Morning 5

Mann and Hemsworth Team for Cyber Thriller, Mendes Close to 'Bond 24' and Fincher's '20,000 Leagues' Heads Down Under

Plus rival screenwriters tackling 'The Mummy' for Universal

Michael Mann1.) Though he most recently worked on the ill-fated HBO series "Luck," Michael Mann hasn't directed a feature since 2009's Public Enemies. In the years that have passed, he's tossed around plenty of interesting ideas, including the racing pic Go Like Hell and the war photographer biopic Waiting for Robert Capa, but he could just never commit.

Well, it finally looks like he's ready to settle down and take the helm on an untitled thriller "set in the world of cyber threats and attacks." And luckily for him (excuse the pun), Chris Hemsworth happens to have a gaping hole in his schedule thanks to the delays facing Steven Spielberg's Robopocalypse and is now attached to star. The film is currently set up at Legendary with a planned June start date. [Variety]

2.) In a rather odd move, Universal has hired two screenwriters to write rival scripts for their planned Mummy franchise reboot. Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) was already working on a script that would update The Mummy to the present day, while it also appears Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, Shattered Glass). In other words, the studio is stacking the deck for director Len Wiseman (Underworld, Live Free or Die Hard) as the studio hopes to have something ready to shoot by late summer. May the best script win! [Vulture]

3.) NBC is will shoot a pilot for a new single-camera comedy based on the Nick Hornby book and 2002 movie About a Boy. David Walton ("Perfect Couples," "New Girl") will star in the Hugh Grant role, while Minnie Driver will take over the character played by Toni Collette. Jon Favreau will direct the pilot from a script by Jason Katims ("Parenthood," "Friday Night Lights"). [Deadline]

Sam Mendes on set of Skyfall4.) Early reports indicated the next James Bond film, following Skyfall, would in fact be a two-parter to be shot back-to-back. As a result Skyfall director Sam Mendes wasn't too keen on the commitment. Now it appears plans have changed and Bond 24 will be a standalone film and Mendes is now 75% of the way towards doing it and only needs to see the finished script before he fully commits.

The Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye reports screenwriter John Logan's "thoughts for Bond 24 are in the form of two treatment papers outlining a rough idea of the plot."

5.) Apparently David Fincher's long-gestating remake of the 1954 Jules Verne classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is showing some movement with Disney location scouts considering the Village Roadshow Studios in Queensland, where "Terra Nova" was made, and Fox Studios in Sydney, home of The Wolverine, for the shoot, which will be biggest film ever to be made down under. A 16.5% tax rebate for foreign productions gives the production some incentive, especially when you consider The Wolverine was awarded a 30 percent incentive to shoot there last year. [THR]

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  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    I'm greatly saddened by the news of this Mann thriller. On paper, it sounds terrible and I'd hoped that after a long 4 year wait, Mann would really deliver on something great. The no-name screenwriter, the casting of Hemsworth and the studio it's being financed by seems to suggest a generic blockbuster. Hope I'm wrong.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/jinjuriki187/ jinjuriki187

    i really hope mendes comes back for bond 24. skyfall was amazing and hes a great director. i would also love fincher return to direct girl who played with fire and stirred the hornets nest. he needs to direct both and i hope he does, and hopefully he starts the second one soon. i also hope they keep craig for the films, he was great in girl with the dragon tattoo and that was one of my favorite movie. i dont really care about the mummy movie nor mann's new movie too much

  • adu

    Mendes potentially returning to Bond is the best movie news I have heard in a while.

  • http://www.electriccin.blogspot.com theJackal

    Michael Mann always delivers good films (yes, even the "dark" and a bit over-serious take on Miami Vice), so I'm looking forward to whatever his next film is.

    Fingers crossed tightly for the Fincher-helmed, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I've been anxiously waiting for this film since I first heard rumors that a new adaptation was in the works way back in 2008. Still, I'm a bit saddened that Fincher won't be tackling The Girl Who Played with Fire as his next film. I need more Rooney Mara!

    Thems the facts

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ducard/ Ducard

    I trust Mann. Not everything thing he does is gold (I was underwhelmed by "Public Enemies") but any director whose history includes "Heat", "Collateral", "The Indsider" & "Thief" bears watching.
    Fincher doing a remake of "20,000..." is really exciting, but I hope he doesn't abandon the next Lisbeth Salander movie. I loved TGWTDT (although they could've left the dead cat out of it like the Swedes did).