Tag: warner bros
No, no, no. Just no. I feel like it’s April Fools Day, or my childhood is being punked. According to Deadline, Blue Ribbon Content (the digital studio of Warner Bros Television Group) is producing a “revival” movie of the late 60’s Sid and Marty Krofft/Hanna-Barbera live-action/animated kids variety show The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, or at least more specifically focusing on the anthropomorphic animal hosts and musicians of the show, Bingo, Fleegle, Drooper and Snorky, collectively known as “The Banana Splits”. The movie will get a direct-to-video release via Warner Bros Home Entertainment, followed by showings on Syfy.
But what disturbs me is that this isn’t a kids program – it’s a horror story.
Here is the synopsis: “In the upcoming horror thriller, a boy named Harley and his family (brother Austin, mother Beth, and father Mitch) attend a taping of The Banana Splits TV show, which is supposed to be a fun-filled birthday for young Harley and business as usual for Rebecca, the producer of the series. But things take an unexpected turn — and the body count quickly rises. Can Harley, his mom and their new pals safely escape?”
I can’t understand why this would be called a revival. This isn’t a new series at all, but rather someone’s nightmare flashback turned into a script. Now as much of a fan I am of the old Krofft shows and would love to see them somehow represented again, I also admit I don’t think there is any way any of these shows would fly in today’s TV landscape. Translating these shows into other genres has been tried and failed miserably – remember Will Ferrell’s Land of the Lost? But I absolutely CANNOT get on board with this. I can’t image the damage this will do to me. How can we stop it?
Warner Bros has decided to push back the release of Wonder Woman 1984 back to June 5th, 2020, from its original release date of November 1st, 2019. This gives more clearance for its comic cousin movie, the Joachin Phoenix-starrer Joker, which opens October 4th, and also puts Wonder Woman back at the start of the summer movie season, where it had opened previously.
The slot had previously been occupied by the long-in-development Six Million Dollar Man, with Mark Wahlberg set to star, but it is currently pulled from the release schedule while they still seek a director.
It appears that Warner Bros would like to revive The Matrix as a franchise – but they are still trying to figure out how.
Deadline reports that Warner Bros is interested in revisiting the franchise in some form, and may form a team of writers to investigate the possible ways to do so.
The original trilogy consisted of three rather different films. The first, The Matrix, established the two worlds – the real dystopian world and the virtual “normal” world, and grossed nearly half a billion dollars globally. The sequel, The Matrix Reloaded, worked to attempt an explanation for the Matrix itself, but got a little weird at the end – but some spectacular scenes helped and it grossed $742 million. The final movie, The Matrix Revolutions, was a pure action flick (so…many…bullets…) and failed to live up to its predecessor, yet still added another $427 million. There was also the direct-to-video The Animatrix, a collection of anime-style stories that were set in the Matrix worlds, and the game Enter The Matrix.
We’re guarded about a return to the franchise, as this appears to be very early on. And as such, there is no rumblings if this would be for the original cast or something all new.
The Harry Potter spinoff film Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, expected to lead another run in the franchise with up to 5 films, handily won the weekend box office with a $75 million opening take domestically and over $218 million globally. But this may have been a tad below expectations given that it was a Harry Potter film, with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 having done more than twice that at $169.2m, and the lowest opening of any of the films was $77.1m for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
We don’t know if this is a disappointment yet for Warner Bros, who might have been happier with a bigger haul, but this still seems respectable take and should insure the franchise moving forward. As fans get comfortable with the new characters and setting, I expect more heat to generate for the openings of future installments.
Remember that lawsuit that had been going on for years over the movie rights for the Dungeons & Dragons game franchise? The one that went to court almost eleven months ago?? Well, it’s finally been put to bed, with both sides reaching a settlement.
Many felt this was a “proxy war” between two studios – Warner Bros, who reached a deal with original rightsholder Sweetpea Entertainment and director Courtney Solomon to bring D&D back to the big screen, and Universal, who reached a similar agreement with Hasbro, who owns the game through subsidiary Wizards Of The Coast. Hasbro felt that Sweetpea was simply producing DVD “sequels” just to retain the rights, and sought to reclaim them to hand over to Universal. Sweetpea contested, backed by Warner Bros.
Now it appears that Sweetpea and Warner Bros. were on the winning side in the settlement, and Universal is out of the picture.
“We are so excited about bringing the world of Dungeons & Dragons to life on the big screen,” according to Greg Silverman, WB’s president of Creative Development and Worldwide Production. “This is far and away the most well-known brand in fantasy, which is the genre that drives the most passionate film followings. D&D has endless creative possibilities, giving our filmmakers immense opportunities to delight and thrill both fans and moviegoers new to the property.”
Courtney Solomon and Allan Zeman of Sweetpea Entertainment, Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis, and Roy Lee (The LEGO Movie) are all set to produce. A script has already been written by David Leslie Johnson (The Conjuring 2). No director has been named yet, so it seems likely that we are quite a ways off yet.
From what I’ve been told, Solomon and Zeman will remain producers for all Warner Bros productions of the franchise in theaters or on TV, but overall rights return to Wizards Of The Coast.
Now, let’s see if they can come up with something good. Been waiting 25 years…
Warner Bros TV are teaming up with Jerry Bruckheimer to adapt the DC Comics limited series Global Frequency, which has received a pilot commitment from Fox. Rockne S. O’Bannon (Farscape, Defiance) will pen the script.
Global Frequency was a limited series comic from Warren Ellis about an underground organization led by a former intelligence agent who calls herself Miranda Zero, who connects with a thousand members of the Global Frequency, chosen for their varied specialties, via specially modified phones to deal with any number of different crises. Although existence of the organization is known it’s members are not, even to each other, until they are called in for a particular case. The only constant characters are Zero and her dispatch coordinator, named Aleph.
This will actually be WBTV’s third attempt at a series for the title. in 2005 a Mark Burnett-led pilot starring Michelle Forbes (Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Killing) as Zero and Aimee Garcia (Dexter) as Aleph, along with Josh Hopkins (Cougar Town), and looked promising (J. Michael Straczynski was already lined up to be showrunner) but ultimately was not picked up to series. Another script was floated for the CW several years ago but a pilot was never commissioned.
Warner Bros is very busy the next several years, announcing today it’s release slate. And it features both dipping back in the well that works as well as trying to out-superhero Marvel.
Warner Bros.’ Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara spoke at the Time Warner shareholder’s meeting and laid out a lot of their studio plans for 2016-2020.
First up is the expected Harry Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, which is currently being set at three separate films, set to release in 2016, 2018, and 2020.
Next, after the HUGE success of The LEGO Movie, the already-announced sequel has been set for 2018, but it will be preceded by two others: Ninjago (2016), based on the Cartoon Network series, and The LEGO Movie: Batman (2017), a spin-off that follows the rather stuck-up (and not to mention, blocky) take on the character from the first movie.
And then there is the world of DC Comics…we’re already waiting for Batman vs. Superman (2016) and Justice League (2017), but Wonder Woman will indeed get her own standalone movie before Justice League (starring Gal Gadot, who will be introduced in BvS), 2018 will see The Flash (starring Ezra Miller, and apparently not connected at all to the just-started TV series) and Aquaman (with Stargate Atlantis and Game of Thrones Jason Momoa finally confirmed).
2019 will give us Shazam and a second Justice League movie, and in 2020 Warner Bros will try and get Green Lantern off to Oa again with a reboot after the disappointing Ryan Reynolds effort.
Shuffled in are two other titles, Suicide Squad in 2016 and Cyborg in 2020. And apparently this isn’t even ALL of the planned DC movies. Yikes!
Three years removed from the last film and five from the last book, but hot on the heals of a theme park expansion, Warner Bros is hoping to keep Harry Potter fresh and in the minds of people who spend money. They just created the “Harry Potter Global Franchise Development” (HPGFD) which will oversee the relationship with author and HP creator J.K. Rowling, with Josh Berger, currently a Managing Director and the President of Warner UK, Ireland and Spain, at the helm.
What does it mean? For the most part, the group will manage the strategic vision for the brand across all the ancillary business units, including merchandise, online (web sites like Pottermore), theme parks, etc. And who’s to say they won’t also be asking for some more material to work with from J.K.? A new film is already on the way (Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them) along with two more theme park lands (Universal Studios Hollywood and Japan), and a stage play opening in London next year. And the fans want more Harry (perhaps to Daniel Radcliffe’s chagrin), so I think we’ll someday see at least more words written about the Boy Who Lived.
Remember when the estate for author J.R.R. Tolkien filed suit against Warner Bros over a Lord Of The Rings-themed online gambling game? Well, it seems that Warner Bros has won the first round.
Warner Bros (and Saul Zentz, the longtime rights holder) filed a countersuit in March against the estate, claiming that the initial lawsuit “hurt financially and had its rights to the author’s properties undermined,” and that it had to cancel the licensing agreement with Microgaming because of the suit, and that the estate has been receiving royalties from the agreement that was re-worked in 2010 already.
Today, a federal judge dismissed the motion by the plaintiffs to have the counterclaims dismissed, allowing the countersuit to move forward.
The defendant appears to be Courtney Solomon’s Sweetpea Entertainment, who produced the 2000 Dungeons & Dragons, as well as the 2005 sequel Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God. The quoted article has a number of problems that make it hard to make sense of what they are saying, but the 2005 sequel would appear to have qualified, but the 2012 Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness might, as Hasbro claims, not qualify, since it was more than 5 years after the previous effort and retained no characters or situations from either. But I also don’t see Courtney Solomon or Sweetpea in the credits list on IMDb.