Disney has jumped with gusto into their search for a director to their big budget 3D prequel tentpole extravaganza happening, "Oz The Great And Powerful." According to Vulture, an offer is on the table for Sam Raimi to direct Robert Downey Jr. in the "Wizard of Oz" reimagining, with hopes of getting in front of cameras this year.
With this movie, Disney is making an aggressive play, knowing Raimi, still a hot property, is currently unattached, and still one of the five or so most bankable filmmakers currently working. Other recent contenders include Adam Shankman (who bowed out of "Bob The Musical" with no guarantees of getting the "Oz" gig), Sam Mendes (who bolted from the project suspiciously quickly after being mentioned as a front-runner), Timur Bekmambetov (random name off Disney's Rolodex, probably last ditch option) and Guillermo Del Toro (who probably took a non-serious meeting).
Shooting this year throws into question the availability of Robert Downey Jr., but more on that in a second. As for Raimi, his schedule became a whole lot freer when he was unceremoniously dumped from the "Spider-Man" gig. He was originally set to segue from Spidey into Warner Bros.' "World of Warcraft" but with no "Spider-Man" production, everyone's been wondering what's going on with the video game adaptation. Raimi's coming off a multi-billion dollar franchise, so he's pretty much Peter Jackson post-LOTR right now - with the pick of any project, a top dollar salary, and the status of a saint mixed with a martyr (as Jackson, at the time, was considered to be left out of "Lord of the Rings" profits by New Line Cinema).
Is the offer sweet enough for Raimi? Seems doubtful. The fact that they've talked to a wildly diverse group of filmmakers and that they want 2010 shooting dates finalized means they want to be calling the shots on this project, and they merely want someone who's going to give them footage that looks both pretty and commercial. Raimi, who was under Marvel and Sony's thumbs for almost a decade, knows that type of environment when he sees it.
Studios are tightening their belts more and more, and with the number of sure-thing properties dwindling, you can almost smell the desperation setting in with several high-level execs hoping a filmmaker can deliver a hit. A move like this by Disney is transparent acknowledgment that this is their golden goose. Judging by what we've heard about the script, the sea of filmmakers being approached would be wise to refuse, but in the end, a payday is a payday. And speaking of soulless paydays, Tim Burton is still available.
Disney has jumped with gusto into their search for a director to their big budget 3D prequel tentpole extravaganza happening, "Oz The Great And Powerful." According to Vulture, an offer is on the table for Sam Raimi to direct Robert Downey Jr. in the "Wizard of Oz" reimagining, with hopes of getting in front of cameras this year.
This is what it's come to, people: the son of a shark-like studio executive directing a comic book adaptation mashing together two classic characters of literature and history who would never really cross paths. Probably in 3D. It's Breck Eisner, and it's "Blood of the Innocent."
"Blood of the Innocent" is a 1985 graphic novel (i.e. serious person comics without superheroes) where Dracula faces off against Jack the Ripper. We spent fifteen seconds Googling for a better synopsis before we said "fuck it" and set our stack of original screenplays afire. Bill Marsilii is the current screenwriter for the project, and his previous experience comes from the Denzel Washington-starrer "Deja Vu" and the recent re-launch of "Wind In The Willows" as well as the planned "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea." He's adapting the work of Mark Wheatley, who created "Blood of the Innocent" as well as something called "Frankenstein Mobster" that just... gah, just reading that kills the soul.
Eisner has a busy plate of projects we couldn't give a shit about. He plans on remaking, and completely ruining "Escape From New York" for an entire generation before hitting "Innocent" next, followed by a new version of "Flash Gordon" that no one asked for, but will require a $100 million budget anyway. He's also loosely attached to mangle David Cronenberg's "The Brood", meaning he will have defiled works from Cronenberg, George A. Romero and John Carpenter. There should be prisons for this sort of thing.
Stana Katic and Odette Yustman, the stars of some very specific Hollywood-loving masturbator's fantasies, have jumped aboard Michael Brandt's directorial debut "The Double." The thriller, which starts shooting June 21st in Detroit, concerns a retired CIA agent (Richard Gere) brought out of retirement to help a young FBI operative (Topher Grace) find a senator's killer. The CIA and FBI working together? Mass hysteria!
Katic, who can be seen weekly on ABC's modest hit drama "Castle" playing straight man to Nathan Fillion, will be playing a Russian prostitute who knows more than she's letting on. Yustman, who headlined the successful horror picture "The Unborn" and was one of the blurry youths mowed down in "Cloverfield," plays the wife of Grace's character, nervous that he's out in the field despite being a guy with the type of physicality and temperament that would limit him to the FBI's romantic comedy division.
Brandt helped write the script with writing partner Derek Haas, as they have done previously with "3:10 To Yuma" and "Wanted." They have a number of action scripts in development, including "The Matarese Circle," a "Matt Helm" movie and one of the eight thousand "Beverly Hills Cop IV" drafts, so clearly they know more than a little about action. Here's hoping first-timer Brandt impresses in his maiden voyage, and that "Beverly Hills Cop" sequel doesn't happen.
Hey, howzabout ending your work week with a nice serving of hot gay sex?
The gay farce "I Love You Phillip Morris" hasn't made it to our shores yet, though international audiences have already treated themselves to Glenn Ficarra and John Requa's true story about a con man who has a sexual reawakening in prison when he falls for his cellmate, setting up a series of ill-advised prison breaks. As such, scenes are making their way online, especially this explicit little segment of Jim Carrey's sexual conquests in the film.
No nudity, although the language and, um, thrusting is certainly nsfw, but it's Friday - pump the volume up! We especially like the fact that the humor in these clips is not the standard Hollywood mode of the homosexual as the "other" but rather how there are few differences in gay and hetero lust. Carrey seems like a guy that's been afraid to take risks in his career for the most part, especially post-"Eternal Sunshine," so it's both shocking and exhilarating to see him in this context.
The saga of "I Love You Phillip Morris" seems like an affair that will never end. Debuting at Sundance in early 2009, it took four months before no-name distributor Consolidated Pictures Group purchased the rights. As expected, the planned 2010 Valentine's Day release never happened, and the rights threatened to bounce to Newmarket Pictures. CPG balked at losing the rights, and all parties involved are in court while the company claims a late 2010 release is planned. If we're thinking realistically, we imagine Fox will end up exercising the home video rights to "Morris" before it hits theaters in America.
We'll guess the inexperienced marketing team at CPG has been long trying to both manage and budget an ad campaign for a film most mainstream filmgoers will reject on account of the frank sexuality on display. But it can't just be them, as "Morris" sat without a distributor for too long considering it's a comedy starring our most bankable comedic performer. People, we're fourteen years removed from "The Birdcage," an R-rated remake of a French film that had one of the world's biggest comedians prancing around as the gayest gay that ever gayed and it brought in $124 million domestically. This kerfuffle is partly CPG's fault, but there's something troubling about the moviegoing world's sudden bullshit squeamishness about homosexuality.
"Salaries are down, I don't know. I was actually talking to [writer/director] Adam McKay about this last night and we don't know. For some reason [Paramount doesn't] want to make it, I guess. I don't know. I hope it's one of those things that gets resolved because I think we're all excited to [do it]. But if it doesn't happen, we'll just look to do 'Anchorman 3.' The second one's never good anyway." — Brian Fantana (aka Paul Rudd), finds the ingenious way to get over the sophomore sequel slump. We gotta say, that's a pretty good work around.
Will Ferrell added, "They got to get their heads out of their you-know-whats and make that a reality. So the ball's in their court." What say you, Paramount? [MTV]
Uh oh. That sinking feeling of enough already that we felt earlier this year when about 20 names were being batted around as candidates for "Captain America" is beginning to settle in. The latest project to be subject to endless speculation is Marc Webb's forthcoming "Spider-Man" reboot with two more names being added to the growing list of potential contenders to wear the webbed spandex.
The LA Times reports that Aaron Johnson and Anton Yelchin have been added to the no-longer-short list of very early potential candidates to play Peter Parker. So just how early is this? No screen tests have been done yet (though they will apparently start soon) so expect a few more names to added to the list. Both actors have a decent amount of heat behind them, with Johnson doing the nerdy teenager with (fake) powers in "Kick-Ass" earlier this year, while Yelchin has done the awkward thing ("Charlie Bartlett") and has dipped his toes in tentpole territory with "Star Trek" and "Terminator: Salvation."
As you may recall, reports floated last week that Jamie Bell ("Jumper," "The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn") had been cast, but it seems he's just another name along with Josh Hutcherson ("Zathura," "Journey to the Center of the Earth"), Andrew Garfield ("Boy A," "The Social Network"), Alden Ehrenreich ("Tetro"), and Frank Dillane (one of the evil kids from the recent "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince") who will vie for the lead role in the film.
Johnson and Yelchin both do the awkward teenager schtick pretty well, so we could see them being good fits for the role, and really, all of the candidates seem to be decent choices and not too left of field (not like, say, John Krasinski for Captain America). Oh yeah, you notice one name that's not on there? Donald Glover. Sorry, Internet campaign.
So just when might Peter Parker be revealed? Well Comic-Con is around the corner and Sony could make a big splash by announcing it there. And if screen tests really are imminent it could mean Webb wants to make a decision soon. We hope he does just so we can stop writing this same story every week.
It seems the Internet got a collective case of amnesia with a whole bunch of old stories breaking as new in the past day. "Breaking Dawn" in two parts? No shit. "Transformers 3" in 3-D? That was revealed back in February, and now the earth shattering news that Geoffrey Rush is going to star in "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides."
Variety, always on top of breaking stories [insert eye roll], reported that the actor has returned for the film that starts shooting this week in Hawaii. Only thing is, MTV reported this last year (which we noted at the time) and pretty much everyone else knew Rush was involved. Is there any wonder why the trade is struggling?
Anyways, we'll close this story by exclusively reporting that Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane, Stephen Graham and newcomers Astrid Berges-Frisbey and Sam Clafin are in the film as well. Oh yeah, it's also about pirates.
Ian McKellan Gives 'The Hobbit' Fans More False Hope: Says The Film Is Casting This Month & Will Shoot At The End Of Year
Listen, we like Ian McKellan, he's a nice guy and a great actor, but he should really just cool it with "The Hobbit" prognosticating already. At least in public.
The thespian has hit Twitter today to assuage Middle Earthers that: "'Hobbit' sets are ready, script ready and movie is casting this month. Fans are not to worry" and even more "The films will get made. I suspect we'll start shooting at end of this year." We'd love to believe him, but his track record is terrible.
Remember last August when he said the movie had cast its Bilbo Baggins and he was expecting a script to arrive at any moment? Or last fall when he said the movie would shoot in the spring? Or even this spring when he said the film would shoot this summer?
Sorry Ian, we're sure Peter Jackson and everyone else is telling you not to take Christmas vacation in the Bahamas this year, in the hopes that the project can clear its many hurdles and hopefully get in front of cameras by the end of the year. But the film needs a greenlight first before any director or cast can be brought on board in anything resembling an official capacity. And as Jackson himself noted earlier this year, any talk of start dates without a greenlight is simply premature and deals for actors can't be put in place until there is money to give them now.
Now, is Peter Jackson potentially meeting with directors and actors? We don't doubt it. But the elephant in the room is MGM. They simply have no money. Just yesterday news arrived that they shelved the upcoming "Red Dawn" because they wouldn't have any funds to promote it. While it is possible that something is happening behind the scenes that would allow MGM to stabilize and the project to move foward, we figure McKellan's knowledge about what is happening is about as good as ours. Hell, just look at how long it's taking Disney to finalize a deal for Miramax. The MGM situation is like that but multiplied ten times over. There is simply no quick fix.
That said, yes, scripts and sets are surely ready, after all, the film has been in development for two years. "The Hobbit" is pretty much good to go if and when money is found to fund this thing. But until it does, McKellan's guess is really as good as ours as to when it might happen.
For a small independent film with virtually no budget, shot on 16mm and boasting a cast of unknowns, "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" has launched a surprising six posters for the film. Of course, we're sort of being dicks, but seriously, the hype on the film which is two months away from hitting theaters is already deafening and we're just trying to keep our expectations in check.
Hitting the web today are six fresh posters for the film dedicated to the seven evil exes Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) will need to defeat in order to win the heart of Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). So just who are they? Matthew Patel (Satya Bhabha), Lucas Lee (Chris Evans), Todd Ingram (Brandon Routh), Roxy Richter (Mae Whitman), Kyle and Ken Katayanagi (Shota & Keita Saito) and Gideon Graves (Jason Schwartzman).
You can check out bigger versions of the posters at the link above. The Edgar Wright-directed film will hit theaters on August 13th.
When it was announced earlier this week that Tony Gilroy was returning to the 'Jason Bourne' series you'll notice we were careful to not call the film, "Bourne 4" and we even said we thought Deadline Hollywood's report was kind of unclear and vague.
Which it kinda was. And or left room for interpretation. For example, MTV called the film a "sequel, not a prequel," /Film called the project "Bourne 4," etc. etc. And the devil is always in the details, right?
Well, we reached out to Universal who said a lot of the 'Bourne' reporting out there was "misleading" and the film was officially not a prequel or a sequel, but "a continuation of the franchise, period."
What that suggests to us is what we've basically been saying all along. Matt Damon is probably not coming back (as some have assumed) and as the "Bourne bible" that Gilroy is writing already suggests, the series will likely continue to tell related stories in the Operation Treadstone storyline; obviously many other agents like Damon's Jason Bourne already existed in the trilogy.
Also, another small detail some missed or extrapolated too much is the fact that Gilroy is only writing a treatment, not the screenplay. That doesn't mean he won't eventually pen the screenplay, but right now he is writing a treatment and bible, presumably so other filmmakers can continue on telling these further stories.
Again, will Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon return? Damon's loyal and has said he will not return without the British helmer, and you can believe the kiss and make up comments all you want, but the proof was in the pudding with "Green Zone," which cost over $150 million dollars to make and only grossed $57 million internationally. Both parties were obviously not happy how that played out and yes, time heals all wounds even in grudge-heavy Hollywood — the filmmaker and studio need each other here — but they are planning ahead and planning for a world without both the key actor and director, these details tell you as much.
"The Bourne Legacy" will hit theaters sometime in 2012.
"Don Quixote" is one of those books that sits on our bookshelf shaming us that we haven't cracked the 1,500-page landmark novel, but Warner Bros. is giving hope to those English students who want to find a quick way out of having to read the thing.
Pajiba reports that the studio is fast-tracking a tentpole movie version of "Don Quixote" with Joel Silver to produce. Silver is familiar with bringing literary work to the big screen, having his fingerprints on last year's hit "Sherlock Holmes," which is already gearing up to shoot the sequel this fall. But for those English students happy to have an easy cheat, they are in for a world of disappointment. The film, not surprisingly, will play fast and loose with the source material (much like 'Holmes' did) and reveal "that Don Quixote isn’t crazy and that there is, in fact, a fantasy world." Much swashbuckling ensues. It's probably not to hard to guess the project will skew young and be sexed up. It's pretty much a standard template at this point.
Of course, there is one other "Don Quixote" project in the works, namely Terry Gilliam's long-gestating and seemingly plagued "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote." Though Gilliam seems to be ready to get this thing rolling, scouting locations earlier this year, it still needs financing. Ewan McGregor is tentatively attached but the project is far from a sure thing. That said, even if it does, it would hardly be seen as a threat to WB's much more mainstream, razzle dazzle, and probably 3-D version.
The WB/Silver "Don Quixote" is still in early stages so there's no word on a screenwriter or cast but those details will surface in time. For now, we just leave you with the thought that one of literature's touchstone achievements is being left in the hands of the guy who produced "Gothika," "Fred Claus" and "Cradle 2 Tha Grave." Just sayin'.
File under: news that everyone under the sun expected, but hey, why not close the loop on this one while we're at it.
As long suspected the fourth installment of the "Twilight" franchise, "Breaking Dawn," has been broken up ala "Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows" into two separate pictures.
Why make four "Twilight" books into five films? The same reason why seven "Harry Potter" films were broken up into eight films: more bang for the studios buck, after all Summit Entertainment has grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide with the first two films combined. Though the studios maintain the fourth book was "too complex to be adapted into a single movie," which makes us roll on the floor laughing.
The reasons for the delayed official announcement about "Breaking Dawn" being separated into a part one and two? Because all the 'Twilighters' had initially signed on for four films and a fifth film allowed them to renegotiate for mega-money now that they're mega-stars (Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, but even the C-listers in the cast tried to hold out for ridiculous amounts of money). Those deals were closed a few weeks ago and it was probably also a matter of getting Stephenie Meyer paid extra and the screenwriter who's still probably mapping out both films.
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn," is scheduled to hit theaters November 18, 2011 and part two has not been given an official release date, but expect it probably in the summer of 2012. Bill Condon ("Dreamgirls") is directing both. The third installment, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," directed by David Slade hits theaters at the end of this month on June 30.
When it comes to franchises, we guess the mandate is, strike when the iron is lukewarm. On the heels of the nearly $500 million worldwide gross of "Clash of the Titans," the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures are gearing up for a full 3D shoot in January on a part two for director Jonathan Liebesman. Why the rush? It looks like it's only a matter of time before Sam Worthington signs up for another go-round on Pandora for James Cameron, so the WB wants to claim him before any other time-sensitive franchises.
Who is Jonathan Liebesman, you ask? Prepare to see his name linked to tons of geeks properties in the near future. The heat around the young filmmaker came from a Roald Dahl short he completed in high school, getting him the gig for the low-rent chiller "Darkness Falls." He earned a lot of genre respect for shooting a fifteen minute short for "The Ring" DVD's that bridged the gap between the first two films, while also directing a financially-successful "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" prequel. So yeah, he works cheap and profitable, and no doubt he'd be considered one of the Masters of Horror, considering their low expectations.
Liebesman has a big budget actioner coming up, the Aaron Eckhart-fronted "Battle: Los Angeles," that has Sony execs impressed. He earned that gig by filming an unsolicited CGI-filled audition reel, much like the recent "Mortal Kombat" internet clip, so he's nothing if not ambitious. His last film, the pyrotechnics-free "The Killing Room," quietly went straight-to-DVD, but no one seems to be troubled by that. Liebsman had been preparing an adaptation of "Odysseus" for WB with the "300" producers when they figured, hey, let's make these ideas franchiseable!
We're not sure where you go with a sequel, as the first film was generally nonsensical, edited and re-edited with a hacksaw. We've heard the DVD will clear up a lot of this confusion with a number of deleted scenes, but a lot of the excised footage concerns material that was reshot and/or contradicted with the final product. In other words, if the DVD doesn't sell well, expect to see the term "reboot" obnoxiously thrown around. Sam Worthington declined to comment, as he was busy listlessly grimacing.
With "The Hobbit" now a thing of the past for Guillermo Del Toro, he has an absurd number of potential projects on his plate to start movement on but it appears he has added one more.
According to Pajiba's Hollywood Cog Del Toro is producing a new big screen "Van Helsing" tale that will be based on his own treatment. Before anyone begins to worry, no, this project is not a sequel or prequel of any kind to Stephen Sommer's awful 2004 film of the same. Instead, it's a brand new film that's being described, not surprisingly, as an "action horror story."
The project is set up at Universal where Del Toro inked a deal back in 2008 to develop and direct four monster movies that at the time of signing included "Frankenstein," "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," "Slaughterhouse-Five" (more sci-fi than moster though) and "At the Mountains of Madness," an an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft that's a pet project for the director. Will "Van Helsing" push one of these out and become a directing gig for Del Toro? That remains to be seen. The project is currently seeking writers to expand Del Toro's treatment into a screenplay.
As for "The Hobbit," everything is still at a stand still. No director has been announced to fill in the empty chair behind camera and the film is still awaiting a greenlight from the ailing MGM, who just shelved the release of upcoming remake "Red Dawn."
Yeah, so paparazzi shots are not so much our thing you probably noticed, but we woke up this morning to several emails in our inbox with links to the fact that Brad Pitt and Terrence Malick were spotted together in L.A.
One L.A. reader actually had seen them together and then googled and found the image on WENN.
Is that actually Terrence Malick? It sure looks like it to us. What is the recluse doing out in public in Los Angeles of all places, practically wearing matching outfits with Mr. Angelina Jolie? Is that a script he's holding (speculative drool)? What does this mean for "The Tree of Life?" Does Brad still have to do ADR or additional voice over work?
We're not going to posit conjecture further than that, but we are intrigued somewhat and hell, with the number of responses this a.m., we figured, what the hell: Fyi, Terrence Malick sometimes does leave the house.
Steven Soderbergh's Spy Thriller, 'Knockout,' Becomes 'Haywire' & Now Set For A January 2011 Release
When we first reported about Steven Soderbergh's spy thriller, "Knockout" starring mixed martial arts champion Gina Carano, we did say the title of the film was a working one and would probably change, did we not?
And change it has. According to tweets by Jules Asner, Soderbergh's wife, and other tweets and message board reports at a recent screening, the film is now titled, "Haywire" and has been set for a January 2011 release.
The film has an incredible supporting cast including Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender ("Inglourious Basterds," "Hunger"), Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas, Bill Paxton (who made a last minute sub-in for Dennis Quaid who had to drop out), Michael Angarano, French actor and director Mathieu Kassovitz ("Amelie," Spielberg's "Munich").
The film centers on a black ops soldier (Carano) who seeks revenge after she is betrayed and set up during a mission. We read the Lem Dobbs-penned script earlier this year and it is no frills, taut and lean to the bone at just over 90 pages; a riveting and sharp read.
If the picture is screening, has a title and is scheduled, it sounds like it's basically done and awaiting its release by Lionsgate. The action thriller was shot all over the world including Barcelona, New Mexico and Dublin.
Next up for Soderbergh is the Scott Z. Burns-written virus thriller "Contagion" which is scheduled to shoot this fall in 3D and features an amazing all-star cast that includes Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard and Laurence Fishburne. Warner Bros. has already given it a October 21, 2011 release date.
However, since then, Carnahan has deeply disappointed us; "Smokin' Aces" took a strong cast and put them in a muddled, sub-Guy-Ritchie shoot-em-up, while "The A-Team" seems to see Carnahan channeling his inner Dominic Sena. But what of the projects that have fallen by the wayside, all of which seemed far more interesting than this weekend's TV adaptation?
Sure, the world loves it when a plan comes together and Joe Carnahan's "A-Team" wasn't that bad (ok, it gave one of us a headache, but it had some entertaining charms). And yes, we understand the filmmaker may not have had much choice, the passion projects he really wanted to make, many listed here, pretty much fell apart without his control, but did he really have to helm a feature-length version of a pretty mediocre '80s TV show that didn't even break the coveted 100 episodes mark? Below are five films that Carnahan was at one stage set to direct, and that we rather wish he had.
While legendary drug dealer Pablo Escobar's principle portrayal in Hollywood has been as the subject of the disastrous biopic-within-a-TV-show "Medellin" in "Entourage," Carnahan's been working to adapt "Black Hawk Down" author Mark Bowden's book "Killing Pablo" for years. The non-fiction work focuses on the attempts by the U.S. and Colombian military, as well as rival cartels, to take down Escobar, the Colombian dealer/terrorist who at one stage was estimated to be the seventh richest man in the world and controlled 80% of the global cocaine market. Carnahan set up the project with Javier Bardem attached since 2003 as Escobar and Christian Bale to play Major Steve Jacoby, who leads the U.S. efforts in Carnahan's script. The project was initially set up in 2003 at DreamWorks and Paramount, but was delayed as Carnahan took on his various other projects. After "Bunny Lake Is Missing" collapsed in 2007, the door seemed clear with the Bob Yari Group set to finance. Carnahan spoke about shooting the project digitally, possibly on the Red camera (as used on "Che" and "District 9"), and even received the backing of Escobar's son. Bardem dropped out of the project after his Oscar win in early 2008, but Carnahan swiftly replaced him with Edgar Ramirez ("The Bourne Ultimatum"; Antoine Fuqua had a dueling project named "Escobar" that Ramirez was also rumored to be a part of at one time with Oliver Stone producing). Unfortunately, when Yari Film Group filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2008, the project was stalled and Carnahan moved on to "The A-Team." A recent interview suggests that he was still keen to direct it if the opportunity arose, and we hope he gets around to it at some stage; the widely circulated script (which Carnahan himself posted on his now defunct blog) is a good piece of work.
"Bunny Lake Is Missing"
Remaking the classic Otto Preminger psychological thriller about a young woman who reports that her daughter (the titular Bunny Lake) is missing, only to be confronted by charges that she never existed might not have been Carnahan's brightest ideas ever, but at least he recognized why the project would have been a growth step he has yet to take. "I thought I was taking myself out of my comfort zone and doing a film with a really strong female lead and a little girl, and understanding that dynamic and challenging myself," he said in retrospect earlier this year. Carnahan was about to make the picture, but its star Reese Witherspoon pulled out only five weeks before filming was supposed to start in March 2007. The financiers were said to be scrambling to find a new lead, but considering Witherspoon's Type A Productions were the actual producers the project was waylaid with near insurmountable problems the minute she walked (Carnahan also ditched his manager right after... who also coincidentally managed someone named Reese Witherspoon). The script was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright who wrote Phil Kaufman's "Quills," and has penned the George Gershwin biopic that Steven Spielberg may or may not make. "Bunny Lake was a kind of time and place [situation]," Carnahan said. "It was one of those things that, in the end, I'm glad didn't move forward because in hindsight I think it would have probably been a mistake." Still, flawed or not, it would have been nice to see Carnahan flex some different types of muscles that we're now not completely sure he even possesses. At the very least it would have been amusing to see what modern band would have stood in for the gratuitous appearance of The Zombies in the original (Best case scenario: Spoon, worst case: Maroon 5).
For every male, teenage kid going through their classic rock phase, they eventually reach a crossroads where prog-rock comes into the picture. While this writer never became enamored with the likes of Yes and King Crimson, others embrace the genre with gusto and if you did, there was no doubt that Rush soon became a part of your steady listening rotation. While this writer was never a big fan of the band (though he did own a copy of 2112 on cassette), the latest documentary from Sam Dunn and Scott McFadyen ("Metal: A Headbanger's Journey," "Global Metal") is engaging, interesting and fun enough that even non-fans will have a blast.
By any measure, personnel wise, Rush are the most boring band on the planet (and in the outtake footage over the end credits, frontman Geddy Lee even warns the documentarians that they may be in for a world of disappointment). No drugs, no women, no debauchery, no internal band conflict, Rush are beyond the stereotype of the "polite" Canadians. If anything, Rush is the rare story of a band who got along, made records, progressed their craft, stayed curious and along the way became third only to the Beatles and The Rolling Stones in terms of most consecutive Gold or Platinum albums sold (seriously). A remarkable feat for a band, now pushing over forty years in the biz, who never had anything to the mainstream success of those bands.
Richard Linklater Says 'Dazed & Confused' Sequel "Just Sitting There"; Hopes To Do 'Fargo'-Esque True Crime Story Next
If there's a ratio of affability to asshole on the karmic scale, something has really gone out of wack for filmmaker Richard Linklater in recent years, one of the most genial people in the industry who deserves some better luck.
In the last year, the filmmaker has had two projects go by the wayside (the spiritual sequel to "Dazed & Confused" which was shelved last summer, and the roadtrip buddy dramedy, "Liars A-E" that went under when Miramax collapsed) and one basically limp into theaters on a tiny and minuscule release ("Me & Orson Welles," which only grossed $1.7 million despite a much bigger budget — though note the Box-Office Mojo estimated budget seems way overinflated).
"It's the best time and the worst time to be a filmmaker," Richard Linklater said paradoxically, noting the shift in the industry towards high concept, but understanding these periods provide fertile creativity to newcomers. The director was in New York yesterday with author Eric Schlosser to appear at a post-screening discussion of their 2006 collaboration "Fast Food Nation" at the eclectic 92YTribeca screening series (the picture is obviously based off of Schlosser's influential investigative journalism look into the American food industry and he co-wrote the screenplay).
Always an amiable and ever approachable person, we spoke to the filmmaker after the screening and asked about several gestating projects and his woes in the industry.
Linklater admitted his disappointment with the release of "Me & Orson Welles" which almost became a self-release and then instead became a type of ignored and fumbled one. "You try go your own way and like... even the people who should be helping out they kind smell it on you," he said about the attempt of a self-release that he later backed away from. "They hear you're self-distributing, they just, it's almost like a stigma. Even though they know the film industry is fucked up, they still penalize you. They still kind of go in for the kill. They kind of treat you like, 'oh you never got a distributor, huh?' They just don't want to embrace [the idea] at all."
Another weekend and another set of reboots and remakes. This week Hollywood has its sights set squarely on that most distinguished of decades, the 1980s. Classic family film "The Karate Kid" returns in high gloss fashion, while "The A-Team" amazingly makes their first trip to the silver screen. We imagine that most of the international audience will be busy watching the World Cup, so this could be one of the milder weekends at the box office this summer. In limited runs: the Sundance fave "Winter's Bone" is released, alongside the period drama "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky" and the surprisingly engaging documentary "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work."
A refreshingly unflinching celebrity documentary "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" arrives in a limited run today. The film offers a glimpse at an entire year in the legendary comedienne's life as she willingly discusses her career and personal life, from her love of plastic surgery, her fallout with Johnny Carson, her husband's suicide, winning "Celebrity Apprentice" and everything in between. We posted a review yesterday, finding a surprisingly raw and compelling documentary that is as far away from a fluff piece as you could imagine. RT: 90% Metacritic: 81.
You know a studio is in trouble when completed films are now forced to stay on the shelf. MGM, whose tales of woe could probably fill an entire book or two by now, have now put aside another film project. The nearly completed "Red Dawn" remake, starring Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck, Adrianne Palicki and Jeffrey Dean Morgan has officially been shelved and will not hit theaters on its planned release date of November 24, 2010.
Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. MGM's last release, "Hot Tub Time Machine," wasn't the "The Hangover"-sized success suits were hoping for and with "Red Dawn" pegged for a Thanksgiving release, we really don't see where the bankrupt studio would've found the money necessary to market the movie. The film would've also had to contend with squaring off against the action-thriller "Faster" with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson opening on the same day.
So what will happen with "Red Dawn"? Well, the film does star Thor himself and could be an attractive option for another studio looking to pad out their release schedule. It should be noted that Sony stepped in to distribute "The Zookeeper" starring Kevin James which was originally an MGM film, so its very probable another studio/distributor could swoop in and manage something similar. The film is mostly finished, but apparently still needs a soundtrack.
This news probably also spells doom for the other lone film in MGM's release calendar, the 3D horror film "Cabin In The Woods" currently slated for a January 14, 2011 release. Written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, with the latter directing, the film also stars Chris Hemsworth (poor guy). We figure its only a matter of time before that film is announced to be shelved as well.
Of course, we don't have to remind you that the studio's financial problems put "Bond 23" on indefinite hiatus earlier this year and "The Hobbit" is still without a greenlight or a director. MGM is currently being managed by a team of debt holders as they try and sort things out, but we're not quite sure how the studio is going to climb out of its hole, aside from being sold either outright or in pieces.
Underrated comedy star Adam Scott has joined the cast of Jesse Peretz's promising indie comedy "My Idiot Brother," starring Paul Rudd in the titular role.
The actor also joins the recently announced quartet of actresses -- Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Rashida Jones and Emily Mortimer -- and will play a neighbor of Rudd's protagonist, an idealist who crashes at the homes of his three ambitious sisters and brings truth, happiness and a sunny disposition into their lives while also wreaking havoc.
After an already burgeoning career with an eclectic bunch of roles in films such as "Knocked Up" and "Step Brothers," Scott has since come into his own leading the Rudd-produced Starz comedy series "Party Down" which no doubt led to his recent casting on NBC's popular series "Parks And Recreation." It's great to see him now getting the silver screen attention he deserves, even if Rudd probably gave Peretz and company a massive shove Scott's way.
Lensing on "My Idiot Brother" will begin next month in New York from a screenplay by David Schisgall and Vanity Fair writer Evgenia Peretz with Anthony Bregman, Peter Saraf and Marc Turtletaub producing.
Could this anonymous posting on an unofficial Facebook group dedicated to the film be the first poster for Sofia Coppola's Chateau Marmont-set family drama "Somewhere"?
It's very much in the flavor of Coppola's work and features a beautiful never-before-seen shot of the film's stars, Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning, with the backdrop of the famous Los Angeles hotel leading us to believe it's at least an authentic creation — how official it really is remains to be seen but we're glad there are people out there who appreciate "film art."
"Somewhere," of course, centers on a hard-living Hollywood star (Dorff) whose transient lifestyle is turned on its head when his estranged 11 year old daughter (Fanning) drops in for an unexpected visit.
A flurry of cameos and colorful supporting roles are expected, including the likes of Chris Pontius, Michelle Monaghan, Benicio Del Toro, Alden Ehrenreich, indie-rockers Rooney and Playboy bunnies Karissa and Kristina Shannon. Coppola's partner Thomas Mars, meanwhile, will be contributing original music as well as feature on the soundtrack with his band Phoenix's 2009 song, "Love Like A Sunset."
"Somewhere" hits theaters on December 22nd and is expected to premiere at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals later this year. [via I Heart Sofia]
We have to say, the remake of the Dudley Moore's 1981 comedy "Arthur" is shaping up quite nicely. As you may know, Russell Brand is already on board to play the drunken playboy with Helen Mirren in line to play Arthur's put-upon nanny and Greta Gerwig to portray the common girl who forces Arthur to choose between marrying for money or love. And it seems the filmmakers are continuing with some inspired casting choices.
Jennifer Garner and Nick Nolte are now in talks to join to the film. Garner would the "heiress who carries her own secrets and whom Brand must marry" in order to retain his fortune while Nolte would play "her deeply religious father." Yes, please. For Garner, its another interesting selection for the actress who has just wrapped up the butter-sculpting, political comedy "Butter" while we'll always take a helping of hilarious/bonkers Nolte.
The film will be helmed by Jason Winer, the director and co-creator of the ABC sitcom "Modern Family," and is based on a script by "Borat" writer Peter Baynham (we ready an earlier draft of the script, and liked it). No official word yet on when production will start, but it seems to gearing up for a summer shoot.
Amidst all the ear-splitting explosions, flying tanks, and gratuitous shots of Bradley Cooper's abs (someone up there likes me), there's a story somewhere in "The A-Team." But discovering it — and any sense of logic — is as difficult as finding a bespectacled, be-striped Waldo on the Fourth of July. Yes, there's a silly plot about a team of four renegade, wrongly disgraced Special Forces soldiers who have to use all their skills to track down a set of printing plates for $100 bills while they try to clear their names, but that's not really the point.
Even if you can't concede that "The A-Team" is a good film (it's not), the movie will give you a B.A. Baracus-approved beating to ensure that you have a good time (you will). It's brash and brainless, but it's tough not to giggle at the jokes and stare slack-jawed at some of the more epic set pieces. For those who accuse director Joe Carnahan ("Smokin' Aces") of killing your childhood by taking the beloved Stephen J. Cannell '80s TV series and turning it into this movie, there are more blame-worthy directors to target: namely Stephen Sommers ("G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra") and Michael Bay ("Transformers").
Carnahan — along with editor Jim May and D.P. Mauro Fiore — isn't subtle, but the filmmaker does have a style. This isn't your average, aimless action pic, which is content to show you explosions and fistfights. The editing is fast enough to give you whiplash, and the close-ups shove you into the actors faces. The film is hyper-violent in a way that only a PG-13 movie can be, quickly cutting away from what could be too much for the MPAA to another shot of destruction. Alan Silvestri's score serves as a clue for the quality of the scene. If there are strings and would-be-serious dialogue, prepare for eye-rolling. Bad electric guitar wails mean action, which translates to fun here.
Peter Berg's 'Battleship' Takes Evasive Action To Avoid 'Men In Black 3D' Collision, Changes Date To May 18, 2012
"Move bitch, get out the way, get out the way," is how the Ludacris song goes, no? Maybe we have that on the brain because of the Les Grossman film news.
Anyhow, it's an appropriate couplet because it might be the tune that "Men In Black 3D" is singing to all comers as it races to screens two summers from now.
And perhaps sensing an implacable juggernaut they can't even face, Universal has jumped ship and steered their Peter Berg-directed "Battleship" out of the May 25, 2012 slot they both occupied. "Battleship," which will star Taylor Kitsch fighting aliens on board a naval vessel (yes, it's a loose interpretation of the Milton Bradley game), has now moved to a week earlier on May 18. Collision crisis averted! No battleships have been sunk!
Currently occupying that same date is DreamWorks' "Madagascar 3," but presumably those are two distinctly different audiences and from everything we've heard, "Battleship" might be headed for a hard PG-13 (lol, that's the new, "we're almost Rated R!"). Apparently, while the film won't be in 3-D (or at least that's the line they are spinning now, but we won't be surprised if that changes) it will also star Tom Arnold. Filming starts in August, all hands on deck!
Add this one to the growing list of "Batman 3" rumors that are surfacing. In a throwaway comment made by Goeff Boucher at the LA Times Hero Complex Blog (via /Film), he mentions that he's going to be interviewing Christopher Nolan this weekend and will ask him about the next installment of the Batman franchise “which starts shooting in March.” Um, say what?
While the film has already been pegged with a July 20, 2012 release, no official production start date has been set, but March does make sense. Does Boucher know something we don't know or was it just a brain fart/mix up with something else? File it under another random "Batman 3" rumor nugget for now and don't expect any official news on the film to come down the line until Nolan and Warner Bros. wrap up promoting "Inception," though Comic-Con would seem to be the right place for them to start revealing what they have in store.
And in case you missed it, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's reps have denied the latest rumor that he'll be playing the Riddler in the the film. Oh well.
We can't say we blame Fox executives for wanting to keep the "Avatar" money train going with a $2 billion dollar haul at the box office. But the fierce marketing effort by both James Cameron and the studio to present themselves as keen environmentalists is kind of reaching the point of absurdity. We don't need to mention the planned out double dip of the "Avatar" DVD and BluRay with a bare bones release hitting stores last Earth Day with another extras-laden release planned for the Christmas season. And now, Fox plans to unleash more product tie-ins this fall.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that more "Avatar" "merchandise for the key back-to-school, Halloween and holiday shopping seasons, including costumes, board games and bedding items" is on the way. Hooray. As much as we'd like to believe that these will produced with an eye towards green manufacturing and carbon footprints, the reality is these will probably be coming from various overseas factories whose concern for pollution and regulations might be less stringent than ours.
And really, does anybody need a fucking "Avatar" backpack/pencil case/stocking/pillow? And the majority of this stuff is eventually going to end up in discount bins, garage sales and eventually into landfills. So much for protecting Pandora. We guess we shouldn't be outraged at Hollywood's hypocrisy (shock!) but when it comes from a film that built so much of its marketing (and its plot) around its environmental posturing, it just makes us that more cynical. And we bet you thought we couldn't get any more cynical....