William Hurt and Jessica Chastain ("Tree Of Life") have signed up to star in Ralph Fiennes' directorial debut, "Coriolanus," alongside Vanessa Redgrave. The film will bring a Shakespeare Roman tragedy to a contemporary setting with shooting set to begin in spring 2010. [THR]
Andrea Riseborough, Jaime Winstone and Daniel Mays have joined the cast of Nigel Cole's "We Want Sex." The trio join Sally Hawkins and Bob Hoskins in the story of a feisty factory worker who inadvertently challenges one of the world's biggest corporations. [THR]
Michael Sheen and Paddy Considine have jumped on board Richard Ayoade's coming-of-age tale "Submarine." The project follows the story of a 15-year-old boy who aspires to lose his virginity before his next birthday, while trying to prevent his mother from leaving his father for her dance teacher. [Variety]
Strand Releasing has acquired the rights to writer-director Jay DiPietro's "Peter and Vandy." The Sundance competitor stars Jason Ritter and Jess Weixler in a time-shifting love story and is being touted for a fall release. [THR]
Sandra Oh, Giancarlo Esposito and Jon Tenney have joined the cast of "Rabbit Hole," the John Cameron Mitchell helmed film starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as a married couple dealing with the aftermath of the death of their son. Principal photography is set to begin in New York in June on the adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire's play. [Variety]
William Hurt and Jessica Chastain ("Tree Of Life") have signed up to star in Ralph Fiennes' directorial debut, "Coriolanus," alongside Vanessa Redgrave. The film will bring a Shakespeare Roman tragedy to a contemporary setting with shooting set to begin in spring 2010. [THR]
/Film have reportedly learned the character descriptions for the protagonists of Greg Mottola's "Paul," starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
According to their sources, Pegg and Frost will respectively play Graham Willy and Clive Gollings. Willy is described as a "very greasy, lanky character with buck teeth," he will have hair "down to his knees" and will wear "very thick glasses." Gollings, meanwhile, will dress in a "long leather duster," have "a stack of tightly curly hair" and wear a "standard issue sci-fi tie-in t-shirt."
In regard to the character of Paul, the friendly alien will reportedly be "three foot tall," have "standard-issue graylien almond eyes" and will be decked out in "cut off jeans and flip-flop shoes and nothing else." Paul will also have the ability to turn invisible in manner similar to the "chameleonic technique" of Predator.
A special cameo from a "hugely famous film director" in a "key flashback" sequence was also unveiled but shouldn't surprise so much. Pegg and Frost's "Hot Fuzz" and "Shaun Of The Dead" featured cameos aplenty from the likes of Peter Jackson, Cate Blanchett and a plethora of British comedy stars such as David Walliams, Matt Lucas, Martin Freeman, Steve Coogan and Bill Bailey.
"Paul" is set to begin shooting in New Mexico on June 8th.
Up and coming Australian actor Chris Hemsworth has been cast in the lead role of Kenneth Branagh's "Thor," Nikki Finke reports.
Hemsworth was last seen as George T. Kirk in J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" and will also be in Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon's secretive "Cabin In The Woods." Hemsworth only revealed he was reading for "Thor" at the start of May with his casting now concluding a lengthy, drawn out process which saw every actor in Hollywood that could pass as Nordic linked to the role. The likes of Daniel Craig, Kevin McKidd, Alexandar Skarsgard, Tom Hiddlestone, Joel Kinnanman and Charlie Hunnam were all rumored to be up for it at one point or another.
No word yet on the casting of the Thor's brother, Loki, and his female lead/love interest - roles previously linked to Josh Hartnett and Natalie Portman. All major casting for "Thor" is reportedly going to be finalized this month though so we'll find out sooner rather than later. The film currently has a May 20th, 2011 release date.
In other Hemsworth news, Latino Review is now reporting that the young actor has been cast as the lead in Jed Eckhert's "Red Dawn" reboot, a role previously occupied by Patrick Swayze. Is all this stemming from his 5 minute cameo in "Star Trek"?
Hemsworth is probably a name you may want to keep note of. Along with Chris, Liam and Luke are also prominent actors who have followed older brother Chris' footsteps in the Australia soap opera scene. Liam was, in fact, cast in Sylvester Stallone's "The Expendables" after Sly saw him on tape but unfortunately had his role written out of the final script. He also read for "Thor" before his brother.
Speaking with The Times, tenory Britpop icon Jarvis Cocker has spoken about his role in Wes Anderson's upcoming stop-motion adaptation of Roald Dahl's "Fantastic Mr. Fox."
Cocker revealed that Anderson created the role of "Petey" just for him after the two developed a friendship through their residency in Paris. Cocker currently bides his time between London and Paris while Anderson goes back and forth between the French capital and New York.
The role of "Petey" is described as "a mandolin-strumming puppet who looks and sounds like his real-life counterpart." Cocker, who is writing music for film as well, added he and Anderson co-wrote a song together which he describes as "a little hoedown number." He had previously described music he had written for the film as "slightly hillbilly-sounding" and "old-fashioned."
Cocker may also have had a larger part in the overall film had it not been for negative test audience responses. “I did a narration bit at the start of 'Mr. Fox', too," Cocker noted. "But they showed that to test audiences in the U.S. and they were very bamboozled. So I’ve ended up on the cutting-room floor. I tried to enunciate clearly!”
"Fantastic Mr. Fox" is due out November 13th, though reports suggest that because the film is now at Fox Searchlight and not Fox proper, the film's release date is not firm.
Park Chan-wook, whose “Oldboy” won the Grand Prix at Cannes back in 2003, returns to the festival this year with his New Age vampire film “Thirst,” about a medical experiment gone haywire transforming a Catholic priest into a blood-thirsting vampire, may or may not end up on the Vatican’s radar, but based on the generally mixed response its unlikely to inspire many bets for the film taking the Palme d’Or come the festivals commencement.
One of the few totally positive reviews comes from ScreenDaily’s Darcy Paquet, saying that “Thirst” “looks certain to create a stir: adopting a more lyrical mode than before, this complex and supremely inventive work sees the filmmaker back on top form” and is “anchored in a melancholic lyricism that is new to Park’s oeuvre. Although the focus of its narrative movement is not always clear, in its best moments, Thirst offers something of the poetic force of cinema’s timeless masterpieces.” The other comes from Blake Ethridge, unabashedly calling it “the first masterpiece of 2009” noting how it “horrifies you one second, makes you laugh out loud the next and deeply moved in the next. The story is dark as hell and takes you to some dark places of the soul and existence but the way the story gets told never leaves you emotionally detached and never loses its tone.”
Variety’s Derek Elley couldn’t disagree more, calling the film “an overlong stygian comedy that badly needs a transfusion of genuine inspiration. Inspired by and following key plot elements in Zola's 19th-century novel of murder and adultery, "Therese Raquin," the two-hour-plus pic is slow to warm up and largely goes around in circles thereafter, with repetitive (and often plain goofy) jokes about hemoglobin lust and bone-crunching, sanguinary violence.”
Daniel Kasman says that “Thirst” “tries to convince us of its viability by trying to make it romantic, the filmmaker’s stupidity and hollowness are all the more apparent” and that Park’s “smug, unconscionable account of supremely stylized violence for the sake of love—in a movie unable to be romantic—is vacated of everything but sadism.”
Mike D’Angelo has his tent set up somewhere between the positive and negative camps, reiterating the notion that “Thirst” “has no sense of rhythm or flow whatsoever” and it “moves like it's just remembered the parking meter is about to expire ten blocks away and can't find anything but flip-flops to wear. New settings and characters are introduced so willy-nilly, and consecutive scenes have so little formal or tonal consistency, that you're generally floundering even as you're gasping.”
Wesley Morris finds more in “Thirst” to appreciate than others, but still finds his expectations unmet, “The movie contains its pleasures: it's kinky and crazy, perverse and perfectly shot, assembled, and staged” but “Park puts this energetic gorgeousness into what, for all its sex, comedy, visual ingenuity (his camera really can do anything), is still a vampire film. And vampire films by their very nature come with a set of guildelines that, to my disappointment, Park adheres to. This is a director who, even at his most problematic, does things his way. Here he's following rules he can bend but can't bring himself to break."
If one takes Sweden’s critically acclaimed “Let The Right One In” and box-office success “Twilight” into account, it would be easy to assume that “Thirst” has the potential to ride that wave of the vampire film revival, amongst arthouse audiences in particular, but without the complexity of the former or the built-in audience of the latter “Thirst” may find it difficult to find its footing in international markets, if the Cannes reception is anything to go by.
Not that the Cannes reception should be something one takes too seriously, it’s just something one ought to keep in mind. Maggie Lee notes that, although serious arthouse critics may “balk at the script's soapy excesses, as well as the tonal discordance of yoking the horror-fantasy genre to a love tragedy with classical, literary trappings,” those who “thrive on gore, twisted sexuality and brutish handling of women can drink their fill from this film.”
Wells, however, seems to be in the vast minority, what with the praise “Bright Star” is garnering almost matching Bob Berney’s “tour-de-force” comment following the announcement of he and Bill Pohlad's brand spanking new (and as such unnamed) distribution venture snatching the U.S. rights to the film before its premiere.
Variety’s Todd McCarthy has nothing but good things to say about “Bright Star,” reiterating a thought present in many reviews thus far, that of the film being decidedly refreshing for a romantic period piece, “Breaking through any period piece mustiness with piercing insight into the emotions and behavior of her characters, the writer-director examines the final years in the short life of 19th century romantic poet John Keats through the eyes of his beloved, Fanny Brawne, played by Abbie Cornish in an outstanding performance.”
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian takes his praise further, “Jane Campion has put herself in line for her second Palme d'Or,” he announces, before “Campion brings to this story an unfashionable, unapologetic reverence for romance and romantic love,” and doesn’t forget to mention it’s apparently striking, intoxicating aesthetic, “Any movie about a romantic poet has to be careful how glowingly it depicts the great outdoors but this film looks unselfconsciously beautiful, and Campion and her cinematographer Greig Fraser never harangue the audience with their images.”
Allan Hunter found himself intoxicated by that visual poetry too, “Gorgeous camerawork from Greig Fraser sees the changing seasons reflected in glowing daffodil fields, meadows strewn with bluebells and snow-dusted winter woods. The central love affair is expressed through modest caresses, clasped hands and lingering glances rather than anything more explicit. It is a dreamy film to make the viewer swoon.” In terms of “Bright Star” market opportunities, he thinks “Bright Star” will be restricted to “an older, more sophisticated arthouse audience,” the same could be said for just about any period piece, “but Bright Star should still shine as an irresistible quality attraction.”
All that glitters may not be gold for everyone though, as Mike D’Angelo writes: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever, but a thing of plodding inevitability is just two hours of my time amiably wasted.” He gave the film a C+, a far cry from the general praise thrown in the film’s direction, like David Gritten’s assertion that “Bright Star” may just be the one to beat: “It is not premature to predict that Bright Star it will match any film entered for the Palme d'Or this year for sheer beauty. It looks a strong bet for honours in a week's time.”
Overall Consensus: “Bright Star” is a refreshing, visually intoxicating period piece that not only Jeff Wells’ mother will love, and the only major ingredient it seems to be missing is that of a sex scene.
In an interview with HitFix, Ewan McGregor has again spoken about Grant Heslov's "Men Who Stare At Goats."
"Most of the film is played through flashbacks from a road trip that George Clooney and myself are making through Iraq," McGregor revealed. "I'm a journalist whose wife has run off and left. And in my grief over the relationship, I take myself to war, but I end up staying in a four star hotel in Kuwait unable to get into Iraq. And I meet this guy who talks about this secret division of the army and I think it's going to make a better story so I follow him on this road trip through Iraq looking for his long, lost buddies. From that story, we flash back to the creation of this secret regimen. It's a very amusing picture. Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey, George Clooney and myself. We had such a great time, it's hilarious."
Flashbacks you say, Ewan? Well, that should explain the physical set up Clooney has going on in the first, much publicized, set photo from the film compared to the second (after all no one would sport that ridiculous-looking 'stache and hair combo in this day and age now would they? hipster goofs aside). It also adds an interesting narrative element to the already compelling story sure to be full of sharp, dark humor. "Men Who Stare At Goats" doesn't have a release date as of yet but we're hoping for one late 2009.
Here is a new image from Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus" that features Heath Ledger, Lily Cole and Andrew Garfield, courtesy of this 'Parnassus' fan blog.
Ledger will of course play Tony, a mysterious outsider who joins the traveling theater troupe of Doctor Parnassus (played by Christopher Plummer); Cole meanwhile plays Valentina, the daughter of Parnassus; while Garfield plays Anton, a sleight-of-hand expert.
Rounding out the cast is Tom Waits, Verne Troyer, Peter Stormare and the trio of Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law who subbed in for Tony after Ledger's death.
More importantly though, the first real footage from the film was unveiled at the opening of the Cannes Film Festival and is now accessible online. Unfortunately, as no embed or edited clip is available as of yet, the only way of viewing it is via the official video of the opening ceremony. The 'Parnassus' scene begins 21 minutes and 27 seconds in and features Ledger's Tony character charismatically speaking to a small congregation of people with Cole's Valentina character visible behind.
"Oh late, late for a very important date. Oh god, I can't tell you how many times I've heard that in my life," Ledger's Tony proclaims in the clip. "Listen, can I ask you a question? Do you dream? Or should I say, can you put a price on your dreams?"
"The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus" makes its world debut on May 22 in Cannes.
The collaborative project between David Lynch, Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse will not see the light of the day due to pending legal issues, NME reports.
"Dark Night Of The Soul" apparently features appearances by, among others, Julian Casablancas (The Strokes), Black Francis (The Pixies), Vic Chesnutt, The Flaming Lips, James Mercer (The Shins), Iggy Pop, Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Jason Lytle (Grandaddy) and Nina Person (The Cardigans) but will now have its release withdrawn due to an "ongoing dispute" between Danger Mouse (whose real name is Brian Burton) and his record label, EMI.
The album was set to be released next month with a book featuring photographs by Lynch. The book will still be released but will now come with a blank CD attached with a sticker that reads: "For Legal Reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will." Burton revealed in a statement that he hoped "people lucky enough to hear the music, by whatever means, are as excited by it as he is."
Such legalities are not new to Burton who previously faced legal issues regarding his album "The Grey Album." The album was a mash-up of The Beatles "The White Album" and Jay Z's "The Black Album" and led EMI to block the album's release on the grounds of unlicensed music use. This led to the infamous Grey Tuesday where Burton's album become the face of an organized day of electronic civil disobedience.
"This wasn't supposed to happen," Burton noted at the time. "I just sent out a few tracks, now online stores are selling it and people are downloading it all over the place. [It] was not my intent to break copyright laws. It was my intent to make an art project." It is not known whether the reoccurance of legal issues between Burton and EMI will lead to similar online rebellions. However, with his cult-like status, Burton's work with Lynch and Sparklehorse is sure to set the internet alight one way or another.
[ed. Wow, way to fight the power. As pointed out by a Playlist commentor, "Dark Night Of The Soul" is now being streamed in its entirety at NPR. Not only that but the album's official site is also cleverly linking to the stream via a little NPR logo in the bottom left hand corner.]
Here is the latest installment of the official "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" video blogs courtesy of the film's official blog.
The overarching theme of this edition is the page-to-screen translation of the graphic novel, and we find ourselves throughout the blog visiting Bryan Lee O'Malley's happy hunting grounds for inspiration for his artwork. The day's shooting seems to focus on Scott Pilgrim and Knives Chau, respectively played by Michael Cera and Ellen Wong, as we first find them walking through the neighborhood of Pilgrim and best friend Wallace Wells' "hole-in-the-wall" apartment. Shooting also takes us to the Goodwill Store and the Sonic Boom Record Store (where promotion for meta-fictional art-rockers The Clash At Demonhead can be seen).
"In some cases, we're being exceptional faithful, verbatim, and key kind of frames of the artwork. And then the other parts are all very in the spirit of the book," revealed Wright. "There are some sort of locations that feature in the book that aren't in the film for various reasons, be it logistically or just in terms of the adaptation, and also some things that just work better in artwork and just don't translate to live action as well as others."
"Tomorrow we launch into another fighting [scene]..." concluded Wright. To quote Sandy from "Grease": "tell me more, tell me more."
Julie Taymor has found one of her villains in her epic "Spiderman" musical. British actor Alan Cumming is set to play the Green Goblin in Taymor's "circus rock 'n' roll drama" which is thought to become the most expensive production in Broadway history. Cumming won a Tony Award in 1999 for his portrayal of the emcee in "Cabaret." Evan Rachel Wood has forever been linked to the role of Mary Jane, but has not officially signed on yet. [NY Post]
Jim Caviezel will star as the title character in Nick Hurran's "William Tell: The Legend" for newly formed Flagship Films. Til Schweiger ("Inglourious Basterds") will also will star in the project which will be a fact-based retelling of the legend of how Caviezel's Tell challenged the Hapsburg monarch and sparked an uprising against the Austrian government. [THR]
Ewan McGregor is set to reteam with director David Mackenzie for the romantic drama "The Last Word," a love story set in a city where people are slowly losing their sensory perception. Filming is set to begin in September on the Kim Fupz Aakeson scribed screenplay. [THR]
After the atrocity that was "The Spirit," Frank Miller is now no longer attached to direct "Buck Rogers." Odd Lot Entertainment, which partially backed 'Spirit,' reportedly lost "tens of millions of dollars" on the project and ditched plans to work with Miller on 'Rogers.' [Variety]
The U.S. trailer for Armando Iannucci's "In The Loop" has been released. The film has been garnering strong positive responses from it's release in the U.K. [FunnyOrDie]
Tarantino Recycles More Ennio Morricone, Tries On Bowie, Billy Preston For 'Inglourious Basterds' Soundtrack - The Full Music List
Considering Quentin Tarantino tried to hire inimitable Italian composer Ennio Morricone for his WWII epic "Inglourious Basterds" -- the maestro signed on tentatively and then had to drop out because of prior obligations -- it's probably not a shock to anyone that the American filmmaker decided to use old Morricone songs for the film's soundtrack regardless.
Earlier this morning one of our faithful U.K. readers sent us the entire tracklist for the 'Basterds' soundtrack (from the Cannes website), but since we were caught in the nightmarish nexus of international travel and Air France, we're just getting to it now (sorry, dude, thanks for sending though). The soundtrack to the film features eight classic Morricone compositions, plus a song by Billy Preston and one co-written by David Bowie, 1940s-period authenticity be damned.
Also included is the track “The Man with the Big Sombrero” by Sam Shelton and the Michael Andrew Orchestra, which comes from the 1943 comedy,"Hi Diddle Diddle" (we thought, Micheal Andrews at first??). We shall console ourselves with the fact that QT has included the theme from 1972 blaxploitation flick "Slaughter" by Billy Preston (whose amiable presence was hired to quell the fractious Beatles sessions on Let It Be -- how prescient, we also included a Preston track on our If I Were Quentin Tarantino soundtrack mix made in 2006). The soundtrack also includes cuts from the aforementioned David Bowie and electro-disco maven Giorgio Moroder's soundtrack to the '80s Paul Schrader film "Cat People" (more anachronisms), '70s Brit band The Arrows (who recorded the original version of “I Love Rock and Roll”), and composers Gianni Ferrio and Charles Bernstein. All this seems more than a bit incongruous with the metal-ish Eli Roth-like intro music on the official site and trailer (not to mention the WWII, occupied France milieu, but that's probably the work of TWC marketing elves (and QT).
It's interesting to note the meta-ness of Tarantino. He's not only recycling songs from old films -- nothing extraordinary, for Quentin this is de rigeur -- he's actually recycling from his own oeuvre; or at least one song, by Charles Bernstein ("White Lightning") was also used in "Kill Bill," QT's film which of course has the Spaghetti Western vibe he's always said he intended for this WWII epic.
"Inglourious Basterds" premieres in competition at Cannes on May 20.
"Inglourious Basterds" full film soundtrack credits
1.The Green Leaves of Summer - Dimitri Tiomkin (from the film "The Alamo")
2. After The Verdict -Ennio Morricone (from the film "The Big Gundown")
3. L’Incontro Con La Figlia - Ennio Morricone (from the film "The Return of Ringo")
4. White Lightning- Charles Bernstein (from the film "White Lightning")
5. Il Mercenario (Ripresa)- Ennio Morricone (from the film, "Il Mercenario")
6. Slaughter- Billy Preston (from the blaxploitation flm, "Slaughter")
7. Algeris 1 Novembre 1984- Ennio Morricone, Gillo Pontecorvo (from the "The Battle of Algiers" directed by Pontecorvo)
8. The Surrender (La resa)- Ennio Morricone (from the "The Big Gundown")
9. One Silver Dollar- Gianni Ferrio (from the Spaghetti Western, "One Silver Dollar")
10. Bath Attack- Charles Bernstein (from the film The Entity)
11. Davon Geht Die Welt Nicht Unter- Zarah Leander
12. The Man With The Big Sombrero- Sam Shelton and the Michael Andrew Orchestra (from the film Hi Diddle Diddle)
13. Ich Wollt Ich Waer Bin Buhn- Lillian Harvey, Willy Fritsch, and Paul Kemp
14. Cat People (Putting Out The Fire)- David Bowie & Giogrio Moroder (from "Cat People")
15. Mystic and Severe- Ennio Morricone ((From "Death Rides A Horse")
16. The Devil’s Rumble- The Arrows (from the film "Devil's Angels")
17. What I’d Say Zulus- Elmer Bernstein (from the film, "Zulu Dawn")
18. Un Amico- Ennio Morricone (from the film "Revolver")
19. Tiger Tank- Lalo Schifrin (from the 1970s WWII film, "Kelly's Heroes")
20. Bastero Gondors Rabhia e Tarantella- Ennio Morricone (from the film "Allonsanfan")
You can't embed it, but here's a live version of the Bowie, Moroder track, super curious as to how this is going to play (work?) in the movie.
- thanks for the easy lay-up, Katie Walsh
Does Every Generation Deserve It's Own 'Cliffhanger'? Neal Moritz Remakes Sylvester Stallone's Eighth Most Popular Movie
What's the ceiling on a mid-level, 90's-style action film gross? We'd say the ceiling was set pretty definitively by 1993's "Cliffhanger," one of the better "Die Hard On A
Are you ready to do it all again?
Superproducer Neal Moritz ("Torque," "Click") has united his Original Films (ho ho!) and StudioCanal for an international remake of the actioner. Again called a "reboot" (apparently the word "remake" has taken on a negative connotation- possibly because they keep remaking stuff like "Cliffhanger"), Moritz compares it to the recent "Star Trek" relaunch. Hm, yes, of course- comparing a forgotten 1994 action film to a pop culture phenomenon that spawned six television shows and eleven movies. The logic in this is ironclad.
The "international" angle is probably what's keeping this idea alive. The original was a worldwide smash, and Moritz will probably take a page from competitor Joel Silver's playbook, as Silver as spent considerable effort making movies for America but populated by unknown foreign stars (i.e. Silver's association with Rain, a Korean pop star featured in "Speed Racer" and the upcoming "Ninja Assassin"). With the demise of outsized action stars like Sylvester Stallone and the rise of globalization, expect the new film to be an international ensemble film featuring a team of rock climbers trapped on a mountaintop facing off against a band of stranded criminals. So... great. It's "Vertical Limit."
The element of recent remake announcements seems to feel like we're all caught in some sort of a timewarp. "Cliffhanger" co-writer Michael France has since made big cash as a Marvel Studios gun for hire and remains highly capable and in-demand, while director Harlin ("Die Hard 2," "12 Rounds") is not above this sort of easy cash-grab. And Stallone himself is preparing to star in "The Expendables," a major action tentpole, and, past 60, certainly looks like he could reprise his role. Which was essentially what he wanted to do earlier last year, when rumors surfaced that he was meeting with Sony regarding "The Dam," a potential sequel for his Gabe Walker character. We would think a Sylvester Stallone vehicle by itself would be more marketable than a no-name rock climbing movie remade from a "Die Hard" ripoff no one remembers, but hey, we're not Neil Moritz. He produced "xXx: State Of The Union" so he probably knows what he's doing.
In fairness to "Cliffhanger," the trailer is one of the all-time greats.
Kevin Smith Talks Next Project, Sports Film Based On Warren Zevon's 'Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song)'
Speaking with MTV, director Kevin Smith has revealed his ambitions to make a sports film with "Tuesdays With Morrie" author and former Detroit Free Press sports writer, Mitch Albom.
"I want to make this hockey movie," Smith confessed. "It's based on this Warren Zevon song, "Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song)," written by Warren Zevon and Mitch Albom...it's about a goon, a hockey goon. It’s this very wonderful, soaring, moving story that’s also bittersweet and very, very funny, about a hockey player who just wants to play hockey, who loves hockey so much, but just sucks at it. The only thing he can do to be on a team is just be the enforcer, just be the guy who goes out there and beats the shit out of people...it takes place during the last gasp of the goon era of hockey when it was all about fighting."
Smith is currently filming for his buddy-cop film "A Couple Of Dicks" with Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan but is holding high hopes to be able to move onto this project "a year from now or two years from now."
He further noted: "The song’s been one of my favorites since I heard it and I’ve always seen this whole movie behind and I got in touch with Mitch because Warren Zevon has passed on and we started talking about it and he was into it and into what I was kind of pitching.”
Smith's enthusiasm for the project was personified though by his feelings regarding the film's prospects: "I never once thought about winning awards or anything but [this] movie I think that can do it...if I play my cards right and we get the right people in it, it could be an award-type movie."
Hmm, this could very well be something totally different from everything we've ever seen from Smith. Surely he knows that the pornographic jokes aren't going to cut it with the Academy and isn't claiming award-winning quality to this project on a limb. Add to that the involvement of a respected journalist like Albom. Nevertheless, Smith's passion for the project sounds very promising and it'll be fascinating to see him truly combine hockey and cinema, two of his great loves.
'New York I Love You' Set For October 16 Release, John Woo's 'Red Cliff' Gets Picked Up, Kirk Ellis To Adapt 'Papa Hemingway' And 'American Tabloid'
Anthology film "New York, I Love You" has been given an October 16th release date. The film features segments directed by the likes of Jian Wen, Mira Nair, Brett Ratner, Allen Hughes, Shekhar Khapur, Natalie Portman, Fatih Akin, Joshua Marston and Randy Balsmyer. [Variety]
Magnolia has picked up U.S. rights to John Woo's two-part epic, "Red Cliff," and plan to release it in the fall theatrically as one 2 1/2 hour film and on VOD and DVD in its full two parts. The film depicts the story of the battle of Red Cliffs, which saw the imperial army take on warlords throughout the Chinese empire in the period at the end of the Han Dynasty. [THR]
Kirk Ellis is set to adapt A.E. Hotchner's "Papa Hemingway," a memoir about the last 14 years of Hemingway's life and his close friendship with Hotchner. Ellis is also set to adapt James Ellroy's "American Tabloid" as a potential series for Playtone and HBO. [Variety]
Shauna Cross will write Summit Entertainment's fantasy-drama "If I Stay" for "Twilight" helmer Catherine Hardwicke to direct. Based on Gayle Forman's novel of the same name, the story centers on a gifted classical musician who is forced to choose between life and death after a car accident with her family. Cross also penned the screenplay for Drew Barrymore's "Whip It!" which is scheduled for release later this year. [Variety]
Peter Webber has signed to direct the silver screen version of "Wuthering Heights" with Gemma Arterton and Ed Westwick in the lead roles. This follows a previous failed set up of the film which had John Maybury in the director's chair with Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman as the leads. [THR]
David Bowie's edition of VH1's "Storytellers" is being released as a CD/DVD set and as a download on July 14. The much maligned performance featured classics like "Life on Mars?" and "Drive-In Saturday" but included songs from his "China Girl" album which many felt hindered the whole performance. [Pitchfork]
First Look: Chow Yun-Fat As Confucius, Duo Behind 'The Orphanage' Set For Mysterious Follow Up, Poster For 'The Expendables'
Here's your first look at Chow Yun-Fat as the title character in Hu Mei's biopic of Confucius, the famous Chinese philosopher. [First Showing]
Juan Antonio Bayona and Sergio Sanchez, the director-writer team behind the "The Orphanage," are set to reteam for a project that will probably be Bayona's second directorial feature. A spring 2010 start date is being eyed for photography on the film which, thus far, has only the mysterious description of being a "powerful story, based on true facts, which poses large technical challenges." [Variety]
Rinko Kikuchi ("Babel," "The Brothers Bloom") is set to star Tran Anh Hung's adaptation of Haruki Murakami's "Norwegian Wood." Kenichi Matsuyama will also be starring. [/Film]
A new poster for "The Expendables" has been unveiled. [/Film]
Monica Bellucci has joined the cast of Jerry Bruckheimer's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." The film follows a sorcerer who recruits and trains a young protege to help him fight the forces of darkness in modern-day Manhattan. Nicholas Cage leads a cast that includes Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer and Toby Kebbell. [Variety]
Jason Statham is set to star in a $40 million dollar adaptation of Ranulph Fiennes' bestseller "The Feathermen." Retitled "The Killer Elite," the story is based on real events and follows a group of former British special forces members who are being hunted by assassins. Statham will play the stereotypical badass forced out of retirement. [Variety]
Roadside Attractions and Liddell Entertainment have acquired worldwide rights to Chris Rock's "Good Hair," a documentary that looks at hair culture in the black community. The doco won a special jury prize at Sundance earlier in the year and will see release a theatrical release this fall. [THR]
Seriously Urban Outfitters shoppers, hasn't this whole '80s trend run its course? Also, if you remake an '80s movie that no one remembers with an '80s movie star who's recently had a major come back, do the two cancel each other out? Seems Larry Clark is gonna hop in the director's chair and find out by helming the remake of Neil Jordan's 1980s Brit gangster pic "Mona Lisa," the other '80s movie about a hooker with a heart of gold (er, but this one garnered its star an Oscar nomination and co-starred Michael Caine as an underworld boss). The original had that sort of Showtime softcore porn feel, but with Clark behind the camera, should we expect something grittier, more dangerous and with frightening penetration shots? Magic 8 ball says "pretty effing likely."
Mickey Rourke is the '80s come back kid who'll slide into the film in a role not yet disclosed alongside Eva Green ("Casino Royale") as the hooker in question. [Cinematical]
Paging all "Garden State" fans: we've got the next movie that will change your life. Hipster Runoff posted a trailer and hilarious take down for "Away We Go" the Dave Eggers and his wife Velenda Vita penned, Sam Mendes directed indie-to-the-core movie, starring Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski. We're at once fascinated and repulsed by this movie. It's obviously pedigreed for indie out the wazoo, but it's also marketed at the 30something indie identifying audience with an aesthetic that hits harder than an Apple or Starbucks commercial. Which is so painfully not cool.
In an interview on the movie's website, Eggers and Vita explain they wrote the film when Vita was pregnant and, in typical Eggers fashion, he takes a fast left turn and goes into an exposition about their relationship with the Bush administration at the time the script was written. Eggers says, "It was such a dark time in American history and we were sort of overwhelmed by political paranoia on a national and local level, and at the same time there was a lot of paranoia in parenting with people’s fears about their kids. They seemed to be over thinking everything. So our initial impetus was to think about a central question, which was, “Is there any rational way to bring a child into the world right now? And can you live as a rational balanced person and is it necessary to go off one end or the other, either total neglect or total over thinking and hovering over your kids?”'
Amazing supporting cast though, including Catherine O'Hara, Jeff Daniels, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Josh Hamilton (yes from "Kicking & Screaming"!), Allison Janney (The West Wing), and comedian Jim Gaffigan. You can get your indie fix when the movie is released in select cities on June 5.
Because we're fatalistic doomsayers and pre-apologists we warn: its conceivable we won't have Cannes coverage, our internet connections could go to pot, we could get mugged, lost, sad, frustrated, give-up, etc. Who knows what could happen in that wacky country (though obviously others have figured it out; no snide comments, please).
But hopefully all goes well. The gang is holding down the fort, your EIC is either on the way to watch movies — or in the event that that fails — going to the beach and getting a nice tan.
Later, play nice....
Yahoo Movies has gone live with the trailer for John Hillcoat's "The Road" and, true to this week's intriguing piece from Esquire, the clip does indeed feature a misleading opening suggesting that the film gives us a peek at what causes the story's post-apocalyptic wasteland. It even goes as far as to specifically credit "one event" for the downfall of civilization. Oh, come on, people!
For those of you familiar with the sparse prose of the Cormac McCarthy book, there is never any reason given for why the forests are alight, why vegetation has ceased, and why most humans have resorted to traveling in packs with cannibals.
The film, as one of us has previously seen in a very rough, unfinished form, concerns a man and his son as they make their way across the barren wasteland in an effort to prolong suffering and starvation in order to survive. The trailer, however, seems to depict a father-son duo in a race against time to stop an evil menace that has ravaged the world, while also finding space for the controversial footage depicted in the Esquire piece, context-less news footage of various natural disasters that doesn't in any way appear in the novel. Also misleading is the suggestion that Viggo Mortensen's father figure succumbs to some sort of bloodlust, and that Charlize Theron's wife character is a part of the main story, not only featured in cryptic flashbacks and dream sequences. The trailer's build-up is especially curious, particularly the match-cut of Michael K. Williams brandishing a gun and a random explosion before the title card. A random explosion that, it goes without saying, is not at all in the film.
The Weinsteins' have gotten a lot of flack over their treatment of this film, specifically in screening it in a poorly edited version late last year before removing it from the schedule, leading to speculation that the film was going to emerge from the post-production process as a total lemon. This trailer, while being the antithesis of the cut we saw last year (which definitely had problems), certainly suggests there's more than a little dickery going on behind the scenes on the part of the Weinsteins. But then again, their job is to sell movies and we get that.
We'll be able to judge for ourselves when "The Road" hits theaters on October 16th.
First order of business, it's been confirmed that Fox Searchlight, not 20th Century Fox will be handling Wes Anderson's stop-motion animated adaptation of Roald Dahl's "Fantastic Mr. Fox."
Some thought we were being too negative when we said the film was "downgraded," and as much as we love Searchlight — much more than Fox proper which tends to make broader pictures for more fare weather movie fans — it is a sizeable millions of dollars difference since one aims wide and one aims niche (unless every FS pic is going to be a 'Slumdog' which seems unlikely even for their awesome batting average). This is obvious, no?
Secondly, is McDonald's going to be involved? Via the L.A. Times:
Although details are still being finalized on three additional Fox movies, the [Twentieth Century Fox] pact with the chain is expected to include director Wes Anderson’s animated comedy “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” which will be released in November, and James Cameron’s sci-fi action thriller “Avatar” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” both coming out in December.However, since 'Mr. Fox' is now Searchlight, does that nullify the McHappy Meal deal? Could be, no?
Lastly, is the release date — currently scheduled for November 13 release — changing once again because Searchlight is now onboard? The devotee fanblog, Rushmore Academy hints that a date change could happen. Do they know something everyone else doesn't? Or is this just pure speculation. "Fantastic Mr. Fox" features the voice work of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Angelica Huston and Owen Wilson (who's apparently there for just a second), Michael Gambon, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Jarvis Cocker, Wes Anderson himself and potentially a few more unannounced/unconfirmed names (Roman Coppola for one is rumored).
It's not really big or unknown news that Terry Gilliam's yearned to attempt a take two on his aborted, "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" project that painfully collapsed back in 2000 (then was excruciatingly recounted in the 2002 documentary, "Lost In La Mancha").
He's been talking up the project in recent months and even said that work on a new script would be commencing soon. However, the project has been officially announced in the trades today lending it an air of lucid reality instead of simply one of Gilliam's fanciful aspirations (he's probably said he'd try the film again as far back as 2003, even around the release of 'La Mancha').
Apparently producer Jeremy Thomas and his Recorded Picture Co. shingle will help the director bring the almost-accursed vision to the screen (even Orson Welles failed to finish the story of Quixote). Tony Grisoni, who wrote Gilliam's last good film, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," — and the original version of 'Quixote' that died — is re-writing the script again which bodes well (Variety says, Gilliam is writing it with him). Of his decade-long, mono-maniacal obsession with this project he said, "I'm not so much a filmmaker as someone who gets possessed by an idea and it doesn't leave me until I make the film. I commit myself to it so fully."
This is interesting and the news comes from Cannes, so perhaps mean some have seen "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," and feel Gilliam's work is becoming viable again? Perhaps? We're feeling optimistic.
Variety says Gilliam is in talks with Johnny Depp to again star in the film, as he did in the first abandoned version, but just yesterday — perhaps in a knowing tease to today's announcement — the filmmaker said that he would not wait around forever for Depp's schedule to open up. The trade also says the director — whose fortunes are finally looking up — is hoping to shoot the project in the spring of 2010.
Note to lesser-known singer songwriters. Just because you write a song for a movie unsolicited, doesn't mean it's going to be used. In fact, chances are it won't.
Canadian Polaris Prize-winning, singer-songwriter Patrick Watson (songs recently features as the TIFF '08 theme song and the soundtrack to "American Teen") has learned that lesson when he wrote an eponymous song for the "Where The Wild Things Are" film, but it appears that it's been rejected by Spike Jonze.
"That's what I wrote it for," Watson told the Calgary Herald, which notes the song appears on his band's latest release Wooden Arms. "But I don't think Spike Jonze liked it. I just made a demo and sent it to him and said, 'Please put it in the film.' It was my favourite book as a kid -- I grew up with that. That was the purpose of writing it--I didn't even want it to go on the record. I'd just be happy to be on the trailer, to be honest. I'd be into that satisfaction."
Sorry dude, that ship has sailed. You can hear a snippet of the song here.
No matter, Watson's still dipping his toe into movies. Currently living in Montreal, he composed the entire soundtrack to the 2008 French-Canadian film, "C'est pas moi, je le jure!" Uhhh, in your face, Spike Jonze? Better luck next time dude. Your consolation prize is the fact that we thought your song was the best one featured in "American Teen" soundtrack. We're sure that will comfort you at night.
Apocalypse Now? Abel Ferrera Directing 50 Cent & Forest Whitaker In A Modern 'Jekyll And Hyde'?? Amazing
Wow, brains have imploded at the mere thought of this one. We're in shut-down mode.
Secondly, back da fuck up Keanu Reeves and Nicolas Winding Refn ("Bronson"), there's a new player in town on the "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" beat.
Cantakerous Bronx-born curmudgeon Abel Ferrara — thought to be consigned to director's jail as most of his projects have barely received theatrical runs (even the Cannes-approved "Go Go Tales" ran for about a week in NY) — has been tapped to direct another version of the famous scientist-experiment-gone-wrong cautionary tale.
It gets even more amazing and mind-blowing: Forest Whitaker and 50 Cent have formed somewhat of an un-"Expendables" party and signed on for what's being called a modern re-imagining of the original Robert Louis Stevenson story. Even better: both of them will play the lead role of a doctor with a violent alter ego. Who will play who? Fiddy as the doctor and Whitaker as the monster? Makes sense, no? Pause and digest that for a second, sit down and then hit reset. Wow. The project is simply called, "Jekyll and Hyde."
Obviously this project has nothing to do with the aforementioned Keanu Reeves led project based on the same source material, nor the Guillermo del Toro 'Jekyll & Hyde' project in the works. Man, Hollywood loves dueling projects going neck-to-neck.
Ferrara, who's latest movie, "Chelsea on the Rocks, " looks like it's going to find the same fate as "Go Go Tales" (abject neglect), but the director — more well known for warring with Werner Herzog about a "Bad Lieutenant" re-imagining/non-remake — looks like he may have caught a break with this one. How can he possibly fail? Even if this project is trainwreck awful, it will be a must-watch! And seriously, how does 50 Cent keep getting film roles? Ferrera will surely make great use of him no matter what. Most anticipated 2010! [Variety]
Speaking with Dark Horizons, Ewan McGregor has revealed details about Grant Heslov's upcoming film "Men Who Stare At Goats" — a black comedy about clandestine, paranormal military activity set in Iraq — which costars George Clooney, Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey.
On his character in the film based on Jon Ronson's non-fiction book, McGregor revealed: "Well, I play a journalist (Ronson), at the beginning of the film whose wife, who’s also a journalist in this small newspaper in Ann Arbor - The Ann Arbor Daily Telegram - cheats on him with her one-armed editor, Dave. And I see her flirting with him. But then she comes clean, and she’s going to leave me for this one-armed man, Dave. And I, in my misery, take myself to Iraq."
Further, on the setting and story of 'Goats,' McGregor added: "It’s the beginning of the Iraq War. And I go to become embedded, but all I do is end up in a swanky hotel in Kuwait, and can’t get into Iraq. I’m not embedded with any troops, so I’m stuck in this four-star hotel, having wanted to prove my manhood by going to war, you know? Where I meet George Clooney’s character, and we embark on a kind of road trip through Iraq, looking for his buddies in this strange and secret section of the American Army. It’s a very funny film, and I had such a lovely time working with George, and with Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey. And it was the four of us, and it was just hilarious. It was great fun."
Previously, the film had been given this short synopsis:
'Goats' is set in Iraq and centers on Bob Wilton (McGregor), a desperate reporter who stumbles upon the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady (Clooney), who claims to be a former secret U.S. military psychic soldier who was re¬activated post-9/11. The film chronicles the two men's travels through Iraq and offers glimpses into the supposedly real secret Army unit tasked with creating soldiers with paranormal powers. Bridges will play Bill Django, the founder of the psychic soldier program and Lyn's mentor. Spacey will play Larry Hooper, a former psychic soldier who is running a prison camp in Iraq.As a black comedy though, such synopses are probably not going to do the film justice but it does all sound very promising. The director, Grant Heslov, was nominated for his screenplay of Clooney's "Good Night, and Good Luck," so this bodes well for a wry, and sharply-written script. The film doesn't have a release date as of yet although IMDB seems to think it'll come out March 12th, 2010 in the U.K. We're hoping Christmas 20o9, but maybe that's too optimistic?
Is Nikki Finke stirring the pot or onto something? Perhaps the latter, while her grade-school FIRST! reporting is intensely juvenile; especially for someone who should have matured in their middle age, her sources are usually on the money.
Obviously, yesterday the world lit up with excitement at the prospect of seeing a Marty Scorsese-led Frank Sinatra biopic, which was in the works for years, but was just officially announced (when that happens though… 2011? 2012?).
Finke says she’s hearing Universal’s first choice is Johnny Depp, which frankly would be an incredible decision. She also notes that Scorsese could want Leonardo DiCaprio in the role – something we were going to say yesterday as a joke – but god, enough is enough already, right? Get a new muse.
Universal has Depp in “Public Enemies” this summer and according to her sources, they definitely want to stay in the “Johnny Depp business.” Another great thing about the biopic, it’s been handled with Frank Sinatra Enterprises, and his label Warner Music Group, so music clearances won’t be an issue and we will hear original Sinatra songs in the film (though, isn’t sometimes better when we at least hear some moments of the actor really singing for authenticities sake?)