Friday, 31 July 2015

Donald Sutherland set for Milton's Secret

Currently enjoying some high profile villainy as The Hunger Games' Coriolanus Snow, Donald Sutherland has just signed up for another adaptation of a rather different children's book. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that he has joined the cast of Milton's Secret, from the book by Eckhart Tolle and Robert Friedman. Barnet Bain (What Dreams May Come) co-wrote the screenplay with Donald Martin (Bomb Girls: Facing The Enemy) and Sandra Cooper (Exit Human), and will also direct.

Tolle is a spiritual public speaker and author, probably best known for his self-help book The Power Of Now. The slim Milton's Secret, published in 2009, was an attempt to translate his 'live in the moment' philosophy for a younger readership. The Milton of the title is the story's young protagonist, who learns to overcome his fear of bullies and other childhood nightmares by living in the moment, and ceasing to "project his past fears into the future".

Sutherland will play Milton's grandfather – a role previously occupied by Peter Fonda (3:10 To Yuma), who has had to drop out. There is no other cast announced yet, but pre-production is already underway, for a shoot in Ontario in the autumn. The book itself is published by Hampton Roads.

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard set to return for Jurassic World sequel

In what is arguably the least surprising piece of news this month, Universal Pictures have announced this week that a sequel to Jurassic World will be unleashed upon the world on 22 June 2018.

Admittedly, we were all just waiting for this news to break given Jurassic World's record breaking box office run, which has seen the film gross more than $1.5 billion worldwide and take its place above Marvel's The Avengers (2012) on the all time list. The film has yet to receive a title – it may just go with Jurassic World 2 – but we do know that Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard will, as per the terms of their contracts, return as Owen Grady and Claire Dearing.

Quite how they will fit into the plot has yet to be revealed, but figuring out the next reason for dinosaurs to rampage again will be the job of Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow and co-writer Derek Connolly, who revamped the script for this year's movie. Trevorrow has already said he won't direct the next entry in the franchise, which means Universal Pictures will either try and pursued him with a ridiculous amount of money, or have already started looking for a new director.

Seeds for potential sequels were already planted in Jurassic World, particularly with – spoiler alert – B.D. Wong's Dr. Henry Wu making good his escape with some genetic specimens as the theme park descended into chaos and carnage around him. So mark your diaries accordingly and start speculating on what will happen in the new movie.

Brie Larson in talks for Kong: Skull Island

The most recent casting news surrounding Legendary and Universal Pictures' adventure film Kong: Skull Island has been somewhat disheartening, with both Michael Keaton (Birdman) and J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) dropping out due to a schedule change conflicting with other acting jobs. But there is some hope on the horizon, with news arriving via Deadline that Brie Larson (The Spectacular Now) is in talks to play a lead role.

If she does make a deal, she will star with Tom Hiddleston (Thor: The Dark World) in the movie, which will find an expedition headed to the mysterious Skull Island, and encounters with the creatures that lurk there. The Kings Of Summer (2013) director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is the man calling the shots for this one, working from a script by John Gatins (Flight), which is based in turn on initial drafts by Max Borenstein (Godzilla). According to Deadline, the studio are also pursuing Russell Crowe (Man Of Steel) to fill one of the vacated cast spots, but nothing official has been announced as yet.

This would be an interesting move for Brie, who isn't usually found in such high concept fair, preferring to stick with more intimate dramas and comedies. She has been known to mix it up from time to time, though, and will be back on our screens in Judd Apatow (This Is 40) and Amy Schumer's (Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World) Trainwreck, which arrives here on 14 August. She will also be seen in Ben Wheatley's (Sightseers) Free Fire, with the crime thriller having recently finished shooting and still awaiting a release date.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Ridley Scott set to direct The Cartel

Don Winslow's crime novel The Cartel has benefitted from two very important boosts – firstly, the book itself is a layered and gripping story that blends fact and fiction about a compelling subject, and secondly, the subject himself, drug cartel boss Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzmán escaped from prison again recently. Now news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that 20th Century Fox have bought the rights to the film with Ridley Scott (Prometheus) attached to direct the eventual film.

The plot of the novel follows Art Keller and Adan Barrera, two friends whose life paths diverged when the former started work with the DEA and the latter joining the Sonora drug cartel, and charts their linked experiences from 2004 to 2014. It is a follow-up to his 2006 tome The Power Of The Dog. And for this new book, Winslow researched El Chapo extensively for more than a decade, which makes it even more attractive to the filmmakers, and it won't surprise anyone to lean that the deal also includes rights to the first book along with The Cartel.

Winslow's book agent also just happens to be Shane Salerno (Savages), whose Story Factory company helped hammer out the deal. He is on board to write the script and produce, and according to Deadline, 20th Century Fox are also reaching out to Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf Of Wall Street), who had been trying to secure the book for his Appian Way company, to play one of the lead roles.

Scott, who tackled the drug war previously in The Counselor (2013), is currently in post-production on science fiction thriller The Martian, due to land here on 2 October.

Bryan Singer announces an X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover is ''in play''

Although he is still at work on X-Men: Apocalypse, Bryan Singer (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) carved out some time to answer questions about his ever expanding comic book movie universe over at Yahoo. And, somewhat naturally, he was asked about the rumours of 20th Century Fox trying to link up his X-Men universe with the freshly rebooted Fantastic Four.

"To just say you're going to do it would be a mistake, you have to see how the films evolve before you make that decision to completely commit to that," he said, before admitting that there are conversations about it, and that there is a "natural mechanism" that can be used to make it work. "Those ideas are in play," he teased. "It deals with time. That's all I'm going to say."

It's hardly surprising that there would be ideas being thrown around, since 20th Century Fox have been wanting to bring its various Marvel characters together for a while, especially given the success of X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014). Of course, while the likes of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four crossover all the time in the comics, and Marvel Studios have shown how it can be done on the big screen, there is still a lot of work to be done to bring the more disparate Fox properties together.

Can we expect to see some hints and clues sneaking into X-Men: Apocalypse? Or will the studio go the route of end credit scenes to establish connections? We will see for ourselves when Fantastic Four arrives on 6 August, followed by X-Men: Apocalypse on 19 May next year.

Chloë Grace Moretz joins Bad Neighbours 2

As the film slowly makes it's way through development ready for a shoot later this year, comedy sequel Bad Neighbors 2 (known simply as Neighbors 2 in the US) is busy locking in some supporting cast. News arrives via Variety that Chloë Grace Moretz (Carrie) is the first name announced.

While Variety's story says the plot (and how Moretz will fit into it) is unknown, previous reports had Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne's couple from the original having to deal with a noisy sorority moving in next door to replace the frat brothers they endured the first time around. They have to call in Zac Efron's (That Awkward Moment) alpha frat boy turned retail worker Teddy to help them with the new problem. 

Moretz would surely be a natural as the bitchy head of a sorority, but there is always a chance that the script, by returning writers Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien (alongside Rogen and regular partner Evan Goldberg) has been evolving since news of the sequel first broke.

Nicholas Stoller is back to direct once again, and has also been at work on the script with the team. The new movie already has a UK release date set for May next year.

Simon Kinberg spearheading the latest take on Logan's Run

The latest attempt to bring William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson's science fiction novel Logan's Run to the big screen has been eluding filmmakers and rights owners Warner Bros for more than a decade now. But things could finally be turning around for the studio's efforts, with news arriving via The Hollywood Reporter that writer/producer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) is now aboard to jumpstart a fresh attempt.

Warner Bros have been trying to get this one moving for at least 15 years, hiring writers and directors including Alex Garland (Ex Machina), Will Beal (Gangster Squad), Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher), Bryan Singer (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) and Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) to work on scripts and develop ideas, with the latter bringing Ryan Gosling (Drive) aboard for one of the efforts that came closest to being realised. But try as they might, none of them managed to get the project into production.

Nolan and Johnson's book – famously adapted for the screen in 1976 starring Michael York and Jenny Agutter – imagines a future society that appears idyllic, but is organised according to one tough rule – those reaching a certain age (21 in the book, 30 in the film) must report to execution chambers. Runners are those who refuse to surrender to the authorities, with officers known as Sandmen sent to track them down. York's Logan is one such law keeper, who discovers that all is not quite what it seems. The film also spawned a short lived (pun entirely intended) TV series.

Kinberg has developed a reputation for shepherding complicated projects to the screen, parlaying writing success into his current status as a major writer/producer on at least two huge franchises including 20th Century Fox's X-Men films and their fellow Marvel outings, plus Walt Disney Pictures' continuing Star Wars universe, which includes his work on the animated Star Wars Rebels TV series. For Logan's Run, he will write a story and treatment for the new film, and produce alongside long-time trustee Joel Silver (Sherlock Holmes). Whether the pair can actually get the movie made is another matter, but Kinberg's involvement could conceivably see regular collaborator Bryan Singer back on the Logan train.

Young adult adaptation Steelheart gets a writer

When it comes to adapting dystopian young adult science fiction novels for the screen, Lionsgate currently rule the roost with two blockbuster franchises in The Hunger Games and Divergent. 20th Century Fox, however, remain keen to get in on the act. They have already got The Maze Runner successfully underway, and now news arrives via Deadline that they are now looking to add Steelheart, based on The Reckoners book series by Brandon Sanderson. Carter Blanchard (Independence Day: Resurgence) is taking a crack at the screenplay, while Shawn Levy (Real Steel) is producing and with a view to potentially direct.

Sanderson is a prolific fantasy author, boasting any number of his own series, and the completion of The Wheel Of Time following the death of Robert Jordan. Steelheart was published in 2013, and sets up a society in which super beings are the bad guys.

These Epics received their superpowers in a freak natural event, but decided to use them to rule and enslave, creating a world where there are only supervillains and no superheroes. Resistance comes in the form of the Reckoners – ordinary humans dedicated to finding the Epics weaknesses and assassinating them. Our protagonist is David, who wants to join the Reckoners due to a personal grudge against the Epics' powerful ruler – the titular Steelheart himself.

Daria Cerek will join Levy in overseeing the project for 20th Century Fox, along with Will Rack of production company 21 Laps (Story Of Your Life). With the writing only just begun, there is no start date yet, but if Steelheart becomes a success, there are already more places for sequels to go – part two, Firefight, was published this year. Both instalments are available in the UK from Gollancz.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Ready for an Emoji film?

How you react to news that Sony Pictures – already in production on one film based on a technology trend with Angry Birds – is planning one based around Emoji might depend on your age and your social media savvy. So prepare to consider this OMG amazeballs or WTF...

According to Deadline, Sony Pictures Animation won a bidding war for a pitch by director Anthony Leondis (Igor), who travelled between the studios with a batch of storyboards showing how the basic plot will play out. Sony nabbed the project and Eric Siegel is aboard to turn the idea into a script for an animated adventure.

Quite what that will be remains to be seen – at least in the case of Lego or the Angry Birds, you have narrative plans, characters and worlds to build upon. Emoji, the Japanese graphical representations of faces, objects and pets, wouldn't seem to have the same initial potential, but clearly the studio thinks there is something to Leondis' proposal.

Leondis, who directed Igor (2008) and has more recently been working on projects for DreamWorks Animation, including Kung Fu Panda: Secrets Of The Masters (2011) and the still in development B.O.O.: Bureau Of Otherworldly Operations, will get to work quickly, as it appears that Emoji has become something of a hot property, not least because unlike other product based movies, there are no rights to secure and no huge company to look over the producers' shoulders, worried about misrepresenting their brand.

Brad Peyton in talks for Rampage

It looks as though the adaptation of cult 1980s game Rampage is turning into a real reunion for the team behind this year's San Andreas. News arrives via Deadline that director Brad Peyton is now in talks to direct and produce the movie, which has Dwayne Johnson set to star.

This arguably makes sense. As ridiculous as the action thriller was, San Andreas has become one of the box office hits of the year to date with more than $460 million globally and the biggest film Warner Bros have released so far this year. It might not be up there with the likes of Jurassic World, but clearly New Line sees value in keeping the team, which also includes producer Beau Flynn, together for more action based destruction.

Those of a certain age will remember feeding coins into the arcade cabinet (and later playing at home) to control three giant monsters – George (a giant gorilla), Lizzie (a huge lizard) and Ralph (a raging werewolf), who were normal humans until they were the subject of experiments by the nefarious Scumlabs and turned into their monstrous forms.

The game largely involved you punching buildings to rubble, swatting at tanks and helicopters and noshing on random humans. Ryan Engle (Non-Stop) has come up with a way to turn that into a film, though exactly what the story will be remains a closely guarded secret. Still, Deadline reports that we can expect Johnson going up against the three creatures as they smash their way through cities. Assuming all goes to plan, the intention is to film this one once Johnson has worked on Fast & Furious 8, with a Rampage release pencilled in for 2017.

Peyton has yet to lock down another job following San Andreas, but he has several projects in development including a third Journey outing and a film featuring DC Comics' miscreant Lobo that is likely on hold thanks to Warner Bros' big Justice League plans.

Benicio Del Toro wanted for Star Wars: Episode VIII villain role

He has already spent time in space thanks to his relatively small role as The Collector in Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014). But now news arrives via The Wrap that Benicio Del Toro could be heading to the most famous intergalactic destination in Walt Disney Pictures current line-up, as the company wants him to play a villain in Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Rian Johnson (Looper) is writing and directing the second of the new trilogy films. Somewhat naturally, little is known about the film beyond the fact that it should continue the story from J.J. Abrams' (Star Trek Into Darkness) Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And while it appears Lucasfilm and the Star Wars team wants him to bring some menace to the screen, the other details about Del Toro's potential role, assuming he decides to take on the job at all, remain firmly behind defensive shields.

What we do know is that Episode VIII is scheduled to start shooting early next year ready for a 6 May 2017 release date. Del Toro will next be seen in Denis Villeneuve's (Prisoners) drug war thriller Sicario, out here on 9 October, and Terrence Malick's (The Tree Of Life) as yet untitled film set against the music scene in Austin, Texas, which should be on screens in 2016.

Captain America: Civil War set to tie in with Thor: Ragnarok

With the release of Ant-Man last week, Marvel have officially kicked off their third phase. Captain America: Civil War will be the next superhero outing for the studio and is likely to end with the Marvel Cinematic Universe a much fractured and fragmented place. Now news arrives via the LA Times that Jaimie Alexander's Sif, is set to have a narrative tie-in with Thor: Ragnarok.

"There's a lot of great stuff they've peppered in through Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Avengers [and] Captain [America: Civil War] will have some stuff," Alexander told the newspaper's Hero Complex blog. "There's just all kind of Easter eggs and hints, if you're really paying attention. They're so good at interweaving everything throughout those films."

No major surprise there, perhaps, although with Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 and Doctor Strange to come before Thor 3, those tie-ins could potentially become a knotty business. Alexander took the fifth on how these possible Easter eggs might take shape ("Marvel, I think on purpose, they don't tell me certain things, because they know I'll be like, 'So here's what's gonna happen'"), but with Chris Hemsworth's hero and Tom Hiddleston's Loki reprising their fraternal face-off in Ragnarok, a cameo from the god of mischief may not be too far fetched.

Goonies reboot still in active development

Reissues, remakes and reboots continue to dominate the major studios, but two projects surprisingly stuck in development limbo are Gremlins (1984) and The Goonies (1985). Gremlins, we learned a few months ago, has found a new writer after years in development. But what of The Goonies? According to original writer Chris Columbus, the project is still in active development, and he himself is carefully overseeing.

"The stuff that I'm involved with – the Gremlins and Goonies reboots, for instance," says the man who went on to direct Home Alone (1990) and the first two Harry Potter outings, "they would do those without me. So, I'm staying involved just so I can be protective and actually protect what people love about those movies so it doesn't go off track."

Arguably nothing groundbreaking, but what's interesting there for those paying attention is the first use, that we know of, of the word "reboot" in relation to the project. As opposed to "sequel". Last time he spoke at any length on the subject, Columbus was musing a generational passing of the torch that would at least include the original cast. "I think the only way it could be done is if the kids are now the parents, and their kids have become the Goonies."

Is that still on the cards? Will we see any of the surviving original player – which included Josh Brolin, Sean Astin, Ke Quan, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton and John Matuszak – if a new Goonies outing goes ahead?

More questions than answers then, and no-one is attached bar Columbus. But the fact that we are talking about it at all seems to mean there is potentially life in Goonies 2 yet. As always, watch this space.

Disney planning live action take on The Sword In The Stone

Following in the footsteps of Alice In Wonderland (2010), Maleficent (2014), Cinderella and the currently filming Beauty And The Beast, Walt Disney Pictures have raided the archives for yet another animated classic to turn into a live action adventure. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that the Mouse House are set to adapt young King Arthur tale The Sword In The Stone (1963).

The original animated feature was loosely based on T. H. White's novel, which became a part of the multi-book Arthurian series The Once And Future King. While The Sword In The Stone focuses on Arthur's youth, the books follow his rise to power and his struggles with ruling the isle of Gramarye, trying to prove that chivalry can be just as effective as force, but ultimately realising that even he needs to use might to maintain order.

Game Of Thrones writer-producer Bryan Cogman is on board to script the new version, but the actual direction for the new film has yet to be revealed. There is a chance it will include more of the story and could potentially see Walt Disney Pictures mounting their own Arthurian franchise. You can bet the Mouse House's eyes will be on Guy Ritchie's (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows) own take on the man, Knights Of The Round Table: King Arthur, and how it performs next year.

The Sword In The Stone joins The Jungle Book, Beauty And The Beast, Cruella, Dumbo, Aladdin (1992) prequel Genies and several others in various stages of development or production.

Rosamund Pike set for political thriller High Wire Act

Back in May, it was revealed that Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and director Brad Anderson (The Call) were attached to political action thriller, High Wire Act. Now news arrives via Variety that Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) will also be on board. 

Written by Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton), the film is set in 1980s Beirut and finds Hamm as a former American diplomat returned to service to save an old colleague from the violent group believed to be responsible for his own family's death. Pike is set to play a CIA agent assigned to keep him alive and make sure the mission is a success.

There is still no sign of when the film might kick off shooting, as it is still listed in development and both its stars' schedules are relatively busy. Hamm is at work on Greg Mottola's (Superbad) new comedy Keeping Up With The Joneses, and is part of the sprawling cast for Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp, which hits Netflix in one batch of episodes on the 31 July.

Pike, meanwhile, is attached to A United Kingdom, Cédric Jimenez's (The Connection) novel adaptation HHhH, romantic drama The Mountain Between Us and Jean Luc Herbulot's (Dealer) oceanic action thriller The Bends.

Monday, 27 July 2015

New one sheet for Bridge Of Spies arrives online

20th Century Fox have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for Steven Spielberg's (Lincoln) Cold War thriller Bridge Of Spies.

Bridge Of Spies is based on the true life tale of James Donovan (Tom Hanks), an insurance lawyer who was pushed headfirst into the Cold War during the 1960s when he had to negotiate for the release of downed U2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers (Austin Stowell) after the airman was shot down over Russia. Mark Rylance (Anonymous) co-stars as Rudolf Abel, a suspected KGB spy who was defended by Donovan in a US courtroom in 1957, and is, thanks to back channel negotiation, the likely swap for Powers in a deal with the Soviets. It is an agreement that doesn't exactly sit well for America at large, and Donovan feels the brunt of the protests.

Bridge Of Spies boasts a screenplay begun by Matt Charman (Suite Française) and overhauled by the Coen brothers (Inside Llewyn Davis). The title as it now stands refers to the popular Cold War nickname for what's now the Glienicke Bridge connecting Wannsee and Potsdam – East and West Germany at the time the film is set. Its official name then was the Bridge Of Unity, but it garnered its alternate moniker due to its notoriety as a prisoner exchange point for Western and Soviet powers.

Bridge Of Spies will be on UK screens 9 October before heading to the US on 16 October.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

New trailer and character one sheets for The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials arrive online

20th Century Fox have just released their latest trailer and batch of character one sheets for Wes Ball's The Maze Runner (2014) follow-up, The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.

Director Wes Ball's adaptation of James Dashner's first novel, The Maze Runner, proved itself a franchise starter last year, notching up more than $300 million around the world.

Maze Runner: Scorch Trials picks up what happens after Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and the other survivors of the Glade and its surrounding maze go on the run on an Earth that has been ravaged by solar flares and a virulent epidemic. Not to mention the more human threats present...

Kaya Scodelario (Clash Of The Titans) and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game Of Thrones) are among those returning, with Patricia Clarkson's (Shutter Island) manipulative scientist also present. Lili Taylor (The Conjuring) is also set to play Mary Cooper, a doctor who helps Thomas and friends, while Barry Pepper (True Grit) plays Vince, a survivalist and former soldier.

With Aiden Gillen (The Dark Knight Rises), Nathalie Emmanuel (Game Of Thrones), Giancarlo Esposito (Alex Cross) and Jacob Lofland (Mud) also among the cast, The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials lands in the UK on 17 September.

"The game is coming to its end...'"

Lionsgate have recently released their latest trailer and one sheet for Francis Lawrence's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.

Following on from the first Mockingjay, the second part of the story finds Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and the rebels making the final push against Donald Sutherland's scheming President Snow and the Capitol, with lives on the line and sacrifices to be made. The new movie should boost the action quotient as the bigger beats are to be found lurking towards the end of Suzanne Collins' third tome.

With Francis Lawrence once again calling the shots and Jennifer Lawrence joined on screen by Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Julianne Moore, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks, Willow Shields, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone and more, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 arrives in our cinemas on 19 November.

"It was me, James. The author of all your pain."

MGM/Columbia Pictures have just released their first full trailer for Sam Mendes' (Skyfall) latest Bond outing SPECTRE.

The steely-eyed spy is once again throwing himself around the world on the trail of a mystery, one closely tied to the events of Skyfall (2012) and the eponymous pile he once called home.

All we know about SPECTRE so far is that a cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M (Ralph Fiennes) battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

Directed once again by Mendes, SPECTRE stars Daniel Craig as Bond, of course, Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) as the enigmatic Oberhauser*, Andrew Scott (Sherlock) as Denbigh, Monica Belluci (Irreversible) as Lucia Sciarra, Dave Bautista (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Mr. Hinx, Léa Seydoux (Blue Is The Warmest Colour) as Madeline Swann and Stephanie Sigman (Miss Bala), plus returning MI6 allies Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q and Rory Kinnear as Tanner.

SPECTRE hits our screens on 26 October before heading to the US on 6 November.

*Incidentally, the name Oberhauser comes from Ian Fleming's original short story Octopussy. Oberhauser in that instance was Bond's ski-instructor when he was a teenager. A father figure to the orphaned Bond, he was murdered at the end of WWII, and his body showed up years later frozen in a glacier.

New trailer for Pixar's The Good Dinosaur arrives online

Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar have just released their latest trailer for Peter Sohn's feature debut The Good Dinosaur.

Following a directorial switch and story overhaul mid production, Pixar's The Good Dinosaur – which was originally scheduled to arrive last year – is finally set to hit our screens.

The Good Dinosaur poses the question of what if the asteroid that impacted Earth all those millions of years ago never happened? What if the dinosaurs survived to live in the age of early man? And finally, what happens when a curious Apatosaurus named Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) makes an unlikely human friend he calls Spot (Jack Bright)? The two must join forces to journey across a harsh and mysterious landscape, with Arlo learning the power of confronting your fears.

Peter Sohn, who previously directed the short Partly Cloudy (2009) and was the movie's original co-director, has moved up to the top spot for this one, with Denise Ream (Cars 2) staying on board as producer.

"The heart of the story remains the same," Sohn told The LA Times in November. "It's always been about this young dinosaur growing up. But the world itself has changed a lot. Nature has become a character."

With Anna Paquin (X-Men: Days Of Future Past), Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale), Steve Zahn (Dallas Buyers Club), A.J. Buckley (Happy Feet), Sam Elliott (Up In The Air), Marcus Scribner (Black-ish) and Frances McDormand (Burn After Redaing) lending their voices to the film, The Good Dinosaur will be out in the UK on 27 November.

New trailer and character one sheets for Freehold arrive online

Lionsgate have just released their first trailer and character one sheets for Peter Sollett's (Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist) Freeheld.

Adapted by screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia), Freeheld is the true love story of Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) and Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) and their fight for justice. A decorated New Jersey police detective, Laurel is diagnosed with cancer and wants to leave her hard earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie. However the county officials, Freeholders, conspire to prevent Laurel from doing this. Hard nosed detective Dane Wells (Michael Shannon), and activist Steven Goldstein (Steve Carell), unite in Laurel and Stacie's defense, rallying police officers and ordinary citizens to support their struggle for equality.

The film itself is a feature length adaption of Cynthia Wade's Academy Award® winning short documentary of the same title, which covered events that took place between 2002 and 2006.

The timing on Freehold couldn't be better. The film is a reminder of how far the gay rights movement has come in just ten years – as well as a reminder of why this battle is so important to so many people in the first place.

Freeheld arrives in the US 2 October with no set UK release date as yet.

New one sheet for Knock Knock arrives online

Lionsgate have just released their first one sheet for Eli Roth's (Hostel) home invasion thriller Knock Knock.

Roth's latest finds Keanu Reeves (47 Ronin) as Evan Webber, a man who would seem to have life all worked out. Married to a wonderful woman, has two great kids, loves his job and even designed his own house. And although he has to stay at home to work while his family heads out for a beach weekend on Father's Day, he is still content.

Until, that is, he answers the door to two young women, played by Lorenza Izzo (Aftershock) and Ana de Armas (Blind Alley). From there, his world turns into a dark and twisted nightmare of mind games and seduction.

We're promised more psychological terror than gore on this one. Written by Roth with his Aftershock (2012) and Green Inferno (2013) collaborators Guillermo Amoedo and Nicolas Lopez, Knock Knock arrives in US cinemas 9 October and is out in the UK now.

New one sheets for Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation arrive online

Paramount Pictures have just released a striking new batch one sheets for Christopher McQuarrie's (Jack Reacher) Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.

Reuniting Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise), Benji (Simon Pegg), Brandt (Jeremy Renner) and Luther (Ving Rhames) and introducing Rebecca Ferguson's (Hercules) Isla to the line-up, Rogue Nation sees the IMF team go up against the shadowy 'Syndicate', a rogue nation organisation that is trained and equipped much like the IMF, but intends to destroy them... And then there is our own government, with Alec Baldwin's (The Departed) official looking to shut down Ethan Hunt and IMF for good.

From what we have seen of the film so far, things are shaping up nicely, with the usual mix of playful humour, improbable stunts and Cruise reducing loss adjusters to tears by doing his own insane stunts.

With Sean Harris (Prometheus), Simon McBurney (Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy) and more aboard, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation flies into our cinemas on 30 July.

New quad poster for Masterminds arrives online

Entertainment One Films have just released their latest quad poster for Jared Hess' (Nacho Libre) Masterminds.

Formerly known as Loomis Fargo, the long awaited action heist comedy from Napoleon Dynamite (2004) director Jared Hess has finally arrived as Masterminds starring Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Owen Wilson (Midnight In Paris), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids) and Jason Sudeikis (We're The Millers).

Inspired by true events in 1997, the story involves armoured car driver David, who channels his disaffection with the job into a plan to liberate a fortune from a bank vault. Sadly for him, there is a glaring trail of evidence, while his cohorts double-cross him and proceed to live it up on the robbery's proceeds while he is left alone on the run in Mexico. Not unnaturally, our hero's next plan is to get even.

Galifianakis (in a role originally earmarked for Jim Carrey) is David, with Wilson and Wiig as his back stabbing accomplices Steve and Kelly, and Sudeikis as a hit man.

The rest of the cast includes Ken Marino (Veronica Mars) as a wealthy and resentful neighbour of Steve's, Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live) as David's domineering fiancée, Leslie Jones (a writer for Saturday Night Live) as a detective on the thieves' trail, Mary Elizabeth Ellis (It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia) as Steve's gold digging wife and Devin Ratray (Blue Ruin) as Steve's henchman.

Saturday Night Live's Emily Spivey wrote the original script, which was then overhauled by Napoleon Dynamite series writers Chris Bowman and Hubbel Palmer, and Jody Hill and Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down), plus there's yet one further Saturday Night Live connection in Lorne Michaels, who is among the producers.

Masterminds is out in the UK on 9 October.

James Horner had written music for Antoine Fuqua's Magnificent Seven

Though Academy Award® winning composer James Horner (Avatar) died tragically last month, it appears he left at least one score in addition to those we knew about still waiting to be heard by the world. According to Southpaw director Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer) – who worked with the composer on the boxing film – he was astonished to learn that Horner wrote another entire score for his next film, a new version of The Magnificent Seven.

"James was an incredible human being," Fuqua tells NPR's All Things Considered. "He was a filmmaker through and through. He was one of the most gentle people I've ever met. Even the way he spoke was very soft and thoughtful. He was magical. He had this childlike wonderment in his eyes, but he was an amazing artist, an amazing poet. I loved him and we became friends. James was a family man. He loved his children. He called me on a Saturday after he watched Southpaw, and I said, 'I don't have any money,' because it wasn't a big budget movie. And he said to me. 'I love the movie. I love the father-daughter relationship. Don't worry about the money, I'm just going to do it.' And he did it for nothing. He paid his crew out of his own pocket."

And while Horner's death might have ended that collaboration, it turns out that he had one more generous contribution to Fuqua's career.

"I just found out a few days ago – his team flew out here, to Baton Rouge, and they brought me all the music for The Magnificent Seven. He already wrote it for me based on the script. He did it all off the script because he wanted to surprise me. I thought it was a gift or something. And they all came out here and said, 'Antoine, James wrote the music for Magnificent Seven already and it's just glorious.'" While it is certainly unusual – though not unheard of – for a composer to write based on a script, the final cut of the film might require some tweaking or additional music. But with luck, we will get to hear Horner's music when The Magnificent Seven arrives in UK cinemas on 13 January 2017. For the full interview with Fuqua, head to NPR's site.

Spider-Man's Jon Watts sets up new movie

After working away for years on short films and smaller projects, including upcoming thriller Cop Car, writer/director Jon Watts (Clown) exploded into the spotlight last month when he was selected by Sony Pictures and Marvel to direct the companies' new take on Spider-Man. While the superhero movie will keep him busy for a while, he is still setting up other projects, including an untitled film for financial backers/production company End Cue.

According to Deadline, the idea, which is for now known as The Untitled Urban Explorers Film, is apparently a young adult adventure that sees its characters travelling under the streets of New York's Lower East Side. Watts will write the script with Cop Car collaborator Christopher Ford, and the project was nabbed by the company, which also backed Cop Car, before the big Spider-Man announcement.

Of course, there is every chance the End Cue team will have to wait to see the new project realised. Superhero movie directors often find themselves pressed into the service of sequels before they get a chance to work on anything, as Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man) discovered. Still, US audiences will see Cop Car on 7 August (there is no UK release date as yet) and the first of the new non-origin story Spider-Man films, with Tom Holland (The Impossible) as Peter Parker, is set for 28 July 2017.

Guillermo del Toro discusses Hellboy III

A week on from the San Diego Comic Con and the news is still coming. While there was plenty of chatter surrounding Guillermo del Toro's upcoming horror Crimson Peak, many people behind the scenes continued to question the director about the possibility of Hellboy III.

"The hard fact is that the movie's going to need about $120 million and there's nobody knocking down our doors to give it to us," he told The Daily Beast. "It's a little beyond Kickstarter. It would be great to complete the trilogy, but in a way I don't see the world – the industry – supporting that idea."

Spanners in the Hellboy works have been reported before, with del Toro blaming tough production and writing processes, and Big Red himself Ron Perlman: "He's doing Sons Of Anarchy without make-up. He's spoiled!"

The key statement was probably the director's heartfelt "I know how it ends and I don't know if I want to see that ending," but he still maintained that he "would love to do it." Perlman too, has been happy to whip up some hype whenever the opportunity has arisen. Studio Legendary have, apparently, intimated that they might take a look at Hellboy III if del Toro's Pacific Rim 2 is a hit.

"But you know, Ron is no spring chicken," grins the mischievous Del Toro now, "so we'd better get to it before Hellboy has to do everything from a BarcaLounger." He adds, "I would watch that.”

Elsewhere, del Toro confirmed that he had to pass on DC Entertainments Justice League Dark in favour of the aforementioned Pacific Rim sequel. "Warners liked the script," he says. "They were very enthusiastic and wanted to green-light it but they wanted it to coincide with the shoot of Pacific Rim 2. I was put in a very difficult place facing a difficult choice, and I chose to do Pacific Rim 2."

Crimson Peak though, did happen, and will be out in the UK on 16 October.

New earlier UK release date for SPECTRE

First it was October 23. Then it was November 6. But now SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond adventure, has finally settled on a UK release date. News arrives via the BBC that SPECTRE will receive its world premiere in London on 26 October, and open the same night in the rest of the country.

"For the first time ever, the film will open on the same night at cinemas across the UK and Ireland," said distributor Sony Pictures in a press release. Unusually that means SPECTRE will be out on a Monday, which will certainly make the figures for its opening weekend interesting. But with Skyfall (2012) raking in north of a billion dollars worldwide, that should prove an insignificant issue.

Elsewhere in SPECTRE news, director Sam Mendes (Skyfall) has confirmed that this will certainly be his last Bond outing. He said that after Skyfall, of course, but was persuaded to return after the producers twisted his arm.

This time, however, he seems determined to move on. "I said no to [this] one and then ended up doing it," he told the BBC, "but... I don't think I could go down that road again. This was an enormous undertaking, and a bigger movie than Skyfall; it's shot in more places. You do have to put everything else on hold. It's more a lifestyle choice than a job." But it is also, he clarifies, "a fantastic life-changing thing".

Finally, Mendes has teased that SPECTRE's theme song is finished, but declined to reveal who has recorded it. We should get clarification of that sooner rather than later. "You won't have to wait long...".

Directed once again by Sam Mendes, SPECTRE stars Daniel Craig as Bond, of course, Bautista (Guardians Of The Galaxy) as Mr. Hinx, Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) as the enigmatic Oberhauser, Andrew Scott (Sherlock) as Denbigh, Monica Belluci (Irreversible) as Lucia Sciarra, Léa Seydoux (Blue Is The Warmest Colour) as Madeline Swann and Stephanie Sigman (Miss Bala), plus returning MI6 allies Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q and Rory Kinnear as Tanner.

The script, which will also see 007 drive the new Aston Martin DB10, was written by Skyfall scribe John Logan, along with Bond stalwarts Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Interstellar's (2014) Hoyte van Hoytema is replacing Roger Deakins as director of photography.

SPECTRE will hit British and Irish screens on 26 October before heading to the US and elsewhere a eleven days later.

Michael Sheen joins Passengers

After a long time floating in development limbo, much praised science fiction script Passengers is finally gathering the people it needs to make its voyage, with Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) in the director's chair and Chris Pratt (Guardians Of The Galaxy) and Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) attached to star. Now news arrives via Variety that Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon) is set to join them.

The script, written by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus), chronicles a ship en route to a distant colony with all of its crew in cryposleep. A malfunction causes one man (Pratt) to be rudely awakened 90 years before anyone else. Unable to fix the situation and seemingly doomed to spend his time dying alone, he decides to take the unusual and controversial step of waking up a fellow passenger (Lawrence).

As we now learn from Variety's report on Sheen's casting, the pair won't be completely alone on the ship, as Sheen will be playing a robot along for the ride. While the movie will have to wait for the actors' schedules to clear, it has finally gathered some forward movement after cast members and even the odd director came and went in the film's development history.

Sheen, who last appeared on the big screen in Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt) Far From The Madding Crowd, is part of the cast for thriller Oppenheimer Strategies and will be back as the White Rabbit for Alice In Wonderland (2010) sequel Alice Through The Looking Glass. He has also just returned to TV screens for the latest series of cable drama Masters Of Sex.

John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein hired for new Spider-Man script

With Sony Pictures and Marvel joining forces to bring another iteration – albeit not an origin story this time – of Spider-Man to our screens, the elements needed to make the movie have been slotting into place. Tom Holland (The Impossible) is aboard to play Peter Parker, Jon Watts (Clown) will direct the film and now it appears the scriptwriters have been found, with Deadline reporting that Vacation writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein in negotiations. 

The pair have had a meteoric rise in the last few years, graduating from writing and producing comedies such as The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013) and the Horrible Bosses (2011) to co-directing the new Vacation movie. And while not everything they have written has been a success, it is worth noting that several of their drafts were changed before the films hit screens.

There is a chance that might happen with Spider-Man, as big tentpoles have a notorious habit of churning through script drafts and the writers who create them, but this pair has weathered the development storm on Vacation to get that one made.

As for the new Spider-Man, it will find him in high school, already established as the friendly neighbourhood web slinger and dealing with whatever life – and his various foes – throws at him, with Aunt May (potentially Marisa Tomei) helping out. We will get our first glimpse of the new Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War, which lands here on 29 April next year, with the still untitled new Spider-film arriving 28 July 2018. Vacation, meanwhile, arrives in our cinemas on 21 August.

Michael Cera set to voice Lego Batman's Robin

The team behind The Lego Movie (2014) Lego Batman spin-off, already have Will Arnett set to return as the Dark Knight. Now news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that they have picked his on-screen Arrested Development nephew, Michael Cera (Juno), to voice Batman's trusty sidekick Robin.

Cera feels like the perfect choice for this one, and we can already imagine his Robin as a nerdy, nervy and slightly whiny take on Bruce Wayne's ward, most likely a little sick of his boss's arrogant style and tired of his own sidekick status.

The people in charge of bringing the new film to life include Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows) on script duty and Chris McKay (Robot Chicken), animation co-director/editor on The Lego Movie, directing. Franchise overlords Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) are producing. Promising to cover all aspects of the character's long history, Lego Batman will be with us on 10 February 2017.

In related Cera news, The Hollywood Reporter has learned that he has nabbed the film rights to True Grit writer Charles Portis' 1985 novel Masters Of Atlantis. Set in the early 20th Century, the comedy tome finds a young man becoming entangled with a quasi-religious cult called the Gnomon Society, which is dedicated to the secrets of Atlantis. He will be developing the script as a potential film for him to both star in and direct. And he has also lent his voice to another big animated feature, Seth Rogen's (This Is The End) Sausage Party, which opens here on 19 August next year. He will also be back for more Arrested Development, as a writer and actor, but there is no confirmed date for the show's return to Netflix.

Andrés Muschietti in talks to direct It

The attempt to return Stephen King's It for a new cinematic effort took a setback in May when director Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre), who had been heavily involved with development, left over budget and creative disagreements. Now news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that New Line, which called a halt to forward movement on the film, is now aiming to lock down a replacement, with Mama (2013) director Andrés Muschietti in negotiations to step in and get things back on track.

Muschietti, whose career was boosted by the support of Guillermo del Toro and the success of Mama, adapted from his short, could be the right man to still get the movie made at the lower budget the studio is looking to invest. The story, which is still apparently planned to take place across two parts, sees an evil entity tormenting children in a small Maine town, and frequently taking the form of craven clown Pennywise. Will Poulter (The Maze Runner) was attached to play the villain shortly before Fukunaga left, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, while he is no longer involved, he could come back.

All involved, which includes producers Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows), Roy Lee (The Departed), Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows) and David Katzenberg (The Goldbergs), are starting the search for a writer who can tailor the screenplay to Muschietti's version of the story, though there is a chance the director might work on it himself with producing partner/co-writer (and sister) Barbara Muschietti. While the original start of production was scheduled for June, the movie is currently still in limbo. As always, watch this space.

Richard Armitage and Carrie-Anne Moss join Brain On Fire

With Chloë Grace Moretz (Carrie) in place as the lead in Brain On Fire – taking over from a suddenly busy Dakota Fanning (The Runaways) – the rest of the cast is slowly being announced. News arrives via Deadline that Richard Armitage (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Disturbia) are the latest recruits. 

Brain On Fire has been adapted from Susannah Cahalan's memoir, which was subtitled My Month Of Madness. The book chronicles Cahalan's real life experiences being diagnosed with a mystery illness that left her labelled psychotic, violent, and a dangerous flight risk. She woke up alone in a hospital room confined to the bed, unable to speak or move and with no memory of what happened. In the maelstrom, she had lost everything – a promising newspaper career and her first serious relationship, and it took a lot of strength and the support of her family to get through it.

And now we know who will be making up the key components of that family, as Armitage is playing her father, Tom Cahalan, while Moss is her mother, Rhona Nack. Gerard Barrett (Pilgrim Hill) is calling the shots on the film in Vancouver, with Charlize Theron (Prometheus) involved as a producer via her Denver & Delilah production house, alongside Foundation Features. It should be in cinemas next year.

Armitage will next be seen as the terrifying Francis Dolarhyde, also known as The Red Dragon, on the current and likely final season of US TV series Hannibal. Moss has worked on horror thriller Frankenstein and is part of the cast for the new Marvel/Netflix superhero show, Jessica Jones.

New Joy stills arrive online

20th Century Fox have recently released a new set of stills from David O. Russell's (American Hustle) Joy.

Director David O. Russell has reunited his Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and American Hustle (2013) stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper for his latest drama Joy.

Originally thought of as a biopic of Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano, the film now takes its inspiration from various people – including Russell's own mother – in telling the story of one woman's fight through life. "We decided to make it about the interior life of her soul as she goes from the ages of 10 to into middle age," says writer/director Russell. "And those who inspire her and those who kind of are obstacles to her in her own family – and in the cold world of business. That's ambitious for us."

Though Joy is the theme as well as the title and Jennifer Lawrence's character, the film is a story of lows as well as highs, as the image below shows. "She's arrested and put behind bars. She's a fierce woman who's trying to fight for what she's done. And she'll go to any length. She'll risk anything to get there. And she loses that chapter."

Alongside Lawrence are other Russell alumni, including Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook) in a story that Russell describes as "a fable that lives somewhere between, you know, Citizen Kane (1941), The Godfather (1972) and It's A Wonderful Life (1946). I would say it lives in the middle of that territory of the loss of your soul."

A crucial element of that is Joy's own family. "The relationship with her daughter is traumatized many times," says Russell.

"We see that little girl grow up to be a young woman," says Russell. "That little girl that's on that bed. That's one of the very powerful and interesting things to me in the movie: what are you left with when you've sacrificed and you've bled?"

Russell loves plumbing dysfunctional families for comedy and pathos, whether the surrogate kind (Three Kings) or the real deal (The Fighter). This one looks like no exception.

With Édgar Ramírez (The Bourne Ultimatum), Isabella Rossellini (Infamous), Diane Ladd (Inland Empire) and Virginia Madsen (Sideways) also aboard, Joy will hit UK cinemas on 1 January next year.

Disney planning live action take on Aladdin

Following in the footsteps of Alice In Wonderland (2010), Maleficent (2014), Cinderella and the currently filming Beauty And The Beast, Walt Disney Pictures have raided the archives for yet another animated classic to turn into a live action adventure. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that the Mouse House are set to give Aladdin (1992) the Maleficent treatment with a prequel that looks to tell the Genie's story called, to almost no one's surprise, Genies.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney have Damien Shannon and Mark Swift (Friday The 13th) in the early stages of writing a film that shows how the Genie – famously voiced in the 1992 animated feature by Robin Williams – got into the lamp in the first place.

We are promised a voyage into the realm of the magical beings and an explanation for the character's circumstances, which given that he ends up enslaved and squished into a lamp, probably aren't all that great to begin with. And, as the trade paper reports, if Genies works, it will be the prelude to an Aladdin live action film, though trying to recapture that particular magic seems like a much riskier proposition.

This is just the latest in the company's attempts to re-engineer all of their animated fare into updated interpretations including relatively straightforward efforts such as Cinderella and the upcoming Beauty And The Beast and films that want to explore a different aspect of the story, including the recently revealed Prince Charming, which will apparently look at the character's less fortunate brother.

Hugh Jackman departs Collateral Beauty

It looks as though Collateral Beauty director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon will have to continue without Hugh Jackman (The Wolverine) in his follow-up to the Sundance Film Festival hit Me And Earl And The Dying Girl. Deadline reports that the Jackman has had to drop out of the drama due to a diary clash with the next Wolverine outing.

All is not lost, though – the producers behind the film are apparently looking to make a deal with Johnny Depp (Alice In Wonderland) to step in and co-star alongside Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo).

Allan Loeb (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) wrote the screenplay, which revolves around a New York advertising agency, and a man – presumably Depp's character, if he signs on – struggling with depression after a tragedy that turns his world upside down. His colleagues devise a hugely unconventional plan to break him out of it, but they don't count on what happens.

Mara is still attached to the film alongside Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Gomez-Rejon is still scheduled to start shooting in the autumn, whether Depp takes the role or it goes to someone else, as there is a lot of interest in this one, so watch this space while every agent submits their client for consideration even as the team endeavours to lure Depp.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Martin Campbell in talks to direct Jackie Chan's next film

Last month we reported that the producers behind Jackie Chan's latest action thriller, The Foreigner, were in talks with Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook) to direct the film, based on Stephen Leather's 1992 novel The Chinaman. Now word arrives via Deadline that the movie is currently untitled and that Cassavetes is no longer circling the project, with Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) ready to take on the job instead.

This actually represents a full circle for the film, as Campbell was actually involved in it's development before being lured away to tackle Relativity Media's Hunter Killer. But with that company in financial dire straights, Hunter Killer is in limbo and Campbell is once again free to take on other projects.

Chan will play a restaurant owner in London's Chinatown who is devastated in an attack orchestrated by rogue Irish terrorists. When the justice system brings him no satisfaction, he decides to track down the people responsible himself. With David Marconi (Live Free Or Die Hard) and Peter Buchman (Jurassic Park III) adapting Leather's novel, the film should be in production later this year.