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Jackie Chan. Does not exist. In this dojo. Does he? NO, SENSEI!!!

For those not yet aware of the horrid news released back in November, Will Smith had announced plans to develop a reimagining of the 1980s classic “The Karate Kid” with Columbia Pictures.  Smith’s son, Jaden Smith, was confirmed for the lead role, based on the character of Daniel Laruso, while Chris Murphy would pen the screenplay that would borrow elements from the original.  The “remake” would also be relocated to an exotic Beijing locale.

jackiechanNow, according to Entertainment Weekly, Jackie Chan has been confirmed for the Mr. Miyagi role, while “Pink Panther 2” director, Harold Zwart will helm the film (wtf wtf wtf???).  Yes, you heard right.  This sounds awful.  As I recall, regarding  “The Karate Kid”, Noriyuki “Pat” Morita was indeed nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as Mr. Miyagi.  What kind of  f*ed up drugs were the folks at Columbia Pictures on when they decided to cast Jackie Chan for the role?  Or even decided to make this film in the first place?  WTF.  Will Smith, why are you trying to ruin my childhood?  Oh, I see what your plan was all along…warm up our once-prepubescent, little hearts with one of the most memorable Nick-at-Nite worthy shows on television called “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”…then once we’re all grown up, rip apart another one of our generation’s most beloved and prized of childhood classics?

Somebody boycott this project.  Do something.  Maybe when Columbia Pictures realizes (surely they have?) the tremendous amount of negative response this project has been receiving, they’ll eventually decide to cancel it.  It worked with “The Justice League” (good Lord), after all.

“Angels & Demons” Teaser Trailer and Poster Revealed

Director Ron Howard returns to the helm along with co-producers Brian Grazer and John Calley.  The screenplay was written by David Koepp and Akiva Goldsman.  “Angels & Demons” is scheduled to hit theaters May 15, 2009.

Looks like Columbia Pictures is catching on to the viral marketing trend for the film.  During the teaser trailer, when the rotating “Illuminati” ambigram first appears, you’ll notice the following text: A L T A R S O F S C I E N C E.  Heading over to http://www.altarsofscience.com, you’ll find a ticking time bomb aka a canister of highly unstable dark matter nestled somewhere within the confines of the Vatican.  While you may not be able to see the text in the video below, here is a clearer picture:

First Set of “Angels & Demons” Pictures Surfaces

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The first set of stills has been released on the film “Angels & Demons”, the anticipated prequel follow-up to the controversial Dan Brown novel-to-film adaptation, “The Da Vinci Code”, which raked in $758 million worldwide.  “Angels & Demons” continues the adventures of Harvard symbologist, Robert Langdon, who uncovers a threatening conspiracy that rests between the Vatican and the once thought disbanded secret society known as the Illuminati.

Months earlier, it was reported that film crews had been banned from shooting in locales such as the Vatican as Church officials claimed that the novel’s material did not agree with religious sentiment.  Producer, Brian Grazer, made the following key comments regarding “The Da Vinci Code”‘s reception and what we can expect from “Angels & Demons”:

“I think we may have been too reverential toward it (DVC),” Grazer said. “We got all the facts of the book right, but the movie was a little long and stagey.”

“We’re living in a world that’s much more unstable.  Therefore, our energy is focused on belief. This looks at what would happen when you have an act of terrorism designed to undermine that belief.”

“Weirdly, even though there was so much controversy on The Da Vinci Code, we were able to shoot everywhere.  We were in London, France, so it was harder to catch us.”

In Angels & Demons, “Langdon doesn’t stop and give a speech.  When he speaks, he’s in motion.”  Largely set at the Vatican, “we were pretty much in exile from the religious epicenter of the world.”

Also very important to note is that they’ve replaced that dated 80s Greaser mullet they gave Tom Hanks back in DVC with a more contemporary clean-shaven hairstyle :

Joining the cast, with Hanks reprising his role as Robert Langdon, are Ayelet Zurer as Vittoria Vetra, Ewan Mcgregor as Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca, Pierfrancesco Favino as Commander Olivetti, and Thure Lindhart as Lieutenant Chartrand.

“Angels & Demons” is scheduled to hit theaters May 15, 2009.

Stephen Chow to direct and star in The Green Hornet!

This is some damn good news right here.  After months and months of tiresome speculation regarding whether actor-comedian Seth Rogen had ever managed to get a hold of king of Kung Fu Hustlers, Mr. Stephen Chow, we now have the final word on the negotiations from Columbia Pictures presidents, Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach.  Not only does the studio have Stephen Chow scheduled to take on Bruce Lee’s role as the Green Hornet chauffeur/martial arts busting sidekick Kato, but also to direct the film.  Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, “The Green Hornet” has been set for a June 25, 2010 release date.

Matt Tolmach and Doug Belgrad commented, respectively, with the following:

When Seth, Evan, and Neal said they wanted Stephen Chow to be part of ‘The Green Hornet,’ it was a fantasy. Now that it’s happening, it’s almost too good to be true. Stephen’s been a very important part of the Sony family for many years, so it’s truly serendipitous for us to be moving forward with him directing the movie and starring as Kato.

‘The Green Hornet’ is a dream project and it’s come together in a dream way. Seth will be fantastic in the lead role, and Stephen was the only name on the list for Kato. The material is a perfect match for his sensibilities — Stephen in the director’s chair is the best thing for the film.

Chow added:

I’m excited to be taking on ‘The Green Hornet’ — obviously, I’ve been a huge fan of the show since I was a kid. The idea of stepping into Bruce Lee’s shoes as Kato is both humbling and thrilling, and to get the chance to direct the project as my American movie debut is simply a dream come true. I’m grateful to my friends at Sony, who have shown so much faith in me for so many years. I’m looking forward to working with Seth, Evan, Neal, and the team at Sony, and I’m eager to get started.

Regarding Rogen’s selection for Kato, here’s what he had to say:

Stephen was always my and Evan’s first choice for director and to play Kato. We just hope that he never finds out we’re not the Wachowski Brothers.

It’s a very intense action movie and the relationship between Green Hornet and Kato, a lot of comedy comes from that. At first actually, we weren’t even sure going in we could be more of a Jet Li type guy who maybe isn’t the funniest guy in the world, but he’s physically very impressive, or whether it would be more of a Stephen Chow type guy who can do martial arts, but clearly has a sense of humor. In the version that we’ve made it seems like a Stephen Chow type guy would be more suitable for the role. Again, until they officially greenlight it, it’s hard to make any of those decisions.

Sony Pictures Entertainment continues their association with Chow, the studio having co-produced and released his earlier film, “Kung Fu Hustle”, which went on to gross $100 million at the box office worldwide.  “Hustle” received a Golden Globe Nomination as well as 6 Hong Kong Film Awards and 5 Taiwan Golden Horse Awards.

Well, that settles it then.  I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to see the kind of chemistry that Rogen and Chow will bring to the big screen.  “The Green Hornet”.  Coming June 25, 2010.

There’s something strange in the neighborhood. Who you gonna call?

GHOSTBUSTERS!  Now this is some exciting news here.  Initially, it was stated by original Ghostbuster member, Dan Aykroyd, that “Ghostbusters: The Video Game” was, in fact, the third chapter in the series.  Now Columbia Pictures has hired Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (co-executive producers of “The Office”) to write a 3rd live-action film.  Not only that, but the plan is for the cast members to make a return including Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson!

However, let’s make this clear.  No deals with the original cast will be made until the script is ready.  If this really works out, this will definitely be one of the greatest comebacks in movie history.  Forget Rocky, Rambo, Indiana Jones, or even the Turtles.  It’s about time we brought back Spengler, Venkman, Stantz and Zeddmore!  Although God only knows how they’ll pull this off…

“Goosebumps” Movie in the Works

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Well, this is interesting. I’m sure most of you who grew up in the 90s are familiar with the ever-popular junior horror novels “Goosebumps” by R.L. Stine, which were further adapted into a kids TV series. Writers Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander have been negotiating with Columbia Pictures to write a live-action big screen adaption of the series. Neal Moritz and his Sony-based Original Film will be producing with Deborah Forte of Scholastic Entertainment.

Columbia Pictures, which acquired the rights back in May, has stated that it’s open to the possiblity of developing a future franchise for the series. Like the Harry Potter films, Neal Moritz wants to cast children as the leads with a more well-known supporting cast.

Whether this is good news or not, I’m just hoping this is not another movie where they simply stamp a popular franchise name on it, without it ever having to do with the franchise in the first place – like that craptacular sad excuse for a Final Fantasy film we got as The Spirits Within. My question is how they’re going to present this as an actual “Goosebumps” movie, as I doubt they’ll choose one of several books to adapt, but rather tell a completely new story. Personally, I’d want a brand new story that evidently exists in the “Goosebumps” world, making references here and there from some of the more popular books – how about an Amaz-O magic show poster or a Slappy dummy hanging outside of a trash bin? And as cheesy as it sounds (hey, this was the early 90s), I can already predict we’ll have a slew of posters with the slogan, “Viewer beware, you’re in for a scare!” Mwahahaha.