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Frank Miller reveals name and story for prequel to 300

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 16, 2009

Rodrigo Santoro as the Persian King Xerxes

By David Bentley – The Geek Files

When Gerard Butler was asked in October about the planned follow-up to Spartan smash-hit 300, he responded: “I don’t know how real it is.”

In the meantime, it appears to have become a little more real. Frank Miller – writer of the graphic novel on which 300 was based – now says he has mapped out a prequel and even has a title for it.

Speaking to Hero Complex, Miller says the project is called Xerxes, the name of the Persian king played by Rodrigo Santoro in 300 (see picture above).

He added that 300 director Zack Snyder is interested in returning.

“It’s the Battle of Marathon through my lens,” said Miller. “I’ve finished the plot and I’m getting started on the artwork.”

With ancient Greek history and legend also surfacing in next year’s Percy Jackson & The Olympians and the Clash of The Titans remake, Miller says he is not surprised by its renewed popularity, especially after research trips to Greece.

He said: “Every generation returns to ancient Greece because, well, the stories are so damn good. The fact and the myth are inseparable and, believe me, when you go sailing for a while in the Aegean Sea, you start believing in Poseidon.”

300 focused on the Battle of Thermopylae in 480BC, ten years after the Battle of Marathon in 490BC.

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Paul Naschy, Dean of Spanish horror films, dies

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 15, 2009

Paul Naschy in early 2009

Birth: Sep. 6, 1934         Death: Nov. 30, 2009

Actor, Screenwriter. Born Jacinto Molina Álvarez, he was acknowledged as the dean of Spanish horror films, with a cult following around the world. Performing in and writing many of his own screenplays, he made his debut as a werewolf in “Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror” (1968) and was a veteran of more then a 100 movies. Among his many credits are “Werewolf Shadow” (1971), “Dr. Jekyll and the Wolfman” (1972), “Horror Rises From the Tomb” (1973), “Cannibal Killers, Human Beast” (1985), “School Killer” (2001), “Rottweiler” (2004) and “Tomb of the Werewolf” (2004). In 2000, Naschy’s autobiography “Memoirs of a Wolfman,” was published and Hollywood Horror Classics Inc. released a boxed DVD set, “The Paul Naschy Collection” in 2008.

From FindAGrave.com

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Natalie Portman In “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 14, 2009

Natalie Portman

by Fiona – Filmofilia.com

The movie is based on the bestselling book of the same name written by Seth Grahame-Smith and Austen.

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” is described as an expanded version of the Austen classic, so, this could be something like Jane Austen’s classic novel “Pride and Prejudice” with horror elements.

Grahame-Smith’s book tells the timeless story of a woman’s quest for love and independence amid the outbreak of a deadly virus that turns the undead into vicious killers.

Portman will play feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet, who is distracted from her quest to eradicate the zombie menace by the arrival of the arrogant Mr. Darcy.

“Natalie and I are longtime passionate fans of Jane Austen’s books and this a fresh, fun and thought-provoking way to approach her work,” Annette Savitch (one of the producers) said.

“The idea of zombies running rampant in 19th Century England may sound odd, but it lends a modern sense of urgency to a well known love story,” Savitch added.

Lionsgate will finance and distribute the movie.

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Peter Jackson talks miniseries about Napoleonic wars with dragons

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 8, 2009

From EmpireOnline.com    Source: Ain’t It Cool News

Peter Jackson has had a busy old 2009 between The Lovely Bones, shepherding District 9, co-writing The Hobbit and overseeing Tintin. But now he’s started to look again at future projects and has pulled out dragon adventure Temeraire as a possibility for his next project.

Ain’t It Cool chatted with the man, and he revealed that the adaptation of Naomi Novik’s book series, which reimagines the Napoleonic wars with dragons, could finally be making its way to a screen – just not necessarily the cinema.

Jackson nabbed the rights to Novik’s swashbuckling novels (five are currently on the shelves and the director says she’s planning nine in total) back in 2006 and since then he’s been slowly developing the stories and commissioning design work.

But as he’s started to think about making them work on screen, his feelings have shifted from a film series to a miniseries.

“I can’t see any degree of common sense in trying to mount them one at a time as feature films. To me the stories, having read the first ones, already work as this continuing, on-going saga, so I’m thinking ‘Is there a marketplace out there yet for a large budget mini-series?’

“I guess you’d think of things like HBO and you’d think of Band Of Brothers and that sort of thing, but it’d be different than that. I’m thinking is there actually a market out there that’d give us the budget to do this properly and allow us to shoot this as a six, seven or eight part series where we have freedom, we have great production values and are able to tackle it as the epic saga that it deserves.”

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Brad Pitt Bringing Young Dracula Back in ‘Vlad’

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 7, 2009

Brad Pitt

by Alex Billington – FirstShowing.net

Summit Entertainment wants even more vampire movies. The studio is developing a new “action-oriented” take on Dracula, currently in the form of a script written by actor Charlie Hunnam called Vlad. Brad Pitt is also producing the project with Dede Gardner through his Plan B Entertainment. They’ve also hired music video director and photographer Anthony Mandler to helm Vlad; this will be his feature directing debut. The story centers on Dracula as a young prince, when he was better known as Vlad the Impaler, the man behind the Dracula myth. Summit acquired this a while ago, but was developing it quietly until they found Mandler.

THR says that Mandler’s directing reel drew comparisons to Zack Snyder and his style on 300. He directed 10 of Rhianna’s videos as well as other videos for the Killers and Eminem. Warner Brothers had their eye on this project but Summit kept their hands on it. Here’s the best part: “Summit hopes to make a visually edgy and radical period movie that also will break a new talent.”

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Taylor Lautner may become boy-toy hero ‘Max Steel’

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 6, 2009

Taylor Lautner

Steven Zeitchik – LA Times

As Taylor Lautner’s Hollywood profile surges, his handlers are looking for a project for the teen wolf to sink his teeth into next. One strong possibility: “Max Steel,” a Paramount movie about a teenage superhero.

The actor’s representatives at WME and Management 360 are brainstorming about the next move for the 17-year-old Michigan native who plays Jacob in the “Twilight” franchise. Lautner emerged as the big winner after the blockbuster success of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” but, at the moment, his only other big-screen appearance on deck is a character role in Garry Marshall’s ensemble romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day.” That movie has wrapped, so Lautner has a relatively open calendar.

Paramount, meanwhile, is eager to develop more toy properties along the lines of its “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” franchises. Like those films, “Steel” traces back to the toy shelf — the Mattel line that hit stores in 2001, pulled in $100 million in worldwide business in its first year and spawned an animated series that lasted three seasons.

Lautner would play Josh McGrath, a 19-year-old extreme-sports athlete who is accidentally exposed to the unleashed power of nanotechological machines, which become part of him and (in the old show, at least) give him increased strength, near-invulnerability and the ability to change his appearance.

It’s worth noting that Paramount and other studios are eager to cast Lautner because he can bring young women into theaters — always a positive for any action picture.

J.P. Lavin and Chad Damiani are on board to write (they’re also writing the screenplay for the Warner Bros. superhero action movie “Capeshooters,” based on the Rob Liefeld comic book, as well as the Liefeld property “Youngblood”). The script for “Steel” is still being written, which means it could be a while before Lautner actually is seen onscreen in even the most favorable of circumstances. (Paramount and WME declined comment.)

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Michelle Williams in Talks to Play Marilyn Monroe in New Biopic

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 5, 2009

Michelle Williams

Marilyn Monroe

By Robert Falconer  – CinemaSpy.com

A few months ago it was reported that Scarlett Johansson was leading a list of actress under consideration to play Marilyn Monroe in director Simon Curtis’ biopic, “My Week with Marilyn”. Kate Hudson, Amy Adams and Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain) were also mentioned as possible contenders for the role.

Production Weekly has now learned that Johansson is out of the running and that its Williams who is in-talks with Curtis to top line the movie, set to begin lensing in June, 2010.

My Week will be based on the diary of Colin Clark, an employee of Laurence Olivier, who looked after Monroe when she came to London to film Olivier’s “The Prince and the Showgirl” in 1957. Although Colin was technically considered the third assistant director, his unofficial role was to keep Monroe out of Olivier’s way.

Clark published excerpts of his diary a year later, but left out the details of one week. Those unreleased chapters form the basis of the movie.

Frankly, it’s probably one of the toughest roles to cast. Monroe’s body movements, mannerisms and vocal inflections are legendary. Difficult to master, impersonators who have done so typically haven’t looked that much like the late actress. Alternatively, those who look somewhat like Monroe have more often than not had a tough time duplicating her essence. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out…and if Curtis decides to employ today’s current state-of-the art CG to give his leading lady a little extra “authenticity,” or if he simply allows her to develop a close individual interpretation of the Monroe essence, sans special effects.

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Eli Roth Talks Endangered Species

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 5, 2009

Eli Roth

 by wil – HorrorYearbook.com

Hostel director Eli Roth recently talked to MTV about his new film Endangered Species. Roth said that fans can expect a Transformers or Cloverfield type movie and that he is busy reworking the script after consulting with Quentin Tarantino.

“Quentin actually loved the draft and had some really great suggestions, so I’m tweaking the script,” he said. “And I’m working out some visual effects tests, which is going to determine how I shoot it.”

Roth wants to start shooting the film in 2010 and plans to start filling in the cast after he finishes tweaking the script.

“There are certain actors that I love and that I’d love to work with and certain people I have in mind. But it’s easier for me to hone and finalize and get the script finished and then the method by which I’m going to shoot it and then the order, and then cast it.”

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Johnny Depp eyes Pancho Villa role, Salma Hayek in talks to co-star

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 4, 2009

Pancho Villa

Johnny Depp

By Nick Vivarelli – Variety.com

ROME — Serbian helmer Emir Kusturica is in advanced negotiations for Johnny Depp to star as Mexican revolutionary hero Pancho Villa in his upcoming biopic titled “Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman With Six Fingers.”

Kusturica said the script, written with regular collaborator Gordan Mihic (“Time of the Gypsies,” “Black Cat, White Cat”), is completed, although lensing is not set to start until 2011 due to Depp’s prior commitments. The Spanish-language biopic will be shot partly in Mexico.

Salma Hayek is in advanced talks to co-star in the pic.

Depp and Kusturica collaborated previously on “Arizona Dream” in 1993.

Script is based on biographical novel “The Friends of Pancho Villa,” in which author James Carlos Blake recounts how Villa and his compadres had a great time fighting and robbing the rich, but also dancing, partying and making love.

Biopic is being set up by French shingle Fidelite, which also produced Kusturica’s “Maradona” docu.

Villa has previously been played onscreen by Antonio Banderas, Telly Savalas and even Villa himself in the 1914 pic

Salma Hayek

“The Life of General Villa,” which was produced by D.W. Griffith.

Prior to “Pancho Villa,” Kusturica is planning to shoot a black comedy titled “Cool Water,” set amid the Mideast conflict, about a Palestinian stripper working in Germany who returns to her homeland to bury her dead father. “Cool Water” is being produced by German indie Brave New Work.

(Michael Fleming contributed to this report.)

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Peter Berg Hints ‘Hancock’ Sequel Fraught with Politics

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 3, 2009

By Robert Falconer – CinemaSpy.com

Director Peter Berg was pretty vocal back in September about being ready to get started on a sequel to Hancock. But, as so often happens in Hollywood, projects get shuffled about and given different priority. And Berg’s priority now seems to have shifted from the Hancock sequel — along with the Dune remake — over to Hasbro’s Battleship.

Director Peter Berg

Berg told HitFix that while the Hancock sequel is on his to-do list, it actually won’t even be his next project after Battleship. He will instead take on the “Lone Survivor” drama that tells the story of 17 seals that were killed in one gunfight in Afghanistan. “One survived,” Berg told HitFix. “It’s a great story.”

As to the Hancock sequel, Berg revealed a small measure of the politics that seems to have surrounded the project. “There are so many cooks in that particular kitchen that are so busy and Will [Smith is] kind of taken time off to be with his kids and his kids are now making all kinds of films and there are so many people involved in that from Will to his partner James Lassiter to Akiva [Goldsmith] to Michael Mann and myself,” he said.

“To get us all in the same room where we can talk and then agree on anything? You’ll never meet a group of people who will have a harder time agreeing on anything,” he added. “It’s like the Israeli peace process times a thousand in how tough it is for us all. But I think it will happen, we just all have to get in the same room with some consistency.”

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