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‘Twilight Saga’: New Blood From ‘Taken’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Maggie Grace will play a new vampire threat to Kristen Stewart’s Bella in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.  Grace, who played Liam Neeson’s in-distress daughter in Taken, will play the role of Irina in the final installments of the Stephenie Meyer novel, which director Bill Condon is directing in two separate films.

Irina is a member of the Denali coven, considered cousins to the Cullen clan as the only other “vegetarian” vampire group. When Irina blames the Cullens for the death of her lover, her actions set in motion a terrifying chain of events. The first of two pictures will be released by Summit Entertainment on November 18, 2011, followed by the finale on November 16, 2012. Melissa Rosenberg is writing both scripts, and Wyck Godfrey, Karen Rosenfelt and Meyer are producing. Grace just completed the Dwayne Johnson-starrer Faster for CBS Pictures and re-teamed with Taken producer Luc Besson in Lockout, the outer space saga that stars Guy Pearce as a wrongly convicted man offered his freedom if he can rescue the president’s daughter (Grace) from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates. Grace is also waiting to reprise in Taken 2. She is repped by UTA and Global Creative.

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HBO’s ‘True Blood’ Hits New Series High

By | Tuesday August 31, 2010 @ 9:49am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It may have lost at the Emmys where it was nominated for best drama series, but airing against the awards show on Sunday, HBO’s True Blood hit a new series high, drawing 5.4 million viewers. The vampire drama added another 1.2 million viewers with the 11:30 PM replay. Also on Sunday, HBO’s comedies Hung and Entourage averaged 2.5 million and 2.9 million viewers, respectively, with Entourage hitting a season high.

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‘Saw’ Director James Wan Takes On Bloodsucker Tale ‘Nightfall’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: James Wan, who co-created and directed the original Saw, has been set to direct Nightfall, the film adaptation of the graphic novel. The film is a coproduction between Scott Mitchell Rosenberg’s Platinum Studios and William Stuart’s Aurora Productions. The premise: a man is sentenced to time in a prison run by vampires. The graphic novel was published in 2007 and written and created by Scott O. Brown with art by Ferran Xalabarder. Wan will oversee the development of a script. His latest film, Insidious, plays in the Midnight Madness program at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival. Read More »

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Comic-Con #13: The ‘Priest’ Panel

Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:

PRIEST, based on the Tokyopop-published graphic novel, is brought to you by the folks behind the agreeable B-movie LEGION. While many of the original Manga take place in the past, the movie serves as a sequel, set in a post-apocalyptic world. We’re shown a clip that is “not MPAA approved.” It begins with a dark, BLADE RUNNER-style cityscape. A hooded figure carrying a rosary walks through. It’s Paul Bettany, and he has a red cross tattooed on his face. A vampire attacks – this vampire is like a wild, wet beast, with no eyes, no pigment – think the demons in CONSTANTINE, on the offchance you actually saw that. Read More »

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Now Will Smith Wants To Play Bad Boy Cain (…With Vampiric Twist)

Mike Fleming

will-smith-picture-1EXCLUSIVE: Will Smith has attached himself to star in and produce The Legend Of Cain, an epic re-telling of the Biblical sibling tale, this time with a vampiric twist. Smith will play Cain, the original Bad Boy, and he will produce with Overbrook Entertainment partners Jada Pinkett Smith (his wife), James Lassiter, and Ken Stovitz. The script was written by Caleeb Pinkett and Dan Knauf, with Andrea Berloff revising. No studio or director yet for the Overbrook project. The production company is coming off The Karate Kid, which has so far grossed more that. $210 million worldwide. Smith is currently promoting that film internationally and in August he begins filming Men In Black 3.

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Seth Grahame-Smith On ‘Dark Shadows’ As Tim Burton Pic Gets Closer To Start Date With Johnny Depp As Vampire Barnabas

Mike Fleming

dark2 shadowsEXCLUSIVE: Seth Grahame-Smith, who made his Hollywood entry  writing novels that put a macabre twist to literary classics and historical figures, has just snagged the high profile job of writing the new draft of Dark Shadows. The Tim Burton-directed adaptation of the 60s daytime serial will star Johnny Depp  as the vampire Barnabas Collins. The film is slated to begin production in January at  Warner Bros. Depp’s Infinitum Nihil and Graham King’s GK Films are producing.

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Warner Bros has been trying for several years to get to the starting line on the movie adaptation of the TV series that  ran on ABC from 1966-71 and had legions of fans frightened by the moody and atmospheric storyline. (Tim Burton May Push Back ‘Dark Shadows’ Start Date) Barnabas Collins (played by Jonathan Frid) was the central figure in the groundbreaking supernatural soap. As for Tim Burton’s version, John August was the first writer hired to script the project, based on the Dan Curtis-created characters. Grahame-Smith will be writing a new take under Burton. He got the job on the basis of his own bestselling novel, Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Burton and Timur Bekmambetov bought that project out of their own money as producers, and I hear that Bekmambetov is likely to make the film his next directing effort…. Read More »

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Patrick J. Adams To Star In ‘A Legal Mind’; Mark Pellegrino Joins ‘Being Human’

Nellie Andreeva

MarkPellegrinoPatrickJAdamsEXCLUSIVE: Patrick J. Adams has been cast as the lead on USA Network’s pilot A Legal Mind. Meanwhile Lost and Supernatural alum Mark Pellegrino has landed a leading role on the SyFy series Being Human.

A Legal Mind centers on Mike Ross (Adams), a brilliant but unmotivated college student who gets recruited by a top Manhattan corporate law firm despite not being a lawyer. He has to use his book and street smarts and hustling skills to keep the charade. This marks a pretty nice rebound for Adams who landed the lead on the pilot for NBC’s comedy series Friends With Benefits but was recast shortly before the pilot went into production. Adams, whose pilot credits also include Good Behavior and The Dealership, is repped by Gersh, Generate and attorney Lev Ginsburg.

Based on the British series, Being Human centers on three mismatched twenty-something roommates, Aidan (Sam Witwer), a vampire, Josh, a werewolf and Sally (Meaghan Rath), a ghost. Pellegrino will play Aidan’s charismatic but menacing mentor Bishop.  Pellegrino, who played Jacob on Lost and Lucifer on Supernatural, is repped by Domain and Framework.

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‘ECLIPSE’ KEEPS BREAKING RECORDS: Twilight Saga Threequel Sets Best Ever Wednesday Opening Of $68.5M; Thursday $24.2M; Six-Day July Fourth Holiday Estimated At $178M; Twi-Hards Mob Theaters In U.S., Canada, Overseas

twilight-saga-eclipse-poster10TH UPDATE, THURSDAY 11 PM: No. 1 at the North American box office was the Twilight Saga: Eclipse with what looks like $24.2M today for a new cume of $92.8M and $110M for 5 days with a total of $178M for the 6-day July Fouth Holiday since Wednesday. That would put the pic just shy of Spider-Man 2 which holds the July 4th holiday record with $180M.

9TH UPDATE, THURSDAY 3:30 PM: Summit Entertainment is disclosing that THE TWILIGHT SAGA: Eclipse had “an incredible start” internationally. Despite great weather and the World Cup, Eclipse launched with an estimated $19M from 22 markets. The only major territories that opened on June 30th were Italy, Brazil, and Russia. Other majors like Spain, Australia and Mexico launch today. France, Germany, S. Korea and Japan will launch in the weeks to come. Here are some highlights of opening day results: Eclipse Kicks Off Big International Run

8TH UPDATE, THURSDAY 8 AM: I can report now that the 3rd film in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga series of novels is off to a record-breaking start at the North American box office. Summit Entertainment’s ECLIPSE opened to $68.5 million today which shattered the best-ever $62 million for a Wednesday single day opening set last summer by Paramount’s Transformers 2. That $68.5M included Eclipse‘s record-setting $30M from Wednesday 12:01 AM and 3 AM showings at more than 4,000 theaters in the U.S. and Canada. Eclipse also registered the biggest single day opening during the summer play period, besting The Dark Knight‘s $67.2M. But the Twilight saga’s 2nd film, New Moon, still holds the largest single day opening record of $72 million. Eclipse is playing in 4,416 domestic locations, which sets another record for the biggest ever release in Hollywood history, surpassing Iron Man 2‘s 4,380 venues. 

eclipse orange2Stay tuned for the David Slade-directed Eclipse starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner from Melissa Rosenberg’s script to set more records over this 6-day July 4th holiday weekend. I’ve learned that 57% of the audience attending opening day did so because of the “subject matter”, while 36% did so because of the actor in the lead role, and 15% because of the actress in the lead role. Eclipse received a Cinemascore overall grade of “A” with 92% of moviegoers giving the pic an A or B. Read More »

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EXCLUSIVE Hot Trailer: ‘Let Me In’

By | Thursday July 1, 2010 @ 2:34am PDT

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2 SCARY? Theater Chain Pulls Trailer For ‘Paranormal Activity’ Sequel In Texas

paramountlogoParamount of course marketed the first installment of the psychological thriller precisely on the basis that the original Paranormal Activity was frightening the bejesus out of college town moviegoers. Now it’s happening again. Although Paranormal Activity 2 won’t be released until October 16th, Paramount decided to play its trailer in front of the Twilight Saga: Eclipse blockbuster that opened today. (See trailer here.) paranormal2Well, after the 12:01 AM and 3 AM screenings of the vampire vs werewolves pic, Cinemark execs called Paramount today and said they have had multiple complaints in Texas that the Paranormal 2 trailer was “too scary” and they are pulling it from several of their theaters. Hey, I saw that trailer, and scary it’s not. There’s a dog. There’s a woman standing in the doorway. Jeez, I’m more scared by the prospect of Carrie Fisher playing me on Entourage. (She is. This season. Don’t ask.) But a studio exec insists, “I actually went to a couple theaters last night, and a ton of girls jumped out of their seats and screamed. All I can tell you is people complained and Cinemark pulled it down.” I say wusses, all.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: HBO’s ‘True Blood’ Dips In Week 2 & ‘Treme’ Ends Season 1

Nellie Andreeva

hbo_smallOn the heels of True Blood‘s renewal yesterday for Season 4, HBO released ratings for the Sunday second episode of the vampire drama’s current third season. True Blood drew 4.3 million viewers, down modest 14% from the heavily promoted and highly-rated season premiere the week before. The combined audience for the 9PM and 11PM showings of the episode was 5.6 million viewers. Meanwhile, freshman drama Treme quietly wrapped its first season on Sunday (it has already been picked up for a second season). The New Orleans-based series held only to a fraction of the True Blood audience at 10PM, averaging 931,000 viewers (1.4 million when the midnight rerun is added.) But again, with Treme, which was renewed right after the premiere, ratings were never a factor in the pickup decision. ”This is too good of a show and too important of a show not to invest in a second season,” HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo said at the time.

UPDATE: Over at Showtime, the series finale of The Tudors on Sunday drew 682,000 and 900,000 total for the two airings. That was 68% up from the last year’s Season 3 finale. Meanwhile, the debut of The L Word unscripted offshoot The Real L Word, which followed The Tudors finale, averaged a combined 487,000 viewers for its two telecasts.

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