Sunday, April 8, 2012

NEWS UPDATE: Hunger Games Sequel, Captain America 2, Adam Sandler Wins Big at the Razzies and More

  • First, let's talk about sequels. Since "The Hunger Games" is a trilogy of books, it's a given that there will be a trilogy of movies as well. Thus, planning has begun for the second movie in the series, "Catching Fire". A few days ago it was announced that "Hunger Games" director Gary Ross will not return for the sequel, his decision being motivated in small part by a breakdown of negotiations for a bigger paycheck. But, since the world of showbiz is indeed a strange place, the original news about Ross leaving the franchise were contradicted and described as "untrue". Apparently Ross is on a vacation and could not be reached and he's eager to return for the sequel. I'll chalk this one up in the "let's wait and see" category, but I honestly feel that the trilogy should maintain a singular vision, rather than having one director for each movie like "Twililght". "Catching Fire" opens on November 22, 2013.

  • Next, we have the "X-Men: First Class" sequel. Since the reboot of the franchise was such a big hit, it was only natural that a sequel would be developed. The main problem was that Jennifer Lawrence who played Mystique in "First Class" is also scheduled to start filming for the "Hunger Games" sequel this fall. Eventually, the two studios, 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate, cleared all conflicts, so it was decided that the "X-Men" sequel will begin filming in January 2013. Director Matthew Vaughn ("Kick-Ass") will return to direct. The script is written by Simon Kinberg ("Sherlock Holmes").

  • As for Marvel fans, have no fear, Captain America shall return. The sequel is scheduled for release on April 4, 2014. Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely will return to pen the script. According to Marvel : "The second installment will pick-up where the highly anticipated Marvel’s The Avengers (May 4, 2012) leaves off, as Steve Rogers continues his affiliation with Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D and struggles to embrace his role in the modern world." In case you're wondering what other Marvel movies are waiting for you in the future, here are the currently scheduled release dates : Iron Man 3 on May 3rd, 2013, Thor 2 on November 15th, 2013, and an Untitled Marvel Movie on May 16th 2014.

  • The Schwarzenegger - Stallone flick "The Tomb" has added more names to its cast : Jim Caviezel ("The Passion of the Christ"), Amy Ryan ("Gone Baby Gone"), Vincent D’Onofrio ("Law & Order: Criminal Intent"), Vinnie Jones ("Snatch") and 50 Cent. The movie, directed by Mikael Håfström ("Mikael Håfström") stars Stallone as "Ray Breslin, the world's foremost authority on structural security. After analyzing every high security prison and learning a vast array of survival skills so he can design escape-proof prisons, his skills are put to the test. He's framed and incarcerated in a master prison he designed himself. He needs to escape and find the person who put him behind bars."

  • Adam Sandler had no competition to worry about at the Razzies this year as both he and his movie, "Jack and Jill", won all the awards. That's 11 Razzie awards, making Sandler the ultimate Razzie champion. Eddie Murphy must feel relieved.

  • Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, and Sam Shepard will star in the drama "Out of the Furnace" directed by Scott Cooper ("Crazy Heart"). Here is the official synopsis : "The film is a drama about fate, circumstance, and redemption. Russell (Bale) and his younger brother (Casey Affleck) live in the economically depressed Rust Belt, and have always dreamed of escaping and finding better lives. But when a cruel twist of fate lands Russell in prison, his brother is lured into one of the most violent and ruthless crime rings in the Northeast – a mistake that will almost cost him everything. Once released, Russell must choose between his own freedom, or risk it all to seek justice for his brother."

  • Liam Neeson returns to what he does best : kick ass. He will star in a new airplane thriller called "Non-Stop". I hope that refers to the action. Neeson will play an aging air marshal who must battle some kind of bad-guy terror. The movie is produced by Joel Silver ("Die Hard", "Lethal Weapon") and will be directed by Jeff Wadlow ("Never Back Down").

  • And in a final bit of casting news, Ashton Kutcher is in talks to play Steve Jobs in an upcoming biopic called "Jobs". The movie will be directed by Joshua Michael Stern ("Swing Vote") and begins production in May.