Monday, October 4, 2010

News - From Around The Web


The big news is that [sorta] spec script Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was finally picked up by Fox in a furious bidding war. Deadline Hollywood reports that the Tim Burton (producer) Timur B. (director) project was courted by Fox in ways that writers could only dream of being courted. When the Lincoln team came onto the lot that day, there were bloody axes attached to buildings and bloody footprints strewn everywhere. They even arranged for a bugle player to perform “Taps.” Timur is such a great filmmaker who is absolutely clueless when it comes to story (check out Wanted and, in particular, the loom of fate for unequivocal proof) that this loosey-goosey anything-goes subject matter has the potential to shoot off into another dimension. I want it to be good but this is a Russian director doing a movie on our most famous American president performing acts that have nothing to with anything Lincoln ever did.  I'm kinda predicting a disaster.

My favorite movie from a couple of years ago was Let The Right One In. They decided to remake the film in America, and this weekend the film sold 5 million dollars worth of tickets. Why anyone thought that a remake would pull in anybody other than the niche audience that liked the original is beyond me. This isn’t silly horror that 14 year olds go see to giggle at and be with their friends. This is a dark creepy serious horror film with adult themes. Hollywood has to be way more careful about its remake choices going forward..

Warner Brothers is on a tear right now, picking up yet another spec script, this one a historical drama. It’s rare that historical specs are ever picked up, so this must be good. The script is titled Galveston and is written by Daniel Sussman, who used to write on The Practice. It’s about the destruction of a Texas city in 1900 by a hurricane in which 8000 people were killed. Galvaston was on its way to becoming one of the biggest cities in the U.S., but never recovered afterwards. This sounds potentially great so if anyone has this, please send it my way. 

Also over at Deadline Hollywood, some news about Guillermo del Toro. I did a review of the Del Toro H.P. Lovecraft adaptation At The Mountains of Madness, the long-in-development Del Toro project awhile back. Really liked the script. For those who were around, you know how that ended up. Strangely, immediately afterwards, the project picked up steam and now it’s supposedly Del Toro’s next movie, with James Cameron producing. Well Del Toro has some other buns in the oven just in case things fall apart again. He’s been writing a trilogy of vampire books with Chuck Hogan of which he’s finished two, the first called “The Strain,” and the newest titled “The Fall.” I have no doubt that he’s simulatenously adapting these in house, so expect to see some scripts soon. Chuck Hogan is the novelist who wrote “Prince of Thieves,” which was later adapted into “The Town.”

As you know, I don’t usually report on comic-book projects, but Spider-Man is getting kind of interesting. Beyond Emma Stone skyrocketing into the Mary Jane role and Social Network co-star Andrew Garfield, a Brit, being tapped as the web-slinger, Marc Webb, the director, directed the pilot episode of that disaster “Lone Star” on Fox, which was cancelled after the second show. I don’t know if you want your company’s single biggest franchise property in the hands of someone who can’t bring in enough viewers to keep a TV show on the air for 2 weeks, do you? The 500 Days of Summer auteur is starting to look like a sacrificial lamb in this weird reboot. That's because Sony HAS to make a Spider-Man film every five years or else the rights revert back to Marvel, and I’m wondering if they aren’t simply slapping together some low-budget schlock-fest to bide time until they get a real film going. If they come at Spider-Man the same way they came at Batman Begins, treating the subject matter in the most real-world way possible when dealing with super-powers, I think it has a chance. But if this is just some C-grade version of the Raimi films, Spider-Man may be out of venom.

I believe I now have all the Nicholl finalists scripts. I’m wondering if anyone out there has read any of them and which ones you'd recommend reading first. I don’t’ think I’m going to be reviewing any on the site this year but would like to point out the best of the bunch. So if you’ve read and liked any of them, chime in with me ASAP.