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Production Watch: Dark Knight Rises (in 2-D), Aronofsky's Machine Man, Goodfellas TV Prequel

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood October 27, 2010 at 5:39AM

- The Dark Knight Rises for Chris Nolan, but his villain is still unclear: whoever it is (and it's NOT the Riddler), Heath Ledger's Joker will be impossible to top. By playing it safe with the title, Warner Bros. is betting that box office numbers will match those of Nolan's second Batman installment ($1 billion worldwide). Nolan confirmed the title and his successful resistance to 3-D to his usual journo source, LAT's The Hero Complex.
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Thompson on Hollywood


- The Dark Knight Rises for Chris Nolan, but his villain is still unclear: whoever it is (and it's NOT the Riddler), Heath Ledger's Joker will be impossible to top. By playing it safe with the title, Warner Bros. is betting that box office numbers will match those of Nolan's second Batman installment ($1 billion worldwide). Nolan confirmed the title and his successful resistance to 3-D to his usual journo source, LAT's The Hero Complex.

Nolan is delighted to deploy hi-def technology and IMAX cameras to maximize 2-D possibilities. As for the plot and characters of The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan said: “We’ll use many of the same characters as we have all along, and we’ll be introducing some new ones." The Hero Complex noted that Nolan was, as usual, keeping details protected: "He began our conversation by comparing it with a visit to the dentist’s office. Well, if so, he’s a patient who never opens wide…and any secrets he wants to keep in place are done so to protect the final product." 

- Darren Aronofsky and Mark Heyman were a winning combination for The Wrestler (he co-produced) and Black Swan (co-writer), and now they are set to pair again on Machine Man for Mandalay. The film will be partially based on a manuscript by Max Barry about an engineer and tech-geek who is so fed up with his mediocre life that he decides to replace his weak body parts with hand-made titanium upgrades. (Shades of DreamWorks' robot actioner Real Steel.) Barry is publishing the story as an online serial - one page a day - and will release the complete novel come spring. This project will follow Aronofsky's reunion with The Fountain's Hugh Jackman on Wolverine 2.

- It's not a Goodfellas sequel, but a prequel TV series, is in the works. This opens the door to hours of character development a la The Sopranos. Both Nicolas Pileggi, who wrote Wiseguy, and Martin Scorsese (Boardwalk Empire), whose film was based on the book, are on board for the series. Pileggi told Culture Magazine: "I want to do it, Marty wants to do it, Warner Bros. wants to do it. Of course, you can't pick up from Goodfellas, since we murdered everybody, or rather, everybody was murdered! There's nobody left…But I think we're going to figure out a way to do the early years - sort of a prequel."

Thompson on Hollywood

This article is related to: Directors, Franchises, Genres, Headliners, Daily Read, TV, Martin Scorsese, Chris Nolan, Darren Aronofsky, Batman, Thriller, Drama, Action


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.