Movie News Grab Bag July 25, 2008

In today's Movie News Grab Bag, I've got a confirmation on the director and writer of the RoboCop sequel, X-Files: I Want To Believe is getting poor reviews, and my theory on why Ant-Man isn't on the release slate yet.

RoboCop 4 (unless they ignore parts 2 and 3 and do a reboot): Darren Aronofsky, director of Pi and the one movie I liked but I'll never watch again, Requiem For a Dream, has officially signed on to direct the RoboCop sequel, set further in the future after the program was shut down.  Will it be a new RoboCop, or will Murphy live again?  David Self (Road to Perdition) is writing the script.  Sounds like it'll be fun, especially since it isn't a remake!

So I've been looking over at Rotten Tomatoes to see how X-Files: I Want To Believe is doing, ratings-wise.  Not so good with a 30% (so far) "rotten" rating.  Sure, it's still a little early, but wow, that's not looking so good.  Ebert seemed to like it, though, but others complained that it was more like a boring, long episode than a movie.

Ant-Man: Edgar Wright told that his adaptation of Scott Pilgrim will come out first, and that Ant-Man isn't even on the release schedule for Marvel Studios.  My theory is that a draft was written and budgeted and, following The Incredible Hulk debacle, Marvel decided to launch a film franchise of the tiny hero after The Avengers comes out.  It's a safe way to test the waters.  We'll find out if that's the case when The Avengers opens in 2011.

Also, on the fantasy movie front, a couple of news items caught my eye today, so I thought I'd write up a quick movie news grab bag.

First up is Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland 3D movie, of which I'm getting excited about.  Burton and Alice, a match made in heaven!  Anyway, Burton found his Alice in Australian actress Mia Wasikowska.  The film will go into production soon with a projected release date of 2010.

I think this will be a fun movie, and yet another reason to go to the theaters as 3D becomes huge.  The movie is from Disney, so I wonder how dark they'll let Burton get.  By the way, here's a look at some 3D movies coming out (or already out).

And then we have director Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are, probably the most frustrating thing I can write about today.  The movie that has had more problems than even the fourth Exorcist movie a few years back, that resulted in two versions!  Remember that?  Funny how all these movies are from Warner Bros., but I digress...

Anyway, as our own Niall Browne reported recently, the WWA movie was taken off WB's release slate (originally set to open October 2008).  It's opening exactly one year later, and it looks like major work will be done after a disastrous test screening.

While Jonze will remain involved, Ain't It Cool News' "Beaks" had a chance to talk to one of the producers, Gary Goetzman, who said that while WB and Jonze may have differing visions on the film, he also confirmed the studio is backing Spike 100%.  Nothing new, right?

Wrong.  In the article, Goetzman mentions, "Final cut Spike," which is a reference to the holiest of holies for a director, being able to have final say on a film.  About 10 years ago, a bunch of films came out that gave directors final cut, and they all bombed, including the excruciatingly long Meet Joe Black.

I'm curious if Spike Jonze does indeed have final cut, and if he's willing to watch that go away so he and the studio can fix the film.  And keep the running time shorter than 2-3 hours.

This is a tragedy and I hope a great film comes out of it.  We'll be keeping our eyes on the ongoing saga of this film.

Sources: Alice, Hollywood Reporter via Ain't It Cool News; Wild Things, Ain't It Cool News, Deadline Hollywood Daily, Rotten Tomatoes, and Super Hero Hype!

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