Enjoying a resurgence with The Woman In Black, venerable British horror studio Hammer has chosen the Cinema And Television History (CATH) Research Centre at the UK’s Leicester De Montfort University to house its script archive. The CATH center will catalogue and curate a collection that includes screenplays from most of the studio’s film and TV productions from 1947-1990 along with extensive corporate paperwork, correspondence and other ephemera. This is the first time the archive will be opened to public research and study. Last month, Hammer announced a global restoration project for its library of films in partnership with Studiocanal, Pinewood and other international players and with the participation of 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros and Paramount. Continue reading
Paramount Pictures and JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot have hired JD Payne and Patrick McKay to write the script for Boilerplate, based on the Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett graphic novel Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel. Bad Robot will produce with Outlaw Productions’ Deborah Newmyer. The storyline: the robot Boilerplate was built in the late 19th Century to replace men in battle. The robot is depicted in the Spanish-American War and WWI, and is pictured Zelig-like in meetings with the likes of Teddy Roosevelt and Mark Twain.
The writers got on the map by scripting Goliath, the Old Testament tale that Relativity Media is developing, with speculation that Dwayne Johnson and Taylor Lautner could play the two main characters. They are also scripting Deadliest Warrior, based on the Spike TV series, which Shawn Levy is producing for Paramount. The scribes are repped by UTA and Kaplan/Perrone.
After a spirited auction, DreamWorks Animation has acquired rights to make a feature out of Captain Underpants, the popular 8-volume book series by Dav Pilkey. DreamWorks Animation wasn’t the only bidder, but won the title this morning.
The books revolve around a couple of precocious fourth graders named George Beard and Harold Hutchins. Looking to get back at nasty, student-hating principal Mr. Benny Krupp, the boys hypnotize the principal and cause him to become Captain Underpants. He’s a superhero who is nice and helpful to children and manages to get into all kinds of misadventures with the fourth graders shadowing him to make sure he doesn’t get hurt. The principal has no recollection of his heroics when he returns to normal. Pikey has completed eight volumes with a ninth in the works, Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers. Scholastic publishes the books. Continue reading
By NELLIE ANDREEVA, Deadline.com
With Smallville ending its 10-season run this past May, the CW has made launching a new superhero franchise based on a DC property a priority. The network’s first effort this development season is Deadman, a drama based on the DC Comics books by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino, which will be written and executive produced by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke. The project is about the spirit of a murdered man, Boston Brand, who lives on as he inhabits other people’s bodies and helps them solve crises in their own lives. It is produced by Warner Bros. TV, which handles the mining of the DC catalog for TV series. Continue reading
After revisiting his classic Alien with the upcoming 3D Fox film Prometheus, Ridley Scott is committing to direct and produce a film that advances his other seminal and groundbreaking science fiction film. Scott has signed on to direct and produce a new installment of Blade Runner. He’ll make the film with Alcon Entertainment, producing with Alcon partners Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove. This would be the most high profile project for Alcon since The Blind Side. They got control of the franchise earlier this year, but it’s a whole different ballgame with Scott at the helm. Continue reading
EXCLUSIVE: This is a quite a bombshell — I hear that Frank Darabont, the creator, executive producer and director of AMC’s smash hit The Walking Dead, is stepping down as showrunner of the series, which is now in production on its upcoming second season. The news is even more surprising given the fact that Darabont was on hand for Walking Dead’s Comic-Con panel just this past Friday alongside fellow executive producers Robert Kirkman, on whose graphic novel the series is based, and Gale Anne Hurd and appeared excited about Season 2. There is speculation that Darabont might be off the show completely, but I hear talks are still ongoing about him possibly staying on in some capacity. Darabont, who spent five years trying to get a TV version of the zombie saga off the ground and wrote and directed the AMC pilot, hails from the feature world, and I hear that he never quite adjusted to the daily grind of producing a TV series. Continue reading
By MIKE FLEMING, Deadline.com
In its latest attempt to hatch a large-scale film that can play to a family audience, Disney has made a seven-figure deal with screenwriter and Lost exec producer Damon Lindelof to write and produce an original large-scale science fiction feature film. Other than the fact that the project has a working title of 1952, I couldn’t pry plot details out of anybody. I’m not sure if the title connotes a period the film is set in, or if it is a Lost reference. I’ve also heard that this project isn’t just being conceived for movies only, but that it has multiple platform aspirations.
After four years of development, the plug has been pulled on the latest attempt to bring Frank Herbert’s classic novel Dune to the screen.
Deadline reports that with the rights to the material about to revert back to its owners after four years, Paramount Pictures has decided to cut its losses and give up on a new big-screen version of the book, which has been filmed twice already as a 1984 movie and a 2000 Syfy miniseries.
Richard P. Rubinstein, who owns the film rights to Dune, said, “Paramount’s option has expired and we couldn’t reach an agreement. I’m going to look at my options, and whether I wind up taking the script we developed in turnaround, or start over, I’m not sure yet.”
Director Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox have finally announced an official title, release date and star for Scott’s highly anticipated Alien prequel. There’s just one thing … it’s NOT an Alien prequel anymore.
According to Deadline, the film is now called Prometheus and is scheduled for a March 9th, 2012 release, with Swedish actress Noomi Rapace (Sherlock Holmes 2) confirmed for the lead role of Elizabeth Shaw as rumored for months. While the movie originally started development as a prequel to Scott’s 1979 classic Alien, he now says that it has changed—with the help of screenwriter and Lost showrunner Damon Lindelof—into something completely different and wholly original.