Adam Brooks will direct “Happy Mother’s Day” for Walden Media, the company confirmed on Monday.

Brooks will also write a new draft of the script for the film, which revolves around four moms on their special day. Walden exec Eric Tovell would not go into further detail about the plot.

Nia Vardalos wrote the initial draft with Keith Nerryman and David A. Newman following up with another draft.

We’ve found more information about the sequel to Nim’s Island. One thing that was kind of surprising, but I sort of expected, was that it appears most of the original cast will not be returning. In fact, currently the only cast member we know of is Bindi Irwin, who was last seen in Free Willy: Escape from Pirate’s Cove, which was the direct to video fourth film in the Free Willy series.  It appears that she will play the role of Nim Rusoe, the role that Abigail Breslin originated.  These are the only other details we’ve managed to find so far.  No word yet on whether Gerard Butler or Jodie Foster will reprise their roles from the original film.

Synopsis

The writer and producer of the smash hit NIM’S ISLAND brings you the much anticipated sequel, RETURN TO NIM’S ISLAND, featuring Bindi Irwin in a wild ride filled with pristine beaches, exotic animals, dastardly pirates, and all your favorite characters from the original.

After his cruise ship discovery of Nim and her beautiful island, Edmund tries to explain the wonder of his find to his classmates only to find that nobody will believe him. Frustrated, Edmund runs away and sneaks aboard the same fateful cruise ship as his last adventure and steals a row boat to make his way to Nim’s Island. At the same time, Nim’s world is turning upside down, as she’s faced with the possibility of having to move to the mainland for her father to pursue his scientific research. Left alone for her last weekend on the island, Nim finds Edmund, as well as the pirate animal poachers that followed him! Soon, Nim and Edmund are in a stealth battle of cunning and wits to rescue her beloved sea lion Selkie. With Nim’s know-how and Edmund’s bravery, they are able to defeat the pirates and maybe even solve the scientific mystery that would allow Nim to stay on her beloved Island.

FREE WILLY meets PETER PAN meets HOME ALONE – with loads of action and laughs – as Bindi Irwin defends the paradise of Nim’s Island!

Won’t Back Down Theatrical Trailer

May 16th, 2012 by Paul Martin

The theatrical trailer for Won’t Back Down is now up at Yahoo Movies.

Directed by Daniel Barnz (Beastly) from a script he co-wrote with Brin Hill, the fact-based drama stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis as a pair of determined mothers who team up to establish a charter school for struggling children in their Pittsburgh neighborhood.

Oscar Isaac co-stars as a ukelele-strumming teacher who takes a romantic interest in Gyllenhaal.  And making his big screen debut is Dante Brown. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Screen Australia has announced a list of films receiving development support, and on that list is a film that I didn’t know was even being considered: Nim’s Island 2.  The sequel actually has a working title of Nim’s Island: The Return of the Pirates.

The creative team for the sequel isn’t the same group of people that worked on the first film.  The producers are Chris Brown and Tom Hoffie.  The screenwriter is Ray Boseley.  The film will be directed by Brendan Maher.

The website listed this as the synopsis: A sequel to the hugely popular family film Nim’s Island.

That isn’t a lot to go on, and I’m going to reach out to Walden Media to see if this is their production, and if it is at all connected to Wendy Orr’s sequel to Nim’s Island, Nim at Sea.  There’s also no word if any of the original cast will be returning for the sequel.  We can only hope!

Fox Animation has acquired the movie rights to children’s book The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by first-time author Christopher Healy.

Chernin Entertainment, which produced Rise of the Planet of the Apes, is attached to produce.

The book, which hits shelves May 1, tells the story of the four princes from the classic fairy tales who saved Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty.

In the tome, the princes’ due is glossed over by various minstrels, but the four young men — cast out of their respective castles — get a shot at redemption and glory when they uncover a plot that could destroy the kingdoms.

The 432-page novel from Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins Children’s Books, is the first from Healy, who was a children’s entertainment reviewer as well as a haunted house zombie actor before writing Saving Your Kingdom.

Healy is repped by Hotchkiss and Associates and Jill Grinberg Literary Management.

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New Release Date for “Parental Guidance”

April 11th, 2012 by Paul Martin

Fox moved the Crystal/Midler comedy Parental Guidance from Thanksgiving to Christmas Day 2012.

In Parental Guidance, Crystal and Midler play “old school grandparents who have a hard time finding a middle ground with their three modernized grandchildren.”  Marisa Tomei plays their daughter Alice, who despite different parenting styles, looks to the common ground of raising kids to mend her rocky relationship with her parents.  Tom Everett Scott plays Alice’s Husband.  Andy Fickman directed the comedy.

After spending eight years at 20th Century Fox, Jonathan Helfgot has been signed by Walden Media to become their new executive vice president of worldwide marketing.

He will oversee marketing of all Walden films and manage Walden’s branding strategies across publishing, licensing, promotions, outreach and new media along with broadening cross-promotional strategies with other divisions of Walden’s parent, the Anschutz Co.

As senior VP of marketing and research at Fox, Helfgot worked on “Avatar,” “X-Men First Class,” the “Alvin and the Chipmunks” franchise, “Taken” and “Rio.”

Fox presidents of domestic marketing Tony Sella and Oren Aviv said in a statement: “Jonathan’s insights across a variety of marketing disciplines have been invaluable. While we will miss his daily contributions, we look forward to joining forces with him and his team at Walden.”

Walden’s upcoming films include “Won’t Back Down,” “Of Men and Mavericks” and the family comedy “Parental Guidance.” Its most recent co-production “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” grossed more than $300 million worldwide.

Warner Home Video has just set Journey 2: The Mysterious Island for release on Blu-ray 3D Combo, Blu-ray Combo and DVD (SRP $44.95, $35.99 and $22.97 respectively).

The Blu-rays are due on 6/5 and the DVD will follow on 7/3.

Extras on the Blu-ray versions will include the Are You Strong Enough to Survive Mysterious Island? featurette, a gag reel and deleted scenes.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island [Blu-ray]

Walden Media’s getting into the holiday spirit, tapping Andy Fickman to direct “Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

Fickman recently completed Walden’s “Parental Guidance,” starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei which will be released on Nov. 21.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” centers on a suburban slacker mom who gets roped into directing her town’s Christmas pageant and gets stuck with the “worst kids in the history of the world” as her cast.

Gerald R. Molen, Chet Thomas and Darin McDaniel are producing with Fickman, Betsy Sullenger and Kelly Charles Crabb exec producing.

Kristen Buckley and Brian Regan are scripting “Best Christmas Pageant Ever” based on the HarperCollins book of the same name by Barbara Robinson. Novella, originally published in McCall’s magazine in 1972, has been turned into a play, a TV movie and a book.

Walden acquired the feature rights in 2010.

I have really enjoyed the two Journey films based on adventures to the places written about by Jules Verne.  Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D was an excellent adventure, and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island took things to the next level with some really fun sequences and some scenes that were entertaining more than they were cheesy.

Now comes word that there will be a third adventure, rounding out a trilogy of adventure films.  The studio is currently targeting a 2014 release for Journey 3.

Here is some more information from The Wrap:

According to reports, the characters played by Josh Hutcherson and Johnson in the last installment return in “Journey 3.”

Director Brad Peyton and screenwriters Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn have signed on for the third film.

“Journey 3″ is produced by Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson and Charlotte Huggins.

It’s probably too early in development to know whether Michael Caine, Vanessa Hudgens, Luis Guzman and/or Kristen Davis will return for the third installment.

Director Brad Peyton commented to Heat Vision: “I grew up a fan of Verne, so I know a lot about the mythologies.  Mysterious Island was one of eight or nine really seminal works. I know we’ve just scratched the surface of what we can do. This one’s going to be a lot bigger. We’re going to go to a completely different world. It’s just going to be a bigger experience, and we’re going to grow the mythology. Journey 2 was about rebooting a franchise; now it’s about making the seminal work in the franchise.”

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