Hollywood is wasting no time capitalizing on the viral “Momo challenge” hoax that stoked panic across social media earlier this year as Orion Pictures is reportedly partnering with Roy Lee’s Vertigo Entertainment and producer Taka Ichise to develop a horror film based on the internet urban legend.
However, a film adaptation of Momo could prove to be controversial for Lee and Ichise, who previously collaborated together on popular horror franchises such as The Grudge and The Ring, but that doesn’t necessarily hurt its chances of being profitable.
Screen Gems’ Slender Man, another movie based on a contentious online myth, was met with almost immediate backlash upon the release of its first trailer and yet it still managed to gross more than $30 million at the domestic box office on a modest $10 million production budget when it opened in theaters last August.
The Momo challenge gained worldwide traction in February when media reports about a viral game that supposedly encouraged children to carry out acts of violence or even suicide quickly began taking social media by storm. Contrary to those reports, though, Momo turned out to be nothing more than a viral hoax and, similarly to Slender Man, likely originated on Reddit’s creepypasta board.
Getaway, another horror film using the Momo challenge as its main source of inspiration, was announced as being in the works by Emagine Content and November 11th Pictures back in May. Lilton Stewart III is directing the movie, which stars Stef Beaton, Alex Brown, Georgie Storm Waite, Rianne Senining, and Charlotte Spencer.
David Fincher, Robert Towne begin development on ‘Chinatown’ prequel series at Netflix
Per Deadline, Fincher and Towne — the latter of the two having won an Oscar for his screenplay for the film starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway — have closed deals to begin working on a pilot script for the series.
The duo will also executive produce the project, which centers around “a young Jake Gittes (played by Nicholson in Polanski’s film) as he plies his business in a town where the wealthy and corruption involves areas like land, oil, and gangs.”
Fincher has reportedly expressed interest in directing an episode of the yet-to-be-titled series, though his current deal with the streamer only includes the pilot script and his handling of directorial duties would have to be negotiated into the agreement.
Netflix has developed quite a relationship with Fincher over the past several years, having collaborated with the director on series such as Love, Death & Robots, House of Cards, and Mindhunter.
Fincher’s latest collaboration with Netflix — a feature film about the life of Hollywood screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz titled Mank — stars Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, and Lily Collins, and is expected to begin shooting in Los Angeles later this month.
Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver to be honored with acting award at Santa Barbara Film Festival
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced Monday that it has selected Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as the recipients of this year’s Outstanding Performers of the Year award for their work in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story.
The two stars — both of whom are considered to be major players this awards season — will be honored during a ceremony at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara on January 17, where Martin Scorsese and Renée Zellweger are also set to receive awards.
“Scarlett and Adam have had such admirable arcs to their careers — making smart choices between independent films and big Hollywood franchises. They both are such lyrical performers, imbuing their acting with keen sensitivity and intellect. Together in Baumbach’s Marriage Story, they regaled us with their best work to date,” SBIFF executive director Roger Durling said.
Previous recipients of the award include Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody, Margot Robbie and Allison Janney for I, Tonya, and Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone for La La Land.
Marriage Story, which features an ensemble cast that also includes that likes of Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, Julie Hagerty, and Merritt Wever, is currently playing in theaters in select cities and will begin streaming on Netflix next month on December 6.
Nicolas Cage to play Nicolas Cage in meta drama ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’
In a rather extremely unexpected development, Lionsgate is close to nearing a deal to acquire the rights to The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, a film that will find Nicolas Cage playing none other than Nicolas Cage, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film, written by Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten, centers on a fictionalized version of Cage who “is desperate to get a role in a new Tarantino movie while also dealing with a strained relationship with his teenage daughter.”
The plot only gets more bizarre from there, however, as Cage “is also under a mountain of debt and finds himself forced to make an appearance at the birthday party of a Mexican billionaire, who happens to be a fan of Cage’s work.”
It isn’t long, though, before Cage finds out that the billionaire “is actually a drug cartel kingpin who has kidnapped the daughter of a Mexican presidential nominee,” and that he will need to go undercover for the United States government to gather intelligence.
Gormican and Etten’s script reportedly features references to Cage classics such as Face-Off, Leaving Las Vegas, and Gone in 60 Seconds, and is tonally similar to JCVD starring John Claude Van Damme and Get Shorty starring John Travolta.
Cage is currently in talks to join the meta movie project, which has Gromican attached to direct and Kevin Turen to produce along with Cage and Mike Nilon.