News of several new projects broke over the weekend. The question is, from Austin Powers 4 and Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequels to One Shot and Just Kids, which projects do we actually want to see?
- Austin Powers fans, the wait is over. The fourth installment of the stagadelic franchise is happening, complete with star Mike Myers. This is career-reviving news for Myers, whose only notable live-action work since 2002's Goldmember was a too-brief role as General Ed Fenech in Inglorious Basterds. Voicing the Shrek franchise has no doubt kept the dollars coming, but Austin Powers 4 will reunite a face (and a British accent) back to his voice. Austin Powers is not everyone's cup of tea, but the first three films totaled $676 million worldwide, so it's a pipeline worth tapping again. No word on whether Jay Roach, who directed the first three films, will be returning.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes will rise again, and then again. Scripters Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa "pictured a trilogy" from the beginning. Silver tells EW that "We definitely have ideas for where the sequel — plural, where the sequels — would take us, and those were kind of built into [the narrative]... When we started this, we knew that this movie would stand on its own, and we designed it that way. But if it didn’t stand on its own, we pictured a trilogy that would start with this movie." Jaffa said it's not official yet because no party involved wants to jinx it. After owning the box office for two straight weekends, bringing in $179.2 million worldwide, the franchise seems beyond jinxing. But will the fave with audiences and critics alike win over Oscar voters?
- Patti Smith's memoir, Just Kids, which follows the rocker and two decades of her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorbe across the NYC music and art scene, is being adapted for the big screen. Smith will work with playwright John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator, Sweeney Todd, Rango). Just Kids has been on the NYTimes' bestseller list for thirty-seven weeks.
- One Shot, Tom Cruise's crime vehicle, was on the hunt for its leading lady this weekend, after Brit Marling turned the role down. Hayley Atwell (Captain America), Alexa Davalos (Clash of the Titans) and Rosamund Pike (An Education) are vying for Cruise's (and Paramount's) eye to play the tough lawyer and daughter of the district attorney. Christopher McQuarrie adapted One Shot from Lee Child’s novel and will direct.
Controversially smaller than the role as written, Cruise will play Jack Reacher, an ex-army cop who gets embroiled in the mystery of a sniper who’s charged with randomly shooting and killing five people. McQuarrie (who wrote The Usual Suspects) also co-wrote Cruise’s Valkyrie as well as The Tourist, which Depp took after Cruise was at one time attached. One Shot is aiming to shoot in Pittsburg this fall.