In Production Interesting

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus filming in London

I was walking across Blackfriars Bridge in London this evening and I came across several trucks, a bunch of police cars, a huge lighting rig on top of Ludgate House and a funny looking wagon with horses.

UPDATE 22/01/08: It turns out that this was Terry Gilliam’s new film The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.

Blackfirars bridge

Across the bridge

Another wagon shot

Light shining on wagon

Cones and horses

> Find out more about this The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus at Wikipedia
> Check out the IMDb page for the film

In Production Interesting

The Dark Knight Prologue at the London IMAX

The Dark Knight launch at the London IMAX


Over the last 24 hours Warner Bros have been screening the opening sequence of new Batman film The Dark Knight on IMAX cinemas in LANew York and London.

This afternoon I was at the London screening which was followed by a Q&A with producer Charles Roven.

The plan is for this prologue sequence to screen as an extended preview ahead of I Am Legend which opens in the US next Friday (and in the UK on Boxing Day).

The Dark Knight is the second Batman film in the current franchise directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale as the caped crusader.

About 6 sequences – including this opening scene – were actually filmed using 70mm IMAX cameras, which is a first for a Hollywood movie of this scale.

The rest of the film was shot in conventional 35mm and will be remastered for IMAX screens. In these cinemas, the 70mm sequences will fill up the screen and the 35mm scenes will appear in a ‘letterbox’ format.

However, in regular cinemas, the actual aspect ratio will stay the same.

The opening sequence of the film is about 6 minutes and is a bank robbery done by a team of robbers all wearing clown masks. Watching the imagery on an IMAX screen is impressive – the size and clarity is remarkable and should work a treat for a big budget action film like this.

The sequence follows a criminal gang as they circle a bank and break in. Plotwise there are a few interesting moments, notably a cameo from William Fichtner as a feisty bank teller and the moment where we actually get to see a big close-up of the villain of the piece.

As the scene ended there was a 1 minute montage of Batman standing on a roof top, James Gordon (Gary Oldman) destroying something with an axe and a quick run through some other scenes in the film which included a brief shot of the new bat bike – a model of which was in the foyer of the cinema.

Bat bike 3

Producer Charles Roven appeared after the footage ended and answered questions from the audience.

To summarise the Q&A, here is what he said:

  • The Joker will be a darker incarnation of the famous villain – but will still have some comic moments
  • 6 sequences will be in the IMAX format (mostly action set pieces or scenes with a big scope)
  • Like Batman Begins the film should be a PG-13
  • Heath Ledger was cast as The Joker because of his range and his initial meetings with Chris Nolan about the character
  • 3-D was never really considered as an option for the IMAX portions of the film
  • Prior to these Batman films he’d been trying to work with Nolan ever since he saw Memento
  • The Alfred/Bruce Wayne relationship continues
  • It is the first time Christian Bale has repeated a role
  • There is a sequence actually set in Hong Kong – they filmed a key sequence there where Batman jumps off a building. The idea of the setting was to get outside the world of Gotham and place it in a more believable context as a world city.
  • They aren’t even thinking about the villain for the next movie.
  • David Goyer, Chris Nolan and Jonathan Nolan wrote the first draft of the script and Jonathan wrote the later drafts whilst Chris was filming The Prestige.
  • The story is not directly based on anything by Frank Miller but has been influenced by him and other classic Batman writers.

I’m not sure if Warner Bros are going to release any of this footage online, as I’m guessing the idea is that more people will go and see I Am Legend with this prologue attached.

If you have any thoughts, questions or news, just leave a comment below.

The Dark Knight opens in the US on July 18th in the UK on July 25th

UPDATE 02/07/08: You can now book tickets for the London IMAX screenings here.

> Official site for The Dark Knight
> The Dark Knight at the IMDb
> Find out more about The Dark Knight at Wikipedia
> Check out the latest teaser poster at Slash Film
> Get the latest buzz on the film at Coming Soon
> The Hollywood Reporter with more details on the LA screening which Chris Nolan attended
> The UGO Movieblog has a more detailed breakdown of the sequence (watch out for spoilers)

Behind The Scenes In Production Interesting

The Dark Knight – IMAX Featurette

Here is a short IMAX featurette about the upcoming Batman sequel The Dark Knight.

Director Christopher Nolan and cinematographer Wally Pfister discuss how they shot four sequences with hi-res IMAX cameras.

The film opens in the US and UK next July.


In Production News

Jerry O’Flaherty to direct Thundercats movie

Thundercats are ho!The Thundercats movie now has a director.

According to Variety, Warner Bros have hired video game veteran Jerry O’Flaherty to helm the new film.

The trade paper reports:

Vidgame vet Jerry O’Flaherty will helm the studio’s CG-animated “Thundercats” feature, based on the popular ’80s cartoon series, comicbook and toy line.

The project marks the first feature directing gig for O’Flaherty, who served as an art director on such bestselling games as “Gears of War” and “Unreal Tournament 3” for Epic Games and the “Command and Conquer” series from Westwood Studios.

The story will apparently feature the major heroes and villains from the animated series, with the plot focusing on Lion-O coming of age as the leader of the Thundercats.

It will reportedly revolve around the group of humanoid cats who escape from the planet of Thundera. They then end up crash-landing Third Earth, where they have to confront arch villain Mumm-Ra.

The film should is tentatively scheduled to be out in 2010.

> Find out more about the ThunderCats at Wikipedia
> Jerry O’Flaherty at the IMDb

In Production Interesting

Bill Maher talks about Religulous

Bill Maher was on CNN last month talking about his new documentary about religion which will be called Religulous.

Here is the clip of him on Larry King Live:


> IMDb entry for Religulous
> Bill Maher at Wikipedia

In Production News

Indy 4 title revealed

Indy 4 will be called Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull logo

Here is the official press release that Paramount emailed me this morning:

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Sept. 9, 2007) – The title of the new Indiana Jones adventure, now in production under the direction of Steven Spielberg, is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it was revealed today by actor Shia LaBeouf.

LaBeouf, who stars in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone and John Hurt, announced the title during today’s MTV Video Music Awards, which were broadcast live from Las Vegas.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is a Lucasfilm Ltd. and is being distributed by Paramount Pictures.

It will be released in the U.S. and simultaneously in most territories worldwide on Thursday, May 22, 2008.

Frank Marshall returns as producer, with Kathleen Kennedy joining George Lucas as executive producer.

Breaking news about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull can be found at

What do you think of the title? Post your thoughts below.

> IMDb entry for the film
> Official Indiana Jones website

In Production

Indy 4 at Comic Con

This happened last week but it is still worth a look – it is the moment at last week’s Comic Con when Steven Spielberg – along with Harrison Ford, Ray Winstone and Shia LaBeouf – announced via live satellite feed the return of Karen Allen back to the Indiana Jones series.


[Link via Thompson on Hollywood]

In Production Interesting News

Indy Arrives

More footage from Indy 4 with this brief video of Harrison Ford returning to the role:

> Check out the official Indiana Jones website for the latest updates
> The first day of shooting
> Various photos on Flickr relating to the Indy 4 production

In Production Interesting

Indy 4 – New set photos, video and rumours

Indy 4 has moved to New Haven, Connecticut where Steven Spielberg and his crew are shooting some key sequences, one involving a car chase.

Someone was there over the weekend they took these photos of the set:

Car on street

Paramount truck

Street scene

Yale campus

Trucks on the green

Car front

Camera on crane

There are a lot more over at the forum thread where they were originally posted by the user Hemikiller.

(Link via Digg)

They also shot this short video of the chase being filmed:


Also Quint at AICN has posted some unconfirmed rumours about the story, suggesting that it may involve elements from Raiders of the Lost Ark:

The rumors I have been getting say that the big object being searched for is not Atlantis. It is not the Spear of Destiny. It is not a shard of Noah’s Ark. This time Indiana has to go back to square one. There is nothing he can possess that can not be taken away.

What I hear is that he is searching, once more, for the Ark of the Covenant.

The rumor is that the warehouse we see at the end of Raiders is in Groom Lake (aka Area 51) and the Russians are trying to find it in order to one-up the American military might.

That would explain Abner being involved in the story. That would further my theory that INDY 4 will act as a bookend to the series, RAIDERS on one side and INDY 4 on the other. If Shia LaBeouf ends up continuing it down the line as rumored, then so be it, but I think we’re pretty much guaranteed this will be the last one with Lucas, Spielberg and Ford.

I love the idea, but from what I know of the film, from trusted sources within the company, there’s just not really any room for the Ark of the Covenant in the story they’re telling. It’s not the main thrust of the movie if it is in the flick and I just can’t see it as being something they’d sideline.

So, I know this really doesn’t give you guys a definitive answer and probably just raises more questions, but this is what I know of the rumor right now and I’m sure it’ll be spreading, so I wanted to address it.

Hell, it could be that Lucas and Spielberg have us so turned around we don’t know which end is up and they’re off making a completely different movie than everybody’s expecting, feeding us a bunch of bogus rumors and all the set pics and stories have been fabricated. I wouldn’t put it past them.

So what do you think?

Indiana Jones 4 will be released next May

> Check out the latest news at the official Indiana Jones site
> Check some photos of the New haven shoot set to music over at YouTube

In Production News

Nicole Kidman filming Australia

Nicole Kidman is currently filming Baz Luhrmann‘s new epic Australia.

Set during World War II, the story follows an English aristocrat named Lady Sarah Ashley (Kidman) who is left in control of a cattle station. With the help of an Australian drover (played by Hugh Jackman), she drives the cattle across the property whilst Darwin gets bombed by the Japanese.

It was originally set to star Russell Crowe in the Jackman role but he pulled out after problems with the budget.

Here are two pictures from the set:

Nicole Kidman on set 1

Nicole Kidman on set 2 

It is currently shooting on location in Darwin, the tropical capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory.

> IMDb entry for Australia
> Cinematical report on the production back in April

In Production Interesting

Indy 4 – First day of the shoot

Here is a short snippet of the first day’s shoot on Indy 4:

> Check out the official Indiana Jones website for updates
> Find out more on Indy 4 at Wikipedia

In Production Interesting

First image of Harrison Ford in Indy 4

The first image of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones on the set of Indy 4 has surfaced.

Harrison Ford on the set of Indy 4

The photographer? None other than Steven Spielberg.

The film is currently shooting in New Mexico and is scheduled for a global release exactly a year from now on 22nd June, 2007.

> Check out the photo on the official Indiana Jones website
> Brush up on the Indy films at Wikipedia

In Production Interesting Trailers

There Will Be Blood – Trailer

PTA HeadshotIt has been nearly 5 years since we last saw a film from writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson.

However, an early trailer for his latest film There Will Be Blood has surfaced online.

Based on the novel Oil! by Upton Sinclair, it stars Daniel Day Lewis in the lead role.

Check out the teaser trailer here:


[Link via AICN]

Plus you can see PTA discuss the film in this IFC interview with Henry Rollins that aired last May:


It is thought by some that the film will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in late August.

> Check out the excellent PTA fansite Cigarettes and Red Vines
> IMDb entry for There Will Be Blood
> Photos from the production

In Production Trailers

I Am Legend – Trailer

After many years of nearly making it to the screen, Richard Matheson‘s classic horror novel I Am Legend seemed destined to stay in development hell.

But later this year it will finally hit the big screen with Will Smith in the lead role, directed by Francis Lawrence.

It opens in the UK on January 4th 2008.

Here is the first trailer:


In Production News

Mischa Barton to star in St Trinians


Mischa Barton is the latest star to join the cast of British comedy St Trinians.

Mischa Barton

This is from the official press release:

Ealing Studios today announced that Mischa Barton, star of acclaimed US TV drama ‘The OC’, has been confirmed to appear alongside International pop stars Girls Aloud (school band) and the all star cast of ST TRINIAN’S.

The 21 year old British actress plays JJ French and joins well known names such as Rupert Everett (Shrek, My Best Friend’s Wedding), Colin Firth (Nanny McPhee, Bridget Jones’ Diary), Lena Headey (300), Caterina Murino (Casino Royale) Stephen Fry (V for Vendetta, Stormbreaker), Jodie Whittaker (Venus), Celia Imrie (Bridget Jones’ Diary, Calendar Girls), Anna Chancellor (Four Weddings and a Funeral), comedian Russell Brand, Toby Jones (Infamous, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) and Internationally renowned model Lily Cole on the set of the eagerly anticipated new British comedy.

The film which commenced principal photography on March 25 on location in and around London also stars a host of rising talent playing the new breed of St Trinian’s girls. These include fresh out of RADA new face Gemma Arterton, Talulah Riley (Pride And Prejudice), Tamsin Egerton (Keeping Mum), Amara Karan (soon to be seen in the upcoming The Darjeeling Limited), Lucy Punch (Hot Fuzz, Being Julia) singer Paloma Faith and Antonia Bernath.

ST TRINIAN’S is produced and directed by Oliver Parker (The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband) and Barnaby Thompson (Wayne’s World 1 & 2, Spiceworld, An Ideal Husband) and is written by Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft.

The film is scheduled for UK release on Friday 21st December.

> St Trinian’s IMDb Entry
> The Mischa Barton Experience – Extensive Fansite
> Find out more about the history of St Trinian’s at Wikipedia

Images In Production News

Iron Man photos

SlashFilm has posted two high resolution photos from the new Iron Man film which is currently in production.

One features Robert Downey Jnr as Tony Stark:

Robert Downey Junior as Tony Stark

…whilst the other is of him in the Iron Man suit:

Iron Man suit

It is scheduled for release by Paramount on May 2nd, 2008.

> Go to SlashFilm for the hi-res images
> Iron Man entry at the IMDb
> Find out more about the Iron Man character at Wikipedia

Cinema In Production

New Errol Morris documentary on Abu Ghraib scandal

Abu Ghraib AbuseAfter winning the Best Documentary Oscar in 2003 with The Fog of War, director Errol Morris is tackling a more recent chapter in America’s past.

His new film S.O.P: Standard Operating Procedure is an examination of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

Last November Participant Productions issued a press release that said:

Errol Morris, Academy Award winning director of “The Fog of War,” is at work on a new documentary about the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, it was confirmed today jointly by Sony Pictures Classics’ co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard and by Participant Productions’ President, Ricky Strauss.

Tentatively titled “S.O.P.” (vintage military slang for “Standard Operating Procedure”), the film will examine the unintended consequences of the Iraqi war with a focus on events at Abu Ghraib prison, notorious for the apparent abuse and torture of inmates by troops as revealed to the world in 2004, when shocking photos began to appear in global media. It is the story of soldiers who believed they were defending democracy but found themselves plunged into an unimagined nightmare.

“I feel this is one of the most significant films I have ever worked on,” said Morris. “There is a mystery about the war in . Not just how and why it started, but what it is ultimately about. It is a mystery that I am trying to investigate.”

And now critic Scott Feinberg has seen an early (unfinished) cut of the film. He writes on his site:

Morris says he has a longstanding fascination with “iconic images,” including the photo of the flag-raising at Iwo Jima that inspired Clint Eastwood’s two films this past year (Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima), and most recently the photos of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, which are the basis of this film.

As always, Morris manages to get all the principle figures—Lynndie England, et al—to open up quite candidly about the roles they played in interviews that are made even creepier because they are shot using Morris’ Interrotron camera, which enables interview subjects to look directly into the camera while answering his questions.

The film also features slow-motion reenactments of several incidents, just as The Thin Blue Line did, as well as a first-rate, haunting musical score by Danny Elfman, rather than Morris’ regular collaborator Philip Glass.

It sounds like it could be very interesting indeed.

(Link courtesy of Hollywood Elsewhere)

> IMDb Link for S.O.P.
> David Pepose with more about the film after a screening of some footage

In Production News

DreamWorks team up with Peter Jackson

Lovely BonesVariety reports that DreamWorks have snapped up the rights to Peter Jackson‘s next film, The Lovely Bones:

Peter Jackson will make his next movie at DreamWorks.

Committing at least $65 million, DreamWorks in association with Film 4 has won the bidding for Jackson’s bigscreen adaptation of Alice Sebold’s best-selling 2002 tome “The Lovely Bones.”

Announcement came early Friday evening, capping a weeklong auction that had three other majors vying for Jackson’s project as well-Warner Bros Pictures, Universal and Sony.

Jackson is set to begin lensing in October in Pennsylvania and New Zealand from a script he co-wrote with “Lord of the Rings” collaborators Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh. Paramount, which owns DreamWorks, will distribute “Bones” worldwide, with Jackson promising to deliver the film by the fourth quarter 2008.

The book is about a 14-year-old who has been raped and killed, but then watches over her family and killer from the afterlife.

It is a departure from the epic stories he told in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, and would appear to be more similar to a an earlier Jackson drama like 1994’s Heavenly Creatures.

> The IMDb entry for The Lovely Bones
> The story in full over at Variety
> More on Jackson’s future projects at Wikipedia

In Production Interesting News

The Bourne Ultimatum returns to Waterloo

The Bourne Ultimatum crew have been filming at Waterloo Station again.

I passed through the station yesterday afternoon as I was on my way to see Spider-Man 3 (more of which later) and I couldn’t help but take some more photos, especially as my post on the filming back in January is the most popular in the history of this site.

As I got off the train, I saw a crowd gathered near platform 9 and it seemed to be similar to the scene being filmed before. What appeared to be Matt Damon’s stunt double raced by me and several policemen (well, actors not real ones) then ran in the opposite direction. I have a feeling they are running to the scene of an ‘incident’.

Like before, the extras mingled pretty seamlessly with public. Maybe the effect the film makers are going for is the raw, hand held approach that worked so well in the second film.

Below are some pictures.

Crowd gathers
This is a scene where something happens at the station and the crowd gathers as Jason Bourne runs away.

Camera set up
From the other side of the station, the crew are setting up a shot of the same scene.

Filming begins
The crew stop to set up again.

Matt Damon’s stunt double
The guy in the centre of the picture (with his back to the camera) looked like Matt Damon’s stunt double.

Crew set up camera
The police in the background are actually actors.

Police rush in
Actors playing police officers rush to the ‘incident’ whilst the camera rolls.

The Bourne Ultimatum opens in the US on August 8th and in the UK on August 17th.

> Official site for The Bourne Ultimatum
> Wikipedia entry for The Bourne Ultimatum
> The London Evening Standard also had some photos of Matt Damon filming at Waterloo the previous evening
> Check out the cool one sheet poster at I Watch Stuff
> The trailer at Yahoo Movies

In Production News

Ray Winstone is the latest to join Indy 4

Ray Winstone is the latest actor to join the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series.

Tatiana Siegel in The Hollywood Reporter writes:

Ray Winstone is joining the expedition for the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones adventures.

The actor, who stars as the title character in Robert Zemeckis’ upcoming “Beowulf,” has signed on for a major role in the untitled film being referred to as “Indy 4.”

Although the film’s plot is being closely guarded, sources said Winstone will play star Harrison Ford’s sidekick.

Cate Blanchett already has boarded the project — to be produced by Lucasfilm and directed by Steven Spielberg — in an undisclosed starring role (HR 3/16).

David Koepp penned the screenplay for “Indy 4,” which is scheduled to begin filming in June in Los Angeles and at top-secret locations around the world.

I still have mixed feelings about this project but at least Lucas and Spielberg are casting some heavyweight talent, even in the supporting roles.

> Get the latest on Indy 4 at Wikipedia
> Official Indiana Jones site



In Production News

Joss Whedon is off the Wonder Woman movie

It would seem that Joss Whedon has departed from the new Wonder Woman movie.

In a post on Whedonesque the writer and director says:

You (hopefully) heard it here first: I’m no longer slated to make Wonder Woman. What? But how? My chest… so tight! Okay, stay calm and I’ll explain as best I can. It’s pretty complicated, so bear with me. I had a take on the film that, well, nobody liked. Hey, not that complicated.

Let me stress first that everybody at the studio and Silver Pictures were cool and professional. We just saw different movies, and at the price range this kind of movie hangs in, that’s never gonna work. Non-sympatico. It happens all the time. I don’t think any of us expected it to this time, but it did. Everybody knows how long I was taking, what a struggle that script was, and though I felt good about what I was coming up with, it was never gonna be a simple slam-dunk. I like to think it rolled around the rim a little bit, but others may have differing views.

The worst thing that can happen in this scenario is that the studio just keeps hammering out changes and the writer falls into a horrible limbo of development. These guys had the clarity and grace to skip that part. So I’m a free man.

It would appear to be an amicable parting of ways but its sad that someone as smart as Mr Whedon is no longer involved with the project.

> Find out more about the Wonder Woman film at Wikipedia
> Joss Whedon’s comments at Whedonesque

Images In Production Interesting

The Bourne Ultimatum at Waterloo

I got the train into Waterloo this morning and as soon as I got off platform 10 I noticed that the crew from The Bourne Ultimatum were filming there today.

I saw director Paul Greengrass in discussion with actor Paddy Considine and later on noticed Matt Damon and producer Frank Marshall. They were filming there last October so maybe they are back to do pickup shots.

What struck me was how laidback (yet professional) the whole thing was. Despite the presence of a big star and one of England’s best directors, commuters went about their business as usual without causing any fuss.

Here are some pictures:

Director Paul Greengrass in discussions with actor Paddy Consindine

Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass in discussion with producer Frank Marshall (in the centre of the picture)

The camera and some extras

Poster informing commuters that filming is happening today

Some of the crew by the monitors

Some boxes and lights

Matt Damon (in the centre of the picture about an inch right of the “sale” sign)

The film is the third Bourne film (after 2002’s The Bourne Identity and 2004’s The Bourne Supremacy) and is scheduled for release later this year on August 3rd.

> Find out more about the film at Wikipedia
> IMDb entry for The Bourne Ultimatum
> Check out a set photos over at Flickr