When you hear the name Perry White, which actors do you think of? Probably not Laurence Fishburne, right? But while Fishburne might not look like the traditional Perry White, he can certainly play a serious, driven commanding character. Simply put, he could boss anyone around.
When you put it that way, he sounds like a terrific choice. Zack Snyder sure thinks so. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Fishburne has landed the part of The Daily Planet’s editor-in-chief in Snyder’s upcoming (and delayed) Superman film MAN OF STEEL. Fishburne will be directing a news room led by Amy Adams as Lois Lane and Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman. Along for the ride will be Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Russell Crowe.
What do you think of the choice? I like Fishburne, I think he gets better with age. I don’t think we’ll get the typical loud, raging White but, you know what, that’s okay. I’m willing to see something new. As I’ve said before, I think the casting of this film has been brilliant so far.
It feels like GOTTI: IN THE SHADOW OF MY FATHER has been casting for years. Why, I remember back in the day when director Nick Cassevetes announced that John Travolta would be starring in the crime biopic. John Travolta would end up being the only constant in the project, aside from producer Marc Fiore. Cassevetes was replaced by Barry Levinson, Joe Pesci was cast, scratched and is now suing the production, James Franco was apparently in talks but that didn’t work and Lindsay Lohan was tentatively attached but is no longer involved. Phew, still with me?
The latest news about the film is pretty substantial. The Wrap reports that Ben Foster has landed the role of John Gotti, Jr., the man enveloped by his father’s shadow. Foster has worked with Levinson before on LIBERTY HEIGHTS back in 1999. But this won’t be a touching family drama like HEIGHTS, this will (hopefully) be a serious movie about one of America’s most well-known crime families. While Foster is a funny dude, he’s shown off his dramatic chops on more than one occasion. He’s very capable of turning in a great performance.
So they’ve got a strong cast, no one can deny that. Will the movie be any good? I’m still not sold, regardless of how confident Fiore is.
IN THE SHADOW OF MY FATHER will shoot in January. By then, maybe everyone will be replaced and suing the production.
Warner Bros won’t lose faith in GREEN LANTERN. Even though audiences and critics didn’t care for it, even though the box office was pretty bad, even though no one wants it, a sequel is in the works. But how will WB fix the problems of the first movie? Make it “darker” and “edgier” of course! That works every time!
Here’s Warner Bros. film group President Jeff Robinov talking tothe LA Times about the unavoidable sequel:
“We had a decent opening so we learned there is an audience […] To go forward we need to make it a little edgier and darker with more emphasis on action…. And we have to find a way to balance the time the movie spends in space versus on Earth.”
The words “dark” and “edgy” are used often in Hollywood, usually when film makers are trying to impress fanboys and film lovers uninterested in the project. But movies don’t always deliver the dark and edgy nature they promise.
Aside from the apparent dark and edgy nature of a proposed sequel, Robinov revealed that an outline has already been written by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim, the fellas behind the first film. So there might be script problems again but they’ll be dark and edgy problems!
As for director Martin Campbell, don’t expect to see him return. Even though he’s signed on to direct a sequel, WB will likely replace him with someone else. It seems that Warner Bros, like everyone else, wasn’t blown away by Campbell’s work. I guess he wasn’t dark and edgy enough.
One of the most talked about panel’s from last month’s Comic Con was for TWIXT, Francis Ford Coppola’s bizarre, unconventional ghost story. Manny was at the panel and had quite a lot to say about it. He wasn’t the only one impressed, nearly everyone who saw Coppola’s presentation was blown away. The legendary director is using mixing technology to essentially remix his film how he sees fit. His goal is to tour the country with TWIXT and change it up each night. No two audiences would see the same film.
Even without that revolutionary idea, TWIXT looks like something I’d love. It’s dark, it’s campy, it’s creepy and utterly bizarre. It reminds me of a mix between TWIN PEAKS and something Stephen King would write. It also has Tom Waits in it so I’m sure you’re also sold.
This extended promo trailer is more or less what the audience at Comic Con saw. I say more or less because, as you guessed, Coppola live-edited this trailer several times, changing it again and again to show off his vision. There’s something so inspiring about a 72-year-old legend still trying to change things and stay ahead of the curve. It’s always been plain to see but Francis Ford Coppola really loves cinema.
TWIXT stars Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Elle Fanning, Ben Chaplin, Tom Waits and more. It will play at the Toronto International Film Festival where we’ll get out first reviews.
A writer with a career in decline arrives in a small town as part of his book tour and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving a young girl. That night in a dream, he is approached by a mysterious young ghost named V. He’s unsure of her connection to the murder in the town, but is grateful for the story being handed to him. Ultimately he is led to the truth of the story, surprised to find that the ending has more to do with his own life than he could ever have anticipated.
Everyone is hoping Cameron Crowe’s WE BOUGHT A ZOO is good, especially since it’s his first film since 2005’s ELIZABETHTOWN, a film that didn’t live up to his standards…or anyone’s standards really.
ZOO stars Matt Damon (who is a complete hero in my book) as a grieving father who buys and renovates a zoo after his wife passes away. Aside from Damon, the film stars Scarlett Johansson, Elle Fanning, Patrick Fugit, J.B. freaking Smoove (I love that guy!) and Thomas Haden Church. Plus, you know, lots of cute animals.
That’s the one thing that concerns me about WE BOUGHT A ZOO. Will it be a return to Crowe’s former self or will it be more of the sappy, melodramatic cute stuff we saw in ELIZABETHTOWN? Sometimes animals, especially adorable ones, bring a film down. I’m sure ZOOKEEPR was a masterpiece before they added all those CGI creatures.
Still, this is one to look out for. WE BOUGHT A ZOO opens December 23rd. More images are below in the gallery.
Do you like Drew Barrymore, Chloe Moretz and Best Coast? If you said no to any of those things, we are clearly not friends and I question your patriotism. Nonetheless, our American treasure Barrymore has directed the amazing Moretz (LET ME IN) in a music video for the low-fi fuzz-pop group Best Coast.
Best Coast’s lush, sorrowful sounds and stories make for the perfect backdrop on their latest tragi-tale, “Our Deal.” Our Hollywood sweetheart directs the video, which also features celebrity cast members Donald Glover, Alia Shawkat, and Tyler Posey as rival gangs. Moretz is Veronica, who belongs to the Night Creepers (a nice little play on her role in LET ME IN), but has fallen in love with Lucky (Posey) – a Day Trotter. When one of the Creepers is beaten by two of the Day Trotters’ nastiest (Donald Glover and Shailene Woodley), a turf war breaks out – complete with faux hawks, breakdancing, and choreographed ass kicking. It’s all so very WEST SIDE STORY!
Check out the video and tell us your thoughts. I love all the elements at play here, but what I love most is that Barrymore is proving herself to be a formidable director (as well as actress and producer).
What a silver lining indeed! According toDeadline, my 3rd husband Bradley Cooper is back in talks to star in THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, as it looks like Mark Wahlberg will be leaving the film over a scheduling conflict. To make the film’s lineup even better, Cooper’s LIMITLESS costar Robert De Niro is also now in the conversation to join the cast. The Weinstein Company is producing this adaptation of the Matthew Quick novel that David O Russell will direct this fall. Cooper had reportedly been attached to the film last year, but more recently it looked like the star would be Russell’s THE FIGHTERfrequent collaborator Wahlberg. Talks are getting underway for Cooper to star with Jennifer Lawrence, who’ll play the female lead role.
Wahlberg will exit the movie because the production start was pushed and it now bumps up against BROKEN CITY, the noir drama directed by Allen Hughes. In that film, Wahlberg is in talks to play a cop-turned private eye who gets caught up in a corruption scandal involving the city mayor. The scheduling complexity arose when Lawrence won the female lead over a crop of young actresses. Lawrence – as we all know- is busy shooting THE HUNGER GAMES and she needed LININGS to start later than expected which created the conflict for Wahlberg.
THE SILVER LINGINGS PLAYBOOK revolves around a former high school teacher who was institutionalized for depression and then released into the care of his mother. He tries to win back his ex-wife but becomes involved with an eccentric neighbor with problems of her own. That is the part that Lawrence will play, a job she won amidst competition from a group of top young actresses who became interested after Anne Hathaway (who was originally attached with Cooper) fell out because of her schedule on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.
Cooper’s career couldn’t be hotter right now. He’s currently shooting THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES – the Derek Cianfrance-directed drama that also stars Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes- and will shoot Director Alex Proyas’ PARADISE LOST later this year.
What are your thoughts? Have you read the book and are excited about the casting selections?
This week we’ve got a bird who can’t fly, girls who can’t avoid sharks, and a FANTASTIC British show that’s finally available in the states through legal means, so let’s get started!
This Week’s Big Releases
RIO Synopsis: Blu a blue macaw who is taken to Rio de Janeiro to mate. He eventually falls in love with Jewel and together they have to escape from being smuggled by Nigel, a cockatoo. Features the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jemaine Clement, and George Lopez. Tomatometer Rating:72% Special Features: There’s lots of stuff here, though most of it seems to be aimed at children like Explore the World of Rio, Saving the Species: One Voice at a Time, The Making of Hot Wings,Boom-Boom Tish-Tish: The Sounds of Rio and deleted scenes for everyone else. Deals:Amazon and Best Buy have the blu-ray combo pack for $19.99. You can get the 3D blu-ray combo pack at Best Buy for $29.99 Buy/Queue/Skip: I liked Angry Birds Rio a bit better than the film, which had entirely too much Will.I.Am/Black Eyed Peas influence in it. Download the game instead. SKIP IT
SOUL SURFER Synopsis: Based on real life, a young surfer girl gets her arm bitten off by a shark, and then gets mad at God about it. AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, and Helen Hunt star. Tomatometer Rating:50% Special Features: There are a few special features on the making of the film, and on Bethany Hamilton, whose life the film is based on. Deals:Amazon has the blu-ray combo pack for $19.99 Buy/Queue/Skip: I liked this in the same way that I liked the should-have-been-a-Lifetime-movie Cyberbully. Case in point. So if you’re in for a laugh, QUEUE IT.
Also Available This Week
The second season of Danny McBride’s Eastbound and Down is available this week. If you get it at Best Buy, you’ll get a free shirt, but if you get it at Target, you’ll get an exclusive bonus disc with a Q&A with the cast. Other TV DVD’s out this week include the third season of United States of Tara and the fourth and final season of one of my favorite TV shows, Everwood.
Both Best Buy and Target have some pretty awesome sales this week. Best Buy has SCREAM, SCREAM 2, THE MASK, ENTER THE DRAGON and BLOW for ten bucks and TAXI DRIVER, GHOSTBUSTERS, THE DARK KNIGHT, ZOMBIELAND and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN for thirteen bucks.
Target has the first season of PARKS AND RECREATION for nine bucks, and THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA for eight bucks.
After lots of goading from people, I finally got around to catching up on the UK series MISFITS, which is only now legally available in the US via Hulu.
The series centers around a group of troublemaking kids who discover that they’ve developed powers of various sorts after being caught in a lightning store. What makes this more than just a British take on HEROES, it’s far darker and features much better performances (on the whole) than HEROES ever did and is able to flesh out its characters more completely and make them more interesting in just a few episodes than HEROES was in three seasons. If the pilot doesn’t hook you in, then I say good day to you, sir.
Hulu has the entire first season available online for free and is also adding episodes from the series’ second season in the coming weeks. The series is rating TV-MA for language, a surprising amount of violence, and should generally not be played near small children. Otherwise, enjoy!
A couple weeks ago, I heard Reese Witherspoon dined at one of my favorite Burbank restaurants (Chadaka Thai) with a bunch of Disney execs. Today, we find out what was most likely discussed over a plate of pad thai. According to Deadline, Reese Witherspoon has attached herself to star in WISH LIST.
WISH LIST, courtesy of Disney, is a romantic comedy about an overly imaginative little girl who makes 10 wishes at a wishing well. They don’t come true because her coin never reached the bottom and eventually she loses her inner child and becomes a full-grown and ambitious career woman. Some 25 years later, the coin is dislodged, falls to the bottom and she has to deal with the ramifications of 10 kid wishes coming true all at once.
The script’s being written by Randi Mayem Singer (TOOTH FAIRY). The film’s being produced by Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray, who most recently produced SECRETARIAT for the studio. The comedy was initially developed as a vehicle for a male star, but now it’s being retooled for Witherspoon, who was last seen in WATER FOR ELEPHANTS. She next stars in the McG-directed THIS MEANS WAR opposite Chris Pine and Tom Hardy for Fox.
Since I am a romcom lover and will watch Witherspoon in just about anything (even stomaching last years dreadful HOW DO YOU KNOW), I can’t wait to see this sure to be adorable film. What are your thoughts?
While there’s been talk about it for awhile, I never thought we’d actually see a DOCTOR STRANGE film. But I’m also the guy who never thought we’d see an ANT-MAN movie either and that looks to be moving forward so what do I know?
Twitch is reporting that Marvel has received a DOCTOR STRANGE script from Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (COWBOYS & ALIENS and CONAN THE BARBARIAN but don’t hold it against them). Marvel hired the two to pen the script back in June 2010. Now they’re done and Marvel is moving forward with the production. The comic behemoth is now sending the script to several directors to see who is interested.
Who wouldn’t be interested? I think a DOCTOR STRANGE film would be a director’s dream. The comics were about Strange, a surgeon who gains supernatural powers after a horrible car accident. The series saw Strange protect Earth from villainous and monstrous threats, all while dressing like a badass and using super powers. Awesome, right? While it’s not IRON MAN or SPIDER-MAN, DOCTOR STRANGE could be something a director could really sink his or her teeth into and it’s not a well-known property so presumably there wouldn’t be as much riding on the film, letting the director really have fun. Hopefully the script is decent.
Twitch says that Marvel is eying a 2013 release. If that’s true then you should expect more news in the not-too-distance future. In the mean time, we can begin to list our favorite directors and actors for the film. To be honest, I’ve always imagined David Strathairn as Doctor Strange. Hey, I like thinking outside the box.