Studios Head Into Production Boom

Despite the economic downturn, the various studios are getting ready to move forward as more than forty productions get underway early next year reports Variety.

Due to the writers strike and the threat of an actors strike, studios quickly rushed through approval on projects in late 2007 before grinding approvals to a halt for much of the last twelve months.

Now with the writer’s strike over and the threat of an actor’s strike being offset by stubborn and prolonged in-fighting, a rush has begun to get projects into production and fill release date slots in 2010 and 2011 that are going begging.

It’s a two-edged sword despite financing for these films having already been secured. On the one hand with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) situation still unresolved and no more ‘strike insurance’ on offer, studios take a risk of losing millions if SAG does go on strike.

On the other is that the window is quickly closing on time to have product ready for release in 2010 and 2011, economic slowdowns if anything drive more people to the movies, and the actors themselves are keen to get back to work if only to ensure paychecks keep coming during these uncertain times.

The upcoming film slates of the major studios are as follows (some are already well into production and will be unaffected):

Sony Pictures: “2012”
– The Roland Emmerich-helmed global disaster epic
“Angels & Demons”
– The Tom Hanks-led ‘Da Vinci Code’ prequel
“The Green Hornet” – Stephen Chow-directed superhero film with Seth Rogen
“Salt” – The Phillip Noyce-helmed, Angelina Jolie spy thriller
“Zombieland” – The Ruben Fleischer-directed zombie buddy movie

Walt Disney Pictures: “Alice in Wonderland” – Tim Burton’s new take on the Lewis Carrol classic
“Mars Needs Moms” – A Robert Zemeckis-produced motion-capture film

“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” – A Jon Turteltaub-directed, Nicolas Cage thriller
“TR2N” – The sequel to cult 80’s sci-fi flick “Tron”
“Wild Hogs 2” – Comedy sequel once again helmed by Walt Becker

20th Century Fox: “The A-Team” – The John Singleton-directed film based on the 80’s series
“Alvin and the Chipmunks 2”
– The sequel to the recent family smash hit
“Avatar” – The James Cameron-directed 3D sci-fi fantasy

“Date Night” – Shawn Levy-helmed rom-com with Steve Carell and Tina Fey
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” –
A live-action take on the comic about a student
“Family Wedding” – Rick Famuyiwa-helmed
African-American family drama
“Night at the Museum 2” – The sequel to the Ben Stiller fantasy comedy hit
“Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief” – Chris Columbus-directed family film
“Orbit” – Thriller about a civilian stuck alone in space when a shuttle crew dies
“Ramona”
– The Fox-Walden fantasy based on Beverly Cleary’s novel series
“Tooth Fairy” – Dwayne Johnson tries to save the tooth fairy kingdom
“Town House” – John Carney-directed comedy about a dead rocker’s son

MGM Films: “The Cabin in the Woods” – The Drew Goddard-directed horror flick

“Fame” – The Kevin Tancharoen-helmed remake of the 80’s musical

“The Matarese Circle” – David Cronenberg helmed political thriller adaptation
“RoboCop” – Darren Aronofsky-helmed remake of the sci-fi classic.

Marvel Studios: “Iron Man 2” – The Jon Favreau-directed sequel with Robert Downey Jr.
“Thor” – The Kenneth Branagh-helmed viking god feature

Miramax: “The Debt” – John Madden-directed thriller with Helen Mirren

“Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark”

– A remake of the 1973 TV horror movie
“Man on a Train” – An intergenerational drama

New Line: “Gears of War” – The Len Wiseman-helmed video game adaptation

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” – The Wesley Strick-directed remake

“Sex and the City 2” – The sequel to this year’s hit comedy

“Torrente” – Remake of Spanish dark comedy about a corrupt cop

Paramount Pictures: “Beverly Hills Cop 4” – The Brett Ratner-directed Eddie Murphy sequel
“Footloose” – The Kenny Ortega-directed musical remake with Zac Efron
“The Last Airbender” – The M. Night Shyamalan-helmed cartoon adaptation
“Morning Glory” – Roger Michell-directed comedy about a female producer
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” – The robot action-fueled sequel
“Us and Them”

Universal Pictures: “BioShock” – The Gore Verbinski-helmed adaptation of the video game.
“Couples Retreat” – The Peter Billingsley-directed comedy with Vince Vaughn
“Funny People” – Judd Apatow-directed dramedy about stand-up comedians
“Get Him to the Greek” – The Nicholas Stoller-directed comedy.
“Nottingham” – The Ridley Scott-helmed Robin Hood story with Russell Crowe
“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” – Edgar Wright-directed comedy with Michael Cera
Untitled Nancy Meyers Comedy – Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin star.

Warner Bros. Pictures: “The Book of Eli” – The Denzel Washington post-apocalyptic western
“Clash of the Titans” – Louis Leterrier-helmed remake of the 80’s classic
“Hangover” – Todd Phillips-helmed comedy about a bachelor party
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” – The two-part final installment
“Human Factor” – Clint Eastwood-directed drama with Morgan Freeman
“Jonah Hex” – The Mark Neveldine/Brian Taylor-helmed comic adaptation
“Suckerpunch” – The Zack Snyder-directed action fantasy
“Terminator Salvation” – The McG-helmed sci-fi action sequel