The 65th annual Venice Film Festival opens on Wednesday with a screening of the Coen Brothers’ Burn After Reading. Stars George Clooney and Brad Pitt are expected to attend. The film, however, is not among the 21 films entered in the official competition. Also expected to attend the festival — and screenings of films they’ll be appearing in — are Kim Basinger, Charlize Theron, Mickey Rourke, Debra Winger, and French actress Juliette Binoche. The seven-member jury is headed by German filmmaker Wim Wenders.
According to IGN, “J.J. Abrams was in New York today to discuss his upcoming Fox TV series Fringe, but during the event the topic of his Star Trek reboot of course came up.” Unfortunately, Abrams dismissed rumors of any cameos from other original members of the Enterprise crew. “No, the only cast member from the original films is Nimoy,” he told the assembled press. The article also states that the film, which is in post-production right now for a summer 2009 release, is “evolving.” “We’re not done with it but we are working on it still. There have been cuts and, as everything goes, [it’s] an evolution. I’m hoping the final cut is a few weeks away. But we’re definitely circling.” Star Trek opens May 8, 2009.
Woody Harrelson has signed on to star in the horror comedy Zombieland, which Ruben Fleischer is directing for Columbia Pictures, says The Hollywood Reporter today. Written by the team of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, Zombieland revolves around a mismatched pair of survivors who find friendship and redemption in a world overrun by zombies. Harrelson plays one of the men, a zombie fighter named Albuquerque. Gavin Polone and his Parish Films shingle are producing. Harrelson recently starred in Semi-Pro and is in production on Roland Emmerich’s 2012. He has the Will Smith starrer Seven Pounds in the can and wrapped Bunraku, a martial arts noir that mixes live action and animation.
According to Firstshowing.net another new comic adaptation is headed for the big screen – The Boys. First published by Wildstorm and later by Dynamite Entertainment. The book follows a CIA squad, known as “the boys”, whose job it is to keep watch over superheroes and eliminate them should they become a threat. Aeon Flux and The Tuxedo writers Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay have been brought on to write the adaptation of the comic, which will begin production under Neal H. Moritz. No director has been attached. This is one of many projects that Moritz has announced recently.
E! reports that Although Stargate: Atlantis wasn’t reupped for a sixth season but the Sci Fi Channel has announced plans to launch a second spinoff of the cult hit, titled Stargate: Universe. The new show will premiere early next year as a two-hour TV movie before sliding into its regular weekly time slot next summer. Stargate, which has been airing on the tube in one form or another since 1997, is the cable network’s longest-running franchise. After debuting on Showtime, SG-1 came over to Sci Fi following its fifth season. Based on the film, the TV version centered on a secret military team whose mission was to probe the uncharted stargates throughout the galaxy. It ended its 10-season run in 2006. Stargate: Atlantis, blasted off in 2004, continued that story as a team of explorers found their way into a new galaxy and encountered an enemy called the Wraiths. That show will wrap up with a two-hour movie this season. The Universe action will be set in deep space and follow a new team of scientists and military men who stumble upon an ancient unmanned spaceship. No word on casting but producers expect guest appearances from the SG-1 and Atlantis ranks.
Variety reports that after getting some unenthusiastic reviews Babylon A.D. helmer Mathieu Kassovitz is seeking to distance himself from the film, which opens Friday — even though the version reviewed was the director’s international version, and Fox is not releasing the film overseas. In an interview with AMCtv.com, Kassovitz called the sci-fi thriller “pure violence and stupidity,” with parts of the film resembling “a bad episode of ‘24.’ ” Sources close to the production, who likened Kassovitz to the mercurial Billy Walsh character on Entourage, called the AMC comments just the latest in a series of headaches involving Kassovitz.
According to Film Junk French filmmakers Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury (Inside) were previously attached to direct the Hellraiser remake, but once they dropped out of that project, there were rumours that they had entered talks to do the Halloween sequel. It seems that this is now pretty much confirmed. The duo had this to say about the project: “It’s a proposition we couldn’t refuse… Our vision will be done with utmost respect, with a continuity of [Zombie’s] work but also a real evolution of the world he set in place.”