EXCLUSIVE: Brad Bird has been set to direct 1952, a script that Disney paid former Lost producer Damon Lindelof last year to write. The film, which Lindelof is writing with Jeff Jensen, is a closely guarded secret at Disney, but it’s a big-scale tentpole film. I’m not sure if it’s a reference to the year, or a Lost reference. But it has multi-platform aspirations, and the studio hopes it will be the next film directed by Bird, who made the leap from animation to live action feature directing with the blockbuster Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol. The intention is to get the film into production next year, after a long prep, with Lindelof producing. Bird has been developing his own projects, including 1906.
Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions has released a full-length trailer for Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, the fourth installment of the franchise that was once left for dead after Tom Cruise’s acrimonious departure from the studio. Cruise and JJ Abrams produced the film and put back together the pieces, and it looks like they’ve put the money on the screen. The last film was released five years ago. Is it me, or does Cruise seem not to have aged a day? Brad Bird directed the film and Jeremy Renner has been added to the cast.
EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Renner, who received an Oscar nomination for the Ben Affleck-directed heist film The Town, is back in bank robbery mode. Renner is attached to star in King of Heists, an adaptation of the J. North Conway nonfiction book from Lion Press about one of the greatest bank robberies in American history. He’ll play George Leslie, who came to New York appearing to be a mannered gent, but secretly put together a crew and masterminded a heist of nearly $3 million in cash and securities from the Manhattan Savings Institution in 1878. Renner and his The Combine partner Don Handfield will produce with Black Bear Pictures’ Teddy Schwarzman. Black Bear Pictures optioned the book and plans to finance development and production.
Will Staples will write the script. Staples most recently sold the science fiction pitch Myth to Fox with Sam Worthington attached and Lorenzo di Bonaventura and James Cameron producing. Staples, who until recently wrote with partner Sean O’Keefe, is teamed with him on an adaptation of the Lorenzo Carcaterra novel Apaches for Jerry Bruckheimer, the pitch World’s Most Wanted at Universal and Kings of the Trail at Walden Media with Gavin Hood attached to direct. Black Bear Pictures is in production on the untitled Ramin Bahrani-directed pic that stars Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid, and begins filming A.C.O.D. with Adam Scott next spring. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures will move Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol from its Dec. 16, 2011 release date to Wednesday, Dec. 21, putting the picture smack into the holiday corridor. That moves the film back from opening against Warner Bros’ Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows and Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel. It will now open against the David Fincher-directed Sony drama The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and be released two days before Paramount’s The Adventures of Tintin, Summit’s The Darkest Hour, Fox’s We Bought A Zoo, and FilmDistrict’s release of the Angelina Jolie-directed In The Land Of Blood And Honey.
At the same time, Paramount will soon formalize a Feb. 8, 2013 release date for One Shot, the Christopher McQuarrie-directed adaptation of the Lee Child mystery novel series that the studio hopes will launch another Cruise franchise. Cruise committed earlier this month to play Jack Reacher, a retired military policeman who wanders the country with his toothbrush, the clothes on his back and his bankbook and inadvertently gets involved in conspiracies that find him taking the side of the powerless and exploited. He often settles matters with explosive violence. For Paramount, the strategy is to replicate the winter release pattern it followed successfully on Shutter Island, the Dennis Lehane novel that was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Leonardo DiCaprio. Read More »
The domestic trailer is set to debut in front of Tranformers: Dark of the Moon this week. Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles) for release December 16th. The film co-stars Ving Rhames, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Vladimir Mashkov, Michael Nyqvist, Josh Holloway, Simon Pegg, Lea Seydoux, and Anil Kapoor. Since some of you were wondering, that’s Dubai’s Burj Kahlifa, tallest building in the world.
EXCLUSIVE: Paula Patton has landed that female lead role that Deadline told you she was testing for, alongside actresses Lauren German and Kristen Kreuk. I’m told that Patton will play a young operative who works with Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character. The film will not be called Mission: Impossible 4. Cruise and JJ Abrams, who hatched the project together, always envisioned it as a franchise reboot. The film begins production in the fall with Brad Bird directing Cruise, who’ll co-star with The Hurt Locker‘s Jeremy Renner in what was another hotly contested role. Paramount co-finances the $140 million film with David Ellison’s Skydance banner. It marks the first film for Cruise and Paramount since he left the studio after generating over $3 billion in worldwide grosses for Paramount.
EXCLUSIVE: I hear that, after a hot pursuit by all the major Hollywood agencies, formerly rep-less Brad Bird has signed with UTA’s Tracey Jacobs and David Kramer. The writer-director is currently prepping to helm Paramount’s Mission: Impossible IV for producer J.J. Abrams, with Tom Cruise starring. But Deadline has reported previously that Paramount is currently rethinking MI4. I hear the script that came in is very good, but the studio is still trying to figure out the budget as well as Cruise’s role in light of the lackluster Knight And Day grosses. There’s talk that Tom’s character will mentor a young operative this time out if the pic proceeds. I just hope Bird is pay or play.
He’s also attached to direct 1906 for Warner Bros. Bird won two Academy Awards for directing the Pixar hits The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Bird’s first major animated feature came with Warner Bros’ The Iron Giant. In addition to working at Pixar, Bird has also had a prolific television career on such shows as The Simpsons, King Of The Hill, and The Critic. Bird will continue to be represented by attorney Jake Bloom.
The Writers Guild of America West’s Animation Writers Caucus (AWC) has awarded its 10th annual Animation Writing Award for lifetime achievement to Pixar writer-director Brad Bird, whose most recent film, Ratatouille, won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. And screenwriter and WGAW board member Tom Schulman is set to receive the guild’s Valentine Davies Award, recognizing both his writing legacy and valued service to the WGAW, the entertainment industry, and community at large. Also, screenwriter Robert Eisele will receive the Paul Selvin Award for his screenplay of The Great Debaters. The trio will be feted, among other honorees, at the Guild’s 2008 Honorary Awards Luncheon on April 23 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.