Timur Bekmambetov Finds Strange "Apollo 18" Footage 


Timur Bekmambetov joins the found footage game with "Apollo 18." He's attached to produce the Trevor Cawood movie for The Weinstein Company. The script by Brian Miller incorporates the "found footage" trope of mysterious occurrences caught on tape in the vein of "Cloverfield" and "Paranormal Activity," and the soon-to-be released "Super 8" from producer Steven Spielberg and director JJ Abrams.

According to the official press release, "Apollo 18" will be "shot documentary style, the film unearths lost footage from Apollo 18'’s undocumented and covert mission to the moon, revealing disturbing new evidence of other life forms."

Oooooh!

This is intriguing and all, but can we get Bekmambetov to direct again, please? Sure, he's still set to do Seth Grahame-Smith's "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" but hurry up! "Wanted" was released two years ago! Time it ticking!

Here's the full press release of "Apollo 18" from Weinstein Company:

THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY ACQUIRES APOLLO 18 AT AFM

Santa Monica, CA (November 7, 2010) The Weinstein Company has acquired Apollo 18, the sci-fi thriller based on the screenplay by Brian Miller, winner of the inaugural Astana International Action Film Festival screenplay competition, founded by Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov. Trevor Cawood is set to direct the project.

Bekmambetov and Michele Wolkoff, President of Development for Bekmambetov Projects Ltd. (BPL) will produce the film.

Set to be shot documentary style, the film unearths lost footage from Apollo 18's undocumented and covert mission to the moon, revealing disturbing new evidence of other life forms.

Bekmambetov announced the contest this spring, in conjunction with Kazakhstan's first film festival held in Astana, Kazakhstan July 27-July 1, 2010. Five finalists from the United States, France, Kazakhstan, and the UK attended the film festival, which was a celebration of international action films. As part of the competition, Miller was awarded a cash prize and a development deal with BPL.

The film is slated to begin production this December for a March release date.

About The Weinstein Company

The Weinstein Company (TWC) was created by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films Corporation in 1979. TWC is a multimedia company that officially launched on October 1, 2005. Dimension Films, the genre label that was founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, is also included under the TWC banner. During the Weinsteins' tenure at Miramax Films, the company released some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful independent feature films which received 63 Oscar wins and 274 Academy Award nominations and have generated billions of dollars in worldwide box office receipts and billions more in home video sales. In its history, Dimension Films has released some of the most successful franchises including Scream, Spy Kids and Scary Movie.

Forthcoming releases include Tom Hooper's The King's Speech starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, John Wells (ER, The West Wing) feature directorial debut Company Men starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Rosemary DeWitt, Maria Bello and Chris Cooper, as well as the highly anticipated new installments of Spy Kids 4 and Scream 4, to be released in 2011.

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"Megamind" Rules Big, Blue Box-Office with $47.7 Million Debut!  


All hail "Megamind!"

The DreamWorks Animation flick debuted as America's No. 1 film with $47.7 million! Will Ferrell voiced the lead role and Brad Pitt voiced his nemesis, Metro Man. Tina Fey and Jonah Hill complete the cast of this fun film that questions the true notion of superheroes and supervillains (check out my "Megamind" review right here).

Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis must settle for No. 2. Their road-trip comedy, "Due Date" still opened strong with $33.5 million. The Warner Bros. production is essentially "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" without trains, and with fewer laughs (check out my "Due Date" review right here).

Debuting at No. 3 was Tyler Perry's ensemble drama "For Colored Girls" starring Janet Jackson and Whoopi Goldberg. Based on Ntozake Shange's play "for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf," the Lionsgate release debuted solidly with $20.1 million (check out my interviews with the film's stars Thandie Newton and Tessa Thompson right here).

Previous weekend's box-office champ, Lionsgate's "Saw 3D" fell to No. 5 with $8.2 million.

Hollywood is rejoicing with the strong opening numbers for the top 3 films. Totaling to a $100 million take, the three flicks helped Hollywood's lagging revenues. Box-office total for the weekend was up 29.5 percent from the same weekend last year when Disney's "A Christmas Carol" debuted at No. 1 with $30.1 million.

In limited release, Fox Searchlight's "127 Hours" showed good results. Danny Boyle's ("Slumdog Millionaire," "27 Days Later") film, one of the best movies this year, featured James Franco as Aron Ralston, the real-life adventurer who resorted to cutting off his right arm after being stuck in a canyon in Utah.

"127 Hours" took in $265,925 at four theaters, averaging $66,481 per cinema compared to $12,082 in 3,944 theaters for "Megamind" (check out my "127 Hours" interviews with scriptwriter Simon Beaufoy, and Boyle and Franco right here).

Here's the estimated list of Top 10 Box-Office Films for weekend of Nov. 5:

1. "Megamind," $47.7 million.

2. "Due Date," $33.5 million.

3. "For Colored Girls," $20.1 million.

4. "Red," $8.9 million.

5. "Saw 3D," $8.2 million.

6. "Paranormal Activity 2," $7.3 million.

7. "Jackass 3D," $5.1 million.

8. "Hereafter," $4.02 million.

9. "Secretariat," $4 million.

10. "The Social Network," $3.6 million.

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Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer" Tops European Film Awards Nominations! 


I'm so glad that Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer" is getting love months after it was released. It's a fantastic political intrigue thriller peppered with great performances by Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor, and Olivia Williams (Check out my "Ghost Writer" review right here, and my interviews with Brosnan and Williams right here).

While we're on the subject -- can I please nominate Williams for Best Supporting Actress? Academy are you listening? Williams did a fine, fine job in her role that holds the key to the film's intriguing plot twist! And never once did you see the actress reveal the secret! I love her!

And apparently, the European Film Academy also loves Roman Polanski's film! "The Ghost Writer" has been nominated for seven European Film Awards including best film, best director, best editor, best script, best production designer, best composer, and best actor for Ewan McGregor.

The more than 2,300 EFA Members will now vote for the winners which will be presented during the Awards Ceremony on December 4 in Tallinn/Estonia. You will be able to see the live stream of the awards telecast by going to www.europeanfilmawards.eu

Here are the nominees of the 23rd European Film Awards:

EUROPEAN FILM 2010:

BAL (Honey), Turkey/Germany
directed by Semih Kaplanoğlu
written by Semih Kaplanoğlu & Orçun Köksal
produced by Semih Kaplanoğlu & Johannes Rexin

DES HOMMES ET DES DIEUX (Of Gods and Men), France
directed by Xavier Beauvois
written by Etienne Comar & Xavier Beauvois

THE GHOST WRITER, France/Germany/UK
directed by Roman Polanski
written by Robert Harris & Roman Polanski
produced by Robert Benmussa, Alain Sarde & Roman Polanski

LEBANON, Israel/Germany/France
written and directed by Samuel Maoz
produced by Moshe Edery, Leon Edery, David Silber, Uri Sabag, Einat Bickel, Benjamina Mirnik & Illan Girard

EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS (The Secret in their Eyes), Spain/Argentina
directed by Juan José Campanella
written by Eduardo Sacheri & Juan José Campanella
produced by Gerardo Herrero, Mariela Besuievsky & Juan José Campanella

SOUL KITCHEN, Germany
directed by Fatih Akin
written by Fatih Akin & Adam Bousdoukos
produced by Fatih Akin & Klaus Maeck

EUROPEAN DIRECTOR 2010:

Olivier Assayas for CARLOS
Semih Kaplanoğlu for BAL (Honey)
Samuel Maoz for LEBANON
Roman Polanski for THE GHOST WRITER
Paolo Virzi for LA PRIMA COSA BELLA (The First Beautiful Thing)

EUROPEAN ACTRESS 2010:

Zrinka Cvitešić in NA PUTU (On the Path)
Sibel Kekilli in DIE FREMDE (When We Leave)
Lesley Manville in ANOTHER YEAR
Sylvie Testud in LOURDES
Lotte Verbeek in NOTHING PERSONAL

EUROPEAN ACTOR 2010
:
Jakob Cedergren in SUBMARINO
Elio Germano in LA NOSTRA VITA (Our Life)
Ewan McGregor in THE GHOST WRITER
George Pistereanu in EU CAND VREAU SA FLUIER, FLUIER (If I Want to Whistle,
I Whistle)
Luis Tosar in CELDA 211 (Cell 211)

EUROPEAN SCREENWRITER 2010:

Jorge Guerricaechevarría & Daniel Monzón for CELDA 211 (Cell 211)
Robert Harris & Roman Polanski for THE GHOST WRITER
Samuel Maoz for LEBANON
Radu Mihaileanu for LE CONCERT (The Concert)

CARLO DI PALMA EUROPEAN CINEMATOGRAPHER AWARD 2010:

Giora Bejach for LEBANON
Caroline Champetier for DES HOMMES ET DES DIEUX (Of Gods and Men)
Pavel Kostomarov for Как я провел этим летом (How I Ended this Summer)
Barış Özbiçer for BAL (Honey)

EUROPEAN EDITOR 2010:

Luc Barnier & Marion Monnier for CARLOS
Arik Lahav-Leibovich for LEBANON
Hervé de Luze for THE GHOST WRITER

EUROPEAN PRODUCTION DESIGNER 2010:

Paola Bizzarri & Luis Ramirez for IO, DON GIOVANNI (I, Don Giovanni)
Albrecht Konrad for THE GHOST WRITER
Markku Pätilä & Jaagup Roomet for PÜHA TŐNU KIUSAMINE (The Temptation
of St. Tony)

EUROPEAN COMPOSER 2010:

Ales Brezina for KAWASAKIHO RŮŽE (Kawasaki’s Rose)
Pasquale Catalano for MINE VAGANTI (Loose Cannons)
Alexandre Desplat for THE GHOST WRITER
Gary Yershon for ANOTHER YEAR

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Disney Gets Violent with "Cowboy Ninja Viking!" 


Walt Disney Pictures has picked up the movie rights to "Cowboy Ninja Viking," the comic book with a multiple personality twist from writer AJ Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo.

The Image Comics property's violent nature goes against the grain of Disney's squeaky-clean image! Are we about to see the darker side of the House of Mouse?

"Zombieland" writers, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, are attached to write the script and co-produce with Mark Gordon and Management 360.

So what is "Cowboy Ninja Viking" about? According to Cowboy Ninja Viking blog spot, it "is the creation of Doctor Sebastian Ghislain, a psychotherapist who recruits Multiple Personality Disorder patients to produce a unit of counter-intelligence agents called Triplets. When they become out of control assassins? That’s when the deadliest Triplet of them all, Cowboy Ninja Viking, is called in to take down his own brethren."

Intriguing and dark! Perfect! :happy

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Get Ready for "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D!" 


Truth be told, "Silent Hill" was the only videogame franchise that I played from start to finish. So to my discontent, I was letdown by the first "Silent Hill" movie released in 2006 by director Christoph Gans.

Now, "Silent Hill" gets a 3D sequel with help from the "Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D" team. According to the Hollywood Reporter, French producer Samuel Hadida has joined forces with Don Carmody. They recently gave us "Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D."

Michael J. Bassett, the guy who gave us "Deathwatch" and the "Solomon Kane" movies, is set to write and direct the sequel to be called "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D." Lionsgate is set to distribute.

Hadida revealed to THR that, "We have high expectations for this continuation of the franchise with our reunited Silent Hill production team...Michael was our natural choice to write and direct. He understands the genre, is passionate about the Silent Hill franchise, and will bring his considerable action picture skills to a fresh and thrilling insight of the Silent Hill 3D world."

Roger Avary ("Pulp Fiction") wrote the first draft of the sequel centered on Heather Mason, a character from the third video game in the series. This one will be set 17 years after the first film, and will be in 3D of course!

Konami, the gaming company who gave us the "Silent Hill" videogame series, is on board. "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D" is set to shoot in Toronto this year.

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