New Projects: ‘Dragon Tattoo’, ‘Pinocchio,’ and ‘Lost City of Z’

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With Hollywood looking for franchises wherever it can find them, it seems mighty odd that The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, a highly successful novel with a film adaptation that had Rooney Mara, David Fincher, and James Friggin’ Bond attached, is not already swimming in sequels. The American version of Stieg Larsson’s novel wasn’t exactly a blockbuster, but it made $233 million worldwide on a $90 million budget. It seems like a no-brainer.

Now there’s talk from THR that a sequel could arrive soon enough, but Sony is debating the possibility of turning Larsson’s last two books, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, into a single film. They may even lump in a new novel starring hacker Lisbeth Salander by David Lagercrantz called The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Larsson passed away in 2004, before the books were even published and before he could complete a fourth novel.

The only problem is that David Fincher is unlikely to be attached, considering that his R-rated version of the original cost more than Sony is willing to spend on the sequels. Further, Steven Zaillian’s script for The Girl Who Played With Fire would also have to be shelved at a pretty penny. It’s additionally unclear whether Mara, Daniel Craig or producer Scott Rudin would return to the future projects, which could complicate issues even further. But The Girl in the Spider’s Web hits bookstores September 1, and it would make sense to capitalize on the hype now while the character is back in the public consciousness.

screenshot from Pinocchio

No lie, Disney seems to be fresh out of new ideas. Disney this week announced plans for a live-action Pinocchio movie written by Peter Hedges, Deadline reported Wednesday. Though their film would be based on the ’40s animated classic, another, much darker Pinocchio movie (and honestly, Disney’s is already kind of dark) directed by Guillermo Del Toro and starring Robert Downey Jr. is also in the works. Not to mention, Roberto Benigni made an embarrassing version back in 2002. We’re now accepting prop bets on what Disney plans to reboot next. Aladdin? The Sword in the Stone? The Lion King with actual lions or Robin Hood with an actual fox?

If Disney was going to draw from anywhere to mine a remake or sequel, Pixar makes the most sense. And today Brad Bird spoke to NPR confirming that he is writing The Incredibles 2. “I’m just staring to write it, so we’ll see what happens,” Bird said. The original film came out in 2004, and since then Pixar has already spun out sequels for Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Cars, and an upcoming one for Finding Nemo. Again, if I were a betting man, and I am, I’d put money on this definitely happening.

Thankfully though, one of the directors tapped to write the screenplay for the Winnie the Pooh live action movie is prepping his next film. Alex Ross Perry, director of Listen Up Phillip, has plans to adapt a 1982 novel by Don DeLillo (Cosmopolis) called The Names, according to Variety. The book is a thriller and mystery about a string of murders committed by a cult that’s “still a moving examination of family, loss, and the amorphous and magical potential of language itself,according to the book synopsis.

Also on the indie front is director James Gray, who gave an update to The Film Stage Monday on his upcoming film, The Lost City of Z. The film is an adventure about a British explorer in 1925 who journeyed into the Amazon in search of a lost civilization and never returned. The film stars Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller, and Robert Pattinson.

“I’ve been on a scout. Pre-production should start sometime in the first week of June,” Gray told The Film Stage. “I’m extremely excited about it. It’s very different from anything I’ve done — and yet, of course, the same. I have very, very high hopes for it. Principal photography, I believe, will start on August 8, although it depends on when Charlie Hunnam will finish King Arthur, which is what he’s doing now; if that finishes on schedule, that’s when I will begin. It shoots in the U.K. and Colombia, probably.”

Daniel Radcliffe could be “gearing up” to star in Grand Theft Auto, according to THR. The film is a behind the scenes look at the drama between the creator of the video game Grand Theft Auto and a Miami lawyer looking to ban video game violence. Radcliffe would play the founder of Rockstar Games, Sam Houser, and would be under the direction of Owen Harris (Misfits, Black Mirror). If cast, THR says production would start April 20.

GTA isn’t the only video game coming to the big screen. Need for Speed, which originally starred Aaron Paul in the racing game adaptation, could be getting a sequel. The original performed well overseas, and the latest is intended to be filmed mostly in China starring primarily Chinese actors, Variety reported. It’s unclear if Paul would be returning or if Paramount can secure the rights to the game.

Following in the success of Amy Schumer with her upcoming film Trainwreck, Judd Apatow is now bringing Girls star Andrew Rannells up the ranks by producing a script Rannells penned and intends to star in. The project, which is currently untitled and does not yet have a logline, would be a movie at Universal and is being cowritten by Mike Doyle (Jersey Boys).

Lastly, Netflix has acquired the rights to a new Ricky Gervais film comedy titled Special Correspondents, Deadline reports. The film is planned to premiere in 2016 and is a social satire written and directed by Gervais and starring Eric Bana.




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