by Bill Graham Posted: January 6th, 2011
MGM and Warner Bros. have announced that Peter Jackson’s dual films covering the J.R.R. Tolkien novel The Hobbit will get worldwide distribution by Warner Bros. MGM held international rights, but they’ve worked out a deal with WB to use their resources to handle all avenues of distribution except for international television licensing. So what does this all mean? After months of stopping and starting, The Hobbit is pushing forward. Here’s what the press release highlights:
- Production will begin in February 2011
- Both Hobbit films will be in 3D
- Hobbit Part One has target release of December 2012
- Hobbit Part Two has target release of December 2013
- WB is handling theatrical distribution around the world
To get up to date with everything we (and by association, you) know about The Hobbit, click here. To check out the full press release, hit the jump.
Here’s the press release:
LOS ANGELES, CA, January 6, 2011- Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber, MGM Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officers, Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Operating Officer, New Line Cinema and Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. Pictures today announced that MGM and Warner Bros have concluded a deal for Warner Bros. Pictures to handle international theatrical and video distribution responsibilities on MGM’s behalf for Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”. This arrangement results in Warner Bros. Pictures handling the bulk of worldwide distribution, while MGM will handle international television licensing for the films. MGM and WB will work collaboratively to coordinate marketing and release plans worldwide.Jackson, who directed all three “The Lord of the Rings” films, will helm the two films back-to-back, telling the story of “The Hobbit” from screenplays written by Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro.The two “Hobbit” films are set to begin production in February 2011, with release dates targeted for December 2012 and December 2013. Jackson will utilize groundbreaking visual effects and his incomparable storytelling to bring Tolkien’s novel to the big screen. Both “Hobbit” movies will be filmed in Digital 3-D, using the latest camera and stereo technology to create a high quality, comfortable viewing experience.Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Carolynne Cunningham are producing the films for New Line, Warner Bros and MGM, with co-writer Philippa Boyens serving as co-producer and Ken Kamins and Zane Weiner as executive producers. The Oscar-winning, critically acclaimed “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, also from the production team of Jackson, Walsh and Cunningham, grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide at the box office. In 2003, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” swept the Academy Awards, winning all of the 11 categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture – the first ever Best Picture win for a fantasy film. The trilogy’s production was also unprecedented at the time.
by Bill Graham Posted: January 6th, 2011
Chris Pine isn’t afraid to take over established characters and give them his own twist. He first took on Captain James Tiberius Kirk in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot (of sorts) in 2009, and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan is next. If you’re unfamiliar with the character, Ryan has previously been at the center of The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears, with Pine set to make a turn as Ryan in the upcoming reboot Moscow.
Helming Moscow is Lost alumni Jack Bender, with Sherlock Holmes screenwriter Anthony Peckham tweaking the script. In the film, Pine will play Ryan as a young military operative who “goes to work as an analyst for a Russian billionaire, but winds up on the run after being implicated in a terrorist plot.” To find out what Pine had to say about the film and taking over yet another established character, hit the jump.
Pine recently sat down with Australia’s Herald-Sun Newspaper (via What’s Playing) to talk about Unstoppable, but briefly touched on Paramount’s Moscow. When asked about any hesitation taking over the role of Jack Ryan, Pine said:
“Look, at the end of the day, people will obviously prefer one version over the other, whether it be Alec Baldwin or Harrison Ford or Ben Affleck. I feel the same way about Star Trek – the only thing I can do is the best version of myself. I can only bring who I am to bear on the part and people either like that or not.”
When asked how he thinks audiences might receive his take on Jack Ryan, Pine seemed content to let the chips fall where they may, replying:
“Again, I don’t have much control over that, so all I can ask of myself is to do my best, try my hardest and to make sure that we have a really good story to tell, and then give it to the hands of fate.”
He also commented that he has not read the finished script yet, and the physicality of the role is up in the air. Personally, I think Pine will fill the role nicely. He has a lot of charisma that is evident even in his early work (cough, Carriers, cough), and clearly has no problem taking over established or iconic roles. I’m also excited to see Bender make his first venture into feature-film directing. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
by Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub Posted: January 6th, 2011
Earlier today I got to sit down with Colin Farrell to talk about Peter Weir’s great new movie The Way Back. Set in World War II, the film tells the true story of a group of soldiers who escape from a Siberian prison and journey across the harsh Asian terrain in order to reach British India. The film also stars Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Mark Strong, and Saoirse Ronan. In the coming weeks, you can expect video interviews with a lot of the cast and director Peter Weir.
However, towards the end of the interview, I decided to ask Farrell about those Total Recall rumors (he might be the lead in the remake) and what can he tell people about the remake of Fright Night. Thankfully, he was more than happy to talk and if you hit the jump you can either read or watch what he had to say:
Regarding Total Recall, Farrell says the “script is cool. Script is smart.” I then asked him if it’s actiony? His response was:
“There’s a good bit of action. I don’t know that it’s… it kind of sits on the fence in a really good way. It kind of sticks to one half or the other. It’s clever. It’s clever and it’s well written. And there’s loads of action. I saw some of pre-visualizations already, that have been done for the world that they’re going to create and it’s wicked man. It’s the first time in years where I went, ‘Wowww, I could be part of that? In that frame?’ It’s gone back to the original. Am I definitely doing that, are you going to ask? I dunno. I dunno.”
Finally, I tried to pin down if he’s definitely doing it. He said:
“I’d like to. I just don’t know. I’m not sure. I haven’t been home for Christmas. I haven’t made the required calls. I don’t know. I think, maybe.”
Sounds to me like they are trying to work out the contract but nothing has been signed yet.
And for those wondering about Fright Night, Farrell told me he didn’t want to like the script and he wanted to make fun of Hollywood for remaking it. But after reading the script, that changed his mind. He said:
“I didn’t want to like it when I read it. I really didn’t. Cause I wanted to be able to go, “what they’re remaking Fright Night…Hollywood.” So I read it and I liked it. So fuck it, I’m going to go to work. And I’d seen Lars and the Real Girl and really liked that. The cast was incredible in it. So…entertainment. If it’s not that than it’s not…but it’s not in competition with the original. It doesn’t negate the existence of the original. The original is still around. It might find a new audience. If it’s not an hour and fifty minutes of entertainment than we screwed up.”
Here’s the part of the interview where we talk about Total Recall and Fright Night. Below the video is the full transcript.
Finally, while I was only scheduled for a 4 minute interview, Farrell and I spoke for almost 7 minutes. That’s the reason I was able to get so much info on these two projects. Needless to say, a huge thank you to Mr. Farrell for giving me so much time and answering all my fanboy questions.
There are a lot of rumors about you doing Total Recall.
Farrell: Yea. You’re a big film fan. What do you make of that?
I love the original.
Farrell: Yeah, same here.
I’m curious about a remake.
Farrell: Same here. And look, I got to be curious every time I go to work. And if I or any actors had a formula for what was going to be artistically successful or financially and commercially successful and all those things, we’d all score out of the ballpark critically and out of the ballpark financially every time. Or at least you’d choose one and you’d be cognizant of which one you’re choosing and you’d be a success at that of the two. There’s no formula. I’m curious every time I go to work. I’m curious to go to work on Total Recall as well. Script is cool. Script is smart.
Is it actiony?
Farrell: There’s a good bit of action. I don’t know that it’s… it kind of sits on the fence in a really good way. It kind of sticks to one half or the other. It’s clever. It’s clever and it’s well written. And there’s loads of action. I saw some of pre-visualizations already, that have been done for the world that they’re going to create and it’s wicked man. It’s the first time in years where I went, ‘Wowww, I could be part of that? In that frame?’ It’s gone back to the original. Am I definitely doing that, are you going to ask? I dunno. I dunno.
So you’re on the fence?
Farrell: I’d like to. I just don’t know. I’m not sure. I haven’t been home for Christmas. I haven’t made the required calls. I don’t know. I think, maybe.
What can you tell fans about Fright Night?
Farrell: What can I tell them about Fright Night? Did you visit the set?
Farrell: We talked.
I’m under embargo still.
Farrell: So am I! So I have to break down the validity of the remake. Come on! Oh man…I hope it’s entertaining. That’s all. I want to be very cautious that I don’t get in the realm of disclaimer and I don’t get in the realm of apology and that stuff cause it’s easy to do when your ego tells you anything that is a remake lacks originality enough to make them cool. I don’t know. I didn’t want to like it when I read it. I really didn’t. Cause I wanted to be able to go, “what they’re remaking Fright Night…Hollywood.” So I read it and I liked it. So fuck it, I’m going to go to work. And I’d seen Lars and the Real Girl and really liked that. The cast was incredible in it. So…entertainment. If it’s not that than it’s not…but it’s not in competition with the original. It doesn’t negate the existence of the original. The original is still around. It might find a new audience. If it’s not an hour and fifty minutes of entertainment than we screwed up.
by Brendan Bettinger Posted: January 6th, 2011
Universal effectively announced this October that the next Judd Apatow film is scheduled for release on June 1, 2012, before any hint of plot or cast. This cart-before-the-horse unveiling is usually reserved for sequels, rather than a (presumably) R-rated comedy.
It turns out this is no exception. The untitled project is a sequel of sorts, at least in the Apatovian tradition. Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd will reprise their roles as the bickering married couple from Knocked Up. More after the jump:
Variety was unable to dig up any plot details, and it’s not clear whether Knocked Up leads Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl or any of the talented supporting cast — including Jason Segel, Martin Starr, Jonah Hill, and Jay Baruchel — will make an appearance. Perhaps the best predictor is the Apatow-produced Get Him to the Greek, a spinoff of Russell Brand’s character from the Apatow-produced Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I believe Sarah Marshall herself, Kristin Bell, made a cameo appearance on a TV segment. Other than that, Greek was light on continuity.
No matter. I’m a card-carrying member of the Paul Rudd Man Crush cult, and I’m a sucker for Mann’s sharp tongue. Before now, I was not independently hoping to revisit the world of Knocked Up. But I trust this will be its own entity. (Read: No Heigl!) I don’t believe this is the motivation behind the quasi-sequel, but much as I liked it, Funny People was perceived as a commercial disappointment with a $72 million worldwide gross. If this is a rebound project, Apatow might as well return to the well of his biggest commercial hit (Knocked Up grossed $219 worldwide).
Both Rudd and Mann have an Apatow-produced project coming up before 2012. Rudd stars opposite Jennifer Aniston in Wanderlust; Mann toplines Business Trip. Independently, Rudd has My Idiot Brother and The Muppets also due in 2011. Mann will next be seen in Little Birds, The Change-Up, and A Single Shot. The untitled Apatow project will shoot this summer.
Last we checked, Apatow had written most of the script. But here’s my retroactive pitch: In an attempt to reconnect with her husband, Mann attempts to join Rudd’s fantasy baseball league… with hilarious and poignant results!