1.) The Weinstein Co. is preparing a sequel to Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with a script by John Fusco and production expected to begin in May. Only catch, Ang Lee isn't directing. Instead, Ronny Yu (Freddy vs. Jason, Fearless) is attached to direct with fight choreographer Wo Ping Yuen expected to return.
The new film is derived from the same source material as the the 2000 original, based on Wang Du Lu's Crane-Iron Pentalogy. The sequel will be based on "Silver Vase, Iron Knight", the fifth book in the series, and will revolve around Yu Shu Lien, the character played in the original by Michelle Yeoh. Yeoh's return, or any that of the other stars of the first film, is not yet known. [Deadline]
2.) Ron Howard returns to the big screen this year with Rush, one of my most anticipated film of the year, and is already prepping to reunite with one of the stars of that film, Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers), for an adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick's fact-based book, "In The Heart of the Sea". Set in the 19th century, the drama follows the Nantucket whaling ship the Essex, which was stalked and ultimately destroyed by a sperm whale in 1820. If it sounds familiar, that's because it was the inspiration for Herman Melville's "Moby Dick." Hemsworth is attached to play the ship's first mate who eventually becomes the film's hero. [Vulture]
3.) The rumored villain in Warner Bros. Justice League will be a character named Darkseid and now the reported heroes that will make up the DC Comics crime-fighting ensemble will be Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Flash. The script from Will Beall (Gangster Squad) will apparently focus on those characters with the likes of other heroes such as Martian Manhunter, Aquaman and Hawkman potentially having cameos. [Latino Review]
4.) The one complaint most everyone had about X-Men: First Class was the performance turned in by January Jones as Emma Frost. Well, when asked if her character would be returning for Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past, Jones said, "I don’t know that I’m in it, I don’t think Emma’s in this one. Well they haven’t told me if I am (laughs)." Makes sense. [Collider]
5.) After getting married to Ned Rocknroll, Kate Winslet is making her return to the big screen after a two-year absence today with the ensemble "comedy" Movie 43, and will be seen in what will surely be a more respectable film, Jason Reitman's Labor Day, later this year. As for what's next, it looks like Neil Burger's Divergent, an adaptation of Veronica Roth's young adult novel, which already stars Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) and is drawing comparisons to The Hunger Games for its kids-killing-kids nature and dystopian setting.
Winslet's character is unknown, but here's the film's plot synopsis:
Divergent is a thrilling adventure centered around the monumental choice of deciding who you are and discovering who you can be. Set in a future where America is divided into five ideological factions to stabilize society and uphold peace, every citizen must choose a permanent faction at age 16 - either their own or another. Struggling to survive her initiation into the most aggressive and physically demanding of the factions, Beatrice Prior must uncover her true hidden strengths and risk her family, her new found love, and her very own life to defuse a mysterious conspiracy which could change the balance of power forever.