Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Set To Do Voice In Disney Movie

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was one of the more popular figures in professional wrestling during his time, but since leaving the world of wrestling Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has appeared in a number of films, playing everything from the Tooth Fairy to Hercules. And if he were an investment, Slow Ventures would surely tell you to hop on the train as he’s reportedly close to signing on for an entirely different role, this time as the voice of the demigod Maui in the Disney animated film Moana.

The film centers around the quest of South Pacific Islander Moana, as she searches for a fabled mysterious island in the dangerous waters of Oceania. The film isn’t due in theaters until 2016 and the role of Moana hasn’t been cast yet. But this would mark the first animated voice role for Johnson, who has already made nearly 20 films in his still-short acting career.

Johnson is also spending some time on TV. He recently made an unexpected return visit as a guest of the professional wrestling series “WWE Live” and is currently doing press for the TNT reality television series “Wake Up Call.” In that series, Johnson will lend a hand to people who are struggling, from a deadbeat dad to a semi-professional sports team that may have to shut down.

The Crow Reboot Changes Directors

For a while, there have been attempts to reboot The Crow. Back in 1994, the first movie adapted from the original comic books was released. The late Brandon Lee played in the starring role. The movie proved to be a hit with fans like Mark Ahn. It has spawned plenty of sequels and even a TV show. While there have been plenty of sequels and spin offs, the only movie that had a lot of appeal was the first film. Only one sequel was released in theaters, that one went by the title of The Crow: City of Angels. The rest of the sequels were released straight to video. 

For years, there have been attempts to reboot with a lot of hurdles being in place. Lead actors have changed and directors have changed. As of right now, there is a start time for production in 2015. The current director is going to be a relative newcomer to filmmaking by the name of Corin Hardy.

Jean Claude Van Damme On Board For Kickboxer Remake

The once great action star, has been cast to appear in the remake of the 1989 classic, Kickboxer. Jean Claude Van Damme will be playing the role of mentor this time around.

The starring role has been given to Alain Moussi. Moussi, a talented actor and stuntman is no stranger to the big screen, having worked on films such as Pacific Rim, and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Originally, Tony Jaa was cast for the role of the mentor, but Mr. Jaa unexpectedly fell out. Problems with the schedule of the film have been reported by Screenrant.com, making the role available to the original star of the classic film, Mr Jean Claude Van Damme.

Mr. Van Damme has been on a great comeback as of late and fans like Daniel Amen are taking notice. He has recently starred in a number of positively reviewed films. The one film that stands out to me in his recent years as an actor, is 6 Bullets. A great accomplishment for Mr. Van Damme. 6 bullets is truly one of his best films ever.

Whether the critics say it or not, Mr. Van Damme I’m cheering for you. I think most people are. Another thing about Jean Claude Van Damme is that he is loyal to his fans. Mr. Van Damme did not have to appear in the Kickboxer remake. I think Jean Claude Van Damme co-starring in the remake adds legitimacy, and a reason to watch the classic movie all over again.

‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ Receiving Great Reviews

Peter Jackson and the cinematic adaptation of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ exist in such an odd place for fans of Tolkien’s original written work. Without a doubt Jackson has done what no other director could have dreamed to do, or even attempted, back in 2001 when ‘Fellowship’ was first released. 

Jackson adapted a fifty year old epic, that presumably set the stage for all fantasy stories afterward, and turned it into a semi-loyal Hollywood blockbuster. While Jackson has received his share of criticism for alterations, he has mostly been consistent with the source material. Now, with the final chapter of ‘The Hobbit’ before us, fans are waiting with bated breath. Can Jackson top what he has done before, despite what critics have said about the first two installments?

Lee G. Lovett says early reviews of ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’ have claimed that the film is nothing if not the solid ending that the story deserves. As an ending to the ‘Hobbit’ trilogy, the film has been praised as epic and sentimental while resting on the performances of talented actors. As the final film that Peter Jackson will set in Middle Earth, it deserves our respect if for nothing else.

Critics have called ‘Battle’ the ‘leanest and darkest’ of all the Tolkien adaptations. While the film will involve the culmination of Smaug’s storyline, ti will also feature heavily the human element involved in this journey. 

The film releases on December 18th, 2014.

Neil Giaman’s Sandman on Track for Movie Adapation

The Sandman is one of the most beloved cult classic graphic novel series. Written by one of Bruce Karatz’s favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, and illustrated by a host of artists Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Jill Thompson, Shawn McManus, Marc Hempel, Michael Zulli, and David Keane, this comic series is known for its beautifully haunting illustrations and beautifully haunting story. The story itself is about the mythological Sandman , called Dream in the series, and follows him and host of other mythological characters and literary classics including Death and Puck.

Quotes from Gordon-Lovett indicate that he is more heavily involved than an actor typically would be. Neil Giaman is the producer for the WB movie. With so many exciting storylines, and the author himself as one of the producers of the movie, this movie should prove to be spectacular.

It is unknown when the filming will finally begin. For a film that has been in development hell for over 20 years, it is fair to be skeptical that it will ever be made. But with a script underway, and the author of the graphic novel series attached as producer, there are good reasons to believe that this long anticipated, long awaited movie will finally see its day on the big screen.

Tom Rothman Starts New Chapter In Joint Venture with Sony

Currently working with Sony Pictures on a joint venture that has revitalized a studio known for a string of box office hits in the ’80s and ’90s, Tom Rothman adds a new chapter to an already distinguished career. It’s a career that includes nearly 20 years serving as the chairman of the company that he created, Fox Searchlight. Under his watch, Fox Searchlight became the most profitable of the major movie studios, generating over $30 billion in revenue from a series of successful projects.

Born in Baltimore, Rothman earned a degree in English and American Literature from Brown University. After obtaining a law degree from Columbia Law School, he worked as an attorney up until the mid-1980s. He then made the switch to a behind-the-scenes film career in 1986 when he served as a co-producer of the movies Down By Law and Candy Mountain. By 1987, he was Executive Vice President of Columbia Pictures. As president of Worldwide Production for the Samuel Goldwyn Company, Rothman primarily focused on highly acclaimed independent films, most notably Henry V and The Madness of King George.

It didn’t take long Rothman to develop a solid reputation within the film industry. By 1994, he decided it was time to venture out on his own. It’s a decision that resulted in the creation of a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox called Fox Searchlight. During his time as the head of this company, he oversaw the production and distribution of a series of critically and commercially successful projects, including The Devil Wears Prada, Black Swan, Master and Commander, Rio, the X-men franchise, the Ice Age movies and the internationally acclaimed film, Slumdog Millionaire (source: official website).

Rothman also worked with Fox to produce a handful of successful television projects, including Glee, Modern Family and Homeland. After resigning as chairman and chief executive of Fox Filmed Entertainment in 2012, Rothman was tapped by Steven Spielberg to produce his much talked about film adaptation of Robopocalypse for Dreamworks. That same year, he became director Priceline.com, Inc.

Mr. Rothman is now working with Sony as part of a joint venture to relaunch TriStar Productions. The new company represents an effort to reestablish TriStar as a major motion picture studio. The original TriStar, formed in 1982, was responsible for a series of box office hits, including The Natural with Robert Redford, a pair of Rambo films, the Look Who’s Talking series, Basic Instinct with Sharon Stone and the Oscar-nominated movies Jerry Maguire and As Good as It Gets.

The film executive is extensively involved in many aspects of the film industry, serving on the National Council on the Arts, a body responsible for making recommendations on grant applications. Rothman is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Sundance Institute and the American Film Institute. As the head of TriStar Productions, Rothman announced plans to oversee the production of at least four feature films per year. In 2013, Elysium became the studio’s first big-budget film project since 1998’s The Mask of Zorro.

A Sandman Movie Update

After the popularity of the Christopher Nolan produced and Zach Snyder helmed superhero outing, Man of Steel, there was a rumor that Neil Gaiman’s surreal and trippy comic series, Sandman would be soon hitting the big screen. Those rumors quickly turned into official studio confirmations and then… nothing. The project seemed to fizzle and die away at which point everyone, unfortunately forgot about it in favor of the more well known superhero films. Fortunately, Tom Rothman sees that it is coming back.

In a recent interview with Deadline (of which you can read more here: http://screenrant.com/sandman-movie-script-update-gaiman/) Gaimen and co opened up about the films possible release.

Gaimen explained that one of the reasons that the film has been in the cooker, so to speak, for so long is that it is owned by Vertigo comics, rather than Warner Bros. which made things a little more complicated, legally, than it would have been had it been owned by the former company. Also, they have long wanted Joseph-Gordon Levitt on the project, as had been rumored early on. He is indeed attached to it but negotiations are still underway, so that was yet another stumbling block, or blockade rather. But all parties give their assurance that the project will still be going ahead with Levitt attached, David S. Goyer and Neil Gaimen leading the project. It should prove to be interesting if nothing else.

The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies Early Reviews

Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit series is not as well liked as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. However, this final act in the story is considered the strongest film in the trilogy. It might be on par with the Lord of the Rings films. Many critics have called this a fine conclusion to the Hobbit series. 

While The Hobbit series have been shown to be rather disappointing, the films themselves aren’t actually bad. They were just not on par with the other films.

Brad Reifler says one interesting thing to notice about this film is that it is a lot shorter than the other films. The Hobbit films are actually shorter than the long running Lord of the Rings series. The Hobbit: Battled of Five Armies will be released in IMAX 3D and 3D Cinemas as well as 2D Cinemas.

Ridley Scott Will Not Direct Blade Runner 2

One of the greatest dystopian science fiction films of all-time is getting a sequel. There will be a Blade Runner 2 and filming is expected to begin in 2015. Ridley Scott, who directed the first Blade Runner, says that the script is ready. Harrison Ford is even rumored to be returning for the sequel.

That above is the good news. The bad news is that Ridley Scott will not be directing. My friend Mark Ahn said he was a good director so that’s unfortunate.  He will only be a producer on the film. The reason for Ridley Scott letting another director take on this enormous challenge is not specifically known. A possible reason is that he is filming Prometheus 2 next year.

The real question is how does Ridley Scott find the time? Exodus: Gods and Kings, his Moses epic, opens next month. Then, he has a science fiction thriller called The Martian. A movie starring Matt Damon which is set to be released next fall. He is a very busy man, I just hope that doesn’t make his Blade Runner sequel lose quality and tarnish the legacy of the original.

Jake Gyllenhaal Transforms Body for ‘Southpaw’

Perhaps we, as cinema films, truly overrate the dedication that actors have for their craft. Sure we hear the stories about these celebrities locking themselves away for months at a time to get into character but we never really see their pain. When an actor transforms their body, however, the results are illustrated in front of us. Jake Gyllenhaal needs no help in steering his career in the right direction as he is one of the hottest actors in showbiz today and his body transformation for the film ‘Southpaw’ might stand as his crowning achievement. His slew of films highlights his incredible range and dedication to the parts that he plays, supplanting him as one of today’s top actors. If Slow Ventures could, I’m sure they would be all aboard the Gyllenhaal bandwagon.

Right now Gyllenhaal is buzzing due to his neurotic and ‘American Pyscho’ like turn in the gritty film, ‘Nightcrawler’. In that film Jake plays a crime scene photographer for a local news station that goes through increasingly risky hoops to ‘get the shot’. For the film Gyllenhaal lost over 25 pounds in order to give off the sort of slim and sociopathic look that he felt his character deserved. Less than six months later Gyllenhaal bulked up to an unrecognizable size, adding 15lbs of pure muscle, to play Billy Hope in ‘Southpaw’.

‘Southpaw’ will follow a junior middleweight fighter who has to kick and claw his way backt o the promised land after enduring intense personal tragedy. The film was originally supposed to star rapper Eminem but the entertainer reportedly could not get the right body required for the role. Forest Whitaker and Rachel McAdams round out a cast that will be sure to get Oscar buzz during award season.

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