Well, this certainly wasn’t the news I was expecting to start my day off with: Variety is reporting that Universal has enlisted Despicable Me producer Chris Meledandri to help reboot the iconic Shrek and Puss in Boots franchises, because why not? Every other studio is doing it.
According to the trade, Meleandri has been tasked “with finding some fresh storylines to reintroduce the lovable ogre and the sword-wielding feline to new generations of moviegoers,” and he plans on doing so with the original voice cast of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Antonio Banderas, who truly made these two franchises what they are today.
“When you look back on those vocal performances they’re awesome, and while you certainly could make a case for a complete reinvention, I find myself responding to my own nostalgic feelings of wanting to go back to those characterizations,” Meledandri told Variety.
As you may recall, there were talks about a Shrek 5 back in 2016 when Universal’s parent company, Comast, bought the DreamWorks Animation studio in a massive deal worth $3.8 billion. The Boss Baby scribe Michael McCullers even had a script ready to go, too.
However, in this latest report, it sounds like Meledandri has only just begun putting the pieces together for this reboot and is still pretty early on in the development stage as there’s no mention of a script (indicating whatever plans they had previously with McCullers have been scrapped) or really anything else for that matter.
“There’s a tremendous amount of fun to be had in that world, but it’s a high bar to find a story that’s truly world,” Meledandri added. “You want to find something in the narrative that really feels like a departure.”
Sam Raimi reteaming with Columbia Pictures to direct, produce untitled horror project
Columbia Pictures confirmed Friday that it has acquired the rights to an untitled horror project that is set to be directed and produced by Sam Raimi, making it the genre maestro’s first directorial effort on a horror film 2009’s Drag Me to Hell.
“I am thrilled to be reunited with Columbia Pictures and re-teaming with Sanford [Panitch] and Ange [Giannetti],” Raimi said in a statement. “I have been a fan of Shannon and Swift and we have found the perfect adventure to share with the world.”
While details about the project are being kept tightly under wraps, the film — which was written by Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, based on an original idea they conceived — is comparable to Misery and Cast Away in terms of its tone, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Raimi and Zainab Azizi are producing the film via their Raimi Productions label, while Giannetti is overseeing the production for Columbia Pictures, which moved quickly to acquire the rights to the project before other studios even had a chance to make a bid on it.
Production on the film is expected to get underway in 2020.
Phoenix: Warner Bros. invites you to a screening of Edward Norton’s ‘Motherless Brooklyn’
Warner Bros. will release Motherless Brooklyn, the new crime drama from writer, director, and star Edward Norton, on October 19 and its giving Silver Screen Beat readers in Phoenix a chance to attend an advance screening of the film before it officially opens in theaters.
Our readers in Phoenix can click on this link right now to claim their free passes — good for you and one guest — to attend an advance screening of Motherless Brooklyn happening at Harkins Scottsdale 101 on Monday, October 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Keep in mind that these free passes are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to claim yours as soon as possible before they run out. Below is the official trailer for Motherless Brooklyn as well as some additional details about the film.
Directed by: Edward Norton
Cast: Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, and Willem Dafoe
Opens: Friday, November 1
Rating: R for language throughout, including some sexual references, brief drug use, and violence
Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, Motherless Brooklyn follows Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton), a lonely private detective living with Tourette Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). Armed only with a few clues and the engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely-guarded secrets that hold the fate of the whole city in the balance. In a mystery that carries him from gin-soaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York’s power brokers, Lionel contends with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honor his friend and save the woman who might be his own salvation.
Paul Dano in talks to play the Riddler in ‘The Batman’ as Jonah Hill passes on the role
Paul Dano is headed to Gotham City as the actor is in talks to play the classic comic book villain the Riddler in Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman, Silver Screen Beat has learned.
Dano joins a star-studded cast that already includes the likes of Robert Pattinson as the titular Caped Crusader, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, and Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon. Reeves is expected to round out the rest of the cast before the year’s end in anticipation of an early 2020 production start.
The news of Dano’s casting comes less than a day after reports surfaced about Jonah Hill turning down the role after he and his team failed to reach an agreement with Warner Bros. after spending weeks at the negotiating table.
Sources tell Silver Screen Beat that Hill’s camp was trying to broker a $10 million deal for the actor, which is more than half of what Pattinson — the star of the film — is reportedly making.
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.
The Batman is scheduled to be released June 25, 2021.