Paramount Film Group President Adam Goodman recently sat down for a lengthy chat with THR, and during the course of the conversation, the exec revealed a veritable truckload of information about the studio’s upcoming projects and plans for the future. Read on for details about the next Transformers, the Top Gun sequel, and casting for Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. Trust us when we tell you that’s just scratching the surface of what Goodman discussed.
After three films that earned staggering amounts of money at the box office, Michael Bay’s newest Transformers film is moving in a slightly different direction. It will still feature “giant f***ing robots” but star Shia LaBeouf will apparently not be back.
THR asked Goodman if making Transformers 4 without LaBeouf was risky and he responded with “The story is going in a different direction now. Ehren Kruger [who wrote the past two Transformers movies] is writing it for us, and we're starting to engage, but I can't say anything more.”
Goodman doesn’t divulge much there, but the “different direction” part seems to hint that some significant changes are in store for the series. If LaBeouf doesn’t end up in the film, Transformers 4 will be the first feature in the series to shoot without either LaBeouf or actress Megan Fox – the stars of the original – in the cast.
In another interesting bit of Transformers news, Goodman reveals that if he had it to do all over again, he would have released the franchise through the Nickelodeon Studios shingle. We question the wisdom of that one – since it would have made Transformers feel more like a kid’s movie than something with broad mainstream appeal. Perhaps that perception will change with the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Another Paramount project that has people intrigued is Top Gun 2 – a sequel to the classic Tom Cruise film. We’ve heard bits and pieces of information about the studio’s plans, but Goodman gives us the official word.
“We'll likely make a Top Gun sequel with Tom Cruise first [before the next Mission: Impossible]. Jerry Bruckheimer would produce, with Tony Scott returning to direct. All parties are moving ahead. We've hired Peter Craig to write the script.”
Getting Bruckheimer, Scott, and Cruise all back together is like a Top Gun fan’s dream – so hopefully they can deliver a sequel worth waiting for.
Goodman recently set a March 2014 release date for Darren Aronofsky’s Biblical film Noah – and THR got him to open up a bit about the project.
“It will be a big, robust production and will have tremendous scale. It's the perfect combination of casting [Russell Crowe, Saoirse Ronan and Jennifer Connelly] and a remarkable adventure.”
He goes on to add that the film is aiming for a PG-13 rating, will be different from what we’ve come to expect from Aronofsky, and will have a budget in $125 million range.
We wrap up with Goodman’s thoughts about the upcoming reboot of horror series The Ring. The executive doesn’t offer up any specific details, but he talks about the success of microbudgeted films like Paranormal Activity and The Devil Inside and sees The Ring working in the same way. “The Ring is something that really lends itself to this format right now, so we're talking to [producer] Walter Parkes about doing something with that.”
The cryptic comment doesn’t say much, but as horror fans we’re not really shocked by the idea that the studio is gung-ho on making more really cheap horror films in hopes of reaping a huge return on investment. It is sort of disappointing to see that horror flicks, which never had huge budgets to begin with, are now expected to work with a fraction of that.
It’s also interesting to note that the examples were all found footage films. Goodman doesn’t say that The Ring reboot will join that subgenre, but could this be a hint?
Check out THR for lots more insight into Paramount’s projects – including info on World War Z, the Jack Ryan franchise reboot, and more.