Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s return to big-screen actioners has been steady but slow, with January’s The Last Stand grossing $12.1M domestically and last month’s Escape Plan — with Sly Stallone and directed by Mikael Hafstrom — faring a bit better at $24.3M and counting. But those still feel like Arnold is warming up in the bullpen with new Conan and Terminator pics in the wings. However, next up for him is David Ayer‘s Sabotage, from QED and Open Road Films and due April 11. Schwarzenegger is doing his thing as the leader of an elite DEA task force that busts a big cartel and then deals with the payback, but Ayer’s stylish flair for action and a cast that includes Sam Worthington, Mireille Enos, Terrence Howard, Joe Manganiello and Olivia Williams makes this pic the most intriguing of the lot so far. Here’s the trailer that just dropped – you tell us if you think he’s getting into fighting shape:
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has taken a step forward on the reboot of The Legend Of Conan, which will bring Arnold Schwarzenegger back as the brawny king. The studio has closed a deal with Andrea Berloff to write the script. Best known for scripting World Trade Center, Berloff most recently adapted the French action film Sleepless Night for Warner Bros. She also wrote Straight Outta Compton for New Line and is writing a retelling of the King Arthur myth for Disney.
The franchise got a fresh start last October, when Universal and Schwarzenegger got involved, largely because of the passion of Chris Morgan, the scribe/producer who has minted money at the studio writing Fast & The Furious films. He was the one who decided to draw a parallel right back to the original raw, violent Conan films, which ended with the image of the barbarian king sitting atop his throne. The new film is about his efforts to stay there and the final cycle of a life spent obliterating anyone who got in his way. The Legend Of Conan is being produced by Fredrik Malmberg through Paradox Entertainment and Morgan & Emile Gladstone through their Chris Morgan Productions banner. Paradox owns the rights to the Robert E. Howard series, and we’re going to have to give them a mulligan on that ill-advised movie done with Jason Momoa. They are going back to Schwarzenegger, whose career as Hollywood’s top action star was launched by the 1982 Conan The Barbarian, which John Milius directed from a visceral script he wrote with Oliver Stone.
EXCLUSIVE: The Vladar Company and health & fitness publishing co. American Media Inc. will pump bodybuilding docu Generation Iron into limited release in several markets on September 20, a week ahead of this year’s Mr. …
Paramount has confirmed the long in the works deal to cofinance and distribute the reboot of James Cameron’s Terminator franchise …
Megan And David Ellison Will Each Pay 33% Of ‘Terminator’ Costs; Paramount Paying The Rest To Bring Arnold Back
EXCLUSIVE DETAILS: A spate of reports of movement on The Terminator franchise is a good sign that the franchise is finally starting to percolate again. I’ve learned that each Ellison — David and Megan, both scions of Oracle chief Larry Ellison — will finance 33% of the film’s budget, with Paramount finding the remaining third. Arnold Schwarzenegger himself said yesterday during an appearance in Sydney that he’s coming back and the movie will start shooting in January. None of this is really a surprise: Back in December, Megan Ellison, who’d spent $20 million to buy The Terminator sequel rights during 2011 Cannes, partnered on the franchise with her brother David. She makes prestige films and he makes popcorn fare like Star Trek and Mission: Impossible sequels, so the union made sense. The Wrap claimed an exclusive that Paramount would be the distributor. Well, through Skydance Productions, David makes all his movies with Paramount, so it was kind of obvious the films would likely land there. Skydance and Paramount are just coming through the gigantic ordeal of making World War Z, which, despite a massive budget, looks like it will do some serious global business.
As for Schwarzenegger, he’s been attached since back in May 2011, when Megan Ellison beat out Lionsgate and paid around $20 million for the franchise. She bought it from Pacificor, which had paid $29.5 million to pull the property out of bankruptcy. The latest rumor is that Megan Ellison would make a hail mary pass attempt to draft her Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow. That would be a coup, but it’s being denied, which means either that it’s not true, or Bigelow passed already. The project has been director-less since Fast 6‘s Justin Lin bowed out of the project when it was being developed solely by Megan Ellison. I met Lin at Sundance and he made it clear he wouldn’t return because he was not involved in the development of the script. Ellison in January hired Avatar and Shutter Island‘s Laeta Kalogridis and My Bloody Valentine‘s Patrick Lussier to write the script, so it stands to reason that the film should be ready to shoot by early next year.
Los Angeles, CA (May, 2013) –Action superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger (TERMINATOR series, TOTAL RECALL) is in negotiations to star in writer/director Steve Pink’s (HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 1 & 2) big budget action comedy THE TOXIC AVENGER produced by Akiva Goldsman (CONSTANTINE, I AM LEGEND, MR AND MRS SMITH), Richard Saperstein (HANCOCK, 1408, SE7EN), Charlie Corwin (HALF NELSON, THE SQUID AND THE WHALE), Stephen Kessler and Michael Benaroya (LAWLESS, MARGIN CALL). Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz will executive produce. The announcement was made today by International Film Trust’s (IFT) President Ariel Veneziano who will handle all international rights to the film alongside IFT’s Head of Sales Christian de Gallegos.
Set to be introduced to buyers at Cannes 2013, THE TOXIC AVENGER is currently in pre-production and scheduled to start principal photography this fall.
Here’s the latest trailer for Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Last Stand. Forest Whitaker, Luis Guzmán, Peter Stormare, Johnny Knoxville and Rodrigo Santoro join the fun along with Jaimie Alexander and Genesis Rodriguez. The movie directed by South Korea’s Kim Jee-woon opens January 18 via Lionsgate:
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has made a deal for The Legend Of Conan, an action film that will star Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his signature roles as Robert E. Howard’s mythic barbarian. The deal brings Conan and Schwarzenegger back to Universal, which released the first film that launched Schwarzenegger’s movie career back in 1982. Universal has world rights on the film.
The film will be produced by Fredrik Malmberg and Chris Morgan. Malmberg is CEO of Paradox Entertainment, which holds the rights to Conan. Morgan is the Universal-based writer and producer whose credits include the last four Fast And The Furious films, along with Wanted and 47 Ronin. Morgan has hatched the story and might write the script. The caveat is that the studio wants The Legend Of Conan for summer 2014, and Morgan might not be finished writing the seventh Fast And Furious installment by then. If that happens he will be a very active producer, because this is Morgan’s dream project.
Schwarzenegger starred in two Conan films before moving on to Terminator and other blockbusters as he became the world’s biggest action star. Paradox was involved in a 2011 reboot at Millennium Films that starred Jason Momoa and misfired. Paradox’s Malmberg, who moved the project away from Warner Bros after seven years of development with big-name filmmakers because the project was moving too slowly, feels that this is the version of the film that he and everybody else always wanted to see on the screen but couldn’t while Schwarzenegger was governor of California.
“The original ended with Arnold on the throne as a seasoned warrior, and this is the take of the film we will make,” Malmberg told me. “It’s that Nordic Viking mythic guy who has played the role of king, warrior, soldier and mercenary, and who has bedded more women than anyone, nearing the last cycle of his life. He knows he’ll be going to Valhalla, and wants to go out with a good battle.”
Ron Meyer turns 68 on Tuesday. So on the eve of his birthday, he finally made a public statement about the August rumors that he would be involuntarily or voluntarily exiting his job at Universal Studios soon. On a panel at the inaugural symposium of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy this …
Arnold Schwarzenegger held his inaugural symposium of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy this afternoon. James Cameron was scheduled to attend but was a no-show – described as “on a creative roll” working on the script for the Avatar sequel – despite prior billing and decades working with Arnold on movies like The Terminator and True Lies. Universal Studios President/COO Ron Meyer joined the former Governor as well as Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chair Rob Friedman, Imagine Entertainment chairman Brian Grazer, and American Idol mentor/Interscope Records boss Jimmy Iovine on “The Power Of People and Innovation — Media/Hollywood Leader’s Perspectives” panel.
Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s autobiography Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story (Simon & Schuster) hits stores October 1. Here’s a trailer for the book, narrated by the Termi-Gover-nator himself, describing his humble beginnings and rise from bodybuilder to movie star to governor of California and his subsequent return to movies in the …