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SALT LAKE CITY — News coming through the movie-rumor mill harkens back to the days when staying home sick meant you had to watch daytime television. If serial soap operas didn’t grab your interest, it was reruns of “Little House on the Prairie,” or some then-classic Western like “Gunsmoke” or “The Lone Ranger.”
Well, sick days are coming to a theater near you with a lineup of all the old favorites. Minus some standby-police drama, Hollywood believes they have what we’ve been waiting for with offerings from three of your favorite daytime genres: Man-in-suit sci-fi, Westerns and anything about the Ingalls family.
“Little House on the Prairie”
Mike Fleming at Deadline is reporting that, "Sony Pictures is in negotiations to turn 'Little House On The Prairie' into a feature film that David Gordon Green will direct with Abi Morgan writing the script."
The team of Green and Morgan is an unbelievably bizarre one considering the wholesome nature of both the TV show and the original semi-autobiographical novels by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Green is best known for directing adult-themed comedies like "Pineapple Express" and "Your Highness," while Morgan is almost only known for the Michael Fassbender sexual addiction film, "Shame."
Assuming the two can tap into the innocent nature of the original stories, the project still may be a tough sell to Michael Landon fans, who can't imagine another actor portraying the father of the Ingalls family. However, with such an unusual creative team in place, it's hardly likely that Sony is looking to draw in the original fan base.
“The Lone Ranger”
Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski's take on the original cowboy vigilante, "The Lone Ranger," has been an on-again-off-again project for some time. Disputes about budget and creative direction have plagued the project from its conception, but with production pictures flooding the Internet and the latest teaser available at Apple.com, it appears Silver will definitely be riding again in July of 2013.
The teaser features various scenic images while an unidentified voice describes the dawning of a new era, where horses are no longer the fastest means of travel. Subsequent clips suggest a criminal plot to control a new system of trains, before Depp's Tonto offers his sage wisdom: "There come a time kemosabe, when good man must wear mask."
There's no question, after viewing the teaser, where the money went in this production. Whether or not the film is any good is still anyone's guess, but the footage is beautiful and the action highly stylized.
Depp has been quoted as saying, "I'm a long way from Jack Sparrow," when asked by USA Today, about his portrayal of Tonto.
Filming for "Lone Ranger" recently finished filming in New Mexico, Colorado, California and Utah, according to USA Today.
“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”
Audiences were pretty surprised when "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" turned out to be a decent movie. The franchise had become something of a punch line after Tim Burton and Mark Wahlberg failed to make it interesting in 2001, so when critics proclaimed "Rise" a movie worth seeing, people were slow to hand over their cash for the experience.
In the end, "Rise" brought in almost $500 million worldwide, making it a prime candidate for a sequel — in this case, "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," set to be released in 2014.
Unfortunately, Rupert Wyatt, Director of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," has walked away from the project citing scheduling conflicts as the reason.
How likely is it that Wyatt, known almost exclusively for directing the critically acclaimed "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," walked away from his star vehicle because of scheduling?
No one knows for sure at the moment, though Fox took no time in replacing him. Deadline again has the scoop with Fleming reporting that the director of "Cloverfield," Matt Reeves, will be taking over for Wyatt.
Hopefully the quick action is a sign that Fox is dedicated to this project and has a clear vision of what they'd like to see for the next "Planet of the Apes" chapter. However, one might see Wyatt leaving and the frantic recovery as a sign the project is in trouble, and Fox is more interested in their deadline than the quality of the picture. Then one might point to "X-Men: The Last Stand" as their evidence that this is far more likely the case than that first thing stated.
A quick recap for the week has Adele confirmed to perform the "Skyfall" theme song. New pictures of the latest Iron Man suit are available online. Warner Brothers has released the details of "The Dark Knight Rises" Blu-ray and DVD release, and Aintitcool was nice enough to do a write-up on it. And finally, Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are set to start in a film based on the book "All You Need is Kill."
You can contact Travis at TSPoppleton@gmail.com.