Scorcese Leaves Marley, Demme Steps In

Cinema Blend reports that due to scheduling conflicts Martin Scorcese has been forced to bow out of the as yet unnamed Bob Marley biopic. Taking his place will be Silence Of The Lambs director Jonathan Demme. 

Demme has helmed several music related documentaries including the Talking Heads piece Stop Making Sense and Neil Young: Heart Of Gold says that the Marley family has been in careful control of all Marley projects with his son Ziggy set to co-executive produce the documentary and Marley’s wife Rita executive producing a seperate biopic based on her 2004 autobiography No Woman No Cry: My Life With Bob Marley. Lauren Hill has been mentioned to star. No release date has been announced.

The Demme helmed documentary is slated for February 10, 2010 as reported by Billboard. This would have been Marley’s 65th birthday. 



Cinema Blend


"Jones" Takes The Box Office

Paramount called in an estimated $25 million return for Thursday’s opening of Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull putting it in the #3 position behind The Matrix Reloaded for top all-time Thursday returns as reported by The current #1 Thursday return is held by Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith.

Projected earnings for The Crystal Skull for this holiday weekend range from $140 million to 175 million in just over 4200 theaters. The first movie in the franchise Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark opened in just 1000 theaters and took in $8.3 million. The franchise as a whole grossed over $1.2 billion worldwide.

Philippe Dauman, CEO for Paramount’s parent company Viacom, said that the company was very excited about the movies reception so far.




News Briefs

Walden Media’s The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian did more poorly at the box office than expected this weekend, missing its projected $56.6 million total by $1.6 million.

THR reports that Columbia Pictures is currently negotiating the rights for the SciFi classic Flash Gordon. Breck Eisner, son of Michael Eisner and director of the upcoming Creature From The Black Lagoon, would direct.

MGM heads revealed Saturday at Cannes that the 80’s cold war tale Red Dawn and the SciFi hit Robocop could be up for re-make.

According to /Film Spike Lee is set to direct a new documentary about the life and career of Michael Jordan. The film is being funded by the NBA and is set for 2009 release.

THR reports that Summit Entertainment will be remaking the 80’s cult hit Highlander. Peter Davis, one of the producers of the new project, said the new film will incorporate elements from the original film’s back-story to expand the story-line. The remake will be written by Iron Man’s Art Marcum and Matt Holloway.

Guillermo del Toro begins preproduction on The Hobbit after Hellboy II: The Golden Army hits theaters. Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), Ian McKellen (Gandalf) and Andy Serkis (Gollum) are currently in negotiation to reprise their roles.

The New York Times reports that Regal Entertainmet Group, the worlds largest theater operator, will equip more than 1000 screens to show 3D films.

/Film reports that Clint Eastwood himself has shot down rumors of a Dirty Harry sequel with this exchange between he and Angelina Jolie when asked about the rumors: “That is not correct,” said Eastwood. Angelina Jolie then quipped, “I am!” and Eastwood fired back with a laugh, “Yeah, Dirty Harriet, starring Tomb Raider.”


The Hollywood Reporter

Studio Briefing

The New York Times



Weekend Box Office Numbers For May 16th

Walden Media’s The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian debuted in the #1 spot this weekend taking in $56.5 million in its opening weekend. 

Marvel Studios’ Iron Man takes the #2 position taking in $31.2 million brining it’s total earnings to $222.5 million.

What Happens In Vegas took the #3 position with $13.8 million bringing it’s total to $40.3 million.

Speed Racer holds on tight to the # 4 position with $7.6 million but this is down almost 60% over last weeks numbers. Total earning are $29.8 million.

Rounding out the top ten are:

#5 Baby Mama $4.5 million

#6 Made Of Honor $4.5 million

#7 Forgetting Sarah Marshall $2.5 million

#8 Harold And Kumar Escape From Guantanamo $1.8 million

#9 Forbidden Kingdom $1 million

#10 The Visitor $690,000





"Indy" Taking An Early Beating

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has just hours ago been screened at Cannes and the reviews are less than kind.

Yahoo! News reports that the movie suffers from a “loss of wit and romance” saying further that “After about an hour, the film abandons any pretense of story for a rush through fights, chases, machine gun fire, scorpions, quick sand, monkeys, huge snakes and finally a secret city,” .

The Hollywood Reporter reports a general thumbs up from journalists leaving the screening though they also took quotes such as “too long,” “too many stunts,” and “too wooden.” “We’re all kind of bewildered about what they thought they were making.” said Hollywood Reporter’s Kirk Honeycutt.

Variety at least reports that the movie “Delivers the goods” but follows up with the caveat “not those of the still first-rate original, 1981’s Raiders Of The Lost Ark but those of its uneven two successors.”

It is estimated that to be considered a success Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will have to gross $500 million worldwide.

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull is scheduled for May 22 2008 release.


Yahoo! News

Hollywood Reporter



Fishburne And Weinstein Team Up For “The Alchemist”

Yahoo! News reports that The Weinstein Company has acquired the rights to The Alchemist, an international bestselling novel writen by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. The big screen adaptation will be directed by and feature Lawrence Fishburne.

The Alchemist, originally published in 1988, is the story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who, after a dream, sells his flock to seek treasure in Egypt. The novel, which has sold more than 30 million copies, deals in themes of personal determination and self discovery and has been hailed as a “celebration of the human spirit”.

The Oscar award winning Weinstein, who to date has more than 200 movies and TV shows to his credit, has spent years trying to get the bestselling novel to screen. Weinstein will personally oversee production of The Alchemist. “Personally producing a project is rare for me, but bringing The Alchemist to the screen has been my dream,” he said. “It is a spiritual and moving story and I am thrilled to be working side by side with Laurence. The pieces are now in place to jumpstart this project and we are eager to get going.” Weinstein said in a May 18th article for Rotten Tomatoes. The last movie to have Weinstein’s personal supervision was the Academy Award winning “Shakespeare In Love” which took the award for Best Picture in 1999.

Oscar nominated Fishburne, who will be playing the title character, spoke in a video message and relayed his pleasure at being offered the project calling it “a dream come true.”

The actor playing Santiago has yet to be named and production dates have yet to be announced.


Publishers Weekly

Yahoo! News

Rotten Tomatoes


School Library Journal