'Akira' Production Offices Closed

akira_movieAccording to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Brothers Pictures has told the Vancouver production offices of the sci-fi actioner AKIRA to close down, and send the “below-the-line talent and crew” home.
Apparently the studio wants director Jaume Collet-Serra (HOUSE OF WAX) to re-work the script and budget, possibly wanting to shave as much as $20 million from the 90 million-dollar manga/anime adaptation.
The project has no major stars attached, and that might be one of the concerns the studio has with the project.  Only Garrett Hedlund (TRON: LEGACY) was offically signed for the film, with negotiations ongoing with Kristen Stewart, Helena Bonham Carter, and
Ken Watanabe (INCEPTION).
AKIRA fans might actually feel feel relieved if the adaptation was abandoned, as the live-action production was being relocated from a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo  to a American-ized “New Manhattan”, to facilitate using a largely non-Asian cast.
The manga was previously made as an animated feature in 1988.

Disney Cuts Loose 'Horizons'

Joseph-Kosinski_panelAccording to The Hollywood Reporter, Walt Disney Pictures has decided not to move forward with director Joseph Kosinski’s (TRON:LEGACY) science fiction film HORIZIONS (also previously known as OBLIVION).
The studio made the decision after going through some pre-production for the project, but they apparently felt the sci-fi action film had a harder edge than they were comfortable making at the Mouse House, despite interest by actors such as Tom Cruise.
However, they want to retain a amicable relationship with Kosinski, and he’s free to shop it  around the others studios. “Unnamed sources” tell the site that Warner Brothers. 20th Century Fox, Universal, and Paramount have some interest, and Joseph Kosinski has apparently been making presentations this week.
The screenplay by William Monahan (KINGDOM OF HEAVEN) and Karl Gadjusek (DEAD LIKE ME) is about a solider posted to a “desolate planet,  who meets a mysterious traveler”.

'Tron Legacy' Passes $100 Million Mark

Tron-Legacy_DiscThe Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision noted that as of Tuesday, Disney’s TRON LEGACY passed the $100 million mark in 12 days of release in the USA. It also picked up about $75 million in overseas markets.
The article points out that the $170 film pulled in about $25 million in IMAX showings alone, which is quite remarkable.  However, the article wonders if the film will have staying power, meaning repeat viewings by fans, and an apeal to wider audiences.
It’s said the rule of thumb is that a film need to gross about three times its cost to be profitable, which in theory would mean that the TRON sequel would have to make about $510 million world wide to put it safely in the black. With home video and ancillary rights, this should be achiveable in the long run. The original TRON was not a big hit in its theatrical run, but it’s generated some revenue ever since. 
With other big budget genere films in the works, including the Marvel projects and  Guillermo del Toro ‘s in-development re-boot of THE HAUNTED MANSION, and David Finchers 20,ooo LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, a cross-over audience is needed — without alienating the often hard-to-please genre fans.

Tron: Legacy – The Cinefantastique Podcast 1:44

Garrett Hedlund in TRON: LEGACY

In the latest episode of the THE CINEFANTASTIQUE PODCAST, Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons attempt to build their own consensual reality after a viewing of Disney’s return to the gaming grid, TRON: LEGACY. Has visual artistry overrode engaging narrative in this sequel? In a cyber world portrayed as a thriving urban civilization, how many audience members want to waste time in a virtual dance club? Who should preside over such a world: a young, menacing, but virile Jeff Bridges or an older, wizened, fatherly Jeff Bridges? And how long will it be before Siren action figures become the top-selling item over at Entertainment Earth?
Plus news, theatrical and home video releases, and just general, good chatter.


'TRON: Legacy' Identity Discs — Clip

Via the LA TIMES, a reminder that the digital characters’ Identity Discs in TRON: LEGACY are not just weapons.

“You will each receive an identity disc. Everything you do or learn will be imprinted on this disc. If you lose your disc, or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate deresolution. That will be all.”

This vital information was imparted by the the bad guy, Sark (David Warner in  TRON (1982). and a re repeated by a female computer voice in TRON LEGACY, as can be seen in this clip from the upcoming film, as the son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) , Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) is made ready for the “games”.
Solid, and made of altered Frisbees in the original movie, the Identity Discs in TRON LEGACY were given a bit of an update. They’re now more like rings, and reportedly were actually easier for the actors to handle during production.
The search for Kevin Flynn’s Identity Disc is one of the plot points of TRON:  LEGACY, which opens this Friday, December 17th from Walt Disney Pictures.

Tron Legacy: December 17

tron-legacyWalt Disney Pictures releases the seuqel to TRON nationwide, including a run at the Disney-owned El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The first TRON was, to put it mildly, a disappointment – a weak story propped up by (then) amazing computer graphics and an electronic score by Wendy Carlos (A CLOCKWORK ORANGE). Supposedly, the original has developed a cult following, which Walt Disney Pictures hopes will turn out for the sequel. Joseph Kosinski directed from a screenplay by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz, from a story by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz and Brian Klugmam & Lee Sternthal, based on the original concept by Steven Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird. Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner are back, with newcomers Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, James Frain, and Beau Garrett.
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'Tron Legacy' – Trailer #3

Courtesy of Disney’s youTube Trailer page, here’s the third Offical Trailer for TRON LEGACY.

“TRON LEGACY is a 3D high-tech adventure set in a digital world that’s unlike anything ever captured on the big screen. Sam Flynn (Garrett Helund), the tech-savvy 27-year-old son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), looks into his father’s disappearance and finds himself pulled into the digital world of Tron where his father has been living for 25 years. Along with Kevin’s loyal confidant Quorra (Olivia Wilde), father and son embark on a life-and-death journey of escape across a visually-stunning cyber universe that has become far more advanced and exceedingly dangerous.”

Due out December 17th from Walt Disney Pictures.

'TRON:Legacy' – Latest Trailer

Here’s  the latest trailer to TRON: LEGACY, which aired this weekend on  the Disney Channel.
It features more footage of Quorra (Olivia Wilde).
TRON: LEGACY also stars Garrett Hedlund, Jeff Bridges (IRON MAN), Beau Garrett, and Bruce Boxleitner (BABYLON 5)
Directed by Joseph Kosinski
from a screenplay by Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis, with contributions from producer Steven Lisberger, who wrote and directed the original TRON (1982).
Due in theaters in 3D December 17th.

Joseph Kosinski To Helm ARCHANGELS

Joseph KosinskiFor Sci-Fi films, everything seems to be coming up Kosinski…Joe Kosinski that is. The relatively new face on the major motion picture scene has landed a surprising number of high-profile movies in a very short amount of time including the upcoming TRON: LEGACY, the post-apocalyptic OBLIVION, and another Disney reboot in THE BLACK HOLE. Prepare to add another side-dish to an otherwise full plate as Heat Vision reported that Mr. Kosinski has signed on to direct ARCHANGELS, a new sci-fi spec to be produced by Ridley & Tony Scott’s production company Scott Free. The script is written by Andrew Will, another newcomer to the big screen.

The script is set in the near future and is described as a “Bourne”-style thriller crossed with alien elements. The protagonist is part of an elite force that is tasked with tracking aliens who get past Earth’s defense system.

If the early footage from TRON is any indication, then we may have another summer blockbuster to look forward to.