Universal has had directors lined up to take the helm of the adaptation Ouija, based on Hasbro's board game that supposedly allows players to talk to ghosts and spirits. According to THR, directors Pierre Morel (Taken), Sylvain White (The Losers), Scott Stewart (Legion), and John Moore (Max Payne) have all failed to land the gig, which leaves Universal to decide between two other directors who are vying for the job — McG and Breck Eisner (The Crazies). Eisner reportedly pitched his take to the studio last week before McG's Friday presentation and Universal is taking the holidays to think through their decision. Will Ouija be scary? >> Posted 12.20.10 by Ryan
It's been a bumpy road for Paramount's adaptation of Dune. The studio hired director Peter Berg to helm the project in 2008, planning a more "faithful" adaptation than the 1984 version that was directed by David Lynch. Berg praised Josh Zetumer's script, calling it a "massive epic" with "franchise potential," and then, a month later, promptly quit the project.
Taken director Pierre Morel then took over, announcing that he would do away with the script from Berg's era of production, opting instead to start over in what Morel hoped would be a 3-D adaptation. With the project seemingly progressing, the latest problem could postpone the movie indefinitely. Morel will no longer direct >> Posted 11.10.10 by Ryan
Universal Pictures has announced their release schedule through 2013, which was highlighted by a few high-profile projects. First on the list is Larry Crowne, the comedy that Tom Hanks is directing and starring in with Julia Roberts and a strong supporting cast. Larry Crowne opens on July 1, 2011, opposite Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Mark your calendars >> Posted 10.30.10 by Ryan
We've been following the new Dune movie from the Robert Pattinson casting rumors to the director change to a new script and 3-D. Although the Frank Herbert's book has already had a big-screen debut, a Sci-Fi mini-series, and many other adaptations, the new director, Pierre Morel has his own vision.
To find out more about what movie fans hope to see this time, we went directly to the experts. For this first Dune guest blog, Mark from Dune - Behind The Scenes answers some of our questions, including "What went wrong with David Lynch's movie?" and "Who would you like to see cast?" see his answers to those questions and more >> Posted 08.03.10 by reelz
Pierre Morel, the director of Taken and the upcoming From Paris with Love, was recently tapped to helm the remake of the sci-fi epic Dune, replacing Peter Berg. Surveying the the state of the project , he explained in an interview with IGN, he has decided to go for something completely different.
We're starting from scratch. Peter had an approach which was not mine at all, and we're starting over again. I don't think we're going to keep any elements of the Peter Berg script. It was good, actually. It was interesting. It was just not our vision. I can't tell you right now [who's writing it with me], it's going to be official next week. The deals are not done!
It's a daunting project, but he says he's taking the next few months after wrapping up From Paris with Love to really think it through. The key issue: How to move out of the shadow of David Lynch.
It's tricky. Everybody refers to both the book and to David Lynch's film, which was in a way a monument to the '80s. It became a huge event. It didn't do well theatrically, I think, but in a way it kind of marked and printed an image on Dune. Everybody now who reads Dune reads it with David Lynch's images in mind. So we have to get away from that. It's not a remake of David Lynch's movie. We're doing a re-reading, a brand new approach on the book, a very true approach to the book, the original material. So we will have to deal with trying to erase the image that David Lynch did so we can propose our image.
That's a tall order of course, and some fascinating video interviews between Lynch and Dune author Frank Herbert have recently re-surfaced, suggesting that Lynch's vision of the planet Arrakis was not so far off as many critics have claimed.
Still, a lot has happened in movies and technology since Lynch's version made its 1984 debut, and Morel says he plans to take full advantage of the innovations, possibly including 3-D:
I'd love it to be 3D, of course. It's the kind of movie that has the scope to be 3D. Will they do it in 3D? I'd push for that, but I don't know. As a viewer, I've just been watching Avatar with my kids twice in the theater already and had a blast. It's an amazing experience. Posted 01.31.10 by reelz
John Travolta has a really foul mouth — at least when he is playing American special agent Charlie Wax in From Paris with Love. Hence, all of the recent previews of the movie are skewing age-restricted. Indeed from everything from the movie that has been released so far, Wax (whose name certainly fits his shiny bald head) is quite the piece of work, as happy putting bullets into people as he is shooting off his mouth. And the expletives flow every bit a freely here as they did in Pulp Fiction.
Travolta's larger-than-life character clearly is intended to be a centerpiece of this latest thriller by Pierre Morel, the director of Taken. But the action and suspense clearly keep the story moving, as Wax and his French partner try and track down a terrorist threat. In the latest clip, we see Wax zipping up his fly as he comes out of bathroom, lackadaisically assessing the progress his French partner (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) is making in a fight and, as always, coming up with a higher caliber-solution.
For more of the action, you can check out various other (also age-restricted) short clips on the movie's revamped website. Posted 01.25.10 by reelz
When he took over as director for the latest adaptation of Frank Herbert's sci-fi epic Dune last week, Pierre Morel promised "a very faithful adaptation." Now, in an interview with MTV, he explains in a bit more detail exactly what he meant by that remark. For one thing, Morel says he is a huge fan of the book:
I've been a fan of the book since I was a teenager. I read that when I was 15, maybe ... I've been reading it over and over again — well, I'm 45 now, so for 30 years. The fun story, actually, is that there were six books in that first series that Frank Herbert wrote. Every time I was going to buy a new one — because I couldn't buy all six at one time — I was reading the previous ones so I would not forget anything. So, by the time I bought the sixth book I had already read the first one six times!
His take on the ill-fated 1984 adaptation by David Lynch, however, is nicely diplomatic:
As a David Lynch movie, I loved it As a Dune fan, I was not such a big fan.
So it seems clear that he plans to take a completely different approach, but is well aware of the difficulties of even the most faithful adaptation:
[My movie] is all about the first book. I'm trying to be very respectful to the original novel. But it's a challenge; there's a lot of expectation, all the readers will be waiting for me with their shotguns. All the non-readers will also be waiting for us, because it's such a complex, rich novel and you have to make it accessible to those who have not read the book. So, it's a tough challenge but I'm very excited about that.
All in all, it seems to be a pretty good sign that the director is so thoroughly immersed in the source material. Another thing that Morel brings to the table is plenty of experience directing action movies, most notably Taken and his upcoming From Paris with Love ... and the book is chock full of opportunities for spectacular action sequences. Posted 01.12.10 by reelz
Wisecracking and borderline crazy FBI agent Charlie Wax (John Travolta) has ostensibly come to France in pursuit of terrorists in Pierre Morel's From Paris with Love. But from what we see in the new trailer, what really gets him going is all the opportunities the mission gives him to shoot big guns and kick ass. He's having way too much fun to be Jack Bauer, but he certainly shares the 24 star's lack of limits ... and Paris may need some repair work after he's done.
The action sequences here are nicely choreographed, showing off the bent for the genre that director Morel honed in Taken. If the movie ends up anything like this trailer suggests, it should be a fun ride. Posted 01.05.10 by reelz
One reason Dune keeps getting remade is that the original novel offers up one of the most richly imagined worlds in science fiction with lots of room for the director to give the story his own spin.
David Lynch's ill-fated 1984 adaptation was a mixed bag that ended up pleasing neither the critics nor even the director, himself. The 2000 miniseries adaptation was more faithful to the original and got a bit better reception, picking up a couple of Emmys.
The latest version was originally to be directed by Peter Berg, but he abandoned ship in October. Now Taken director Pierre Morel is taking the helm, promising to make "a very faithful adaptation." The first draft of the script was penned by Quantum of Solace's Josh Zetumer and had already picked up some pretty positive buzz, but the studio says it's looking around for a new writer to help infuse it with Morel's own vision of the project. Posted 01.05.10 by reelz