We talked about this before, and now it is official. The Weinstein Company is backing a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon under the subtitle The Green Destiny. Yuen Wo Ping will direct from a screenplay based on the fifth book in the Crane-Iron Pentalogy series. Read on for the press release.
New York, NY (May 16, 2013) – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today production of CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON II – THE GREEN DESTINY will begin in March 2014 in Asia. Yuen Wo Ping is set to direct with Donnie Yen starring as Silent Wolf and Michelle Yeoh reprising her role as Yu Shu Lien. The screenplay is based on IRON KNIGHT, SILVER VASE by Wang Du Lu, book 5 in the CRANE-IRON PENTALOGY series, on which the original CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON was based. The screenplay is written by John Fusco (FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, HIDALGO, SPIRIT) and will be produced by Harvey Weinstein and David Thwaites, co-produced by Johnny Levin with Executive Producer Anthony Wong. Yucaipa Films is co-financing the project. Continue Reading
Falling Skies fans have reason to be happy. The program’s new showrunner has just been tapped, and the job has fallen in the lap of former Battlestar Galactica EP David Eick. Deadline is reporting this evening that he will helming the Noah Wyle-led sci-fi drama as it heads into a fourth season (the third season begins its run on June 9.) Expect a renewal on that end to come quickly as special effects require some pretty advance notice even though Eick’s first take on the series will not come until maybe June 2014. He will be replacing Remi Aubuchon who served on the show for its first three seasons.
Well, that was fast. The Peacock is more than happy with making the ‘cycle off’ vacations of Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green on The Voice a yearly thing. News is breaking this Thursday that NBC has already locked down Shakira and Usher for the show’s Spring 2014 run with an announcement expected to come within the next few weeks. That said, we are now curious as to the constants on the panel and whether they might too be up from periodic displacement. Adam Levine and Blake Shelton have been on the program since the very beginning and the former at least does not entirely owe his career to the hit reality program.
Hold the phone of the ‘last episode for Seth Meyers’ talk. The soon to be Late Night host was on The Today Show this morning where he talking about his migration from SNL to weeknights where he confirmed he would not be leaving Weekend Update until 2014. The press naturally assumed that he would be using the fall to work on his new show which is hardly the case. On the other hand, there is another exit today to announce coming from the New York Post. Fred Armisen who has been a mainstay on the variety program. Continue Reading
There was not a HUGE late night debut for Star Trek Into Darkness last night–Wednesday at midnight is hardly ideal–yet Paramount has something to be proud of today. Between IMAX sneak peeks and midnight showings, the film is already up to $2 million at the domestic box office, adding to the $31.7 million from a partial overseas rollout last weekend. That is not the end of our story though as that will be written in the coming days, but for the mean time sit back and relax as it appears certain the film franchise will make its money back. Expectations for the four-day debut remain in the nine figures.
Update: The earlier figure did not include IMAX numbers. Those receipts were $1.3 million, making the late night debut $3.3 million as opposed to $2 million.
Hey, now that is interesting. Scarlett Johansson is going to become a director. The Black Widow is set to make her directorial debut in a film adaptation of Truman Capote’s Summer Crossing. The feature will follow a 17-year-old debutant during the summer of 1945 who skips a Parisian trip to build a relationship with the valet attendant. Apparently, Johansson has been working on this one for some time which gives us the ability to call this one ‘a passion project.’ Here are some words from ScarJo.
“Several years ago I began working alongside the Capote estate and writer Tristine Skylar to adapt Summer Crossing, an inspired early work of Truman’s which has long captured my heart. Being able to bring this story to the screen as my full length directorial debut is a life dream and deep privilege.”
This news follows yesterday’s word that she has joined Jon Favreau’s Chef for a mini-Iron Man 2 reunion. Favreau has the starring role in that with Johansson and Robert Downey, Jr. showing up for support.
USA Network is hard at work preparing for a retool as Modern Family repeats will soon dominate its schedule. They got the rights maybe a year ago, and ever since then, the topic of discussion was how they might become a comedy player as they are best known for their often-hokey dramas (don’t worry, more of those are coming.) One of the suggestions was to buy the now-cancelled former partner of the sitcom, Happy Endings. While that is still up for discussion, USA has planned some originals of their own which they are sharing today.
NEW YORK – May 16, 2013 – USA Network today greenlit its first original half-hour comedies, with series orders forSIRENS from Denis Leary (“Rescue Me”) and Bob Fisher (“Wedding Crashers”) and PLAYING HOUSE from Jessica St. Clair (“Bridesmaids,” “Best Friends Forever”) and Lennon Parham (“Best Friends Forever,” “Accidentally On Purpose”). The network also picked up a new comedy pilot, LOVE IS DEAD. The new series will debut in the first quarter of 2014, and will be strong complements to Modern Family, the award-winning and top-rated comedy, which premieres on USA Tuesday, September 24 at 8/7c. The announcement was made in conjunction with USA’s Upfront (#USAupfront), which is being held today at Pier 36 in New York. Continue Reading
With Burn Notice coming to a close, USA Network will be moving hard to ensure their top basic cable network status does not subside. There are eight original drama programs being mentioned today with official synopsis’ revealed in the official press release that follows.
NEW YORK – May 16, 2013 – Continuing to build on the network’s strength of signature original series, USA announced today a powerful new drama slate of upcoming development from high-profile auspices and homegrown series producers. The network also announced that it will start production on HORIZON, a period genre project from Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd (“Walking Dead”). USA’s newest original series GRACELAND, from White Collar creator Jeff Eastin, will kick off the network’s summer slate of original dramas, featuring SUITS, Burn Notice, Royal Pains, Covert Affairs and Necessary Roughness. The announcement was made in conjunction with USA’s Upfront (#USAupfront), which is being held today at Pier 36 in New York and emceed by the cast of SUITS. Continue Reading
In case anyone cares anymore, here is the CW schedule for next year. It is riddled with returning programs, but there are a few newbies in the form of The Originals, The Tomorrow People, and Reign. This suggests they may not even be trying anymore as ratings remain in the basement, but it gets attention nonetheless because of its broadcast roots. What some of you may be noticing here is Nikita is off the schedule. That is because it has been cancelled with an ordered six-episode run to provide closure. Continue Reading
Slowly but surely, Amazon Prime is quietly becoming an attractive alternative (or supplement depending on how you look at it) to Netflix. While today’s news does not exactly drive that point forward, the e-tailers grasp of more exclusive rights reasserts a continued commitment to such strategies. The programs coming to Prime include Grimm, Covert Affairs (USA,) Hannibal, and Defiance (Syfy.) Arguably, it is Grimm that is the draw here as it has quietly established itself as a Friday mainstay over the past two years over at NBC, becoming the network’s most consistent performer. Read on for the full press release.
SEATTLE—May 16, 2013—(NASDAQ:AMZN)—Amazon.com today announced an expanded content licensing agreement with NBCUniversal Cable & New Media Distribution that will bring a variety of popular programs to Prime Instant Video. Prime Instant Video offers more than 40,000 movies and TV episodes for Prime members to stream on Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Roku, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii and Wii U, among other connected TVs and devices – all at no additional cost. To sign up for Amazon Prime, visit www.amazon.com/primeinstantvideo. Continue Reading
Variety had the story last night that Cate Blanchett is being set up to star in a JFK assassination thriller called Blackbird. We are still waiting on the actress’ turn for Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella in which she plays the evil stepmother, but this is a good gap role between The Hobbit and then. In Blackbird, she fills the role of Janet who seeks to uncover her late grandfather’s secrets as it becomes known he dabbled in U.S. special ops. This film is being shopped around as a Hitchcockian nailbiter (or so say the trades) in search of a secret explanation for the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
With The Avengers sequel set to shoot at year’s end, Samuel L. Jackson has been tapped to first lead a film called Barely Lethal being produced by Brett Ratner opposite True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld. The Nick Fury-player is said to be in final negotiations for a role under the direction of Kyle Newman (Fanboys) reading from a script by John D’Arco. His role in all this will be that of a mentor to a 16-year-old assassin. Of course, you will not have to wait until this or The Avengers to next see Jackson on the big screen. That will come in Spike Lee’s Oldboy which is due out in October. Variety is credited with breaking this story.
Reese Witherspoon is on a bit of a roll. The indie film Mud at the end of last month in which she starred as the love interest opposite Matthew McConaughey seems to have given the Oscar-winner a lot of attention (outside of the tabloids of course.) Her earlier additions were Keanu Reeves’ Passengers and a Walk the Line reunion with James Mangold called Three Little Words. This one comes from Paul Thomas Anderson (his follow-up to The Master) and will symbolize another Walk the Line reunion, now with Joaquin Phoenix. The pic is called Inherent Vice based on a novel by Thomas Pychon. It is a 1970s-set film about a detective investigating the disappearance of an ex-girlfriend.
Yesterday featured the third new Chris Pine pic of the week making itself known. The actor has already joined productions of Stretch and Into the Woods, but now he is setting up for a film called Z for Zachariah which is an adaptation of a science fiction novel. The movie is billed as a psychological thriller about a ‘last survivor’ girl of a nuclear apocalypse who inevitably finds out she is not really alone. Here is the press release.
Material Pictures and Zik Zak Filmworks are pleased to announce Chris Pine, Amanda Seyfried, and Chewitel Ejiofor have joined the cast ofZ FOR ZACHARIAH. The film will be directed by Craig Zobel (The Great World of Sound, Compliance) from a script penned by Nissar Modi. Material Pictures’ Tobey Maguire and Matthew Plouffe will produce alongside Zik Zak Filmworks’ Skúli Malmquist, Thor Sigurjonsson and Palomar Pictures’ Joni Sighvatsson. Gary Ross and Lucky Hat Entertainment’s Stephen Bannatyne will executive produce, along with Silver Reel’s Claudia Bluemhuber and Lotus Entertainment’s Jim Seibel and Bill Johnson. Lotus will commence international sales at Cannes. CAA arranged financing for the project, and CAA and WME will co-represent domestic rights.
An adaptation of Robert C. O’Brien’s classic science fiction novel of the same name, Z FOR ZACHARIAH is a psychological thriller about a girl who believes she is the only survivor after a devastating nuclear event, but comes to learn she is not alone.
The project will begin shooting in August.
Hot of playing the lead villain Tom Buchanon in The Great Gatsby, Warrior and Zero Dark Thirty star Joel Edgerton has booked a new gig. The actor has just signed on to star opposite Johnny Depp in Barry Levinson’s Black Mass. The thriller is one of the many Whitey Bulger pics in development at the moment, a film that will take on the real-life inspiration for Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. As weird as it may seem to go after something that already hit a peak with a Best Picture Oscar in 2006, Matt Damon & Co. are said to be working on such a feature as well although we have not heard about that one for quite some time.
This is another good get for Edgerton. The actor is quickly making a name for himself with appearances in some of the more critically-acclaimed projects out there. He is currently filming the Natalie Portman Western Jane Got a Gun which will be added to his recent credits The Odd Life of Timothy Green and (going back to 2011) The Thing. Looking forward, fans can also see him alongside Michelle Williams in a remake of an Italian film called Double Hour from director Joshua Marston.