Cinemafique

Taking the filler out of filmmaking.

Tidbits: June 23, 2009

Posted by Brian on 06/23/2009

Callum BlueBlood Simple
Zhang Yimou has started shooting a remake of the Coen brothers’ debut, Blood Simple. San Qiang Pai An Jing Qi (“The Stunning Case Of The Three Gun Shots“) recently began production. Details on the remake are being kept under wraps, but the thriller-comedy stars Chinese actor Sun Honglei, comedian Xiao Shenyang and actress Yan Ni. Blood Simple was about a Texas bar owner who hires a private detective to kill his wife and her lover. The 1984 movie starring Frances McDormand won the Grand Jury Prize for best film at the United States Film Festival — the predecessor to the Sundance Film Festival — helping establish Joel and Ethan Coen’s reputations. [Source: THR]

Burlesque
Cher is set to return to the screen for the first time in more than a decade in a contemporary musical for Screen Gems. Christina Aguilera will play an ambitious small-town Iowa girl with a big voice who comes of age in a neo-burlesque club on Sunset Boulevard that’s run by Tess (Cher), a former dancer who struggles to keep the club open and gives the young girl a chance to shine. “She brings a soulfulness and gravitas to this character that will ground the story,” Chris Culpepper, president of Screen Gems said. “The only person who was more excited than I am is Christina.” Steven Antin will direct from a script he wrote that was revised by Susannah Grant (Erin Brokovich, The Soloist). [Source: Variety]

Frank
Kevin Lima (Enchanted) has been tapped to direct romantic comedy Frank, a reimagining of Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein story. The film centers on a teenage prodigy who’s on the cutting edge of cell research in medical school and is encouraged by her guidance counselor to take a break from the lab and make some friends. After several unsuccessful attempts at socializing with her peers, she decides to use her scientific prowess and piece together a friend out of the med school’s instructional cadavers. The project is currently out to writers. Lima is also working on a remake of  The Incredible Mr. Limpet. [Source: Variety]

Ghostbusters 3
Sigourney Weaver confirms that she will not be in Ghostbusters 3. “No, I don’t expect to have anything to do with it, although I wish them well. I just did a benefit with Bill and we love working together, but I think they’re trying to create something new completely with the Ghostbusters. “I hope my little son Oscar [from Ghostbusters II] is a Ghostbuster!” [Source: Digital Spy]

Smallville
British actor Callum Blue (Dead Like Me, Rome) has joined the cast of Smallville, portraying General Zod in a role previously made famous by Terrence Stamp. Supervillain General Zod from the DC Comics books was introduced in 1980 feature “Superman II.” [Source: THR]

The Special Relationship
Peter Morgan has pulled out as director of the HBO Films/BBC Films movie The Special Relationship. Richard Loncraine has come on board to direct the project, written by Morgan, who will remain “integrally involved in every aspect of the production” in his role as a writer/executive producer. The cast, crew and filming schedule for “Special Relationship,” which has been greenlighted for production, remain intact. Dennis Quaid is on board to play President Clinton, Michael Sheen as Prime Minister Blair, Julianne Moore as Hillary Clinton and Helen McCrory as Cherie Blair. [Source: THR]

The Testament
After a decade of saying no, John Grisham has made a movie deal for his 1999 bestselling novel about a billionaire defies his greedy relatives and leaves his $11 billion fortune to a mysterious illegitimate daughter doing charity work in the Brazilian wetlands. A down-and-out lawyer helps her battle her relatives over the fortune. [Source: Variety]

Untitled Zac Efron Thriller
Zac Efron has signed to star in an untitled thriller for Mandate Pictures, which is being written by Leslie Dixon. The plot is being kept under wraps but it is described as “a sexy thriller.” Efron will act as executive producer with Mandate’s Nathan Kahane. [Source: THR]

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