"I'd hate to take a bite outta you. You're a cookie full of arsenic." -- J.J. Hunsecker
Adding to what is shaping up to be an already stellar year for classic film at The Criterion Collection, Alexander Mackendrick's classic, caustic, sneering noir "Sweet Smell Of Success" is coming to the boutique label.
Playfully "announced" via a photo posted (see below) to Criterion's Facebook page showing the film being prepped within the confines of the company's technical studio the release, it is widely expected to arrive both on DVD and BluRay (as it has been shown on MGMHD regularly for the past little while). At any rate, it should definitely improve upon the bare bones disc that is currently in stores.
As per usual, if you haven't seen this, queue it up at NetFlix and then buy it when it comes out; the wonderfully dark film follows influential newspaper columnist J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) who uses his influence to force a press agent (Tony Curtis) -- eager to get his clients mentioned in Hunsecker's column -- to do some dirty work to split up a relationship between Hunsecker's sister and a jazz guitarist. While beautifully photographed, and finely acted, the film is notable for its absolutely crackerjack, high wire dialogue. You will not find another film with as many deliciously acidic bon mots as this one.
This film marks yet another classic film arriving from Criterion in a year already stacked with with enough to bankrupt even the most casual cinephiles. Roberto Rossellini's War trilogy; John Ford's "Stagecoach"; Carol Reed's "Night Train To Munich"; Leo McCarey's "Make Way For Tomorrow"; Nicholas Ray's "Bigger Than Life"; Sidney Lumet's "The Fugitive Kind"; the forthcoming trio of Josef Von Sternberg silents "Underworld," "The Last Command" and "The Docks Of New York" as well as the recently announced "Night Of The Hunter" should quash anyone's doubts as to Criterion's commitment to the classics. [via Blu-ray.com]
"I'd hate to take a bite outta you. You're a cookie full of arsenic." -- J.J. Hunsecker
Is 'The Hobbit' At Risk Of Losing Ian McKellen? Actor Says An Announcement Regarding Film's Status Is "Imminent"
Is Ian McKellen losing his patience with the protracted delays of "The Hobbit," trying to convey a message to producers and or just stating the facts?
In an interview with New Zealand’s Good Morning show, the actor -- who is probably partly at fault for giving fans too much hope this year, once claiming the film would shoot this summer -- admits the film has been delayed, but that an "announcement is imminent."
What's that announcement going to state exactly? "It'll either be, we're going ahead or we're not," McKellen said. The actor who will portray the wizard Gandalf The Grey if the "Lord Of The Rings" prequel does indeed go forward says his window of availability is shrinking and he's not actually signed any kind of deal yet.
"Well, I’m not under contract and my time is running out and I’m enjoying working in the theater and frankly, I would like to race after doing 'Waiting For Godot,' get on with doing another play but we’ll have to see. I don’t give the producers the impression that I’m sitting waiting."This is a sentiment not lost on producer/potential director Peter Jackson who recently said, "What's of great concern to everyone right now is trying to stay on schedule and not slip back another year, because we will start losing people -- and that's increasingly difficult as each day passes. A lot of people -- both filmmakers and studios are working very hard right now, trying to get a positive outcome."
McKellen says that if Jackson does ultimately end up directing the film, the picture will still end up being a collaboration with now-exited director Guillermo del Toro because the Mexican director had participated in the script and "done many of the designs, but always in collaboration with WETA and Peter Jackson." Can MGM figure out their ongoing debt issues in time? Will they sell off their share of the rights to WB/New Line? Time is running out, especially if they want Jackson at the helm.
Watch the clip below around the 4:30 mark.[via Bleeding Cool]
It seems that the announcement by Warner Bros. back in May that Zack Snyder's "Sucker Punch" would be arriving in both vanilla 3D and supersized IMAX 3D was a bit premature. Speaking with MTV, the director revealed that he's not sold on the conversion process and won't use it until the results meet his standards.
"We've looked at a bunch of conversions, so whether or not we have the time to do it right — I'm not going to do it if we don't have the time to really be meticulous with it," he said. "It's such an awesome piece of work and everyone's worked so hard to make it awesome, so I don't want to screw it up with bad 3-D."
Huh, who knew the voice of reason from within Hollywood would come from Zack Snyder? At any rate, we're glad that there is at least one director who isn't just handing over his film to be raced through a generic process into 3D. Backing him is his wife and producer Deborah Snyder who feels that her husband's film is already so visually accomplished that the addition of 3D would have a negligible effect. "There are all these movies that want to be converted and we just haven't felt like we've seen that proof yet. Visually, Zack's done an amazing job. It's such a spectacle in and of itself and it's so fantastical that it doesn't really need the 3-D," she said.
Led by the quintet of Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Jena Malone and Abbie Cornish, the film also features the likes of Carla Gugino, Jon Hamm, Scott Glenn and Oscar Isaac and centers on a girl who enters an alternate reality with her friends and begins planning an escape from a mental institution where she was put by her evil stepfather who intends to have her lobotomized in five days. And if that wasn't enough, the film will apparently also have some song and dance numbers.
Fans will get their first taste of what Snyder has in store in a couple of weeks when he unveils footage at ComicCon. As to what you might see, expect a kind of highlight reel that will set the mood but not quite completely reveal the film as a whole. "We're coming to Comic-Con to show the first footage from the movie. We've designed this awesome footage that kind of sets the tone. It doesn't really tell the story per se, but it definitely lets you know what we're up to up there. It's pretty cool," said Snyder.
The film will hit theaters next spring, which seems to be the modus operandi for all of Synder's work to date, landing on March 25, 2011.
Fresh off her stint on TNT’s medical drama "HawthoRNe," Abigail Spencer of "Mad Men" fame is ready to blast off onto the big screen when she stars alongside Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell and Paul Dano, among others, in Jon Favreau’s comic book adaptation "Cowboys & Aliens."
The film details a group of Apache Indians and Western settlers who must put their feuding aside when a spaceship crash-lands in their territory in 1873. We think Favreau should have put this aside after his last sci-fi adaptation, "Zathura," crash-landed back in 2005 and failed to turn a profit. This time however, Favreau returns with heavy hitters Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Steven Spielberg to produce with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, (tag team duo behind "Transformers") and Damon Lindelof of "Lost" to pen the script (plus "Iron Man" writers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby are also getting some kind of credit). It's a little worrying just how many writers have stuck their fingers in the pot, but let's give them the benefit of the doubt for now.
In any case, Spencer is reported to play Alice, a prostitute and former lover of Daniel Craig’s leading character, who helps him “change his ways.” O prostitute with a heart of gold, where have ye been since "The Hangover"? Little else is known about her character, but shooting is already underway in Sante Fe, New Mexico. Wilde tweeted and seems to be pretty happy with the new addition. "Abigail Spencer, welcome to the cast of Cowboys & Aliens!!! She is lovely, funny, gorgeous (duh), and talented. this cast ROCKS."
"Cowboys & Aliens" is set to burn up the screen (and hopefully not your wallet) July 29th 2011. [Variety] -- Omar Ipa
The trio of director Matthew Vaughn, actors James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as the principle senior leads of "X-Men: First Class" is a confluence of great talent, an exciting prospect and one of the reasons we're cautiously anticipating this super-hero film (when the original idea was conceived it just sounded like "X-Men: Babies" with emo-TV writer Josh Schwartz scripting and we weren't at all interested).
But there seems to be some kind of sea change happening at the moment -- perhaps uncertainty over the direction the storyline should take-- and things might not be going as smoothly as we'd hoped. We're hearing that the script keeps going through revisions and revisions; it's already passed through the hands of Josh Schwartz ("The O.C."), to writing team Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller ("Thor") and more recently, Jamie Moss ("Street Kings produced what sounds like a totally new and rehauled version , under the supervision of Bryan Singer (who is now one of the producers). On top of all that, the screenplay received another touch-up by Jane Goldman, co-writer of Vaughn's "Kick-Ass" and "Stardust" a few weeks ago.
Relatively last-minute script changes that happen in the lead up a shoot (the film begins production in August) are very common and no cause for alarm ("Iron Man" for example was incomplete when shooting started and was written on the fly, though that approach failed on 'IM2'), but now a rumor is making the rounds that the characters of Cyclops and Jean Grey might not even be in the picture.
Couple that with this troubling report from Showbiz 411 -- who has been a frontrunner on the casting news of this project -- and you've got some potentially distressing news. It's already been reported that theater actor Ben Walker has been fired and then rehired to take the role of the Beast. And Showbiz's Roger Friedman basically confirms this rumor and says that Walker's sick of the "uncertainty" with the project and has bailed and resigned to a Broadway gig instead.
Essentially it sounds like Walker may have been cast before McAvoy and Fassbender (but never announced) and when those two actors came on board, it was thought their their ages (31, 34) were too close to Walker's (he's 28 and the age gap between Professor X and Magneto and the X-Men in their teenage years is obviously supposed to be far greater).
So yeah, this is kind of old news since it was announced way back in February that "Transfomers 3" was inevitably and obviously going to be in 3D despite Michael Bay saying last year, "I think 3-D is going to be a fad. I personally don't like 3-D. The glasses impair your peripheral vision. If the studios want to push any technology, it should be IMAX. That's much more immersive."
Anyway, most of us assumed the film would be converted in 3D because shooting in 3D requires a bit more time and studios, penny pinchers that they are, probably would prefer to save a few dollars and run it through a post-production process. Not so!
MarketSaw, who actually spoke to someone instead of just making shit up, talked to Vince Pace, Innovator of FUSION 3D and 2D cameras who revelead, "....Transformers has also signed on to shoot 3D throughout the film. I am working on a big Disney film but can’t mention the name and are lining up five more films. Just wrapped on additional photography for 'Resident Evil' and 'Tron.' Currently in Hawaii and flying out to London for 'Hugo [Cabret]'.”
While we're not anticipating this one in the least, we have to say we're glad it's actually shooting in 3D instead of being converted. We're not sure what it's going to take for that ugly process to end, unless people actually wise up that they are shelling out more money for a shittier looking movie.
While the tools used to make "Transformers 3" are getting fancier, we wish we could say the same about the script and the collective acting talents of Tyrese, Josh Duhamel, Shia LaBeouf (who granted, isn't given the best of material to work with here) and newcomer/lingerie model Rosie Huntington-Whitely. Yeah, John Malkovich and Frances McDormand are in this, and they are great actors we admire, but look how the franchise chewed up and spit out the usually fantastic John Turturro.
"Transformers 3" will float a couple of inches from your face on Canada Day, July 2011 (aka, July 1st). [via /Film]
Paul Giamatti stepped in to replace Sean Penn's role in the Farrelly Brothers' "The Three Stooges" project back in the fall of 2009, right?
It seemed like a dubious rumor a the time (we never wrote a full story on it) and it turns out it was.
"My involvement in that was some completely flukey thing," Giamatti told MTV today in an interview about the film "Pretty Bird" that we've never even heard of. "I was never supposed to be doing that movie."
So what were the issues?
"Somebody said something to me at Sundance, and I thought [they] were kidding. They said to me, 'Are you going to play Larry in The Three Stooges?' And I thought that was just a joke question somebody was asking me, and I said 'Yes I am,'" Giamatti explained. "Then it became this whole thing on the Internet. I don't know what's happening on that movie, I had no idea."
So what is going on with the film? Well, for one, the Farrelly Brothers moved on to another film called, "Hall Pass" with Owen Wilson, so they'll have to finish that and release it before they can even resume work on 'Stooges.'
And last we heard earlier this year, Bobby Farrelly himself said that Sean Penn was back in the mix — he dropped out in the summer of 2009 in an attempt to stop working and save his marriage — Benicio del Toro was still interested, but Jim Carrey's involvement was overstated to begin with and he probably wasn't appearing in the picture.
Surely, we won't know further developments until "Hall Pass" gets dated and the Farrelly Brothers start doing press rounds again.
In case the long lines outside your local multiplex haven't tipped you off, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" opened on Wednesday and it's huge.
The film shattered midnight screening records on Wednesday night, hauling in nearly $30 million dollars and it looks like the massive crowds didn't stop coming. The Wednesday tally for the film ended up at $68.5 million. Again, "Twilight: Eclipse" earned $68.5 million in 24 hours. Good lord. That news is certainly making Summit happy because that number is just a touch above the $68 million budget for the film.
In a summer where tentpoles and blockbusters are underperforming left and right, certainly the big studios are looking at Summit enviously for continuing to build on the success of their franchise. We have give them props for their simple yet effective approach of keeping their costs manageable. Here's some comparison math for you: "The Last Airbender," which is supposed to the a franchise launcher cost $280 million when you factor in marketing costs. Insane.
Most estimates expect "Twilight: Eclipse" to surpass "Spider-Man 2" for the record of biggest six-day July 4th open, which should put the figure around $200 million (or, enough money to put "The Last Airbender 2" into production).
Indeed, bloodsuckers are everywhere, from the smash hits "True Blood" and "The Vampire Diaries," both now the highest-rated dramas on their respective networks, to franchises like "Underworld" and kids movies like "The Vampire's Assistant." And, to be honest, we're nauseously sick of it at this point; the whole conceit has been, ahem, sucked dry, and the mere idea of a vampire film is enough to send us running to the hills. But while it might frustrate us sometimes, there are reasons why the vampire is still so prevalent in our imaginations, and has been for centuries.
For one thing, the creatures are able to overcome the one thing that we all have to face over the course of our lives — death — so there's a degree of wish fulfillment. And, aside from the primal fear they cause, they also serve as potent, all-purpose metaphors; drug addiction, religion, AIDS, homosexuality, burgeoning sexuality, plain old heterosexuality — the vampire can take the weight of all of these.
Of course, very little of this is present in the "Twilight" series, which, for the most part, bastardizes and waters down the beasts to an unrecognizable degree. But, with all this in mind, and in honor of all the poor, brave souls who'll sit through "Twilight: Eclipse" this weekend, here's a fistful of reasons why, in the right hands, the vampire on the big screen shouldn't be written off entirely.
"Trouble Every Day" (2001)
The vampire mythos can survive many interpretations, which partially explains the acceptance of the “Twilight” vamps, who buck popular trends and freely walk in daylight. Such was the strategy preferred by Claire Denis, who picked and chose for her first foray into the realm of bloodsuckers. In the sumptuous “Trouble Every Day,” Denis directs a multi-character study with a structure familiar to her, reducing her trademark silences and sensual actors’ physicality with screams of agony and bloodshed. To the somber strings of the Tindersticks, Denis focuses on two couples torn apart by bloodlust — the brooding Alex Descas has to cope with the ravenous hunger of his tragically-afflicted girlfriend Beatrice Dalle, constantly boarding her up or protecting her from the outside world, while Vincent Gallo and Tricia Vessey are two academically-inclined lovers who struggle to find the scientific explanation behind this hunger for flesh in between gruesome relapses. Both astounding, graphic and achingly intimate; the film is a standout in such a consistently revisited genre.
"The Addiction" (1995)
Shot in sumptuous, thematically-resonant black and white, Abel Ferrara’s “The Addiction” is a bleak, thought-provoking addition to the vampire canon. Its many flaws — over-talkiness, heavy-handed use of Sartre, Nietsche, Baudelaire, Burroughs et al., a pace that sometimes slows to ‘leaden’ — are, on balance, outweighed by its triumphs: the always-excellent Lili Taylor; the you-can-nearly-taste-it grit of the New York City locations; the creepy, twisted, descent-into-madness tone - not to mention the awesomely perfect casting of Christopher Walken, (seriously, you need an actor to play not just a vampire, but a creepy philosophizing vampire who's overcome his thirst for blood through iron self-control, who you gonna call?). The film, as an analogy for junkiedom and the spread of AIDS, is littered with overt philosophical and theological references, to the point that it seems to beg for reams of scholarly analysis, but the truth is Ferrara’s pessimism overpowers any interpretation that’s not completely nihilistic. Here redemption is beyond reach for all but those who can resist the irresistible, and even they do not regain their humanity - just the appearance of it. It’s bleak, often didactic, but occasionally fascinating stuff, and worth it if for nothing else then for Taylor’s superbly nuanced performance as the bookish innocent bitten by evil, who dallies briefly with the gray, before inevitably giving herself over entirely to the black.
Masterful genre director David Cronenberg infuses the stagnant vampire genre with fresh blood by introducing a new avenue for vampirism: blood transfusion! In her sole mainstream role, porn star Marilyn Chambers is injured in a motorcycle accident and given an experimental organ transplant, one that leaves her with the side effect of having a tiny, penis-like stinger pop out of her armpit and infect anyone within stinging distance with the same vampire-y tendencies. This was Cronenberg at his early, freaky-deaky sex-and-violence peak, and the movie remains a shocking, laugh-and-puke examination of the true meaning of “safe sex.”
"Shadow of the Vampire" (2000)
What if Max Schreck, the German-born actor who portrayed a thinly veiled Dracula knock-off in F.W. Murnau’s immortal “Nosferatu,” was actually a vampire? From that simple concept comes a startlingly original, lovingly movie-geek-y period piece which stars Willem Dafoe as the vampire and John Malkovich as the director. If you aren’t sold already, then you’re hopelessly nuts, but if you need more convincing, you should know that the movie is done in a deliberately old fashioned, silent movie style, with all sorts of lovely period-specific flourishes, like the iris in and cards describing the action. While the gore is on short supply, cleverness is abundant (and so is the fun).
"Vampire's Kiss" (1988)
We'll totally admit it: this is a film we haven't seen since high school and we have very little idea if it still holds up, but we sure pray it does, because it was, at the time, a pretty hilarious send-up of the oh-so-painfully serious nature of most vampire films (think David Copperfield in eyeliner gesticulating with fey hands and arched
eyebrows). At the peak of his powers, and before he became a joke (this was right after "Raising Arizona" — his acting masterpiece), Nicolas Cage ludicrously raged as a man who has a one night stand with a girl, gets bit by her and then spends the rest of the movie hilariously running around thinking he's a vampire. It's all in his head (or is it?) and his cheap-ass methods -- wearing cheap Halloween-like fangs, turning over couches as ad-hoc coffins — are riotously funny. The film is also perhaps best remembered as the picture where Nicolas Cage was so in loony-toons-like character he ate a real-life cockroach — that's a wacky dedication we miss. Still, if you want to see the legendary Cage of yore (not this 'Bad Lieutenant' counterfeit horseshit) "Vampire Kiss" is the place to start.
Kevin Williamson No Longer Involved With 'Scream 4'; Script Changes By Ehren Kruger Prompts Cast Changes/Frustrations
This morning when we reported that Alison Brie and Mary McDonnell had joined "Scream 4," we sort-of joked that with filming already underway and with cast members still being added/switched out, the film was turning into into a horror version of "Nashville." If only.
Zap2It reports that the last minute cast changes are indicative of something a bit more troubling on the set of "Scream 4." Franchise creator Kevin Williamson, who originally penned the script for the film, is no longer involved with "Scream 4," nor any subsequent sequels. No reason has been given for his departure, but in his wake Ehren Kruger ("Scream 3," "Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen") has come in and had his hand at the script. And the cast is not happy.
The site says Lauren Graham actually left the film because her role had been greatly reduced. Lake Bell, who had legit scheduling issues is said to have "dodged a bullet" while Hayden Panetierre, who is still on board, is "beyond frustrated" that her previously "really sharp" character has been "dumbed down significantly."
So where is Wes Craven in all of this? Responding to Zap2It's story, he tweeted, "I have not been given control of the script." Clearly, there seems to be a major disconnect happening on the set of "Scream 4" between some of the key talent behind the camera. This can't bode well for the film, particularly one we didn't have much faith in to begin with.
Regardless, production continues and we'll see how much the script changes and rumored set troubles affect the film when it lands in theaters on April 15, 2011.
And the 3D shit storm continues, as does the god-awful music of The Black-Eyed Peas.
will.i.am. dropped the bomb over at Vibe, saying "right now we are planning our 3-D tour movie and James Cameron is directing it." Well, great. Defend Cameron as a film-maker all you want, but there's absolutely nothing cool about a Black-Eyed Peas 3D concert film. The film will consist of footage from a world tour of the group, going to places such as South America, Africa, Asia, etc. The cocky musician goes on to say "We have the biggest director because we are the biggest group on the planet." Thanks for the humility, Will.
Certainly a director-for-hire gig, it's still hard to see why Cameron would be interested in the first place. After all, "Avatar" has made over $2 billion worldwide, so money is clearly not the incentive here. One would think Cameron would be more sophisticated than this, as he not only created a beautiful planet but the technology to capture it properly. Surely, the Black-Eyed Peas on a concert stage shouldn't make sense to a man that spent nearly 10 years creating that box-office annihilator.
But maybe it's sheer boredom. Ten years is a long time, and with the second "Avatar" or even his "Battle Angel" adaptation not coming for at least another 4-5 years, Cameron could very well be sick of prep work. Maybe directing "Avatar" was such a pleasure for Cameron that he decided he could not wait another few years to risk actors' lives, he wanted to do it again right away. And this time, to the Black-Eyed Peas. Also, in his defense, it appears that the tour film will also have a storyline to it, as Mr. I.AM. said, "There will be a storyline that [Cameron] came up with, which will be dope…It’s a full-length film and it’s based around our tour activities." While we're positive that the Black-Eye Peas' tour activities (at least the ones they're going to include in a concert film) are anything but dope, at least it makes more sense as to why Cameron is involved. "The Peas are filming it in South America," Will said, so it seems as if the majority of the narrative takes place there. Cameron can find some beauty in the landscapes of South America, sure, he just has to make sure that the 'Peas aren't in the shot.
The film is reportedly set for release sometime next year, and just in case some of you are still confused, Will explained "People will be able to see us in the theater with the 3-D glasses and everything." We're not sold. Cameron doesn't suffer fools gladly and well, BEP are fools through and through. We're doubting this story until Cameron confirms it himself, but the frontman has offered enough details that yikes, it sounds like it very well might happen... Update: These guys say it's not happening. We told you we had reason to doubt this.
Is this the reason why Tom Hardy said George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road" is planning on shooting for a relatively long nine months (or up to a year)?
Twitch is saying they've learned Miller will be shooting two films back to back. One is obviously called, "Mad Max: Fury Road." The other is allegedly titled, "Mad Max: Furiosa."
We pause for a sec and raise an eyebrow as that's a terrible title and sounds a little made up, but who knows. The two films are reportedly not only being shot back to back, but going to be released "immediately" after one another. If this is true, surely there's at least a six month gap between them ala the last two "Matrix" films.
Aside from Tom Hardy ("Inception," "Bronson"), "Mad Max 4" also stars Charlize Theron, Nicolas Hoult ("A Single Man"), Zoe Kravitz and Adelaide Clemens.Teresa Palmer had to recently drop out because of a scheduling conflict. The film has no date yet, but a 2012 release is expected as is some form of 3D.
Update: Hitfix says they have confirmed this report. Their guess? Tom Hardy leads one film and Charlize Theron leads the "Furiosa" one which obviously is the feminine form of furious in most Latin-based languages. Frankly, it's not bad speculation at all.
This is an offer story so just bear in mind that offers go out to actors every day and it doesn't necessarily mean they will end up being involved.
That being said, the talent involved here is too good to ignore. Pajiba reports that Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf have been offered roles in the mystery/thriller riptide that has been given a rewrite by "The Queen" and "Frost/Nixon" scribe Peter Morgan. The film follows "a handyman, a young stock broker, and the stock broker’s girlfriend. One of the men is found dead floating in the sea. The girlfriend is found at a nearby hotel. An investigator is called in to figure out what happened and why."
Apparently, LaBeouf is being eyed for the role of the young stock broker while Pitt is being offered the part of the investigator. Will LaBeouf take on another role of a young stock broker after playing the same part in "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps?" We somehow doubt it. As for Pitt, he seems to get attached/offered parts every week but very few of them pan out. Hell, he was even circling David Fincher's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" before the part went to Daniel Craig. For Pitt's involvement it will most likely come down to who directs the film, which appears not to have been set just yet.
The film is currently set up at Summit with Steve Tisch ("Forrest Gump," "The Pursuit of Happyness") and Will Davies ("How to Train Your Dragon") producing.
If you thought that Peter Jackson entering talks to sit in the director's chair for "The Hobbit" would magically resolve MGM's woes and get the film (finally) into production, think again.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that MGM is seeking yet another debt extension from their lenders who are already holding nearly $4 billion in debt. If only banks were as nice to regular citizens who miss a mortgage payment. Anyway, it's expected they will receive the extension which will allow MGM more time to work out a potential partnership or buyout from another studio.
Exclusive: Nimrod Antal Says His Passion Project, 'Paraffin' Will Be Next; Talks Potential 'Predators' Sequel
*Small spoilers ahead, please be careful.*
Yesterday we got on the horn with "Predators" director Nimród Antal ("Kontroll," "Vacancy") and given how his new Robert Rodriguez-produced film ends... let's say somewhat open ended, we had to ask, is there a sequel on the horizon?
"Yeah. Well, listen," Antal said. "I'm down. Are you?"
Another, taut, economic thriller that revives a once maligned franchise? Hell, why not. We asked point blank: has a sequel been discussed?
"Yes," Antal admitted. "Between Robert [Rodriguez ]and I, but no one else so far. We'll see what happens this next weekend."
So the box-office is a consideration then? "I couldn't care less about the box office," he said. "But clearly Fox and the people hiring me do. I just want to make a good movie, and we'll see what happens. I certainly hope people come and see it."
Big fans of his 2005 debut, "Kontroll" — a Hungarian comedy-thriller that Antal co-wrote, set in the subways of Budapest that you should see if you haven't already — we asked the filmmaker if he had any more original projects on the go and indeed he does: a dystopian, thriller called, "Parraffin" (an chemical alkaline that can be used for waterproofing, and a verb meaning to cover or impregnate)
"Yeah, I have a passion project that I've been writing for a few years called, "Paraffin." I'm going to try to get that going. But at the same time I'm just keeping my options open and trying to appreciate the moment. Just open up and see what happens."
Evidently, it's a project that's been kicking around for a few years. "It's actually the one I wanted to write and direct right after 'Kontroll.' So that's what I'm doing next."
Rod Lurie Says His 'Straw Dogs' Remake Will Be Controversial, Hard-R & Feature A 25 Minute Action Sequence
Even though we don't think much of the idea of attempting to remake Sam Peckinpah's ultimate and still controversial statement on masculinity and sexuality "Straw Dogs," it does appear that director Rod Lurie isn't toning down the material in the slightest.
Speaking to Collider at the Saturn Awards he reveals that while the blogosphere has been skeptical about how his film will stack up against the original, they will be in for a surprise: "...I keep reading blogs from people saying it's going to be far less violent than the 1971 film [or that] the rape scene will be watered down. And those people are going to be shocked because this movie is hard R, it's a tough movie."
Driving the point home, Lurie says, "If you're looking for the film to be less violent, less tense, less provocative, less controversial than the first you're looking at the wrong film. It's going to be very controversial."
But don't think that the film is just going to be a shot-for-shot remake of Peckinpah's original, about a man who is forced to violently reckon with his own masculinity after his wife is brutally raped and he must defend his home against the perpetrators. Late last year, Alexander Skarsgard who stars in the film with James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, James Woods, Dominic Purcell and Willa Holland, revealed that Lurie's film isn't just a copy saying, "It’s a remake and it’s not. Rod Lurie wrote it and directed it, and you can’t just copy a Sam Peckinpah movie because there’s really no point in doing that. You have to add something and I think Rod did. What attracted me to it is that there’s also a love triangle drama there. My character had a history with Kate Bosworth’s character. They dated for many years, she leaves and she comes back ten years later with James Marsden’s character who’s a screenwriter from Hollywood. It’s a culture clash."
While we're still not convinced that turning the film into a what seems like a lover's quarrel in the extreme is the way to go, we are getting slightly more intrigued, if only to see how Lurie builds up to what he says "is a very long 25-minute action sequence at the end of the movie." We will say this, it does sound like Peckinpah himself would do.
As for when this will come out, it remains to be seen. Earlier this year, it was revealed that the film, originally set for a March 2011 release, was going to be released on September 16, 2011 but Lurie says the release date is still "hazy" so perhaps it will change again? Either way, our pendulum on this is swinging from dismissive to curious; you can watch the full interview with Lurie below.
Not a whole lot to report on this Fourth of July weekend, but rest assured tickets will be sold, popcorn will be eaten and the line for the ladies room will be long as " The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" opens in cinemas nationwide. We can't really pretend to know exactly what's going on in the series at this point, but you've probably already seen it by now if you do. Adapted from the very popular animated series "The Last Airbender" marks M. Night Shyamalan's return since 2008's brilliant absurdo-comedy "The Happening." Expect the "Twilight" teens to crush the airbenders at the box office and look for one of the largest openings this year. For smaller fare, the indie "Love Ranch" starring Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci looks interesting, but the buzz is weak.
When we wrote yesterday about the addition of three new actors to "Scream 4," we were almost sure that the casting was basically wrapped up on Wes Craven's sequel, considering that filming is already underway. We knew that a replacement was being sought for Lauren Graham, who exited the project due to clashes with her TV show "Parenthood" (as well, as apparently, 'script changes'), but we thought otherwise that the all the necessary players were on board.
As it turns out, there was more to come, as The Wrap have announced that TV stars Alison Brie and Mary McDonnell have joined the cast. Brie is best known for playing Pete Campbell's wife on "Mad Men," but she's been killing it on the excellent NBC sitcom "Community" this season, alongside Joel McHale and was-never-going-to-be-Spider-Man-anyway-time-to-move-on comedian Donald Glover. She'll play Rebecca, the ambitious, envious PA of Neve Campbell's character, a part that seems perfect for Brie's Type A persona. More importantly, it seems to put the rest the rumors that Campbell's character would pull a Jamie Lee Curtis and be killed off in the opening scenes -- it's unlikely her PA would be necessary if that was true...
There's no word on who McDonnell, most familiar from "Independence Day," "Donnie Darko" and her consistently excellent performance as the morally compromised president on "Battlestar Galactica," will play -- she's perhaps a little old to be replacing Graham. Either way, it's two strong additions to an unusually good cast for this kind of thing -- even if, with the sheer number of characters involved, it seems to be shaping up like a slasher movie version of "Nashville."
Not so long ago, the first image debuted for one of our most eagerly awaited TV projects of the year; Shane Meadows' sequel to his best film, "This Is England." Entitled "This Is England 86," and seeing the helmer team with "Scouting Book For Boys" directing/writing duo Tom Harper and Jack Thorne, it picks up with almost all of the characters from the original, a few years on, against the background of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
Courtesy of The Guardian and shanemeadows.co.uk, a trailer for the series has appeared, and it's not what we were expecting at all. Seemingly shot on an 80s style VCR camera, and vaguely reminiscent (although very much a watered down version) of Harmony Korine's 'Trash Humpers," it sees almost all the characters hanging out at a party as Gadget records the goings on. It's not really indicative of the finished product (for one thing, the show isn't going to be shot in this manner), but it's still pretty intoxicating to be back with the characters again. All four parts of "This Is England 86" will air on Channel 4 in the UK in the autumn, and will hopefully make their way across the Atlantic sometime after that.
Todd Phillips and Nima Nourizadeh have lined up a whole host of unknowns to star in their mysterious low budget, cinema verite affair "Project X," as per their original open casting call.
Seen above in a clockwise manner are cast members Miles Teller, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Dax Flame, Alexis Knapp, Thomas Mann and probably Nichole O'Connor with the un-IMDB-able likes of Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Daniel Brown also attached to star. The picture will be helmed by Nourizadeh from a script by Matt Drake — which itself is based on a treatment by "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" scribe Michael Bacall — and is revealed to center on "a group of kids documenting a house party that suddenly goes awry" in a documentary-like style as seen in Matt Reeves' "Cloverfield."
So where might you recognize any of these actors from? Flame is actually an internet sensation described by one site as "a video blogger on YouTube who appears pathetic, creepy, and antisocial in his videos for the amusement of his viewers." They're not wrong either and if Nourizadeh can harness his abilities, there's probably some sort of McLovin' style appeal there.
Others seem to have had mainly bit part roles in Hollywood with Teller set for a role in John Cameron Mitchell's upcoming "Rabbit Hole" and the "Footloose" remake; Blanton has been in "Entourage" and "Hannah Montana;" Mann has a role in Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden's "It's Kind Of A Funny Story"; while the Megan Fox-archetype Knapp was in 'Percy Jackson' and "Couples' Retreat" and has been romantically linked with Ryan Phillipe, a known talent spotter having dated Reese Witherspoon and Abbie Cornish before her.
That said, the cast as a whole is more or less an unknown quantity which will play out interestingly when the time comes for its marketing and release. We don't think it'll be much of a hindrance to the film's box office prospects though; were the cast of "Superbad" or "Cloverfield" that well known to general audiences at the time? And surely "from the producer of 'The Hangover'" is as big a drawcard as 'from the producer of 'Knocked Up'" at this point in time.
Shooting on the project begins next week for a November 23rd, 2011 release.
After his 2006 DUI arrest, when he was famously reported as having said series of anti-semitic and sexist slurs to his arresting officers, Mel Gibson was on very thin ice. After the release of directorial effort "Apocalypto," the actor went underground, only reappearing at the beginning of this year with the lead in the revenge thriller "Edge of Darkness." While that film underperformed, signs seemed that, to some degree, he'd regained his standing a little; he's currently filming prison actioner "How I Spent My Summer Vacation," and was set to reunite with "Lethal Weapon" scribe Shane Black on "Cold Warrior," as well as direct Leonardo DiCaprio in a Viking movie.
But the film that seemed most likely to complete the star's comeback was the offbeat comedy "The Beaver." The script, by newcomer Kyle Killen, topped the Black List in 2008, and Gibson won the lead role — over the likes of Steve Carell, Hugh Jackman and Jim Carrey — of a family man who has a nervous breakdown and starts wearing an English-accented beaver puppet on his hand. Jodie Foster was directing and co-starring, and rising young actors Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence were among the supporting cast. Furthermore, the buzz was building, Summit picked it up, planning a fall release, and reports came in that the film was terrific.
And then came yesterday. Gibson is currently locked in a bitter custody battle with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, with both parties filing restraining orders against each other. Radar Online managed to get their hands on a tape recorded by Grigorieva in which Gibson can be heard, among many unpleasant moments, suggesting that his then-girlfriend would be raped by a "pack of n-----s," and threatening to burn her house down.
Now, not many of us needed the confirmation that Gibson was a deeply troubled person, but confirmation seems to have been provided, and we're not sure there's any way back from this for the self-destructive star. He was only just starting to rebuild his career, but this seems like a step too far -- his aggressive behavior seems like it'll further alienate the actor's female fans, and, well, everyone else, bar Michael Richards and Charlie Sheen.
With the six-month casting saga for "Spider-Man" finally ending with Andrew Garfield landing the role last night, we were hoping that some of the upcoming superhero movies might start finally locking down their casts. As it turns out, our hopes were in vain; a big rival Marvel superhero movie appears to be in the process of replacing one of its leads.
Stage actor Benjamin Walker ("Kinsey") was reported to have landed the key role of Hank McCoy, aka Beast, in Matthew Vaughn's "X-Men: First Class," a reboot of the mutant franchise. However Baz Bamigboye at the Daily Mail, someone as rare as a unicorn in that he's the only reliable UK tabloid reporter, is now reporting that Walker was officially signed by Fox, and then dropped.
Apparently, the issue is one of age; with James McAvoy, 31, and Michael Fassbender, 33, being cast as Professor X and Magneto (and both could pass for younger; McAvoy was playing college-aged only a few years ago), the 28-year-old Walker was deemed too old to play McCoy, one of the pupils at Xavier's school. Fox supposedly took the decision to replace the actor, paying him off and widening the hunt, screentesting three other potential Beasts yesterday.
But, wait, there's more. Apparently, those three didn't work out, and Bamigboye heard last night that Fox may now be offering the role to Walker. Again. Twist! But the actor may be fed up of being strung along at this point -- the Public Theatre musical "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," in which he played the lead, is moving to Broadway, and Walker may end up following it there.
Did we need more reason to be excited for David Fincher's "The Social Network"? Not really.
The promising Aaron Sorkin-scripted drama is based on the novel "The Accidental Billionaires" and centers on the controversial story surrounding Mark Zuckerberg and his little online creation called Facebook. Fincher's subsequent adaptation boasts the strong cast of young up-and-comers in Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield (aka Spider-Man), Justin Timberlake, Rashida Jones and Rooney Mara and has just seen the release of a teaser trailer and poster in anticipation of the October 1st release which we can't wait for.
On top of all that, Nine Inch Nails frontman and all-round maestro Trent Reznor has now revealed he is finishing up on creating the score for the film with his regular collaborator Atticus Ross — who himself recently scored the Hughes Brothers' "The Book Of Eli" — with their work soon to be compacted into a "satisfying record (or two)" that will see a release weeks before the film's release.
"David Fincher started inquiring about my interest in scoring his upcoming film, The Social Network," Reznor writes on the NIN blog, via Pitchfork. "Yeah, the movie is about the founding of Facebook. I've always loved David's work, but quite honestly I wondered what would draw him to tell that story. When I actually read the script and realized what he was up to, I said goodbye to that free time I had planned. Atticus Ross and I have been on a creative roll, so I asked him if he wanted to work on this with me and we signed on."
After a long search and a list of contenders that included Jamie Bell ("Jumper," "The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn"), Josh Hutcherson ("Zathura," "Journey to the Center of the Earth"), Alden Ehrenreich ("Tetro"), and Frank Dillane (one of the evil kids from the recent "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"), Aaron Johnson and Anton Yelchin, the man to play Peter Parker has been found.
Sony has officially announced that Andrew Garfield is "Spider-Man."
Director Marc Webb had been on the hunt for an actor to take on the iconic role for quite time, amassing a strong list of potential candidates. Screen tests went underway earlier this month and Garfield has emerged from a strong pack of young actors vying for the part. Garfield isn't as well known as some of his competition, but he earned considerable acclaim for his turn in "Boy A," appeared in Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus" and has roles in two highly anticipated films this fall, Mark Romanek's "Never Let Me Go" and David Fincher's "The Social Network."
We actually listed the actor in our Actors To Watch/Breakthrough Performances of 2008, so yes, we think he's a great choice.
We honestly thought that an announcement wouldn't be made until Comic-Con, but with that event only a few weeks away we're guessing more news on the film will be unveiled at that time. Let's not forget that Garfield was one of our top choices when we wrote a Who Could Direct & Star In "Spider-Man" feature back in January of this year. The film starts production in December and as previously announced, will be shot in 3D. The newly rebooted "Spider-Man" will sling into theaters on July 3, 2012.
Small update. In case you're in denial and are complaining that Garfield is too young (they're apparently going to age-up the character in college, don't worry), and you think maybe this is just all a bad dream. Sony threw a press conference and unveiled Garfield with the filmmakers in the flesh. [via Collider]