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Peter Jackson Developing Mortal Engines

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 22, 2009

from EmpireOnline.com    Source: Dominion Post

The Dominion Post, a newspaper published in Wellington, New Zealand, home of Peter Jackson’s Wingnut Films and the Weta Workshop, has broken the news that Jackson and Weta are working on adaptations of Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines quartet.

Reeve’s series of children’s novels takes place in a steampunk post-apocalyptic future where cities are mobile and perambulate the planet devouring each other for fuel: a system amusingly called Municipal Darwinism. The St Paul’s Cathedral-topped London is the strongest of these Traction Cities, in a world where “old tech” is extremely sought after.

The first novel, Mortal Engines itself, in a very small nutshell, involves an assassination attempt within the Historians Guild; the challenging of apprentice Historian Tom Natsworthy’s value system, when he gets stranded overboard his beloved London with the revenge-bent Hester Shaw; and the Terminator-ish “stalker” Shrike (Grike if you’re American) who’s on their trail. Mortal Engines is followed by Predator’s Gold, Infernal Devices, A Darkling Plain and the prequel Fever Crumb.

The film series is in early development, according to The Post, with design work on the moving cities underway at Weta. A spokesman for Peter Jackson declined to comment, deferring to Jackson himself. But crucially, he denied nothing. Jackson is understood to have been sitting on the option for the books for some time.


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Veteran Spanish producer Tedy Villalba dies aged 74

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 21, 2009

producer Tedy Villalba

By Chris Evans – ScreenDaily.com

Renowned Spanish producer Tedy Villalba has died in Madrid after a long period of ill health. He was 74 years old.

Villalba worked with some of the biggest names in film, including Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick, over a 60 year career. He began as a set designer and painter before moving into production, working his way up from production assistant to production manager and executive producer.

His list of credits include David Lean’s Dr Zhivago and Lawrence Of Arabia, John Huston’s Moby Dick, Orson Welles’ Mr Arkadin, Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, Anthony Mann’s El Cid and local director Pedro Almodovar’s Dark Habits and What Have I Done To Deserve This?.

Villalba was director of film production at Spanish broadcaster Antena 3 until 2008 when he left to start his own production company. He was also director of the Film and Audiovisual School in Madrid for nearly ten years from 1994, and also served two terms as vice president of the Spanish Film Academy, which earned him an honorary Goya in 2006.

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Actress Brittany Murphy dies at 32 of heart attack

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 20, 2009

Brittany Murphy

By Meredith Kolodner – DAILY NEWS

Movie star Brittany Murphy is dead of a heart attack at 32.

She went into full cardiac arrest early Sunday  and could not be revived, the Website TMZ reported.

The Los Angeles City Fire Department got a call from the home of Murphy’s husband Simon Monjack about 8 a.m., fire officials told TMZ.

She was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead on arrival

Murphy starred in “8 Mile,” and “Don’t Say a Word.”

The starlet became a household name among teens in 1995 as the sidekick in “Clueless,” who went from awkward wall flower to snotty hottie.

A few years ago, she released the single “Faster Kill Pussycat,” which became a dance club hit.

Her last big movie was “Sin City” in 2005.

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Taylor Lautner Cast In Action Flick ‘Cancun’

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 19, 2009

Taylor Lautner

By Jocelyn Vena – MTV News

Taylor Lautner got his start in the world of martial arts long before finding fame as a werewolf in the “Twilight Saga,” and now the 17-year-old will get to display his combat skills in the action flick “Cancun,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The film, produced by “New Moon” studio Summit Entertainment in conjunction with Lautner’s production company, Tailor Made, is being described as “Taken” meets “Die Hard,” Variety reports. Tailor Made was formed by the actor and his dad, Dan Lautner, with Temple Hill partners Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen.

Lautner is a fan of 2008’s “Taken,” starring Liam Neeson, and wanted to make a similar film. And the project provides Lautner the opportunity to display his skills in extreme martial arts. “We wanted to continue working with Taylor and feel he’s got the chops to become a big action star,” Godfrey said, adding that he expects the film to go into production by June 2010.

“Cancun” centers on a teen whose injury prevents him from becoming an elite soldier. Rather than pursuing that line of work, he goes to college, meets a girl and goes on spring break in Cancun. While there, his friends are kidnapped and held for ransom in exchange for the release of a drug cartel leader who’s about to be extradited. Lautner’s character uses his martial arts training to save them.

Next up for Lautner is the release of “Valentine’s Day” in February and “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” in June. He will most likely shoot the final film in the “Twilight” saga, “Breaking Dawn,” later in 2010. Lautner is also reportedly considering a superhero role in a film based on the Mattel toy line “Max Steel.”

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“Alien” Screenwriter Dan O’Bannon Dead at 63

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 19, 2009

Dan O'Bannon

from ABC News

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Hollywood writer Dan O’Bannon, whose script for the hit space thriller “Alien” introduced some of the most terrifying creatures of science-fiction lore to the big screen, has died at age 63.

O’Bannon, who also co-wrote the Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi action film “Total Recall,” died Thursday, the Writers Guild of America confirmed on Friday. Online media reports said he had suffered a brief, undisclosed illness.

A St. Louis native who grew up on horror films and monster comics like “Tales from the Crypt,” O’Bannon got his start collaborating with director John Carpenter on the screenplay for the 1974 sci-fi cult parody “Dark Star.”

O’Bannon also co-starred in the low-budget movie about four astronauts on a lengthy mission to clear a path through space by destroying planets that posed a navigation barrier.

His screenwriting credits also include the 1995 sci-fi thriller “Screamers,” which he worked on for over a decade, and the 1997 horror film “Bleeders.”

But his best known work was his screenplay for the 1979 space chiller “Alien,” the first of a film series starring Sigourney Weaver as a tough space hero who battles a colony of slimy, parasitic, insect-like creatures with razor-sharp teeth and voracious appetites.

One of the most horrifying characteristics of the aliens was their penchant for gestating inside the body of a human host before bursting out of the victim’s chest to prey on more people.

The original film, directed by Ridley Scott, garnered an Oscar for its visual effects. O’Bannon also shared credit in sequels for the characters he created. The first sequel, 1986’s “Aliens,” directed by James Cameron, won Oscars for best visual and best sound effects editing.

The latest in the franchise, an untitled “Alien” prequel set for 2011, was in production at the time O’Bannon died, according to the Internet Movie Database website (imdb.com).

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Paramount Picks Up a Doc Holliday Action Adventure Script

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 19, 2009

Doc Holliday

by Alex Billington –FirstShowing.net

Paramount has acquired (via Variety) Chad St. John’s spec script The Further Adventures of Doc Holliday in hopes of turning it into a western style tentpole action adventure movie. As in, a big budget, western “event” movie. Another one of Chad St. John’s scripts ended up on this year’s Black List in the #10 spot. Lorenzo di Bonaventura, of Transformers and G.I. Joe, is producing the project, which is described as a history-based adventure tale in the vein of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Doc Holliday was a famously tuberculosis-ridden gunfighter best known for his friendship with Wyatt Earp and for his involvement in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona in 1881. In an 1896 article, Wyatt Earp had this to say about Holliday: “Doc was a dentist not a lawman or an assassin, whom necessity had made a gambler; a gentleman whom disease had made a frontier vagabond; a philosopher whom life had made a caustic wit; a long lean ash-blond fellow nearly dead with consumption, and at the same time the most skillful gambler and the nerviest, speediest, deadliest man with a six-gun that I ever knew.”

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Kevin Bacon Cast As the Villain in James Gunn’s Super

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 19, 2009

Kevin Bacon

James Gunn

by Brendon Connelly – SlashFilm.com

James Gunn’s Super is a very promising-sounding example of the “real world superheroes” subgenre that includes Special, Defendor and Kick-Ass. The film is currently shooting in Shreveport, Louisiana with Rainn Wilson starring as a would be superhero without any kind of powers who picks up a pipe wrench and decides to avenge… well, it begins with his wife cheating on him with a drug dealer called Jacques.

The latest casting news is that the role Jacques has been filled, and he’s going to be played by none other than Kevin Bacon. That’s my opening night seat sold, right there.

Talking to Screen Daily, James Gunn said:

“Kevin Bacon is one of the few actors nimble enough to give life to Jacques, our supervillain with a nice streak. We need to love Jacques even while he’s doing horrible things – Kevin is one of the only actors I know who can pull that off.”

Alongside Rainn Wilson as Frank D’Arbo and his alter ego The Crimson Bolt, Ellen Page as the (very possibly sociopathic) ‘girl wonder’ sidekick and Liv Tyler as the cheating wife, Bacon’s appointment makes for a rock-solid core cast. If this thing plays one half as well as its IMDB page will read I’m thinking Kick-Ass might have a little competition in the cult film stakes.

The film’s producer, Ted Hope, is out on location in Shreveport. As such, his tweet that he’s had dinner with Michael Rooker last night is a pretty strong indication that Rooker might have a role in the picture. He definitely seems to be suggesting that Gregg Henry has a role.

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Fishburne joins Predators cast

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 19, 2009

By Josh Winning – TotalFilm.com

Former Matrix star Laurence Fishburne has joined the soon-shooting re-jig of alien epic Predators.

Playing a character called Noland, we can only imagine that he was hired for his previous experience with kung-fu and action. Not to mention he’s freakin’ cool and badass as hell.

Official plot details are light, with the only info released amounting to one sentence: “A group of elite warriors are hunted by members of a merciless alien race known as Predators.”

We know from various whispers, though, that the action will be set entirely on the Predator homeworld, where warriors including Danny Trejo, Adrien Brody and Topher Grace have to fight for their lives.

Vacancy director Nimród Antal is at the helm under producer Robert Rodriguez’s guiding hand

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Segal to Helm Supernatural Comedy Neighborhood Watch

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 18, 2009

director Peter Segal

From Shocktillyoudrop.com   Source:Variety

Variety reports that director Peter Segal (Get Smart) is in talks to helm Neighborhood Watch, a supernatural comedy scripted by Jared Stern (Bolt) and being produced by Shawn Levy for Twentieth Century Fox.

Originally set up as a starring vehicle for Will Ferrell, the film focuses on a newcomer to a community who joins the neighborhood watch and discovers supernatural elements are afoot.

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New Hit Girl Poster from Kick-Ass

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on December 18, 2009

from Shockya.com

Lionsgate just released this new movie poster featuring Hit Girl in the upcoming film “Kick-Ass” by director Matthew Vaughn (Stardust) and starring Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider 2, Astro Boy), Aaron Johnson (Nearly Famous), Christopher Mintx-Plasse, Frank Strong, and Chloe Moretz.

Synopsis: Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan with a few friends and who lives alone with his father.  His life is not very difficult and his personal trials not that overwhelming. However, one day he makes the simple decision to become a super-hero even though he has no powers or training.

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