Update: It turns out that the rumor we picked up about Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs being in development was true. However, according to I09, our tipster was incorrect in noting that Phil Lord and Chris Miller will be returning to direct. They will, however, be working creative team behind the project, as well as helping to develop the story.
Over the last year or so, Pajiba has managed to amass a few industry sources who, for whatever reason, like to share information with us. We are thankful. Some of it we report; some of it we don’t. We try to get, if not confirmation, at least some sense of whether the wind is blowing toward the truth in each instance. In the last several weeks, our sources have provided a few items that we feel are worth noting, despite the lack of track record. However, unlike the scoops we get from the Hollywood Cog, which have been confirmed so often now that we’ve come to consider him completely reliable, the following items should be treated as rumor, as they come from so-far unproven sources (although one insider source was accurate about a very big project we reported a few weeks back).
The first two items come from someone who claims to be familiar with the Sony Animation studio. She claims that Sony has put a sequel to the charming Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs into development. The directors of the original, Phil Lord and Chris Miller (who are off now doing the big-screen remake of 21 Jump Street), are attached to return to the sequel. It’s further likely that the sequel will be based in part on the book’s sequel, Pickles to Pittsburgh. This is hardly a stretch to imagine, however, given the critical success of Cloudy, the eye-popping 3D visuals, and the $124 million box-office gross (on top of a tidy DVD sum, I would imagine). (I might note, also, that we’ve heard unkind things about Jonah Hill’s 21 Jump Street script from a separate source. I expect that Phil Lord and Chris Miller could do wonders for it, however.).
The same source also reports that Sony Animation is developing a movie called Dark Samurai, which is a animated Samurai movie set in the future. Jerome Chen, who did the visual effects on Beowulf and The Polar Express is being considered for the directing gig. For what that’s worth.
Likewise, over at Sony, Genndy Tartakovsky — who wrote, directed, and produced the animated television series “Star Wars: Clone Wars” and “Samurai Jack,” is up to direct an animated comedy called Fixed, about a dog that doesn’t want to be.
Yet another source lets us know that producer Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes), via his production company, is apparently hoping to do for the Old West what he did with Holmes, putting a feature version of Geronimo into development. The action-adventure movie — a cross between The Last of the Mohicans and 300 — will focus on the unlikely friendship between an American journalist the famous Indian warrior, who join forces when their lives are threatened by the new American West. That movie will be based on a forthcoming comic book from French writer Alexis Nolent.
Finally, the long-in development big-screen version of I Dream of Jeannie, which is being produced by Sid Ganis and Out of the Blue Entertainment, continues to hit snags along the way. Further development on the project is stalled until they can find an acceptable script — a number of screenwriters, including Steve Franks and, most recently, Rita Hsiao (Toy Story 2, Mulan) have taken a pass at it, but it’s still not ready to go. Katherine Heigl is still loosely attached to the project (although, given the gestation period on this, I wouldn’t expect that she’d land in the role anytime soon, if at all).
And that’s your industry scraps for today.