Tag Archive | "Bradley Cooper"

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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.

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Has Soderbergh Walked From THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.?

Posted on 18 November 2011 by Rich Drees

Warner Brothers has not been having much luck lately with their big screen adaption of the 1960s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The last several months have seen them go through a number of potential actors  for the lead role either outright passing on the project or walking away from negotiations. And now it seems that the project’s director Steven Soderbergh has dropped out of the project as well.

The Playlist is reporting that Soderbergh’s departure comes in the wake of a meeting he held with studio executives last night where the two parties once again clashed over the issues of casting and budget. Apparently the studio was only willing to front $60 million for the production, a number that Soderbergh considered too low for a globe-trotting, 1960s era-set action film. With a production start date of March looming, Soderbergh had decided that there wasn’t enough time to iron out their differences and still prep for the shoot.

The director and the studio had been going back and forth on the film’s casting for months. At first, Soderbergh’s frequent on-screen collaborator George Clooney was attached to star, but withdrew in August. Playlist reports that the director then suggested Michael Fassbender and “The Killing” star Joel Kinnaman as two possible replacements. The studio passed, but then put them into other projects, which did not sit well with Soderbergh. A number of other actors were discussed but none were ever approached with firm offers. Playlist states that the reports that Bradley Cooper was in discussions last month with the studio was actually a story put out by the actor’s agents in order to get the studio to make an offer.

As of this morning, the studio has not made any statement on the matter, though I would expect they would before the end of the day.

With the ball now back in Warner Brorthers’ court, what happens now?

Well, that probably depends on Warners’s flexibility over the March start date. If they are willing to push that back in order to accommodate whomever they hire to take over the film, then that’s fine. However, if they are committed to starting filming in the spring in order to meet an intractable release date, things could be in trouble before they’ve even started. Remember that Universal’s The Wolfman and Twentieth Century Fox’s X-Men 3 both had directors brought in at the last minute to take over troubled projects and look how well both of them turned.

Of course, Warners was ready to move the film’s start date if Matt Damon had signed onto the film, as it conflicted with the shooting of the actor’s directorial debut. However, Soderbergh was committed to film his Liberace biopic Behind The Candelabra to the newly proposed dates.

My guess is that the studio will scrap all the work done by Soderbergh and his screenwriting collaborator on this project Scott Z. Burns and look for someone to start the whole development process over again. However, if they do that, whomever takes on the project will already have one strike against them. Before Soderbergh signed on to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. the project had already racked up somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million in development costs from the previous attempts that the studio made at getting it in front of the cameras. that amount is now undoubtedly much higher and that only increases the pressure on the next person to step up to try and make the movie.

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Bradley Cooper Passes On MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.

Posted on 10 November 2011 by Rich Drees

The search continues for the Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Bradley Cooper, who was reported to have been in negotiations to play the lead in Warner Brothers big screen adaption of the classic 60s television spy series, has passed on taking part in the Steven Soderbergh-directed film.

This puts the studio back on the search to find someone to play Napoleon Solo, the role made famous by Robert Vaughn in the `60s.

Cooper joins George Clooney, Johnny Depp and Matt Damon in having 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.

Warners was originally looking to get the film into production next spring, and they still could, if they find someone to lead the cast.

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Will Bradley Cooper Be THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.?

Posted on 21 October 2011 by Rich Drees

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.

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Bradley Cooper Drops Out Of THE CROW

Posted on 16 August 2011 by Rich Drees

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.

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Benjamin Walker in Negotiations For Proyas’s PARADISE LOST

Posted on 04 August 2011 by Rich Drees

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.

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Alex Proyas’ PARADISE LOST To Shoot In Australia

Posted on 20 July 2011 by Rich Drees

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.

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Posted on 27 May 2011 by William Gatevackes

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?

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Who Is Not Coming Back For HANGOVER 2?

Posted on 15 October 2010 by Rich Drees

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.

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Cooper Out Of Shyamalan’s Mystery Project

Posted on 06 July 2010 by Rich Drees

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?

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