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Gary Ross Lined up for Houdini

Gary RossGary Ross is set to direct Houdini.

The filmmaker - who recently directed the first installment of The Hunger Games - is in negotiations to helm the big screen adaptation of The Secret Life of Houdini, The Making of America's First Superhero, William Kalush and Larry Sloman's biography of escapologist Harry Houdini. The book is famed for insinuating Houdini acted as a spy for Britain, helped the Secret Service and was in cahoots with police organizations.

Summit Entertainment picked up feature-film rights to the book in March 2009 with the aim of launching an action-thriller franchise and Noah Oppenheim wrote the most recent draft of the script.

Ross - who has previously helmed Pleasantville and Seabiscuit - recently pulled out of directing the sequel to The Hunger Games with Francis Lawrence replacing him. Although Ross is yet to sign up, bosses are hoping he will agree to do it, but he is known for being very choosy about his projects.


Francis Lawrence to Direct Hunger Games Sequel

Francis LawrenceFrancis Lawrence is set to direct the Hunger Games sequel.

Studio Lionsgate have been searching for someone to helm the follow-up to the first instalment of the franchise after it was revealed Gary Ross would not be returning. So now they have made an offer to Lawrence to direct Catching Fire and are waiting for him to sign the deal.

Lawrence - who has previously directed I Am Legend and Water for Elephants - was up against Bennett Miller for the role but it is thought he was always the favorite because he had a clearer schedule, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Up until recently Ross was set to return to the franchise and revealed he was to make the next film in the three part series written by Suzanne Collins.

Josh Hutcherson’s Praise for Gary Ross

Josh Hutcherson with Suzanne Collins and Gary Ross

Josh Hutcherson can't imagine making a Hunger Games sequel without Gary Ross.

The director has ruled himself out of the running for Catching Fire, the follow up to the hugely successful first movie in the trilogy which tells the story of a futuristic world where teenagers are forced to fight to the death live on TV for entertainment but Josh admitted Gary is "100 per cent" his choice to direct: "Gary [Ross] is my guy, 100 per cent, through and through. He killed the first one. He absolutely knocked it out of the park. Everyone who worked with him loved him. Myself and Jennifer [Lawrence] and all of the other cast members loved him. I couldn't imagine making the movie without him. That's what I have to say about that."

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Gary Ross’ Hunger Games Sequel Plans

Gary Ross and The Hunger Games castGary Ross "intends" to make the next Hunger Games movie

The director of The Hunger Games has revealed that he is set to make the next film in the three part series written by Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire, because he has been asked to.

"I am attached to the next film and I'm intending to do it, I haven't had a chance to think about it yet. So many people ask me adaptation questions or 'Who's gonna play so-and-so?' I literally finished this movie Tuesday at midnight, I finished color timing, and then I went into the junket a day later, so it's not like I've had a chance to think about Catching Fire, but yeah it's my intention to do the next one. They've asked me to do so," he said.

Actor Liam Hemsworth, who plays Gale Hawthorne in the film, is very much looking forward to working with Gary for the follow-up:

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Jennifer Lawrence ‘Carries’ Hunger Games Movie

Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger GamesJennifer Lawrence singlehandedly "carries" the Hunger Games movie, according to producers.

The Winter's Bone actress stars as protagonist Katniss Everdeen in the movie which tells the story of teenagers in the future forced to compete to the death live on TV for entertainment, and producers Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik say the movie is anchored by Jennifer's strong performance.

"To have [Katniss] be strong, and smart and independent. That's what we had to get right. [Jennifer Lawrence] just brought all that with her amazing talent and incredible work ethic. She just brought the best and carried us all on her back," Jon explained to The Hollywood Reporter.

The pair also have high praise for director Gary Ross, explaining they needed to find a filmmaker who shared author Suzanne Collins' "honest" voice. "I felt that we needed to find a voice for the movie that was as honest as the voice in the book. You want to find that ethical voice that Suzanne Collins found. And that's very hard I think to pull off, but I think Gary really found a way to hit that right in the sweet spot. Katniss is a very three-dimensional character. You feel like you know her. And not every filmmaker could capture that voice and make sure that the storytelling came from character," Nina said.

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Columbia Moving Forward with Venom


Spider-Man 4 screenwriter Gary Ross is to direct a spin-off film based on super-villain . Ross - who directed Pleasantville and Seabiscuit and whose screenwriting credits include Big and Dave - is to rewrite the script and helm the hotly-anticipated project.

It is not yet known whether , the actor who played the alien parasite in 2007’s Spider-Man 3, will return. Topher, 31, has only just signed on to star in Robert Rodriguez’s Predators - based on the character from the cult 1987 sci-fi film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger - so it is unlikely he will have time for the role.

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Read More | Variety

Spider-Man 4 Script Still Being Rewritten

SpidermanThe script for the fourth film in the franchise is being rewritten…again. Originally penned by James Vanderbilt and then rewritten by David Lindsay-Abaire, the pages are now in the hands of Gary Ross.

In his career, Ross has directed Seabiscuit and Pleasantville. Both films, interestingly, starred , who plays the title role in the Spidey movies.

The fourth film is scheduled to go into production early next year…provided, of course, there’s a finished script by that time.

Read More | Variety

Casting Corner: Tobey Maguire, Fergie, Michael Vartan

Tobey Maguire

Here’s a quick look at some of the casting announcements made recently:

While the Spider-Man execs keep themselves busy with talk about a fourth installment, Tobey Maguire is preparing to act in less-flashy fare.

For his next project, Maguire will reteam with director Gary Ross for another period piece. (The two previously worked together on both Pleasantville and Seabiscuit.) In The Crusaders, Tobey will play Jack Greenberg, a lawyer who was involved in 1954’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education case.

The film, an adaptation of Greenberg’s actual memoirs, will be written by Danny Strong - a recent nominee for his work on HBO’s Recount.

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Hollywood Reporter