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Posts tagged “Tom Cruise

Interview With The Vampire… Again

interview_with_the_vampire_xlgIt’s been 20 years since Neil Jordan’s film version of Interview With the Vampire saw Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt sucking blood, and now Universal is getting back into monsters in a big way. Not only are Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan spearheading a relaunch of the old Universal Monsters line, beginning with a new Mummy movie, the studio has snapped up rights to all of Anne Rice‘s Vampire Chronicles books.

So the whole 13-book series starting with Interview With the Vampire and ending with the forthcoming Prince Lestat novel, and the screenplay for Tales of the Body Thief, adapted by Rice’s son Christopher Rice, all belong to Universal for the time being.

The Wrap reports that Brian Grazer will produce for Imagine Entertainment with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, while Bobby Cohen will executive produce.

Reports of Universal getting into business with Anne Rice actually go back years; in 2009 reports came out that the studio had picked up rights to the author’s books. Imagine optioned that Body Thief script a couple years back, too. There was even a point when Robert Downey Jr. was apparently attached to play Lestat in a new film based on Interview With the Vampire.

Regardless, nothing was done with them at the time. Now, with Imagine Entertainment and the old Kurtzman/Orci producing team working on the project, we could see pretty swift movement.

Ironically, the Kurtzman and Morgan-produced Mummy reboot sounds like an action-adventure film, which is pretty far from the original Universal Monsters. But Anne Rice’s vampire books have a really romantic angle to them. The Vampire Chronicles films could end up being better standard-bearers for the old Universal Monsters identity than the new Universal Monsters films will be!


At The Mountains of Madness

Ath-the-Mountains-of-Madness_Guillermo-del-ToroAs dogged as ever, Guillermo del Toro is still desperate to being us an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness? Well, he’s willing to compromise with Universal Pictures, against his better judgement, stating that he’ll make the creature feature a PG-13 horror film.

The 3-D film originally had Tom Cruise in talks to star, but also had a ballooning budget of over $120M, which was a lot considering del Toro wanted it to be R-rated. The studio killed the movie, which resulted in us being gifted with Pacific Rim, among other great stuff like the forthcoming “The Strain.”

Del Toro now has a blooming relationship with Legendary Pictures, producers behind the project, and in an interview with the WSJ reveals that At the Mountains of Madness may be back in his cards.

I said to them, that’s the movie that I would really love to do one day, and it’s still expensive, it’s still … I think that now, with the way I’ve seen PG-13 become more and more flexible, I think I could do it PG-13 now, so I’m going to explore it with [Legendary], to be as horrifying as I can, but to not be quite as graphic. There’s basically one or two scenes in the book that people don’t remember that are pretty graphic. Namely, for example, the human autopsy that the aliens do, which is a very shocking moment. But I think I can find ways of doing it.

We’ll see. It’s certainly a possibility in the future. Legendary was very close to doing it at one point, so I know they love the screenplay. So, we’ll see. Hopefully it’ll happen. It’s certainly one of the movies I would love to do.

Guillermo-del-Toro_At-the-Mountains-of-MadnessMadness is the deliberately told and increasingly chilling recollection of an Antarctic expedition’s uncanny discoveries-and their encounter with untold menace in the ruins of a lost civilization-is a milestone of macabre literature.

In this day of studio control it’s always hard to trust the filmmakers to do what’s right for the movie, but if del Toro thinks he can pull it off with a PG-13, well, I’m he’s one of the few I’m happy to believe in.

Unfortunately, it looks like this could take a back seat to Pacific Rim 2, which he briefly talks about.

I don’t want to spoil it, but I think at the end of the second movie, people will find out that the two movies stand on their own. They’re very different from each other, although hopefully bringing the same joyful giant spectacle. But the tenor of the two movies will be quite different.

Read the full interview at the Wall Street Journal link HERE


Edge of Tomorrow – Posters

edge-of-tomorrow-poster-2_emily-bluntedge-tomorrow-poster-1_tom-cruise


Ridley Scott – Part 1

Sir Ridley Scott (born 30 November 1937) is an English film director and producer. His most famous films include ‘Alien’ (1979), ‘Blade Runner’ (1982), ‘Thelma & Louise’ (1991), ‘G. I. Jane’ (1997), ‘Gladiator’ (2000), ‘Black Hawk Down’ (2001), ‘Hannibal’ (2001), ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ (2005), ‘American Gangster’ (2007), ‘Body of Lies’ (2008), and ‘Robin Hood’ (2010).

Scott was born in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, England, the son of Elizabeth and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. He was raised in an Army family, meaning that for most of his early life, his father — an officer in the Royal Engineers — was absent.

He went on to study at the Royal College of Art where he contributed to the college magazine, ARK, and helped to establish its film department. For his final show, he made a black and white short film, ‘Boy and Bicycle’, starring his younger brother, Tony Scott, and his father. The film’s main visual elements would become features of Scott’s later work; it was issued on the ‘Extras’ section of The Duellists DVD. After graduation in 1963, he secured a job as a trainee set designer with the BBC, leading to work on the popular television police series ‘Z-Cars’ and the science fiction series ‘Out of the Unknown’. Scott was an admirer of Stanley Kubrick early in his development as a director.

He was assigned to design the second Doctor Who serial, ‘The Daleks’, which would have entailed realising the famous alien creatures. Working with Alan Parker, Hugh Hudson and Hugh Johnson at RSA during the 1970s, Scott made television commercials in the UK including most notably the popular 1974 Hovis advert, “Bike Round” (New World Symphony), which was filmed in Shaftesbury, Dorset.

‘The Duellists’ (1977) was Ridley Scott’s first feature film. It was produced in Europe and won a Best Debut Film medal at the Cannes Film Festival but made limited commercial impact in the US. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, it featured two French Hussar officers, D’Hubert and Feraud (played by Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel). Their quarrel over an initially minor incident turns into a bitter, long-drawn out feud over the following fifteen years, interwoven with the larger conflict that provides its backdrop. The film was lauded for its historically authentic portrayal of Napoleonic uniforms and military conduct (often compared to the Stanley Kubrick film, ‘Barry Lyndon’), as well as its accurate early-19th-century fencing techniques recreated by fight choreographer William Hobbs. 

Scott’s box office disappointment with The Duellists was compounded by the success received by Alan Parker with American-backed films — Scott admitted he was “ill for a week” with envy. Scott had originally planned to next adapt a version of Tristan and Iseult, but after seeing ‘Star Wars’, he became convinced of the potential of large scale, effects-driven films. He therefore accepted the job of directing ‘Alien’, the ground-breaking 1979 horror/science-fiction film that would give him international recognition.

While Scott would not direct the three Alien sequels, the female action hero Ellen Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver), introduced in the first film, would become a cinematic icon. Scott was involved in the 2003 restoration and re-release of the film including media interviews for its promotion. At this time Scott indicated that he had been in discussions to make the fifth and final film in the Alien franchise. However, in a 2006 interview, the director remarked that he had been unhappy about Alien: The Director’s Cut, feeling that the original was “pretty flawless” and that the additions were merely a marketing tool.

After a year working on the film adaptation of ‘Dune’, and following the sudden death of his brother Frank, Scott signed to direct the film version of Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Renamed ‘Blade Runner’, starring Harrison Ford and featuring an acclaimed soundtrack by Vangelis, the movie was a disappointment in theatres in 1982 and was pulled shortly thereafter. Scott’s notes were used by Warner Brothers to create a rushed Director’s Cut in 1991 which removed the voiceovers and modified the ending. Scott personally supervised a digital restoration of Blade Runner and approved the Final Cut. This version was released in Los Angeles, New York, and Toronto cinemas on 5 October 2007, and as an elaborate DVD release on 18 December 2007. Today, Blade Runner is often ranked by critics as one of the most important science fiction films of the 20th century and is usually discussed along with William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer as initiating the cyberpunk genre. Scott regards Blade Runner as his “most complete and personal film”.

In 1985 Scott directed ‘Legend’, a fantasy film. Having not tackled the fairy tale genre, Scott decided to create a “once upon a time” film set in a world of fairies, princesses, and goblins. Scott cast Tom Cruise as the film’s hero, Jack, Mia Sara as Princess Lily, and Tim Curry as the Satan-horned Lord of Darkness. A series of problems with both principal photography, including the destruction of the forest set by fire, and post-production interference (including heavy editing and substitution of Jerry Goldsmith’s original score with a score by Tangerine Dream) hampered the film’s release. Legend received scathing reviews and was a box-office failure, however the movie found a cult following on VHS, largely due to Curry’s incredible demon.


Anne Rice

Anne Rice (born Howard Allen Frances O’Brien; October 4, 1941) is a best-selling Southern American author of metaphysical gothic fiction, Christian literature and erotica from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history.

Rice spent most of her childhood and teenage years in New Orleans, which forms the background against which most of her stories take place. She graduated from Richardson High School in 1959, completed her freshman year at Texas Woman’s University in Denton and transferred to North Texas State College for her sophomore year.

While living in San Francisco that she met her future husband, Stan Rice. They married and had a daughter Michele, nicknamed “Mouse”, was born on September 21, 1966. In 1970, while Rice was in the graduate program, her daughter was diagnosed with acute granulocytic leukemia. Rice claims she had a prophetic dream, months before her daughter became ill, that her daughter was dying from “something wrong with her blood.” On August 5, 1972, Rice’s daughter died of leukemia in Palo Alto.

In 1973, while she was still grieving the loss of her daughter, Rice took a previously written short story and turned it into her first bestselling novel, ‘Interview with the Vampire’. Many believe that Rice created the child vampire, Claudia, in the novel to help her overcome the loss of her daughter. After completing the novel and following many rejections of it, Rice developed Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). Rice was obsessed with germs, thinking that she contaminated everything she touched, engaged in frequent and obsessive hand washing and obsessively checked locks on windows and doors. Of this period, Rice says, “What you see when you’re in this state is every single flaw in our hygiene and you can’t control it and you go crazy.”

In August, 1974, after a year of therapy for her OCPD, Rice attended a writer’s conference at Squaw Valley, where she met her literary agent, Phyllis Seidel. In October 1974, Seidel sold Interview with the Vampire to Alfred A. Knopf for a $12,000 advance of the hardcover rights. Most new authors were receiving $2000 advances. Interview with the Vampire was published in May, 1976.

Following Interview with the Vampire, while living in California, Rice wrote two historical novels, ‘Feast of All Saints’ and ‘Cry to Heaven’, along with three erotic novels under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure (The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty’s Punishment and Beauty’s Release) and two more under the pseudonym of Anne Rampling (Exit to Eden and Belinda). Rice then returned to the vampire metaphor with her best selling novels ‘The Vampire Lestat’ and ‘Queen of the Damned’.

In July, 1988, following the success of The Vampire Lestat and with Queen of the Damned about to be published, the Rice’s purchased a second home in New Orleans. Stan Rice took a leave of absence from his teaching, and the Rice’s moved to New Orleans. Within months, they decided to make it their permanent home. In New Orleans, Rice felt whole again and wrote ‘The Witching Hour’ as an expression of her joy of coming home. In New Orleans, Rice continued her popular ‘Vampire Chronicles’ series, which now includes over a dozen novels, three novels in the ‘Lives of the Mayfair Witches’ series, and ‘Violin’ a tale of a ghostly haunting.

Rice returned to the Catholic Church in 1998 after decades of describing herself as an “atheist.” Her return did not come with a full embrace of the Church’s stances on social issues; Rice remains a vocal supporter of equality for gay men and lesbians (including marriage rights), as well as abortion rights and birth control. Although declaring that she would now use her life and talent of writing to glorify her belief in God, but did not renounce her earlier works. On July 29, 2011, Rice publicly renounced her dedication to her Roman Catholic faith, while remaining committed to Christ.

In 1994, Neil Jordan directed a film of ‘Interview with the Vampire’, from Rice’s own screenplay. The movie starred Tom Cruise as Lestat, Brad Pitt as the guilt-ridden Louis and was a breakout role for young Kirsten Dunst as the deceitful child vampire Claudia. Rice made it well known to anyone who cared to listen that she was against Cruise in the lead role, she envisioned Rutger Hauer as Lestat.

A second film adaptation, ‘Queen of the Damned’, was released in February 2002. Starring Stuart Townsend as the vampire Lestat and singer Aaliyah as Akasha, Queen of the Vampires, the movie combined incidents from the second and third books in the series: The Vampire Lestat and The Queen of the Damned. Produced on a budget of $35 million, the film only recouped $30 million at the domestic(US) box office. It was woeful.