This Week:

Len Wiseman signs on to direct Black Chapter; Barbie and Peeps movies are in development; Joe Wright’s Peter Pan movie casts a few more roles; Kevin Smith plans Anti-Claus for Christmas release; and Cary Fukunaga will direct The Black Count.

Underworld director Len Wiseman has said yes to directing the supernatural spy thriller Black Chapter for Skydance Productions.

The concept for Black Chapter comes from an idea thought up by Wiseman and Avengers scribe Zak Penn, who will also pen this film’s script. The story reportedly follows an FBI agent that joins a secret program where agents tap into paranormal abilities.

Although Black Chapter is an original idea, there are some comparisons to be made between its premise and those of recent comic book films like R.I.P.D. and Hellboy. However, while those films were focused on bombast and big action set pieces, Black Chapter could set itself apart depending on how true to the spy/thriller genre Wiseman wants to be.

Source: Variety

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Moviegoers can now add Barbie and Peeps to the growing list of properties pegged for feature film adaptations.

For Barbie, Mattel has just recently given the “OK” to a pitch from Sony and producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald. Apparently, Mattel was very receptive to their idea of positioning Barbie as a Mary Poppins-esque character that makes other characters’ lives better. And, of course, the film will also include Barbie’s boy toy Ken and her various other friends.

Then there’s Peeps, the fluffy, colorful, marshmallow treat seen mostly during the Easter holiday. According to Deadline, producer Adam Rifkin optioned the film and TV rights for the candy, and hopes to use the confectionary treat as the jumping off point for a LEGO Movie-esque adventure. In other words, look for the Peeps movie to potentially include other sugary candy like Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, and Gummy Bears. Also, at this point it’s safe to assume that if it exists somebody is trying to make a movie out of it.

Source: Deadline

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Warner Bros.’ yet-to-be-officially-titled Peter Pan origin film – tentatively known as Pan – has added a few more to its cast and has begun shooting in London this week.

The studio announced the latest casting, which includes Amanda Seyfried as Mary, Jack Charles as Tiger Lily’s father, and newcomer Leni Zieglmeier as Wendy Darling. They join a cast that already includes Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Garrett Hedlund as Captain Hook, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, and Levi Miller as Pan.

While the story of Peter Pan has been put to screen countless times, director Joe Wright’s adaptation is taking a fresh approach to J.M. Barrie’s source material by telling the origins of Pan. That, coupled with a star-studded cast, should make this new version worth keeping an eye on.

Peter Pan hits theaters on July 17, 2015.

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Kevin Smith’s Krampus movie has a new title, Anti-Claus, and will reportedly start shooting in September.

Anti-Claus will reunite Smith with his Tusk stars Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, and Genesis Rodriguez, but this film will have a decidedly darker approach to its comedy. Krampus, for those that might not know, is a European folk creation that kidnaps the bad kids on Christmas.

It appears that, after a long flirtation with retirement, Smith is very much reinvested in directing. He’s already lined up several upcoming projects, including Clerks 3, Anti-Claus, and a rumored film about the rapture.

There’s currently no word on a release date for Anti-Claus, but XYZ Films has already picked up the international distribution rights.

Source: XYZ Films

Director Cary Fukunaga has signed on to helm The Black Count, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Tom Reiss.

The Black Count is a non-fictional account of the life of Alex Dumas, father to famous author Alexandre Dumas, and the real life basis for exploits depicted in The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. Dumas, a black slave who rose through the French naval ranks, commanded large armies during the height of the Revolution and famously held off 20 enemies on a bridge in the Alps.

After earning accolades for his work on the Spanish-language film Sin Nombre and his novel adaptation Jane Eyre, Fukunaga has made a huge splash thanks to his work directing the HBO series True Detective. He’s an up-and-coming talent with a keen eye for composition (thanks to his background as a cinematographer), and The Black Count could be the start of something big for the director.

Source: Deadline