British comic actor Richard Ayoade, best known on this side of the Atlantic as one of the socially awkward The IT Crowd, has been cast in the upcoming Akiva Schaffer-directed science-fiction comedy Neighborhood Watch. Reportedly, Ayoade got the role after filmmakers passed on using Chris Tucker.
The film, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, centers on a group of suburbaniutes who form a neighborhood crime watch group only to uncover a much larger conspiracy. The film stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Rosemarie DeWitt.
Ayoade has been making some headway into Hollywood over the last couple of years. His British independent film directorial debut Submarine was distributed by the Weinstein Company last year. He has also directed a number of episodes of the series Community. His IT Crowd co-star Chris Dowd has been making similar in-roads as well. This summer he had a co-starring role in the hit Brides Maids and next summer will be seen in Judd Apatow’s This Is Forty. Hopefully, their success will not preclude them returning for another season or two of IT Crowd.
1. Paul (Universal, 2,801 Theaters, 104 Minutes, Rated R): Seeing Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in any film not directed by Edgar Wright seems to veer a little too close to sacrilege for my tastes (same goes the other way too, it just doesn’t seem right).
But yet, here we are, with the pair joined up with Superbad‘s Greg Mottola as a pair of comic book afficiantos making a pilgrimage to the San Diego Comic Con who pick up a rather unique hitchhiker near Area 51, an alien named Paul (voice by Seth Rogen).
Considering the people involved, it should be impossible that the film is not funny at all. The premise is kind of meh, but the cast is good enough to bring some oomph to it.
2. Limitless (Relativity, 2,756 Theaters, 105 Minutes, Rated PG-13): If it wasn’t for one particular plot point, this film would be your typical high finance thriller.
Think about it. A young skilled hotshot enters a corporation. His talent shoots him quickly up into the highest eschelon, and his ego makes him a lot of enemies on the way up. Once his luck runs out and his talent fails him, the wolves begin to circle. Sound familiar?
The twist is that the hotshot’s talent is brought about by a pill that unlocks the untapped potential for the human brain. That kind of sci-fi swerve does add something to the film, but it only barely makes it more unique than your typical Wall Street clone.
3. The Lincoln Lawyer (Lionsgate, 2,400 Theaters, 119 Minutes, Rated R): This might be opening myself to ridicule, but I believe Matthew McConaughey can be a great actor when he wants to be.
Sure, most people when the first think of him, think of him as a stoner characture who’s acting talents would be strained if he goes beyond the realm of the chick flick.
But this is a man who did some pretty fine acting in Contact and A Time to Kill. These were solid dramatic roles and McConaughey excelled in them.
He returns to the legal-potboiler-adapted-from-a-book genre with this one as he plays a lawyer with a client who is hiding something. Not exactly fresh and unique, but could be something that could remind people that McConaughey can really act.
1. The Green Hornet (Sony/Columbia, 3,584 Theaters, 108 Minutes, Rated PG-13): The project has gone through a number of directors, including Kevin Smith and Stephen Chow. There have been numerous changes in the lead actor before they arrived at Seth Rogen. Not every Hollywood franchise gets this kind of persistence granted to it.
It seems like the powers that be think the property will be like printing money. That the Green Hornet is such a known quantity that it is guaranteed to be a success.
But it has been decades since the short-lived TV series was on and even longer since the radio show that originated the character was on the air. The character is known primarily by historians these days and I’d wager a bet that if you asked any young person about the Green Hornet, you’d get a blank stare.
So, it remains to be seen if this film would be a slam dunk or not or if the chances the producers made will pay off.
2. The Dilemma (Universal, 2,941 Theaters, 112 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Seeing Ron Howard’s name attached to this project might seem strange. After all, his career for the last 20 years has been Oscar fodder, more or less. But Howard has a history with comedy. His first two “break out” films were comedies–Night Shift and Splash.
Even still, this film seems beneath him. Vince Vaughn plays a man who sees the wife of his friend and business partner kissing another man. He must then debate whether or not to tell his friend.
I do like the cast, which is pretty strong top to bottom. And I like Howard as a director. But the film still seems to be the kind of brainless farce that stinks up theaters these days. If this is true, it would be a true shame.
Last night I was not that impressed with the brief glimpse we got of the upcoming Green Hornet film starring Seth Rogen. I felt that it played up the expected Seth Rogen screen personna at the possible expense of what the film is really about.
But now we have the film’s first official trailer and it feels as if it has a much different mission than the Entertainment Tonight clip. Here, the trailer is introducing the character to audiences who are probably unfamiliar with him. It sets up Britt Reid’s motivations in becoming the Hornet as well as the hero’s fairly unique modus operandi of posing as a criminal to bring down organized crime. It sells both the action and what appears to be a light tone for the film without dipping into camp territory.
There have also been two new photos from the film released. The first is Christoph Waltz as the villainous Chudnowsky while the second shows Rogen and Jay Chou as Kato in a mock up of what will become the Hornet’s car, the Black Beauty.
Over the weekend, I found myself reading an online article tracing the various looks that old time radio hero-turned comic book hero the Green Hornet had sported in his various four color incarnations over the decades. And as I was reading, I started to wonder when we would finally see some official pictures of Seth Rogen in the upcoming big screen adaption of the masked crimefighter’s adventures. (We saw a fewunofficial looks when the film was in production last fall.) Well, today those first official pictures were released, along with about a minute of footage appearing on Entertainment Tonight.
Both photos feature stars Rogen as newspaper publisher Britt Reid/the Green Hornet and Jay Chou as his sidekick Kato. The second picture especially hints that the film could be fairly exciting and action-filled.
The Entertainment Tonight clip, on the other hand, leaves me a little worried as it gives the impression that Rogen may be playing yet another variation of his lovable doofus character. Of course, this could be impression created by some careful editing in order to sell the film to the large portion of his fan base who probably have never heard of the Green Hornet before. We’ll get more of a look at the film when the first trailer is unveiled tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
The Green Hornet hits theaters in 3D next January.
OK, so it is not Seth Rogen actually in costume as the titular Green Hornet, but it is a look at his stunt man in the outfit. The screengrab comes from Splash News Online‘s video footage of the filming of some stunt sequences for the upcoming film. The stunt sequences involve blowing up stuff and dropping a bulldozer on to a car.
And I have to say, the looks good to me. The green vest, mask and fedora are all solid, old school Hornet, much like the pictures we saw of the Hornet’s assistant Kato and his car the Black Beuaty back at the beginning of September. At least the look of the film will be true to the 1960s television series based on the radio show from the 1930s and `40s.
Though a fan of the Green Hornet radio series, I was not too enthused when it was announced that Seth Rogen was going to star in this film adaptation. But with every bit of news that leaks out about the film, my wariness of the project is lessened. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen pictures of the main costumes for the heroes that look good, had Christoph Waltz announced as the film’s villain and we know that Edward James Olmos is playing a newspaper reporter (the radio show’s Mike Axford) out to unmask the Green Hornet, not knowing that he is his boss, publisher Britt Reid.
The Green Hornet is scheduled for release in December 2010.
Hot on the heels of wowing audiences as Nazi in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds (and winning the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for it), Austrian actor Christoph Waltz has joined the cast of the already-in-production Green Hornet as the film’s lead villain. Nicholas Cage had previously been in talks for the role, but walked away from negotiations last week when a deal couldn’t be finalized.
Variety describes Waltz’s character as “a Los Angeles crime boss who tries to unite the city’s various gangs in order to form a supermafia.” His character will be facing opposition from newspaper publisher-turned-vigilante the Green Hornet, to be played by Seth Rogen.
As one of those blown away by his complex performance in Basterds, I am excited to see that Waltz is already getting more English language work. And while Cage does have his moments, I think that Waltz is a more interesting choice for the role. Then again, I’m thinking that Waltz is the default more interesting choice for any role.
The Green Hornet started shooting last week and thanks to the fact that they have been out shooting on location, we already have a look at several members of the cast- Seth Rogen as the Green Hornet’s public identity of crusading newspaper publisher Britt Reid, Cameron Diaz as Casey Lenore, Jay Chou as Britt’s chauffeur and sidekick Kato and the Green Hornet’s tricked out car, the Black Beauty. Additionally, we starting to see pictures of Chou’s stunt-double in Kato’s crimefighting costume and a few things that might be considered more on the spoiler-side, so be forwarned if you follow the various links to Superhero Hype, Crazy Critics and Just Jared (Set 1 and set 2) . If not, we’ve popped a few non-spoilerish samples below. (Click on any one for a bigger view.) The scene being shot appears to be an outdoor press conference where… something happens.
Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten our first look at Rogen in the Green Hornet’s outfit. Since the looks for Kato and the Black Beauty are sticking with the more traditional design, I’m hoping that the same will hold true for the Hornet’s outfit as well.
As a fan of the original radio series, I have to admit that I am still a bit leery of this project, mainly due to Rogen’s involvement. There has been no clear cut statement as to what the film’s tone will be, and I am dreading that he and director Michel Gondry are going to go for something a little more lighthearted and comical than appropriate. Hopefully, we’ll have a better idea long before the film’s premier in December 2010.
Asian pop star-turned-actor Jay Chou has been cast to play Kato, loyal sidekick to the crime-busting Green Hornet, in Michel Gondry’s upcoming adaptation of the classic old time radio series hero.
Seth Rogen is set to star in the film as Britt reid, a crusading newspaper publisher who moonlights as a masked vigilante whom the cops believe is a criminal. Hong Kong star Stephen Chow had originally been tapped to star as Kato and to direct the film. However, he left the project after disagreeing with the producer’s as to the tone of the film.
In a press release, Gondry stated-
Jay is incredibly unique and charming and fights like a wild dog! When I filmed him next to Seth, they had such great chemistry, and I knew the movie will be great.
Chou is probably unfamiliar to most American audiences who aren’t connoisseurs of Asian cinema. A hit debut pop album in 2000 helped Chou seque into an acting career. He has starred in the 2006 comedy-action film Initial D with Edison Chen. He also starred in 2005’s Curse Of The Golden Flower opposite Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat.
Chou isn’t the first relatively unknown actor to take on the role of Kato. Besides the long-running 1930s and 40s radio series, the Green Hornet appeared on television in the 1960s. Kato was played by a young, unknown martial artist from Hong Kong named Bruce Lee. Although the series only lasted a year, it helped launch Lee’s extraordinary career.
1. Hannah Montana: The Movie (Walt Disney, 3,118 Theaters, 102 Minutes, Rated G): The last time the words “Hannah” and “Montana” were on a movie released in theaters, the film in question Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: The Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour, rocketed to number one and raked in a bunch of dough.
So, that means this movie, which is more movie musical than concert film, will do just as well, right?
Maybe, maybe not. The demographic this film is shooting for left the recent Jonas Brothers film out to dry. And Miley Cyrus has had a flare up of controversy or two in the mean time. It does have the lead in theaters, but faces stiff competition.
What’s the film about? Something about Miley having to face a decision about whether or not she can continue being Hannah Montana. Yeah, I know.
2. Observe and Report (Warner Brothers, 2,727 Theaters, 86 Minutes, Rated R); Paul Blart, Mall Cop was a surprise box office smash earlier this year, and Hollywood being what it is, they rushed out a quickie sequel. I guess Kevin James was busy, so they got Seth Rogen to replace him as Blart. And Anna Faris is replacing Jayma Mays as the romantic lead.
The plot invol…um, what? What is that? You’re saying that this is NOT a sequel to Paul Blart, Mall Cop? That this was another loser security guard who lives with his mother and is awkward with women who must rise above his station to solve a crime at the mall he is sworn to protect? All the while finding love with a cute mall employee? Seriously?
Yes, this very similar film was in production the same time as Paul Blart, Mall Cop, but that film beat it into theaters. Who would of thought that one mall security guard comedies could be green lit, let alone two? The former was a success, will this one follow suit?
3. Dragonball Evolution (Fox, 2181 Theaters, 84 Minutes, Rated PG): With all the cartoons, video games, toys and card games around the Dragonball Empire, it was only a matter of time before we came up with a live action movie. The wonder is that it took so long.
If you happen to be one who don’t know Dragonball from Dodgeball, the series revolves around a young man who must fight against enormous odds to gather seven “balls” of immense power before an evil warlord does it first. And, of course, the fate of the world is at stake.
I haven’t seen much advertising for this film, so I wonder if it will have much drawing power outside of the anime/gamer set.