– A Single Man star Nicholas Hoult (pictured in a campaign for director/fashion designer Tom Ford) is on the rise with X-Men First Class, Jack and the Giant Killer, and now, Warm Bodies and the stalled Mad Max: Fury Road are in the works. X-Men opens June 3, Bryan Singer’s Jack and the Giant Killer, a modern fairytale retelling (sounds familiar), is in pre-production at Warner Bros. (set to shoot mid-March with Ewan McGregor, Bill Nighy, Stanley Tucci and the just-cast Brit actress Eleanor Tomlinson, set to play Princess Isabella). Summit’s Warm Bodies, to be directed by Jonathan Levine off an Isaac Marion book, is set for a summer production. Described as a hybrid of Twilight and Shaun of the Dead, the story follows an existentially-tormented zombie who befriends the girlfriend of one of his victims. Hoult first got our attention in 2002’s About A Boy, when he was just 12 years old.
– Ron Howard’s The Dark Tower, based on the Stephen King novel (adapted by A Beautiful Mind screenwriter Akiva Goldsman), has a “psychological” lock on Javier Bardem. Producer Brian Grazer tells MTV: “Dark Tower, Javier Bardem, that’s what we’re hoping.” He wants Bardem to play the story’s ruthless gunslinger. “We’re in the process of trying to put that together. Will that make you happy? Will that make MTV happy?” We can’t speak for MTV, but anything with Javier Bardem makes us happy. Grazer confirms: “He’s locked in psychologically. He really wants to do it, so we’re absolutely rooting for him to do it.”
– Guess what? There’s another fairy tale that hasn’t yet been milked to death. Peter Pan! Producer Joe Roth (whose 2003 go-round with Peter Pan lost money), screenwriter Billy Ray (State of Play, the upcoming The Secret In Their Eyes remake and The Hunger Games) and Channing Tatum are pitching a Peter Pan origin story, Peter Pan Begins (also sounds familiar). Roth also produced Alice in Wonderland, James Franco and Mila Kunis’s upcoming Oz, the Great and Powerful, and the Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron starrer Snow White and the Huntsman (two Snow White films are on their way).
Elsewhere in the works:
This month’s Red Riding Hood; in pre-production, Jeremy Renner and
Noomi Rapace’s Gemma Arteron’s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; and the just announced Josh Brolin and Tim Burton pairing for The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Sometime around 2015, all that was magical about classic fairy tales may be dried up, sold out, and cause for serious disappointment, although some could turn out right–signs are most favorable for Joe Wright’s live-action The Little Mermaid.