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Guillermo Del Toro Says No to ‘Star Wars’

Guillermo Del Toro

Not many people pass up the opportunity to be involved in the Star Wars franchise. Apparently, Guillermo Del Toro is one of those people.

"We got one phone call to my agent saying, 'Is Guillermo interested?' And basically I have so much stuff already of my own, and I'm pursuing stuff that I'm generating already." The Pan's Labyrinth director said that he was flatter, but that he "just a phone call, it didn't go past that."

I guess we'll just have to settle for imagining what interesting creatures and sets Del Toro would have contributed to the upcoming films. Sigh.

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Guillermo Del Toro to Direct Pinocchio

Guillermo Del ToroGuillermo Del Toro is set to co-direct a stop-motion version of Pinocchio.

The Mexican-born director has been creating the project for some time, first announcing his involvement in 2008, but has now confirmed he will be working alongside Mark Gustaferson - best known for his work on The Fantastic Mr. Fox - to helm the picture.

"Little by little, I realized that I should direct," he told Variety.

The story will be set in Italy between World War I and World War II, with Del Toro saying, "It was when everyone was behaving like a puppet, except for puppets."

"Guillermo has been so passionate about this project from its inception and it is an honor to have him bring his unique blend of live action and animation experience to this well-loved story," said Lisa Henson, CEO of the Jim Henson Company - which is housing the project.

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Guillermo del Toro to Produce Day of the Dead

Guillermo Del ToroGuillermo del Toro will produce CG-animated movie Day of the Dead.

The Pan's Labyrinth director joins Aaron Berger and Carina Schulze of Chatrone Inc. in the Reel FX venture, described as a tragic Romeo & Juliet-style love story that takes place during Mexican holiday Day of the Dead.

The script was penned by animated TV show writer Doug Langdale and co-creator of Nickelodeon's El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera, Jorge R. Gutierrez. Gutierrez is also set to direct the feature.

The film, due for release in late 2014, marks Guadalajara Jalisco native Del Toro's first involvement in a Mexican feature since Cronos in 1993. In recent years, his signature style - mixing fables with horror, history and fantasy - has made him one of the most in demand directors in Hollywood.

Having stepped down from his role in producing the film adaptation of The Hobbit, Del Toro is currently working on sci-fi blockbuster Pacific Rim for Legendary Pictures. The apocalyptic action film, due for release in May next year, stars The Wire's Idris Elba in his first lead role.

Emma Watson to Star in Beauty and the Beast?

Emma WatsonEmma Watson is in talks to star in Beauty and the Beast.

The Harry Potter actress - who played Hermione Granger in the fantasy series - is reportedly in the final stages of negotiations to appear in Guillermo Del Toro's remake of classic fairytale, Variety reports.

Emma is being talked about for the role of Belle, who gets trapped in the palace of a former prince who has been turned into a monster by a curse. The script for the project - which is expected to be released in 2014 - is set to be penned by Bridget Jones' Diary screenplay co-writer Andrew Davies, with Denise DiNovi in line to direct.

The 21-year-old beauty was recently linked to Your Voice in My Head - which tells the story of a young woman who tries to kill herself before being saved by a psychiatrist who is dying - which would see her team up again with Harry Potter director David Yates.

Warner Bros is reportedly interested in getting Emma involved in the motion picture, while Tom Hanks and George Clooney have been talked about to play the role of the medical professional.

Cinema Scene: Joss Whedon Helms Avengers, Del Toro’s Haunted Mansion

Joss Whedon-Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Joss Whedon officially announced at Comic-Con that he will be directing The Avengers. The superhero film is scheduled for a May 4, 2012 release.

-According to Will Arnett and show creator Mitch Hurwitz, the Arrested Development movie is still going to happen. I guess I’ll believe it when I see it?

-Lionsgate finally blinked. Saw 3D, originally scheduled to debut on Oct. 22, has been pushed to Oct. 29 - one week after Paranormal Activity 2 premieres.

-A Hobbit-less Guillermo del Toro is focusing on his next project. He is now planning to produce, write and possibly direct a scary version of Disney’s The Haunted Mansion.

-Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, has been chosen to open the 67th Venice Film Festival. The festival opens September 1.

Sequel News: The Hobbit, Wimpy Kid and More

The Hobbit: Guillermo Del Toro’s exit from The Hobbit doesn’t necessarily mean an end for the prequels. Lord of the Rings’ Peter Jackson is now in talks to serve as both producer and director. It’s still hoped the two films can be released in 2012 and 2013.

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Sequel News: Romy and Michele, Planet of the Apes and More

Planet of the Apes: The apes will rise again in 2011 when Fox delivers a Planet of the Apes prequel. The movie - currently titled Rise of the Apes - will have photo-realistic apes incorporated into the cautionary tale. The story, written by The Relic‘s Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa, will explain how genetic engineering experimentation lead to the apes’ development. The Rupert Wyatt-directed film will be set in present-day San Francisco.

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The Hobbit Filming Delayed

Andy SerkisSad news for Tolkien fans: will not be filmed until the end of the year.

Andy Serkis - who has played Gollum in the three former movies - confirms work on the film, which was due to start this month, has been put on hold.

“That’s probably not looking like it’s gonna happen until the end of the year-ish, that’s the latest I’ve heard. It’s a bit of a movable feast at the moment, really,” Serkis said.

However, the 46-year-old confesses he knows little about the scheduling in reality. He told film website Collider.com, “I think it’s towards the back-end of this year. I’m really ashamed to say, I’m probably no better off than you are because dates keep changing and all the rest of it.”

Just last month, Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll actor Serkis said he was looking forward to working on the film: “It’s going to happen. I think it’s due to start shooting in May. It’s going to be exciting, especially working with new director , who’s fantastic.”

Remake News: Dune, 21 Jump Street and More

Dune: “He who controls the spice, controls the universe!” Frank Herbert’s 1965 science fiction book, Dune, will get another shot at the big screen thanks to Paramount. Pierre Morel, the director behind the wildly successful Taken, has just been assigned to the futuristic tale. (David Lynch directed Universal’s 1984 release.) No writer has yet been chosen for the new adaptation.

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Remake News: The Orphanage, Twilight Zone and More

The Orphanage: One of the most haunting movies I’ve seen in the past few years is being given an English-language redo. The Orphanage, the 2007 Spanish film from director Juan Antonio Bayona, will now be in the hands of Larry Fessenden. Guillermo del Toro, the producer on the original project, will serve the same role on this version. Guillermo also assisted Larry with the new script.

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