Screen Talk: Talk of the toon
Friday 15 July 2011
Hollywood is animated as battle lines are being drawn up by two rival studios involved in animation creation.
Paramount has created Paramount Animation and will challenge existing studio animation ventures including DreamWorks Animation. Here's why Hollywood types are saying that's not all folks. DreamWorks' output goes through Paramount's distribution machine, which means when audiences pay to see movies such as Kung Fu Panda 2, How to Train Your Dragon or Megamind, Paramount and DreamWorks both profit from the success. So Paramount has decided to own more of the upside by creating animation movies itself from scratch. The new CGI animation studio intends to release self-produced £60 million movies in the vein of its Rango, which took in £150 million worldwide. DreamWorks isn't too happy. And neither are its investors. Shares at the studio dipped after Paramount's decision, leaving it with a £1 billion market capitalisation that still sounds like a low most businesses would put up with. Paramount declined to comment on the effect the new studio will have on DWA's business, given that Paramount is its distribution partner through the end of 2012.
Gambling man takes a trip to Jamaica
Writer, producer and actor Will Reiser, cousin of US comedian and actor Paul Reiser, seemed to have taken a risk when he penned a cancer comedy. Named 50/50 and drawn from real-life experience, the cancer dramedy starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anna Kendrick (above left), is due out later. Now, Reiser and the creative team behind it have reassembled for his next passion project. Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jonathan Levine and Reiser are developing Jamaica, which sees Reiser back on writer duty. Levine, who directed 50/50, is attached to direct Jamaica with Rogen and Goldberg producing. The script will be loosely based on a vacation Reiser took to Jamaica with his grandmother when he was 14.
California's still hot
Los Angeles is showing no signs of giving up being the centre of the movie-making universe. Amid growing competition from other cities and countries looking to lure film productions to set up shop, a favourable tax relief system is as essential as a reliable pool of willing extras to keeping Hollywood hot. So it has come as blessed relief to everyone on the west coast that California's tax-credit incentives system is likely to play out for a further five years from 2014 when the current system closes. The new relief would extend through 2019 and add £300 million more in incentives.
True blood ways
The undying appetite for all things vampire shows no signs of letting up. Warner Bros drove a stake into the comic-book mini-series published by Image Comics, taking movie rights to the whole lot. Created by Tomm Coker (above centre) and Daniel Freedman, Undying Love mixes up the traditional vampire lore with Chinese monster myths as well as the Hong Kong action genre. The story centres on an ex-soldier who falls for a girl that happens to be a vampire. The only way the two can be together is if the man takes on the vampire who created her, which also means fighting an army of monsters in the Hong Kong underworld. Coker and Freedman will write the script.
Rules of attraction
Film-making duo David Levien and Brian Koppelman (above right) have teamed to rewrite and direct The Game, MGM's adaptation of the best-selling Neil Strauss book about picking up women. Part memoir, part how-to guide, The Game details Strauss's effort to learn the tricks to becoming a successful pick-up artist, even moving into a Sunset Strip mansion filled with other competing players to find love.
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