Screen Talk: Service resumed for a super team
Friday 28 October 2011
Hollywood is abuzz with the news that the film-maker Matthew Vaughn and comic book writer Mark Millar are drawing up plans to work together again.
The duo, along with collaborator Jane Goldman, brought audiences Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class. Now Vaughn, Millar and artist Dave Gibbons (best known as the co-creator of Watchmen) are talking up a new comic titled The Secret Service. If that isn't next, Vaughn also has the movie rights to Superior, a comic Millar is writing. The plot revolves around a superhero and comic book-idolising boy who has multiple sclerosis and is given the chance to become a superhero named "Superior". The chance, of course, comes at a price. Both projects are in the early stages, with no screenwriters attached.
Robert Towne, scriptwriter of Chinatown, Tequila Sunrise and Days of Thunder, among others, is turning his attention to the Second World War, spitfires and tales of derring-do for a screenplay entitled The Battle of Britain. The movie will be based on the Oscar-winning British producer Graham King's recollections of stories told to him by his father about the war. The script will detail the dogfights between the Royal Air Force and the German Luftwaffe to gain control of London's airspace.
Life and love during wartime
Plans to bring the female teenage drama novel How I Live Now, by the London-based American author Meg Rosoff, to the big screen are gathering pace. The Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald aims to shoot it next year and is working with Jack Thorne on a script. Thorne's résumé already boasts episodes of the cult teen soap opera Skins and the feature The Scouting Book for Boys. Rosoff's book tells the story of a 15-year-old Manhattanite who is sent to live with her cousins in the English countryside during the outbreak of a third world war. She falls in love with her cousin but they are forced apart when England becomes occupied after terrorist attacks. The novel won the Whitbread Children's book of the year in 2004.
Take it to the limits of action
Liam Neeson is returning to Europe for his next action-drama outing in Taken 2. He will go up against the Croatian actor Rade Sherbedgia in the movie, which is set to shoot in Turkey and France next month. Sherbedgia will play Murad, the father of a kidnapper slain by Neeson's character in the first film. Taken 2, written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, also stars Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace; Olivier Megaton directs. The first Taken film, which was released in 2008, grossed a whopping $224m worldwide.
From mouthwash to monster movies
If ever there was any doubt that serious corporate muscle – in the form of experience and a proven ability to take hard-nosed decisions – is desirable in Hollywood these days, look to Legendary Entertainment. The LA-based production and finance powerhouse has brought a certain A G Lafley on to its board. Lafley has little experience of successful Legendary projects such as Inception or The Dark Knight, other than perhaps as a cinema-goer, but he was previously chairman of the board, president and CEO of Proctor & Gamble. Upcoming Legendary projects include Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, about an alien attack threatening Earth and the giant robots manned by humans dispatched to fend them off. Quite a big change from mouthwash and toothpaste.
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