When Draft Day hit theaters on April 11, it didn’t exactly set the box office on fire, earning under $10 million in its opening weekend. But the Kevin Costner starrer can take pride in one thing: When it comes to sports movies, football films are the all-time box office champs. READ FULL STORY
Peter Jackson’s first two Hobbit movies collectively grossed almost two billion dollars, proving once and for all that people can’t get enough of wacky dwarf action mixed in with the occasional dragon. (Also that one-handed orc, remember him?) And the third Hobbit movie promises to be even more of a box office bounty, what with the fact that stuff actually happens. READ FULL STORY
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are partnering with Warner Bros. to adapt The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, a European best-seller from Swiss author Joël Dicker. Published in 2012, Quebert has sold more than 2 million copies across the Atlantic. It will be released by Penguin Books in the U.S. at the end of May.
Set mostly in New Hampshire, Quebert tells the story of a successful — but blocked — writer who visits his mentor, Harry Quebert, for help meeting his deadline. While there, Quebert is implicated in a 33-year-old cold-case of a murdered young woman — a young woman with whom he had an affair. Critics have compared the story to Gone Girl and Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Warner Bros. just acquired the book, and there still is no script. Howard, who will direct, is busy completing Heart of the Sea, the true 1820 whale-versus-man tale featuring his Rush star Chris Hemsworth.
Casting Net: Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson in talks to star in 'The Jungle Book'; Plus, Zooey Deschanel, more
• 12 Years A Slave Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and The Avengers‘s Scarlett Johansson are both in talks to lend their voices to Disney’s upcoming live-action/CG adaption of The Jungle Book. Nyong’o is currently in talks to play Rakcha, the mother wolf who adopts Mowgli, while Johansson is in early negotiations to lend her voice to the character of Kaa, a python who eats its victims by hypnotizing them. Iron Man‘s Jon Favreau is set to direct the film based on the classic novel by Rudyard Kipling which will also star Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom‘s Idris Elba as the voice of Shere Khan the tiger. [The Hollywood Reporter]
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Only in a world where Legos can be the subject of a hit movie and Transformers toys the centerpiece of a hit franchise, can we imagine a movie based on sugary marshmallow candies. But for better or worse, that is the film culture we live in now and writer/director Adam Rifkin is prepared to take advantage of it, announcing Tuesday night that he has optioned the rights to Just Born’s Peeps, that colorful sugary goodness that annually generates $2 billion in revenue, primarily around Easter time. (Psst: We’ve got a few plot ideas for him.)
Rifkin, whose varied career includes script duty on family-friendly films like Small Soldiers and Mouse Hunt and more recently as the writer/director on the Showtime series Reality Show, intends to center his film, which has yet to nab a distributor, in the already-existing world of the Washington Post’s annual Peeps diorama contest. (Turns out there is a whole world of Peeps aficionados who turn marshmallows into historical figures for cash prizes. This year, the newspaper’s winner depicted Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech all in Peeps. Check out the contest winners here.) READ FULL STORY
NOT RATED, 1 HR., 35 MINS.
Director Patrice Leconte seems to have cribbed from the Merchant Ivory playbook for a lukewarm tale of repressed desire set in 1912 Germany, where a young engineer (Richard Madden) comes between his sickly boss (Alan Rickman) and his wife (Rebecca Hall). It’s well made but drearily familiar, what with its stolen glances and pleas of “No, we mustn’t!” (Also available on VOD) B- —Chris Nashawaty READ FULL STORY
In the ’70s-set The Quiet Ones, Jared Harris (Mad Men) portrays a British professor determined to prove that there is a scientific explanation for the seemingly supernatural phenomena besetting a young woman, played by Bates Motel actress Olivia Cooke. As The Quiet Ones, which opens this Friday, comes to us from the famously horror-obsessed U.K company Hammer, it does not spoil things too much to reveal that the prof’s plan goes wildly awry. READ FULL STORY
Barbie is constantly being talked about. Whether it’s a debate about body image issues, human Barbie, or just another day at the toy store, the iconic toy is nothing if not recognizable. And now, Barbie will expand her enterprise when she takes over the big screen.
EW has confirmed that Sony Pictures has partnered with Mattel and Parkes+MacDonald/Image Nation for a live-action comedy featuring Barbie. Sony considers this its next “big, global franchise” and plans for the project to go into production by the end of the year, according to a press release.
The live-action film will be written by Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City) and produced by Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. The story will follow Barbie through many of her more than 150 roles, not limited to but including mermaid, princess, and president. READ FULL STORY
The recent YA rush strikes again!
Alloy Entertainment is developing the final Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book, Sisterhood Everlasting, for a big-screen adaptation. This film will follow the 2005 original, as well as the 2008 sequel, both of which starred Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, Blake Lively, and Amber Tamblyn. No word on whether the ladies will reprise their roles (reps didn’t immediately respond), but all four real-life friends have seemed open to the idea in the past. “The characters are all basically the ages that we are now,” America Ferrera told EW when we reunited the cast last fall. “I know that the four of us would love [to make another film], and it would be wonderful.” READ FULL STORY
William Hurt has withdrawn from a bio-pic of southern rocker Gregg Allman that has been targeted with a boycott by Hollywood crew workers following the death of a camera assistant in February, his representatives tell EW.
“The show must go on” is a maxim that has been around for as long as there have been shows – a rallying call for casts and crews who lose someone in the midst of a production. But the opposite call to action – “The show must stop” — is being directed at Midnight Rider. READ FULL STORY
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