It wasn’t an A-list star or surprise announcement that scored the biggest reaction during Fox‘s mammoth Comic-Con panel — it was rapper Biz Markie, who joined producer Guillermo del Toro‘s Book Of Life gang onstage belting his 1989 anthem “Just A Friend” in a moment of random pop culture mishmash. The song is covered in the 3D animated feature from director Jorge Gutierrez, a dazzlingly designed romantic adventure inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday and produced by Reel FX that Fox will open on October 17.
The original story follows Manolo (Diego Luna), who must fight for his lady love when spirits La Muerte (Kate del Castillo) and Xibalba (Ron Perlman) meddle in the world of the living. A trailer introduced to the Hall H crowd gave fans their first taste of Book, filled with Latin-inspired designs, a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” sung by lovesick matador Manolo, and the voice work of Ice Cube dropping his wink-wink line, “Today was a good day.”
Related: Guillermo Del Toro Comes Aboard Animated ‘Day Of The Dead’
The Day of the Dead holiday, celebrated around the world, served as a springboard for award-winning animator Gutierrez to fold in many elements of his Mexican heritage. “The Day of the Dead is very near and dear to my heart,” he said. “Got married on the Day of the Dead because I wanted my best friend who passed away to be my best man, and I knew he would be there. The core belief of the holiday is that as long as we tell stories of those came before us, sing their songs, and cook their dishes, they’re with us.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE:The White Queen‘s Aneurin Barnard has been cast in The Devil’s Harvest. The drama from director George Mendeluk also stars Ben Kingsley, Terence Stamp, Max Irons and Les Misérables‘ Samantha Barks. Barnard, who’s also got Mary Queen Of Scots coming up, will play Mykola in the story about a young man growing up in rural Ukraine who finds his life changed forever by the invasion of the Red Army and the subsequent persecution of his family and fellow countrymen as Stalin’s regime extends into Eastern Europe. Jaye Gazeley is producing, Camilla Storey is co-producer. Shooting is currently underway in Romania and Ukraine. Barnard is repped by Ken McReddie Associates in the UK and by UTA.
20th Century Fox Animation‘s Guillermo del Toro-produced Book of Life has set its voice cast. Channing Tatum, Zoë Saldana, Diego Luna, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Kate del Castillo and Ron Perlman lead the pic along with Cheech Marin, Hector Elizondo, Placido Domingo, Ana de la Reguera (Nacho Libre, Eastbound and Down), Eugenio Derbez (Instructions Not Included), comedian Gabriel Iglesias (Stand-up Revolution), radio personality Ricardo (“El Mandril”) Sanchez, and Danny Trejo. Jorge Gutierrez is directing the pic which 20th and Reel FX has set for an October 17, 2014 release.
David Fincher’s Gone Girl will be released on October 3, 2014, Fox said this morning as it jiggered its release slate for next fall. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike star in the adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel, about a husband whose wife disappears on the day of their fifth anniversary, and all roads point to him as the killer. To make room, Fox shifted Book Of Life, the previous film on that date, back two weeks to October 17, and it shoved back its James McAvoy-starrer Frankenstein from October 17, 2014 to the decidedly less Halloween-friendly date of January 16, 2015. That will make the release of the Paul McGuigan-directed adaptation of the Mary Shelley monster classic out about a full year after Lionsgate/Lakeshore’s version I Frankenstein, which is set for January 2014. Fox also confirmed that Son Of God, the feature version of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s History miniseries The Bible, will open wide on February 28, 2014.
Related: Mark Burnett’s ‘The Bible’ Feature Film Gets February 2014 Release Date