Eye On Film
Sean Bean is thumbing his way to “The Hitcher,” Rogue Pictures remake of the 1986 horror film being produced by Platinum Dunes. Sophia Bush also is on board the film, which is being directed by veteran music video helmer Dave Meyers.
Universal Pictures has acquired “Hurricane Season,” a post-Hurricane Katrina drama from producers Mark Gordon and Franklin Martin. The pitch is based on an upcoming documentary that Martin wrote, directed and produced titled “Walking on Dead Fish.”
MGM is continuing to beef up its domestic theatrical distribution operations and has added three Weinstein Co. releases to its slate, the company said Wednesday. The three films joining MGM’s growing slate are “Bobby”; the Renee Zellweger starrer “Miss Potter”; and the Roman period drama “The Last Legion.”
Miramax Films has acquired North American rights to the comedy “Eagle vs. Shark,” the debut feature from New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi.
Palm Pictures has acquired North American rights to “Ten Canoes,” and Australian feature directed by Rolf de Heer and co-directed by Peter Djigirr.
The Weinstein Co. and Genius Products have acquired DVD and television rights to “Lassie,” the new feature that Roadside Attractions and the Samuel Goldwyn Co. are opening in theaters Sept.1.
New Line has bought “A Family Affair,” a comedy spec to which Sarah Jessica Parker is attached. Script was written by Shara Lotti, with Jennifer Klein producing through her Apartment 3B banner.
Rob Zombie is resurrecting Michael Myers, one of the big screen’s favorite horror villains. Zombie will write and direct a new “Halloween” movie, serving up what is being called as a brand-new vision for the long-running horror series.
Will Smith has weighed in on one of his next projects. The multi-hyphenate is attached to star in the drama “Seven Pounds” for Columbia Pictures and Escape Artists and is in negotiations to produce the film alongside his Overbrook Entertainment partner James Lassiter.
Nimrod Antal is in talks to direct the Screen Gems horror thriller “Vacancy” is set to star Sarah Jessica Parker and Luke Wilson as a couple who find video cams in their motel room, then realize they are being taped for a snuff film.
IFC Entertainment has acquired two films that will be distributed in the coming moths by its day-in-date distribution banner. IFC First Take Films will release Argentinean helmer Fabian Bielinsky’s “The Aura” and fellow countryman Daniel Burman’s “Family-Law” - both slated to bow this year.
Director John McTiernan is cooperating with the FBI – Film Bridge Intl., that is. McTiernan is set to helm “Deadly exchange,” the first directing deal he’s inked since pleading guilty in the Anthony Pellicano scandal. FBI is financing and repping worldwide rights, while Anthony J. Rido Prods. Is producing.
Writer-director Sean Penn continues to lure a stellar cast “into the Wild.” Oscar winners William Hurt and Marcia Gay Harden have signed on to co-star in the film, which will be distributed by Paramount Vantage. Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn and Catherine Keener already have boarded the project.
Screen Gems is angling for an Easter time release of a feature film tentatively titled “The Resurrection,” people familiar with this project confirmed Wednesday. Using the bible for its source material, “Resurrection” will tell the story of Jesus Christ beginning the day he died on the cross and ending about 40 days later with his ascension into heaven.
Baz Luhrmann is setting Hugh Jackman to star alongside Nicole Kidman in his Australian period epic for 20th Century Fox. Set before World War 2, pic centers on an English aristocrat who joins forces with a rough-hewn cattle driver after her northern Australian ranch is threatened by Brit cattle barons.
Paramount Vantage and Miramax Films have set Woody Harrelson and Stephen Root to star alongside Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem in the Coen brother’s pic “No Country for Old Men.” Thriller is based on the Cormac McCarthy novel and is set in West Texas in 1980.
“Lost” castaway Naveen Andrews is set to come ashore in the ensemble pulp pic “Grind House,” for helmers Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. Being distributed by the Weinstein Co.’s Dimension label, pic has Rodriguez and Tarantino each helming a 60-minute horror tale, with faux trailers and ads in between.
“Shadowboxer” - the directorial debut from “Monster’s Ball” and “The Woodsman” producer Lee Daniels – has been picked up for domestic distribution by indie label Teton Films.
Jessica Alba and Elizabeth Banks have signed on to star opposite Aaron Eckhart in the comedy
“Bill” for GreeneStreet Films. The screenplay was written by Melisa Wallack, who also will co-direct with her husband, Bernie Golman. Greenestreet’s John Penotti and Fisher Stevens are producing “Bill” alongside Mathew Roland. GreeneStreet’s Tim Williams is executive producing.
Nicolas Cage is set to star in “Bangkok Dangerous,” a remake of the 1999 Thai film that will be helmed by the original’s directors , Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang.
Screen Gems has acquired remake rights to 1987 horror pic “The Stepfather” for Greg Mooradian and Maverick Films to produce.
Sidney Kimmel Entertainment has set Anton Yelchin, Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis, Kat Dennings and Tyler Hilton to star in “Charlie Barlett,” a coming –of-age story that marks the helming debut of Jon Poll. Shooting begins this month. MGM will distribute.
Amy Pehler, Rachel Dratch and Parker Posey are going on vacation for Warner Bros. Pictures and Code entertainment. Thesps are set to topline gal comedy “Spring Breakdown,” which Code is producing for studio.
Miramax Films has snapped up irreverent comedy spec script “Homeland Insecurity” from Robert J. Siegel. David Miner and 3 Arts Entertainment are producing the pic, which is certain to poke a bit of fun at security measures in the post 9/11 world.
Amanda Bynes has been cast in New Line’s “Hairspray,” with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron producing. Pic is set for 2007 release. New Line has made deals with John Travolta and Queen Latifah to star in the Adam Shankman directed musical.
Kevin Bacon has signed on to star in James Wan’s “death Sentence” for 20th Century Fox and Hyde Park Entertainment. Baldwin Entertainment is producing the vigilante drama.
Focus Features will bring forth in September “Hollywoodland,” Starring Dianne Lane, Adrien Brody, Bob Hoskins and Robin Tunney. The movie is about George Reeves, who began his career in “Gone With the Wind” as one of the red-head Tralton twins, but achieved immortality as TV’s Superman” in the 1950’s. In the roll of Reeves, we’ll see Ben Affleck.
“X-Men 3” scribe Zak Penn has reshuffled the deck on his improvisational poker comedy “The Grand.” Insomnia Media Group has anted up financing and will produce the movie with Eleven Eleven Films. Ensemble cast includes Woody Harrelson, Ray Liotta, Ray Romano, Jason Alexander, Cheryl Hines and German helmer Werner Herzog.
HBO Films has acquired rights to the Walter Mosly novel “Little Scarlet” for a feature that will cast Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def as Easy Rawlins and Mouse – the roles originated by Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle, respectively in, in Carl Franklin’s 1995 film “Devil in a Blue Dress.”
20th Century Fox has upped Alex Young to executive vp production. Young, who has become the studio’s go-to executive on high-profile tentpoles, most recently shepherded the boxoffice hit “X-Men: The Last Stand.”
Paul Neinstein has been named executive vp business affairs at Paramount Pictures. Neinstein will report to executive vp Daniel Fergler and will oversee all aspects of business affairs for the studio, including negotiating with producers, directors, writers and actors. He also will manage administration of the department.
Linda Fisk has been hired as VP marketing for iFILM. She was VP, online marketing and analytics, for Scripps Network
Avi Arad has stepped down as head of Marvel Entertainment’s film studio to run his own production company. He has resigned as chairman and CEO of Marvel Studios and chief creative officer of parent company Marvel Entertainment and created Avi Arad Prods.
HBO and David Milch have solved their “Deadwood” dilemma. HBO has reached an agreement with Milch, creator/executive producer of the Western drama series, to wrap up the show as a pair of two-hour movies rather than a full-blown fourth season.
George Clooney will receive the 21st American Cinematheque Award at org’s benefit gala Oct. 13. American Cinematheque honors an actor, writer or director who is committed to making a contribution to the industry.
Teri Hatcher has launched her own production company shingle, ISBE Prods. And has hired Jennifer Glassman as senior veep. The pair will develop projects for TV, film and multimedia and handle business ventures including endorsements and book deals.
Warner Bros. Domestic Cable has sold basic-cable rights to “Troy,” and “Penguins” and 37 other titles – both newer pictures and library titles – to Hallmark Channel for a total license fee of about $30 million.