Cinema Squad Podcast – Episode #2!

Welcome to the Cinema Squad Podcast – Episode #2!

Each week we plan to bring you the latest movie news, covering everything from script to screen. We’ll start with what’s new in theaters and discuss everything back to what scripts were just purchased, what books have been optioned, and everything in between.

This is your one-stop-shop for all the previous week’s movie scoop!  So check it out and comment below!

And here we have our Bonus Episode!  Take a listen to our short special After Oscars Show:

**We’re still working on a downloadable format for these podcasts, and hope to be on iTunes soon… stay tuned…**

This week we discuss:


First up is the Box Office Report 

  • Coming in 1st at the Box Office this weekend, with $31.5-Million is ‘Deadpool’
  • 2nd with $14-Million is ‘Gods of Egypt’
  • 3rd with $9-Million is ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’
  • 4th with $7-Million is ‘Risen’
  • The fifth spot is too close to call at the moment, with both ‘Triple 9’ & ‘Eddie the Eagle’ looking to pull around $6million. Final estimates on Monday will decide the winner.


  • Opening next weekend we have ‘Zootopia,’ which is the latest animated film from Disney. In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a fugitive con artist fox and a rookie bunny cop must work together to uncover a conspiracy. The film stars the voice talents of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman & Idris Elba.
  • Next we have ‘London Has Fallen’ – A sequel to the 2013 film ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ – In London for the Prime Minister’s funeral, Mike Banning (played by Gerard Butler) discovers a plot to assassinate all the attending world leaders. The film also stars Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, and Angela Bassett.
  • And finally we’ve got ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ – A dramedy staring Tina Fey as a journalist who recounts her wartime coverage in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The film also stars Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, and is based off the true story memoir by Kim Barker.

The HOT List – The hottest stories from the previous week in Movie News:

  • The 31st Annual Independent Spirit Awards were Saturday night, with “Spotlight” & “Beasts of No Nation” walking away as the big winners. ‘Spotlight’ took home Best Feature, Best Director Tom McCarthy, Best Screenplay, Best Editing & received the Robert Altman Best Ensemble Award. Meanwhile, Abraham Attah & Idris Elba won for Best Male Lead & Supporting Male Lead for “Beasts of No Nation.” Also, Brie Larson took home Best Female Lead, and Mya Taylor received Best Supporting Female Lead for ‘Tangerine’.
  • Early last week, Empire Magazine released dozens of new pictures from the upcoming ‘Captain America: Civil War’ film. Most notable of these images was our first look at the villain Crossbones, played by Frank Grillo.
  • Zack Snyder’s Justice League — Part 1 is officially a go with filming set to begin on April 11. The shoot will start at the Warner Bros. Leavesden studios in southeast England, and journey to various locations around London and Iceland. To celebrate the announcement, Snyder posted a photo of himself on Twitter beside Jason Momoa (who’s set to play Aquaman in the film). Justice League – Part 1 is due in theaters November 17th, 2017.
  • Last week the MPAA put out a bulletin highlighting movies that they’ve recently rated. At the top of that list was “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition” which has been rated R for “sequences of violence.” This is most likely for the DVD & Blu-Ray release, so it sounds like we’re getting an extended director’s cut from Zack Snyder. There’s even a note that reads “EDITED VERSION. CONTENT IS DIFFERENT FROM PG-13 VERSION.”
  • WonderCon 2016 has released the official list of Exhibitors that will be attending this year’s convention. Both Lionsgate and Paramount Pictures will have booths, which is a very good sign that they’ll be bringing some of their upcoming movies to promote. For Lionsgate, that could mean info on: Power Rangers, Now You See Me 2, the Jason Statham action sequel Mechanic: Resurrection; or Criminal, which stars Kevin Costner and Gary Oldman. On the Paramount side, they could bring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Star Trek Beyond, and even Ben-Hur. WonderCon weekend will be March 25-27.
  • Hot on the heels of a record-breaking $17.5 million acquisition deal at the Sundance Film Festival, Fox Searchlight has set a prime, awards-friendly October 7th release date for “The Birth of a Nation.” Written, directed, produced by and starring Nate Parker, the drama tells the true story of slave Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher who was used to “calm” other slaves in neighboring plantations down via his sermons, but later led a bloody uprising that had reverberations throughout the country.
  • Paramount has set a January 20th release date for the Vin Diesel action flick xXx 3: The Return of Xander Cage. In the new movie, extreme-sports star Xander Cage comes out of exile and takes on a deadly alpha warrior in pursuit of an unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box.  

THE CASTING SCOOP – The latest in casting news:

  • Edgar Wright has added Jon Bernthal to the cast for his next film “Baby Driver” for TriStar and Media Rights Capital. After being coerced into working for a crime boss (played by Kevin Spacey), a young getaway driver known as Baby (played by Ansel Elgort) finds himself taking part in a doomed heist that threatens his life, love and freedom. The film co-stars John Hamm, Jamie Foxx, and Lily James.
  • Ryan Reynolds’ 1st Post-‘Deadpool’ Film ‘Hitman’s Bodyguard’ recently added several new cast members: Salma Hayek, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, and relative newcomer Elodie Yung. The film centers on the world’s top protection agent (Reynolds) who has a new client: a hit man who has come in from the cold (played by Samuel L. Jackson). Together they must overcome their mutual loathing to battle an Eastern European dictator in the form of Gary Oldman. The film will start production April 2nd in London, directed by “Kick Ass 2”‘s Jeff Wadlow from a script by Tom O’Connor.
  • “Creed” star Michael B. Jordan has signed on for the remake of ‘The Thomas Crown Affair.’ Jordan will step into the title role of the millionaire playboy, Thomas Crown, who takes up high-stakes thievery when the business of making money begins to bore him. The film was previously remade by John McTiernan, with Pierce Brosnan & Rene Russo. Jordan is the only name currently attached to the project, with MGM just starting to look for writers and filmmakers to put the film together.
  • “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is in talks to co-star with Emily Blunt in Disney’s “Mary Poppins” sequel. Miranda would play Jack, a lamplighter resembling the character of Bert, who was famously played by Dick Van Dyke in the 1964 classic. Rob Marshall is set to direct.
  • Steven Spielberg has tapped Tye Sheridan to lead his film “Ready Player One.” The story takes place in a virtual world called Oasis in which a teenager named Wade Watts finds himself competing in a treasure hunt against ruthless foes after the games founder dies and offers his fortune as the grand prize. Based on the Ernest Cline novel of the same name, the screenplay was adapted by Zak Penn. The film costars Olivia Cooke & Ben Mendelsohn.
  • With production set to start next month, Ridley Scott is finalizing his cast for the next entry into the Alien franchise,’ Alien: Covenant.’ Already in the cast are Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Demian Bichir, and Danny McBride.  Now Scott has added: Jussie Smollet, Amy Seimetz, Carmen Ejogo, Callie Hernandez, Alex England, and Billy Crudup. Not much is known about the plot of the film, only that ‘Covenant’ will pick up 10 years after the events in Prometheus.
  • Bill Milner and Maisie Williams are set to star in iBoy, a thriller from XYZ Films, Wigwam Films, and Pretty Pictures. Milner plays Tom, whose average teenage existence is turned on its head when a violent encounter with local thugs leaves fragments of his shattered smartphone embedded in his brain. He wakes from a coma to discover that returning to normal teenage life is impossible because he has developed a strange set of superpowers. Adam Randall will direct the pic from Joe Barton’s script, based on Kevin Brooks’ novel.
  • Jessica Chastain has had a busy month, the ‘Jurassic World’ actress has signed on to star in Miss Sloane, where she’ll play a top lobbyist who decides to take on the challenge of pushing through tighter legislation for the nation’s gun laws. She soon comes to find that the gun lobby is as ruthless as she is. The cast also includes Mark Strong, John Lithgow, Sam Waterston, and Alison Pill. The film will be directed by John Madden from a script by Jonathan Perera.

Develop, Ditch or Turnaround

  • Anonymous Content & Producer Ivan Reitman have snagged the rights to Amy Foster’s forthcoming YA novel trilogy “THE RIFT,” an action-adventure tale that is set to hit bookshelves in October of 2016. The story begins in the wilderness outside of Portland, Oregon, where a rift has opened and connected Earth to the multiverse. A group of militarized teens known as The Citadels must protect humankind from hostile creatures that spew forth from the mysterious portal. The story follows Ryn and her fellow soldiers as they’re forced to balance teenage hormones with saving the world, only to discover that the real enemy may not be otherworldly at all.
  • From “The Rift” to “The Ruins” – Fox Searchlight is teaming with Joe Wright’s company Shoebox Films to develop “The Ruins,” a supernatural thriller set in India. Jon Croker is writing the project, which is still in its early stages, but could be a potential directing vehicle for Wright. Croker previously wrote “The Woman In Black 2” and received a credit for additional material on Studio Canal’s global hit “Paddington”.
  • “Zombieland 2” may be rising from the dead with original writers Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick Producing. During a Q&A podcast for their latest film “Deadpool,” the writers stated that ‘Zombieland 2’ is [quote] “actually still in development over at Sony, they’ve had a couple writers take a crack at it, and we’re guiding and helping where we can and I think there’s still very much talk about it, but I think it has to be right, I think all the actors and [original ‘Zombieland’ director] Reuben [Fleischer] all feel like there’s no reason to do it again if we’re not getting it exactly right.”
  • Producer Roy Lee recently spoke about his plans for a new ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ film, saying [quote] “This new Dungeons & Dragons will be a Guardians of the Galaxy-tone movie in a Tolkien-like universe. Because when you think of all the Hobbit movies and The Lord of the Rings, they have an earnestness to them, and to see something fun, a Raiders romp inside that world, I feel is something the audience has not seen before.” Lee also stated he anticipates Warner Bros. will greenlight the movie this year. David Leslie Johnson (of “The Orphan”) is the latest screenwriter behind the property.
  • “Selma” director Ava DuVernay is due to make the leap to blockbuster filmmaking in a big way. She just signed on to direct the Disney adaptation of the classic 1963 novel “A Wrinkle in Time.” The first in a series of novels, ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ revolves around a young girl whose government scientist father goes missing after working on a mysterious project. The subsequent search for her father takes her to alternate dimensions where she crosses paths with a variety of different creatures.
  • Vancouver-based Thunderbird and Australia’s Sandpiper Entertainment are developing a feature film based on Arthur Slade’s steampunk novel “The Hunchback Assignments.”  The working title of the film is “Modo,” taken from the principal character’s name of a hunchbacked shapeshifter at the center of the novels. Modo is rescued as a child in a traveling freak show and raised in isolation as an agent for the Permanent Association, a spy agency behind Brittania’s efforts to rule the empire. At 14, Modo is left on the streets of London to fend for himself and, with another Association agent, the two uncover a plot by the Clockwork Guild behind the murders of important men.
  • Director Chris Weitz is in talks to helm an MGM Film about the Hunt for Nazi War Criminal Adolf Eichmann. The untitled Matthew Orton-scripted drama will focus on the team that hunted down and captured Adolf Eichmann, one of the major architects of the Holocaust and one of the most diabolical war criminals of the 20th century.
  • Spartacus TV creator and former Daredevil show-runner Steven S. DeKnight has been handed the reins of the upcoming Pacific Rim sequel. Guillermo del Toro is taking a step back into a Producer role for the 2013 follow-up, and is letting DeKnight take the helm. Del Toro tweeted: “Met w DeKnight and we are all so happy with our choice to take Pac Rim 2 to where we know it can go!!”
  • STX Entertainment is reteaming with former CIA agent Henry Crumpton on the project “APERTURE,” a feature film based on Crumpton’s memoir “The Art of Intelligence.” The story, based on Crumpton’s life and career as a CIA operative, is being described as Enemy of the State meets The Fugitive. Crumpton spent 24 years in the CIA’s clandestine service, doing work that put him at the forefront of the agency’s counterterrorism efforts. He retired from government service in 2007, and published his memoir in 2012. STX and Aardwolf, who previously teamed for NBC’s State of Affairs.
  • Disney has resurrected their much-delayed reinvisioning of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”  The film, now titled “Captain Nemo,” has a new director on board as James Mangold has signed on to take the helm.  Previous iterations of the script had drafts by Scott Z. Burns (of ‘Contagion’) and Andrew Kevin Walker (of ‘Se7en’), but the latest draft of ‘Captain Nemo’ has Sebastian Gutierrez (of ‘The Eye’) working on the script. The project is described as an origin story for the character as he creates his Nautilus.
  • Speaking of the House of Mouse – Disney has set the scribe team of Tim Rasmussen & Vince Di Meglio to script ‘It’s A Small World’, a family film based on the studio’s 50-year old theme park attraction. The scribes, whose credits include ‘License To Wed’, ‘Marmaduke’ and ‘Meet The Fockers,’ board the project that has Jon Turteltaub attached to direct. It got started when Jared Stern (of ‘The Intership’ & ‘The Watch’) pitched the Small World project and wrote the first draft. 
  • Entertainment 360 and Pascal Pictures are partnering to produce a movie that casts a withering look at how the plastics industry covered up the toxic side-effects of common household items (such as sippy cups, baby bottles, and teflon pans), placing profits over public safety by burying concerns over the ‘better living through chemistry’ attitude that permeates the culture. They’ve acquired Mariah Blake’s upcoming book ‘Teflon,’ as well as two additional articles by journalist at the Huffington Post and Vanessa Taylor, the former Game of Thrones co-exec producer and ‘Divergent’ scribe, will write the script.
  • Former Relativity Studios president Tucker Tooley is co-financing his first film since forming his production shingle Tooley Productions. It’s titled “6 Below” and is a fact-based survival thriller that Scott Waugh will direct with Josh Hartnett playing former Olympic hockey player Eric LeMarque. The athlete, who played for the Northern Michigan University hockey team and on the French team in the 1994 Olympics, got lost snowboarding in a massive storm. He survived eight days with nothing but his wits to sustain him, and he did it while simultaneously coming to terms with a drug addiction. Production begins in Utah in March.
  • The Big Short writer-director Adam McKay is preparing to take on the underbelly of financial intrigue from a slightly different angle. Sources confirm that McKay and producing partner Will Ferrell have picked up the film rights to Jessica Pressler’s New York Magazine article, THE HUSTLERS AT SCORES. The article, published in December of 2015, offers an in-depth look at a group of ex-strippers who, in a real-life Robin Hood tale, hustled men who deserved it by luring them into hotel rooms, drugging them, and maxing out their credit cards. According to the women Pressler interviewed, the targets were always wealthy jerks and disgusting perverts.

Oscar Predictions & Sign-Off

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