Catch up on the top film stories you missed this week:
Third Installment Of ‘Ghostbusters’ A Go For Early 2015; Death Of Pal Harold Ramis Prompts Ivan Reitman To Turn Over Directing Reins
By Mike Fleming Jr. – EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures is eyeing an early 2015 production start in New York on its next installment of Ghostbusters. There is a major change, though. In the wake of the death of his close friend and original Ghostbuster Harold Ramis, Ivan Reitman has decided he won’t direct the film, after all.
2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament Tip-Off – #1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #16 ‘The Conjuring’; #8 ‘Gravity’ Vs. #9 ‘Man Of Steel’
By Mike Fleming Jr. – EXCLUSIVE: Oscar crowned a Best Picture winner two weeks ago, but which 2013 film deserves to be called the profitability champ?
Horror Hit ‘The Grudge’ Going Reboot Route
By Mike Fleming Jr. – EXCLUSIVE: The Grudge, the Takashi Shimazu-directed 2004 film that helped establish the viability of low-cost genre films, is getting a reboot.
BOX OFFICE: ‘Divergent’ No. 1 On Track For $56M+ Weekend; ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ Very Soft; Faith-Based ‘God’s Not Dead’ Surprises In Top Five And ‘Budapest Hotel’ Another Strong Per Screen
By Anita Busch – EXCLUSIVE: More for Divergent. $19.75M and higher for the Lionsgate film — $56M+. (56.7M when all is said and done?) Nicely positioned for international. They will likely have at least another good weekend before Captain America swoops in to do battle.
Jason Blum, Scooter Braun Prods & Jon M. Chu Team With Hasbro On ‘Jem And The Holograms’: Video
By The Deadline Team – Hasbro, Blumhouse Prods, Scooter Braun Prods and Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) are partnering to bring Hasbro’s 1980s cult classic cartoon series Jem And The Holograms to the big screen. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Sofia Coppola is negotiating to direct The Little Mermaid, a live-action version of the classic Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale for Universal Pictures and Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. Caroline Thompson of Edward Scissorhands fame is rewriting the script, about the mermaid willing to make a Faustian bargain to live on land after she falls in love. Previous drafts were done by Fifty Shades Of Grey scribe Kelly Marcel and Shame scribe Abi Morgan, and Joe Wright was at one time eyeing this to direct.
The intention is to move quickly. This is a departure for Coppola in that her projects are usually focused on adult themes. She’s got kids and it wouldn’t be shocking if she wanted to please them with a movie they can see and understand. Working Title is currently in production on Everest, the drama about the climbing disaster. The director is repped by ICM Partners and attorney Barry Hirsch. ICM also reps Thompson. Coppola last helmed The Bling Ring.
Disney has seen the 3D light following the success of its re-release of The Lion King in the extra dimension, announcing today limited theatrical releases for four more of its animated films: Beauty and the Beast (January 13, 2012), Pixar’s Finding Nemo (September 14, 2012) and Monsters, Inc. (January 18, 2013), and The Little Mermaid (September 13, 2013). The Lion King 3D is about to cross $80 million in domestic box office since it was re-released September 16; it finished third this past weekend domestically, where it is playing in 2,340 theaters. The Monsters Inc. date, meanwhile, comes five months before Disney releases that film’s prequel, Monsters University, on June 21, 2013.
Joe Wright, who directed The Soloist for London-based Working Title, is developing a live-action feature of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale. This adaptation, written by Abi Morgan (Brick Lane), has been particularly inspired by a production staged by The Little Angel Theatre Company using puppets. Wright’s father John Wright founded the theatre company. The project brings Wright back into the Working Title fold. Co-chairmen Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner gave Wright his first big break directing Pride and Prejudice, which he followed with Atonement. His most recent film, Hanna, starring Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana, is currently in post-production.
The studio’s education arm, Disney English, plans to open in Brazil next. Disney English already runs 11 English-language schools in China, and plans to expand to 148 within five years. Several are based in Shanghai, where Disney is building its next theme park. It recently opened its first school in Beijing. Disney English plans to teach English to 150,000 children a year by 2105, according to the Financial Times.
English is taught using Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse and The Little Mermaid. Oh, and those in charge are called “cast members” not teachers.
First, Disney worked to extend copyright law so that Mickey Mouse doesn’t fall into the public domain. Then it tried to trademark the Princess Aurora character from a common fairy-tale, Sleeping Beauty. Am I alone in finding the Mouse House inculcating its next generation of overseas consumers in this way vaguely disquieting? It means Disney is changing the way our children think even in school. It reminds me of that moment in Super Size Me when more kids recognise the flash card of Ronald McDonald than George Washington.