We're not much into posting rumors, but an L.A. source, we feel pretty good about just told us this evening that Steven Spielberg tried to broker some peace between the squabbling Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood.
Spielberg was definitely at the Lakers game on Wednesday night. And Lee was spotted there as well. Well, apparently, Eastwood was there and Spielberg introduced the two and tried to squash the beef.
Google doesn't turn up much of Eastwood's appearance, but could it be true? The act would certainly be up Spielberg's alley. I mean, after all, the dude did direct "Munich," and "Schindler's List," a film that tried to portray two life love rivals in even keeled tones and sympathetic lights. File under rumor for now...
We're not much into posting rumors, but an L.A. source, we feel pretty good about just told us this evening that Steven Spielberg tried to broker some peace between the squabbling Spike Lee and Clint Eastwood.
Emo-folk like Dashboard Confesional, Alanis Morrissette, Emily Gould and a world of bloggers have served to teach us the cautionary – and embarrassing – tale of oversharing (really, have you no shame?).
But, if there ever was a right way to overshare, if one could use narcissism for the purposes of good instead of evil, wintry confessional Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin certainly would take that prize.
The self-aware Canadians latest delirious delight, "My Winnipeg," is
documentary docu-fantasia" ostensibly about the the director's hometown – the city of Winnipeg in Manitoba, as commissioned by the documentary channel in the Great White North ("I'm from Canada, so I don't ever have to pitch movies, the government just pays me to make them").
However, Maddin's Winnipeg isn't just a straight civics history lesson – though those elements certainly exist, albeit imagined. Instead, the iconoclastic filmmaker used the concept as an excuse to revisit his favorite topic: himself. The third movie in what Maddin describes as his "me trilogy," to him hometown means home, means family: the filmmaker used the government funded project to go autobiographical once again and delve into his dysfunctional child hood issues growing up in the wintry prairie province – it's essentially a surrealist form of aversion therapy that vacillates between the personal and the provincial.
Maddin was at the Apple store in April for a Tribeca-related Q&A. We took notes and since the film comes out today in limited release (also on the IFC OnDemand channel), we thought we'd spit it out now. Plus, we loved the enchanting film to death, it's one our favorite movies of the year thus far. For additional context, the trailer lies here.
As we've just noted, "My Winnipeg" is like a feverish dream and far from a traditional documentary. "All documentaries are personal, or relatively anyhow. Just like all things more or less taste like chicken, documentaries are more or less completely personal," Maddin said.
But the producer who originally pitched the series unintentionally encouraged the filmmaker to take a more imagined perspective on the city. "For some reason he came to Winnipeg and by some strange fluke he had been enchanted [by the city] and so he just said, 'Enchant me.' " Maddin took the idea and ran with it.
In the highly fabulist doc – it's hard to tell what's fabricated Winnipeg lore and what's fact – Maddin rents out his old childhood home to revisit the early salad days and hires actors to play his family members – except, he says, "mother" (but he's lying, his moms is played by B-movie icon Ann Savage).
Maddin's autobiographical work has rubbed friends and family wrong in the past (his journals were recently published in Canada and again, ruffled a few feathers, "I write things down like I have Tourettes and don't think of the consequences," he said), but one benefit of his mother's advanced age keeps her from the frighteningly Guinol manner in which he depicts her.
"Lucky for me she as ocular degeneration," he said sounding pleased. "She's going blind, and she can't stand the quick cutting, so I just tell her it would make her eyes sore. She wouldn't like it."
As for why the city's history is so imagined and fabricated? Well, there's multiple reasons. "I hate doing research," he said for one. For two: "Canadians and Winnipegger are lousy self-mythologizer. One of the reasons I was excited to make the movie was a chance to [create some myths]. There's something about living in Canada next to such a strong cultural force. Canadians insist on identify themselves as 'not American' and that usually means we don't exaggerate when we tell our stories."
The filmmaker even made a wry dig at his films truths meets abstraction mien. "I had it vetted by lawyers and poets" he said with a dry wink.
Seemingly working out his issues through his art, Maddin would purposely confuse the actors playing his family members in the reenactments; not divulging details or background information and sometimes intentionally delivering their dialogue only moments before they he called action. "I don't know why," he laughed, perhaps secretly wondering if it was some passive aggressively removed stab at sibling revenge. "It just felt so good hanging them out to dry like that."
He pondered the strange move for a moment. "It gave me the exact effect I wanted; people reenacting some megalomaniacs childhood for reasons that couldn't be comprehended by even the megalomaniac," he laughed.
The director originally used personal elements in his films as a ways to to ground his fanciful and surreal films in some kind of reality (he also said he didn't want to be labelled an "artsy wanker"). But around the time of his first overtly autobiographical film, "Coward Bends The Knee," outwardly naming the main character Guy Maddin and pinning all the ugly flaws nakedly on himself was strangely liberating. "Once I realized I was the person I was depicting, I got a really intoxicating kick of masochism cause the character was really cowardly and horrible. It was like spilling my guts and I wasn't expecting any forgiveness; it felt Dostoevsky-ian, it felt masochistically delicious."
And the the thrilling rush of holding your warts and all self up to a mirror became only more addictive. "Then the next film ("Brand Upon The Brain!") I started outing my family members by including them in my confessionals and that felt sadomasochismtically delicious. And then with 'Winnipeg' I outed my city, myself and my family."
Suffice to say Maddin said he's probably exhausted autobiography and will likely move on to a new terrain for his next work. "I can't do it anymore. It's so self-loathingly [gross]... enough already! Maybe I revealed too much," he said sounding rather sad.
Separating fact from fiction in 'Winnipeg's is mostly a moot point, but surprisingly, a few things in the film's fabled fiction are actually true, including "If Day" - a staged Nazi take over the municipality in the middle of WWII that was meant to scare citizens into buying war bonds (it worked).
Another seemingly fantastical whimsy was a legendary stable fire that caused horses to dive into a local river only to freeze to death. The frigid temperatures iced the animals alive, with their heads above the frozen river all winter long (you can see the scene here). The bizarre spectacle soon became a local draw and the film's hypnotic narrator (Maddin) insists that the city enjoyed a big baby boom the next fall after the location became a romantic spot for lovers. "These frozen stallions made Winnipeggers really horny," he said matter of factly.
The film hasn't been seem by most Winnipeggers yet and Maddin is understandably a little nervous. "Winnipeg is tough on its own people even at the best of times and I love the temperament, but i don't know if they have a great sense of humor about themselves, we'll see," he said before pausing very awarely. "This very conversation will be available in downloadable podcasts, even in Winnipeg, so I'm going to be very tactful in what I say."
"My Winnipeg" comes out in theaters in limited release today. Go out of your way to see it.
'House Bunny' Conveys 'Legally Blonde'-Like Girl Power: If We Just Get Pretty Everything Will Be Ok!
The new trailer for the upcoming late-summer comedy “House Bunny” has been released and it makes the movie look like a less intelligent version of “Legally Blonde,” (not that it had that much intelligence to spare to begin with).
Even though the flick's quality looks just a slight notch above the Paris Hilton vehicle no one saw, “Pledge This,” it could be possible for its large group of charming actresses to overcome the lack of IQ in the script. The movie boast Anna Faris in the lead role, who had a history of turning in hilarious performances in sub-par movies (see "Smiley Face"; and few in decent movies). Lets face it, it looks slightly retarded, but a good majority of young female Hollywood has turned out for this one, including the endearing Emma Stone (fresh off a wonderful performance in “Superbad”) the goth-pretty Kat Dennings who played Robert Downey Jr.’s troubled daughter in “Charlie Barlett”, American Idols runner-up Katherine McPhee and the gravely voiced, kind of old-sexy Beverly D’Angelo. Not to mention the possible appearance of Bruce Willis and Tom Hanks respective offspring.
Expect the movie to be filled with the twisted theme of “we used to be smart, and unable to contribute to society, but now we are pretty and can catch the attention of B-rate frat boys so we feel fulfilled.”
Though the trailer conveys stupidity and shallowness, so did “Iron Man”, and it was able to hide its large plot holes and moments of cheesy dialogue with good and interesting acting. All we can do is wait until August 22nd to make the final judgment, but in the meantime don’t get your hopes up.
Watch: House Bunny trailer
Watch: House Bunny Clip
Written by contributer Spencer Martin
You gotta love M. Night Shyamalan trying to be humble. In an interview with MTV, the director said he originally hoped to do a sequel to "Unbreakable," his silly, mysterious super-hero movie, but the bad reviews and bad box-office convinced him otherwise. "I made a mistake getting caught up in the [negative] hype," he said. But now he realizes, that much like "The Village," "Unbreakable," has been revisited and now re-regarded as a classic (or something like that). "That wasn't the predominant feeling [at the time,]" Shyamalan said of the now-positive goodwill audiences now apparently see of "Unbreakable." "Now it is [the predominant feeling]. Just as 'The Village' has rise [in stature]." ( that the film is actually well regarded)." Really? Says who? Last we checked these films still sucked. "The immediate reactions to my movie, over [time] has shown me, is not accurate to any of my movies."Apparently we all realized his genius years later. Oh, holy night.
Rodger Freidman of Fox News reported yesterday that "The Incredible Hulk" star Edward Norton is not doing any press for the film and has eschewed premiere appearances because he's pissed that Zak Penn ("X-Men 3") received the only writing credit on the film, despite the fact that the lead actor did quite the polish on his script adding characterization, depth and removed more blow-'em up fare (or at least we can assume he did).
And yeah, we were gonna post this yesterday, but hello, Norton was at the premiere in L.A. on Monday (there's even pictures). Fox says, Norton has "slipped off to a desert island rather than do publicity for the movie he stars in and nominally wrote," but Norton has also appeared on an AOL Unscripted with Liv Tyler and 'Hulk' director Louis Leterrier (Norton has appeared at at least one other event as well, plus he was on Jimmy Kimmel as well, albiet in a pretty jokey, non-traditional interview kind of way).
But OK, to be fair, Friedman's right. When "Iron Man," came out, Robert Downey Jr. was ubiquitous, on the cover of GQ and had major interviews in The New York Times, MTV, Entertainment Weekly, etc. etc. and on the verge of overkill (Maybe Marvel was a little nervous with their first film and RDJ was into selling the "rehabilitation of RDJ" story that everyone ran with).
So far we haven't seen a major Edward Norton/Hulk cover story, which to Fox's point is pretty shocking considering all the money Marvel has put into this thing, but maybe that whole screenwriting credit, plus the dispute over editing the film with Marvel heads (which Fox fails to note), really put off Norton despite his claim that the kerfuffle between studio and he was overblown.
Fox is also saying Ed Norton is not signed on for two sequels, but that Tyler and Leterrier are and everyone seems to be talking sequel already.
Oh, Ed, calm down, despite all the odds and CGI, the 'Hulk' was pretty damn good! And plus, there's still a DVD coming with 70 extra minutes of your precious 'emotionality' and apparently an appearance from Captain America (despite the fact that he hasn't been cast yet). Come on, don't spoil it all for the geeks, they're going to freak if come "The Avengers" movie, you're not in it (and let's face it, the end of 'Hulk' is one big tease to this super-hero all-star film.
PS, Letterier is a huge fucking tease, he claimed Captain America was in the film, but we saw it and there was no Cap to be found (that is unless they're doing that whole secret ending for real paying pleeb audiences only). Oh and rumors say Leo Dicaprio is being sought for the role of the Cap'n super solider, but that doesn't seem up his alley frankly. Brad Pitt's name has come up too.
You'll notice that in the last few week's we were keeping round-about tabs on the slow-motion train wreck that was becoming the negative advance publicity/crappy word of mouth on M. Night Shyamalan's "The Happening." Then we stopped. What happened? It was all getting too painful to watch.
Shyamalan, who's always been his own worst enemy and who's never endeared himself well to the press with his ego and wildly inflated and pretentious assessments about his already overrated work, opened his mouth and the already-sharpened knives had at him. First he introduced his own trailer with some long winded blather about how awesome he thought it was and how lucky you were all going to be when you finally got a chance to see how scary it was! He could barely contain his
The New York Times already roasted him over the coals once for his whiny, woe-is-me, pity party that was, ""Shyamalan’s Hollywood Horror Story, With Twist, but he insisted on talking to them again. Naturally, this interview did nothing to dispel the notion that Shyamalan was a self-pitying, defensive and arrogant
Then we had to look away for a bit and in the wake of all the mostly eviscerating reviews, the director tried to go into damage control mode and say, "hey, my mysterious horror movie is meant to be kind of terrible! It's intentionally unintentionally funny!"
"I wanted it to be a fantastic, fun B-movie," Shyamalan nervously told Reuters in a recent interview looking over his shoulder to see if anyone was buying the snake oil he was trying to sell. "The No. 1 thing is I want people to say: 'That was a really fun B-movie.'"
"It's a B-movie. It's the best B-movie you'll see!," he said humbly echoing the same sentiment he told to Reuters which is essentially as saying, 'See all these other turds? Well, my turd smells the best!"
During the premiere in New York the filmmaker said he tailored the lead role for star Mark Wahlberg. The actors disagreed and said, "The only reason I got the role is because Will Smith wasn't available." If he's joking it surely doesn't come across in the article.
Shyamalan said he's not as intense as some of his actors claim he is and chuckled nervously, "It's a bad rap. I'm a good guy!" Suuuuure, you are. And your film are fantastic too! You'd feel sorry for the guy if every time he opened his mouth he didn't make it 10x worse for himself. "The Happening" opens up this weekend and what's it about? Oh who gives a flying fuck. All you need to know is reviews are in the toilet and we're not exaggerating. But that doesn't neccesarily mean much. Pundits are noting that Americans by and large are stupid people and so therefore the film still has a decent chance at giving the "The Hulk" a run for its money.
Oh and these guys keep making asses of themselves when they're opening their mouths to report anything that isn't straight up news. In defense of Shyamalan's work? This is yet another, not a good look.
Does Spike Lee Have Precognitive Powers? Is His New Movie 'Miracle At St. Anna' His, "In Your Face!" Clint Eastwood, IIA And Anyone Else?
Right on the heels of the Clint Eastwood Vs. Spike Lee kerfuffle, comes the trailer to the outspoken director's (Lee) WII epic, "Miracle At St. Anna."
How long until some cynic says Lee orchestrated all of this to drum up some free publicity for his new movie? 3, 2, 1...
But actually, perhaps Lee was more calculating then any of us could possibly imagine.
Clint and Spike obviously had their spat about WWII, race, black people, etc. Then the IIA jumped in and reminded Spike that his portrayal of American Italians throughout his career hasn't exactly been favorable and maybe the director should practice what he preaches. Ooooh, snap! Got, right?
But what does Lee do? Well, he already did it, he's made a movie about four black American soldiers, one of whom sacrifices his life to save a young Italian boy! It's like Lee invented time travel and has been using it all these months, christ! (and Eastwood having spent all those times in Spaghetti Westerns is practically eyetalian anyway, right?)
The film chronicles the story of four black American soliders (Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso, and Omar Benson Miller) who are members of the U.S. Army as part of the all-black 92nd "Buffalo Soldier" division stationed in Tuscany, Italy during WWII. They experience the tragedy and triumph of the war as they find themselves trapped behind enemy lines and separated from their unit after one of them risks his life to save an Italian boy.
The film chronicles the real-life Sant’Anna di Stazzema massacre and is told utilizing a flashback device surrounding an Italian artifact that may or may not have been the 'Miracle' of the incident. Joseph Gordon Levitt plays a reporter who tries to unravel the mystery 39 years later. Call this all convenient, or well timed, either way, "Miracle at St. Anna" bows into theaters on September 26.
Further Evidence Suggests L.A. Judges Sought Further Public Humiliation For The Diddling Director Roman Polanski
The film industry’s eternal creepy relic of a time when intercourse with pre-pubescent teens in a movie stars home was considered a sign of sexual freedom rather than a highly disgusting and illegal act has sparked controversy once again with the release of Marina Zenoovich’s HBO documentary “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.”
The new drama?
When the documentary originally aired at Sundance and Cannes (and aired on Monday on HBO), it concluded with a statement that an agreement had been reached that would have allowed the director to return to the United States with no further jail time, but here's the rub - only if the filmmaker agreed to allow his unlawful intercourse with a minor hearing to be televised.
Yeah, more media circus for Polanski? Probably not at the top of his list of things to do that year. But this all stands to figure, the controversial judge in this original case Laurence Ritteband had long been labelled a publicity hound in this case and was accused of always seeking celebrity cases back in his day (this GQ piece is a good overview on this crackpot). He apparently had it in for Polanski too, so seeking public and televised humiliation pretty much keeps with his m.o. The judge even vowed to stay on the bench until Polanski was tried in the U.S., but he eventually stepped down and said, "I can't wait that long. I'll quote a Gilbert and Sullivan opera: 'I've got him on my list.' " (which is pretty much akin to Principal Vernon telling Bender that he's going to be on him like white on rice).
[To be fair the judge that apparently wanted this thing televised, was identified as someone else: Larry Paul Fidler, but the point of bias and maltreatment still stands, his heinous crimes aside]
Los Angeles court officials insisted that HBO change the final wording due to the fact that according to them the offered was never made, and the version that aired on Monday ended by informing the viewers that the court requested the hearing be held in open court, not on television (Slate said HBO changed the doc on their own volition; we're regretting getting into this quagmire now...)
Hold the phone, Polanski’s lawyer, Douglas Dalton, issued a statement contradicting the courts versions and corroborating that indeed the Los Angeles Superior Court did make the extremely strange request to have Polanski’s hearing shown on television, continuing their tradition of inappropriate management of high profile cases.
France must agree with Polanski, who since moving abroad hasn’t been able to recapture the brilliance of “Chinatown” (maybe with the exception of “The Pianist”*), or maybe he has just forgotten the wonders that America has to offer because who wouldn’t want to sit through a highly televised/embarrassing statutory rape case to receive entry into a country that is no longer gives a rat's ass about your work.
Will HBO change the doc back? Does the Playlist regret getting in over their head? Hey, even Slate calls this story "confusing," and hell, they're edumacted and what not.
Hey guess what interweb? Despite the rumors, James McAvoy, the male lead of "Atonement," is not going to be playing Ian Holm's role of Bilbo Baggins in the "The Hobbit," LOTR prequel according to Collider.
"It's not true by the way, it's all internet rumoring and nothing else I'm afraid. Sorry."
Too bad, he would've been a good choice. Oh well.... Maybe he's just not one for furry, oversized feet acting aside CGI-stand-ins.
Like We Said: American Teen Soundtrack Coming Out July 15; Features MGMT, Ting Tings, Black Kids; More...
As reported here in early May, the soundtrack for the documentary "American Teen," is coming out July 15 and the tentative tracklist we reported is basically the same (aside from some reordering of tracks for flow). The Nanette Burstein-directed doc follows the lives of five Warsaw, Indiana students in their senior year of high school. We didn't totally love the movie entirely, but it's crowd-pleasing enough that you should probably see it before spending your money on shit like Indiana Jones movies. At the very least your brain will thank you for it later. The soundtrack has one addition to our previously post, the addition of the New Pornographer's "Adventures in Solitude," and the songs have been reordered, but that's about it.
“When I approached the music for this movie, I wanted the musical choices to be inspired by the playlists of Hannah, Jake, Megan, Colin and Mitch, the main characters of the movie. So throughout the year of filming in Warsaw, Indiana, I would download as much music as I could from the students’ iPods… I think the sum total really captures the emotions that these five seniors experienced through their final year of high school," director Burstein said.
The 1978 track by Australian singer John Paul Young, "Love Is In The Air," might be our favorite on the disc, though the Patrick Watson ballad comes damn close. The film comes out in limited release on July 25 via Paramount Vantage.
"American Teen" soundtrack (final tracklist)
01. Black Kids - "I'm Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You"
02. The Ting Tings - "Great DJ"
03. Sunny Day Sets Fire - "Lack Of View"
04. Frou Frou - "Breathe In" (Jason Bentley Remix) (exclusive track)
05. Patrick Watson - "The Great Escape"
06. Cat Stevens - "Trouble"
07. John Paul Young - "Love Is In The Air"
08. Ryan Lindsey - "Let's Go Out" (exclusive track)
09. Does It Offend You, Yeah? - "Dawn Of The Dead"
10. Luna Halo - "Kings & Queens"
11. Blackalicious - "Your Move".
12. The Unicorns - "Sea Ghost"
13. The New Pornographers - "Adventures in Solitude"
14. Nyles Lannon - "Train" (exclusive track)
15. MGMT - "Kids"
Watch: John Paul Young - "Love Is In The Air"
Watch: Patrick Watson - "The Great Escape"
Though it's been seemingly a decade since he brought it up, unfunnyman, Mike Myers, who recently talked to MTV about getting ready to rape audiences with the unhilarity that will surely be "The Love Guru," said he's still up for playing the part of Keith Moon in the long-gestating biopic of the departed Who drummer /decathalon binge drinker, "See Me Feel Me: Keith Moon Naked for Your Pleasure."
"I always loved Keith Moon, and I love the music of the Who. Keith Moon redefined drumming. And he's a composer ... he didn't just keep time, although that's no small thing. He kept time and he interacted with [Who frontman] Roger Daltrey. ... His life is just so colorful and fascinating."When asked more about the project, Myers went into some deep, pretentious k-hole that suggests the actor was high on goofballs during the interview. "His name is Moon, and a moon is a non-self-luminous object," Myers said nonsensically. "It requires sunlight of others in order to be seen. If there's no sun, the moon is invisible. And the script so far is about how important it is to ... be your own star and not be a moon, ironically. It becomes a cautionary tale of drugs. I mean, they are not the answer, and in this movie you see how not the answer they are."
Umm, appropos of that...
Poor Todd Phillips can't catch a break. While his name will always be cemented in the annals of cinematic history for the comedic genius that was "Old School," and penning "Borat," his luck has vacillated ever since writing and directing Ferrell, Vaughn and Wilson in that comedy classic. (and much of that has been by his own design).
Jack Black has just dropped out of his upcoming supernatural comedy project, "Man Witch" which chronicles a man who discovers he's a witch and then heads off to teach at a female witch school (Phillips is set to produce and to likely direct as well).
The issues allegedly came from Black's camp, who were apparently unhappy over Phillips' purported commitment to direct the picture ahead of "Hangover," another project the filmmaker was circling (wait, Black wants Phillips to shoot something else first? confoosed).
Aside from the success of 'Borat,' which ultimately wasn't entirely his and had it's own problems – Phillips was meant to direct: he quit the production after shooting the infamous rodeo/"Star Spangled Banner" scene, due to creative differences with Sacha Baron Cohen – the director hasn't had much luck in recent years.
"Starsky & Hutch" was financially successful (though not massively so in the U.S.), but it was a turd (we actually walked out) and the disastrous "School For Scoundrels" basically limped into theaters/straight to DVD (according to Box-Office mojo the film couldn't make its budget back even considering foreign receipts).
Well, there's always "Old School Dos," right?
Meanwhile, you've heard all those "School Of Rock 2" rumors, right? Well, Black told MTV today he'd only do the film with the participation of the original director Richard Linklater. I look forward to reading [the script]. I hope it happens because I had such a great experience the first time, it would be fun to do it again. I love to rock. I love making movies.”
Katherine Heigl has already had one spat over "Grey's Anatomy" when she was stuck in contract negotiations and now the actress has come up with a pretty sly way of saying, "This show sucks, I still want out, oh and I also want a full-time movie career." She basically did not seek an Emmy nomination cause she thought the show this season was pretty meh.
"I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the academy organization" decided against competing, Heigl said in a written statement.
Oooh, sly dig. Man, that's creative. Too bad she pretty much alienated the Apatow crowd already. On the plus side we will see her battling polygamy on the big screen soon. [AP]
Update: We're not the only one's who see it like this. Grey's "insiders" are apparently cheesed and calling her Emmy comments an "ungrateful slap." We love the Heigl, think she's adorbs and don't watch (like ever, seriously; culturally clueless there), so if this means she's on the big screen more often, we're all for her ingratitude.
Man, Frank Darabont is kicking back, feeling smug and thinking, "I told you fuckers." Now that "Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Ridiculous Space Aliens" has been released and the world has seen how sub-par, absurd and retarded most of it was, the "Shawshank Redemption" director, who was originally commissioned to write Indiana Jones 4 in 2002, has leaked the original script. Err... umm... well, someone leaked the script (gee, we wonder who?).
Some people have quickly parsed the script and said the biggest omission of the film is that Shia LaBeouf's toughguy annoying side-kick punk isn't in the film (we're also glad to know we weren't the only ones who thought the Tarzan-like jungle scene in 'Indy 4' was totally inane and hilariously outlandish). Also, Sean Connery as Indiana's dad was also in the Darabont script, but he dropped out regardless.
Darabont called working on the script a "waste of a year." Spielberg loved it, but George Lucas read it, and felt it was too good, too un-preposterous and didn't include enough laughable aliens and so there's no love lost between the two of them (Darabont has been vocally bitter about it). In April 2007:
"Indy" showed me how badly things can go. I spent a year of very determined effort on something I was very excited about, working very closely with Steven Spielberg and coming up with a result that I and he felt was terrific. He wanted to direct it as his next movie, and then suddenly the whole thing goes down in flames because George Lucas doesn't like the script.And Darabont told Lucas exactly what he thought about him poo-pooing the idea. "I told him he was crazy. I said, 'You have a fantastic script. I think you're insane, George.' You can say things like that to George, and he doesn't even blink. He's one of the most stubborn men I know."
Even though some elements of his script were present in 'Crystal Skulls,' Darabont didn't receive a writing credit which further fueled his anger at Lucas. "Honestly our storytelling sensibilities have diverged to the point where that would be a pointless exercise," Darabont said of the possiblity of ever working with Lucas again (an early insider read the Darabont-free version of Indy 4 and told the director that much of his original concept was in the film, which probably only served to piss him off more when months later he was told he wasn't receiving credit; at one point he expected their to be a fight over credit, but either way, he lost.).
Is this Darabont's final revenge? Is it payback from someone else on his behalf? Or is it just some concerned citizen who got his mitts on the script and wants to defend quality and combat mediocrity in all its Lucas-like forms?
Finally, an English language trailer of David Fincher's highly anticipated new film (and miraculously he hasn't taken years and years between films this time like he usually does.
People are feverishly looking-forward to "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and it's already been tagged by many as serious Oscar-bait for 2008. Starring Brad Pitt as an old man who physically ages backwards, the film is due December 18. Pitt's character fall in love with a 30-year-old woman (Cate Blanchett) and then must come to terms with the relationship as they literally grow in opposite directions. The film has been wrapped for some time now and the digital effects for Pitt to convincingly age backwards were being worked on for months.
Eric Bana, Jason Schwartzman & Jonah Hill Get 'Funny'; Join Judd Apatow's Stand-Up Relationship Dramedy
Damn, you knew Judd Apatow's self-written and directed upcoming relationship / stand-up comedian dramedy (now titled "Funny People,") would probably be rather decent, but man, his cast got just that much better.
Branching out a little past the Apatow family players troupe, the multi-hyphenate has tapped Eric Bana (already rumored), Jason Schwarzman and Jonah Hill to join an ensemble that already contains, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann and Adam Sandler (man, people must be taking pay cuts to work with Apatow, cause there's no way a regular comedy of his could afford all these people - this is the rumored way he does business anyhow).
The comedy /drama is filming in mid-September and eyeing a summer 2009 release. Apatow has kept most of the plot details under wraps, but some info has trickled out. We know it's semi-autobiographical (Sandler and Apatow were both roommates and struggling stand-up comedians at one time), we only recently learned it's about comedians, it's apparently "heartbreaking" in spots, and the newest bit of information is that it focuses on a comic who has a "near-death experience."
Bana may seem like an odd choice, but before he became Mr. dramatic actor Hollywood, the Australian actor was began his career as a stand-up comedian down under (now that seems odd, no?). None of the three newly cast roles have been defined, but our suspicion is Bana will be the main love rival to Leslie Mann (Apatow's real-life wife, who will play his movie-life wife; or at least she'll play Sandler's love interest who we're pretty sure is the surrogate Apatow in the film) and Hill and Schwartzman will be comedy-circuit stand-ups (good bet, no?)
Can the Apatow gravy train keep going and going? Man, even with a few chinks in the armor ("Drillbit Taylor," the not-mega, but decent success of 'Sarah Marshall'), they still seem pretty unbeatable and or at the very least the, 'let's get as many projects going as we can before it all falls apart,' idea is working rather well.
Does A Cheesed Jon Favreau Get Heard? Is Marvel Putting Out Offer For Iron Man 2? Now Or Was It Always In The Cards?
Jon Favreau bitched and apparently Marvel listened.
If you haven't been paying attention, the "Iron Man," filmmaker was seemingly going to get dicked out of directing the sequel cause he was asking for too much money.
Keep in mind, "Iron Man" was Marvel's first film production on their own and the wildly successful film surpassed all their expectations and has grossed more than $500 million worldwide so far. Shades of a little ingratitude to say the least.
Well, it appears as if Marvel and their apparently tightwad studio head David Maisel have heard Favreau's public outcry.
AICN confirmed what IESB.net broke, "David Maisel is penny pinching his own company into a malignant purplenurple," Harry Knowles eloquently wrote.
But then Nikki "I Told You So, My Word Is Always The Final Say" Finke weighed in and said all the blogger drama was nonsense (we love to quell nonsense too, but Finke is admittedly kind of insufferable).
"David Maisel very recently put out an offer to Jon Favreau to direct the sequel and that the offer is 'definitely' richer than what the helmer received for the original. Even so, the negotiation has only just begun. So all that Internet blather about how Marvel doesn't want to bring back Favreau because the studio is lowballing him is just b.s. As an insider told me, '"They're not paying him the same wage. They're definitely paying him a higher fee to direct this one. What, do people think Marvel is stupid? Of course, the movie was successful, so they're offering him more."Either way, it appears if there's movement out there, but would Favreau bitched so much publically if he had already been given an offer Ms. Finke? Favreau's post just was written on Monday, was Maisel's offer out hours shortly after? Why would Favreau say he hadn't had contact with Marvel in five weeks if that were the case? Seems like a small window of time. We smell a deal on the table any second and possibly a bitchslap fight between Finke and IESB.
Oooof, first Vulture put Spike Lee on the ropes by reminding him that Clint Eastwood actually did have African-Americans in the WWII "Flags Of Our Fathers," and now a prominent group of Italian Americans - the Italic Institute of America (not a font group) - weighed in and reminded the black filmmaker that his portrayal of Italians throughout most of his career haven't been exactly favorable.
Lee, who's making his own WWII epic, "Miracle At St. Anna," had chastised Eastwood at Cannes for not including blacks in either two of his 'Iwo Jima' war films. Eastwood countered by telling Lee he didn't know from history lessons and should shut his big trap, Lee parried by claiming that actually? He did know history, 'but you know what? I'm taking the Obama high road.'
About 25 minutes after taking that said "high road," Lee was back at it telling Eastwood he was a bitter old man and that 'you not my massuh!,' and racial plantation barbs and whatnot.
"Spike Lee is very talented, but I sometimes wish he'd practice what he preaches," Bill Dal Cerro, president of the IIA, said. "His points about African-Americans are well taken, but, ironically, he does the same thing to Italians in his films."You've seen "Do The Right Thing," and "Jungle Fever," we're sure. Those two films alone are pretty damning good points. Obviously 'Right Thing' is an incredibly complex commentary on race, but still. Spike?
(That was supposed to be like "Panda Watch!") Most blog posts that are simply just a photo exclusive are gay, that is unless we're really interested [ed. uhhhh]. But face it, every body's super excited to see Spike Jonze's adaptation of "Where The Wild Things Are," problems aside. MTV has the exclusive. Now who has reports about those reshoots?
Aren't their no spies in L.A. like combing the streets for that stuff? What retarded rumors and wanton speculation could possibly spring forth from these photos? Wait, this boy doesn't look like the one in the originally leaked video! ;) [ed. dude, be careful, people are dumb].
Oh yeah, we made an imaginary soundtrack based on Spike Jonze's work.
Greg Mottola Gets Some Lou Reed, Replacements And 50 Other Songs For 'Adventureland'; Working On New Script With Bill Hader
During the Tribeca film festival we were bemoaning the fact we weren't able to attend the Apple Store Q&A with "Superbad" director Greg Mottola and even encouraged one of you go-getters out there to go for us and take notes, but you were all too lazy (we did make it out to Harmony Korine).
We digress, lo and behold the entire Q&A was a podcast on the Apple store so we downloaded it and took note (umm, just a short month later, but we don't see you with this news).
So yeah, Mottola discussed his upcoming project, "Adventureland," and there was a couple tidbits of interesting information in the Apple Store talk. As previously noted, the semi-autobiographical film is an '80s set dramedy about a college-age kid stuck working at an amusement park all summer and realizing his life is going nowhere.
The film stars Jesse Eisenberg (Noah Baumbach's "The Squid And The Whale") as a surrogate stand-in for Mottola, who also penned the screenplay, Kristen Stewart plays his love interest, Bill Hader and Kirsten Wiig play the couple that run the park, "a very wonderfully droll" Martin Starr appears in a supporting role and Ryan Reynolds' part is the "amusement park lothario." And of course the score has been written by Hoboken indie trio, Yo La Tengo. Music was an essential element of the film and Mottola said he wrote with a lot of specific songs in mind; the production was lucky enough to clear and fit in a whopping 50 songs into the movie, including tracks by Lou Reed, The Replacement and Falco. "For a low-budget movie, that's an enormous amount of songs," he said. "There's this running story [in the film] that Ryan Reynolds' character jammed with Lou Reed once and we convinced Reed to somehow let us use 2-3 of his songs. There's also a lot of '80s indie-rock in the movie like the Replacements." There's also a running gag using Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus," about the song playing an repete ad naseum and driving the park employees nuts.
Mottola said he wrote much of the script after a conversation with the screenwriters of "Undeclared." While working on the show, the writers and he traded stories about their worst summer jobs and by the end of the conversation it had become evident that Mottola cleary won and that spurned on the filmmaker. "The ['Undeclared' writers] were like, ‘Yeah, that’s the worst job, you win.’ And the next morning I started writing notes for what the movie could be,' Mottola similarily described to the Observer in April.
The general experience that Mottola said he tried to explore from his amusement park days was "humilation." He recalled a story when the Stray Cats' Brian Setzer - at the height of the bands popularity in the '80s - entered the park with his girlfriend and then won a prize at a water-pistol game that Mottola was running. The "prize" however, was extremely rinky-dinky and Setzer demanded something better, but the filmmaker - then just kid - realized his pathetic job was so strict, if he handed over something above board, he'd be summarily fired. "I don't think I went home and cried that night, but... I humilated myself in front of a big pop star. I didn't feel too good about myself." he laughed.
One of the film's main influences Mottola said was Fellini's "I Vitteloni." No, really. "It's kind of the Italian foreign film Judd Apatow movie. The [characters] are all young 20-somethings who have no direction in life, refuse to leave their small town and [are all just] stuck in life... It's a very sad, bittersweet, lovely movie."
"Adventureland" is supposed to be due in August, but unless Miramax is planning on putting up something up on their site soon (or last minute), this seems somewhat unlikely (currently their promoting "Brideshead" that is scheduled for Aug 1, but there's zero mention of "Adventureland").
What's next? Motolla said he's writing a comedy with Bill Hader ("Superbad," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" 'SNL') about an observant building doorman who figures out one of the tenants is a victim of a scam and he takes it upon himself to right the wrong. "No one believes him and no one cares," Mottola said, "So it's basically a parody of vigalante movies... or films like 'Get Carter' or 'Point Blank' with a little 'Bourne Identity' jokes. He's a man against the system, a lone wolf trying to fight crime."
"The big question right now is whether Bill will have a moustache or not."
File under rumor mill, but it's one that everyone has jumped on and now we feel like we can't ignore just in case (or feel like following the herd, etc.).
According to the very excellent PTA fansite, Cigarettes and Red Vines, the follow-up to Paul Thomas Anderson's "There Will Be Blood," is a film set in Las Vegas and based off the Peter Bart novella, "Power Play," that will be shot for Paramount.
Bart of course is the current editor-in-chief of Variety and the project is apparently set to star Jack Nicholson as a gambling entrepreneur from a Native American casino who decides to take on Las Vegas. Paramount acquired the novel for producer Robert Evans to develop back in 1998:
"I’ve got P.T. Anderson very excited about adapting and directing it. Before he directed 'Boogie Nights,' he covered the gambling terrain very convincingly with 'Hard Eight.' I’m also giving it to Jack Nicholson, who is perfect for the main role,” Evans told Variety in 1998. “It’s an extraordinary story. The largest gambling entrepreneurs are not Trump or Wynn or Kerkorian — they’re the Indians. They operate the most profitable casinos in the world and most are not even full-blooded Indians — they can be one-eighth and still control the tribe, the land and the casino. If they made the worst deal in selling Manhattan for $24, they’re making up for it with a weapon more lethal than bows and arrows.”
The 'Power Play' Controversy And The Politics of Conflicting Interests
"Power Play" was the subject of a major Hollywood controversy in the late '90s. Variety has a strict conflict of interest policy, yet Bart - the EIC of the trade magazine of course, who just started a blog - wrote and sold the screenplay under the guise of a "novella" and under the pseduonymn, Leslie Cox (the maiden name of Bart’s wife)," to circumvent any such issues; the book was "sold" in 1998, but the existence of a screenplay dated 1996 was soon discovered. (Bart has long been accused of "co-existing" with Hollywood, which is a obvious euphemism for being, "totally in bed with Hollywood"; even worse Bart used to be a major producer at Paramount 1967 to 1974 who had worked closely with his buddy Evans).
Reporter Amy Wallace wrote a huge expose in Los Angeles magazine about the incident and Bart was ultimately suspended "indefinitely" in 2001 (he got a measly 3 weeks and was slapped with diversity training for some insensitive racial remarks he also made). Bart basically tried to defend himself by not "remembering to write the script." A little taste from the 10-page-L.A. mag piece (a shorter version here).
Wallace, worked on the story for five months and did more than 50 interviews that included multiple conversations with Bart.
I tell Bart I have a copy of the 1996 script he wrote. “The script I wrote,” Bart repeats, neither confirming nor denying. I look into the face of the man with the incredible memory. It is blank. But one knee starts jiggling, and he fiddles idly with the band of his watch.
“Boy, you got me. Did I write a script? Now I’m facing memory loss,” he says, as I pull a copy of Crossroaders out of my bag. He looks it over. “Let’s just say this is a script that has Leslie’s name on it. What does that indicate? Therefore —therefore, what?”
I repeat that I know he wrote it. “I may have written this,” he says. But, I counter, you said you hate writing scripts. “I do. Maybe this taught me never to do it again. I’d love to read this. Is it any good?”
Anyhow, just a rumor at this point, but an interesting back story. Keep in mind, "There Will Be Blood," lost money for Paramount Vantage and some even pointed the finger at 'Blood,' when they had to look at the low-grossing films that hurt the bottom dollar and were responsible for PV being absorbed by the larger Paramount umbrella. So, Paramount might not exactly be eager to jump the gun with another PTA "specialty" project.
'Jay And Seth Vs. The Apocalypse' Short Becomes Full-Blown "Action Comedy" Feature For Seth Rogen And Jay Baruchel
Anyone remember, "Jay and Seth vs. the Apocalypse," the very random YouTube short floating around last year starring "Knocked Up" cast-mates/Judd Apatow mainstays, Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel as themselves if they were degenerate roommates living in squalor during the apocalypse?
Well, the short, based on a script by Rogen and his writing partner/bff Evan Goldberg is becoming a full blown feature for Mandate Pictures according to Variety. (the duo wrote "Superbad," "Pineapple Express" and are even going to pen an episode of "The Simpsons")
Apparently when the trailer hit last summer, many production companies started vying for the project which is being called an action comedy (and now that these guys have cache, they can probably get whatever the fuck they want green-lit). Oh and looks like someone was listening to us when we said, put Baruchel in a lead role already. Surprisingly though, Judd Apatow is not involved in this one (he can't produce everything). Shooting is sched'd to start in 2009. Update: The Hollywood Reporter updated their story last night: Rogen and Evans have final cut too, btw. The plan is to hire a director this summer and shoot around Rogen's increasingly busy schedule which includes the Green Hornet and the untitled relationship comedy for Judd Apatow (not to mention he just finished a movie for Kevin Smith and is currently shooting one for 'Foot Fist Way' director Jody Hill).
Oh and apropos of Apatow world, We almost forgot to mention! Martin Starr of "Freak & Geeks"/Judd Apatow co. has a tiny, tiny cameo in "The Incredible Hulk." Weird, right?
Watch: "Jay and Seth vs. the Apocalypse" trailer