BOX OFFICE Despite the failure of other recent swords-and-sandals movies and the fact that it's been seven years since the original, 300: Rise of an Empire is expected to rule the box office this weekend. In light of its $3.3 million Thursday late-night take and estimated $16 million-plus Friday, the sequel to 300 is predicted to have a $40 million-plus debut at the domestic box office. The movie is also doing well overseas, taking in an estimated $12.1 million in its first two days. #AlwaysTrending
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REBOOT Sony Pictures is looking to reboot its Zorro franchise and they've tapped competitive fencer-turned-screenwriter Chris Boal (Old Man's War) to craft "a new backstory" that combines "gritty realism" with an "emotional core." Though the studio wants to avoid making a "traditional swashbuckler," there will be plenty of sword fights and bare knuckle boxing, reports Deadline. Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, currently working on rebooting the studio's Men in Black franchise, are producing for Sony.
MARVEL Korean actress Kim Soo Hyun (Claudia Kim) tweeted the news that she will join Avengers: Age of Ultron in what a Disney Korea rep called a "substantial supporting role." A self-avowed Marvel Comics fan, Kim called landing the role "fate" (translation courtesy CBM).
I have a lot to do ahead of me, but for now, the words 'Welcome to the Marvel Universe' are amazing and kind of overwhelming. I was a fan of Marvel Comics, and if you really like something, looks like fate can make it happen.
There's been no word on the character that Kim will play, but the first rumors had her playing a doctor or scientist with ties to the movie's villain, Ultron. Later rumors have Kim playing the fashionista Avenger Wasp or the femme fatale Madame Hydra.
Future Avenger Elizabeth Olsen was spotted at the Miu Miu show in Paris on Wednesday. When asked about her character in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Scarlet Witch, Olsen told WWD that "she has mind-control powers and she's one of the most bad-ass characters." The remark has surprised many fans, as the Scarlett Witch depicted in comic books has magic-based "hex" powers and not mental powers.
COMICS Universal is once again moving forward with its adaptation of Doug TenNapel's 2004 graphic novel Tommysaurus Rex. According to THR, indie filmmaker Thomas McCarthy has been hired to co-write the screenplay adaptation with John Bland and possibly direct. The story follows a young boy who visits his grandfather for the summer and ends up dodging bullies only to discover a T-rex living in a nearby cave. The boy takes the dinosaur as a pet and tries to convince the locals that it's not dangerous. Mary Parent (Godzilla) and Cale Boyter (Elf) are producing.
Actor and novelist Max Brooks emerged from the huge shadow cast by his father Mel Brooks with the 2006 publication of World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, inspiration for the 2013 World War Z movie that starred Brad Pitt. His works are in demand now, with THR reporting that Sony has already acquired the rights to Brooks' new graphic novel, The Harlem Hellfighters, in advance of its April 1st release. The graphic novel is based on the true story of the Army's 369th infantry division, an African-American unit that saw combat in Europe during World War I and then had to fight discrimination when they returned home.