EXCLUSIVE: Let Me In and Cloverfield director Matt Reeves has been chosen by Warner Bros to direct The Twilight Zone, the Jason Rothenberg-scripted thriller based on the classic Rod Serling TV series. Negotiations will get underway early next week, but this is an assignment that was coveted by a number of top directors.
The Twilight Zone is being produced by Appian Way partners Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran, and Michael Ireland. Warner Bros’ Matt Cherniss is the exec. Though the last Twilight Zone film was an anthology with different directors, this one is a big science fiction action movie with a single freestanding story that is linked to the original series mainly in that it shares that familiarly eerie feel. The hope is to sign to sign Reeves quickly, continue to work on the script and get the picture into production by next summer.
Reeves is aligned with several major projects that will keep him busy for some time. He recently signed on to develop to direct This Dark Endeavor, a revisionist take on the Frankenstein tale based on Kenneth Oppel’s novel, with Jacob Aaron Estes writing the script for Summit Entertainment. Reeves is also attached to direct the Justin Cronin vampire novel The Passage for Fox 2000, and he’s got a deal at Universal to write and direct a film based on the Ray Nelson short story 8 O’Clock in … Read More »
Alcon Entertainment co-founder Andrew Kosove, Appian Way co-chairman Jennifer Davisson Killoran, The Kids Are All Right executive producer J Todd Harris and French producer Vera Belmont are among the names selected for the jury of the Golden Trailer Awards, which honors movie promotion with kudos for trailers, posters and TV spots. The awards will be handed out June 29 at a ceremony at the Music Box Theatre in Los Angeles. The other jury memebers: Bobby Bedi, head of mini-studio Kaleidoscope in Mumbai and VP of the Film and TV producers’ Guild of India; Vernon Chatman, best known as the voice of Towelie on South Park but also a writer-producer and stand-up comedian; Claus Czaika, CEO of EuroVideoBildprogramm and a leading independent film distributor in Germany; Amy Hobby, a film and TV producer whose credits include Sundance jury prize-winner Secretary; Sherif Mandour, an independent producer and director of half-a-dozen Egyptian films; Axel Niehaus, a Grammy-winning recording and mix engineer; and Bernhard Stampfer, an international media financier who previously headed Deutsche Bank’s Expert Team for Telecommunication, Media and Technologies.
EXCLUSIVE: The twists and turns on the Warner Bros adaptation of anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s graphic novel Akira continue. Director Albert Hughes is exiting the movie, I’m told. Insiders say that it is an amicable creative differences parting of the ways. Warner Bros will try to put him on another movie right away (Hughes and his brother Allen directed the hit The Book of Eli, and WB topper Jeff Robinov is their former agent and is very close with them). Hughes is coming to Hollywood next week to take meetings with his WME reps and look at scripts, hoping to find his next movie at Warner Bros.
As for Akira, the intention of the studio is to keep the picture on a fast track, which means they will find a director quickly. The studio has been wrestling with the approach on the film for the past year. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The script for the Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures live action adaptation of anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s 6-volume graphic novel Akira has been sent to a short list of actors. The picture is finally taking shape for an August start, following the delivery of a rewrite by Steve Kloves that has director Albert Hughes and the studio brass excited. The story takes place in the rebuilt New Manhattan where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment. There are two major roles, and I’m told that for Tetsuo, Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy have been given the new script. For the role of Kaneda, the script has been given to Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix. The two leads are expected to come from that group of actors.
Andrew Lazar is producing with Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran. Akira has been one of Warner Bros’ high priority projects since the studio with Legendary Pictures acquired it for a 7-figure sum 2 years ago from manga publisher Kodansha. The intention has been to make 2 films, each covering 3 books in the series. Akira was first adapted for the screen in 1988.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is closing a deal to acquire Harker, a spec script by Lee Shipman & Brian McGreevy for a re-imagining of Bram Stoker’s Dracula that will be directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The filmmaker’s latest is the Liam Neeson-starrer Unknown, which will be released February 18 by Warner Bros. Harker will be produced by Appian Way partners Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran, in a coproduction with Mad Hatter Entertainment. That label’s Michael Connolly will also be involved as a producer.
I’m told that the script focuses on Jonathan Harker as the Scotland Yard detective who is tracking Dracula, and the script sets up the sleuth as a potential new franchise character. DiCaprio isn’t planning to act in the film. Appian Way has a first look deal at Warner Bros, and the studio had the inside track even though other studios looked at the project over the weekend. The deal contains progress to production language and so the picture is expected to move quickly. Appian Way produced Collet-Serra’s last directorial outing, the fright film Orphan.
The writers are hot stuff. McGreevy wrote the supernatural mystery thriller novel Hemlock Grove, a book which just told to Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The novel teams an aristocratic vampire, a werewolf and Frankenstein’s monster, and places them in a Pennsylvania high school. As a team, the writers are scripting their pitch Pendragon for New Regency, … Read More »