You thought Hollywood would run through at least a few more reboots of dystopian '70s flicks and graphic-novel adaptations before recycling the oeuvre of Jean-Claude Van Damme? You thought wrong! THR is reporting that Universal has put into play a reboot of Timecop, The Muscles From Brussels's 1994 hit. The original "was set in the near future where time travel is regulated by a police force. One officer (Van Damme) runs afoul a crooked politician (played by Ron Silver) using time travel to further his political career." This one this one'll be the same thing? It's out to writers right now. Sounds reasonable enough, right? One HUGE problem. JCVD is, at this point, not involved. How are you gonna remake Timecop and not throw Jean-Claude a cameo at the very least? If I didn't know any better, I'd say the producers of the new Timecop actually like getting roundhouse kicks to the face.
The reboot of Troma's 1984 cult classic The Toxic Avenger has a big Austrian attached. According to Variety, Arnold Schwarzenegger is in talks for the project, not to play the title character but rather another, undisclosed lead role. Perhaps a rare villainous turn for our dude Arnie?
On Wednesday, we pointed your attention to reports of renewed, possibly contentious negotiations between Robert Downey Jr. and the good-but-stingy folks at Marvel over future Iron Man and Avengers sequels. Today, more Marvel inside baseball, this time volunteered freely via Avengers lord of the realm Joss Whedon.
See, during the chatter about Downey's paychecks, as well as the paychecks for his superhero friends, the number $100 million was thrown out for Joss. As in, $100 million to make another Avengers. $100 million?! For the guy who can barely keep a show on the air for more than a season?!! No, you're right, it was too good to be true. And Joss himself set the record straight, in his trademark cheeky manner. From his comment on the site Whedonesque (via EW):
Iron Man 3 is making money hand over fist ($678.9 million in 10 days, to be exact). Robert Downey Jr. is being paid handsomely for his services ($50 milliooooooon). What could possibly stop the beautiful Marvel-RDJ relationship from blossoming ever more? Two things: (1) Downey is not signed for any more Marvel movies. And while he's already entered negotiations for two more Avengers movies, he's not quite ready to talk Iron Man 4. And (2), Marvel, it turns out, is actually quite cheap. Just ask all the Avengers who don't have a powerful suit of armor that keeps their injured hearts beating.
The last time around for Ethan Hunt seemed like good-bye. The good folks behind the Mission: Impossible franchise gave the fourth installment a big clunky subtitle — Ghost Protocol — to differentiate it from the last few, and then appeared to be grooming Jeremy Renner to take over. But, as we all should have learned a long time ago, you cannot kill Tom Cruise. Ghost Protocol raked in nearly $700 million worldwide, the best a Cruise movie has ever done, and now Tommy's been invited back once more. As Deadline reports, Cruise is confirmed for Mission: Impossible 5. (No word on who else will be onboard, or who's directing, although Deadline speculates it'll be Christopher McQuarrie, who did Jack Reacher with Cruise.)
The Western Jane Got a Gun has been suffering through a historic string of defections, with Bradley Cooper its latest exit. You might even be tempted to say that Jane Got a Gun but very little else. (I'm so, so sorry for that. Please keep reading.)
The flick stars (for now!) Natalie Portman, Noah Emmerich as her estranged outlaw husband, and Joel Edgerton as the ex-lover Portman calls on for help when Emmerich rides back into town riddled with bullet holes. Cooper was set to play the villain — he's chasing down Emmerich to finish off the job, threatening Portman's homestead in the process — but has now dropped off the project because of scheduling conflicts. The sad/hilarious thing is that Coops had already been a replacement for Jude Law, who dropped out because of scheduling conflicts, and Jude Law had been a replacement for Michael Fassbender, who dropped out because of, yep, scheduling conflicts. Oh, also: The original director, Lynne Ramsay, didn't show up on the first day of shooting, so they had to get Gavin O'Connor (Warrior) to step in instead. What in the hell is going on here?
ScreenDaily reports that Natalie Portman will join previously announced Michael Fassbender on the latest Macbeth to hit the screen. The two will play Shakespeare's greatest power couple, Lord and Lady Macbeth, in a U.K.-Australia co-production that brings back some of the producers from Fassbender's Shame, and will be operating off an adapted screenplay from Jacob Koskoff and Todd Louiso (the latter whom you may better know as Dick from High Fidelity or Renee Zellweger's babysitter in Jerry Maguire). And, just for an extra touch of oddness, ScreenDaily says, "Portman has long wanted to take on the role, previously considering stage versions, and that the actress was keen to renew her collaboration with Fassbender after the two recently wrapped production on Terrence Malick's latest film about the Texas music scene." Anyway, this thing shoots in 2013, and will probably be out in 2014. You have from now until then to get to a point where you can convincingly pretend like you actually read Macbeth when it was assigned in freshman-year English.
But he does have a promising new gig lined up. O'Dowd — best known for Bridesmaids, Girls, and, soon enough, Christopher Guest's HBO show Family Tree — is in talks for period-comedy The Coward.
Reports The Wrap, "Set in 18th century England, the story follows a cowardly nobleman" — played by O'Dowd's Girls compatriot Adam Driver, in probably his flashiest movie role to date — "who hails from a family whose men have historically come out on the losing end of to-the-death gunfights. When he panics after initiating a duel, he finds himself hiring a common criminal" — our dude Chris — "to stand in his place, though the scoundrel decides to improve his lot in life by stealing his employer's identity."
By 2008, writer/director Luc Besson had already had a long and fruitful career, both here and in his native France, with such credits as The Professional, La Femme Nikita, and The Fifth Element to show for it. (He also wrote the French movie that would become Jimmy Fallon/Queen Latifah's Taxi, and that we do, unfortunately, have to dock points for.) And then he went and wrote and produced Taken, and things got turned up a notch. Who knew just the concept of a well-aged Liam Neeson very slowly kicking everyone's ass would breed not only an instant classic but also a deathless franchise? (Wait, you guys are going to keep making Takens forever, right?) Fast forward a bit, and Besson might have just come up with his latest greatest idea ever. Let me ask you a question: Does the thought of Scarlett Johansson kicking everyone's ass — but while accidentally on drugs — do anything for you?
On Wednesday, noted auteur Zach Braff announced on Kickstarter that he was looking for funding for his new movie, Wish I Was Here, the first one he'd write, direct, and star in since Garden State. And the Internet got heated. The basic point of contention: Why does a rich actor with access to Hollywood financing need to take our money? Well, hope you're sitting down, angry Internet. As of publication, Braff's Kickstarter has managed $1,451,220. It's got 29 more days to reach its goal of $2 million. But at this rate, it'll get there by lunchtime.
In the video above, Braff explains why he avoided the traditional financing routes, and it's all the stuff you could have guessed: Money people make you choose different actors than you wanted, make you change your script, make you not able to do everything exactly the way you wanted, basically. Writes Braff, "I was about to sign a typical financing deal in order to get the money to make 'Wish I Was Here,' my follow up to 'Garden State.' It would have involved making a lot of sacrifices I think would have ultimately hurt the film." And that sound you hear is a million people simultaneously groaning.
Yes, this Point Break remake is really happening. There's a director and everything! And, according to Deadline, he is Ericson Core? Yeah, no, you probably haven't heard of him. The guy's a longtime cinematographer who's worked on some classics (we're talking original edition The Fast and the Furious). He's also got a directorial debut under his belt, with Mark Wahlberg's football-weepy Invincible. He'll be working off a screenplay by Kurt Wimmer, who just did the maligned new Total Recall and has a so-so record otherwise (Sphere on the one hand, Street Kings on the other). This time, Johnny Utah (or an FBI agent facsimile thereof) will be infiltrating a gang of extreme sportsmen/criminals.
The Chinese government keeps a pretty tight hold on the number of Hollywood movies that infiltrate the country's borders ever year. Officially, only 20 American flicks per annum are let in (although pirated DVDs means that access to many more titles is readily available), so if you're trying to expand the ol' revenue stream, you really can't go wrong with cracking that 20. Congrats, then, to Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. According to Zhang Miao, director of Sony Pictures' Chinese branch, Django will be the first Tarantino movie to open in China. And all Quentin had to do was lower the height of his blood splatter.
Where has Kristen Wiig been since Bridesmaids made her a bankable movie star? Straight stackin’ ’em, yo. Since her big cinematic breakout in 2011, Wiig's got five flicks wrapped up and ready to go: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Despicable Me 2, Girl Most Likely, The Skeleton Twins, and Hateship, Loveship. And that's not even counting Anchorman: The Legend Continues, shooting now.
If it seems like Tom Cruise can't go more than five minutes without signing on to another big-name, possible-franchise project — almost as if he's foolishly trying to outrun the inevitable, tragic consumption of that fleeting, ineffable life source — well, that's because he is! Since 2011's Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol more or less righted the wayward latter-day journey of the S.S. Cruise, Tommy has churned out Rock Of Ages and Jack Reacher, filmed post-apocalyptic sci-fi numbers Oblivion and All You Need Is Kill, and all but confirmed a fifth go-round for Mission Impossible. Now he's got one more project to throw on the pile.
With its 20th anniversary fast approaching, the motivation is on to get another Jurassic Park movie made. Talk surrounding Jurassic Park 4 has been around pretty much since the third movie came and went in 2001. In recent weeks, the rumor mill has begun to suggest that Steven Spielberg himself would step in and return the series to its former glory. But Spielberg has his usual billion projects to worry about, so the project is going forward with a decidedly atypical choice.