Movie News Wrap Up: December 14th 2012

Seth MacFarlane Western Comedy

This Week:

Seth MacFarlane prepares a Western Comedy; Dreamworks is bound to take a major hit on Rise of the Guardians; Guillermo Del Toro is developing a Pan's Labyrinth musical; Jonathan Demme is no longer directing 11/22/63; Amber Heard joins Kevin Costner for Three Days to Kill; and Rodrigo Santoro sheds a little light on the 300 prequel.

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is eying a swift return to live-action directing with the film A Million Ways to Die in the West, which will be backed by Media Rights Capital – the same folks who helped produced MacFarlane's directorial debut, Ted.

Seth MacFarlane Western Comedy

MacFarlane, along with frequent collaborators Alec Sulkin and Wellseley Wild, are reportedly working on the script for A Million Ways, which is being developed as a summer 2013 release. In addition to writing and directing, however, MacFarlane is one-upping his duties on Ted by putting himself in front of the camera.

Granted, Ted featured MacFarlane's voice (as the foul-mouthed title character), but this will mark the first time the storied TV creator takes on a bona fide starring role in a film. As far as the film's story is concerned, it is said to be in the same vein as Blazing Saddles, albeit with some focus placed on the hardships of life in the late 1800s.

If MacFarlane can successfully infuse broad social commentary with gut-busting humor – a quality that has arguably led to Family Guy's staying power – then he might have a worthy follow-up to Ted, which did extremely well at the box office this past summer.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


As we have already noted in the weekly box office wrap up, Dreamworks' Rise of the Guardians is well on its way to being a huge disappointment for Dreamworks Animation.

Rise of the Guardians Flop

The film, which reportedly was made for $145 million, has only grossed $63 million domestically and is starting to slow down as the weeks roll on. Sure, a Christmas weekend spike is possible, but that's still two weekends away – meaning interest in the film will be almost negligible by then.

Now it's important to mention that $63 million is by no means a poor showing for a new film, especially during the competitive holiday season, but animated features are usually good for $100 million+. And those that do fail to preform are usually not from studios named Pixar or Dreamworks.

So with that in mind, it appears likely that Dreamworks will take a major hit on the film. Indiewire is reporting that the studio will suffer at least a $50 million loss, but most analysts are refusing to give actual numbers in case of a holiday bump - the film does, after all, feature Santa Claus as a main character (voiced by Alec Baldwin).

Source: Indiewire


Director Guillermo Del Toro is adapting his 2006 film Pan's Labyrinth into a musical.

Pans Labyrinth Musical

Although the director, whose robots vs. monsters film Pacific Rim is set to debut next summer, has more than his fair share of in-development projects, he has been quietly working on bringing Pan's to the stage for four years now. Over that time, Del Toro has enlisted the help of lyricist Paul Williams and composer Gustavo Santaolalla to help bring his dark fantasy world to life, and apparently it's near completion.

And even though the film version of the story is in Del Toro's native Spanish, the musical is being developed as an English language production. No word, however, on where it might debut.

Source: Deadline


Director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) has confirmed he is no longer attached to the big screen adaptation of Stephen King's 11/22/63.

Jonathan Demme Not Directing 11 22 63

Early in 2011 it was reported that Demme was set to bring King's novel – which focuses, in part, on a time travel plot to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy – to life, but that is no longer the case. According to an interview with Demme, the director's take on the 900-page book – namely which story threads were the most important – didn't closely align with Stephen King's thoughts on the matter.

"This is a big book, with lots in it. And I loved certain parts of the book for the film more than Stephen did. We're friends, and I had a lot of fun working on the script, but we were too apart on what we felt should be in and what should be out of the script."

Even though 11/22/63 might not be hitting the big screen any time soon, there are still several other Stephen King adaptations in the works, including the forthcoming Under the Dome series.

Source: Indiewire


Actress Amber Heard has joined the cast of Three Days to Kill, an upcoming action thriller from director McG (This Means War).

Amber Heard Joins Three Days to Kill

According to a report from Variety, Heard will play the film's female lead opposite star Kevin Costner, who plays a dying former secret service agent. The film's story, written by Luc Besson and Adi Hasak, centers on Costner's character's attempt to complete one last assignment in exchange for a lifesaving drug. The drug, however, has some hallucinatory side effects – which is presumably where McG's visual style will most overtly come into play.

If the report is to believed, Heard will be playing a (mysterious?) woman who provides Costner with the drug. In addition to Heard and Costner, Three Days to Kill's cast will also feature True Grit's Hailee Stanfield.

Source: Variety


Rodrigo Santoro, who will reprise his role as Xerxes for the film 300: Rise of an Empire, has shed some light on when the spin-off/prequel might be set.

300 sequel prequel rodrigo santoro xerxes

Speaking with Coming Soon, Santoro revealed that Rise of an Empire will feature scenes both from before and after the events of Zack Snyder's 2006 film, but will primarily be set concurrent to that storyline. What exactly that means, Santoro did not say, but it is believed the film will focus on the Battle of Artemisium, the naval battles that took place during the conflict between the Persians and Greeks.

Moreover, Santoro talked about returning to the role of Xerxes – to the working out, the green screen, and the thunderous on-screen presence.

"I had to shave, I had to work out again, I had to go back to Xerxes. It's the same character. There's little new things - a little before, a little after - but most of the movie, it's during kind of the same time where the first movie takes place. There's a lot going on. It's hard, the green screen, it's a different way of working. It's really challenging to work that way and the character wears a lot and Xerxes is a giant. He's almost not human, which is a poetic license. It comes from a graphic novel so it's not based in real history, so that character is very, very tall and his voice is like thunder and that's the description of this character. So there's a couple special FX and tricks that have to be done to accomplish that figure so I do scenes by myself. It's interesting, it's a lot of work."

300: Rise of an Empire is slated to release on August 2nd, 2013.

Source: Coming Soon

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