Popcorn News – Mar. 21

Rob Letterman is negotiating with Sony Pictures to direct a feature film based on R.L. Stine’s young adult horror book series, Goosebumps.  Letterman’s directing credits include Monsters vs. Aliens, Shark Tale and Gulliver’s Travels. (Deadline)

Edgar Wright’s upcoming third film in his “Cornetto Trilogy”, The World’s End, has moved up from October of this year to August 23.  The film stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and is about a group of friends going on a pub crawl as, presumably, the world begins to end around them.  For those unaware, the Cornetto trilogy is Wright’s trilogy of films (in spirit) that include Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and, now, The World’s End. (Box Office Mojo)

28 Days Later and Dredd screenwriter Alex Garland will be making his directorial debut with the indie sci-fi thriller, Ex Machina.  Garland wrote the screenplay which follows a billionaire programmer who handpicks a young employee to spend a week at his remote estate and participate in a test involving his latest invention, an artificially intelligent female robot.  The film, which has no connection to Brian K. Vaughan’s comic book with the same name, is aiming for a fall production start date. (Hollywood Reporter)

Director Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, Oz The Great and Powerful) will direct the pilot episode of the U.S. remake of the comedic Australian legal series Rake at FOX.  The cast of the TV remake features Greg Kinnear and Miranda Otto. (Deadline)

Three new stills from The Wolverine have popped up on the web.  The trailer for the superhero film will premiere online on March 27. (Empire)

New still from The Wolverine

Magnet Releasing has acquired North American distribution rights for the horror comedy, Milo, written and directed by Jacob Vaughan.  The movie stars Ken Marino (Party Down, Childrens Hospital), Gillian Jacobs (Community), Patrick Warburton (Rules of Engagement), Stephen Root (Cedar Rapids), Kumail Nanjiani (Portlandia) and Peter Stormare (The Last Stand).  The story follows a man who discovers the root of his unusual stomach pain is a pint-sized demon living in his intestine that, triggered by excessive anxiety, forces its way out and slaughters the people who have angered him. (Comingsoon.net)

With news that Sam Mendes will not return to direct the next James Bond film, MGM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Barber gave an update on the next installment saying that they, “are very excited about the franchise, we look forward to announcing a director soon.  We are currently developing the screenplay and working with our partners.  We look forward to developing the script soon and signing a director.  We are hoping within the next 3 years it will be released.” (Reuters)

Warner Bros. is in early talks with Tom Cruise to play Napoleon Solo in the big screen adaptation of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.  Guy Ritchie will helm the movie based on the TV series that ran from 1964-68.  Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum, Side Effects) wrote the screenplay which was originally going to be directed by Steven Soderbergh. (Deadline)

Producer Joel Silver has teamed up with Studio Canal to remake John Carpenter’s Escape From New York.  The goal appears to be to turn the property into a trilogy that reimagines Snake Plissken’s origin story in a similar way that Rise of the Planet of the Apes restarted the Planet of the Apes franchise. (Deadline)

Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight Schrute on NBC’s The Office, has agreed to play the title role in the CBS pilot for Backstrom.  The show, if ordered to series, will be about a self-destructive detective. (Ain’t It Cool)

FEARnet has announced the June 4 return for the second season of the horror comedy series, Holliston.  The series, which will air at 10 pm, revolves around two aspiring horror filmmakers (played by Adam Green and Joe Lynch) dealing with the woes of life and their post-college careers.  A poster for season two has also been revealed.  (Hollywood Reporter)

Holliston season two poster

Disney has plans to remake Pete’s Dragon for modern audiences in a new, non-musical movie.  Ain’t Them Bodies Saints writer/director David Lowery and his writing partner, Toby Halbrooks, have been brought aboard to provide the screenplay. (Deadline)

Sarah Silverman is in talks to join Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die.  She reportedly would play “the town’s well-worn prostitute, who engages in all sorts of lewd activities but refuses to have sex with her fiancé (played by Giovanni Ribisi), believing that as Christians the couple should wait until marriage before lying down together.”  The western comedy also stars Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson and Amanda Seyfried. (Hollywood Reporter)

David Goyer (Blade: Trinity, The Unborn) has signed on to direct an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ classic revenge tale for Constantin Films.  The new film will be akin to the refurbished take Warner Bros. did on its Sherlock Holmes movies as well as its DC heroes, even being referred to as the “19th century Dark Knight.” (Hollywood Reporter)

After grossing over $200 million at the box office internationally, Paramount and MGM have announced that a sequel is in the works for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.  It’s expected that Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton will return. (Deadline)

Christina Applegate (Anchorman) is in talks to take the female lead in the sequel/reboot of Vacation.  The movie follows Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) as he takes his family on a road trip similar to the one he and his parents and sister took in National Lampoon’s Vacation.  Applegate would play Rusty’s wife. (Hollywood Reporter)

A new international trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness is now online and shows more of the story surrounding Benedict Cumberbatch’s character. (Ain’t It Cool)

by Ben McBride

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