Mid-Week Movie News Wrap Up - July 30, 2009

In the Wrap Up this week:

Warner Bros get jiggy with their release dates; Paul W.S. Anderson is The Warded Man; Schwentke sees Red with Willis and Freeman; [UPDATED] Will Spielberg helm Helm? Russell Crowe and Paul Haggis are busy for The Next Three Days and Matthew McConaughey and Eva Mendes are Southbound.


1. Warner Bros seem to be conducting a merry dance of release date shuffles. The water tower studio has changed the release dates of three high profile films.

A Nightmare on Elm Street has been pushed back two weeks from April 16, 2010 to April 30th.

Meanwhile the Josh Broli n/ Megan Fox comic book western Jonah Hex has been moved forward from August 30 to June 18 2010. This switch to a prime mid-summer slot gives the indication that Warner Bros have a lot of confidence in the film, as late August is often seen as a movie dumping ground.

John Cusack's The Factory will now open in on January 28, 2011 - three years after it started shooting! That is not a good sign.

Source: Shock Till You Drop


2. The very busy Paul W.S. Anderson and his producing partner Jeremy Bolt have bought the rights to Peter V. Brett's The Warded Man.

According to the Hollywood Reporter:

"The book is set in an undetermined future where mankind is beset by nightly attacks from demon-kind and has been thrown back into a feudal state. Three young people emerge with the potential power to turn the tide, including the title character, a man who has wards (spells) tattooed on his body."

The book is the first in The Demon Cycle trilogy. Anderson and Bolt hope that the book and film will become the new Lord of The Rings. I thought that The Hobbit was the new Lord of the Rings. Oh well...

Anderson is attached to direct the film, which I assume will start shooting next year at the earliest, as Anderson will be busy calling the shots on Resident Evil 4.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


3. Robert Schwentke the director of the forthcoming The Time Traveler's Wife (featuring onetime Hulk Eric Bana) is in negotiations to direct Red, the film adaptation of the WildStorm/DC comic.

"The spy film follows a former black-ops agent forced out of retirement when a high-tech assassin threatens him and his girlfriend."

The film is set to star Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman. Who knew that Freeman was such a comic fan? In the last few years he has starred in Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Wanted.

Willis too seems to be getting in on the comic action with Sin City and the soon-to-be-released Surrogates and now Red.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


4. Steven Spielberg is rumored to be interested in directing a new film version of Matt Helm, the old franchise that starred Dean Martin in the 1960's and which was a pastiche of the Connery-era James Bond films.

The film has been in development for several years but apparently Spielberg's interested in a new rewrite by Paul Attanasio (Donnie Brasko) which is supposed to be more in the vein of the new Bond and Jason Bourne films.

Matt Helm was originally developed by Dreamworks when they had the short-lived marriage with Paramount Pictures, but after a messy divorce, Paramount received sole custody of the project. Paramount has been cost-cutting lately and Spielberg's attachment means a big payday and the studio is wary of spending big bucks on hiring the über-expensive director.

The last time Spielberg tried to make a Bond-esque action film he ended up with the Indiana Jones trilogy, so it would appear that it's a pretty sound financial choice for the studio, who hope that Matt Helm will be a franchise starter.

The studio (and producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci) will have a choice of 27 Matt Helm novels to choose from for a script. The books were written by the prolific Donald Hamilton.

More on Matt Helm when we get it.

[UPDATE: We now have word that Spielberg may just be attached to the project as a producer.]

Source: Variety


5. Russell Crowe will star in Paul Haggis's next feature. The Gladiator star will topline The Next Three Days, a remake of the French thriller Pour Elles (the English title being Anything For Her).

"Crowe will play a teacher whose wife is arrested and convicted of a murder she says she did not commit. He comes up with a desperate plan to free her."

The film starts shooting in September once Crowe has completed work on Ridley Scott's Robin Hood.

Source: Variety


6. Matthew McConaughey and Eva Mendes are in talks to star in Southbound.

"McConaughey plays a patrol officer on the border between California and Mexico who accepts a bribe from a beautiful Mexican woman, putting his family in danger and landing him in the middle of a war between the Mexican crime families and the U.S. immigration police."

It's good to see that the bongo-playing star is taking time-out from making romantic comedies to stretch his acting muscles.

Source: Variety

That's it for now. See you at the movies.

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