Three weeks ago, we revealed that Bill Condon ("Dreamgirls") was in serious negotiations to direct the fourth and final chapter of the popular "Twilight" franchise. (See "Dreamgirls" Director for the Last Two "Twilight" Movies? No Singing and Dancing Vampires and Werewolves!)
Now, according to Hitflix, it's confirmed! Condon is going to helm "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn."
So that's the good news! As I've said before, I think the "Twilight" franchise will benefit from a great storyteller like Condon, yes, even though he previously directed the dreaded 1995 flick "Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh." Hey, they all have to start somewhere somehow.
Condon beat the likes of "Milk's" Gus Van Sant, and "Mean Girls" director Mark Waters to direct the fourth "Twilight."
In his "acceptance" speech, Condon said, "I'm very excited to get the chance to bring the climax of this saga to life on-screen. As fans of the series know, this is a one-of-a-kind book - and we're hoping to create an equally unique cinematic experience."
BUT, Summit still hasn't confirmed if they will divide the last book into two films. The entire cast including Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner do not have signed deals yet.
The bad news? Scriptwriter Melissa Rosenberg is going to adapt "Breaking Dawn." Come on, I'm blaming Rosenberg for the lackadaisical book-to-film translations of the first two (okay, I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt for the third), but if Summit wants to change the tone and mood of the franchise from film-to-film by hiring a new director, why not hire a new scriptwriter?
But you know, Condon won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for 1998's "Gods and Monsters" so the writer in him may guide the final chapter of "Twilight" to victory! I'm hoping...
Stephenie Meyer, author of the "Twilight" novels, has this to say about Condon's hiring: "I'm so thrilled that Bill wants to work with us. I think he's going to be a great fit, and I'm excited to see what he does with the material."
And Erik Feig, President of Production and Acquisitions, for Summit Entertainment added, "Bringing Stephenie Meyer's BREAKING DAWN to the screen requires a graceful and intelligent hand and we believe Bill Condon is exactly the right steward, having shown equal and abundant talents of immense creativity and subtle sensitivity."
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"How to Train Your Dragon" proved to be a fiery entry at the box-office that DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg revealed that a sequel is going to fly into the theaters during the second half of 2013.
But "How to Train Your Dragon" was deemed a no-sequel film in the beginning. When it was first released, even though it landed on No. 1, the animated adventure was deemed too weak for a possible sequel (the film failed to match "Monsters Vs. Aliens" debut same time last year -- "Monsters Vs. Aliens" $59.3 vs. "How to Train's" $43.3).
But after weeks hovering at the box-office, "How to Train" flew back atop last weekend, beating two new releases "The Back-Up Plan" and "The Losers." And right now, "Dragon" is very close to matching "Kung Fu Panda's" $215 million domestic box-office total ("Dragon" is at $180).
Hence, the inevitable sequel talks, but wait there's more! There's also a live arena show, a TV series, and an online virtual world according to Katzenberg.
But "Dragon" is not the only animated flick that's near and dear to DreamWorks, according to The Hollywood Reporter:
The CEO also talked up "Megamind," saying the Nov. 5 release starring Brad Pitt, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell will do for the superhero genre what "Shrek" did for fairy tales.
He said "Scared Shrekless" is set as a Halloween special this year, and an unnamed "Panda" holiday special will run between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But don't call it a "Christmas" special.
No word yet on whether the original "Dragon" cast will be back for the second film.
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Warner Bros. is prepping two major sequels, but both productions come with a price -- drama! According to Deadline Hollywood Daily, WB is moving ahead with sequel plans for "Clash of the Titans" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth."
For "Clash of the Titans," WB is reteaming with Legendary Pictures to give us part 2 of the Greek mythology action-adventure. And Warner Bros. wants to release the film as early as spring of 2012!
But original director, Louis Leterrier, will not be on board! But wait, I thought Leterrier wrote a "Clash" trilogy? Check this story where Leterrier said he wanted to tell the story in three parts! The director will still be involved with the sequel as an executive producer.
The good news is Sam Worthington will return as Perseus, and WB is currently looking for a writer and director who can magically make the sequel prior to Worthington's shooting of "Avatar 2." Really? "Avatar" sequel? Hhhmmmm.....
Apparently, Leterrier's departure was amicable, well it should be, he's still the executive producer, and the real reason behind the sequel? The film made around $390 million worldwide! But the big question -- will the sequel be finally shot in 3D rather than just being upconverted?
Moving on to "Journey to the Center of the Earth," New Line and Walden Media are planning a sequel with a possible release date around fall of 2011. BUT, the original director, Eric Brevig, is not attached!
Why? Because he's busy with another WB film, "Yogi Bear" in 3D!
But here's the deal, Deadline Hollywood revealed that "Fraser wants to be loyal to Brevig and is resisting New Line's suggestion of filmmakers like Brad Peyton." Why? It's not like "Journey to the Center of the Earth" was an earth-shattering masterpiece!
So New Line's alternative will have the sequel center around Josh Hutcherson's character, Fraser's son in the film.
Fraser's "Furry Vengeance" comes out this Friday, I will have my fun one-on-one interview with the actor very soon!
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Back in March of last year, we reported that "Twilight" director, Catherine Hardwicke, was in talks with Sony to direct another young-adult fantasy novel called "Maximum Ride." While Hardwicke is still the driver of the project, Sony is now out and Universal may soon step in according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The James Patterson book property is being adapted by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, who wrote the first "Iron Man" and the upcoming "Cowboys and Aliens."
According to Wiki, "Maxiumu Ride" is:
A series of six young adult science fiction/fantasy books, written by the award-winning American author James Patterson. It is based on two of his previously written books, When The Wind Blows and The Lake House. The series chronicles the lives of six human/avian fugitives. Bred in a science lab called "The School", the Flock endured scientific experiments that rendered them 98% human and 2% avian.
Through the first three books of the Maximum Ride series, the Flock spends much of their time running from human-lupine hybrids created by the School called Erasers. Book four is mainly about the flock rising against global warming, while Book 5 is about saving Dr. Martinez from a man named Mr. Chu, while battling environmental pollution. The reason for the change in style of the books is reportedly because the series is to be made up of two trilogies: The Fugitives (books 1–3) and The Protectors (books 4-6)
More developments to come with this teen-centric project so stay tuned...
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Paramount has announced that the horror thriller franchise, "The Ring," is getting a threequel and it's going to be in 3D! The third installment will simply be called "Ring 3D" and the script will be written by David Loucka.
The first film released in 2002 was based on Hideo Nakata's 1998 Japanese horror mystery called "Ringu," and it starred Naomi Watts with Gore Verbinski at the helm. We all know Verbinski went on to do the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies.
A sequel followed in 2005.
The premise of the franchise is about a cursed videotape that when watched, will cause the viewer to die a week after. While the plot for the third film is being kept under wraps, The Hollywood Reporter is saying that the new film is being fashioned as more teen-centric than the first with reinventing the franchise as the main goal.
No director is on board yet, though, seeing the big bad Samara in 3D may be worth it.
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