Movie Production Update: February 13, 2009

Once again I bring you the best round-up of all the movie updates announced in this past week’s trade reports. Why read a TON of articles when you can read just one?

This week you have a lot to get excited about with new films from Woody Allen, Werner Herzog, Michael Winterbottom, John Madden, James Mangold and even Ralph Fiennes taking a stab at a directorial debut and that’s only the first ten new productions listed.

Check out the full list and links are available if the film is in the database already, and remember you can keep up with all new films added and updated on the site right here all week long.

Title: Guardians of Ga’Hoole

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: Zack Snyder

Screenwriter: John Orloff, John Collee

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Hugo Weaving, Ryan Kwanten, Jim Sturgess, Geoffrey Rush, Rachael Taylor, David Wenham

Storyline: An animated feature film based on the series of children’s books by Kathryn Lasky. The film is set in the Forest of Tyto, where Barn Owls live in peace until their kingdom is threatened by an evil that could destroy their home.

Title: Rum Diary

Studio: Not Available

Director: Bruce Robinson

Screenwriter: Bruce Robinson

Cast: Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart, Richard Jenkins

Storyline: The adaptation of the Hunter S. Thompson novel designed around a love triangle in the tale of a washed-up, hard-drinking journalist named Paul Kemp (Depp) in 1950s Puerto Rico.

Title: My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done

Studio: Not Available

Director: Werner Herzog

Screenwriter: Not Available

Cast: Michael Shannon, Willem Dafoe, Chloe Sevigny, Michael Pena, Brad Dourif, Bill Cobbs

Storyline: The film is loosely based on the true story of a San Diego man who experiences a series of mystifying events that lead him to brutally murder his own mother with a sword.

Title: The Killer Inside Me

Studio: Not Available

Director: Michael Winterbottom

Screenwriter: Robert D. Weinbach

Cast: Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Elias Koteas, Bill Pullman, Ned Beatty

Storyline: Adaptation of a novel by Jim Thompson.

Title: Tales From The Golden Age

Studio: Not Available

Director: Cristian Mungiu, Ioana Uricaru, Hanno Höfer, Razvan Marculescu, Constantin Popescu

Screenwriter: Cristian Mungiu

Cast: Vlad Ivanov, Alex Potocean, Ion Sapdaru, Liliana Mocanu, Tania Popa, Diana Cavaliotti, Radu Iacoban, Teo Corban

Storyline: An unconventional personal history of the late communist period in Romania, told through its urban myths from the perspective of ordinary people. Comic, bizarre, surprising, these myths drew on the often surreal events of everyday life under the communist regime. Humor is what kept Romanians alive, and Tales from the Golden Age aims to re-capture that mood, portraying the survival of a nation having to face every day the twisted logic of a dictatorship.

Title: The Debt

Studio: Miramax Films

Director: John Madden

Screenwriter: Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman, Peter Straughan

Cast: Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren, Jessica Chastain, Ciaran Hinds, Tom Wilkinson, Marton Csokas, Jesper Christensen

Storyline: Revolves around three Mossad agents who, 20 years after World War II’s end, learn that a Nazi war criminal is still alive and set out to pursue him across Europe. Assaf Bernstein directed the 2007 Israeli film, titled “HaHov,” which like the remake is set in the 1960s and 1990s.

Title: The Ghost

Studio: Summit Entertainment

Director: Roman Polanski

Screenwriter: Robert Harris, Roman Polanski

Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor, Kim Cattrall, Tom Wilkinson, Olivia Williams, James Belushi, Robert Pugh, Timothy Hutton

Storyline: The movie tells the story of a former British Prime Minister, Adam Lang, (played by Pierce Brosnan) who is holed up on an island off the Eastern seaboard of the USA in midwinter, writing his memoirs. When his long-standing aide drowns, a professional ghostwriter (played by Ewan McGregor) is sent out to help him finish the book. The anonymous ghostwriter is quickly drawn into a political and sexual intrigue involving Lang’s wife, Ruth (played by Olivia Williams) and his aide (played by Kim Cattrall). Hanging over Lang is the threat of a war crimes trial and a mysterious secret from his past that threatens to jeopardize international relations. Jim Belushi, Robert Pugh and recent Golden Globe® Tom Wilkinson have also joined the cast.

THE GHOST is based on the novel by the same name written by best-selling author Robert Harris. It won the International Thriller Writers’ Award for best novel of 2008. Harris joined Polanski in adapting the book for the big screen.

Title: Coriolanus

Studio: Not Available

Director: Ralph Fiennes

Screenwriter: Not Available

Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Vanessa Redgrave (in talks)

Storyline: Feature adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Roman tragedy. Fiennes will play the title role of the proud but contemptuous soldier spurred on by his ambitious mother to run for the Roman Senate, which ultimately leads to his downfall.

Title: St. Vincent

Studio: Not Available

Director: Walter Hill

Screenwriter: Cameron Young

Cast: Mickey Rourke

Storyline: Centers on a hit man (Rourke) who returns to New York to complete a botched hit. Masquerading as a priest, he finds himself hearing the confession of the man who he is targetting.

Title: Untitled James Mangold Legal Thriller

Studio: Not Available

Director: James Mangold (Walk the Line)

Screenwriter: Sasha Jenson, Casey La Scala

Cast: Not Available

Storyline: Based on the true story of a pair of New Orleans lawyer brothers who took on a multinational oil company and its heavyweight legal teams to rep the rights of the families of an oil rig that sank in a typhoon.

Title: Youngblood

Studio: Not Available

Director: Brett Ratner

Screenwriter: Not Available

Cast: Not Available

Storyline: Adaptation of Rob Liefeld’s iconic graphic novel about a superhero team sanctioned and overseen by the U.S. government.

Title: Womb

Studio: Not Available

Director: Benedek Fliegauf

Screenwriter: Not Available

Cast: Eva Green, Matt Smith

Storyline: Tells the story of a grieving widow, played by Green, who decides to clone her late husband.

Title: Conviction

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: Not Available

Screenwriter: Jonathan Herman

Cast: Not Available

Storyline: Story follows a mastermind bank robber who serves five years in prison following a botched heist. He is forced by an FBI agent to entrap his protege, who’s in the midst of a multimillion-dollar job.

Title: Untitled Woody Allen Film

Studio: Not Available

Director: Woody Allen

Screenwriter: Woody Allen

Cast: Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins

Storyline: A return to Europe for Allen, the new film shoots in London this summer and reteams the director with financer, Mediapro, the Spain-based company which also funded Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Title: Untitled Nancy Meyers Project

Studio: Universal Pictures

Director: Nancy Meyers

Screenwriter: Nancy Meyers

Cast: Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, Zoe Kazan, Lake Bell, John Krasinski

Storyline: Follows a woman dealing with empty-nest syndrome who is torn between her ex-husband (Baldwin) and a male friend (Martin).

Title: Dog on It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery

Studio: Universal Pictures

Director: Not Available

Screenwriter: Jeff Lowell (Hotel for Dogs)

Cast: Not Available

Storyline: Adaptation of the Spencer Quinn novel “Dog on It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery” about a down-on-his-luck private eye who sets off, accompanied by his loyal dog, to solve a missing persons case. The story is told from the vantage point of Chet, a dog that flunked out of K-9 school.

Title: The Art of the Heist

Studio: Not Available

Director: William Monahan

Screenwriter: Not Available

Cast: Not Available

Storyline: Adaptation of the forthcoming memoirs of career criminal Myles Connor. Connor became an art connoisseur and a rock musician whose band, Myles and the Wild Ones, backed Roy Orbison. He was also an accomplished art and antiques thief who was involved in a series of museum robberies that grabbed headlines in Boston in the 1970s and 1980s.

Title: How Could You Do This to Me?

Studio: Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Films

Director: Not Available

Screenwriter: Andy Marx and Andrea King

Cast: Miranda Cosgrove

Storyline: Cosgrove will play a teen who feels that the divorce of her parents has improved her life. When mom and dad appear to be rekindling sparks, their daughter feels threatened and tries to break them up.

Title: Untitled Adam Sandler Comedy

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Director: Dennis Dugan (You Don’t Mess With the Zohan)

Screenwriter: Adam Sandler, Fred Wolf

Cast: Kevin James, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, David Spade

Storyline: High-concept story is a comedy about five best friends from high school who reunite 30 years later on a Fourth of July weekend.

Title: Untitled Andrzej Wajda Lech Walesa Drama

Studio: Not Available

Director: Andrzej Wajda

Screenwriter: Agnieszka Holland

Cast: Not Available

Storyline: A film about 1980s pro-democracy Solidarity leader Lech Walesa. Wajda has said the Walesa film would be informed by his own experiences in the 1980s, when he went down to the Gdansk shipyards to show solidarity with strikers workers.

Title: Betty Anne Waters

Studio: Not Available

Director: Tony Goldwyn

Screenwriter: Pamela Gray, Richard LaGravenese

Cast: Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Minnie Driver

Storyline: The film is based on the true story of Waters (Swank), an unemployed single mother who saw her brother convicted for a murder-robbery in 1983 and sentenced to life in prison. Convinced of his innocence, she spent the next decade earning a law degree and working on her brother’s case. Rockwell plays the brother.

Title: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Director: Betty Thomas

Screenwriter: Not Available

Cast: Jason Lee, Zachary Levi, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney

Storyline: equel to the 2007 animated comedy featuring the chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore.

Title: A Nightmare on Elm Street

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: Samuel Bayer

Screenwriter: Wesley Strick (Cape Fear, Arachnophobia)

Cast: Not Available

Storyline: A remake of the 1984 horror classic directed by Wes Craven and aims to keep the high school setting and delve deeper in the psychology of nightmares and Freddy Krueger himself.

Title: The Ghouly Boys

Studio: Mandate Pictures

Director: Not Available

Screenwriter: Sam Esmail

Cast: Not Available

Storyline: Adaptation of the children’s comic “The Ghouly Boys,” the spooky and comical graphic-novel series about a quartet of young monster outcasts and their efforts to fit in. Esmail’s script will follow two friends — a young boy looking to contact his dead father and a young zombie seeking a way to come back to life — who set off on an adventure.

Title: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

Director: McG

Screenwriter: Bill Marsilii, Justin Marks

Cast: Not Available

Storyline: Remake will serve as an origin story of Nemo as he creates his warship, the Nautilus. Characters come from the Jules Verne novel and the 1954 actioner, that was the first live action film made by Walt Disney. Studio is fast-tracking the project that McG will direct.

Title: Akula

Studio: Not Available

Director: Darren Bousman

Screenwriter: Mark Distefano, Alex Litvak

Cast: Not Available

Storyline: Pic is a heist film set on a submarine.

Title: Jonah Hex

Studio: Warner Bros.

Director: Jimmy Hayward

Screenwriter: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor

Cast: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich

Storyline: The character of Hex (Brolin), known for having the right side of his face disfigured and wearing a Confederate army uniform, was a rough-and-tumble gunslinger and part-time bounty hunter whose adventures always ended in blood. One incarnation of his comic book series saw the Western genre combined with supernatural elements. Malkovich will play Turnbull, a wealthy Southern plantation owner whose son is killed by Union soldiers during the Civil War.

Title: The Adventurer’s Handbook

Studio: Universal Pictures

Director: Akiva Schaffer (Hot Rod)

Screenwriter: Jonah Hill

Cast: Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman

Storyline: Centers on four 20-something guys who, inspired by the Mick Conefrey book of the same name, set out overseas in search of a mysterious location described in the book.

Title: Gemini Man

Studio: Touchstone Pictures

Director: Curtis Hanson

Screenwriter: David Benioff (The Kite Runner)

Cast: Not Available

Storyline: About a brilliant, aging assassin trying to leave the game whose employers dispatch a clone of his younger self to take him out. The concept allows for some techno-wizardry whereby an older actor with a long career would be cast, and his younger likeness would be digitally grafted onto a stuntman’s body. A similar trick was employed with Jet Li in The One, though not with the generational twist.

Title: Deep Sea Cowboys

Studio: DreamWorks Studios

Director: Not Available

Screenwriter: David Ayer

Cast: Not Available

Storyline: Ayer’s script will be based on Joshua Davis’ article in Wired last year about a salvage crew attempting to save a capsized Japanese cargo ship. The real-time action scenario will explore how a tightknit crew races to beat the clock and potential drowning to save the ship’s dangerous cargo and claim its reward.

Title: Lost In Austen

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Director: Not Available

Screenwriter: Guy Andrews

Cast: Not Available

Storyline: Based on the Brit miniseries “Lost in Austen,” film will center on Amanda, an ardent Jane Austen fan, lives in present day New York with her boyfriend, until she finds she’s swapped places with Austen’s fictional creation Elizabeth Bennett.

Title: Leap Year

Studio: Not Available

Director: Anand Tucker

Screenwriter: Harry Elfont, Deb Kaplan

Cast: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode

Storyline: Adams plays a young woman who travels to Dublin to propose to her boyfriend on Leap Day. When weather forces her to veer off course, she enlists a cynical Irish innkeeper (Goode) to join her on a cross-country trip.

Title: Stretch Armstrong

Studio: Universal Pictures

Director: Not Available

Screenwriter: Steve Oedekerk (Bruce Almighty)

Cast: Not Available

Storyline: A superhero comedy based on the Hasbro-owned toy. The toy, a 13-inch, blond-haired muscled figure whose limbs could be stretched to nearly four feet, was launched by Kenner in the ’70s. He had a dog named Fetch Armstrong, and a sibling, Evil X-Ray Wretch Armstrong.

Title: Zookeeper

Studio: MGM Studios

Director: Frank Coraci

Screenwriter: Jay Scherick, David Ronn

Cast: Kevin James

Storyline: Centers on a lonely zookeeper who decides to leave his job because he can’t meet a girl, leading to intervention by the zoo’s animals.

Title: The Hardy Men

Studio: Not Available

Director: Shawn Levy

Screenwriter: Ed Solomon (Men in Black)

Cast: Ben Stiller, Tom Cruise

Storyline: A comic riff on the classic young-adult mystery novels, “The Hardy Boys,” which revolved around the mystery-solving efforts of teenagers Frank and Joe Hardy, amateur detectives who often helped their father, a private investigator. The film adaptation would explore the reunion of the estranged, grown-up brothers, who work together to solve a new mystery.

Thanks to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter for contributing to this report.


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