I’m told he’s now officially come aboard the Finding Nemo sequel and has a concept the studio loves. Pixar continues to not be helpful on this, as they don’t comment on development. It’s understandable why Disney and Pixar would be excited by this. Stanton won two Oscars for his animation work on Wall-E and Finding Nemo. That original 2003′s fish tale’s $867.9 million worldwide gross makes it still Pixar’s second-highest-grossing film and the third-biggest Disney animated film release ever. And that comes before Finding Nemo is re-released in 3D in September. Read More »
Today we stumbled upon this Japanese-subtitled/voiceover trailer for Andrew Stanton’s John Carter. It reveals a little more of Disney’s upcoming movie based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ series of Barsoom (Mars) stories. The first was published almost 100 years ago. Many sequels followed. To today’s readers the author’s voice may seem quaint, archaic. Cultural and stylistic shortcomings aside, Burroughs’ storytelling is surprisingly compelling. Some commenters have dismissed what they’ve seen in previous trailers as derivative or outright ripoffs of dozens of other movies. Burroughs’ writing suggests the reverse. Mars has been a problematic movie subect for Disney and others but Pixar veteran Stanton is no slouch and his name alone will lure some fans to theaters to see his labor of love for themselves. John Carter opens domestically March 9.
Disney has released a new trailer for John Carter, the science-fiction epic based on the series of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs that stars Taylor Kitsch as the Confederate veteran and gentleman warrior who finds himself mysteriously transported to Mars, where he becomes a planetary legend.
EXCLUSIVE: ICM has signed Willem Dafoe, the veteran actor who just wrapped the Andrew Stanton-directed Disney film John Carter, with Taylor Kitsch playing the title character. Dafoe had been repped by WME. Dafoe has been working up a storm. He starred in The Hunter, a film that premiered at Toronto and has been acquired by Magnolia for release next year. He also completed production on Odd Thomas, the adaptation of the Dean Koontz novel that stars Anton Yelchin; the Abel Ferrara-directed 444 Last Day On Earth; and Boot Tracks with Michelle Monaghan. Dafoe continues to be managed by D/F Management.
UPDATE: Johnny Depp is in Europe right now, but really wanted to make The Lone Ranger. According to one insider, “Let’s see how it all shakes out on Monday. There’s always a chance that it could go. You never know until you know.” The deeper story behind this production stoppage is about how movies are costing too much, studios are giving major pushback, and today’s backdrop of a crazy economy. Everyone involved is still intent on the project and still in discussions to see what can be done. But the studio’s concern is spending over $200M on a Western, even with Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp and a comedic slant. So clearly Disney took drastic action. Now the studio and filmmakers are trying to figure out the next step, either to shop it elsewhere or put it back together at a later date at a lower budget.
EXCLUSIVE: In a stunning development, Disney has shut down production on The Lone Ranger, the Gore Verbinski-directed period Western that was to star Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the title character. Jerry Bruckheimer is the producer and the script is by Justin Haythe. I’m told this all just happened, and Disney pulled the plug because of the budget. I’ve heard the filmmakers were trying to reduce the film’s cost from $250 million (some even say $275 million) down to $232 million. But it wasn’t the $200 million that Disney wanted to spend. And between Depp, Bruckheimer, and Verbinski, the gross outlay on the film is substantial.
When the plug was pulled, the film was still casting up, with Ruth Wilson, the serial killer from the BBC’s Luther series, set for the female lead. And The Lone Ranger was scheduled to be released Dec. 21, 2012, smack up against The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which opens Dec. 14, and the Brad Pitt-starrer World War Z, which was just slated for Dec. 21. This becomes the second major Western-themed project to bite the dust, after Universal halted a mammoth adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. And is it coincidence that The Lone Ranger halted right after another Western, Cowboys & Aliens, proved a pricey disappointment for DreamWorks and Universal? Read More »