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based on the Fairy tale, Jack and the Beanstalk. The film is directed by Bryan Singer and stars Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Bill Nighy and Ewan McGregor with a screenplay written by Darren Lemke, Christopher McQuarrie and Dan Studney. The film tells the story of Jack, a young farmhand who must rescue a princess from a race of giants after inadvertently opening a gateway to their world. Development of Jack the Giant Slayer began in 2005, when Lemke first pitched the idea. D. J. Caruso was hired to direct the film in January 2009 but in September of that year, Caruso was replaced by Singer, who hired McQuarrie and Studney to rework the script. The main characters were cast between February and March 2011, and principal photography began in April 2011 in England with locations in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Norfolk. Release of the film was moved back in post production to allow more time for special effects and marketing. Jack the Giant Slayer premiered on February 26, 2013 in Hollywood and was released theatrically in the United States on March 1, 2013 in 2D and 3D. Amid mixed reviews from film critics, the film has garnered tepid returns at the box office. In the Kingdom of Cloister, Jack, a young farm boy, is fascinated by the legend of Erik, an ancient king who defeated an army of invading giants from a realm in the sky by controlling them with a magical crown. At the same time, Princess Isabelle becomes fascinated with the same legend. 10 years later, Jack goes into town to sell his horse to support his uncle's farm. There, Jack spots Isabelle and develops a crush on her, after defending her honor from a group of thugs. Meanwhile, Lord Roderick returns to his study, only to find that a monk has robbed him. The monk offers Jack some magic beans he stole from Roderick as collateral for Jack's horse. Back at the castle, Isabelle quarrels with her father, King Brahmwell, as she wants to explore the kingdom, but he wants her to stay and marry Roderick. Likewise, Jack's uncle scolds him for being foolish before throwing the beans on the floor and leaving the house. Determined to be free, Isabelle sneaks out of the castle and seeks shelter from the rain in Jack's house. As it rains, one of the beans
takes root and grows into a massive beanstalk that carries the house and Isabelle into the sky as Jack falls to the ground. Jack, Roderick, and Roderick's attendant, Wicke, volunteer to join the king's knights, led by Elmont and his second in-command, Crawe, and climb the beanstalk in search of Isabelle. As they climb, Roderick and Wicke cut the safety rope, intentionally killing some of the knights. At the top, they discover the giants' realm and decide to split into two groups; one with Jack, Elmont, and Crawe, and the other including Roderick and Wicke, but not before Roderick forcibly takes the remaining beans from Jack (although Jack manages to save one for himself). Jack's group is trapped by a giant, who takes everyone prisoner except Jack. Meanwhile, Roderick's group encounters two other giants; one eats Wicke, but before they can do the same to Roderick, Roderick dons the magic crown. Jack follows the giant to their stronghold, where the two-headed giant leader, Fallon, has killed Crawe. There, Jack finds the imprisoned Isabelle and Elmont. As the giants prepare to kill their remaining prisoners, Roderick walks in and enslaves the giants with the crown. He tells the giants they will attack Cloister at dawn and allows them to eat Isabelle and Elmont. Jack rescues Isabelle and Elmont as one of the giants prepares to cook Elmont as a pig-in-ablanket. The trio makes for the beanstalk, where Jack causes the giant guarding the beanstalk to fall off the realm's edge. Seeing the giant's body, Brahmwell orders the beanstalk cut down to avoid an invasion by the giants. Jack and Isabelle head down the beanstalk, while Elmont stays to confront Roderick. Elmont kills Roderick, but Fallon takes the crown before Elmont can claim it, and Elmont is forced to escape down the beanstalk. Jack, Isabelle, and Elmont all survive the fall after the beanstalk is cut down. As everyone returns home, Jack warns that the giants are using Roderick's beans to create beanstalks to descend down to Earth and attack Cloister. The giants chase Jack, Isabelle, and Brahmwell into the castle, where Elmont fills the moat with oil and sets it on fire. Fallon falls in the moat and breaks into the castle from below. As the siege continues, Fallon captures Jack and Isabelle, but Jack throws the final bean down Fallon's throat, causing a beanstalk to rip apart his body. Jack takes the crown and sends the giants back to their realm.
Jack and Isabelle marry and tell the story of the giants to their children. As time passes, the magic crown is crafted into St Edward's Crown and is secured in the Tower of London. In April 2010, Singer re-teamed with screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie to rework the screenplay. Singer and McQuarrie have previously collaborated on Public Access, The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, and Valkyrie. Singer stated, "Chris McQuarrie did a significant re-write for me. He brought a different structure. It was very much a page-one situation; a different storyline. It involved the same characters, but some we juggled around and switched around. He just brought a very different perspective". McQuarrie's re-write included a deeper back story for the giants and explanation of their relationship with the humans, which Singer considered a "vast improvement"; it also upped the budget. To get the budget back in line, Singer brought in television writer Dan Studney to work on the project. In May 2010, ReelzChannel reported that production of the film would be delayed until February 2011. The report cited Singer's interest in being able to pre-visualize scenes with the digital giants in-camera with the live-action actors (a la James Cameron's Avatar) and the need for more time to work out the complex process as reasons for the delay.
In October 2010, New Line gave Bryan Singer the green-light to begin pre-production work on Jack the Giant Killer, with production scheduled to begin the following spring. In November 2010, Singer began screen testing for the male and female leads. Aaron Johnson, Nicholas Hoult, and Aneurin Barnard were up for the young farmer role, and Adelaide Kane, Lily Collins, and Juno Temple were testing for the part of the princess. In December 2010, Singer said, "I’m very much looking forward to using the EPIC Red for my next movie Jack the Giant Killer which will be shot in, what else, 3D. The camera’s incredibly compact size and extraordinary resolution are ideal for the 3D format. But more importantly Jack the Giant Killer is my first movie set in a time before electricity. The EPIC’s extraordinary exposure latitude will allow me to more effectively explore the use of natural light".
In February 2011, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Stanley Tucci had been cast as the villain, an adviser to the king with designs on usurping power, and Bill Nighy and John Kassir would play Fallon, the giants' two-headed leader; Nighy would play the big head and Kassir the small head. Also in February, Nicholas Hoult was offered the lead role. Singer said he had liked him since Skins and was very supportive of his casting in X-Men: First Class. Later that month, Ewan McGregor joined the cast as the leader of the king’s elite guard, who helps fight giants. In March 2011, Eleanor Tomlinson was cast opposite Nicholas Hoult as the princess and Ian McShane was cast to play her father, King Brahmwell. Two days later, New Line and Warner Bros. announced a release date of June 15, 2012.
Principal photography began on April 12, 2011 in the British countryside. In May 2011, production moved to Somerset, England for two weeks with filming scheduled in Wells, Cheddar and secret locations in the county including scenes filmed at Wells Cathedral. Also in May, scenes were shot at Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean near Coleford, Gloucestershire. Puzzlewood, which features unusual tree and rock formations, has previously been used for filming of the BBC TV series Doctor Who and Merlin. The same forest is said to have inspired J. R. R. Tolkien to write The Hobbit. Later that month, filming took place at Norwich Cathedral in Norwich, Norfolk. About the performance-capture process Singer stated, "It's fascinating... It takes you back to play-acting as a kid in your living room because you are running around and having to imagine that you are in Gantua and imagine that there are these weapons and all these giant things. But there's nothing when you are there other than styrofoam and blocks. It forces the actors to regress to when they would play-act as kids or do minimalist theatre. But in that way it's fascinating - I can see why Robert Zemeckis and James Cameron have started to shoot pictures this way".
In January 2012, Warner Bros. moved back the release date by nine months, from June 15, 2012 to March 22, 2013. The Hollywood Reporter stated: "Warner can likely afford the move because of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, which opened in July. And moving the film back gives the studio more time for special effects, as well as a chance to attach trailers for it to Peter Jackson's Christmas tentpole The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey". In October 2012, Warner Bros. again moved the release date, this time to March 1, 2013, three weeks earlier than the previous date. Warner Bros also changed the title of the film to Jack the Giant Slayer. Singer stated that he had to tone down the special effects to keep the film age-appropriate for children. He said, "This movie probably has a bigger on-screen body count than any movie I've done before. It's done in a way that's fun, but it was a challenge to get away with that without it becoming upsetting to people... It was about creating a tone like Raiders of the Lost Ark or Star Wars that allows you to get away with a lot of stuff because it feels like a movie."
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