Whoo boy, it's become an incredibly boring Friday afternoon in terms of any interesting film news. Time for a short-cuts like piece to cap off the end of the day.
Julie Taymor is calling her "Spider-Man" musical (which will feature music by U2's Bono and the Edge) a "circus rock-'n'-roll drama." The villains in the musical will be Green Goblin, Carnage, Electro, Rhino, Swarm, Lizard and an invented character named Swiss Miss. Uh... ok. Apparently actor-singer Reeves Carney, who plays in Johnny Lang's band, is "the leading contender" to play Broadway's Peter Parker. [Vulture/NYPost]
According to the always specious Contact Music (i.e., don't always believe what you read), "Two Lovers," director James Gray was kinda pissed at Joaquin Phoenix for his inept performance on David Letterman in February and failing to promote the little indie film (which was actually pretty good and could have used the help. [Contact Music]
A teasers and two posters for Bong Joon Ho's upcoming film, "Mother." [Twitch]
A. O. Scott (the New York Times) and Richard Brody (the New Yorker) got into a spat over Ramin Bahrani’s indie film, "Goodbye Solo" (Scott loved it and effu'd; Brody scoffed at his gushing; Scott slapped back) proving even grown men who write for venerable print outlets can be as childish and idiotic as regular bloggers. [Spout]
From a subway drama to a train drama, Tony Scott like's being on some kind of tracks apparently. He's currently wrapping up a remake of "The Taking of Pelham 123," and is now taking on an "action train drama" for Twentieth Century Fox called "Unstoppable."We'll admit the trailer for 'Pelham' looks much better on the big screen and it was thankfully, mostly free of Scott's obnoxious stylistic tics, but we remain skeptical until he digs himself out of director jail and he's been in deep these last few years. [THR]
Jon Favreau has been posting pictures of Sam Rockwell in character from "Iron Man 2." It amounts to slicked back hair, a cardigan sweater (presumably not part of the ensemble) and dark glasses. [MTV] TMZ has images of Mickey Rourke sporting a new weavy-'do for the villain he plays, reportedly a mix of the characters Whiplash and Crimson Dynamo.
Screenwriter turned director William Monahan ("The Departed," 20 million other upcoming projects) has written the script for "The Essex," and is in talks to direct. It's a historical ship drama chronicling sea battles against the British during the War of 1812. [Variety]
"500 Days Of Summer" will open North Carolina's 11th Annual The RiverRun International Film Festival. [IndieWire]
To the four people that care. We saw the Michael Mann "Public Enemies" trailer on the big screen last weekend when we went to see "Duplicity," and yes, while we were initially disappointed by the decision to shoot digi for a 1930s period piece, it looks way less grainy and like shit on the big screen. Dare we say it look pretty good.
A different kind of Enemy. Evidently there's a new graphic novel based on the seminal hip-hop group Public Enemy. Apparently there's interest in Hollywood. It comes from anonymous tipsters so take with a grain of salt. [MTV]
This might be the worst "exclusive" we've seen in weeks. We feel weird even linking to it.
Ridley Scott says James Cameron's "Avatar" and the technological headway he has made, has inspired him to make "Forever War" in 3D. We'll admit with a title like "Forever War," we barely know what that project is and it's probably like "Kingdom of Heaven"-- i.e., the semi-rare Ridely Scott project we don't really care for. [FirstShowing]
Whoo boy, it's become an incredibly boring Friday afternoon in terms of any interesting film news. Time for a short-cuts like piece to cap off the end of the day.
"Extract," Mike Judge's latest film, recently received a September 4th release date from its distributor, Miramax. Judge, the mind behind the cult classic "Office Space," and the lesser cult-film, "Idiocracy," has an unusually stacked cast for "Extract," with Mila Kunis, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wigg and J.K. Simmons all making appearances in the film.
The comedy follows a flower-extract shop owner as he struggles through his personal and professional problems.
Some are less than enthusiastic concerning the September release date, with Cinemablend saying that the release date will condemn the movie to obscurity much like "Idiocracy," which was basically dumped, though we tend to think that if the movie bombs, the September release date won't be to blame.
We haven't run a contest in a hot minute so here's one for a Friday afternoon to keep you entertained. And "Twilight" fans you should take note!
Want to win copy of a poster of "Adventureland" signed by director Greg Mottola and stars Jesse Eisenberg and... wait for it... Kristen Stewart, aka Bella from your throbbing wet Stephenie Meyer abstinence romance novel? (do we feel shame in exploiting "Twilight" fans, not really...)
Or do you want to win a copy of the excellent, '80s college-rock alt-friendly soundtrack? Yes, you do.
The soundtrack features excellent cuts by David Bowie ("Modern Love"), Lou Reed ("Satellite of Love"), INXS ("Don't Change"), The Velvet Underground ("Pale Blue Eyes"), The Replacements, The Cure, Hüsker Dü and more. What's even better for you the potential contest winner, is that there is no "Adventureland" physical CD. It only came out digitally on March 24.
However, we will have one rare physical copy to give away from Miramax (and one poster). Winning is easy. For our loyal readers, you get a chance at the soundtrack by
emailing us the answer to this simple question: what is the song in the credits that Greg Mottola wanted to include in "Adventureland," but wasn't sure if he'd be able to clear it for the movie (Fortunately he was successful in this endeavor and the song is in the picture -- all you have to do is search our site for the answer). Update: Holy shit that was fast. The soundtrack is already gone!
For the poster, well, we assume first time "Twilight" listeners will probably want to get their claws on that, so all one needs to do is follow us on Twitter. The 600th follower wins. Just email us and send us your address and it's yours. Bonne chance. Update: This part of the contest is closed too.
"Adventureland," comes out April 3 and stars Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Martin Starr, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig and Ryan Reynolds. Definitely go out and support it.
The drama between, "Crossing Over," its director Wayne Kramer, actor Sean Penn and producer Harvey Weinstein will not go away.
You'll recall a stink was made in December when Hollywood Elsewhere reported that Sean Penn disliked the immigration drama so much he allegedly asked to be removed from the picture and the Weinstein's -- reportedly afraid to mess with stars they might need in the future (Penn) -- obliged the request much to the chagrin of the director Kramer.
True or false, regardless we do know that Penn did not ever appear in the picture and, it was widely panned by most critics when it came out in February.
The story however, has reared its ugly head again, and mostly because someone's reps are still trying to feed the beast by giving info to the New York Post a few days ago. According to a rep for the actor:
"Sean's portion of the film was somewhat experimental as it had a mystical quality that the rest of the film did not have. His not being in the final edit was a creative decision of which he was aware."Why Penn's rep would bring this up now is beyond any real logic (since the drama has seemingly passed), but it has prompted an anonymous rant that Hollywood Elswhere has published ("anonymous" -- Jeffrey Wells has been in bed with Kramer and "Crossing Over" for some time and by that we mean, sympathetic to his plight and the subsequent flawed film, which is totally understandable considering the shitty circumstances he had to endure. But, all we're saying is that it seems like this is Kramer).
The anonymous source claims that Penn told a “blatant lie” and he did specifically asked to be cut from the film.
The pissed-off heckler in the dark says that Penn’s role was "integral" to the plot of the film and somewhat tampered with the film’s impact. He also claims even though Penn, “knew the script he was signing on for,” he pulled out because of an “honor-killing storyline.”
Kramer -- sorry, the anonymous source -- adds that even though Penn asked to be omitted to the film, he conveniently did not return the $1 million dollar fee he was paid for his one day of work.
The anonymous boobird also demanded that Harvey Weinstein should be “pressured” into having the Penn footage reinstated onto the DVD. However, will those scenes -- which reportedly add up to about six minutes -- really salvage the film if they're cut back in? If it does happen, time will tell. - Nick Duval
In February of this year it was reported that "Quantum of Solace" director Marc Forster(who also helmed, "Stranger Than Fiction" and "The Kite Runner" to name a few) was eyeing the Kurt Cobain biopic that Courtney Love is executive producing (as in thinking about directing it, in "talks" as it were).
Asked by MTV if he was directing the film he answered, "that’s not correct,” and his involvement with the project was just “a rumor.”
Maybe we should be linguists or something, but right after that he basically contradicts himself and says, he hopes the project will be great because“it’s a cool concept.” Well, he must have read it and known something about the project if he knows it's a cool concept, no? (it's been written by David Benioff ("The 25 Hour," "Troy," and umm, "Wolverine") Who knows, but it sure sounds like he did have those conversations with the producers at one point.
We're such sticklers, it might be the death of us one day. Anyhow... Marc Forster, not directing the Kurt Cobain biopic. As you were.
Richard Linkalater attended a screening of "Dazed & Confused" last night in Austin hosted in support of mayoral candidate Brewster McCraken.
According to a poorly-worded Chud report (sent in by an audience member in attendance), Linklater talked about what was next for him and evidently that's a "spiritual sequel," to "Dazed & Confused."
According to Chud's report, "[Linklater] is shooting in and around Austin this summer, will be about the first weekend of college in 1980. So while thematically it'll bookend Dazed, it won't have any of the same characters."
This isn't the first time Linkater has talked about a sequel to this '70s-set summer classic (here's one example from 2007), but it looks like it's finally moving forward. Hopefully more details will emerge soon. And while we're skeptical of him going back to the well that made him famous more than 15 years later, it's surely can't be any worse than, "Me & Orson Welles," a Movie-of-the-Week-like 2008 picture he made that still hasn't been picked up for distribution yet.
Two fascinating directors, one who has had a strong influence on American mainstream cinema, the other a little less known but all the more adored, are now having their films displayed at two very respectable venues in New York City. The two are Mike Nichols and Jules Dassin, and they have definitely left their mark on cinema during their extensive careers.
Mr. Nichols, aged 77, is having his most prestigious work displayed at the Modern Museum of Art (no better place) from April 14 to May 1, and having an “informal conversation” on April 18, with cohorts Nora Ephron, Buck Henry (writer of Nichols' "The Graduate," and "Catch 22") and Elaine May. Nichols, if you haven’t already known, is known for his brilliant adaptation of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and the aforementioned classic “The Graduate,” both of which landed a spot on the new AFI Top 100 list. Nichols recently directed an adaptation of “Closer,” and the Tom Hanks prestige comedy “Charlie Wilson’s War.” The man has a very respectable body of work, and he deserves this great retrospective.
The estimable Dassin, on the other hand, is a more obscure American director having his films celebrated at the Film Forum from March 27 to April 7 (that starts today). Dassin, who passed away last year at the age of 96, had a circuitous career path that was semi-tragic. He fled Hollywood in the 1950s in an attempt to resuscitate his career after he was blacklisted because of his earlier ties to the Communist Party during the McCarthy propaganda era.
Escaping to France he made perhaps his most well-known work, the the seminal French crime drama, "Rififi," which François Truffaut himself once called "the greatest film noir I've ever seen." Dassin also won a best-director award for the picture at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival so it wasn't all for naught and he was permitted back in the U.S. by the mid-60s.
However, the tastemakers at the Criterion collection have done a great job of feting Dassin's pre-blacklist work in the last few years releasing, "Thieves' Highway" (1949), "Night In the City" (1950, featuring a great slimeball in the late Richard Widmark), "Naked City" (1948), and "Brutal Force" (1947, starring Burt Lancaster), (they released "Rififi" in their very early days). All of these films are included plus the rare 1968 post MLK-assassination, race riot drama, "Up Tight" which features an original score by Booker T. and the MGs, 1960's "Never On Sunday" which featured a rare co-starring role by Dassin himself, Romy Schneider and Peter Finch in 1966's "10:30 PM Summer" and 1978's "A Dream Of Passion" starring Ellen Burstyn. If you live in New York, we highly recommend you visit both these retrospectives.
- Nick Duval
Weekend movie time has rolled around again and we're aflutter with excitement. It's a slower weekend but a few of the smaller releases look like they might be worth a shot. Anyway, anything to knock the Nicolas Cage thriller that won the top spot last week off probably can't be all bad, right? So check your local listings for any of the following non-numerological films set to drop today!
In Wide Release
First up is the extremely dumb-looking "12 Rounds" from action film maven and professional bozo Renny Harlin ("Die Hard 2," "Deep Blue Sea"). According to the trailer, it's some sort of loose revenge plot where a master thief played by Aiden Gillen ("The Wire") kidnaps the wife of master cop (and former WWE Superstar!) John Cena ("The Marine"). Ratings are at a middling 50%, so buyer beware.
If that doesn't sound uninteresting enough, there's also the limp-wristed whitebread horror pic "The Haunting in Connecticut" that proudly carries forward the out-of-season horror banner this weekend. Based on "true events," the movie is the story of blah blah ghost in a blah blah house and snooze. Virginia Madsen ("Sideways") and Elias Koteas ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") star. Take the 19% on RT as a fair warning.
The brightest star of the wide-releases this weekend is the family-oriented "Monsters vs. Aliens" from Dreamworks. The story revolves around the government deploying a team of monsters to combat an evil alien invading force. With an all-star vocal cast--including Reese Witherspoon ("Walk the Line"), Seth Rogen ("Knocked Up"), Will Arnett ("Arrested Development"), Hugh Laurie ("House"), Rainn Wilson ("The Office") and Stephen Colbert ("The Colbert Report")--it might have enough wattage to keep you entertained. The just-ok 69% on the Tomatometer seems to concur. This one should probably win the weekend come Sunday.
In Limited Release
The most promising of the weekend's limited releases is probably "Goodbye Solo" which currently holds a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Helmed by the acclaimed director Ramin Bahrani ("Man Push Cart"), the movie tells the story of an immigrant taxi driver and his gruff passenger. Played by newcomer Souleymane Sy Savane and Memphis Mafia vet Red West respectively, the pair share some moving screen chemistry as their relationship explores the immigrant experience. Set in Winston-Salem, this looks like the movie to beat this weekend.
This weekend also sees the long-delayed release of the directorial debut of *shudder* Limp Bizkit front-idiot Fred Durst, The Education of Charlie Banks. The movie has a 55% rating, stars Jessie Eisenberg ("Adventureland") and Jason Ritter ("W") and the less said about it the better.
If you're in the mood for a documentary, this weekend has a pair of limited release non-fiction films. First, there's "Guest of Cindy Sherman" which details the relationship between NYC artist Sherman and Paul H-O, the film's co-director. It looks like a safe-ish bet with a 70% RT score right now. Slightly less successful--with a 40%--is "American Swing," which focuses on the 1970's New York sex club Plato's Retreat. Probably leaves something to be desired.
There's also the mildly interesting-looking "Shall We Kiss?" Starring Emmanuel Mouret (who also directed) and Virginie Ledoyen ("The Beach") the movie is an examination of the tangles and problems that a single kiss can engender. Fairly well received, the picture currently has a 72% rating on the Tomatometer. Plus, it will be good to see Ledoyen again, since she's been under the radar of late. If a French film doesn't tickle your fancy but you're still in the mood for a belletristic little picture, you could also check out "The Country Teacher," which has a slightly less inspiring 50% score as of press date. From the Czech director Bohdan Slama ("Something Like Happiness"), the movie chronicles the relationship between a new teacher in a rural area and a disturbed 17 year old student. This takes a turn for the worse upon the revelation that the teacher is secretly gay and attracted to the boy. Sounds provocative?
Finally, there's "Spinning Into Butter," the film adaptation of the not-very-good Rebecca Gilman play. Gilman helped adapt the screenplay, along with Doug Atchison ("Akeelah and the Bee"). Directed by first-timer Mark Brokaw, the film stars Sarah Jessica Parker ("Sex and the City") as the dean of a small, New England college that is beset by a series of racist attacks against one of its few students of color. If the name Rebecca Gilman wasn't enough to warn you away, then perhaps the 29% rating will.
So that's the score for this weekend. Maybe you'd be better off waiting a week...
After rumors of his involvement with a 'Wolverine' sequel came and went, "Slumdog Millionaire" writer Simon Beaufoy has found himself a new project. THR revealed that the Oscar-winning writer will work on a script for a Dreamworks' animated project called "Truckers."
The film is based on the first installment of Terry Pratchett's Bromeliad trilogy, a children's fantasy book series. "Truckers" follows the adventures of a group of Nomes, a race of tiny 4-inch people, who live under the floorboards of a department store. They have never been outside and, to them, things like day and night, sun and rain are nothing more than legends. Their whole world is thrown upside down when they learn of the department stores' upcoming demolition. It is then up Masklin, one of the newest arrivals to the group of Nomes, to mastermind a plan for all to escape into the oblivions of the Outside.
What THR and everyone has seemingly failed to note, is Pratchett's "Truckers," was the post-"Slumdog Millionaire," project that director Danny Boyle was supposed to be working on for Dreamworks as well, but the project fell through last fall (he first brought it up, when we asked him about it during TIFF). Back then it was being written by "Millions" screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce. In December, Boyle noted how the project was unfortunately dead.
"I was working with Frank Cottrell Boyce, who wrote Millions. We were working on the script at DreamWorks together, 'cause animated films take forever. I normally only ever do one thing at a time, I normally never double up on what I do, but I was doing that on this one. It's fallen apart, unfortunately, so it's not going to happen. [Animated films are] so expensive and complicated. They're a huge thing."He again, reiterated in January of this year how the project was DOA. In September he said the film would be a "mix of live-action and animation."
However, obviously both Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy have a lot of juice in Hollywood after this year's Oscars and both are now Academy Award winners. Boyle basically had the pick of the litter of projects after his Oscar win. Did he decide to get Beaufoy to re-write the script and start all over again? Sounds fairly plausible considering Boyle's rejected all the big projects that have been thrown at him post-Oscars.
Whatever happened to Boyle's reported collaboration with Danish enfante terrible Lars Von Trier, is that ever going to happen?
According to Variety, the Sony International Motion Picture Production Group has jumped on board Ricky Gervais' next project "Men At The Pru." Described as a "coming-of-age tale about a group of 20-something men at an insurance company in the 1970's," the project unites Gervais with his working partner from "The Office" and "Extras," Stephen Merchant.
Regarding the cast of the project, Gervais revealed that he has "roped in a couple of A-listers" but couldn't disclose any further information. He will also co-star in the project as one of the protagonist's father who is "a put-upon, beaten up loser at the bottom of the pile." Hilarity is sure to ensue.
AICN broke a "scoop" yesterday suggesting that "Slumdog Millionaire" scribe Simon Beaufoy was "employed" to write a sequel to the upcoming "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." However, a little digging didn't necessarily refute that the film was in some sort of development, but it did seem to call Beaufoy's involvement in question.
The quotes from the AICN piece weren't verbatim, so it was possible Beaufoy was referring to being approached at an Oscar party with the possibility, as his agent claims he was, though he felt that having written "The Full Monty" and "Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day" probably didn't qualify him for the job (seriously, Fox, have you eveb seen any of Beaufoy's movies?).
Considering the earlier Wolverine idea was a multi-million dollar pitch by David Benioff later re-written by names like David Ayer, James Vanderbilt and Skip Woods, it does seem like Fox's vision for these films are pretty malleable, so perhaps Beaufoy will realize that he'll get a nice payday, even if no one gives a shit about his interpretation of the character, but it still seems highly unlikely. Instead he's doing...something that could potentially involve Danny Boyle again.
Consider this Bond week for the 007 fans out there- in addition to the middling “Quantum Of Solace,” there are standard and Blu-Ray re-releases of “Goldfinger,” “Moonraker,” “The World Is Not Enough,” “Never Say Never Again” and “On Her Majesty's Secret Service.”
If you're not a Bond person, fear not, Criterion comes to the rescue- Francois Truffaut's faultless “The 400 Blows” and “The Last Metro” also street, a major treat for any film lover, while Alfred Hitchcock's “To Catch A Thief” gets a non-Criterion but still souped-up Centennial Collection release.
"Blows" comes with newsreel and audition footage, two commentaries and more, while "Metro" comes with two commentaries and brand new video interviews in addition to a boatload of other neat features, and "Thief" is a two disc set porting over several featurettes and a commentary but also adding two new docs, including one detailing the innuendos used within the dialogue to confuse censors. Bawdy!
And in specialty collector's news, the animated “Watchmen” tie-in “Tales of the Black Freighter” hits disc, with a forty minute doc “Under The Hood” providing an enticing supplement for fans of the graphic novel, a peak into the world of retired hero Hollis Mason, as played by Stephen McHattie in the film.
Marvel have a lot of projects on their plate for the future so, in order to combat this, the comic book company is developing a writers program with the intention of tackling all their planned adaptations.
Variety reports that the program will be modeled after Walt Disney's fellowship program whereby writers are taken on and given the chance to work with executives in the development of new projects.
Marvel will aim to recruit more than half a dozen writers a year; all of whom will have to sign non-disclosure agreements and non-negotiable contracts even before meeting executives. If successful, they will be contracted for a year where anything they create during that period will be owned by Marvel. Further, Marvel will have first look/last refusal on anything the writers create and or have created for up to 24 months post-contract. In return, writers will earn a reported 100k. Is this cattle-call desperation?
You'd think after "Iron Man" made half a billion dollars, Marvel could afford to just pay big name writers to write for them. Is this a way to get fresh, new minds and ideas? A simple cost cutting measure? A business prospect? A way to get writers to do whatever they want?
You can read more about Marvel's future in The Playlist's two part preview "Beyond Iron Man 2." The first installment focuses on Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers while the second looks at Iron Man 3, Ant-Man, S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America 2 and The Avengers 2.
Empire got director Sam Raimi to sit and chat with them about his new movie "Drag Me To Hell," but of course they couldn't resist asking about his other well-known properties.
He predictably humored them in his typical non-committal way, giving a description of his seemingly "newsworthy" writing of "Evil Dead 4."
Raimi confesses he's writing with his brother Ivan, saying they've written "nine pages so far." Stop the presses.
He adds also written is, "some dialogue. Ash being an idiot. Ash taking some abuse. Some character stuff and then some structure of Act Two. Just other possibilities for things that could happen. It's ideas, jokes, things we'd like to see." Seeing as how it's been almost two decades since the last "ED" film, its hard to see how this little bit of work is any more than what hundreds of nerds have fan-fictioned on their own while dreaming of which ending of "Army Of Darkness" should be canon.
Update: EW says all of this is untrue. However, in a super recent March 22) interview with Jason Segel and Paul Rudd at AICN, they say it's fact.
Russell Brand has already confirmed the fact that Segel is writing songs for "Get Him To The Greek," and he told AICN, "I'm writing songs for [Russell Brand] and Emily Blunt, who's playing a Fergie-type character. They start shooting in April."
So does this mean, Blunt pulled out? One thing that angers us completely is when a studio tries to blanket kill a rumor by saying it's "false" when the truth is she hoped to be in the film or she was in negotiations to be in it. Segel wouldn't have brought that up for the hell of it. "False" sounds like total horseshit to be honest.
Previously: After recently pulling out of "Iron Man 2" due to scheduling conflicts, Emily Blunt has found her way into Russell Brand's "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" spin-off, "Get Him To The Greek." According to Moviehole, the casting scoop was revealed by none other than Brand himself during a local radio interview in Australia.
Brand revealed that Blunt will play a pop star in the film who "may duet" with him. She will also join the ever growing list of potential love interests for Brand's Aldous Snow character who is rumored to have already notched real life pop stars Pink, Christina Aguilera and Katy Perry on his bedpost.
"Get Him To The Greek" is due out sometime in 2010.
When the trailer for Spike Jonze's "Where The Wild Things" broke yesterday we wrote, "You'll note that this version of the Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" sounds a little different from the album version on 2004's Funeral. Exclusively written for the trailer? [ed. we're finding out; we think half so].
So we wrote Merge records to find out (literally 30 seconds after the trailer came out). They agreed with us and said it sounded like the first half was acoustic and different from the original, to which we replied, "yes, good, we're not just crazy, we thought so too." They went to check from management... but then instead of getting back to us, they got back to MTV News instead. Such is life.
Press for the Arcade Fire told MTV that the version of "Wake Up" featured in the trailer was "a new version, re-recorded specifically for the film." See? We were right (although we still think it's only the first half of the trailer where the song is different, but whatever). But we couldn't confirm it first. Ah, well. As you were.
Though wait, "written in the film." Will we hear the Arcade Fire outside of the trailer and within "Where The Wild Things Are" movie itself? That info is not clear yet. We'll have to wait and see.
According to an feature story on Heath Ledger in EW, two weeks ago, Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus," was set for a June release in the U.K.
This piece followed the news that U.S. distributors were having potentially cold-feet about the potentially too-weird film and were adopting a wait-and-see attitude with the release and whether to buy it.
However, one of our keen readers from Heathheathens.net (a Ledger fansite), noted that the U.K. June release date simply came from IMDB (as did the rumored September 24 US release date). Did EW simply grab the release date from that site? They talked to Gilliam, wouldn't the information come from him?
And then shortly after our "Parnassus, June U.K. Release?" piece went up, both the U.S. and U.K. dates were removed from IMBD.
A March 2009 feature on 'Parnassus' and Gilliam from Empire magazine (that's not online) says the Fall is actually when Heath Ledger's last film is coming out.
"[Gilliam's interested to see what audiences, and critics, will make of the film, to the extent that he's frustrated its release date has been pushed back from spring -- when he'd have preferred to get it out there -- to autumn. But he's not particularly concerned about the film drawing an audience for the wrong reasons."According to Empire, as of early January 2010, 'Parnasuss,' the film was in good shape and had been, "cut for a couple months. The sound has been done. All that remains is for the 647 visual effects shots needed to realize the [film's] interior to be pulled off."
But since Empire is a U.K. magazine, does that mean Fall for the U.K. only?
According to the webmaster for HeathHethens who has spoken to the U.K. publicists for the film, "they foresee no problems finding a distributor and are looking at a 4th quarter release in the U.S." Also, the original Hollywood Reporter piece has been a bone of minor contention as the picture has not even been shopped for any U.S. distributor at this point. The film won't be ready until sometime in April and it's the intention of the filmmakers to only shop it after it's completed.
Update: In fact, all the above info we've been told was actually reiterated and emailed out to the U.K. Independent by the Parnassus production team for clarity [via Dreams a fansite].
I should like to correct the report filed by Guy Adams which ran on page 23 of today's newspaper. Your correspondent has reproduced large chunks of the erroneous and misleading content of a blog posted by Steven Zeitchik, a contributor to a Los Angeles film trade newspaper, about Terry Gilliam's film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, featuring Heath Ledger's final performance. Since his source material is an internet blog and was not first printed in The Hollywood Reporter, to which Mr Adams attributes it, the details were not subject to that publication's scrupulous fact-checking and research, nor has there been any contact with the film's producers.There you have it. The fall/fourth quarter is where the film will likely land in the end.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is still in post production and will not be completed until early/mid April. As soon as there is a finished film, it will be screened, for the first time, to US distributors. There has been no search for a US distributor to date, as the producers felt that it was better to wait for Terry Gilliam's vision to be fully realized on screen, so that the distributors can see exactly what they are acquiring. That said, the film was pre-sold in 90+% of the rest of the world and we are envisaging a release in the fourth quarter of this year.
Anyone getting slightly worried about Seth Rogen and Michel Gondry's "The Green Hornet" project? The film is in Rogen's words, three months away from shooting, and the lead star and co-writer (Rogen's partner Evan Goldberg also wrote with him again) doesn't seem sure of a lot yet. He's also not sure if Stephen Chow -- who was once set to direct the film -- will play Kato or not.
“Right now, I cannot make that 100-percent guarantee [Chow will appear in the film], as it has not been made to me,” Rogen reiterated again today to Splashpage. “It could happen [or] it could not happen. Honestly, I just don’t want to say either way because I don’t know.”
However, it seems like Rogen did hit it off with his "Observe & Report" co-star, Michael Peña. According to Splashpage, a rumor that Peña might star in the film is essentially true when Rogen admits, Pena is “not 100-percent set in stone at this point [either].”
Could Pena play Kato if Chow drops out? Could be, huh? Meanwhile, it appears once Gondry signed on to direct, 'Green Hornet,' Goldberg and Rogen had to do some rewrites on the film which is "in preproduction” at the moment.
Apparently the top priority before casting is, “rewriting a lot with Michel, so some things are kind of up in the air right now.”
It's not unusual for a project to go into rewrites, three months before shooting, hell, "Iron Man 2" is rewriting right up until the first day of shooting practically, but still, it's enough to raise an eyebrow and have a mild level of concern.
The difficult thing about working on a labor of love like "Where The Wild Things Are," is that if the film goes on for four years -- which the tumultuous and labored production of which certainly did -- you don't get paid more than you were originally scheduled to get paid.
So it sounds like, according to this interview at Vulture, that 'Wild Things' director Spike Jonze has either burned through his filmmakers fee already, or won't get paid until the film is complete and is in theaters.
"I've been working on the same movie for four years and basically haven't been paid anyway," Jonze told the NYMag blog. "When you break down how much you're making [over that time] ... Yeah, it's kind of crazy."
Jonze sounds like he's semi-broke (or at least celebrity/filmmaker "broke") and he says that he'll be returning to commercials to pay the bills. "But yeah, this year I should probably get back to work on other stuff, and start making money again.I haven't made money in a long time."
Don't expect many music videos though. "No way, I don't think so. There are no budgets at all. We support ourselves with commercials. That's how I make money."
However, he has made one more music video for buddy Kanye West, which he calls a "short film" (visions of Michael Jackson, John Landis/Martin Scorsese videos start to pop in our head). Jonze already directed a West a disturbing video for "Flashing Lights," so which one will he tackle from 808s & Heartbreak. According to an AP interview, the short film music video will be for the track "See You In My Nightmares"
Here's the song, but not the video -- this is fan made.
If you've read any of the press on "Adventureland" and or any of our own stories about Greg Mottola's potential upcoming projects with comedian Bill Hader (who also co-stars in "Adventureland"), you know the actor and filmmaker are fast, fast friends.
We've already speculated that Hader could play the alien in Mottola's upcoming alien-roadtrip ComicCon comedy with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (the "Shaun of the Dead" guys) entitled, "Paul," and according to an interview with Hader that CHUD has dug up, it sounds like it might happen.
"Yeah, Greg [Mottola]. He's the best. I'm actually, hopefully, gonna be in his next movie, which is called 'Paul,' with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost." Could Hader be the alien? Total speculation on our part (got that?), but we hope so. Mottola has already said he hopes to cast some of the Judd Apatow troupe players to round out the film, and Hader certainly qualifies there (he was hilarious in the opening of "Pineapple Express"). Hader's also said his "slasher project" which he's writing with SNL writer Simon Rich for Judd Apatow is complete and handed in (now it's wait and see).
As mentioned, Mottola and Hader already working on two projects, an adaptation of Charles Portis' "Dog Of The South," (he wrote "True Grit," which the Coen Brothers are remaking) and a currently-Untitled vigilante doorman comedy, but "Paul," is coming first and the other two are still in the early stages. Hopefully we'll have an updated report on both of them soon.
Mottola's "Adventureland" starring Jessie Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Martin Starr, Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig (great cast, right?) hits theaters April 3 via Miramax and you should go see it as it's an excellent little indie that you should support (more on "Adventureland," soon).
Exclusive: 'Observe & Report' Soundtrack Due April 7, Features, The Band, Yardbirds, The Dwarves And A Pixies Cover
A few short weeks ago, we noted that the soundtrack to Jody Hill's "Observe & Report" starring Seth Rogen as bi-polar and bitter mall cop, looked like it was going to be excellent. Well, we've got the exclusive details and yes, pretty much; this is a great and tastefully curated soundtrack that you normally wouldn't see in a big mainstream Warner Bros. comedy with some nice, off-the-beaten path musical choices (which we always like to see).
But then again, everything about this dark comedy sounds like it's pretty damn subversive for a studio picture (it's supposedly off-the-rails dark, "Taxi Driver" meets "Bad Santa").
The awesome soundtrack features songs by The Band (their cover of Bob Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece," though their version was released before Zimmy's in 1971 by two months), defunct British noise rockers McClusky, '60s British mod act, The Action and gnarly Chicago punk rockers, The Dwarves and the songs featured in the trailer people seemed to love so much, The Yardbirds and '70s British progressive jazz-rockers Patto.
'Observe' director Jody Hill is part of the whole, North Carolina filmmaker scene that begat Danny McBride, cinematographer Tim Orr and filmmaker David Gordon Green. And it appears he hasn't stayed far from that crew musically either. The NC indie collective Pyramid, scored Hill's debut, the kung-fu comedy, "The Foot Fist Way," and one of their founding members, Joey Stephens has also scored, "Oberve & Report." Stephens is all over the soundtrack, including a score piece, a Pyramid song called, "Babyteeth" (which closes out the movie in the credits) and his other band, City Wolf, recorded a cover of the Pixies' classic "Where Is My Mind" for the film as well.
The Pyramid member Ben Best also played the antagonist Chuck "The Truck" Taylor in "The Foot Fist Way," (they're considering a prequel) and Stephens also scored the HBO series "Eastbound and Down" with Wayne Kramer. Overall, a pretty great soundtrack. One has to congratulate Hill for maintaining this much power over Hollywood. It's not easy getting your friends who have written one film score the job of composing music to a mainstream comedy (and we've seen the opposite happen to). Good on 'em all.
"Observe and Report" soundtrack tracklist
1. When I Paint My Masterpiece - The Band
2. The Man - Patto
3. Lightsabre C**ksucking Blues - Mclusky
4. Sittin¹ Back Easy - Patto
5. Brain - The Action
6. Over Under Sideways Down - The Yardbirds
7. Dwarves Must Die - The Dwarves
8. Help Is On Its Way - Little River Band
9. Where Is My Mind? - City Wolf
10. Babyteeth - Pyramid
11. Observe and Report Score Suite - Joseph Stephens
12. Super Freek (Remix) - Amanda Blank, Nina Cream and Aaron LaCrate
Here's the great McClusky song in the film.
PS, filmmaker should note: WB could be the mainstream studio to be at. Not only did they let Zack Snyder do whatever the hell he wanted for "Watchmen" (which didn't turn out so great), they let Hill get away will all kinds of things. "Warner Brothers was great to work with. They let us go places that most studios wouldn’t and I thank them for that. I’ve heard horror stories, but luckily I don’t have one myself," Hill said in a recent interview.
Ever since we saw Cary Joji Fukunaga’s auspicious debut, "Sin Nombre," at the 2009 SXSW Film Festival two weeks ago, we've pretty much become instant fans of the young, preternaturally wise and articulate filmmaker (he's a fan of Walter Murch which also earns him points). We're not the only ones, Time Out New York called his soulful and humanistic immigration drama an, "arresting debut, a movie that moves—swiftly, fatalistically—to a violent and bittersweet finale."
We talked to Fukunaga last week — who has a first look deal with Universal and Focus Features (who enthusiastically put out 'Nombre') and he told us that he's working on a musical that could feature the music of orchestral indie-rockers Beirut and Final Fantasy (a sometime-member of the Arcade Fire) if all goes well.
According to Time Out, Focus is interested in his musical, but what's his other project (presumably the one for Universal)? Well, he's actually working on a science-fiction film. Fukunaga wasn't kidding when he told us, "I would ideally want [a career] with as much diversity in my work as possible" (when you see "Sin Nombre" if you haven't already, you'll fully realize just how polar opposite a sci-fi film and a musical are to that picture).
TONY doesn't provide details on what the science-fiction film will be, so we hit up a close personal friend of the director who is also working alongside him and he says that the sci-fi movie will center on time travel. He also tells us the scale will be "big," but it will also be a "very human character piece that will transcend the genre. Cary has always been fascinated with time travel, but this will be an accessible story that people can feel emotionally."
Expect big and always-interesting things from this filmmaker. And go see "Sin Nombre" when it expands into your city.
First off, is this a cruel joke? This "Taking Woodstock" "trailer" (which we have to put in quotes, "trailer") looks like a Demetri Martin film, not a picture directed by the venerable Ang Lee. Honestly, about halfway into the trailer and we're thinking, is this "Dazed and Confused" light? Is Ang Lee working on a project very atypical for him?
Or maybe this film is much more of a comedy/ light dramedy than we ever expected because it just seems to get campier and cornier. Liev Schreiber in drag makes us laugh, Emile Hirsch looks like he's about to laugh mid-sentence deliver. Perhaps that's the point, but man, this is not what we were expecting at all! It's got a weird, episodic sit-com tone and a goofy, "That '70s Show"-like tone. Very odd.
Doesn't the music in the trailer at the beginning sound like something Mark Mothersbaugh wrote for "The Royal Tenenbaums," but not quite? The score is actually being composed by Danny Elfman. Strange. "Taking Woodstock" hits theaters on August 14 in limited release.
Nicole Kidman has joined the illustrious cast of Woody Allen's as-yet-untitled upcoming film. Kidman will share the screen with such names as Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Freida Pinto and, fellow Australian Naomi Watts.
Although, Kidman and Watts have been friends since high school and have both astronomical risen to fame and fortune, their first Hollywood feature together will be Ryan Murphy's (TV's "Nip/Tuck") erotic thriller "Need" which is due out in 2009 . This would mark almost thirty years since they attended North Sydney High School together and eighteen since their first appearance together in the Australian film "Flirting". "Need" will see Kidman play an unstable patient trying to steal her psychiatrist's (Watts) husband. While little has been heard about this particular film, Kidman and Watts must have enjoyed each other's company so much that they decided to reunite under the helm of Allen.
In Contention reveals that Allen's project will be "a dramatic comedy which is set in London [and] revolves around the romantic intrigues, sexual desires and ambitions of a group of people." Filming is set to begin in the summer..
According to a THR article, Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst has revealed that his next directorial project will be a script by Andrew Kevin Walker titled "Psycho Killer."
The script by Walker, who seemingly will forever be known simply as 'the writer of "Se7en"', is described by Durst as a "very smart, compelling story about a serial killer on a mission for Satan." Durst further expressed his delight at helming the project: "I'm very excited about the project. It's not just a throwaway slasher film...It's really interesting and the way it's written - it's so unique."
Preproduction for "Psycho Killer" will begin around August while Durst's directorial debut "The Education Of Charlie Banks" will finally see a theatrical release on March 27, two years after it's award-winning premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.