FX Movie News: 11-28-06


Yesterday’s Headlines: Poltergeist Remake Coming?; Pirates VFX Crew Promises “More Spectacular” Sequel; Zaentz Says Jackson Doing “The Hobbit”; Animation Oscar Buzz: Disney vs. Time Warner Animation; FOX and Marvel Fighting Over X-Men; James Cameron Considers New Tech For Movie Posters; Outcasts Headed For Time Travel; PAN’S LABYRINTH scores with Indie Spirit Awards; Pirates Sequel ‘Breaks DVD Record’; Pirated Lightsabers Targeted by Lucasfilm Ltd.; Fantastic Four Crew Get Snowed In; Disney / Pixar Stock Posts Largest Dividend In 8 Years; Universal Balks At Releasing Classic Mummy Film; Prop Suit Stolen From Alien vs. Predator 2 Set; The Hulk Sequel Begins Post-Transformed; Um, The Purpose Of Special Effects?;

Poltergeist Remake Coming?

(Sci-fi.com) The proposed sequel film Poltergeist: Kayeri has been shelved in favor of a shot-for-shot remake of the original 1982 film. “I’ve just received official confirmation that the original idea for Kayeri will not be used for the remake,” an anonymous source told the site. “Instead, the new film will be a straight-up remake of the first film. Pretty much frame-for-frame. Just think Hills Have Eyes.”

According to the site, screenwriter Clint Morris, who wrote the script for Poltergeist: Kayeri, will not be involved in the new project. The source also reported that original cast members Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams and Zelda Rubinstein will not appear in the remake.

The original Poltergeist, produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Tobe Hooper, centered on a family who move into a new housing development and discover that their home is built over an ancient burial ground inhabited by angry spirits. The film spawned two theatrical sequels and a television series, which ran from 1996 to 1999.

Pirates VFX Crew Promises “More Spectacular” Sequel

(news.bbc.co.uk) The third Pirates movie will look even more spectacular than the first films, the special effects team has promised.
Lizo caught up with some of the crew recently and he found out how they created the evil character Davy Jones.

But special effects man Hal T Hickel said Davy will look even better next time. “There’s still a fair amount of Davy Jones shooting left to go.”

“So I’m sure they’ll bring news things to it and we’re going to do our best to make it even cooler,” he said.

Pirates of the Caribbean two, called Dead Man’s Chest, smashed box office records everywhere when it was released in July 2006, and the film makers are hoping the third movie, called At Worlds End, will do even better.

The DVD of the second Pirates film came out on Monday and is already doing well in the shops.

It’s includes extras such as ‘bloopers’ where fans can see Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom cracking up with laughter when things go wrong during filming.

Source: “>http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_6170000/newsid_6174200/6174206.stm”> http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_6170000/newsid_6174200/6174206.stm

Zaentz Says Jackson Doing “The Hobbit”

(sneakpeektv.blogspot.com) According to reports, producer Saul Zaentz said that Peter Jackson will direct a prequel to his “The Lord of the Rings” cinematic trilogy, as well as a spin-off feature based on “The Hobbit”.

Website Elbenwald.de posted an interview with Zaentz, who acquired rights to the works of “Rings” author J.R.R. Tolkien in 1976, on behalf of his Tolkien Enterprises.

“Next year “The Hobbit” rights will fall back to my company,” Zaentz said.

“I suppose that Peter will wait because he knows that he will make the best deal with us. And he is fed up with the studios: to get his profit share on the “Rings” trilogy he had to sue New Line.

“With us, in contrast, he knows that he will be paid fairly and artistically supported without reservation.”

Animation Oscar Buzz: Disney vs. Time Warner Animation

(mag.awn.com) Each year AWN takes a look at the Oscar buzz to see what films are leading the pack and which ones are falling behind. For 2006, 16 films were ruled eligible, which means there can be five nominated features. With the studios pushing for five nods, I doubt the Academy will only pick three.

As always, Pixar has the frontrunner with Cars. The studio has had three nominated films before and two wins. DreamWorks’ mega-hit Shrek was the only film to keep Pixar from going three for three with a Monsters, Inc. win in the first year for the animated feature category back in 2002.

DreamWorks also has two wins in its past for the previous mentioned Shrek and last year’s Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. This year, the studio that Katzenberg built has two films — Over the Hedge and Flushed Away — in the running for nods. Both films have a very good shot of being nominated. Over the Hedge is fun and funny, which the Academy likes in its animation. And a good box office performance doesn’t hurt either. Flushed Away is also fun and funny, but lacks the box office punch. The x factor also hinges on whether Academy members will embrace Aardman two years in a row, especially when they aren’t working in their native form of stop motion.

So who else has the ability to put a wrinkle in DreamWorks’ Oscar hopes this year? Well the folks at Warner Bros. sure have the strongest case. And I’m not talking about The Ant Bully. I mean didn’t that film come out in 1998, anyway? If there is any other film that’s a lock for a nomination outside of Cars, it’s Happy Feet. The photoreal penguins have danced to the top of the box office two weeks in a row and have been gaining solid word from the critics and audiences. This is really the one film Cars has to look in its rearview mirror for come awards night.

More: http://mag.awn.com/index.php?ltype=pageone&article_no=3092

FOX and Marvel Fighting Over X-Men

(moviehole.net) There seems to be a kafuffle brewing between Marvel and Twentieth Century Fox concerning the film franchise � one that could see a stake driven through the heart of an �X-Men 4�.
Though the studio has let it be known that they aren�t ruling out future �X-Men� films � referring to ensemble tag team efforts, not the spin-off films � recent disagreements between the comic troupe and the studio indicate that the partnership may be souring. As a result, Marvel may be taking the superheroes elsewhere.

Whilst Marvel and Sony are ecstatic with their relationship � and as a result are said to be already planning a �Spider-Man 4� � Marvel aren�t so keen on working with Fox on another �X-Men� sequel.

�Marvel has an alternate plan for the future of these movies. One that Fox is reluctant to take seriously�, says the site. �However, they may have little choice in the matter because ultimately the X-Men are Marvel�s characters� and Marvel has been making �even bigger steps to control and have more say in the production of their movies�.

James Cameron Considers New Tech For Movie Posters

(canada.com) It’s as if it were pulled from the future — a poster of a lively soccer player juggling a ball as you walk past.

But, it’s not simply a concept. An Ottawa company has already figured out how to bring a paper-thin piece of plastic to life, and now is ready to unleash its moving ads on the world.

“When you look at the technology behind this, the only way to describe it is magic,” said Helmut Kungl, president of XYZ RGB Inc. “It’s like that newspaper in Harry Potter, the one that keeps looping the picture over and over.”

Using cutting-edge technologies, XYZ RGB can turn an eight-second video into a full-colour hologram and place it in a plastic film that can be posted in malls, pasted to billboards or even wrapped around a can of soup.

The energy needed to make it work? Only a source of light.

The film industry is the first target for what XYZ RGB bills as the next-generation movie poster. The company can place a short clip right in the poster, giving people a chance to view a scene without going into the theatre.

The technology is turning heads around the world. When he heard about it, Titanic director James Cameron couldn’t believe the 3-D posters were possible.

“He said to me, ‘if you have discovered imbedded video in plastic, you have discovered the holy grail of advertising,’ ” said Jan-Erik Nyhuus, vice-president of business development for XYZ RGB Inc.

Mr. Nyhuus flew to Hollywood with a custom-made Terminator 2 movie poster for Mr. Cameron. According to Mr. Nyhuus, Mr. Cameron now is considering using the posters for a string of 3-D movies he is working on.

“What better way to promote a 3-D film then with a 3-D movie poster?” said Mr. Kungl.

Outcasts Headed For Time Travel

(scifi.com) Anna Faris (Scary Movie) is set to star in the upcoming SF comedy Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film also stars British comic actors Chris O’Dowd, Marc Wootan and Dean Lennox Kelly.

The script, written by Jamie Mathieson, follows three social outcasts as they attempt to navigate a time-travel conundrum in the middle of a British pub. Faris plays a girl from the future who sets the adventure in motion. The film is due to begin filming in the U.K. next week under the direction of British TV comedy veteran Gareth Carrivick.

PAN’S LABYRINTH scores with Indie Spirit Awards

(Variety.com) Guillermo del Toro�s PAN�S LABYRINTH is among the Best Feature nominees in the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards, the indie cinema world�s equivalent of the Oscars. The Awards also have a Foreign Film prize, so for the Spanish-language LABYRINTH to be cited in the very top category is an impressive feat (no other foreign-spoken films are nominated in any other Spirit categories this year).

Pirates Sequel ‘Breaks DVD Record’

(news.bbc.co.uk) The Pirates of the Caribbean sequel has become the UK’s fastest-selling DVD of all time, says distributor Walt Disney.
Nearly 1.5m copies of the Johnny Depp film have been sold in just one week – one in every four DVDs sold in the UK.

Demand has been so great that Disney says it has had to order another one million copies from its production facilities – in the Caribbean.

Last year’s biggest-selling DVD was another Disney film, The Incredibles, which sold 1.9m copies in nine months.

The film company says that if demand for the Pirates DVD is sustained, it expects to sell more than three million copies before Christmas.

Dead Man’s Chest set box office records during its cinema run earlier this year, when it became the fastest film to reach the $300m (�162m) total at the North American box office.

It is now the third-highest grossing film of all time, having taken more than $1.003bn (�536m) at the global box office.

However, it still lags behind Lord of the Rings: Return Of The Kings, which took $1.1bn (�590m) and Titanic, which sold $1.8bn (�965m) of tickets.

See also  George Lucas: Visionary, Dreamweaver plus Actor

A third Pirates film, At World’s End, is due to hit cinemas in May 2007.

Pirated Lightsabers Targeted by Lucasfilm Ltd.

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Lucasfilm Ltd., producer of the six films in the Star Wars saga, filed suit today in United States District Court against William Osburn and his Maryland-based company High-Tech Magic, calling for an immediate halt to the production and sale of infringing lightsaber� laser sword replicas that violate Lucasfilm�s long-held Star Wars trademarks and purport to be authentic.

Lucasfilm�s lawsuit alleges that Osburn, High-Tech Magic and other defendants willfully infringed Lucasfilm�s trademarks to manufacture and sell lightsaber replicas. Lucasfilm is requesting that the Court require the destruction of all infringing merchandise and that the defendants in the suit be held liable for damages and restitution for the profits they have realized from their unauthorized business.

�When companies like the defendant in this case try to make a profit by confusing fans and flagrantly violating our trademark rights, we have to take action,� said Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing, which oversees the global Star Wars merchandise business that was established after the success of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope in 1977.

�We owe it to our fans � as well as to companies like Hasbro and Master Replicas, which are producing excellent authorized toy and replica lightsabers � to stop this type of unlawful behavior,� Roffman said.

Lucasfilm�s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, notes that the High-Tech Magic website prominently proclaims, �We do Star Wars� Light Sabres,� and declares that they can produce �a Star Wars� Lightsaber that looks as good as those in the movies.� The site repeatedly uses Lucasfilm�s registered trademarks, including �Lightsaber,� �The Force,� �Jedi� and �Darth Maul,� in connection with Osburn�s unauthorized products.

In October, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California awarded Lucasfilm $20 million in a copyright infringement case against U.K.-based Shepperton Design Studios, manufacturer and seller of pirated Stormtrooper and other Star Wars helmets. Lucasfilm is seeking to uphold the court�s verdict in England.

�As in the Shepperton case, we want to send a very clear message: We will do whatever it takes to shut down infringers trying to profit from the sale of knock-off Star Wars products.� Roffman said.

Roffman underscored the distinction between fans who create Star Wars costumes and props for their personal enjoyment and people who produce, market and profit from allegedly �authentic� merchandise that is not authorized by Lucasfilm. �Fans making Star Wars costumes for themselves is great,� he said. �Infringers making bootleg merchandise for profit will not be tolerated.�

Source: http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20061128006005&newsLang=en

Fantastic Four Crew Get Snowed In

(thesun.co.uk) FILMING on the Fantastic Four sequel came to a halt when the cast were caught in a snow storm.

No amount of superpowers could save IOAN GRUFFUDD, JESSICA ALBA, CHRIS EVANS and MICHAEL CHIKLIS from the awful Canadian weather.

They were told to stay in their hotel rooms on Monday when freezing temperatures made shooting scenes impossible.

Welsh star Ioan, who plays Mr Fantastic, said: “We were supposed to be shooting at the studio but we lost power because of the snowstorm.”

But the actors didn’t let the weather get them down.

Ioan and his castmates made the most of their unexpected time off and staged a snowball fight.

Ioan added: “We had a titanic snowball fight outside a restaurant and we were asked to leave the premises – that’s how big the snowball fight was.”

Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer is due for release next year.

Disney / Pixar Stock Posts Largest Dividend In 8 Years

(allheadlinenews.com) New York, NY (AHN) – Walt Disney Co. has posted its largest dividend in 8 years, as it boosts the annual figure 15 percent to $0.31 cents per share.

The Burbank, California-based company will pay the dividend to shareholders on record since December 15, marking the third straight year Disney has raised its dividend.

In its latest report, Disney says fourth quarter profit doubled to $782 million, on sales that rose 14 percent.

Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger says the decision to sell its stake in E! Entertainment Television to Comcast helped boost the company’s cash on hand.

Universal Balks At Releasing Classic Mummy Film

Despite a prime Halloweentime release and positive reviews (including ours here), the 75th Anniversary double-DVD sets of the 1931 landmarks FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA from Universal Home Video apparently didn’t sell all that well. Thus, the studio is balking at giving the 1932 Boris Karloff-starrer THE MUMMY, which set its own standard for that monster favorite and spawned a series of sequels, a similar two-disc 75th-anni set with all-new bonus features. But classic monster fans have a chance to make their voices heard and let Universal know that they want their MUMMY, in a deluxe package with all the trimmings.

Prop Suit Stolen From Alien vs. Predator 2 Set

(slashfilm.com) According to AITH, the thief is now trying to unload the Xenomorph suit online to the highest bidder. The scooper also reports that the new suits are “a throwback to James Cameron’s design from ALIENS, complete with the ridged head!”

Good, I always preferred the Gieger design to the Alien: Resurrection crap. Why must people mess with a good thing?

The scooper also reports in that the Predator suits also have been given a new redesign, but no details as to what has been changed.

Alien vs. Predator: AVP2 is scheduled to hit theaters on December 10th 2007.

The Hulk Sequel Begins Post-Transformed

Wizard caught up with Zak Penn, the screenwriter for �The Incredible Hulk� for the scoop on where he stands on the sequel to the Ang Lee-directed 2003 movie. Penn, who is profiled in the Wizard 2007 Movie Spectacular that comes out Dec. 6, shared his insight on where the next �Hulk� movie is, which is slated to be directed by Louis Letterier (�The Transporter 2�).

�My draft of the first �Hulk� opened with him already having transformed into the Hulk,� explained Penn. �It opened with him at a roadside bar with these guys picking on him and him saying, �Don�t make me angry. You won�t like me when I�m angry,� and then transforming, and then you flash back to reveal how it all happened.

�Part of the way that this �Hulk� came about is that they went back and read my draft. They went back through all of the stuff that they had commissioned and said, �This is more of the tone that we wanted.� So it doesn�t really require us ignoring the first movie, but that said, there�s a lot of stuff in the first movie that I�m not even going to touch on.�

To read more about Penn�s �Hulk� movie and his plans for an �Avengers� film, pick up the Wizard 2007 Movie Spectacular on Dec. 6, featuring the full scoop on over 120 movies.

Um, The Purpose Of Special Effects?

(csmonitor.com) “How about a little fire, Scarecrow?” The Wicked Witch of the West taunts a terrified Scarecrow with her flaming straw broom in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) – and then sets him on fire. But how could she? Wouldn’t the actor get hurt? Not likely. This scene, like many in the movies, was accomplished with film tricks known as special effects.

“The actor [Ray Bolger] probably had an asbestos sleeve on one arm,” explains Andrew Poleszak, a costume designer in Boston. “They padded out the arm of his costume, put combustible fluid on the cloth, and set the edges on fire.” Dorothy doused the Scarecrow with water to squelch the flames, which “melted” the Wicked Witch, played by Margaret Hamilton. For this effect, Hamilton stood on a small hydraulic lift that was lowered into the floor. Dry-ice fog made it seem as though she was melting, and her long black skirt hid the trick.

The purpose of special effects – in theater, on television, or in the movies – is to create illusions that are believable, no matter how fantastic: a boy wizard flying through clouds, a tornado scooping up a farmhouse, or an intergalactic spaceship racing through infinite space.

How do they do all that?

Before modern technology, such as computers, special effects involved some unusual ideas. When director Cecil B. DeMille needed to create the illusion of Moses parting the Red Sea in “The Ten Commandments” (1923), he poured thousands of gallons of water down the sides of a U-shaped tank. DeMille filmed the action as the torrents crashed together – and then ran the film backward to get the desired effect. (The actors were added later.) To stage elaborate car chases by a wacky gang of early-20th-century movie characters called the Keystone Kops, movie crews dumped liquid soap on real streets and hired stunt drivers to skid their cars through the slippery mess.

For “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (2003), Weber and his colleague Chris Wyllie cooked up an ominous fog to fill the screen when the Black Pearl pirate ship first appears. They also created the fog that surrounds Jack Sparrow and crew as they row into a cave where pirates’ gold is stashed. “We created a wispy haze you can see through,” says Weber, “so the actors weren’t obscured.” His and Mr. Wyllie’s fog concoctions were made of what they call “people-friendly chemicals.”

More: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1128/p18s02-hfks.html