Welcome to the Cinema Squad Podcast – Episode #4!
Each week we bring you the latest movie news, covering everything from script to screen. On this episode, we are discussing the week of March 7th – March 13th, 2016. Check it out below:
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This episode we discuss:
CINEMA SQUAD 3/13/16
Box Office Report
- Coming in 1st at the Box Office this weekend, with $50-Million is Zootopia
- 2nd with $25.2-Million is 10 Cloverfield Lane
- 3rd with $10.8-Million is Deadpool
- 4th with $10.6-Million is London Has Fallen
- And rounding out the Top Five with $4.5-Million is Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
THEATER – NETFLIX – OR NEVER
- Opening next weekend we have “The Divergent Series: Allegiant” – The third installment of the blockbuster Divergent series franchise, ALLEGIANT, takes Tris and Four into a new world, far more dangerous than ever before. The film stars Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, Naomi Watts, and Theo James.
- Next we have “Miracles from Heaven” – A faith-based film about a young girl suffering from a rare digestive disorder who finds herself miraculously cured after surviving a terrible accident. Based on the book ‘Miracles From Heaven’ by Christy Beam. Jennifer Garner, Martin Henderson, and Queen Latifah star.
- Up next is “Midnight Special” – A father and son go on the run after the dad learns his child possesses special powers. Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kristen Dunst, & Adam Driver lead this one. Dan – Theater, Netflix or Never?
- And finally, in limited release: “The Program” – An Irish sports journalist becomes convinced that Lance Armstrong’s performances during the Tour de France victories are fueled by banned substances. With this conviction, he starts hunting for evidence that will expose Armstrong. Ben Foster , Chris O’Dowd, Lee Pace, and Dustin Hoffman star.
The HOT List – The hottest stories from the previous week in Movie News:
- Marvel Studios has unleashed a new trailer for the highly anticipated “Captain America: Civil War,” and it not only features new footage from the superhero smackdown, but also gives us our first look at Tom Holland as the new Spider-Man. In an unprecedented move, Marvel and Sony are sharing the Peter Parker character, with the webslinger making his debut in Civil War before getting his own standalone feature, after which he’ll continue to weave in and out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Captain America: Civil War is due in theaters on May 6th.
- Speaking of Spider-Man, actress and singer Zendaya has landed a key role in the film, playing a character named Michelle Gonzales who is said to be Peter Parker’s roommate, but not a love interest. A veteran of the Disney Channel with roles in shows like “Good Luck Charlie,” “Shake It Up” and “K.C. Undercover,” Spider-Man marks 19-year-old Zendaya’s first major feature film role. “Cop Car” helmer Jon Watts is directing the picture from a script by ‘Vacation’ writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, which Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal are producing in a joint-venture with Sony Pictures. The film will open in theaters on July 7, 2017.
- K. Simmons, who famously played J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” movies, is jumping to another comicbook franchise as he is set to play Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon in the upcoming “Justice League” Film. The movie is set to begin filming Part One in mid-April and open in theaters on November 17, 2017. Part Two opens on June 14, 2019. The films will also star Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Amy Adams, Jason Momoa, and Ray Fisher.
- Things are certainly heating up for 20th Century Fox’s “The Predator,” as it appears we may have a famous cast member returning to the franchise. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played Dutch in the 1987 original, recently chimed in about the project saying: “I haven’t talked with [Shane Black] yet but I’m going to meet with him for lunch sometime soon. Just as soon as I’m finished with [Arnold’s Sports Festival] and The Apprentice and all this stuff. But I will get together with him. If there is any news, we’ll of course let you know right away. There’s also a meeting coming up soon about Conan, about the project moving forward.” Shane Black is set to direct and co-write with “Monster Squad” scribe Fred Dekker, with the movie hitting theaters on March 2, 2018.
- The Film Stage has revealed that “Frances Ha” director Noah Baumbach has started production on his next feature, “Yen Din Ka Kissa.” Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson, and Dustin Hoffman are filling out the ensemble for Baumbach’s latest picture that “tells the story of an estranged New York family coming together in preparation of artist & patriarch Harold’s career retrospective.” Hoffman is playing Harold, while Sandler and Stiller will be playing siblings.
- In a stunning end to the biggest and wildest book rights auction in memory, Imperative Entertainment has paid $5 million for the right to make a movie out of David Grann book “Killers Of The Flower Moon: An American Crime And The Birth Of The FBI.”
- Imperative was formed in 2014 by “Heroes” creator Tim Kring and longtime Farrelly brothers producer Bradley Thomas. The logline for the book reads: A murder mystery, set in 1920s Oklahoma, where the Osage Indians were granted revenue rights to oil discovered under their lands that was harvested by oil companies. Suddenly, they begin to get murdered as did those trying to investigate. It came down to the newly created Bureau of Investigation, to overcome the corrupting influences from oil money and politics to solve the murder mystery, one that would bring the FBI to prominence.
- On last week’s podcast, we talked about Will Smith reteaming with his “Suicide Squad” director David Ayer for the film “Bright” co-staring Joel Edgerton and co-written by Max Landis. Well news dropped this week that Netflix has picked up the project to produce the film. This makes the project the biggest movie deal Netflix has ever done with the budget estimated between $80-100million. We also got our first logline: In Bright, the setting is world where magical creatures live side by side with humans and the police have a division handling crimes involving magic. A human cop (Smith) is forced to work with an Orc (Edgerton) to find something that unsavory elements are prepared to kill for, a powerful wand.
THE CASTING NET – The latest in casting news:
- Amanda Seyfried is re-uniting with her “In Time” director Andrew Niccol to star in “Anon” opposite Clive Owen. In the psychological thriller, Owen plays a detective in a world with no privacy, ignorance or anonymity. All our lives are transparent, traceable and recorded by the authorities. It’s the end of crime, it seems. However, when Owen’s character stumbles on a young woman (Seyfried) with no digital footprint and invisible to the police, he discovers it may not be the end of crime but the beginning.
- Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell are joining Frances McDormand for Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Fox Searchlight and Film4 are co-financing the film, about a 50-year-old woman (McDormand), whose daughter is murdered. She then goes to war with the police in her hometown because she thinks they are more interested in torturing minorities than getting justice. Filming is set to start in April on location in North Carolina.
- Robert Redford and Jason Segel have joined Rooney Mara in Charlie McDowell’s sci-fi film “The Discovery.” The movie, written by McDowell and Justin Lader, is a sci-fi love story is set in a world where the existence of an afterlife has been scientifically proven. Millions of people are now taking their own lives in the hopes that committing suicide is akin to pushing a reset button. Redford plays the man responsible for the discovery, Segel portrays his son and Mara is the woman Segel’s character falls in love with who’s haunted by a tragic past. The film begins production in Rhode Island later this month.
- Michael Keaton will star in CBS Films and Lionsgate’s adaptation of the classic novel series “American Assassin.” “Kill the Messenger” helmer Michael Cuesta will direct the thriller from a screenplay by Stephen Schiff. Based on Vince Flynn’s novel, the movie follows Cold War veteran Stan Hurley (Keaton), who would be the most feared training officer in the CIA if more than a handful of people at the agency actually knew of his existence. As the story begins, Hurley’s deputy director tasks him with training a black ops recruit devastated by the loss of his fiancée to a terrorist attack. The pair is eventually dispatched on a joint mission with a lethal Turkish agent to stop a mysterious operative from starting World War III in the Middle East.
- “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” lead actress Daisy Ridley is in considered to take the lead in Warner Bros. and MGM’s reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise. A new Tomb Raider film has been in the works for a while, but the reboot has been gaining steam lately as Norwegian filmmaker Roar Uthaug, whose thriller ‘The Wave’ has garnered solid reviews on the festival circuit, was tapped to direct last fall. Based on the video game series of the same name, Tomb Raider follows the adventures of an English archaeologists in the vein of Indiana Jones.
- Christopher Nolan is eyeing unknown newcomer Fionn Whitehead to co-lead his epic World War II movie, Dunkirk. How unknown? The young actor has only had one previous role in the British mini-series “Him” and currently doesn’t have U.S. representation. Whitehead would play one of the two young leads in Dunkirk, joining set cast members Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, and Tom Hardy. In addition, One Direction singer Harry Styles has been offered a role in the film, although its noted that “It is not believed to be a leading role.” Production is set to begin this May in France with Dunkirk set to hit theaters on July 21, 2017.
Develop, Ditch or Turnaround
- Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are set to produce MGM’s adaptation of the classic children’s book series “WHERE’S WALDO.” Rogen and Goldberg are producing through their Point Grey shingle, bringing new life into the project that had stalled after a series of studio moves. The live-action family story, based on the books, centers around Waldo, the janitor/inventor who wears a distinctive red-and-white shirt with glasses, a stocking cap, and a walking stick. As he embarks on adventures, traveling through space and time, he often appears in colorful, crowded scenes from the past, the present – even the future.
- DreamWorks has hired Oscar nominee Jonathan Herman to adapt “The Travelers,” the thriller novel by bestselling author Chris Pavone. Herman was Oscar nominated with Andrea Berloff for Best Original Screenplay for “Straight Outta Compton.” The Travelers centers on a Gotham-based journalist who unknowingly works for a spy agency posing as a luxury travel magazine. Writer Will Rhodes finds himself drawn into a tangled web of global intrigue, and it becomes clear that the people closest to him, including his wife, might pose the greatest threat of all. The book is a Hitchcockian thriller with shades of “Mr. And Mrs. Smith” and “North By Northwest.”
- Nicolas Cage will direct and star in the independent thriller “Vengeance: A Love Story.” John Mankiewicz wrote the screenplay, based on Joyce Carol Oates’ 2003 novel “Rape: A Love Story.” Oates’ novel centers on the aftermath a gang rape, with the victim left for dead in a park boathouse. The woman is a single mother in her 30s, and the attack is witnessed by her daughter — whose credibility is attacked at the subsequent trial. A policeman who is a Gulf War veteran becomes her unexpected champion. Michael Mendelsohn, CEO of Patriot Pictures and Union Patriot Capital Management, is producing. Shooting is set to begin in April in Atlanta.
- “The Imitation Game” director Morten Tyldum is looking to bring his breakthrough feature, “Headhunters” to the United States. The Norwegian helmer has teamed with the film’s producer Yellow Bird (‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’) to develop an English-language version of the 2011 comic thriller. The original film was based on the 2008 novel of the same name and centers on the successful but insecure corporate recruiter who lives a double life as an art thief to fund his lavish lifestyle. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lanister from GoT) also starred in the film. Search is currently underway for a writer.
- Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman have sold a comedy film pitch to STX Entertainment titled “Significant Other,” with the idea that the two would star. Bateman also has an eye to direct this one. The script, penned by Andrea Seigel, centers on an up-and-coming, type-A businesswoman (Aniston) who is in the final stages of being recruited for a major CEO position. But before she gets the job, her company wants to meet and vet her spouse (Bateman).
- Zach Helm, who wrote the Will Ferrell movie “Stranger Than Fiction,” has signed on to pen “The Mercenary,” a true-life thriller for 20th Century Fox. Helm is adapting an article written by journalist Joshua Davis that covers the true story of an American mercenary brought to the Peruvian Andes to recover stolen gold, where he balances a burgeoning romance with his translator-turned-partner, a female cop, and a deepening web of conspiracy and intrigue.
- Universal and Chris Morgan Productions are moving forward with their action comedy “VETERAN’S DAY.” Based on the previously untitled pitch from scribes Matt Allen and Chris Borrelli, the story revolves around a team of ordinary armed services veterans who decide to go back into dangerous territory to save one of their own who was captured on a private security mission. Universal bought the pitch in December of 2014 in a pre-emptive mid-six against seven-figure deal.
- Director Jeff Wadlow has exited “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” the action thriller from Millennium, and has been replaced by Patrick Hughes, the director of Millennium’s “The Expendables 3.” The project, which has Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Selma Hayek and Elodie Yung (Daredevil), has a start date of April 2 with a shoot that calls for locations in London, Amsterdam and Bulgaria. Wadlow dropped out due to scheduling conflicts as he finishes up Post on his film “The True Memoirs of an International Assassin,” an action comedy starring Kevin James and Genesis Rodriguez.
- DreamWorks has hired “28 Weeks Later” director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo to helm “Haunted,” a film that is inspired by the 1898 Henry James gothic ghost story “Turn Of The Screw.” Scripted by Chad Hayes & Carey Hayes, this is a passion project for Steven Spielberg (a producer on the film) who really wanted to make a scary film.
- Jack Black is to star in and produce a biopic about the rise and fall of Jan Lewan, titled “The Man Who Would Be Polka King.” The film centers on the true-life polka crooner who did a prison stint for running a Ponzi scheme. The movie will be based on the 2007 documentary of the same name made by Court TV. Lewan went from Poland to Pennsylvania and became a Grammy-nominated polka music superstar, before serving five years in prison from 2004 for defrauding investors. Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarski are writing and directing.
- “Steve Jobs” director Danny Boyle is in talks to helm an adaptation of the acclaimed musical Miss Saigon. The musical itself is an adaptation of Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, which is about the doomed romance between an American lieutenant and a geisha. “Miss Saigon” updates the story to make it about an American GI and a Vietnamese bargirl during the Vietnam War. The movie earned ten Tony nominations in 1991 and it currently holds the record as Broadway’s thirteenth longest-running show. “Les Miserables” producer Cameron Mackintosh along with Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are also on board.
Closing Out Topic:
Last week, Napster founder Sean Parker ruffled some feathers by announcing plans for a new venture called Screening Room, which aims to provide first-run movies straight into the homes of viewers for a premium price. Users will be charged $150 for access to the anti-piracy equipped set-top box, which provides a safeguard from studios worried that their movie is going to leak onto the internet in pristine quality. Then you pay $50 per movie to watch the same day it’s released in theater. Screening Room is offering to cut theater owners in on some of the revenue, as much as $20 per film, while also offering two free tickets to each customer to see the movie at a theater, where the hope is that concessions will be purchased.
This isn’t the first time such a service has been considered, but in the past these ventures have failed due to pressure from theater chains. However, Screening Room just got a massive boost in the form of a “thumbs up” from some Hollywood filmmaking titans: Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, J.J. Abrams, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.