What's Popping: 'The Hobbit', 'Metal Gear', 'Iron Man 3', 'Justice League', 'Ninja Turtles'

The Hobbit

The third Hobbit movie now has a name and a release date. It is titled, surprise!, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, which was what the second movie was called before the change. As for the second movie, it is now retitled to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The release date for the first two movie remain the same, while the third one is dated for July 18, 2014.

There was an effort to adapt Konami's popular video game Metal Gear for the big screen back in 2008, but that didn't get very far. Now, the adaptation is getting another chance with Avi Arad on board to produce. Arad said at an event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the property that video game movies are going to be like the comic movies of today.

Guy Pearce said in an interview with Vulture that his work in Prometheus and Iron Man 3 “are really kind of cameo stuff.” Given that Pearce's character, Aldrich Killian, is the primary villain in the movie, who is assisted by Ben Kingsley's Mandarin in the shadows, it's kind of a odd thing to say. However, if we remember his screen time in Prometheus, it was pretty short as well, but it was effective. Depending on how he is used in the movie, his screen time, or lack of it, may not be an issue at all.

Warner Bros has a script for Justice League, their Avengers-like superhero movie, ready to go, and all the studio has to do now is to look for the right director. Christopher Nolan was WB's first choice, but he wasn't interested in taking on the movie. Ben Affleck was next on the list, but he passed on it as well. The studio is reportedly talking to The Wachowskis and Brett Ratner to get their takes on the movie. We'll know soon enough who the studio will choose to direct Justice League, a movie that will kick off WB's other superhero movies like Wonder Woman, The Flash, etc.

The script for Ninja Turtles has found its way online, and now we know why production was halted. In the script, the Turtles are sent to Earth from Dimension X by a race of, well, turtles who viewed the four as the Chosen Ones. However, the Turtles are not the focus of the movie; it is April O'Neill and Casey Jones. Not only that, Shredder, the villain in the movie, is no longer a ninja but a military Colonel named Schrader. Obviously, Peter Laird, the creator of the Turtles, wasn't happy with the changes and thanked “powers that be” for halting production while they come up with a better script.

Other News & Notes:

Screenwriters describe their take on the God of War movie.

Terrence Malick's To the Wonder synopsis online.

Zac Efron to star in Tom Gormican rom-com Are We Officially Dating?

Sylvester Stallone's son, Sage, died of a heart attack, according to coroner.

Rihanna wants a role in the new Scarface movie.

Ethan Hawke confirms work on Before Sunset sequel in Greece.

Photo: Chris Pine as Jack Ryan.

The Avengers returns to theaters with possibly new end credit scene in tow.

Will Smith's company is producing Sony's biblical Cain & Abel tale The Redemption of Cain.

The next Oscars will allow five Best Song nominees.

Shia LaBeouf says he sent in a sex tape to Lars Von Trier to get Nymphomaniac role.

Joss Whedon talks about The Avengers and Marvel's TV series.

Michael Keaton joins Robocop remake as film's villain.

Oldboy's Chan-wook Park to direct the western The Brigands of Rattleborge.

Ryan Gosling will direct Christina Hendricks in fantasy noir How to Catch a Monster.

Michael Douglas is playing Ronald Reagan in the Ridley Scott-produced drama Reykjavik.

Castlevania movie is still in the works, according to Paul W.S. Anderson.

Steven Spielberg passes on bin Laden drama No Easy Day.

Jerry Bruckheimer says production on The Lone Ranger is almost done in update.

Careless smoking the reason behind Tyler Perry's Atlanta studio fire.

Alternate opening for The Avengers online.

Sam Raimi wins case against unauthorized Evil Dead 4 movie.

Shia LaBeouf says he dropped acid for The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman role.

3D Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith coming at you next fall.

British actor Andy Nyman is playing The Tumour in Kick-Ass 2.

Set pics of the Bourne Woods in Thor 2.

Jamie Bell and Connie Nielsen join Shia LaBeouf, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stellan Skarsgard in Von Trier's Nymphomaniac.

Jose Padilha says working on the Robocop remake has been "hell."

Set pics of Leonardo DiCaprio as The Wolf of Wall Street.

LeBron James wants to be in movies, specifically Space Jam 2.

Tyler Perry's Atlanta Studios catches fire.

Jack Ryan dated for December 25, 2013.

Josh Holloway in talks to play one of the DEA members in David Ayer's thriller Ten.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Tom Hardy team up for untitled anti-poaching movie.

Michael Fassbender may join Natalie Portman in Jane Got A Gun.

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to produce Dragonology for Universal.

Morgan Freeman and Elizabeth Banks board Warner Bros' Lego movie.

Trailer: On the Road.

Trailer: The Iceman.

Trailer: The Company You Keep.

Trailer: The To Do List.

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