Filmism.net Dispatch February 14, 2010

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A massive edition of Filmism.net news this week, partly because you didn't hear from us last week and partly because there's just been so much news. In the wake of The Wolfman's release, Universal have announced a remake of another classic monster from their stable, The Thing , to star Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton.

Mission Impossible 4 is a lock, with Cruise and Abrams back in the drivers' seats, Terence 'every ten years' Malick's lined up his next movie, and the National Lampoon's Vacation sequel I reported on ages ago is moving forward. It'll concentrate on the family of the now-grown Rusty (Anthony Michael Hall in the original).

The only remakes I'm excited about right now are new versions of The Black Hole, and Darren (The Wrestler) Aronofsky's Robocop , which writer David Self says is definitely on.

One of the guys from Flight of the Conchords will direct the new Muppet Movie (!), Alicia Silverstone is returning in a vampire film (where the hell did she go?) and Christopher Nolan's attached to the next Superman reboot...which will be a reboot of a reboot after the critical and commercial disappointment that was 2006's Superman Returns.

Leo DiCaprio's live action Akira is full steam ahead, with The Hughes Brothers behind the megaphones. I don't care what their detractors said, I loved From Hell.

In business news, Sony laid off 7 percent of its staff (450 people) due to stagnating DVD sales, and troubled Terminator rightsholder Halcyon has offloaded the rights to a company called Pacificor, who are set to give Sony and Lionsgate first bite of the cherry when they produce.

Someone at Fox who's even more important than James Cameron has been talking up Avatar 2. Who could it be, you say? Why, how much bigger can you get but Rupert Murdoch himself?

Alex Proyas, who's signed Avatar star Sam Worthington to his film Dracula Year Zero, told Screen Daily the Australian government needs to clarify the producer offset incentive because he wants to film at home in Oz. Worthington, meanwhile, has signed for a film called The Fields, which probably won't feature 3D aliens but is directed by Michael Mann's daughter. Now hopefully that's be the last Avatar news for awhile...

Tim Burton told Total Film that his Edward Scissorhands, sorry, Sleepy Hollow, sorry, Corpse Bride, sorry, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, sorry, Alice in Wonderland is like 'nothing he's ever done before'. Are you serious, Tim? Your 'signature' aesthetic started looking merely like the same movie over and over again years ago.

But I do have an Alice scoop I can't confirm or deny. I have it on some authority that Burton didn't like the 3D camera rig and banished it from his set. So, while Disney will no doubt flog 3D mercilessly, it seems Burton wanted nothing to do with it, interested only in finishing the movie and handing to the software engineers.

But 3D continues to roll on apace, with the Spiderman reboot and the next Twilight film being mentioned.

And lastly, did you ever think a movie featuring Megan Fox topless would go straight to DVD? That's what's happening to Jennifer's Body here in Aus after the film fell far short of expectations overseas. Maybe the only people who were going to see it were drooling Transformers fanboys who've already watched it on YouTube a hundred times.

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