The Raven is looking closer to achieving lift off. Gerard Butler is in deep negotiations to play the lead in the sci-fi conspiracy thriller that Ricardo de Montreuil is set to direct for Gold Circle Films and Universal Pictures. The feature, based on a 2010 short film by de Montreuil and Antonio Perez, was penned by Michael Gilio and Justin Marks. Butler is the second actor in as many months named for the movie’s potential lead; The Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth had been in talks before. Universal picked up rights to the short in late 2010. The studio and Gold Circle will co-finance the feature, which Gold Circle will produce and Universal will distribute worldwide Paul Brooks will produce for Gold Circle with COO Scott Niemeyer executive producing. Mark Wahlberg will produce alongside Steve Levinson, who originally brought the project to the studio. Nick Osborne, Trevor Engelson and Oly Obst will executive produce for Underground Films. Butler is repped by CAA and Alan Siegel Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Studio is not confirming, but I’m hearing that The Hunger Games‘ star Liam Hemsworth is close to being set for the lead in The Raven, which Ricardo de Montreuil is set to direct at Universal Pictures from a script by Michael Gilio and Justin Marks. The film is based on the helmer’s short film, the one that took wing when it went viral and won all kinds of awards in 2010. The feature is a sci-fi conspiracy thriller, set in the near future. Prep has begun for a June production start. Stephen Levinson and Mark Wahlberg are producing and Oly Obst is exec producer. Hemsworth is repped by WME and ROAR.
Below is the short that got it all started:
Apatow’s ‘Five-Year Engagement’ Bombs Behind #1 ‘Think Like A Man’, #2 ‘Pirates!’, #3 ‘The Lucky One’, And #4 ‘Hunger Games’; Marvel’s ‘Avengers’ Now $178.4M Overseas
April 27-29 Weekend Actuals
1. Think Like A Man (Screen Gems/Sony) Week 2 [2,015 Theaters] PG13
Friday $5.5M, Saturday $7.7, Sunday $4.4M Weekend $17.6M (-48%), Cume $60.5M
2. Pirates! Band of Misfits 3D (Aardman/Sony) NEW [3,358 Theaters] PG
Friday $2.7M, Saturday $5.1M, Sunday $3.3M Weekend $11.1M
3. The Hunger Games (Lionsgate) Week 6 [3,572 Theaters] PG13
Friday $3M, Saturday $5.0 M, Sunday $2.6M Weekend $10.8M (-26%), Cume $372.0M
4. The Lucky One (Warner Bros) Week 2 [3,175 Theaters] PG13
Friday $3.9M, Saturday $4.6M, Sunday $2.3M, Weekend $10.8M (-52%), Cume $39.4M
5. The Five-Year Engagement (Universal) NEW [2,936 Theaters] R
Friday $3.5M, Saturday $4.5M, Sunday $2.6M, Weekend $10.6M
6. Safe (Lionsgate) NEW [2,266 Theaters] R
Friday $2.6M, Saturday $3.1M, Sunday $2.1M Weekend $7.9M
7. The Raven (Intrepid/Relativity) NEW [2,203 Theaters] R
Friday $2.5M, Saturday $2.9M, Sunday $1.8M, Weekend $7.3M
8. Chimpanzee (Disney) Week 2 [1,567 Theaters] G
Friday $1.6M, Saturday $2.2M, Sunday $1.4M Weekend $5.2M (-51%), Cume $18.9M
9. The Three Stooges (Fox) Week 3 [3,105 Theaters] PG
Friday $1.3M, Saturday $2.5M, Sunday $1.4M Weekend $5.2M (-47%), Cume $36.9M
10. Cabin in The Woods (Lionsgate) Week 3 [2,639 Theaters] R
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $2.0M, Sunday $1.2M,Weekend $4.6M (-42%), Cume $34.8M
SUNDAY AM, 7TH UPDATE: I’m still on vacation but can’t ignore four new low-cost movies opening in North American wide release and performing worse than expected at the box office. This was one of 2012′s worst weekends with overall box office $111M, or a big -30% down from last year. Full analysis in the morning. Universal’s R-rated comedy The Five–Year Engagement (2,936 theaters) from …
Relativity Media today announced a couple of additional release schedule changes. The Edgar Allan Poe serial killer thriller The Raven is shifting to April 27 where the other wide releases will be Universal’s comedy The Five-Year Engagement and Lionsgate’s Safe. Its former date March 9 had The Raven up against Disney’s sci-fi epic John Carter and Sony/Screen Gems’ Think Like A Man. Relativity also moved the creepy neighbor movie House At The End Of The Street from spring into fall. Now set for September 21, House shares an opening weekend with Lionsgate’s Dredd and Sony’s animated Hotel Transylvania. Its old date April 20 was a bit crowded with The Lucky One from Warner Bros, Scary Movie 5 from The Weinstein Co.’s Dimension, Paramount’s comedy A Thousand Words, FilmDistrict’s sci-fi pic Lockout and Disney’s Chimpanzee nature documentary. As previously reported, director Lasse Hallstrom’s adaptation of Nicholas Sparks novel Safe Haven has been moved to Valentine’s Day 2013 from June 21, 2012.
This is the first trailer for Relativity’s period thriller The Raven. The James McTeigue-directed thriller stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe, who joins with a Baltimore detective (Luke Evans) to hunt down a serial killer using Poe’s works as the basis for a string of brutal murders — a pretty cool concept for a movie if executed right. The studio has set a March 9, 2012 release date. Alice Eve and Brendan Gleeson also star.
Deadline Comic-Con Movie Contributor Luke Y Thompson reports:
It’s the story every media outlet is dying to tell every year: “Comic-Con just ain’t what it used to be.” This year, however, the event — set for July 21-24 at the San Diego Convention Center — comes with some alarmist (and circumstantial) evidence: Warner Bros won’t be doing a movie presentation. Marvel Studios won’t be either, even though the tiniest teaser for The Avengers last year made for the most memorable panel. Disney initially appeared absent too. So what’s going on? Did the failure of Scott Pilgrim to triumph at the box office following a massive Con promotion last year leave studios leery?
Well, you’d think if that were the case, Universal would feel the most burned — yet they’re doubling down by holding the premiere of Cowboys and Aliens there, inviting many of the fans to attend; one would imagine the big names like Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig will at least attend.
Disney, which now owns the Muppets and Marvel Studios, is likely saving those properties for its own D23 Expo in Anaheim toward the end of August. They are, however, bringing the DreamWorks pickup Fright Night to Comic-Con (in presentation and screening form) — notably, this is a movie that will open Aug. 19, the same day the D23 Expo begins, so it makes sense to hype it sooner. Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are the big names attending; curiously, the publicity has consistently downplayed the presence of former Doctor Who star David Tenant, and he has not been mentioned as attending, though he’d be given a hero’s welcome if he did.
Warner Bros’ lack of a movie panel may largely be due to the fact that the next Superman and Batman movies aren’t ready to show much yet — Man of Steel star Henry Cavill will be there, but on behalf of Relativity’s Immortals (also Luke Evans, Kellan Lutz and Mickey Rourke; director Tarsem Singh is not currently expected). Certainly WB is showing a ton of TV previews, but I’ll leave that to my colleague Gary Hodges to discuss. The biggest question mark in my mind is what Time Warner-owned Entertainment Weekly will put on the cover of their Comic-Con issue now: traditionally, it’s been a big reveal from a Warners movie.
The biggest name being batted about right now as a possibility is Steven Spielberg, to present footage from his The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. Certainly, a Tintin presentation would be wise, as the teaser has left many (myself included) highly skeptical. The fanbase needs persuading, and since it’s Spielberg, there’s probably at least one kickass scene that can get people hyped. But Paramount’s still playing things close to the vest — when I asked a publicist there about Comic-Con plans, I was told “It’s uncertain what or if we’re bringing anything.” That’s not a denial. And there has been talk of a Captain America screening — whether that translates into an actual panel is uncertain, as the regular press junkets and such will already be in full swing for the movie, opening that week.
EXCLUSIVE: Relativity Media has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to The Raven, the Intrepid Pictures’ thriller that stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe. James McTiegue directed, and Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson and Oliver Jackson-Cohen also star. Scripted by Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare, the drama tells a fictionalized account of Poe’s last few days, as he tracks a serial killer who has been using Poe’s macabre works for inspiration. The film was produced by Intrepid Pictures’ partners Trevor Macy and Marc D. Evans, and FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder. Intrepid financed the film and just completed The Cold Light of Day with Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver starring.
Luke Evans has been set to star alongside John Cusack in The Raven, the drama that will be directed by V for Vendetta’s James McTeigue. Production starts later this year in Eastern Europe. Cusack plays Edgar Allan Poe in stylized revisionist take of the last week of the poet’s life, written by Hannah Shakespeare and Ben Livingston. Evans will play a detective who teams with the poet to track down a serial killer who’s kidnapped Poe’s fiancée. I’m hearing Alice Eve is likely to play the female lead.
Evans is an up and comer who played Apollo in Clash of the Titans, plays Zeus in the upcoming Tarsem-directed The Immortals, and is in production playing Aramis in the Paul WS Anderson-directed 3D The Three Musketeers. Evans also stars in the Stephen Frears-directed Tamara Drewe. The coproduction between Intrepid and FilmNation will be produced by Trevor Macy, Marc D. Evans and Aaron Ryder. CAA will broker a domestic distribution deal shortly, with FilmNation’s Glen Basner selling foreign. The picture shapes up as an under $35 million film meant for wide distribution, which has become a sweet spot for independent distributors.
John Cusack blurted out on Twitter that he’ll play Edgar Allan Poe in The Raven. Since I can’t clear my throat in less than 140 characters, I’ll spend the extra verbiage describing the film. Based on an original script by Hannah Shakespeare (I kid you not) and Ben Livingston, the drama is set in the last five days of Poe’s life, when a serial killer is running around Baltimore using Poe’s stories as the backdrops for his killings. Poe and a young detective have a ticking clock to outsmart the killer before he strikes again. V For Vendetta‘s James McTeigue will direct, and production will begin late fall in Serbia. The film is a co-production between Intrepid Pictures and FilmNation. It will be produced by Intrepid’s Trevor Macy and Marc D. Evans, and FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder, who brought the script to Intrepid. FilmNation’s Glen Basner will sell international rights, and Intrepid is in discussions with domestic distributors.
Now that Jeremy Renner snagged the big male lead opposite Tom Cruise in the next Mission: Impossible, the focus of Paramount Pictures, director Brad Bird and producers Cruise and JJ Abrams are intent on filling the role of a young female operative. I’m told that Lauren German and Paula Patton are testing for the job. UPDATE: I’m told that Kristen Kreuk will also test for the role…. Superbad‘s Joe Lo Truglio is replacing Fred Armisen in the role of nudist Wayne Dunbar in Wanderlust, the Judd Apatow-produced comedy for Universal which David Wain is directing from the script he wrote with Ken Marino. Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux star in the comedy about a couple that detours from a mundane life to a commune. Generate-repped Lo Truglio just completed the Universal comedy Paul… Ari Graynor has landed the female lead opposite Jonah Hill in The Sitter, the David Gordon Green-directed Fox comedy. She’ll next be seen opposite Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell in Conviction, and stars opposite Anna Faris in What’s Your Number next spring. UTA and Principal Entertainment rep her… Using Twitter (the new publicist) John Cusack informed the world today that he’ll play Edgar Allen Poe in The Raven. This isn’t going to be great news to Sylvester Stallone, whose dream is to play Poe.
Justin Marks had been at WME. He’s writing the Universal pic The Raven, a feature based on the 6-minute short film by Ricardo de Montreuil. Mark Wahlberg is attached. Marks also adapted the DC Comics series Super Max aka The Green Arrow for David Goyer, and Shadow of the Colossus for Sony Pictures Entertainment. His credits include 20,000 League Under the Sea: Captain Nemo, the film that Disney put in dry dock. Marks continues with manager Adam Kolbrenner.