EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has emerged from a bidding battle with Sony Pictures to win screen rights to Red Rising, the just-released Pierce Brown novel that World War Z director Marc Forster will helm as his next film. The …
EXCLUSIVE: This is shaping up to be one of the most ambitious projects yet for Amazon Studios. I hear that the production arm of the online retailer’s streaming service is finalizing …
Global Showbiz Briefs: Marc Forster Heads Zurich Competition Jury; Fox Preps Launch In Netherlands; More
Marc Forster Tops International Film Competition Jury At Zurich
Marc Forster has been tapped to lead the International Film Competition Jury at the Zurich Film Festival, which runs September 26-October 6. The Swiss-German director, producer and screenwriter most recently helmed World War Z. Said Forster, “I have followed the success story of the Zurich Film Festival from afar and I’m certain that a fascinating task awaits me,” he said. The jury also includes American producer Stacey Sher, Indian producer Guneet Monga, Australian writer-director Andrew Dominik and Swiss filmmaker Thomas Imbach.
Fox Launches August 19 In The Netherlands
Fox will launch a 24-hour localized channel in the Netherlands on August 19. It will be available to digital TV subscribers of Dutch cable operator Ziggo. Fox International Channels will operate the new network in partnership with Dutch media venture Eredivisie Media & Marketing. The channel will target men and women ages 12 and older, offering a slate of premium, first-run drama, movies, animation and sports programming. The series lineup will include The Walking Dead, Da Vinci’s Demons, The Bridge, Low Winter Sun and Ripper Street.
‘World War Z’ Helmer Marc Forster Reflects On Watching His Zombie Movie Get Fed Through The Gossip Woodchipper
When Marc Forster was a kid, he was fascinated by how a collective swarming movement made everything from ants to cancer cells more potent. Those images informed the depiction of the hordes of zombies in World War Z. It had never occurred to Forster that the same phenomenon could happen to his movie. Unsubstantiated reports about overruns, creative clashes and re-shoots cropped up and then mutated and spread virally on the web. It got to the point where the question was no longer would WWZ work, but how cataclysmic a failure it might be. That began turning around when Paramount began showing the film, and it’s not a big factor as the film opens today. But what was it like for a director to get caught in such an unprecedented media maelstrom, a lot of which was based on some truth, and some inaccurate or exaggerated reporting?
“I never went through anything like that, not on Quantum Of Solace, not on anything,” Forster said during a break from promoting WWZ in Russia. “I would read that Brad Pitt and I had no communication, and we would look at each other and say, where could this come from? Is somebody just making up these stories? When articles like those come out and start spreading, it causes you to take a look at yourself, but the thing is, I never doubted the movie, or my own intuition. So few original things get made on this scale. This isn’t a sequel, it isn’t based on a superhero in a comic book. We saw it as an opportunity to take a genre and create something new and unique within it. That challenge excites me, but uniqueness always comes with criticism. As a filmmaker, all you can do is hope you get to the point where people feel as excited and as passionate about the film as you felt making it. Sure, we felt like the media wanted the project to fail, but we knew what we had, and we felt it would work. Then came the first preview, and the movie played like gangbusters.”
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired the action film Cowboy Ninja Viking and has Marc Forster ready to make the graphic novel adaptation his next film. The graphic novel and a Disney-developed script by Zombieland writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese were acquired by Universal after the script came in and was deemed too edgy for Disney’s family film mandate. The intention is to begin production later this year, after Forster completes the Brad Pitt-starrer World War Z for Paramount and Skydance. The hope is to spawn a franchise.
Cowboy Ninja Viking is based on the Image Comics graphic novel by AJ Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo. The title character comes from a secret government program to turn schizophrenics into assassins. The protagonist comes through the program with the skill sets of a cowboy, ninja and a viking. While most of the patients involved in the program are sent back to insane asylum after the program went awry in Iraq, he escapes and uses his skills to track down the billionaire who masterminded the program.
Relativity Media is up with a trailer for Machine Gun Preacher, the Marc Forster-directed drama that’s based on the true story of Sam Childers, a rough guy who changed his life and found purpose in establishing a haven for Sudanese children. Gerard Butler, Michelle Monaghan and Michael Shannon star in …
James D. Stern’s Endgame Entertainment, plus “This American Life” producer-writer-host Ira Glass and his producing partner Alissa Shipp, announced today they are teaming with Marc Forster and Bradford Simpson’s Apparatus to produce a film. It’s titled Heretics, based on the “This American …