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The Hollywood Universe – 3/24/08


The Hollywood Universe – 3/24/08

1) Ricky Gervais is blogging about his up-coming movie, This Side of Truth, a comedy about a world in which no one has ever had the ability to lie, where lying then becomes possible. John Hodgman, Tina Fey, Christopher Guest and Jeffrey Tambor have joined the cast, along with Gervais himself, Louis CK, Rob Lowe, Jonah Hill and Jennifer Garner. Gervais and Matt Robinson are co-directors. More details at:

2) Jared Padalecki, star of the fantasy show Supernatural, will be starring in the remake film of Friday the 13th, produced by Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes for New Line and Paramount. Padaleck will play an investigator looking into events at Crystal Lake. Marcus Nispel is directing. The original Friday the 13th movie came out in 1980 in which iconic horror character Jason with his hockey mask made a brief appearance. The remake will focus more on the crazed serial killer and is due out next year.

3) Lena Headey, known for her roles in the film 300 and The Sarah Connor Chronicles t.v. show, will be starring in the movie Tell-Tale, an updated version of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic horror story, The Tell-Tale Heart. The movie also stars Josh Lucas as a single father whose recently transplanted heart leads him on a frantic search to find the donor’s killer before the killer comes after him. Ridley and Tony Scott will be producing and Michael Cuesta will direct.

4) Vinnie Jones, Michael Matthias, Michael Madsen, DMX, Rachelle Leah, William McNamara, Pittsburgh Slim, Kat Von D, and Armand Assante will star in horror action film The Bleeding, directed by Charles Picerni. The movie is about an ex-Army Ranger searching for the killer of his parents who discovers a family of vampires in a former chemical weapons factory-turned-nightclub.

5) Will Smith is well on his way to building an acting dynasty. Smith’s children Willow, who starred with her dad in I Am Legend, and Jaden, who starred with his dad in The Pursuit of Happyness, will now be starring in Warner Brothers Pictures’ adaptation of Kazu Kibuishi’s graphic novel Amulet. Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment will produce the film, along with Weed Road Productions. The story concerns a brother and sister who move into their great-grandfather’s home after their father dies. They must use their ancestor’s amulet to rescue their widowed mother from a beast who lured her into an underground world. Kibuishi will be doing four other books in the series with Scholastic Books, which may lead to a film franchise.

6) Paramount is making a third animated film from the sci-fi magazine Heavy Metal, produced by David Fincher, Kevin Eastman, who is also the current publisher of the magazine, and Tim Miller. Heavy Metal’s trademark are erotic and violent SFF stories and art. In 1981, the first animated movie was made, with different segments put together by different directors. A sequel followed in 2000. The third movie will also use different directors for different parts of the film, including Fincer, Eastman and Miller, and will be an R-rated feature in the U.S. with adult themed material.

7) Universal Pictures and Dark Horse Entertainment have signed a three-year production and distribution deal for Dark Horse projects, comics and creative assets. Universal will be bringing out Hellboy II: The Golden Army, based on Dark Horse’s Mike Mignola series and directed by Guillermo del Toro, in July 2008.

8) Screenwriter Joby Harold will be penning the screenplays for the adaptations of Frank Miller’s graphic novel Ronin and Michael Reisman’s children’s fantasy novel Simon Bloom, for Universal Pictures. Ronin is about a masterless samurai who is reincarnated in a dystopic near-future New York populated by squatters, warlords and mutants, and who must destroy a demon with a mystic sword. Sylvain White is currently on board to direct. Simon Bloom concerns an 11-year-old and his two friends who find a physics book that allows them to alter physical properties of the world, including gravity.

9) When in Rome, the fantasy romantic comedy starring Kristen Bell, has added Jon Heder and Dax Shepard to its cast. The movie concerns a successful New York real estate agent, played by Bell, who attends her sister’s wedding in Rome, picks up coins from a “fountain of love” and then finds a passel of ensorcelled suitors waiting for her back home. Heder and Shepard will play two of the suitors.

10) Martial-arts fantasy film The Forbidden Kingdom stars action gods Jackie Chan and Jet Li working together for the first time. Li plays the Monkey King, a Chinese mythological character who is imprisoned by the evil Jade War Lord. An American teenager is transported to the Monkey King’s universe and joins forces with two kung fu masters, Lu Yan (Chan) and the Silent Monk (Li in a second role) to free the king. The movie was written by John Fusco and directed by Robert Minkoff for Lionsgate. It will be out in mid-April.

11) Paramount is officially remaking Frank Herbert’s 1965 legendary SF novel Dune into a second feature film, with Peter Berg on board to direct. The novel, which won both the Nebula and the Hugo Award, is a sweeping tale of an interstellar empire reliant on the spice Melange, which allows space travel and which is found only on the desert planet Arrakis. David Lynch helmed a 1984 film adaptation that was not much loved. The Sci Fi Channel in the U.S. also adapted the book and its sequel, Children of Dune, as well-received mini-series in 2000. New Amsterdam’s Richard Rubenstein, who produced the mini-series, serves as one of the producers of the new remake, as does Berg’s production company, Film 44, and Kevin Misher. 

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