1.) Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) has been considered one of the frontrunners (at least among fanboys) to direct Star Wars: Episode VII since the project was announced a few weeks ago. The fact that fellow Pixar mind Michael Arndt was hired to write the script seemed to make the pairing all the more likely. But now, after posting a series of tweets over the weekend, Bird has joined the ranks of directors who have publicly confirmed they are not directing Episode VII. He’ll instead focus on his own original science fiction film 1952, which has George Clooney attached to star.
You can also add Safety Not Guaranteed director Colin Trevorrow to that list. He took to twitter to dispel the rumors that he might already have the job after a video from the Seattle-based The MacGuffin filmed in June began making the rounds. Here’s the pertinent quote from the podcast that got the people thinking:
“I can’t speak with any specificity as to what the next thing will be. There are amazing opportunities that have arisen as a result of this. One of them, I will say, will probably create a good deal of ire against me on the Internet when people find out what it is. So, I just want to say in advance that I promise you, for all those who love the mythology that I will be tackling, trust that I love it as much as you do. And I will respect it, and hopefully make it not suck.”
Trevorrow responded to the find, stating he’s out of the running to direct Episode VII, adding “there is another film we all love that I’m currently trying not to mess up.” Hm… what could that be? [Film School Rejects]
2.) Liam Neeson is negotiating to star in The All Nighter, a Warner Bros. thriller that sounds right up his alley. He’d play an aging hit man who must take down his former boss to protect his family. He and his son then end up on the run from the mob and the authorities. The story seems to take place over the course of one night, hence the title. [The Wrap]
3.) Paul Greengrass‘ Martin Luther King biopic Memphis is back in motion. Greengrass and producer Scott Rudin shelved the project last year after Universal dropped out, but they’ll now return to it after Greengrass completes Captain Phillips, the Somali pirate heist film that stars Tom Hanks. Greengrass wrote the script, which depicts Dr. King’s final days, based on his own research. [Deadline]
4.) Indian director Vidhu Vinod Chopra has put together a nice cast for his English-language debut Broken Horses. Anton Yelchin, Chris Marquete and Vincent D’Onofrio will star, while Thomas Jane, Sean Patrick Flanery and Maria Valverde will have supporting roles. The film centers on U.S.-Mexico border gang wars and also boasts cinematographer Tom Stern, who shot The Hunger Games and all of Clint Eastwood’s films from the past decade. [Variety]
5.) And finally, Ryan Gosling has seen better days than in this new still from Only God Forgives. His reunion with Drive helmer Nicolas Winding Refn is said to be finishing up in December for a release some time in 2013. [The Film Stage]