Disney’s Pinocchio Live-Action Movie Targets James Bond Director

Sam Mendes is in talks to take on Disney’s live-action adaptation of Pinocchio. The monster box office success of Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book is sure to have been a deciding factor to continue rehashing the animated stories for Disney. The live-action adaptation of The Lion King is in the works and now the long rumored live-action Pinocchio may have found a director. The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Mulan are rumored to be coming next from the Mouse House.

Deadline reports that Mendes (American Beauty, Spectre) is currently in very early talks to direct the live-action Pinocchio for Disney. We’ll take this news with a grain of salt because about a year ago it was reported that Mendes was in early talks to direct a live-action remake of James and the Giant Peach, which has yet to come into fruition. But it will be pretty interesting to see what kind of spin Mendes can do with both movies, so hopefully James and the Giant Peach is still on the gravy making rehash train for Disney. Maybe kick James and Giant Peach down to Tim Burton who produced the original movie.

Mendes is an English director best known for dramedy American Beauty, which earned him an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Director in 1999. He has also directed two James Bond movies, 2012′s Skyfall and 2015′s Spectre. In addition to directing movies, Mendes is a stage director. He is known for dark re-interpretations of Cabaret, Oliver, Company, and even directed his first musical for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for the Wes End stage company. Mendes currently has a sold out play, The Ferryman at the Royal Court and later the West End. It will be interesting to see if Mendes ends up taking on the project because there is a virtual graveyard of rumored and attached directors for the live-action remake of Pinocchio.

Disney is also doing a remake of the already live-action Mary Poppins, but one has to wonder why not make a cartoon version of Marry Poppins? A little reversal would be creative. During the dance routines they can use real life animals instead, making it a total reversal of the original movie. The remake apparently has the stamp of approval from 91-year old actor Dick Van Dyke who was in the original Mary Poppins, which is pretty cool, I guess.

There’s no word yet if Robert Downey Jr. is still planning his live-action Pinocchio over at Warner Bros. He has expressed very publically that he would love to portray Gepetto (for real). Paul Thomas Anderson, Ben Stiller, Tim Burton and Ron Howard have all been rumored to direct a live-action version of Pinocchio with Downey as Gepetto, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see which goes first. Maybe George Lucas and Steven Spielberg will be next on the ever-growing list of directors to try and tackle the live-action remake of Pinocchio. Maybe call Jonathon Taylor Thomas to reprise his amazing portrayal of Pinocchio.


Troma Will Premiere Return to Nuke Em’ High 2 at Cannes

Legendary horror comedy movie company Troma has announced that the long awaited sequel to 2012′s Return to Nuke Em’ High Vol. 1 will premier at Cannes. The movie, titled Return to Return to Nuke ‘Em High Aka Vol. 2, has been 7 years in the making along with Volume 1, but is finally ready for its big screen debut. The movie will be screened at the prestigious Arcade 3 Cinema on May 23rd as announced by Troma Entertainment president Lloyd Kaufman (The Toxic Avenger). The idea for the Nuke Em’ High in volumes came from long time Troma fan and friend Quentin Tarantino. Kaufman was inspired by the Kill Bill series and decided to try his hand at a series or “event film” as Kaufman says, with a significantly smaller budget.

Horror Society reports that Return To Return To Nuke Em’ High is a revisiting to Troma’s 1986 Class of Nuke Em’ High and that it has been in the planning stages since 2010 when Kaufman and Troma Entertainment Vice President Michael Herz decided that they wanted to do something special for the 40th anniversary of Troma. The 2 volume set started with 2012′s Return to Nuke Em’ High Vol. 1 and are both directed by Kaufman. Herz declares that the new installment is “the best Troma movie ever made!”

Return To Return To Nuke Em’ High takes place at Tromaville High School (where else?) where the glee club has been mutated into a gang of vicious Cretins. Two innocent lesbian lovers, Christine and Lauren and Kevin the Wonder Duck have to fight the Cretins and monsters as well as defeat the evil Tromorganic Foodstuff’s Conglomerate to save all of humanity. The movie is tackling a lot of the hot button issues of today including mega corporations, bullying, and LGBTQ rights as well as violence and prejudice.

Troma started in 1974 and was founded by Kaufman and Herz. The company is known for low budget B-movies that spoof 1950s horror movies with absurd and over the top comedy. There’s plenty of nudity, gore, and graphic cheesy violence in all of Troma’s work. They are arguably the best known for putting out the 1984 dark comedy super hero movie The Toxic Avenger, which had a budget of $500,000 and made an impressive $800,000, mostly making money on the midnight movie circuit. The movie spawned 2 sequels after Kaufman realized that he had shot too much footage for the first movie, so he split it in two, much like Return To Return To Nuke Em’ High.

Return To Return To Nuke Em’ High is set to premier on May 23rd at the Arcade 3 Cinema at Cannes and will have repeated viewings throughout the week. Fans of Troma know what to expect and this movie will be no different. Fans who want to see the movie on the big screen are encouraged to call movie theaters and request to see Return To Return To Nuke Em’ High.


Infinity War Will Introduce a Crowd-Pleasing New Character

Stan Lee just has a way of getting Marvel fans excited, even after all of these years. Well into his 90s, the godfather of Marvel Comics is still regularly appearing at conventions to chat with fans and help stir up excitement for future projects, like Avengers: Infinity War. During a recent event in Iowa, he suggested that a new, major character will be appearing in the upcoming Avengers movie. So, now the question becomes, who is it?

Before we dig in and speculate a bit, the report comes from Gamezone, who sat in on the recent Q&A that Stan Lee participated in. At one point, the subject of Avengers: Infinity War came up and he talked about a new character that will be showing up in the movie, which he thinks will really please fans. Here’s what Gamezone had to say about it.

“It was also hinted at that a major new character will appear in Avengers: Infinity War. When asked if he could give us any details, his assistant whispered in his ear and told him he can’t discuss it in-depth. He said that a new character (maybe even multiple) would appear and it would please the fans.”

It sounds like Stan Lee may have been on the verge of spilling some secret Marvel Studios intel. Unfortunately, he didn’t. So we’re left to wonder who this character, or characters, may be who are going to make their debut in Avengers: Infinity War, which is set for release on May 4, 2018. It is really tough to speculate since we don’t have a lot of context, but we can rule a couple of things out. We already know that Brie Larson is going to debut as Captain Marvel in the movie, so that probably isn’t who Lee is talking about. There is also the much-hoped-for appearance of Adam Warlock, but we can probably take that off the table as well.

Spoilers ahead for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. In one of the post-credit scenes from the movie, Adam Warlock was heavily hinted at. However, James Gunn has already said that he won’t be appearing in Avengers: Infinity War. So don’t get your hopes up on that one. One thing we do know is that Peter Dinklage is playing an unknown character in the movie. Could his character be who Stan Lee is talking about? Maybe, but also, probably not. Even though it hasn’t been confirmed, it is heavily speculated (with some photographical evidence to back it up) that Peter Dinklage is playing Pip the Troll. No disrespect to Pip, but I doubt that would be enough to “please the fans.” At least not enough to make a big fuss over.

We do know that Thanos is finally going to be getting significant screen time in Avengers 3 and is going to be assembling the Infinity Stones in the Infinity Gauntlet, which will give him a whole lot of power. We also know that this movie will be going to the cosmic side of the MCU, which really opens the floodgates when it comes to who this character (or characters) could possibly be. Since Marvel is keeping this under wraps, we are just going to have to wait and see who Stan Lee was talking about when Avengers: Infinity War arrives next year.


Ron Perlman Will Not Return in Pacific Rim 2

Fans of Guillermo Del Toro’s giant robot monster movie Pacific Rim finally have a sequel to look forward to next year, which is the good news. The bad news is, yet another cast member from the original movie has confirmed that he will not be coming back. Over the weekend, Ron Perlman confirmed that his character Hannibal Chau will not be in Pacific Rim 2.

The actor, who very regularly works with Guillermo Del Toro, recently made an appearance at Motor City Comic Con. During a panel he spoke at, the subject of his possible return in Pacific Rim 2, officially titled Pacific Rim: Uprising, came up. As reported by Dread Central, Ron Perlman reportedly said that he won’t be in the movie. Here’s what the report had to say about it.

“Also during the panel, Perlman confirmed that he does not reprise his role as Hannibal Chau in Pacific Rim 2.”

Hannibal Chau was a reasonably key figure in the first Pacific Rim, a character that was obsessed with the Kaiju and ultimately helped bring the movie to its climax, while providing some necessary exposition. Also, because it was Ron Perlman, the character was quite entertaining. Sadly, he, along with Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba, will not be back for Pacific Rim: Uprising. That means that the sequel will be relying heavily on new characters. Though, there will be a few familiar faces in the form of Charlie Day as Newton and Burn Gorman as Hermann. While not an actual human character, we also know that the Jaeger Gypsy Danger will be returning for the sequel as well.

Guillermo Del Toro made a point to include a brief post-credit scene in Pacific Rim that showed Hannibal Chau escaping from the kaiju that ate him, seemingly setting him up for a return. Since we don’t have any official plot details for Pacific Rim: Uprising yet, it is hard to say exactly why he won’t be coming back. It is possible that director Steven S. DeKnight made the decision not to bring him in. It seems more likely that if Del Toro had wound up directing that Perlman would have come back, since the two love to work with one another. It could also have been a scheduling issue. In any case, Hannibal Chau won’t be back, unless Pacific Rim 3 winds up happening. At which point, he could make his return.

Pacific Rim 2 was in doubt for a couple of years following the release of the first movie, mostly because the movie wasn’t quite the box office hit that the studio was expecting. Pacific Rim made $411 million worldwide, which sounds pretty good on paper. But when the $190 million production budget is factored in, that isn’t a great return. Still, Pacific Rim: Uprising ultimately got the green light, just without many of the characters that made the first movie what it was. But let’s be honest, we’re in it for the giant robots fighting giant monsters.


Zack Snyder Exits Justice League, Joss Whedon Takes Over

Zack Snyder has announced that he is stepping down from the upcoming Justice League movie to spend time with his family after a heartbreaking tragedy. Rumors of rewrites and reshoots have been plaguing Justice League for weeks, even after reports that the movie had yet to even start any reshoots. But in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes the truth is a bitter pill to swallow and all fun and games and speculation get thrown out the window. In a shocking move, it has been announced that Zack Snyder will hand the reigns over to Batgirl director Joss Whedon to complete Justice League as he deals with personal reasons.

Snyder and his wife sat down in his Warner Bros. office with Hollywood Reporter and told them that his daughter died by suicide in March at the age of 20. Nobody should have to go through what Snyder and family are going through, and yet Snyder tried to work through it privately. Snyder never meant to make his grieving public, but it became obvious that he needed to step down. Snyder explained this.

“Here’s the thing, I never planned to make this public, I thought it would just be in the family, a private matter, our private sorrow that we would deal with. When it became obvious that I need to take a break, I knew there would be narratives created on the internet. They’ll do what they do. The truth is…I’m past caring about that kind of thing now.”

Like most people dealing with grief, Snyder didn’t know what to do so he thought that it might be best for him to put his head down and continue to work on Justice League to make the best possible movie that he could. But ultimately his way of grieving did not work in the manner that he thought it would. Snyder says this.

“In my mind, I thought it was a cathartic thing to go back to work, to just bury myself and see if that was a way through it. The demands of this job are pretty intense. It is all consuming. And in the last two months I’ve come to the realization …I’ve decided to take a step back from the movie to be with my family, be with my kids, who really need me. They are all having a hard time. I’m having a hard time.”

When it comes down to it, this is not the public’s business in any way shape or form, but Snyder felt the need to bury the story before it became a series of rumors of the reasons why he stepped down.

Warner Bros. and crew are 100% behind Snyder and family and offered to push the movie back, but Snyder declined and instead let Joss Whedon come in and finish the project. As it turns out, Whedon was already involved in the writing and additional reshoots anyway. Warner Bros. is also stressing that Whedon is not coming in to completely redo the movie, he is coming in to see Snyder’s vision through. Warner Bros. pictures president Toby Emmerich says this.

“The directing is minimal and it has to adhere to the style and tone and the template that Zack set. We’re not introducing any new characters. It’s the same characters in some new scenes. He’s handing a baton to Joss but the course has really been set by Zack. I still believe that despite this tragedy, we’ll still end up with a great movie.”

It’s unimaginable what Snyder and his family are going through right now, but it’s amazing that he has stood up to think about the fans in such a personal time. It is also great to see Warner Bros. and Whedon step up to continue Snyder’s vision of Justice League. The release date will stay the same, so expect Justice League to premier on November 17th, 2017 as planned. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Snyder and his family.


Resident Evil Reboot Brings in Producer James Wan

Yesterday, we reported that German production company Constantin Film, which holds the rights to the Resident Evil franchise and produced the first seven movies, is now planning a Resident Evil reboot, which the company is hoping will span a six-movie franchise. Today we have even more details about this reboot, with iconic filmmaker James Wan coming aboard to serve as a producer. The project will also be written by Greg Russo, with this new report confirming that it will have an entirely different cast, although no one has signed on to star yet.

Deadline reports that James Wan will produce alongside Constantin Film and Michael Clear for Atomic Monster. There is no director for the project yet, but with a writer and producer now aboard, the project seems to be moving forward rather quickly, so that may change soon. However, there is no release date in place, and this reboot comes on the heels of the most successful installment of the original movie franchise to date, despite a new domestic low at the box office.

Back in January, Sony Pictures and Constantin released Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, which has long been confirmed as the final movie in the Resident Evil franchise. The franchise has never been a huge hit domestically, with 2010′s Resident Evil: Afterlife the highest-grossing domestic movie with just $60.1 million, although it earned $300.2 million worldwide. This year’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter earned a paltry $26.8 million domestically, but it earned an impressive $285.4 million overseas, for a worldwide total of $312.2 million, the highest worldwide gross of the seven movies.

The highest grossing foreign box office territory for Resident Evil 6 was easily China, which earned a whopping $159.4 million in the Middle Kingdom. It also had a three-day debut of $94.5 million, which was the largest opening weekend ever for an import. Clearly there is still a global audience for these Resident Evil movies, which makes sense that Constantin Film is wasting no time on getting a reboot together. The video game franchise is still going strong as well, with the seventh installment of the Resident Evil video game series, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, launching in January, just days before Resident Evil: The Final Chapter came out.

The original Resident Evil franchise starred Milla Jovovich as Alice, with a large group of supporting cast members that would rotate in and out of these movies. Stars such as Ali Larter as Claire,Shawn Roberts as Albert Wesker, and Eoin Macken as Doc returned for the final chapter. It isn’t clear how many of these characters will be included, or if this reboot will create new characters that aren’t featured in the video games. Hopefully we’ll have more on this Resident Evil Reboot soon.


Depp and Bardem Confirmed as Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s Monster

Universal has been working on putting together a cinematic universe centered on their classic movie monsters, which will kick off this summer with director Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy. Today, the studio got serious about things, officially declaring that this rebooted series will be called “Dark Universe,” as well as confirming some major players for these upcoming movies. Both Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem have been announced for the roles of The Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s Monster respectively.

Universal Pictures made it official that both actors are going to be part of Dark Universe, as had been previously rumored. The studio released a photo of the actors who are currently locked down, with Tom Cruise as Nick Morton, Sofia Boutella as the Mummy, Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, as well as Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem. Sadly, none of them were all creatured up, but it isn’t like a picture of an invisible Johnny Depp would be all that compelling anyway. In any case, the studio has truly nabbed some A-list talent to kick of this new cinematic universe.

There is still no release date announced for either The Invisible Man or Frankenstein remakes, but with the big stars officially signed on, expect some news to come in the near future. As far as Javier Bardem as Frankenstein’s Monster goes, he could be showing up in the next Dark Universe movie, which is Bride of Frankenstein. As part of Universal’s big news drop, they announced that Bill Condon is directing Bride of Frankenstein and that the movie will be coming out on February 14, 2019. Since Frankenstein’s Monster is tied pretty heavily to the original, it would make absolute sense for him to show up there.

When it comes to The Invisible Man and when we may first see Johnny Depp, that is less certain. There is probably room for a cameo somewhere. He may even show up in The Mummy, possibly in a post-credit scene or something along those lines. We won’t have to wait long to find out, since that movie comes out on June 9. Before Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem show up on screen together as some classic movie monsters, we will be able to see them together in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales this weekend. While that may not be related, it will at least give us some sense of what kind of chemistry they have with one another, which will be important.

Despite the fact that The Mummy hasn’t even been released yet, Universal seems to have a tremendous amount of confidence in this idea and they have doubled down in a big way. If this experiment fails, it certainly won’t be for a lack of big names and talent. We will be sure to keep you up to date as more details on the Dark Universe projects, such as The Invisible Man and Frankenstein, are made available.


Ringling Bros. Circus Shuts Down After an Amazing 146 Year Run

Ringling Bros. folded up the Big Top for the final time on Sunday night. Ringling Bros. started in1884 and later merged with Barnum and Bailey in 1919 to form “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The traveling circus roamed the United States for over 100 years, entertaining millions, and in later years drummed up plenty of controversy from animal rights activists. The final two shows were held at the Nassau County Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, which is about 30 miles east of New York City where former circus workers gathered with current workers from all over the country to celebrate the end of an era.

The 146-year old tradition is actually older than American baseball and the final, sold out performances drew fans of all ages from all over the United States to see “The Greatest Show on Earth” one last time. The final performance was also streamed live on Facebook, where it has been viewed by over 1.2 million people as of this writing. The majority of the viewers left emotional comments bidding the circus goodbye and thanking Ringling Bros. for the years of entertainment. The emotional send off was extremely hard on the current entertainers, many who can visibly be seen crying and choking up while addressing the audience. “Let’s go home and show everyone we are forever more the Greatest Show on Earth!” Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson said to close out the show, leading to a standing ovation from the crowd.

Ticket sales for Ringling Bros. Circus have been on a steep decline over the past decade for a variety of factors, but one in particular has been the rise of animal activists protesting the alleged abuse of the circus animals, particularly the elephants. Some have even deemed the circus as “The Cruelest Show on Earth.” But as the circus life comes to end, Ringling Bros. has stated that their animals will all be going to safe sanctuaries and reputable, safe places all over the country while some will remain under the care of Ringling Bros. on their 200-acre property in Florida. Another reason for the decline is the rise of technology. Children are more or less plugged in and can’t be bothered to be engaged with real-life entertainment. And on a personal note, Clowns are scary, no matter what.

Before the circus started, the Ringling Bros. performed skits and juggling routines in town halls around the state of Wisconsin. They expanded their acts in 1884, adding a horse and a trick bear to the show while traveling around the country by train. It’s when they started traveling that they ran into the competitors Barnum and Bailey where before joining forces, they divided up the country into regions. They later merged and “The Greatest Show on Earth” was born.

The final performance began with Lee Iverson thanking the 300-person crew of workers and performers for their time with the company. It’s a sad day when real live entertainment is having a hard time competing with iPhones, Xboxes, and the internet. Maybe the circus could continue without the animals, but in the end it would not have mattered all that much when kids can just watch it on Reddit or YouTube in the privacy of their bedrooms. This Christmas, Hugh Jackman will star in the musical The Greatest Showman, which chronicles the story of P.T. Barnum before Ringling Bros. and Branum & Bailey merged.


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