Here we are again with another Weekend Movie News Wrap Up where we look at the weekend box office and furnish you with any film news that may have slipped through the cracks.
We see who 20th Century Fox lined up to replace Gavin Hood during the shoot of Wolverine; Paul Verhoeven returns to the world of erotic thrillers; it looks like Akira may be a while off; Michael Douglas is Libarace; Ray Winstone is the new Robert DeNiro and there's more money ahoy for Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp.
This weekend it's a close battle between Tyler Perry's The Family that Preys and the Clooney-Pitt combo Burn After Reading. Both films grossed around $6 million on Friday and they should be on course for $18-20 million over the weekend. The Al Pacino/Robert DeNiro thriller Righteous Kill should manage around $16 million, while chick-flick The Women should bank around $11 million by Monday morning - not bad for a film that was going to be dumped before Warner Bros. saw dollar signs following the success of Sex and The City.
This weekend saw Tropic Thunder cross the magic $100 million mark and The Dark Knight banked another few million.
1. Word came in this week via Variety that X-Men Origins: Wolverine director Gavin Hood was almost given the boot by Fox during the movies troubled shoot. Apparently, Superman and Lethal Weapon director (as well as husband of the film's producer Lauren Shuler Donner) Richard Donner was flown out to Australia as a replacement.
It sounds like Inglorious Bastards might be a Fox board biopic.
2.RoboCop and Starship Troopers director Paul Verhoeven is in talks to direct an untitled Wendy Williams scripted erotic thriller about a college intern who has an affair with the wife of his boss. The film is apparently a cross between Risky Business and Fatal Attraction - man, I'd love to have been a fly on the wall during that pitch. When did it take place... 1988?
This can't be good news for Pierce Brosnan's The Topkapi Affair.
3. Those of you holding your breath for a film version of Akira starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon Levitt better exhale quick. Levitt says that his rumored involvement in the film is pure fiction and as far as he is aware here isn't even a script yet.
Ruairi Robinson has his name on the director's chair.
4. I love a good casting choice, but I really love left field casting choices. When news broke this week that Steven Soderbergh was developing a Liberace biopic with Michael Douglas in the frame as the flamboyant entertainer I almost choked on my cornflakes. The film will follow the palimony suit launched by Liberace's younger lover (rumored to be Matt Damon) for $113 million. Richard LaGravanese is writing the script.
There's a million and one "pianist" jokes that I could make, but I'll wait until the film is released before I do that.
5. When Robert DeNiro departed Edge of Darkness citing "creative differences" I wondered who they would call to replace such a high caliber actor. I didn't have to wait long - as Ray Winstone is in negotiations to replace DeNiro as a CIA operative in the Mel Gibson film.
6. Following the billions they made for Disney with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski are set to reunite for animated film Rango.
Does anybody else remember the time when Hollywood wouldn't even touch Depp with a barge pole?
That's it for this week. See you at the movies!