Outbreak on the Big Screen: American Werewolf in London, Kidnap + More

There’s a transformation coming with The Walking Dead‘s David Albert and Robert Kirkman set to produce a remake of An American Werewolf in London for Universal Pictures. The big screen update will stay in the family as Deadline reports that Max Landis, son of original filmmaker John Landis, is set to direct. The 1981 comedic horror classic starred David Naughton (best known at the time for his Dr. Pepper commercials) as a youth attacked by a werewolf who starts to transform into a werewolf himself. The younger Landis is best known for writing and producing the BBC America series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.

ef1c1fb939e4352108fa117415e01a11Kidnap is on the move! The Halle Berry thriller has been pushed from its Dec. 2 opening to a new date on March 10. And while a move like that often signifies something wrong with the film, Deadline reports that test scores have been quite high. The issue comes with Relativity, who were having trouble releasing the film after emerging from bankruptcy. Deadline reports that the film was being shopped to potential distributors.

It’s time to talk Tolkien … as in the upcoming biopic Middle Earth about the legendary author J.R.R. Tolkien. Deadline reports the project is starting to take hold as director James Strong has signed on to helm the flick. Strong may not be a well known name in the film world, but he has a strong track record in British television, having worked on the series Broadchurch and Downton Abbey. The story follows the author’s early life, love affair with Edith Bratt and a four-year hardship with a war that started in 1914 that influenced his middle earth stories.

Disney’s live-action remake of the 1991 animated classic Beauty and the Beast should draw plenty of attention next year. One thing that’s sure to garner attention is the usage of three new songs penned by Alan Menken, who also wrote for the 1991 original, and lyricist Tim Rice. EW reports that the songs are titled Our Song Lives On, For Evermore and Days in the Sun. Our Song Lives On will appear multiple times in the film with different singers including stars Emma Watson and Kevin Kline. For Evermore will be sung by Dan Stevens as The Beast, while “Days in the Sun” is more of a reflective track that’s generating great buzz. Beauty and the Beast, starring Watson, Stevens and Kline, is expected to arrive in March.

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‘Hobbit’ Director Peter Jackson Defends Controversial Choice To Divvy Up Source Material

hobbit_an_unexpected_journey_ver5Opening in theaters today, the highly-anticipated fantasy THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY is the first of three installments in the big-screen adaptation of J.R.R. TOLKIEN’S classic prequel to the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. Directed by PETER JACKSON, the cast features MARTIN FREEMAN, LUKE EVANS, CATE BLANCHETT, ANDY SIRKIS, ELIJAH WOOD, IAN McKELLEN, ORLANDO BLOOM and HUGO WEAVING (to name just a fraction of the participants).  At the recent press conference to promote the film, director PETER JACKSON spoke with entertainment reporters who couldn’t wait to ask him about the decision to turn a single volume children’s book into an epic multi-feature franchise (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)
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THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY opens in several theatrical formats today

Martin Freeman Thrilled To Be The New Hobbit On The Block

hobbit_an_unexpected_journey_ver4Arriving in theaters tomorrow, THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY is the first in filmmaker PETER JACKSON’S epic three-installment big-screen adaptation of J. R. R. TOLKIEN’S classic children’s story that served as the introduction to Middle Earth and the universe of THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Hugely anticipated despite the many misgivings fans have about breaking this story into so many pieces, the film promises to deliver visuals on par with his LOTR work (and beyond if you catch it in its 48 fps rendition). Starring in the leading role of Bilbo Bagins, actor MARTIN FREEMAN is a newcomer to Middle Earth and admitted, at the Manhattan press conference held last weekend, that he was a big fan of JACKSON’S LOTR work. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)
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THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY opens in theaters tomorrow

Peter Jackson’s Epic Telling Of ‘The Hobbit’ Introduces A New Poster And A (Kinda) New Trailer

hobbit-posterArriving in theaters later this year, THE HOBBIT is filmmaker PETER JACKSON’S epic three-installment big-screen adaptation of J. R. R. TOLKIEN’S classic children’s story that served as the introduction to Middle Earth and the universe of THE LORD OF THE RINGS. This new one-sheet is just a sample of the incredible artwork JACKSON has been presenting to tease the film and the attached trailer promises visuals on par with his LOTR work. Reuniting with JACKSON for a small role in THE HOBBIT is LORD OF THE RINGS star ORLANDO BLOOM, who admitted to us during a recent interview that he’d show up for the director anytime he calls. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)
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Despite criticisms that breaking this project into three parts has all the earmarks of a blatant cash-grab, if this trailer is any indication it’ll all be worth it.

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY opens in theaters 12/24

ELIJAH WOOD: KEEPING AN EYE ON THE HOBBIT

Inter-Continental HotelLORD OF THE RINGS star ELIJAH WOOD may have moved on to other things (like the animated sci-fi film 9) but he’s still keeping an eye on Middle Earth. We spoke to WOOD recently about what he’s been up to and he talked about how much he’s looking forward to the PETER JACKSON/GUILLERMO del TORO collab on THE HOBBIT. Listen in below:

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9 opens in theaters September 9 (get it?!?…9/9/09…jus’ sayn’)