While 20th Century Fox is the studio sweating it out hoping Knight and Day overcomes lackluster tracking to turn in respectable 5-day opening numbers, Paramount brass is paying close attention. That’s because the studio just received the screenplay for the new Mission: Impossible 4 penned by Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec. I’ve learned that Brad Grey and Rob Moore are reading the script over the next few days and figuring out the preliminary budget next week on the Brad Bird-directed fourquel. Cruise reprises his Ethan Hunt role and produces with MI3 director JJ Abrams. But what effect if any will Knight and Day’s box office have on the new pic? Paramount insiders tell me no decisions have been made yet. But Hollywood has been buzzing that the studio might kill MI4 if Knight doesn’t connect with audiences despite Cruise’s action hero character.
What are Paramount’s choices? The studio could choose not to accept the mission, but that seems next to impossible after all the development that’s already gone into this still viable franchise. Especially after Paramount repaired its fractured relationship with Tom around this film and just committed to a film with his Les Grossman character. Plus, Cruise made what I hear is a reasonable deal to get the film off the ground, and there is a risk-sharing partner in exec producer David Ellison and his Skydance banner. More importantly, MI4 is a … Read More »
Here’s a new trailer for The Green Hornet, which debuts 3D in January. Cool trailer, sure. But having grown up watching action films with badass protagonists like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Sly Stallone, even Brian Bosworth and Jeff Speakman, I’ve got a question about this trailer (and the one for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World): Am I the only one having trouble buying Seth Rogen and Michael Cera as action stars? What happened to the days when the heroes could wipe the floor with everyone in the theater? I’m not sure Rogen and Cera could clean house against the matinee audiences for Toy Story 3. The jury is still out on Adrien Brody for Predators, though at least he seems to have undergone a vigorous aerobics regimen. Is this an apocalyptic sign for the genre?
I don’t understand why the Warner Bros lot wasn’t draped in black starting the middle of this week. Because the studio should be mourning the imminent loss of a shitload of Superman dollars. I’ve finally got my hands on the entire 72-page ruling Wednesday of U.S. District Court Judge Stephen G. Larson who concluded: “After 70 years, Jerome Siegel’s heirs regain what he granted so long ago — the copyright in the Superman material that was published in Action Comics, Vol. 1. What remains is an apportionment of profits, guided in some measure by the rulings contained in this Order, and a trial on whether to include the profits generated by DC Comics’ corporate sibling’s exploitation of the Superman.”
Think about it: Siegel sold the rights to the action hero he created with Joseph Shuster to Detective Comics for $130, and his heirs got back ownership of the character in 1999 and can possibly lay claim to $50+ million of Warner Bros’ and/or its DC Comics’ cash. The Shusters look to clean up before too long, too. If you want all the Superman lawsuit’s juicy background, Portfolio‘s Amy Wallace did a detailed article here.
For instance, Joanne Siegel (who’d been the sketch model for Lois Lane) wrote a 3-page letter back in 2002 to then Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons calling the company “greedy” and “heartless” and acting “just like the Gestapo … your company wants to strip … Read More »