A few bits and pieces of news are lying about from the tentpole/genre world this evening, so let’s get to them. The first is some potential trouble with the upcoming “Terminator: Genesis” film, a reboot of the “Terminator” franchise set to star Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor, Jason Clarke as John Connor and potentially Jai Courtney among other candidates for the role of Kyle Reese. One of the major financiers on the project was Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, but Ellison’s company has dropped out as producer leaving her brother David's Skydance shingle and Paramount to foot the bill.
Why the drop out? Well, they had a mini shake-up recently, but one has to wonder just how much Ellison’s recent Oscar success (“American Hustle” & “Her” brought in a whopping 17 Oscar nominations this year) and the status that brings made her want to shy away from sullying the brand with tentpole work. Annapurna, at the moment, is well on its way to becoming a Weinstein Company-like prestige outfit, so perhaps she wants to stay in that realm (not that she’s fully achieved it, yet). As Deadline accurately writes, “Her heart is in taste-maker auteur-driven fare, and she has become a patron saint of prestige films that might not otherwise get made.” The Terminator series wasn’t exactly in her wheelhouse.
What else is going on out there? Well, many geek sites fell for a fake synopsis listed on a casting site (guys, these are almost always 100% wrong) that purportedly revealed the plot of 20th Century Fox’s “Fantastic Four” reboot. As you probably already assumed, it is erroneous and the film’s director, Josh Trank ("Chronicle"), has said as much. “That synopsis is definitely not the synopsis or anything close to the synopsis. I don’t know who put that out. Byyee,” Trank wrote on Twitter, and added later to others reporting the falsehood. “totally false... not true... stop the press...” Maybe one day more gullible sites who perpetuate these stories will learn?
Lastly, Kevin Smith retired, right? Far from it. First his hockey movie “Hit Somebody” was going to be his last movie, then that turned into a mini-series (that still hasn’t been made), “Clerks 3” was thrown into the mix as a potential “last” film (he said recently that it’ll shoot in May) and then Smith essentially totally reneged. In the pipeline he already has the mostly-completed his horror movie “Tusk” and he’s also been talking up a rapture flick called “Helena Handbag.” Suffice to say the rumors of his demise have been greatly exaggerated. Add one more project to the laundry list. And one that’s well on its way. Smith has completed a Christmast horror anthology screenplay called “Comes The Krampus.”
“I was goofing around with [Smith’s Smodcast cohorts], when we accidentally brainstormed a Christmas horror anthology that would eschew the gruesome spin on Santa Claus, and instead embrace the Scandinavian/German Kid-Eating Christmas creature known as the The Krampus,” he wrote on his blog. “It took us less than a month, but Andy and I have finished the screenplay for a flick we’re calling COMES THE KRAMPUS! It’s 99 pulse-pounding pages of what’s essentially SModCo’s CREEPSHOW, with four terrifying tales stitched together by a freaky framing device. It was a blast to write and totally new to me, as I never actually wrote a screenplay WITH someone else before.”
Smith says the screenplay reads like a $2 million dollar movie and he hopes to shoot it after “Clerks 3.” Guess he’s not going to slow down anytime soon.