Once again, it’s Friday, and that means it’s time for the weekly News Bites. News from Hollywood is finally starting to pick back up again after winter break, and there are some interesting things on the horizon… though oddly, a lot of what was happening this week was various directors signing on to projects. But as movie fans always want to know who’s going to be at the helm of an interesting film project — and especially as many of these projects were previously unannounced — that’s all well and good.
So here’s what’s going on this week…
Walt Disney Pictures has said via Twitter that a Monsters University short film, Party Central will debut before Muppets Most Wanted in theatres.
Joe Johnston, director of Captain America: The First Avenger, is in talks to direct Extinction, about a man trying to protect his family amid an alien invasion.
Matt Reeves, who directed the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, has signed on to direct the next film in the franchise. Title and plot details are not yet known, but presumably apes are involved.
Still in directorial assignment news, D.J. Caruso of I Am Number Four is now attached to Selling Time, about a man who is offered the chance to travel back in time to prevent the worst day of his life. The catch? The cost is seven years off of his life expectancy. Will Smith is rumored to be in consideration for the lead.
One last director to be attached this week: Andy Fickman is in talks for the sequel to Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Fickman’s previous work includes Parental Guidance, You Again, The Game Plan and She’s the Man, all of which technically have higher ratings on IMDb than Paul Blart, if only barely.
Judd Apatow’s next train wreck — excuse me, Judd Apatow’s next film, entitled Train Wreck — has been given a release date of July 24, 2015. Amy Schumer wrote the script and will star in the movie; the plot is not yet known.
Croods 2 plans continue; Dreamworks says they have just started on the script.
The latest novel to be pre-emptively optioned for a movie adaptation is Influx, by Daniel Suarez. The story is about an inventor who comes up with an anti-gravity device, only to have his lab shut down by a government agency dedicated to technological stagnation.
Katee Sackhoff, of Battlestar Galactica, Longmire, and Riddick, has stated that she “give away my firstborn to have an opportunity to play Harley Quinn”, and would also love to play a role in Star Wars — though more as a Han Solo type than a Princess Leia. No actual studio discussion has taken place on either of these (in fact there has yet to be any mention at all of a film version of Joker henchgirl Harley Quinn), but she’d hardly be the first star to get a role through actively seeking it.
Steven Spielberg may be making historical waves again soon. Rumor has it that he is looking at a project about Hernan Cortez’s war against the Aztec leader Montezuma, to be titled Cortez. Javier Bardem is reportedly up for the lead role. However, Spielberg’s involvement is not yet certain, and he’s already started and stopped two projects since Lincoln. Also in consideration at Dreamworks, though not directly rumored to have Spielberg’s involvement, is an adaptation of Doris Kearn Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism.
That’s all for this week’s News Bites. Thanks for reading, and leave a comment below with your thoughts!