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New Line: 'Shazam' will have 'a tone unto itself' and 'a sense of fun'

Earlier today, Dwayne Johnson tweeted that he would be playing Black Adam in a filmed based on DC’s Shazam. The announcement was surprising for a few reasons. For one thing, Black Adam is the Big Bad in the Shazam mythology. For another thing, most of the recent buzz around the bigscreen DC universe had focused on Justice League characters like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman.

The Shazam project will be produced by New Line, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. proper, and when New Line president Toby Emmerich gets on the phone to EW, he makes it clear that the film will be a different kind of superhero movie. “It feels to me like Shazam will have a tone unto itself,” he explains. “It’s a DC comic, but it’s not a Justice League character, and it’s not a Marvel comic. The tone and the feeling of the movie will be different from the other range of comic book movies.” READ FULL STORY

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' passes $1 billion worldwide

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You did good, Bilbo.

It’s official. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has passed the $1 billion mark worldwide, and it has its recent opening in China to thank. The film grossed $37.3 million in China since it opened 10 days ago, becoming only the 15th film to cross this benchmark worldwide. The top three are Avatar, Titanic, and The Avengers. Skyfall is currently in the number seven position with $1.1 billion worldwide.

In a statement announcing the news on Sunday, Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President of International Distribution for Warner Bros. said “From Berlin to Beijing, it is so gratifying to see how the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been such an event with audiences around the world. We know that moviegoers everywhere are already excited about the next film, as are we.”

Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the J.R.R Tolkien novel has grossed $301.4 million domestically — well below the domestic totals of the individual films in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and none of those films had 3-D or IMAX ticket prices to help. Only The Return of the King made more than $1 billion worldwide, and notably, only $10.4 million of that came from China.

Read More:
‘Skyfall’ passes $1 billion worldwide

New Line hires director for 'Y: The Last Man'

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Fans of the thrilling post-apocalyptic graphic novel series Y: The Last Man can rejoice that New Line has officially hired a director to helm a movie adaptation.

Dan Trachtenberg, mostly a commercials director, is set to direct the film, a New Line spokesperson confirmed to EW. The screenplay is by Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia.

Y: The Last Man is the saga of Yorick Brown — the only human survivor of a planet-wide plague that instantly kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome. Accompanied by a mysterious government agent and a brilliant young geneticist, Yorick sets out in search of his lost love and the answer to why he’s the last man on Earth,” according to a New Line statement.

The comic book series, written by Brian K. Vaughn and drawn by Pia Guerra, is filled with action, violence, and a ton of mystery and great female characters, with backdrops ranging from Boston to Tel Aviv. Who will be cast as handsome, at first dopey, and ultimately courageous Yorick, paired in the comic with a sidekick pet monkey named Ampersand, remains to be seen.

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'Saw' director James Wan in negotiations to helm 'MacGyver' movie

From blood-splattered horror to action-filled MacGyver! Reps for James Wan confirmed to EW on Monday that the Saw franchise and Insidious filmmaker is in negotiations with New Line to direct the movie based on the 1980s television series about a secret agent, played in the original by Richard Dean Anderson, who relies on brain vs. brawn to resolve sticky situations.

Jason Richman has written the MacGyver movie’s screenplay, with revisions by Brian and Mark Gunn. Raffaella and Martha De Laurentiis, the daughter and second wife, respectively, of the late legendary producer Dino De Laurentiis, are producing, as well as the TV show’s creator Lee Zlotoff.

Wan has become an in-demand horror-thriller director, with the upcoming New Line film The Conjuring out next year, 2010′s Insidious a break-out hit, and as the creator of the box office juggernaut and creatively gruesome Saw films, which launched in 2004.

For more film news

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MOVIE ON DVD REVIEW ‘Insidious’

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