Dr. Reza Aslan's controversial book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth will be heading to the big screen with Lionsgate picking up the film rights. The acquisition was announced by Lionsgate Motion Picture Group's President of Production Erik Feig who called Aslan bestseller a remarkable book that makes a "timeless story very timely."
Commenting on the deal, Dr. Aslan said, "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Lionsgate. Their vision for Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth is aligned with my objective in writing the book, which was to illuminate the life of Jesus in a humanistic, as opposed to religious, context."
The synopsis: "Zealot challenges long-held assumptions about Jesus. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Dr. Aslan sheds light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived."
(Photo © Random House)
How many reboots of Terminator is it going to take before enough is enough? Even the combination of Christian Bale and Sam Worthington in Terminator Salvation wasn't enough to effectively revive the series, but Paramount's still determined to bring another Terminator to the screen with Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) directing. And now it appears this new take on the sci-fi franchise may have Jason Clarke in the role of John Connor.
Clarke's in talks to play the lead role, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Emilia Clarke and Brie Larson are reportedly in the running to play Sarah Connor while Taylor's still looking for the right actor to take on the part of Kyle Reece.
We can expect to see a new Terminator film (the first in a stand-alone trilogy) in theaters on July 2, 2015.
Also of Interest:
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will now open in theaters on July 11, 2014 rather than July 18th. The second film of the rebooted Apes franchise is directed by Matt Reeves and stars Jason Clarke and Keri Russell, with Andy Serkis returning to tackle the role of Caesar once again.
The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes plot: "A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species."
(Photo © 20th Century Fox)
The Hollywood Reporter says Jason Momoa could be joining the cast of Batman vs Superman starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. There's no word on who Momoa would be playing if he did join the superhero project, but there is plenty of speculation. Guesses range from Doomsday to Martian Manhunter to Lobo, but neither his involvement nor the character have been confirmed by Warner Bros.
Gal Gadot was recently announced to play Wonder Woman in the 2015 action film.
Momoa's best known for playing the studly Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones. He followed that up with the starring role in the reboot of the Conan the Barbarian franchise and he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in Road to Paloma.
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The American Film Institute (AFI) has added its voice to the list of groups sounding off on the best of 2013 in movies and on TV. AFI's mission with their annual awards is to showcase "significant achievements" in films and television.
Announcing this year's best of lists, AFI President & CEO Bob Gazzale said, "AFI Awards is a moment for the most accomplished storytellers of 2013 to pause and be appreciated - not as competitors, but as a community. Acknowledging their collective contributions to America's rich cultural legacy is both AFI's national mandate - and our honor."
(Photo © Fox Searchlight)
Audiences were more into animated family-friendly fare this weekend than they were the second installment in The Hunger Games franchise as Disney's Frozen toppled Catching Fire from the top spot on the weekend box office chart. Horrible winter weather didn't affect the overall performance of films in theaters, with the box office take actually higher than the same weekend last year (historically a down weekend at the box office). However, the goodwill felt by moviegoers toward Frozen and Catching Fire didn't extend to Out of the Furnace starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, and Willem Dafoe. The dramatic thriller from director Scott Cooper posted a disappointing $5 million at the domestic box office and isn't likely to pick up business over the coming weeks. But while Out of the Furnace isn't a winner for Bale, he does still have David O. Russell's American Hustle coming to theaters this month.
Top 10 Films for Weekend of December 6-8, 2013
1) Frozen - $31,641,000
2) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - $27,000,000
3) Out of the Furnace - $5,300,000
4) Thor: The Dark World - $4,740,000
5) Delivery Man - $3,775,000
6) Homefront - $3,384,000
7) The Book Thief - $2,700,000
8) The Best Man Holiday - $2,673,000
9) Philomena - $2,282,000
10) Dallas Buyers Club - $1,459,000
(Photo © Walt Disney Pictures)
Bates Motel's Olivia Cooke is the latest addition to the cast of Ouija set up with Platinum Dunes, Blumhouse Productions, and Hasbro. The film's been in the works for years with Universal dropping it from their slate of films set to go into production back in 2011 which prompted Michael Bay and Platinum Dunes to look elsewhere for a studio home. After a stint at Paramount with McG on board to direct, Ouija's back in the Universal Pictures fold with Stiles White (writer of The Possession, Knowing) attached to direct. White also co-wrote the script with Juliet Snowden.
Olivia Cooke's joining the cast which is led by Douglas Smith and includes Daren Kagasoff.
The film will follow a group of teens who try to make contact with one of their friends who died. Shooting will begin next week in LA.
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Bryan Singer seems to really love breaking news via Twitter. His latest big X-Men tweet took just about everybody by surprise because it wasn't about the X-Men movie he's currently working on: X-Men: Days of Future Past. Instead, Singer used the social media outlet to reveal plans for the next film of the franchise:
"#Xmen #Apocalypse 2016!" - @BryanSinger
And Fox has confirmed the X-Men: Apocalypse title and the May 27, 2016 release date. But before Apocalypse can arrive, Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past will be released in theaters on May 23, 2014. That film teams up veteran X-Men stars including Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart with the younger cast from X-Men: First Class (Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, etc).
(Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images)
Vivek J. Tiwary's graphic novel about The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein is heading to the big screen with Peyton Reed (The Break-Up, Down with Love) now confirmed to direct. The Fifth Beatle has been adapted for the screen by Tiwary and will head into production next year.
The Fifth Beatle marks the first movie about the iconic rock and rollers to have been given full access to their music catalog.
Reed said he was hooked the minute he read the graphic novel and knew right away he wanted to tackle the project. "I'm a lifelong Beatles fan, obviously, but it's Brian's fascinating life that really blew me away and drew me to this project. He's the ultimate outsider who, against all odds, became the ultimate insider. He was responsible for shepherding the most popular artistic expression of 'love' in the history of modern culture, and yet he wasn't allowed to express his own love during that time," explained Reed.
The official synopsis: "The Fifth Beatle recounts the untold true story of Epstein, the brilliant visionary who discovered The Beatles and helped guide the band to international stardom as their manager, securing their first record deal at a time when no one else was interested, and successfully bringing them to the world stage with a scale and scope no music impresario had ever attempted. Epstein's boast--'The Beatles will be bigger than Elvis!'-- seemed absurd in 1961, but proved humbly prophetic by 1967. When he died at the age of 32, he was an extremely successful artist manager and entertainment impresario, but a painfully lonely young man."
(Photo by Alberto E Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Warner Bros Pictures announced the casting of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diane Prince in the upcoming action epic Batman vs Superman. Gadot, best known for her role as 'Gisele' in Fast & Furious, Fast Five, and Fast and Furious 6, will be joining Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman in the 2015 film directed by Zack Snyder.
Announcing Gadot's casting, Snyder stated: "Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC Universe. Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role. We look forward to audiences discovering Gal in the first feature film incarnation of this beloved character."
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)