News Bites: Weekend, Feb. 28th-29th 2004

By Garth Franklin Wednesday March 1st 2006 04:50PM

Batman Begins: "The studio has chosen "Batman Begins" as the title of the fifth installment, described as an origins story of how billionaire Bruce Wayne becomes the Caped Crusader and faces his first foes in Gotham City..." (more info). Dinocroc: "Roger Corman, who produced his first film, "Monster From the Ocean Floor," in 1954, is celebrating his 50th anniversary as a producer by unleashing a new sea monster at the AFM. "Dinocroc," about a genetically altered crocodile that terrorizes a small town, has been bought by the Sci Fi Channel and sold to nearly 20 international territories. Some distribs have already signed on for "Dinocroc 2"..." (more info). Inferno: "New Line Cinema has bought David Jung and Steve Dandois' action thriller "Inferno" for Karz Entertainment to produce. Story follows a betrayed narcotics officer who resurrects himself as a gang lord to exact revenge..." (more info). Hot Dog Vendor: "Paramount Pictures has moved forward on Johnny Knoxville's "Hot Dog Vendor" project by signing Sheldon Turner, one of Hollywood's most sought-after writers, to pen the script. The comedy will center initially on the rivalry between a pair of hot dog vendors in downtown Los Angeles, with Knoxville portraying an ex-con forced into the business by his parole officer. The duo eventually ally to take on a common enemy, the equivalent of the New York Yankees of the hot dog vending world..." (more info). The Fountain: "Two years after it supposedly ran dry, Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain" is bubbling back to life, but with a decidedly leaner budget. This time, the pic will likely star Hugh Jackman instead of Brad Pitt. Slated to go before cameras in fall 2002, pic was set to be a $75 million co-production between Warner Bros. Pictures and New Regency..." (more info). The Greatest Game Ever Played: "Disney has closed Bill Paxton's deal to helm "The Greatest Game Ever Played". Paxton began eyeing the project in December, but the deal finally closed Friday. It's the true story of the legendary 1913 U.S. Open, in which 20-year-old Francis Ouimet shocked the golf world by defeating British champion Harry Vardon. Shooting is expected to begin in the summer..." (more info). The Town That Forgot How to Breathe: "Producer Catherine Gourdier's Canada-based Ladyhawke Ventures has acquired the film rights to novel by Kenneth J. Harvey for Gourdier to adapt. Newfoundland-set ghost story concerns a burg where residents come down with a mysterious illness that has even the military alarmed..." (more info). Bone Canyon: "New Line Cinema has pre-emptively picked up Harris Wilkinson's horror pitch "Bone Canyon" for low- against mid-six figures. "Canyon" revolves around a group of college students who find themselves being hunted by supernatural forces after their plane crashes in a desolate mountain town..." (more info). Fierce People: "Indie unit Lions Gate Entertainment has greenlighted the drama "Fierce People," with Diane Lane set to topline. Griffin Dunne ("Practical Magic," "Addicted to Love") will helm from a script by Dirk Wittenborn, which follows Liz, a bohemian beauty who lives a carefree life as a massage therapist in Manhattan..." (more info). The Grudge: "International finance, production and distribution banner Senator International unveiled a spate of rights deals Friday at AFM on its upcoming horror thriller "The Grudge." The film has now been sold in major territories including the United Kingdom (UIP), Germany (Constantin), France (Metropolitan) and Australia (Village Roadshow)..." (more info). The Punisher II: "With its Marvel Enterprises property "The Punisher" ready to hit theaters in the spring, Lions Gate Entertainment said Thursday that it has further pacted with Marvel for a "Punisher II" sequel and also is developing two more Marvel films, based on the characters of Iron Fist and Black Widow..." (more info). Alias (TV): Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou will reprise his role of Covenant kingpin Kazari Bomani in two episodes in March. Catwoman: Halle Berry talks the costume controversy to EmpireOnline, whilst new logo art is up at LatinoReview. Dawn of the Dead: The official site for the zombie remake is now up. Family Guy: IGN Filmforce has the details on who'll handle the production. Fever Pitch: Mira Nair, PJ Hogan and Luke Greenfield are candidates to direct. Drew Barrymore is attached to star and its scheduled to begin in July. Hellraiser: Hellworld: A two-minute clip from the latest sequel is up at UHM. Lady in White: Wind and Shadows: Frank LaLoggia is getting ready to shoot his follow-up to "Lady in White" - another ghost movie involving kids and should please fans of the original. Man on Fire: More photos from the Denzel thriller are up at LatinoReview.

Pitch Black: DavisDVD reports that Universal Home Video is renaming and re-releasing Pitch Black to "The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black", they're also releasing an animated prequel to the upcoming Riddick theatrical film called The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury. This animated short will also come with a preview of the feature film. Posters: New one-sheets are up for Shrek 2, Raising Helen & Connie and Carla. Release Date Shifts: "Elektra" will open Feb 18th 2005, "Flight of the Phoenix" will soar Oct 22nd, "The Manchurian Candidate" takes aim July 30th, and "Catwoman" prowls July 23rd indicates Coming Soon. The Lena Horne Story: The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Horne herself was disgusted by Jackson's boob-flash and gave the producers an ultimatim: Replace Jackson or try to do "The Lena Horne Story" without the support or approval of Lena Horne. The Siege of Prime Time Live: Moviehole reports that Charlie Sheen is tipped to be starring in big-time action pic for Producer Mark Thomas. In it, Marty's boy would play a charismatic, but extremely sarcastic former soldier and bankrupt New Yorker - who's just a geek for television - who takes on villains planning a heist in London on Christmas Eve. Nick Moran ["Lock, Stock"] is rumoured to be a frontrunner for one of the villain parts. Thanks to 'Adam', 'Stef', 'Patrick', 'Greg', 'Stax', 'Dimitri', 'SWERJ', 'Kenton', 'Liam', 'SWERJ', 'Kriszta', 'FrighT MasteR' & 'KarlChilders'