This week in movie news:
Nat Wolff is in talks to star in Adam Wingard’s Death Note; Matthew Vaughn will direct a new spy thriller titled I Am Pilgrim; James McAvoy may star in M. Night Shyamalan’s new film; the screenwriters of RED have signed on to the adaptation of video game series Gran Turismo; Silver Linings Playbook actors John Ortiz and Shea Whigham have joined the cast of Kong: Skull Island; Clint Eastwood begins filming his Sully biopic; the director of The Imitation Game will adapt Agatha Christie novel And Then There Were None; and the remake of Maniac Cop has found a director.
Nat Wolff is in negotiations to lead the cast of Death Note, an adaptation of the horror manga of the same name. Adam Wingard – the filmmaker behind The Guest and You’re Next – will direct the film as his major studio debut, based on a script by Jeremy Slater (The Lazarus Effect).
Death Note centers on a student with the ability to kill anyone by writing their name in a notebook he discovers. Before long, he chooses to use his newfound power to eradicate those he feels are evil, ultimately crossing the path of a reclusive mastermind detective. Wolff has previously appeared in The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns – both based on John Green novels – and currently appears in Nancy Meyers comedy The Intern.
Matthew Vaughn, the director behind Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service, has signed on to produce and direct a new spy thriller titled I Am Pilgrim. Based on the 2004 Terry Hayes novel, the story centers on a retired former leader of a secret espionage group who is called into an investigation that pits him against a terrorist.
I Am Pilgrim marks the first novel release for Hayes, a screenwriter whose credits include The Road Warrior and From Hell. A sequel to the best-seller is already in the works with the same lead character, and the new film is envisioned to begin a franchise. Production is set to begin sometime in 2016.
James McAvoy is in negotiations to star in M. Night Shyamalan’s new supernatural thriller, though the film’s title and story details remain under wraps. Like Shyamalan’s The Visit, this new film is being produced by Jason Blum, whose company Blumhouse Productions has been behind recent horror hits like The Purge and the Insidious films.
McAvoy will be taking on a role originally intended for Joaquin Phoenix, who previously starred in Shyamalan’s Signs and The Village. McAvoy will next appear in Victor Frankenstein this fall before returning to play Professor X in next year’s X-Men: Apocalypse.
Gran Turismo – the film adaptation of the hit racing video game series – has recruited Jon and Erich Hoeber, the screenwriters of action comedy Red and its 2013 sequel. Oblivion and Tron: Legacy filmmaker Joseph Kosinski will direct the project, which is the first film based on racing games since Scott Waugh’s 2014 action thriller Need for Speed.
The Hoebers are among the most in-demand action screenwriting teams in the business today. Their other films include 2009 Kate Beckinsale thriller Whiteout and the film adaptation of classic board game Battleship. The plot of Gran Turismo remains a mystery, though it reportedly may involve the idea of a gamer-turned-racer.
Kong: Skull Island has added two new actors to its cast in John Ortiz (Fast & Furious) and Shea Whigham (American Hustle). The two men, who both appeared in David O. Russell’s Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook, are joining an ensemble cast that already includes Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman.
No details have been revealed about the characters that Ortiz and Whigham would play, though the film is set to begin production this fall. Kong: Skull Island will delve deeper into the homeland of King Kong and essentially serves as a reboot of the character for the franchise.
Clint Eastwood has begun filming on Sully, his adaptation of Captain “Sully” Sullenberger’s real-life landing of a disabled plane onto the Hudson River. In doing so, the pilot saved the lives of all 155 people onboard in 2009, while an investigation into the incident threatened to damage his reputation and career.
Previously titled Miracle on the Hudson, the film stars Tom Hanks in the title role, alongside Aaron Eckhart as his co-pilot and Laura Linney as Sully’s wife. The film’s screenplay, written by Todd Komarnicki (Perfect Stranger), is based on the book Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters by Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) will direct And Then There Were None, a film adaptation of the 1939 Agatha Christie mystery novel. The story centers on 10 strangers who are gathered together and trapped, as an unknown assailant begins to punish them for their crimes.
Screenwriter Eric Heisserer (Final Destination 5) will adapt the Christie novel, which has been adapted a few times over the years beginning with director René Clair’s 1945 version. Tyldum is currently filming sci-fi adventure Passengers, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, set for release in December 2016.
John Hyams, the director behind films like Universal Soldier: Regeneration, has signed on to direct the upcoming remake of 1988 cult hit Maniac Cop. The original film centers on a string of brutal New York City murders by a uniformed police officer, and follows the investigation into the crimes as well as a young cop framed by the real killer.
Ed Brubaker (Angel of Death) will write the new film, and Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) will serve as a producer. No other cast or crew for the project has yet been announced.
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