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Coming Soon To A Theater Near You In 2005

Don't Get In The Way Of This Little Lady
by Randy Muselman

Would you like to know what you can expect from Hollywood in the coming months, maybe even next year? Are we going to get the same old shit that we always get, or will it be something exciting? We can always hope for the latter. While you’re sitting there in that comfy chair in front of your computer, take a moment and let's find out what Hollywood has in store for the big silver screen.

Warner Brothers and Tim Burton are teaming up for a film to be released on July 15, 2005. It's a remake of Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory. The film is currently in pre-production and is scheduled to begin shooting in May of this year.

The new version of the film is called Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and stays fairly true to the original film in that a boy wins an opportunity to go on a tour of the ultimate chocolate factory.

Steve Martin, Robin Williams and Nicolas Cage were all slated to head the role of Willy Wonka, but, it appears that Johnny Depp is the winner overall and will play the lead. At one time during pre-production, Martin Scorcese was pinned to direct the film, but personally, I think the studio went with the right choice by having Tim Burton take the director's chair. I like Burton's surreal look of films that he's done in the past and I'm betting money he'll do the original film justice.

If you liked the Mission Impossible series then prepare yourself for Mission Impossible 3. Cruise Wagner Prods. and Paramount Pictures currently have MI-3 in pre-production with shooting scheduled to begin June of this year. Mission Impossible 3 is slated to hit the silver screen May 6, 2005.

Tom Cruise is set to play the lead role of Ethan Hunt while Ving Rhames has landed the role of Luther Stickell. Also joining the cast will be Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity of the Matrix series).

Joe Carnahan has been pinned to sit in the Director's chair and our buddy Tom Cruise gets to land a credit of Producer on the production. The studio has dropped 135 million dollars down as a budget for MI-3. David Fincher, director of Fight Club was originally tagged to direct, no reason at this point why Carnahan won out. At this point, the storyline is unknown.

It seems that when you get a film that does fairly well, you are bound to see a sequel show up sooner or later. Filming has already started on The Ring 2 which is set to hit theaters November 10th of this year.

Naomi Watts has been tagged for the lead role of Rachel Keller. This time Rachel has moved from Seattle to Asheville and becomes involved in yet another death by videotape. Golly, how original.

Simon Baker (Red Planet and L.A. Confidential) takes the role of Max Rourke with David Dorfman reprising the role of Aidan Keller from The Ring. Sissy Spacek has also signed on for the film, but her role is yet to be determined. This is a return to the horror genre for Spacek who played Carrie White in the 1976 film Carrie.

Dreamworks has yet to announce a budget for The Ring 2, but has announced that Hideo Nakata will return to the Director's chair. Dreamworks has indicated that The Ring 2 will have an original storyline and will not be a remake of the 1999 film Ring 2. The original film The Ring had a budget of $45 million dollars raking in $129 million dollars at the box office here in the U.S., with worldwide box office receipts coming to a total of $230 million.

While we are on the subject of sequels, Original Film and Columbia Pictures have announced XXX2: State of the Union is in pre-production. Filming is to begin in July of this year with the silver screen debut slated for May 13, 2005.

Ice Cube has been tagged for the role of Darius Stone who is a new agent in the XXX program. This time we find our hero heading to Washington, DC to stop a power struggle between national leaders.

Samuel L. Jackson returns to reprise the role of Agent Augustus Gibbons. Other cast members include Willem Dafoe as George Deckert. Michael Roof (Pvt. John Maddox in Blackhawk Down) returns as Agent Toby Lee Shavers.

While no budget has been announced for the sequel, XXX grabbed $267 million dollars world wide, so I can only speculate that the budget for the sequel will at least match the $85 million spent on XXX.

Lee Tamahori (Director Die Another Day and Along Came a Spider) gets his name penned across the back of the Director's chair for XXX2: State of the Union.

Happy Madison productions and Paramount Pictures have announced that a re-make of the 1974 film The Longest yard is scheduled to begin shooting in June of this year. Currently there is no scheduled release date for theaters.

What we do know is that Adam Sandler has been cast in the role of Paul Crewe which was originally played by Burt Reynolds in the 1974 film. Snoop Dogg and Chris Rock have also signed on the dotted line to work with Sandler. Peter Segal (Director 50 First Dates and Anger Management) will oversee the film in the Director's chair.

I personally have always been a fan of animated films that are made for adults. I'm talking about films like Heavy Metal, not the animation made for the tweenies or kids. I was quite elated when I heard the rumor that a new animated feature backed by Lakeshore Entertainment and Paramount Pictures is scheduled to begin shooting in July of this year. The name of the film? Aeon Flux.

Chances are you're not familiar with this title, but back in 1995, MTV aired a weekly series with just that name. The animation was very surreal, and our main character was named Aeon Flux. She was one mean bitch. Words that come to mind that describe this character are in the line of fanatical, crazy and just a little on the sexy side. One thing is sure, she's trigger happy, so don't stand in her way.

Very little at this time is currently known about the production. What we do have available to us is that it will be directed by Karyn Kusama who also directed Girlfight. The screenplay is being written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi who worked together on Crazy/Beautiful. The only cast member currently announced for this production is Charlize Theron who picked up an Oscar at this years Academy Awards for Best Actress. So I'd chance to say that there will be some bucks for this film's budget with Theron signing on the dotted line. This is one film I'm looking forward to seeing.

I hope this little blurb has been helpful in letting you know what we can expect on the silver screen in the future. Just remember that since most of the titles discussed here are currently in production or in pre-production, it means that just about anything can change. From release dates to cast members, nothing at this time is set in stone.

I'll see you all next week when we break out New On Home Video for April 27th, or when I get the itch to do a little digging into the movie business.


link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=1095
originally posted: 04/21/04 16:51:11
last updated: 04/21/04 17:08:58
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