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Annapurna Drops ‘Terminator: Genesis’; Josh Trank Denies Recent 'Fanstastic Four' Rumors; Kevin Smith Making Horror Anthology

by Edward Davis
January 24, 2014 6:35 PM
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The Terminator Megan Ellison David Ellison

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.

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  • Simon Revenge | January 24, 2014 7:42 PMReply

    Megan Ellison looks like a dyke.

  • az | January 25, 2014 8:22 AM

    Please Simon Revenge let us know why you were compelled to put that odd thought into print. I'm always curious to understand the behaviour of other species.

  • Mitchum | January 24, 2014 9:23 PM

    You're a terrible human being, Simon.

  • Rob | January 24, 2014 7:59 PM

    Thanks for lowering the national IQ, Simon

  • Dale | January 24, 2014 7:04 PMReply

    I like the fact that Annapurna shy away from big budget films. Megan and her studio are what's keeping true film alive.

  • Dale | January 25, 2014 10:12 AM

    (If she started tying her money up into action/summer flicks, a possibility of less funds for more artistic endeavors might start lacking.).- Last part makes no sense.

    *If she started tying her money up into action/summer flicks, a possibility is that there would be less funds/time for more artistic endeavors

  • Dale | January 25, 2014 10:10 AM

    @JK, I see your point, but I'd see an Aronofsky film regardless of who produced it! haha!

    When I say big budget, I mean specifically mindless CGI big budget, not just any big budgeted film. I like the fact that she likes to give talented and auteuristic directors a platform to work with and a means to secure funds. If she started tying her money up into action/summer flicks, a possibility of less funds for more artistic endeavors might start lacking.

  • JK | January 25, 2014 9:26 AM

    I agree, but I'd also like to see a summer blockbuster produced by Ellison. There's a chance that it could be good. If she hired a good director with a vision, she probably wouldn't interfere like other studio-execs.

    Imagine a scifi-blockbuster directed by Aronofsky and produced by Megan Ellison. I'd see it.

  • az | January 25, 2014 8:19 AM

    Agree, absolutely no need for them to make The Terminator, someone else can and likely will deal with that. Frank or Francis however could do with the help.

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