Cinema Squad Podcast – Episode #3!

Welcome to the Cinema Squad Podcast – Episode #3!


Each week we plan to bring you the latest movie news, covering everything from script to screen.   This is your one-stop-shop for all the previous week’s movie scoop!  On this episode, we are discussing the week of Feb. 29th – March 6th, 2016.  Check it out below:

Or you can catch the podcast on iTunes!  Just search for Cinema Squad on iTunes and we’ll pop up.  And be sure to SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss an Episode!!

This week we have special guest: Joshua Douglass!!  And you can learn more about who the Cinema Squad are here.

This episode we discuss:


First up is the Box Office Report 

  • Coming in 1st at the Box Office this weekend, with $73.7-Million is Zootopia
  • 2nd with $21.7-Million is London Has Fallen
  • 3rd with $16.4-Million is Deadpool
  • 4th with $7.6-Million is Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
  • And rounding out the Top Five with $4.7-Million is Gods of Egypt


  • Opening next weekend we have “10 Cloverfield Lane” – After surviving a car accident, a woman wakes up in an underground cellar. She fears she has been abducted by a survivalist, who tells her he saved her life, and that a worldwide chemical attack has left Earth’s surface uninhabitable. Uncertain what to believe, she decides she must escape, no matter what dangers she may face outside. The film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead & John Goodman.
  • Next we have “The Brothers Grimsby” – A new assignment forces a top spy to team up with his football hooligan brother. Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Isla Fisher, & Penelope Cruz star.
  • Up next is “The Perfect Match” – (a rom-com) A playboy named Charlie, convinced that all his relationships are dead, meets the beautiful and mysterious Eva. Agreeing to a casual affair, Charlie soon wants a bit more from their relationship. Terrence Jenkins & Paula Patton lead this one.
  • And finally, we have two films in limited release: “The Young Messiah” – A faith based film which tells the story of Jesus Christ at age seven as he and his family depart Egypt to return home to Nazareth. Sean Bean leads the film which is based off a novel by Anne Rice. Also in limited release: “Eye in the Sky” – A military officer in command of a drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya sees her mission escalate from “capture” to “kill” just as a nine-year old girl enters the kill zone. Directed by Gavin Hood, the film stars Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, and Alan Rickman in his final role. 

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

  • 20th Century Fox has set release dates for two highly anticipated films: Ridley Scott’s “Alien: Covenant” and Shane Black’s “The Predator.” “Alien: Covenant” is up first, putting its release date on August 4th, 2017, a smart move given that the date is currently only held by “Pitch Perfect 3.” As for “The Predator,” the upcoming sequel, from a script by Shane Black and ‘Monster Squad’ director Fred Dekker, will arrive in theaters on March 2nd, 2018; a date that is currently only populated by an “Untitled WB Event Film”, which probably means something superhero-y.
  • The final “Divergent” film has found a new director in “The Age of Adeline”’s Lee Toland Krieger. Neil Burger helmed the first installment and Robert Schwentke (Shwenk) helmed the following two. The plan was for Robert to return for the finale, subtitled ‘Ascendant,’ but he recently dropped out, so now Krieger is in talks to take over. The film is scheduled to shoot this summer in Atlanta, Georgia, ahead of its release date on June 9th, 2017. Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Naomi Watts, and Jeff Daniels are expected to return.   
  • Sony Pictures has released the first image from their upcoming animated film “Sausage Party.” The R-rated comedy will poke fun at Disney/Pixar films, and the story follows one sausage’s “quest to discover the truth about his existence,” after he falls out of a shopping cart and, along with his friends, embarks on a journey to return to his aisle before the 4th of July sale. “Sausage Party” features the voices of Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Kristen Wiig, Edward Norton, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, Michael Cera, and Salma Hayek.


  • MTV. com recently interviewed Daisy Ridley on the red carpet during this year’s Academy Awards where the British actress briefly touched on the filming of the highly anticipated “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” She said: “Me and Mark [Hamill] have been rehearsing a lot, and it’s really amazing. When we went back to Skellig [island] to do the opening of [Episode] VIII, it was so crazy doing the same scene with a different crew of people. He’s amazing to rehearse with, and I’m very excited to be doing the rest of the stuff. It’s such a good story. Seriously. Luke is so cool in this one. Really.
  • Now that tickets have gone on sale, early tracking for ‘Batman v Superman’ have estimated it’s opening weekend numbers at $140 million domestic, and between $300-$340m worldwide.
  • Lionsgate and CBS Films have given an awards-season release date of Dec. 21st to Mark Wahlberg’s Boston Marathon bombing drama “Patriots’ Day.” The movie is directed by Peter Berg (“Lone Survivor”) and written by Matt Charman (“Bridge of Spies”) based on former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis’ account of the events of April 15th, 2013 and the investigation & manhunt that followed. The film begins shooting this month in Boston.
  • The first trailer for director Paul Feig‘s “Ghostbusters” has been released online by Sony Pictures. The long-developed reboot finds Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, and Leslie Jones taking over the franchise as four new characters with a knack for bustin’ ghosts. Ghostbusters opens in theaters on July 15th, 2016.
  • “Hunter Killer,” the Gerard Butler-Gary Oldman action drama that was stalled by Relativity’s plunge into Chapter 11, has a new director and a new start date from Millennium Films. Director Donovan Marsh has taken the helm with a July 25th start date in London. Peter Craig and Jamie Moss wrote the script based on the novel “Firing Point.” The film is an action thriller about an American submarine commander sent deep into Russian waters to save the elected Russian president in the midst of a military coup.
  • Spider-Man spinoff ‘Venom’ appears to be roaring back to life, as Sony announced it’s moving forward on a new Venom movie to be scripted by Dante Harper, revolving around the symbiotic Spider-Man villain. However, Venom will be “unrelated” to the upcoming standalone Spider-Man film, as it appears to be unconnected to the Marvel universe. Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are producing Venom, just as they have overseen the Spider-Man feature film franchise since its inception with 2002’s Spider-Man.
  • Speaking of Sony, the studio’s ambitious “23 Jump Street/Men in Black” crossover is moving forward with “The Muppets” director James Bobin is in early talks to take the helm. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum will reprise their ‘Jump Street’ roles in the film, which Sony is hoping to have ready to start production in June. However, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones will not be appearing, meaning this crossover serves as a reboot for Men in Black with the opportunity to cast two young up-and-comers as the proverbial Men in Black. Phil Lord and Chris Miller will produce the film.
  • Universal announced that its untitled R-rated astronaut comedy starring Zach Galifianakis, Bill Hader and Seth Rogen will hit theaters on May 26th, 2017. The three comedic actors star as a trio of spacemen who discover a mysterious craft and learn they’re not equipped to represent humankind in a battle of intelligent life. Writer/producer Rodney Rothman (22 Jump Street) is making his directorial debut here.
  • Horror writer Eric Heisserer has been tapped to pen “Sandman,” New Line’s adaptation of the acclaimed DC/Vertigo comic book. David Goyer wrote the original treatment based on Neil Gaiman’s comic. Sandman tells the tale of Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams. This isn’t the only bit of news that dropped for Sandman: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who was attached to direct & star in the picture, took to Facebook on Saturday to announce that he is leaving the project all together. He explained on his post that once Sandman moved from Warner Bros. to New Line, with WB opting to have New Line handle all Vertigo properties while they focused on their DC Comics material, he realized he and the studio had different ideas of what makes Sandman special. We’ll put the full quote from Gordon-Levitt in the DorkUp post with this podcast.
  • Here’s Gordon-Levitt’s full explanation:
    So, as you might know if you like to follow these sorts of things, a while back, David Goyer and I made a producing deal with Warner Brothers to develop a movie adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN. Neil himself came on as an executive producer, we hired the excellent screenwriter, Jack Thorne, and we started in on the ambitious task of adapting one of the most beloved and boundary-pushing titles in the world of comics. I was pleased with the progress we were making, even though we still had quite a ways to go.
    Recently, as you also might know if you like to follow these sorts of things, the sorta “ownership” (for lack of a better term) of the Sandman material changed hands when Warner Brothers shifted the entire catalogue of Vertigo comics (an imprint of DC) to their subsidiary, New Line. And a few months ago, I came to realize that the folks at New Line and I just don’t see eye to eye on what makes Sandman special, and what a film adaptation could/should be. So unfortunately, I decided to remove myself from the project. I wish nothing but the best for the team moving forward.
    I’d like to thank all the great people I’ve had the opportunity to work with on this one. I’ve had a blast with and learned a ton from David and Jack. Niija Kuykendall, Greg Silverman, and everyone at Warner Brothers have been fantastic, as have Geoff Johns and everyone at DC. And it’s been a particular privilege as well as a rocking good time getting to know Mr. Gaiman, whose generous insights and masterful work have certainly convinced me that the Lord of Dreams and the Prince of Stories are one and the same Endless pattern.”)

THE CASTING NET – The latest in casting news:

  • “The Dark Tower” series, Stephen King’s famous story of a hero named The Gunslinger and his nemesis, The Man in Black, recently got a confirmed director in Nikolaj Arcel. Now Nikolaj has confirmed that the film will star none other than Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey in the coveted lead roles. Nikolaj also mentioned that the film is set to begin shooting in under two months in South Africa, keeping eyes set on a February 17th, 2017 release date.
  • Josh Brolin and Miles Teller are set to star in the firefighter action movie “No Exit.” “Tron: Legacy” helmer Joseph Kosinski is directing the pic, which tells the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of firefighters that faced one of the deadliest wildfires in history in order to save an Arizona town, resulting in the tragic death of 19 crew members. Ken Nolan (‘Black Hawk Down’) developed the story on spec with the producers.
  • “Rogue One” star Diego Luna is in talks to star with Ellen Page in Sony’s remake of “Flatliners.” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” helmer Niels Arden will direct the film from a script by Ben Ripley. The original 1990 thriller follows a group of medical students who experiment with “near death” experiences that involve past tragedies until the dark consequences begin to jeopardize their lives. Laurence Mark will produce with Michael Douglas with production expected to start in early July.
  • Paramount and MGM have set Bruce Willis to star in the remake of the 1974 Charles Bronson film “Death Wish.” The story follows a mild-mannered architect who decides to take vengeance on the street punks who raped and murdered his wife and daughter. The film is set to begin filming this summer.

Develop, Ditch or Turnaround

  • Disney and Brad Pitt’s company Plan B are developing “Dr. Q” — a movie based on the life story of Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa. Matt Lopez, whose credits include being a staff writer on HBO’s “The Newsroom,” has been tapped to write the screenplay about Alfredo who crossed into the United States from Mexico in the late 1980s when he was 19 and began working on farms in California. He later received his medical degree from Harvard, and is currently a professor of neurosurgery and oncology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
  • Sidney Kimmel Entertainment has just acquired the film rights to the New York Times bestselling children’s book “Pax” from author Sara Pennypacker. SKE picked up the book after a bidding war that beat out both Studio Canal and Anonymous Content. The story revolves around a boy who is separated from his pet fox and how they try to find each other again during the devastation of war.
  • “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Zoe Saldana and her Cinestar Pictures shingle are attached to produce “PRETTY BABY,” based on the New York Times best-selling novel. The story is centered on Heidi Wood, who has always been a charitable woman, but her husband and daughter are horrified when she returns home one day with a young homeless woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby. Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. No one else is currently attached to the project.
  • It looks like David Ayer had a good time working with Will Smith on “Suicide Squad” because the director and actor are set to reteam for “Bright.” Joel Edgerton will co-star in the film, which was co-written by Ayer and screenwriter Max Landis. Written on spec by Landis, plot details are unknown, but sources suggest the project will be in the vein of “End of Watch” but set in a world where Orcs and fairies live among humans.
  • Director Bennett Miller is teaming up with Oscar-winning screenwriter Tom Stoppard for a new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This new version would be a 19th century period piece and would reunite Miller with his “Foxcatcher” producer Annapurna Pictures.
  • The Mark Gordon Company will produce and finance an adaptation of “Blood’s A Rover,” the 2009 crime novel by “L.A. Confidential” author James Ellroy. A script has been written by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby, who were Oscar nominated for “Children of Men” and scripted “Iron Man.” Set in the underbelly of 1968 Los Angeles, FBI agent and enforcer Dwight Holly has been tasked by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover to find those responsible for a brazen emerald heist in South L.A. No director is yet attached.
  • Cross Pictures has optioned the film rights to Julie Cross’ time-travel young adult novel “Tempest.” The story follows a 19-year-old time traveler who witnesses his girlfriend’s murder and inadvertently jumps back two years. While stuck there, he’s recruited by a shadowy government agency run by the man he thought was his father and vows to save his girlfriend. “Tempest” is the first of a science fiction trilogy that also includes “Vortex” and “Timestorm.”
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt is developing “K TROOP,” a drama based on the true story of the rise of the Ku Klux Klan during the post-Civil War era and the U.S. Army division that brought them down. Amazon Studios acquired the film rights and Gordon-Levitt is set to produce under his hitRECord Films production banner. He is also eyeing the lead role of Major Lewis Merrill, the man who led the troop against the controversial white supremacist group.
  • Paramount just sealed a deal for “Bravado,” an action spec script by Black List scribe Ben David Grabinski. The story follows a former soldier who believes the world is a good place and worth fighting for, but his optimism is tested after he returns home from the war and takes a job as a police officer. It’s said to be “Narc” meets “Training Day” on steroids.
  • Warner Bros and China-based production company Gravity may have a new director for their film ‘Meg.” Jon Turteltaub is said to be circling the project about an attempt to kill a giant shark decimating swimmers along the China coast. The shark turns out to be a Megaladon, considered one of the largest and most powerful predators in history, that can reach a maximum length of 60 feet. This is a film 20 years in the making, and Turteltaub enters the picture after Eli Roth quietly exited. The book was first attempted by Disney back in 1997 and it has reared up numerous times since, but it looks like this time’s the charm.
  • “The Imitation Game”’s Keira Knightley is set to star in “BREATHING WATER,” an adaptation of the 1995 novel “Sights Unseen” written by New York Times best-selling author Kaye Gibbons. The story centers on Hattie, who in a flashback, describes the summer and fall of 1967, when she was 12 and her psychotically volatile mother, Maggie, was temporarily committed to the psychiatric ward at Duke University. For the first time in nearly two decades, Maggie becomes stabilized on medication, and Hattie experiences a mother who relates to, and cares for her.
  • Screen legend Burt Reynolds is set to star in Adam Rifkin’s dark comedy, “DOG YEARS.” The story revolves around an aging, former movie star who is forced to face the reality that his glory days are far behind him when he’s invited to receive a lifetime achievement award from a tiny East coast film festival. Embarrassed by the low rent event, he bails on the award and forces the emotionally unstable girl assigned to be his driver to take him on a soul searching tour of the landmarks of his youth. Rifkin will direct from his own script, and will be producing alongside Gore Verbinski.
  • Alcon Entertainment has nabbed the rights to musician Judy Davids’ 2008 comedic memoir “Rock Star Mommy: My Life As A Rocker Mom” with plans to turn it into a feature film. In the book, Davids chronicles her path from suburban soccer mom and housewife to becoming the founder and guitarist for the all-mom surf-punk band Mydols at age 42.  Karen McCullah (Legally Blonde, She’s the Man) has been tapped to write the script.
  • Paramount Pictures has optioned the life rights and autobiography of drone warfare fighter Brett Velicovich, with an eye toward producing an “American Sniper”-style big-screen biopic. Brett’s memoir chronicles his special ops drone strikes, which targeted some of the world’s most wanted terrorists.  He later suffered a crisis of conscience over the drone warfare killings, and found redemption as a civilian by using his technological expertise to capture poachers of African rhinos and other endangered animals. The memoir is currently undergoing a lengthy security review by government agencies due to the classified nature of some material and secrecy surrounding U.S. drone operations. It’s expected to be published sometime later this year.
  • Straight Up Films has acquired movie rights to Square Enix’s videogame franchise “Thief,” and will produce a movie adaptation with Roy Lee of Vertigo. Adam Mason and Simon Boyes (“Misconduct”) will write the screenplay. The game is set in a dark fantasy world ruled by a tyrant who exploits dark magic as a means of establishing control.
  • MGM has tapped Robert Rugan to direct a film based on popular toy brand Kidrobot. “The Last Airbender” producer Scott Aversan is producing the project.
    Plot details are being kept under wraps, but sources say the robot-focused project will be live action — not animated. Matt Ember and Tom Astle, whose recent work consists of animated films “Home” and “Epic,” penned the script. 


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