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, 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: 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.

The Hobbit 3: Billy Boyd’s “The Last Goodbye” Sure To Wreck Fans

Tolkien’s Middle Earth has been managed and depicted pretty well by Peter Jackson for 16 years now and in December, fans will say goodbye to the universe with none other than Pippin (Billy Boyd) giving us his last goodbye to remember. The exclusive music video was released and it will be played during the credits of the final movie. 
Because tears are a part of every Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fan’s life, let us take a look at how – if at all – the universe might be brought back in the future – 

• The Silmarillion – Obviously, once you’ve finished with the main story, you start with the background. And Tolkien has left behind quite a lot of background for his fans. The Silmarillion could be made in the future and it would be amazing if Peter Jackson were to do it. 

• The TARDIS lands in Middle Earth – Back in July, it was revealed that Peter Jackson might direct a Doctor Who episode. Fans can’t help but wonder if this is the time when we might get to see the TARDIS landing in the middle of Middle Earth, with its chameleon circuits all fixed, and looking like an Ent, possibly? Or an Ent Wife? 

• Remake of Lord of the Rings – This is the scariest possibility because Peter Jackson has done it so brilliantly and anyone else who tries to remake LOTR would definitely spoil it. Let’s not think about this option.

The final movie comes out on December 17 and fans like Dave and Brit Morin already have tissues at their disposal. 

‘Wanted 2’ Script is Taking Some Time

Wanted really is wanted. Specifically, what is wanted is a sequel to Wanted. The sequel Dave and Brit Morin as well as many others want is Wanted 2. The problem is the film has been stuck in a bit of a quagmire due to issues surrounding getting a new script.

If you are a fan of the first Wanted film, do not become impatient. The last thing you want is for a really bad script to be rushed into production. Nothing can kill off a successful franchise more than an awful script that turns off audiences and critics alike.

James McAvoy was the star of the comic book based assassin thriller Wanted, a film that would eventually earn $340+ million. McAvoy might not have been made into a household name from the film, but he did parlay the success of that project into a lead role in X-Men: First Class.

Successful comic book adaptions of all stripes end up getting sequels. Wanted is no exception. The trouble with the sequel, as mentioned, is the fact that a new script has been tough to come by.

One major problem with crafting a sequel to the film is that one of the main characters in the previous film died. Without that character or, more accurately, without the bankability the character brought to the movie, how do you create the proper new film? It isn’t easy as all the toiling over the script shows.

Don’t worry though. Someone will get the new script right.

Blofeld Returns in Bond 24

What is old is new again. The new James Bond film will feature the return of a classic villain for the first time since 1971, Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Leaks from the new “James Bond 24” film are becoming common in the press and this news really did take bond fans by surprise. Blofeld was the “hidden” villain who ran SPECTER for the first few bond films until being revealed as Donald Pleasance in You Only Live Twice.

The character returned in two more films with a miscast Telly Savalas and an even more miscast Charles Gray. Due to rights issues surrounding SPECTER, the villainous entity (and Blofeld) were written out of future sequels.

The new Blofeld will be played by Christoph Waltz.

Nice to see an official return of the iconic villain.

Yes, there was another Blofeld in Never Say Never Again, but that was an “unofficial” Bond film made outside of the United Artist timeline. Blofeld was parodied in the opening of the film For Your Eyes Only, but we never find out if the man in the wheelchair really was Blofeld.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the Daniel Craig Bond films is they really do get the series back on the proper track. The Connery and Moore bond films were perfect for their time in the eyes of Igor Cornelsen. The Dalton and Brosnan Bond films, well, something was really lacking. It seemed the series was finished until the arrival of Craig in the role. Hopefully, he will not be leaving the series any time soon.

Amy Adams signs on for Janis Joplin Biopic

Hollywood has toyed with plans for a biopic based on the life of iconic singer Janis Joplin for many years, the movie seems to have moved a little closer to fruition with a major star rumored to have signed on to play the legendary singer. American Hustle star Amy Adams looks set to take on the role of the singer who rose to fame in the late 1960s, CBS News reports.

Adams has been nominated for five Oscars and could team up with Jean-Marc Vallee, the director behind the Dallas Buyers Club, in the Janis Joplin biopic. Hollywood has seen the life story of Joplin as a good story for a movie for many years, a short career running from just 1966 to 1970 culminated in a suspected heroin overdose leading to her death at the height of her fame.

Many fans like Dave and Brit Morin understand that the attachment of a major Hollywood star is no guarantee the movie will be made in the near future, but a number of directors and popular actresses have been attached to the project in the past. Renee Zellweger is just one of the Hollywood heavyweights attached to the movie in the past. Maybe things can start picking up with the addition of Adams and Valleee to the project.

Matt Smith and Natalie Dormer Sign on for ‘Patient Zero’

Matt Smith became one of the most popular English actors in show business thanks to his portrayal as the quirky timelord in the storied ‘Doctor Who’ franchise.  Fans of the actor can rest easy though as Matt Smith has already attached himself to some quality projects, including the science fiction thriller ‘Patient Zero’. In this film he will co-star with ‘Game of Thrones’ own Natalie Dormer.

‘Patient Zero’ is an original screenplay by writer Mike Le. Stefan Ruzowitzky is slated to helm the project as the director. Ruzowitzky is coming off of his Oscar winning foreign film ‘The Counterfeiters’. In ‘Patient Zero’ the story is focused on a global viral outbreak of a sort of super virus reminiscent of rabies that turns humanity into a form of zombie. Jason Halpern says in the project Smith will play the lead, a husband who is desperate to find a cure for his recently infected love (played by Dormer). In the film Smith will be tasked with hunting down the eponymous ‘Patient Zero’ to try and save the day.

The film does not have a time line for release and Matt Smith is currently entangled in the next ‘Terminator’ film, ‘Gensiys’.

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