Hollywood News & Notes
Universal Studios helped pioneer the direct-to-DVD concept for film franchises with American Pie. The series of videos — American Pie: Band Camp, American Pie: Naked Mile and American Pie: Beta House — has brought them much cash and provided Playboy with many an actress to peel for their pages. Now, Moviehole says the studio is eyeing an actual feature film to pick up the story of the original characters. After all the first film, released in 1999, brought in an eye-popping $235 million. No cast or crew has been signed or announced so speculation can run rampant as to which characters will be brought back as the focal point. Stifler? Stifler’s Mom? Jim and Michelle? We vote for Nadia, since after all, Shannon Elizabeth could always use the work.
Ian Jeffers has written an original werewolf tale and according to Bloody Disgusting, he has sold it to director Ridley Scott. Jeffers has previously written Death Sentence and the screen adaptation of the video game Castlevania.
Madagascar 2 director Tom McGrath told Skiewed and Reviewed, “While we never know how well the film will do, I have been kicking around ideas for another film in the series.” He went on say he’d like to see the characters return to their home, the Central Park Zoo, in the third film.
As we mentioned the other day, M. Night Shyamalan is producing three films in his new three-picture deal with Media Rights Capital. Now we hear the first picture will be Devil, written by Brian Nelson (30 Days of Night). John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine) will direct and produce alongside his brother, Drew Dowdle. Devil comes from an original story by Shyamalan. The Unbreakable and Sixth Sense director will produce the film with Sam Mercer under Shyamalan’s new Night Chronicles banner. Night Chronicles was set up by MRC as a financing and production partnership with M. Night to create one genre film per year over three years. Shyamalan will come up with the ideas, select the creative team and oversee the creative direction. He’ll also co-own the film copyrights and retain artistic control.
Twentieth Century Fox has announced its sequel will be titled Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel opening Christmas Day 2009. Fox has also moved the kid/family movie Tooth Fairy to Thanksgiving 2009 release. Chris Columbus other movie, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, based on Rick Riordan’s books, has been kicked back a year to July 2, 2010. Another kid’s series, Beverly Cleary’s Ramona, will become a feature film, to be released March 19, 2010.
Sir Roger Moore has been added to the voice cast of Gnome & Troll: The Forest Trial. The animated feature is coming from Swedish film company White Shark and is set to debut in 2009. The film is a sequel to this year’s Gnome & Troll The Secret Chamber. Moore will play King Leif, with Peter Stormare to voice Ogar Mini.
Director Rob Cohen confirmed for Collider that xXx 3 is being developed with an eye towards being ready summer 2010. "Yes, they’re doing it with me and producer Joe Roth”, he said. “We made the deal recently, it’s named xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. We met the writers yesterday and we’re trying to get into production by late spring, to have it out for the summer of 2010." Diesel will first be seen in the summer 2009 sequel to the Fast and Furious.
Producer Gale Anne Hurd confirmed for Moviehole that her recent comment about trying to reboot the Alien Nation franchise was more than wishful thinking. “I dropped Hurd a line to see whether she’s actually pitched the film or whether it’s just something she bought up in conversation,” Moviehole wrote, “with no plans to actually convince someone with money to bankroll it. “The good news is? Hurd has indeed talked to the powers-that-be about doing the film but, in her words, there’s ‘no traction yet’. The 20th-Century Fox film spawned a beloved weekly series which aired on Fox in the 1980s.