Apple has emerged victorious in what was an intense bidding war for a new live-action musical reimagining of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol starring Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell, beating out several other high-profile bidders.
Though the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Apple has reportedly agreed to pay more than $60 million in talent fees — including a whopping $35 million payday for Reynolds and $10-15 million for writers-directors Sean Anders and John Morris — on top of what is believed to be a hefty shooting and post-production budget.
Those numbers were simply too rich for the blood of such studios like Warner Bros., Paramount, and Netflix, who, despite making sizable offers, were not able to compete with the bids coming from Apple, which is looking to invest billions of dollars in original content for its new direct-to-consumer streaming service Apple TV+.
Producers on A Christmas Carol include Ferrell and Jessica Elbaum for Gloria Sanchez and Reynolds and George Dewey for Maximum Effort. Anders and Morris — who previously collaborated with Ferrell on the Daddy’s Home movies — are also producing via their Two Grown Men label.
‘Big Little Lies’ star Zoe Kravitz to take on the role of Catwoman in Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’
Zoe Kravitz is headed to Gotham as the Big Little Lies star has been set to play the iconic role of Catwoman in Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman, Silver Screen Beat has learned.
Kravitz joins a cast that already includes the likes of Robert Pattinson as the titular Caped Crusader, Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, and Jonah Hill as the yet-to-be-named villain. Reeves is expected to round out the rest of the cast before the year’s end in anticipation of an early 2020 production start.
Other actresses including Ana de Armas, Ella Balinska, and Eiza Gonzalez went through what was described as a “rigorous testing process,” for the role of Catwoman last month, according to The Hollywood Reporter, but it was ultimately Kravitz — who read opposite Pattinson — that was seen as the right fit for the job.
Reeves, who first boarded The Batman in early 2017 following the unsurprising departure of Ben Affleck, is directing the film from a script he wrote, in addition to producing along with his Planet of the Apes collaborator Dylan Clark.
Kravitz, still riding high off a well-reviewed performance in HBO’s second season of the star-studded drama Big Little Lies this past summer, can be seen next in Hulu’s High Fidelity, which is due out later this year.
The Batman is slated to be released by Warner Bros. June 25, 2021.
Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt set sail on an Amazonian adventure in Disney’s ‘Jungle Cruise’ trailer
Disney has released the first trailer for Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt‘s Jungle Cruise, which finds the beloved Disneyland ride of the same name brought to life in the vein of such films as Indiana Jones and The African Queen.
The film, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, follows a charismatic riverboat captain (Johnson) and a determined explorer on a research mission (Blunt) as they set sail on an adventure-filled expedition through the Amazon-jungle in hopes of finding a tree that is believed to possess healing powers.
“We were just so moved, so honored to be in a movie like this because we both grew up just madly in love with Indiana Jones and obsessed with those kinds of movies,” Blunt said at the D23 Expo in August. “To be part of something like this, with this same spirit, makes my heart race.”
Added Johnson, “We wanted to make a movie that was big, that was epic, that had romance, big comedy, big action. But most important; it’s got me.”
In addition to Johnson and Blunt, the film’s ensemble cast also includes Jack Whitehall, Edgar Ramirez, Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti.
John Davis, John Fox, Johnson, Hiram Garcia, Dany Garcia, and Beau Flynn produced the film, with Doug Merrifield serving as executive producer.
Jungle Cruise will sail into theaters on July 24, 2020.
Disney-Pixar’s ‘Onward’ trailer finds Tom Holland, Chris Pratt summoning their dead father’s legs
Disney and Pixar have released a new trailer for Onward, the upcoming animated feature starring Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, who embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic out there.
And by magic, we’re talking like actual, literal magic. Set in a suburban fantasy world, Onward follows Ian and Barley as they try to summon their dead father back to life. Having never encountered magic before, though, the spell doesn’t completely work and only summons half their father — the bottom half, that is.
So, with their dad’s legs in tow, the boys set out on a road trip to try to find out how to bring the rest of him back to life, encountering all sorts of creatures, magical spells, and mysterious lands along the way.
The film, which was directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, features a star-studded voice cast that also includes the likes of Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Ian and Barely’s mom, Laurel Lightfoot, and Octavia Spencer as the voice of the Manticore.
Onward will hit theaters on March 6, 2020.