Tag Archives: Studios

A New ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series Is In The Works At Amazon Studios

frodo, sam, and gollum

Let’s be honest, it was bound to happen sooner rather than later. Four months after JRR Tolkien‘s estate settled a lawsuit with Warner Bros. Studios regarding the profits from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Amazon Studios has announced a multi-season LOTR television series is in the works exclusively for the company’s streaming service. The series will reportedly cover stories from Tolkien’s early writings, focusing on material pre-dating the events in the book and film trilogies.

Amazon acquired the rights to the series for a whopping $200 million, but the series is expected to cost a further $150 million in production costs per season. Given the popularity of the content, however, expenses don’t seem to be a cause for concern. A rep for Amazon was quoted in a statement as saying, “The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen. We are honored to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth.” Continue reading

This Week In Movie History…

August 15th is a very significant date in the history of film…for two reasons. We’ll cover them here in order by date, but both are, no doubt, some of the most memorable advances in movies and storytelling.

On August 15, 1934, director Christy Cabanne (The Mummy’s Hand, Scared to Death) released the first audio-visual film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte‘s famous novel Jane Eyre. Excluding the popularity of the novel, the film was part of a series of classic-literary adaptations produced by Monogram Pictures between 1933-1934. Four classic 19th-century novels were all made into big-screen adaptations that featured sound, a new technology for the era. The novels were Oliver Twist, Black Beauty, Jane Eyre, and The Moonstone. Cabanne was well-known at the time as a silent film director, but was also beginning to indulge in sound-projects. For the movie, which only runs a total of 62 minutes, the studio recruited actors Colin Clive, best known for the role of Dr. Frankenstein in the original 1931 James Whales’ classic, and newcomer Virginia Bruce (Born to Dance, The Invisible Woman) to star as Jane Eyre. Oscar-nominated screenwriter Adele Comandini (Beyond Tomorrow, Three Smart Girls) to adapt Bronte’s novel for the film (which admittedly must have been a challenge considering Jane Eyre runs for a total of 38 chapters with 400+ pages in most publications).

Also on August 15th, but in 1979, Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, The Conversation) released his world-renowned masterpiece, Apocalypse Now. The film is famous not only for its cinematic brilliance, but also for its whirlwind of a production Continue reading

Original N.W.A Line-Up Reuniting For Tour With Special Guest Eminem


With their biographical film Straight Outta Compton opening in theaters this August 14th, the iconic rap group N.W.A. is looking to their next project, and with the anticipation of the movie, fans have been hoping for a potential reunion concert or even a tour. Well now it seems that a tour is definitely being planned, at least a European tour (sorry America!), according to chairperson Donna Langley at Universal Studios, who is releasing the film. The tour would include original members Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and DJ Yella, as well as honorary rapper Eminem, who will presumably serve in place of Eazy-E, who died in 1995. No tour official tour dates or locations have been announced, but we’ll keep an eye out for additional news. The trailer for Straight Outta Compton is available here on MADE. Stay tuned!

Warner Bros. Announces ‘Miracle On The Hudson’ Project With Director Clint Eastwood

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Warner Bros. studios recently announced that director Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino, J. Edgar) will be leading a new drama about Captain Chelsey Sullenberger and his miraculous and heroic landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in New York’s Hudson River in 2009. Eastwood will be working with producers Frank Marshall (Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Back to the Future) and Allyn Stewart (Man of the House, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) from an adaptation of Sullenberger’s memoir Highest Duty: My Search For What Really Matters by screenwriter Todd Komarnicki (Elf, Meet Dave). Details as to who will be appearing in the film are still unavailable (likely seeing as the film was just announced) but we will be keeping an ear out for upcoming news. Stay tuned!

Early Draft Of Next Bond Installment ‘S.P.E.C.T.R.E.’ Leaked In Sony Pictures Hack

Bond

Earlier in the month we found out that private files, including film scripts, reels, and documents including emails between company employees and executives, were stolen from Sony Pictures by a group of computer hackers that call themselves the Guardians of Peace. The group has threatened to “ruin” the company if their upcoming James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy, The Interview, is not pulled from release this coming Christmas Day. The G.O.P. has already released a number of documents including emails between executives at the company covering everything from upcoming movie plans, celebrity secrets, medical records, racial slurs, and unbalanced pay between actors and their female counterparts. Sony discovered Monday that an early version of the screenplay for their next James Bond installment with Eon Productions Ltd., S.P.E.C.T.R.E., was among the material stolen and leaked in the cyberattack, and they were quick to give the public a friendly warning about copyright infringement. This statement was posted on the James Bond website Saturday, December 13th, by Eon Productions Ltd:

EON PRODUCTIONS, the producers of the James Bond films, learned this morning that an early version of the screenplay for the new Bond film SPECTRE is amongst the material stolen and illegally made public by hackers who infiltrated the Sony Pictures Entertainment computer system. Eon Productions is concerned that third parties who have received the stolen screenplay may seek to publish it or its contents. The screenplay for SPECTRE is the confidential information of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Danjaq, LLC, and is protected by the laws of copyright in the United Kingdom and around the world. It may not (in whole or in part) be published, reproduced, disseminated or otherwise utilised by anyone who obtains a copy of it. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Danjaq LLC will take all necessary steps to protect their rights against the persons who stole the screenplay, and against anyone who makes infringing uses of it or attempts to take commercial advantage of confidential property it knows to be stolen.”

Pretty serious shit. Principle photography for the new movie began on December 8th with Daniel Craig returning as Bond, and the movie is scheduled for theatrical release this November 6, 2015. We’ll keep you updated on anymore leaked information.

Disney Adds Bryce Dallas Howard To Cast Of ‘Pete’s Dragon’ Remake

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One of Disney‘s iconic animated features, 1977’s Pete’s Dragon, is getting a modernized update and recent news has Bryce Dallas Howard (The Village, The Help) joining the cast lineup. Pete’s Dragon followed an orphan boy, Pete, who is guided and protected by a giant green dragon named Elliot as they pass from town to town trying to evade the abusive family who adopted Pete after his parents died. The film is known for it’s use of animation and live-action film as well as the popular single from the film’s score, Candle on the Water. Sean Marshall, Helen Reddy, Mickey Rooney, and Shelley Winters lead the original cast, and the film received two Oscar nominations for Best Score and Best Original Song (Candle on the Water). The new film will be helmed by director David Lowery (Pioneer, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) and feature Howard as part of a cast that already includes Robert Redford (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting), Oona Laurence (Penny Dreadful, American Gladiators), and Oakes Fegley (Fort Bliss, This Is Where I Leave You) as Pete. While the original took place in a New England fishing town and featured a musical-style soundtrack, the new film will take place in a tree-logging town and not feature any musical numbers, save the actual score that plays along with the film. Filming is scheduled for this January in New Zealand at Stone Street Studios.

Universal Will Go Back To Their Roots With ‘Dracula Untold’ As Opening In Series

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Even though Twilight pretty much ruined vampires for the modern generation of movie-goers, Universal Studios seems to have a pretty cool reboot project in mind that may help to bring the classic lore of monsters like Frankenstein and the Wolfman back to the big screen. Dracula Untold will be hitting theaters this October 10th and will be the first major motion-picture from up-and-coming director Gary Shore. The film stars Luke Evans as the young Vlad Tepes, who looks to protect his kingdom and his family from opposing military threat by making a deal with a supernatural being to give him the power to defeat his enemies. This, of course, comes at a high price, as Vlad finds himself becoming a spectre of that dark world, slipping slowly away from his genuine humanity. It had been rumored that this would be the first in a series of reboots from Universal as the studio looks to revive it’s classic monster-movie line up, which includes Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Mummy, and the original Dracula with Bela Lugosi released in 1931. These rumors were recently confirmed by Dracula Untold‘s producer Alissa Phillips, who spoke with reporters from HeyUGuys at the UK premier this week, and the next project on the list will be The Mummy, which will be directed by longtime producer Alex Kurtzman. Personally this doesn’t really excite me. The Mummy has already been remade and spawned a whole series of terrible sequels, and the same goes for Frankenstein and The Wolfman, both which, by-the-way, have had remake projects released in the last 5 years, first The Wolfman with Hugo Weaving in 2010 and then I, Frankenstein with Aaron Eckhart earlier this year. It’s really getting irritating to see how little originality is coming out of Hollywood these days, but then I’ve been saying that for years now, so I guess nothing ever changes.

SNL And Golden Globe Co-Hosts Tina Fey And Amy Poehler Reunite For ‘The Nest’ At Universal

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Comedy favorites Tina Fey and Amy Poehler had a fun cameo appearance at the end of Anchorman 2 last year, but now the two will also be appearing in a feature length film from Universal Studios. The project is called The Nest and will be directed by Jason Moore from a script by Paula Pell, which follows two sisters who reunite at their parent’s house while they’re out of town to throw one last big bash like they did in high school. Pell, Fey, and Poehler are all also veterans of Saturday Night Live, which should mean the script will be full of great laughs. The film is scheduled to begin production in New York this summer, so we’ll be watching for more news on the remaining cast coming up soon.

Universal Eyeing Ron Howard To Direct Drug Trafficking Drama ‘Mena’

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Universal Studios has recently acquired a script from up-and-coming screenwriter Gary Spinelli. The studio beat out Sony Pictures for the script at auction for $1 million and now the studio execs are looking to Ron Howard to direct the project. The title comes from Mena, Arkansas, the small town used by pilot Barry Seal to traffic drugs and weapons for both the CIA and the Medeillin drug cartels during the Reagan and H. W. Bush administrations in the 1980s. Howard, who is behind such films as The DaVinci Code, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Backdraft, and Cocoon, will be taking on a bit of a challenge for this film. The director is known for his real-life dramas, earning the Best Directing Oscar in 2002 for A Beautiful Mind and a nomination in the same category in 2009 for Frost/Nixon, but unlike the his other historic projects like Frost/Nixon and Apollo 13, Mena follows a darker, more violent character study than Howard’s previous films, which should make seeing how he approaches the new project all the more interesting. The project is still very early in the pre-production stages, but we’ll keep an eye out for more details.

‘Black Mass’ Moving Forward With Depp Returning To Lead, Tom Hardy Taking Supporting Role

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Last week we told you about the upcoming Whitey Bulger biopic, entitled Black Mass, which was originally being developed by director Barry Levinson with Johnny Depp set to take the leading role. Depp, however, fell away from the project after Levinson also departed, leaving Universal Studios a gangster film with great potential, but no lead, and no director. Recently, however, Out of the Furnace director Scott Cooper has been in talks with Universal to take over for Levinson, and with Cooper signing on to helm the film, Depp has come back to the project with renewed interest and has now confirmed with Deadline Hollywood that he has signed a deal to take the lead role, with Tom Hardy in early talks to take the supporting role of FBI agent John Connolly. The story of Bulger and his rise to criminal power and subsequent fall from grace was actually the inspiration for Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award winning Boston crime-drama The Departed (2006), which won the Best Picture and Best Director Oscar and earned Leonardo DiCaprio a Golden Globe for Best Actor and Mark Wahlberg the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. The script for Black Mass is being adapted by Mark Mallouk from the novel Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between The FBI and The Irish Mob by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill, and the film is expected to be in production by May of this year.