What's Popping: 'The Lone Ranger', 'Ninja Turtles', ' 1984', 'Snow Crash', 'World War Z'

The Lone Ranger

Just last year, Disney had to shut down Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger because they felt the $250 million price tag was too expensive. The principals (Disney, Verbinski, and Jerry Bruckheimer) were able to agree on a lower budget at $215 million and production was able to continue. Now, word is coming out that the shoot is days or weeks behind schedule and that the budget has ballooned back up to the original number. Rewrites are reportedly underway to bring the cost under control.

Another movie running into budget problems is Paramount's Ninja Turtles, a reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise that is produced by Michael Bay. The movie was supposed to start production in October, but the studio had to push the start date back and ordered rewrites, hoping to bring budget down to $125 million. Bay revealed that the Turtles will be aliens in the reboot.

Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment is producing a new feature adaptation of George Orwell's 1984, and they have hired Noah Oppenheim to pen the screenplay. The last time the book was adapted into a movie was back in 1984 with John Hurt starring as Winston Smith and Suzanne Hamilton as Julia.

Neal Stephenson's cyberpunk novel Snow Crash may finally get the big screen treatment. Paramount attempted to turn Stephenson's novel into a movie back in 1992, but it didn't get anywhere. The studio is trying again with Attack the Block's Joe Cornish attached to write and direct the feature. If anyone can do it, it'll be Cornish since his Attach the Block is similar in tone to the novel.

World War Z, the Brad Pitt-starring zombie apocalypse movie, has to have its release date pushed back to 2013 to accommodate reshoots, and now we know why. According people in the know, the project was in trouble from the start. The script was clearly not production-ready and the director, Marc Forester, was out of his element in this effects-heavy film. Compounding the movie's woes were turnovers at some key positions.

Other News & Notes:

Sony Animation developing movie based on Hasbro's Tonka trucks.

Jonah Hill finds time for Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained.

Brave may become Pixar's worst-reviewed movie.

Official synopsis for Niell Blomkamp's Elysium released.

Warner Bros and Paramount both wants to adapt Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell video game.

Portia Doubleday and Judy Greer join the cast of MGM's Carrie.

Hideo Nakata to direct The Suicide Forest.

The Artist Jean Dujardin in talks to join Leonardo DiCaprio in Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street.

New Resident Evil: Retribution trailer released.

Meryl Streep slams failed Hollywood blockbusters.

Red band Magic Mike trailer is out.

Will Smith probably won't be in the I Am Legend sequel.

Another batch of toys will come to life in Disney's The Stuff of Legend.

Hugh Laurie in talks to play Omnicorp's CEO in MGM's Robocop remake.

New pics from Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part II released.

Charlize Theron may board John Madden's comedy Murder Mystery.

Christina Applegate actually not confirmed for Anchorman 2.

Set photos from Tom Cruise's Oblivion appear online.

The Woman in Black sequel will find the said woman haunting a group of soldiers.

Duplass brothers in talks to direct Same Time, Next Year remake.

Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen cast in The Canyons.

Matt Damon will reportedly join Tom Cruise in MGM's The Magnificent Seven remake.

Disney dates Frozen for Novenber 27, 2013.

Ray Winstone offered villain role in Noah.

Philip Seymour Hoffman may play Plutarch Heavensbee in Catching Fire.

Ridley Scott teases a longer Prometheus cut.

Charlize Theron shaves head for Mad Max: Fury Road role.

Producers Avi Arad and Matthew Tolmach talk Venom movie.

The Great Wall wants Zhang Ziyi to join Henry Cavill and Bejamin Walker; start date pushed back.

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