Summit Entertainment gets financial boost for Highlander remake

When we first announced last year that the Highlander movie series would be receiving a remake/reboot courtesy of Summit Entertainment, Gordon McAlpin’s source told him that the budget would be from $80 to $100 million USD. Now, it looks like part of that financing has been completely secured.

In his article at the Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog, Jay Fernandez wrote that RCR Media Group will be co-financing the project with Rui Costa Reis and Eliad Josephson as executive producers.

If you’ve never heard of RCR Media Group, then you must not watch a lot of of direct-to-DVD movies, of which RCR has produced plenty. Completed films on their slate include sequels or sound-a-likes to S.W.A.T., Stomp the Yard, and Wild Things, featuring veteran actors like Robert Patrick and Jasmine Guy, and pretty unknowns like Jillian Murray.

The script’s first pass was done by Iron Man co-writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, and Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg has also worked on it as well. With the remake’s director Justin Lin’s Fast Five still in the top three on the weekend box office charts, the additional bump to the budget could mean that the new Highlander could afford to hire some additional top quality talent.

Just as long as Christopher Lambert, Adrian Paul, or Peter Wingfield get cameos, right?

Thor hammers the U.S. box office, but is it enough?

As per the numbers from Box Office Mojo, this weekend’s release of Thor from Marvel Studios made it the number one movie in the U.S., grossing an estimated $66 million USD, beating out the two new counter-programming romantic comedy releases of Jumping the Broom and Something Borrowed (which 9is based on a chick-lit book), distributed by Columbia TriStar and Warner Bros., respectively.

The reviews are also fairly solid, ranking a 78% fresh on the Tomatometer, and with that kind of good word of mouth, I can easily foresee that it will be able to make back its $150 million USD budget, and then some.

Perhaps the best news of all is that if the story of one of Marvel’s lesser-known heroes can muster this kind of box office, then things are looking up for the rest of the non-X-Men-related superhero movies on the studio’s plate.

The gravy train will continue with Captain America: The First Avenger, out on July 22.

The last words of anime director Satoshi Kon

According to ANN, Japanese anime director Satoshi Kon passed away yesterday at the age of 46 following complications due to pancreatic cancer.

Kon was a part of the Madhouse studio and was responsible for directing some of its more psychologically challenging films and series such as Perfect Blue and Paranoia Agent. I personally interviewed him during the North American premiere of his Tokyo Godfathers in 2003 and remember him as being very passionate about his work.

But perhaps most telling about the man are some of the final thoughts he had before dying, partially translated by journalist Fernando Ramos (original link mirrored by ANN, here):

I wish to die in my home. This might be my last great inconvenience to the people around me but, I have been able to be granted that escape home. Thanks to the tireless efforts of my wife, and the “Has he given up?” attitude of the hospital, it has in fact and indeed been helpfully cooperative, along with the enormous support from outside clinics, and many frequent coincidences that I can only think of as blessings from heaven. I can’t believe there are just so many coincidences and inevitabilities in this real life. This isn’t Tokyo Godfathers after all

Warner Bros. to turn “Supernatural” into an anime

If today you feel a wave of “WTF?” wash over you, check your nearest “Supernatural” fangirl for the source.

For according to Anime News Network and Cinema Today, Warner Bros. and acclaimed anime studio Madhouse are teaming up to turn the hit show about brothers who fight against the dark forces of the world into an animated series.

From the ANN article (because I can’t read Japanese):

The anime project will not only remake the best episodes from the live-action version, but also depict original episodes not seen in the live-action version. Those original episodes will include prologues of the Winchester brothers’ childhood, anime-only enemies, and episodes featuring secondary characters from the live-action version.

The project will be co-directed by Shigeyuki Miya and Atsuko Ishizuka (“Aoi Bungaku Series”), and there’s no word yet on which Japanese seiyuu (aka voice actors) they’ll get for the project.

Warner Home Video Japan will be releasing the 22 episodes on Blu-Ray and DVD in Japan over three volumes starting on January 12, 2011; no work on if there will also be an English-language release.