Seth Rogen is no Christian Bale. A scruffy, mild-mannered Canadian whose voice is laced in sarcasm, with seemingly every statement punctuated by a “Huh-Huh-Huh” chuckle, Rogen is best known for his stoner-slacker roles in films like “Knocked Up” and “Pineapple Express.” Even his bodily transformation for his role as billionaire playboy-cum-masked vigilante Britt Reid in THE GREEN HORNET wasn’t nearly as drastic as Bale’s – Rogen merely went from pudgy to out-of-shape. He is, in many ways, the anti-superhero.
First conceived as a radio program in 1936, then a comic, then a short-lived TV series in the 1960s – most notable for the first stateside appearance of martial artist Bruce Lee as the ass-kicking chauffeur, Kato – Britt Reid (a.k.a. The Green Hornet) is the original billionaire playboy (sorry, Bruce Wayne). Unlike Batman, however, The Green Hornet suffered a far more arduous journey to the big screen. The property was first being shopped around in 1992 with George Clooney attached in the title role, until he left to film “Batman and Robin.” Then, in 1997, Michel Gondry signed on to make his directorial debut with Mark Wahlberg in the lead, but it was stuck in development hell, and all parties left. In 2000, Jet Li was attached to play Kato, but again things fizzled. Then, in 2004, Miramax president Harvey Weinstein hired cult filmmaker and comic book writer Kevin Smith to write and direct the film, and Smith approached Jake Gyllenhaal for the lead, but by 2006, Smith left the project.
Finally, in 2007, producer Neal Moritz (“The Fast and the Furious” films) obtained the rights, optioned them to Columbia Pictures, and hired Seth Rogen to star as Reid and co-write the screenplay with his writing partner, Evan Goldberg (the duo wrote “Superbad” and “Pineapple Express” together). Stephen Chow (“Kung Fu Hustle”) signed on to direct and star as Kato, and Nicolas Cage was in talks to play the villain, but Chow soon left, and Cage reportedly wanted to play the villain, Chudnofsky, with a Jamaican accent, and left the project over creative differences.
So, over a decade later, Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) was brought back to direct THE GREEN HORNET, with Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou cast as Kato, and Cameron Diaz in the role of love interest Lenore Case. The film concerns billionaire playboy Reid, heir to a newspaper publishing fortune, whose father (Tom Wilkinson) dies mysteriously. Reid must reassess his life, and eventually assumes the identity of a masked vigilante, The Green Hornet, who, along with his Kung Fu fighting chauffeur, Kato, cruise around in their souped-up ride Black Beauty, ridding the streets of crime. Their main target in Benjamin Chudnosky (“Inglorious Basterds’” Christoph Waltz), a Russian mobster who controls the Los Angeles criminal underworld.
MMM sat down with Seth Rogen to chat about how this project finally came to fruition – including the hilarious opening scene featuring James Franco, why it’s in 3-D, and finding the right mixture of action and comedy.
MMM: Can you talk about how Gondry and Cameron Diaz came into play?
ROGEN: After Stephen Chow left we were really just charged with finding a new director. We met with tons of people and Gondry was really passionate about it. He had been attached to a version of it fifteen years ago. It was the first movie that he was ever attached to as a director. He really just oddly seemed to get what we were trying to do. He really wins the award for being the most different than you think he’s going to be. You picture him for being this very pretentious kind of artsy fartsy guy, but he’s not. He’s really funny and he’s in no way pretentious. He’s incredibly sloppy in his appearance and disorganized seeming, but when he came in and met with us he really just seemed to get what we were going for. It was clear that he’d be able to do the action in a way that was really original and to us that was really important because we were pretty sure we’d be able to make an interesting story and we’d make it funny, but we knew that in order for it to stand up against these other superhero movies that the action had to be something exceptional. We wanted to make sure that we had a director who could do that and he definitely could.
MMM: And Cameron Diaz?
ROGEN: Cameron. It’s funny. We didn’t know if we were going to get enough money to hire a big actress or a little actress or what. The studio was in a good mood that day, I guess, and they were like, “You can get a big actress,” and we were like, “How about Cameron Diaz?” And they were like, “All right.” I mean, sometimes things just work out well. We called her and I think it was like a few hours from when we called her to when she said yes to doing it. I don’t think she even read the script fully before she committed to it. She just liked the idea of me and she liked mine and Evan’s movie. She loves ‘Pineapple Express’ and she likes Gondry, and so she was just like, ‘Sure, yes. Why not,’ which was amazing. She’s really cool.
MMM: Can you talk about how long it took to do that scene with James Franco and if it was improvised?
ROGEN: A day, and it was great. Again, sometimes you just ask someone to do something and they say yes. That was one of those things. He had some free time and it just worked out really well. We had this funny idea for the scene of how to introduce Christoph [Waltz] and we really wanted to give it something to kind of add some importance to it, I guess. Franco is one of the funniest dudes that I know and so we asked him and he said yes and it worked out well.
MMM: Was it your idea or Evan’s [Goldberg] idea or both, coming up with this unorthodox idea of the superhero and the sidekick getting into major brawls as part of the story?
ROGEN: It was me and Evan, definitely. I mean, from the first conversation we had about whether or not we should do this movie, that was really the only idea that we had. It was really the only reason that we had to do it, that we just started thinking, “It’d be funny if we did ‘The Green Hornet’ and it’s all about how him and Kato don’t get along well and they don’t feel like they appreciate each other in the right way.” That was really all we had initially and I think because the idea was so simple it’s the only reason that it actually kept going. With all the weird ups and downs that the movie had the fact that you could always look back to that idea, like, “Oh, it’s just about a hero and a sidekick and they don’t get along well,” I think that’s what always kept it moving forward. At its core it was just this really simple idea that everyone understood and liked and could picture what was funny about it.
MMM: Did you have any hesitation in making this a comedy since it’s sort of small, but vociferous fan base is loyal to the serious tone of the ’60’s version?
ROGEN: Not really. We just wanted to go for it. I view comic book movies and comic books themselves as two completely different things. As cool as ‘The Dark Knight’ is that’s not really how Batman is portrayed in a lot of comic books. If you’re a comic book purist then you probably wouldn’t make the argument today because you’d look stupid because the movie is so awesome, but you could make the argument that ‘The Dark Knight’ is actually completely unrepresentative of how Batman is often portrayed in the comic books. And so that was never really a fear of ours, or a consideration. We wanted to make the best movie possible, but at the same time include all the stuff that you expected from a ‘Green Hornet’ movie whether you were really familiar with it or completely unfamiliar with it. I think if you’re really familiar with it there are a hundred references that we put in that you should be able to find. And if you’re completely unfamiliar with it then hopefully every time one of those things happen you don’t think, ‘Oh, it must be something from the TV show. That’s why I don’t understand it.’ We really wanted to try to have it so if you knew nothing it all seemed funny and interesting and original, and if you knew everything it seemed like we were kind of honoring the source.
MMM: Regarding references, did you have a map of all the things that you wanted in the script? How did you decide that?
ROGEN: We went through the radio show and we watched all the episodes of the show and just every once in a while a thing, like, the Pony Room. There’s an episode in a Pony Room. We were like, “Oh, that’s a good name for a bar. If there’s a bar in the movie we should call it the Pony Room,” and there were things like that. The Zephyr was the original Black Beauty and so we thought, like, “Oh, if we can get a zephyr in there somewhere that would be cool.” Literally, the whole end action idea from the movie is actually from an episode of the TV show wherein I’m trying to conceal this bullet wound that I’ve gotten. So we tried to take it all out. We really went through everything and thought, “Yeah, that could be cool. That could be cool,” but again the first priority was to make a good movie and if possible include as much of this stuff as we could. And we got a lot of it in there.
MMM: Whose idea was it to Bruce Lee in it?
ROGEN: I think that was actually [Michel] Gondry’s idea, to put the Bruce Lee drawing in it. Me and Evan were honestly very cautious about drawing any attention to the Bruce Lee thing in any way, shape or form, but Gondry was right. He was like, “Everyone likes Bruce Lee. We should acknowledge it.” He thought it was a cool idea if this guy likes Bruce Lee, that the character himself is a fan of Bruce Lee’s. What you say to that is what all smart filmmakers say. “We’ll shoot it and decide later.” So that’s what we did and we tried versions without it and then we put it in one day and everyone was like, “That’s awesome.” We were like, “I guess we were wrong.”
MMM: How did you come up with the features for the car? Obviously it’s a character in the movie.
ROGEN: There was some stuff that we just knew we wanted because it was cool like machine guns and missiles and all of that stuff. Gondry just really got into what original things we could add. He had the idea for the doors that swing out with the machine guns hidden inside of them. I mean, we really just started to get into the fun of looking at this car. There was one sitting in the parking lot at Sony. We’d literally just go out and look at it and be like, “Oh, you could hide a flamethrower there. You could do this thing.” Our production designer, Owen Patterson, who’s awesome and did all ‘The Matrix’ movies was very helpful in coming up with a lot of stuff for it. He had a big play in designing the car, also. But then we also wanted to make sure that as the car did stuff it did in some way feel like it was a part of the story itself, especially in the third act. So, in the design of the final car chase we really wanted to have all these weapons tell a small story of what the car could do, like, at first it only shoots straight, but then it has the missiles and then it has the doors that open and can shoot and then it gets cut in half and it can still drive and it has the seats. We got into the idea of giving this car its own little story as it gets reduced down to nothing as the big end action sequence goes on which turned out, again, really cool.
MMM: Are you a car guy?
ROGEN: No. I’m not really a car guy at all.
MMM: What do you drive?
ROGEN: I drive a Toyota Highlander hybrid which since I got I’ve noticed is a car that’s marketed towards fathers in their thirties. I’m like, “Oh, man, I bought a family car.”
MMM: I really saw ‘48 Hours’ in the relationship between you and Kato –
ROGEN: I love ‘48 Hours.’ I think it’s amazing and that movie really goes for it a lot harder than ours does in a lot of ways. I mean, Nick Nolte’s character is very salty in that movie. But those were the types of movies that we talked about, these like buddy-action comedies. I think there have been a lot of those that have worked very successfully. So to us adding masks to the guys didn’t destroy this legacy of action comedies. Although in some people’s heads it would’ve, but we just thought that you could take this type of movie and tell it in this way and it wouldn’t destroy the universe.
MMM: Jay Chou came on very last minute to the film. He’s got a very different energy than Stephen Chow, who was supposed to have been Kato. What was it like to work with this guy who was making his first Hollywood film and what did his persona change in the character’s relationship?
ROGEN: We had quite a bit of time to re-imagine it, I would say. Me and Evan write pretty fast. So that’s helpful. The age difference was the biggest thing. Stephen is almost fifty years old and Jay is around my age. So that was actually really helpful, we thought, because it made the relationship much more like a brother relationship rather than like a father-son relationship which isn’t really what we wanted. So it made us much more like peers, which was very helpful. I would say that Jay did not know much English when we started this, and it’s funny, while we were filming, I’ll be honest, everyday would be like, “I understood that. Did you understand that?” “Yeah, I understood.” It was one of the most unbelievable relief’s of my life, the first time that we showed the movie to people and the lady asked the audience, “Who here understood Jay Chou,” and everyone raised their hand. So that was a huge relief because when we first met him he literally spoke no English whatsoever. I think we kind of saw the evolution and it’s hard to make the judgment when you’re there all the time. He’s just unbelievably cool and funny and by the end he was able to fully improvise and add tons of stuff into the movie. A lot of the funny stuff he says in the movie he totally made up on his own.
MMM: Can you talk about the 3-D version of this?
ROGEN: Well, 3-D was something that we were passionate about from the get go. Honestly, the first conversation that me and Evan and Gondry ever had about the movie was that we thought we were going to be filming it in 3-D, but so many things happened leading up to filming that kind of made us look insane that I think the idea of giving us a giant chunk of money and an incredibly logistically complicated filming method was just the last thing the studio wanted to do right before we started filming. It was more like, “You guys make your movie. If it turns out good we’ll let you make it into 3-D, and otherwise we’ll spend as little money as we can.” Luckily they liked it and we had enough time to really do the 3-D well, which was something that I’m happy about because it was a real pain in the ass.
MMM: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a filmmaker in terms of this experience and what advice would you give to anyone who’s going to go through this?
ROGEN: I’d say don’t make a really expensive movie unless it’s an idea that you really like because it’s harder. It’s really difficult to make a really big movie. I didn’t realize how much we were flying under the radar until we did this. I’m convinced that Sony never even read ‘Pineapple Express.’ We really got a lot of freedom in the past to do things and with literally no conversation, and ultimately with ‘Green Hornet’ we got everything we wanted. It was just a lot harder to get it, basically. The amount of scrutiny that a movie like this goes under is just exponentially more than anything than we’ve experienced before, both internally and externally. The fact that you meet with an actor and then you go online and read that that actor is the star of your movie and you’re like, “What the hell happened?” It was crazy to see the amount of attention that it was getting and to see how really things were happening on this movie that happened on every movie that we’d ever done, but just because of the perception of the type of movie it was all getting blown into this crazy proportion. The only reason that we kept with it was that we liked the movie and we liked the idea and it would’ve been really easy to bail. I mean, we could’ve made ten ‘Superbad’s’ in the amount of time that we made this. So we knew that we’d only get one opportunity to make a superhero-type movie.
THE GREEN HORNET is out now in theaters nationwide.
Tags: Bruce Lee, Cameron Diaz, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, George Clooney, Harvey Weinstein, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jay Chou, Kevin Smith, Knocked Up, Mark Wahlberg, michel gondry, Neal Moritz, Nicolas Cage, Pineapple Express, Seth Rogen, Stephen Chow, Superbad, The Green Hornet
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Actor Leslie Nielsen passed away today at a Ft. Lauderdale, Florida hospital, according to his agent John S. Kelly. He died of complications from pneumonia at the age of 84. Born on February 11, 1926, Nielsen is best known for his deadpan roles in spoof comedies such as “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” films, as well as “Forbidden Planet” (1956) and “The Poseidon Adventure” (1972). His agent sent out the following statement:
We are saddened by the passing of beloved actor Leslie Nielsen, probably best remembered as Lt. Frank Drebin in THE NAKED GUN series of pictures, but who enjoyed a more than 60 year career in motion pictures and television.”
Mr. Nielsen, 84, died of complications of pneumonia in a hospital near his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, surrounded by his lovely wife and dear friends at 5:34pm EST today.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his name to the charity of your choice.
Nielsen appeared in over 100 films and over 1,500 TV programs during his career. Here are some classic Nielsen moments:
FRANCO and HATHAWAY to HOST OSCARS.
James Franco and Anne Hathaway will serve as co-hosts of the 83rd Academy Awards®, Oscar telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer announced today. Both have previously appeared on the telecast but not in hosting capacities.
“James Franco and Anne Hathaway personify the next generation of Hollywood icons — fresh, exciting and multi-talented. We hope to create an Oscar broadcast that will both showcase their incredible talents and entertain the world on February 27,” said Cohen and Mischer. “We are completely thrilled that James and Anne will be joining forces with our brilliant creative team to do just that.”
Franco, who currently can be seen in “127 Hours,” will be making his second appearance on an Oscar telecast. Hathaway will be making her fifth appearance on an Academy Awards telecast, and was recently seen in “Alice in Wonderland” and currently can be seen in “Love and Other Drugs.”
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.
Paramount Pictures announced a sneak preview event for the biopic JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER, happening on February 9th:
Moviegoers across the U.S. and Canada may be among the first to experience the new 3D film, “JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER,” at exclusive “sneak preview” screening events set for Wednesday, February 9th at 6pm at specially selected RealD® 3D equipped movie theaters across the country.
Each complete Sneak Preview Gift Pack is priced at $30.00 (plus shipping) and includes:
•One ticket to the movie sneak preview Wednesday, February 9th at 6pm
•A pair of limited edition purple “JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER” RealD® 3D glasses
•A souvenir VIP event lanyard
•Official “JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER” branded glow stick and bracelet
For event locations around the country, to purchase tickets, or to learn more about this exclusive event, please go to: JB3DPreview.com. Limit is 6 tickets per credit card transaction. Supplies are limited.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS is MARILYN.
London’s The Daily Mail is currently obsessed with BBC Films’ Marilyn Monroe movie MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, which just finished filming at Pinewood Studios with the Weinstein Company planning on distributing the movie stateside. The paper has a new interview with star Michelle Williams tying into the completion of filming with the actress talking at length about playing the iconic screen legend, Marilyn Monroe, with a new photo (below) from the movie accompanying that interview. “At a certain point, something else does take over. I don’t quite feel myself these days,” she told the paper. Co-starring Eddie Redmayne, Judi Dench, Julia Ormond, Dougray Scott, Dominic Cooper and more, the film focuses on Monroe’s relationship with Colin Clark (Redmayne), a well-to-do British laborer on the set of her 1956 movie “The Prince and the Showgirl” with whom she had a romance.
UPCOMING FILM PROJECTS.
Atlas Entertainment announced it is rebooting the beloved franchise, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, with Warner Bros. Pictures. Atlas’ Charles Roven and Steve Alexander will produce the feature film alongside Doug Davison and Roy Lee of Vertigo Entertainment (The Ring, How to Train Your Dragon, The Departed). Whit Anderson is writing the script. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” first appeared as a film in 1992, subsequently becoming a cult hit and spawning the wildly popular television series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz, among many others.
Creator Joss Whedon responded to the announcement, saying, “This is a sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths—just because they can’t think of an original idea of their own, like I did with my Avengers idea that I made up myself.”
Walt Disney Pictures has confirmed that Gore Verbinksi is now officially signed on for Disney’s THE LONE RANGER. Verbinksi, who has worked with Johnny Depp on the first three “Pirates of the Caribbean” films and the upcoming “Rango,” will re-team with the actor, currently attached to play the Lone Ranger’s sidekick, Tonto. The Lone Ranger’s origin story begins with a group of Texas Rangers chasing down a gang of outlaws led by Butch Cavendish. The gang ambushes the Rangers, seemingly killing them all. One survivor is found, however, by an American Indian named Tonto, who nurses him back to health. The Ranger, donning a mask and riding a white stallion named Silver, teams up with Tonto to bring the unscrupulous gang and others of that ilk to justice.
Mark Wahlberg has confirmed to MTV that he will play Nathan Drake in the David O. Russell-directed UNCHARTED: DRAKE’S FORTUNE video game adatptation and that Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci may have roles as well. Wahlberg told MTV he hopes to reteam with his “The Fighter” and “Three Kings” director next year. “The idea that he has is just insane,” Wahlberg said about Russell. “So hopefully we’ll be making that movie this summer.” He added: “That’s who he wants to write the parts for. I talked to Pesci about it and I know David’s people have talked to [Robert De Niro]… I’m obviously in whatever David wants to do but the idea of it is so off the charts: De Niro being my father, Pesci being my uncle. It’s not going to be the watered-down version, that’s for sure.” The story will allegedly have something to do with antiquities dealers in New York.
Gael Garcia Bernal will play boxing champ Roberto Duran in HANDS OF STONE, reports TheWrap. Al Pacino is also circling the role of boxing trainer Ray Arecel in the biopic. Jonathan Jakubowicz (“Secuestro Express”) will write, direct and produce the project with Ben Silverman. The site says the film “will focus on the boxing champion and will tell the inside story of the ‘No Mas’ fight.” In the closing seconds of the fight’s last round, Duran turned his back to Leonard and quit, saying “no mas” (“no more”). Duran beat Leonard in an earlier welterweight championship bout. They would meet again in a 1989 middleweight championship fight in Las Vegas. Leonard won that fight in 12 rounds.
Until next week!
Tags: academy awards, Airplane!, Anne Hathaway, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gael Garcia Bernal, Hands of Stone, james franco, Joss Whedon, justin bieber, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Leslie Nielsen, Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn, Naked Gun, oscar, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
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Prepare yourself for some serious homoeroticism if the TOP GUN 2 rumors are to be believed. The film’s original helmer, Tony Scott, is confirmed to be moving forward on the sequel, according to HitFix, who had a chance to talk with the director about the project, still in the earliest planning stages. Scott explained that his plan for the follow-up is to chart the development of the Air Force fighter pilot into the present day, inspired partially by a young Air Force pilot he met on a flight who runs drone simulations. In contrast to Tom Cruise’s character in the first film, the sequel will explore the evolution of the remote-control pilot. Still unconfirmed is whether or not Cruise will return to his star-making role of Maverick as well as when, exactly, the sequel will move forward. As it stands, the script for the film appears to still be in the research phase (with The Usual Suspects’ Christopher McQuarrie approached to write the first draft) and Scott made clear that it would not be his very next production.
Yes, New Line Cinema’s THE HOBBIT, based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien, has officially been greenlit. “The two films based on The Hobbit are now greenlit and will begin principal photography in February 2011, under the direction of Peter Jackson, it was jointly announced today by Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Operating Officer, New Line Cinema, Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. and Steve Cooper, co-Chief Executive Officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.,” said a press release. Martin Freeman (BBC’s The Office, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) will star as the film’s protagonist, Bilbo Baggins. And, despite protracted negotiations and union problems, filming will remain in New Zealand.
In an interview with Hero Complex, Christopher Nolan revealed that the title for his third Batman movie will be THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. He added that the villain “won’t be the Riddler.” “We’ll use many of the same characters as we have all along, and we’ll be introducing some new ones,” Nolan said cryptically. He also said that the studio has agreed with him not to shoot the film in 3D, but that he’ll be experimenting with the scope of IMAX in unprecedented ways. “We’re looking to do something technologically that’s never been done before,” Nolan explained. The filmmaker also reiterated that The Dark Knight rises will close out the trilogy. “Our ambition for the third movie is to complete a story that has begun,” Nolan said. “This is not starting over. This is not rebooting. We’re finishing something and keeping a consistency with what’s come before has real value.” The Dark Knight Rises is scheduled for a July 20, 2012 release.
Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman announced that Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron has agreed to make AVATAR 2 and 3 as his next films. Cameron, who had always viewed Avatar as the creation of a new world and mythology, will begin work on the scripts early next year with an eye towards commencing production later in 2011. Cameron will decide if he will shoot the films back-to-back after he completes the scripts, but the release of the first, as yet untitled sequel, is targeted for December 2014, with the third film contemplated for a December 2015 release.
Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock and Oprah Winfrey will star in a new comedy from Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City films and series) at Universal Pictures. King will write and direct the untitled film, set in and around the world of a “Home Shopping” type network and follows the characters as they make their way through the maze of mania that surrounds marketing, marriages and the media.
Darren Afronofsky (The Wrestler, the upcoming Black Swan) will not only direct WOLVERINE 2, starring Hugh Jackman as the titanium-clawed Marvel action hero, but will also direct MACHINE MAN, an adaptation of Max Barry’s “Machine Man,” reports Variety. The project, to be scripted by Mark Heyman (who co-wrote Aronosky’s Black Swan) will adapt Barry’s story, which originally appeared on the author’s website in serial form with a single page released each day as it was written. Not to be confused with the Marvel comics character, Machine Man concerns a tech engineer who, tired of going through life average and unnoticed, replaces parts of his body with titanium upgrades of his own design. He then discovers that he isn’t the only one with plans for his new body. The full story is available at Barry’s website: www.maxberry.com.
Exclusive Media Group and Cross Creek Pictures will finance George Clooney’s fourth film as director, THE IDEAS OF MARCH (formerly known as Farragut North). Adapted by Clooney and Heslov (co-writer on the Oscar-nominated Good Night and Good Luck) from playwright Beau Willimon’s award-winning 2008 play “Farragut North,” it will co-star Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood, with more casting to be announced before the film begins shooting in February 2011 in Michigan and Ohio. Set in the world of politics, Clooney will play Governor Morris, a candidate running in the presidential primary race for the Democratic Party ticket. Gosling plays his press spokesman, Giamatti plays a rival campaign manager, Tomei plays a reporter for The New York Times, and Wood plays an intern for the campaign.
Francis Ford Coppola has already started production on his next film, a thriller entitled TWIXT NOW AND SUNRISE, reports Deadline. Based on a short story by Coppola, the film will star Val Kilmer as a horror author. He will be joined by Bruce Dern and Elle Fanning in unknown roles. Little is currently known about the film’s plot, though the title is a direct reference to a 1835 short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown,” set in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts. The title character, Goodman Brown is returning home to his wife, Faith, when he encounters a man in the forest who is likely the Devil
Liam Neeson is replacing Mel Gibson in the cameo role as a tattoo artist in THE HANGOVER 2. “I just got a call to do a one day shoot on ‘Hangover 2’ as a tattooist in Thailand, and that’s all I know about it,” Neeson told Variety. “ just laughed my leg off when I saw ‘The Hangover,’ I was shooting in Berlin earlier this year and rented it on the hotel TV.” Director Todd Phillips said in a statement on Thursday that they were no longer going with Gibson following protests from the cast and crew, reportedly led by Galifianakis. “I thought Mel would have been great in the movie and I had the full backing of Jeff Robinov and his team,” said Phillips, “But I realize filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and this decision ultimately did not have the full support of my entire cast and crew.” Neeson was then asked by his The A-Team co-star Bradley Cooper to take on the role.
Due Date and The Hangover 2 star Zach Galifianakis, however, WILL be making a cameo in the upcoming THE MUPPETS, E! Online learned in a video interview with both Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr., co-stars of Due Date. Galifianakis will shoot for “a couple of days,” meaning his role is likely just a cameo.
Mark Wahlberg is in final talks to star in Seth McFarlane’s directing debut, TED. The creator of Fox’s Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show will direct the film “about a grown man whose cherished teddy bear comes to life as the result of a childhood wish, causing all sorts of complications.” The teddy bear will be a CGI creation and voiced by MacFarlane.
Hopefully this is better than Taking Woodstock. Director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) is gearing up to start filming the long-anticipated adaptation of Yann Martel’s bestselling novel LIFE OF PI early next year with the casting of 17-year-old newcomer Suraj Sharma in the title role of a boy who is stranded in a tiny boat for 227 days with a number of zoo animals, including a Bengal tiger, saved from his family’s ship before it sinks. Lee spent months looking over 3,000 auditions to fill the role before finding Sharma, a student in Delhi, India. Directing from a script by Finding Neverland’s David Magee, Lee will start principal photography in January, shooting the entire film in 3D in Taiwan and India. 20th Century Fox has slated a holiday release for Life of Pi on December 14, 2012.
Due Date and The Hangover star Zach Galifianakis appeared on Bill Maher’s HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher and, presumably advocating for Prop 19, smoked a joint live on air. Hilarious.
French electro duo Daft Punk, who scored the upcoming TRON: LEGACY, have released a music video for their song “Derezzed” off the film’s soundtrack. Check it out.
The official trailer for the Justin Bieber biopic, NEVER SAY NEVER, has hit the Internet. The film, directed by Step Up 3D helmer Jon Chu, follows Bieber’s rise from an unknown Canadian musician, to YouTube sensation, to selling out mega-arena’s worldwide. The film opens February 11, 2011.
Entertainment Tonight visited the Chicago set of TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON and you can now watch the show’s full segment below. Michael Bay’s third installment, starring Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong, Patrick Dempsey, Alan Tudyk and John Turturro, opens in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D on July 1, 2011.
AT THE MULTIPLEX.
Don’t’ be dismayed by this past (crap) weekend that saw SAW 3D as the only new Hollywood entry. This weekend, you can check out Danny Boyle’s riveting film 127 HOURS, starring James Franco as a trapped hiker forced to amputate his arm to survive; the funny Zach Galifianakis/Robert Downey Jr. road comedy DUE DATE, from The Hangover director Todd Phillips; the animated superhero comedy MEGAMIND, featuring the voices of Will Ferrell and Brad Pitt; Tyler Perry’s FOR COLORED GIRLS; and, for the doc lover, the great Alex Gibney’s CLIENT 9: THE RISE AND FALL OF ELIOT SPITZER.
Until next time!
Tags: Ang Lee, Avatar, Bill Maher, christopher nolan, Daft Punk, darren aronofsky, Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, justin bieber, Liam Neeson, Life of Pi, Machine Man, Mark Wahlberg, marlow stern, Michael Bay, michael patrick king, Never Say Never, Peter Jackson, Real Time with Bill Maher, Seth McFarlane, Suraj Sharma, Ted, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hangover 2, The Hobbit, The Ideas of March, The Muppets, Top Gun 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Tron: Legacy, Twixt Now and Sunrise, weekly blog, Zach Galifianakis
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