The sequel to last years surprise hit Paranormal Activity hit theatres last weekend to very impressive results. The film, made for just under $3 million grossed over $40 million in its opening weekend, it is the highest ever opening for a horror movie. Due to this great display from the movie, which is receiving largely positive reviews, Paramount is already making plans for a third installment. “The company is certainly going to take a look at making a third [‘Paranormal Activity’] but will be exceedingly careful in how to go about it,” said Don Harris, Paramount executive vice president of distribution.

In much the same way Mike Tyson cameoed in the first Hangover movie, the makers behind the sequel wanted to feature another celebrity cameo. It was announced that this would be in the form of Mel Gibson, but then Zach Galifinakis made clear he was unhappy about a ‘certain element’ of the new movie. Now whilst this wasn’t specified to be the casting of Gibson, everybody largely assumed it was because of this due to the recent bad press Gibson has received. These thoughts were cemented as news came out that the film-makers decided not to go with Gibson in the end. NY Post is reporting that Gibson is angry and confused regarding why he lost the role. A source close to the actor said: “He doesn’t understand why Mike Tyson, a drug user who turned his life around, was given a chance while Mel was kicked to the curb. Everybody deserves a second chance.” For Tyson, his drug abuse was a while ago, Gibson is still very fresh in the mind and it’s not surprising at all that there would be objections to his casting. Liam Neeson has since taken his role of a tattoo artist in Thailand. 

The Hobbit has now been officially greenlit and set to be directed by Peter Jackson for two films which will hit theatres the December’s of 2012 and 2013. Now although it looks like the filming may be leaving New Zealand due to the recent Union troubles, the casting is in full swing. After months of speculation, Martin Freeman has been confirmed to take on the role of Bilbo Baggins, the hero of the story, played by Ian Holm in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Further casting news includes; Richard Armitage (Spooks) as Thorin Oakenshield, Aidan Turner (Being Human) as Kili, Robert Kazinsky (Eastenders) as Fili, Graham McTavish (Rambo) as Dwalin, John Callen (err… Power Rangers Jungle Fury)  as Oin, Stephen Hunter (from All Saints, yes the band) as Bombur, Mark Hadlow (King Kong) as Dori and Peter Hembleton (The Strip) as Golin. They are all playing Dwarves! There is a good selection of upcoming British actors and some random British actors to say the least. But that’s how The Lord of the Rings was assembled and I have utmost faith in Peter Jackson. 

Spielberg is still in the process of directing his upcoming World War One drama The War Horse, but it appears he already has his next project lined up in the form of Robopocalypse. This is still quite a way off, filming scheduled to begin in January 2012 for a 2013 release. Cloverfield screenwriter Drew Goddard has adapted the Daniel H. Wilson epic about the human race’s attempt to survive an apocalyptic robot uprising. So basically The Terminator meets Transformers. I’m not that excited about this if I’m honest, I would hope Spielberg to try something more original or work on sequels to his own material, such as Indiana Jones, or perhaps Jurassic Park. Hell, even get Lincoln going again.

Despite The Hobbit getting moving under Warner Bros. and MGM, Bond 23 is yet to get moving. Scriptwriter Peter Morgan, who was hired to write the new installment, made some remarks about the current status of the next 007 adventure. Be warned, his comments don’t install great confidence in the movie getting off the ground soon. “[Working on Bond 23] was short-lived. I started work on it and then the whole thing went to hell. Now, I’m so happy doing something else, I wouldn’t [necessarily go back] even if the whole thing came back. They’ve got a tough job. When I was involved last year it was from scratch. I have no idea if they’ve even regrouped yet with the situation being the way it is. There came a point where we all just had to say, ‘look, I’m just going to step off’. I just wrote a treatment, never a script.” So Morgan’s idea is hopefully still in place to go ahead once the movie gets going, but he may not be involved when it does. “I was thrilled to be involved… But I feel like it’s a dated idea now. Having tried to do it, I’m not sure it’s possible to do it. But I wish them luck, because I’m first in line [to see it]. I do think that the absence of social reality in the Bond films [is a problem] – and I do hope they manage to get that in a script – that you can believe in him and he’s not just a man in a dinner jacket.” This pained me to read. Morgan believes Bond doesn’t quite have what it takes to continue, I hope it does and I’m going to remain optimistic. He did have some good to say about the franchise in relation to Sam Mendes’ involvement with the movie; “I’m very encouraged if Sam Mendes [directs the film], because I’m sure he wouldn’t put his name to a load of nonsense. He’s smart and he’s British and he would care deeply about the franchise.” We should know more about the future of the Bond franchise following a vote scheduled for 29th October in which the MGM debt-owners will decide between offers from Spyglass Entertainment and Lionsgate Pictures. Thanks to Ben Brehaut and for this news.