A whole host of details on Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's "Cemetery Junction" have been unveiled courtesy of Gervais' own blog.
The film centers on three blue-collar friends in 1970's London as they bide their time "joking, drinking, fighting and chasing girls" and has three unknowns as the leads - from left to right in the photo Jack Doolan, Christian Cooke and Tom Hughes.
Big names Ralph Fiennes and Emily Watson, meanwhile, will play Mr. and Mrs. Kendrick, the ruthless heads of the company which the three protagonists presumably work in while Gervais will play the father of protagonist Freddie (Cooke) with Anne Reid and Julia Davis respectively playing the Gervais's mother and wife.
On the film, Gervais enthusiastically admitted: "It feels I'm really doing what I know again. It feels like me and Steve are returning to our roots and doing something we should have done before 'The Office' in many ways. We want this to be our masterpiece..."
"[As a child] I never knew I was poor. I was always playing in the garden, chasing frogs, not sat on asphalt thinking, 'Why have I been born into a prison?' So we want to capture that sense of nobility in poverty."
"[Our film] is gonna be more like a British 'Saturday Night Fever' or you know, 'Rebel Without A Cause,'" Gervais added. "This is our 'Saturday Night, Sunday Morning.' It's very rock 'n' roll in a very, sort of, real and quiet way." Comparisons with Barry Levinson's "Diner" were also made by Gervais.
In addition, the BBC have released a behind-the-scenes look of the film's production - complete with more Ralph Fiennes jokes. The clip also has the first look at female lead Felicity Jones who will play Julie, the love interest of Cooke's protagonist Freddie.
Shooting is set to conclude in a month with plans for the film to hit theaters next spring in the U.K. - and hopefully not long after elsewhere.
A whole host of details on Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's "Cemetery Junction" have been unveiled courtesy of Gervais' own blog.
Well, this probably means the "Deadpool," spin-off is dead, so maybe we should be thankful for small miracles.
Ryan Reynolds has scored the coveted the Green Lantern gig besting "The Hangover" actor Bradley Cooper and pop sensation Justin Timberlake, who was probably the outside shot given he's never led a movie, let alone a $150 million-plus one.
If we woulda put money down on this one we would have lost. We honestly thought Cooper was going to take it. Especially because most indications of "Green Lantern," said that the film was going to take on a "Iron Man"-like humorous tone and Cooper's the better man for that job. Or at least in our minds he is (sure, Galifinakis stole, 'Hangover,' but it was Cooper that nearly stole, "Wedding Crashers.").
Martin Campbell is still directing and maybe the decision came down to him preferring the actor? Production is supposed to start in January. The script was written by Greg Berlanti with Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green, probably a draft far, far away from the one we read ages ago, but that version was written by the same three scribes. [DealMemo]
God, we knew we had some weird nagging feeling when we spotted that first look of the foxes in Wes Anderson's "Fantastic Mr.Fox" earlier this afternoon.
The animated Anderson foxes looked semi creepy and vaguely familiar and Movieline's Kyle Buchanan nails it. They look vaguely like the creepy, also-talking fox in Lars Von Trier's "Antichrist," -- which you can see in a version of the "Antichrist" trailer -- that at one points stops and growls at Willem Dafoe in the film and says, "Chaos reigns!" (yes, it's a pretty unintentionally funny moment in the film).
We really have no excuse. We actually saw "Antichrist," at Cannes and we're pretty sure Buchanan was still here in the U.S., so boo on us and yay on him. Such a good and amusing observation.
What's more is both films are scheduled for the fall, with "Antichrist" hitting in limited release on October 23 and "Fantastic Mr. Fox" landing November 13 in the U.S. So it'll be like the battle of the talking foxes at the box-office, right? OK, not by even a little, but we thought the vague similarities were worth pointing out and doing this A-B image. Maybe Lars and Wes should make a film together, lord knows it would silence their critics and us, becuase surely they'd come up with the most-fucked up unique film ever.
Speaking of, whatever happened to that supposed (alleged?) Danny Boye/Lars Von Trier collaboration? That we would also love to see.
Something that's been on the brain...
All this "Inglourious Basterds" news has hit and it's good news for the fans of Quentin Tarantino (no major cuts to the film, some soundtrack notes) but we haven't even got to the iffy partnership announced late last week.
The Weinstein Company's dubious attempt to cross-market their film, "Inglourious Basterds" to young, meat-headed Ultimate Fighting Championship fans is just a very peculiar, perhaps desperate proposition for a picture that has already suffered luke-warm Cannes reviews, a campy trailer and pre-release prequel talk that most likely exists just to hold the public's interest. Obviously they've had some financial issues this year and just yesterday some more bad news hit when it was noted that Liberty Media's Encore/Starz likely wouldn't be investing any funds into the company.
So, set to be marketed tomorrow evening in Vegas via animated billboards, advertisements inside of the ring and a trailer to be shown to the 11,000 fans in attendance at Mandalay Bay for a pay-per-view event, is oddly enough director Quentin Tarantino's latest film.
These are people who love tits and beer. The same goons that want to rip "Bruno" to pieces in the feature film (you'll know what we're talking about after the weekend when you see it). Meanwhile, 'Basterds' is set in WWII, and features long, drawn out conversations in French and German over milk and strudel and only minimal amounts of bloodshed. Talk about disconnect.
The bait and switch-type marketing has been happening since day one and all studios attempt this to an extent -- mis-sell their films -- but The Weinstein Company seems particularly careless here (or reckless even) and they've already tested the limits with schlocky posters and trailers alluding to a lot more action and violence then is actually in the picture. If executed correctly, bait and switch can grab the attention of audiences who wouldn't have normally been interested and ultimately, get extra asses in the seats. "The Road's" trailer, with its shameless insertion of stock destruction and news footage is a recent example of bait and switch, but one that will most likely end with more tickets being sold to a hard-sell, artsy flick. The insertion of apocalyptic destruction is tweaking things, but it's also there for all of three seconds. It's not revamping the movie.
However, in the case of "Inglourious Basterds," the Weinsteins may have finally pushed the cross-marketing a little to far. By aligning the union of UFC (which as bad as that shark jumping moment when Billy Corgan was on the WWE) with Tarantino makes Basterds look like it's a Dimension film's like Eli Roth-esque actioner. Basically dumb and dumber from the groin. However it's largely nothing like that, it's an European-feeling talk-fest done through Tarantino's highly reflexive movieness and his distinctively American filter (it's more Tarantino doing Truffaut's "The Metro" with a few firecracker outbursts than it is QT making a traditional war picture, or even creating an homage to traditional "guys on a mission"flix). It's not a B-movie like the 1978 original, nor is it an action flick (nor is it an art-film either). Regardless, you can only bait and switch so much with a product that like before audiences wise up and begin to hate you.
The whole thing just smells like disaster in the making, even "Kill Bill 1" had a vague UFC connection, or at least, if it was positioned that way the audience wouldn't have ripped out the seats and hurled them at your head, but imagine trying to sell the slow pace of "Jackie Brown" to that crowd? That actually might provoke more violence that's already in the ring, especially because you know they're going to show the UFC crowd only the action moments.
It could end up hurting the gross from both ends, the UFC crowd will certainly be disappointed by the inert talk fest with its requisite knowledge of classic cinema and the original art-house crowd will be put off by the film's aggro marketing strategy. The already hurting Weinstein's are going to end up worse off after this expensive last ditch effort than they were before they spent their first dime marketing 'Basterds.'
Worse off, aligning the 'Basterds' with dunderheads like UFC does a huge disservice to the film itself and feels rather like an insult. We didn't particularly love "Inglourious Basterds," but Jesus Christ it's still a million times better than the TNT Monster-Truck-like garbage these guys are generally putting down over brewski's with the boys. Don't be surprised when broseph yells, "turn off this faggotry already and put on some Stallone!" Desperation is the worst kind of cologne and this one especially stinks.
Here's your first look at the animated foxes and characters of Wes Anderson's upcoming live-action animated film, "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," which stars the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray (all pictured here; the mom, the pop, the son and the badger; though doesn't that look more like a mole?)
Hmmm, dunno, we're not really feelin' the look. Maybe we need to get used to it.
Thoughts? The film opens November 13 in the U.S. and is rumored to make its debut at the Venice Film Festival, however, it might even screen before that in San Demetrio at the "Nobel Peace Prize" cinema opened by George Clooney in conjunction with awareness about the Italian city of L'Aquilla, ravaged by a recent earthquake. [JoBlo]
In Wide Release: By all accounts "Brüno" should top the box-office and some are speculating, the picture will open north of $30 million. At his best, Sacha Baron Cohen is comedic guerrilla terrorism, assaulting you senses with outrageous comedic laughs, but if that's the case, his gay Austrian fashionista character, "Brüno" is a small-scale offensive with sporadically uproarious laughs and little bite. We didn't hate it, it's just mildly diverting and mostly forgettable. It's just really hard to trick people these days and it shows in the film. Plus we're all just hyper-aware of his tactics, so there's a dulling, been-there sensation throughout. It's not horrible at all, but it's just minor laughs that do no compare with the initial "Borat" experience (even if "Borat" is near unwatchable these days because the laughs are so ephemeral and the gags and tropes were so painfully ubiquitous. However, most critics seemed to be fairly satisfied and "Brüno" has itself a good, 72% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (no, not the be all end all at all, but a decent look at critical consensus if you concerned about spending your hard-earned money).
Note: on Metacritic, the "Brüno" rating has fallen to 56% or as Awards Daily says, plunged into "the poopenschafte range."
Jeff Wells makes us laugh when discussing the romantic teen comedy, "I Love You, Beth Cooper" starring Hayden Panettiere, and the almost-unknown Paul Rust. He says he salutes the people who created the film's trailer because it "makes it seem like a grotesquely unfunny, off-the-charts high-school relationship farce," when the reality seems much the opposite. The film has a dismal 11% RT rating. Smells like a tax write-off.
The next biggest film in wide release is one called, "Blood: The Last Vampire," that no one seems to know or care about it and it has a forgettable, 22% RT rating. Seems like it's made by and for schlock fans only.
In Limited Release: The most "mainstream" film, or the one getting all the press, is the post-mumblecore film, "Humpday" directed by Lynn Shelton and starring Mark Duplass ("The Puffy Chair") and Joshua Leonard ("The Blair Witch Project"). The comedy about two best friends who face a dare to have sex with one another seems well-beloved and has a very positive, 87% RT rating which makes us sometimes think critics are easy lays. It's... fine we suppose. It has its laughs, the performances are not embarrassing (like many mumble films), it feels more professional than usual (which still means it looks butt ugly) and is capable piece of low-rent, indie filmmaking with small goals, but it didn't impress that much. Considering all the latent homosexual subtext within there seems like a lot of places this film could have gone, but as TimeOut New York aptly writes (and thanks for articulating this so well for us), the film's concluding, "dramatic tidiness...belies its early potency." If you write for Indiewire, Spoutblog and or read both, it's probably mandatory that you think this film is brilliant. #tease
One rating we can wholeheartedly endorse is that of "Soul Power," the wonderful documentary directed by Jeffrey Levy-Hinte about the "Rumble In The Jungle" concert which never got its due. The story goes like this: as you know Muhammad Ali and George Forman had a legendary boxing match in 1974. This famous face-off was spectacularly documented in the film, "When We Were Kings." What was shot and overshadowed by that incredible bout was the Zaire '74 concert featuring James Brown, Bill Withers, B.B. King and many other great funk and American R&B bands, partly because the 'Rumble' fight was pushed back three weeks because of a Foreman eye injury, but the concert itself could not be rescheduled. Got that? So the show went on and was lovingly shot and documented by the the same people who lensed "When We Were Kings," including camera work by cinéma vérité greats like Albert Maysles.
However, that concert was only peripherally included in the 1996 Academy-Award-winning picture and one of the editors, Levy-Hinte realized there was a treasure trove of musical footage to mine and set out to give the concert its proper documentary. And his instincts were on-point. The performances in the film are arresting and spectacular and the entire film has the same vibrant and pulsing pre-anticipating lead-up to the event that 'Kings' has. The camera work drops you right in the middle of the action and performances by Celia Cruz, the Crusaders and James Brown are thrilling hot fire. This picture manages to be intimate yet spectacle-like and up there with great concert docs like "Wattstax," and "Gimme Shelter." It's a great treat with infectious energy and it has a solid 82% rating. It was so riveting and rousing, this Caucasian critic all of sudden thought he was black on Twitter. This is basically our review as we didn't have time to write one, but we recommend the picture highly.
Other pictures in limited release include "Lake Tahoe" (80% RT rating, we admittedly know nothing about it), "Vanished Empire" (60% RT rating, again never heard of), "Weather Girl" (N/A rating, meaning like five critics have seen it which does not bode well) and "Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg," about a popular radio & TV show during the '20s-through-'50s that boasts the tagline, "Before The Cosby Show, The Jeffersons, Good Times, or even I Love Lucy, there was The Goldbergs. It has a great 94% rating, but smells like something most people will catch on DVD.
Other than that? For New York-centric retro-cinema, the Andrei Tarkovsky retrospective at Walter Reade is in full swing and you'll see us there this weekend and we can't wait for the Nicholas Ray retrospective at Film Forum in late July-through-August. Choose wisely or don't choose at all (there's always DVD, or god forbid, going outdoors and enjoying the weather). Francoise Truffaut's ode to his favorite interrogation subject, Alfred Hitchock, "Mississippi Mermaid," with Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Paul Belmondo is also playing at BAM.
Both Zach Galifianakis and Todd Phillips recognize they have a good thing going.
The unexpected breakout success of "The Hangover" ($210 million plus! It's currently the second-highest R-Rated comedy ever), put them both on the mainstream map and Galifianakis was easily recognized as the comedic ace in the hole of the picture.
Just a few days ago, it was reported that the bearded comedian was mulling over three different potential Phillips projects, one of them being "Man-Witch," a project that once had Jack Black attached.
According to Variety, Galifianakis has decided, but he actually seems to have passed on the most well-known project ("Man-Witch") and instead has opted to go with a project called "Due Date," and of course, has officially now signed on for "The Hangover 2," -- there's no stopping a sequel from this one.
However, the 'Hangover' sequel will have to wait an extra year, because "Due Date," a "comedy about fatherhood that stars an expectant dad (uncast so far) and his unlikely travel companion (Galifianakis) race cross-country in hopes of making it home for the birth of his first child."
Sounds pretty familiar, huh? It's like a rewrite of "The Hangover" only instead of dudes trying to get to a wedding on time, it's getting to a birth on time. Meh. Hopefully they can make this one sound a bit more interesting when it hits the screen and perhaps with some inspired casting -- not the Hangover's dull and flat straight-man Justin Bartha -- they can inspire this thing to rise above predictable and conventional territory.
"Due Date" is set to start shooting at the beginning of this October and the plan is to release it June 2010. "The Hangover 2" hopes to star production October 2010 with a release date being pegged for Memorial Day weekend 2011. Phillips apparently took back-end profits on "The Hangover" and now is apparently set to be stinking rich.
George Clooney To Shoot 'A Very Private Gentleman' In Earthquake Torn Italian City, Premieres 'The Fantastic Mr. Fox' At His Own Cinema Opening
Anton Corbijn's George Clooney led adaptation of the Martin Booth novel "A Very Private Gentleman" is set to being shooting this September after Clooney promised to return to the Italian city of L'Aquilla, ravaged by a recent earthquake, to shoot a film as a boost for its economy.
"We'll shoot a film here at the end of September, in which I will act," Clooney announced to journalists yesterday and while the actor neglected to mention the title of the project, the Corbijn helmed project which Clooney was attached to earlier this year would surely be it as it is set predominantly in "a rural village in southern Italy" and was to set to begin shooting this film anyway.
The novel, which was adapted for the screen by Rowan Jaffe ("28 Days Later"), is described as a "creepy psychological suspense" story and follows an assassin "to a rural village in southern Italy where he poses as a quiet artist who paints miniatures of butterflies and has traveled to the area to capture a unique native specimen." The assassin has but one more assignment to carry out though, of course, romantic entanglements and local friendships complicate his task.
Also coming out of Clooney's visit to disaster stricken Italy is news that city of San Demetrio will be host to a new "Nobel Peace Prize" cinema opened by Clooney with its inaugural film screening being Wes Anderson's "The Fantastic Mr. Fox." Clooney will be in attendance presumably along with co-star Bill Murray, who was also been in Italy bringing global awareness, to what could the world premiere of the film.
Duncan Jones really can't wait to make his next picture.
The "Moon," director has been on a tear discussing the villains of his next sci-fi film, "Mute" - which he now amusingly describes as his "love letter to 'Blade Runner.' " And it's not like he's trying to sell the thing, it's already set to be his next project. Gotta love unbridled enthusiasm.
"They're a pair of buddies. They're kind of like; you know the Paul Rudd film, "I Love You, Man'? It's basically like the anti-, the antithesis of that is what if two buddies were such good buddies but were the most diabolical bastards they possibly could be. That's who these villains are."
Some have been positing that with 10 Oscar noms this year, "Moon," could be one of them and no disrespect to the film, which is a nice addition to the modern sci-fi cannon, but sorry, no. Not gonna happen. Jones has already said, his "Moon" star Sam Rockwell, will appear briefly in "Mute" just to tie his universe together. It makes sense, Rockwell was one of the firs actors he approached to play one of the aforementioned malefactors. [DigitalSpy]
Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster have replaced Steve Carell and Jay Roach as the lead and director in the 2008 Black List favorite, Kyle Killen's "The Beaver."
The film follows the story of a depressed man who finds solace in wearing a beaver hand-puppet, played by Gibson with Foster to direct and also play Gibson's wife.
We gotta say this sounds like a far better proposition and the premise barely reads like a comedy without Carrell attached. Presumably that version would have been PG-13. With these two in the principal slots, we assume we'll get something dark and twisted. Or at least, let's hope for something a little bit different. Carrell and Roach just feels far too predictable. [Variety]
Taking a page out of Edgar Wright's film process playbook, the production of Greg Mottola's "Paul" has created a blog to document the trials and tribulations of the film's development called, What is Paul?
While the site has been up for a few weeks now, videos have thus far been mundane, slices of life kind of stuff (e.g. "Simon, Nick and Kristen learn to drive the film's RV"). Today, however, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost - the film's stars and scribes - have debuted a short video where they take to discussing the film's plot and formally introduce us to the cast and director.
"The film is about two British sci-fi geeks played by us who go to America to sort of experience the U.F.O. culture don't they? They go to Area 51 and happen upon a stranded alien who they subsequently help to get back to his ship - all the while pursued by all sort of dark forces and meeting up with people on the way. It's a rip-roaring adventure."
Included in the number of clips interwoven in the video are scenes of intense action (rolling exploding cop cars, shotguns firing at RV's), of Seth Rogen geared up in the motion capture technology and of the majority of cast which Pegg roll calls as follows: Rogen, Sigourney Weaver, Blythe Danner, Jason Bateman, Joe Lo Truglio, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, David Koechner, Jesse Plemons, John Carroll Lynch and Jane Lynch.
"Paul" is currently filming in New Mexico and likely arriving in the summer of 2010. One would imagine anyhow.
This has got to be some sort of divine intervention for fans of the Man Of Steel.
A court case this week involving Warner Bros., DC Comics and the heirs of "Superman" co-creator Jerome Siegel has yielded some interesting results with massive ramifications for the future of the "Superman" franchise in general and, in particular, at Warner Bros.
First off, the court found that the license fees WB paid to corporate sibling DC Comics didn't represent "sweetheart" deals as they weren't below fair market value. This meant the heirs will be able seek profits only from DC Comics rather than from WB as well. Nothing major here.
After the hearing though, Attorney Marc Toberoff, who represents heirs Joanne Siegel and Laura Siegel Larson, asserted in a written statement that the Siegel heirs and the heirs of co-creator Joe Shuster will own the entire Superman copyright in 2013. He also revealed that the judge found that WB should have paid three to four times the amount actually paid for the Superman film rights and that he had found it "inequitable" that DC transferred the Superman film rights to WB without the standard term providing for reversion for lack of ongoing exploitation.
Toberoff added that subsequently "the Court pointedly ruled that if Warner Bros. does not start production on another Superman film by 2011, the Siegels will be able to sue to recover their damages," and that "the Siegels look forward to the remainder of the case, which will determine how much defendants owe them for their exploitations of Superman."
Be that as it may, Warner Bros. chairman Alan Horn had earlier testified that hopes were to make another "Superman" movie but that the property wasn't under development, that no script had been written and that 2012 would be the earliest another "Superman" pic could be released. This coming off the back of Brandon Routh revealing that his own contract to portray the Man of Steel has also expired.
So in summary, WB are set to lose the rights to Superman in 2013 and if they don't start production on a Superman movie by 2011, they may be sued for not making use of the rights and hence thrawting the Siegel heir of income. Of course, the possibility exists that comes 2013, the heirs of the Superman creators will simply work out a deal with WB for the rights once again but that would seem unlikely given the state of the relationship.
Of course, there is also the anti-climatic possibility that WB may just bite the bullet and keep the franchise in a state of flux. Spending money making a Superman film could actually be more financially detrimental than sustaining the court battle and, if worse comes to worst, simply coughing up whatever they need to pay could be a more viable option.
All parties are due back in court on December 1st but surely we'll hear more from this before then especially if WB want to make the 2011 deadline. [Variety]
Courtesy of Bloody Disgusting, here is a new poster for the Diablo Cody scribed "Jennifer's Body" starring Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons and Adam Brody
Further, more details of the film's accompanying soundtrack have been released. The album will be released by record label Fueled By Ramen and, as previously reportedly, will feature the likes of Panic At The Disco, White Lies, All Time Low, Cobra Starship, Dashboard Confessional, Silversun Pickups, Little Boots and many others.
The soundtrack will also debut the first song from the new Panic At The Disco line up titled "New Perspective" and will also feature "new and unreleased material from All Time Low, Cobra Starship, Dashboard Confessional and others."
Speculatively speaking, Cobra Starship have a track titled "Good Girls Gone Bad" featuring Leighton Messer on their upcoming album Hot Mess while All Time Low's just-released album Nothing Personal consists of tracks such "Damned If I Do You, Damned If I Don't," "Break Your Little Heart" and "Sick Little Games" - all of which we wouldn't be surprised to find on the soundtrack due their thematic relevance to the film. That would depend though on their definition of "new and unreleased" as it would apply to these albums tracks with regards to when the article was published but not when the soundtrack will be release.
Either way it all sounds like modern-radio ready chum and nothing anyone over 15 is likely to purchase unless the remaining tracks on the soundtrack disc are remotely special.
"Jennifer's Body" is due to hit theatres September 18th while the soundtrack will quite a bit earlier on August 25th.
Search For 'Green Lantern' Down To Three: Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds & No It's True, Justin Timberlake
The search for the actor behind the title character in Martin Campbell's "Green Lantern" is almost over. After months of speculation, the race is now down to three contenders: Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds and the ace-in-the-pack, the recently rumored Justin Timberlake (note actors lie, Cooper shot-down rumors of his inclusion months ago).
According to THR, a decision on who will finally portray Hal Jordan -- the Air Force pilot who is chosen by a dying alien to be his successor in an intergalactic police force known as the Green Lanterns -- is imminent as a holding deal on the actors expired on Monday meaning the actors are now free to accept other offers.
To complicate things though, the three main parties involved; the studio, director Campbell and producer Donald De Line are reportedly each backing a different actor out of the three to lead what is described as a "full-blown space epic" with a budget of between $150 million and $200 million, if not more -- though the studio is apparently looking for ways to bring that down.
The sentimental favourite (ours at least) would probably be Cooper and, after the success "The Hangover," the actor may hold more than just a sentimental advantage over the other two in the studio's eyes. Reynolds recently portrayed superhero Deadpool in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and has since been linked to his own spin-off film -- it is not known what would come of such if he were to find himself donning the green ring though, in his corner however, the actor is definitely a fan favorite in the comic book world.
Meanwhile, aside from his musical exploits, Timberlake has recently been linked to a role in a potential Guy Ritchie remake of "Guys And Dolls." As the out and out dark horse, a Timberlake casting would definitely throw a spanner in the works now that reputed actors such as Cooper and Reynolds are known to be in contention. Other actors who were reportedly in the early mix included Michael Fassbender, Jared Leto and the seriously luckless Henry Cavill.
A tentative December 2010 release for the film is still being eyed.
And then there were four. Zooey Deschanel has joined the cast of "Your Highness," the medieval stoner comedy to be directed by David Gordon Green that is set to star James Franco, Natalie Portman and Danny McBride.
"Your Highness" is a buddy story that follows an indolent and haughty prince (McBride) who, along with his more heroic brother (Franco), must complete a quest to save his father's kingdom. Portman plays a warrior princess who falls in love with the slovenly price and Deschanel will play Franco's virginal bride. The cast has shaped up nicely for this one. Last we heard, production on the film was set to begin in Ireland this month, so Zooey might be the final casting piece and now they're off. If they don't have too much of a good time, self-indulging in too much improv, this one should turn out to be a pretty good time. Hopefully the female characters, however, have something to do other than just act as romantic wallpaper.
This of course is not the first time Deschanel has worked with Green. He directed her and Danny McBride in the 2003 indie film "All The Real Girls" (where McBride basically started his career). [THR]
Following up from his enormously popular Swedish-vampire flick "Let The Right One In," director Tomas Alfredson is set to team up with scribe Peter Morgan in bringing John Le Carré's cold war spy novel "Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy," to the bring screen.
The film will be Alfredson's first English-language film and will reunite Morgan with his "Frost/Nixon" counterparts, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, over at Working Title. Morgan is also currently working with on the next installment of the Bond franchise on which his stringent research would no doubt come to good use on this project.
'Tinker' will follow the story of a retired British intelligence officer who is asked to seek out one of the men in the senior ranks of his old agency, discovered to be a Russian spy. The novel had previously been adapted with success for British television in the '70s.
Shooting is set to begin sometime next year. [ScreenDaily]
Most of us loathe TMZ and everything they stand for, but occasionally in their quest to invade the lives of celebrities, they inadvertently dig up some possibly interesting news. In their hounding pursuit of Shia LaBeouf in Hollywood, they found the "Wall Street 2" star at a dinner with Oliver Stone and Josh Brolin. There's a line of dialogue they excerpt where Stone says, "we'll give him the script next week," and presumably, since LaBeouf is already on board, this means they're talking about Brolin.
Does this mean, that Javier Bardem is possibly out and Brolin is in as the villain in the film? Or is it a separate role. They both have the same look, build and are relatively of the same age. You could easily see either of them playing this role. It's speculation on our part, but hey, it feels like we're onto something. Niki Finke basically backed her away from her initial report that said Bardem was set to star in the film. After she "broke" this news, she almost retracted her report saying, Twentieth Century Fox clarified that Bardem was not onboard yet, Oliver Stone hadn't met with him, and the studio hasn't negotiated any deal yet. Sounds like much of the talk was premature to begin with. Screenwriter Allan Loeb ("21," "Things We Lost In The Fire"), should have finished a second draft around the middle of June.
Last time we heard legit reports from the trades, the film, possibly just called, "Money Never Sleeps," was set to begin principal photography on August 10th with a February 2010 release in mind. Carey Mulligan — the Sundance breakout star of "An Education" — is rumored to be up for the role of Michael Douglas/ Gordon Gekko's daughter.
As astute reader reminds us that Brolin made much of his fortune on the stock market (it's apparently allowed him the freedom to be choosy about roles), so he might be well-versed and perfect for the material.
Weird. We're about mid-way through reading the Aaron Sorkin Facebook script, "The Social Network."
Granted, we're only half-way through it, but so far, it's not the "amazing" script every is saying it might be (or interpreting ScriptShadow's review that way). It's nowhere near as humorous or touching as we've been meant to believe and so far... it's pretty tedious. It's not a page turner, that's for sure.
It's a court room procedural that flashes back to the salad days when Facebook was just taking off. It's talky (Sorkin, natch) and it has low, low stakes... sort of like "Moneyball," does. Midway through the Facebook script we started thinking Soderbergh, Fincher, etc...,i.e. the were some similarities flying around.
And now, THR is reporting that "Moneyball" might not be dead after all and Sorkin will be taking a crack at it. Strange.
Apparently Columbia has called him up to revise the earlier Steve Zaillian draft that most people (including us) liked, but allegedly couldn't used because it purportedly fabricated things about Billy Beane's (the character that Brad Pitt was to play) life, including his love life (the script makes him out to be a Lothario, apparently in real life he's a happily married man and has been for years) which may or may not have been the make or breaker for MLB approval.
Apparently, despite his allegiances to Steven Soderbergh, Brad Pitt is still on board the project. Man, we really assumed this thing was dead. As we noted last week, the trade says Soderbergh is not involved in any capacity. Sorkin has sports experience too having written "Sports Night" for ABC a decade ago. Sorkin's "The Social Network" script is also at Columbia/Sony, so they probably drew the same similarity conclusions that we did.
Btw, we just wrote a little feature about five directors who could possibly take on "Moneyball." We think our picks are pretty good and informed.
According to the Los Angeles Times, director Roman Polanski's legal team have asked a state appeals court to overturn a May decision that refused to throw out the three-decades-old child sex case that has kept Polanski from returning to the United States.
Read the LA Times article for the full details, but the Reader's Digest version of the story thus far: in 1977 Polanski pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13 year-old girl (at Jack Nicholson's house, naturally). After the director spent 42 days in jail, the director (known for exploring the dark corners of the human soul in films like "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby") bolted before the trail - and has never returned to the States since.
After last year's wonderful HBO documentary "Roman Polanksi: Wanted and Desired"' uncovered some severe misconduct on the part of the star-fucking judge in charge of the case, Laurence Rittenband. So Polanski's lawyers fired back at the course, based on the evidence presented in the documentary, and asked for the case to be dismissed (even though Polanski has said he has no interest in returning to America). In May, the decision was made not to throw the case out because essentially Polanski had been on the run for so long. Will this thing ever end? The back and forth on this has been ongoing seemingly for two years now.
No one at The Playlist condones sex with 13 year-old girls, that documentary definitely opened our eyes to some improprieties in the case, and Polanski is 75 years old for crying out loud. It is pretty amazing that this case, already tangled up in the collision of media and law, keeps finding itself at those same crossroads. - Drew Taylor
A host of clips from French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet's (the director of "Amelie," "Alien Resurrection" and "Delicatessen") next effort "Micmacs à tire-larigot" have been unveiled.
The film centers on a man and his friends who come up with an intricate and original plan to destroy two big weapons manufacturers.
The film stars many well-known French actors including, Dany Boon (the French dramedy, "My Best Friend," which is being adapted into English by Wes Anderson), André Dussollier (known for his work in Alain Renais films among many others), Yolande Moreau (the lead of "Seraphine") and Dominique Pinon (a regular of all Jeunet films including, "Amelie," "A Very Long Engagement" and "City of Lost Children").
Obviously the notion of what constitutes selling out is constantly changing and evolving in the modern digital era. Many already feel that the concept of "selling out" is an antiquated one that no longer is relevant in this accelerated age.
Times are changing and the standards for what is acceptable have loosened. Feist in a ITunes commercial? Fans are fine with it. Sure people like Brad Pitt still make their cell phone commercials with people like Spike Jonze and Wes Anderson overseas, but when North American audiences spot them -- and inevitably they do -- the creativity involved usually supersedes any notions of rich people getting further paid for endorsing lucrative products. The people involved are usually applauded and sure, we suppose that's fine.
There's no doubt that advertising, marketing and commercials are becoming cooler and therefore more acceptable to those that soak them in, because they're being targeted in a manner that speaks to them (hip songs, hip bands, cool actors, etc.). But there are limits to whoring yourself out, how the culturesphere feels about it, and how they'll react.
So Zooey Deschanel's website, commercial and originally-written song for Cotton and its Fabric Of Our Lives campaign?
We might not go so far to say sell-out, and surely some will not bat an eye over it, but writing a jingly song about the product? Isn't that a little much? It's really not that much different if she wrote a song for New Coke is it? (listening to the lyrics of the song that essentially shill the product). She's not the only one either. Miranda Lambert and Jazmine Sullivan are also part of the ads, but obviously Deschanel's a much bigger name, especially since she has a new movie coming out, "500 Days of Summer" -- arguably an film geared to indie kids and the same demo -- in a few short days (July 17 to be exact).
So sell-out? No, not really and some will probably just go, "cool! new Zooey Deschanel song!," and overlook any eyebrow raising issues wholesale, but we'd be lying if we didn't say we wanted to take a bath after watching the commercial and hearing the song. Be your own judge we suppose...
Prequels And Sequels: Eli Roth Talks The 'Inglourious Basterds' Films Quentin Tarantino Likely Won't Make
Yesterday Quentin Tarantino shocked many, revealing a level of sharp self-awareness we didn't think he he possessed. On the topic of a prequel to "Inglourious Basterds" --which has been discussed, it's apparently half-written -- Tarantino admitted he has little follow-through when it comes to prequels, sequels, etc. "The ['Basterds' cast] love the [prequel] idea. I’ve got the storyline. Then again, I was going to do all these animated prequels to 'Kill Bill.' I didn’t end up doing any of those."
On the heels of that talk , 'Basterds,' actor Eli Roth has added fuel to the fire revealing more details of the proposed flick including the idea for two sequels on top of a prequel (all of which is probably never going to happen, but it's fun to talk about and have enthusiasm for).
"Quentin has an entire universe planned out for 'Inglourious Basterds,'" said Roth. "With Aldo and Donny in Italy with a troop of black soliders. He has a whole prequel planned, and most of it is written. If the movie does well, he will make the prequel. I want to see a prequel. Both Brad and I want to be in it. Brad and I were in Cannes screaming, 'Prequel, prequel, prequel!' He even has two sequels planned. He's not necessarily going to make these movies. But he has at least four our five stories centering on these characters that span through the fifties and sixties. He knows exactly where these characters are going. He has this whole universe mapped out in his head."
The idea of a story based on the Basterds and African-American soldiers reiterates Tarantino's earlier talk of a similar story. The director had also noted that "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" with talk of prequels even coming from Harvey Weinstein who added his two cents: "I’ve also read the stuff that’s part of the prequel. I’m not tellin’ you! [But] Brad wants to do 'Inglorious II.' We all want to do it. And the [original] movie hasn’t even come out yet!"
Most of this depends on 'Basterds' being a runaway smash hit, which feels unlikely given how talky and non-actiony it is. Then there's Tarantino's level of procrastination and working slow. Sure, people might want to see this a year and a half from now, but sequels or prequels five years after the fact tend not to do so hot.
Don't hold your breath for any of this. Might we remind you of Tarantino's "The Vega Brothers" or again, the aforementioned animated "Kill Bill" sequels. Depending on who you believe, the director already has half or most of the prequel written and with Pitt, Roth and Weinstein behind him all the way, maybe he'll actually have the catalyst to develop it? Tarantino certainly rates the whole 'Basterds' saga highly though previously claiming with no uncertainty that 'Basterds' will get an Oscar nomination for Original Screenplay.
"Inglourious Basterds" comes out in theaters August 20th. [MovieWeb]
Cameron Diaz is reportedly in early talks to play the female lead in Michel Gondry's upcoming "The Green Hornet," scribed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
Starring Rogen as newspaper publisher Britt Reid - who doubles as crime fighter Green Hornet - and Stephen Chow (if he's still on board that is) as sidekick Kato, the film is set for a July 9th 2010 release though, prior to Diaz, news had been relatively quiet on the development front. With the release date now exactly a year away, things should begin to get going in the coming weeks.
Diaz's potential role in the film is not yet known though, if consistent with the canon, would presumably be either Lenore "Casey" Case, Reid's secretary, or possibly "Clicker" Binny, a photographer co-worker of Reid's. The possibility of Diaz playing a totally new character conceived by Rogen and Goldberg is also on the cards especially as the superhero/secretary dynamic was already played out in "Iron Man."
Whatever the role, Diaz does seem like an actress who would match up well with Rogen but, as nothing is currently known about the film's style and tone, it's hard to judge. Rogen and Goldberg haven't exactly written any throughly developed female characters in their previous efforts either ("Pineapple Express," "Drillbit Taylor" and "Superbad"). [EW]
Here's the first official look at Drew Barrymore's directorial debut "Whip It!" starring Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig and Juliette Lewis.
The film centers on Bliss Cavendar (Page), a rebellious 17 year old Texas teenager who signs up to play the brutal and sexy female sport of roller derby against her mother's (Gay Harden) will, finding friendship and freedom among the bruises and falls.
Page's character joins the Hurl Scouts roller derby team and, in accordance with the sport's customs, goes by the alias Babe Ruthless. Her team mates Barrymore (who also co-stars) and Wiig, meanwhile, are known as Smashley Simpson (taking the piss out of Ashlee Simpson?) and Maggie Mayhem - which, in reality, is the name the film's scribe Shauna Cross uses as her own roller derby alias in L.A.
The Hurl Scouts are rivaled by Juliette Lewis' Iron Maven and her school-girl themed team, the Holy Rollers. Maven is the film's antagonist though the character will be far from a cartoon villain: "It's not about just being no. 1 or the best," said Barrymore. "I know the feeling like you're in the right place with the right people is one of the most winnings feelings you can have."
The story will somewhat reflect Barrymore's own struggles moving into adulthood as a former child star: "I felt pressures that everybody feels, whether it's inter-office, in high school or a small town," the director reveals. "Everyone relates to expectations others have or what the world thinks. Who am I going to become? What am I going to be in this world?"
Barrymore also notes the influences she drew from her experiences working under directors as Steven Spielberg on her own directorial ability: "Everything I've learned throughout my whole life has been going into this piggy bank, and I just smashed it all over the floor for this one."
We've never been huge fans of Barrymore but, for some reason, her directing Page and company in this girl-centric sport-based coming-of-age comedy makes a lot sense and looks like it could be fun -- though now that we think of it these photos do resemble an estrogenic "Dodgeball." The film featured on our 60 Most Anticipated Film Of 2009 List.
Cross - who adapted the script from her own novel "Derby Girl" - further explained the film's title and the possible misconception of it as a reference to the 1980 Devo single: "'Whip It' actually refers to a teammate move, grabbing someone by the arm and swinging her around the bend in the track to maximize speed and break ahead of the pack. It's also something that's a little aggressive and sounds painful, but is pretty fun," scribe Cross says. "It's not a Devo musical biopic on skates. Though that would be a genius movie."
Also featured in the film will rapper Eve, Zoe Bell, Alia Shawkat, Ari Graynor, Jimmy Fallon while musician Landon Pigg will stretch himself by playing a musician who becomes Page's love interest. Regular Wes Anderson collaborator Mark Mothersbaugh -- who ironically is the front man for the aforementioned Devo -- was also set to compose the film's score before being fired over creative differences.
"Whip It!" is due in theaters October 9th. [USA Today]