Warner Bros. delays ‘Matrix’ sequel until 2022

2+ Even with cities and their movie theaters cautiously reopening after being shut down for three months, studios are not risking box office failure with their big tentpole films. Just shortly after delaying Wonder Woman 1984 to October 2, comes word that Warner Bros. is halting the 2021 release of the highly-anticipated fourth The Matrix … Continue reading “Warner Bros. delays ‘Matrix’ sequel until 2022”

Warner Bros. hires Midway’s local employees

The 100 people, mostly game developers, employed at the Midway Games studio in Logan Square are now employees of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Midway spokesman Geoffrey Mogilner said.

Midway closed Friday on the sale of the majority of its assets, including its Chicago and Seattle game development studios and an intellectual property portfolio that features juggernaut Mortal Kombat, to Warner Bros. Entertainment from $33 million.

“Rather than buying the company and taking on its liabilities, Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. producing CPR’s Glass’ O’Hare kids comedy adapted from “This American Life” shows

Ira Glass, creator and host of the ten-year-old nationally syndicated Chicago Public Radio hit “This American Life,” is developing a string of film projects, mostly adapted from the show.

First up is “Unaccompanied Minors” for Warner Bros. The O’Hare-set children’s comedy will be rewritten by Paul Feig (“Freaks and Geeks”), with an eye toward his directing. It could shoot as early as February.

ReelChicago talked with Glass the day after Warner’s announced “Unaccompanied Minors” on Nov. 7.

Courshon’s course helps filmmakers find distribution

Producer and distribution expert and former Chicagoan  Jerome Courshon tackled the distribution maze when he made his award-winning, 1998 indie God, Sex & Apple Pie, which ultimately led to Warner Bros. distribution and his learning insider information on how filmmakers can score distribution deals.

He’s recently turned his hard-won knowledge into an 18-hour course on 9 DVDs, The Secrets to Distribution: Get Your Movie Distributed Now!

Wachowskis’ original sci-fi epic UK bound, so we hear

IF THERE’S ONE THING directors Andy and Lana Wachowski  are expert at it’s keeping a tight lid on news about their projects, never publicly speaking about them and thus allowing the rest of us to wallow in rumors and speculation. 

Such is the situation with their upcoming Warner Bros. epic, “Jupiter Ascending,” the first time the siblings have written together and their first original sci-fi movie.

‘Contagion’ generated $12.5 mm here in film revenues

Director Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion thriller, centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease, opened in Chicago this weekend, almost a year after cast and crew arrived here last Oct. 19 to begin a two-month shoot.

Budgeted at $60 million, the Warner Bros. epic stars Matt Damon, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow and Laurence Fishburne. 

June 18 first Superman movie extras casting call

An extras casting call, starting Saturday, June 18, is out loud and clear for Warner Bros. new Superman movie, Man of Steel, that starts shooting in the western suburbs and Chicago Aug. 22 for a reported 10 weeks.  

Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, Dawn of the Dead) is the director and playing Clark Kent/Superman is English heartthrob Henry Cavill (The Tudors).  Kevin Costner and Diane Lane play young Clark’s parents. 

Superman flies into Chicago to film here this summer

“SUPERMAN: MAN OF STEEL” lands in Chicago in early summer for a reported 12 weeks of prep and 12 weeks of filming.  The  Warner Bros. blockbuster-budgeted adventure/fantasy stars handsome, young Brit star Henry Cavill  (“The Tudors”) as the Caped Crusader and feisty Amy Adams (“The Fighter”) as smart, tough, warm ambitious and adoring Lois Lane.

Chicago could be on the “Fringe”

Chicago could benefit from the loss of New York’s film and TV production tax incentives ? and the loss of a lucrative TV series.

Gov. David Paterson increased the existing tax break to a more competitive 30% last April. The state allocated $685 million to fund the program through 2013, but it was so successful it ran out of money in less than 10 months.

New York state legislators will vote on renewing the incentives program in late April.

Consequently, the first loss to Gotham is the popular Fox TV sci-fi series, “Fringe.” Production company Warner Bros.

Chicago says goodbye to “ER” after 15 years

For the past 15 years, NBC/Warner Bros.’ Chicago-set “ER” crews came to Chicago three or four times a year to shoot exteriors with stars of the show.

Now “ER” will film here for the last time, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, according to Roger Anderson, who has been the Chicago producer/production manager on the top-rated series for all of its 15 years.

The medical drama will be treated to a two-hour finale airing March 12. Running in its slot a week later will be the mid-season drama, “Kings,” a retelling of David and Goliath set during an alternate history.

The Wachowskis’ are going full blast on posting their new “Ninja Assassin” feature here

THE WACHOWSKIS’ FIRST FEATURE coming out of their handsome new high tech facility at 5645 N. Ravenswood is the big-budgeted action movie, “Ninja Assassin,” for Warner Bros.

Story is about a young ninja who turns his back on orphanage that raised him, leading to a confrontation with a fellow ninja from the clan.

Live action was shot in Berlin from March to July and the Chicago facility staff of 15 are now busy with editing, compositing and special effects. “Ninja Assassin” is set for a January, 2009 release date.

A labor of love: Jerry Vasilatos shoots a short Batman fan tribute on dark deserted streets

Chicago filmmaker Jerry Vasilatos says “no copyright infringement is intended” by his shoestring-budgeted short film “The Dark Knight Project,” which he filmed this past weekend.

His Batman fan short bridges 2005’s “Batman Begins” and the upcoming “The Dark Knight” Warner Bros. blockbuster.

Last spring, Vasilatos returned to Chicago after 10 years in L.A. working as a producer, director and editor with clients including Universal Home Video, The Reelz Channel and Fox Atomic.

Gamebeat Studios wins the Lottery — music house to score big Summer Campaign spot package

A NICE 10TH ANNIVERSARY PRESENT for Darryl S. Duncan’s Gamebeat Studios was landing the scoring assignment for the Illinois Lottery’s Summer Campaign for the second year in a row.

Gamebeat will compose music for three TV and two radio spots each for the urban market, with version for general and Hispanic markets for lottery agency R.J. Dale and producer Darryl Manuel.

A former songwriter for Warner Bros. and A&M records in Hollywood, Duncan founded his company in April, 1998. He employs seven and works out of a 3,000-sq. ft.

Tickets all sold out for CIFF’s Chicago premiere of “The Dark Knight,” but you might try eBay

All 440 seats at the IMAX Theatre at Navy Pier have been sold out for the Chicago International Film Festival’s July 16 Chicago premiere of “The Dark Night.”

The block of tickets Warner Bros. allotted to CIFF were sold out within hours of the May 16 announcement to CIFF members. But you can bid on originally-priced $150 ticket being offered on eBay starting at $232.

A tribute and Visionary Award presentation to “The Dark Knight’s” writer/director Christopher Nolan will precede the screening of the two-and-a-half hour movie.