News Briefs

According to Totalfilm Charlize Theron has signed to co-star with Tom Cruise in The Tourist, a remake of a recent French thriller. Theron will play a female Interpol agent who uses an American tourist in an attempt to catch an elusive criminal – who’s also her former lover. Brit writer Julian Fellowes’ script is currently being polished by Valkryie scribe Christopher McQuarrie, with director Bharat Nalluri.

After the upcoming drama Gran Torino in which he directs himself as a racist war veteran Clint Eastwood will be directing Remembering Mark Twain in which he also be appearing as the famous American writer himself. Described by producer Albert Ruddy as a “sweet, beautiful movie”, Remembering Mark Twain will be Eastwood’s 61st big-screen performance.

Director Michael Bay’s official website has come out with confirmation that principle photography for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has wrapped. In a posted message entitled “It’s a wrap!” on October 31, the administrator Nelson wrote simply, “As of this week, principal photography for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has ended.”

According to Bollywoodworld News Legendary filmmaker B.R. Chopra died Wednesday after a prolonged illness. The winner of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award was 95. His son, producer-director Ravi Chopra, said he had lost not only his father but his guru.”I have lost not only my father, but my guru. The Chopra family has lost a virtual patriarch and the film industry a conscientious filmmaker,” Ravi Chopra told Ians.B.R. Chopra died at 8.15 a.m. at his residence in suburban Juhu. He had made successful films like Naya Daur, Gumrah, Humraaz, Dhundh, Insaaf ka Tarazoo and Nikah. Besides Ravi Chopra, the filmmaker is survived by his two daughters Shashi and Neena.

Warner Bros. is taking a shot at film pirates in China by making its films available for online rental at the same prices the pirates charge — about $1.00 per movie, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. Some will be available for about 60 cents. “Every major American company has tried to figure out and crack the nut in China,” Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, told the Times. “We believe that we have an opportunity, through digital distribution,” to solve that problem. Distribution is being handled by Union Foole Technology, which also plans to launch an online subscription video service on Nov. 12 that will charge a flat fee for unlimited movie viewing.

The trailer for Dreamworks/Paramount’s Monsters vs. Aliens doesn’t officially release until Thursday, but it has popped up a few days early on numerous sites around the web. Many have already been taken down, but you might still catch it before it’s gone. The campy sci-fi animated flick opens with a man going through a series of biometric scans before being admitted into a high security government war room. The scan locations include both elbows and his bum. Monsters vs Aliens pays homage to the sci-fi movies of the ’50s and ’60s, from aliens and mad scientists to The Blob and Loch Ness monster. The voice cast includes Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Will Arnett and Paul Rudd. It will release in late March 2009 in both 3-D IMAX and standard theaters.

British-Asian helmer Gurinder Chadha is turning her hand to a good old-fashioned scare according to BloodyDisgusting.com. Chadha is prepping It’s A Wonderful Afterlife, described by the helmer as My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Shaun of the Dead. The story follows a British-Asian mother whose obsession to marry off her daughter comically leads to serial murder. Lensing begins in the U.K. in February. “It’s a comic caper very much in the tradition of classic Ealing comedies,” Chadha told Daily Variety. “It’s a return for me to the characters and setting of ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ but in a different genre, namely horror, although I would say that the gore will be easy on the eye.”

Fox has announced a February 10th Blu-ray release for the cult classic Donnie Darko, which will come to high-def with both the theatrical and unrated versions, according to Highdefdigest.com. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Richard Kelly, Darko failed to generate big grosses during its original theatrical run, but has since go one to amass a devoted following on video. There are no tech specs or supplement details as of yet, but Fox is billing the Blu-ray as a Collector’s Edition, so we expect plenty of extras. Suggested retail price for the Blu-ray has been set at $34.95.

Vince Vaughn will take on the world of poker in Sunny and 68, a project Universal is acquiring for Gavin O’Connor to direct. According to Variety, Vaughn will play a poker superstar whose alcoholism causes him to loose $500,000 in an instant. With no money in his pocket, he decides to head home to retrieve some cash he’s been sending his mother. Upon his return to New York, however, he discovers his mom is dying of cancer. Additionally, he finds out she’s been raising a 5-year-old girl who’s actually his daughter. O’Connor, whose Pride and Glory opened last weekend, will be directing a script he wrote with Anthony Tambakis. Next Vaughn will star alongside Reese Witherspoon in Four Christmases. He’s also gearing up for Peter Billingsley’s comedy Couples Retreat. O’Connor, whose credits include Walt Disney’s ice hockey drama Miracle, is prepping Warrior, an action flick he’ll shoot next year.

ComingSoon.net reports that Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are is back on Warner Bros.’ release schedule and now set for a release on Oct. 16, 2009. The pic stars Catherine Keener, Benicio Del Toro, Forest Whitaker, Lauren Ambrose, Catherine O’Hara, Tom Noonan, Michael Berry and James Gandolfini. Some other recent release date shifts of note include Soul Men – the Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac comedy will hit theaters a week earlier than scheduled, now opening on November 7th. Richard Kelly’s horror film The Box, starring Cameron Diaz and James Marsden, was moved back up six months to March 20, 2009. The Todd Phillips comedy Hangover is now scheduled for June 12, 2009 puting it face to face with The A-Team and Eddie Murphy’s Nowhereland. Two months later, Final Destination 4 was moved back a week to Aug. 21, 2009. The summer following, the Zack Snyder-directed animated-adventure Guardians of Ga’Hoole.

Some interesting ratings news, Kelly Reichart’s Wendy and Lucy, a nudity free and virtually violence free tale of a down on her luck girl and her dog in Alaska and a favorite at Cannes will be receiving an R rating (for “Strong Language”) while Richard Kelly’s horror film The Box, containing “some violence and disturbing images” will receive a PG-13.

Sources:

Totalfilm
Aceshowbiz
Bollywoodworld News
Studio Briefing
LA Times
BloodyDisgusting.com
ComingSoon.net
Variety

05. November 2008 by Edward
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