Quell those fears: although Pacific Rim‘s box office returns were not what he or the investors would’ve hoped for, Guillermo del Toro has not been exiled from Hollywood for the rest of human existence. Just the Monday after his robots vs. monsters picture hit theaters, in fact, it’s been announced that he’ll be producing a new title for Universal: Midnight Delivery, which has entered our line of sight for its soon-to-be-official acquisition of Kevin Costner as a central star. Not a bad start, right? [THR]
The project marks something of a possibly deviation for del Toro, who — having written the screenplay with Neil Cross (creator of Luther, which stars Rim‘s own Idris Elba) — is backing the story of a man (Costner) going head-to-head with Colombian drug traffickers who’ve kidnapped his daughter, their conflict coming to a head on a London-bound red eye. No director is yet attached, though Midnight Delivery‘s hotshot producer / co-scribe will “oversee the production” as it (presumably) kicks off this fall, with Universal and Lava Bear behind the title.
Meanwhile, ComingSoon have more genre casting coming down the pipe. Off his eight-year stint on The Office, Rainn Wilson is taking the obligatory post-series step into a finer medium. Ostensibly aiding him in this transition will be Cooties, described in the most special way as “[a] cautionary tale of a school lunch program gone horribly wrong”; starring alongside him is the already cast Elijah Wood, while Alison Pill, Jorge Garcia (Lost), screenwriter Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious), and Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) have also joined in recent days. The duo known as HONEST (given the birth names of Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott) are to direct, having at their disposal a script penned by Whannell and Ian Brennan.
In Cooties, a chicken nugget carrying a disease only communicable to the pre-pubescent infects a small child, turning her rabid, murderous, and contagious. As things outside turn to chaos, the school’s faculty — Wood plays a substitute; Pill is to be seen as a 4th-grade teacher; Wilson has been cast as a PE instructor — are forced to survive. Wood‘s company, Spectre Vision, will be producing.
Finally, FilmBusinessAsia (via ThePlaylist) have a news item on that independent rascal / slight irritant known as Vincent Gallo. It’s briefly noted that writer-director-actor has completed an onscreen turn in the Japanese thriller Human Trust, directed by Junji Sakamoto and starring Kôichi Satô (Sukiyaki Western Django) & Oldboy villain Yu Ji-Tae.
As centered on “a globetrotting search for a long-lost fund that was confiscated by the American army at the end of World War II,” the film sees Gallo play an American investor, Harold, who employs the skills of an assassin (Yu) to find the man (Satô) responsible for robbing said fund. Intriguing though this may be, we’ve yet to know how large that role proves; it’s not unlikely that his involvement only requires one or two expository scenes and some sneering over the phone — but with this small a production, nearly anything goes.
Human Trust will open on October 19 in Japan.
Which of these titles do you most hope to see? How do you feel about their respective casting decisions?
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