Director Also Says 'Basterds' Will Get An Oscar Original Screenplay Nod
Love him or hate him, one things certain, interviews with Quentin Tarantino tend to never have a dull moment.
First off, dude has a prequel for his 2 hour and 45 minute WWII saga "Inglourious Basterds" potentially waiting in the wings? According to an interview in the New York Times, he sure does.
“I have a half-written prequel ready to go if this movie’s a smash,” Tarantino said, the Times noting it's an shelved, 'Basterds' subplot, that he cut about African-American soldiers stuck behind enemy lines (what would Spike Lee say about this? Hello, "Miracle At St. Anna").
That's all he says about it. A joke? Doubtful. Tarantino's spoke in earnest about sequels and prequels to many of his films including "The Vega Brothers (actually titled "Double V Vega") which proposed a prequel for Michael Madsen and John Travolta's characters from "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction" respectively (he eventually abandoned the idea when the actors got too old) and a potential, "Kill Bill 3 & 4," films which he brought up again a few months ago as a potential follow-up to 'Basterds.'
In the interview, Tarantino says unlike the Jewish soldiers who reenact vengeance on the Germans in 'Basterds,' growing up in Tennessee, his own childhood revenge fantasies centered around payback on the Ku Klux Klan. "But it’s all the same," he said of the similar fantasies. "Once the Basterds get through with Europe, they could go to the South and do it to the Kluxers in the ’50s. That’s another story you could tell,” he said.
That give us pause for a second. In a 2007 interview with the U.K. press right around the time "Deathproof" flopped in the U.S., Tarantino said he had an idea for a film after 'Basterds': a form of spaghetti western set in America's Deep South which he calls "a southern."
"I want to explore something that really hasn't been done," he said at the time. "I want to do movies that deal with America's horrible past with slavery and stuff but do them like spaghetti westerns, not like big issue movies. I want to do them like they're genre films, but they deal with everything that America has never dealt with because it's ashamed of it, and other countries don't really deal with because they don't feel they have the right to."Since 'Basterds' has a Spaghetti Western feel in certain parts (at least on the page), could his 'Inglourious' prequel idea possibly have at least strains of this "America's horrible past" or possibly was born out of idea he discussed in 2007? After all, he just told the Times that his ideas are constantly changing from inception to completion. "You get a good idea, and it just moves forward and then usually by the time you’re finished, it doesn’t resemble anything of what might have been the inspiration. It’s simply the spark that starts the fire,” he said.
In slightly different, but no characteristically different news, Tarantino cocksurely told the Gray Lady that 'Basterds' will earn itself a screenplay nomination at next year's Academy Awards. “It will be in the original category at the Oscars,” he said assuredly. Notice he didn't say, might or could. Heh, his brio is always amusing.
"Inglourious Basterds" has its world premiere on May 20 at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
Director Also Says 'Basterds' Will Get An Oscar Original Screenplay Nod
It's a shot from the film, but it could be a modern-day shot of a hipster Melanie Laurent hanging out, no? (She plays the main protagonist, Shosanna Dreyfus, the lead even above Brad Pitt)
That's because Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" WWII movie world doesn't feel the need to adhere to historical accuracy.
“Pretty much 90 percent is based on movie references,” Tarantino's longtime production designer David Wasco, but added that they still labored to reproduce the period using original photographs and documents. “It’s a Quentin period world. That’s what we’re helping him do here.” [NYT]
Another Brad Pitt 'Basterds' Photo; Tarantino Said History Books Bogged 'Inglourious' Down For Years
Another new photo of Brad Pitt from "Inglorious Basterds"?
Yup. It's from this site that has a Weinstein 2009 photo credit and it's also on the L.A. Times blog server, and the LAT just wrote this big preview piece on 'Basterds' and talked to Quentin Tarantino (our guess is the photo's from that scene after the bar sequence where they go to, ahem, "fix up" wounded members of their crew).
There's some interesting tidbits of info in the piece. Why did this film take years to get off the ground? (In the "Kill Bill," DVD commentary, which we randomly watched recently, Tarantino said he had 'Basterds' in mind for his next project after 1997's "Jackie Brown," but was derailed by the creative spark for 'Bill,' which puts the gestation of the idea around 12 years, give or take)
Part of it was apparently research, and the paper says he was stuck in history books which only helped along the plot confusion. "The problem with doing World War II research is that it can derail you, because there are too many great stories, too many good ideas to go around," QT said.
He also explains the Basterds sadistic motivations in the picture.
"Their mission is to psychologically beat the Germans by desecrating and butchering their bodies, taking their scalps, disemboweling them and always leaving one soldier alive to tell the story," Tarantino says, sipping an iced tea on the second-floor balcony of his Hollywood Hills home overlooking Universal Studios. It's akin, he says, to what the Apaches did to the U.S. Cavalry: When you'd rather die than be captured, the enemy is winning the mind game.If you haven't guessed already, it's not your typical WWII picture. "This isn't antiwar misery," he said, probably trying to distance it from things like "Schindler's List." Dude, everyone knows you're not about to make a picture like that! But thanks for clarifying nonetheless.
How Much Heath Ledger Do We Get In 'Doctor Parnassus'? Quite A Bit, Colin Ferrell Gets 2nd Most Doppelganger Time
One thing we missed in the EW report on the L.A. screening of Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus."
Apparently Heath Ledger — who obviously died midway through filming — is still in most of the picture, or is at least seen, "throughout" the film.
When it was announced that Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Ferrell would be replacing Ledger in the film, it was unclear, at the time, what shots were missed and what they would need the trio of actors for, but now it all makes sense.
EW says his three replacements, "only pop up in dream sequences," which figures. The film shot in London when Ledger was alive and then after he died, the production moved to Vancouver to shoot the greenscreen work. So ostensibly, everything that wasn't a "dream sequence," scenes in the beginning, middle and end were shot and covered with Ledger and then Depp, Law and Ferrell, just had to come and save the day for the imaginative and ambitious dream sequences, which are so great in the otherwise so-so script, they could end up being the pièce de résistance if done correctly (and or at least perhaps compensate for some concerns that the narrative is clunky).
As for the actor we get to see the most out of from the replacements? "Colin Farrell's sequence is the longest, says one person who attended the screening," writes EW.
Another new random photo of the Rachel McAdams, Eric Bana sci-fi/romance picture (there's a new genre for you) and long-delayed, "The Time Traveler's Wife."
The cool thing about this one other than it being quite the pretty shot? In the blurry, out-of-focus background we can see Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning and Justin Peroff of Canadian indie-rockers Broken Social Scene who are featured in the film in a wedding scene playing an undisclosed BSS track which eventually morphs into a quick snippet medley of Joy Division's classic, "Love Will Tear Us Apart."
Looks like it's probably right from the scene in question, huh?
The film is now slated for an August 14, 2009 release, and Broken Social Scene — big fans of their music in films — have moved on to helping Edgar Wright with the musical side of "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World."
Speaking of 'Pilgrim' to your right is a picture of Michael Cera wearing a Smashing Pumpkins T-shirt, which is a big part of the comic-books lore; one of the books is titled "Scott Pilgrim And The Infinite Sadness," a reference to a very emo SP album (click on it for a much larger version).
More Mixed Reactions To Gilliam's 'Doctor Parnassus' - Is The Film A Sony Pictures Classics-Sized Film?
There's been basically three different reactions to Terry Gilliam's potentially beguiling, potentially bemusing "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" picture starring Heath Ledger in his last onscreen performance.
One super-effusive one that basically doesn't count (and amusingly even some trade writers have suggested the same), and then two others reactions that both suggest the film is "better than expected" and still, "befuddling."
The RiskyBiz Blog has basically been quizzing people who were at the early buyers screening in L.A. on Tuesday asking what they thought and whether they'd buy it or not.
The first question they posed to buyers, studio flacks and the privileged, lucky few was, "is it brilliant or is it muddled?" And they say the answer is constant: both. "Brilliant" is obviously the Biz's words and not necessarily the exact question posed to everyone, but still if it possesss brilliant qualities, that's surely the best sign we've heard so far. We're splitting hairs here or trolling for bits...
But what RiskyBiz really adds to the ongoing 'Parnassus' conversation about its commercial prospects and or viability, is: will it sell?
What is now clear is that, yes, buyers are interested. But, the that interest comes with a big caveat — price. With the economy and the film industry in the toilet, buyers are still wary and basically the interest is at an even keel. If it was amazing, someone would have shelled out dough for it already, but it appears the value of the film in the buyers/sellers market is unclear. Yes, it has the last appearance of Heath Ledger, but it seems obvious it's not a mainstream ace-in-the-hole (which it would never be, it's a Terry Gilliam film for crying out loud).
Want to know what kind of "size" movie it is? One studio speciality distributor who already passed on the film suggested Sony Pictures Classics would be a good home for the film which suggests limited release in NY/L.A. and then slow expansion from that point. Yes, this is obvious to many bloggers, writers and people in the industry; Terry Gilliam films are not home runs, but we're just giving a bit of perspective here. Some people are complaining, for example, that Duncan Jones' Sony Pictures Classics-driven "Moon" deserves a bigger release and perhaps it does, but even Jones and its star Sam Rockwell are much smaller names then Terry Gilliam and Heath Ledger at the end of the day.
Personally, we're big fans of SPC, they put out great pictures that are very-much in our wheelhouse. Maybe their films aren't in every theater across the country on they day of release, but that's probably a losing proposition considering what this country goes for on a weekly basis.
Ultimately, even those who have seen the picture, still don't know how much its worth, even to the core constituency. "Gilliam fans are tough to read," one buyer told the THR blog. "It's hard to say how many of them there are, and, among them, how many will come out and buy a ticket for a new movie."
Doesn't it feel like we're back to square one?
Does it bother anyone or does anyone find it odd that "Brüno" ads keep calling "Borat," so 2006, and with MySpace clearly being so 2007... is it strange that Brüno's constant"Meinspace" references in the viral promotion for the film — featured in this new clip below — seems kind of dated?
We loved the footage we saw at SXSW, but have to admit this is pretty much the first, unfunny and forced element we've seen so far from "Brüno" marketing. The first misstep? $5,000 everyone just says this all just completely hysterical.
"This is not the feel good movie of the year," says Larry David, breaking the fourth wall in a very "Curb Your Enthusiasm"-like moment in this trailer to Woody Allen's upcoming new comedy, "Whatever Works." "So if you're one of those idiots who needs to feel good, eh, go get yourself a foot massage."
Can Larry David play anyone, but Larry David, ever? Does he even possess the faculties to play a character that's not himself? Sadly, doesn't look like it. Within about 35-seconds into this trailer and we're already annoyed and hey, we liked 'Curb,' but this definitely looks like minor-Allen work and the type of bumbling screwball bit that we just can't really endorse (at least not from the sight of the trailer, perhaps the film is more tolerable).
Whatever Works" is about "an eccentric New Yorker played by Larry David who abandons his upper-class life to lead a more bohemian existence. He meets a young girl from the South (Evan Rachel Wood) and her family (Ed Begley Jr., Patricia Clarkson), and no two people seem to get along in the entanglements that follow (i.e. hilarity is supposed to ensue). This comedy from legendary writer/director Woody Allen also stars Conleth Hill, and Michael McKean."
Whatever Works" comes out June 19, 2009 in limited release.
"I [appeared] in an HBO TV show, a new show called Bored To Death, with Jason Schwartzman and Ted Danson. It’s a comedy show. I think they’re going to start running it in September. — Narrative-bending (challenged?) filmmaker Jim Jarsmuch will make a guest spot on HBO in the fall.
Will this be his most mainstream move ever? Perhaps a concession made to those fans who were wrongly under the impression that his nubilous new picture was going to be hip, cool, enjoyable and comprehensible, or perhaps even about the band Joy Division? It's hard out there for an arthouse pimp. [AVClub]
Despite our attempts to stay away from every little promotional poster for "Inglourious Basterds" so far, we have failed. Here's a poster for Melanie Laurent's French character Shosanna, who is essentially the main protagonist of the film. Obviously, Women cannot technically be labeled bastards or even basterds, but obviously in Quentin Tarantino's world logic need not apply. [Cinematical]
It's possible we have already mentioned this. The Gerard Butler starring sci-film action flick "Game" is now simply called, "Gamer." You're thanking your stars you can to visit our site today so you could enrich your lives by reading this. This is, evidently, the film's third title now which surely breeds lots of confidence. [FSR]
A new "District 9" poster, riddled with bullets has appeared online. It's not fantastic by any means, but a growing cult seems to be circling this film. [Yahoo]
Remember that "Iron Man 2" image of Robert Downey Jr. in costume armor? Want to see 15, ever-so-slightly different versions of them? Apparently the reason they shot at a Donut shop this week was because Tony Stark flies to a donut shop and eats them on top of the business. Or at least, that's what it looks like. [Photoshelter] There's also shots of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury too.
Will Kelly Clarkson surface on the "New Moon" soundtrack and do you give a flying fuck either way?
Just as we suspected. Don't believe the hype says Movieline. Boy-ungenius Jonathan Levine's long-shelved horror film "All The Boys Love Mandy Lane" isn't worth the celluloid it was shot on, let alone a geek-driven campaign for a proper theatrical release. [Movieline]
And by the sounds of it, he's seen a finished, or much more completed cut than the one screened to test audiences in November of last year, which was met with mixed results. Let's put aside for now, the fascinating portrait he paints about the picture (which sounds rather fucking amazing; more on that later). What's interesting to note is how Dimension Films' Bob Weinstein might be messing with things a little.
Don't gasp, it's only the trailer and hell, studios have to sell films by any means necessary, we get that. However, it sounds like the trailer they've chosen is going to be filled with speed, action and possible pre-disaster scenes that are not really emblematic of the film.
Let's put it in Chiarella's words [ed. the article is unfortunately not online yet]
"When Bob Weinstein rolls those trailers [the writer is shown multiple versions], each one assumes the predictable arc of a story compressed to its essence. There is a speed to them that the actual movie — which I saw before seeing the trailers — does not possess, or seek to possess, an urgency that feels manufactured. The music is pulse pounding and urgent, driven to create absurd expectations of action tin a movie that quietly elicits worry about the relative friability of the invisible paths that exist between people and what they need. Still, every utterance, every cry for help or hand clasped across the mouth of the boy to suppress a sob, is a fair-enough emanation from the heart of the movie."Ok, so accentuating and exaggerating. Fine, fair game, every studio does this, right? However, somewhat troubling to the writer is the news footage in the trailer that shows, the pre-apocalyptic world. Anyone who's read the novel, knows part of the striking brilliance of the book is that no pre-apocalyptic world is ever shown and in fact, whatever has turned the world into a gray, ashen wasteland is never explained.
In fact, it is explained on the Weinstein's own "The Road" page as an "unnamed cataclysm that destroyed civilization and most life on earth." Chiarella posits, and rightly so, that this is not only antithetical to the novel, it runs completely contrary to the film. In fact, the footage is not even in the cut of the film he saw.
"The odd thing is, the start of the trailer includes glimpses of a storm, panicky news footage, little puzzle pieces of the world before it ended. No one — not the director or myriad producers, not the novelist or the screenwriter — had ever even hinted at how it happened until this. For someone who loves the book, for anyone who knows the story going in, this is a moment you hoped would never come."He says that it seems that these "metonymic references and presumed military conflicts...for now will stay in the trailer," that Bob Weinstein seems to love. But apparently director John Hillcoat has had no hand in the creation of those scenes and moments.
"On the other side of the planet, at home in Australia Hillcoat's been hearing about these trailers," writes Chiarella. "We're so conditioned by post-apocalyptic films to be centered on a big event, and they become this high-concept thing. And here there's this total absence, this negation of explanation. We have to stay with that. So yeah, that's gonna be a challenge," Hillcoat is quoted as saying.
Now, we suppose we can live with Dimension shoehorning these disaster-film cliches into the openings of a trailer, but since Hillcoat has only "heard about them," could this potentially mean they're trying to stick them into the film as well? Total speculation on our part, but it would be unenviable and it is worrisome to read about.
By all of Esquire's accounts, "The Road," is a majestic, but difficult film to watch, grim, gloomy, but beyond powerful (in fact the article is called, "The Most Important Film of The Year,"; again, more on that later), but by our reading of the article, it still sounds like Dimension is worried with what they have on their hands and how they're going to mass-market it to dumb audiences which perhaps is a very valid concern.
Update: And Chiarella seems to agree. We emailed him for his thoughts. "Weinstein's dilemma [is] evident," he told us. "He clearly loves the project, but he has to make it sell. This is what his instincts tell him to do. He's been very good at it with some excellent movies. In some ways: whom am I to argue, except just some guy who loves the book? I might have been a little disturbed that the trailer was misleading. But once the movie is in place in the culture, the trailer will disappear. Then word of mouth will be the movie's best friend."
Fair enough. "The Road" also features Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Robert Duvall, Michael Kenneth Williams, Garret Dillahunt and after many delays, is finally due in theaters October 16.
According to CHUD, at a recent Tribeca post-screening Q&A (we were at a Tribeca screening, but there wasn’t Q&A), "Moon" director Duncan Jones has stated that his next film, the previously mentioned "Blade Runner"-inspired post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie set in Berlin, will feature a cameo by Sam Rockwell as his Moon character, stranded astronaut Sam Bell.
It's an incredibly ambitious move – both "Moon" and the forthcoming sci-fi movie had modest budgets, but Jones' imagination is building and populating this entire new world.
"Moon" was a movie that didn’t let its financial constraints control its storytelling or its scope, and it sounds like what he’s attempting with the movie could expand this invented universe in new and exciting ways. Or at least, let's hope so.
This kind of “universe” is always interesting to explore – like when Michael Keaton’s character from "Jackie Brown" waltz through "Out of Sight" (they were both Elmore Leonard adaptations that featured Keaton’s character), or when "Iron Man" himself Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) turned up at the end of "The Incredible Hulk." The flipside of this is of course the Kevin Smith universe, which is filled with self-satisfied, but not-actually-clever winky cameos that go, "BOING!" when they're announced on screen. Uhhh, yeah, not so much...
"Moon," while not the certifiable mind-melter that the salivating fanboys are making it out to be, is still a refreshingly simple, worthwhile and elegant sci-fi movie, and when it’s released next month (June 12, in limited release), it you should welcome it as a reprieve to all the giant movies with exploding buildings, mindless robots, and budgets to burn on half-assed CGI. - Drew Taylor
Well, after the false start of "Wolverine" (which still raked in an ungodly amount of money last weekend) the first true blockbuster has arrived and the summer of movie nerdom is officially underway! "Star Trek" will ride a wave into cineplexes around the nation along with a smattering of smaller movies in limited release. So let's take a look:
Of course, J.J. Abrams' take on one of the sacred cows of sci-fi nerdery, "Star Trek," finally warps into the theaters this weekend. Serving as a reboot/re-imagining of the franchise, the movie tells the story of the Enterprise crew coming together under James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and battling a time-traveling baddie played by Australian hunk Eric Bana. The film has received across-the-board positive reviews (94%!) and looks like it will re-introduce the franchise to viewers. Hell even we, in all our playful anti-nerd fervor, were pretty impressed with the picture. Zachary Quinto of "Heroes," Zoe Saldana ("Pirates of the Caribbean"), Simon Pegg ("Hot Fuzz") and Karl Urban ("Doom") all appear as rebooted versions of original series characters. 'Trek' is already getting pegged as this summer's "Iron Man" and that might not be too far off--a fun and exciting way to start the summer off. If you wanna see a flick this weekend, this is your best bet. With any luck, its relative-smarts will be rewarded with a higher box-office # than "Wolverine," but since the picture is actually decent and a above-average tentpole, we presume the numbers can't possibly be that high.
The only other wide-opener this weekend is "Next Day Air," a movie that manages to pack quite a few names into a flimsy-looking gangland comedy. Directed by music video auteur Benny Boom, the plot focuses on two small time hoods who happen to receive a package of top shelf Bolivian marching powder and--this probably goes without saying--hilarious hijinks ensue. Although the film has a dismal 17% rating right now, it does star the impossibly likable Donald Faison, Wood Harris of "The Wire" and all-around coolster Mos Def. It's probably not worth the price of admission...but if you're desperate, it might be good for a laugh.
In Limited Release
As usual, this weekend sees a nice selection of smaller features coming to theaters. Foremost among these is "Summer Hours," which we here at the Playlist loved (one of our favorites of the year!). Don't go by just us, though--critics are also in love as well as the film currently has a 94%. Directed by Olivier Assayas, the well-regarded French punk director, the film is a beautiful portrait of a family that rallies around one another in the face of loss. Juliette Binoche stars in this, which may well be the single best movie of the summer--if not the year.
Also completely worth your time is "Rudo Y Cursi," a film that reunites the beloved Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna (they of "Y Tu Mama Tambien" fame) for a beautiful Spanish-language film that tracks two friends as they rise to prominence as futbol players (though no actual futbol-ing is shown, oddly). Directed by Carlos Cuaron, brother to Alfonso, we flipped for this when we saw it recently. Critics aren't quite as daffy (67%) but we still give this the full endorsement. Definitely worth your time.
Should you be in the mood for a documentary, then you'd do well to check out "Objectified" from director Gary Hustwit (who helmed the font doc "Helvetica"). We enjoyed the design-porn nature of the film,
but were somewhat dismayed and put-off by its shallow values, when we saw it at SXSW and, though critics are somewhat split, as the movie has a 50% rating right now. Still, it's not every day that you see a documentary about the people who design the objects with which you interact on a daily basis and assign them emotional and psychological value. Worth a look.
Elsewhere, "Julia" looks like an interesting picture. Directed by Erick Zonca, the movie stars Tilda Swinton as a borderline-alcoholic actress who tries to drown her isolation and loneliness in more booze whilst becoming increasingly withdrawn. Eventually, this lifestyle leads her to commit an act of shocking violence. The 71% rating suggests it's worth a peek. Also in documentaries this weekend, the not-as-dicky Michael Moore, Kirby Dick, is back this weekend with "Outrage," a documentary that examines the policies of closeted gay politicians as they continue to crusade against gay rights. Well-reviewed with a 79%.
Also hopeful is "Adoration," Atom Egoyan's newest cerebralist venture. The film centers around a young man (Devon Bostick) who, upon receiving a homework assignment that requires him to translate the story of a terrorist who endangers his family to achieve his goals, looks back over his own family history. It also stars Rachel Blanchard and Scott Speedman. Sure to be a thought-provoking evening of film--with a respectable 77% rating.
Rounding out the noteworthy is "Little Ashes," a biopic about then-young artistes Salvador Dali, Luis Bunuel and Federico Garcia Lorca in the early part of the twentieth century. In spite of not-great reviews (40%), it might be worth a shot for Robert Pattinson as Dali if you're a teen "Twilight" obsessive and want to be shocked alive with the promise of the vampire hottie tackling gay sex. And, of course, we'd be remiss not to mention "Powder Blue," another movie that seeks to de-glamorize Los Angeles. It would be totally without distinction if it weren't for Jessica Biel's striptease scenes which even then seem like something you download online (wait, did we say that aloud?). If you possess a morbid fascination for watching people fail, and can stomach seeing Heather Graham further sully what's left of her career with almost, direct-to-video flops, "Baby On Board" is your best bet.
So have a fun weekend...and, you know...live long and prosper or something.
At the March WonderCon event in San Francisco, sensitive artisan and "Terminator Salvation" director McG (née Joseph McGinty Nichol), almost started a full-scale riot when he asked the abdominous crowd, "Do you want to see Moon[Bloodgood]'s boobs in the picture?"
The mob shifted and lurched dangerously — having clearly tuned-out after the, "in the picture?" part — at the prospect of seeing real-life boobs, and for many, for the first time in their natural born adult lives, but soon they came to the sad understanding that the filmmaker meant the upcoming summer blockbuster, not... right, here and now.
Subsequently, 'Salvation' has earned its PG-13 stripes, but not because of the excising of said mammaries. No, the craftsman suggests he took those out of the film himself — for artistic reasons of course.
"There's a topless scene of Moon Bloodgood that I thought was a very beautiful scene, that Moon thought was a beautiful scene, that we ultimately cut because we didn't want to fall into any of the cliches of the genre, like "Here's the scene where the beautiful girl takes her top off." I thought it was a soft moment between a man and a woman that was designed to echo the Kelly McGillis/Harrison Ford moment in Witness, for God's sake. They never touch each other; they just notice each other. But, in the end, it felt more like a gratuitous moment of a girl taking her top off in an action picture, and I didn't want that to convolute the story or the characters."What a champ. The element specifically cut from the film in order to earn the coveted PG-13 rating was apparently a stabbing-a-screwdriver-through-the-shoulder moment. "We thought, 'Well, that would be ridiculous to make it tough for kids to go see this movie.' We were inspired by 'The Dark Knight' getting a PG-13 and being a film without any compromises," McG said whilst lighting a cigar with a crisp $100 bill. [Sci-Fi Wire]
You might not be prepared, but the New York Asian Film Festival doesn't give a shit. Each year since 2002, the fest has been bringing the most eccentric and outstanding Asian cinema has to offer to our shores, and this year promises to be no different. If you're a fan of outside-the-box gonzo cinema and are curious to see what lies beyond the Blockbuster shelves stocked with J-horror, chop socky retreads and somber domestic dramas, it's hard not to get excited about another stellar NYAFF lineup.
Among the highlights are "The Clone Returns Home," Kanji Nakajima's science fiction Sundance hit about a man who dies in orbit, and the clone that replaces him at home, though several have made "Solaris" comparisons due to the film's trippy metaphysical issues and glacial pace. Also debuting at the festival is Sino Sion's ("Suicide Club") "Love Exposure." Described as a four hour epic about pornography, Catholocism, families, fathers, true love, cross dressing, kung fu, cults and mental illness, it's only showing once at the fest, and with Sino Sion in attendance, you may get a chance to ask one of what are likely many questions. Rotterdam top award winner "Breathless" from South Korea will also screen, as will "Dream," the latest from Kim ki-duk ("3-Iron"). More importantly, don't miss "Tokyo Gore Night," where Yoshihiro Nishimura, director of last year's festival hit "Tokyo Gore Police," introduces a series of shorts made by the special effects team responsible for that gore opus as well as this year's "Love Exposure" and "Samurai Princess." This will apparently lead into a on-stage presentation by the blood-loving fx people. Bring a raincoat. Not for that, you pervert.
The full line-up includes...
THE EQUATION OF LOVE AND DEATH (China, 2008, Cao Baoping, New York Premiere)
IF YOU ARE THE ONE (China, 2008, Feng Xiaogang, North American Premiere)
OLD FISH (China, 2007, Gao Qunshu, North American Premiere)
AN EMPRESS AND THE WARRIORS (Hong Kong, 2008, Ching Siu-tung, North American Premiere)
FIVE DEADLY VENOMS (Hong Kong, 1978, Chang Cheh)
IP MAN (Hong Kong, 2008, WIlson Yip, US premiere)
THE FORBIDDEN DOOR (Indonesia, 2009, Joko Anwar, North American Premiere)
RAINBOW TROOPS (Indonesia, 2008, Riri Riza, New York Premiere)
20TH CENTURY BOYS (Japan, 2008, Yukihiko Tsutsumi, New York Premiere)
20TH CENTURY BOYS: CHAPTER TWO - THE LAST HOPE (Japan, 2009, Yukihiko Tsutsumi, North American Premiere)
ALL AROUND US (Japan, 2008, Ryosuke Hashiguchi, New York Premiere)
BE A MAN! SAMURAI SCHOOL (Japan, 2008, Tak Sakaguchi, North American Premiere)
CHILDREN OF THE DARK (Japan, 2008, Junji Sakamoto, North American Premiere)
CLIMBER’S HIGH (Japan, 2008, Masato Harada, North American Premiere)
THE CLONE RETURNS HOME (Japan, 2008, Kanji Nakajima, New York Premiere)
FISH STORY (Japan, 2009, Yoshihiro Nakamura, North American Premiere)
HOUSE (Japan, 1977, Nobuhiko Obayashi)
K-20: LEGEND OF THE MASK (Japan, 2008, Shimako Sato, North American Premiere)
LOVE EXPOSURE (Japan, 2008, Sion Sono, North American Premiere)
THE MAGIC HOUR (Japan, 2008, Koki Mitani, North American Premiere)
MONSTER X STRIKES BACK: ATTACK THE G8 SUMMIT (Japan, 2008, Minoru Kawasaki, North American Premiere)
SAMURAI PRINCESS (Japan, 2009, Kengo Kaji, International Premiere)
SNAKES AND EARRINGS (Japan, 2008, Yukio Ninagawa, North American Premiere)
VACATION (Japan, 2008, Hajime Kadoi, US Premiere)
YOROI SAMURAI ZOMBIE (2008, Japan, Tak Sakaguchi, North American Premiere)
WHEN THE FULL MOON RISES (Malaysia, 2008, Mamat Khalid, North American Premiere)
ANTIQUE (South Korea, 2008, Min Gyu-Dong, North American premiere)
BREATHLESS (South Korea, 2009, Lee Hwan & Yang Ik-june, North American Premiere)
DACHIMAWA LEE (South Korea, 2008, Ryu Seung-wan, North American Premiere)
DREAM (South Korea, 2008, Kim Ki-duk, North American Premiere)
GO GO 70’s (South Korea, 2008, Ho Choi, North American Premiere)
ROUGH CUT (South Korea, 2008, Jang Hun, North American Premiere)
CAPE NO. 7 (Taiwan, 2008, Wei Te-sheng, New York Premiere)
For more information (they're still adding films!) go to www.subwaycinema.com. The festival runs from June 19th to July 5th.
Wooden thespian Keanu Reeves is set to star in a modern retelling of "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."
The well-known story was first published as a novella in 1886 and followed the story of a doctor who scientifically develops an evil self. The book is obviously particularly famous for its portrayal of a split personality, to the point the phrase 'Jekyll and Hyde' has become synonymous with the disorder, and has been the inspiration for over a dozen films.
More importantly however, Nicolas Winding Refn — of fabulous psychotic-British-jailbird picture "Bronson," due later this year, a must-see — is in negotiations to direct the project which will be retitled "Jekyll." Now we're talking all kinds of potential awesome despite the robot cue-card reader that is Keanu (maybe Refn can coach the rare decent performance out of him).
Scribing this adaptation will be Justin Haythe ("Revolutionary Road"). Note: this version also has nothing to do with the previously announced Guillermo del Toro version, which will reportedly be much more faithful to the original material than this modernized update. [THR]
American Apparel Backpeddle In Woody Allen Lawsuit,' Another Roman Polanski Trial Dismissal Rejected, 'Humpday' Trailer; More...
Hipster clothiers American Apparel have decided against calling on Mia Farrow and Soon-Yi Previn in the case of their misuse of Woody Allen's image on a billboard and on their web site. And or they claim that would never be the case. "The media has misinformed the public that American Apparel supposedly plans to make Woody Allen's personal life the central focus of the defense. This is false," the company's founder Dov Charney addressed in a statement. ""I have deep respect for Mr. Allen, who is a source of inspiration for me." Hello, backpeddle! [Yahoo]
The Edinburgh International Film Festival is set feature 23 world premieres. Among those include Sam Mendes' "Away We Go" and Max Mayer's "Adam." Other films that will features include "The Hurt Locker," "The Girlfriend Experience," "35 Shots Of Rum," "Moon" and "Rudo Y Cursi." [Indiewire]
A Los Angeles judge on Thursday formally rejected an attempt by fugitive film director Roman Polanski to have a 1978 sex case against him dismissed because of misconduct by prosecutors. The case cannot considered unless Polanski, who fled the United States for France after pleading guilty to rape, showed up in his court. [THR]
Marisa Tomei and Liv Tyler will lead South Korean director Chul-soo Park's indie psychological thriller "10A/10B." The film is remake of Park's 1995 film "301/302" and will explore the relationship between a culinary perfectionist (Tyler) and a failing actress (Tomei) as they become neighbors. Sounds weird enough to intrigue. [Variety]
Button-cute Minka Kelly (TV's "Friday Night Lights") has joined the cast of "The Roommate." The film is a psychological thriller about a deranged college freshman Rebecca, played by Leighton Meeser, who becomes dangerously obsessed with her new roommate, Sara (Kelly). Costarring will be Cam Gigandet, Aly Michalka and Matt Lanter. Sounds like TV on the bigscreen or an update of "I Know What You Did Last Summer," with now-in-vogue teen stars. [THR]
Doltish actioner Vin Diesel is set to star in another car film - this time it's a game adaptation of "The Wheelman." Diesel will play an expert driver who comes out of retirement to protect a woman from his past in the film helmed by promising auteur turned hack, John Singleton. The video game used Vin Diesel's image for the lead character. [Variety]
Darren Lynn Bousmann (the artisan behind "Saw II, III & IV") will be helming a remake of Charles Kaufman's 1980 film "Mother's Day." The original films revolved around three female friends who encounter two brothers who engage in murder and rape to impress their deranged mother. The remake sees the villainous family return to the house where they grew up and terrorize the new owners and their guests. [THR]
Dwayne Johnson is in final talks to star in Phil Joanou's "Faster." Johnson will play an ex-con bent on avenging the death of his brother, murdered 10 years earlier when the two were double-crossed during a heist. Remember in 1990 after "State of Grace" with Sean Penn and Gary Oldman we all thought Joanou was going to be the shit (even "Three O'Clock High" has its pleasures). What happened? [Variety]
The trailer for Lynn Shelton's "Humpday" have been unveiled. Warning, calling it a bromance may cause apoplexy in some. [Vulture]
Joe Johnston's Benicio del Toro led remake of "The Wolf Man" has seen a pretty lengthy delay after its original November 08 release date (was then scheduled for Spring '09, now coming this Fall).
Now, the film is reportedly undergoing reshoots in the U.K.. While the extent of the reshooting is not known, one described scene being redone is a CGI-based one involving two werewolves "going up the walls and other bits of business" according to renowned stuntman Vic Armstrong, which would then be integrated into previous footage (and the official website for this thing and photos have been sitting around for what feels like ages).
There's a chance not even Johnston, Del Toro or any of the main players are involved in this but the whole ordeal does question the validity of previous marketing based reasons cited for the film's delays. Still, they seem minor enough to say, no cause for major alarm.
The film also stars Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving and the great Geraldine Chaplin, so at least they hired a good cast for something that is hopefully far above your average monster film. And the direction that del Toro has hinted towards in interviews, vintage Wolfman, sounds astute. (and ideally far better than anything Jack Nicholson appeared in, Mike Nichols what were you thinking?). "The Wolfman" is due November 6. [Dark Horizons]
Rob Zombie's 'Tyrannosaurus Rex' Facing Snags, Brett Ratner Off 'Conan,' New 'Terminator Salvation' Trailer
Development on Rob Zombie's "Tyrannosaurus Rex" seems to have hit a bump. "I would love to make that movie next - it may be, it may not be. I don't know yet," revealed Zombie. "It's sort of hanging out there. It seems like, every year, it gets harder and harder to get a movie made. Even if you're following up a hit, the studios - I don't know if it's the economy - but trying to get them to greenlight and loosen up the money is a f**kin' nightmare." [Shock Till You Drop]
Fanboys rejoice - Brett Ratner is now off "Conan." The studio is currently looking for a new director, according to producer Joe Gatta, with filming scheduled to begins August 24th in Bulgaria. Gatta also revealed that "Red Sonja" will probably begin next year though he fails to mention Robert Rodriguez, who was previously set to produce and possibly co-direct, but now seems infinitely busy and overbooked. [Empire]
Another day, another "Green Lantern" casting rumor. This time its Brian Austin Green, who previously tried talking himself into contention, and some unknown named Shawn Johnson. [Latino Review]
A host of images from a demo reel of Phillipe Martinez's "Tribes Of October," whose cast was just updated the other day, have been unveiled. Did we mention that the film was being shot totally on green screen with stylized CGI? [First Showing]
First he missed out on being James Bond. Then he missed out on being Edward Cullen (that's not a bad thing). now Henry Cavill reveals he was close to being the Man of Steel in McG's "Superman" revision before Bryan Singer came onto the scene. Forgot all those, we're looking forward to seeing Cavill in Tarsem Singh's "War Of The Gods" if and when it gets underway. [MTV]
"Quantum Of Solace" director-producer pair Marc Forster and William Horberg are set to reteam for "Disconnect," a film that explores the mystery of how people live in today's wired world, where the technology meant to bring them together only forces them further apart. So much for that proposed "World War Z" project that was supposed to be next. [Variety]
Samuel L. Jackson is set to star in a film based on the life of Andrew Mwangura, a negotiator between pirates and the owners of vessels hijacked off the coast of Africa. Mwangura is a journalist and ex-marine engineer who runs the Seafarers' Assistance Programme, a nonprofit group that offers humanitarian aid to all seafarers. He was not paid for his negotiating work but made money as a freelance journalist. Did you know Jackson is 60-years-old? [Variety]
The final trailer for "Terminator Salvation" has been released which includes a lot of new footage, almost too much. It also gives your first look at Michael Ironside who plays General Ashdown, and we have to say despite all our griping about McG and early unfinished looks at the film, it's starting too look rather impressive. By all accounts it has all the potential to be as thrilling and enjoyable as "Star Trek" (which to us has already become the '09 analog to "Iron Man" in '08, though not quite as good) and really, that's all we ask for; plus a little meaningful drama hopefully too. [/Film]
David Gordon Green To Follow Up Medieval-Comedy 'Your Highness' With Horror-Thriller 'Freaks Of The Heartland'
Dude's schedule is now booked for the next three-four years.
After his upcoming work on medieval-comedy "Your Highness," starring Danny McBride and James Franco, renowned indie director David Gordon Green will move onto his adaptation of Steve Niles' ("30 Days Of Night") comic book series "Freaks Of The Heartland," according to MTV.
"It’s funny, because now [Gordon Green's] on everyone’s radar because of ‘Pineapple Express' - but I was a fan of his before that and I know that he had wanted to do ‘Freaks of the Heartland,'" revealed Niles, who will also produce the film. "I think he’s got a movie in between, but right now we actually have a screenplay and we’re going back to work on that. And that’s just progressing great.”
"Freaks Of The Heartland" is a 6-issue comic miniseries that follows a freakishly deformed boy and his brother who run away together and help a band of other mutant children from their rural Middle American town do the same.
It is not known when "Your Highness" will start or finish shooting but as Franco was forced to pull out of Christopher Nolan's "Inception" (which is set start shooting this summer) for it, 'Highness' must have a similar or overlapping schedule. Will probably arrive sometime in 2010, no? We can only hope.
OK, when we read that test screenings of Judd Apatow's "Funny People," ran 2 1/2 hours long we thought, wow, that's great, but there's no actual way that the film — which some are already touting as a potential Oscar contender — would actually run that long.
Someone at Universal would inevitably persuade the director to deliver the summer comedy, stress summer comedy, in at a more manageable length, no? (but yes, we do realize "Knocked-Up" ran just over 2 hours)
Well, MTV chatted with Apatow and said the film will most likely come in at a 150 minute [2.5 hours] running time and that the writer/director/producer was squeezing the studio for as much possible extra room for the DVD release.
“The main argument I’m having with the studio is, ‘How much DVD capacity can you get me?’” Apatow told MTV which sure as shit implies that the above-average running time, comedy-wise is not the issue.
But actually, Apatow says it will ultimately run long — much longer than your average comedy, generally 80-90 minutes — but not quite that long.“It’ll probably be a little less than two and half hours. The story covers a lot of ground. I’m a fan of movies that are on the longer side. I never sit in a movie I like and think I wish this was over already. I think people will be very involved with these characters and enjoy the ride. There’s plenty of time to get back home and watch ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ and do whatever else you need to do.”
Apparently they shot a surfeit of footage, including full stand-up concerts (documented last year in photos, plus others from the cast — Jason Schwartzman, Aziz Ansari — have already hinted at plenty of extras). “Every time we shot stand-up comedy, we shot their entire act. We didn’t shoot it on a stage and add laughs later. We brought in real audiences and shot with six cameras and whatever happened happened. There are 5-10 minutes of stand up in the movie, but we shot everybody’s act seven times so we have all of that material to play with [on the DVD].”
Adam Sandler's dying comedian character in the film, is also a famous actor, so expect to see clips of some meta, fake, movie-within-the-movie moments. “Every time there’s a clip in the movie of one of George Simmons’ films [Sandler's character], we shot several scenes from that movie so there’s a lot of material,” Apatow said.
Man, this is going to be some Hal Ashby on James L. Brook type shit and we cannot wait to see this film.
"Funny People" also stars Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill and many, many others. It opens on July 31. Someone get us into an early screening as soon as bloody possible.