Archive | March, 2011

“Gangster Squad” Makes Offer to Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling

31 Mar

Mobster films are usually a decent bet for Hollywood. Fans of the genre flock to them with hopes that maybe this will be the next Godfather or Goodfellas. With that in mind, Warner Bros. is trying to attract some big names to a new organized crime film, Gangster Squad. Last December, the studio got Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) to sign on to direct the script written by Warren Beall. Now, they are moving on to find some A-List actors to complete the bill.

According to Deadline, a formal offer to play the lead role of boxer-turned-gangster Mickey Cohen has been extended to Sean Penn, and the role of one of the two cops trying to bring him down has been offered to Ryan Gosling. Penn is a silver screen staple, usually good for a great performance and Gosling is one of the hottest actors right now in the business, coming off a solid performance in the critical darling Blue Valentine.

I think this could be a decent effort. I am always in the mood for more mafia films and there hasn’t been a decent one since The Departed, and even that didn’t live up to Scorcese’s best. This sounds more along the vein of The Untouchables, with a better cop actor than Kevin Costner.

Sean Connery ponders shooting Kevin Costner in the back on the set of The Untouchables.

The film will probably hinge more on the performance of Penn more than Gosling though. Penn did show hints of the complex cruelty required to play this type of role in his Oscar Winning turn in Mystic River.

Ruben Fleischer could be a good pick as a director, but the only thing I have seen him direct is Zombieland. Also, Warren Beall, even though his script made the 2010 Black List of best unproduced screenplays, I don’t know much about his writing. Hopefully, this project will deliver on its potential and this relatively new writing and directing talent will bring some refreshment to the genre.


Hollywood Strikes Again: Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher Team Up to Cover the Female Box Office Demographic

31 Mar

Most of you already know my stance about Justin Bieber, so i will not beleaguer your eyeballs with what you can find pretty much anywhere on the internet that isn’t patrolled by teenage girls or grandmothers. This has to do with Hollywood, not necessarily Justin Bieber. In Bieber’s mind, he is probably doing the right thing, trying to make the transition from being a teen pop singer to being an actor.

We all know how the last attempt turned out...

Sony Pictures is making a film called What Would Kenny Do?, a film about a high school kid who is visited by a 30-year-old version of his future self to help guide him through high school. The film will also be produced by Overbrook Entertainment, Will Smith‘s production company, and already has Bieber and Kutcher signed on to star.

With Will Smith involved, we can be pretty sure this annoying kid will stop by as well.

Apparently, Kenny was drafted up as an R-Rated comedy and made the 2008 Black List, which is a list of the best unproduced scripts. So, it definitely had something going for it, until Hollywood decided that instead of making a better movie, we could make a worse one that would make us some bank in the process. Sony Pictures decided that it needed to tone down the vulgarity, probably to the point of being PG, and then hired two actors that they knew could cover the demographic of the female box office. Bieber would attract the tweens and Kutcher would cover the older crowd.

I think I could’ve just settled that Hollywood was trying to do the smart thing for them, I mean not every movie is going to end up being something that I would want to see. I think what bothers me so much about this is knowing that the movie probably was better and might have been something I would want to see, if placed in the right hands, but instead Hollywood probably (can’t fully judge it if I haven’t seen it) watered it down and made it cutesy just to make a quick buck. Plus, while Kutcher may seem like he will be someone to bring the money in, his last couple of films have been box office disasters, so they are pretty much banking on the teen girls to want to see Bieber. This could end up being a lose-lose all around.

Batman Reboot Already in the Works

30 Mar

It seems these days, in the age of the reboot, that a franchises last film isn’t even able to make it to the network television circuit before it is already being rebooted.  Tobey Maguire hasn’t even been able to live down his future “Dancing with the Stars” audition tape in Spiderman 3 before Marvel cast Andrew Garfield to play The Amazing Spiderman in 2012.

Actually he may never live this down

If that wasn’t bad enough, Warner Bros. has announced that they are already interested in going back to Bruce Wayne’s origins and rebooting Batman.  Not only is interest in the caped crusader at an all time high due to the success of The Dark Knight; but Christopher Nolan’s third and final film in the franchise, The Dark Knight Rises, hasn’t even begun shooting.  However, Christopher Nolan and his producing partner/wife Emma Thomas will remain attached to the Batman reboot as producers, suggesting that Warner Bros. is interested in maintaining some continuity with the saga, or at least maintaining the quality that we’ve come to expect from the current Batman franchise.

If it weren’t for Nolan and Thomas’s involvement in the reboot I would find this announcement extremely disrespectful to Nolan and all those involved in the current Batman trilogy, instead I find it just mildly obnoxious.  With the upcoming release of Thor and Captain America, it seems that Warner Bros. is attempting to keep the potential of a Justice League movie in its sights; and with this being the last Batman film for Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, the WB needed to be prepared.  Regardless, it would be appropriate for the company to be more focused on the current Batman film in production than looking past it for a potential reboot.  The Dark Knight Rises is possibly the most anticipated comic book movie of all time, and with fans of the series chomping at the bit for next summer’s release, you’d think Warner Bros would concentrating all Batman efforts on making this the best (fiscally and critically) film possible.

They should just use this film's title and make a double reboot

Executive Jeff Robinov has stated that they are aiming for a 2013 team-up of the Justice League on-screen, and if this were a realistic goal then it would make sense for them to be considering a new Batman at this point.  However, The Green Lantern is just making its debut this summer, and Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot won’t hit theaters until December 2012; additionally, Justice League members The Flash and Wonder Woman have proposed motion pictures but aren’t yet in development.  To go the marketing route of The Avengers, Warner Bros would have to release a motion picture for each of these four superheroes and reboot Batman into a new film before releasing a Justice League movie in 2013, impossible.

As a final thought, here’s a suggestion for following up the current Batman trilogy.  Rather than reboot the franchise with a new Bruce Wayne and a re-telling of the origin story, why not pick up where Nolan leaves off.  With Christian Bale not returning for a fourth film either; you’d have to re-cast Batman, but not necessarily Bruce Wayne.  At two separate instances in the Batman comics Dick Grayson, formerly Robin and Nightwing, has taken up the Batman mantle.  Once after Bruce Wayne’s “death” and once after his back was broken by Bane (a villain in Nolan’s upcoming film).  It might anger a lot of fans of current and past Batman films to see someone other than Bruce Wayne parading as the Caped Crusader, but it would maintain continuity within the franchise and eliminate some of the stigma of a reboot.

What do you think?  Do you find it justifiable that Warner Bros. is already considering a Batman reboot a year before TDKR is released?  Do you want to see a Justice League movie in 2013?  How would you like to see the Batman legacy carried on in film?

Mad Men Season 5 Delayed Until 2012

30 Mar

Negotiations for AMC’s Mad Men have pushed the release date for the highly anticipated 5th season until March, 2012. This is coming from Deadline, who reported that the final arrangements in show creator Matthew Weiner’s contract and an already full Fall show line up for AMC, caused the show to be delayed.

Weiner was set to make $30 million over the course of three years, which would make him the highest paid show runner. However, the negotiations hit some snags when AMC said that his contract would then force him to cut two main cast characters, cut two minutes off each episode and add more product placement. Weiner, was apparently not willing to budge about that, wanting to maintain the integrity of the characters, storyline and each episode. He probably also saw the irony that a show about an advertising agency would be plagued with product placement.

While the show has already been greenlit for production of the 5th season, there is no word yet as to whether Weiner conceded to the terms of the contract. I hope not, because I like the show the way it is and wouldn’t want it to become obvious about product placement to the point where it is distracting.

I'm looking at you "Dexter"

Also, that additional product placement would have to be tailored to the 1960’s which might prove tricky.

As for cutting two characters, that would be difficult right now, since most of the main characters have already survived one downsizing in the show and it would be hard to watch more of them leave. I can’t even imagine who they might be, but my guess would be that if it came down to it Lane Pryce (Jared Harris) and Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Stanton) would be the prime candidates to leave, even if it would painful to watch them go.

I am disappointed that AMC is being so stingy with their most prestigious show. They seem to be coddling  their new baby, The Walking Dead, even though it is much lighter fare. They could probably afford to cut at least four minutes off each episode because most of the time ther commercials end up being smarter and more entertaining. Whatever happens, one thing is for sure, I can’t wait for more Mad Men.

Will Ferrell Not Joining “The Office” Full Time

30 Mar

Several fans’ hopes were lit up when they saw Will Ferrell show up at the end of last week’s episode of The Office. To add to their excitement, Ferrell told US Magazine at the Comedy Central Awards on Saturday that things were “looking good” for him joining the show full time after Steve Carell‘s exit.

Sadly, that is not the case. Paul Lieberstein, the show’s producer, immediately came back to NYMAG and said, “Will was joking — but he commits to his jokes so fully that we’re hoping he’s with us long term, just as a bit that won’t end.”

He essentially just put the audience in a glass cage of emotion.

This is no surprise, since Will Ferrell’s cameo was announced back in January and was touted as a four episode arc. Just days before that, Greg Daniels, the show’s executive producer, had told Pittsburgh’s Post Gazette that Michael Scott‘s replacement would be someone who is a regular (i.e. Darryl, Dwight, Andy, Jim etc.). Plus, it would be really hard to imagine Ferrell sticking to a full time tv character.

No matter how much we would like to see that happen.

So, enjoy Ferrell on The Office while you can. He is next set to appear on the episode airing on Thursday April 14 on NBC.

News from the Rumor Mill: Uma Thurman says that Quentin Tarantino’s Next Film is a “Southern”; Kick-Ass 2 On Hold

28 Mar

by Chris Petersen

Uma Thurman Confirms that Tarantino’s Next Film is a “Southern”

A couple of weeks back the rumor mill was running on full speed talking about Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti western project. Now, it is coming out that the genre for the film is going to be what Tarantino refers to as a “Southern”. What is a “Southern”? Tarantino originally explained it during the press rounds for Inglorious Basterds:

“I’d like to do a Western. But rather than set it in Texas, have it in slavery times. With that subject that everybody is afraid to deal with. Let’s shine that light on ourselves. You could do a ponderous history lesson of slaves escaping on the Underground Railroad. Or, you could make a movie that would be exciting. Do it as an adventure. A spaghetti Western that takes place during that time. And I would call it ‘A Southern’”

The recent change in rumor from Tarantino doing a full on spaghetti western to him directing a “Southern” comes after a comment that Uma Thurman made to the Hollywood Outbreak:

I think he has a script ready to start of a new film, ‘A Southern’, I think it’s really exciting. It’s another new story and a fresh piece of material that he is channeling at the moment.”

I like this idea. While I was looking forward to a spaghetti western, I think that this will contain a lot of the same elements and if it is successful it could start a new genre of film.

Heck, Rubber just invented the Telekinetic Killer Tire genre.

Kick-Ass 2 Probably Not Happening

Last year provided a new cult classic with the superhero parody Kick-Ass, based on a comic book series and directed by Matthew Vaughn. After its release in April 2010, there was immediate buzz about a possible sequel. Mark Millar, writer of the comic book and producer of the film, even went so far at one point to say that Matthew Vaughn would be returning to direct.

Sadly, all of that is probably not true. Jane Goldman, who has been a writer for Vaughn on many of his projects, recently said the following to Absolute Radio:

I don’t think it’s going to happen. At the moment it’s not in the works,” she said. “We’re all doing different things at the moment. We would love to do it again, but we’ve all been pulled in different directions. Also, we just want to be sure that the story was just right. You wouldn’t want to do a sequel if it’s not going to be as good as the first one. Maybe the moment will be right one day. Hopefully.

Currently Vaughn is wrapping up post-production on X-Men: First Class. While I would love to see another Kick-Ass, I don’t want it to be rushed either. I think this is the right approach for the time being; put it on hold and wait until there is a solid plan in place for the film.

What are your thoughts about Tarantino’s new film? Are you disappointed that Kick-Ass won’t be coming back?

Quick Take: Amy Adams to play Lois Lane

28 Mar

On cue coming out of the weekend is our DC Comics/Warner Bros. casting news of the week.  After speculation going into the weekend that Michael Shannon is in consideration for an unidentified villain in Superman: Man of Steel, possibly the most anticipated role (aside from Superman himself) has been officially cast.  Amy Adams (The Fighter) will play famed reporter Lois Lane in Zack Snyder’s adaptation releasing next December.

Amy Adams is an inspired choice for the role and beat out a list of many other high profile actresses that included: Diana Argon (Glee), Malin Ackerman (Watchmen), Kristen Stewart (Twilight), Rachel McAdams (Wedding Crashers), Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Jessica Biel (The A-Team), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), and Olivia Wilde (House).  Amy Adams will be yet another high powered name added to the picture and will join fellow Oscar nominees Kevin Costner and Diane Lane.  Adams is coming off an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Fighter