Paramount and MGM said that the Dwayne Johnson-starrer Hercules, originally scheduled for wide release on August 8, 2014, will now open July 25, 2014. Brett Ratner is directing the pic, which is being eyed as a franchise. The movie’s original date fell a week after the one staked out by Disney/Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy. Now Hercules has a date to itself for the time being, and comes a week after Warner Bros’ The Hobbit: There And Back Again, the final installment of that trilogy; and Fox’s sequel X-Men: Days Of Future Past.
Paramount’s 2nd-quarter Super Bowl spot for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness has gone up on Apple/iTunes but you can watch it here:
After the spot’s debut during the Super Bowl, viewers who have downloaded the app (www.startrekmovie.com/startrekapp) can watch a longer version of the game …
The studio will unveil the details soon, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman says this morning. But the production to follow the SpongeBob SquarePants movie due in 2014 will be “based on original IP [intellectual property] and will have consumer products …
Philippe Dauman Doesn’t Rule Out A ‘Book Of Mormon’ Movie, But Discourages Talk Of Studio Consolidation
The Viacom CEO told an investor conference this morning that his company has “a small investment” in the Broadway musical hit from South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. And although he didn’t directly address a question about whether Paramount might turn The Book Of Mormon into a film, he seemed to indicate that it’s a possibility: “We love working with the two of them,” he said, adding that “we always look for opportunities to work with them.” He made the comments at the Gabelli Best Ideas Conference where, in reviewing Viacom’s operations, he touted recent changes at Paramount. With a strategy designed to minimize risk, he says, “you’ll never see us with a John Carter” — a reference to Disney’s big-budget disappointment this year. He supported the effort to slash Paramount’s production slate from as many as 30 releases a year to about 15 “concentrating on franchise films and our brands…We have been reducing the overhead at Paramount year after year.” He added that “the film business is one where you have to control the cost.”
Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch has reportedly asked Paramount to obscure all images of its flagship beer in the Robert Zemeckis movie Flight. In the drama, Denzel Washington plays an airline pilot accused of drinking before captaining a plane. It includes scenes showing Washington consuming alcoholic beverages, including Budweiser and assorted vodka brands. The well-reviewed film opened #2 this weekend with $25M. Now, according to wire reports, Budweiser VP Robert McCarthy has penned a letter to Zemeckis’ Image Movers and to Paramount saying Anheuser-Busch had “no knowledge of the use or portrayal of Budweiser” before or during the film’s production and were not contacted by the studio. “We would never condone the misuse of our products, and have a long history of promoting responsible drinking and preventing drunk driving. It is disappointing that Image Movers, the production company, and Paramount chose to use one of our brands in this manner,” McCarthy said in the letter. “We have asked the studio to obscure the Budweiser trademark in current digital copies of the movie and on all subsequent adaptations of the film, including DVD, On Demand, streaming and additional prints not yet distributed to theaters.”
After closing down the New York Film Festival on Sunday night with the Robert Zemeckis-directed Flight, Paramount chief Brad Grey and production topper Adam Goodman hung around Gotham for an extra day to show a promo reel from its slate through 2014.
Flanking Grey in the Paramount screening room at 15125 Broadway were Flight helmer Robert Zemeckis and David Chase, the Sopranos creator whose feature film debut Not Fade Away (see the trailer here) was part of a reel that included another Transformers and the Star Trek sequel (they showed JJ Abrams’ appearance on Conan O’Brien, where the ultra-secretive JJ was eager to show three frames of Star Trek Into Darkness, a humorous aside because you couldn’t see a thing). There was Jack Reacher with Tom Cruise who, despite being nearly a foot shorter and 100 pounds lighter than the hulking hero of Lee Child’s book, capably kicks ass in the launch of yet another franchise, with another Mission: Impossible clearly in the offing. There was the G.I. Joe sequel, pushed to next year and now in 3D and built around Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis. And the relaunch of the Jack Ryan franchise with Star Trek‘s Chris Pine, who just signed with CAA and seems an agency’s ultimate catch since he will soon be on firm footing headlining two big franchises.
Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage:
A Paramount-branded theme park will be built in the Thames Estuary near London under plans unveiled today. The $3.2B plan for the Swanscombe Peninsula, less than 30 minutes from the capital, will create 27,000 jobs and regenerate the 872-acre site, a former cement works which is twice the size of the nearby Olympic Park. Speaking to Deadline, a source familiar with the deal said it was the latest in a series of licensing arrangements Paramount has engaged in. They include a similar Paramount park in Spain, and a Star Trek-themed resort in Jordan. “This is not an investment situation and Paramount is not developing the project in a true sense,” the source said. “Paramount’s partners will lead the way, and the company will consult on their plans.” The deal includes Paramount’s highly valuable movie properties. Rides and attractions are likely to be themed around IPs like Star Trek, Mission: Impossible and Transformers, though the form they will take has yet to be set in stone. The company was “going through the creative process of arriving at the most compelling attractions”.
Paramount Handed Victory For Future ‘Godfather’ Films By Court; Puzo Estate’s Breach Of Contract Claim Still Alive
The contract that the studio made with author Mario Puzo over The Godfather movies can’t be torn up by his estate, a New York judge ruled (read it here) Wednesday. That means Paramount, who released the original …