D.J. Caruso directing James Frey book 'I Am Number Four'

Caruso_d_j_341 D.J. Caruso is on board to direct “I Am Number Four,” DreamWorks’ adaptation of the upcoming young-adult science fiction book by James Frey and Joby Hughes.

“Four” revolves around a group of nine aliens who escaped their home planet just before it was annihilated by a rival species. Hiding out on Earth, the title character disguises himself as a human high schooler, only to discover he is being hunted still by his planet’s enemy.

HarperCollins Children’s Books is publishing the book, which would be the first in a series of six, this fall.

DreamWorks picked up film rights in June, with Michael Bay attached to produce and possibly direct. Bay remains on board as a producer along with Benderspink.

“Smallville” creators Al Gough and Miles Millar wrote the screenplay.

Caruso, repped by CAA and Media Talent Group, is a DreamWorks favorite, having helmed the company’s thrillers “Disturbia” and “Eagle Eye.” It is unclear whether “Four” will be the director’s next go project as he also is developing “The Art of Making Money,” about counterfeiter Art Williams, for Paramount.

'Push' TV series from Summit and David Hayter

More TV news today.

Almost a year ago, Summit tried to start a super-powered franchise with "Push," which starred Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning. Despite a great look and some neat ideas, the story was muddled, and the movie failed to take off.

Now Summit is taking another stab at the concept, partnering up with Canada's E1 Entertainment to create a TV series.

David Hayter, of "X-Men" and "Watchmen" fame, is writing the TV pilot, and his Dark Hero Studios will be a producer on the series, says our parent site THR.

Here's the trailer in case you forgot what the movie was about:

'Spider-Man' press release tidbits

Columbia issued a press release regarding Marc Webb directing "Spider-Man," and here are some quotes from it:

Commenting on the announcement, Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures, said, “At its core, Spider-Man is a small, intimate human story about an everyday teenager that takes place in an epic super-human world. The key for us as we sought a new director was to identify filmmakers who could give sharp focus to Peter Parker’s life. We wanted someone who could capture the awe of being in Peter’s shoes so the audience could experience his sense of discovery while giving real heart to the emotion, anxiety, and recklessness of that age and coupling all of that with the adrenaline of Spider-Man’s adventure. We believe Marc Webb is the perfect choice to bring us on that journey."

Webb said, “This is a dream come true and I couldn't be more aware of the challenge, responsibility, or opportunity. Sam Raimi's virtuoso rendering of Spider-Man is a humbling precedent to follow and build upon.  The first three films are beloved for good reason.  But I think the Spider-Man mythology transcends not only generations but directors as well.  I am signing on not to ‘take over’ from Sam.  That would be impossible.  Not to mention arrogant.  I'm here because there's an opportunity for ideas, stories, and histories that will add a new dimension, canvas, and creative voice to Spider-Man.”

Marc Webb to direct 'Spider-Man'

Marc_webbMarc Webb has finalized a deal to helm the new "Spider-Man" movie for Columbia.

The studio last week scrapped the fourth installment of the web-slinging hero under director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire and decided to reboot and scale down the franchise.

While unlikely names such as James Cameron and David Fincher were floated (when was the last time those made a scaled-down movie?), Webb quietly rose to the top of the list of candidates.

Webb became a sought-after director with "(500) Days of Summer," his comedic romancer for Fox Searchlight starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, earning him praise for the realistic way he portrayed a modern relationship.

Webb set up a series of projects since "Summer," among them "Age of Rage" at Searchlight. It was his Fox projects that were major hurdles in the deal, as his next movie was expected to be for that company. Fox had to allow him to bow out of his commitment before a deal could be made with Columbia.

Continue reading "Marc Webb to direct 'Spider-Man'" »

'Torchwood' coming to Fox

We don't do too much TV here on Heat Vision, but here's a too-good-to-pass-up tidbit:

"Torchwood," the popular BBC series about a special covert agency that investigates extraterrestrial incidents and began life as a "Doctor Who" spinoff, is coming to America.

James Hibberd at Live Feed (think Heat Vision's older brother) has the scoop, saying the producing team from the original series will be behind the American version.

Jonathan Levine tackles zombie love with 'Warm Bodies'

Summit is snuggling up to “Warm Bodies,” hiring Jonathan Levin to write and direct the zombie-love project.

In a tone like “Twilight”-meets-“Shaun of the Dead,” the story follows an existentially tormented zombie named “R” who begins an unlikely friendship with the human girlfriend of one of his victims. The blossoming relationship starts a chain reaction that will transform him, his fellow zombies and maybe the whole lifeless world.

“Bodies” is based on a book by Seattle's Isaac Marion, who self-published the novel and sold it through his Web site before the publishing rights were picked up by Atria Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, this year. Publication slated for this summer.

Bruna Papanadrea, an exec producer on “Milk” and “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh,” is producing “Bodies” through her Make Movies banner. Executive producing are Laurie Webb and Cori Shepherd Stern.

Summit's president of production Erik Feig and vp production Gillian Bohrer are overseeing.

CAA-repped Levine proved his romantic comedy street cred by writing and directing “The Wackness” and he tackled the slasher genre with “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane.” 

Marion is repped by UTA and manager Brooke Ehrlich.

Below is a trailer Marion made for his book in 2008:

China to pull 2D 'Avatar' this weekend

Avatar_china_poster_150x350 By Associated Press

BEIJING -- Chinese censors have ordered the 2D version of "Avatar" pulled from screens across the country, apparently to reduce competition for the homegrown film industry ahead of the nation's biggest holiday season, state-run media reported.

The news comes just as "Avatar" has set a new Chinese boxoffice record, earning 500 million yuan ($73.2 million) in just two weeks, a Twentieth Century Fox distribution official told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday.

The 3D and IMAX versions of James Cameron's global hit will continue their run into February. But Saturday reportedly marks the end of 2D screenings of the science fiction epic, which also dramatizes the forced eviction of a people - a politically sensitive subject in China.

China Film Group, the state-run domestic distributor of the Hollywood blockbuster, has ordered the move after receiving instructions from China's censors. Repeated calls to the distributor's spokesman Tuesday went unanswered.

Reportedly, part of the reason is to reduce competition for China's homegrown films, like the state-backed biopic of Confucius, the ancient Chinese philosopher, starring Hong Kong superstar Chow Yun-fat, which opens this Thursday.

The Beijing Youth Daily on Tuesday quoted UME International Cineplex assistant manager Liu Hui confirming the pullout at theaters in the capital. She said it won't affect the cinema's revenues.

"In UME, the 3D and Imax version make up 90% of our boxoffice income, so it won't affect the majority of viewers. With the pullout of the 2D version, movies like Confucius will gain some room for showing," she said.

Next month is Lunar New Year, the nation's biggest holiday. With a week of vacation or more, many Chinese are expected to flock to the country's theaters. China boasts about a dozen IMAX screens, another 800 3D screens and an estimated 4,500 regular screens. It's unclear how many 2D screens Avatar was playing on.

China remains highly protective of its domestic film industry, allowing only 20 foreign films into the Chinese market each year. Cameron, who visited Beijing in December as part of "Avatar's" press tour, had called on China to end that restriction, which is also being challenged by the World Trade Organization.

There is also sensitivity to the movie's plot, which revolves around the forced evictions of the alien Na'vi race by humans - a story line that some have said draws unflattering comparisons to China's own, often brutal removal of millions of residents to make way for property developers.

Columnist Huang Hung penned a commentary in the official English-language China Daily, saying the film had struck a chord with Chinese viewers.

"All the forced removal of old neighborhoods in China makes us the only earthlings today who can really feel the pain of the Na'vi," she wrote.

Tickets for the 2D version cost 30 to 40 yuan ($4.40 to $6), while 3D tickets are pricier at 60 to 80 yuan ($9 to $12). An IMAX ticket, at 130 to 150 yuan ($19 to $22), is a very expensive treat for movie-goers in China.

In theaters across the financial metropolis of Shanghai, word of the decision spread quickly.

"It's not just our theater. The 2D 'Avatar' is going to be stopped everywhere," said a ticket sales manager at Nanjing Peace Theater who refused to give his name because he had not been authorized to speak to media.

"If you want to see it, seize the opportunity now - even for 3D! We just listen to the command from the relevant authority, although we will lose some ticket sales for sure," he said.

Can 'Avatar' match 'Titanic's' Oscar glory?
'Avatar' boosting Imax shares
'Avatar,' 'The Hangover' win Golden Globes
'Avatar' nears 'Titanic's' overseas boxoffice
VIDEO: 'Avatar' closing in on 'Titanic' record
How high is 'Avatar' going in the boxoffice pantheon?
Is 'Avatar' really immune to piracy?
'Avatar' blasts past $1 billion worldwide
How 'Avatar' crashed '00s top rank in '10
Film Review: Avatar


'Paranormal Activity 2' gets ready with 'Saw VI' director

By Ace Fernandez and Borys Kit

111318-paranormal_activity_341 Something’s moving in the “Paranormal Activity 2” house.

Paramount has hired screenwriter Michael R. Perry and director Kevin Greutert to create the sequel to 2009’s biggest surprise hit, “Paranormal Activity,” which scared up $151 million in worldwide grosses in the fall on a shoestring $15,000 budget and a shrewd, opt-in Web marketing campaign.

Significantly, Paramount will unleash it in theaters on the pre-Halloween weekend of October 22, which sets it against that date’s reigning champion in previous years, the next installment in Lionsgate’s “Saw” series (this year would be “VII”). In a symbolic twist, Greutert made his directorial debut on the sixth “Saw” film, which grossed just $31 million worldwide, with observers thinking that the franchise may be bleeding dry.

Jason Blum and Oren Peli, who masterminded the first “Activity,” are producing the second iteration. Steven Schneider will serve as executive producer.

Continue reading "'Paranormal Activity 2' gets ready with 'Saw VI' director" »


Bill Murray finds 'Passion' with Megan Fox

121505-murray_bill_341x182 Bill Murray is starring as the villain in “Passion Play,”  a romantic thriller being directed by Mitch Glazer.

Rhys Ifans ("Notting Hill") has also joined the cast which is being toplined by Megan Fox and Mickey Rourke.

The period story tells the tale of a down-on-his-luck jazz trumpet player who forms a bond with a winged beauty (Fox) who's now part of a sideshow attraction at a carnival.

Murray is playing a gangster named Happy intent on keeping the two apart.

Continue reading "Bill Murray finds 'Passion' with Megan Fox" »


'Iron Man 2' Imax release date set

By Etan Vlessing

TORONTO -- Imax Corp. is to release Marvel Entertainment's "Iron Man 2" on its giant screens on May 7, simultaneous with the film's worldwide release by Paramount Pictures.

The action-adventure sequel to Marvel Entertainment's 2008 movie hit was blown up by Imax for a limited 2D release on its giant-screen network.

"Iron Man 2," directed by Jon Favreau, stars Robert Downey Jr. as billionaire superhero Tony Stark battling bad guy Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke).


  • Heat Vision sets its sights on what’s hot in the world of fanboy entertainment, from blockbuster films to the comic books that inspire them. Its author is Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter.



Recent Comments

The Hollywood Reporter is Your Complete Film Resource

The columnists and bloggers who write for The Hollywood Reporter have their collective finger on the pulse of the boxoffice. From Robert Osbourne to Martin Grove and the rest, THR columnists deliver their thoughts on the film industry in an uncompromised style. Subscribe to THR today and get the latest views from these film experts and get the latest movie reviews as well.