News Bites: Friday, April 23rd 2004

By Garth Franklin Friday April 23rd 2004 11:47PM

Derailed: "Clive Owen will star in "Derailed" for Miramax Films and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Swedish helmer Mikael Hafstrom is making his English-language directing bow on the thriller, in which the life of an ad exec takes an unpredictable turn when he misses his morning train to the office. Stuart Beattie ("Collateral") adapted the screenplay from James Siegel's novel..." (more info). Mario Bava Remakes: "Gale Anne Hurd's Valhalla Motion Pictures and David Allen's Kismet Entertainment Group are teaming to produce remakes of Mario Bava's "Kidnapped" and "Black Sabbath". Jonathan Hensleigh, who helmed "The Punisher," will contribute to the script development and may direct one of the thrillers. Jeff Davis ("Retribution") has signed to write "Kidnapped," centered on three bank robbers on the run with three unwitting hostages..." (more info). MGM/Sony Buyout: "Sony is courting MGM -- again. Coming on hot and heavy in a new round of talks, the conglom has joined forces with two financial players, Texas Pacific Group and Providence Equity Partners, in a sweet bid of about $5 billion, or just over $21 a share..." (more info). Pattern Recognition: "Peter Weir is attached to direct this thriller that Anonymous Content has set up at Warner Bros. Weir will co-write the script with David Arata. "Pattern Recognition" follows the adventures of a marketing expert who finds herself in a dangerous puzzle when she's hired to track down the source of a strange collection of video footage on the Internet. William Gibson published the novel last year through Penguin Putnam..." (more info). The Aviator: "After much debate, and due to Warner Bros.' tentpole-heavy fourth quarter, Miramax will handle domestic distribution on Martin Scorsese's epic Howard Hughes biopic. Release is set for Dec. 17. Warner Bros. Pictures and Miramax will retain their financial partnership agreement on the film, splitting costs and revenues 50/50 on the domestic release..." (more info). The Lovely Bones: "Lynne Ramsay is out as director, and talks are under way with Peter Jackson and partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens to make Alice Sebold's bestselling novel"The Lovely Bones" their follow-up to "King Kong." "Lovely Bones" does not seem like the sort of book that's destined for a film adaptation. It's a heartbreaking tale narrated by a 14-year old girl -- after she has been raped and murdered. From heaven, she observes her shattered family's attempt to heal, as a detective tries to solve the case and as her killer moves along his demented path..." (more info). The Polar Express: "In one of the boldest moves ever taken by an independent producer, Steve Bing has invested close to $80 million in Warner Bros. Christmas tentpole, "Polar Express". Bing will cover half the production budget of the animated pic about a boy who travels to the North Pole on Christmas..." (more info). The Wrong Element: "Heading back into hero mode, Harrison Ford will topline "The Wrong Element," a thriller to be financed and distributed by Warner Bros. Beacon Communications topper Armyan Bernstein is producing with Jon Shestack. Joe Forte scripted. A director will be signed shortly..." (more info). Andrew Henry's Meadow: "Zach Braff -- whose directorial debut, "Garden State," raked in positive reviews and a $5 million distribution deal at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival -- has found a follow-up project. The "Scrubs" star is teaming with his brother to adapt D. Burn's novel "Andrew Henry's Meadow" for 20th Century Fox..." (more info). Back to School: "MGM is developing a remake of the Rodney Dangerfield starrer "Back to School," which the studio envisions as a starring vehicle for Cedric the Entertainer. David Ronn and Jay Scherick are writing the script. The remake will be based loosely on the 1986 Orion Pictures comedy..." (more info). Coldwater: "Ron Perlman isn't done with hell quite yet. The star of Sony Pictures/Revolution Studios' "Hellboy" has been cast as the leader of a detention center for juvenile delinquents in the upcoming indie feature "Coldwater." To be helmed by music video director Sean Michael Beyer, the film is described as a fictional story based on the reality of juvenile boot camps, where the punishment is often much greater than the crime..." (more info). Good Grief: "Universal Pictures has acquired feature film rights to Lolly Winston's dramedy novel "Good Grief" for studio-based Marc Platt Prods. to produce. The novel, which debuted to positive reviews, centers on a young woman who is forced to reinvent her life when she is suddenly widowed just as she was getting used to being married in the first place..." (more info). Hover Car Racer: "The Walt Disney Co. is waving the green flag for "Hover Car Racer," acquiring feature film rights to Australian scribe Matthew Riley's forthcoming book for "Smallville" creators and executive producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar to produce. The project falls under the duo's freshly inked 18-month first-look film producing pact with Disney..." (more info). Iron Man: "David Hayter, whose credits include comic book films "X-Men" and "X2: X-Men United," has signed on to rewrite "Iron Man," New Line Cinema's adaptation of the Marvel Comics character. In the comic, Iron Man's real identity is that of billionaire industrialist Tony Stark, who develops an armored suit that lets him fly and shoot repulsor rays..." (more info). Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow: "Paramount Pictures' retro-futuristic action-adventure movie starring Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, won't be taking to the skies during the crowded summer months. The studio is postponing the film, which had been scheduled for release June 25, nearly three months to a new September 17 playdate. Paramount said the shift comes because of moves on the part of its competitors..." (more info).Ask the Dust: Val Kilmer has officially signed onto the Colin Farrell flick, see Capitol Films for details. Buffy (TV): The cast talk about wrapping up the series to Visimag. Chronicles of Riddick: A good quality copy of the one-sheet is now online. Dawn of the Dead (DVD): Zack Snyder has apparently convinced the suits to let him release an unrated version of Dawn of the Dead with 25 minutes of extra footage. One of the special features on the disc will be a video diary of Andy the gunshop owner. Dodgeball: A second piece of poster artwork is now up at IMP Awards. DVD News: Details are up for Predator: SE, Never Die Alone,Millenium: Season 1, The Dreamers & Pitch Black. Friends (TV): Eleven pictures from the series finale are up at Mediasharx. Godsend: A huge controversy is brewing over the medical supernatural thriller, see Wired for details. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban: A final runtime of 142 minutes has been locked. Indiana Jones IV: With all three players busy, Yahoo has the details of the project's fate. New York Minute: Final production notes and stills from the Olsen Twins film are up at HeroRealm. Title: link. Semper Occultus: Duran Duran are back with plans to do the theme for the female spy flick, see Moviehole for details. Shark Tale: An interesting pic from the CG-animated flick is up at 3dyanimacion. Smallville (TV): Krypton Site has details and a photo from the season finale. Spider-Man 2 : Alfred Molina talks about his role as Doc Ock to Visimag. The Simple Life 2: Some details about the second series is up at Mediasharx. The Weatherman: Just north of Chicago at the Old Orchard Shopping Center, Nicholas Cage was there filming scenes in the big indoor/outdoor food court. Van Helsing: The official site for the Hugh Jackman thriller is now online. Watchmen: AICN talked to screenwriter David Hayter about the upcoming Revolution Studios Watchmen adaptation and has revealed that Requiem for a Dream director Darren Aronofsky will helm the project. The site says that as soon as Aronofsky has completed "The Fountain", he will be bringing the characters to the big screen Whispers From Below: Laura Regan from "They" and Mark-Paul Gosselaar have landed the lead roles in this horror flick currently shooting in Vancouver. Thanks to 'Gustavo', 'Mike', 'Dimitri', 'Marcus', 'Dani', 'James', 'Matt', 'Martin', 'Mitja' & 'KarlChilders'