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The Playlist

Universal Wants 'Mama' Franchise, But Director Andrés Muschietti Isn't Interested

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 20, 2013 11:26 AM
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  • 2 Comments
The success of horror movies in the early part of the year can be deceiving. For example, last year "The Devil Inside" shocked everyone by taking over $30 million on its opening weekend (even though it quickly tapered off, with audiences giving it a rare F CinemaScore thanks to its "go-to-the-website" ending). And this year, we're seeing the same similar unlikely stories play out. "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" has quietly inched its way to over $50 million domestic, and over $100 million worldwide (seriously), while the Guillermo Del Toro produced, Jessica Chastain starring "Mama" is approaching $70 million at home with more to come from overseas. And wouldn't you know it, Universal is smelling franchise.

You're A Mean One: Animated Remake Of 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas' In The Works From Team Behind 'Despicable Me'

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • February 8, 2013 8:57 AM
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  • 0 Comments
It’s hard to be angry or surprised anymore about any project greenlit in Hollywood these days, especially after getting a “Spider-Man” reboot five years after the very financially successful (if not critically) third Sam Raimi film. Nothing is sacred or above reproach to the studios, not if there’s money to be made. And so this is how end up in a world where someone is developing a CG-animated take on Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

'The Adjustment Bureau' Director George Nolfi Lines Up New Sci-Fi Project Penned By 'The Last Stand' Writer Andrew Knauer

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • January 18, 2013 4:42 PM
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  • 0 Comments
After doing some writing work on films like “Ocean’s Twelve” and “The Bourne Ultimatum,” George Nolfi finally made his directorial debut with 2011’s Matt Damon-starring sleeper hit “The Adjustment Bureau.” According to THR, that film’s studio, Universal, is looking to work with Nolfi again with another sci-fi film.

F. Gary Gray's N.W.A. Biopic 'Straight Outta Compton' Might Land At Universal

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 19, 2012 5:32 PM
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  • 2 Comments
In the works since 2009, and moving at a snail's pace, the long developing N.W.A. biopic "Straight Outta Compton" is one of the musical biopic projects -- like movies about James Brown, Frank Sinatra or Tupac Shakur -- that get a bit of heat every now and then, only to go back to the sidelines. Having to snag music rights, life rights and more, all while pleasing various estates and family members, is a complicated business, so excuse us if we're taking this coolly.

Commercials Director Adam Berg To Helm 'Videodrome' Remake That No One Wants

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 22, 2012 4:45 PM
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  • 13 Comments
Given that it was just a couple of weeks ago that the $125 million remake of "Total Recall" opened to only a few million dollars more than what Paul Verhoeven's original made in 1990, one would have thought that studios might be shying away from the idea of redos, especially of auteur-driven sci-fi movies from the 1980s and 1990s. Have they actually learned anything? Don't be ridiculous. The next one to through the remake sausage grinder is, of all things, a new take on David Cronenberg's "Videodrome," a film recently named by critics as the 202nd best of all time in the Sight & Sound poll.

Universal Wants Jake Kasdan's 'My Spy'

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • July 10, 2012 6:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment
“Bad Teacher” director Jake Kasdan is obviously doing something right because he’s a man who’s seemingly in high demand at the moment. He’s currently attached to direct the Shawn Levy-produced adaptation of “Man Made,” “Sex Tape” with Jason Segel, a Warner Bros action-comedy called “Family Getaway,” and an untitled project with his "Bad Teacher" writers Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg. That’s what happens, we suppose, when your R-rated comedy rakes in over $200 million.

Weekend Box Office: 'Madagascar 3D' Bests 'Prometheus,' Solid Results For Both

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 10, 2012 11:31 AM
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  • 6 Comments
There’s always an audience out there. You just have to serve it. And so it goes with the past three days, the second straight strong weekend of this summer that suggests business is rebounding from a tepid 2011. “Madagascar 3D: Europe’s Most Wanted” took the crown in a fashion similar to the first two films in this series, because it is a CG-animated kids film with talking animals, and you have to purposely run a terrible ad campaign to not make money in that racket. It's been awhile since kids and parents have seen a CG-toon with a heavy marketing presence -- you probably could have released “Rio 5” in this atmosphere and it would have killed.

'Act Of Valor' Helmer Scott Waugh Has 'Need For Speed'; Pete Segal Builds 'The Machine' With Vin Diesel & More

  • By Cain Rodriguez
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  • May 24, 2012 9:47 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Although still reeling from the failed domestic launch of “Battleship,” Universal still believes in the premise of toys-as-movies, and has entered negotiations to acquire the rights to Lego's robotic toy line Hero Factory. The writing duo behind 2010’s “Predators,” Michael Finch and Alex Litvak, will pen the script. [THR]

Illumination Entertainment & Universal Pictures Bringing 'Clifford The Big Red Dog' To The Big Screen

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 10, 2012 2:44 PM
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  • 0 Comments
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Illumination Entertainment, the company behind “Despicable Me” and, more recently, the fluffy eco-fable “The Lorax,” will once again partner with Universal Pictures, this time on a live action/animated version of “Clifford the Big Red Dog.” Woof.

'Kick-Ass 2' Actually Happening, Jeff Wadlow To Direct, Cast In Talks To Return

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 8, 2012 5:53 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Well, a stopped clock is right twice a day. After two years of pretty much bullshit from "Kick-Ass" creator Mark Millar, it looks like his talk that "Kick-Ass 2" would shoot this summer is actually becoming a reality.

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