Warner Bros. may be planning to release ten DC movies on through to 2020, but that’s far from the only bit of franchising the studio has in mind for the next few years. Indeed, WB is heading back to the Harry Potter well with the spinoff Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them in 2016. Meanwhile, the studio has announced two LEGO feature projects for theatrical release – Ninjago and the LEGO Movie sequel – and has staked out release dates for possibly two more LEGO films (along with two dates that may go to the Fantastic Beasts sequels).
So, what else is on the WB docket? Well, back in 2010, the studio picked up a pitch from screenwriters Dan and Kevin Hageman (Hotel Transylvania, The LEGO Movie) for an Acme movie – a live-action/CGI hybrid film based around the fictional corporation from the Looney Tunes universe, in other words. The project has been on radio silence since then, as far as significant progress updates go. Well, until today, anyway.
THR is reporting that WB is pressing ahead with the untitled Acme-centered film, having set writing duo Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men: First Class) to pen the script – with Steve Carell attached to star as, presumably, the head of Acme. Meanwhile, Carell’s Crazy, Stupid, Love directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are reported to be in negotiations to call the shots on the project, which may not actually include any of the famous Looney Tunes characters – and, back in 2010, was supposedly being envisioned as a film that “recalls the Amblin pics of the 1980s or a ‘Men in Black’-style movie.”
Ficarra and Requa, as filmmakers, are known for favoring a more biting approach to humor and satire, as evidenced by their Bad Santa script work and direction on the con artist comedy I Love You Phillip Morris. The duo are also fresh off having directed the upcoming comedy/caper Focus – starring Will Smith as an experienced swindler who takes a protege (Wolf of Wall Street‘s Margot Robbie) under his wing – for WB, so apparently the studio is pleased with their latest output.
The Acme feature is, according to THR, meant to serve as “an event movie that will also launch a franchise” for WB, so the studio probably expects Ficarra and Requa to bring more of their Crazy, Stupid, Love game – to make a movie that is equally cheeky, yet less adult than their other efforts, in other words. In that regard, an Acme film by that directing pair would probably resemble Barry Sonnenfeld’s Men in Black films in spirit – making the earlier comparison all the more fitting.
WB has claimed releases dates for “Event Films” in 2018 and 2020, so in theory one of those could go to the untitled Acme feature instead of a Fantastic Beasts movie sequel. Miller and Stentz, as it were, are currently putting together the script for Lionsgate’s Power Rangers movie reboot (based on a story pitch from Roberto Orci), in order to keep the project on pace to make a Summer 2016 release.
However, depending on how quickly they work, the Acme film could be ready to enter production next year – in time to make a theatrical bow as early as the second half of 2016 or the first half of 2017. (If not then, again, there’s a date in 2018 reserved for a WB “Event Film”, so…) In the meantime, feel free to let us know in the comments section if this Looney Tunes-inspired feature sounds interesting, based on what’s been revealed thus far.
We’ll keep you up to speed on development for the Acme movie as more information is made available.
“Acme Industries” artwork by Bouncy-Bunny on deviantART