San Diego Comic-Con has become more than a place for film studios to vamp their upcoming superhero movies. Now, they use the geek frenzy to stake out release date turf. Days after Disney and Marvel declared release dates for a flurry of superhero films the studio isn’t even ready to identify yet, Columbia Pictures has set its release plans and formalized plans to expand its $4 billion Spider-Man universe. As expected, the next film in the series will be Sinister Six, writer-director Drew Goddard’s bad guy mash-up, which is the first of several planned character and story expansions. That film has been dated for release November 11, 2016, with Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach producing.
The studio also announced that it has slated Uncharted for June 10, 2016, the date originally held by The Amazing Spider-Man 3. The adaptation of the Sony PlayStation vidgame will be directed by Seth Gordon, and the latest draft of the screenplay is being written by David Guggenheim. They haven’t set a star to play Nathan Drake; I’ve heard they are trying to pull Mark Wahlberg back into the mix, but the studio and the actor’s reps say nothing is happening. That film will be an Arad/Atlas Entertainment Production, produced by Charles Roven, Avi Arad, Alex Gartner and Ari Arad. Read More »
Jack Black will be taking the stage at the Hilton Bayfront’s Indigo Ballroom on Thursday, July 24 for Columbia Pictures‘ Goosebumps panel. From 12: 30-1:30 PM, Black will be joined by director Rob Letterman, who he worked with on Shark Tale and Gulliver’s Travels, as the two show clips on how they’re bringing the monsters to life in their big screen adaptation of the bestselling kids’ book series. In Goosebumps, Black plays the book’s author R.L. Stine. Pic will open on August 7, 2015. In addition, director Chris Columbus will make a video announcement about his May 15, 2015 release Pixels starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Josh Gad. In Pixels, aliens wage war against earth after misinterpreting their ’80s videogames, and it’s up to the President’s (James) best friend, former vidgame champ Sam Brenner (Sandler) and his friends to save the planet. Throughout Comic-Con at the Hard Rock Hotel, there will be a Pixels-theme arcade with classic ’80s titles. There will be a vidgame competition for a Comic-Con attendee to win a walk-on role in Pixels.
It’s been two years since China passed Japan to become the world’s No. 2 box office territory, and Columbia Pictures is making a big push to raise its profile there. The company said today that it has sealed partnership deals with Chinese filmmakers and companies to expand its local-language production in the planet’s most populous country. The first project on tap is The Monk, a martial arts action from Palme d’Or-winning director Chen Kaige, which is shooting on location in Hebei Province. Sony Pictures Releasing International plans a summer 2015 bow for the Chen Hong-produced pic, which follows a young monk who is forced to leave his impoverished monastery and must rely on his extraordinary martial arts skills to survive on the outside. He comes across a rare book about a lost martial art — a book coveted by a sinister father and son who will go to any lengths to obtain it. New Classics Media will distribute The Monk in China. The pic marks Columbia’s second recent production in Mainland China, following the upcoming Gone With The Bullets, Jiang Wen’s follow-up to his 2010 action comedy Let The Bullets Fly, which made $140M worldwide.
Columbia Pictures‘ EVP Production Sam Dickerman is moving to Disney, taking the same title and reporting to Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production president Sean Bailey. While at Sony, Dickerman worked most recently on current Oscar Best Picture nominee American Hustle as well as Salt and Battle: Los Angeles and comedies Click, Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Grown Ups. He joined Columbia in 2005 as SVP Production. At Disney his responsibilities will include development and production of Disney-branded live-action films; he called the job “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” “Sam is a talented executive with a history of creating dynamic and compelling films,” Bailey said in the release announcing the hire. “His passion for filmmaking, proven track record, and wealth of experience make him a great addition to our Disney live-action team.” Before Columbia, Dickerman was president of Wolfgang Petersen’s Radiant Productions where he worked on films like Troy and The Perfect Storm.
Columbia Pictures and Regency Enterprises have marked out a December 25, 2014 release date for their untitled Cameron Crowe film, which stars Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, and Alec Baldwin. Scott Rudin is producing with Crowe, who wrote and directed the romantic comedy. There’s still no title, but the plot centers on a defense contractor (Cooper) who falls for an Air Force pilot (Stone) after he is assigned to oversee the launch of a weapons satellite from Hawaii.
The film about the epic WWII battle that turned the tide in the European theater is the highest-grossing Russian pic of all time with $66.1M. Now U.S. audiences will be able to see Stalingradin IMAX 3D theaters for a week starting February 28. Columbia Pictures will distribute director Fedor Bondarchuk’s pic, which was Russia’s entry for the Foreign Language Film Oscar and is screening this week at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Stalingrad is the first Russian film shot completely in 3D and the first to be released in the giant-screen IMAX format.
Culver City, Calif. (December 6, 2013) – Michael De Luca is joining Sony Pictures Entertainment as President of Production for Columbia Pictures. De Luca will partner with Hannah Minghella to oversee development and production for the Columbia Pictures label and will report to Doug Belgrad, President, Columbia Pictures.
“Mike has worked with us on several of our highest-quality and most commercial recent films, and he’s nurtured many of our generation’s most important filmmakers. Likewise, Hannah is a tremendous creative executive who has made major contributions to our entire slate, in particular our key Spider-Man and Jump Street franchises. Together, Hannah and Mike will be a formidable team,” said Belgrad.
Columbia Pictures has moved Annie‘s release back to December 19, 2014 from its original Christmas Day release. For now the Quvenzhané Wallis-starrer has the December 19th date to itself. Will Gluck directs the reimagining of the stage musical and is rewriting the current script, revising a screenplay written by Emma Thompson and rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna based on the musical, which is based on the Little Orphan Annie comic strip. Pic also stars Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Cameron Diaz. Gluck is producing with James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith via Overbrook Entertainment, along with Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, Jay Brown and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith through Marcy Media.
Columbia‘s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is already underway for a May 2, 2014 premiere with the original cast intact including Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. Now the studio has set two more pics in “our most important, most successful, and most beloved franchise”, Sony Worldwide Marketing and Distribution boss Jeff Blake said today. It’s still not clear who of the main cast and crew are locked in for future installments. Here’s Sony‘s release announcing the flag-planting of the dates:
CULVER CITY, Calif., June 17, 2013 – With Sony Pictures Entertainment now in production in New York on The Amazing Spider-Man™ 2, slated for release on May 2, 2014, the studio is planting its flag on two future release dates for one of the most successful franchises in studio history, it was announced today by Jeff Blake, Chairman, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution for Sony Pictures. The next two films in the story of Peter Parker will be released on June 10, 2016, and on May 4, 2018, respectively.
Commenting on the announcement, Blake said, “Spider-Man is our most important, most successful, and most beloved franchise, so we’re thrilled that we are in a position to lock in these prime release dates over the next five years.”
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner, with a previous draft by
EXCLUSIVE: Sony has finally found its replacement for Gary Martin, who stepped down in January from his longtime dual posts as President, Production Administration, Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group and President, Sony Pictures Studios Operations. (Sony even renamed the studio’s Stage 15 as “The Gary Martin Sound Stage”.) Veteran producer Andrew Z. Davis has been tapped as President of Production Administration for Columbia Pictures, where he will supervise all aspects of physical production including postproduction and visual effects for all Columbia films as well as live-action portions of films from Sony Pictures Animation. He will work with President of Worldwide Business Affairs and Operations Andrew Gumpert, President of Production Hannah Minghella and Sony Pictures Digital Productions President Bob Osher and report to Columbia president Doug Belgrad. Read More »
Sony had a big summer hit with the first Grown Ups grossing over $160M domestically in 2010. Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph and Maria Bello made up part of the ensemble cast for that one which was directed by Dennis Dugan. They’re all back for Grown Ups 2 along with Taylor Lautner and Andy Samberg. The first film was based around a group of old high school friends who reunite for a July 4 weekend; the sequel sees Sandler’s character relocate his family back to the small town where he and his friends grew up. The film releases domestically July 12.
After Earth is the latest pairing of Will Smith and his son Jaden, after 2006′s The Pursuit Of Happyness. The sci-fi pic from director M. Night Shyamalan got a Comic-Con push this summer when Sony touted the massive mythology created around the story, about a father and son who crash-land on a hostile Earth 1000 years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape. As the father, a famed general, lies dying, the son must strike out on his own to recover their rescue beacon. Sony’s Columbia Pictures releases the film on June 7, 2013.
BREAKING: Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn has been selected to direct The Equalizer for Sony Pictures and Escape Artists. The film, loosely based on the 1980s TV series, has been a hot ticket for directors since Denzel Washington agreed to play the title role. A number of directors had been considered along the way. Negotiations toward a deal will begin immediately with Refn. Read More »
Culver City, CA (November 1, 2012) – Columbia Pictures has picked up the United States distribution rights to Bennett Miller’s FOXCATCHER from Annapurna Pictures. In addition to the U.S. distribution rights, Columbia Pictures also joins the film as a co-financer. The deal reunites Miller with Columbia, having previously collaborated with the studio on last fall’s release of the Academy Award®-nominated picture, MONEYBALL. Panorama Media is commencing International sales of the film at the upcoming American Film Market.
Starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave and Anthony Michael Hall, FOXCATCHER was written by Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye. Producing the film are Megan Ellison, Anthony Bregman, and Miller. The film is currently in production.
(Culver City, July 31, 2012) – DeVon Franklin has been named Senior Vice President of Production for Columbia Pictures it was announced today by Doug Belgrad, President of Columbia Pictures, to whom Franklin will report.
In his new role, Franklin will find, develop and supervise production of commercial material geared towards the urban and faith-based markets. He will work with all of the film divisions within the Sony Pictures umbrella. His next project will be the film adaptation of the New York Times Bestseller, Heaven Is For Real.
The promotion recognizes the executive’s success supervising such hit films as The Karate Kid, Jumping the Broom, and the highly anticipated film Sparkle, starring Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks.
Franklin will continue to work on Columbia Pictures franchise titles such as The Karate Kid, Masters of the Universe and After Earth.
Despite a dismissal from a Massachusetts judge, self-proclaimed Facebook co-creator Aaron Greenspan is not giving up his battle against Columbia Pictures and Random House. Greenspan claims he was denied his rightful place in the Facebook saga by being left out of The Social Network and by having his name changed in Ben Mezrich’s The Accidental Billionaires. Greenspan filed an appeal on May 10 against the studio, the publisher and Mezrich in his copyright infringement, fraud and “defamation by omission” case. The filing comes just a few days before Facebook’s expected $96 billion IPO and a day after Judge Robert Collings dismissed all of the former Harvard student’s claims. The book Accidental Billionaires was the basis for the screenplay Aaron Sorkin wrote for the 2010 Columbia film about the creation of Facebook; Sorkin won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Greenspan has long claimed he came up with “The Face Book” in September 2003, months before his classmate Mark Zuckerberg did. Zuckerberg is not named as a defendant. Read More »
CULVER CITY, Calif., March 1, 2012 – Bruce Willis will star in Five Against A Bullet, the action thriller being developed by producers Lorenzo DiBonaventura, Jordan Schur, and David Mimran for Columbia Pictures, it was announced today by Hannah Minghella, president of production for Columbia Pictures.
Alex Litvak is writing the screenplay which centers on a Mexican politician who, after his father is killed by a drug cartel, hires the five best bodyguards from around the world to protect him through a contentious election.
Commenting on the announcement, Minghella said, “We have been excited about this project since acquiring the rights last year from Mimran Schur and believe Bruce Willis is the perfect actor to lead this cast. We look forward to moving Five Against A Bullet into production quickly.”
Sam Dickerman and Lauren Abrahams are overseeing the project for the studio. Erik Howsam, who first brought the project into Columbia Pictures, will oversee on behalf of DiBonaventura Pictures
CULVER CITY, Calif., January 31, 2012 – Columbia Pictures, Happy Madison and Hasbro, Inc. are in final talks to develop Candy Land, a live action movie based on the bestselling Hasbro board game with Adam Sandler attached to star, it was jointly announced today by Doug Belgrad, President of Columbia Pictures, Hannah Minghella, President of Production for Columbia Pictures, and Brian Goldner, Hasbro President and CEO. Kevin Lima (Enchanted) is attached to direct the project for the studio with Sandler and Robert Smigel are in talks to write the screenplay.
Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing & Distribution has upped Angela Galgani to SVP Publicity. She will take over day-to-day duties running the New York publicity office, a role previously held by Gigi Semone, who departed in September. The new tasks include overseeing the New York staff and developing East Coast-based PR campaigns for Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation releases. Her current workload includes The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, 21 Jump Street, The Pirates! Band Of Misfits, Men in Black 3, I Hate You Dad, and The Amazing Spider-Man, among others. She previously was VP Publicity and started at Sony Pictures as an intern in 1997.