Cleo writer Carl Ellsworth pens remakes of Red Dawn, Last House on the Left
#1
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#2
Our boy Carl Ellsworth is in the news again - he co-wrote the screenplay for the new Shia LaBeouf/Carrie-Anne Moss film "Disturbia," about a teen under house arrest, who watches his creepy neighbor (David Morse) and becomes convinced he's a serial killer. It's described as sort of a high-tech teen variation on Hitchcock's classic "Rear Window." (Although more disturbing is the idea of Trinity actress Moss playing the mom! :laugh: ) Sarah Romer (who appared as a character named "Lacey" in "The Grudge 2") plays the love interest.
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#3
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Carl's new movie is number one, taking in an estimated $23 million, or more than double what the Tarantino/Rodriguez thriller "Grindhouse" did last week, bumping "Blades of Glory" down to # 2, and relegating Bruce Willis and Halle Berry (in the new "Perfect Stranger") to 4th place, and Karl Urban's "Pathfinder" to # 6. Details

....

ed. to add: it's still at the top for the 2nd week now, up to $1 million in 10 days - details here.
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#4
It's still # 1 in the nation, three weeks running! It beat out the premieres of "The Invisible," Nicholas Cage's "Next," Stone Cold Steve Austin's "The Condemned," and Jamie Kennedy's "Kickin' It Old Skool."

Although everyone has pointed out that this April has been really really slow at the box office, after a remarkably big Feb. and March.

"Disturbia" has now earned $52.2 million after three weekends, "and gives Viacom Inc.-owned Paramount a five-weekend run at No. 1. This feat was last achieved in November/December 2004 with the Walt Disney Co. pair of The Incredibles and National Treasure.
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#5
[COLOR="RoyalBlue"][SIZE="2"]And even in the week in which Cleo producer Sam Raimi's Spidey 3 set a new all-time box-office record, grossing almost $150 million in 3 days..."Disturbia" still beat out everything else, confidently holding second place with $5.7 million ($59.9 million overall) in its fourth week out. Smile :clap:


.....

edited to add: in its 5th week, "Disturbia" managed to hold on at # 4, behind Spider-Man 3,
28 Weeks Later, and Georgia Rule (described as "tops among movies about non-undead people who are utterly useless when it comes to saving Manhattan from Sandman") with another $4.8 million, beating out the debuts of "Delta Farce," and "The Ex."

Making this the fifth week that either a producer or writer of "Cleo" held the # 1 spot. :bg:
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#6
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#7
Disturbia ran on HBO last month. According to Wikipedia, it grossed over $80 million in the U.S. alone, well over $100 million worldwide, and so was a huge success for a film made for $20 million, with no name-brand stars.

It's extremely derivative - the obvious parallels with Rear Window are there, but it borrows liberally from Fright Night, American Beauty (voyeur kid spies on hottie next door as well as middle-aged guy who has fatal encounter with his parent, while drawing the hottie into his world) Silence of the Lambs, The Shining, Halloween: Resurrection (the most recent one before the remake) the Scream films, a couple of old movies I've never seen called "The Window" and "The Boy Cried Murder" (the latter being a reamke of the former, and the title sums it up) and believe it or not, more than anything else, the old Disney film That Darn Cat! Seriously!

Carrie-Anne Moss is almost unrecognizable in mom-mode here, but Sarah Roemer as the babe-next-door is almost indescribably hot.

Shia LaBeouf does a very capable job as the hero. He reminds me now very much of a young John Cusack - he has the sort of wise-guy intellectual thing going on, but he's also big and sturdy enough so that you can see that he can handle himself. He will do fine in the new Indy movie, I'm sure.

Most of the critics praised the first 2/3 of this movie, especially for its witty and accurate teen dialogue, and the suspense of wondering if the creepy neighbor is indeed a serial killer; unfortunately, the last 3rd sort of degenerates into a traditional horror/slasher movie, borrowing from all the films referenced above.

I read that the original script had been floating around since the mid-90's, and when it finally was given the greenlight, it got a spiffy re-write to take advantage of new technology that all teens have access to now like webcams and cell-phone video-cams. My guess is that our boy Carl did the re-write, and added a lot of the humor and irony that we saw in Cleo.

All in all quite enjoyable, the mundane last third notwithstanding.
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#8
The movie was decent. Especially if your a classics fan, Rear Window, which I am.
Houston . . . we have a problem.
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#9
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Carl will be working on a remake of the 80's Brat Pack classic "Red Dawn," originally written and directed by John Milius. The remake will be directed by veteran 2nd unit director and stunt coordinator (i.e. he not only develops the stunts, he films them!) Dan Bradley, who worked on many low-budget films in the 90's including Scott Spiegel's "Dusk 'Tl Dawn 2," then moved up to work on Scott's childhood friend Sam's 2nd and 3rd Spidey movies, the 2nd and 3rd Bourne films, the latest Bond and Indy movies, etc.

Quote:"The tone is going to be very intense, very much keeping in mind the post-9/11 world that we're in," says Ellsworth, who was 11 when the original was released. "As 'Red Dawn' scared the heck out of people in 1984, we feel that the world is kind of already filled with a lot of paranoia and unease, so why not scare the hell out of people again?"

Ellsworth will be working from a story written by Jeremy Passmore.....

Ellsworth, who is repped by ICM and the Shuman Co., most recently handed in an adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra's comics series "Y: The Last Man" to New Line. He also wrote "Red Eye," co-wrote "Disturbia" and rewrote the screenplay for the "Last House on the Left" remake, produced by the original film's writer-director, Wes Craven. Rogue Pictures will release it early next year.

Thanks to Jenn from the Xena Online site for the news!
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#10
D'oh! Perhaps a little too similar to Rear Window! Confusedo:

From Reuters:

Quote:.....Dreamworks, its parent company Viacom Inc, and Universal Pictures, a unit of General Electric Co's NBC Universal, are accused of copyright infringement and breach of contract for making "Disturbia" without first obtaining permission from the copyright holders....

Spielberg is credited as executive producer ... and is named as a defendant.

According to the lawsuit, filed by the Sheldon Abend Revocable Trust, the basis for Hitchcock's 1954 film was "Murder from a Fixed Viewpoint," a short story by Cornell Woolrich.

......

According to the lawsuit, "Disturbia" and the "Rear Window" story are "essentially the same." Both are murder mysteries beginning with a man who, while peering from his window, witnesses strange behavior in the home of his neighbor.

.....

"In the Disturbia film the defendants purposefully employed immaterial variations or transparent rephrasing to produce essentially the same story as the Rear Window story," the lawsuit said.

All of that said, I'm not buying it. By that literalist definition, no one could have a story of their own about Indians chasing a stagecoach, or a private eye falling for a client. If nothing else, Disturbia doesn't begin with a man witnessing strange behavior. It begins with a dad and son in a terrible car wreck. Then it moves ahead a year to the son getting in trouble at school. Then it fast forwards to his being placed under house arrest. Then it focuses on his conflict with his mom. Then it depicts his frustration and embarassment in a variety of situations with neighbors. THEN it uses a variation on the Rear Window scenario.... and then goes off into another direction entirely, including introducing the love interest as a result of the peeping, not a pre-exisiting girlfriend.

Unless they can produce something in the original where Jimmy Stewart has an Asian best friend whose cell-phone ring plays "Me So Horny," then I'm not buyin' this suit stuff. :bounce:
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#11
No word on the suit, but the film is alive and well, and airing on HBO:

Tue. May 5 - 2:00 PM
Wed. May 13 - 3:45 PM
Mon. May 25 - 9 Am and 6 PM
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#12
Red Eye makes it to prime time network TV this coming Saturday Aug. 1st at 8:00 PM on ABC.
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#13
Shows you how up to date I am - the remake of Wes Craven's Last House on the Left, which premiered earlier this year in March, was co-written by Carl Ellsworth. There's an interview with him at Shock Till You Drop, in which he explains that after working w/ Craven on Red Eye, he was brought in to spice up an existing script for a remake.

His next project is a remake of the 80's classic Red Dawn:

Quote: "We're working with Dan Bradley, the director, on revising the draft," Ellsworth says. "We're not straying too far from the original story. It's about the Wolverines, a group of kids. And we're doing our best to make these kids realistic and relatable. There are parallels between these kids who become an insurgency and the insurgencies we've had to face in Iraq. It's essentially another home invasion film."

He hopes that this update will float an R rating because he doesn't want to "PC it, I want to explore what could happen, let's talk to some experts and see if this could happen today. Oddly enough, the timing of the remake could really tap into something with what's happening with the world right now."

Beyond that, he's doing an adaptation of the comic book "Y: The Last Man" (created by Lost writer Brian K. Vaughn) which will reunite him with Disturbia director D.J. Caruso.
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