What's Popping: 'Catching Fire', 'Iron Man 3', 'Captain America 2', Mel Gibson, 'Sin City 2'
In its fourth week of release, The Hunger Games is still going strong at the box office. The movie is expected to come in first once again with an estimated take somewhere in the neighborhood of $18-$20 million this weekend. But due to poor planning on Lionsgate's part, work on the sequel, Catching Fire, is experiencing some hiccups. With the sequel scheduled for a fall shoot and Gary Ross not returning to direct, Lionsgate has to scramble to find Ross' replacement. Rumor is, the studio is kicking the tires of Alfonso Cuaron, David Cronenberg, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
Ben Kingsley is going to play a villain in Iron Man 3, but he is not playing the primary villain and, according to the studio sources, he is definitely not playing the Mandarin, at least not in his classic caricature. As a villain, Kingsley will not only kick a few puppies on his way to work, but he will have a role in the spread of some nanovirus that's central to the plot of Iron Man 3.
F. Gary Gray was in the running to direct Captain America 2, but with him taking on the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, the list of potential candidates, that we know about, is down to two: Joe & Anthony Russo and George Nolfi. Who will be voted off the island next? That F in his name is short for Felix, by the way. I guess he doesn't want to be called by that name.
Things were quite on the Mel Gibson front for awhile, but with all things Gibson, things won't stay quiet for long. Earlier this week, after Warner Bros announced that they won't be moving forward on the Judah Maccabee movie that Joe Eszterhas and Mel Gibson have been collaborating on, Eszterhas released a 9-page letter online that basically accuses Gibson of using him and the pretence of the movie to defect negative attention targeted at Gibson. Eszterhas also accuses Gibson of, gasp!, anti-Semitism. In other Gibson news, Robert Rodriguez wants Gibson and Michelle Williams to join Danny Trejo for Machete Kills.
Speaking of Robert Rodriguez, he will co-direct Sin City 2 with Frank Miller and the movie will go into production this summer. Yes, Sin City 2 is finally a reality after all these years because Rodriguez found a company to finance the sequel. The first Sin City made over $150 million worldwide on a $40 million budget.
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