Paramount Making The Ring 3

Still from the Japanese version of The Ring
Still from the Japanese version of The Ring

According to The Hollywood Reporter Paramount are giving horror series THE RING, which is based on the Japanese originals, another shot. The studio are planning to make THE RING 3 with a younger cast in mind and of course, want to shoot it in 3D.
The original RING films were about a mysterious and cursed videotape which once watched would mean certain death as the ghost of a teenage girl came to, ahem, ‘visit’ the viewer. It’s been a long time since much was heard about American RING series; the first instalment arrived way back in 2002 and was followed by a sequel in 2005. In the wake of Paramount and DreamWorks’ split they’ve had to divide their projects and it seems Paramount have been given the rights to gear up for a second RING sequel.
David Loucka (BOARDERLINE, DREAM HOUSE) has been hired to pen the film which will follow the recent Hollywood trend of casting younger actors in the lead roles, most likely in order to save money and further identify with a younger target audience. Paramount are also jumping on the 3D bandwagon with THE RING 3 and although 3D is getting rather tiresome, the idea of Samara lurching out of the cinema screen at the audience is pretty haunting.

Ghost Rider 2 Gains Momentum

Still from the first Ghost Rider film
Still from the first Ghost Rider film

According to New York Magazine’s Vulture blog comic book movie sequel, GHOST RIDER 2, is definitely on its way. After the first film made $270m worldwide way back in 2007 a sequel is finally coming together, with or without its star, Nicolas Cage (KICK-ASS, THE WICKER MAN).

Work on GHOST RIDER 2 has been fast-tracked since copyrights holder Columbia now has until November to start the thing or the rights go back to Marvel (who are know owned by Disney).  Scott Gimple and Seth Hoffman (FLASH FORWARD) have apparently just finished a new draft of the script which is being watched over by David S. Goyer, and the studio have a shortlist of directors (which doesn’t include original director Mark Steven Johnson) for the film.
There’s doubt over whether Cage will return as the titular GHOST RIDER since he’s currently busy with promotional duties on THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE and might be involved with NATIONAL TREASURE 3. Since Cage was probably the biggest selling point for the first film it’ll be interesting to see how Columbia deal with this one.What do you think, does the prospect of a GHOST RIDER sequel excite you? Will you miss Cage in the central role?

Smith And Jones Officially On For MIB 3

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in the original MIB
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in the original MIB

Director Barry Sonnenfeld (MEN IN BLACK, WILD WILD WEST) has been talking to Showbiz 411 and has confirmed that both Will Smith (INDEPENDENCE DAY, I AM LEGEND) and Tommy Lee Jones (SPACE COWBOYS, BATMAN FOREVER) are coming back for the third MEN IN BLACK film.

Smith has been on board Sony’s third MIB entry for a while now, but Jones’ commitment to the film has been in the balance with replacements such as Josh Brolin Sacha Baron Cohen on the cards. This news doesn’t come as too much of a surprise as Jones has spent the last few years making indie films and so is probably in need of a blockbuster to balance the books.
Not only does Sonnenfeld reveal that both actors are back but also says that MIB 3 will be, you guessed it, shot in 3D. As sick as I am of every single blockbuster having to be in 3D the MIB franchise would actually suit the format and could help make this sequel stand out from it’s predecessors. So far, plot details are scarce but as Sony are aiming to release the film on Memorial Day 2011 so it shouldn’t be long before we learn more about the film.

Cameron Talks Avatar 2 Ideas

Director James Cameron
Director James Cameron

The LA Times have been talking to James Cameron (AVATAR, ALIENS) on the eve of the AVATAR DVD release, due to hit shelves tomorrow (which also happens to be international Earth Day). During the interview Cameron lets some vital AVATAR  sequel plot details slip and confirms the theatrical re-release of AVATAR is arriving this summer.

Cameron on his plans for an AVATAR trilogy,

“We created a broad canvas for the environment of [the] film. That’s not just on Pandora, but throughout the Alpha Centauri AB system. And we expand out across that system and incorporate more into the story – not necessarily in the second film, but more toward a third film. Part of my focus in the second film is in creating a different environment – a different setting within Pandora. And I’m going to be focusing on the ocean, which will be equally rich and diverse and crazy and imaginative, but it just won’t be a rainforest”.

This is an interesting approach for a sequel to take and could even better the visual beauty on display in the original film. It should also be a good fit for Cameron as the director has been obsessed with the ocean throughout his career, having extensively dealt with the aquatic in films such as THE ABYSS, TITANIC and ALIENS OF THE DEEP. He also spoke about his plans to shorten production time for the sequels,

“The challenge on the next Avatar is to do what we did before at half the price and in half the time. Again, that’s an impossible goal, we won’t accomplish that, but if we can reduce by 25% in both categories, we’ll have really accomplished something.”

Cameron is well known as a man who likes a challenge and reducing his budget and production time by half, or even a quarter, would be very hard task for films of this scale. If he manages to pull it off it’d be very impressed. On the planned re-release of AVATAR,

“We’re working on finishing an additional six minutes of the film – which includes a lot of Weta work – for a theatrical re-release in August. We were sold out of our Imax performances right up to the moment until they were contractually obligated to switch to Alice In Wonderland, so we know we left money on the table there.”

This news, on the other hand, is far less encouraging. Does AVATAR really need a re-release? And all for the sake of just six extra minutes of running time? This seems like a pointless exercise in making yet more money from the film to me, and it suggests Cameron is getting rather greedy in his old age.
Both AVATAR sequels are a long way off yet but stay tuned into Cinefantastique Online for all updates on the world of Pandora.

“We’re working on finishing an additional six minutes of the film – which includes a lot of Weta work – for a theatrical re-release in August. We were sold out of our Imax performances right up to the moment until they were contractually obligated to switch to Alice In Wonderland, so we know we left money on the table there.”

Update on Highlander Reboot

A promotional image from the original Highlander
A promotional image from the original Highlander

The guys over at Collider have posted an interview with producer Neal H. Moritz (I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, I AM LEGEND) who is working on the new HIGHLANDER sequel and he has some encouraging things to say. The cult sci-fi/fantasy film HIGHLANDER was released way back in 1986 but its cult following has managed to keep it afloat, with four sequels and three different television series having been made since.

First off, he confirms the notion that the film is set to be a reboot,

We’re staying true to the mythologies as a whole of the Highlander series. Now there are certain things between all the different Highlanders that conflict with each other, but we’re trying to stay true to the core of what we believe Highlander is and it’s a movie that’s going to be made for the fans of Highlander but also for people who are new to the franchise.

Considering the mess that the franchise cannon has got itself into, these comments are quite encouraging. He also clarifies the reboot angle stating that,

I wouldn’t necessarily call it…I guess it would be closer to a reboot than anything else but there’s a great history to Highlander that we’re staying with and it’s an origin story.

The first HIGHLANDER film was iconic and imaginative but the sequels that followed have lacked the magic of the original so at this point perhaps a reboot is the best option for the series. HIGHLANDER is meant to start shooting next year, with a 2012 release most likely. What do you think, does this reboot sound interesting to you or do you wish they’d just let the franchise stay buried?

So Much For a "Final Destination"

Shantel Vananten as Lori in “The Final Destination
Shantel Vananten as Lori in “The Final Destination

That’s right folks, following the box office success of Warner Bros.’ THE FINAL DESTINATION (released last year in 3D) the studio has decided to back yet another sequel to the franchise. has revealed that while at ShoWest in Las Vegas Warner Bros. confirmed that a fifth sequel will be coming to cinema screens soon. THE FINAL DESTINATION managed to gross only $66 million domestically but made $180 million worldwide so another sequel should come as no surprise.
The first film in the series was a unique, creative and fun slasher-movie-with-a-twist but they seem to be getting worse with every sequel. Do we really need another FINAL DESTINATION movie? Besides, what are they even going to call the thing?

Zombieland 2 director talks 3D

At the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, ZOMBIELAND director Ruben Fleischer spoke about developing the sequel with 3D in mind:

“We’re writing it with 3D in mind,” Fleischer said. “I took the writers to the 3D workshop. We’re really going to try and make it something that’s intentional as opposed to some of the movies where it’s just another component to market or a way to make more money at the box office. For us we really want to make it something that just elevates the entertainment value of the film.”
“I think Zombieland, what it’s best at is just being pure entertainment,” he continued. “I feel like 3D has that component of, in a way like a ride at an amusement park, it’s just a form of entertainment. To me, it enhances entertainment value, especially with a movie with the tone of Zombieland.”