Tarantino Sees His ‘Shadow’? Johnson Out of ‘X-Men,’ Kosinski’s ‘Oblivian’ and ‘M:I 4’ News

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I’ve got a long list of updates and rumors for you today and perhaps the most interesting of which comes courtesy of Pajiba, which has it from a source that Quentin Tarantino is either “being discussed or already attached as the future director of The Shadow.” Should this rumor prove true it would also mean Tarantino would serve as co-writer.

Sam Raimi and David Slade (30 Days of Night, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) had previously been attached to direct the movie, based on a crime fighting vigilante who began popping up in serial radio programs and magazines in the 1930s. Alec Baldwin starred in the most recent film adaptation, a 1994 release directed by Russell Mulcahy (Resident Evil: Extinction).

It should be noted that an official Tarantino representative has told MTV News there is no truth to the story, but this type of pulp crime story sounds like it would be right down his alley. These types of stories are common with Tarantino, so I’m probably going to throw this idea into the pile of the proposed projects that we’ll likely never see – right next to the Vega Brothers Movie, Kill Bill Volume 3, the Inglourious Basterds spinoff, and the thought of a Tarantino-directed Bond movie – for now.

Moving along we come to Movieweb, which has an interview with Kick-Ass and X-Men First Class producer Tarquin Pack, and among the items discussed is the rumor of Aaron Johnson playing Cyclops in the X-Men prequel which Pack quickly debunks, explaining “Aaron’s kind of busy.” I assume he’s referring to the recent birth of Johnson’s daughter with his 43-year-old fiance Sam Taylor-Wood, who directed Johnson as he played a young John Lennon in Nowhere Boy, which hits theaters this October.

In a move that comes as no surprise to anyone who has paid attention to the box-office figures of Knight and Day, Paramount has restructured Tom Cruise’s contract for the upcoming Mission: Impossible 4 (12/16/11). Vulture reports Cruise’s upfront salary will be substantially reduced, but he could still end up making a nice back-end assuming the movie reaches the break-even point. This appears to be a growing trend among movie financiers as the public seems to be decreasingly star conscious.

In related news, Ving Rhames confirmed on Lopez Tonight (see video) that he would be reprising his role as Luther Stickell for the franchise’s fourth installment.

Mike Fleming at Deadline has an interesting article about the rampant secrecy regarding screenplays, noting that even actors reading for parts often aren’t allowed to read entire scripts for fear of leaks. The conversation was spurred by the news that the Wachowski siblings (the duo behind the Matrix series) have kept the script for their new film meticulously under wraps. The film, titled Cobalt Neural 9, has to do with a taboo gay romance between an American and Iraqi soldier, but that’s really all that is known at this point… even to actors being being tested for roles.

In other news, Maggie Grace is set to reteam with her Taken screenwriter Luc Besson in Lockout. Guy Pearce is attached to star as a wrongfully convicted man who can regain his freedom by rescuing the president’s daughter from an outer space prison. That sounds like a solid premise for a thriller, and it’s always nice to see Pearce get more work.

The next Deadline casting exclusive brings news Viggo Mortensen and Amy Adams have signed on for the Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries)-directed adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. Adams will play an emotionally damaged mother of two and Mortensen will play her husband. The cast also boasts the likes of Kirsten Dunst, Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund. The film began production on Wednesday. Is it too early to load this one into the “Contenders” section for the 2012 awards season?

I was surprised and disappointed when I first watched the trailer for the upcoming Little Fockers and saw no sign or mention of Dustin Hoffman’s character. Since I didn’t closely follow the movie’s production, I had no idea he wouldn’t be returning. Production for the film has wrapped, but Vulture is reporting that the idea of Hoffman returning to shoot a few new scenes is being explored. Hoffman has been busy of late working on David Milch and Michael Mann’s new HBO series Luck.

This roundup’s requisite Transformers 3 update comes courtesy of From Hollywood With Love, which has a quote from actor Alan Tudyk (“Firefly”) where he reveals the identity of his Transformers 3 character. Tudyk says he’s a weapons expert, computer hacker and cyber sleuth who is a fellow agent of John Turturro’s Agent Simmons character.

Heat Vision is reporting that Disney has picked up the illustrated novel adaptation Oblivion (read the first chapter here), a directing vehicle for Joseph Kosinski (Tron Legacy). Oblivion is a sort of sci-fi/romance/adventure about a surface drone who finds a woman inside a crashed spacepod on a future Earth where civilization lives above the clouds and alien scavengers stalk the irradiated surface below. Could this be another Avatar? It sounds like the same type of story to me.

Next we come to a little bit of multimedia, beginning with a weird little video that I have no idea why it was actually made. If you have an interest in lightsabers someone has taken every single lightsaber ignition and retraction from all six Star Wars films and put them into one 2:26 video. Have at it…

Next comes a new trailer from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which is due in theaters on December 10.

Then for anyone that’s read the news there will be a Justin Bieber 3D biopic you absolutely have to watch this video from “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

And finally we have a pair of international posters for you, one for the M. Night Shyamalan produced Devil and the other promotes Tron Legacy.

Photo: Empire
Photo: IMPAwards