News Briefs

According to Studio Briefing the Coppola Restoration of The Godfather is being released today (Tuesday) as a five-disc collection of all three Godfather films, as well as two discs of bonus features, on DVD ($73.00) and Blu-ray disc ($120.00). In an interview with USA Today Francis Ford Coppola, who directed the original ’70s films, said that when he saw the 1972 classic on its 25th anniversary in 1997 he was disappointed in the quality and learned that the negative had deteriorated after being used to strike so many prints over the years. He said that he eventually appealed to Steven Spielberg, who had been instrumental in the restoration of Lawrence of Arabia, to seek funding for a Godfather restoration at Paramount, which had acquired Spielberg’s DreamWorks studio. In the end, not only was the film restored to its original luster but problem scenes in the original footage were corrected. All of the work, incidentally, was performed not at Paramount but at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imagine in Burbank. Paramount post-production executive Marty Cohen told USA Today: “This is about rebuilding to some degree and putting new paint on the house.”

Simon Pegg and his Shaun Of The Dead co-star Nick Frost may be being lined up to play the Thompson Twins in the Steven Spielberg / Peter Jackson adaptation of TinTin, according to the Sunday Times. It seems that Pegg and Spielberg had a conversation about the film during a recent meeting…
“Steven’s smoking a stogy, cap on head, like he’s always been since I was a baby,” said Pegg to the newspaper. “I shook his hand and chatted about films. He gave me the mo-cap (motion-capture) camera, and I had a play around with it. Then he said, ‘Hey, maybe you and Nick Frost could play the Thompson Twins.’ In Tintin. A Spielberg movie. To work with him is beyond…”
The film is reportedly looking for financing elsewhere.

Studio Briefing reports Discovery Communications and Sony Electronics are planning a co-promotion under which consumers who purchase Sony Blu-ray Disc players this fall will receive coupons redeemable for a Blu-ray Disc sampler featuring episodes from Discovery’s Fearless Planet and Sunrise Earth. In a statement, Chris Fawcett, head of marketing for Sony’s home video unit, said, “Discovery’s high-quality programs are a tailor-made showcase for Blu-ray Disc and a great first experience for a consumer new to the format.”

Actor Kirk Cameron forced movie bosses to cast his wife Chelsea as a smooching stand-in for his new film Fireproof, because he refused to kiss his onscreen wife according to WENN. In the movie, Cameron plays a firefighter battling to save his marriage to his wife, played by Erin Bethea. But the 37 year old had made a vow to Chelsea – his wife of 17 years and the mother of his six children – that he would never kiss another woman on or off-screen, so she was brought onto the set for a romantic scene. Cameron, a partner in evangelical Christian ministry The Way of the Master, explains, “In Fireproof, there is a romantic and touching scene where he (character) kisses his wife. “Because I have a commitment not to kiss any other woman, my wife Chelsea came in to the set and wore the dress my character’s wife wore. We shot the scene in silhouette, so when I kiss my wife, I’m actually kissing my wife and honouring our marriage.

Also from WENN, British actress Keira Knightley is in talks to play Zelda Fitzgerald in The Beautiful And The Damned, according to reports. Leonardo Di Caprio is being touted as a possible co-star in the biopic, based on the life of Great Gatsby novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife. The film is set in the 1920s when the pair were known as Hollywood’s golden couple. They had a tempestuous relationship and parted, with both of them writing books about their time together. Zelda was diagnosed as a schizophrenic aged 30 and died in 1948 when the hospital she had been a patient in caught fire.

Cinematical says that American Psycho, based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, is being turned into a stage musical. According to a press release, “The Johnson-Roessler Company, The Collective and XYZ Films have partnered to acquire, develop and produce the live stage version.” The 2000 film starring Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman, a wealthy New York investment banker whose sadistic alter ego exposes itself some some rather imaginative ways. While Bale had been acting since a very young age, it was his role in American Psycho that catapulted him into the spotlight. There’s no word on who they’ll get to play Bateman on the stage. As far as music goes, it will “revive the nostalgia of the 80’s alongside celebrated hits from the era.” Look for tunes from Talking Heads, Genesis and Huey Lewis and The News to make an appearance.

Lionsgate has acquired Gideon Raff’s Train, the quasi-remake of the Jamie Lee Curtis screamer from 1980 Terror Train according to Bloody Disgusting. No word yet on if the film will hit theaters or go direct-to-DVD/Blu-ray, but what we did learn is that the MPAA awarded the film with an NC-17. Raff, who also penned the film, will be heading back into the editing bay to trim the film for an R-rating. Those of you in Los Angeles can check out the film at next month’s Screamfest on Thursday, October 16th. The premise; In Europe, a group of American college athletes unknowingly board a train that will become one deadly ride.

From Digital Spy: Hammer Films is to make its first horror movie in more than 30 years. The legendary studio announced that it will make The Wake Wood from a script by David Keating and Brendan McCarthy. Keating will direct while McCarthy will co-produce. The film tells the story of grieving parents Patrick and Louise, whose nine-year-old daughter Alice was killed by a savage dog. When the couple move to the remote town of Wake Wood, they learn of a pagan ritual that will allow them three more days with their child. Aidan Gillen (The Wire) and Eva Birthistle (Middletown) will star alongside Timothy Spall in the movie. Principal photography began yesterday in County Donegal, Ireland. Hammer’s last horror outing was 1976’s The Devil’s Daughter.

Billy Crystal is set to return to live-action film for an appearance in Michael Lembeck’s comedy Tooth Fairy, according to Variety. Crystal joins Dwayne Johnson, who plays a minor-league hockey player who carries the nickname ‘Tooth Fairy’ because he takes pleasure in knocking out his opponents’ teeth and Julie Andrews, who plays an actual tooth fairy. In a sudden turn of events, however, he is ordered to real tooth fairy duty, which includes wearing wings, makeup, a wand and tutu. Also on board are Ashley Judd, Ryan Sheckler and Stephen Merchant. The last time we saw Crystal on the big screen was in 2002’s comedy “Analyze That.” After that, he did some voice work on “Cars” and the English version of “Howl’s Moving Castle.”

According to Variety Dwayne Johnson is heading into space for a Walt Disney flick inspired by the theme park’s Tomorrowland section, though Disney apparently denies the film has anything to do with Tomorrowland. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore will handle the script of the film, which at this stage is described only as a big space adventure. The rumor is that this is being tooled to this turn into a new franchise a la Pirates of the Caribbean? Johnson is a Disney regular now. Last year he starred in the The Game Plan, a movie that was well received by children but generally panned by adults, and he recently wrapped Andy Fickman’s upcoming family adventure Race to Witch Mountain also for Disney. As for Moore and Lucas, they recently wrote the screenplay for Mark Waters’ comedy The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and The Hangover for Todd Phillips.

ScreenRant says Astro Boy is coming to theaters courtesy of Imagi Studios (V For Vendetta) and Summit Entertainment. It will feature the voice work of Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Nathan Lane, Bill Nighy and Eugene Levy, with Freddie Highmore (The Spiderwick Chronicles) in the title role. Hottie Kristin Bell will voice the part of Astro Boy’s love interest. David Bowers (Flushed Away) is directing and the script was written by Timothy Harris (Trading Places, Kindergarten Cop). Astro Boy was created in the 1950’s by Osamu Tezuka–a man affectionately referred to as the “god of manga” and the “father of anime.” The character of Astro Boy has been featured in three television series aired worldwide since that time. The heart of the upcoming film will be Astro Boy’s quest to find acceptance in a human world–especially the acceptance of his “father,” Dr. Tenma (Nicholas Cage), who rejects his creation when it becomes clear that the powerful robot will never be a sutible replacement for the son he lost. Along that emotional journey Astro Boy will battle robot gladiators and other villains who threaten his home of Metro City, thereby earning his place as a hero, as well as his father’s love.

The Hollywood News
Studio Briefing
Digital Spy

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