Predictably, at the L.A. junket for the "Wolf Man," bloggers spent their entire time grilling director Joe Johnston about his upcoming "The First Avenger: Captain America" film (and sometimes asking about some real inane details of total nerd minutia).
The director of timeless cinema classics like "Jumanji' and "Jurassic Park 3" revealed that he'll likely cast an unknown American as his lead and surround him with name actors, that the movie will be set in Europe, will be filmed in the U.K., Red Skull will be the villain and the picture will shoot in 2D HD with aesthetics different to any other Marvel film. Expect more news before March 1 when his casting has to be finalized.
True to Johnston's word, Ryan McPartlin — an unknown television actor from "Chuck" — has revealed that he's been involved in the casting process for the film. With delicious unself-aware irony, the actor revealed that "the one thing I can't stand are these actors that are twittering about auditioning for Captain America. It's really tacky. With that said, it is in the casting process and like many other actors, I read for it."
Here is a new Kraken-centric new poster for Louis Letterier's "Clash Of The Titans." "Titans will clash" on April 2nd. UGO has a few more posters, but we gotta say this one looks like pretty generic/lame fantasy sci-fi artwork that's one step away from being on the side of some dude's van. It's release, bumped one week after the decision to release the film in 3D, has caused some havoc at the box-office for other films that are now scattering about their release dates. Seeing the vacancy, the comedy, "Hot Tub Time Machine," has now moved from March 19 to a March 26 date. "Repo Men" has also hightailed it out of the April 2nd spot and is now hitting March 19. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" has done the exact same thing and has also moved to the 19th.
Jon Favreau's "Cowboys & Aliens," starring Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde, will now hit theaters on July 29th, 2011. The date was recently vacated by Peter Berg's "Battleship," which was moved to 2012 because it's scope is apparently so big, it needs an extra year of work. Surely, this is going to be "Pearl Harbor" meets "Independence Day." The aliens revelation sounds retarded. Wonder what Hasbro thinks.
Brace yourselves, "Twilight" hottie, Taylor Lautner will lead the 3D film adaptation (of course) of '70s action figure "Stretch Armstrong." Universal co-chairman Donna Langley was surely holding back laughter as she announced with a would-be straight face that, "[Lautner] brings the perfect balance of energy and athleticism to the role of an unlikely super hero with a fantastic super power. We couldn't be more pleased that he has agreed to be our Stretch."
Joe Johnston Looking To Cast Unknown For 'Captain America,' 'Cowboys & Aliens' Confirmed For Summer 2011, New 'Clash Of The Titans' Posters
Predictably, at the L.A. junket for the "Wolf Man," bloggers spent their entire time grilling director Joe Johnston about his upcoming "The First Avenger: Captain America" film (and sometimes asking about some real inane details of total nerd minutia).
Hmm, what can we saw about "Ondine" that we haven't already said. Well for one, we were big fans of the Neil Jordan mermaid fairytale, but are honestly not loving this trailer. In fact, that's an understatement.
What's it about? Colin Farrell plays an Irish fisherman and recovering alcoholic who discovers a woman in his fishing net who he believes to be a mermaid (Alicja Bachleda; the mother of his 2nd child no less, and yes, they met on set).
It's a wonderful, romantic and dreamy little fairytale and yes, it's flawed and has a twist ending that doesn't really work, but the rest of it is so beautiful — in part due to Christopher Doyle's gorgeous cinematography and the Sigur Rós members' elegiac score — that we were able to forgive its flaws. It also might be too saccharine for some, but when we saw it, we were absolutely in the mood for it. Perhaps you can dub it a beautiful mess, but you can't apologize for a film that hits the "how I'm feeling right now" sweet-spot right there in the moment. Jordan mainstay Stephen Rea co-stars.
Magnolia picked the film up for U.S. distribution earlier this year and now the picture is set for a June 4 summer release. So the trailer? Ugh, that piano sonnet around the 30-minute mark that expands into the uplifting anthemic music? It just doesn't seem to suit the tone at all and only emphasizes the sentimental, yet not cloying tenor. The music throughout only gets more melodramatic and worse and worse as it goes on. Sure, they're trying to sell it in a broader way, but it's not the little daydream-like picture we saw at TIFF. Would love to see an alternate version of the trailer featuring more of the gorgeously illusory score by Sigur Rós' keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson that you can hear a few seconds of at the beginning of the trailer. Hope they release a disc of that score. It doesn't really break the Sigur Rós mold much, but dammit, it's pretty beautiful.
Back in September of last year, we reported that Kevin Smith would be making his hockey movie next if he didn't get the necessary funding in order to move ahead with his long-in-the-works horror movie, "Red State." This sentiment hasn't changed, as Smith will begin working on the hockey film "Hit Somebody" (named after a wry Warren Zevon song) later this year.
However, luckily, thanks to the suggestion of a fan via Twitter, Smith has begun developing a new method for gathering otherwise non-existent funds for "Red State" in the form of an online donation website. Smith hopes that his fans will help fund the film from their own pockets in exchange for a spot in the film's credits. But evidently, it's not as easy as it sounds.
“We’re kind of creating this website. We’re seeing if it works to set up and collect donations. But it became a weird tax nightmare, though...It sounded like such an easy thing online...but now there’s lots of checks and balances to make sure we can do it, but if that’s the case, I would be into it, and I’ll match it. Whatever you raise on line, like fuck it, you put it up, I’ll put it up,” Smith said in an recent interview with CINSSU.
Smith seems confident that with his fans' help the '70s styled horror movie will undoubtedly be made. With the general demographic that Smith appeals to, it's hard to imagine that his fanbase will be able to afford donating a considerable amount of sufficient funds. But with strength of fanboys in numbers and the films purported "peanuts" budget, who knows what could happen. A sincere best of luck to him and a sincere: we hope it ends up looking better than "Cop Out" currently does. — Jon Davies
Warren Zevon - "Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song)"
"I always believe it's very unlikely that lightening will strike twice. I believe it's very unlikely that we will win because I made such a jackass out of myself last time. Although there might be some curiosity about what I might do," James Cameron told Empire about the Oscar chances for his 3D box-office juggernaut, "Avatar."
We kind of can't help but agree with the director here. It's personal politics that might keep him out of his horse race. Plus, after his stunt and his reputation in general (arrogant, egoist), who do you think the Academy members want to see win. The first woman ever (Kathryn Bigelow) or Cameron once again, who already has the two highest grossing films of all time to his name? Does he really need more success on top of that? That could be the thinking that voters go with. Plus there's the fact that "The Hurt Locker" is a genuinely great film. And "Avatar" is well... fairly entertaining.
You can't embed it, but here's the king of the world clip in case you missed it back in 1998.
We're not sure what happened to Luc Besson, but somewhere along the way the once intriguing director got sidelined into directing forgettable family films and producing boat loads of generic action films like the "Transporter" series, the "Banlieue 13" franchise and even this weekend's execrable "From Paris With Love." But it seems the director has been saving the choicest material for himself.
Back in October we reported that he was hard at work on "Les Aventures Extrodinaire d'Adele Blanc-Sec," the first in a projected trilogy of films based on the nine-volume series by French cartoonist Jaques Tardi. Here's the plot synopsis from our intital report:
The year is 1912. Adèle Blanc-Sec, an intrepid young reporter, will go to any lengths to achieve her aims, including sailing to Egypt to tackle mummies of all shapes and sizes.Essentially it sounds like a female fronted "Indiana Jones," and it also seems like a lot of fun. Well, the trailer has landed and as we speculated, it's a mix of live action and CGI. We have to say, we're pretty impressed. Visually, it ranks up there with Besson's best work and the costume design in particular is stunning. The tinted look of the period street scenes remind us of Jean-Pierre Jeunet as well. While we're usually wary of CGI heavy flicks, this one actually looks like it found the right tone, and most importantly isn't overwhelmed by fx - but we'll have to wait and see. The film, which stars Louise Borguin, Gilles Lellouche and Mathieu Amalric, opens in France on April 14, 2010. As far as we know there is no North American distribution yet in place, but we hope that changes soon.
Meanwhile, in Paris, it's panic stations! A 136 million-year old pterodactyl egg on a shelf in the natural history museum has mysteriously hatched, and the bird subjects the city to a reign of terror from the skies. But nothing fazes Adèle Blanc-Sec, whose adventures reveal many more extraordinary surprises...
Set in the carefree world before World War I, Adèle Blanc-Sec's adventures see the brave young woman fearlessly battling crooks, corrupt politicians, demon worshippers and mad scientists. Legendary cartoonist Jacques Tardi's original stories perfectly recreate the intrigue, romance and excitement of one of the most tumultuous periods in history.
Many thanks to "tommy" for the heads up and click here to see the trailer. The embed seems to be borked for now.
Lord, this is too good not to post. You know when you think of ideas that seem great at the time, but years later are painfully embarrassing? Yikes, this is it. Essentially, this is the gist of it. Bill Paxton once had a rock band called Martini Ranch (we won't even go there) and in 1988, James Cameron, who was still then with filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow ("Strange Days," "The Hurt Locker," Cameron wife number 3 of 5 running 1989–1991), directed a music video for Martini Ranch's awesome very, '80s-ish country-rock song, "Reach." And of course since Cameron and Bigelow were dating, guess who played the sultry, Wild West gunslinger in the clip? Yup, Bigelow. Man, this is borderline defamation of character... and not just for Bigelow. One of the worst parts about the clip is that the song doesn't even start until the 2:45 mark, evidently Cameron and the band really believed in their concept.
And props to Movieline for digging this up. Remember, never put anything on film or video ever, it will come back to haunt you. Oh and Martini Ranch's one album? Called, Holy Cow. Yup, sit with that one for a while, see what you come up with.
'Shutter Island' Soundtrack Scares Up Brian Eno, Max Richter, Krzysztof Penderecki, Györgi Ligeti & More
In preparations for its February 19th release, the score for Martin Scorsese’s new thriller “Shutter Island” was released by Rhino Records on Tuesday.
From the looks of it, Scorsese has abandoned his oft-used classic rock soundtrack habits and, almost positively taking a queue from Stanley Kubrick’s soundtracks, adopted a selection mostly of various modern classical pieces. Contemporary composers such as Brian Eno and Max Richter (whose score for "Waltz With Bashir" we loved) are used, as well as Stanley Kubrick modernist favorites of Krzysztof Penderecki and Györgi Ligeti, amongst others. Pre-rock & roll singer Johnnie Ray, blues legend Lonnie Johnson, and jazz singers Kay Starr and Dinah Washington are the few moments that hearken back to Scorsese's typical soundtrack milieu.
Color us certainly intrigued. The film has been casually pegged already as containing B-movie elements, but this set of pieces certainly suggests a different mood rather than a conventional score. Depending on how it is used in the film, the soundtrack presented here for “Shutter Island” could create an entirely unsettling and chilling atmosphere for the film. This certainly bodes far better than a manipulative score riddled with clichés (see "The Wolfman") and we are eager to see if the pieces work successfully in the film. Full tracklisting and sample tracks below. - Jon Davies
"Shutter Island" Soundtrack Listing
1. Fog Tropes - Orchestra of St. Lukes, conducted by John Adams
2. Symphony #3: Passacaglia - Allegro Moderato - National Polish Radio Symphony, conducted by Antonio Wit
3. Music For Marcel Duchamp - Philipp Vandre, prepared piano
4. Hommage a John Cage - Nam June Paik
5. Lontano - Wiener Philharmoniker, conducted by Claudio Abbado
6. Rothko Chapel 2 - UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus
7. Cry - Johnny Ray
8. On The Nature Of Daylight - Max Richter
9. Uaxuctum: The Legend Of The Mayan City Which They Themselves Destroyed For Religious Reasons - 3rd M - Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra; Peter Rundel, conductor
10. Quartet For Strings And Piano In A Minor - Prazak Quartet
1. Christian Zeal and Activity - John Adams / Edo de Waart & San Francisco Symphony
2. Suite For Symphonic Strings: Nocturne - The New Professionals Orchestra, conducted by Rebecca Miller
3. Lizard Point - Brian Eno
4. Four Hymns, II For Cello And Double Bass - Torleif Thedeen & Entcho Radoukanov
5. Root Of An Unfocus - John Cage
6. Prelude - The Bay - Ingram Marshall
7. Wheel Of Fortune - Kay Starr
8. Tomorrow Night - Lonnie Johnson
9. This Bitter Earth / On The Nature Of Daylight - Dinah Washington & Max Richter
Brian Eno - Lizard Point
Max Richter - On The Nature Of Daylight
Johnny Ray - Cry
Look out, James Cameron, you may be getting some competition in new 3D filmmaking. Variety reports that esteemed German filmmaker Wim Wenders has recently finished photography on a short Italian 3D feature titled “Il Volo.” The 27-minute film, whose title translates to “The Flight,” stars Ben Gazzara as the mayor of a Calabrian village who initiates a program in 1997 to try to integrate a set of Kurdish refugees into the dwindling population of his own people. The film boasts an extremely modest budget of $500,000 funded by Calabrian investors and utilizing free for for-scale workers.
Unlike the fantastical 3D usage in recent Hollywood films, “Il Volo” seeks to extend the country’s tradition of neorealism. “3D can be a way to heighten a sense of naturalistic, rather than supernatural reality,” says producer Gianfranco Borgatti. The country boasts a thriving 3D market in comparison to surrounding European countries, in which 10% of the country’s ticket sales comprise of 3D films. An adaptation of Henry James’ “The Turn of the Screw,” directed by Marcello Avallone, as well as a teen romance from Maurizio Nichetti are also in store for Italy’s 3D market.
This isn't first 3D project conceived by Wenders, but it's the first to go in front of cameras after production on "Pina," his tribute to acclaimed choreographer and dancer Pina Bausch came to a halt after her death last year. As far as we know, Wenders’ film will be the first semi-major product from an established arthouse filmmaker produced with three dimensional photography. Will Wenders be clever enough to extend the technology beyond eye-popping distraction and integrate 3D in a way that truly elevates the film? It’s tough to say, and, given the nature of the project, we guess that we might have to wait a while to see its stateside release in any capacity. - Jon Davies
After working with John C. Reilly in the forthcoming "Cedar Rapids," Ed Helms is getting ready to star alongside the other "Step Brother" Will Ferrell.
Both actors are now on board the comedy "Daddy's Home" written by the shit hot scribe Etan Cohen. The writer has been on a tear lately turning in scripts for "Tropic Thunder" and "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" and earned studio attention by penning buzz worthy scripts for "Men In Black 3" and the gestating Will Ferrell/Sacha Baron Cohen "Sherlock Holmes" project (though kinda have a hunch after the success of Guy Ritchie's films their comedy version isn't gonna happen anytime soon). Anyway, his latest to get approval from both stars and suits is pretty straight forward: "a woman marries a wild guy (Ferrell), but tires of his man-child ways after they have kids, divorces him, and marries a bland but stable spouse (Helms). When Ferrell comes back into her life to bond with their kids, he turns the new household upside down." Basically, its like Cohen took the Frank "The Tank" storyline of "Old School" and spun it into its own film. Not a bad idea, really.
While it seemed like Ferrell was briefly flirting with something more restrained when it was announced he was going to be remaking the French rom-com "I Do: How To Get Married And Stay Single," with this and "The Other Guys" coming out this summer, it looks like the man-child we love to hate and hate to love is here to stay for a while just yet. No word on production schedules just yet, but we would imagine this will only go in front of cameras once "The Office" (which is thoroughly jumping-the-shark/sucking this season) wraps.
This project has been percolating for almost a year now, and despite the massive critical and box office failure of "Nine," that isn't keeping Hollywood away from A-list leading musical adaptations. As we recently reported, Russell Crowe and Beyonce are being eyed for a potential remake of "A Star Is Born," and now word is arriving that the long gestating Jake Gyllenhaal and Jim Carrey big screen version of "Damn Yankees" has gotten a director.
Todd Graff has been assigned to the director's chair and will be rewriting Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel's original draft of the script. While Graff isn't exactly the most experienced or successful director (his last effort, "Bandslam," bombed), his first film "Camp" was a musical and he did spend some time in musical theater himself, receiving a Tony nomination for his turn in "Baby."
If you're not familiar with "Damn Yankees," we don't blame you. The succcessful Broadway musical, that was also made into 1958 feature film, is about a middle-aged baseball fan who makes a deal with the devil to turn his favorite team's young star into home run hitting slugger. The film will have a contemporary setting and Carrey is still being eyed for the role of the devil, while Gyllenhaal will don pinstripes as the ballplayer.
The prospect of seeing Carrey and Gyllenhaal singing and dancing doesn't fill us with glee but somebody out there clearly cares or they wouldn't keep moving forward with this. Right?
'Greenberg' Soundtrack Tracklist & Release Date Revealed, Features LCD Soundsytem, Galaxie 500, Steve Miller & More
The full tracklist for Noah Baumbach's James Murphy scored "Greenberg" has been revealed and it looks like a winner.
The soundtrack boasts eleven brand new tunes from James Murphy alongside tracks by The Steve Miller Band, Albert Hammond (yep, the Dad of the dude in The Strokes), Duran Duran, Sonics, Nite Jewel and indie legends Galaxie 500. The latter band, as our EIC posited years ago, provided the verse melody for LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends" (featured in the trailer, and oddly enough, not included here) in their song "Snowstorm." So it's no surprise to find them featured here as well.
The soundtrack will hit stores on March 22nd, four days before the film opens on March 26th.
Greenberg Soundtrack Tracklist:
01. The Steve Miller Band – ‘Jet Airliner’
02. James Murphy - ‘People’
03. Nite Jewel - ‘Suburbia’
04. James Murphy - ‘Sleepy Baby’
05. James Murphy - ‘Thumbs’
06. Albert Hammond - ‘It Never Rains In Southern California’
07. James Murphy - ‘Plenty Of Time’
08. James Murphy - ‘Photographs’
09. James Murphy - ‘Gente’
10. Galaxie 500 - ‘Strange’
11. LCD Soundsystem - ‘Oh You (Christmas Blues)’
12. James Murphy - ‘Birthday Song’
13. James Murphy - ‘Dear You’
14. Sonics - ‘Shot Down’
15. Duran Duran - ‘The Chauffeur’
16. James Murphy - ‘If You Need A Friend’
17. James Murphy - ‘Please Don’t Follow Me’
18. James Murphy - ‘Photographs (Piano)’
As a faithful reader points out, we anticipated not only the use of Galaxie 500, but the exact song, "Strange" about three years ago when we made our If I Were Noah Baumbach Soundtrack Series edition. Give it a listen. It's still pretty great if we do say so ourselves.
Good Lord, it seems like every day we're announcing new HBO projects. They seem to be busier these days than Hollywood studios these which may be why they keep on attracting A-list talent.
The latest from the cable channel will be a detective series based on Walter Mosely's new detective series "The Long Fall." The first book in the series which hit shelves last spring introduced readers to Leonid McGill, a New York City private detective and former boxer. Mosely is best known for his LA-based Easy Rawlins detective stories (one of which, "Devil In A Blue Dress," was made into a movie), in which he brilliantly addresses the complex racial politics of 1940s and 50s era among familiar pulp surroundings. Undoubtedly, his latest series will continue in that vein. Director Jonathan Demme has come aboard to co-write and direct the pilot.
Clearly, the creative freedoms afforded on cable are beginning to look far more enticing than shepherding projects through a newly 3D obsessed studio system.
While there's no word yet on when we might see "The Long Fall," there is plenty to keep our attention for now. Here's a recap of what we can expect from HBO in the next little while: "Tilda," the Nikki Finke inspired Hollywood comedy; "Emergency Sex," the humanitarian worker drama with Maria Bello and exec produced by Bello, Russell Crowe & Simon Beaufoy; groupie memoir "I'm With The Band" starring Zooey Deschanel; FBI crime unit drama "Mind Hunter," developed by David Fincher & Charlize Theron; "Boardwalk Empire" starring Steve Buscemi, Gretchen Mol, Michael Pitt and Michael Shannon with a pilot directed by Martin Scorsese and "Luck" with a pilot directed by Michael Mann.
And that's a condensed version.
A sprawling, richly textured three-part crime opus, originally broadcast on British television, The "Red Riding" trilogy is now coming to an incredibly arty art-house theater somewhere near you. If you live in New York and are strong willed, the Manhattan IFC Theater is showing the whole thing in one big gulp. We suggest seeing it this way. It's how we saw it. (We sat through the first two parts uninterrupted. When we went outside to get candy in-between the second and third parts, the shocked publicist said, "You stayed there the whole time?"). Yet don't be afraid of any arthouse tags. This series is as thrilling, accessible and captivating as they come.
Each section of the trilogy is devoted to a different year, helmed by a different director and shot on a different film stock (16 mm, 35 mm, and using the RED digital camera that shot "Che" and "District 9"). The events in each section weave together, linked by geographical location (Yorkshire, England) and overlapping characters. The first section and first year is "In the Year of Our Lord" 1974, directed by Julian Jarrold, director of chaste British fare that middle aged white people love, like "Brideshead Revisited" and "Becoming Jane." Here, though, he goes incredible dark to fit the film's tenebrous tone.
As the first section of the trilogy, 1974 has a lot riding on it (pun intended). The events in this first section reverberate throughout the other films in some pretty profound ways, but on its own it's a whip-cracking mystery. The density of its procedural elements, combined with its more plot-oriented narrative drive, is sort of like if James Ellroy wrote David Fincher's "Zodiac" (the period setting only adds to these comparisons).
'74 stars Andrew Garfield (one of the few watchable parts of "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus") as an young, hungry and ambitious Yorskhire Post reporter, as he tries to crack the case of a series of missing (and presumed dead) children. Soon, one of the girls is found with a ghastly addition: a pair of angelic swan wings sewn into her back. These slayings are loosely based on the real murder spree of a killer dubbed "The Yorkshire Ripper."
But what does this have to do with John Dawson (Sean Bean), a local bigwig who burned down a gypsy encampment to make way for his new shopping mall? And what of BJ, a male prostitute who has kept a personal file on each of the powerful men he has serviced? Things get pretty twisty and turny (frequent Terry Gilliam collaborator Tony Grisoni adapted the book series by David Peace), and we'd rather not give away more than we have to, but it's remarkably well written and with twists that feel organic rather than placed in key spots to fool audiences.
Just go. It's an incredibly dense, captivating and enthralling thriller. The choice of 16 mm not only gives the movie some period authenticity, but it also creates a grittier-look as well (it goes to some pretty bleak places). Jarrold really knows how to pace this thing, and creates something engrossing and entertaining on its own that's also able to snap into the larger whole with ease and grace. Slipping into this darker material must have been fun for this director and it shows; the movie is nearly electric.
Additionally, the cast is superb. Garfield is showing himself to be one of the most talented young actors around (we can't wait to see him in Fincher's "Social Network" this fall) and while Sean Bean is doing his typical Sean Bean thing — menacing, vaguely paternal — it's still superb acting and the best he's been in years. And we haven't even mentioned the beautiful Rebecca Hall as the mother of one of the slain girls who carries on a relationship with Garfield — and Bean.
The film's conclusion is pretty devastating, but you (the viewer) can at least take heart in knowing that there's four more hours of Yorkshire-set mystery and mayhem. The "Red Riding" trilogy as a whole is a huge genre accomplishment, a lushly detailed and stylized full meal, but even in bite-size form, it's still fucking great and a must-see. [A] — Drew Taylor. Reviews of '80 and '83 to come.
Hilarious and too rich. HBO has announced a new comedy half-hour show that takes place in the world of Hollywood blogging called "Tilda" which — get this — centers on a powerful female Tinstletown writer with a no-holds-barred approach.
Remind you of someone we all know? Shouldn't they have called the show "Toldja!" or did whatshername feel like she has intellectual (oxymoron) rights to that term? The show is obviously modeled after Deadline Hollywood doyenne Nikki Finke and while she'll probably gloat with pride that Hollywood is sooo obsessed with her that they made a show about her, she should note that its a comedy program and her juvenile antics, dirt smearing and yes, sometimes occasionally, good deep throat reporting will likely be skewered week in and week out.
Reuters mentions Sharon Waxman and Anne Thompson in their report about other examples of female Hollywood reporters who have "moved online" (uhh who isn't online?), but the difference between the two scribes is Waxman will probably squawk and argue that the show is actually about her, while Thompson will be momentarily amused and go back to her reporting.
Bill Condon and Cynthia Mort the creator of "Tell Me You Love Me" developed the show together and Condon also recently directed the pilot for the Showtime dark comedy "The C-Word" starring Laura Linney so its conceivable he too could direct a pilot or episode once its cast.
Condon also known for "Gods and Monster" and the Oscar nominated "Dreamgirls" which came up mostly empty handed in 2007 despite seven Academy nods. He was also attached to the Richard Pryor biopic last year which made a lot of noise in early 2009 when Eddie Murphy was set to play the comedic legend, but buzz seemed to fizzle when Marlon Wayans was announced as the new lead and we haven't heard jack since.
Back to Finke, uh we mean HBO's "Tilda." For our casting suggestions we elect Catherine Keener to play Sharon Waxman, Betty White to play irrelevant columnist Liz Smith (sort of the gentler antecedent to the DHD matriarch), Kevin Chapman (from "Mystic River") to play ex Variety scribe turned DHD contributor Mike Fleming (dood)and for Finke? Hmm, how about Megan Mullally with a blond wig and a bit age/never-see-sunlight make-up?
This writer ditched HBO almost two years ago in order to stop passively watching mediocre movies, but now must be making a local call to my terrible, thoroughly unreliable cable company who I will not call out by name even though they charge a fortune for godawful Internet service which moves at a snail's pace (fuck you Time Warner Cable).
In what will be music to studio execs' ears, director George Miller has expressed with brutal honesty strong skepticism over the potential success of his "Happy Feet" sequel, which began filming yesterday in Sydney with Robin Williams, Elijah Wood and Hank Azaria.
"I have no confidence whatsoever, you just never know," the director hilariously admits. "'Happy Feet' was successful I think because it seemed fresh. The sequel obviously can't be."
The original earned $384 million worldwide and an Oscar so you can understand his fears but surely the average family of parents and their 2.4 kids would eat this up.
Eat your heart out, Warner Brothers.
We're not movie marketing experts or anything, but isn't the whole point of dropping all kinds of coin on a Super Bowl spot supposed to make people sit through a game they wouldn't otherwise watch so they can be the first to see new footage or a film before it goes online?
Well, for whatever reasons, the Super Bowl spots are landing online days before the big game which is good news for us because it means we don't have to wait up Sunday night to scour the web to find these ads after they air.
We dropped the "Shutter Island" and "The Last Airbender" spots yesterday, and few more have come to our attention today. Ridley Scott's
"Gladiator" sequel "Robin Hood," Antoine Fuqua's long-delayed and semi-buzzed about "Brooklyn's Finest," and horror remake "The Crazies" are ready to blitz screens on Sunday, but you can get a look at 'em right now:
Well, we have to say it was kept pretty quiet, but Robin Williams' company Fiat Risus has lost their suit against Gold Circle for the $6 million the actor said he was owed in an apparent pay-or-play deal for "Cop Out."
The suit was lost when Gold Circle presented evidence was presented that a deal memorandum was never finalized. As you're probably well aware, the scuttled project eventually found a new home at Warner Brothers where it was directed by Kevin Smith, stars Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan and is set to open on February 26th.
The mind sort of reels at what this film might've been with Williams motor-mouthing through this. Hell, just the idea of Williams as a cop is sort of absurd. The suit was filed back in October 2008 some time after the original project fell apart which means the proposed cast back then was probably much different than it is in its current incarnation.
Anyway, we'll have to file this one under "what-could-have-been" and brace ourselves for the finished product which just got a new red-band trailer. Sigh.
Speaking with The Improper, Jennifer Connelly has discussed Dustin Lance Black's mainstream directorial debut "What's Wrong With Virgina," in which she'll star alongside Ed Harris (who replaced Liam Neeson), Emma Roberts and Amy Madigan.
The film centers on a charming but psychologically disturbed mother (Connelly) who holds a secret 20 year affair with a sheriff (Harris) now running for state senate. Their relationship is then tested when the mother's 16 year old son begins a relationship with the sheriff's daughter (Roberts).
"Yes, I love it, I love the script. It was written by and directed by Dustin Lance Black," explains the actress. "It’s really hard to pinpoint [what genre it falls under]. It’s funny, but it’s also really moving to me. It’s sort of a moving story of this woman who does have a lot wrong with her, but a lot that’s right about her and her relationship with her son who’s sort of a teen. She’s getting to the point where she kind of needs to let him go. It’s very funny because she’s wildly inappropriate. I thought the script was wildly funny, but also really sad."
Wildly funny? Now that's something we didn't expect. Connelly though seemed to be confused with her helmer's credentials seemingly mistaking that "it was like he was not a first time director. He was remarkable. He really had his wits about him. He’s a very clever guy." Lance Black has in fact been behind the camera numerous times albeit for a handful of lo-fi sexuality-tinged efforts early last decade.
The writer-director is best known though for his Oscar-winning "Milk" script and is due to reunite with Gus Van Sant for an adaptation of "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test." No release has yet been scheduled for 'Virginia' but, last we heard, Lance Black was already in post-production so maybe this fall?
You'll remember earlier this week eagle-eye'd Playlist scribe Simon Dang was the first to notice reports from Serbia where Johnny Depp revealed he would be directing a documentary on his old Rolling Stones buddy, Keith Richards, a rocker who he famously, affectionately parroted for his role in "Pirates Of the Caribbean."
Variety now chimes in and says that Depp will start working on the film next week. But what does that mean exactly? Will they start shooting soon? Unlikely. This probably means light pre-production unless Depp hands over the reigns to others in the meantime because his plate is rather full.
He is scheduled to be in Venice later this month to star alongside Angelia Jolie in director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's ("The Lives of Others") "The Tourist," a remake of the 2005 French romantic spy thriller, "Anthony Zimmer" starring Sophie Marceau and Yvan Attal (the latter also directed).
The shoot is expected to go on for around two months (and possibly three as Depp will have to come back to the U.S. for "Alice In Wonderland" press in March) at least and then Depp will probably have the spring off before he starts work again on "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" aka 'Pirates 4' to be directed by Rob Marshall.
When will he start working on it in earnest and or at least directing it? (if he doesn't find time to do so in that spring gap?). Well, recent reports suggest that Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" may not be ready to shoot in the fall, so there's another potential open slot (but not for too long, Emir Kusturica's 'Pancho Villa' film shoots in Bosnia in February).
The untitled Keith Richards documentary will be his first picture behind the camera in over ten years. His last directorial effort, 1997's "The Brave" starring himself and Marlon Brando was thoroughly panned at Cannes and TIFF that year and then never received proper U.S. distribution. One wonders if Depp would have loved to have shot a documentary about his late pal Hunter S. Thompson while he was still alive.
After a lifetime of comedic supporting roles and cameos, Patton Oswalt's dramatic turn as the lead in Robert Siegel's "Big Fan" earned him rave reviews and has seemingly opened doors for him all round as an actor.
Oswalt recently revealed in a GQ interview that, among a host of projects, he has two potential films lined up, one of which he co-scribed.
"[I've got] a book, a play and two movies—one I'm co-writing which I will act in, another I didn't write which I've been offered the lead in. But we'll see about those last two."
Unfortunately, no further information was provided regarding the film but his theater foray was previously revealed to be Terrence McNally's "Lips Together, Teeth Apart." Oswalt was also recently nominated for a Grammy for his comedy album "My Weakness Is Strong."
The pass-the-parcel on the rights to the "Terminator" franchise, which have been owned by more or less everyone in Hollywood at this point (we even believe that Luis Guzman held them for an hour and 45 minutes in 2005), shows no sign of letting up. After current rights holder Halycon went bankrupt last year, it looked for a while that Lionsgate had secured the series, with a bid of $15 million, plus 5% of future grosses.
Yesterday, however, was the final day for submitting bids (the auction is on Monday), and, according to Variety, Sony Pictures snuck in with a submission at the last minute. The studio already held international rights to "Terminator: Salvation," which proved far more profitable than the film's rather meager domestic gross, so they presumably think there's more money to be made here.
Even if Sony do retain the rights (we imagine they'll have put up more money than Lionsgate, although apparently the latter will get $750,000 even if they lose the auction -- man, why doesn't eBay work like that?), we think it's unlikely that the 'Salvation' take on the franchise will be continued, unless McG can do it for half a million dollars, recasts Dean Cain as John Connor, and releases it straight to Netflix. Whoever wins, we smell yet another remake/reboot in the works... Might as well make it 4D for good measure.
Mario Bello To Lead HBO's 'Emergency Sex,' Which She Will Also Produce Alongside Russell Crowe & Simon Beaufoy
Mario Bello is set to lead the provocatively titled new HBO drama, "Emergency Sex" which she will also produce alongside Russell Crowe and "Slumdog Millionaire" scribe Simon Beaufoy.
The show will chronicle the "larger-than-life exploits of expatriate nongovernment-organization workers who find their sanity tested in the face of atrocities, loneliness and primal desires." If that sounds made up, it's not. It's based on the memoir "Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures: A True Story From Hell on Earth," by Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait and Andrew Thomson in which they recount the seamier side of their U.N. peacekeeping missions in places such as Cambodia, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Rwanda and Liberia. Crowe purchased the rights to the book, hence his involvement.
This looks like it will be another winner from HBO who this year seem determined to prevent us from leaving the house. The Tom Hanks-produced followup to "Band Of Brothers," "The Pacific," "Boardwalk Empire" (with a pilot directed by Martin Scorsese) and David Simon's "Treme" are all set to debut this year, and that's not counting the stuff we already watch like "Hung" and "Bored To Death" returning with new seasons.
There are no production timelines yet for "Emergency Sex" but we would imagine it will air sometime in 2011.
McG, McG, McG. Having become one of the Intenet's favorite bête noires after the two "Charlie's Angels" films, he chased critical respect with the mediocre "We Are Marshall," and desperately, needily tried to win over the fanboys, to absolutely no avail, with "Terminator: Salvation." His planned adaptation of Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" was cancelled by the new Disney regime at the end of last year, so everyone's favorite vowel-free director has been without a project for a while.
But now, he's in talks to direct "This Means War," a romantic comedy for 20th Century Fox, set to star Reese Witherspoon and Bradley Cooper. The project has been in development for over ten years at this point, with the likes of Martin Lawrence and Gore Verbinski previously attached. It involves two spies, and best friends (Cooper, and an as-yet-unannounced actor), who fall in love with the same girl (Witherspoon). Interestingly enough, the Hollywood Reporter's story originally said that "their battle escalates to mammoth proportions, with New York City demolished in their wake" (thanks to Cinema Blend for picking that up), although it seems to have disappeared from the trade now. A detail they didn't want out yet?
Anyway, with that little detail, suddenly the hiring of McG for a rom-com makes sense, when that rom-com involves explosions and buildings collapsing. Both stars had been circling other projects -- Witherspoon's set to join the Francis Lawrence circus drama "Water for Elephants," while Cooper was rumored to be joining Cameron Diaz in "Bad Teacher" -- so we're not sure what effect this'll have on those projects. Neither star has had much critical success in rom-coms of late (Exhibit A, "All About Steve," Exhibit B, "Four Christmases"), and when culminating with McG, and the nearly unbreakable tenet of the more money a comedy costs, the less it makes you laugh? Well, consider yourself warned.
Danny McBride will once again reunite with film school buddy Jody Hill on the silver screen for Mandate Pictures' upcoming action comedy, "L.A.P.I."
The film is the first project under McBride, Hill and their fellow buddy David Gordon Green's Rough House banner and will center on a beaten down, hardboiled P.I. to be played by McBride. Not much more is known about the project but it's sure to explore their signature absurdest, super-awkward hit-or-miss style of comedy.
Writers Michael Diliberti and Matthew Sullivan, who had two scripts on 2009's Black List, pitched the story and Hill presumably co-scripting, as his written everything his directed thus far (they're also apparently writing a remake of "Brewster's Millions," for WB, which would make this the third re-do now). But again, details are sparse, so that's an educated guess.
McBride, Hill and writing partner Ben Best broke out in 2005 with their martial-arts-comedy "Foot Fist Way" subsequently joining fellow North Carolina film school friend Gordon Green in Hollywood. McBride And Gordon Green recently finished work on medieval-stoner-comedy "Your Highness" which shot in the U.K. and hit theaters October 1 while McBride (who also stars in that film, alongside James Franco), Hill and Best have been working on HBO's "Eastbound And Down."
Good casting. You know when you read a script and can picture an actor perfectly in a role? Well, Eric Bana didn't exactly come to mind when we read the script attributed to Seth Lochhead (though David Farr apparently was one of the writers as well) for "Hanna" — the Joe Wright thriller starring Saoirse Ronan, about a teenage girl raised as a lethal killing machine her entire life by her ex-CIA operative father — but hell, now that you mention it? He's perfect.
A type of young "La Femme Nikita" meets (wait for it) "Bourne" franchise story, Lochhead's script was an imperfect tale with zero lead-up and context, but it's a hellofa fun read, one of the easiest we've zipped through in a long time (god, a long script slog is the worst). And with Farr on board, presumably (hopefully) they've given this thing an intelligent first act overhaul — it's a bit of straight-forward chase/on-the-run picture, but again, very entertaining, engrossing and captivating once the ride starts.
Anyhow, there's basically three key players in the film and according to Variety, Bana has been cast in the role of the father, an ex-CIA operative who's defected and been on the run for what feels like a decade (or even longer). He's essentially raised his daughter in the woods on his own and she knows nothing about life, culture, or the world outside of what he's taught her and much of that centers on training to be a elite and focused assassin. The set-up sounds a little bit unbelievable, but whatever, it works. And yes, some of our readers scoff at projects like this, like they do Soderbergh's "Knockout" (which in a way also sounds semi-similar), but the major difference between that, "Hanna," and run of the mill spy chase thrillers is the talent involved.
Another reason why this film is exciting? Director Joe Wright. Yes, he's known for carefully observed, emotional dramas like, "Atonement" and "Pride & Prejudice," but we love it when someone as obviously talented as he is switches gears and tries something very different. Plus — "Quantum of Solace" aside — action should be easy (leave it to your stunt coordinators and second unit teams), and a good director should bring, heart, soul and intelligence to these pictures and (hopefully) elevate them to become something special. We've said it ad nauseum. The 'Bourne' pictures are different than most thriller-action films, because you actually care about the characters. We digress, but we're obviously hopeful that that's what happens here. Also, its Focus Features handling this picture, not the big studio heads — that should tell you something as well, if it's not already drastically evident.
Either way, Bana is an excellent addition to this cast. There's also two more key roles. Maria, the central female antagonist, an agent chasing down Hanna and another operative called simply, "The American" who is on her team, but seemingly angling with his own agenda. We're curious to know if they'll have names in these relatively small, but still crucial roles (we can kind of picture Playlist wife-to-be Rebecca Hall, in her first total, kick-ass bitch role).
We put "Hanna" in our Most Anticipated Films of 2010 feature, but only in a wishful thinking section. There's no word when the picture will shoot yet, but it surely won't be released until 2011.
Most of the time, it's a foolish journalist who tries to make a story out of additions to a film's IMDB page, but when those additions are confirmed by the star of the film, then it feels like solid enough ground to tread on. Simon Pegg, the star of John Landis' upcoming black comedy "Burke and Hare," which started filming in London last week, had already confirmed on Twitter that his partner-in-crime would be motion-capture king Andy Serkis, following the departure of David Tennant.
Tom Wilkinson and Isla Fisher joined the cast shortly afterwards, and now Pegg has confirmed that almost all of the cast list listed on IMDB is correct (with the exception of John Cleese apparently, who isn't in the film). And boy, what a cast list — it's a veritable who's who of British character actors and comedy greats. Aside from Pegg, Fisher, Serkis and Wilkinson, we've also got Hugh Bonneville ("Iris"), Mike Leigh veteran Allan Corduner, David Schofield (the "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequels) and David Hayman ("The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas").
Plus, most excitingly, the film will mark Pegg's reunion with the co-writer and co-star of his breakthrough hit comedy show "Spaced," Jessica Hynes (formerly Stevenson). The actress hasn't worked with Pegg since her brief cameo in "Shaun of the Dead." But she's forged a strong solo career starring in the likes of the brilliant "Son of Rambow," as well as garnering a Tony nomination for her excellent performance in "The Norman Conquests" on Broadway. From the sounds of it, she'll be playing the wife of William Hare (Serkis), while Fisher will play an actress being courted by William Burke (Pegg).
Hynes is in good company, as a number of fellow "Spaced" alumni are also in the cast. Reece Shearsmith, of the comedy group The League of Gentlemen is on board, alongside stand-ups Bill Bailey (who appears in the upcoming "Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang") and Michael Smiley, who played pilled-up cycle courier Tyres on the show.
Furthermore (yes, we're still going), a press release has also revealed that horror icons Tim Curry and Sir Christopher Lee will also have roles. Landis calls the film "a very black romantic comedy in the classic tradition of Ealing Studios' "Kind Hearts And Coronets" and "The Ladykillers," which, combined with the cast, is almost enough for us to book our tickets right now. We did say almost, however — Landis' form in the last, well, 25 years has been very poor, and the writers are behind the fairly dreadful cash-in comedies in the "St Trinian's" series. But, to attract a cast like this, it's got to look promising. Right?...
Press junkets kicked off today for the bland-looking kid's adventure "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," and Access Hollywood were the first to break what seemed like big news, as the film's 18-year-old star, Logan Lerman, revealed that he was in talks to take the lead role in Marc Webb's reboot of the "Spider-Man" franchise. The report subsequently spread across Twitter and the blogosphere like wildfire.
Of course, there's been a certain amount of gun-jumping by all involved, including Lerman. The actor told Access Hollywood that "It's one of my favorite characters ever and I'm a huge fan of the series. I'd love to have more conversations about it. I'm definitely very interested in it... It's just you know, conversations are starting. It's a long process with the studio and the producers and everything. But it's definitely a project that I'm really interested in, of course." (You can see the full interview below.) It sounds like, based on this, he hasn't gotten much further than being asked to come in for a meeting, or even just had an encouraging phone call from Sony.
This was confirmed pretty quickly by the Hollywood Reporter, who received denials both from Columbia Pictures, and from Lerman's management, the following telling the trade "No offers have been made, nor have any business discussions been made with Lerman." Indeed, even Marc Webb's deal hasn't even been closed yet (which is sort of intriguing, as it sounded like he was locked in weeks ago), and we'd at least like to think that Sony would wait until the ink was dry on Webb's contract before informing him which Tiger Beat cover star he was being forced to cast as Peter Parker.
So it sounds like Lerman got a little carried away, and tried to get his name out there, but he may have screwed himself out of a job, as studio executives don't always take that kindly to this kind of leakage. He was actually pretty good, as far as we remember, as Christian Bale's son in "3:10 To Yuma," so it wouldn't necessarily have been a terrible choice, but we imagine most of the actors of Lerman's age in Hollywood could also claim that they were having "discussion" with the studio, plus, as The Hollywood Reporter suggests, Lerman would be tied to future "Percy Jackson" sequels if that movie's a hit. This does, however, at least suggest the kind of actors that are being looked at for "(500) Days of Spider-Man," and seems to confirm the teen-angled, emo-Gen-Y, Jonas Bros/"Twilight"-influenced direction that some have feared.