Break out the pens (or laptops), as some new scribes have been hired to get some long-in-development projects off the ground. First up is Universal’s long-gestating remake of “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” “The Hunger Games” filmmaker Gary Ross has been trying to get this project off the ground for several years because his father, Arthur A. Ross, wrote the original 1954 movie. Over the years, he has written a script, as did Tedi Sarafian (“Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines“), but obviously neither of them came to fruition.
Now Uni has hired Dave Kajganich, who wrote the Daniel Craig/Nicole Kidman thriller “The Invasion” (which had its own problems, though apparently on the director side of things). Early reports pegged Carl Rinsch (“‘47 Ronin“) attached to direct, but that’s not the case. Unless you’re truly in the dark, you probably know that the original “Creature from the Black Lagoon” centered on a strange prehistoric beast that lurks in the depths of the Amazonian jungle. A group of scientists try to capture the animal and bring it back to civilization for study. Ross will remain on board as a producer. The studio has been trying to remake this movie since the 1980s, but apparently Kajganich is starting from scratch.
Columbia Pictures has been trying to get “Grayskull,” their adaptation of the “Masters of the Universe” toy and cartoon/remake of the unfortunate 1987 “Masters of the Universe” movie starring Dolph Lundgren, up and running for several years now as well. “Step Up Revolution” and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” filmmaker Jon M. Chu was hired to direct earlier this year.
Producer Joel Silver with “Kung Fu Panda” co-director John Stevenson tried to get a live-action version called “He-Man” off the ground in 2009 at Warner Bros., but it didn’t get far and the studio eventually let the rights lapse and Sony/Columbia swooped in. “Predators” scribes Mike Finch and Alex Litvak wrote a start-from-scratch screenplay in 2010 for Columbia, but evidently that didn’t make the cut either.
Columbia has hired Richard Wenk (“The Expendables 2“), who is evidently somewhat hot at the moment for having penned “The Equalizer” adaptation that Denzel Washington is supposed to star in and shoot next year. Apparently the “Grayskull” title has been scrapped and the picture has gone back to being simply titled “Masters of the Universe.” We’d love to get our hands on some of these old versions of the script just to see what the direction was like, but of course, then we’d have to read them and our eyeballs would probably bleed. [THR/Variety]