Every week, Monday means it’s time for New And News, where I summarize the week’s upcoming wide releases and share some of my favorite movie news articles from the past seven days. Two new films are entering theaters this frame, and with When In Rome being one of the movies debuting, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate week for the other wide release to be called Edge Of Darkness, since When In Rome looks like it came from the bottom of the crappy romantic comedy barrel. Still, it’s not just the new releases that are “dark” this week- so is the news! Inside, you’ll find some great stories about Disney’s Sleeping Beauty spinoff, the Spider-Man reboot, and New Line’s The Hobbit!
On January 30, 2009 Taken debuted and took the box office by storm. The story followed a man (Liam Neeson) avenging his daughter’s kidnapping, killing every adversary that got in his way. Exactly one year later, we have Edge Of Darkness, which is essentially the same film. Just replace Neeson with Mel Gibson and kidnapping with murder. Advertising has been strong, and Warner Brothers is clearly trying to tap into the same audience that pushed Taken to a $145 million total. Mel Gibson, who directed The Passion Of The Christ, has been a massively polarizing figure since his DUI arrest in 2006, where he was accused of anti-semitism, sexism, homophobia, and pretty much every other un-politically correct thing someone can be accused of. Personally, I like Mel Gibson. I think the man has film making in his bones (Apocalypto haters, back off), and though this hardly looks groundbreaking, I’m excited to see him back on the big screen. This film has the best shot to take down Avatar this weekend, though I’m guessing that both films will finish somewhere in the $27-30 million range.
Maybe Disney is trying to get an early start on Valentine’s Day with this romantic comedy, but it’s been pretty clear from the advertisements that Rome is not a very appealing destination. In the movie, Kristen Bell plays an American tourist who takes three coins from the Fountain of Love, which is apparently a big mistake. By removing the coins, Bell magically turned the three men (Dax Shepherd, Jon Heder, Will Arnett) who cast them into the fountain wildly in love with her. Still, Josh Duhamel plays a nice-guy reporter who seems to have genuine feelings for her. Hmm. I wonder who she’ll end up with? One of the three average-looking guys that are under a spell to love her, or the handsome man that really does love her? It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. Reviews for the predictable rom-com should on par with other recent January releases, and I wouldn’t look for this to break out the way that Dear John and Valentine’s Day will in the coming weeks.
According to AICN, Disney, who’s gearing up for the release of Alice In Wonderland is looking to team up with Tim Burton for yet another live-action film. This time, the movie would be a spin-off of the classic Sleeping Beauty, only this time, it would be told from the evil Queen Maleficent’s point of view à la Wicked. Can we assume that Burton’s wife and muse, Helena Bonham Carter, will be playing the titular character? Probably, but I totally think Angelina Jolie could rock this part. Either way, Maleficent sounds pretty cool to me!
Last week, Sony announced that they were scrapping production of the current Spider-Man franchise, instead opting to reboot the entire series with Marc Webb ((500) Days Of Summer) in the director’s chair. Now, THR reports a few more details about the reboot. First off, the new Spidey movie will focus on The Ultimate Spider-Man comic books, which take place in high school and focus more on angsty teen drama than the action. Second, Sony has budgeted $80 million for the film, and while I applaud a major studio for trying to be frugal, that is simply not enough money to make an exciting superhero movie! Ugh. I’m still bitter about Spider-Man 4 getting canned.
Maybe I’m just interested in this news because I’m reading The Lord Of The Rings for the first time and loving every second of it, but I think you all would care to know as well! Via Variety, the first part of the hotly anticipated Guillermo Del Toro picture, The Hobbit, will likely reach theaters in late 2012. Delays up until now have been due to New Line’s restructuring. Even though I’m still not on board with the idea of splitting The Hobbit into two parts, I can’t wait!