Weekly Movie News Round-Up: June 14-18

I follow all the news so you don't have to...

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Here's what you may have missed:

(1) Sam Raimi directing Wizard of Oz Prequel.  This is a huge get for Disney.  Sam Mendes was originally set to direct but pulled out, and now that Raimi no longer has Spider-Man on his plate, he was able to take this one on.  It's called Oz: The Great and Powerful.  Disney is clearly aiming to tap into the same audience that made Alice in Wonderland a huge hit earlier this year.  Let's hope Raimi makes a better movie than that.  A good first step?  Securing Robert Downey, Jr. in the lead - a distinct possibility at this point.

(2) An "Edgy" Fraggles Movie?  Word has it that the Weinstein Company recently rejected a draft of a Fraggles screenplay from Cory Edwards (Hoodwinked).  The reason?  Not edgy enough.  Uh, since when were the Fraggles "edgy"?

(3) WB & MGM want Peter Jackson to direct The Hobbit.  The departure of Guillermo Del Toro has caused quite a stir.  With the search for a replacement in full swing, WB & MGM (the two studios behind the film) are trying to woo Peter Jackson (already a co-writer and producer) to actually direct the thing.  Let's hope he says yes.  Just look at the other rumored contenders: David Dobking (Fred Claus), David Yates (Harry Potter 4-7), and Brett Ratner (Rush Hour).  Of those three, only Yates has the pedigree to do it, but that choice certainly doesn't excite me.  What about Alfonso Cuaron?

(4) Sony meeting with writers already for Karate Kid II.  After the remake of The Karate Kid made a surprising $56 million last weekend, talk of a sequel was all but inevitable.  I liked the Jaden Smith-Jackie Chan version quite a bit (giving it **** last week), so I'd be up for a sequel as long as they do it right.  How does this work though?  Do they remake the original Karate Kid II, or do they come up with their own sequel?

(5) Ghost Rider 2 might have its director(s).  I don't think anyone was clamoring for a Ghost Rider sequel, but looks like they're doing it anyway.  Fans of Crank and Gamer will be happy though because directors Neveldine/Taylor - yes, that's how they bill themselves - are rumored to be helming Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.  This does not bode well.

(6) The Monster Squad remake has writers.  More bad news.  The guys behind the Brendan Fraser-starring Journey to the Center of the Earth have been hired to script the remake of this '87 cult classic.  This does not inspire confidence.

(7) Alex Garland scripting the Logan's Run remake.  Yet another remake, but at least this writer has talent.  Garland did 28 Days Later and Sunshine, among other things.  A good choice, and a Logan's Run remake actually makes sense to me.

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