Fox has hired X-Men: Days of Future Past scribe Simon Kinberg to work on its Fantastic Four reboot script. Kinberg joins his X-Men co-writer Matthew Vaughn on the project, with onboard as producers. Chronicle‘s Josh Trank is directing the superhero redo which is set for a March 6, 2015 release.
EXCLUSIVE: Here’s some tantalizing dish to chew on before the Thanksgiving turkey and trimmings. After hiring Michael Arndt to script the first installment of the relaunch of George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise, I’ve heard Disney has approached Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg and I believe it is to get the ball rolling on the subsequent installments mapped out by Lucas. Both of the scribes in question have franchise experience.
Kasdan scripted two of the original Star Wars films in the 1980 The Empire Strikes Back and the 1983 follow-up Return of the Jedi. He also scripted Raiders Of The Lost Ark for Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Kinberg’s franchise work: X-Men: The Last Stand, Sherlock Holmes and the upcoming X-Men: Days Of Future Past which Bryan Singer will direct.
EXCLUSIVE: A character-driven action dramedy from Friday Night Lights and Parenthood developer/executive producer Jason Katims and feature writer Simon Kinberg has landed at Fox with a rich put pilot commitment. Titled Anonymous, the project follows a rebellious, hot-shot wunderkind who is plucked as the CIA’s latest recruit and teamed with a seasoned handler with whom he forms an unlikely father-son relationship. Katims will write and executive produce. Kinberg will executive produce, while Katims’ head of development, Michelle Lee, will serve as producer.
Heading into this season, Katims, an Emmy winner for writing the finale of Friday Night Lights, expressed interest in the CIA arena, which he had never tackled before. He was introduced to Kinberg, who has expertise in the action genre with credits including Sherlock Holmes, X-Men: The Last Stand and the upcoming X-Men: Days Of Future Past as well as two movies about spies: Mr. And Mrs. Smith and This Means War.
Chris Pine and Tom Hardy play spies who discover they’re dating the same woman — Reese Witherspoon. The decide to go at each other rather like another 20th Century Fox pairing (we’ll let you guess which one) and “may the best man win.” Occasional hilarity and physical comedy ensue. You be the judge. Directed by McG, screenplay by Timothy Dowling and Simon Kinberg. Opens February 17.
Twentieth Century Fox acquired the action thriller spec Narco Sub from David Guggenheim with Tony Scott attached to direct. Simon Kinberg’s Genre Films is producing with Tony and Ridley’s Scott Free shingle. Guggenheim developed the script with Kinberg and it has become a priority at Fox which is home to Scott Free and Genre. Described as reminiscent of Scott’s Crimson Tide and Man on Fire, plot for Narco Sub involves the semi-submersible crafts South American drug cartels employ to smuggle cocaine into the U.S. Tony Scott last directed Unstoppable for Fox with Denzel Washington starring. Kinberg is writer/producer of Fox’s This Means War as well as a producer on the just wrapped Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Neal Blomkamp’s Elysium. Guggenheim has a bunch of works in progress. His script Santiago based on a pitch Fox bought last year is out to filmmakers with Kinberg producing. Guggenheim also has Safe House opening February 10 with Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Also in post is Guggenheim’s spec project Medallion with Nic Cage directed by Simon West from Millennium Films. McG also just signed to direct Guggenheim’s Puzzle Palace for Summit, and Guggenheim just sold another pitch 364 to Universal for Ron Howard to direct. Steve Asbell will oversee Narco Sub for Fox, Michael Costigan and Elishia Holmes for Scott Free and Aditya Sood for Genre Films. Guggenheim’s agent is David Boxerbaum and manager is Adam Kolbrenner at Madhouse.
EXCLUSIVE: Dwayne Johnson has become attached to star in Monster Hunter’s Survival Guide, a live action adventure film based on the comic book miniseries by John Paul Russ that was published by Zenescope Entertainment. The film will be produced by Simon Kinberg through his Genre Films shingle. The book series is a comprehensive guide to hunt monsters, the undead and unnatural beasts, and survive the confrontations.
Johnson has had quite a rebound year. He joined the cast of Fast Five and helped the film to more than $626 million in worldwide box office, and he revived his Rock persona in the wrestling ring, hosting WrestleMania XXVII. Now, he’s back in the ring and is the main event for Sunday’s Survivor Series at Madison Square Garden, which sold out in 90 minutes. He’ll be the headliner of WrestleMania XXVIII, which has already broken ticket sales records.
Johnson is in production on G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation, playing the character Roadblock, and then follows with the Ric Roman Waugh-directed Snitch, playing a man who turns DEA informant to reduce his son’s prison sentence. Susan Sarandon, Jon Bernthal, Michael Kenneth Williams, Rafi Gavron and Barry Pepper. Kinberg produced X-Men: First Class, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and the Neil Blomkamp-directed Elysium, which is shooting. He’s prepping the Mark Romanek-directed Cinderella. Johnson’s repped by WME and manager Dany …
EXCLUSIVE: After getting the spinoff film The Bourne Legacy into production with Tony Gilroy directing his script and Jeremy Renner starring, Universal Pictures, Captivate Entertainment and Ludlum Entertainment are moving forward with another feature adaptation of a Robert Ludlum thriller novel. The studio has hired John Hlavin to script The Janson Directive, one of the last novels Ludlum wrote before he died in 2001. Ben Smith and Jeffrey Weiner are producing through Captivate, which has a first look Universal deal. The production company just signed with UTA.
Published a year after Ludlum’s death, The Janson Directive focuses on Paul Janson, an ex-Navy SEAL and former member of the covert government agency Consular Operations. In the book, he is haunted by memories of the Vietnam War and his mentor and commanding officer, whose sadistic side prompted him to turn Janson over to the enemy to be tortured. Janson escaped and provided the evidence of war crimes that caused his CO’s execution. Years later, Janson is a corporate security consultant who takes a job rescuing an important man, but when the job goes awry, Janson is targeted for a “beyond salvage” termination order. He has no choice but to follow the clues that lead him to a massive scandal.
EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has hired Dante Harper to adapt Foundation, the groundbreaking Isaac Asimov science fiction trilogy which Roland Emmerich is developing to direct. Emmerich has been attached since the studio acquired the property in early 2009 when he and former Centropolis partner Michael Wimer won a multi-studio auction as the rights became available. Originally published as a short story series in Astounding Magazine in 1942, Asimov’s Foundation is the complex saga of humans scattered on planets throughout the galaxy, all living under the rule of the Galactic Empire. The protagonist is a psycho-historian who has an ability to read the future and sees that the empire will collapse imminently. He sets out to save the knowledge of mankind from being wiped out. Robert Rodat was first writer on the project.
Harper broke onto the scene with a Timothy McVeigh biopic called Dreamland that Plan B is producing. He wrote Black Hole for David Fincher at Paramount and did the production rewrite worl in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, which stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton. Harper’s big sale came when his script All You Need is Kill was acquired by Warner Bros. The film is on a fast track, with Doug Liman directing. The studio is out to cast and the film is a priority. Harper is repped by CAA and Management 360.
This becomes the second major development on a work by the late Asimov. 20th Century Fox, which previously …
EXCLUSIVE: Disney is trying to fit the glass slipper on Mark Romanek. The studio is circling Romanek, the accomplished video director and helmer of the features Never Let Me Go and One Hour Photo, to steer a new version of Cinderella, based on the pitch that The Devil Wears Prada scribe Aline Brosh McKenna sold to Disney last year in a seven-figure deal.
The studio bought that project after its billion-dollar grossing 3D Alice in Wonderland opened the floodgates on movies based on public domain fairy tales. Simon Kinberg is producing, and insiders describe Brosh McKenna’s script as the re-imaging of the classic tale where the prince is set for a politically arranged marriage, until the evil plan is threatened when the prince meets Cinderella. No deal yet, but it’s moving toward one and the picture is a priority for the studio.
20th Century Fox has made a high six-figure spec deal for an untitled action comedy that figures to be the next film directed by Luke Greenfield, whose pic Something Borrowed opens May 6 through Warner Bros and Alcon. The new film will be produced by Simon Kinberg under his overall Fox deal. Greenfield wrote the script with Nicholas Thomas. The film is an edgy action-comedy for two male stars. The studio is already looking at actors in hopes of starting production in the fall.
Kinberg will produce through Genre Films with Genre’s Aditya Sood and Wide Awake’s Greenfield. Kinberg is in post-production on the Matthew Vaughn-directed X-Men: First Class and the McG-directed This Means War, and he’s exec producer on Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and producer on the Neill Blomkamp-directed Elysium. CAA reps Kinberg and Greenfield, APA reps Thomas.
3RD UPDATE: Sony Pictures Snaps Up Neill Blomkamp’s ‘Elysium’; Matt Damon And Jodie Foster Set To Star
3RD UPDATE: Sony Pictures has now decided to go it alone on Neill Blomkamp’s new scifi pic Elysium for worldwide distribution. So there is no Universal Pictures’ involvement, as the studio declined to take part. MRC put the deal together.
2ND UPDATE: Director Neill Blomkamp issued this statement: “I literally could not be happier. I have a brilliant relationship with Sony. I loved them during District 9, they 100% get this film and they get me. Elysium is in very good hands.”
1ST UPDATE: EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has won the right to distribute District 9 filmmaker Neill Blomkamp’s next project titled Elysium. The producers are currently in negotiation with Universal Pictures to co-finance the film. Meetings with several other studios were cancelled as this scenario took shape. Matt Damon and Jodie Foster are set already to star along with District 9 star Sharlto Copley. Sony clearly values the relationship it built with Blomkamp after his $30 million low-budget first film became a sleeper hit that was nominated for Best Picture and grossed $210 million worldwide. That, too, was a distribution deal.
At the same time, MRC has signed an overall deal with Blomkamp, and has given a green light to a second movie. Titled Chappie, the film will go into production immediately after Blomkamp completes Elysium, which is now scheduled for a late 2012 …