News Shorts: November 17th 2008

The first stills from Kick Ass and Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman on the Austrian set of Season of the Witch.

-Posters for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Funny People, The Wrestler, $9.99, Che, Red Sonja and Coraline.

New photos of the action figure based on Universal’s The Wolfman gives us an idea of what Benicio Del Toro will look like in monster form in the film. There’s also a look at the replica medallion worn by lead character Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro).

-The first screen captures are out from the video game tie-in to the upcoming “Watchmen” movie”. The game, “Watchmen: The End is Nigh”, hits with the film in March. Also interesting fact – the word ‘Watchmen’ is used twice in the new trailer despite none of the teams in the book being called ‘Watchmen’. Zack Snyder talks to CHUD about why this is so.

-Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” is set to hit the UK in two parts. The first opening January 1st 2009, the second on February 20th 2009. Promo materials indicate the titles ‘The Argentine’ and ‘Guerilla’ will not be used in the release – a pattern that may be adopted in other markets.

“Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Australia’ clocks in at a final running time of 165 minutes despite some reports pegging it at 155 minutes. The film kicks off its publicity blitz tomorrow with Sydney press interviews and the Australian premieres. Media screenings take place in Oz and the US starting from Wednesday…” (full details)

“Some convincing photos have been posted of what looks like packaged 35mm film trailers for James Cameron’s upcoming sci-fi epic “Avatar”. The film is scheduled to open next December and the distributor Fox has the sci-fi remake “The Day the Earth Stood Still” opening this December 12th – giving hint that the first footage could premiere with that film – almost a year exactly from Avatar’s release…” (full details)

“In a press release published on Friday, Walden Media revealed that they have yet to give a green light to begin production on the third installment in “The Chronicles of Narnia” franchise – “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”. The film is still scheduled for a May 7th 2010 release at present…” (full details)

“Luc Besson says that he’s beginning work on an epic sci-fi feature next year – big enough that it could be broken up into a trilogy but he hasn’t decided yet as it’s still too early. He’s also completed filming two sequels to “Arthur and the Minimoys” and is working out the 3D elements right now…” (full details)

“Eli Roth is set to direct the ‘film within the film’ in “Inglorious Basterds”. The mini-movie stars Daniel Bruhl as a Nazi sniper on a suicide mission. Roth of course co-stars in the main film…” (full details)

“With original star Sacha Baron Cohen’s involvement in “Dinner for Schmucks” wavering, Dreamworks has reached out to Steve Carell to potentially replace him. “Austin Powers” and “Meet the Parents” helmer Jay Roach, who had long been attached, is considering coming back on board…” (full details)

“Lionsgate recently announced that they’ll continue making “Saw” sequels annually for the foreseeable future thanks to the low-budget franchise’s continued profitability despite increasingly dour reviews. “Saw VI” is now set for a October 23rd 2009…” (full details)

“Paramount’s dispute with David Fincher over ‘Benjamin Button’ seemingly caused them to dump his planned “Heavy Metal” animated film based on the cult magazine. Now the magazine’s publisher Kevin Eastman says things have been sorted out and Fincher, Zack Snyder and Gore Verbinski are set to helm three segments of the five-segment anthology feature…” (full details)

“”Dante’s Peak” scribe Les Bohem is penning the futuristic boxing movie “Real Steel” for Dreamworks Pictures. Bohem created and wrote the Spielberg-executive produced Sci Fi Channel show “Taken”…” (full details)

“USA Network has picked up the eighth and final season of “Monk”. The 16-episode last bow of Tony Shalhoub’s eccentric character will premiere next Summer…” (full details)

“Despite rumors that “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry was keen to have former Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin appear on the show’s season five finale in May, an ABC spokesman said there was “no truth” in the rumor…” (full details)

“Want to know when Danny Boyle’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is opening in your city? Click on the link for full details of US and Canadian city release dates…” (full details)

“French directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (“inside”) have officially left Dimension’s planned sequel to Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” which they had been writing over the past few months with the intention of directing. No replacements have been mentioned though Zombie will return as a producer. The pairs plan to direct a remake of “Hellraiser” for Dimension Films also fell through earlier this year…” (full details)