1.) Original plans to follow-up the 3-D re-release of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace with re-releases of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith later this year have been canned. Official word is so Disney and Lucasfilm can now concentrate solely on rebooting the franchise with Star Wars: Episode VII, which J.J. Abrams was officially announced as director over the weekend. Yes, I think we are all together in realizing that makes no sense, especially since 3-D re-releases are essentially free money, but perhaps that's just the image they weren't interested in putting out there on top of the fact Phantom Menace didn't exactly perform too well. [Deadline]
2.) Brad Bird's next film was originally going to be titled 1952, but Disney sent out a press release yesterday announcing it will now be known as Tomorrowland. There are no plot details outside of rumors the story will be UFO related. The script was written by Damon Lindelof and Bird from a concept by Lindelof and Jeff Jensen, George Clooney is set to star. The film will hit theaters on December 1, 2014.
3.) Pierre Morel (Taken) is in negotiations to direct Sean Penn in the action-thriller Prone Gunman. The film, based on a Jean-Patrick Manchette novel and a script by Peter Travis, centers on an international operative named Martin Terrier (Penn) who is betrayed by the organization he works for and must go on the run in a relentless game of cat-and-mouse across Europe. [THR]
4.) People seem to be getting more and more excited about the upcoming Evil Dead remake and news yesterday broke when director Fede Alvarez tweeted the following:
@woozytribe Was proud of scoring a NC17 when submitted! But we had to cut stuff out to get an R and get the film into theaters.
— Fede Alvarez(@fedalvar) January 28, 2013
The reason for the R rating has not yet been released, but I expect I'll have it in my next MPAA bulletin or the one following that.
5.) Looks like Warner Bros. doesn't have the utmost of confidence in their upcoming Justice League film, and perhaps rightfully so after screenwriter Will Beall's Gangster Squad wasn't exactly praised for its plot line. Nevertheless, in an article at Variety the trade writes: "Warner's top brass has indicated that they are awaiting the results of Man of Steel, which opens June 14, before moving further ahead." Outside of the Batman films, especially those directed by Christopher Nolan, Warner's ability to release quality films based on their DC Comics product has been lackluster to say the least and I wonder if going to the superhero team-up immediately without building a brand, a la The Avengers, first is a good idea.