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Posts Tagged ‘John Landis’

Burke and Hare – First look at Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis as grave robbers

Posted by LiveFor on February 25, 2010


They’ve started filming Burke and Hare up in Edinburgh, Scotland. Directed by John Landis it stars Starring Pegg, Serkis, Isla Fisher, Jessica Hynes, Tom Wilkinson, Hugh Bonneville, Tim Curry and Sir Christopher Lee.

This is out first glimpse of what the characters look like.

The real-life Burke and Hare, who hailed from Ireland, were responsible for the deaths of at least 17 people from 1827 until 1828. After murdering their victims, the pair then went on to sell the bodies to Dr Robert Knox, who dissected them in his anatomy classes at Barclay’s anatomy school in Surgeon’s Square.

Looking good so far. Keep checking back as we may have some words from Mr Pegg before too long.

Source: Collider

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Film Production Nightmares

Posted by LiveFor on February 5, 2010

By Richard Bodsworth.

Benicio Del Toro stars in the remake of the 1941 classic horror The Wolfman which is set to open next week but it has not been an easy ride to get the finished product to the screen.  Mark Romanek left the project right before principal photography was about to start citing the old chestnut “creative differences” and was replaced by Jurassic Park 3 helmer, Joe Johnston.  The Wolfman is not the only film due this year which has had major production problems; Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood has also been hit with issues, most notably constant script rewrites resulting in the release date being pushed back numerous times.  Of course this is not a new thing, so let’s take a look at some other films which have struggled in production…

The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer in the tropical rainforests of Australia, what could possibly go wrong? Um, a lot actually.  Three days in to production of the H.G Wells adaptation director Richard Stanley was given the heave-ho (a move apparently forced by Val Kilmer who earlier, for no apparent reason, decided he wanted his part drastically cut) and was replaced by John Frankenheimer, never a good start.  Brando and Frankenheimer then rewrote the majority of the script before later clashing over the direction the film was taking; Frankenheimer would also have heated exchanges with Val Kilmer several times throughout the shoot before vowing never to work with him again. Brando and Kilmer both had their own personal problems on-set, Kilmer being issued divorce papers on location while Brando struggled with the suicide of his daughter.  Amazingly Brando, who by this time had given up on the film, was fed his lines through a frequency radio.  David Thewlis (a late replacement for Rob Morrow) who would later skip the premiere supposedly said “He’d be in the middle of a scene and suddenly he’d be picking up police messages and Marlon would repeat ‘There’s a robbery at Woolworths’”.  The film received negative reviews and barely managed to scrape back its budget, Brando went on to win a Razzie for his performance.   

Twilight Zone: The Movie

Produced by Steven Spielberg, this feature length film of the classic 60’s TV show was split in to four segments, part one directed by John Landis, the second by Spielberg himself, Joe Dante directed the third and George Miller the fourth.  The events that occurred during the filming of Landis’ segment overshadowed the film itself as a freak accident cost the lives of actor Vic Morrow and two child actors.  Whilst filming a scene featuring a helicopter, pyrotechnics were set off but the helicopter was flying too low causing it to spin out of control and crash to the ground killing the trio.  Legal action followed and many regulations were changed including those that featured child and stunts filmed at night. 

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Another well documented Gilliam nightmare, the guy seems to have no luck (here’s a nice article over at Hey You Guys http://tiny.cc/TerryGilliam). Being disrupted by a nearby NATO target area and a flash flood which would destroy equipment and locations were just the start before lead actor Jean Rochefort suffered a herniated disc cancelling production.  A blistering $15m insurance claim would later be brought and resulted in the company owning the rights to the film (these have since been transferred back to Gilliam). If you haven’t already seen Lost in La Mancha I recommend you do so, like now!  Gilliam has since resurrected the project however and hopes to start filming this year. Fingers crossed.

Alien 3.

One of the most obvious choices is Alien 3 because, well, it was a complete nightmare.  The film went through various writers starting with William Gibson, Near Dark scribe Eric Red to David Thwoy before Vincent Ward took over.  Ward had the idea of a wooden planet inhabited by monks, some of the set designs look great and it would have been very intriguing to see the finished product.  Ward however never got his chance as his idea was scrapped and he was replaced by David Fincher for his feature debut.  The script ended up as a mesh of various ideas from previous drafts which was thrown together by series producers Walter Hill and David Giler.  Since Fox wanted to rush the film out to hit their desired release date, Fincher went into the project without a set script and spent most of the time rewriting on set.  Trying the best he could, things got worse for Fincher when the film was reedited without his knowledge leaving him to basically disown the project.  The reception to the final cut was not great and generally regarded as the weakest of the four; you have to wonder how it would have turned out if Ward or Fincher were given full creative control.  If you can, try pick up the special edition DVD which features some interesting interviews and goes into detail about the early ideas and scripts; Fincher sadly does not feature in an interview.  

Apocalypse Now

The finished product may be classed as a cinematic masterpiece but all was not rosy during production of Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam War epic.  Martin Sheen replaced Harvey Keitel a few days into production before a typhoon destroyed some of the sets, including the Playboy Playmate set, leaving the project behind schedule and over budget.  That man Brando was at it again after he showed up on set far too fat to play Colonel Kurtz forcing Coppola into rewriting the ending which in itself would prove a mammoth task.  Things didn’t get much easier after star Martin Sheen suffered a heart attack on set and had to crawl in to the middle of the road to get help. But after a lengthy post production the film was released to both financial and critical acclaim winning the Palme d’Or in 1979 and still features on numerous “Best of All Time” lists. 

Caligula

A film starring Malcolm McDowell, Peter O’Toole and Helen Mirren charting the rise and fall of Roman Emperor Caligula sound like a classy affair right? Not quite.  Written by Gore Vidal as a historical drama the only we way to secure funding was by partnering with adult magazine, Penthouse, editor Bob Guccione which should have spelled trouble from the start.  Italian director Tinto Brass was hired but he would argue with both Vidal and art director Danillo Donati over both the script and set design.  Star McDowell and Brass would later try and rewrite the script and Vidal would subsequently have his name removed before launching legal action.  After Guccione saw Brass’ final cut he fired him and brought in Giancarlo Lui to reedit the film and reshoot about six minutes of hardcore pornography to replace Brass’ shots.  Before the film was released Brass would also launch a legal suit further delaying the films release.  When the film finally did make it to the screen it was universally panned.

Others include; almost anything to do with Edward Norton who has a tendency to rewrite his parts onset, he also tried to reedit American History X himself leading to director Tony Kaye unsuccessfully attempting to have his name removed from the credits.  Life on the Blade Runner set was also rather challenging for cast and crew with director Ridley Scott being a notorious hard-ass leading squabbles with Harrison Ford and protests from the crew, oh and then there was the infamous ‘final cut’.  Scott and our old chum Terry Gilliam have both suffered the tragic misfortune of an actor dying mid-shoot, Oliver Reed on Gladiator and Heath Ledger during The Imaginaruim of Dr. Parnassus.  There can’t possibly be anything worse than completing a film, a pretty good film at that, but having it shelved and reshot by Renny Harlin.  Well that’s what happened to Paul Schrader.  His film Dominion, a prequel to horror classic The Exorcist was deemed “too dark” by the studio and Harlin was brought in to hack together Exorcist: The Beginning

 So what others would you like to see on the list? The Wolfman hits cinemas from Friday 12th February (I believe there are advance previews Wednesday and Thursday) keep an eye out for the LFF review.

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Burke and Hare – John Landis’ new film gets a Ronnie, a Gentleman, a sweet Transylvanian Transvestite and Sir Christopher Lee

Posted by LiveFor on February 5, 2010

The cast for John Landis’ new film, Burker and Hare, has gone huge. Joining Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis, as graverobbers William Burke and William Hare, are Isla Fisher (Confessions of a Shopaholic, Wedding Crashers), Jessica Hynes (Spaced, Shaun of the Dead), Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins), Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, It, Legend), Ronnie Corbett (one of The Two Ronnies – British comedy legend), Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentlemen, Psychoville, The Cottage), David Schofield, Allan Corduner, Bill Bailey (great stand up comedian), Hugh Bonneville, Michael Smiley and Sir Christopher Lee (star of so many films).

Landis describes the film as a “black romantic comedy” in spite of its story which is a comedic take on the true story of the 1828 Edinburgh body-snatchers Burke and Hare. These two Irish entrepreneurs discover that a dead body can fetch a hefty price when the demands of the leading medical professors Dr. Knox (Tom Wilkinson) and Dr. Monroe (Tim Curry) reach beyond that of the local supply.

With a cast like this it should be a great film. A great mix of horror and comedy icons. Shooting has already begun according to STYD.

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The Random – Robert Pattinson & Sean Penn, Promised Land, The Graveyard Book, Martin Scorsese to direct Hugo Cabret, Burke and Hare

Posted by LiveFor on January 22, 2010

– Sean Penn and Robert Pattinson are considering joining Water for Elephants at Fox 2000 reports Variety. Based on the best-selling historical novel by Sara Gruen, the story centers on a 90-year-old man (Pattinson) reminiscing about his life and is set during the Depression. At the time the man found work at a B-level circus taking care of the animals. He sees the brutality of circus life while falling for the wife of an abusive animal trainer (Penn). Reese Witherspoon is already attached to play the wife.

– Michael Winterbottom (“Nine Songs”) is next set to direct the $5 million indie Promised Land for Revolution Studios reports Variety. The story deals with the events that lead up to the 1948 partition of Palestine and the subsequent creation of the state of Israel. Jim Sturgess (“Across the Universe,” “21”) will star as a British officer hunting down the extremist Jewish factions.

– Neil Gaiman says the film adaptation of his The Graveyard Book is still on the cards. Speaking to The Los Angeles Times Gaiman said “It was all put together over at Miramax Films. The people there had a long, great relationship with Neil Jordan and it was all set up and ready to go, and then Miramax was more or less erased from existence. It became a filing cabinet in somebody’s desk, more or less… But it looks like almost all the pieces are on the table again. They have a studio, they have a distributor and they are putting stuff together and I’m not allowed to say anything else.”

– Martin Scorsese is in talks to direct a live-action adaptation of Brian Selznick’s children’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret reports Variety. The 2008 novel centers on an orphaned boy who secretly lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station and looks after the clocks. He gets caught up in a mystery adventure when he attempts to repair a mechanical man.

– Isla Fisher (“Wedding Crashers,” “Confessions of a Shopaholic”) and Tom Wilkinson (“Michael Clayton,” “Duplicity”) have joined the horror comedy Burke and Hare says Heat Vision Blog.
The film is based on the true story a pair of the U.K.’s earliest serial killers, William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis), gravediggers who lucratively sold the corpses of their victims to a medical college for dissection. Fisher will play Pegg’s girlfriend, an actress looking for a patron who might or might not be an accomplice to the murders. Wilkinson will play Dr. Robert Knox, an anatomy lecturer looking for fresh corpses. John Landis directs.

– John and Drew Dowdle (“Quarantine”) are set to direct an adaptation of Jack Kilborn’s gory novel Afraid reports Production Weekly. Larry Malkin and Chad Thumann will adapt the script about five government-sponsored lethal torturers wrongly sent on a mission to a small, sleepy Wisconsin town. The military sends in a bunch of Green Berets, Special Forces, SEALs and marines to take down this killing force. However it’s the townsfolk who band together to save their home that will make the critical difference.

Source: Dark Horizons

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Burke and Hare loses a Time Lord but gets a Gollum

Posted by LiveFor on January 21, 2010

A bit of a switcheroo in casting for the upcoming John Landis horror comedy Burke & Hare.

Simon Pegg has confirmed on his Twitter that outgoing “Doctor Who” star David Tennant has been replaced by BAFTA nominated Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll).

Pegg and Tennant were set to play the titular characters in the story of 19th-century grave robbers who find a lucrative business providing dead bodies for an Edinburgh medical school.

There has been no official announcement or a reason for Tennant’s department, but it is probably due to problems with schedules. Tennant stars in the NBC pilot “Rex Is Not Your Lawyer” which was originally to premiere in the Fall but may be moved due to all the Leno / Conan shenanigans going on recently.

Regarding his BAFTA nomination for portraying Ian Dury in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll 45-year-old Andy Serkis said in a statement that he was “just totally blown away!”

He said: “The whole experience of making this film with such amazingly talented, articulate, honest people has been a joy, and to get this nomination is not only a great thrill for all of us involved, but a fitting a tribute at a time that we mark the 10 year anniversary of the passing of the magnificent man himself, the unique Ian Dury.”

Do you think Serkis is a better choice than Tennant?

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Burke and Hare – Promo poster for John Landis’ new film

Posted by LiveFor on November 23, 2009

Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Star Trek) and David Tennant (Doctor Who) play the titular characters. Now we have the bare bones promo poster and synopsis.

WILLIAM BURKE and WILLIAM HARE are scratching out a living in 1830s Edinburgh. After yet another failed business venture, they return to Hare’s lodging house to find that their tenant has suddenly died on rent day. As the boys decide how to dispose of the body over a drink, they discover that a corpse can fetch a hefty price. Edinburgh is the centre of the medical universe and the city’s doctors are crying out for more cadavers for their educational lectures. First they try the infamous DR. MONRO, but he’s not interested, so they sell the corpse to DR. KNOX, his vain and ambitious rival who urges them to bring any more ‘unfortunates’ they may stumble upon.

Entrepreneurial Hare is quick to realize they’ve hit on a great money making venture and despite the more sensitive Burke’s misgivings, they embark on a series of plans to secure more bodies. They arrange a series of deadly ‘accidents’ for the local unfortunates and to celebrate their success, they go out on the town to celebrate. There, Burke meets GINNY, a beautiful and spirited aspiring actress.

Drive on by the promise of romance, Burke agrees to step up their operation; branching out into “ethical” murder. The professional rivalry between Knox and Munro is creating a very lucrative trade for the boys as Knox needs extra bodies for his groundbreaking photographic map of the human body. In a series of hilarious comic misadventures Burke and Hare begin to secure a steady stream of bodies and the cash starts rolling in.

With the authorities closing in, Hare promises Burke he’s got a new plan; they just need a bit more money and then they can go legit and open a funeral parlour.

The pressure builds when Knox is arrested after dissecting some well known locals and he immediately implicates Burke and Hare as his supplier of fresh corpses.

Burke and Hare sweat it out in the cells as a crowd gathers baying for bloody. In a wild, but romantic gesture, Burke volunteers to take the rap to save his friend and the love of his life, Ginny. As the hangman’s noose goes around his neck, our hero is smiling bravely and when asked for his final words, he pronounces “I did it for love.”

Source: Collider

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Burke and Hare – The Doctor becomes a Grave Digger

Posted by LiveFor on October 12, 2009

david_tennant_352648aBack in August I mentioned the rumour that Simon Pegg (Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead) was going to be in John Landis’ Burke and Hare film. Thay was kind of denied back then.

However, Bloody Disgusting have now confirmed that Pegg is going to be in along with the soon to no longer be Dr Who,David Tennant.

John Landis announced it this weekend at the Spooky Empire convention in Orlando, FL.

Based on a true story, Burke And Hare is about two 19th century graverobbers who find a lucrative business providing cadavers for an Edinburgh medical school. The screenplay was penned by Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft.

I think this could work quite well and Tennant is a quality actor. What do you think about the casting news?

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John Landis to direct Simon Pegg in Burke and Hare

Posted by LiveFor on August 24, 2009

peggThis could be an interesting film. Dread Central recently spoke to John Landis who told them he  is directing a film based on the grave robbers Burke and Hare. Even better news is the fact that Simon Pegg will be starring in it.

The Burke and Hare murders, also known as the West Port murders, were serial murders perpetrated in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1827 and 1828. The killings were attributed to Irish immigrants William Burke and William Hare, who sold the corpses of their 17 victims to the Edinburgh Medical College for dissection.

It looks as if this will be a black comedy and could be rather gruesome. No word yet on whether Nick Frost will be joining Pegg or if he will have someone new joining him.  Pegg and Frost are currently filming Paul with Greg Mottola so they make want to take a break from each other on their next film.

Personally, I would like to see Mark Heap (Brian from Spaced) star opposite him.

Posted in Comedy, Film, Horror, news | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

An American Werewolf in London – Can you say remake? No doubt we’ll see it next Wednesday!

Posted by LiveFor on June 29, 2009

John Landis’ classic comedy horror was one of the first film that gave me nightmares as a kid. The bit in the dream when the Nazi Werewolves kick the door in and shoot the family did it for me. A bit older and with repear viewings made me realise just how good it was.

The bit on the London tube is one of the spookiest, suspenseful scenes in an movie and the actual transformation scenes is one of the greatest physical effects ever.

Now comes a rumour which could lead to the greatness of the movie to be diminshed.

John Landis has sold the remake rights for An American Werewolf In London to Dimension Films according to a tipster over at Bloody Disgusting.

Of course even if this is true it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will see a remake, but the chances are we will soon be seeing a crappy CGI wolf running around London cracking wise and looking at the camera with a wink while chewing on a bloody corpse.

Would you want to see a remake of this classic? How will they piss all over the original?

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