What's Popping: 'Hobbit 3', 'Ghostbusters 3', 'World of Warcraft', 'Prometheus 2', 'Bad Santa 2'

The Hobbit

The third Hobbit movie started out as a rumor, and it was officially denied by Warner Bros until Peter Jackson came out and confirmed it. While only two Hobbit movies were planned, Jackson feels that there is more to the story that's still untold, so he's taking the opportunity to tell them with the third installment. All the major stakeholders have agreed to proceed on the third Hobbit, and the movie will start production next summer for a summer 2014 release.

It looks like Ghostbusters 3 will actually happen now that Bill Murray has given his blessing for Sony et al to make it without him. “Ghostbusters 3 can be a successful movie without Bill. My preference would be to have him involved but at this point he doesn't seem to be coming and we have to move on. It's time to make the third one,” Aykroyd told Metro. Men in Black 3's Etan Cohen is writing the latest draft of the script.

Sam Raimi revealed at Comic Con that he's no longer directing the World of Warcraft adaptation, but it looks like the movie is still moving forward without him. Legendary Pictures has hired Blood Diamond's Charles Leavitt to write the screenplay, and the production studio is said to be looking for Raimi's replacement.

While not universally loved, Ridley Scott's Prometheus did well enough at the box office that the sequel is almost a sure thing. According to Bleedingcool, Fox has confirmed that they're “actively pushing ahead” with the sequel, and they're eyeing a release date in either 2014 or 2015, depending on Scott's schedule.

Bad Santa 2 has been in development for a long time, and it looks like the movie is getting a bit closer to happening. According to Deadline, Steve Pink is in early talks to rewrite Johnny Rosenthal's script and to direct it. Billy Bob Thornton is expected to reprise his role should the movie gets made.

Other News & Notes:

Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen confirmed for Scary Movie 5.

Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren reteam for Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.

Christian Bale in talks for Creed of Violence.

Trailer for Nobody Walks online.

Total Recall gallery updated with new pictures.

More photos added to the Hotel Transylvania gallery.

Jason Clarke joins Roland Emmerich's White House Down as the leader of the bad guys.

Jennifer Ehle has been cast as Liz Kline in the Robocop remake.

Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer may have a supporting role in Ridley Scott's The Counselor.

Chris McCoy is writing the Guardians of the Galaxy script for Marvel.

Kristen Stewart will star in the indie drama Lie Down in Darkness.

Keira Knightley, Felicity Jones, Evangeline Lilly contending for the female lead in the Jack Ryan reboot.

Matthew McConaughey joins Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street.

Lynn Cohen will play Mags in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Christopher Eccleston is replacing Mads Mikkelsen as the villain in Thor 2.

X-Men: First Class 2 confirmed to be based on the Days of Future Past storyline.

Drew Barrymore will direct end-of-the-world drama The End for Warner Bros.

Kevin Zegers added to the cast of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

Stacey Snider replacing Ron Meyer as Universal's head may not be true.

MGM settles with producers of Raging Bull 2; movie will be retitled to The Bronx Bull.

Vertigo replaces Citizen Kane on Sight & Sound's greatest list.

William Hurt boards Akiva Goldsman's directorial debut A Winter's Tale.

Special edition of 3D glasses made for The Hobbit.

Hugh Jackman and Lee Daniels may team for MLK assassination film Orders to Kill.

James Bond meets his new foe in the new Skyfall trailer.

Will Ferrell and Josh Gad join Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in The Internship.

Wes Craven may develop his graphic novel Coming of Rage into a movie.

James Franco will play the villain in Jason Statham's Homefront.

Demian Bichir, Jessica Chaffin, and Jamie Denbo board Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy buddy cop comedy The Heat.

Marc Webb may return to direct The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Rush Hour 4 is in the works, and it'll be "more gritty."

Emma Stone is set to star in Cameron Crowe's new romantic comedy Deep Tiki.

Jon M. Chu is in the mix to direct Sony's Masters of the Universe.

Bill Murray may topline Fox's comedy St. Vincent De Van Nuys.

Cain and Abel are added to Darren Aronofsky's bibilical tale Noah.

Warner Bros is consider The Shining prequel.

Mark Wahlberg and Liam Neeson are wanted for Vincenzo Natali's Neuromancer.

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