Harry Potter pushed back to summer 2009

Along with theĀ Prince of Persia movie being pushed back to 2010, it appears that Warner Bros. have decided to push this falls biggest movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince back from November 2008 to July 2009. We get the story from our friends over at The Hollywood Reporter:

“In a surprise move, Warner Bros. has moved the release date of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” from Nov. 21 to July 17. Warners president Alan Horn blamed last winter’s 100-day WGA strike in large part for the shift, suggesting all the major studios have been hurt in the development of new tentpole films for next summer.

“We are still feeling the repercussions of the writers strike, which impacted the readiness of scripts for other films — changing the competitive landscape for 2009 and offering new windows of opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of,” Horn said. “We agreed the best strategy was to move ‘Half-Blood Prince’ to July, where it perfectly fills the gap for a major tentpole release for midsummer.”

The move also reflects execs’ belief that the “summer season is an ideal window for a family tentpole release,” he said.”

Wow, I wasn’t expecting that at all. I mean I can understand something like Prince of Persia being put back (since it’s not already a successful franchise) but a film that’s part of such a big franchise as this being shoved back almost 9 months? That is not good news.

Who knows what the real reason for the move is; I am going to go with the stated one of it will make more money that way (probably trying to reach closer to the level of the box-office monster that is The Dark Knight too). I’m sure it has nothing to do with the quality of the movie…or does it? We shall find out when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince gets its release on July 17th 2009.

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Bale Agrees to Third Batman Movie

It looks like Christian Bale has agreed to play the caped crusader in a third installment of the revamped Batman franchise but only if Christopher Nolan comes back to direct. We get the story from Yahoo:

“The star has appeared as Bruce Wayne and his caped alter-ego in both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

And Bale is willing to star in another film as the superhero – but only if it means working under Nolan again.

He tells GQ magazine, “I would certainly hope (Nolan) would be on board for a third installment of Batman. If he wasn’t I’d have to think long and hard about whether I’d want to continue myself.”

Now this is fantastic news for several reasons; obviously it’s brilliant that we will get Bale back as our beloved dark knight but it also reinforces how respected Christopher Nolan is as a director. If the lead actor of the franchise will only agree to play the role again if Nolan is directing then that testifies to how good of a job he did with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I think we can all agree this is good news…or perhaps not?

John Woo to Direct ‘Caliber’

It appears legendary action director John Woo is directing a movie based on a comic book. We get the story through our friends at ComingSoon.net:

John Woo will direct comic book adaptation, to be unveiled at next week’s Comic-Con in San Diego, reports Variety. The film looks likely to be a three-way co-production of Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil, Barry Levine’s Radical Comics and Lion Rock, the U.S.-based that Woo runs with longstanding partner Terence Chang.

Radical Comics’ hit story sets King Arthur and his knights as 19th century gunslingers in the Pacific Northwest.

Woo, who is currently editing part two of his epic Red Cliff, previously announced that he will helm Lion Rock’s $40 million film 1949, a period romancer set against the tumultuous background of the Chinese Revolution.

Woo’s other Stateside projects include a remake of 1969 French crime drama The Sicilian Clan, which starred Alain Delon and Lino Ventura, and The Divide, the story of a Chinese labourer working on America’s transcontinental railroads in the 19th century.

Now since I am not at all a comic book reader I have inevitably not heard of Caliber but by the description it sounds like it has potential to kick-ass. And I have every faith in John Woo as remember he is the guy who gave us the fantastic action flick Hard Boiled. What are your thoughts on him directing a comic book adaptation?