Rockwell Saddles Up for Cowboys and Aliens: Sam Rockwell is set for a second go 'round with his Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau as he has signed on to join the cast of the comic adaptation Cowboys and Aliens opposite Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde and Harrison Ford. The sci-fi Western is based on the Platinum Studios Comics graphic novel written by Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley exploring what would happen if the traditional Old West enemies -- cowboys and Native Americans -- found the prairie attacked by aliens in mid-1800s Arizona. Rockwell will play a bar owner named Doc who joins in the pursuit of the aliens. Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof penned the script with the film set to begin shooting in June for a July 29, 2011 release. [Heat Vision]
Two [REC] Sequels are Greenlit: In my Summer Movie Preview I mentioned how REC 2 was one of my most anticipated titles only to now learn Filmax has greenlit two sequels titled [REC] Genesis and [REC] Apocalypse for directors Paco Plaza and Jaume Balaguero. Plaza and Balaguero co-directed the first two films and will now split duties for the next two with Plaza directing Genesis, the first of the two sequels, and Balaguero directing Apocalypse. As for the storyline, Genesis will return to the origin of the original infection that caused humans to turn into zombies with expectation of it being ready for a fall 2011 release. Apocalypse is expected one year later and will end the [REC] saga with the pandemic spreading to unknown proportions. If you have yet to see the original 2007 feature do what you can to give it a watch, even if you saw the remake, Quarantine. [Screen Daily]
Matthew Vaughn Negotiating X-Men: First Class: Matthew Vaughn was expected to direct X-Men: Last Stand until bowing out for "personal reasons" opening the door for Brett Ratner as Vaughn moved on to Stardust and then Kick-Ass most recently. Well, last week rumors began spreading he may return to the X-verse for X-Men: First Class, but as quickly as the rumor started it was squashed. As things often happen on the Internet, reports now have him back in negotiations as the studio and Vaughn's reps are working on sealing a deal. Production is expected to begin on the film later this year. Apparently, before Vaughn came back to the table Clash of the Titans helmer, Louis Leterrier, A Nightmare on Elm Street remake director Samuel Bayer and others such as Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted), Daniel Espinosa, David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) and Carl Erick Rinsch were in discussions, but then Fox began cancelling meetings as negotiations with Vaughn got underway. I expect an official confirmation will be announced soon. [Deadline]
Dragon Tattoo Helmer Eyes The Keep: Danish director Niels Arden Oplev (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) is set to direct The Keep for Rogue Pictures. The film is an adaptation of Jennifer Egan's novel of the same name in which two estranged cousins reunite after twenty years to renovate a dilapidated old castle in Germany. Their efforts unleash creepy and dangerous consequences for all. Ehren Kruger (The Ring) wrote the script. [Empire Online]
Gordon-Levitt Eyes a Pair of Action-Thrillers: Joseph Gordon-Levitt's star power is on the rise and he is now lining up a pair of action-thrillers, the first is Premium Rush for director David Koepp who penned the script with John Kamps for Columbia Pictures. Premium centers on a New York bike messenger who picks up an envelope at Columbia University, only to be chased throughout the city by a dirty cop desperate to get his hands on it.
The second film is titled Looper for Rian Johnson who directed Gordon-Levitt in Brick. The film is a present day story in which hitmen receive their orders from crime organizations in the future. Gordon-Levitt will play a man who receives orders to kill himself. Premium Rush seems to be a sure thing while his involvement in Looper doesn't sound like a 100% guarantee.
Nightmare on Elm Street Sequel Reportedly Already In the Works: It was recently made known a sequel to Platinum Dunes's Friday the 13th remake was "dead". That film opened at $40.5 million last February and went on to make over $65 million on a reported budget of $19 million. So the death of the sequel is quite surprising. Now, a sequel to this past weekend's box-office winner, A Nightmare on Elm Street is said to already be in the works with Warner distribution president Dan Fellman telling TheWrap.com, "We don't have a story yet, but this is the largest horror opening in the April-May corridor, and it just proves there's a lot left in the franchise." I wonder if they'll be singing the same tune if Nightmare dips as quickly or even quicker than Friday as it was made for a budget in the wide range of $27-35 million and took in $32 million its opening weekend. Word is the sequel is looking to be made in 3D. [The Wrap]
Kennedy and Dempsey Rumored for Transformers 3: Filming on Transformers 3 is getting underway and while that's going on there are rumors Jamie Kennedy and Patrick Dempsey have joined the cast. Dempsey telling a Brazilian website he will "play a character who is much "darker" than the others". As for Kennedy rumor of his involvement comes from an online report citing an Arizona radio station on which Kennedy was quoted as saying, "I had an interesting interview with the people behind the new Transformers movie and I may have a role in the movie." Neither rumor has yet to be confirmed. [TFW 2005]