Tag Archive | "Bradley Cooper"

Tags: ,

Rumor: INDIANA JONES Franchise Might Go Same Route As James Bond And Recast Lead

Posted on 26 March 2014 by Rich Drees

indiana-jones

Most actor can play the same character forever. No matter how popular that role may be, age or even lack-of-continuing-interest, will eventually force an actor to retire from a part that they are closely associated with and that leaves the studio with a quandary – Continue the franchise with a new actor or retire the series gracefully. And while the James Bond franchise has successfully gone the route of recasting its lead to much success over five decades now, most other film series choose to just call it a day.

A rumor is starting to circulate, courtesy of the rumor mongers at Latino Review, that studio execs are thinking that if Harrison Ford doesn’t put his fedora back on for one more outing as Indiana Jones in the near future that the studio would consider recasting the role with a younger actor who could conceivably stay with the part for a number of years. Also being whispered is that at the top of the studio’s wish list for actors to step in is Bradley Cooper.

Let us make clear that right now this is all rumor and perhaps even more than a bit of speculation.

Even though this is Latino Review doing the initial “reportage,” I will admit that there is possibly some truth here, even accidentally. That studio execs would be looking to keep the Indiana Jones franchise going is a no-brainer. The evolving economic model for Hollywood has been a bigger reliance on tentpole features to bring in the big bucks and the franchise is certainly one of the granddaddies at doing that. But it is certainly obvious that Ford is getting up in years and even if his spirit is willing there will come a time when the flesh will be too weak for the job. And Cooper seems like a good choice if you’re looking for someone who might take over the role and not just because he can grow some stubble.

And I do have to give some points to Latino Review for remembering that the Indiana Jones franchise grew out of some discussions that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg had about wanting to create an adventure hero in a similar vein to James Bond.

But there is one thing that sticks out to me in Latino Review’s story like a sore thumb. It is that they state that one of their sources for this is the same person who tipped them that Cooper was going to be voicing Rocket Raccoon in the upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy film from Disney’s Marvel Studios. This suggests to me that this source is either in Cooper’s camp or someone at the studio who wants to see Cooper in more of their films. If Disney/Lucasfilm is indeed considering recasting, it could be that this source is passing it along with the addition of Cooper being on the wish list as a way of lobbying to get the actor on to said list. Or perhaps no one at Disney is considering this but someone in Cooper’s camp came up with the idea and wanted it out there to test the waters and perhaps goad Disney execs to consider it.

We’ll be watching to see what, if anything, comes from this.

Comments (11)

Tags: , , , , , ,

OSCARS 2014: Know Your Nominees: Best Supporting Actor

Posted on 24 February 2014 by William Gatevackes

2014 best supporting actor nomineesIn the days leading up to the 86th Academy Awards, FilmBuffOnline will be offering profiles on all the nominees in the major categories. Some may be well known, others might be new to you, but if you need a refresher on these talented nominees, here it is.

Barkhad Abdi

Barkhad AbdiNominated for: Playing a Somali pirate in Captain Phillips.

Other honors for this role:

Won, Best Supporting Actor, 2014 BAFTA Awards.

Nominated, Outstanding Supporting Actor, Black Reel Awards.

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Boston Society of Film Critics Awards

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Central Ohio Film Critics Association.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, 2014 Critics’ Choice Awards.

3rd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Won, Supporting Actor of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards.

3rd Place, Best Supporting Actor, National Society of Film Critics Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Online Film Critics Society Awards.

Nominated, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, 2014 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Where you might know him from:

Captain Phillips is Abdi’s first film.

History with Oscar:

This is Barkhad Abdi’s first Oscar nomination.

 

Bradley Cooper

bradley cooperNominated for: Playing an undercover FBI agent in  American Hustle.

Other honors for this role:

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Australian Film Institute Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, 2014 BAFTA Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, 2014 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Nominated, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Satellite Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards.

Where you might know him from:

Cooper is known for his work in a number of films, including Wedding Crashers, The Hangover and The A-Team.

History with Oscar:

This is Bradley Cooper’s second Oscar nomination in as many years.

2013: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Silver Linings Playbook (Lost to Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln)

 

Michael Fassbender

michaelfassbenderNominated for: Playing a cruel and domineering slaveowner in 12 Years a Slave.

Other honors for this role:

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Australian Film Institute Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, 2014 BAFTA Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Capri Supporting Actor Award, Capri, Hollywood Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Central Ohio Film Critics Association.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, 2014 Critics’ Choice Awards.

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards.

Nominated, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Male, Independent Spirit Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards.

Nominated, Supporting Actor of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards.

2nd Place, Supporting Actor of the Year, New York Film Critics Circle Film Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Online Film Critics Society Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, San Diego Film Critics Society Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

Nominated, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Satellite Awards.

Nominated, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, 2014 Screen Actors Guild Award.

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association.

Where you might know him from:

Fassbender is an actor as at home in big budget films such as X-Men: First Class and Prometheus as he is in art house fare such as Shame and A Dangerous Method.

History with Oscar:

This is Michael Fassbender’s first Oscar nomination.
Jonah Hill

5fee5_JonahHill300Nominated for: Playing renegade stockbroker Donnie Azoff in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Other honors for this role:

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Central Ohio Film Critics Association.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Where you might know him from:

Hill is most known for his comedic work, especially his collaborations with Judd Apatow, most notably, Superbad. He was also in Knocked Up, Get Him to the Greek, and The Sitter, and provided voices for animated features such as How to Train Your Dragon and Megamind.

History with Oscar:

This is Jonah Hill’s second Oscar nomination.

2012: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Moneyball (Lost to Christopher Plummer, Beginners).

Jared Leto

Esquire and Stella Artois summer party 2013 held at Somerset House - arrivals Featuring: Jared Leto Where: London, United Kingdom When: 29 May 2013 Credit: Lia Toby/WENN.comNominated for: Playing a transgender woman with AIDS in  Dallas Buyers Club.

Other honors for this role:

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Austin Film Critics Association.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Australian Film Institute Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Boston Society of Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Central Ohio Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Chlotr0udis Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, 2014 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Male, Independent Spirit Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards.

Nominated, Supporting Actor of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actor, National Society of Film Critics Awards.

Won, Supporting Actor of the Year, New York Film Critics Circle Film Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Online Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, San Diego Film Critics Society Awards.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

Nominated, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Satellite Awards.

Won, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, 2014 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association.

Where you might know him from:

A certain segment of the population will always remember Leto as Jordan Catalano on TV’s My So-Called Life. Another segment will recognize him as the front man of the rock band, 30 Seconds to Mars. Others will recognize him from films such as How to Make and American Quilt, Fight Club, and Prefontaine.

History with Oscar:

This is Jared Leto’s first Oscar nomination.

Comments (2)

Tags: ,

Bradley Cooper Rumored To Voice GUARDIAN OF THE GALAXY’s Rocket Raccoon

Posted on 22 August 2013 by Rich Drees

bradley-cooperThe cast for Marvel Studio’s Guardians Of The Galaxy has been set for some time now, with one glaring exception. Who will be providing the voice of the fan-favorite character Rocket Raccoon? A number of names have been rumored and director James Gunn has been promising an announcement “soon,” but that was over a month ago.

A rumor has floated overnight that none other than Bradley Cooper has been approached by Marvel with an offer of the role.

Of course, this rumor is coming from Latino Review and their “trusty sources,” so the usual application of a grain or two of salt applies. Previously, the site had such names as Adam Sandler and Jim Carey linked to unspecified roles in the movie, and we know how “trusty” that rumor turned out to be.

The site also gives themselves the usual escape hatch that it isn’t known if Cooper will accept the alleged offer or not, so if Marvel announces someone else in the role, they have some somewhat plausible deniability.

Personally, I doubt this rumor because it is just doesn’t feel to me that Cooper’s persona fits the character at all. I expect director James Gunn is having a chuckle over all this and we’ll get the true casting sometime soon.

Comments (2)

Tags: , ,

Spielberg Sets Aim On Next Film – AMERICAN SNIPER With Bradley Cooper

Posted on 02 May 2013 by Rich Drees

StevenSpielberg1Steven Spielberg has finally set his next directorial project – an adaptation of American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. The bookspent 18 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, 13 of those at the number 1 position. Bradley Cooper has been developing this as a producer is set to star.

Jason Hall has been working on the screenplay and early 2014 is being targeted for the production to get in front of cameras.

The film replaces the big science-fiction actioner Robopocalypseon Spielberg’s schedule. The director had put that project on hold over script and budget concerns earlier this year. That film would have starred Chris Hemsworth, Anne Hathaway and Ben Whishaw.

OK, I really can’t be the only struck by the dark irony of Spielberg following up Lincoln with a film about somebody whose job it was to shoot people in the head?

Via Hollywood Reporter.

Comments (3)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

OSCARS 2013: Know Your Nominees: Best Actor

Posted on 20 February 2013 by William Gatevackes

In the days leading up to the 85th Academy Awards, FilmBuffOnline will be offering profiles on all the nominees in the major categories. Some may be well known, others might be new to you, but if you need a refresher on these talented nominees, here it is.

Bradley Cooper

bradley cooperNominated for: Playing a bipolar Eagles fan with relationship issues in Silver Linings Playbook.

Other honors for this role:

Nominated, Best Actor, Australian Film Institute.

Nominated, Best Actor, 2013 BAFTA Awards.

Won, Best Actor in a Comedy, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Capri Actor Award, Capri, Hollywood

Nominated, Best Actor, 2013 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Nominated, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Won, Actor of the Year, Hollywood Film Festival.

Nominated, Best Male Lead, Independent Spirt Awards

Won, Best Actor, National Board of Review, USA

Nominated, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, 2013 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Where you might know him from:

Cooper is known for his work in a nuber of films, including Wedding Crashers, The Hangover and The A-Team.

History with Oscar:

This is Cooper’s first nomination.

 

Daniel Day-Lewis

daniel_day_lewisNominated for: Playing the titular Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln.

Other honors for this role:

Nominated, Best Actor, Australian Film Institute.

Won, Best Actor, 2013 BAFTA Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Boston Society of Film Critics Awards

Won, Best Actor, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Central Ohio Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Actor, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Actor, 2013 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards.

Nominated,  Actor of the Year & British Actor of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards.

Won, Best Actor, National Society of Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Actor, New York Film Critics Circle Film Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Online Film Critics Society Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Best Actor, San Diego Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, 2013 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Won, Best Actor, Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association.

Where you might know him from:

Day-Lewis has carved out and eclectic career for himself. He has worked in a diverse set of films such as My Beautiful Launderette, The Last of the Mohicans, and The Age of Innocence

History with Oscar:

Daniel Day-Lewis has won two Oscars and been nominated five times in total.

1990: Best Actor in a Leading Role, My Left Foot (Won)

1994: Best Actor in a Leading Role, In the Name of the Father (Lost to Tom Hanks, Philadelphia)

2003: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Gangs of New York (Lost to Adrien Brody, The Pianist)

2008: Best Actor in a Leading Role, There Will Be Blood (Won)

 

Hugh Jackman

hugh-jackman-picture-4Nominated for: Playing the iconic Jean Valjean in the film adaptation of Les Miserables.

Other honors for this role:

Nominated, Best Actor, Australian Film Institute.

Nominated, Best Actor, 2013 BAFTA Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, 2013 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy, The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Actor of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, San Diego Film Critics Society Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Satellite Awards

Nominated, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, 2013 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Nominated, Best Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association.

Where you might know him from:

Jackman is most known for originating the role of Wolverine in the X-Men franchise, but has also appeared in Kate & Leopold, The Prestige, and Real Steel.

History with Oscar:

This is Hugh Jackman’s first Oscar nomination.

 

Joaquin Phoenix

joaquin phoenixNominated for: Playing an alcoholic Navy veteran drawn into a Scientology-like program in The Master.

Other honors for this role:

Won, Best Actor, Austin Film Critics Association.

Nominated, Best Actor, Australian Film Institute.

Nominated, Best Actor, 2013 BAFTA Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, 2013 Critics’ Choice Awards.

2nd Place, Best Actor, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Actor of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Actor, National Society of Film Critics Awards.

3rd Place, Actor of the Year, New York Film Critics Circle Film Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Online Film Critics Society Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, San Diego Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Best Actor, San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

2nd Place, Best Actor, Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Volpi Cup, Best Actor, Venice Film Festival

Nominated, Best Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association.

Where you might know him from:

Phoenix has appeared in films such as To Die For, Inventing the Abbotts and Signs.

History with Oscar:

Joaquin Phoenix has three total Oscar nominations.

2001: Best Actor in a Supporting Role,  Gladiator (Lost to Benicio Del Toro, Traffic)

2006: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role , Walk the Line (Lost to Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Capote).

Denzel Washington

denzeloscarsNominated for: Playing an alcoholic airline pilot in  Flight.

Other honors for this role:

Nominated, Best Actor, Australian Film Institute.

Nominated, Best Actor, Black Reel Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, 2013 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Nominated, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, Image Awards.

Nominated, Best Actor, Online Film Critics Society Awards.

Nominated, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, 2013 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Nominated, Best Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association.

Where you might know him from:

Washington got his start on the television program, St. Elsewhere. He has also starred in a great number of films in his career, most notably Inside Man and American Gangster.

History with Oscar:

Denzel Washington has two Oscars and six total nominations.

1988: Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Cry Freedom ( Lost to Michael Douglas, Wall Street).

1990: Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Glory (Won)

1993: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Malcolm X (Lost to Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman)

2000: Best Actor in a Leading Role,The Hurricane (Lost to Kevin Spacey, American Beauty)

2002: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Training Day (Won)

Comments (0)

Tags:

Bradley Cooper Says Rumored Lance Armstrong Movie Casting Is “Nuts”

Posted on 28 January 2013 by Rich Drees

bradley-cooperOne of the bigger celebrity trainwreck stories of the new year has been the confessional interview of Lance Armstrong admitting to Oprah Winfrey something we all pretty much suspected anyway – that he had used performance-enhancing drugs to help him secure his unprecedented number of wins at bicycling’s Tour de France.

Spinning out of that story, was a rumor last week that there was a biopic about Armstrong being developed by J J Abrams’ Bad Robot production company and that Ocar-nominated Bradley Cooper was going to be playing the disgraced athlete.

It turns out that the stories were half correct. Bad Robot did indeed option the rights the book proposal Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong, from a New York Times sports writer. However, Cooper only stated that he would be interested in playing Armstrong in an interview with the BBC, unaware that there was even such a project in development.

Or as he said last night at the Screen ACtors Guild Awards to Access Hollywood – “Oh my god, that’s so nuts!”

See what he did there?

Cooper further clarified, “”I had no idea what [the BBC interviewer] was talking about. I didn’t even know that J.J. has the rights, I had no idea.”

So much for that, I guess. Except now everyone seems to think that Cooper would be good casting for the role. And that can’t be bad for Cooper can it?

Via Hollywood Reporter.

Comments (1)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HISTORY OF THE COMIC BOOK FILM: Tragedy And THE CROW

Posted on 07 September 2012 by William Gatevackes

In a multi-part series, Comic Book Film Editor William Gatevackes will be tracing the history of comic book movies from the earliest days of the film serials to today’s big blockbusters and beyond. Along with the history lesson, Bill will be covering some of the most prominent comic book films over the years and why they were so special. This time, we’ll look at the tragic comic book film that adapted a tragic comic book—The Crow.

The biggest thing that the comic book The Crow had in common with its film adaptation is the role tragedy played in the making of each of them. James O’Barr wrote and drew the first Crow miniseries as a way to escape the pain caused by his fiancée’s death, and The Crow film had a macabre shadow cast over it by the untimely death of its star, Brandon Lee, during production.

James and Beverly Ann were high school sweethearts that knew, even at that very young age, that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. They became engaged to be married, a wedding that would come after they graduated high school.

That wedding would never come. Beverly Ann was killed by a drunk driver shortly before that anticipated graduation, in early 1978. As is often the case with young love, James had a hard time dealing with the loss. He enlisted in the Marines, hoping the stability of the military would take his mind off Beverly Ann. It didn’t. Seeking solace, he decided to put pen to paper. While stationed with the Marines in Germany, while working as an illustrator of military manuals, he read an article about a couple from his hometown of Detroit that were killed over a $20 engagement ring. Seeing a corollary between that tragic event and his own, he used it in 1981 as the framework for an origin story in a comic book that he hoped would allow him a cathartic release from his own pain and sadness.

The James in question is James O’Barr and that comic book is, of course, The Crow.

The original comic focused on Eric and his fiancée, Shelly. Just before they are about to be married, their car breaks down in a bad part of town. A drug-addled street gang comes across them and decides to have a little fun. They shoot Eric in the head while they brutally rape and beat Shelly. The gunshot leaves Eric paralyzed and dying, able to watch the torture Shelly is going through yet helpless to stop it. The gang leaves them by the side of the road, where they each die from their injuries.

One year later, a mystical crow resurrects Eric and offers him the chance at vengeance. Wearing harlequin makeup and dressed in black, Eric dubs himself The Crow, and begins the process of hunting down the gang members that killed him and Shelly.

You don’t have to be a psychologist to see what O’Barr was doing with this comic. There is anger, pain and sadness on every page. You can easily see the parallels between O’Barr’s life and Eric’s. Both lost the woman they loved in a senseless act of violence. Only O’Barr gives Eric a number of culprits to take out his anger and frustration, his sorrow and loss, on, a luxury O’Barr never had for himself.

Being that The Crow was somewhat hard to pigeonhole—too violent to be a gothic tale of revenge, too literate and morose to be your typical superhero comic—O’Barr had a hard time finding a publisher. It wasn’t until 1989, eight years after O’Barr started the comic, that Caliber Comics decided to put the book out.

The book was a cult hit. What Caliber, and later Tundra, Kitchen Sink, Image and IDW, realized that the other publishers didn’t was that there was something in The Crow that would resonate with readers beyond just a genre. The story was a doomed romance. It was about the pain of losing someone you cared about. It was anger at what was taken from you and the wish fulfillment of striking back at those who had hurt you the most. These qualities are more prevalent amongst people than one might care to admit, and O’Barr had given them all a voice.

With the successful cult comic came Hollywood offers. O’Barr sold the rights to four movies to Ed Pressman and Jeff Most. At first, the creator and the producers weren’t on the same page at all. At an early production meeting with movie executives, O’Barr was presented with their ideas for the film—one of which was a musical adaptation starring Michael Jackson. While the powers that be moved away from that horrible concept, the first few scripts that came in bore no resemblance to the comic at all. Things didn’t start turning around until director Alex Proyas and Brandon Lee came on board.

O’Barr originally had reservations about Lee’s casting, believing that it was another sign that the producers had no idea as to what to do with his comic book. Since Lee was Bruce Lee’s son and had starred in films like Showdown in Little Tokyo and Rapid Fire, two martial arts-ish action films, O’Barr thought The Crow was headed in the same direction. But Lee impressed the Crow’s creator by studying the original comics to such a point that the actor could quote lines from it back to O’Barr.

The Crow was a risky venture for Brandon Lee, one he really didn’t need to take. His name and parentage could garner him a career in the martial arts action film with little or no effort. But his charm, charisma and talent allowed him to make the most of his opportunities. If he stayed in the B-level action film, he could have a long and productive career, whether in the smaller low-budget films (like Dolph Lundgren and Michael Dudikoff), big budget blockbusters (like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bruce Willis) or somewhere in between (like Steven Segal and Chuck Norris).

But Lee was trained as an actor at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. He wanted a role that was more of a challenge, and the role of Eric Draven would give him just that. And his performance in the film very well could have propelled him to superstardom if tragedy didn’t strike.

Proyas and the crew scheduled all of the non-Crow parts of the movie, including Eric’s death, until the last few weeks of production to allow Brandon to have the last days of shooting be makeup free. One of the first scenes to be shot during this period, just 8 days before shooting was to wrap and three weeks before Lee was set to marry his fiancé, Eliza Hutton, was Eric’s murder. In a change from the comic, Funboy (Michael Massee) and his gang attack and kill Eric and Shelley in their home, acting on orders from their boss, Top Dollar (Michael Wincott). Massee was supposed to shoot Lee with a gun full of blanks just as he got back from a grocery run. And that’s what he did, with one horrible, fatal problem.

The gun Massee used was in a scene shot earlier that was to show it being loaded. Typically, dummy rounds are used in these types of scenes, as they look exactly like real rounds only with no primer, propellant or explosive charge. They have a bullet at the end of the round but there is no way for it to be fired because it is inert. For this scene, due to budgetary and time constraints and the fact that they were filming in North Carolina instead of Hollywood, the crew didn’t have access to dummy rounds. They instead jury rigged live rounds by removing the explosive charge and propellant. However, they left the primer in. If fired, there would not be enough force to have the bullet leave the barrel, but there would be enough force to lodge it in the barrel.

And that was what happened. At some point between the loading scene and Eric’s murder scene, while the modified rounds were still in the gun, someone pulled the trigger, which caused the bullet to get stuck in the barrel. Blanks consist of rounds that have primer, propellant and explosive charge held in by a wad of wax, wood or cotton, but no bullet. This is designed to give a realistic muzzle flash. As long as the blank is fired from a safe distance, they are harmless. But, due to the fact that they have the same firing power as a real round, if the blank is fired at a close enough distance, it could be fatal (as is what happened to Jon-Eric Hexum on the set of the TV series Cover Up, who, as a joke, held a gun containing blanks up to his temple and fired. The wad hit Hexum’s skull with enough power to send parts of his skull into his brain, resulting in brain death). And if there was a bullet lodged in the barrel, the round would then become essentially live ammunition.

When Massee fired the blank at Lee, it propelled the bullet in the barrel into Lee’s abdomen. The bullet perforated many of Lee’s internal organs, including his stomach, and ruptured a major artery, causing massive internal bleeding before lodging in his spine. It has been said that even if the accident took place in the emergency room of a hospital, there would have been  no way to save Lee.  Lee was pronounced dead at 1:04 pm on March 31, 1993. He was 28 years old.

Brandon Lee’s death would have been tragic under any circumstances. If the firearms expert had been there, he would have checked the barrel. If Massee aimed just a few inches to the right, this would have been avoided. Add to the fact that his father died at the age of 32 and his death has been the focus of a number of conspiracy theories (Killed by the Triads? A supernatural curse?) and the accident that killed Brandon took on an entirely different dimension. Add to that the fact that Brandon was killed while filming his character’s death and his character was set to marry his true love if he wasn’t killed, and Brandon’s death becomes all the more unusual.

Brandon Lee’s death, as horrible and as callous as I feel saying it, makes The Crow a better film. The fact that you are watching the best performance Brandon Lee ever made as the last performance he ever made adds an almost unbearable sense of melancholy to the film. And since the story is melancholic to begin with, the tragedy enhances the mood of the film. The sadness I feel for Brandon Lee’s death parallels the sadness his character, Eric Draven, is experiencing on screen, therefore it’s easier to get drawn into the film.  The tragedy transforms the film into an entirely different experience. I don’t know if the film would have been as successful, either critically or financially, if Brandon Lee survived the process.

But since the film was a success and the producers had the option for three sequels if they chose, they went into production on a follow up, 1996’s The Crow: City of Angels.

Director Tim Pope (known mostly for his music videos) and writer David S. Goyer (writing the first of what would be many comic book adaptations) fought with Miramax over the tone of the film, Pope and Goyer wishing to honor Lee by making the film as different as can be, Miramax wanting characters from the first film such as Sarah and the resurrected Top Dollar, to be included in the sequel. Pope and Goyer included Sarah as a peace offering, but lost out in the end as the studio recut the finished film after the fact to make it more tonally similar to the first film. If continuing with production on The Crow was a tribute to Brandon Lee, what Miramax did with this film is the equivalent of grave robbing.

After that, the law of diminishing returns came into effect. There would be two more sequels: 2000’s The Crow: Salvation in which an executed convict falsely convicted of killing his girlfriend comes back as the Crow, and 2005’s The Crow: Wicked Prayer, which featured a Native American ex-con who is killed along with his girlfriend by Satanists only to come back for revenge. Neither film got much, if any, of a theatrical release and both have been widely panned by critics.

A remake of the first Crow film has been in the works since 2007, with Stephen Norrington originally attached to direct, later to be replaced by 28 Weeks Later’s  Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. Bradley Cooper was rumored to be in talks for the lead, but the project appears to be headed towards legal wrangling between current production company holders Relativity and distributors The Weinstein Group over who has the rights to distribute the movie. Tying the remake up in legal red tape might be the best thing to happen to it.

Next, things get a little lighter as we cover Jim Carrey’s first, and best, foray into portraying a comic book character.

 

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

New Releases: September 7, 2012

Posted on 06 September 2012 by William Gatevackes

1. The Words (CBS Films, 2,801 Theaters, 96 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Bradley Cooper is in danger of being typecast. However, this typecasting is a very specific and unique–he’s becoming the go-to guy for films about writers who become successful by disreputable means and who eventually run afoul of older men played by Oscar-winning actors.

In last year, it was Limitless, the disreputable means was a drug that increased his mental faculties, and the Oscar-winner was Robert De Niro. This time, his writer character becomes famous by stealing another man’s novel manuscript and passing it off as his own, causing him to come in conflict with the manuscript’s true author, played by Oscar-winner Jeremy Irons.

This is the second film in the past month that Bradley Cooper starred in that was written and directed by longtime friends of the actor (see Hit and Run). While that’s a commendable use of his fame, I wish his friends had better material for him to work with.

2. The Cold Light of Day (Summit Entertainment, 1,511 Theaters, 93 Minutes, Rated PG-13): And then, we have this one, which, to be honest, I knew next to nothing about before I started writing this post. That’s never a good sign.

But what I could find out from the Internet, this film is about a Wall Street trader (new Superman Henry Cavill) whose family is kidnapped while vacationing in Spain. Turns out, the Wall Street trader (an occupation that just SCREAMS action hero) is the son of a CIA agent (Bruce Willis) who made off with a very important MacGuffin, er, briefcase that a lot of shady people want to get their hands on. Now, the bad guys want the briefcase in exchange for the trader’s family.

Just want to point out that both films released this week onlt add up to a 25% fresh rating COMBINED over at Rotten Tomatoes. Granted, that’s only with about 50 reviews in, but still. Even the Cleveland vs. Philadelphia game should be better than that.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , ,

Cooper Joining Bale For Some AMERICAN BULLSHIT

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Rich Drees

Bradley Cooper is in talks to join director David O Russell’s American Bullshit. (No, it is not another sequel in the American Pie franchise.) He’ll be appearing opposite Christian Bale should the film make it into production. This will mark the second time that each actor has worked with Russell. Bale starred in last year’s The Fighter while Cooper will be seen in Russell’s upcoming The Silver Linings Playbook.

It was only a few weeks ago that Russell denied any active involvement in the project or that Bale had been cast. However, the reportage of the director signing on to a biopic about Providence, RI mayor Buddy Cianci earlier this week mentioned the project and today’s news confirms it.

Word of the casting comes out of a report at Deadline that the picture is close to securing funding from indie financer Megan Ellison. If Ellison and producers Charles Roven and Richard Suckle come to terms, the $30 to $40 million productions could get in front of cameras as early as next January, schedules permitting. Russell currently has a few other projects on his plate that he may choose to do first including The Mission for Warner brothers and the aforementioned Buddy Cianci project.

Although a relative newcomer, Ellison has already played a part in getting the upcoming projects realized – John Hillcoat’s Lawless, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty and Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmasters among others.

Placing eighth on the 2010 Black List, Eric Warren Singer’s screenplay is a darkly comic retelling of the FBI’s “Abscam” sting operation that targeted a number of corrupt Congressmen in the 1970s and `80s. The entire project was overseen by a former conman the FBI had hired specifically to run the operation.

Sony will handle the film’s release and you can bet that they will want to change the title, if only to shorten it down to American BS.

Comments (0)

Tags: , ,

Legendary Pulls Plug On Alex Proyas’s PARADISE LOST

Posted on 09 February 2012 by Rich Drees

Legendary has killed director Alex Proyas’s Paradise Lost. Based on the epic poem by John Milton, the film would have told the epic battle between the armies of the archangels Michael (Benjamin Walker) and Lucifer (Bradley Cooper).

Not surprisingly, it was budgetary concerns that derailed the project. The film was supposed to get underway last month in Australia, but was postponed after budget projects went north of $120 million. It was reported that the film would get back under way in June after some reworking of the screenplay with an eye towards bringing its costs under control.

Also set in the cast were Casey Affleck, Djimon Housou, Diego Boneta, Camilla Belle, Sam Reid, Rufus Sewell and Callan McAuliffe.

While I am sad to see that such a promising project has bit the dust, I can’t express much surprise that it did. Over recent years, studio execs have been becoming more and more risk adverse, not wanting to roll the dice on big expensive projects that don’t already have a pre-existing audience. Last fall we saw Disney’s The Lone Ranger postpone the start of production while the script was streamlined to get the budget more in line with what the studio was willing to spend.

Comments (0)