Recycled & Resurrected
War of the Worlds.” “The
Longest Yard.” “King Kong.” “Fun
With Dick And Jane.” “Charlie and the Chocolate
Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.” “The Dukes
Familiar names all, and familiar long before
they were greenlit as major 2005 theatrical releases.
Remakes of old movies and TV shows remain
a useful source of new big-screen blockbusters – and not even tepid performers like “Aeon Flux” and “The
Producers” can deter producers and studio execs from capitalizing on
the power of proven stories and title recognition.
This month, we look into what Hollywood
“The Omen 666” is a remake of the 1976 horror classic “The
Omen,” about an American diplomatic couple who realize their son is the
antichrist. It was last covered in the January 2006 edition of Next! Fox has
a feeling about a June 6 release.
“Romeo & Juliet: Sealed With A Kiss” is an animated tale
that recasts the tragic Shakespeare romantic drama with aquatic mammals. Directed
by Phil Nibbelink (“An American Tale: Fievel Goes West,” “We’re
Back! A Dinosaur’s Story”) from his own screenplay, it features
a happier ending than its source material and was recently acquired by Indican,
which is tentatively paddling toward a June 14 release.
“The Lake House,” Warner Bros.’ English-language remake
of the Korean film “Il Mare,” was covered in last November’s
Next!, and harbors a new release date. The Keanu Reeves/Sandra Bullock romance
docks with cinemas June 16.
“Flicka” is a remake of the 1943 Roddy McDowell classic. The
family drama is this time about a girl who, while working on her family’s
Wyoming ranch, claims a wild horse as her own, vowing to raise it herself.
Based on the Mary O’Hara novel “My Friend Flicka,” it is
directed by Michael Mayer (“A Home at the End of the World”) from
a screenplay by Lawrence Konner & Mark Rosenthal (“Planet of the
Apes,” “Mona Lisa Smile”). Alison Lohman (“Where the
Truth Lies”), Maria Bello (“Thank You for Smoking”), Kaylee
DeFer (“Underclassman”), Dallas Roberts (“Walk the Line”)
and Tim McGraw (“Friday Night Lights”) co-star. Fox saddles it
up July 28.
When Next! last reported on “Miami Vice” almost
a year ago, we knew series mastermind Michael Mann (the big-screen filmmaker
behind “Heat,” “The
Insider” and “Collateral,” among other projects) was writing
and directing the big-screen version. We also knew Colin Farrell (“Ask
the Dust”) was playing Sonny Crockett, Jamie Foxx (“Jarhead”)
was playing Ricardo Tubbs and Gong Li (“Memoirs of a Geisha”) would
assay a druglord’s wife named Isabella who takes a romantic interest
in Crockett. We’ve since learned that the supporting cast now includes
Naomie Harris (“28 Days Later”) as Tubbs’ Bronx-dwelling
intel-analyst roommate, Ciaran Hinds (“Munich”) as FBI agent Fujima,
Elizabeth Rodriguez (“Blow”) as detective Gina Calabrese, Domenick
Lombardozzi (“Find Me Guilty,” HBO’s “The Wire”)
as detective Stan Switek, Justin Theroux (“The Baxter”) as detective
Larry Zito, and Barry Shabaka Henley (“Four Brothers,” TV’s “Close
to Home”) as Lt. Martin Castillo. Others on this 21st century “Vice” squad
include Isaach De Bankole (“Manderlay”), John Ortiz (“Ali”),
John Hawkes (“Me and You and Everyone We Know”), Tom Towles (“The
Devil’s Rejects”), Tony Curran (“Flight of the Phoenix”),
Ana Cristina De Oliveira (“Taxi”), Pavel Lychnikoff (“Fun
With Dick and Jane”) and Mario Ernesto Sanchez (“Proof of Life”).
Universal says it belongs to your city July 28.
1978-1991 TV series that made the world safe for big hair, big shoulder pads
and big business has been earmarked for a “Miami
Vice”-style big-screen remake. Robert Luketic (“Legally Blond,” “Win
a Date with Tad Hamilton!” “Monster-in-Law”) was set to direct
from a screenplay by Sacha Gervasi (“The Terminal”) and Robert
Harling (“Soapdish,” “Steel Magnolias,” “The
Evening Star”). As of early March no one had yet been cast as J.R., Bobby,
Sue Ellen, Pam, Lucy or any other member of the energy-rich Ewing clan – a
fact that might affect Fox’s ability to get the project into cinemas
by its announced Nov. 10 release date.
Written and directed by Steve Zaillian (“Searching For Bobby Fischer,” “A
Civil Action”), “All The King’s Men,” came so close
to being released Dec. 16 of last year, it was covered fully in our last November
issue’s film preview. The remake of the 1949 drama – about a working-class
character whose ascent from a blue-collar laborer to an influential Southern
governor ends in scandalous corruption and political downfall – is now
slated by Sony for a Nov. 10, 2006 release.
The first time Ian Fleming’s novel “Casino Royale” was
filmed almost 40 years ago, the movie featured no fewer than seven actors playing
a character named James Bond, among them Peter Sellers, David Niven and Woody
Allen. Sony’s 2006 version, which finds 007 pursuing a casino owner who
uses his wealth to fund terrorists, features only one Bond, and he’s
played by Daniel Craig (“Munich”). John Cleese (“Around the
World in 80 Days”) inherits for the third time Geoffrey Bayldon’s
role as Q. Judi Dench inherits for the fifth time John Huston’s role
as M. Samantha Bond (“What Rats Won’t Do”) plays for the
fifth time the Barbara Bouchet role of Miss Moneypenny. Eva Green (“Kingdom
of Heaven”) takes the Ursula Andress role of Vesper Lynd. Danish actor
Mads Mikkelsen (“King Arthur”) tries his hand at the Orson Welles
role of the villain Le Chiffre. Giancarlo Giannini (“Man on Fire”)
tackles the Duncan Macrae role of Inspector Mathis. Jeffrey Wright (“Syriana,” “Lady
in the Water”) takes on the role of CIA agent Felix Leiter, a character
who has appeared in many a Bond film, but not the 1967 “Casino Royale.” Simon
Abkarian (“Yes”), Tobias Menzies (“Finding Neverland”),
Ivana Milicevic (“Running Scared”), Clemens Schick (“Enemy
at the Gates”), Ludger Pistor (“The Princess and the Warrior”)
and Claudio Santamaria (“One Last Kiss”) round out the cast. “GoldenEye” helmer
Martin Campbell returns to direct from a screenplay by Paul Haggis (“Million
Dollar Baby,” “Crash”). Sony bets you’ll see it Nov.
“The Departed” is a Boston-set remake of the Hong Kong thriller “Infernal
Affairs,” about a mobster who has infiltrated the police and a cop who
has infiltrated the mob, and their race to discover each other’s identity.
This reunion of “The Aviator” director Martin Scorsese and star
Leonardo DiCaprio was last covered in May 2005’s Next! Warner Bros. has
yet to decide when it will infiltrate movie theatres.
“Mostly Martha” is a remake of the 2002 German romantic comedy
about a controlled and orderly chef who suddenly finds herself having to raise
her niece and share her kitchen with a handsome and free-spirited new hire.
Scott Hicks (“Shine,” “Snow Falling on Cedars,” “Hearts
in Atlantis”) directs from a screenplay by Carol Fuchs. Catherine Zeta-Jones
(“The Legend of Zorro”), Aaron Eckhart (“Thank You for Smoking”),
Jenny Wade (“Rumor Has It”), Abigail Breslin (“Raising Helen”),
Matt Srevitto (“Hitch”) and Patricia Clarkson (“All The King’s
Men”) co-star. Warner Bros. has not said when it’ll serve it up.
Web” is a live-action remake of the 1973 animated
family drama about a determined young piglet who teams up with a friendly barnyard
spider to devise a plan to save him from becoming somebody’s dinner.
It’s based on the children’s novel by E.B. White (the “Stuart
Little” series, “Trumpet of the Swan”). The Paramount film,
last covered in April 2005’s Next!, is due Dec. 20.
Nothing new has been learned about “Transformers,” due
in theatres July 4, 2007, since it was covered in the February edition of
Next! The DreamWorks
sci-fi actioner, based on a line of toys that turned into an animated TV series,
is still to be directed by Michael Bay (“The Island”) from a screenplay
by John Rogers (“Catwoman”) and the team of Roberto Orci & Alex
Kurtzman (“The Island,” “Mission: Impossible III”).
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – CG,” a
remake of the popular 1990s talking terrapins - last covered in Oct. 2005’s Next! - has commenced
production. It has yet to secure a distributor or a release date.