May-26th-2005, 12:14 PM
Tara Reid will host E!'s ''Wild On!'' series
Don't say you haven't been warned: Tara Reid has inked a deal to become the new host of E!'s Wild On!, and the network promises viewers ''are about to experience the real Tara'' as she travels the beaches, clubs, and hedonistic hotspots of the world.
The hard-partying actress, who made headlines last year when she accidentally exposed her breast on the red carpet at P. Diddy's celebrity-studded birthday bash, is coming off a string of big-screen box office flops, most recently Alone in the Dark, a critically savaged horror flick (EW gave it an F).
Reid recently shot a pilot for Fox called Hitched, but the show failed to make the cut when the network released its fall schedule this week.
Liebesman Directing Chainsaw Prequel
Jonathan Liebesman (Darkness Falls) will direct the untitled "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" prequel that Platinum Dunes is producing for New Line Cinema, says The Hollywood Reporter.
As in the first movie, which grossed more than $80 million domestically, the story follows a group of kids who run afoul of chainsaw-wielding psycho Leatherface and his demented family. The story will reveal Leatherface's origins.
The script was written by Sheldon Turner with a rewrite by David Schow. Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller are producing via Platinum Dunes. Mike Fleiss also is producing.
Sylvester Stallone Directing Poe
Sylvester Stallone will direct Poe, a film he wrote about the life of Edgar Allan Poe. Variety says Nu Image/Millennium Films will finance, produce and distribute the film.
Robert Downey Jr. is Stallone's choice for the leading role. Production is scheduled to begin in Europe this fall.
Considered the granddaddy of the Gothic horror tale, Poe's life is rich with its own eerie details. He suffered from madness, depression and drugs, and was mysteriously found dead in a gutter in 1849.
Stallone previously directed the second, third and fourth "Rocky" films, and Staying Alive. His screenplays include the entire "Rocky" and "Rambo" film franchises.
Phillips Books Ticket on Flight 121
Australian actor Nathan Phillips (Wolf Creek) will make his American film debut opposite Samuel L. Jackson in New Line Cinema's Pacific Air Flight 121 (aka "Snakes on a Plane").
Directed by David Ellis, the film centers on a ruthless assassin who unleashes a crate full of lethal snakes aboard a packed passenger jet over the Pacific Ocean in order to eliminate a witness in protective custody.
Phillips will play the witness. Jackson is set as a cop on the plane. The film is to shoot next month in Canada.
Ross and Rachel : The Movie?
David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston are the first of the former "Friends" troupe to express an interest in a feature film version of the hit series.
According to Digital Spy, it's likely that the original cast may indeed be itching to do a film spin-off.
"Although the cast have gone their different ways, none of them has quite repeated the success they had with Friends", says an insider.
"And while Friends may be over as a television entity there are many who have believed for some time that people had not quite had enough of them just yet. David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston are the first to make positive noises regarding the film and it is thought once they are on board the others will follow suit."
Money talks I guess....and apparently they're waving some big rolls of green in their direction.
Beverly Hills Bastard?
Career in the crapper? Then Quentin Tarantino is worth composing an email too.
In an interview with Film Focus, Michael Madsen says Tarantino is rounding up the cast of casts for his upcoming war movie "Inglorious Bastards" - and that includes fallen funnyman Eddie Murphy.
Yep, same chap who chased tykes about in "Daddy Day Care", same dude who put on a fat suit for "The Nutty Proffesor".
If that's not enough - Adam Sandler, Tim Roth and Madsen, naturally, are also being lined up for parts.
"Quentin's written it now," he FilmFocus, "but we've not started shooting yet. I've read it and you know the Dirty Dozen? It's a bit like that."
The gritty war movie - can't imagine what banana-chin's going to have Sandler or Murphy doing - is rumoured to be split into two parts, like "Kill Bill".
May-26th-2005, 12:20 PM
DiCaprio Writes The Chancellor Manuscript
Paramount Pictures has bought Robert Ludlum's political thriller The Chancellor Manuscript to adapt into a feature to star Leonardo DiCaprio, reports Variety.
The film will be produced by Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher, whose Red Wagon will produce with DiCaprio's Appian Way and the Ludlum estate.
The buy is the biggest book deal of the year so far. Along with $4 million for the book, the studio will be spending more than $1 million for an adaptation by Michael Seitzman, who scripted the Charlize Theron-starrer Class Action.
DiCaprio will play Peter Chancellor, who turns in a novel about D.C. power brokers who are blackmailed into altering U.S. policies. When some operatives get hold of the manuscript, they think he has uncovered their actual scheme and they try to hunt the author down.
Seitzman also wrote Brad Pitt vehicle The Sparrow and will direct his script Storming the Court for Warner Bros.
"(With) Leonardo in the role of a man of action -- and a romantic element thrown in -- it becomes a very attractive film," Wick said.
"Revenge" Is Sweet at Box Office
Holy Sith! Darth did some damage at the box office this weekend.
Star Wars: Episode III--Revenge of the Sith earned a Yoda-riffic $108.5 million from Friday to Sunday, according to preliminary studio figures.
But the boffo numbers didn't make for a new opening-weekend record. Spider Man is still the champ thanks to $114.8 million the comic flick swung in with in 2002, but if estimates hold, Sith will own the second-best three-day opening weekend of all time, edging out Shrek 2's $108 million last year.
With its record-smashing opening midnight Wednesday, the final Star Wars prequel has grossed $158.5 million, a new best for a four-day opening, and enough to beat any previous five-day haul.
Sith has set the standard for single-day total, with its $50 million opening day haul beating Shrek 2's previous mark of $44.8 million. It also as topped the two-day and first three-day charts, and grabbed the four-day record, beating out Matrix: Reloaded's $134.3 million.
Worldwide--excluding Korea and Japan--the gross was $303.2 million.
"That's also a record. An international record. A domestic record. And we also set the intergalactic record I believe. I can't find the old one but I know we set it," trumpeted Bruce Snyder, head of distribution for 20th Fox. "It's a real kick."
Sith averaged a rancor-sized $29,637 per its 3,661 theaters, tops among all releases this weekend. Snyder described the audience as "a very nice mix" between male (58 percent) and female (42 percent), old (52 percent over 25) and young (48 percent under 25), although the PG-13 rating and intense content probably kept really small kids away.
The film also was a force for online ticket brokers. Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com claim to have combined to sell an unprecedented 20-plus percent of the tickets for Sith showings.
"The reviews were terrific, the buzz is fabulous, people love the movie," Snyder said, noting that many came straight out of the theater to buy tickets to see it again at a future show. "I will say this, and I don't say this often: The picture deserves these kinds of reactions and accolades. It's about the movie. The movie is terrific...and it's a culmination of the whole saga and it's a great way to end it."
The previous highest three-day weekend for a Star Wars installment was $80 million for Episode II--Attack of the Clones in 2002, which opened on a Thursday. The first prequel, The Phantom Menace, opening on a Wednesday in 1999, earned $64.8 million its first weekend.
Back in 1983, before prequels and ultra-wide openings, Return of the Jedi, after a Wednesday debut had a $23 million opening from just 1,002 sites. In 1980, at a mere 126 theaters, the first sequel The Empire Strikes Back had a three-day week of $4.9 million after opening on a Wednesday. Taking the industry completely by surprise in 1977, the saga began with Star Wars (now known as Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope) at just 43 theaters. After a Wednesday opening, the original earned $1.5 million Friday to Sunday, racking up a hit-making $36,151 per screen. Factoring in its subsequent rereleases and 1997 update, the original film has become the top earner of them all, with $460.9 million domestically.
As for Sith, it accounted for 70 percent of the total weekend box office.
But there was a dark side to film's intergalactic numbers. With rival studios clearing off their release schedules to make room for Sith, there were no other major new releases and the overall receipts were down from the same period last year for the 13th weekend in a row. While business was up 65 percent from last weekend, it was down about 4 percent from last year, when Shrek 2 headlined with continued support from hits like Van Hesling and Mean Girls.
There is a new hope, though. With audience enthusiasm for the well reviewed Star Wars prequel generating excellent word of mouth, even from those who don't want to dress up like Wookiees and take their lightsabers to the midnight screenings, and bigger films in the offing. studios and exhibitors are predicting business will be back up soon.
"It's taken three months to create this slump," says Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. "It's going to take several weeks and many blockbusters to reverse this trend. Star Wars is certainly a great start-off point for that and shows that with the right movie people will line up around the block."
"One film cannot turn everything around overnight."
But one film can make the guys at Fox very happy, especially after the disappointment of the studio's expensive Crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven, which has only grossed $41 million in three weeks.
The film picking up the most Sith crumbs was last week's number one, Monster-in-Law. The Jennifer Lopez-Jane Fonda catfight comedy dropped 38 percent to second with $14.3 million, bringing its two-week to $44.1 million. Will Ferrell's Kicking & Screaming tumbled 48 percent, earning $10.5 million in third place for a two-week gross of $34 million.
Holding up well was Crash. The Los Angeles-based treatise on racism was only off 22 percent, moving up to fourth place with $5.5 million. The Lions Gate release, which has expanded to 1,905 theaters, has a three-week tally of $27.6 million.
Here's a rundown of the top 10 films based on Sunday studio estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations; final figures will be released Monday afternoon:
1. Star Wars: Episode III--Revenge of the Sith, $108.5 million
2. Monster-in-Law, $14.3 million
3. Kicking & Screaming, $10.5 million
4. Crash, $5.5 million
5. Unleashed, $3.8 million
6. Kingdom of Heaven, $3.3 million
7. House of Wax, $3.1 million
8. The Interpreter, $2.8 million
9. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, $2 million
10. Mindhunters, $909,049
Domestic: $182,710,278 53.9%
+ Overseas: $156,418,058 46.1%
= Worldwide: $339,128,336
Is the Force with Matt Newton?
Australia's Sunday Herald Sun is reporting that Matt Newton is being eyed for a role in Lucasfilm's new live-action "Star Wars" TV series that will span 100 episodes.
The newspaper says Newton was originally Lucas' second choice to play Anakin Skywalker in the three prequels, but Lucas settled on Hayden Christensen for the role.
Lucasfilm has apparently done an "availability check" on Newton for the planned spin-off TV series to be filmed in Sydney. Newton is the son of legendary Australian TV entertainer Bert "Moonface" Newton.
Holmes jumping on Mission : Impossible 3?
Let the 'Ah, so it's all for publicity' assumptions erupt, if you must...
Tom Cruise is rumoured to have coaxed current squeeze Katie Holmes into playing a role in "Mission : Impossible 3". And not just any role - the lead female part, says Ananova.
Holmes - not surprisingly - would be the one playing pash-rash with Ethan Hunt in the film. Ah, that's love interest.
There's some roles to fill in the film now, with Scarlett Johansson and Carrie-Anne Moss recently shooting through the exit door.
Lindsay Lohan is apparently gunning for the same role Holmes is chasing. Keri Russell and Elisha Cuthbert ("House of Wax") are apparently being eyed for roles too.
Fonda to star in 9 to 5 sequel?
Now that she's open to putting mug before lens again, the producers of one of Jane Fonda's earlier hits hope the actress will agree to starring in a long-planned sequel.
The money-men behind 80's hit "9 to 5" hope to entice the actress - returning to the screens after fifteen years, with "Monster-In-Law" - to a sequel.
“They’ve wanted to for years,” A source tells MSNBC. “There’s been scripts, potential directors, the works, but everyone thought that for it to really work, they’d need the three leads from the original film.”
Fonda's co-stars Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton are apparently keen.
"They’ve talked to Fonda and think they can make this happen. There’s some discussion that it might be called '9 to 5:30.'”
Fonda's reps deny anything solid though.
There have been no serious conversations about that or any other film project at this time,” her rep Pat Kingsley tells.
Day of the Dead Remake in the Works
Millennium Films, Taurus Entertainment and Emmett/Furla Films are developing a remake of George A. Romero's 1985 Day of the Dead, which will be financed and distributed through Millennium, says Variety.
The original film was set in a world overrun by pesky zombies bent on extracting a group of scientists and military personnel who have holed up in an underground bunker.
"Day" was a sequel to Romero's 1968 Night of the Living Dead and 1978 Dawn of the Dead.
Universal Pictures released a remake of "Dawn" last year, which grossed $102 million worldwide. Romero's "Land of the Dead" is set for a June 24 release.
New Line Adapting Interman
New Line has licensed graphic novel Interman, says Variety.
Created and self-published by Jeff Parker, Interman concerns a young man raised in seclusion who discovers he was genetically engineered by the government to be a superhuman killing machine. The military is after him, and he has to fight his instinct to become a killer.
Exorcist: The Beginning screenwriter Alexi Hawley is writing the adaptation.
Michael Bacall to Adapt Scott Pilgrim
Universal and Marc Platt Productions have hired Michael Bacall to adapt comic book Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life, reports Variety.
The first in a three-part series by Bryan Lee O'Malley, published last year by Oni Press, follows a suburban slacker who finds himself in a kung fu tale, battling his dream girl's seven evil ex-boyfriends to win her hand.
Shaun of the Dead helmer Edgar Wright is aboard to direct.
Bacall's other credits include In Search of Captain Zero, a surfer biopic with Sean PennSean Penn attached to star and Stacey Peralta to direct, and Justice Deferred, an adaptation of Len Williams' novel that Maguire Entertainment has set up at Warner Bros.
Bacall also has sold spec Psycho Funky Chimp to Dimension and set up L.A. graffiti drama pitch Graff with New Line for Noah Emmerich to produce.
Extra ''Sopranos'' season called ''possible.''
Show's creator says new episodes will focus on money and materialism.
The sixth season of The Sopranos, due early next year, will be its final one, according to series creator David Chase.
Reuters reported that audience members at a forum sponsored by The New Yorker magazine and the Newhouse School at Syracuse University grilled Chase about the possibility of a seventh season, to which he responded, ''No. No more.'' He then admitted, however, that he wouldn't have to tweak the show's story line much to continue the saga of Mob boss Tony Soprano and his family. ''It is possible,'' he said.
Chase further cracked the door by explaining his decision will hinge on ''a question of whether the story works out creatively in six seasons, which I think it will. Then we probably shouldn't do a seventh.''
Either way, Chase has settled on a direction for new episodes. ''I started thinking about what are these people really about, what are they really after. It's going to be about money and about materialism, buying stuff, consumerism,'' he said. ''That's all they care about. All that stuff helps them not to think about larger issues. I notice that myself. When I go shopping, I feel better. It's like a high.''
More importantly, though, can audiences expect any shocking Mob-style executions? ''We do have that machine that sprays blood on the wall,'' Chase joked.
Reuters noted that Chase added he was happy his Emmy-winning series didn't end up on network television. ''It would have been a plane crash of differing expectations,'' he said, arguing that the networks glorify authority ''in an attempt to convince the American people that life isn't tragic, that everything works out and all those cops and all those firemen and all those judges and all those doctors, they really care.''
Chevy Chase Aboard Zoom
Chevy Chase will star in Revolution Studio's comedy Zoom, marking his first turn in a studio film since 2002's Orange County.
The film, which stars Tim Allen and Courteney Cox and is being directed by Pete Hewitt, is based on Jason Lethcoe's graphic novel "Zoom's Academy for the Super Gifted."
The Hollywood Reporter says the story centers on an out-of-shape superhero (Allen) who is called back into action to turn a ragtag group of kids into a new generation of superheroes to save the world.
Columbia Pictures is planning a May 12, 2006 release.
The Weinstein Co. Sets Release Dates
The Weinstein Company has announced its upcoming release date schedule. Derailed, bowing Oct. 21, will be the first of six films scheduled for release before the end of the year.
In addition, Bob and Harvey Weinstein said they are planning eight launches for 2006 including Grind House, for which Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez each will direct a 60-minute horror tale.
Variety says the Weinsteins have scheduled these films:
Derailed, Oct. 21; suspense tale starring Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston.
Wolf Creek Nov. 18 under the Dimension banner; horror film debut of Greg McLean.
The Matador, platform release starting Nov. 18; black comedy starring Pierce Brosnan with Greg Kinnear and Hope Davis.
Transamerica, platform starting Dec. 2; dark comedy starring Felicity Huffman.
The Promise, platform starting Dec. 16; epic helmed by Chen Kaige and starring Hiroyuki Sanada, Jang Dong-Kun and Cecilia Cheung.
Mrs. Henderson Presents, platform starting Christmas Day; director Stephen Frears' follow-up to Dirty Pretty Things.
The Gathering, Jan. 6; thriller starring Christina Ricci. The film bowed at the 2002 Cannes market.
Feast, Jan. 20 through Dimension; horror movie produced during the most recent Project Greenlight series.
Breaking & Entering, early February; drama helmed by Anthony Minghella starring Jude Law.
Pulse, March 3 through Dimension; Japanese horror remake starring Kristen Bell.
Killshot, March 17; Elmore Leonard adaptation helmed by John Madden.
Scary Movie 4, April 14 (Easter weekend); helmed by Scary Movie 3 director David Zucker.
Grind House, spring 2006; will be made in the spirit of old Hollywood presentations, including trailers and short extra materials between stories. Tarantino and Rodriguez said they hope the the film will spawn a series of "Grind House" films.
Sin City 2, summer 2006; continuation of the Frank Miller stories, helmed by Rodriguez.
Warner Bros. Acquires Patterson Bestsellers
Warner Bros. Pictures has acquired the James Patterson ("Kiss the Girls," "Along Came a Spider") bestsellers "When the Wind Blows" and "Maximum Ride" with an eye toward turning the young adult books into a kid franchise, says Variety.
Matthew Huffman has been set to write a script based on the first book, and Weed Road's Akiva Goldsman and Kerry Foster will produce.
"When the Wind Blows" is the story of six genetically engineered kids - they have wings and can fly - who are hunted down by the scientists.
The sequel book, "Maximum Ride," has topped the New York Times children's bestseller list since it was published in April.
Paramount has Ben Ramsey scripting a third Alex Cross film, Roses Are Red. New Line is developing Patterson's Santa Kid and Honeymoon.
More Snicket and Ring on the way
Husband and wife producing team Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald ["The Ring"] have a severe case of sequelitis at the moment and no amount of fresh ideas are going to ease the fever, it seems.
The duo tell IGN FilmForce that they're eyeing a "Ring 3" and a "Lemony Snicket 2", as we type.
"We had a year of sequels," MacDonald laughed. "Ring 3, we're talking about. We actually had kind of a cool approach to it. That's kind of in the beginning stages. Lemony Snicket's is still something Paramount is interested in pursuing and we're going to be talking with them more."
Parkes continues, "It's easy to scale down Ring 3 as a small picture that's not incredibly expensive. Lemony Snicket's, [there is] the creation of the world, and therefore they tend to be expensive. And there's Jim Carrey, so you have to be absolutely certain that the market's there and the idea's there before you embark on that."
So would Naomi and little Dave be written out of "The Ring 3"? "Not necessarily, but it's by it's very nature a small, intimate movie."
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