Tagged: Live Free

Universal Picking Up Charlize Theron Sci-Fi Project ‘Agent 13’

Universal Picking Up Charlize Theron Sci-Fi Project ‘Agent 13’

The Hollywood Reporter reports that “Rise of the Planet of the Apes'” director, Rupert Wyatt is attached to the Charlize Theron Sci-Fi Project ‘Agent 13’.

Universal is finalizing a deal to pick up Agent 13, a sci-fi project that sees Charlize Theron attached to star and Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt attached to direct.

T.S. Nowlin  is the writer behind the pitch, which is based on a little known comic book from 1988. It was created by G.I. Joe and Transformers cartoon writer Flint Dille and David Marconi, who went on to pen the Will Smith thriller Enemy of the State as well as Live Free or Die Hard. 

The comic had post-modern pulp overtones, replete with femme fatales and explosive cliffhangers. The main character is male and despite Theron’s involvement, will remain that way. (The actress is attached to play another part.)

Sean Daniels, one of those behind Universal’s Mummy franchise, discovered the comic and has been developing since at least last year, is one of the producers along with Jason Brown. Theron is also producing via her Denver and Delilah banner as is Union Entertainment.

For more information on Agent 13, check out All Pulp’s interview with Flint Dille and David Marconi from December 2010 at http://allpulp.blogspot.com/2010/12/all-pulps-flint-dille-and-david-marconi.html

Pulp 2.0 Press Opens up The Agent 13 Dossier
Pulp Publisher to Collect the AGENT 13 Novels by Flint Dille and David Marconi

Los Angeles, CA – Pulp 2.0 Press CEO Bill Cunningham today announced that the company has signed an agreement to redesign and republish the adventures of the classic pulp character, Agent 13, created and written by Flint Dille (Transformers G1) and David Marconi (Enemy of the State). This Pulp 2.0 collector’ edition titled The Agent 13 Dossier will be exclusively in print, and will collect all three of the original Agent 13 novels as well as exclusive features disclosing the secrets behind the mysterious Midnight Avenger.

Agent 13 was originally published in 1986 by TSR in a trilogy of novels – The Invisible Empire, The Serpentine Assassin and Acolytes of Darkness. The character spawned a set of graphic novels drawn by artist Dan Spiegle (with covers by Jeff Butler) as well as a role-playing game and comic. Kidnapped as a young child in 1907, a gifted boy was brought to The Shrine, the hidden headquarters of the ancient organization known as The Brotherhood. His past memories were erased, he was assigned the title Agent 13 and trained as an assassin and agent in clandestine operations. He became the best disciple and would have risen high in the ranks of the Brotherhood, until he discovered its true evil nature under its cadaverous leader, Itsu – The Hand Sinister. Fleeing The Brotherhood he is hunted by their ninja-like agents, and begins a deadly cat-and-mouse contest against the organization. He fights back, forming his own group of allies against the Brotherhood who dare to plunge the world toward war.

“Agent 13 is Dille and Marconi’s love letter to the pulps, cliffhanger serials and comics. We at Pulp 2.0 are ecstatic to present our readers with these great pulp adventures in an exclusive collector’s print edition,” said Pulp 2.0 CEO Bill Cunningham. “I remember reading… okay devouring these books when they first came out, and I’ve always loved the world and characters that Flint and David created. To be able to design a new edition to share these rare novels and the secrets behind Agent 13 is an honor.”

“We were sitting in Flint’s living room one day, and we started jamming ideas back and forth. Flint was a big fan of the pulps and he showed me some of the old materials he had. He had a book featuring the old pulp covers that we looked at that was very inspiring. I had just written some screenplays for Warner Brothers and had good relationships there, and said that if we came up with an interesting story/pitch about this stuff, we can possibly set it up as a screenplay to write.’ So we originally developed AGENT 13 as a studio pitch to set up as a film, and spent quite a lot of time developing the story and characters as we pitched it around to the various producer/buyers around town,” said co-creator David Marconi.

“Then, when the movie wasn’t getting set up as quickly as we hoped, but the story had progressed to the level where we had all the characters and everything else worked out, we decided to just write the book. Flint had access to Random House through Gary Gygax and TSR, so we were able to get a publishing deal, and dove straight into Agent 13 novel world. Which at the end of the day, was more fun in that it allowed us to go much deeper into the characters and backstory which can’t be explored in great detail in a 2 hour script format.”

More details will be forthcoming as the project progresses. The Agent 13 contract was negotiated on behalf of the creators by Howard Bliss of Union Entertainment.

About Flint Dille:

Flint Dille is a living embodiment of Transmedia. His career started by turning toys into TV Shows with G1 Transformers, G.I. Joe, Inhumanoids and Visionaries. He has designed games with Gary Gygax and written movies for Steven Spielberg. Flint has sold game design documents as feature films – Venom (Dimension 2006) and Agent In Place (Lionsgate 2010). Flint directed the interactive movie Terror T.R.A.X., Track of the Vampyre which became a television pilot for Fox as well as Dragonstrike, one of the first hybrid film projects.

Flint has twice won ‘Game Script of the Year’ (Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (with JZP) and Dead to Rights and was nominated for Ghostbusters and Dark Athena. He has worked on crown jewel franchises including James Bond, Mission: Impossible, Tiny Toons, Batman: Rise of Sin Tsu (Guiness Book of Videogame Records for creating the first Batman villain outside of the comics), Superman, Dungeons & Dragons, Teen Titans and Scooby-Doo.

He has a degree in Ancient History from U.C. Berkeley and an MFA from USC. Currently, Flint is teaching a class on Alternate Reality Games at UCLA. His follow up book to The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design is about Transmedia.

About David Marconi:

A native of Highland Park, Ill., Marconi was passionate about film making from an early age. After winning several high-school film making competitions, Marconi was awarded an Alumni Merit Scholarship to attend the University of Southern California’s Film School. Upon graduation, landed his first job as Francis Ford Coppola’s assistant on The Outsiders.

Working closely with Coppola, Marconi “cut his directing teeth” watching Francis direct both The Outsiders and Rumblefish. In 1993, Marconi wrote and directed his first feature, The Harvest, (Columbia TriStar). The film premiered in the ‘official selection’ of the San Sebastian Film Festival and went on to win numerous awards in International Film festivals.

The success of The Harvest brought Marconi to the attention of Simpson/Bruckheimer who commissioned Marconi to write his original screenplay Enemy of the State (Disney) starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman. Marconi continued creating tent-pole action films for the major studios; WW3.com (which served as the basis for the Die Hard sequel; Live Free or Die Hard ) (Twentieth Century Fox,) Perfect Suspect for Chris Rock (Twentieth Century Fox,) and the high-tech., science fiction epic; No Man’s Land. (Dreamworks.)

Most recently, Marconi was a featured guest speaker for IADC, International Attorney’s Defense Council, and the Department of Defense Cyber-Crime Conference where he lectured on his film Enemy of the State and how it relates to privacy concerns and cyber-warfare in a post 9-11 world. 2011 will mark Marconi’s second foray behind the lens as a writer/director with his new feature film; INTERSECTION, a gritty thriller currently in pre-production being produced by Luc Besson, the director of THE PROFESSIONAL, FIFTH ELEMENT and Europa Corp. Holding duel citizenship for the US and EU (Italy,) Marconi divides his time between Los Angeles and Europe.

Oni’s ‘Scott Pilgrim’ Takes on Hollywood

Oni’s ‘Scott Pilgrim’ Takes on Hollywood

The film adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Oni Press series Scott Pilgrim begins shooting this fall for a 2009 release. While Michael Cera (Juno) has been attached to star as Scott, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Live Free or Die Hard) is set as Ramona V. Flowers.

Shaun of the Dead’s Edgar Wright is on board to direct the film, formally titled Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, from the screenplay by Michael Bacall and Wright.

The series consists of six black and white digest-sized graphic novels and tells of 23 year-old Scott’s quest to vanquish Ramona’s evil ex-boyfriends to win her heart.  Starting in 2004, four of the projected six volumes are currently in print.

Winstead told Moviehole, “Yeah! It’s going to be really cool. I’m such a fan of Edgar’s — I can’t believe I’m going to be involved with it. I’m extremely excited about it. I actually just started Kung-Fu training for it today! I’m hoping to be pretty bad-ass by the end of it.”

Live Free or Hairspray Hard by Ric Meyers

Live Free or Hairspray Hard by Ric Meyers

When I was attempting to explain the joys to be found in a good kung-fu film in my Martial Arts Movie books, I suggested that the exhilaration of a great wushu battle is only really comparable to the delights of a good movie musical. Both feature operatic emotions with balletic energy. I was reminded of that comparison when watching Hairspray, one of my three favorite summer o’07 films (Ratatouille and Superbad were the others). I admired it so much I even included it in my Inside Kung-Fu magazine media column (after all, the word “kung-fu” actually means “hard work”).


Now the DVD is out, and in a two-disc “Shimmy and Shake Edition,” too. After the too-few extras on the Ratatouille and Help! DVDs, it’s nice to find a release with the reams of special features about the kung-fu I so enjoy. There’s two audio commentaries – one with star Nikki Blonsky and director/choreographer Dan Shankman, and the other with two producers (Neil Meron and Craig Zadan). The latter is a little more informative but the former is a lot more fun.


Joining them on the first disc is a “Hairspray Extensions” featurette that lives up to its title – in that it shows six musical numbers as they were built, step by step, from rehearsal to filming. For Dancing With the Stars fans, there’s also a “Step by Step Dance Instructions” featurette that carefully and completely teaches you two of the film’s signature boogie-woogies. Finally, there’s a “Jump to a Song” feature which allows you to avoid all those pesky dialog scenes.


Then there’s the second disc, which balances extensive and exhaustive “making of” docs (on the music by Marc Shaiman, who also composed the South Park movie, dancing, design, costumes and cast) with historical context featurettes on the original non-musical John Waters film, the actual Baltimore TV dance show the film was inspired by, and the Broadway musical that was adapted from Waters film. But, as they say on TV, that’s not all. Rounding out the second disc are a bunch of deleted scenes, including an evocative song that was cut from the film (probably wisely – though effective, it clearly slowed the film’s pace).


Harry Potter tops

Harry Potter tops

Box Office Mojo declalres Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix the top-grossing film this weekend, with a take of more than $77.4 million and a per-theater average of $18,065.  Since opening on Wednesday, Potter has earned more than $140 million.

The rest of the Top Ten include Transformers ($36 million), Ratatouille ($18.019 million), Live Free or Die Hard ($10.875 million), License to Wed ($7.44 million ), 1408 ($5.01 million), Evan Almighty ($4.972 million), Sicko ($2.65 million), Ocean’s Thirteen ($1.91 million), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer ($1.585 million), Captivity ($1.55 million), Pirates of the Caribbean ($1.402 million) and Evening ($1.154 million).

Next weekend, the big premiere is Hairspray, whose major special effect is John Travolta in a dress and a fat suit.  As long as Christopher Walken dances, I’m there.

Transformers with a side of Ratatouille

Transformers with a side of Ratatouille

Box Office Mojo’s weekend movie estimates show that Transformers made a whopping $67.6 million, including $22 million on Friday alone. The total gross so far is $152.5 million since Wednesday. Per theater grosses were $16,853, more than double what the next ranked film, Ratatouille, took in.

The Pixar rat did okay, though, with a weekend haul of over $29 mil, and a per-theater gross of $7,367. So far, it’s made more than $109.5 million.

The other top-tenners are Live Free or Die Hard ($17.4 million), License to Wed ($10.4 million), Evan Almighty ($8.4 million), 1408 ($7.14 million), Knocked Up ($5.19 million), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer ($4.15 million), Sicko ($3.65 milion) and Ocean’s Thirteen ($3.525 million).

Knocked Up, which cost abou $30 milion, has earned more than $132 million so far this summer, making it the most profitable non-documentary film on the list so far.

Monday’s box-office breaks records

Monday’s box-office breaks records

Don’t people have day-jobs?  Accordiing to Variety, Transformers made $8.8 million on Monday, playing on 3,050 screens around the country.  Today, it adds another 500 screens, and will probably make even more money.  The studios behind the movie (Paramount and DreamWorks) hope to earn more than $100 million by Monday, in what they describe as a 6 1/2 day weekend.

Ratatouille earned $7.5 million.  Live Free or Die Hard made $4.3 million.

Transformers stars upcoming ComicMixer Mark Ryan as the voice of Bumblebee.

MOVIE REVIEW: Live Free Or Die Hard

MOVIE REVIEW: Live Free Or Die Hard

Well, after 12 years John McClain is back in full force with Live Free or Die Hard, the fourth sequel in the series, and the sixth sequel to come out this summer. I have to say going into the flick I wasn’t expecting much, especially after seeing the trailer, which only made me believe Ric Meyer’s micro-review in saying that this isn’t a Die Hard sequel, it’s actually the unwritten sequel for Unbreakable. So between that and the fact that this is the first Die Hard film to receive a PG-13 Rating, I was less than excited for it.

Having that frame of mind, I think I was able to enjoy the film much more. I wasn’t looking for a direct comparison to the first three movies, I just wanted a good John McClain movie, and that’s what I got. The biggest issue with Bruce Willis’ character is that Willis himself has so drastically changed his acting style in the last 12 years, that it’s like asking Walt Disney’s head to unfreeze itself and start drawing exactly like he used to. Granted the fun loving, swearing Bruce Willis that we remember from the first flicks is long gone, and we’re left with the bald, grumpy old man Willis who looks like he has to force himself to smile, but we all just have to change with the times, and even McClain has to age.

Following the formula of With a Vengeance, our hero is accompanied by a would-be sidekick, who fights spends a good chunk of the movie deciding whether or not this is a battle worth fighting, and of course breaking out of his mold by the end of the movie to become someone super cop John McClain can respect. This time around, we get Mac Boy Justin Long as the cowardly super hacker Matt Fuller. Long played the role just as any sidekick should, by accentuating the heroism of…well, the hero.

Also along for the ride were Maggie Q and Tim Olyphant as the evil duo. Everywhere I go, guys are falling in love with Maggie Q, and until checking out this movie I didn’t know why. She manages to play the seductive-yet-deadly henchwoman very well. And as per usual, Olyphant oozes charisma as the bad guy in this picture. I’ve been following this guy since Gone in 60 Seconds, and I’ve had nothing but good things to say about each of his roles.


Ratatouille, Die Hard on top

Ratatouille, Die Hard on top

Box Office Mojo reports that Ratatouille is the top-grossing film this weekend, as expected, with grosses of more than $47 million.  This beats Live Free or Die Hard, which earned a tad over $33 million.

"But wait," you say.  "Die Hard 4 opened on Wednesday.  Didn’t the real fans go then, driving up the gross?"

Well, I certainly went on Wednesday.  However, even with a jump start, the total gross thus far is a mere $48.178 million. 

Other films in the top ten are (in order) Evan Almighty, 1408, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Knocked Up, Ocean’s 13, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Sicko and Evening.  I find it interesting that, on average per-theater earnings, Ratatouille is tops with $11,986, while Sicko is second with $10,204, ahead of Bruce Willis at $9,727.

Spider-Man 3, with a ranking of 12, has a per-theater average of only $985.

MICRO-REVIEW: Live Free Or Die Hard

MICRO-REVIEW: Live Free Or Die Hard

This is not actually a sequel to the Bruce Willis films where he stars as John McClane. This is actually a secret sequel to Unbreakable, where Willis stars as invulnerable hero David Dunn. Somewhere between Die Hard 2 and 3, the characters switched places.

We encourage Live Free viewers to comment.