Soon we can see Greedo shoot first in glorious 3D! George Lucas–who’s never run out of ways to re-release Star Wars in different versions and formats–has officially announced he’ll be converting all six films into 3D for theatrical releases. Promising to take time and care with the post-production 3D process–about a year for each film–Lucasfilm will start with The Phantom Menace in theaters sometime in 2012. Which means by the time they get to Return of the Jedi, the technology will be so advanced it’ll be like having an Ewok in your lap.
Pre-production on Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes sequel is gathering speed. Of course Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law will be back, plus the Swedish Lisabeth Salander, Noomi Rapace, as the new love interest. (Rapace isn’t the only European actor to get a Hollywood career bump from the Swedish Millennium films–her co-star Michael Nyqvist has just been cast as one of the villains in Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible 4.)
And just this week comes a pair of note-perfect castings. The Great Stephen Fry will play Holmes’ lazier-but-smarter older brother Mycroft (completing some sort of Sherlock circle, as Fry’s old comedy partner Hugh Laurie of course plays the Holmes-inspired Dr. House on TV). And The Latino Review broke the news that Mad Men‘s terrific Jared Harris (who was one of the best things about Extraordinary Measures) is in talks to play Holmes’ ultimate foil, the egg-headed Napoleon of Crime, the evil Professor James Moriarty (glimpsed as a shadowy figure in the first Holmes film). Holmes 2 will be in theaters in December of 2011.
Related from redbox:
- Sherlock Holmes (read my full review)
- Rapace in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (read my full review)
- Harris in Extraordinary Measures (read my full review)
This makes my head hurt. Not just because it’s yet another bump in the road for Peter Jackson’s troubled production of my beloved Hobbit, but because my idea of fun is not trying to suss out all sides of a Union-employer showdown in 100 words or less. Suffice to say several Australian and international actors’ unions are threatening vague “punishment” to their members if they take jobs on The Hobbit, due to issues over whether Jackson and MGM/New Line are running a “non-union” shoot with New Zealand actors (many of whom have trouble getting acting guild cards).
As is typical in these situations, both sides are posturing, bluffing and jostling for power and money, with Jackson and the studios threatening to move the production out of New Zealand. Don’t worry too much–in the long run there’ll probably be back-room deals hammered out, but the hassle is another potentially costly threat to The Hobbit production, which has still not been greenlit due to MGM’s financial issues.
* One of my favorite comedians, Patton Oswalt, and Patrick Wilson (Watchmen, The Switch) will appear in Young Adult, the new black comedy from Juno and Up in the Air director Jason Rietman and smart-mouthed Juno scribe Diablo Cody. The film stars Charlize Theron as a Minneapolis young-adult fiction writer returning to her Minnesota home town. (The Twin Cities were Cody’s old stompin’–and strippin’–grounds.)
* Kate Beckinsale is squeezing back into the leather and latex for a return to the Underworld series. The actress, whose husband Len Wiseman directed the first two films, did not appear in the most recent vampire-on-werewolf action flick, Rise of the Lycans. Wiseman will not be returning to direct the fourth movie.
* This is much more Erika’s territory, so I’ll keep it short: Deadline.com reports that Lost‘s Maggie Grace will appear in the Twilight: Breaking Dawn films as Irina, part of the Denali coven. Whatever that all means.
* 14-year old Chloe Moretz continues to be a hot commodity in Hollywood. Deadline says the co-star of Kick-Ass and this week’s Let Me In will star in the film adaptation of skateboarder Rob Reger’s Emily the Strange character, featured on T-shirts and skateboards, toys and school supplies.
* According to Variety, Easy A star Emma Stone is rumored to be on track for two high-profile gigs: As the female lead in the Jonah Hill remake of 21 Jump Street, and even better, as a possible new Mary Jane opposite The Social Network‘s Andrew Garfield in the new Spider-Man reboot.
Related from redbox:
- Up in the Air (read James’ full review)
- Oswalt in Big Fan (read my full review)
- Beckinsale in Everybody’s Fine (read James’ full review)
- Twilight: New Moon (read Erika’s full review, read my Twilight Theater spoof)
- Moretz in Kick Ass on DVD and Blu-ray (read my full review) and Diary of a Wimpy Kid on DVD and Blu-ray (read Erika’s full review)
- Stone in Zombieland (read James’ full review) and Marmaduke on DVD and Blu-ray (read Erika’s full review)
* Wow, it feels like 2003 all over. Once again we’re in a flurry of rumors and speculation as to who will direct yet another Superman reboot–this one produced by Dark Knight/Inception maestro Christopher Nolan. Luckily this time around the names are a little more reassuring than McG, Brett Ratner, and Michael Bay. (Though I still think Bryan Singer did a decent job with Superman Returns and might have really nailed it on a second spin.)
The Hollywood Reporter’s HeatVision blog reports that the Superman director wish list includes Moon‘s Duncan Jones, Battle: Los Angeles‘ Jonathan Liebesman, Let Me In and Cloverfield‘s Matt Reeves, Tony Scott (please, no), and 300/Watchmen/Legend of the Guardians director Zack Snyder. But with Ben Affleck bowing out of the running last week, the name at the top seems to be Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan). Ironically, Aronofsky was originally set to write and direct the Batman reboot a decade ago, until the gig went to… Christopher Nolan.
* Crash writer-director and Craig-Bond scribe Paul Haggis is considering penning a remake of the ’80s TV show The Equalizer that starred Edward Woodward. According to HeatVision, Haggis is working with Russell Crowe, who’s attached to The Equalizer project as star and producer. Crowe and Haggis just completed the upcoming thriller The Next Three Days.
* For years, the only real knock on the glory that is Pixar was that all their stories were boys’ adventure tales centered on male heroes. (Our former colleague James Rocchi spelled it out perfectly in a redblog piece last summer.) Now Pixar has announced its first female director. Brenda Chapman (director of Dreamworks’ Prince of Egypt and a writer on Disney/Pixar films such as Cars, The Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast) will be helming Brave, a medieval tale of tomboy princess who loves archery. The CG animated film will be released the summer of 2012.