Universal Finds Director for "Bioshock" 

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is in serious talks to direct "Bioshock" for Universal Pictures. It's an adaptation of the Take-Two-Interactive videogame.

Fresnadillo is known for directing "28 Weeks Later."

Gore Verbinski ("Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise) was attached to direct but stepped out due to his commitment to Paramount's animated film "Rango" reuniting him with his "Pirates" star Johnny Depp. The actor is set to voice the lead character.

Verbinski is still attached as "Bioshock's" producer. At one point, Universal and Verbinski couldn't agree on the budget (the film's original budget, under Verbinski, was reaching $160 million).

With Fresnadillo's involvement, this underwater adventure (the film is set in the underwater city of Rapture) sails forward.

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Directors Guild of America Announces Awards Schedule, See Complete Awards Season List 

The Directors Guild of America has selected Jan. 30th for its 62nd Annual DGA Awards! It will be held at the Century Plaza.

The awards season schedule is shaping up as follows:


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"Inglourious Basterds" Wins Glorious Box-Office! See Weekend's Complete Top 10 Box-Office Films! 

Quentin Tarantino's kill Hitler revenge fantasy claimed victory at the box office with a $37.6 million debut!

Starring Brad Pitt, "Inglourious Basterds," is Tarantino's best opening ever, beating the $25.1 million debut of 2004's "Kill Bill - Vol. 2." The World War II film also scored high globally. Opening in 22 countries, "Inglourious Basterds" earned $27.5 giving it a worldwide total of $65.1 million.

(See my "Inglourious Basterds" movie review right here)

"Inglourious Basterds" is the first true hit by the Weinstein Co. since leaving Disney-owned Miramax four years ago.

Meanwhile, Tarantino's comrade, Robert Rodriguez, didn't fare so well. Rodriguez's children fantasy "Shorts" only made $6.6 million at the box-office debuting at No. 6.

"Shorts" tells the story of a magical wishing rock and how it creates chaos in one community. The film stars William H. Macy, James Spader, Jon Cryer, Leslie Mann, Jolie Vanier, Jimmy Bennet, and a lovably gross giant booger!

(See my complete interviews with Rodriguez and "Shorts" cast right here)

Previous weekend's No. 1 film, "District 9," slipped to No. 2 with $18.9 million. The film is on its way to becoming a $100 million hit with its domestic total of $73.5 million.

Here's the complete Top 10 list of box office films for weekend of Aug. 21st:

1. "Inglourious Basterds," $37.6 million.

2. "District 9," $18.9 million.

3. "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," $12.5 million.

4. "The Time Traveler's Wife," $10 million.

5. "Julie & Julia," $9 million.

6. "Shorts," $6.6 million.

7. "G-Force," $4.2 million.

8. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," $3.5 million.

9. "The Ugly Truth," $2.9 million.

10. "Post Grad," $2.8 million.

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Dakota Fanning to Star in "Wizard of Oz' Sequel? Why Not Just a Big Screen Version of "Wicked" the Musical? 

So Dakota Fanning is reportedly in talks to wear the magical ruby red slippers in a sequel being planned for "The Wizard of Oz."

The 15-year old actress is set to take the lead in a follow-up to the legendary 1939 movie starring Judy Garland.

The sequel is going to be called "Oz" (wait, isn't that the name of the groundbreaking HBO show?), and the film's producer, Basil Iwanyk revealed to WENN that: "It will be set in the present day and feature Dorothy's granddaughter."

Fanning, of course, will play Dorothy's granddaughter.

The original film, based on L. Frank Baum's book "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" was a beloved movie which won a number of awards including the Academy Award for Best Original Song ("Over the Rainbow" awwwww).

Todd McFarlane of the "Spawn" franchise will be co-producing. He says, "You've still got Dorothy trapped in an odd place, but she's much closer to the Ripley character from Alien than a helpless singing girl."

Hhhhmmmm, is this going to be a gothic sequel?

But while we're talking about sequels, wasn't there a 1985 film called "Return to Oz" which was based on Baum's novels "Ozma of Oz" and "The Marvelous Land of Oz" already?

Now, here's my suggestion. Instead of doing a sequel, why can't Hollywood just make a big screen version of another beloved "Wizard of Oz" inspired project "Wicked?" The musical is based on Gregory Maguire's novel, "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West."

I love the stage play and its memorable songs such as "Defying Gravity" and "Popular" and while we're at it, Hollywood should hire original cast members Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel to play the leads!

"Chicago," "Dreamgirls," "Hairspray" all made money with their big-screen versions and even won Academy Awards, so now that Hollywood is re-discovering musicals again, I think it's time to make a movie adaptation of "Wicked."

I should campaign for this :happy

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You Won't See Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island" in October! The Film Has Been Moved! 

If you've been jonesing to see the new collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, you may just have to wait a little bit longer.

Paramount Pictures has moved "Shutter Island" from Oct. 2 to Feb. 19.

Why? The studio said economic reasons made them move the film six weeks before its release date.

Paramount Pictures chairman-CEO Brad Grey said in an official statement:

"Our 2009 slate was greenlit in a very different economic climate and as a result we must remain flexible and willing to recalibrate and adapt to a changing environment."

"This is a situation facing every single studio as we all work through the financial pressures associated with the broader downturn. Like every business, we must make difficult choices to maximize our overall success and to best manage Paramount's business in a way that serves Viacom and its shareholders, while providing the film with every possible chance to succeed both creatively and financially."

Well, I was one of the Scorsese fans jonesing for this film. Based on a novel by Dennis Lehane, I was also pinning my Oscar hopes to "Shutter Island."

But alas, we have to wait four months from its original release date. Oh, and being released in February doesn't bode well for the film. It's traditionally a "burial ground" month for movies. But then again, "Silence of the Lambs" was released in February, and we all knew how well it did at the Oscars.

For now, let's enjoy the trailer:

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