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Van Damme Classics Triple Bill: ‘Kickboxer’ and ‘Bloodsport’ Remakes and ‘Double Impact’ Sequel

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Boy is all this reboot madness making me feel my age. All my favourite youth film fodder just keeps getting the revamp treatment and now not one but two Van Damme classics are about to get added to that long list.

After rumours of a sequel with Van Damme himself seem to have come to nothing a reboot of his first major foot in the door that was Bloodsport has been reported to be in the works helmed by James McTiegue (V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin). The original film, which Van Damme himself helped edit to ensure it actually got released, also starred a young Forest Whitaker, related the real life story of soldier, Frank Dux as he heads to fight in the Kumite, the ultimate martial arts tournament. Despite being told by his superiors that he is needed in the forces he heads to Hong Kong with two officers on his tail.

Let’s hope McTiegue ”show you some trick or two!”

24 hours after this news Radar Pictures, currently producing the upcoming sequel, Riddick, has confirmed their interest in rebooting Van Damme’s 1989 classic Kickboxer. With the Hong Kong director Stephen Fung already attached, who made quite a name for himself with the Chinese box office hit Tai Chi Zero, we should be in for some great fight (and maybe dance) choreography. If you aren’t familiar with the original then see the clip below to understand why I say dance. It’s the most memorable scene from the film, alongside some unique rope stretch training sessions (also below). While no cast members have been attached just yet, Jim McGrath and Dimitri Logothetis (Air America the TV series) will be writing the screenplay. Radar Pictures intends to start production this autumn or early in the new year.

One other project we’re keen to hear about is a possible Van Damme sequel to Double Impact. Last year the actor confirmed that he had teamed up with screenwriter Sheldon Lettich (Double Impact, Bloodsport) to write a follow-up adventure for the butt-kicking brothers who end up on opposite sides of the law. In an interview Van Damme had the following to reveal about the plot he has come up with:

“I came up with a great story set in Los Angeles. [Chad] is a producer, making pictures with a big house behind him. Alex is gonna go on vacation and has some problems with the Triads. Why? Because Chad went to Hong Kong and to get some loan money using [Alex’s] face, all of that bulls**t. And Alex comes [to Los Angeles] to see Chad and he’s full of s**t, has a girl pregnant, and she’s the sister of the big boss from South Central. It’s like Double Impact in Los Angeles.”

We’ll leave you with the two aforementioned unforgettable Kickboxer scenes. It would be great to see Van Damme at least in cameos in both movies but who would you like to see take on Chong Li and Tong Po this time round?

Now Su Kow! Nok Su Kow!

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Sony Announce Gran Turismo Movie Adaptation

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High speed vehicle-centric movies are zooming into the market of late. The first that surely springs to mind is The Fast and the Furious franchise and, if we look ahead, audiences are in for a hell of a ride as DreamWorks is busy wrapping up the Scott Waugh directed adaptation of Need for Speed starring Aaron Paul whilst Legendary are torn between Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) and Simon Crane (Second Unit Director on World War Z) to direct a big screen version of Hot Wheels. There are even plans for Zombieland director, Ruben Fleischer, to helm a Spy Hunter movie.

Fearing no competition, Sony recently acquired Go Fast, a high-velocity boat thriller written by xXx scribe Rich Wilkes and directed by Kick-Ass 2’s Jeff Wadlow and the studio has now announced their adaptation of the popular PlayStation exclusive game franchise Gran Turismo.

The Fifty Shades of Grey film adaptation production duo of Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti are already attached to produce whilst nothing has been confirmed with regards to a director, scribe, or actors. Nothing is known in terms of plot but, given the fact Gran Turismo are simply ‘real’ race driving simulators, the sky is the limit for whoever gets tapped to adapt a screenplay. That said, Sony will certainly have to aim high given the aforementioned plethora of high adrenaline films recently released and in the pipeline.

Adapting the franchise into a film does certainly seem a wise move from Sony given name recognition alone. The original game took Kazunori Yamauchi, a former race driver, five years to develop (published in 1997) and was so successful that it lead to a further four follow-ups, various spin-offs and Gran Turismo 6 is set to release this festive season.

Are we all excited? Would you like to see a high paced car movie with some steamed up windscreens a la Shades of Grey?

We’ll leave you with a video celebrating the 15 years Gran Turismo has been keeping over 70 million car enthusiasts happy:

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J.J. Abrams ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek’. What’s Really Going On?

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Paramount have now announced that Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness scribes Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci have been instrumental in bringing two new writer into the Star Trek 3 mix. Fans will be glad to hear that both are more than experienced in the genre as well as veterans of J.J. AbramsBad Robot: Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller.

Both writers were credited for both Thor and X-Men: First Class, and their Bad Robot experience came in the form of writing and producing for the recent sci-fi show, Fringe.

In related news, rumours arose suggesting that Abrams may be dropping out of Star Wars: Episode VII in the light of one too many disagreements with the new Disney-owned Lucasfilm. However, no sooner did these rumours start ruminating, Lucasfilm issued an abrupt counterclaim:

“There is no truth to the rumor. J.J. is having a great time working on the script and is looking forward to going into production next year.”

If all of the above is true then it would appear that Abrams is highly unlikely to direct the next Star Trek movie as Paramount are aiming for a 2016 release, to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the original Star Trek which wouldn’t be feasible for the director in the light of his 2015 Star Wars committments.

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Sacha Baron Cohen Breaks Free From Queen Biopic

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Despite having been attached to play the late, great Freddie Mercury in a Queen biopic for a couple of years, comedian/actor Sacha Baron Cohen has said ‘I Want To Break Free’ from the project after agreeing to disagree with the surviving members of Queen (also producers of the film).

Cohen is said to have wanted “a gritty R-rated tell-all” story whilst the band didn’t, with the latter having the final say on the script and director despite both the hiring of scribe Peter Morgan and negotiations with big-name directors such as David Fincher and Tom Hooper having been on Cohen’s initiative. These creative differences meant no formal offer could be made to Hooper, who Cohen previously worked with on Les Miserables

A few months ago, screenwriter Morgan confessed that it was tricky reaching agreements with the remaining members of the band, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon:

“Queen are sensitive because it will show rancour and disagreements in the collaborative process. In a way, the film, for me, reflects my own experience of filmmaking as a collaborative process. Just as a film is never the result of one person, so the band doesn’t like the idea of Queen being “A Band by Freddie Mercury” – and they’re right. It won’t just be about Freddie Mercury.”

Providing the film still goes ahead, a new Mercury will obviously need to be cast, who is willing to get involved in a more audience-friendly take that Cohen was not prepared to accept.

Cohen, and particularly his alter-ego Borat, is quite the dead ringer for Mercury so the producers have wuite the task in hand to find a replacement. Who would you like to see portray the rock icon now that Cohen is out of the equation?

One actor who has often shown an interest in playing the role is Anglo-Indian actor James Floyd who played Freddie in a recent television movie The Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story. We’ll leave you with a snippet from said movie. Let us know if you think he could be the man for the job.

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1st Footage of Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Believe’ at Comic-Con 2013

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The current trend of directors honing their skills and moving over to TV has its caught its latest addition as Alfonso Cuarón revealed the first trailer at Comic-Con 2013 for co-created show, Believe, which is due to be aired on NBC later this year.

The show revolves around Bo, an orphaned ten year old girl with supernatural powers. She is protected by a group called the ‘True Believers’ from a secretive faction that want her powers for their personal gain.

The opening of the trailer is taken from the pilot episode, which is directed by Cuarón, and in spectacular style. This first glimpse of Believe reveals its dark nature in what could be the one of the shows of 2013/14.

Cuarón premiered the trailer alongside showing off new footage from his other project, the feature film Gravity, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.

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Film4 FrightFest Short Film Line-up Announced

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In association with the Horror Channel this year’s Film4 FrightFest will be home to World Premiere screenings of 9 specially selected short films at the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square.

Ranging from the sickly slick serial killer short from James Moran (Severance, Tower Block) to a grim portrayal of war time Hell from Dominic Brunt (Inbred), to Will Gilbey’s (A Lonely Place to Die, The Wee Man) take on a tough noir cop thriller and Mike Mort’s (A Life Less Ordinary) even more intense puppet cop hero Chuck Steel, the selection of shorts provides a more than healthy does of today’s talent, with actors of the calibre of Hannah Tointon (The Children), Neil Maskell (Kill List, Ghosted), Ed Speleers (A Lonely Place To Die), Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones) and Jack Gordon (Panic Button) involved.

Co-director of FrightFest & Horror Channel programme co-ordinator, Paul McEvoy had the following to say:

“This year’s brilliant and insane mix of shorts includes outstanding World Premieres from some FrightFest favourites and some exciting new cinematic blood. Behold and enjoy!”

Film4 FrightFest 2013 will be held from 22 August until 26 August at the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square.

Individual film tickers will go on sale from the 27th July. All bookings can be made either over the phone: 08 714 714 714 or online: www.empirecinemas.co.uk

Here is the full programme of shorts:

FrightFest short film line-up

We’ll leave you with a previous short by Paul Davis called Him Indoors, starring Reece Shearsmith (Psychoville) alongside Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman), relating the tale of an agoraphobic serial killer, on the verge of eviction, as an impromptu visit from his nosy neighbor turns disastrous as he plans to keep well inside.


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Both Batman & Superman Confirmed for ‘Man of Steel’ Sequel

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401571853Saturday brought with it possibly one of the most exciting pieces of news so far this year when Man of Steel director, Zack Snyder, announced, not only a Man of Steel sequel but also that another much loved DC Comics superhero would be added to the mix: the Batman.

Snyder, who recently directed British actor Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent, surprised the 6,000 plus audience with the news at the end of the Warner Bros. Comic-Con panel.

The most recent Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale, grossed over $1.081 billion worldwide. Although 2006’s Superman Returns, starring Brandon Routh, didn’t fare too well at the box office, the recent, darker Man of Steel take, at the hand of Snyder, lead to greater reapings, raking in more than 621 million dollars worldwide.

With Nolan attached as Exec. Producer for Man of Steel, rumours started floating around of a possible Batman/Superman big screen reunion which has now been confirmed. A press release reported that production is set to begin in 2014 with a view towards a 2015 summer blockbuster release. Zack Snyder will be back in the director’s chair, with David S. Goyer penning the screenplay and Henry Cavill reprising his role as Superman. Further to Christian Bale’s recent statement that he won’t be coming back as the Caped Crusader, the press release also confirmed that the role of Batman has yet to be cast.

On Saturday the Warner Bros. Comic-Con panel dealt with various upcoming films, including Seventh Son, 300: Rise of an Empire, Godzilla and The Lego Movie, which will also unite Superman and Batman in the form of animated Lego characters. Regarding the latter movie, it was announced that apart from Channing Tatum providing the voice of Superman and Will Arnett voicing Batman, Jonah Hill will play Green Lantern whilst Cobie Smulders will be playing Wonder Woman. You can watch The LEGO Movie trailer below and be sure to follow the Facebook page for all the latest information relating to the film.

We’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear any further news regarding the new Batman/Superman project. Are we all excited? Of course we are.

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Comedy/Drama ‘X PLUS Y’ Begins Shooting Next Week

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BBC Films, Origin Pictures, Minnow Films, and the BFI Film Fund have confirmed that the British coming of age comedy/drama, X PLUS Y, starring Asa Butterfield (soon to be seen in Ender’s Game), Rafe Spall (Life of Pi) and Sally Hawkins (Made In Dagenham) will start shooting on the 22nd of July. The film will shoot on location in Sheffield, Cambridge and, slightly farther a field, in Taiwan.

X PLUS Y will be directed by Morgan Matthews working of a script penned by the award-winning playwright James Graham based on Matthews’ very own 2007 BAFTA nominated BBC documentary Beautiful Young Minds which charted the incredible journey of some of Britain’s brightest young minds.

Commenting on the film, Matthews said:

After a five year journey of thought and preparation, I could not be happier at the prospect of going into production with the wonderful cast and crew we have assembled for X PLUS Y. I hope to bring to the big screen, some of the realism, empathy, humour and storytelling that I’ve experienced through years of making documentaries – especially the understanding I gained whilst filming the extraordinary individuals on their real-life journey to the Mathematical Olympiad.”

We’ll leave you with the full Plot Synopsis:

A young maths genius has his logic thwarted by the one thing he can’t make sense of – love.

Teenage maths prodigy Nathan (Asa Butterfield) struggles with people, not least his mother, Julie (Sally Hawkins), but finds comfort in numbers. Mentored by unconventional and anarchic teacher Mr Humphreys (Rafe Spall), Nathan’s talents win him a place representing GB at the International Mathematics Olympiad.

When the team go to train in Taiwan, headed up by squad leader Richard (Eddie Marsan), Nathan is faced with unexpected challenges – not least his new and unfamiliar feelings for his Chinese counterpart, the beautiful Zhang Mei (Jo Yang).

From suburban England to bustling Taipei and back again, this original and heartwarming film tracks the funny, complex relationship Nathan has with his mentor who ends up learning more from Nathan than he could ever teach him. Ultimately this is Nathan’s journey to embrace the irrational nature of love.

 

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Cumberbatch and Freeman Introduce Sherlock at Comic-Con From Afar

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This year’s San Diego Comic-Con is in full swing and one of yesterday’s highlights was the BBC‘s Sherlock panel with the presence of producers Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Sue Vertue. Unfortunately, due to filming ties, the series’ starring duo, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were unable to attend but they managed to put in a few words thanks to a video used to introduce the panel. Here’s what the two of them had to say.

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Without spoiling too much here are a few details the panel of producers let loose in relation to the upcoming third season of Sherlock which is on the verge of completion.

Episode one, The Empty Hearse, mainly deals with Sherlock’s resuscitation after an near death experience at the end of season two. Moffat explained:

“the centerpiece of the thing is when John and Sherlock meet again… In Doyle’s story [The Adventure of the Empty House in this case], Watson’s reaction to Sherlock’s reappearance is dealt with fairly quickly. He just forgives him. That’s not going to happen for us… We wanted to explore how it affects all the regulars, his friends and family.”

Episode two, entitled The Sign of Three, will see Dr. Watson get married and the producers were kind enough to screen an exclusive clip from this episode, asking attendees to refrain from heading straight online to reveal a load of details so we’ll leave it right there.

Finally, when asked about a possible fourth season the producers confirmed that, although nothing has been commissioned just yet, everyone involved is very keen to keep things going. Sherlock is set to return to our screens on the 31st of October, 2013.


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Peter Jackson Talks ‘The World’s End’ With Wright, Pegg and Frost

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The most anticipated pub crawl in history finally begins tomorrow, 19 July, as The World’s End brings its green mint choc-chip flavour to cinemas, bringing the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy to its culmination.

Given the film’s inclusion at this year’s Comic-Con, with a specific panel this weekend, Peter Jackson — who you may recall put in a cameo appearance in Hot Fuzz — sat down in his stocking feet to chat with Wright and the two leads, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, after a Wellington premiere of the film.

If all 22 minutes of that isn’t enough to keep you happy, three exclusive clips from the film have also been unleashed to give us a really good taste of Wright’s minty new flavour.

Head back here tomorrow for the lowdown on what the cast and crew had to say at this year’s Comic-Con panel after which you can head straight down to your local multiplex to watch The World’s End which opens in all of 24 hours time.

In the meantime, enjoy the aforementioned videos below. Here comes Barmageddon…

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Plot Synopsis:

20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hellbent on trying the drinking marathon again.  They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King, a 40-year old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their hometown and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub – The World’s End.  As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s.  Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries.


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Johnny Knoxville’s Bad Grandpa Bumps ‘Paranormal Activity’ Out of Halloween

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In brief: As we suggested yesterday, a Paranormal Activity spin-off has now been confirmed to have been pushed back from the original Halloween release date to January 3, 2014. Further to this news, it appears that the release slot will be filled by a totally unrelated spin-off, that of Jackass.

The new Jackass film is entitled Jackass: Bad Grandpa focusing on the highly popular Irving Zisman character played by Johnny Knoxville behind a serious layer of makeup. Production has already wrapped and the film will hit cinemas on October 25th, 2013. All that remains to be revealed is whether this will be a compilation of pranks played on the general public or there is an actual screenplay involved.

We’ll let you know as soon as any details of what antics we are in for are announced.

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‘The Lost Symbol’ Skipped as Ron Howard Tackles ‘Inferno’ For 2015

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Tom Hanks and Ron Howard are teaming up for another Dan Brown collaboration but not as you may have expected. Sony has opted to skip over the third book in the Robert Langdon series, The Lost Symbol, to dive straight into an adaptation of the current best-seller, Inferno, released only last May.

Audiences looked forward to a big screen version of the third book in the series which Howard originally planned to direct. On abandoning the project all eyes were on Mark Romanek to fill the director’s chair but, for reasopns unknown, the project just wasn’t meant to be.

The Inferno adaptation has now recieved a December 18, 2015 release date and, David Koepp, who adapted the last screenplay, will also return to pen again.

Inferno currently rules the roost on the New York Times Best Sellers list so it does make sense for the producers to play off the book’s current buzz.

The plot synopsis for the book is as follows:

In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.

Would you have preferred to have seen a film adaptation of The Lost Symbol first or are we all very excited about this news?

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