameron write the script and Scott directing it.

Sequel: A sequel would have to feature Ellen Ripley (Weaver) and last we saw she finally made her way back to Earth. After being cloned by the military and destroying the last of the aliens. It would be possible for Ripley with new friends a group of space pirates one being an android, going on more adventure to save humanity. They could work together to nuke the alien homeworld so they finally have an ending to the series. Ripely now being a human/alien hybrid could have the instinct knowledge of the species passed on from the alien genes to know the location of the planet.

Prequel: If they go with a prequel it more than likely will explore the origins of the Space Jockey, the alien hatchery and the derelict spaceship. It could even focus on the events of Hadley's Hope the human colonly which is completely taken over by the xenomorphs. It was only teased in Aliens and the deleted scenes of the horrific events that happened there.

Reboot: This one seems the least likely since the canon of the alien mythology has been set in the films. If this does happen, I expect Ridley to develop a whole new alien threat equal to the xenomorph. The other option is that it's a whole new story without Ripley and focuses on a different ship, a different planet, same alien.

April 26, 2009

The Chaser (TBA)

Since early 2008, there has been rumblings of an American remake of the Korean hit film. William Monahan (Body of Lies) is being looked at to adapt it with the possibility of Leonardo DiCaprio starring. Roy Lee and Doug Davison may end up producing the project. It's being somewhat compared to The Departed but more action oriented. The original release date of 2009 seems to have been scrapped. Although, the project could happen as soon as director is attached. Monahan is busy directing his debut film and could end up helming the project.

Casting Updates!

Tony Scott's Unstoppable: Denzel Washington has been cast in the action thriller about a runaway train.

Ridley Scott's Robin Hood: Matthew Macfadyen has been cast as the sheriff of Nottingham. It was originally reported that Russell Crowe would play both roles, which seemed bizarre.

Dead Spy Running: Jake Gyllenhaal may end up cast as the lead in the possible spy trilogy, which will be directed by McG (Terminator Salvation) .

Black Death (2010)

Set during the time of the first outbreak of bubonic plague in England, a young monk is tasked with learning the truth about reports of people being brought back to life in a small village. Christopher Smith (Severance) will direct the horror flick that will star Sean Bean (Fellowship Of The Ring).

Carice Van Houten (Black Book) and Eddie Redmayne (Powder Blue) have joined the medieval horror film.

The Hobbit: Part 1 & 2 (2011)

Guillermo del Toro will start shooting principle photography on the Hobbit films in early 2010 with a 370 day shooting schedule. The task will be daunting since he will be filming both Hobbit films back to back. The second film will not be the bridge between Hobbit and Fellowship. Instead they will make The Hobbit one massive epic and split it into two parts. It's expected that both films will release the same year. Peter Jackson is set to produce and write the screenplay which should help ease worries from fans of the first three movies. Also, Weta Workshop will handle the special/creature effects so that it should have a seamless look between the films.

At this point nobody has been officially cast expect for Sir Ian McKellan as Gandalf and Andy Serkis. It's rumored that James Mcavoy (Wanted) could be up for Bilbo and Ron Perlman (Hellboy) may voice Smaug the dragon.

Casting Thoughts:

Simon Pegg & Nick Frost: These two might be a given with their invovlement with Tintin. It would be nice to see them play a couple of the dwarfs. If they're too busy to commit to the films. Cameos as hobbits or goblins would be just as cool. They did a cool cameo in Land of The Dead as zombies, so it wouldn't be a new thing.

Doug Jones: Having two motion artists (Serkis and Jones) in one film, would make for some interesting characters in CG or in makeup. I'd love to see Jones playing the king of goblins.

April 23, 2009

Casting Updates!

Iron Man 2: Kate Mara (Shooter) has been cast. It's unknown if she will play a Marvel superhero or will have a regular role/cameo.

Straw Dogs:
James Marsden (X-Men) has been cast in the remake, now set in the Southern United States. Instead of it's original English village setting.

The Fighter:
Christian Bale has joined Mark Wahlberg. The cast has had a few changes after Brad Pitt and Matt Damon left the project. The pair are also rumored to starring together in Prisoners.

The Mechanic:
Originally starring action legend Charles Bronson, the remake will star Jason Statham. It was once rumored as a starring vehicle for Sly Stallone.

Terminator Salvation:
Arnold Schwarzenegger has confirmed his virtual likeness will be featured in the film.

What Was I Thinking?:
Elizabeth Banks (Zack & Miri) and Leslie Mann (Funny People) will star in a new comedy that features the pair going on hedonistic ski trip.

What's Your Number?:
The always funny Anna Faris (Observe & Report) will star in a new comedy from director Mark Mylod (United States of Tara, Entourage)

BioShock: Wentworth Miller (Prison Break) is rumored to be in mind for the role of Jack.

Emmy Rossum (Phantom of The Opera) wants to be cast as Death, if the Neil Gaiman comic ever hits the screen.

April 22, 2009

Dante's Inferno (2011-2013)

Universal Pictures has won the massive bidding war over the film rights to the game. Which doesn't even come out until 2010. The story focuses on Dante during his journey through the 9 circles of hell. From the game's trailer it's going to be massive special effects fantasy epic. Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men) is a director who could do the material justice, let's hope he ends up being offered the project.

Casting Thoughts:

Matthew Goode (Watchmen), Kevin McKidd (Rome) or Michael Sheen (Underworld) as Dante

Films That Should Be Made: Vampirella

With the combined popularity of vampire films and interest in Mark Millar (Kick-Ass & Wanted) projects, Vampirella could end up hitting theaters. Millar wrote for the comic at one point and could develop a script for a feature film adaptation. His experience with ultra violent action would be interesting when blended with the horror genre. Millar and director Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Stardust) could re-team, it could end up a mix between Underworld, Outlander and Conan. Vaughn's visual style would be amazing within the world of Vampirella. Depending on the storyline it could have the science fiction element or not, instead going for straight up fantasy/horror.

Vampirella is originally from the vampire planet Draculon. The inhabitants dying off when the blood supply on the planet dries up, when a spaceship from Earth crashes. Discovering the astronuants have blood in their veins, after they attack her. She takes off in the ship heading for Earth and ends up becoming a "good" vampire fighting homegrown evil. In another version of the story she is brainwashed to believe she is from Draculon. She learned that she was, in fact, the daughter of Lilith, whom popular medieval Jewish lore depicts as the first wife of Adam. Lilith would not submit before Adam and was cast out of Eden. She mated with demons in hell, giving birth to vampires who would kill the offspring of Adam and Eve on Earth. Later, she sought redemption from God and gave birth to Vampirella, whom she sent to Earth to kill all evil vampires. According to this account, Drakulon was a part of Hell where Lilith lived and ruled.

Casting Thought:

Monica Bellucci (Brothers Grimm, Matrix Reloaded) or Olga Kurylenko (Centurion) as Vampirella

Films That Should Be Made: Legend of Zelda

Peter Jackson has to be exhusted these days. He's just finishing work on Lovely Bones and District 9 which he produced. Along with helping production on both Tintin and The Hobbit films. It's uncertain when Jackson will direct his own film since Halo and Tintin sequels could take up a majority of his time in the future. One concept, which would be great to see Jackson develop is a live-action fantasy film adapted from the beloved Zelda video game series. It would give Jackson another chance to jump into the genre along with creating a whole new world.

Weta Workshop has a taste for fantasy themed films working on three LOTR films and now two Hobbit movies. I'd love to see what their vision of the world of Zelda would look like. I have a feeling with all their possible futuristic projects such as Avatar sequels, Halo, Ghost In The Shell and Forever War. It seems that Weta might want to return to creating fantasy themed creatures, weapons and sets.

IGN, as an April's Fools joke developed and shot a trailer for a fake Zelda movie. It's influence of Peter Jackson's films is unmistakable. The production value and costume designs are very impressive.

Casting Thoughts:

Jamie Bell (King Kong, Tintin) as Link. The English actor is young enough, has the look and previous experience working with Jackson. He's also given great dramatic performances in Hallam and Defiance.

Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch, A Good Year) as Princess Zelda. The Australian actress will end up learning stunts working on Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch. Giving her the experience needed to work on future action films. Along with great dramatic performances in A Good Year and Candy. Hopefully it would be more of a ass-kicking character rather than the damsel in distress.

Eric Bana (Star Trek, Troy) as Ganon. Bana has recently played a villain in Star Trek and did a bit sword swinging in Troy. Along with his size, Bana would be great for the part.