When seeing a movie for the first time you may think to yourself, "Wow this film is really well written!" or "This is a great story!" Although the script may have been entirely envisioned and created by the screenwriter, there is a good chance that you are looking at the result of a film adaptation.
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Live From Hollywood...
Ellen Page in talks to star in 'Flatliners' remake
Actress Ellen Page attends the Trevor Project's 2014 (image courtesy Getty)
by Justin Kroll, Variety.com
Ellen Page is in talks to star in a reboot of the 1990 sci-fi thriller "Flatliners" for Sony.
Niels Arden Oplev, director of the original Swedish "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," is on board to helm from a screenplay by Ben Ripley. David Blackman and Laurence Mark are producing.
The original, which was toplined by Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland and Kevin Bacon, revolves around a group of medical students who journey into the afterworld to find meaning in their own lives before being resuscitated in the nick of time. As expected, the experiments soon go awry.
Page has been busy promoting her drama "Freeheld," which opened in limited release last weekend, in which she stars opposite Julianne Moore and Steve Carell. Page also produced the gay rights drama. Her movie "Into the Forest," co-starring Evan Rachel Wood, also recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, where it was acquired by A24.
Astronauts blast off at box office as 'The Martian' lands with $55 million debut
Matt Damon in a scene from 'The Martian' (image courtesy AP / 20th Century Fox)
By Jake Coyle
Opening just days after NASA announced findings showing water on Mars, "The Martian" soaked up moviegoers at the box office.
Ridley Scott's 3-D space epic touched down in theatres with a robust $55 million over the weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. The results again proved moviegoers' abiding thirst for space adventures, particularly ones that rely more on mathematics than monsters.
The 20th Century Fox release, starring Matt Damon as an astronaut left for dead on Mars, exceeded expectations to nearly rank as the top October debut ever. The estimated North American opening of "The Martian" surpassed that of Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" ($47.5 million) and virtually equaled the debut of Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" ($55.8 million).
It's Scott's second best opening behind 2001's "Hannibal" and Damon's second best after 2007's "Bourne Ultimatum."
Made for $108 million, "The Martian" received a publicity boost earlier in the week when NASA announced it had found evidence of water on the surface of Mars - a cosmically fortuitous tie-in for a movie that celebrates NASA ingenuity. Adapted from the Andy Weir novel, "The Martian" - more "science-fact" than science fiction - relishes pragmatic scientific problem solving and NASA's spirit of exploration.
"What separates this movie - it has the backdrop of science - but all of the science is presented in a way that's very approachable for all," said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for Fox.
'Transformers' four more sequels to hit theatres in next 10 years
If you are a 'Transformers' fan, then this news will surely make your day as Hasbro Studios' President Stephen Davis has revealed that the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th sequels of the film are in the works and will be out over the next 10 years.
Davis announced that Hasbro, Paramount, producer Michael Bay and other partners are not just planning to work on the film sequels, but are also working on its TV series, the Independent reported.
He added that for the last three months all the partners have plotted out the next 10 years of 'Transformers'.
The 'Age of Extinction', the last franchise of the film, was a massive box office success, making 1.104 billion dollars worldwide, with a huge taking in China.
These latest announcements come as no shock, as many other films studios have set out long-term plans for franchises. Marvel has been the most successful, having spawned off a number of TV shows and movies.
Poster from original Lethal Weapon (image courtesy Warner Bros.)
Add "Lethal Weapon" to the list of movies getting the TV treatment.
According to Deadline, FOX committed to a put pilot for a one-hour series based on the buddy cop action movies starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Chuck writer Matt Miller will write and co-executive produce the reboot.
On the Lethal Weapon show, when Texas cop and former Navy SEAL Martin Riggs moves to Los Angeles to start anew after the loss of his wife and baby. His new LAPD partner, detective Robert Murtaugh, is supposed to be avoiding stress following a heart attack.
Lethal Weapon will be the latest film to be remade for the small screen after the Fox network chose to turn it into a TV show. In 2011 Warner Bros. and Joel Silver pushed for a complete reboot, scrapping the idea for a continuation film that had been under consideration. Names like Furious 7 director James Wan and Henry Winkler (who produced the original series) are already attached to the project, along with NCIS:LA producer Scott Gemmell. No word yet which actors will assume the Murtaugh and Riggs roles.
The original "Lethal Weapon" was directed by Richard Donner, and it went on to score three sequels which were released in 1989, 1992 and 1998. A fifth installment in the "Lethal Weapon" movie series has been in development at Warner Bros. for years, but now it sounds like the TV series will come first.
The Martian Proves Movies Are Now Better Than Their Books
Ridley Scott directs Matt Damon in Jordan for 'The Martian' (image courtesy 20th Century Fox)
by Angela Watercutter
A confession: I didn't love Andy Weir's The Martian. Despite all the people telling me at coffee shops/airports/etc. that it was their favorite book, I struggled to get through the prose. (I know, I know…) The story of astronaut Mark Watney and his fully science-enabled quest to stay alive while stranded on Mars was fascinating, but the book's use of repetitive plot devices and phrasings ("shit," "holy shit," and "well, shit" appear regularly) made it a slog. In short, it was fine - I just thought it needed a good edit.
Ridley Scott's The Martian is that edit. Freed of Watney's long monologues and Weir's deep explanations of botany and chemistry, the movie is far more agile than the book. It's no less compelling and a whole lot more fun. (At one point, I actually spent an evening doing my taxes just to avoid delving into another chapter of The Martian.) Simply put, the movie is better than the book.
All together now: heresy!
Film always will be a more efficient way to tell stories. The reason we read, and luxuriate in doing so, is because books provide a beauty in the telling. Decades ago, adapting literature like Gone with the Wind or Hamlet was a way for film to prove its legitimacy as an art - to show it could tell stories as grandly as great novels and plays. But filmmakers now have so many tools - particularly when it comes to sci-fi like The Martian - that movies might be the better way to tell some stories, period.
In his book Film Adaptation and Its Discontents, Thomas Leitch writes that “both categorical studies of adaptation and studies that emphasize analogies among the arts take as their central line of inquiry the question of what makes works of art successful - or what ... makes them beautiful.” What makes Scott’s film successful is that it is beautiful: when minimal visual effects can take us to a desolate Marscape and show us a scientist McGyvering his way through hell, that beauty is far more effective. It's a story better told in two hours than in nearly 400 pages.
High Anxiety on Hollywood Mega-Movies: How 'Gambit' Lost Its Director
The trend for Rupert Wyatt's recent directing career (image courtesy AP)
by Kim Masters
Rupert Wyatt, his star rising after a successful Planet of the Apes reboot, has fallen out of films at almost every studio (an Apes sequel at Fox, The Equalizer at Sony) as the pressure of working in today's Hollywood takes its toll: "Studios don't necessarily want an auteur who's going to try and reinvent the franchise."
After this summer's debacle over Fantastic Four, it's easy to understand why 20th Century Fox executives got nervous when director Rupert Wyatt began to seem skittish about taking on its next Marvel character movie, Gambit.
THR reported Sept. 16 that Wyatt exited the film, citing a scheduling conflict with an unnamed project. But multiple sources say the real split arose after the studio began to question whether Wyatt was in fact committed to moving ahead on the project, which has an Oct. 7, 2016, release date. Says one high-level source with knowledge of the situation: "Ambivalence is not a good way to go into an expensive movie."
Wyatt, 42, was one of those directors - like Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) and Josh Trank (Fantastic Four) - who was entrusted with a franchise after making just one promising little movie. Studio execs always like to pursue the next big thing, even though, as the extremes represented by Trevorrow and Trank illustrate, you don't really know what you're going to get.
In Wyatt's case, the small project was the 2008 film The Escapist, which featured Damian Lewis and grossed only $388,000 worldwide. Wyatt was a surprise choice to direct 2011's reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but he pulled it off to strong reviews and a robust $481.8 million worldwide. From there, Wyatt has gone into and out of so many projects that some in the industry are becoming ambivalent. It seems clear that Wyatt has the skill to direct a big film; the question is whether he also has the ambition and political savvy to navigate the studio system.
Click the Continue Reading at link to read the rest of this interesting article at Hollywood Reporter.
'The Exorcist' director: 'I completely denounce a remake'
Actress Linda Blair in a scene from 'The Exorcist' (image courtesy Warner Bros.)
The director of horror classic The Exorcist is fuming over plans to remake the film.
Oscar winner William Friedkin's iconic Hollywood horror is rumoured to be the latest movie in line for a modern makeover.
However, Friedkin has come out in opposition to the remake.
After editors at Hitflix.com published an article reporting that Friedkin "doesn't seem particularly thrilled about the idea", he tweeted them a message, writing, "Dear HitFix... correction: I completely denounce a remake of The Exorcist by (production company) Morgan Creek."
Friedkin has previously suggested that producers at Morgan Creek, the film company rumoured to be behind the remake, do not have the rights to reboot the original, tweeting, "I mention it only in passing, but I don't believe Morgan Creek has rights to the original, only the so-called sequels."
The 1973 movie was a huge success, receiving 10 Academy Award nominations and winning two, and going on to establish itself as a movie classic.
"Hotel Transylvania 2" takes bite out of September box office
Dennis, voiced by Asher Blinkoff (far left), Dracula, voiced by Adam Sandler and Vlad, voiced by Mel Brooks in a scene from "Hotel Transylvania 2. (image courtesy AP / Sony)
September has a new box office star in "Hotel Transylvania 2." The PG-rated animated pic earned a robust $47.5 million in its debut weekend, making it the top September opener of all time, according to Rentrak estimates Sunday.
The previous record holder was "Hotel Transylvania" which opened to $42.5 million in 2012.
"It really is something the whole family can agree to see. There are laughs for adults, kids, and teenagers as well," said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for Sony.
According to the studio, an estimated 59 percent of audiences were female and 60 percent were under the age of 25.
Paul Dergarabedian, a Senior Media Analyst for box office tracker Rentrak, noted that the film capitalized on early excitement for Halloween. It's also serving an audience eager for more family friendly animated content.
"This year hasn't been oversaturated with family animated films, it seems like virtually all have done well," he said.
The film, which cost around $80 million to make, features the voices of Adam Sandler, Mel Brooks, Selena Gomez and Kevin James and is the only animated feature on the market until "Peanuts" opens in November.