HOLLYWOODREPORTER.COM – Director Jonathan Levine is set to reteam with his 50/50 stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen for an Untitled Xmas Comedy. Sony beat out several studios to nab the project, which is on the fast track for a summer 2014 start.
The film revolves around three childhood best friends who reunite in New York City for their annual tradition of going out on Christmas Eve. Gordon-Levitt and Rogen will play two of the best friends, with the third lead role still to be cast.
The project also reunites the 50/50 trio with Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane, whose company Mandate Pictures — now named Good Universe — produced and co-financed 50/50. Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Point Grey Pictures also are on board to produce Xmas.
50/50, which centered on a 27-year-old man’s (Gordon-Levitt) struggles after a cancer diagnosis, became a critical hit and was nominated for a best picture Golden Globe. The film cost $8 million and earned $39 million worldwide.
Xmas was shopped as a package over the weekend and sparked heated interest from several studios, including Sony, Universal and Paramount. In a competitive situation, Sony emerged as the winner before the dust settled late Monday afternoon. Sony has a strong relationship with Point Grey, coming off last year’s hit comedy This Is the End. The studio also is making Rogen’s and Goldberg’s North Korea-set comedy The Interview.
Levine wrote the screenplay for Xmas. Rogen, Goldberg and Point Grey’s James Weaver are producing. Drake and Kahane will executive produce alongside Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir.
Good Universe, which produced the recent comedy Last Vegas, also has the upcoming Rogen vehicle Neighbors at Universal as well as Angelfall, an adaptation of Susan Ee’s bestselling book series, to be produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert.
Gordon-Levitt is repped by WME and attorney Karl Austen. Rogen and Goldberg are handled by UTA and attorney Fred Toczek. Rogen is additionally managed by Marsha McManus. Levine is represented by CAA and attorney Todd Stern. Dan Freedman negotiated the deals on behalf of Good Universe.
SCREENCRAVE.COM – Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of the hottest young actors working today, which makes his interest in side projects and directing so fascinating. Here is an actor on every shortlist for the latest superhero movie, and he’d rather make an indie film about a sex addict. But he still likes acting, and besides his involvement with Sandman, he’s also now going to star in Man on a Wire for Robert Zemeckis.
The film would be based on the real life story of Philippe Petit, whose memoir To Reach The Clouds would serve as the basis for the film according to Twitch Film, who they broke this news. Sharp viewers may know that the book was already turned into a documentary in 2008, though there is surely more to explore.
This is also interesting in that Robert Zemeckis took a strange turn into motion capture for a couple of years in his career. Starting with The Polar Express in 2004, he spent the next five years making these sorts of movies until the experiment came to an end when the movies proved more expensive than popular, but it seemed to reflect his interest in the technology of cinema, which he used masterfully in films like Forest Gump and Cast Away. He rebounded with 2012?s Flight, which showed that he still knew how to work with actors, and was a master behind the camera. Hopefully he’s engaged with this material, as Zemeckis can be great. If this casting sticks, we’d expect the film to be made for Oscar season 2015.
SCREENCRUSH.COM – Word broke last month that actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who made his directorial debut with ‘Don Jon,’ will next tackle a big screen adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s gothic comic book classic ‘Sandman.’ Since then, we haven’t heard much, but now Gordon-Levitt has opened up a bit about his plans for the film in a new interview. So what can we expect from this highly-anticipated project? Something “spectacular,” he promises.
Gordon-Levitt recently spoke to IGN, and when asked about the upcoming project he got pretty excited. The actor and director, who is also said to be in contention to star in the film (although which part he would possibly play is still up for speculation), is clearly a huge fan of the property, and the right man for the job:
Well, I love just the basic concept of it – just the concept of personifying Dream, along with all of his brothers and sisters, the seven Endless personifying Death, personifying Destruction and Delirium and Destiny and Desire and Despair. I mean, that’s just a fascinating and, I think, a really cinematic concept. You look at the art of Sandman, and it just looks spectacular. I love big, spectacular movies, but oftentimes big, spectacular movies sort of get stuck in a rut. They go down certain paths that end in big explosions or whatever. Sandman has so much opportunity to do something that’s on a grand, grand scale, but really unlike your average big, grand-scale, spectacular movie. I guess that’s the tip of the iceberg.
When asked about a tweet that included the word “prelude,” which seemed to hint that his ‘Sandman’ film might be just be the beginning of a series of films, Gordon-Levitt clarified:
I honestly just wrote that as sort of a pun, because this tweet was a prelude to who knows what’s to come. Obviously “Prelude” is the title of the first issue, but… Yeah, nothing is cemented yet. But there’s so much potential in that material. It’s exciting.
And there you have it. No big news here, but he’s excited and we’re excited to have someone who obviously has a clear vision for the film at the helm.
JEWISHVOICENY.COM – Fans of both Paul Rudd, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and comic books can celebrate this bonanza of exciting news: Paul Rudd will be starring in the upcoming Warner Bros. upcoming adaptation of Ant-Man. And Gordon-Levitt is set to star and direct in Sandman.
The Hollywood reporter stated that Rudd has been cast as Marvel’s “Ant-Man” in the film from director Edgar Wright, which hits theaters July 31, 2015!
“When Edgar Wright came to us with the idea of Paul Rudd, we felt a huge sense of relief because the first step in creating any Marvel Studios film is finding the right star,” said Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige on Marvel.com. “We knew early on that we had found the right person in Paul. When he not only agreed to do it but became as enthusiastic as any actor we’d ever met with about doing the work, we knew we’d found the right guy. We couldn’t be more excited for our audiences to see what he’s going to do to bring Ant-Man to life.”
Meanwhile Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the actor and mind behind the collaborative production company hitRecord, will join Neil Gaiman on the film adaptation of the 1990’s comic book series, The Sandman. Levitt’s Twitter feed initially confirmed the announcement:
“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m incredibly honored to be working with David Goyer, Warner Bros, and @neilhimself on SANDMAN. #prelude”
Gordon-Levitt will team with David Goyer to direct and star in an adaptation of Sandman, the acclaimed Vertigo comic, for Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. Goyer has written the treatment and will supervise the writing. Gordon-Levitt, meanwhile, would take up the mantle of star and director on the project. Neil Gaiman, who authored the seminal work, will exec produce, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
If successful, a Sandman adaptation could anchor a fantasy universe that is nearly limitless in the stories it could tell. Rumors of Gordon-Levitt’s involvement surfaced last month when Badass Digest reported that Goyer was pitching a take on the character.
NJ.COM – Someone’s got the superhero bug.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, not far off his role in last summer’s “Dark Knight Rises,” confirmed on Twitter Tuesday that he will produce a film based off “The Sandman” comic book series.
Gordon-Levitt will work with “Dark Knight” story writer David Goyer, as well as comic creator Neil Gaiman on the project, The Verge said. Whether the popular actor will appear in the film remains to be seen.
With big parts in the Batman mega-hit, the time travel thriller “Looper” and mind-bending smash “Inception,” Gordon-Levitt has become well-versed in such supernatural roles.
This time around, he will be working with a character whose been ruling the world of dreams since 1989.
Tackling settings for the movie, which in the books hop back and forth between dream world and reality, should be an interesting challenge for Gordon-Levitt, his team and Warner Bros.
The Verge points out that in the mid-1990s, “The Sandman” comics, published by Vertigo, sold better than Batman and Superman comics.
The website also notes that talks for a “Sandman” flick have been rumored for 20 years as well as talks for a television show based off the character.
When this film will hit theaters is still a long way off, so for now, let’s chalk it up to “superhero flicks in the works with big names behind them.”
VARIETY.COM – Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt head up the English-language voice cast for Disney’s 2014 release of “The Wind Rises,” the final anime feature from Japanese maestro Hayao Miyazaki.
Gordon-Levitt portrays Jiro Horikoshi, a young Japanese boy in the early 20th century who dreams of flying with the birds and meeting Italian plane designer Giovanni Caproni.
Other stars include Stanley Tucci, Elijah Wood, William H. Macy and Werner Herzog.
The English version is produced by Frank Marshall and will release in North American theaters on Feb. 21, 2014.
The film was a controversial one in Japan, as it was regarded in some quarters as too anti-war, but it still went on to gross $120 million at the Japanese box office, where it will place as this year’s top movie.
Shortly after it had its international premiere at the Venice festival in September Miyazaki announced his retirement from film-making.
“We credit the beauty and magic of Mr. Miyazaki’s final film for bringing together this phenomenal group of performers,” said Marshall in a statement.
It’s looking likelier and likelier that Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s days of stalking around Gotham City in a cape and cowl have ended before they ever really started. By the end of “The Dark Knight Rises,” Gordon-Levitt’s optimistic beat cop John Blake — real name Robin, as it turns out — discovered Bruce Wayne’s abandoned Batcave, leaving him the heir apparent to Batman’s legacy in Gotham.
Gordon-Levitt hasn’t been shy about his beliefs that the ending of “Rises” wasn’t meant to be a “to be continued,” but a decisive conclusion to the “Dark Knight” trilogy and its themes. Given that Christopher Nolan has also said that he won’t be involved in future Batman films, it’s a safe bet that further appearances of JGL in Gotham aren’t in the cards, either.
But how about that “Justice League” movie that Warner Bros. is currently assembling? It’s unclear at the moment how WB plans to connect their superhero team-up (rumored to hit theaters in 2015, the same year as Marvel and Joss Whedon’s “Avengers” sequel) to the “Dark Knight” trilogy, if at all. But for the sake of argument, let’s say Gordon-Levitt was approached to be a part of “Justice League” — would he even be interested in signing on?
“It always depends,” he told MTV News at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he was busy promoting “Looper,” his upcoming sci-fi thriller from “Brick” director Rian Johnson. “I always pick projects that I want to be involved in for the same reasons. Is the script really good? Is the filmmaker a really inspired artist that I feel connected to? That’s what I always pay attention to.”
Based on that logic, perhaps Gordon-Levitt wouldn’t be interested in just any director taking on “Justice League.” But if the keys were handed to someone like, say, “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” filmmaker David Fincher?
“Really?” Gordon-Levitt responded to our hypothetical with a laugh. “David Fincher?”
Hey, you never know — even Nolan seemed like an unlikely fit to direct the Caped Crusader before “Batman Begins” hit theaters. Now, though, not only is Nolan’s vision of the comic book movie genre well-documented, it might also be positioned for some awards recognition at next year’s Oscars.
“Sure,” Gordon-Levitt said when asked if he’s hopeful about “Rises’” chances at the Oscars, agreeing that that kind of attention is nothing but a good thing. “Yeah, exactly.”