E! Online is reporting that George Miller is looking to recruit Charlize Theron and Black Hawk Down star Tom Hardy to appear in Mad Max 4. While the revamp is still in the early stages of fruition it is widely expected that Mel Gibson will not return in the role that helped make him a star. Actors auditioning for roles have only been given a letter for their character’s name and Warner Bros. has yet to sign off on Miller’s choices, and no formal offers have been made.

Mad_Max_Car

Plans for the fourth film of the Mad Max series, tentatively known as Mad Max 4: Fury Road, have been around for years. The movie was given the green light for a $100 million budget to begin shooting in Australia in May 2003 but it immediately hit difficulty due to security concerns related to trying to film in Namibia as the United States and other countries had tightened travel and shipping restrictions for the African nation. The movie was again put on hold with the outbreak of the second Gulf War. Now according to IMDB, the movie is set for a June 2010 shoot, and release in 2011.

In an attempt to expand the franchise an animated feature film sequel and video game tie-in are both currently in pre-production, with a predicted release date of 2011 or 2012. Miller is currently considering making the animated movie an R-rated, stereoscopic anime film for theatrical release.

I loved the Mad Max movies, particularly The Road Warrior. It just a pity that Mel Gibson went a different sort of crazy in real-life.

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The new trailer for Universal Pictures’ The Wolfman has appeared on-line, with the movie to be released February 12th 2010. The film is directed by Joe Johnston and stars Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving and Art Malik.

Inspired by the classic Universal films, The Wolfman aims to bring the myth of a cursed man back to its iconic origins. Benicio Del Toro stars as Lawrence Talbot, a haunted nobleman lured back to his family estate after his brother vanishes. Reunited with his estranged father (Anthony Hopkins), Talbot sets out to find his brother… and discovers a horrifying destiny for himself.

The movie has suffered many set-backs in production and has seen the release date pushed back many times. Early in the year is often when studios look to dump movies that they’ve no great belief in, so lets just hope that isn’t the case this time round. From the early footage that I’ve seen the movie looks to hit all the right kind of eerily haunting notes and the calibre is certainly there with Oscar winners Hopkins and Del Toro involved.

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Nickelodeon has acquired global rights to, one of my childhood faves and daily must-watch as a kid, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Mirage Studios. Nickelodeon will develop a new CG-animated TV series, while Paramount Pictures is to develop a new feature film for a 2012 release.

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For those that are unfamiliar with the franchise, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is based on four mutant turtles (trained in the art of Ninjitsu) who battle evil from the New York sewers. Created in 1984 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird TMNT is considered one of the most popular kids’ television programs of the 1980s. It first debuted as a successful comic book series and then became a hit animated TV show, a live-action television series, and later spawned four movie adaptations.

I will always have a soft-spot for my favourite turtle Donatello in my heart. I look forward to seeing what can be done with the franchise but considering the movies where so bad I’m not holding out great hope.

Random Irish TMNT facts:
In Ireland, the series was initially known as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the intro sequence was unedited when it debuted with the airing of the second season. After the first two episodes were broadcast, the name was changed to Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and the intro was edited.
Also much of the animation was done in Ireland as creators Murakami-Wolf-Swenson (the American based animation company) had a subsidiary here.

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