LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Just in case audiences weren't sufficiently excited for the three planned sequels to James Cameron's 2009 epic "Avatar," or if they had perhaps forgotten how utterly the first film blew their minds, Cameron promised that the new films will indeed be "bitchin'."
"I can tell you one thing about them," Cameron told Empire Magazine. "They're gonna be bitchin'. You will s-- yourself with your mouth wide open."
20th Century Fox's first "Avatar" sequel is due in theaters December 2016, with successive films expected to bow in December 2017 and 2018, respectively.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Natalie Portman is in talks for the female lead in the Steve Jobs biopic at Universal.
Michael Fassbender is talks to play Jobs with Seth Rogen in talks to play Steve Wozniak. Danny Boyle is set to direct.
The news comes following Universal coming on board as the film's distributor after Sony put the pic in turnaround. Scott Rudin, Mark Gordon and Guymon Casady are producing.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Just in time for Thanksgiving, Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for Peter Pan origin tale "Pan."
The film stars Hugh Jackman as the villainous Blackbeard, Garrett Hedlund as a roguish (but seemingly heroic) Hook, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily and Levi Miller as the titular boy who never grew up.
Joe Wright is directing the pic, which bows next July.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - HBO and Universal Pictures Intl. have set a co-production pact for a docu on the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain to be directed and produced by Brett Morgen.
"Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck" is set for release next year. Morgen said he's been working on the project with the cooperation of Cobain's family for eight years. Frances Bean Cobain, Kurt Cobain's daughter with Courtney Love, is an exec producer. Love, however, is not involved with the project, HBO confirmed.
The plan is for the docu to bow on HBO some time next year. Universal Pictures Intl. Entertainment will distribute the pic as a theatrical release and to TV outlets in markets outside the U.S.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Surprising fans of the franchise a few days earlier than expected, Universal has released the first trailer for "Jurassic World," the next installment in the dinosaur franchise.
Pic stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard and bows on June 12.
Watch the trailer below:
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Michelle MacLaren is set to develop and direct Warner Bros.' "Wonder Woman" movie starring Gal Gadot.
As Variety previously reported, MacLaren had been in talks to come on board as the film's director for some time and sources now confirm she's signed on. Charles Roven is producing.
Warner Bros. had no comment on the story. The pic will bow in 2017.
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Three sisters are haunted by the ghost of their mother in "The Midnight Swim," a psychodrama that flirts with going just plain psycho. The thriller trappings include framing everything the audience sees as footage from one sister's documentary project, but this confident feature-length debut from writer-director Sarah Adina Smith never quite crosses the line into true supernatural horror. Without a clear-cut genre hook, commercial prospects are likely to be limited for a film that otherwise positions Smith as a talent to watch. After making its debut at the Fantasia International Film Festival in July, pic recently won an audience award in AFI Fest's Breakthrough section.
Somewhat estranged siblings Annie (Jennifer Lafleur), Isa (Aleksa Palladino) and June (Lindsay Burdge) convene at their late mother's lakeside home to spend some quality time together and decide what to do with the property. Annie wants to sell it, while Isa proposes transforming it into an artistic retreat -- in keeping with the hippie-ish spirit of environmentalist mom Amelia (Beth Grant). June withdraws behind her camera, occasionally turning the lens on herself for confessional moments that suggest her shy demeanor may mask more severe mental issues.
In between the type of family squabbling, reconciling and reminiscing one would expect in a microbudget mumblecore drama, unusual events begin to pile up. Isa finds herself drawn to Annie's one-time crush Josh (Ross Partridge), a divorced dad who never left the area and reminds the girls of a local legend about seven sisters who drowned, one after another, in the lake. A half-hearted alcohol-fueled attempt to conjure the spirits of those sisters late one night unsurprisingly fails, but the mysterious aftermath includes dead birds turning up on the doorstep and time-lapse footage appearing on June's camera without explanation.
Anna Marie de la Fuente
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - MAR DEL PLATA -- "Evita," Pablo Aguero's long-gestating pic about the strange but true 25-year odyssey of the corpse of former Argentine First Lady Evita Peron, is set to start principal photography in January.
Shoot was originally scheduled for early 2014. Mexico's Gael Garcia Bernal, Denis Lavant, Daniel Fanego, and Nahuel P. Biscayart comprise the cast, as well as Spain's Imanol Arias who recently boarded to play the doctor who embalms Peron's body.
Mia Maestro, who was tipped to play Evita, has dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Maestro is in Toronto, Canada until May for the production of season two of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's vampire TV series "The Strain." She recently released her debut album, "Si Agua" (If Water) in October.