Warner Brothers has extended an offer to Bradley Cooper to play Napoleon Solo in director Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Variety is reporting that the actor is currently mulling over taking the role in the big screen adaption of the 1960s television series following George Clooney’s departure in August. Reportedly Johnny Depp and Matt Damon had both passed on the project.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. ran for four seasons on NBC from 1964 to 1968 during the height of the Cold War and starred Robert Vaughn and David McCullum as two agents for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement weekly battling the evil machinations of the terrorist organization THRUSH. Cashing in on the popularity of the James Bond films, the show was popular enough to launch a series of tie-ins novels and comic books, a spin-off TV series, The Girl From UNCLE, and saw a TV reunion movie in 1983.
The script for the new film was written by screenwriter Scott Z. Burns and reportedly keeps the show’s original 1960s setting.
Bradley Cooper has dropped out of Relativity’s remake of the 1993 comic book adaption The Crow. The blame has been placed on scheduling conflicts as Cooper is set to begin filming director Alex Proyas’s Paradise Lost early next year, which is the same time that Relativity hopes to have their project in front of cameras. (Ironically, Proyas was the director of the original version of The Crow which starred Brandon Lee.)
The Hollywood Reporter, who broke the story of Cooper’s departure, has also suggested that the studio is currently looking at either Channing Tatum or Mark Wahlberg as a possible replacement in the role of a murdered musician who returns from the dead to extract revenge on the criminals who killed himself and his fiancée. Wahlberg had been previously approached by relativity to star in this new version but he passed last fall.
But lack of a headliner may not be the only thing that stands in Relativity’s way of getting this project rolling. The studio is currently in arbitration with The Weinstein Co. over who owns the distribution rights to the finished product. Although The Weinstein Co. states that they have a deal in place to distribute the film, Relativity is arguing that they forfeited those rights for a variety of reasons including their handling of the Relativity-produced musical flop Nine.
Any remake of The Crow doesn’t really thrill me, but I will say that it is probably a good thing that Cooper is gone from the project. While the actor is quickly becoming a marquee name, his screen persona doesn’t strike me as anywhere close to the dark, brooding character from writer/artist James O’Barr’s original comic. The fact that Tatum and Wahlberg are both under consideration suggests that the studio and director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo might be going in a different direction, at least in terms of the physicality of the character.
Benjamin Walker is currently in negotiations to star opposite Bradley Cooper in director Alex Proyas’s epic tale of the birth of evil Paradise Lost, adapted from the classic poem by Milton. Walker, who just wrapped his work as the title character in 20th Century Fox’s upcoming Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, will be playing Michael, the archangel who stands against fellow archangel Lucifer (Bradley Cooper) in a war that will span Heaven, Hell and the Garden of Eden.
Proyas is currently in Sydney, Australia prepping the film for a January production start. The Dark City director had been working for seven years to get the project into production. He started with a screenplay by Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi, although Stuart Hazeldine and Lawrence Kasdan both did subsequent work on it. The latest draft by Ryan Condal is what got the project a greenlight.
Deadline, who broke the story of Walker’s casting, spoke with Proyas who described the film thusly –
It’s not just armies battling in an epic war… This is an adventure about the origins of good and evil after Lucifer’s rebellion gets him cast out of Heaven and leads to a struggle with his brother archangel over the soul of mankind, starting with Adam and Eve. That is the scope of the narrative here, and we’ve tried to say as faithful as possible to Milton’s text, particularly its focus on Lucifer’s evolution and the birth of evil. It’s a family saga, about a group of brothers, two in particular, who are on divergent paths, and Lucifer’s feelings of betrayal by his father and family that forge his descent into evil.
I’ve sometimes thought that only an insane person would want to make this movie, because it’s visually audacious and has to live up to a classic poem that is so beloved. . . I don’t think the visuals could have been done justice until now, which is the great fun of being a film director in this modern age of visual effects. Despite all those possibilities, the characters are what’s most important. His deal isn’t closed yet, but I think there’s a wonderful duality about Ben’s persona, this combination of great strength and perfect innocence that works so well for Michael. And Bradley is the most charming guy you’ll ever meet, with this extraordinary charisma. Lucifer was the brightest and smartest of the archangels, and even as he descended into evil and evolved into Satan, he’s not just some black-and-white villain. Bradley brings extraordinary depth to that journey.
Pulling this off well would be a challenge for any director, and I think that Proyas has a good shot at doing so. His Dark City delved into themes of good and evil and whether man’s capacity to do good or evil is a product of his nature or his environment. Paradise Lost looks to thematically exploring similar ideas but on a much grander scale. We’ll find out if he succeeds at some point in 2013.
Alex Proyas’ next film, Paradise Lost, will shoot at Fox Studio’s Sydney facilities later this year it was announced today. An adaption of the classic epic poem by John Milton, the film will star Bradley Cooper as the archangel Lucifer who falls from Heaven due to the sin of pride.
The film looks to be a rather big production with 20 weeks of pre-production, eight weeks of principal photography and motion capture, and 72 weeks of post-production and visual effects work scheduled.
Although born in Egypt to Greek parents, Proyas grew up in Australian and shot his last film Knowing in Melbourne in 2008.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the production will be spending something in the range of $93 million or AUS$88 million and create approximately 1,300 jobs. Two hundred of those jobs will be in the visual effects field. Given that the Australian dollar is currently at a record high against the far weaker US dollar, the incentives must be pretty generous in order for it to be affordable for the production to shoot there. Proyas has stated “we would need to qualify for the [40%] producer offset to make it at all viable.”
Part of the deal to bring the production to Sydney involves visual effects house Digital Domain establishing a studio that will continue on after its work on Paradise Lost is finished.
The Hangover, Part II has been criticized for being a carbon copy of the original The Hangover, There’s a reason for that. It’s because it is.
Okay, maybe carbon copy is a bit harsh. It’s not exactly like the first one. But it’s close enough that you get the indication that the new writing team of Craig Mazin, Scot Armstrong, and Todd Phillips simply took a Sharpie to the first film’s script, making changes here and there.
There is a wedding amongst a group of friends, although now it’s Stu (Ed Helms) instead of Doug (Justin Bartha). Stu, Doug and fellow groomsman Phil (Bradley Cooper) are essentially forced into inviting the awkward Alan (Zach Galifinakis) along on the festivities.
There is a wild night in an exotic location, but Bangkok instead of Las Vegas, and the next morning they wake in a stupor to find one of the wedding party missing, although this time it is neither Stu nor Doug but Teddy (Mason Lee), the favored son of Stu’s father-in-law to be.
Then the film becomes a search for Teddy and a reconstructing of the night before, just like the first movie. There is a case of mistaken identity involving the missing person, much like in the first film. Stu has a dalliance with a stripper, like he did in the first movie. There is high pressure hostage exchange, just like the first film. There is an inappropriate mock sexual act performed in public, just like in the first film.
All of these plot points have a twist–a big, noisy,lurid or expensive twist–that makes them slightly different that the original. But the plot structure and the series and order of events are almost exactly silver. The big revelation at the end happens the same way as the first film, with the same characters doing the same actions and the same result coming from it.
Now, some might say not messing with a successful formula is a good thing. So what if the plots are almost identical? That’s a good thing because the first one was funny, right?
While there are some funny moments (Mike Tyson’s cameo is especially hilarious), the sameness make the viewer less willing to suspend disbelief. And the viewer is asked to suspend disbelief a lot in this movie. Slights big and small are forgiven far to easily. A person who can provide all the answers to the night before dies suddenly before he can tell what happened yet returns to life when he’s needed for the plot. The boys face no legal ramifications for any of their accidents, even though there’s really no way why really shouldn’t.
The result is a why bother kind of film. Why bother paying $10 or more to go to a theater and see this film when you can rent the far superior original for less?
In The Hangover, Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Bartha and Ed Helms ditched their significant others for a weekend of fun in LAs Vegas that went horribly wrong. Now, as the sequel begins shooting comes word that the production will be leaving behind one of their characters’ romantic partners as well.
Heather Graham, who appeared in the first film as a stripper with a heart of gold who wins Helms’s character’s heart and convinces him to leave his shrewish wife, will not be in The Hangover 2. E On Line broke the story with a Warner Brothers rep commenting, “Unfortunately Heather won’t be in the sequel—they way the story unfolds doesn’t allow any room for her character to show up. I don’t want to reveal to much of the film, but once you see it you’ll understand.”
WHile I know that the film has it fans, The Hangover only struck me as average, not a great, comedy. And with the exclusion of Graham from the cast, I think my interest level dipped a bit from an already low point.
Director Todd Phillips is currently shooting the sequel in Los Angeles this month and then the production moves to Bangkok in November. It is scheduled for theaters on the Fourth of July weekend, 2011.
This past weekend was a mixed one for M. Night Shyamalan. Although his new film The Last Airbender, a live action adaptation of the popular cartoon series, earned a respectable $57 million dollars, it was savaged by the critics.
Right now, Shymalan is probably turning his energies towards the mystery project that he has recently started shopping around to the studios. And one of the tasks he may have to tackle with that project is finding a replacement for Bradley Cooper. Although the actor had been loosely attached to the script that Shyamalan is circulating to industry execs under heavy security, it seems as if Cooper’s obligations to another film may scotch his participation. Philly.com got the news directly from the director himself -
” Hangover 2, ” lamented Shyamalan. “I don’t think Bradley can do it because of that.”
Shyamalan also stated that his plan is to shoot this mystery project between the planned two sequels for Last Airbender, though it remains to be seen if the box office receipts will dictate that will happen. But if Hangover 2 currently scheduled for a release next summer, shouldn’t Cooper’s duties for the film be well out of the way by the time Shyamalan finishes a second, hypothetical Airbender film?
Most everyone can agree that The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable are the two best films on writer/director M. Night Shyamalan’s filmography. And a big part of their success can possibly be attributed to the work of actor Bruce Willis in the lead roles for each film. Although known for a succession of wisecracking characters, Willis’ work in The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable were departures, with the actor presenting far more contemplative and complex protagonists than he usually played. With Shyamalan’s more recent films disappointing audiences more than entertaining them, can we take it as a good sign that Shyamalan is currently shopping a project around Hollywood that would reteam the two?
The Hollywood Reporter‘s Heat Vision blog is reporting that the Philadelphia-based Shyamalan has a new, untitled script currently making the rounds of movie studio executive suites in Los Angeles. As has become the norm when he begins shopping a new script, Shyamalan insists on almost ridiculous security. An assistant to the director shows up at an executives with a copy of the script, hands it over to be read and then waits until the exec finishes it and then takes it back.
Needless to say, no one knows or is talking about what the script could be about. It is supposedly strong enough to not only get Willis interested in attaching his name to the project but Bradley Cooper and Gwyneth Paltrow as well.
I am honestly a bit surprised that Shyamalan is able to insist and have honored his security conditions for reading this new script. His last three films – The Village, Lady In The Water and The Happening – were all disappointments on both critical and box office levels. I would think that he doesn’t have the clout in Hollywood that he had back at the turn of the century when The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable were released.
It probably won’t be until after the July 4th weekend and everyone gets a look at the opening box office receipts for Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender before we hear if any studio puts out an offer for this script. Will a bidding war be sparked or will the director have to take whatever deal is offered?
1. The Karate Kid (Sony/Columbia, 3,663 Theaters, 126 Minutes, Rated PG): This week has gotten a lot of chatter because it features two iconic 1980s properties remade for the new millennium. But while some might think this is a cute coincidence, I fear this might only be a harbinger of things to come. This could be the first sign that the studios will be coordinating their remakes so they all fit into theme weekends. And they’ll be able to do that because there will be so many remakes to choose from.
Anyway, this first film is a remake of the classic first Karate Kid film. And, as a fan of the original, I have to say I’m not really all that excited about this one. First off, and this is a minor thing, Jackie Chan says he’s going to teach Jaden Smith Kung Fu in the trailer. Kung Fu is not Karate. They are two different styles of martial arts. It is a small thing, yes, but enough to really annoy me.
Second, Jaden Smith really seems to be forced on me. I feel I am expected to like him because he is the son, and essentially a small version, of Will Smith. Both have the cocky smart-ass attitude, but Will’s is charming because he had decades to build it up. Jaden’s seems kind of obnoxious, to me at least. But I always feel snarky banter fits adults better than children.
Third, this film appears to be a shot-for-shot remake of the original. Sure, the location is now China instead of California and it’s “Jacket on/jacket off” instead of “wax on/wax off,” but all the themes, elements and scenes seem to be exactly duplicated. Instead of seeing a slavish, shot-for-shot remake of the Karate Kid, why wouldn’t I just watch the original instead?
2. The A-Team (Fox, 3,534 Theaters, 117 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Of the two remakes this week, the one I was a bigger fan of the original was The A-Team. It essentially was a live action cartoon, which is probably why the 11-year-old me liked it.
But it was also a vehicle for Mr. T. And as charming as Rampage Jackson might be on the MMA circuit, he’s no Mr. T. However, when you have Bradley Cooper and Liam Neeson in your cast, you can count on them to pick up the slack.
While the Karate Kid remake appears to be too slavishly tied to the original, this one seem to be trying to make a break from its inspiration. The trademark black van makes an appearance, only to be destroyed if the trailer is any indication. B.A. still doesn’t like to fly, but it’s not as much of an issue as it was in the series. And Face, instead of being a supporting member of the team, seems to be more of the focus.
Although, that being said, I have to say I am interested to see what they have done. It seems to be as campy as the original, but with the action amped up to unblievable levels. I mean, you have to admire a film that shows the team battling fighter jets in a tank that was tossed out of an airplane. That is sick stuff right there.
A few weeks ago we offered you the first unofficial look at the the cast of the big screen adaptation of the 80s classic tv series The A-Team being directed by Joe Carnahan. Now studio 20th Century Fox has released the first official picture of stars Bradley Cooper, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Sharlto Cople and Liam Neeson as American soldiers-framed-for-a-crime-they-didn’t-commit Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck, Sgt. “B.A.” Baracus, Capt. “Howling Mad” Murdock and John “Hannibal” Smith. (Click for a larger view.)
While I like the costumes and the look of the actors in the picture, I’m not sure that I’m thrilled with the gritty look of the photo itself. If you’ve seen Smokin’ Aces, you know that Carnahan is very much a visual stylists. But does The A-Team need that gritty, over-processed look? We’ll see next June 11, 2010.