Posted on 14 July 2010 by Rich Drees
MGM’s continuing monetary woes have put the latest James Bond installment on hold, the studio’s remake of Red Dawn and the Joss Whedon-produced Cabin In The Woods on the shelf pending funds for their release and have caused Guillermo del Toro to abdicate his position as director of the planned two-film adaptation of The Hobbit in favor of working on previously committed to, and presumably funded, projects.
But all this lack of activity has seemingly not deterred The Hobbit‘s producer, and very probable director, Peter Jackson. Even as he continues on with pre-production work fort he films, the Hollywood Reporter‘s Heat Vision blog is reporting that Jackson is in Los Angeles this week meeting with actors, the first step in casting the films. Reportedly. he will then be going to New York and London for further meetings.
It looks like the fact that the films are a co-production between MGM and Warner Brothers’ New Line Cinema may be what rescues the project from its current limbo. Heat Vision hints that Warners may fund the film themselves, though it would require the approval of the committee of financial stakeholders and creditors that are currently running the studio. They also report that if Jackson does indeed sign on to direct, he will want to fast track production to get them into theaters for 2012 and 2013.
I think with Jackson proceeding as he is, he is definitely looking to be in the director’s chair for this. Here’s hoping it can all come together.
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?
Posted on 08 June 2010 by Rich Drees
Throughout the casting process for the upcoming Captain America: The First Avenger, the one role that has remained conspicuously vacant has been that of the scientist who helps to create the titular hero.
Now we know it will be Stanley Tucci who will be the government scientist Dr. Abraham Erskine, who injects the weakling Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) with the Super Soldier Serum, transforming him in to the patriotic-themed superhero. Unfortunately for those of us who are fans of the actor and know the origin of the comics character, we know that role won’t yield much screen time for the Academy Award nominated actor.
Captain America, which is scheduled to go in front of the cameras this summer, is shaping up to have a stellar cast. In addition to Tucci, the film will also feature Tommy Lee Jones, Toby Jones, Hugo Weaving, Sebastian Stan, Hayley Atwell and Neal McDonough.
Via Hollywood Reporter.
Posted on 26 May 2010 by Rich Drees
It’s been a week since Megan Fox departed the upcoming Transformers 3 and it appears as if director Michael Bay has a replacement already locked down. Deadline is reporting that Victoria’s Secret and Agent Provocateur model Rosie Huntington-Whitley has been offered the role and that negotiations are currently in process.
Huntington-Whitley has beaten out numerous others reportedly up for the role including Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jessica Lowndes, Zoe Saldana, Hayden Penetierre, Camilla Belle, Ashley Greene, Amber Heard, Julianne Hough, Vanessa Hudgens and models Bar Rafaeli, Miranda Kerr and Brooklyn Decker.
A quick check of the IMDb shows that Huntington-Whitley has absolutely no acting credits on her resume. Conversely, Fox had at least a handful of small television and film parts prior to Transformers catapulting her career.
But then again, this is a Michael Bay film. Does it really matter what kind of acting chops the cast has? So far, the Transformers franchise has proved that humans are a distant second to all the CGI action that Bay throws on the screen. If anything, her casting gives numerous webmasters to post pictures of a sexy model in her underwear on their site.
Posted on 24 May 2010 by Rich Drees
Orlando Bloom is the latest addition to the cast of Paul W. S. Anderson’s The Three Musketeers. But instead of taking a dashing heroic role, the Lord Of The Rings and Pirates Of The Caribbean star will be playing the villainous Duke of Buckingham. Bloom joins Christoph Waltz as Cardinal Richelieu, Logan Lerman as D’Artagnan, Matthew MacFadyen as Athos, Ray Stevenson as Porthos, Luke Evans as Aramis, Milla Jovovich as M’lady De Winter and Mads Mikkelsen as Rochefort.
The Summit Entertainment is set for a 3D release next summer. Warner Brothers is also working on their own adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s classic (and public domain) adventure novel with director Doug Liman.
Via Hollywood Reporter.
Posted on 20 May 2010 by Rich Drees
Megan Fox is not going to be back for Michael Bay’s blockbuster franchise installment Transformers 3. The news broke late yesterday from Deadline, who reported that it was ultimately Bay’s decision to not bring the actress because “giving Shia a new love interest makes more sense for the story.” Fox’s PR people countered with a statement released a few hours later to People that “It was her decision not to return. She wishes the franchise the best.”
No matter who made the decision as to Fox’s continued employment in the franchise, this doesn’t come as a complete surprise. While doing press for her horror film Jennifer’s Body, the actress was candidly critical of Bay, comparing his on-set attitude to Hitler at one point. Supporters in Bay’s camp fired back with accusations of Diva-like behavior and referred to her as “dumb-as-a-rock.” The two sides supposedly made up with Bay promising that Fox would be back for the threequel. And we see how that worked out.
So who will be stepping into the roles of franchise star Shia LeBoeuf’s love interest? It seems that everyone has inside information as to which hot actresses are in contention. The Wrap is reporting that Quantum Of Solace Bond girl is a front-runner for the role and has already met with Bay, while models Bar Rafaeli, Miranda Kerr and Brooklyn Decker are also being considered as possible replacements. Meanwhile, AintItCool has a list of potential replacements that include Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jessica Lowndes, Zoe Saldana, Hayden Penetierre, Camilla Belle, Ashley Greene, Amber Heard, Julianne Hough, Vanessa Hudgens and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
No matter who thyey choose, they better choose quickly. Transformers 3 is set to go in front of the cameras in just a few weeks for a release next summer.
Posted on 22 April 2010 by Rich Drees
Helen Mirren will be cleaning up after Russell Brand in the upcoming remake of the 1981 comedy Arthur. Mirren will be playing the part of Hobson, the long-suffering servant of Brand’s spoiled, drunken titular character. In the original role, the character was played by veteran British actor Sir John Gielgud, who won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his work in the film.
The gender-switch is interesting idea obviously changing the original’s father-son relationship between Hobson and Arthur to a mother-son one. This is continued in to the script where it is now Arthur’s mother who controls his finances and not his father as in the original. Of course, it remains to be seen if this is a good idea or not.
Interestingly, this is not the only gender-swapping role that Mirren is currently signed for. She will be playing Prospera, a female version of Prospero in director Julie Taymor’s upcoming adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
Posted on 08 April 2010 by Rich Drees
With his work on Iron Man 2 completed last week, director Jon Favreau is turning his full attention to his next project Cowboys & Aliens by announcing via Twitter that the first cast member to join leads Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde in the comic book adaptation will be none other than Harrison Ford.
Set to start filming this July, the film will feature a story that sounds like the mash-up of every kid’s playtime fantasies- cowboys and Indians team-up to defend the Old West from invading aliens. You can read the original comic for free here.
Personally, I think this is exciting news, as Ford is generally never better than when he is in genre material. Even with all it’s problems, Ford was more engaged in his performance in 2008′s Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull than he appeared in years. And as Ford probably doesn’t really need the work for the money, I take it as a good sign that there is something strong in the script that interested him.
Cowboys & Aliens gallops into theaters on July 29, 2011.
Posted on 25 March 2010 by Rich Drees
Angela Bassett has been cast in the already-in-production superhero film Green Lantern. She will be playing Amanda Waller, the head of the super top secret government organization code named Task Force X, but more informally known as the Suicide Squad. The Squad is a group of supervillains pressed into service on dangerous covert missions in order to shave time off of their prison sentences.
Warners is positioning Green Lantern as the first in a series of big screen adaptation of the various superhero characters available in DC Comics’ library which will eventually take the tent pole positions currently occupied by the soon to finish Harry Potter series. While there has been no official announcement, many fans have assumed that Warners will try to do something similar to what Marvel Studios is doing with their comic book films and try and interweave them into one continuity. While it would definitely feel similar to the way Marvel Studios is using the spy organization SHIELD as one of the links between their movies, I have to wonder if Warners is looking at using the character of Amanda Waller in a similar way. Although Waller’s character has appeared through out the DC Comics universe, she is not particularly identified with Green Lantern, making her appearance in the film seem unusual on the surface. Her inclusion would make more sense if the studio was setting the character up for additional appearances.
Green Lantern is currently shooting in New Orleans with Martin Campbell directing.
Via The Hollywood Reporter.
Posted on 22 March 2010 by Rich Drees
You know how every now and then you read about a prestigious actor taking a role in a movie you would think a bit beneath their prestige? This is one of those stories.
Two-time Academy Award nominee John Malkovich and three-time Academy Award nominee and one-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand have been hired to appear in Michael Bay’s giant robots fighting and exploding sequel Transformers 3. According to Deadline, Malkovich will be playing franchise star Shia LaBeouf’s character’s first boss while McDormand will be playing the National Intelligence Director.
So is Bay aiming for a higher caliber film, with quality actors and a quality script? This is a Transformers film, so I’m not holding my breath. Hopefully, Malkovich and McDormand have something worthwhile to spend their paychecks on.