There are two stories speculating on the future of Harry Potter coming out of Hollywood this week. The first takes its cue from the recent demise of the Narnia franchise and warns that even a series as wildly popular and profitable as the Harry Potter movies may feel the financial bite and get the ax before the series finale. The main source for this is a comment by screenwriter Steve Kloves that "Warner Bros. was worried about the prospects for the last three films in the series, since JK Rowling is no longer driving anticipation for the titles by producing new books."
Real trouble seems highly unlikely however, given the phenomenal performance the Potter movies have had at the box office. Bloomberg has a story out today suggesting pretty much the opposite, that Hollywood is looking to big budget sequels, and Harry Potter in particular, to reverse this year's decline in movie attendance and sales. In fact, the story notes that Hollywood probably would have surpassed 2007's record if the release date for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince hadn't been changed from November 2008 to July 2009. Posted 12.30.08 by reelz
A new viral (they hope) promotion for The Unborn invites visitors to take possession personally. The site features a Blair Witch-style YouTube video of a couple of girls moving from a mysterious change of eye color to getting possessed as a presence in the background insists with increasing intensity that it wants to be born now. You are invited to help with the birth by adding the name and picture of a friend (or perhaps enemy) to have them materialize on a TV screen in the girls' room and then e-mail the personalized result.
Check out the trailer below. One of the creepiest in recent memory. Posted 12.30.08 by reelz
While working on the script for the sequel to Iron Man, screenwriter Justin Theroux told MTV that the main theme of Iron Man 2 will be the issue of identity, considering Iron Man's identity is public knowledge.
"It's something that we've made a real decision to run towards rather than away from," said Theroux, who maintains that identity, and the nature of it, will be a big part of the sequel. Posted 12.30.08 by reelz
The Bedtime Stories star remained coy when speaking to us about the upcoming Justice League movie, citing that she couldn't "talk about it because it's not official yet." However, Palmer was more forthcoming with her native country's Herald Sun, telling them, "I was going to be playing a villain, which would be so exciting and totally different from anything I've done before. And with George Miller, an Aussie icon. Plus, I'm good friends with Megan [Gale], it would be so brilliant for her to be cast as Wonder Woman. Fingers crossed it will happen."
And we thought talking about the movie "wasn't allowed." Maybe next time we speak with Palmer, we'll break out the Australian accents. Posted 12.30.08 by reelz
Although a judge suggested that Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox agree to a quick settlement, the legal battle over Watchmen is just beginning.
Today, an attorney for Fox said the studio will continue to seek an order delaying the release of Watchmen, prompting Judge Gary Feess to announce that he plans to hold a trial January 20th to decide "remaining issues."
Warner Bros. had contended that Fox held no claim to the movie, but Fox won over Judge Feess who backed their claim that it never fully relinquished story rights from its deal made in the late 1980s.
An attorney for Warner Bros. said he didn't know if an appeal was coming, but thinks a trial is necessary and a settlement unlikely.
The movie, adapted from the acclaimed DC comics series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, follows a group of costumed adventurers from an '80s style, Cold War, alternate Earth, investigating the murder of one of their own. Posted 12.29.08 by reelz
It's "a child's dream coming true," says Director Pascal Laugier, recalling the how the original Hellraiser shocked and inspired him as a 13-year-old boy. Now tapped to direct the Hellraiser remake, Laugier tells Ain't It Cool News that he would never betray Clive Barker's original conception and, noting that he has a much larger budget than the original, says, "It will be of course more epic, it will be bigger, and I hope that it won't be softer." Given his earlier work on the controversial French horror flick Martyrs, which one reviewer termed "the new yardstick against which all forms of extreme genre films should be measured against," a softer treatment seems rather unlikely. Posted 12.29.08 by reelz
Hardcore action, betrayal, and forbidden love are highlighted in a pair of new TV spots for the prequel Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. Check out how the latest installment in the Underworld franchise sets the stage for all that later vampire-on-werewolf violence. Posted 12.29.08 by reelz
Just out on DVD is Sony Pictures Classics' Baghead, a hilarious slasher film parody from sibling "mumblecore" auteurs Mark and Jay Duplass. Largely improvised and made with a miniscule budget (per mumblecore's maxims), Baghead centers on four struggling actors who convene at a quiet forest cabin to collaborate on a screenplay, only to have their Hollywood ambitions derailed by a homicidal stalker. Future indie darling Greta Gerwig stars.
The Duplass brothers are currently working on their first studio project, an as-yet-untitled comedy starring John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, and Jonah Hill. Posted 12.29.08 by reelz