Robert Zemeckis Will Direct a Film Adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Classic Book THE WITCHES

Director Robert Zemeckis is in final negotiations to helm a big screen adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic 1973 book The Witches for Warner Bros. He will also co-write the script with his partner, Jack Rapke along with Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) and Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water). Del Toro was attached to direct at one point, but he had to drop out due to a scheduling conflict. 

As a fan of Zemeckis, I actually think this is a great project for him to take on and I'm sure he'll have some fun with it and deliver a solid film adaptation. He's such a great filmmaker that has made some incredible and classic films in his career and I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with this. The story was previously adapted by Jim Henson in 1990 with Anjelica Huston playing one of the lead roles. 

The story follows a seven-year-old boy who has a run in with real-life witches. According to Variety, Zemeckis’ version will be "more rooted in the original source material, while the Huston pic was a loose adaptation." Here's a description of the book:

This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches. Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There's nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma's stories—but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!

Zemeckis most recently directed the Steve Carell film, Welcome to Marwen. What do you think about Zemeckis taking on The Witches?

Sammy Davis Jr. Biopic is Set to Be Produced At Paramount Pictures

The Sammy David Jr. biopic is set up at Paramount Pictures and it will be produced by Transformers producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. According to Deadline, the project is on the fast track and they are in the process of hiring a writer and director to take on the life of the iconic entertainer who could do it all. 

The movie will be based on the 1965 memoir Yes I Can: The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr. that he penned with Jane and Burt Boyar. Davis’ heirs are also joining a producing team, which will also include Lionel Richie

Apparently, Richie was the key to getting all the right deals done to be able to bring Davis’ story to the big screen. In a statement, he said:

“I cannot tell you how excited I am about the signing of the Sammy Davis Jr. project with Paramount. I knew and loved Sammy dearly.
"He was so kind to me at the beginning of my career and gave me advice that helped me become the artist that I am today. I am so happy for his kids that we can bring his story to the screen."

The Memoir details Sammy Davis' personal conviction, and the "view of success that both propelled him to stardom from ghetto obscurity and served as his armor against racism." Here's the description from the book:

YES I CAN is the self-portrait of one of the extraordinary men of our time, who became a figure of controversy because he dared to live his life not as a Negro but as a man. "I've got to be a star like another man has to breathe," write Sammy Davis. "I've got to get so big, so powerful, so famous that the day will come when they'll look at me and see a man, and then somewhere along the way they'll notice he's a Negro." 

Davis truly did live a great life and I'm sure Hollywood could make multiple films out of it. But for now, this is the one we are getting. 

The film is said to follow him from "Vaudeville with his dad and uncle in the Will Mastin Trio to the integrated infantry with Southern whites in WWII to his big break in the short film Sweet and Low in 1947 and his chance meeting with Sinatra."

Davis was among the first "entertainers to truly cross the white barrier in a racially charged America. Thanks in large part to his champion Frank Sinatra, Davis — who even as a child in Vaudeville was entertaining with his incredible tap-dancing repertoire –truly was able to thrive." Here are some additional details on Davis' life. There's a lot of stuff here that I wasn't aware of before:

He was born in Harlem and performed for troops during World War II. By the 1950s, Davis was recording albums and performing on Broadway. But it was when he joined Sinatra in what was known as The Rat Pack — along with Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop — that he began to become a major celebrity.
The guys ruled the Las Vegas Strip, often staying at The Sands. He then started appearing in 1960s Rat Pack films such as Ocean’s 11, Sergeants 3 and Robin and the 7 Hoods.
It was his love affairs with white actresses such as Kim Novak, however, that threw him into private and public controversies. Faced with a death threat from Columbia Pictures’ Harry Cohn after he found out that Davis and Novak were an item, the singer was forced to marry a black woman as a beard.
Then came his love affair with the Swedish actress May Britt, which really raised eyebrows during what was a time in America when interracial marriages were banned in many states. But the two were deeply in love, and Davis proudly announced the engagement to the world. Sinatra was concerned and said not to marry Britt, but the two lovebirds were determined. It was a marriage that lasted eight years and produced three children.
During a time in America when there were still segregated water fountains and black performers had to stay in black hotels separate from whites-only hotels (like the Frontier and the Desert Inn in Vegas and the South), Davis — and others including Eckstine, Lena Horne, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Bobby Tucker, The Mills Brothers, etc. — continued to push through the bigotry. Davis later threw down the gauntlet and boldly refused to work for companies that segregated.
The marriage to Britt was not without backlash from the black community as well. Davis, however, continued to push for civil rights even though some in the black community saw him as a sellout; even though he was scared, he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Davis broke down many barriers; played for the Queen of England and even was given his own network show in 1966 — unheard of for a black man at the time.
In 1971, Davis enjoyed a major pop hit with “The Candy Man, which was written by others specifically for the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. That song held onto the No. 1 spot for three weeks.

Davis, who was tirelessly devoted to his work, was almost killed in a 1954 car crash in San Bernardino. That’s how he lost his left eye. During his recovery, he began studying Judaism. He converted in 1961. So did Britt.

Controversy hit again when he backed (and hugged) then-candidate Richard Nixon in 1972. But Sinatra loved the politician, too — eventually even helping out VP Spiro Agnew financially with his legal woes behind the scenes). Davis later got involved with porn star Linda Lovelace and fell in with even more strange bedfellows of drugs and alcohol.

It will be interesting to see who the studio hires to write and direct the movie. They will have a big responsibility on their shoulders to tell this story right. Davis had a bigger than life personality and whoever they end up casting in the role is going to have a big job ahead of him. Who do you think should play Sammy Davis Jr.?

TANK is a Radical 80s Inspired Vector Arcade Game Short Film That You’ve Gotta Watch!

I've got a totally awesome animated short film for you to watch today called Tank. The film was created by Red Giant’s Chief Creative Officer, Stu Maschwitz. As you'll see it was created in the style of those old-school vector arcade games from the 80’s like Battlezone and Star Wars.

It's just not the cool unique visuals as well, this thing also has a story, which follows a team of pilots that must take on a weapon of mass destruction in a battle to save their world.

I loved this! I thought this was just the coolest thing! it also has a great 80s-style synth musical score that was created by Ben Worley. As for how Stu created the film, he explains:

Putting aside current 3D modeling techniques, Stu looked to the past and built the world of Tank entirely in Adobe After Effects, using math, code, and hundreds of hours of painstaking animation work.

In case you're interested, I also included a "making of" video for the short film that was released as well so that you can see what exactly went into creating this nostalgic short. I can't wait to see what the filmmaker does next! I'd love to see a series of this!

Via: Firstshowing

James Gunn Confirms When GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 Takes Place

Earlier today, we reported that Chris Pratt said  he thought that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was set in the past, prior to the events of Avengers: Infinity War. There's been a lot of teasing by the writers and directors at Marvel that this could be the case. 

Director James Gunn has now confirmed when the third chapter in the story will be set, putting to rest all of this talk and speculation. He actually cleared this up a couple of days ago, but a lot of sites, like ours, must've missed it.

When asked by a fan when it would be set, James Gunn simply said, "it will be after." Which means the Avengers will find a way to fix what Thanos did and the Guardians of the Galaxy will be back in action! 

Who from the Guardians team remains to be seen. The one character that most fans aren't quite sure about at this point in regards to returning is Gamora. So, now that that's been settled we can move on to all the other crazy things about the future of the MCU to speculate about!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will arrive in theaters in 2020.

Five New STAR TREK Series Are In Development Including a Sequel To THE NEXT GENERATION with Patrick Stewart

Star Trek: Discovery has gone through a bit of drama lately as the showrunners of the series, Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts, were recently fired due to the abusive work conditions that they put their writing staff through. 

Alex Kurtzman has since replaced them as the showrunner of the show and he just signed a new deal with CBS. A $25 million deal which will be part of a five-year plan to develop more Star Trek series for the network. There are currently six projects that are apparently currently in early development, one of them includes a sequel to The Next Generation series with Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Captain Picard! 

First, Variety reveals details on the following four series that are in development:

  • A teen-oriented series set at Starfleet Academy from Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz, the duo behind the recent Dynasty reboot and Marvel’s Runaways adaptation.
  • A limited series with a currently confidential plot.
  • A limited series based around the beloved character Khan, from the original Star Trek and the classic film The Wrath of Khan—something that’s been rumored for a while as being spearheaded by Wrath of Khan director Nicholas Meyer.
  • An animated series with another currently confidential plot.

Those all sound great, but I'm most excited for this possible Next Generation sequel series that was reported by The Hollywood Reporter! The report says:

The new deal comes as rumblings about another Star Trek series, featuring Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Star Trek: The Next Generation's Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, have been heating up. Sources say Kurtzman and Akiva Goldsman, who left Discovery after season one, are attached to the Stewart-led reboot. CBS TV Studios declined to confirm the Stewart project as sources say a deal is far from completed and may not happen despite the fact that the actor recently teased his potential return to the franchise.

I hope that series happens because it could be amazing! It may have a long way to go, but it sounds like there's a chance that it could happen.

There's a new post on the official Star Trek website that confirms that the deal has closed and he will "extend the Star Trek franchise for television, developing new series, mini-series and other content opportunities, including animation."

Out of all the new shows that are mentioned to be in development, what are you most excited for?

McFarlane Toys Reveals Their Captain Kirk and Captain Picard STAR TREK Action Figures

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McFarlane Toys has revealed their first two Star Trek action figures featuring Captain Kirk and Captain Picard. It seems like it's been a while since we've seen Star Trek action figures like this and they turned out great! I'm going to have to add these to my collection!

The 7" scale figures are set to come packed in collector friendly window boxes. They will include themed accessories and about 16 points of articulation. Each figure is priced at $19.99. Read on for photos and official details.

Star Trek: The Original Series – Captain James T. Kirk

Captain of the USS Enterprise, Captain James Tiberius Kirk is one of the most renowned Starfleet leaders. Kirk leads his crew to the far reaches of space, Where No Man Has Gone Before. Regarded as a maverick, Captain Kirk strays from the path of Starfleet regulations, but only when the ends justify the means.

Captain Kirk is shown in his Command Yellow Starfleet uniform and will come with a Type II Phaser, a Communicator, and a Phaser Rifle. Figure Stands 7 inches tall and comes complete with multiple articulation points and a stylized brand specific base.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Captain of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D), Captain Jean-Luc Picard shows that diplomacy can be just as effective as jumping head first into action. Despite his mastery of rhetoric, Picard is also known as an incredibly tactical Captain when faced with a violent threat. Captain Picard leads his diverse crew to seek out new life and new civilizations and to boldly go Where No One Has Gone Before.

Captain Picard is shown in his Command Red Starfleet (Type B) uniform and will come with a Type II Phaser and the Ressikan Flute, from the episode Inner Light. Figure stands 7 inches tall and comes complete with multiple articulation points and a stylized brand specific base.

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James Mangold’s BOBA FETT Film Probably Won’t Start Shooting Until 2020

A few weeks ago we learned that Logan director James Mangold was set to helm the standalone Boba Fett film for Lucasfilm and that seemed to get fans pretty excited. Unfortunately, the movie isn't going to be happening anytime soon.  

According to Omega Underground, who first reported that the Boba Fett movie was going back into development a couple of years ago, have reported that director Josh Trank was fired from the project, and the movie won't go into production now until 2020.

One of the reasons that Mangold won't be getting around to the film anytime soon is because he is looking to start production on his Ford vs Ferrari movie in California this summer. He will be working with Matt DamonChristian Bale, and Jon Bernthal on that. He's going to be pretty busy with that through 2019 as he is making the press rounds for the film.

After that, he'll get started on Boba Fett! The current production scheduling at Lucasfilm includes J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode IX shooting this summer, Jon Favreau‘s Star Wars TV series shooting in fall/winter, and then there's the Obi-Wan Kenobi movie, which will most likely start shooting in April 2019. Lucasfilm has yet to make an official announcement on that Kenobi film, but it seems like it's only a matter of time. 

I think Mangold is going to do something incredible with the Boba Fett film and I can't wait to see what story he ends up telling.

There’s a Michael Jackson Musical Coming to Broadway

I know we don't post a lot of Broadway musical stuff on the site, but Micheal Jackson is getting his own Broadway musical and as a fan, that's pretty rad! 

I recently took my fam to go see that the Las Vegas show Michael Jackson One and that thing just blew my mind! If you're ever in Vegas and you're a Micheal Jackson fan, you have to see it! 

The Michael Jackson Estate and Columbia Live Stage announced that they are developing a new stage musical that will be inspired by the life of Michael Jackson. The show doesn't have a title yet, but it's expected to arrive on Broadway in 2020.

The show will boast a book by Lynn Nottage, a two time Pulitzer Prize winner known for “Sweat” and “Ruined,” two gritty dramas that grapple with subjects such as war and rust belt privation, both of which seem pretty far removed from the life of the Gloved One. The score will draw on Jackson’s catalogue — a list of pop favorites that includes “Thriller,” “Smooth Criminal,” “Beat It,” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.” Tony Award winner and contemporary ballet superstar Christopher Wheeldon (“An American in Paris”) will direct and choreograph the production.

With the Jackson Estate involved, I doubt that the musical will go into any of the more controversial issues of Jackson's life. 

I'm curious to see how this Broadway show turns out and I'll definitely be making the trip to New York to see it!

Source: Variety

Will Ferrell Set to Star in a Netflix Music Competition Film Called EUROVISION

Netflix is developing another film music competition comedy with Will Ferrell called Eurovision. Ferrell will star in the film and also co-write it with Andrew Steele. Ferrell will sing in the movie! 

The story revolves around the "wildly popular and long-running international TV music competition The Eurovision Song Contest. It is a contest that began in Switzerland in 1956, when seven West European nations participated. This year 43 countries competed for the prize, won in Lisbon by Netta (Israel) performing the song Toy. ABBA (winner in 1974 for Sweden) and Céline Dion (winner in 1988 for Switzerland) are among the former contestants who launched successful worldwide careers after their wins at The Eurovision Song Contest."

Ferrell will also produce for Gary Sanchez Productions, along with Adam McKay as an executive producer. This sounds like it will be a fun comedy for Ferrell. I enjoy most of the films that he makes and his style of comedy, so I'll be looking forward to this.

Here are a couple of videos of Ferrell singing below:

Source: Deadline

Jamie Lee Curtis Explains How Laurie Strode is Like Dr. Loomis in The New HALLOWEEN Film

After that first trailer for Halloween was released, the excitement for David Gordon Green and Danny McBride's film shot up. For the most part, fans liked what they saw and they want to see more.

As you already know, the movie is a direct sequel to the original 1978 film, and as you might expect, after 40 years, Dr. Loomis will not be around. He was previously played by Donald Pleasence and there's no doubt his presence will be felt in the film. There was a quick shot of a court drawing of him in the trailer. Pleasence's last appearance as the character was in the sixth film, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers.

There is also going to be another character that will be taking up a similar mantle as Dr. Loomis and that character is Laurie Strode. Jamie Lee Curtis recently talked about how she will be like Dr. Loomis in the film, explaining to the Sunrise morning show:

"Laurie has been traumatized and Laurie also understands Michael Myers in a way that nobody else does. In a weird way, she’s become the new Loomis character because Loomis was the one who understood that [Michael] needed to be stopped because he was pure evil. You see, Laurie knows that – and nobody’s paying any attention, but Laurie is…Laurie is patrolling these streets."

Which is obviously why she's been training to kill Micheal Meyers over the past forty years. She wants to take him down if he ever escapes from the asylum. And he does, so now's her chance to put those skills to use. There are some big changes coming to this next chapter that will bring something different and fresh to the franchise. I hope these changes help that story instead of hurt it. One of the biggest changes is that Micheal Meyers and Laurie Strode will not be brother and sister. If you want some information on why they decided to go that route, you can read up on it here.

Judy Greer plays Karen Strode, the daughter of Laurie, and Andi Matichak (Orange Is the New Black, Underground) plays Allyson, the granddaughter.

John Carpenter is an executive producer on the film and also served as a creative consultant. He is also doing the musical score. The new Halloween will land in theaters on October 19th.

What do you think about Laurie taking on the mantle of Dr. Loomis?