Few films of the early 00's have aged as poorly as "Garden State," Zach Braff's hyper-precocious Gen-Y Me drama. At the time, most of us regarded the film as it deserved to be considered -- tripe -- but even the picture's ardent defenders feel the bloom was off the rose long ago. Fortunately, television has kept Braff from daring to get back behind the camera, but the death of "Scrubs" has suddenly given him more than a little free time.
The skinny-faced television actor revealed in an interview with TimeOutNY that he's got plenty of potential ways to threaten audiences with his insufferable, outdated twee-ness. "There were a couple times I tried to put together a movie, and for one delicious Hollywood reason or another, they never came to fruition. But I’m hoping to direct' Swingles' soon. And I’m in the midst of [writing] my first original since Garden State. I’m also writing a play, because now that I live in New York, I’m infatuated with the theater."
He clarifies the original work is not a sequel to "Garden State," but "more in the 'Garden State' oeuvre." As for "Swingles," it's a long-in-development script that Braff came on to re-write back in May of '09 about a man who seeks an obnoxious woman to serve as his new wingman in the dating scene. Braff was slated to feature in the film as a supporting actor, while the female lead was long linked to Cameron Diaz. TimeOutNY mentions he's likely to shoot "Swingles" this fall, but suggests no ways to persuade him otherwise.
Few films of the early 00's have aged as poorly as "Garden State," Zach Braff's hyper-precocious Gen-Y Me drama. At the time, most of us regarded the film as it deserved to be considered -- tripe -- but even the picture's ardent defenders feel the bloom was off the rose long ago. Fortunately, television has kept Braff from daring to get back behind the camera, but the death of "Scrubs" has suddenly given him more than a little free time.
San Diego Comic-Con was the first opportunity for anyone to catch footage of "Green Lantern" and, judging by what we've heard, the 90-second sneak peek was cut too quickly and didn't show much. So to know a little more about this potential franchise-starter, the meat would be in audience Q&A sessions. Available to discuss the film were stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard and Mark Strong with director Martin Campbell, producer Donald DeLine and D.C. contributor Geoff Johns. What did we learn?
The Costume: That fuck-ugly eyesore that debuted on the cover for Entertainment Weekly was apparently a "work-in-progress" according to Campbell ("Casino Royale"), a phrase he apparently repeated several times. For the sartorially-inclined superhero fan, the final suit will have black and green combined, but without the Lantern's trademark white gloves.
The Villain: The main antagonist in the film is Peter Sarsgaard's Hector Hammond, who's head will increase in size frequently throughout the movie's runtime, but he's not the only villain to be glimpsed in the first film. Parallax, an amorphous threat from the comics, supposedly looms as a threat Hal Jordan and other Lanterns must defeat. Parallax poisoned Hal Jordan in the comics into becoming a vengeful force (and it appears he's in the film too), but it looks like the threat will be reduced to a character device, one that, in the draft we read, infects Hammond. However, Mark Strong's character Sinestro is also a major player in the villain race, though he claims to be a mentor character in the first film, saying, "Whatever happens later, that's later." His name is Sinestro though, so, duh.
The Development: Ten years ago, the WB were interested in a "Green Lantern" movie, but the major sticking point, apparently, was the jewelry. According to Johns, the D.C. execs asked, "can we do the movie without the ring?" This line-of-thought convinced Johns there would never be a "Green Lantern" movie.
The Nerd-Service: Nobody involved with the film seems beneath giving the fans what they want. Apparently, Reynolds was asked by a young child in a GL shirt to recite the famous Green Lantern oath, and not only did he deliver, but he revealed he was actually wearing the Green Lantern ring before signing a comic for the child. Now THAT'S a way to get into a nerdy girl's pants. There was also confirmation that the film will feature many of the other Green Lanterns, including fan favorite Kilowog. When asked about the very first Golden Age Green Lantern from the WWII-era comics, Alan Scott, Johns confirmed it was a possibility, which certainly matches what we read in the script. [images Blakelively]
J.J. Abrams Confirms 'Super 8' Won't Be In 3D, Joss Whedon Comes Up With Great Tagline For 'Cabin In The Woods'
Speaking to a crowd of adoring fans, Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams spilled a few beans on a couple of projects. Sure, we already knew Whedon was directing "The Avengers," - duh - but he discussed it a little more, mentioning that his portrayal of the team will be like a big, dysfunctional family. In describing the ragtag superhero crew, Whedon said "these people should not be in the same room together.” So, expect a lot of sass from Robert Downey Jr.
When the conversation turned to the Spielberg tribute "Super 8," Abrams was asked if it would be in 3D and his feelings were made quite clear: "The thing with 3D is that everything gets dim," Abrams said. "It all feels a little grey and muted. I want to see the vibrant [colors], I want to see the movie. I get into it I adjust to it, but for me it always feels like those first five minutes feels less than the IMAX experience, which is my favorite kind of immersive experience. The 3D thing, I'm not totally on board with yet."
This admission was greeted with cheerful applause from the crowd, and Abrams walked away doing his first good deed of the day (and surely the above picture was taken immediately after he said it).
Whedon went on to talk about other projects, such as a sequel to "Dr. Horrible," which has a story worked out but will be on the back burner. The ill-fated "Cabin in the Woods," which seems to be a victim of poor MGM Studios, remains without a release date. He says of his partner, Drew Goddard, "He shot something in a classical mode. Almost a little old fashioned." Could the film be something akin to Ti West's "The House of the Devil"? Maybe, but MGM insisted the film be put through the 3D blender, noticing that every upcoming horror flick was going to be in 3D. Seeing as MGM can't even put the sure-fire moneymaker "The Hobbit" together, their demands are more laughable than serious. Whedon went onto joke that he "hopes the film will still be released in 2D and marketed as the only 2D horror film."
He even came up with a proposed tagline for the film: "'Cabin in the Woods': It's painterly!" We like it. (Picture thanks to Morning Sentinel.)
Leonardo DiCaprio Eyes 'Farragut North' To Be Written & Directed By George Clooney, Probably Won't Star In Mel Gibson's 'The Vikings'
In a development that doubtless has to do with scheduling conflicts or something equally innocent, it appears that Leonardo DiCaprio may be detaching himself from gestating project “The Vikings,” which was to have been directed by Mel Gibson, whose unfortunate telephone manner has been making headlines of late.
Ted Casablanca at E! Online, writing in his patented giddy teenage girl argot (we are encouraged to see “Inception” partly so we can “drool over the way gorge supporting cast”) reports that one of his “most knowledgeable L.D. spies” said “I doubt Leo would do it, especially after this” and went on to assure him that Leo is not at all down with what Mel has been up to recently. Another “source deep inside Camp DiCaprio,” or possibly the same one, there is really no way to tell, also distanced the "Inception" star from the project, but in more practical terms saying “there’s not even a script yet, so it’s not real... Nothing has been settled.”
But really, the project is probably dead for now because no one wants to come within five inches of Gibson. And really unless he somehow, miraculously, comes back into Hollywood's good graces, don't expect A-list talent to line up to work with him.
But the real bit of news here, also revealed by Casablanca, is that DiCaprio is eying a new project to be written and directed by swoonsome George Clooney -- now there’s a guy who can threaten us with sexual violence and arson any day! Higgedy higgedy, yowzas etc (Dear Christ, it’s catching). Anyway, entitled “Farragut North” it's an adaptation of a political play by Beau Willimon, that is loosely based on the 2004 Democratic primary run of Howard Dean. According to the plot rundown at Wikipedia, the story concerns Stephen, "a wunderkind press secretary who has built a career that men twice his age would envy. During a tight presidential primary race, however, Stephen's meteoric rise falls prey to the backroom politics of more seasoned operatives, and his one night stand with a teenage staffer proves to be more complicated than casual. Farragut North is a classic tale of hubris set against a contemporary landscape – about the lust for power and the costs one will endure to achieve it." Sounds more like the story of John Edwards, amirite?
Clooney and DiCaprio have apparently already met about the project and done a couple of readings. 'North' is set up at Warner Bros. under DiCapario's Appian Way shingle.
Obvs, no word on if/when that project will get in front of cameras. But the potential pairing of Clooney/DiCaprio!?!?!? ZOMG. Sorry Team Edward ceiling posters! You're being replaced!
Trailer For 'Priest' Is A Mash-Up Of Every Post-Apocalyptic/Futuristic/Vampire Movie You Have Ever Seen
The trailer for the continually pushed-back, 3D-converted vampire horror film "Priest" has arrived and it looks like director Scott Charles Scott ("Legion") has ticked every box on the "Making A Cliché Genre Film" list.
The plot, which basically mirrors "Drive Angry 3D" with vampires instead of the devil, follows a priest (Paul Bettany) who must rescue his niece when she is kidnapped by vampires. Her boyfriend and sheriff (Cam Gigandet) and a priestess (Maggie Q) came long for the ride. So what can you expect to see? A future world that looks like a dull mashup of "Dune," "Daybreakers" and "Resident Evil: Extinction." A stock shot of a pupil dilating. A monster jumping at you, which you've probably see before in about a dozen other trailers. Some people flipping around and wielding crucifixes like ninja stars. That now-standard shot of two people jumping in midair, in slow motion towards each other, as a battle is about start. In short, this thing looks awful and boring.
If you are someone still lured by this, the film arrives on May 13, 2011 which is now apparently "summer."
Comic-Con: Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg May Direct 'Jay And Seth vs. The Apocalypse'; Additional "Secret" Cast Being Sought
In 2007, "Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse," an end-of-the-world short starring—you guessed it—Jay Baruchel and Seth Rogen, went up on YouTube. In two weeks, it had more than 50,000 hits. Evan Goldberg ("Superbad," "Pineapple Express") and Jason Stone, who co-wrote the short with Rogen, started shopping around for a feature based on it, with several companies vying for the rights. Mandate Pictures picked it up, but there hasn't been much movement on it since, aside from Baruchel saying the hope is the film will be filled with celebrity cameos.
'Jay and Seth,' the short, was written directly after production ended on "Knocked Up," and filmed in late 2006 and 2007. The short follows two friends who have barricaded themselves in their apartment as the world ends, but when their rooftop water-collection system clogs up, one of them must venture out to face the chaos to fix it.
Goldberg and Rogen (who scripted the upcoming "Green Hornet" as well as "Pineapple Express" and "Superbad") will be collaborating on the screenplay, although Goldberg told our Playlist reporter at Comic-Con that they would be "getting the actors on board before we write it."
While not penned yet, Goldberg says it's on the table and actively being developed now. "We’re right in it." As for the other actors and purported cameos in the film Goldberg said, "I’m not telling you my secret. But needless to say I could not be more excited about our secret people who will be in the film. We’re going full speed on that, and I couldn’t be more excited to make that movie."
But who's directing? Hours later at "The Green Hornet" press conference Rogen and Goldberg said they might try and direct it together. This would be the first foray into directing for the two, and we're interested to see how they might handle something like this. Based on the short, though, if there is a project for Goldberg and Rogen to take the helm on, this one is as good as any.
Here's that original piece again if you've never seen it or could use a refresher.
When it comes to Comic Con, no one wants a bummer. So when someone asks Robert Rodriguez whether there's going to be a sequel to "Predators" his reaction is along the lines of "of course!" and "the next one will have a bigger budget!" And when they ask if he'll direct it, he says, "Possibly, after 'Sin City 2.'" So yeah, Rodriguez knows how to politick this shit - someone ask him if another "From Dusk Till Dawn" is happening so you can get a "maybe."
Rodriguez had been offered the director's chair for a "Deadpool" movie back in June, though his silence on the matter speaks for itself. Fox has been eager to spin the popular fringe character into his own movie following his appearance in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," where the loquacious mutant appeared for ten minutes, was rendered mute, shot lasers and was beheaded. No typos there, people.
Ryan Reynolds remains attached to play the masked killer, and according to Rodriguez, not only did he have input on the current script from Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick ("Zombieland") but he actually met with Rodriguez to convince him this was a project worth taking on. Speaking to MTV, Rodriguez says,"They sent me a script to read, [but] I've been really swamped with this other stuff. I've not decided whether ... anything I do would be after 'Spy Kids' — that gives some breathing room. So whether or not I would help develop or not is the question right now."
If we were to guess, if Rodriguez isn't interested in directing, then Fox would ask him to godfather the film to the screen in the same vein as the successful (but inexpensive) "Predators" and a Troublemaker Studios-approved helmer would come aboard and play nice with the studio. Which seems fitting, as this character isn't built for a mega-blockbuster, but a gritty, fringe-y, silly mid-budget diversion that someone like Rodriguez edits in his garage. But with this coming out in the wake of Reynolds' coming "Green Lantern," we'll bet Fox wants to go with the $200 million worldwide expectations which seem to be the default settings for all comic book adaptations as they sink money hand over fist into this production.
While Rodriguez gears up to shoot "Spy Kids: Armageddon" this summer, "Deadpool" remains a project that some even doubt might happen, though someone at Fox appears to be taking initiative on a project most are unsure about seeing. Don't tell that to Fine Line Kreative, who, unsolicited, appear to have been letting their own fake "Deadpool" posters litter the streets of New York City. Hey, someone's excited.
Nicolas Cage, you're the only one that can make this work.
A thirty second trailer for "Drive Angry 3D" surfaced online in the midst of its platform at the San Diego Comic Con. The plot concerns a man pried from the clutches of Hell to find the gang that murdered his daughter and kidnapped her infant child for supernatural purposes. You can go a couple of ways with that, but director Patrick Lussier's direction appears to be "posturing, explosions, camp." Which seems perfectly suited for Cage, really.
The fans at the Con were apparently treated to a different, two-minute sizzle reel which showcased the film's over-the-top gore and supernatural aspects, though according to "My Bloody Valentine 3D" director Lussier, via i09, "We're lovers of the great 70s car movies - Vanishing Point, Duel - and we wanted to do something like that. We wanted to make sure the cameras could actually do what we wanted to do. We don't have CGI cars in the movie. It's metal on metal. It's a real car flying off the side of the bridge." As silly as this whole thing sounds, a practical car chase movie is something we find it hard to say no to. Then again, Lussier directed three films in the bizarrely popular "Dracula 2000" franchise, and it's hard to immediately trust that sort of resume.
Cage and company get to "Drive Angry" into theaters on February 11th, 2011.
Yeah, we laughed. A small handful of us at the Playlist were once aspiring musicians with bands and everything (in our much younger, more naive days), so we totally relate to the extreme punk/emo/sadness of Scott Pilgrim's rival band Crash and the Boys.
A clip of their song "I'm So Sad, So Very, Very Sad" (written by Broken Social Scene, sung by actor Erik Knudsen) has hit and it's pretty awesome. And coming in about five seconds long, thirteen seconds if you include the "banter," it gets to the point pretty quickly.
The "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" official soundtrack and score soundtrack both hit on August 10th with the film arriving a few days later on August 13th. [Pitchfork]
Casey Affleck? Rom-com? Yeah, it's definitely not a pairing you see too often from the usually indie drama-centric actor, but considering he's one of our favorite onscreen talents, we'll give this one the benefit of the doubt.
Affleck is currently circling the lead role in the Fox Searchlight film "The F-Word." Based on the play "Cigars and Toothpaste" by T.J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi, the film will find Affleck playing "a young man who falls for a young woman but hides his attraction for her until she can admit to reciprocal feelings." Isn't that kind of guy generally called "an asshole"? Anyway, laffs and feelings are sure to be on the way.
The project was written by Elan Mastai ("Alone In The Dark") and is set to be directed by Alex Holdridge, whose "In Search Of A Midnight Kiss" had some champions (though not really around these parts).
No word yet on when production might begin, but considering Affleck spent the last year or so working on Michael Winterbottom's grim "The Killer Inside Me" and documenting Joaquin Phoenix act like a rapper/pervert, he might be up for something a little lighter (the sexual assault rap he just got slapped with probably doesn't help).
SDCC '10: Guillermo del Toro Announces 'Pinocchio' With Nick Cave Doing Music, Talks 'Cronos' & Horror Anthology
Yesterday there was a fairly lively, profanity-laced panel at Comic-Con for the Guillermo del Toro project "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark," a remake of a charming 1973 made-for-television shocker that's currently available through the wonderful Warner Bros Archives.
The remake seems like a so-so proposition. Based on a script that del Toro and his writing partner Matthew Robbins did back in the mid-90s and helmed by comic artist-cum-first-time-director Troy Nixey, it could be a hand-me-down version of del Toro's patented "dark fairy tale" shtick. Still, the garrulous del Toro did let some other interesting details slip about future projects to go with Thursday's announcement that he'll be shepherding an Eddie Murphy-less "Haunted Mansion"for Disney (one sheet after the jump):
There's been a lot of questions about whether Will Ferrell collaborator and director Adam McKay ("Step Brothers" "Talladega Nights") would helm a live-action adaptation of Garth Ennis' comic book, "The Boys" for Sony. McKay's discussed the potential project a lot of late, but has always said he was still considering whether to make it or not.
But last night in San Diego during the panel for "The Other Guys" starring Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, the comedic filmmaker said he's on board. "As of today, I'm directing " he said.
The comic is a hero satire and focuses on a secret CIA group whose mission is to keep tabs on, and sometimes violently punish, out-of-control superheroes. Producer Neal Moritz ("The Green Hornet," "Battle: Los Angeles") told us yesterday that the film would be an "R-rated movie. But I wouldn’t say it’s going to be a movie with blood splattering all over everyone all the time."
Moritz also told us he wasn't concerned about the film adaptation falling on deaf ears like the violent and geek niche-centric "Kick Ass" film did earlier this year.
"I really enjoyed 'Kick-Ass' and I thought Matthew Vaughn did a great job," he said. "But I don’t know if that was the most mainstream version of the movie. I liked the movie and people I know liked it. The hard part is making these movies not to go to a very small, comic book fan base, but trying to broaden it out. And that’s what we’re trying to do with 'Green Hornet.' "
Illustrated by Darick Robertson, there's no word when this one will go into development. Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi are the screenwriters listed on IMDB pro. They're also writing "R.I.P.D" starring Ryan Reynolds which is another Moritz-produced movie currently in development. - Reporting by Drew Morton
Playlist correspondent Drew Morton had a chance to sit down with "The Green Hornet" co-scribe and Seth Rogen writing partner Evan Goldberg in San Diego during Comic-Con 2010. The writer of films like "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express" was not only friendly and personable, but extremely forthcoming about all his upcoming projects, some of them with and without Rogen.
Perhaps most exciting is what Goldberg calls his and Rogen's "top secret super project" called "Sausage Party."
Don't think we haven't considered this is a joke on Goldberg's part. In fact, we assumed it was when he told us the title, but when we pried a little further he delivered some small, but sincere details.
"I can tell you no more" he said. "But it's a CG film and involves Seth [Rogen] and Jonah [Hill] who star and Conrad Vernon (voice actor, "Monsters Vs. Aliens," "Shrek Forever After") and Mark Osborne (director "Kung Fu Panda") are involved. We've written that, we've finished and are going out to studios with now. We're very passionate about it. 'Sausage Party' is very special to us."
That's all we got as the interview was a very short five minutes. But with CG, some animation world veterans and a provocative title, it seems like Rogen and Goldberg have something very special up their collective sleeves. We hope to hear more details soon. -- reporting by Drew Morton.
Lea Seydoux Latest Name On Lisbeth Salander Short-List For 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'; Possibly The Front-Runner
Fans of Scandinavian murder, it's time to update your Lisbeth Salander casting possibility wallcharts. Reports came in earlier in the week that Sony and director David Fincher had narrowed down their possibilities for the female lead in "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" down to five: "Sucker Punch" star Emily Browning, two relatively unknown Australian actresses in the shape of Sara Snook and Sophie Lowe, "The Social Network" star Rooney Mara (as reported first right here), and one unidentified French actress.
Now, it seems that Showbiz 411 have uncovered the missing piece in the puzzle, as they suggest that French thespian Lea Seydoux is that enigmatic fifth actress, and that she may well be a front-runner for the role. If you were one of the unlucky few that saw Ridley Scott's "Robin Hood," you'll recognize Seydoux; she played Oscar Isaac's mistress in the ill-fated epic, as well as appearing briefly in "Inglourious Basterds." More importantly, she had a key role in Jessica Hausner's excellent "Lourdes," and comes from fine French cinema stock, her grandfather having been chairman of Pathé, and her uncle being CEO of Gaumont.
At this point, any actress under 25 with prominent cheekbones seems to be in contention for the part, so there's certainly no guarantee that Seydoux has the role. Furthermore, the report seems to suggest that the actress hasn't yet screen-tested, which gives some credence to what we were told; that the studio may go back to some of the bigger names (Carey Mulligan, Ellen Page, Mia Wasikowski, etc.) if the relative unknowns don't work out, but we still expect one of Browning, Snook, Lowe, Mara or Seydoux to be named in the role in the near future.
When Seth Rogen was first offered McG's "This Means War" opposite Chris Pine or Sam Worthington (take your pick, no one seems to want this thing) as two spies in love with the same girl (Reese Witherspoon), we said, "frankly, we don't see Seth Rogen taking this one on, he was the one who convinced Jonah Hill to not take the blogger role in Michael Bay's "Transformers: Revenge Of the Fallen," and this does not seem like his cup of tea."
Turns out we were right. Today we spoke to Evan Goldberg (writer of "The Green Hornet" and "Pineapple Express"), and when we asked him about Rogen's involvement in the picture he said, "My answer is simply, Whaaaaat?," which made us assume Rogen was out, especially considering there's been no news on that front for weeks now.
We got our confirmation only a few short hours later when one of our reporters in the field specifically asked Rogen during "The Green Hornet" press conference if he was participating in the film. His answer: a flat "no," along with his trademark chuckle. We assumed as much. Instead, Rogen will spend his summer shooting Sarah Polley's "Take This Waltz," co-starring Michelle Williams and Sarah Silverman, which is a much, much wiser move. All's well that ends well. McG's people have probably been looking for a replacement for a few weeks now. Justin Timberlake's name was in the mix for a while too, but who knows where that is now. And though Vulture reported exclusively that an offer was going out to Worthington, face it, an offer goes out to Worthington for practically everything these days (along with Bradley Cooper; see earlier today) -- reporting by Melissa Molina & Drew Morton
Here are two shorter reviews of films we saw and then quickly forgot about at the still ongoing Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal. Given the space we're giving these films, you can guess that we didn't like them, but these aren't just two random, not-so-memorable films. They are united and find common ground as films that squandered intriguing, original premises and got lost in their overreaching ambitions.
"Accident" -- This is probably the first and last time we'll ever say this about any movie, but damn, we wished this film was more like "Final Destination." The story follows Ho Kwok-fai (aka The Brain, played by Richie Ren) an assassin-for-hire who, with his usual crew of assistants, will murder people for contract and make it look like a totally random accident. For a price. As the great opening sequence shows us, a routine traffic jam finds their target on foot a block away from his car, dead after a plate glass window, itself dislodged from a Mouse Trap series of events, falls from a second story window and kills him. Seemingly a victim of bad luck, however every step of their target's journey was calculated and carried out. So, sounds like we're gonna follow this assassin and his rag tag crew as they go about setting up some elaborate accidental deaths, right? As awesome -- and yes, "Final Destination"-esque -- as that might've been, instead we get stuck with a tedious psychological thriller.
Posted by Kevin Jagernauth at 6:07 PM
"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" was one of the panels on a lot of people's list for things to see during this year's Comic-Con.
First, we were given a behind-the-scenes piece on "Scott Pilgrim," ending with director Edgar Wright stepping on stage. Before he made any introductions he went off a little about his great love for "Scott Pilgrim," the graphic novel. "The first time I heard of Scott Pilgrim -- well it was during my 'Shaun of the Dead' tour. When I saw it, it was love at first sight."
Take it as a rumor for now, but this comes from some very reliable sources who have been good to us and very accurate in the past.
We're hearing that the search for the director for "Wolverine 2" has quietly been underway and a host of Hollywood players have been courted for the gig. Several directors including Kathryn Bigelow, Timur Bekmambetov (who seems to be approached for anything and everything) and Daniel Espinosa (who helmed the buzzed about Swedish flick "Snabba Cash" and was considered for "X-Men: First Class") have talked to the studio about the gig, but apparently Fox has narrowed it down to two choices: Matt Reeves and Tony Scott.
Those are two intriguing and quite different choices. From a budgetary perspective, Matt Reeves would probably be the less expensive choice. He's still a director on the rise, but has shown he can handle action and FX ("Cloverfield"), and given the early looks at "Let Me In" that have surprised even the staunchest of "Let The Right One In" defenders, it appears he knows his way around character and atmosphere too. He's polished and taking the gig would have him commanding his biggest film to date, and would be a big step up for the director.
Update: Deadline reports that the deal is done and Mark Ruffalo has signed on to play the Hulk in "The Avengers"
So will Mark Ruffalo make a red-eye flight tonight out to San Diego?
The Wrap is reporting that a deal is close to being finalized for Ruffalo to play The Hulk for Marvel, not only in "The Avengers," but in some unspecified future films as well. And that appears to be the sticking point preventing the deal from being inked. The site reports that payment and the number of films Marvel wants Ruffalo to commit to -- between four and six -- still needs to be ironed out. Marvel is notoriously stingy on pay and we're sure Ruffalo (and his agent) want to make sure he isn't stuck like Samuel L. Jackson having to walk on to the set of every Marvel movie in production just to fill out his contract obligations.
Marvel and co. want the deal to close soon (ie. today) so Ruffalo can fly out to San Diego to hang with the rest of the cast of "The Avengers" and answer the question, "So what made you interested in The Hulk?" about 75 times. So if Ruffalo doesn't show up, it means the deal isn't done.
Bruce Willis has talked "Die Hard 5" in recent months, claiming the film might shoot in 2011, and now he says an officially green light is right around the corner.
"It's imminent," Willis told MTV yesterday at Comic-Con about the impending fifth film. "The coin is about to drop."
Do we need a fifth "Die Hard" film? Hell no, but we didn't really need anything after the original "Die Hard," which is still a classic movie that's more than just an action film back when Willis was much less of an invulnerable bad-ass (what's the point now? He's not an everyman anymore).
As for the long fan-desired rumor to "Unbreakable 2"? Mmm, maybe not so much.
"I think we'd have to hip-check M. Night [Shyamalan] into doing it," Willis said. "I think that movie should be made." As do your agents, lawyers and assistant's assistants. Carry on.
After "District 9" came out of nowhere to take over the box office and even managed to snag a nomination slot for Best Picture at the Oscars, it's no surprise that studios are trying to mimic that success.
Thus we have "Monsters." The film, marking the feature debut by Gareth Edwards takes place six years ago after "a NASA probe landed back in the New Mexico desert containing samples of alien life - which promptly grew, proliferated and turned the southern US and north of Mexico into an alien-occupied zone. Now, a US journalist agrees to escort an American tourist back through the no-man's land to safety." And judging by the trailer and clip debuted earlier this year at SXSW, things get a little messy.
No word yet on a release date, but Magnet Releasing is handling the film on this side of the pond. [IGN/Empire/Screenhead/Bleeding Cool]
"Monsters" Teaser Trailer
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Posted by Kevin Jagernauth at 3:27 PM
Six long years after filming wrapped on Kenneth Longergan's "Margaret," his long awaited follow up his 2000 acclaimed directorial debut "You Can Count On Me," will finally hit theaters in 2011 via Fox Searchlight.
The film has been sitting in limbo for the past few years for a variety of reasons. Foremost, a legal battle erupted between Fox Searchlight and the film's producer Dan Gilbert, with suits and countersuits filed, as Lonergan simply could not find the picture in the editing bay. Lonergan apparently requested further time in the editing room, while multiple editors apparently also took control of the film with and without Lonergan's ok. Even late producer Sydney Pollack become infuriated with Lonergan's "unprofessional and irrational behavior" and we pretty much had figured the movie would end up as historical curiosity rather than an actual finished film. According to Olivia Thirlby, 300 pages of script were shot so no wonder he had trouble wrangling this thing into a manageable size.
Well, Fox Searchlight has confirmed with Anne Thompson that "we do have a finished cut by Lonergan and we plan to release the film sometime in 2011." We guess everything got ironed out and Lonergan finally got a cut in the can. Also, way back in 2009, Fox Searchlight hired Nico Muhly to soundtrack the film but it's unknown if his work will still be in the film.
This one should definitely be interesting. The film stars Anna Paquin, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon, Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Olivia Thirlby with pretty much all of them having made huge strides in their careers over the past six years (sorry Matthew Broderick). The film, which is said to have echoes of 9/11 survivor's guilt, follows the ramifications of a tragic bus accident as seen through the eyes of a high school student desperate to parse the tragedy for a deeper spiritual meaning.
At this point we don't know what to think of the constant delays and struggles to bring "Margaret" to the big screen, but we're glad it's finally happening and that we'll get to see it.
Dudes like......wait a minute.....dude......"Dark Star," a biopic on Jerry Garcia is on the way (announced in 2008 for the stoners that can't remember).
Based on Robert Greenfield's book "Dark Star: An Oral Biography on Jerry Garcia," the film will take a unique approach to the jam band legend's life as it will "focus on Garcia's early life before he became the figurehead of the legendary jam band." But fans will at least get a tease of the iconic group as "the movie ends when Garcia leaves to join the Dead, but it captures the period when the guitarist was working in coffee shops and playing bluegrass, newly married with a young daughter."
As author Greenfield explains, " "I don't think Jerry is easily understood. I think he's a complex human being. After a certain point, everyone had their own vision of Jerry. This film is about who he really was before people made him what they wanted him to be. I think a lot of that has been lost in the legend and the myth that has grown since his death."
Greenfield goes on to explain that the film will try to sell the idea that drugs and psychedelics were only a small part of Garcia's songwriting and guitar playing style, but c'mon: "The reason we're focusing on this part of his life is [he was] an artist struggling to find himself. During the acid revolution, when he began using LSD, it changed the way he played his music. He did things on electric guitar that weren't done before not because he had taken LSD but because of all the influences he absorbed throughout his life. It's an accident of history and where he was in time."
The talent behind the screen stars pretty low on the ladder with Topper Lilien ("Dungeons & Dragons," "Where The Money Is") being tapped to pen the screenplay. More promisingly however, Amir Bar-Lev, the director behind the acclaimed Sundance sensation "The Tillman Story" and the New Orleans doc "Trouble The Water" will helm the picture, and certainly his background will be a great asset here.
No firm date on when this will go in front of cameras, but production is being eyed for early next year. [Rolling Stone]
We're hearing, yet another good... sure, call it a rumor, we're not 100% on this one either, but again, very intriguing.
Ok, remember how we said that David S. Goyer was potentially being considered a frontrunner to direct "Superman: The Man of Steel" reboot godfathered by Christopher Nolan, but might not be able to because he was considering another super-hero property?
Well, here it is. We're hearing that at ComicCon sometime in the next 48 hours or so WB/Legendary are going to announce Goyer and a "Wonder Woman" film for 2013. What's Goyer's role going to be. As a director? A writer? We're honestly not sure, the intel is fuzzy.
Again, we don't know if this is true, so take with a huge grain of salt if you will, but it's intriguing information if it's correct.
Either way, "Wonder Woman" is long overdue to hit the screen (would be nice to get a female super hero perspective that isn't "Elektra") and even if this info isn't true, we're pretty confident that some kind of Amazonian announcement is going to take place. If Goyer is simply just writing? And let's not forget, it was his "Superman" reboot idea that was so good that Christopher Nolan said, "I'm taking that to Warner Bros. Well if he is, we do have a certain director in mind that he should snatch up, asap.
Goyer's hands have been all over comic book film properties in recent years including writing for "Ghost Rider," "Batman Begins," "The Dark Knight," "X-Men Origins: Magneto," "Superman: Man of Steel," the "Blade" series and more, so if this does in fact turn up roses, we imagine fans will be extremely happy. Fingers crossed?
So, the red band trailer for the "Grindhouse" spinoff "Machete" has finally landed and wow, what a difference blood, boobs and a few well placed f-bombs make.
The brand new spot introduced by Robert Rodriguez gives us our first real taste at what to expect from the film, and it definitely will push things right over the top. Yep, that's Machete (Danny Trejo) using someone's entrails to jump out a window and swing onto the floor below. Yep, that's a guy getting a knife in the fucking face. And yes, those are some good looking girls wielding some very big guns. In short, this thing rocks but you might want to wait until you get home to watch this.
The motley crew cast joining Trejo includes, Jessica Alba, Robert De Niro, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin, Steven Seagal, Don Johnson, Rose McGowan, Jeff Fahey and Daryl Sabara.
Rodriguez penned the script himself and actually co-directed the picture with his longtime editor Ethan Maniquis. Machete will cut things up on September 3rd. [IGN]
Exclusive: Producer Neal Moritz Talks 'Battle: Los Angeles,' Considers 'Green Hornet' Sequel; Says Todd Phillips' 'Man-Witch' Is Still In The Cards
Quickly. Our man in the field at Comic-Con, Drew Morton sat down with "Battle: Los Angeles" and "The Green Hornet" producer Neal Moritz.
Moritz spoke to us about both those projects and if you've seen his IMDB page, you know he has about 20 projects or so in development.
One that we were particularly interested/worried about was "Man-Witch," an old Todd Phillips project that Jack Black was once attached to and Zach Galifianakis once seemed interested in, but decided to take Phillips' "Due Date" instead. We thought that that move may have killed it, but Moritz says it will eventually happen.
"It’s one of those things that at some point we’ll get to," Moritz said, "But I have so many projects lined up first — we’re doing "Fast and Furious" right now, we’re in post on 'Battle,' post on 'Green Hornet,' we’re going to do the "Total Recall" [redo] we’re going to do "R.I.P.D." [with Ryan Reynolds], [the potential Adam McKay vehicle] 'The Boys,' [Jonah Hill's] "21 Jump Street," there’s just a lot on our plate right now."
While we liked the film, critics and audiences in general were a bit more indifferent to the Robert Rodriguez produced, Nimrod Antal directed reboot/sequel "Predators." The film didn't exactly light up the box office and even more strange, the usually vocal fanboy contingent was quiet on it (though it probably didn't help that "Inception" opened a week later).
However, speaking at Comic Con, Rodriguez revealed that a sequel was likely. And really, we're not too surprised. Fox/Troublemaker wisely kept costs on the film low on a $40 million budget, the film has already pulled in $80 million worldwide. Not bad at all. And given Rodriguez's rep for delivering big action on small budgets, if the same lean and mean approach on the sequel, it could develop into a solid niche franchise for the studio with minimal risk.
No word yet on a director (obviously its a bit too early for that) but Rodriguez would produce. Speaking about where the series would go next, it sounds like he would open things up a bit. Speaking about it, Rodgriguez reveals that the first film was there, "So we could see what the appetite was, because the bigger movie would actually be what comes following that. That kind of sets up a new storyline, new location and world, and then you can really go crazy from there.”
While we would welcome another visit to the Predator world, it remains to be seen if it will happen. Rodriguez, as usual, has an incredibly busy, crowded slate of projects and it's probably still a bit off before it moves from an idea to something a bit more concrete.
We decided this was a good opportunity to look back at other filmmakers who have their own, shared crossover universes. It was all the excuse we needed, really. "Crossover Universe" is vague, nebulous and our rules change sometimes from filmmaker universe to filmmaker universe, but hell, that's why it's our site. :)
So yes, Solondz's recent work spawned this feature so we'll start with him, but we'll also note, his concept might be slightly different as it plays with identity -- all the characters in "Life During Wartime" are played by new actors. It's almost like the reverse engineered idea in "Palindromes" where he found eight actresses to play the same adolescent girl in the film (including Jennifer Jason Leigh as one of the iterations). So, let's explain. In 'Wartime,' Solondz takes two characters from "Welcome To The Dollhouse," Dawn Weiner's father and brother (she died, spoiler!) played by Michael Lerner and Rich Pecci and intertwines them with the family of 'Happiness' who are left off in that picture with a pedophile father that has molested their son (played originally by Dylan Barker and Cynthia Stevenson). They essentially become a new family unit when the mother (Alison Janney) and father (Lerner) start dating. It's all kind of difficult to explain so we made this cheat sheet last year outlining all the recurring characters, the actors who once played them and the actors who play them now. We're not sure what's a more inspired choice. Getting Pee Wee Herman (Paul Reubens) to take over Jon Lovitz's snively and pathetic character or Michael K. Williams from "The Wire" replacing Philip Seymour Hoffman's perverted, incessantly masturbating tragic creep. Either way, it's an ambitious concept, one that works and one that we admire.
There’s a moment in “Dogma,” arguably the crown jewel in Kevin Smith’s often spotty (to be generous) filmography, when Jay bemoans the fact that he and his “hetero-lifemate” Silent Bob went looking for Shermer, Illinois, the fictional setting of most of John Hughes’ movies, due to its high level of hot girls and lack of competing drug dealers, only to find out that it was made up. It was a winky moment, full of that zingy mixture of crudity and pop culture savvy that makes the best Kevin Smith joints so enjoyable, but it was also a comment on the burgeoning “View Askewniverse.” While not a staple of every Kevin Smith film, this universe consists of the geographic locations of Leonardo and Red Bank, and cross-over characters like Jay, Silent Bob, and hapless clerks Dante and Randall. (It’s weird to think of the more thematically ambitious “Dogma” caught up in this sophomoric milieu.) At one point Kevin Smith said that “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” would be the View Askewniverse swan song, featuring almost every major character from all of those movies (including the same actors playing multiple roles), but most of them were back for the more fitting close, “Clerks II.” Also, a shout out should go to the “Clerks” animated series, which steadfastly sticks to the preexisting mythology and also generates just as many chuckles as the live action films -- without all the cursing!
SDCC '10: Joss Whedon Confirms News We Already Know; Danny Trejo Serves 'Machete' Tacos, Jennifer Lawrence Isn't Lying About 'First Class'
Breaking: Joss Whedon confirms what we already know, he's directing "The Avengers." Duh.
Danny Trejo served up tacos at Comic-Con last night as part of the "Machete" event surrounding Robert Rodriguez's upcoming film. We knew the film would eventually be announced as part of Comic-Con (it was a last minute addition announced yesterday). Footage was shown last night. Maybe one of our writers caught if if they weren't busy drinking.
In related geek, but not quite comic-con news Jennifer Lawrence talked to the Orlando Sentinel about playing Mystique in Matthew Vaughn's "X-Men: First Class." There's been reports in the press about purposeful disinformation about who is playing who in the film, but if Lawrence is keeping with this ruse, she's a hell of a liar. In other words, she's definitely Mystique.
Around The Playlist water cooler we had been wondering, with Alfonso Cuarón's sci-fi epic "Gravity" moving forward, just who would have the star power to take on the leading female role previously attached to Angelina Jolie. Well, the NY Daily News reports (via Bleeding Cool) that Robert Downey Jr.'s "Iron Man 2" co-star Scarlett Johansson has "verbally agreed" to star in the film.
"Gravity" has been gearing up, with a call out by the special effects team for animators for the project. In June, it was reported that Downey Jr. would juggle his filming on the project, starting later this summer, with his commitment to "Sherlock Holmes 2"' shooting this fall. Basically, RDJ will be part of the bookends of the film's production.
"Gravity" centers on a team of astronauts — including the lead medical engineer and a talkative "mile-a-minute" veteran astronaut — who are asked to abandon their fix-it Hubble telescope mission and quickly reboard their ship after a sudden implosion of Russian satellites triggers a debris avalanche in orbit that threatens their immediate safety. It's basically a very high concept sci-fi thriller and a nonstop race for our protagonists to get back to earth.
In a welcome change of pace from the testosterone-fueled summer season, girls rule the new releases this weekend at the box office. Angelina Jolie takes a breather from the adoption queue to headline the spy flick "Salt" posing the biggest threat to "Inception" which has been pulling strong numbers all week long. Disney star Selena Gomez headlines the family oriented "Ramona and Beezus," giving the tweens too young for Edward and Jacob something to look forward to. On the indie front, Todd Solondz unleashes his "Happiness" pseudo-sequel "Life During Wartime."