Over a year and a half ago, at Comic Con in 2011, we saw footage of Joe Lynch‘s film Knights of Badassdom. With a cast that features Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Danny Pudi (Community) and Summer Glau (Firefly), and a story about LARPing fantasy fans who are pressed into action against a real magical threat, the movie did well at Comic Con. The trailer got more attention online, and we thought a late 2011 or mid-2012 release might be in the cards.
But there has been no official word on Knights of Badassdom in a long time.
Turns out that Joe Lynch hasn’t had input on the film since just after Comic Con ’11. One of the producers is set to screen a cut of the film tomorrow, presumably in the hopes of attracting interest in buying the existing cut. The film’s website, badassdom.com, has been revamped to feature an open letter to “what remains of the Board of Directors of IndieVest, the production company and manager of the film known as Knights of BADASSDOM.” (Update: there has been a second update, so the text on the site is now changed.)
The story that follows is one that doesn’t yet have an ending, but it does explain why we have yet to see Knights of Badassdom.
I’ve spoken with a few people today about the claims on badassdom.com. The site’s claims are, in short, that producer Wade Bradley removed Joe Lynch from the film, and also fired other producers. He allegedly oversaw the editing of a new cut, for which he is now attempting to secure a buyer.
According to the website’s original text, that cut is 70 minutes long, “and includes significant changes to the original story and concept.” There are suggestions that the transfer of the film as an asset from original production company IndieVest to a new organization, Media Society, is part of a power play to take total control of the movie as a business asset, and that IndieVest investors have not been privy to business decisions and deals.
(A similar allegation of the behavior of IndieVest and Media Society was made last year at the site Ripoff Report, and were vehemently denied by Bradley.)
I contacted Wade Bradley today. He said the entirety of the accusations presented earlier today on badassdom.com are “absolutely false,” and that he’ll release a statement at some point this week. He said tomorrow’s screening is still on.
Joe Lynch has been mostly silent on the issue, but has spoken up cryptically on Twitter over the past few days, using the hashtag #NotMyCut.
— Joe Lynch (@TheJoeLynch) March 2, 2013
Where does all this leave the film? The original open letter on the Badassdom website made clear the desires of one set of involved parties: they want the film back in Joe Lynch’s hands, and are hoping to raise the last money needed to complete the effects and other post-production elements that will allow the film to be finished to Lynch’s specifications. The hope is that anyone interested in the film thanks to the screening tomorrow will bring Lynch back into the fold.
We’ll report further if news comes out of tomorrow’s screening, or if any further public statements are made on either side.
Universal really, really wants their The Mummy reboot to work. Last spring, the studio set Prometheus co-writer Jon Spaihts to pen a modern-day reboot of the classic franchise. Now, they’re bringing in some extra help in the form of Hunger Games scribe Billy Ray.
While it’s pretty typical for a high-profile tentpole pic to go through multiple writers, this is a special case. Ray isn’t doing a rewrite of Spaihts’ script. Instead, he’s putting together a totally separate screenplay with an unrelated storyline. You know, just in case the other one totally sucks. Hit the jump to keep reading.
According to Vulture, the idea is that commissioning two scripts will double the chances of having at least one good script. The studio is pushing to get the film into production by late summer or early fall.
If the plan fails and neither passes muster, Universal may opt to mash the two of them together into a single screenplay. “My suspicion is that one of them will be a ‘structure-and-body’ man, and one’s going to be a ‘character-and-dialogue’ man — and that they’ll then just gang-bang them together into one script, crediting both writers,” an insider told Vulture.
The same source explained that studios rarely resort to dueling scripts because “credit arbitration is usually a nightmare.” But Universal is still smarting from the failure of 2012′s Battleship, and as such are working extra hard to get this one right. Say what you will about the quality of the last Mummy reboot, but Brendan Fraser-starring trilogy collectively grossed $1.2 billion at the box office. Director Len Wiseman, too, could use a hit after his Total Recall remake bombed last summer.
(Universal has done the “two scripts” approach before, with the Bourne series. The tactic was used to develop the Bad Santa sequel, too.)
Not much is known about Ray’s approach to the film, beyond that it’ll also be set in the present day. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci remain on board to produce.
Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection arrives on DVD, Digital Download and Video on Demand April 30th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
Directed by James Plumb (Silent Night, Bloody Night: The Homecoming), this post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, horror film is a whole new take on the original classic, Night of the Living Dead.
Based on the classic original film, Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection is set in 2012, where the deceased have risen from their graves once again with the instinct to feed on the living. As academics speculate on the scientific cause of this phenomenon, theologians point to the Armageddon foretold in the Book of Revelation. As the cities are taken over and civilization crumbles, a family takes refuge from the undead army in an isolated farmhouse in West Wales. But the greatest threat is already among them as they fight to stay alive.
It was revealed last month that Amazon is making plans to turn Ruben Fleischer’s 2009 horror comedy Zombieland into a streaming series and, today, Deadline has learned two of the actors that will be joining the central four-person cast. Tyler Ross (Milkshake) will play Columbus and relative newcomer Izabela Vidovic will play Little Rock.
The original film, written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, starred Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin as a group of survivors trying to stay alive in the face of the zombie apocalypse.
Ross and Vidovic’s roles are those originally played by Eisenberg and Breslin, respectively.
While Star Wars continues to dominate much of the conversation about big-ticket sci-fi film, the outcome of the DICE keynote talk between filmmaker J.J. Abrams and game-master Gabe Newell of Valve Software was even more stunning: the two are likely to collaborate to make games and movies. The stated movie interests are adaptations of popular Valve games Portal and Half-Life.
“We’re making a Half-Life movie” is not quite what they said, but the door was certainly left open to Bad Robot and Valve collaborating on projects. And reading between the lines and taking a few other tips into account, it seems that one film is all but certain.
After the break, we’ll give you the proper quotes from the creative pair, and start to figure out just what they’re planning. Are the two hatching a scheme for something bigger than a simple game to film adaptation? I wonder if the very long-awaited conclusion of the Half-Life game series might take on a new sort of life thanks to this deal.
When it comes to video game adaptations that have been made in Hollywood, it’s easy to forget the 2007 Timothy Olyphant-starring flick "Hitman." That’s likely what commercial director Aleksander Bach is hoping most people do, because his feature film — called "Agent 47" — is going to bring the "Hitman" film series back from the grave.
This new flick has a new leading man as its titular hitman: Paul Walker. Deadline has the news about the Square Enix game being brought back to the big screen, and also has the news that the movie is being based on a script written by "A Good Day To Die Hard’s" Skip Woods and Michael Finch.
"Agent 47" is being touted as a new start to the "Hitman" series, ignoring the movie that came before. Considering the fact that video game adaptations are having a resurgence in Hollywood, it makes sense that someone would want to take another stab at "Hitman." The flick is set to shoot in Berlin and Singapore over the summer and, yes, Walker will shave his head for the role of Agent 47, the story’s cloned assassin-for-hire.
The latest installment of the "Hitman" game series, "Hitman: Absolution," came out on November 20, 2012. It was received well, which explains why Square Enix would want to bring it to the big screen again. The video game company is also developing a feature film adaptation of one of its other recent successes, "Deus Ex: Human Revolution."
What’s weirder than a resurgence of the supermarionette show Thunderbirds, which originally premiered in the UK in 1965? How about a version that eschews the puppetry that has long characterized the title, in favor of a blend of live-action and CGI? The weird part is that this isn’t the first live-action venture for the characters. Jonathan Frakes directed a live-action Thunderbirds feature, which was released to rather dismal reviews and box-office returns in 2004.
ITV Studios is backing a new series called Thunderbirds Are Go!, with the CG work to be done by WETA. The new show shares a title with the first Thunderbirds film, released in 1966. This one will have a new creative team; original Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson passed away in December, at age 83.
Info from the press release is below, along with some classic video.
ITV Studios and New Zealand based Pukeko Pictures, in collaboration with world-famous Weta Workshop (Avatar, King Kong, The Lord of the Rings) are to co-produce Thunderbirds are Go! (working title) a 26 x 30’ major new children’s series set to debut on ITV and UK’s CITV Channel in 2015.
This re-invention of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s iconic series will be produced using a unique mix of CGI animation and live-action model sets. Showcasing Pukeko Pictures’ and Weta Workshop’s ground-breaking creative and technical excellence, it will deliver a whole new level of action-adventure animation for today’s audience, whilst also affectionately paying tribute to the legacy of model locations from the classic series.
Featuring the world’s most famous family of heroes, International Rescue, Thunderbirds are Go! will blast the five brave Tracy brothers back on to television screens piloting their incredible vehicles into impossible rescues across the globe.
Thunderbirds are Go! will be executive produced by Estelle Hughes for ITV Studios, Giles Ridge for ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) and Richard Taylor and Andrew Smith for Pukeko Pictures. The series head writer is Rob Hoegee (Generator Rex, Teen Titans, Ben 10, Slugterra.)
The director of Moon is going to war. Duncan Jones, the director of Moon and Source Code, has just signed on to direct Warcraft, a movie based on the extremely popular Blizzard video game world Azeroth, featured in games such as Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, and World of Warcraft. Legendary Pictures has the license, and a new script by Charles Leavitt (Blood Diamond).
The aim is to begin shooting the genre-bending action fantasy by the end of this year for a possible 2015 release.
Jones had been uncertain what he was going to do after releasing Source Code in 2011. He’d been developing a third sci-fi film, and had talked about something with a heavy Blade Runner influence, a film called Mute. Most recently, he’d been attached to an Ian Fleming biopic. In terms of scope, this gig is beyond all of that combined.
According to reports, Legendary is going all-out here and Warcraft will be a $100 million-plus production.Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing for the company behind Man of Steel and The Dark Knight Rises while Charles Roven and Alex Gartner are producing for Blizzard and Atlas Entertainment.
This news also bodes well for Leavitt’s script, something many fans had been curious about. Warcraft is such a massive game network, with different spin-offs and add-ons, that making a single movie seems difficult. As this news develops, we’ll all be anxiously awaiting news of exactly what the film will be about and which characters, setting and more we’ll see in the film.
Here’s Jones’ response on Twitter.
So the gauntlet was thrown down ages ago: Can you make a proper MOVIE of a video game.Ive always said its possible.Got to DO it now!
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) January 31, 2013
For you Warcraft/World of Warcraft players out there, how do you feel about Jones having the reigns to this potential blockbuster franchise? Will he be able to handle a film of this size? Who and what would you like to see on screen?
Whatever you thought of The Amazing Spider-Man, it couldn’t be denied that Marc Webb had put together an amazing cast. But at the rate the sequel is snapping up stars, it could wind up topping even its predecessor on that front.
Paul Giamatti has entered talks to join the movie in the role of the Rhino, a hulking villain whose dim intelligence is balanced by severe strength and the ability to charge at superhuman speed. Meanwhile, Felicity Jones has also begun negotiations for an unspecified role. Should the two close their deals, they’ll be joining returning stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, along with franchise newcomers Jamie Foxx, Shailene Woodley, and Dane DeHaan. More details after the jump.
THR broke the news of Giamatti and Jones’s casting. The character of Rhino made his debut in 1966, as a Soviet thug named Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich whose special suit granted him superhuman levels of strength, speed, and durability. His name comes from the costume, which features a deadly horn on top. Rhino has become a more sympathetic character in recent years, even allying with Spider-Man. Interestingly, Giamatti has publicly expressed his desire to play the character in the past. Watch him talk about the franchise with Conan O’Brien below.
— Matt Singer (@mattsinger) January 28, 2013
The addition of Rhino to The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s rogues gallery suggests that the series could be building up to a showdown against the supervillain group he Sinister Six in the third film. The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s Rhino and Electro (Foxx) and The Amazing Spider-Man‘s Lizard (Rhys Ifans) have all been part of the group at various points of the comic book timeline. In addition, DeHaan’s upcoming character Harry Osborne is the son of the Green Goblin, and in one comic storyline eventually becomes the Green Goblin himself. If he suits up as a villain, that leaves just two more characters to be introduced in the third film to potentially round out the group.
Update: Latino Review has some interesting theories on where the casting of Giamatti as Rhino is headed. Here’s the abbreviated version: Rhino actually appears in the Amazing Spider-Man video game tie-in, as the result of an ill-advised experiment by Rajit Ratha (Irrfan Khan); he can also be spotted on the DNA tree in the lab along with the Scorpion. LR’s favorite theory is that Giamatti will play a non-superpowered version of the Rhino, highlighting the dark consequences of some of Oscorp’s work.
It’s a lot of speculation, to be sure. The choice of villains in Webb’s films could just as easily be rooted in picking characters that weren’t exploited in Sam Raimi’s trilogy.
Regardless of what happens (or doesn’t) with the Sinister Six, there are definitely some bad times for Peter Parker coming up ahead. It’s been widely reported that the next two films will build up to the iconic “Death of Gwen Stacy” storyline from the comics. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 lands in theaters May 2.
Phase Two of Marvel’s Cinematic Unvierse gets underway this spring with Iron Man 3, but Marvel Studios didn’t get where it was by looking only at the short term. So Kevin Feige is already looking to Phase Three, which will kick off after The Avengers 2 is released in 2015. The only film confirmed so far for that next step has been Edgar Wright‘s Ant-Man, but Feige revealed in a recent interview that a Doctor Strange film would “definitely” also be part of it. Read his comments about both films after the jump.
Feige spoke with MTV News about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Unvierse.
Ant-Man is definitely part of Phase Three. Like Iron Man 3, it’s certainly set in the Marvel Universe, but it’s also through the lens of Edgar Wright — which is the only reason we’re making the movie. [...] It’s very much an Ant-Man origin movie from the perspective of Edgar Wright and his co-writer Joe Cornish. It will of course be firmly planted in the MCU, but a different corner than we’ve seen before.
While Phase One culminated in the formation of the Avengers, and Phase Two will lead up to the Avengers sequel, Phase Three seems prepared to go in some new directions.
So much of the stories we’re telling [right now] is about the core Avengers characters we’ve now met, and they’ll be evolving in big, surprising ways, in Cap’s next movie and Thor’s next movie and of course in Iron Man 3, as we get them all into the next Avengers film. Beyond that… Ant-Man is the only one officially announced, but you probably don’t have to look too far to guess at the next list of characters we’re toying with and beginning to develop.
And that, Feige confirmed, includes Doctor Strange.
Doctor Strange, which I’ve been talking about for years, is definitely one of them. He’s a great, original character, and he checks the box off this criteria that I have: he’s totally different from anything else we have, just like Guardians of the Galaxy. He’s totally different from anything we’ve done before, as is Ant-Man, which keeps us excited.
Rumors of a movie about the character have been circulating for several years, and last we heard in 2011, Feige said Doctor Strange would probably get going “sooner rather than later. There still doesn’t seem to be anything solid in place right now, but Feige seems eager to change that in the near(ish) future.