Deadline bring word that Twentieth Century Fox has begun negotiations with James Mangold to return for another installment of ‘The Wolverine,’ with Hugh Jackman bringing back his signature character. This comes after ‘The Wolverine’ played very strongly overseas, enough to now sit as the second highest grossing X-Men film of all time (behind ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’). The film has grossed $413 million worldwide, with $132 million domestic and $280 million in international revenue. The story it would follow is said to be under wraps, but apparently Mangold is making a deal to write the treatment, with Lauren Shuler Donner producing. Jackman next plays the character in 2014’s ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past.’
Alongside Hugh Jackman as the titular character, ‘The Wolverine’ starred Hiroyuki Sanada as Shingen, Hal Yamanouchi as Yashida, Tao Okamoto as Mariko, Brian Tee as Norubo Mori, Will Yun Lee as Kenuichio Harada/Silver Samurai, Rila Fukushima as Yukio, and Svetlana Khodchenkova as Viper. The script was by ‘The Usual Suspects’ scribe Christopher McQuarrie and Mark Bomback. ‘The Wolverine’ took inspiration from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s Marvel miniseries from the 1980s dealing with the character’s adventures in Japan.
Falling pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena (Judi Dench) was sent to the convent of Roscrea to be looked after as a “fallen woman”. When her baby was only a toddler, he was taken away by the nuns for adoption in America. Philomena spent the next fifty years searching for him but with no success. Then she met Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), a world-weary political journalist who happened to be intrigued by her story. Together they set off to America on a journey that would not only reveal the extraordinary story of Philomena’s son, but also create an unexpectedly close bond between Philomena and Martin. The film is a compelling narrative of human love and loss that ultimately celebrates life, showing that there is laughter even in the darkest places. Sixsmith’s book “The Lost Child Of Philomena Lee” was published in 2009. It acted as a catalyst for thousands of adopted Irish children and their ‘shamed’ mothers to come forward to tell their stories. Many are still searching for their lost families. Out now in the UK, Stephen Frears’ ’Philomena’ opens in New York and Los Angeles on Christmas Day and then wide in the US on January 10th.
How did collaborating with Jeff Pope on the screenplay serve the adaptation of the book and Philomena’s story, in terms of striking a balance between comedy and drama?
Steve Coogan: Christine Langan at the BBC, I have to thank her for introducing me to Jeff. Initially, I didn’t want to write it. I thought, “This is an interesting story and I want to pursue it.” And I told Christine what my take on the story would be together with my producer, Gabrielle Tana, who is the person who kicked me in the pants to get this all going, And when I told Christine the story she said I should write it. But I said, “I’m used to writing comedy rather than drama….” But she said I just needed someone good to write it with and she introduced me to Jeff and now we’re bestest, bestest friends (laughs). And it was a real revelation because I learnt from him and we collaborated in the true sense that we both brought different things to it. Jeff would often talk about the structure and the rhythm of the whole piece and I was more about some myopic detail on character and dialogue. So, we both had distinct roles and it was a real pleasure. Writing is as much fun as acting, I think, because you’re there at the genesis of things and it’s pretty exciting.
Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ will debut as the opening night film of the Berlin Film Festival on February 6th, 2014. Anderson returns to the festival with this world premiere after his ‘The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou’ and ‘The Royal Tennenbaums’ ran there in competition in 2005 and 2002, respectively. Anderson shot ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ a UK-German co-production, in Gorlitz, Germany and other parts of Saxony, as well as at Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam. Berlin chief Dieter Kosslick said today, “We are very delighted… With unmistakeable Wes Anderson charm, this comedy promises to kick things off in a big way.”
Fox Searchlight Pictures will release Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ on March 7th, 2014. The stellar cast for the film includes Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan, Tom Wilkinson, Mathieu Amalric, F Murray Abraham, Bob Balaban and Tony Revolori.
According to Heat Vision, the long planned ‘Kane & Lynch’ has Gerard Butler in talks to star as Kane, with F. Gary Gray on board to direct. The move could very well reteam the duo, who last worked together on the action flick ‘Law Abiding Citizen.’ Additionally, the outlet report that Nu Image/Millennium Films has an offer out to Vin Diesel to play Lynch, but it’s too early to say how that will go.
The ‘Kane & Lynch’ game follows Kane, a death row inmate who, along with a schizophrenic killer named Lynch, is sprung from prison to retrieve a stolen fortune. Kane travels to Los Angeles, Japan and Cuba, with Lynch acting as the team’s watchdog in order to save his wife and daughter. The game was developed by IO Interactive and published by Eidos Interactive. The movie adaptation of the game has been in the works since 2007, with Lionsgate planning on stars Bruce Willis and Jamie Foxx, and Simon Crane directing. Gray was involved with one iteration several years ago, but now is back. The script is by Skip Woods and Kyle Ward.
THR bring word that Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg – who two starred opposite each other in 2009’s ‘Adventureland’ – are teaming up for ‘American Ultra,’ an action comedy from Nima Nourizadeh, the director of the surprise hit comedy ‘Project X.’ Max Landis, who wrote the hit sci-fi found-footage movie ‘Chronicle,’ penned the script for ‘American Ultra.’
Jesse Eisenberg will play an unmotivated stoner named Mike, who lives with his girlfriend Phoebe (Kristen Stewart) in a small, sleepy town. One night, their lives take an unexpected turn when Mike’s past comes back to haunt him, and he becomes the target of a government operation set to wipe him out. ‘American Ultra’ is set to begin shooting in April 2014.
Lionsgate has debuted this latest TV spot for ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.’ The film sees Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth reprising their roles of Katniss, Peeta and Gale, with Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Willow Shields, Toby Jones and Woody Harrelson also returning to their respective roles. The likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, Lynn Cohen, Stephanie Leigh Schlund, Maria Howell, E. Roger Mitchell, Alan Ritchson, Bruno Gunn, Meta Golding, Sam Claflin and Amanda Plummer join the “Hunger Games” film series for this sequel.
The story for ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ begins as Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.