A modern big screen adaptation of Herman Melville’s epic adventure Moby Dick titled In The Heart of the Sea is opening in theaters this Friday, December 11th. Written for the screen by Charles Leavitt (K-PAX, Blood Diamond) and writing team Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Jurassic World), the film takes the classic tale, based on a real-life maritime disaster in the West Pacific in 1820, to new heights, utilizing stunning visual effects to show the initial series of confrontations leading up to the whale’s sinking of the Essex and the aftermath the crew had to endure in the open sea, with no ship, no food, and no fresh water. While trying to survive, the crew members begin to question both the morality of their trade and the value of life, as captain and first mate collide on their efforts to either survive, or kill the vengeance-driven whale. Starring in the film are actors Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers), Benjamin Walker (Flags of Our Fathers, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later, Inception), Brendan Gleeson (Gangs of New York, Cold Mountain), and Ben Whishaw (I’m Not There, Spectre), working under the direction of Oscar-winning filmmaker Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind). Although Melville’s tale is more publicly recognized as the source material for the film, In The Heart of the Sea is actually a real book by Nathaniel Philbrick, drawing on further details regarding the sinking of the Nantucket-based Essex and the survival of the crew members after the ship sank. Out of 21 who initially entered the water after the ship went down, only 8 would live to recount the event. I would definitely give this one some consideration, especially with a great director like Howard tackling such time-tested material. The trailer is available here on MADE. Enjoy!
Comedians Eddie Murphy (left) and Richard Pryor (right).
Director Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) is currently working on getting a biographical drama focusing on Richard Pryor underway, and some news regarding the supporting cast has now surfaced from THR. Comedy-veteran Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop, Coming To America) is now set to portray Pryor’s abusive, alcoholic father, a period that proved incredibly influential on the comedian’s work and only added to his comedic-legacy. Also included on the cast list is comedic-actor Mike Epps (Next Friday, The Hangover) and Oscar-nominee Kate Hudson (Almost Famous, Something Borrowed). Thus far there is no scheduled release date and Daniels has yet to develop a script or find a screenwriter, but with the cast filling out we should see that get underway relatively quickly. Stay tuned for more news.
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.
Jerry Bruckheimer has famously spent the last decade working for Walt Disney Pictures. His breakthrough film with Disney, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, was an instant classic when it was released in 2003, and brought Johnny Depp into a brand new era in his career after appearing in films like Blow and From Hell (both released in 2001), Chocolat (2000) and Sleepy Hollow (1999). Depp had yet to break into the family-friendly movie genre, but all that changed when he agreed to play pirate for director Gore Verbinski on Bruckheimer’s new project. Since then both Depp and Bruckheimer have experienced great success at Disney, but all that changed when they decided to push their limits and make a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean, and then thought it would be a good idea to take Depp’s pirate character and dress him up as Tonto for a remake of The Lone Ranger, which completely bombed at the box office this summer. Since the failure that was The Lone Ranger, Depp has agreed to make a fifth Pirates movie, but Bruckheimer’s employment with the production company has taken a turn for the worse, and the producer will no longer be taking on any future projects with Walt Disney Pictures.
This is not necessarily bad news for the producer, however, as Paramount Pictures has decided to draft a new contract with their old production partner, beginning with sequels to some of Bruckheimer’s most early successes: Top Gun (1986) and Beverly Hills Cop (1984). As of now, Eddie Murphy will be brought back to his original character in what may be a reboot of the series and which will be directed by Brett Ratner, but there are no official reports concerning the plot line. Top Gun is also on its way to a sequel with Tom Cruise, but a director for this film is yet to be determined, especially since original director Tony Scott committed suicide last year. While this is good news for Bruckheimer, fans of these Hollywood gems may be less enthused about further installments, especially with a thirty year gap for both and one of which already has several sequels. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised to hear this. Bruckheimer could try surprising us with some fresh material instead of following the rest of Hollywood in their movie revival scheme, but if his main focus is keeping his job he may have to stay on the bandwagon for now. We’ll keep you posted.