It is the second big hire of a hot young director for the franchise. After the monster Godzilla opening, director Gareth Edwards was set for an untitled Star Wars 3D stand-alone film, which Disney has dated for a December 16, 2016 release. Going young like this makes me more bullish on what is happening here, because I felt that Lucas steered the last three films to a sense of complacency that I felt hobbled the franchise. Lucasfilm is lucky these directors grew up with the original groundbreaking trilogy, making these hot young shooters desperate to be involved here.
Comic-Con: Fox Sets Reboots Of ‘Fantastic Four’, ‘Daredevil’ (Minus David Slade), Puts Joe Cornish On ‘Rust’
* Fox has officially set Chronicle helmer Josh Trank to direct the reboot of Fantastic Four, and the film will be the next Marvel property to be slated for production and dated for release by the studio. Fantastic Four, which will include a new cast, falls into line after The Wolverine sequel that starts production shortly, and the Matthew Vaughn-directed X-Men: First Class, which is also on a fast track. After Trank’s breakthrough with the Fox sleeper hit Chronicle he has been offered everything and attached himself to several projects. But I’m told that Fox expects Fantastic Four to be the next film he directs. It’s scripted by Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, who also wrote X-Men: First Class and Thor.
* Fox has set Attack The Block helmer Joe Cornish to direct Rust, an E.T.-style story scripted by Aline Brosh McKenna based on the Royden Lepp novel about a struggling farm family and the mysterious robot that shows up and changes their lives. The film is a sci-fi adventure aimed at a family audience, and …
EXCLUSIVE: Josh Trank has signed with Sony Pictures to develop to direct Shadow Of The Colossus, a big-scale live-action adaptation of the bestselling Sony video game. The film is being produced by Kevin Misher. The studio is interviewing writers to work with Trank, who after directing the $13 million sleeper hit Chronicle has become the go-to guy for big popcorn pictures. Trank takes on a Fumito Ueda-created game that has a strong narrative arc, along with the obligatory creature quotient to get the visual effects crowd excited.
The protagonist is a young man who thinks his lover has died. Desperate to bring her back, he heads into a forbidden land, and summons a demon who can wake the dead. The price for bringing back his girl: slay 16 colossi that dominate this mystical place. These are skyscraper-sized giants that rise from the ground, fly through the air and come from the water. As the young man works through his quest on horseback, he begins to wonder if he is on a noble pursuit to bring back his lover, or perhaps has made a deal with the devil and is being used. Trank has been a fan of the game since it launched in 2005, and sought out the job.
Trank is separately developing two Marvel superhero franchises in Fantastic Four for Fox and the Spider-Man spinoff Venom for Sony Pictures, and he’s also aligned to the Warner Bros comic book adaptation …
The South African production company on Josh Trank’s Chronicle is cozying up to Hollywood. Film Afrika Worldwide CEO David Wicht will head up the new LA office where he’ll facilitate productions shooting in South Africa and develop original material with US partners. Last year, the South African government modified its rebate system by removing a cap and allowing producers to recoup 15% of local spend. The shift has increased interest in the country as a shooting destination. Chronicle and DNA Films’ upcoming Dredd were both recently shot at the Cape Town Film Studios. Film Afrika’s credits include Ridley Scott’s Gettysburg, History series America: The Story Of Us, HBO’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and the upcoming mini Labyrinth, for Tandem Communications and Scott Free. The company is currently in production on Videovision’s adaptation of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom starring Idris Elba and Noemie Harris.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has set Josh Trank to develop to direct The Red Star, an adaptation of a graphic novel that will be scripted by Jason Rothenberg. Neal Moritz will produce through his Original Film shingle. Trank made his feature directing debut on Chronicle and after the $12 million film grossed $116 million and was that rare low budget, no star genre film to receive strong reviews, Trank has been up for much bigger jobs. Among those conversations is the Fantastic Four reboot at Fox and the Spider-Man spinoff Venom at Sony Pictures. But The Red Star is the first one that has led to a deal for a film that has a writer working on the project.
The Soviet-themed sci-fi fantasy comic book series was picked up by Warner Bros after Universal let it go. Created by Christian Gossett, the comic is set in an alternate USSR where futuristic technology co-mingles with magical elements. The protagonist is a Red Fleet soldier who goes up against an ex-leader who rules with an iron fist. Rothenberg most recently scripted The Twilight Zone, which Cloverfield helmer Matt Reeves is attached to direct for Warner Bros and Appian Way. Both are repped by WME.
20th Century Fox Production President Emma Watts Reups Through 2015; Sets Matthew Vaughn For ‘X-Men: First Class’ Sequel
EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox has re-upped production president Emma Watts to a new multi-year deal that will keep her in the post through 2015. The new deal was made by Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos, co-chairmen and CEOs of Fox Filmed Entertainment. Since taking over as sole production president in 2009, Watts has made it a priority to populate the studio’s slates with elite filmmakers, and keep them coming back for more. The studio in past years had the reputation of being very hands-on. That kept budgets in check, but didn’t make Fox a haven for major directors.