Universal Hires New Screenwriter for ‘Asteroids’ Revival

- 11-16-12Film, Videogames Posted by NickBungay

There have been awesome movies based off video and board games over the years, but with the scars of Peter Berg’s Battleship still fresh in our minds the record has kind of slipped. That hasn’t stopped studios from making movies based on games with no adherent plot.

So Universal has decided to beat their dead horse of ideas once again, going back to the well to try and bring early ’80s arcade game Asteroids to the theaters. At one time Roland Emmerich was the potential director with  screenwriters Matt Lopez and Evan Spiliotopoulos set to write. Now Universal has hired Jez Butterworth, the playwright who co-wrote Doug Liman’s Fair Game, to take over where Lopez and Spiliotopoulos left off.

The studio still has nobody announced to direct in place of Emmerich, but what about the story? The game itself was all about shooting floating rocks until they got smaller AND SHOOTING THEM AGAIN! The fact that Universal was able to turn a game about naming coordinates on a board into a “blockbuster” still astounds and frightens me.

Universal should just hire Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck, give the ship a fraking drill and call it a franchise.

Source: Variety

Hasbro Says They’re Not For Sale To Disney

- 11-08-12Film Posted by Adam A. Donaldson

Earlier this week, it was reported that the Walt Disney Company, on its present spending spree, was eye-balling toy-maker Hasbro as its next acquisition. But not so fast says a Hasbro insider.

In a report by the Providence Journal an anonymous source says that in the case of a Hasbro acquisition by Disney, there’s “absolutely nothing going on that they are aware of at all, in any way, shape or form.”  Of course denial isn’t synonymous with refutation (ask your English teacher), but one has to wonder if there wasn’t some kind of truth to it, especially when industry watchers will tell you that Hasbro stock went up 6.5 per cent when the rumor was leaked Monday.

So even if Disney had not yet been considered Hasbro as a purchase, Hasbro’s Board has to now be wondering if it might not be a good idea for their bottom line. Meanwhile, several Wall Street analysts are speculating that if Disney is indeed pursuing Hasbro, they may hold off until movie licensing agreements with other studios like Paramount (Transformers, G.I. Joe)  and Universal (Battleship) expire.

Obviously, we’ll keep you posted with the happenings.

Source: Transformers Live Blog

‘The Avengers’ Torpedos ‘Battleship’ Out of The Water

- 05-21-12Comics, Film Posted by NickBungay

While Peter Berg and Universal’s Battleship was solid in the international market this past weekend, pulling in a reported $226.8 million, it was its domestic release that would prove its worth. With a weekend haul of only $25.3 million dollars, Battleship was clearly a miss (see what I did there). While  live-action Hasbro film was able to defend against the third place $17 million dollar The Dictator, it was unable to take the top spot of Joss Whedon‘s Avengers,  which is now in it’s third week at number 1.

In an interview with Yahoo, Universal’s president of domestic distribution Nikki Rocco said she expected this, saying:

“It is obviously a disappointment, but we will move on. And we have Memorial Day coming up,”… “The studio has a picture that already has a quarter of a billion dollars in the bank, and it won’t die at $25.3 million domestically. We all know that.”

Even an executive with the studio is proud of how things for Battleship turned out, saying in his Deadline interview:

”Our P&A spend and production costs are even less than The Dictator – and our cast made it to the Oscars without offending AMPAS. Ha.”

The next time Universal wants to make a movie based on a board game maybe they should try using a few of our ideas.

The Marvel super flick now brings it’s total to an impressive $55 Million in it’s third weekend, building it’s total domestic earnings to $457.1M and over $1 Billion worldwide, but with Will Smith and Men in Black III just around the corner there could very well be a new number 1 next week. Any bets?

Source: Deadline

After ‘Battleship': The Next Four Board Game Movies

- 05-20-12Featured Posted by Dev Richards

“You sank my battleship… with your alien death ray!”

Yeah, I don’t quite remember it that way either, but in their infinite wisdom Universal Studios and Hasbro decided to make a Battleship movie with massive aliens that rise up from the sea. In the spirit of that “creative” leap, I and my co-conspiritor Jason Tabrys wrote the synopses, the tag-lines, the titles, and even cast these four “creative” movie and board game mashups that Hollywood needs to greenlight right now. Hell, Jeremy R! Hudson and Jason (but mostly him) even made up some fantastic posters for the films too, so all we need is a few hundred million dollars and we can make the best board game movie spin-off since Clue (you heard me).

Monopoly: Revenge of the Fallen

Synopsis: Max Marther (actor and comic book artist Shia LaBeouf) is an Occupy protester and an up and coming blogger for an underground activism website. His life is thrown through a loop though, when a major corporation buys the site and turns it into a LOLCat content farm, forcing Marther to embed himself in the world of finance, quickly climbing up the corporate ladder because of his unfathomable whiteness and his unearned swagger.

Soon, Marther can see the whole board and becomes a land baron with a pocketful of “Get out of Jail Free” cards and a plan to run the bank and drive all the other players toward bankruptcy. Will his plan succeed, or will he be seduced by the 1 percenter lifestyle, a high class call girl named Community Chest (introducing Random Lingerie Model in a breakthrough performance) with a secret, and Arthur Michael Manchester (Nic Cage), the current banker and a rogue utility company owner with troubling hair who inherited both Boardwalk and Park Place under curious circumstances from his late brother, Nathan (also Nic Cage)?

Coming in 2013, the money never sleeps and the game never ends in Monopoly: Revenge of the Fallen. (more…)

Battleship Rumored to Fail At Box Office Worse Than ‘John Carter': Nerdbastards Doesn’t Think So

- 05-18-12Film Posted by Veronique Medrano

With the release of ‘The Avengers‘, it has laid waste to the box-office and made it hard for other films to rise and take the No. 1 crown. Deadline writer, Nikki Finke pointed out logistics and numbers coming from Battleship’s current release information:

“It opened with only $420K midnights from 1,074 theaters: that’s weaker than Warner Bros’ under performing Dark Shadows last weekend and even Disney’s notorious 2012 bomb John Carter…Universal cautions that ‘both of those films have a bigger geek base’ whereas the strength of Peter Berg’s military vs. aliens actioner is ‘that it’s the anti-geek, anti-midnight movie of all time.”

Battleship opened today in theaters nationwide, and while it has made$220 million Internationally. North American buzz on the film has been overshadowed by ‘The Avengers’, so the Midnight showing for the film has not hauled in the numbers it expected.  The film has all the elements to be a high-grossing film: good graphics, action,well-known actors, and aliens. Even though this film has been made fun of for being based on a childhood board game, this film should not be something you miss out on.

While it is difficult to compete with a titan, i.e.: The Avengers, the film does have a lot to look forward to. The die-hard fans of Marvel may not want to defect, and will continue to watch the movie 4 times and onward, but the ending is the same, the plots points are the same, and moviegoers would do best to spend their money on other films.

So what this Nerdbastard would like to make clear, is that you shouldn’t revoke my ‘nerd-liscense’ just because I don’t want to watch The Avengers in theaters so much that I go broke, but that you should take the time to watch another movie. John Carter really stunk a high heaven, and to compare a worthless movie from beginning to end with Battleship that has more merit,better acting, and lots of destruction then be my guest and rot your brain.

Nerdbastard out!

‘Battleship’ Mystery Box…

- 05-16-12Cool Stuff, Film Posted by Mrs. NerdBastards

Who in their right mind would make a movie based off of a board game? Let alone a game that has no elements to it except for little plastic ships and red pegs. It’s almost like taking RISK and turning it into a musical….yeah, OK. Not gonna lie here, I am not excited about Battleship, not one bit. However, I am extremely excited about the TOYS that come along with it. Why is that you ask? Hasbro sent NerdBastards a mystery box…with a note apologizing for making one of the lamest movies ever. Nah, I kid. It was full of some killer products….and of course there were toys included.

First, I gotta talk about the box. It’s one of the coolest things to ever arrive on my doorstep. It’s a 3 foot long cardboard shipping box made to look like a battle damaged steel container.You can imagine the smirk on myself when I walked up to it. I have to tell you, that I was a bit afraid to open it. I thought it might contain Rhianna’s head or something. Opening it however, turned out to be a real delight. Upon flipping over the lid I discovered a mini battle command center, with a lenticular radar screen and a little red “fire” button, that when pushed, triggered a battle sound effect. Cool. Seriously, this is such a rad box. HASBRO should just sell this. Kids love boxes!

Now, although nothing could ever compare to a LEGO, HASBRO has recently released a new form of connecting pieces called KRE-O. What’s the difference between the two? I’m not sure and I don’t really care too much.  We got our hands on two playsets: Alien Strike and U.S.S. Missouri. These things are pretty cool. And honestly, who really grows up and stops playing with Legos? No one. So these KRE-Os and the perfect movie tie-ins. Not only will the kids love them, but so will the adults.

Next in the mystery box was the new Battleship Board-game. The only differences from the original are the ships have an alien-esque appearance to them and the game now has a deck of cards that call for extra gimmicks such as call out 2 or 3 positions instead of the usual 1. I have decided it would make a great drinking game at my next house party. I approve of this game.

Last but not least is a killer t-shirt with matching dog tags. I know, the most exciting thing in the mystery box! But let me tell you, my wardrobe just got a whole lot snazzier… The shirt says; 99 Problems but my ship ain’t one, HIT ME!!!!!!

All-in-all…pretty neat stuff. I would expect nothing less from HASBRO. They simply make fun stuff. In fact, I had enjoyed these products so much that my interest in Battleship increased a notch (or should I say peg?).

Be sure you check out all the contents from the mystery box in the gallery below. And, if explosions, aliens, battleships and Rhianna excite you (see what I did there) then check out Battleship in theaters this Friday, May 18th.

(more…)

Universal Sues Global Asylum Over ‘American Battleship’, Asylum Says Thanks

- 05-01-12Film Posted by NickBungay

One of these things is not like the other.

Known for their whole Mockbusters” thing, Global Asylum constantly makes cheaper versions of the year’s top film franchises. This time, Universal studios has finally said “Enough!”, and bitch slapping the company with a class action lawsuit. Initially reported by TMZ , the lawsuit (which can be read here) claims that Global Asylum is trying to piggyback off the board-game-turned-Blockbuster-feature starring Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård and Rihanna.

Global Asylum’s most recent feature, American Battleship, goes straight to DVD May 22nd — a mere four days after Universal’s Battleship hits theaters May 18th. Seems a bit fishy that two movies, both about naval warships battling aliens from space, would be released so close to each other. But this is a tactic that Asylum has used over and over again.

Just look at their recent “hits”: Paranormal Entity, Titanic II, 2012: Ice Age, The Terminators, Transmorphers and Battle Of Los Angeles. Sound familiar? They should, because Asylum is known for copying the premise and plot of the every feature-length film its copies. And Universal will not stand for it a minute longer.

In a response to the lawsuit posted on Deadline, Global Asylum gave the single best defense a company could ever give:

The Global Asylum has promoted the feature film American Battleship for nearly a year while Universal raised no concerns. The timing of Universal’s recently filed lawsuit coincides with mixed reviews of its big-budget film, Battleship — the first movie based on a board game since Clue. Looking for a scapegoat, or more publicity, for its pending box-office disaster, the executives at Universal filed this lawsuit in fear of a repeat of the box office flop, John Carter of Mars. The Universal action is wholly without merit and we will vigorously defend their claims in Court. Nonetheless, we appreciate the publicity.

Bitch slap returned in spades, thanking Universal for suing them and using the “John Carter” defense. While you have to hate Asylum for their dirty tactics, you have to respect their badassery here. Hopefully they’ll still have this type of swagger when both parties go to court in the next few weeks.

We wish everyone the best in the coming bloodbath.

Kitsch Doesn’t Think ‘Carter’ is a Failure, So F**k You!

- 04-03-12Film Posted by Adam A. Donaldson

Taylor Kitsch doesn’t know what y’all are complaining about, in his mind, John Carter is doing fine thank you very much.

After being only able to recoup $66 million domestically since opening last month, a lot of people are going out of their way to point out that John Carter is a mega flop, especially after Disney spent $250 million-plus on it. But once you factor in the money the movie’s made overseas, Carter’s made over $254 million worldwide so far. And you know what? Kitsch is cool with that.

“I don’t see it as a failure, that’s the thing. I’m incredibly proud of it, and I would do it all over again,” he said to Yahoo). “If someone told me that my first lead film will make well over 300 million dollars, that’s a good thing.”

Fair enough.

“I know personally I literally did everything possible I could have in John Carter, and in Battleship and in Savages. That’s why I prep so hard, and why I push myself so hard, so I can have no regrets.”

Kitsch also talked about the fans’ (all five of them) desire to see a sequel to the film.

“If you are going to pay attention to the materialistic part of it, you also need to pay attention to the fans. For them to have these Facebook pages and rally to get another one going, it’s quite flattering.”

So there’s a good chance John Carter will break even at least, so take that to the bank haters! Kitsch owns you. He will have the last laugh. Hahahahahahahaha…. Seeing you on opening weekend for Battleship, suckas!

Source: Blastr

New Battleship Trailer – More Battleshippy Action

- 03-13-12Film Posted by Mark Poynter

 

This NerdBastard just finished watching the new trailer for “Battleship” and it’s got me thinking.

Yeah, Yeah, YOU thinking?

I thought I smelled smoke.

If this movie was not tied to the game Battleship then maybe people might take it more seriously and give it a chance. Those marketing geniuses might have realized that if they bothered to talk to people NOT walking around at the local mall.

Taylor Kitsch is gonna take a beating over the debacle that is John Carter, and it’s too bad. It’s really more of a marketing problem and less of an acting, plot, or production problem. The movie itself is not that bad. Now Taylor is starring in Peter Berg‘s Battleship. Another movie that has been plagued by poor marketing.

Inspired by the Hasbro game, the film stars Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna, and Liam Neeson as naval officers dealing with an otherwordly force that threatens to destroy our planet.

Watch this trailer and try to forget that it was ever tied to the Hasbro game and see if it changes your mind.

‘Ouija’ Back to Business at Universal With a Huge Budget Cut

- 03-05-12Film Posted by Adam A. Donaldson

Maybe there’s momentum behind Battleship now, maybe Universal is feeling flush from the opening weekend of The Lorax, but whatever the reason is seems like the film based on Ouija is back on at the studio, but with one caveat: The budget has been cut by $95 million.

Last year, when Terminator: Salvation director McG was onboard with a script by TRON: Legacy writers and Once Upon a Time creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz were on the project, the project budget was $100 million. How you turn the game of Ouija into a nine figure movie, I have no idea. But there it was, and there it went.

After a bad year of box office, Universal balked and said that there are far better things to spend $100 million on, and that appears to still be true. But they are however, willing to spend $5 million on a budget for Ouija, taking a page out of the book of films like Chronicle, Project X and the Paranormal Activity franchise: if you spend less on the movie, it means more profit for you in the end.

So where do we stand? Michael Bay‘s production company Platinum Dunes is coming back to shepherd the new cheaper film and they’ll be joined by Jason Blum, who himself has guided cheaper than thou hits like the Paranormal films and Insidious. Marti Noxon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) was at last word working on a rewrite, but now that the production is ramping up again, there’s no word on yet on if Noxon’s still involved.

But overall, this is a pretty big departure for a major studio. Something like The Lone Ranger they cut the budget by $10-20 million, but to cut the budget by 95 per cent? That’s bold. Maybe they’re starting a trend of going small, or maybe they realized that spending $100 million dollars on a movie about a board game where “invisible forces” move a glass eye across the alphabet was a bit padded. Either way, more news as it develops.

Source: /Film