Expected in 2004
|Jan 30||Big Bounce, The||Another off-kilter caper flick based on an Elmore Leonard novel, this one stars Owen Wilson, Kate Bosworth, Morgan Freeman and Charlie Sheen warring amidst the beauty that is Hawaii. George Armitage, who previously did personal favorite Gross Pointe Blank, writes and directs here, which is actually a remake of a 1969 release that starred Ryan O’Neal and Taylor-Young and was hated by all.|
|Feb 13||50 First Kisses||Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore try to repeat their Wedding Singer chemistry in this comedy about a woman with short term memory loss and the man who has to make her fall in love with him all over again each day; Rob Schneider plays his buddy and Sean Astin (Sam in Lord of the Rings) her brother. Warning: their are already six credited writers!|
|Feb 20||Mooseport||Maura Tierney (ER on TV, Insomnia) will co-star opposite Ray Romano and Gene Hackman in a story about small town politics directed by Donald Petrie (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, a lame comedies). Hackman’s character used to be President of the United States and decides to stay active in his retirement years by running for mayor, Romano is his opponent.|
|Feb 27||Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights||Could end up going straight to video.
Update 2003-03-13: Filming starts next week and release date pushed from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day. This way-late sequel is set in 1958 Cuba, where an American girl falls in love with a Cuban boy/dancer in the months before Castro’s revolution.
|Mar 5||Starsky & Hutch||Yup, the ’70s TV cop show comes to the big screen with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as the ‘unconventional’ detectives, Snoop Dog as pimp/informant Huggy Bear, and Todd Phillips as the director (Road Trip, 2003’s Old School).|
|Mar 19||Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind||Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett try to bring the fire back to their marriage by selectively erasing memories, with Elijah Wood, Tom Wilkinson, Kirsten Dunst, and Mark Ruffalo, and a script by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation).
Update 2003-06-05: May get a limited release in 2003 to qualify for this year’s Oscars but not open wide until early 2004.
|Mar 26||Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed||Production starts April 14 for this untitled sequel in which all four of the major players return. Raja Gosnell again directs, from a screenplay by James Gunn. In the sequel, Scooby and the gang confront an anonymous masked villain who is plotting to take over the city of Coolsville by wreaking mayhem with a monster machine that creates Mystery Inc.’s classic foes, such as The Creeper, Captain Cutler and the 10,000-Volt Ghost.|
|Mar 26||Ladykillers, The||This remake of the 1955 classic starring Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers centers on an eccentric Southern professor (Tom Hanks) who puts together a gang of double-crossing thieves to rob a riverboat casino. They rent a room in an old woman’s house, but when she discovers the scheme, somebody has to kill her. The landlady proves tough to dispatch, however. Marlon Wayans will play one of the thieves. This version is scripted by Joel and Ethan Coen; Joel will direct and Ethan will serve as a producer.|
|April 9||Walking Tall||The Rock takes out his 2×4 and whacks the role of Buford Pusser in this remake of 1973’s not-even-close-to-classic.|
|Apr 16||Punisher, The||Thomas Jane (Dreamcatcher, The Sweetest Thing) will star as the FBI agent on a mission to, well, punish, the crooks who killed his family. Yet another film based on a Marvel Comic, Punisher will be directed by Jonathan Hensleigh (he wrote the screenplays for Armageddon and Jumanji but this is his first shot behind the camera) from a script by uh-oh, a whole bunch of credited writers.
Update 2003-05-19: John Travolta signed to play the lead villain, Howard Saint, a former underworld figure who goes straight, but returns to old habits after his son is slain.
Update 2003-07-29: Will Patton will play Travolta’s top aide and Samantha Mathis will play Jane’s wife. Production begins later this week in Florida.
|Apr 30||Laws of Attraction, The||Pierce Brosnan makes another stab at romantic comedy paired with Julianne Moore as opposing divorce lawyers falling in love while handling a messy public celebrity divorce (a rock star played by Michael Sheen and Parker Posey). Peter Howitt, who directed the Bill Gates as scary man Antitrust and the upcoming Rowan Atkinson spy comedy Johnny English, is set to start filming in Dublin this Summer which sounds strange when the film is set in New York City. This could be huge, HUGE I tell you!|
|May 7||Van Helsing||Another big budget remake of Dracula, starring Hugh Jackman, Richard Roxburgh, and Kate Beckinsale, directed by Stephen Sommers (Mummy, Mummy Returns).
Update 2003-03-27: With Spider-Man 2 vacating the early May spot for the Fourth of July weekend, Universal Pictures quickly swooped in to avoid the previously-set collision with Mission Impossible 3.
|May 14||Troy||Director Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boat, The Perfect Storm), Brad Pitt (Achilles), Orlando Bloom (Paris), and Eric Bana (Hector) bring a portion of Homer’s epic Illiad to the big screen as scripted by David Benioff (Spike Lee’s 25th Hour).
Update 2003-02-25: Filming will start April 22 in London and principle production continue through the summer in Malta and Morocco, so I’m sliding this into the 2005 list. Peter O’Toole (Priam, King of Troy) and Julie Christie (Achilles’ mother Thetis) have joined the cast and the prospects for an excellent film are falling into place, though no Helen has been cast yet.
Update 2003-05-05: Release date is set and screenwriter David Benioff says that the film covers the Trojan War in it’s entirety, not just the part covered in Homer’s Illiad, in two and a half hours. Sean Bean and Brian Cox are now cast and Helen will be portrayed by German actress Diane Kruger.
|May 21||Eulogy||Ray Romano and Winona Ryder plus Debra Winger, Hank Azaria, Monica Potter and Rip Torn in a black comedy that follows three generations of a dysfunctional family that come together for the funeral of the family patriarch.
Update 2003-06-05: May get an early limited release to qualify for the 2003 Oscars but no general release date yet.
|May 28||Day After Tomorrow, The||New, big-assed End of the World flick from Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Patriot), starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal as father and son out to save the world.
Update 2003-01-02: Slipped to June, 2004 and title shortened to one ominous word.
|Jun 4||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban||The third film in the series, slipped to June, 2004, after director Chris Columbus left Hogwarts and was replaced by Alfonso Cuaron (Y tu mama tambien). Michael Gambon will replace the late Richard Harris as Dumbledore.|
|Jun 18||Shrek 2||Next animated adventure of the ogres and their talking donkey pal, with all the voice actors back for a serious payday|
|Jun 18||Terminal||Steven Spielberg directs and Tom Hanks stars in this film about a man whose country disappears while he is in flight to America, condemning him to live in the LAX International lounge until he falls in love with a flight attendent and escapes. Note: Production scheduling could depend on when Indiana Jones 4 is ready to be made.
Update 2003-10-10: Production began on 1 October in a huge reproduction of the inside of New York’s JFK Airport terminal. Catherine Zeta-Jones co-stars as a stewardess who falls for Hanks’ man without a country and Stanley Tucci is the manager who can’t live with Hanks but can’t get rid of him.
|Jun 25||Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black 2||Vin Diesel in the first of a trilogy based on his Pitch Black bad ass|
|Jun 25||Forgotten, The||Julianne Moore stars as a mother grieving over the loss of a non-existent son in this supernatural thriller to be directed by Joseph Ruben (the ’70s classic The Pom-Pom Girls).|
|Jul 2||Amazing Spider-Man, The||Coming in early May, all the principle actors and director Sam Raimi return, but with a new writer (Michael Chabon, author of novels The Wonder Boys and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) and add the excellent Bruce Campbell to the cast as the Lizard.
Update 2003-03-27: Columbia Pictures announced a new release date, dropping it back two months. Production start is now rock solid for 4/12/03.
|Jul 16||I, Robot||Will Smith as police detective Elijah Baley partners up with robot R. Daneel Olivaw in Isaac Asimov’s classic tale which introduced the Three Laws of Robotics. Alex Proyas (Dark City) will direct from a script by Jeff Vintar (Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within) and is expected to be the first in a series if the box office says go. No word yet (12/5/2) on whether Daneel will be played by an actor or computer.
Update 2003-03-25: Daneel will be a CG animation overlaying a human, as Gollum is in The Lord of the Rings.
Update 2003-03-28: Bridget Moynahan, the generic hottie co-star of The Recruit, has signed to play the Susan Calvin robopsychologist role.
Update 2003-05-05: Release date slipped two weeks to avoid the rescheduled Spider-Man 2.
Update 2003-12-18: Switching to the official website, with a teaser trailer, from an outdated Corona Coming Attractions page.
|Jul 23||Mad Max 4: Fury Road||George Miller wrote the script, Mel Gibson is back as Max, details are being kept ‘quiet’
Update 2003-05-05: Release date slipped three weeks to avoid Spider-Man 2 and I, Robot.
|Jul 23||Bourne Supremacy, The||Matt Damon will return as reformed superkiller Jason Bourne in this sequel to one of the best films of 2002. Paul Greengrass, who wrote and directed the critically lauded Bloody Sunday, will direct in place of the original’s Doug Liman. Story centers on a Chinese vice premier supposedly slain by Bourne, who continues to seek his real identity and evade his CIA manufacturers. Note: I’m projecting a May release to match what worked for the first and since it fits with the production schedule.
Update 2003-09-16: Joan Allen (Oscar nominated for The Contender) has been cast as Helen Landy, the chief CIA operative pursuing Bourne, and Franka Potente will repeat as the love interest. Tony Gilroy (who also wrote the first movie’s script) adapted the sequel, which is inspired by Robert Ludlum’s second novel in the “Bourne” series.
|Jul 30||Catwoman||Ashley Judd puts on the cowl.
Update 2003-02-07: Maybe Nicole Kidman.
Update 2003-03-18: Latest reports say Halle Berry will play the heroine but I just wish they’d make up their mind and start production!
Update 2003-04-16: Halle Berry is now definite as the title feline. The director, Pitof, made some odd (to me) statements recently: “There will be no direct link with Batman, nor will there be Batman-esque imagery, and it won’t be set in Gotham City. The story will be different, and the costume will be different. We aren’t keeping anything from Catwoman except the original idea: the character. The idea is to begin her story from scratch, and possibly begin a franchise.”
Update 2003-09-18: Former Law & Order hottie Benjamin Bratt will play Berry’s love interest (still a cop, Detective Tom Lone) while Sharon Stone and French actor Lambert Wilson play the husband and wife villans who Catwoman must defeat.
As mentioned before, the film is not set in original comic’s home of Gotham City but in Lake City. Pitof, a Frechman whose only previous directing assignment was a historical film (set in 1830s France) starring Gerard Depardieu, will be at the helm for this one working from a script by John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris ( a team who collaborated on, among others, Terminator 3).
|Aug 6||Thunderbirds||Remember the 1960s puppet-based action show? It’s coming back to the big screen, with real actors, not Pinoccio wannabes this time, and Star Trek: Next Gen’s Jonathon Frakes will direct; the producers are hoping to (what else?) turn this into a youth-oriented franchise. Pic will focus on the youngest (12 year old) son of billionair ex-astronaut (Bill Paxton, probably) and his quest to save his father and four brothers with the help of Lady Penelope from the evil Aristotle Spode.|
|Aug 6||Village, The||M. Night Shyamalan (Signs, Sixth Sense) will write and direct another bit of intelligent nastiness, with Ashton Kutcher, Kirsten Dunst, and Joaquin Phoenix starring. Set in 1897, the script revolves around a close-knit community that lives with the frightening knowledge that a mythical race of creatures resides in the woods around them.
Update 2003-12-15: Title changed from The Woods, release date revised to Aug. 6.
|Aug 6||Alien vs. Predator||Adding this for an anonymous requester… An expedition of archaeologists on Earth discover an Aztec temple hidden under the Antarctic circle, housing a host of Alien creatures. A group of five coming-of-age Predators have also come to the temple, as it has long been a training ground for their race. From there on, it’s Aliens vs. Predators, with the humans caught in the middle. Yes, the aliens from Alien and Predator from the Governator’s old flick.
Director is Paul W.S. Anderson of Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat film fame. Lance Henriksen is the only actor from any of the predecessors as far as I can tell so far.
|Aug 13||Blade: Trinity||Yes! Snipes will return for a third run at the undead. Kristofferson once again provides weaponry and advice while Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biehl introduce second generation characters (Biehl’s character is the daughter of Kristofferson’s)with potential to spinoff their own movies. Dominic Purcell (of Fox TV’s lamented John Doe) will play the main baddie. WWE ‘wrestler’ Triple H will have a featured role as a vampire.
David S. Goyer (who wrote and produced the first two Blade movies and also wrote the Batman 5 script) writes and directs this one, which starts principle photography 21 Sep 03. Where the first two movies simply pitted Blade against vampires but with no real larger agenda, in this film Goyer is turning up the heat by forcing Blade and allies to win or watch the vampires take over the entire planet, all the while fighting regular humans who’re chasing him because the vamps are feeding them misinformation.
|Aug 20||A Sound of Thunder||The classic Ray Bradbury short story about the dangerous consequences of time travel comes to the big screen starring Edward Burns, Catherine McCormack, and Ben Kingsley, directed by Peter Hyams (many genre credits, including Outland, 2010, Time Cop, and Ahnuld’s End of Days).|
|Sep||Shall We Dance||Amazingly, Peter Chelsom, the man who directed two of the most disappointing movies of this century (Town and Country and Serendipity), is still getting hired in Hollywood and this time he’s got two of my all-time most-hated actors to star in his heap of crap–Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez. I’m having stomach distress just imagining how bad this is going to be, yet still pull in the box office dollars.|
|Sep 17||Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow||Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow star in this Raiders of the Lost Ark-like pulper focused around disappearing scientists and the 1939 World’s Fair, with support from Anjolina Jolie and Casey Affleck.
Kerry Conran makes his feature film debut as both writer and director plus developer of some reportedly very cool software that allows an entire film to be shot in front of blue screens and everything else to be edited/painted in. Must be good because he got over $70 million from Paramount and some name stars to do the film.
Update 2003-12-17: Film’s title changed–Sky Captain is the name of Law’s character–and official website added.
Update 2004-04-21: Release moved to mid-September to avoid the Summer crush.
|Oct 8||Taxi||Not a big screen remake of the Judd Hirsch TV series (thankfully), but instead an English language Hollywood remake of a hit French movie written and produced by Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element). Besson will only produce this one, leaving the adaptation and directing to others for this. Note that the original has already spawned two sequels.
Queen Latifah will star as a taxi driver who gets caught up in helping police detective Jimmy Fallon as he tries to stop a gang of bank robbers. That’s an interesting sounding pairing, no? Unfortunately the track record of the three screenwriters IMDB is crediting at this point (that is, before the movie even goes into production) don’t give me a lot of hope that this will turn out too well. Maybe I can get a DVD of the French original with subtitles?
|Fall||Final Cut||Robin Williams stars in this Sci Fi tale of a society where everyone records their own life via an implanted chip; the funnyman plays a man who edits these recorded biographies for posterity. Omar Naim gets his first shot as writer and director.
Update 2003-10-21: Quality cast: Mimi Kuzyk, Jim Cavaziel, and Mira Sorvino.
|Oct 22||J.M. Barrie’s Neverland||Johnny Depp stars in this movie about the creator and creation of Peter Pan in 1904 London. Kate Winslett, Radha Mitchell, Julie Christie and Dustin Hoffman co-star for director Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball).|
|Oct||Life Aquatic, The||Wes Anderson continues his quirky ways–this is the guy who gave us The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore–with a look at an oceanographer, played by Bill Murray, and his estranged son (Owen Wilson). Also cast are Anjelica Huston, Jeff Goldblum (how does he keep getting roles when he sucks?), Peter Stormare, Bud Cort and Wally Wolodarsky. Filming will be done in Italy and Anderson will use some off the wall special effects for the underwater sequences courtesy of the man responsible for the effects in The Nightmare Before Christmas.|
|Nov 05||Sharkslayer||The sea underworld is shaken up when the son of the shark mob boss is found dead and a young fish named Oscar is found at the scene. Featuring the voices of Jack Black, James Gandolfini, Angelina Jolie, Martin Scorsese, Will Smith, and Renee Zellweger from the co-directors of Shrek (Vicky Jenson) and The Road to El Dorado (Bibo Bergeron).
Update 2003-06-05: Gandolfini is out and De Niro is in as the voice of the boss and Dreamworks has moved the release date up two week where it will (for now at least) open against the next Pixar/Disney blast, The Incredibles.
|Nov 5||The Incredibles||Brad Bird, who made the excellent Iron Giant, teams up with the Pixar crew to make a story about a disfunctional family of superheroes. Early buzz is very strong based on the combination of Bird’s style and storytelling and the next generation of the amazing Pixar software. Check out the early teaser trailer!|
|Nov||Sahara||Matthew McConaughey will star in and executive produce a big-screen adaptation of Clive Cussler’s 1992 novel Sahara, hoping to develop his own action franchise. Sahara is the first of 13 novels (so far) by Cussler featuring intrepid adventurer and explorer Dirk Pitt.|
|Nov 18||Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason||Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth return for another go at love and life in Merry Old though Beeban Kidron (To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar) replaces Sharon Maguire in the director’s chair.
Plot? “The story picks up four weeks after the first film, and already Bridget Jones is becoming uncomfortable in her relationship with Mark Darcy. Apart from discovering that he’s a conservative voter, she has to deal with a new boss, strange contractor, and the worst vacation of her life.”
|Nov 19||SpongeBob SquarePants||The crew behind the hit Nickelodeon TV series is aiming for the big bucks of the big screen.|
|Nov 24||John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas||Yes, this is going to be a comedy/tearjerker based on the bestseller–one wonders what value Grisham’s name truly adds to the title though. Anyway, will star Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis as spousal units (named Krank) tired of the big Xmas dealio and ready to make a break for a warmer location until one of the kids spoils it by turning up home at the last minute. Dan Aykroyd plays a neighbor who’s outraged by the Kranks’ plans. Joe Roth (America’s Sweethearts, Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise but more importantly head of producer Revolution Studios) directs from a Chris Columbus (Nine Months, Goonies) script.|
|Nov||Be Cool||This sequel to the very excellent Get Shorty, based on a novel by Elmore Leonard, has long been in the works. Travolta will be back as ex-mobster Chili Palmer, who walks right through the bullshit, but even so he’s had a tough time putting the package together. Story line has Chili wanting a break from movies and taking a whack at the music business. Latest news is that Bret Rattner, having pulled out of Superman 5, will sign on to direct with a plan for a Fall ’03 production start.
Update 2003-11-17: Production is now set to roll the first week of 2004. Not only will Travolta star as Palmer but Gandolfini and Devito will return in the same roles. F. Gary Gray (The Negotiator, The Italian Job) will take the director chair, not Ratner.
|Dec. 1||Closer||Director Mike Nichols breaks out the surgical knives for this dramatic look at love. Jude Law, Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen play the couples that get operated on, based on the play by Patrick Marber.|
|Dec 10||Ocean’s 12||The sequel that had to be made. Story: rival cat burglars who are masters of their craft team up to outfox the beautiful FBI agent one of them is in love with, though the setting this time is London. Basically the entire cast, including nasty, angry casino owner Andy Garcia will be back, as will director Steven Soderbergh though Ted Griffin is replaced as writer by George Nolfi (only other credit is the recently released bomb Timeline.|
|Dec||Good Shepherd, The||Robert DeNiro stars and takes another crack at directing (his second after 1993’s A Bronx Tale). Plot: The history of 40 years plus in the CIA, told through the eyes of James Wilson (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), one of its founding officers. Quality scriptwriter involved: Eric roth also wrote Ali, The Insider, and Forrest Gump.|
|Dec 22||Meet the Fokkers||You met them already (Meet the Parents) and wasn’t once more than enough? Uggh!|
|Dec 25||Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events||Jim Carrey stars as the evil Count Olaf in this Brad Silberling film of the bestselling children’s darkly comic novel by Daniel Handler about three orphan siblings searching for a new home; since there are nine books in the series so far, and several more due by the release date, the studios (DreamWorks and Nickelodeon/Paramount) are clearly looking for another brand name franchise but will have to deal with replacing the child actors several times as/if the series goes on.|
|Dec 25||King Arthur||Clive Owen takes on the crown in Jerry Bruckenheimer’s production of the story of the man who saves England from chaos as the Roman Empire disintegrates, with promises that this will be the most realistic version of the story ever told. And yes, Merlin will be a featured character.
Update 2003-05-19: Keira Knightley, the hottie Orlando Bloom wants to rescue in Pirates of the Caribbean will play Guinevere.
Update 2003-12-23: ComingSoon has links for the first trailer, which shows the film to be very much in the tradition of bombastic Jerry Bruckenheimer actioners. Antoine Fuqua is the director and one only hopes his hit/miss pattern of past work holds up in this instance.
|Dec 25||An Unfinished Life||J. Lo plays a single mom forced by circumstance to move in with her father-in-law, Robert Redford. Sounds tough. However, the director is Lasse Hallstrom and he’s made plenty of good dramas including Chocolat, Cider House Rules, and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?.
Update 2003-12-15: Sensing award potential, Miramax has shifted the release date to Xmas Day.
|NDY||Jetsons, The||A live action version of that whacky Space Age family, to be directed by Rob Minkoff (both Stuart Littles, Haunted Mansion) from a script by Paul Foley and Dan Forman.|
|NDY||Hostage||Paul McGuigan (Gangster No. 1) directs Bruce Willis in the screen version of Robert Crais’ novel about a small town police chief (and former big city hostage negotiator) forced to play both sides against the middle to free a (what else?) hostage.|
|NDY||Beyond the Sea||Kevin Spacey, finally with the clout to get it done, makes his dream film, a biography of singer Bobby Darin. What most of us don’t remember, but all the publicity for this film points out, is that Darin knew from his mid-teens that he would die young due to a heart defect and did, indeed, die from it in 1973 at 37. In between Darin made sure he succeeded at becoming a star and leaving his mark on the world. Spacey, though, is already in his mid-40s and will need either serious makeup or digital fx to succeed in this role, which will also cover his marriage to Sandra Dee. Who’ll be portrayed by the 20 year old Blue Crush hottie Kate Bosworth. Further, Spacey plans to direct the film, something he’s only done once before and let’s be nice and just say that Albino Alligator wasn’t well received.|
|NDY||Three Way Split||An indie feature described as a darkly comic story of murder, kidnapping, blackmail and sexual deception. Will star John Doe lead Dominic Purcell, country singer Dwight Yoakum, and Gina Gershon and Ali Larter (rowr!). Based on Gil Brewer’s 1963 pulp novel Wild to Possess, Yoakum plays a blackmailer harassing Purcell’s character.|
|NDY||Little Black Book||Ron Livingston (Sarah Jessica Parker’s Season Six flame on Sex and the City, Band of Brothers) will play Brittany Murphy’s commitment-phobic boyfriend in this romantic comedy about the hijinks that ensue when she sneaks into his Palm Pilot to find out more about his previous girlfriends. Nick Hurran steps up in class from British television to direct his first Hollywood film while Elisa Bell (a fellow USC alum) provides the script as a follow-up to her oh-so stunning behind the scenese at Three’s Company TV movie. Won’t this be the March or October disappear in two weeks little film?|
|NDY||Alchemist, The||Laurence Fishburne takes a second shot at writing and directing a film in this adaptation of Paulo Coelho’s international bestseller. Fishburne will star as the title character and will be joined by Jeremy Irons and Madonna (uh oh). The plot tells the tale of an Andalusian shepherd who takes to the desert in search of treasure and is set hundreds of years ago during the Spanish Inquisition. And as the Monty Pythons said so famously, “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”|