By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist June 8, 2012 at 1:36PM
On any average week, one can usually expect news on one or two sub-standard projects to surface into development and production, but as studios frantically look for big-budget pap to quickly fill next year’s summer calendar, three new films have quickly announced their journeys into bafflingly misguided being.
After finding a director in Tim Burton, its leading man in Jim Carrey, and a sizable Paramount dime to the tune of $175 million, the biopic production of “Ripley’s Believe or Not” still managed to fall through just weeks before filming began in China. That project may have died a quick death shortly thereafter, but fear not, because Warner Bros. have recently announced negotiations to bring the “Guinness Book of World Records” to life as an action-adventure film. One can only wonder at the feat-based shenanigans writer Danny Chun (“The Office”) has been hired to supply, or whether he’ll mine the book’s history with founder Hugh Beaver, but either way those involved can’t be too stressed about reaching any record-breaking achievements with their project, or at least any in the positive realm. [Deadline]
When the film opens June 22, the success of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” will determine whether the box-office draw of famous historical figures going vigilante has any staying power. Director Rob Cohen is surely watching with fingers crossed, because he’s set to write and direct an adrenaline-fueled biopic of, wait for it… Isaac Newton. That’s right, the 17th century polymath responsible the three laws of motion will be using all three to bring the pain to scientific skeptics, as the director of “xXx,” “Stealth,” and “The Fast and the Furious” uses every trick in his arsenal to convince you an action film is really the best route for this material. Cohen, who’s currently in post-production on the Tyler Perry-starring “Alex Cross,” will work with producer Gene Kirkwood (“Rocky”) to bring the project to the screen, and will hopefully tackle “Madame Curie: Mer-Pony Wrangler” next. [Variety]
If the prospect of another historical re-imagining elicits a minor head-scratching, then news that Alliance Film and Toronto ad agency Grip are developing a feature-length comedy to “star” an alcoholic beverage will simply traverse new continents of confusion. All involved are confident as ever though, as the film is set to shoot in Western Canada this summer, and features the Labatt brewing company’s most well-regarded beverage, the Kokanee beer, in the lead role. Grip is pulling together a crowd-funding campaign to harness interest in the film, as well as tapping social media outlets for extras casting, prop ideas, and soundtrack submissions, in order for the the public to feel they really had a voice in one of the most vacuous ideas to come through in some time. "The movie will have a level of self-awareness, of course, but the whole purpose is to make something funny," says producer Laurie Maxwell. We respectfully disagree. [Variety]