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Studio pre-strike schedule reveals coming films

PaperclipMoney.jpgThere's a strike coming and it's going to hit Hollywood hard. The Screen Actors, Directors and Writers Guilds are all going on strike at the same time, maybe their conditions are so hard that they can't afford to eat, or their child mortality rate is low, or perhaps they are living in an oppressed regime, I'm not sure.

The big news is that the studios have released a wish list of films that they want made before the strike and it's a very interesting list indeed. The list is circulating the major casting agencies in Hollywood so that they can get talent involved as soon as possible, trying to make the films before the strike hits, and there are a lot of films.

What I've done is worked my way through the list of films from all the different studios and pulled out ones that I think are worth a mention. I have the link to the full list at the end, but here are the films that we're going to see rushed through in the next year and probably see in our cinemas the year after that.

Here are some titbits:

TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 from Steven Spielberg?
Eli Roth's THE CELL is on?
The A-TEAM film is still on?!
FAST & FURIOUS 4 directed by Justin Lin is on!
DIRTY DOZEN directed by Guy Ritchie?!
ALTERED CARBON directed by James McTeigue
DRACULA YEAR ZERO from Alex Proyas
DALLAS, 20,000 LEAGUES, FANTASY ISLAND and I DREAM OF JEANNIE
CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON

Now to a pick list from the full list with some notes I've spent the last few hours pulling together.


Studio: 2929
VILLAIN Director: Martin Campbell
No idea, but it's directed by Martin Campbell. This could be about a forest fire spotter living in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest who is visited by his mentally disturbed brother, then again it might not.


Studio: BALDWIN
ATLAS SHRUGGED Director: Vadim Perelman
This is the Angelina Jolie starrer based on the Ayn Rand novel of 1957. It is set in a future where all the thinkers and top industrialists go on strike and see society begin to crumble around them.

LUNA Director: Deepa Mehta
No idea, but Deepa Mehta co-wrote and directed the very powerful Water about Indian widows who are forced into poverty and the social restrictions that are placed upon widows of the country.


Studio: DISNEY
ESCAPE FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN Director: Andy Fickman
The remake of the film of the same name where kids with supernatural powers are on the run from the Government to find a sanctuary. We recently heard that the Rock was going to be starring.

G-FORCE (animated) Director: Hoyt Yeatman
Yeah, the TV series is coming to the big screen in CGI. I think this could be gloriously fun. See some pictures for how it's going to look.

PRINCE OF PERSIA Director: tba
The game, and I thought that Michael Bay was going to be taking this on, well that was the rumour anyway.

PROPOSAL, THE Director: Robert Luketic
No idea, but Robert Luketic is completing 21, the Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth and Laurence Fishburne film of Bringing Down the House, the true story of how MIT students got together to fleece Vegas for millions. He also has a Matt Helm film planned, a remake of the spy made famous by the superb Dean Martin films.


Studio: DIMENSION
CELL Director: Eli Roth
Interestingly last I heard was that this wasn't doing so well and was going to be delayed by Eli Roth himself. Whatever the story is the film is down here alongside Roth's name and that means fast track before the strike.


Studio: DREAMWORKS
EAGLE EYE Director: DJ Caruso
D.J. Caruso. That's it. I don't think this is an Action Man film! Word is that it stars Shia LaBeouf, Rosario Dawson and Michelle Monaghan in a story of two people being accused of being terrorists and having to infiltrate a local terrorist cell to prove their innocence.

TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 Director: Steven Spielberg
Here's an interesting title for a film, although IMDB are showing a 2010 release date I think it might be a tad sooner if it's being rushed through the strike. Mind you, won't Spielberg be busy on Indiana Jones for a while longer?


Studio: FOCUS
LITTLE GAME Director: Ang Lee
Ang Lee's comedy drama about a couple who fake a break up and find out that their friends thought their relationship was a bad idea anyway. Have you had your friends say that to you before? I have. It sounds interesting for Lee to be directing an American comedy on such a subject.


Studio: FOX
A-TEAM Director: tba
What? They really hope to make the A-Team finally? I really don't believe a word of it, really. I first heard about this going into pre-production way back when I first wrote a story on the Internet - 15/10/2004, The A-Team gets a writer! Honestly I can't see this getting made, and if it does it'll be rushed and a disaster.

DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL Director: Scott Derrikson
The remake of the classic science fiction film (get ready for me to repeat that line) starring Keanu Reeves in the lead. This time he's going nowhere fast.

FANTASTIC VOYAGE Director: Roland Emmerich
The remake of the classic science fiction film...now where have I heard that before?

GULLIVERS TRAVELS Director: tba
Another version?

MAGNETO Director: David Goyer
Well there's not much to say on the Magneto origin film. So far it seems dark and edgy as we heard from the recent script review online. Perfect for Goyer.

RUNAWAY TRAIN Director: Martin Campbell
Isn't Martin Campbell going to be too busy for this one?

STREET FIGHTER Director: Andrezej Bartkowiak
Yes, we heard it a little while ago and it's starting to look like this list is pretty accurate. Street Fighter is coming back.

WOLVERINE Director: Gavin Hood
Wolverine is back too in another X-Men origin story, and this one will hopefully be as dark as they come. Gavin Hood will be tested on this, but I think he's going to give us something rather different but very strong.


Studio: FOX SEARCHLIGHT
RABBIT HOLE Director: (Sam Raimi)
Interesting name attached to the title. I wonder what that could be about?


Studio: FOX 2000
DALLAS Director: Betty Thomas
Well another new Director and another new direction? Could it work this time?

LIFE OF PI Director: Jean Pierre Jeunet
This is based on that best selling novel by Yann Martel, where a shipwreck leaves a boy on a lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra, a female orangutan and a Bengal tiger. Oh lord. I've seen the book cover but never read it. Anyone?

LUCKY STRIKE Director: Tony Scott
Tony Scott. That's enough isn't it? I do remember reading something about this film but I've totally forgotten anything more.


Studio: HBO FILMS
RECOUNT Director: Jay Roach
Yes, this is the film that chronicles the vote rigging to get elected scandal of George W. Bush versus Al Gore in 2000.


Studio: LIONSGATE
MEATBALLS Director: John Whitesell
Oh god, a remake we really don't need.

SPIRIT, THE Director: Frank Miller
At least Frank Miller has a head start on his adaptation of his own comic book to screen. I hope they don't rush this for the date and that Miller can push back and make sure it's done right.

Studio: NEW LINE
20,000 LEAGUES Director: tba
Oh lord, another unneeded remake. Hold on though. Actually I think this is one remake that could actually work. Now who will be directing? Sam Raimi?

APPALOOSA Director: Ed Harris
Ed Harris already has Viggo Mortensen on board for the film, need we say more? Two friends are hired to protect a lawless town from a tough rancher, and when a beautiful widow arrives their plans are changed and one of them gets involved while the other might well want to keep fighting. Sounds a little like the Wyatt Earp story.

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK Director: Len Wiseman
I'm just not sure how this will go, and Len Wiseman doesn't really want to be rushing this remake of a classic film. Gerard Butler as Snake isn't going to save this on his own, it needs to be strong and it needs to be big.

GEARS OF WAR Director: tba
The adaptation of the videogame, a videogame that holds a lot of material to make into a film, again though, I'm worried about the rushing of this, although word is that the script is strong and holds true to the game plot.

SEX AND THE CITY Director: Michael King
Finally, it's coming and the cast are all back. Come on Mr Big!

TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE Director: Robert Schwentke
There's a big cast for this film already including Rachel McAdams, Eric Bana and Ron Livingston. A man is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing. According to the blurb!


Studio: NEW REGENCY
CAPRICORN ONE Director: tba
The remake of the classic thriller about a faked space mission that goes badly wrong and sees the Government try to assassinate the astronauts since if they return from the studio in the middle of the desert NASA and the Government will be discredited. The original stars Elliot Gould, James Brolin, Sam Waterston, O.J. Simpson, Karen Black and Telly Savalas. It was a superb film and I doubt they can top the paranoia and tension of that film.

VOLTRON Director: tbd
Robots join together to form one big robot. Wow.


Studio: OVERTURE
RIGHTEOUS KILL Director: Jon Avnet
This is the Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Brian Dennehy, John Leguizamo and Carla Gugino serial killer thriller with De Niro and Pacino acting off one another for all of the film, not just one scene. Sounds a superb release.


Studio: PARAMOUNT
FIGHTER, THE Director: Darren Aronofsky
Again, the Director is enough to entice.

GI JOE Director: tba
Well I don't mind this being fastracked, the adaptation of a comic book and figurine...I don't care.

STAR TREK Director: JJ Abrams
Surely we're all waiting for the reinvention of Star Trek by J.J. Abrams.

THOR Director: Matthew Vaughn
I'd be worried, but isn't the adaptation of Thor a bit of a rush?

WINTER OF FRANKIE MACHINE Director: tba
A hitman is called back into service. Starring Robert De Niro it was to be directed by Martin Scorsese but he dropped out just recently. Now it's being rushed ahead. Would De Niro direct it as well?

WORLD WAR Z Director: tba
The adaptation of the Max Brooks novel by J. Michael Straczynski which sees survivors of a zombie war being interviewed, the use of historical documents and old footage, all to chronicle the past pandemic of zombification.

Studio: ROGUE
CASTLEVANIA Director: Sylvain White
A videogame with no plot at all.

NEAR DARK Director: Sam Bayer
The remake of Near Dark, that superb vampire film which took the idea of vampires and dropped them right into modern life. A strong cast, including Lance Henriksen and Bill Paxton were in the first film, will it work as a remake?


Studio: SCREEN GEMS
ARMORED Director: Nimrod Antal
Once again the Director's name is enough. However we do know that the story is about a guard working for an armoured truck company that is persuaded by his old coworkers to steal a truck with ten million dollars in it.


Studio: SONY
ALIEN UPRISING Director: Wolfgang Peterson
GRAYS, THE Director: Wolfgang Peterson
Now I'm sure about this film, but Peterson is down for directing Whitley Strieber's book The Grays too. So just what is this film?

ANGELS AND DEMONS Director: Ron Howard
Hopefully this will be better than The Da Vinci Code.

BOND 22 Director: Marc Forster

FANTASY ISLAND Director: tba
Oh stack this up with the A-Team film please.

I DREAM OF JEANNIE Director: tba
Add another to the pile.

TAKING OF PELHAM 123 Director: Tony Scott
Here's another interesting Tony Scott film. I've heard something of it but the details escape me and my fingers are bleeding!


Studio: UNITED ARTISTS
PINKVILLE Director: Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone forgets his Afghanistan tale and heads to Vietnam again, and looks set to cast Sean Penn and Bruce Willis in this tale of the My Lai massacre.

Studio: UNIVERSAL
BARBARELLA Director: Robert Rodriguez
While the speculation continues as to who could actually be Barbarella, the film seems to be going ahead and at a fast pace. So that's no Sin City 2 until after 2010 I think.

CHANGELING, THE Director: Clint Eastwood
Now this isn't the remake of the classic The Changeling (Filmstalker review) starring George C. Scott and directed by Guillermo del Toro, no this is the film with Angelina Jolie where her child is abducted and returned, but she suspects that the child returned is not hers and suspects that the police are involved. The story is based on actual events in 1920's Los Angeles.

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON Director: Breck Eisner
Mmmm....what do you think?

DRACULA YEAR ZERO Director: Alex Proyas
This is a brand new take on Dracula, going right back to the roots of the Vlad the Impaler story, and from the excellent (Dark City anyone?) Alex Proyas.

FAST & FURIOUS 4 Director: Justin Lin
See the previous story.

LA RIOTS Director: Spike Lee
Need I say more?

REPOSSESSION MAMBO Director: Miguel Sapochnik
Forest Whitaker, Jude Law and Alice Braga in a film about the repossession of body organs when people can't keep up the payments. Law plays a repossession officer who defaults on his heart and Whitaker has to go after him.

SCOTT PILGRIM Director: Edgar Wright
Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life is still being scripted, so that's a bit of a push. The film will see Scott Pilgrim battle his new girlfriend's seven evil ex-boyfriends to win her.

STATE OF PLAY Director: Kevin McDonald
Brad Pitt and Ed Norton directed by the excellent Kevin McDonald in a script adapted from the top rated BBC TV series political thriller? What could go wrong? Apart from the timescales and busy Hollywood that is!

WOLFMAN Director: Mark Romanek
With Benecio del Toro as the Wolfman I think we're going to see another defining moment for the character and for horror as a whole. Well, I hope, and the strength of that is on one photo alone!

Studio: WALDEN
NARNIA 3 - DAWNTREADER Director: Michael Apted
NARNIA 4 - SILVER CHAIR Director: tba
Both rushed through?


Studio: WARNER BROS.
ALTERED CARBON Director: James McTeigue
If you haven't read any of these books and are even the vaguest fan of science fiction you better get reading. I've read all of Richard Morgan's novels and they are excellent, and with James McTeigue filming it I think it might just work out.

CLASH OF THE TITANS Director: tba
I really think this is another film that needs to be left alone.

DIRTY DOZEN Director: Guy Ritchie
Guy Ritchie remaking the Dirty Dozen? Oh no, this looks set for disaster.

HARRY POTTER 6 Director: David Yates

HEART SHAPED BOX Director: Neil Jordan

JUSTICE LEAGUE Director: (George Miller)
Well it won't be all CGI, but a fair amount. All they need to do is get the live action shot in time and the rest can be done during the strike.

LOSERS Director:
Last I heard McG was directing this comic book adaptation, and I think he would be a good choice, him or someone like the Wachowski's. This needs high octane action and posing or seriously stylish comic book production...of course both would be better, oh yes, Peter Berg was going to be directing at once stage, now he was the right man for the job. Of course I'm only saying that after reading the first volume. It's a cracking story so far though with some very rich characters.

NIGHTCRAWLERS Director: McG
From McG? I'm curious.

SHERLOCK HOLMES Director: tbd
Now there was a rumour ages ago about this film, but is it actually happening in the next two years, and will it really have Neil Marshall on board?


Studio: WARNER INDEPENDENT
WHITE JAZZ Director: Joe Carnahan
Another one to look forward to. Say what you think of Smokin' Aces, I loved it and it had a fantastic visual and written style. Here's to his next.

Studio: WEINSTEIN CO.
FLETCH WON Director: Steve Pink
I thought that this had fallen by the wayside, apparently not. Fletch Lives and is being remade...or is this a sequel...oh I don't know. However if it doesn't have Zach Braff I'm not interested.

ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO Director: Kevin Smith
With or without Rosario Dawson this will be getting made.


If you've made it this far then thank you very much, this has been ages typing up! You can see the full list over at Coming Soon if you're brave enough!

Anything here that makes you cringe or get excited? I think there's more cringing than excitement.





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- Neil Simon describes Hollywood