Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
SCI FI Wire spoke to David Heyman, producer of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," about the cuts from book to the screen. Heyman said: "We had to cut out Ron and the quidditch, which disappointed me. But, ultimately, with the films what you have to do is you have to make choices. As you say, you're cutting down a 700-page book to a two-and-a-half hour film, so inevitably you have to lose something. And what we've chosen to do with the films is really take them from the point of view of Harry. It's Harry's journey, and things that relate to Harry and Harry's journey take center stage. Sometimes there's room for the occasional something else, but for the most part, it's Harry and his journey. So that Ron subplot was secondary to the central drive of the story. It is a shame, you know. There's so much in each of the films that I would like to have had in, but ultimately the film has to work as a cohesive thing, so that happens. In some ways it's darker. I think it's more intense than the previous films. I don't think it's darker, actually, than the fourth film. I think it's in the same wheelhouse in terms of darkness. It's definitely more intense because of the connection between Harry and Voldemort, because of Harry feeling isolated and ostracized, and I think that definitely adds intensity to the story. And, obviously, with what happens in the third act of the film [with a key death], that sort of emotional touch. You see a director with real strong point of view. A really idiosyncratic sensibility. He is someone who . . . grounds things. He makes everything seem very real and authentic, and that's very important for this. The fourth film had a wonderful sort of theatrical, bombastic, large sensibility. Perfect for that film, with the pomp and circumstance of the quidditch World Cup, of the [Triwizard] Tournament . . . and the arrival of the other schools. Perfect, all of it. [But] this is a film which is grounded, I think, more in reality in the sense that it's about a revolution, in a way. War is upon us, or is getting closer, as Voldemort has returned. Just like the resistance movements, the French resistance movements of the 1940s, an underground movement is formed, Dumbledore's Army, to provide the kids with an opportunity to learn how to defend themselves . . . . And it was important that that be treated with real verisimilitude, real truth, . . . and I think David Yates brings that." "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" is released on July 13.
The Forbidden Kingdom
Variety reports that the Weinstein Co. is partnering with Lionsgate on the first ever pairing of Jackie Chan and Jet Li in the film "The Forbidden Kingdom." Rob Minkoff will direct beginning in China on May 2 with a script by John Fusco, with a September 2008 domestic release planned. Yuen Woo-ping will create the fight sequences. The story tells of an American teenager who discovers the legendary monkey king's stick weapon in a pawn shop, and is then transported back in time to ancient China, where he joins a crew of warriors fighting to free the imprisoned king. Li will play two roles, the monkey king and the silent monk, while Chan will pay the monk T'sa-Ho.
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Hollywood North Report says that Scott Derrickson has been picked to direct the remake of Robert Wise's 1951 classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still." 20th Century Fox plans to start filming this November for a May 9, 2008 release.
Angels & Demons
Cinema Blend says that for "biggest salary ever paid to an actor in the history of Hollywood," Tom Hanks has signed to do the sequel to "Da Vinci Code." The story follows Dr. Robert Langdon on the trail of the Illuminati.
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Hellboy: Darkness Calls #1,
Ms. Marvel #15,
The Zombie Project #1,
G.I. Joe: Storm Shadow #1,
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