TAG | Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures is hoping to get a jump on the presumed-hype for director Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming thriller The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington, by getting the ball rolling on the sequel well in advance. The first pic doesn’t open in theaters until September, but it has apparently been scoring through the roof during test screenings, bringing back the highest scores for an R-rated film in Sony’s history. As a result, the studio is keen on developing the follow-up in the hopes that the film makes waves when it hits theaters this fall. Hit the jump for more. The Wrap reports that Sony has brought back screenwriter Richard Wenk to pen a sequel to The Equalizer with the expectation that the first pic will be a box office success when it opens in September. The film is an adaptation of the 1980s TV show of the same name and stars Denzel Washington as a retired intelligence officer who gets embroiled with the Russian mob after displaying an act of kindness towards a young prostitute (Chloe Grace Moretz). You’ll remember that the pic went through a prolonged development period as a revolving door of directors signed on and then left the project, including Nicolas Winding Refn and Rupert Wyatt, before Fuqua made the commitment for good. Washington is expected to return for the sequel—his first ever—though no deal is in place just yet, and there’s no word on whether Fuqua will return. Getting a jump on sequels before the first film hits theaters has ...
Last year, South Park astutely pointed out (as they usually do) how “wars” between consoles are done for PR rather than the benefit of the actual consumers, so the “battle” between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was nonsense. But championing a video game console is nothing new, and it began in earnest back in the 1990s as Sega and Nintendo went head-to-head. Author Blake Harris has penned a book on the history between the two companies, Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation, and it will be released in August. Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network) have picked up the movie rights, and have brought on Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to write and direct. Hit the jump for more. According to Booktrade.info (via Kotaku), “Blake Harris draws on hundreds of interviews to present the first full account of this titanic corporate battle, which transformed computer games into a global industry that last year recorded sales of $50 billion (surpassing the film and music businesses combined).” It sounds like an interesting book, and as someone who vividly remembers participating in the childish debates about the consoles’ merits, I’m excited to read about what was happening behind the scenes. Harris will serve as the executive producer on the movie, and he’s also co-directing a documentary on the same subject. It’s unknown where this project will fall on Rogen and Goldberg’s busy slate. They’re adapting Preacher for AMC, developing a hard-R animated comedy, and working on The Interview ...
Writer/director Cameron Crowe’s untitled next film will serve as a nifty Christmas Present this year. Sony Pictures has slated the untitled picture for release on December 25, 2014, where it will square off against Disney’s musical Into the Woods, the comedy sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and director Angelina Jolie’s war drama Unbroken. Crowe’s picture is described as a romantic comedy and stars Bradley Cooper as a defense contractor overseeing a weapons satellite launch from Hawaii who teams up with (and falls for) an Air Force pilot (Emma Stone) to scuttle the launch. The very solid ensemble cast is filled out by Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin, Rachel McAdams, and Danny McBride. Crowe’s last directorial effort, 2011’s We Bought a Zoo, also opened on Christmas Day, and I’m eager to see what the filmmaker has cooked up this time around.
You can now add a Sacha Baron Cohen comedy to the crowded 2015 film slate. We learned last year that Cohen would be teaming up with Now You See Me director Louis Leterrier for his next film, Grimsby, and now Deadline reports that the film has moved from Paramount to Sony Pictures, which will distribute the pic on July 31, 2015. The story revolves around a British black-ops spy who is forced to go on the run with his long-lost brother, an idiotic English soccer hooligan, with Cohen playing the latter. The comedian penned the script with his Borat co-writer Peter Baynham and Oscar-nominated Philomena co-writer Phil Johnston. Production is set to begin this summer. The only other film slated for release on July 31st is Fox’s Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars, but that pic doesn’t have a firm director yet so who knows whether that will stick. However, Grimsby will likely have considerable box office competition from a film opening a week earlier, Judd Apatow’s next comedy Trainwreck.
Sony Pictures has won an intense bidding war for author David Ignatius’ upcoming spy novel The Director, and the studio is hoping to stay in business with Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass on the project. The Wrap reports that Scott Rudin is producing the pic for Sony, and both the studio and Rudin are hoping to attach Greengrass as the director. Rudin worked with Greengrass on Captain Phillips and that film is poised to land some major Oscar nominations tomorrow, so the pairing on The Director wouldn’t be a stretch. Ignatius’ spy novel kicks off when a newly appointed CIA director is faced with the possibility that the agency may have been hacked. The director then enlists a computer-savvy agent to conduct a mole hunt in Europe and the U.S. Greengrass has yet to choose a follow-up project to Captain Phillips, and while he continues to develop his MLK drama Memphis, he recently stated that it wouldn’t be his next film. We should hear something more concrete about his future plans once the awards madness dies down. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of Ignatius’ novel. Here’s the synopsis for The Director: Graham Weber has been director of the CIA for less than a week when a Swiss kid in a dirty T-shirt walks into the American consulate in Hamburg and says the agency has been hacked, and he has a list of agents’ names to prove it. This is the moment a CIA director most dreads. Weber isn’t sure where to turn ...
The legacy of the James Bond film franchise is not without its twists and turns, many of which are excellently captured in the documentary Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007. One of the more difficult stories related to the film series involves Thunderball, which began with an original screenplay by Bond creator Ian Fleming and Kevin McClory, before Fleming decided to cut McClory out of the picture and publish the novel Thunderball—based on the idea the two hatched together—with nary a mention of McClory. The result was a decades-long legal battle and two “unofficial” Bond films (Thunderball and Never Say Never Again), but at long last the entanglement has ended. Hit the jump for more, including what this means for the Bond franchise going forward. Per HitFix, MGM and Danjaq have reached a settlement deal resulting in MGM now controlling all of the rights to James Bond. This is noteworthy because this deal means that classic Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld and the nefarious organization SPECTRE are now back in the official library, meaning future Bond films from Sony can incorporate the character and/or organization. It’s kind of like Warner Bros. finally getting the rights to Lex Luthor. Skyfall director Sam Mendes is currently hard at work developing Bond 24, which is poised to open in UK theaters on October 23, 2015 and in the US on November 6, 2015. Details on the pic have been scarce and I doubt the producers have time to rework the film and include Blofeld before ...
Sony Pictures has just acquired a stranger-than-fiction pitch that will see Jason Segel playing a maple syrup thief. Inspired by real events reported by Anne Sutherland in the Montreal Gazette, the film chronicles the 2012 heist of over $20 million worth of maple syrup that was stolen from Quebec’s Federation of Maple Syrup Producers (this is a real thing that exists). As of now, over 20 individuals have been arrested in connection to the maple syrup crime (also a thing that exists). Segel is attached to star and Horrible Bosses director Seth Gordon is onboard to direct. Hit the jump for more. Per Deadline, Segel is attached to star in the currently untitled pic and Identity Thief director Seth Gordon is set to helm, with the duo also acting as producers alongside Barry Josephson. Family Guy veteran Chris Sheridan is currently writing the script. The film is described as a comedy with dramatic overtones, so it’ll be interesting to see how this one shapes up. Segel can currently be seen on the final season of How I Met Your Mother and recently reteamed with his Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Five-Year Engagement director Nicholas Stoller on the comedy Sex Tape, in which he stars opposite Cameron Diaz. That film opens in theaters next July. As for Gordon, he recently dropped out of directing the sequel Horrible Bosses 2 after developing that one for some time. The follow-up is still moving forward with a different director onboard, but Gordon is next expected to helm the ...
Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Evan Goldberg have long talked about an idea for an R-rated animated film, and now it appears that the raunchy pic will finally come to fruition. Sony Pictures announced today that it will partner with Annapurna Pictures on Sausage Party, which was written by Rogen, Goldberg, Kyle Hunter, and Ariel Shaffir based on an idea by Rogen, Goldberg, and Hill. The story follows one sausage’s “quest to discover the truth about his existence,” as he falls out of a shopping cart and, along with his friends, embarks on a journey to return to his aisle before the 4th of July sale. Voice casting has yet to be announced, but Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2) and Greg Tiernan will be directing the pic with an eye towards a 2015 release date. Rogen and Goldberg made their directorial debut with this summer’s excellent This Is the End and are currently helming the Rogen/James Franco comedy The Interview. Hit the jump for the full press release. Here’s the press release: SETH ROGEN AND EVAN GOLDBERG LET IT ALL HANG OUT WITH “SAUSAGE PARTY,” AN OUTRAGEOUS, NOT-FOR-KIDS ANIMATED MOVIE, FROM SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT, ANNAPURNA PICTURES AND POINT GREY CULVER CITY, Calif., September 24, 2013 – Sony Pictures Entertainment and Annapurna Pictures will partner on what is expected to be an R-rated animated film titled Sausage Party, written by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg & Kyle Hunter & Ariel Shaffir, from a story by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg & Jonah Hill, to be directed by Conrad Vernon (Shrek ...
Though Elysium has only been in theaters for a couple of weeks, Sony has already given director Neill Blomkamp’s next film a release date. The sci-fi pic Chappie will open in theaters on March 27, 2015, adding yet another film to look forward to in what’s shaping up to be the busiest moviegoing year in history. The only other film currently set for release on 3/27 is DreamWorks Animation’s spinoff The Penguins of Madagascar, but Marvel is poised to invade every available screen a little over a month later when The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens on May 1st. With Chappie, Blomkamp reunites with his Elysium and District 9 star Sharlto Copley once again. The pic tells the story of a robot (Copley) imbued with artificial intelligence who is stolen by two local gangsters who want to use him for their own nefarious purposes. Ninja and Yolandi Visser are onboard to play said gangsters. Production on Chappie begins this fall in South Africa, but it appears that Blomkamp will need plenty of time to complete the film’s extensive visual effects.
ABC staple Shonda Rhimes is returning to feature films. Before creating the incredibly successful ABC dramas/soaps Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal, Rhimes penned the screenplays for The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement and Crossroads. Now THR reports that Rhimes will return to the world of features to write the screenplay for the drama War Correspondents. The project, which focuses on the lives of female war correspondents, was initially developed by Rhimes as a potential TV series, but stalled when the Iraq War began. Now Sony has decided to turn the idea into a feature film, and Rhimes will pen the screenplay with longtime producing partner Mark Gordon (Source Code) onboard to produce. Rhimes continues to run Grey’s Anatomy and most recently developed the successful ABC series Scandal, which returns for a second season this fall and garnered Emmy nominations for stars Kerry Washington and Dan Bucatinsky. No director is yet attached to War Correspondents, but development will be moving forward at Sony in the coming months.