Edgar Wright lines up Grasshopper Jungle as his next-next project; an adaptation of Down a Dark Hall is in the works; Blackhat, Demonic, and Rosewater get release dates; and Will Ferrell may play Russ Meyer.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World director Edgar Wright has pegged Grasshopper Jungle as one of his next projects.
Grasshopper Jungle adapts the novel of the same name by Andrew Smith about a boy who inadvertently unleashes a plague of giant praying mantises on the world. Of course, in typical boyhood fantasy fashion, the kid then sets out to battle the giant creatures.
Obviously, one could draw some parallels between Grasshopper Jungle and Ant-Man, but just the thought of an Edgar Wright-directed, B-movie send-up sounds pretty intriguing. Ant-Man was thought to be Wright’s first foray into the blockbuster space, but that didn’t happen. However, if a movie about fighting giant grasshoppers is our closest facsimile, that isn’t bad.
First up, however, Wright has the feature Baby Driver, which he will write and direct. Not much is known about Baby Driver, but some say it is in the same vein as Wright’s ‘Cornetto Trilogy’.
Director Rodrigo Cortes will helm the YA adaptation Down a Dark Hall for Lionsgate and producer Stephenie Meyer (Twilight).
Down a Dark Hall was written in 1979 by Lois Duncan, and follows a female student’s experiences with the supernatural while staying at a boarding school called Blackwood. Duncan also wrote the revenge/slasher novel I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Most will recognize Cortes as the director of Buried, the single actor, single location film that starred Ryan Reynolds. That film alone was proof that Cortes knows how to develop a mood and tone with almost nothing to work with, so we can only imagine how he brings this novel to life. Cortes should also feel right at home working alongside Buried screenwriter Chris Sparling, who was brought on to polish Michael Goldbach’s script.
Several film release dates and release windows have been announced over the past week.
First up, the Michael Mann cyber thriller Blackhat (formerly Cyber) will release early next year. Deadline reports that the film might first shoot for an Oscar qualifying run (i.e. a two-theater release in NY and LA) later this year before expanding wide in 2015, but that has yet to be confirmed. Blackhat stars Chris Hemsworth as a computer hacker released from prison to track down a “blackhat” hacker. Blackhats are hackers who tap into highly secure mainframes for personal amusement and financial gain.
Jon Stewart’s directorial debut Rosewater will release on November 7, 2014. The film, based on the non-fiction book Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival, tells the story of Maziar Bahari (Gael Garcia Bernal), a Tehran-born journalist who was unjustly imprisoned and tortured while trying to document the tense political situations in Iran circa 2009. Rosewater is expected to start out in limited release and then expand throughout the remainder of the year.
And finally, the horror film Demonic will hit on December 12, 2014. Based on an original idea by writer/director James Wan (The Conjuring, Saw), Demonic features Maria Bello and Frank Grillo as a psychologist/cop pair investigating a grisly series of murders. As the two begin to interview survivors they soon discover that supernatural forces may have played a hand in the victims’ deaths.
Will Ferrell is in early talks to play famed director Russ Meyer for Russ and Roger Go Beyond.
Russ and Roger focuses on the development and production of the cult classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and the budding friendship between Meyer and film critic/Dolls screenwriter Roger Ebert. Despite a proclivity for highly sexualized material, Meyer sought out Ebert’s help with Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and the two eventually made one of the most notorious studio films of the 1970s.
The project couldn’t have come at a better time either, as interest in Ebert’s career is at an all-time high thanks to the documentary Life Itself. However, there’s no word on who might play the late Chicago critic.
And finally, we wanted to show some love to Umberto Gonzalez (a.k.a. El Mayimbe from Latino Review) who will be writing and directing an original project.
While the self-proclaimed big game hunter is best known for landing some of the biggest comic book scoops in recent memory, Gonzalez will now be making his foray into filmmaking with the digital series Breakneck. The story will follow a bodega worker who, after being framed for murder, ends up in the crosshairs of a PMC.
Gonzalez is working closely with Vetted Media on Breakneck, and the budding production outfit will distribute the series on both their YouTube channel and VOD. Look for more details on the making of the series at El Mayimbe’s site, Latino Review.