Barbershop 3 finds its director; Avengers: Age of Ultron is set for an early release in India; Antoine Fuqua's The Magnificent Seven lands its female lead; Kristen Bell joins Melissa McCarthy's Michelle Darnell; Will Smith lines up a new action-thriller; The Sculptor film in development; Ron Howard's Inferno rounds out its international cast; and Max Martini joins Michael Bay's 13 Hours.
Malcolm D. Lee has signed on to direct Barbershop 3, which is reportedly lining up both Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer to reprise their roles from the first two films. Lee's previous credits include Scary Movie 5, Soul Men and Undercover Brother, though he is best known as the filmmaker behind The Best Man franchise.
Kenya Barris (Black-ish) and Tracy Oliver are writing the film, though it's unclear at this point which characters from the franchise's ensemble cast will be appearing. The new film will likely hit theaters in 2016, marking a full 12 years between entries in the Barbershop franchise (not counting the Queen Latifah-led Beauty Shop, which hit theaters in 2005).
North American fans will have to wait until May 1 to see Earth's Mightiest Heroes take on the villainous Ultron, but now Marvel Studios has announced that Avengers: Age of Ultron will arrive in theaters in India on April 24, the same day as its European release. In fact, the film will received the widest Indian release of any Hollywood film, playing in four languages.
As it stands, India has the world's largest box office market based on ticket sales, with more than twice the number of tickets than the U.S. Director Joss Whedon has commented multiple times about the "global perspective" of Age of Ultron, and in addition to the obvious business sense of maximizing audience turnout in a key nation like India, it's only fitting that the film's release reflects the international appeal it already has built into the story itself.
Source: Comic Book Movie
Director Antoine Fuqua's remake of The Magnificent Seven has found its female lead in actress Haley Bennett. Bennett - who recently appeared in Fuqua's The Equalizer - will star alongside Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt, among others, as the widow of a murdered man who hires a bounty hunter to rid her town of a band of thugs.
Bennett's first screen appearance was in the 2007 Hugh Grant-Drew Barrymore romantic comedy Music and Lyrics, in which she played a pop star. She's gone on to roles in films like Marley & Me and The Hole, and she just finished work on The Blunderer opposite Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel.
Kristen Bell has joined the cast of the upcoming Melissa McCarthy comedy Michelle Darnell. Ben Falcone will direct a cast that also includes Kathy Bates and Peter Dinklage and a script written by McCarthy, Falcone and Steve Mallory.
The film follows the titular businesswoman (McCarthy) as she emerges from a prison sentence for insider trading ready to build a new image. Along the way, she enlists her former assistant (Bell) - a mousy single mother trying to start her own cupcake business - to help rehabilitate her reputation. The film marks Bell's first big screen role since reprising her fan-favorite role in the Veronica Mars film in 2014.
Will Smith - who stars in this month's Focus - is attached to star in action-thriller Bounty. Paramount has purchased the spec script by Sascha Penn, who is also attached to write The Idolmaker for MGM.
Bounty centers on a wrongfully accused escaped convict who struggles to prove his innocence after the widow of his alleged victim places a $10 million price on his head. Smith's Overbrook Entertainment will produce the film.
Sony has picked up the film rights to the Scott McCloud graphic novel The Sculptor. The story focuses on an artist who makes a deal with Death to receive the power to create with his hands for 200 days before his time on Earth comes to an end.
The Sculptor was only just released this month but has already been the subject of praise. It marks McCloud's first work of fiction in more than 20 years, as much of his more recent work has centered on non-fiction works about the comic book industry.
Ron Howard's Inferno - which will see Tom Hanks return as The Da Vinci Code hero Robert Langdon for a third time - has added Oscar nominee Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi), Omar Sy (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Sidse Babett Knudsen (of the Danish television series Borgen) in key roles. The film follows Langdon as he teams with a young doctor (Jones) to recover from amnesia and prevent a global plague.
Sony is currently in talks with other international stars to fill out the rest of its cast, a statement said. Inferno will begin production in April for an October 14, 2016 release date.
Max Martini (Pacific Rim) is in negotiations to join the growing ensemble cast of Michael Bay's Benghazi thriller 13 Hours. The film is based on Mitchell Zuckoff's book about the attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya.
John Krasinski, James Badge Dale and Pablo Schreiber are already on board to star as members of the six-man security team that fought at Benghazi, and Martini will play one of these men as well. Martini was most recently seen in megahit Fifty Shades of Grey.