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Source: THR's Risky Business Blog

20th Century Fox, apparently pleased with the $378 million worldwide grosses of 2007's Live Free or Die Hard, has hired writer Skip Woods to script a fifth film in the franchise.

During junkets for Cop Out, star Bruce Willis suggested that a fifth film needed to "go international", but there are no indications of what else the story might entail. Woods has written several major projects for the studio, including X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and the upcoming big-screen version of The A-Team.

No word on when the new Die Hard might hit theaters, or whether the film will keep the PG-13 rating of the previous installment vs. the R ratings of the first three (a decision which caused a commotion on the internet), but at the same junket, Willis also expressed interest in making the movie within "the next year", suggesting a summer 2012 release date.

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Source: Deadline Hollywood Daily

UPDATE (6:30pm): 20th Century Fox has confirmed via a press release that Vaughn has been signed to direct the film, which is now officially slated for June 3, 2011.

Original report follows:

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Despite initial reports that the director had passed on the project, Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn is still being courted by producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Bryan Singer to direct X-Men: First Class.

The Layer Cake director notoriously backed out of X-Men: The Last Stand after it became clear that he would be forced to relocate to the United States to film it. Vaughn went on to make Stardust, while Brett Ratner ultimately took the reigns on the second X-sequel.

Director Bryan Singer, who helmed the first two pictures, was planning to make his return to the franchise with First Class, but obligations to Jack the Giant Killer at Warner Bros. forced him to step down into a producing capacity.

Prior to negotiations re-opening, the studio was courting Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans) and Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted), among others. X-Men: First Class is currently slated for a 2011 release. A film focusing on Magneto and an X-Men 4 are still being developed.

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Source: The Jim Henson Company, ComingSoon.net

After years in development hell, the long-awaited sequel to Jim Henson's 1982 fantasy film The Dark Crystal is finally moving forward. Entitled Power of the Dark Crystal, the project will be directed by The Spierig Brothers, and plans are to shoot in stereoscopic 3D for a theatrical release.

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As directors, the brothers were responsible for two horror films: 2003's Undead, and this year's Daybreakers. Neither one immediately suggests The Spierigs for The Dark Crystal, but Henson Company CEO Lisa Henson is convinced they're the right choice. "Peter Spierig and Michael Spierig are sure to create a film that will continue the legacy of the original and exceed the expectations of our loyal fans," she said in the official press release. The Spierigs plan to use traditional puppets and animatronics, but say that they may be enhanced or supported by computer graphics and motion capture. The pair have also lured back legendary fantasy artist Brian Froud, who was a conceptual designer on the first film, and will perform the same job on the sequel.

The screenplay, by Craig Pierce, is set hundreds of years after the original, and focuses on a girl who steals a shard of The Dark Crystal in order to re-ignite the dying sun at the center of the planet. No date for the sequel has been set, although a release in 2011 or 2012 seems very likely.

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Total tweets for May 7th Openers

upcoming050710.jpgIron Man 2 came in on Tuesday with 22,186 tweets, or 49.4% of all buzz on Twitter for wide-release films opening in the next 4 months. By comparison, The Twilight Saga: New Moon had 65,919 tweets its Tuesday before release, and Alice In Wonderland had 14,449. In addition, its positive/negative ratio was consistent with yesterday's numbers (22.53% positive / 4.54% negative). Well this number officially proves that my early week estimates were too high. The number and percentage is still very impressive but its overseas opening had more of an impact over its tweet expansion than I had envisioned. I'm going to have to revise my numbers downwards to 110,000 - 120,000 tweets for the week, but really after today it will be a much more solid estimate. Perhaps I also overshot the ratio by assuming a much more expansive tweet count and spam totals. In retrospect maybe a ratio more in line with Kick Ass and its 1,420 will be in store. I would expect something north of that though since this film will attract more women and generally a wider demographic. Whatever it ends up being it will be a great yardstick for other Summer action openers.


Check back tomorrow to see the Wednesday numbers and more comparisons. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets043010.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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Source: HitFix

When audiences see Iron Man 2 this weekend, one of the trailers they'll be seeing is a first look teaser for J.J. Abrams' top-secret production, reportedly titled Super 8.

The Star Trek helmer (who is only producing the project, not directing) has managed to keep Super 8 under wraps through the conception and production of the trailer, all the way through to the final months and weeks leading up to the superhero sequel. Abrams hopes to create a sensation similar to the one surrounding Cloverfield; audiences no doubt remember the mysterious teaser attached to the first Transformers film back in 2007, with the date 1-18-08 instead of a title card fueling weeks of subsequent buzz and speculation.

Early rumors say that Super 8 is actually a sequel to Cloverfield, but the spot is currently being sent to theaters in locked film canisters that cannot be opened until Thursday evening. Expect to hear plenty more about Super 8 after Iron Man 2 opens in US theaters in less than 72 hours.

Click through to HitFix to read more on the story.

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