Don’t call it a comeback, but Bob Weinstein himself said it’s been quite a while since we’ve heard from his half of The Weinstein Company — TWC-Dimension.
It’s the production label that sparked an early aughts phenomenon with the “Scream” films, a family juggernaut in “Spy Kids” and shared credit on a few of the Quentin Tarantino projects that factor big in the legacy of he and brother Harvey.
On Wednesday, at the end of the 2016 American Film Market’s opening day, Weinstein and TWC president David Glasser gathered international buyers and press at Santa Monica’s high-end Casa Del Mar Hotel to explain, well, where the hell he’s been and the future of Dimension.
“David Glasser‘s been instrumental in the past two years in advising me to largely take a break, rethink a new plan that conforms with the present market and what each of you need today,” Weinstein told the crowd.
“In the past, I was producing and releasing between seven and eight films a year. The quality suffered, so did the results,” Weinstein added. “Going forward, I decided on bringing my productions to three or four year at the most. I’ve also decided to make them bigger budgets, more director and star driven but still with the idea of creating franchises of a bigger nature.”
Following his remarks, filmmakers and producers gave brief previews of upcoming titles, including Mark Wahlberg’s franchise hopeful “The Six Billion Dollar Man,” promising horror universe “Polaroid” and a four-quadrant attempt centered on Hasbro’s Furby toy.
Here are some quick takeaways from the slate preview.
1. ‘Six Billion Dollar Man’ is Wahlberg’s Personal Superhero Rebellion
A jeans-and-T-shirt clad Wahlberg seemed extremely confident in his take on the ’70s TV property, with acclaimed director Damián Szifrón (“Wild Tales”).
Wahlberg extolled the value of a fantasy film based mostly in reality — as opposed to, say, the comic book fare that currently fills the market. “For me, there are a lot of superhero movies out there. I don’t care what it is, how much I’m getting paid, I’m not leaving my trailer in a cape,” Wahlberg said to laughs.
“I don’t have the balls to do it, I don’t have the belief in myself to go out there and confidently pretend… and to commit 110 percent,” he continued. “But to do something that’s grounded and real, but still has that wish fulfillment element … and being a fan of the original, I thought this could be really cool.”
Glasser said the film will begin production in March to hit theaters at the top of 2018. Additional cast announcements are coming as well.
2. What “The Ring” did for VHS players, “Polaroid” wants to do for vintage cameras
Lars Klevberg’s widely praised horror short “Polaroid” is coming in feature length. Weinstein, Klevberg and “The Ring” producer Roy Lee promised the next big worldwide horror franchise.
The premise is not unlike “Ring”‘ in that a dated but culturally cutesy piece of equipment terrorizes and murders anyone who comes into contact with it. In “Polaroid,” the instant camera invites a supernatural attack on whoever appears in one if its pictures, spawning a one-by-one killing spree.
Klevberg said he’d like to remind a generation obsessed with digital photo swapping of a time when a photo meant something was forever, incapable of alteration — and also wants to make a damn scary movie.
3. Furby Wants to Be Your New Paddington
Hasbro, the toy company behind the “Transformers” films at Paramount and a slew of upcoming IP, is pumped to do business with TWC thanks to the company’s success with “Paddington.”
The Furby film will similarly be a live-action and CGI hybrid. The toys, once insanely popular, will bring their distinct personalities and brands of chaos to the lives of unsuspecting humans.
Glasser confirmed this film has a similar timeline to “Six Billion Dollar Man.” Though there’s no director attached to the project as yet, Hasbro chief content officer Stephen Davis joked, “We’re out to David Fincher.”
The Evolution of Mark Wahlberg: From Calvin Klein Pants Dropper to 'Deepwater Horizon' Star (Photos)
Mark Wahlberg went from Calvin Klein model to box office superstar.
Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg was born on June 5, 1971 in a suburb of Boston, the youngest of nine children.
Before he started feeling the good vibrations, Wahlberg briefly joined New Kids on the Block with his brother, Donnie Wahlberg.
Wahlberg then moved on to the Funky Bunch and scored a top hit with "Good Vibrations" in 1991.
Wahlberg's modeling campaign with Calvin Klein caused a stir with a series of provocative pictures in 1992.
Since no one objected to Wahlberg's boxer briefs, he continued his short modeling career with a spread in Vanity Fair, shot by Annie Leibovitz.
What's a great way to break into acting in the '90s? A fitness video. "The Marky Mark Workout: Form, Focus, Fitness" helped viewers like you get washboard abs. This also marked when Wahlberg left the Funky Bunch to start his acting career.
Too Tall Productions
His first major acting role was in the 1993 TV movie "The Substitute." While the film was Wahlberg's big move away from his singing career, he still went by "Marky Mark."
USA Television Network
Wahlberg's next appearance was in "The Basketball Diaries," where he starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Lorraine Bracco. The role marked his official name change to "Mark Wahlberg."
New Line Cinema
Next, Wahlberg plays the deceptively charming boyfriend of Reese Witherspoon in the 1996 thriller, "Fear." It turns out he's crazy and tries to murder his girlfriend's family.
"Boogie Nights" was a huge boost for Wahlberg's career. He received rave reviews for his performance as Eddie Adams, a.k.a. Dirk Diggler, a high school dropout turned rising porn star in the late '70s.
New Line Cinema
In 2000, Wahlberg starred as Bobby Shatford, an inexperienced crew member aboard a swordfishing boat in "The Perfect Storm." The film also starred George Clooney, Diane Lane and John C. Reilly.
Tim Burton directed Wahlberg in the 2001 sci-fi remake, "Planet of the Apes."
20th Century Fox
Jennifer Aniston might be better known for her good hair days, but Wahlberg gives her a run for her money as the lead singer of a a heavy metal tribute band -- who then gets to be the lead in the band he's paying tribute to -- in 2001's "Rock Star."
Wahlberg served as executive producer on the hit HBO show "Entourage" starting in 2004. Since the series was loosely based on his own life, he made quite a few cameos.
Wahlberg hit his stride as a go-to leading man when "The Departed" hit theaters in 2006. Martin Scorsese directed the all-star cast, and Wahlberg's performance as Staff Sgt. Sean Dignam earned him a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actor.
Wahlberg shows off his comedy chops in the buddy-cop hit, "The Other Guys" in 2010. Playing partner to a mild-mannered Will Ferrell would be frustrating for anyone, but Wahlberg's anger management issues as Terry Hoitz helped make the movie a hit.
Wahlberg plays a troubled boxer fighting for a comeback in "The Fighter." Nominated for seven Academy Awards in 2010, "The Fighter" was based on the life of Boston boxer Micky Ward.
Staying with the Boston theme, Wahlberg starred in "Family Guy" creator Seth McFarlane's "Ted." His role as John Bennett, a man who's yet to outgrow his foul-mouthed teddy bear friend, was a huge box-office success.
Wahlberg had a leading role in "Transformers: Age of Extinction" in 2014. Wahlberg played Cade Yeager, a struggling inventor and single father who makes a discovery that brings down the wrath of the Autobots and Decepticons in the fourth installment of the Transformers franchise.
The actor had a cameo in the 2015 "Entourage" film," in which he showed up as himself. Adrien Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon and Jerry Ferrara reprised their roles from the popular TV show for the big-screen film.
Of course, Wahlberg returned for the 2015 sequel to "Ted," directed and written by Seth MacFarlane. The film grossed $216 million worldwide while it was produced for $68 million.
Wahlberg starred in the 2015 comedy "Daddy's Home" alongside Will Ferrell. In the film, Ferrell marries Sara (Linda Cardellini) and everything goes well until her ex-husband (Wahlberg) shows up.