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Thompson on Hollywood

Comic-Con: Guillermo Del Toro Takes on Disney's Haunted Mansion

While we all may still be trying to forget the Eddie Murphy movie version of Disneyland's The Haunted Mansion--Guillermo del Toro admits that he will not take his call--Disney has signed on Del Toro to develop a live-action 3-D version of the classic E-ride, which the director insists he has visited faithfully every year, to "relax." He first took the ride when he was three.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 22, 2010 8:05 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Will Overture Release Let Me In?

Overture is going down to Comic-Con to promote the vampire remake Let Me In, the one title the distrib has coming up that might have a chance at making some money. Word is the Matt Reeve picture starring Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz is very good, but tricky to make work at the current indie box office. While Overture execs insist that they are releasing the movie as planned on October 1, other distribs report that they are shopping the movie to another distrib partner because they are short on P & A dollars.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 22, 2010 3:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Comic-Con Preview: EW Reveals Reynolds as Green Lantern

Saturday at Comic-Con in San Diego, we'll see for ourselves what Warner Bros. wants to show of Ryan Reynolds as The Green Lantern. Until then, we'll have to settle for EW's cover story. Apparently, the suit is strictly CG. By the way, of all the actors who work out like mad, Reynolds is one guy who does not need VFX enhancement...
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 15, 2010 2:21 AM
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  • 0 Comments

WonderCon Sneak Peeks Inception, Sorcerer's Apprentice, Toy Story 3, Prince of Persia

WonderCon Sneak Peeks Inception, Sorcerer's Apprentice, Toy Story 3, Prince of Persia
This weekend, San Francisco played host to a big multi-studio fan press junket at WonderCon, a pint-sized adjunct to July's giant ComicCon in San Diego. Disney imported producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Nic Cage and Jake Gyllenhaal and screened footage from Sorcerer's Apprentice, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Toy Story 3 (which they have now tantalizingly screened in its entirety thrice, at Showest, International YouTube vloggers day and a Pixar screening for long-lead press). They also staged a viral event for Tron Legacy (see video below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 4, 2010 7:13 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Lionsgate Buys Comic-Con Hit Kick-Ass

Lionsgate Buys Comic-Con Hit Kick-Ass
As I suspected, Lionsgate has acquired Matthew Vaughn's violent action comedy Kick-Ass, which wowed audiences at Hall H in Comic-Con. It was one of several indie pics that used Comic-Con fan reaction to try to land an distributor. In this case, the strategy worked.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 17, 2009 4:41 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Fox, Cody, Kusama, Reitman Talk Jennifer's Body

Fox, Cody, Kusama, Reitman Talk Jennifer's Body
The prospects for smart horror comedies are dicey. Audiences tend to get confused when their genres get too mixed up: are they supposed to laugh or be terrified? Look at the lackluster summer b.o. for Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell. Mixing sex and horror is also risky, as the feminist thriller comedy Teeth proved.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 10, 2009 7:32 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Iron Man 2 Comic-Con Footage

Iron Man 2 Comic-Con Footage
The Iron Man 2 footage that was screened at Comic-Con has showed up online at Worst Previews. It's shaky-cam. Looks like great smart fun to me. (Note how Don Cheadle deals with his replacing Terrence Howard.) We have to wait until May 2010. It hasn't been edited into a movie yet.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 8, 2009 9:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Downey Banks on Franchises Iron Man 2 and Sherlock Holmes

What a difference a year makes. With Iron Man and an Oscar nom for Tropic Thunder behind him, A-list movie star Robert Downey, Jr. had a good Comic-Con. Backstage after Iron Man 2, he suggested that he's uncomfortable marketing movies, although he knows he has to do it, and that he hated the whole Hall H thing. If that's true, it doesn't show. He works the crowd better than anyone. He was hawking not only Iron Man 2, which had a stellar reaction--probably the best of the annual comics confab--but he genuinely adored playing the character Sherlock Holmes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 4, 2009 9:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Comic-Con Aids Independents

Comic-Con Aids Independents
Producer-turned-director Matthew Vaughn needs a hit. Layer Cake was a great audition piece, but Stardust was a flop. Much is riding on his next indie venture, the indie-financed $45 million action picture Kick-Ass, which no studio would finance. In an unusual move, Vaughn took 11-minutes of footage of the Hard-R movie (adapted by Jane Goldman from the Mark Millar comic) to Comic-Con, to rouse the fans. From the stage in the cavernous Hall H he exhorted them to vote with their thumbs. The plan: to boost its value with a North American distributor.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 3, 2009 11:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment

District 9 Wows Comic-Con

District 9 Wows Comic-Con
The hit of Comic-Con was Peter Jackson protege Neill Blomkamp's debut movie, the sci-fi thriller District 9. When Halo fell apart, Jackson and Blomkamp assembled this movie about what happens when aliens come to earth and we treat them badly. The creatures were designed as insect-like humanoids. Jackson was disappointed that Weta was so busy with James Cameron's Avatar that he wasn't able to commandeer his own people for the VFX and had to go elsewhere. "You have to empathize with the alien characters," Jackson said. "They have to have an alien head with the human psychography of a face that you can recognize and extract emotion from. It wasn't easy on our budget."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 1, 2009 11:07 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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