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I'll do my best to read and respond to your e-mails. Sci-Fi Movies: Spider-Man 3D, The Hobbit, Harry Potter 7, Rise of the Apes, Mad Max, Inception + more

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In this week’s Sci-Fi Movies column we have big news starting off with the new Spider-man. We also have updates on if Peter Jackson is really directing the Hobbit, Superman, Batman & Inception updates from Christopher Nolan, the new Caesar for the next Apes movie, and much more, including including the latest box office numbers, casting bites, previews and images (including the new comic-book Wonder Woman).


Andrew Garfield is the new Spider-Man

It looks like Anton Yelchin will have to settle for reprising roles in two franchises (Star Trek and Terminator), as Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios have announced that Andrew Garfield (“The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus”, “The Social Network”) will play Peter Parker in Marc Webb’s 3D “Spider-Man” reboot.

“Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor’s work understand his extraordinary talents. He has a rare combination of intelligence, wit, and humanity. Mark my words, you will love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker,” said Webb.

The new “Spider-Man” will hit theaters on July 3, 2012.

Andrew Garfield is the new Spidey

Peter Jackson in talks to direct The Hobbit movies? Maybe.

Last week news broke that Peter Jackson was in negotiations to direct “The Hobbit” films. The news was reported as if it was a done deal (see Deadline headline: “URGENT! Now Peter Jackson Negotiating With Studios To Direct ‘The Hobbit’ Films”), however Harry Knowles of AICN says that the Jackson hire is not a done deal. Here’s the quote he ran from a source he calls “DEREK” (who is actually Peter Jackson):

The only quote that I’ll attribute to my source, whom I’ll call “DEREK”, when I asked if he was directing, “No, nothing has really changed – I’ve always said that me directing was one option, and so that’s not really news. The studio are working out what that deal would look like, because how else do they know if it’s a viable option? But it’s honestly one of several different options – many irons are in the fire right now. What’s of great concern to everyone right now is trying to stay on schedule and not slip back another year, because we will start losing people – and that’s increasingly difficult as each day passes. A lot of people – both film makers and studios are working very hard right now, trying to get a positive outcome here.”

So where does that leave us? It seems that Jackson has been offered the job but WB/MGM are working out the logistics with Jackson before he commits. Harry later clarifies in the comments section that Jackson is in talks, but that he’s not the only director being pursued.  “The Hobbit, Part 1” is still scheduled to be released December 2012 followed by ‘Part 2’ in December 2013.

Andy Serkis will play Caesar in Rise of the Apes

Andy Serkis, perhaps best known for motion-capture/voice work as Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, has been cast to play the ape Caesar in 20th Century Fox’s “Rise of the Apes”. The announcement was made via the Twitter account of Fox VP of Corporate Communications, Chris Petrikin:

“This is cool: Gollum reteams with Weta. Andy Serkis to star as Caesar in “Rise of the Apes,” portraying chimp who leads the simian revolt.”

Slated for release on June 24, 2011, here’s what Fox says about the project:

RISE OF THE APES (tentative title) is an origin story in the truest sense of the term. Set in present day San Francisco, the film is a reality-based cautionary tale, a science fiction/science fact blend, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Trailer and poster release

Warner Brothers has released a poster and trailer for the two-part “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”. The trailer gives glimpses at ‘Part 1’ (November 19, 2010) and ‘Part 2’ (July 15, 2011). Check it out below (in two variations):

Part 1 and Part II trailer [Yahoo! Movies]

Another trailer (from the LEGO Harry Potter video game) [YouTube via /Film]

Teaser poster [/Film]

Is George Miller making two Mad Max movies?

Possibly. “Mad Max: Fury Road” star Tom Hardy told Twitch that George Miller is working on two new “Mad Max” films. The site reports that the two films will be shot back-to-back for rapid release and that the second one even has a title:

The title already known to the public is Mad Max: Fury Road and word is that Fury Road will be followed immediately by Mad Max: Furiosa. The two films will reportedly be shot back to back for rapid release.

There has been no comment from Miller or Warner Brothers. Hardy previously made other statements about the film during interviews with the press at the “Inception” junket. Here’s a key excerpt [via FirstShowing]:

“It’s a relaunch and revisit to the world, an entire restructuring. That’s not to say that it’s not picking up or leaving off from the Mad Max you know already, but it’s a nice re-take on the entire world using the same character, depositing him in the same world, but bringing him up to date by 30 years. Obviously Mel would’ve been perfect for it but, for some reason, he’s not doing it and I am. You can expect the same amount of grit and rawness and authenticity [to my] performance, I hope to deliver. But that’s really the crux of me and George to deliver that and all the other actors as the other characters.

But also we have the new world afforded to filmmakers today with all the opportunities and facilities and technical abilities. I think the boys that did Lord of the Rings are involved and all that kind of stuff as well. CGI is not going to be — I think it’s going to be much more like Chris [Nolan], how he deals with action – these things are going to be really there. Big rigs, big explosions, big car crashes, big violence, you know. It’s going to actually happen as opposed to doing a 2D turned to 3D screen. It’s going to be an adventure, let’s put it that way. We’re shooting for a year…”

“Mad Max: Fury Road” is scheduled to hit theaters in 2012.

Christopher Nolan talks Batman and Superman and Inception

While promoting his latest film “Inception”, director Christopher Nolan offered a status update on Batman 3 (which he’s expected to direct) and Superman (which he’s currently overseeing as a producer in a “Godfather” / mentor-type role):

Batman 3 [MTV]

“We know we’re aiming for 2012 [as a release date]. That’s been talked about. We’re just working on the script, really. My brother [Jonah Nolan] has been hard at work on it for quite some time. It’s based on a story that myself and David Goyer have written.”

Superman [MTV]

On the casting: “I haven’t even thought about it, to be honest. All of these things, whether you’re doing a ‘Batman’ or ‘Superman’ film, it’s all about story first. It’s all about figuring out exactly the tone and the meaning of the story and how you’re going to approach it. Casting comes later. All of those considerations come later.”

On the original Donner films: “I was hugely struck by the Donner films in the ’70s when I was a kid,” he said. “In 1978, I saw [“Superman”] and it had such epic scope to it. It took on this incredible, iconic figure and gave that iconic figure an appropriate framing. It made quite an impression on me. It’s definitely one of my childhood touchstones of what epic cinema can be.”

Back to “Batman 3”, Empire Magazine [via Worst Previews] spoke with Robin Williams who told the magazine that he is very interested in playing a role, any role, in the film:

“I would do Batman in a second, playing anyone,” he said. “I’d play The Riddler in the next one, although it would be hard to top Heath as the villain and I’m a little hairy for tights…The Batman films have screwed me twice before: years ago they offered me The Joker and then gave it to Jack Nicholson, then they offered me The Riddler and gave it to Jim Carrey.”

Meanwhile “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” star Jay Baruchel told The Telegraph that he wants to play Robin:

“I would be lying if I didn’t think I was born to play Robin. That would be bad ass,” he said. “My whole life, the only parts I thought I was supposed to play were Robin and the Dauphin from Henry V.”

Nolan’s latest, “Inception”, hits conventional and IMAX theaters July 16. Check out for their report from the recent press conference.

Promotional stills [more at NolanFans, (2)]

IMAX poster [Joblo Arrow in the Head]

TV spot []

Watch more TV spots here and here

Entertainment Tonight featurette [ET via io9]

B-Roll footage with cast and crew [YouTube]

Interview with Ellen Page [YouTube]

Watch more interviews with the cast and crew here and here

Edgar Wright gives an update on Ant-Man

“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” director Edgar Wright gave an update to his big screen adaptation of Marvel’s “Ant-Man” to Box Office Magazine. Wright says he hasn’t started work on the second draft yet but Marvel is happy with the script, particularly the comedy which he likens to “Iron Man”. Here’s the excerpt:

“I haven’t actually started the second draft yet–I’m not going to be able to until this film [Scott Pilgrim] is out–but what we wrote for the first draft, and what Marvel really liked, is that it’s funny, but it’s a genre film. It’s about the level of comedy that Iron Man has. The idea is to make a high-concept genre film where it’s within another genre. His suit and its power is the big gadget and it takes place in the real world. I just wanted to do something that was slightly different than the superhero origin film. I felt that between that and the various mad scientist, crazy doctor films that we’ve all seen, this would be a way into an origin that was slightly different. I’m not really a multi-tasker–I haven’t done anything since Marvel liked our first draft.”

Eclipse breaks box office records + Last Airbender solid despite horrible reviews

“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” debuted to more than $30 million from midnight screenings (including a record $1M from IMAX theaters) and grossed $68.5 million in its first full day from 4,416 theaters. It dropped to $24.2 million on Thursday. The midnight figure is a new record (besting the $26.3M midnight opening of ‘New Moon’), but the Wednesday figure — which includes the $30M midnight — is #2 all-time behind ‘New Moon’ which opened on a Friday ($72.7M). ‘Eclipse’ also broke the record for widest opening theater count, increasing to 4,468 locations on Friday (the previous record was 4,455 theaters for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”). The film’s two-day tally stands at an impressive $92.7M although it trails the $115 million two-day cume of ‘New Moon’.

Another film opening this week was M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender”. Despite horrendous reviews — currently 8% on Rotten Tomatoes — ‘Airbender’ posted a solid $3 million for its midnight screenings and a respectable $16.35 million on its first full-day. ‘Eclipse’ will win the weekend and holiday frame with somewhere in the nieghborhood of $160-180 million (Wednesday through Monday), while “The Last Airbender” is expected to compete with “Toy Story 3” for second place and will earn $50-60 million (Thursday through Monday). That’s a good sign for Paramount who have reportedly spent $280 million on the film ($150 million for the budget and $130 million on marketing). Watch these Airbender fans pan the film in the video below.

PREVIEW Videos & Images


Promotional still [Conan The Movie Blog]

Despicable Me

Trailer #2 [YouTube]

Hot Tub Time Machine

Deleted scene [NY Post]

King Kong 360 3D

Making Of: Part 1 [YouTube]

Watch part two here

Let Me In

Trailer [YouTube / Deadline]


Poster [Superhero Hype]

Paranormal Activity 2

Teaser trailer [Paramount]]

Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides

Johnny Depp on the set [PopSugar via]


Clip [IGN]

Watch more clips here


First official look at Paul Bettany [Bloody Disgusting]


Poster []

Trailer [YouTube]

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Sneak peek: “Sorcery 101” [Yahoo! Movies]

Watch two more clips here and here

Space Battleship Yamato

Trailer [YouTube]

Tron Legacy

Banners [io9]

German poster [IMP Awards]


  • Lauren Shuler Donner, producer of the X-Men franchise, is campaigning to produce a “Wonder Woman” film for DC and Warner Brothers: “They don’t want it, but I just think she’s the greatest character. She’s right up there, as you know, with Superman and Batman, the three of them…I’ve campaigned for it. I’m going to campaign some more. I want to produce Wonder Woman.” [SCI FI Wire]
  • Producer John Davis (“Alien vs. Predator”, “I, Robot”) has optioned the film rights to the Ray Bradbury classic “The Martian Chronicles”. [LA Times]
  • Stephanie Meyer, author of the “Twilight” series, says she’s burned out by vampires and progress is slow on her follow-up “Midnight Sun”: “What’s true is that I’m really burned out on vampires. And, I don’t want to write it badly. So I want to wait until I’m excited about the material again…”. [TwilightSeriesTheories via SCI FI Wire]
  • Breck Eisner reveals that the 3D “Flash Gordon” project is still in development but its release is years away: “It’s just a gigantic 3-D experience with years of prep, it’s one of those movies you get once in a lifetime to make…it’s multi-year, in terms of writing and designing.”. [FEARnet]
  • Mark Millar hopes to pen an “Old Man Logan” sequel for Marvel, revealing his has plotted the project out and will present it to Marvel soon. [MillarWorld]
  • Teresa Palmer (“The Socerer’s Apprentice”) describes her character Number Six in the D.J. Caruso-directed “I Am Number Four” thusly: “She’s just a bad-ass, scary, intimidating character. She doesn’t really take crap from anybody. She’s definitely not one to mess with, Number Six. She hunts her enemy alien down.” [io9]
  • “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller will direct a movie for Warner Brothers based on the “LEGO” toy line. Plot details are being kept under wraps but we do know the film will mix live action with animation. [Heat Vision]
  • “How to Train Your Dragon” has passed “Kung Fu Panda” to become DreamWorks Animation highest-grossing non-“Shrek” film domestically: $215.7M to $215.4M. [BOM]
  • The M. Night Shyamalan-produced “Devil” has been pushed up to September 17, 2010. The film was originally scheduled to be released on February 11, 2011. [Shock Till You Drop]
  • New Line has tentatively titled the fifth “Final Destination” film “5nal Destination”. The film’s opening sequence has also been revealed: “…the opening disaster involves a suspension bridge collapsing. [Bloody Disgusting]
  • Disney has set a January 21, 2011 release date for “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”, the Guillermo del Toro-produced remake of the 1973 TV movie. Del Toro co-wrote the project with Matthew Robbins and it stars Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison and Jack Thompson. [Heat Vision]
  • Universal Studios has confirmed that they will release a 25th Anniversary Blu-ray set for the “Back to the Future” trilogy on October 26, 2010 (also available on DVD). []
  • []
  • Speaking at a press junket for “Despicable Me”, producer Christopher Meledandri confirmed that a stop-motion animated version of “The Addams Family” is moving forward and Tim Burton is involved, perhaps as a director. Meledandri added that the project will be based on the original Charles Addams comics. []
  • Last week we reported that Sam Raimi was in negotiations to direct “Oz, the Great and Powerful”, but Raimi now says that he hasn’t committed to directing yet: “I’m not really committed to ‘Oz’. We’re gonna wait and see how that all goes. I did read it, I love the script, it’s a great project… It’s something i’d like to work on…”
  • …Raimi could be more interested in getting the “World of Warcraft” movie off the ground. He says they have a 40-page treatment of the film that they’re still working on. [Collider via /Film]
  • Speaking of video game adaptations, Gore Verbinski says that “Bioshock” movie is still in development and he remains optimistic about its chances: “We’re working trying to make it…It’s a really expensive R-rated movie,” he explained. “So we’re trying to figure out a way working with [director] Juan Carlos [Fresnadillo] to get the budget down and still keep so it’s true to the core audience, you know? The thing is it has to be R, a hard R.” [IGN]
  • “Transformers 3” will shoot in Chicago from July 10 through August 19… [Chicago Tribune]
  • …Also, we may not have to worry about a sub-par 3D conversion because Michael Bay will reportedly shoot the film with 3D cameras. [MarketSaw]
  • Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted”) is in talks with Universal to make a remake of his Russian-language sci-fi thriller “Black Lightning”. Bekmambetov also noted that there is a Russian-Chinese sequel planned for the project, which he describes as “a Slavic Transformers meets Batman”. Watch the trailer below. [Variety / YouTube]

  • Stephen Susco (“The Grudge”, “Red”) is getting a writer credit on director Oren Peli’s (“Paranormal Activity”) “Area 51”. [Shock Till You Drop]
  • “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” director David Slade has shot down reports that he will direct “The Shadow”: “Lies. Not true. Total internet rumor. I don’t know anything about it. I e-mailed Sam Raimi to see if he’d send me the script at least, and no, nothing.” [IGN]
  • Breck Eisner (“The Crazies”) won’t be directing Universal’s “Creature from the Black Lagoon” remake: “It suffered from the realities of development hell and a writers strikes,” he says. “I don’t think it will see the light of day for a while…I’d love for somebody to make that movie. It won’t be me.”. [Shock Till You Drop]
  • Screenwriter Dave Kajganich says he is close to submitting his first draft of his big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s “It”. Despite the length of the novel, Kajganich says the studio has only talked about doing a single feature film and he says it will definitely be R-rated. [Lilja’s Library via /Film]
  • A few updates on “The Power of the Dark Crystal” from the Spierig brothers: 1) Shooting in 3D, 2) Original conceptual designer Brian Froud is on the picture, 3) They will use practical puppets as much as possible but CG will also be used along with motion capture. [AICN]
  • The trailer for “Machete” will be in theaters with “Predators” on July 9. [Shock Till You Drop]
  • You can read a description of the new “Tron Legacy” trailer, which was shown at Cinema Expo in Amsterdam, at IMDB. If the report is accurate this could be the trailer that will be shown at this year’s Comic-Con. [via Collider]
  • The Weinstein Company has pushed out screenwriter Kevin Williamson and brought in Ehren Kruger (“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”, “Scream 3”) to handle the script for “Scream 4”. [Zap2It]
  • Zack Snyder sounds like he’s having second thoughts on a 3D conversion for “Sucker Punch”: “We didn’t shoot in 3-D. They’ve talked about doing a conversion and there’s been a lot of talk about us doing ‘Sucker Punch’ in 3-D, but I’m still waiting to see…I’m not going to do it if we don’t have the time to really be meticulous with it,” he said. “It’s such an awesome piece of work and everyone’s worked so hard to make it awesome, so I don’t want to screw it up with bad 3-D. [MTV]
  • Kevin Smith says he will start shooting his political horror feature “Red State” this August. [E! Online via Bleeding Cool]
  • DC Comics has already commissioned a second print run for “Wonder Woman #600”. The issue, which features a new costume for the character (see below), has sold through more than 60,000 copies of its initial 100,000 print run. The comic is penned by J. Michael Straczynski (artists are Don Kramer and Michael Babinski).  [Deadline Hollywood]


  • BBC has denied reports that Johnny Depp will star in a big-screen “Doctor Who”, saying any talk to the contrary is “pure speculation” adding that there are “no plans” for a movie. [io9]
  • Alice Eve is in negotiations to join Matthew Vaughn’s “X-Men: First Class” playing the character Emma Frost… [Heat Vision]
  • …In related news, there’s a report that Caleb Landry Jones is the top contender to play the role of Sean Cassidy (aka Banshee).
  • Mercedes Masohn and Josh Cooke will star in Sony Screen Gems’ direct-to-video sequel “Quarantine 2”. [Bloody Disgusting]
  • Lake Bell has had to drop out of Wes Craven’s “Scream 4” due to scheduling conflicts.. [Lake Bell]
  • …Lauren Graham is also leaving the project reportedly over “date conflict and script changes.”… [Ghouls on Film via Joblo Arrow in the Head]
  • …However, three others have joined the cast: Marley Shelton (playing the role Lake Bell was in negotiations to portray) and Adam Brody and Erik Knudsen, both of whom will play new roles. [Heat Vision]
  • Teresa Palmer has revealed that she will not be appearing in George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road”, as was previously assumed: “I’m not [in it], actually,” Palmer said, “That’s just a rumor that has been on the internet.” []
  • Marvel has confirmed that Tommy Lee Jones will play Col. Chester Phillips in the Joe Johnston-directed “Captain America: The First Avenger”. [Marvel]
  • Josh Hutcherson has confirmed that he will be taking over as the leading man in the “Journey to the Center of the Earth” sequel. The film starts shooting this fall in Hawaii and Australia with director Brad Peyton. [Cinema Blend]
  • Lucas Haas has joined the cast of “Red Riding Hood”. Haas will play a village priest in the Catherine Hardwick-directed project. [Variety]
  • Abigail Spencer (“Mad Men”, “Hawthorne”) will make her studio feature debut in Jon Favreau’s “Cowboys & Aliens”. Spencer will play a prostitute of Alice, a former lover of the lead character (played by Daniel Craig). [THR]

MISC Videos & Images

Original Tron promo [YouTube via SCI FI Wire]

Sigourney Weaver and Ridley Scott on the set of the original Alien [LA Times Hero Complex]

Sad Darth Vader [Alex Brown Photography via SCI FI Wire]

Conan the Barbarian: The Musical [YouTube via io9]

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