Paramount Pictures has found a replacement director for their Civil Rights drama Selma after Lee Daniels (The Butler, Precious) backed away from the project. Ava DuVernay, who has served as publicity specialist on projects like The Help, Rush Hour 3, and Spider-Man 2, has taken the job after just directing her own episode of Scandal. The film revolves around the “Bloody Sunday” civil rights marches that happened in Selma and Montgomery, Alabama in 1965 and has Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, The Incredible Hulk) set to star as Senator George Wallace, Tom Wilkinson (The Patriot, Michael Clayton) as President Lyndon Johnson, and David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Senator George Wallace is famous for his extreme opposition to banishing segregation in the United States; he famously stood in front of the doors at the University of Alabama in an effort to block newly admitted black students from entering, and when the Selma marches began the politician ordered state troopers to stop the first waves of marchers by beating them, stirring national attention and building great support for desegregation. No word yet on when this one is expected to hit theaters, but we’ll keep you informed.
So it’s official. After more than a year of speculation, a series reboot of Beverly Hills Cop is finally moving forward and has been given a theatrical release date of March 25, 2016. The film will feature original star Eddie Murphy in his leading role and will be directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Red Dragon) from a screenplay by Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec. A reboot for the Beverly Hills Cop franchise has been planned for several years now, and Paramount will finally release the film with Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean, National Treasure) in the producer’s chair, but there is no word yet on how the plot will play out, especially with Murphy returning to reprise his role of Axel Foley.
Filmmaker Warren Beatty, known for both his writing and acting talents, is finally getting his biopic on Howard Hughes underway after a 20 year struggle to get production going. The project has received financial backing from both Ron Burkle and Steve Bing, and has Windsor Media and New Regency also helping with production. Beatty is set to direct the film and also star as aviator and filmmaker Howard Hughes, who will apparently be a supporting character rather than a lead role, and the plot will instead focus on a story following Hughes’ assistant. Beatty started out in Hollywood as an actor in the 1960s and then moved into writing and directing in the mid-70s. He is also no stranger to starring and directing simultaneously. Heaven Can Wait (1978), Dick Tracy (1990), and Bulworth (1998) are all directing projects that Beatty also starred in while directing. Director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Red Dragon) is also lending a hand with production under RatPac Entertainment.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Sean William Scott take on a role in an action movie. It’s been even longer since we saw Jackie Chan in a role that was entertaining to watch; Rush Hour 3 (2007) was OK but it was the same old goofy comedy that can only be expected with Chris Tucker on the screen, and the horrific re-make of The Karate Kid (1984) with Chan as the master instructor can hardly be considered entertainment. But now Chan and Scott are returning to the big screen in an upcoming action flick called Skiptrace from director Sam Fell. The idea for a story about a Chinese policeman having to team up with a witty, think-with-your-mouth American to save his niece came from Chan, but unfortunately bares an all too familiar resemblance to the Rush Hour movies. I know you’re getting old Jackie, but that doesn’t mean you have to start down the re-make road! We’ll see how this one turns out. Scott has done a decent job with action movies in the past, mostly providing comic-relief to the serious bad-ass roles of his co-stars like Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson and Yun-Fat Chow, but his style of comedy fit in so perfectly with the feel of the 1990s, it may be hard for audiences to accept him as the funny guy in a modern flick. Like I said, we’ll see what happens.