Actor Christian Slater has given the cast and crew of Off-Broadway show Heathers a big thumbs up after taking in the musical adaptation of his cult film on Wednesday night (02Apr14). The stage version of the 1989 black comedy, which co-starred Winona Ryder as lead character Veronica, who battles against a clique of mean schoolgirls, opened to mixed reviews on Monday (31Mar14), with critics describing the production as "lively" and "goofy", yet "sloppy".
Slater decided to check out the show for himself on Wednesday and he has given the production his seal of approval, although he admits it was "weird" watching actor Ryan McCartan portray his character Jason 'J.D.' Dean.
Speaking on U.S. breakfast show Today on Thursday (03Apr14), he says, "I enjoyed it. It was weird; it was weird to see that show, a musical version, but it was adorable. Director Andy Fickman did a great job and the cast is funny.
"What was weird was just seeing another guy up there, in the black jacket, playing that part... There were parts of me that wanted to run up on the stage... go up there (and take over)..."
The Broken Arrow star reveals he didn't want to distract the cast by making a big entrance, so he didn't make his presence known until after the final curtain call.
He adds, "I snuck in (to the theatre) and then showed up at the end (to meet the cast). It worked out great."
Filmmaker Andy Fickman is in talks to take charge of a sequel to actor Kevin James' 2009 comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop. If the Parental Guidance director signs on, he will join a creative team which includes Adam Sandler and James as producers. The project is expected to begin shooting in April (14), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A musical adaptation of Winona Ryder's cult film Heathers is heading to the New York stage this coming spring (14). The theatre version of the dark comedy, which pitted Ryder's character against a clique of fellow schoolgirls, all named Heather, has been in the works for the past few years and had a brief run for developmental purposes at the Hudson Backstage Theater in Los Angeles recently.
Now, Tony Award-nominated composer Laurence O'Keefe, writer Kevin Murphy and director Andy Fickman have announced plans to unveil the production at the New World Stages venue in the Big Apple from 17 March (14) to 7 September (14).
Forgetting Sarah Marshall actress Kristen Bell had previously been selected as the leading lady in the musical adaptation in 2010, but it's not clear if she will lead the cast.
The news comes four months after plans to take the 1988 movie to the small screen suffered a setback as bosses at U.S. network Bravo decided against picking up a Heathers TV series. The project would have followed the life of the teenage daughter of Ryder's character Veronica.
Russell Brand's film work to date hasn't exactly appealed to the family crowd or horror enthusiasts (though Hop was easily one of the scariest films of 2011 in all the wrong ways), but nonetheless he'll star in a film that will bring the two audiences together. Paramount Pictures and Platinum Dunes - the production company headed by Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller - have set the Get Him to the Greek comedian to topline a supernatural children's tale titled Hauntrepreneur, which comes from a spec script from Scott Rosenberg (Kangaroo Jack, Con Air).
The story is said to revolve around a family that has trouble adjusting to life in a new town and then hires a peculiar man who calls himself "the Hauntrepreneur" to help. To unite them, the eccentric figure creates a haunted house filled with a horde of odd creatures and, one would assume, pits them against the family. No other casting decisions have been made, but now that the titular role has been filled, the search for a director has begun.
Based on that brief description, I'm getting the feeling that Hauntrepreneur will boast shades of Beetlejuice, Poltergeist and The Haunted Mansion along with state-of-the-art special effects to bring an army of monsters to life. With Michael Bay and company involved you know you're in for an adrenaline pumping adventure, and Brand has the whole over-the-top thing down pat, so I'm excited to see what kind of gusto he'll bring to an out-of-this-world character like this. The only red flag I see at this stage is the fore mentioned parties producing a "family film." Even in his more toned-down big-screen appearances, Brand is raunchier than a late-night White Castle feast. And family friendly isn't in Bay's vocabulary. Together, they are a recipe for cinematic vulgarity unlike the world has ever seen. I think it's going to take a filmmaker on the other side of the scale to balance this production out - might I suggest an Andy Fickman or Thor Freudenthal?
Midler, who recently dropped out of a biopic about disgraced music mogul Phil Spector due to a back injury, has signed on to play Crystal's estranged spouse in the new comedy, which will be directed by You Again's Andy Fickman.
In the film, Midler and the When Harry Met Sally star find themselves living together again and trying to parent their three grandchildren - one of whom will be break-out child star Bailee Madison of Brothers and Just Go With It fame.
Production is set to begin later this month (Sep11) in Atlanta, Georgia, according to Variety.com.
Midler is still battling back problems after being diagnosed with a herniated disc and placed on bed rest; just last week (30Aug11) she wrote in a post on her Twitter.com account, "Still semi-immobile and stuck on the couch. Ironically, movies about paralyzed people on (U.S. TV network) Lifetime all week!"
Bailee Madison and Bette Midler have joined the cast of the generation-gap comedy Us & Them, Variety reports. They join star star Billy Crystal, who plays a grandfather tasked with babysitting his three grandchildren alongside his estranged wife, to be played by Midler. The film is directed by Andy Fickman, whose last effort was the Disney comedy You Again, one of 2010's worst-reviewed releases. Surely the formidable comedic one-two punch of Crystal and Midler, two of the funniest people of the 1980s, will deliver better results.
Accept it; the days when MTV truly stood for Music Television are over. They aren’t coming back, so stop your whining. While the music video programming continues to dwindle, the cable channel is taking a tiny step back towards its roots with a new half-hour comedy pilot that features a strong musical component.
Patito Feo (Ugly Duckling in English) is based off of the Argentinean teen sensation of the same name. In Argentina, the show was wildly popular, running for 300 episodes and enjoying a hit soundtrack and sold-out concert tour.
The show’s main character is a young Mexican girl who moves to America where she finds herself in conflict with the lifestyle of the American teenager and the mean-girl hierarchy at school. It sounds a little like the teeny bopper hybrid of Ugly Betty meshed with Glee. Like Ugly Betty, the original Argentine version has enjoyed adaptations in more than 32 countries. In fact, this isn’t the first time an adaptation will reach American viewers – Univision happily aired 262 episodes of Mexico’s take on Patito Feo, called Dare to Dream.
Teen RomCom scribe Bert V. Royal (Easy A) worked to adapt the series for MTV, and after seeing what he did with Easy A, I’m hoping he lends some of the snark and wit he worked into Emma Stone’s character to Patito Feo’s little leading lady. While they nabbed a relative newcomer with Royal, MTV is also in talks with Andy Fickman (She’s the Man, You Again) and the young teen scene is kind of his jam. Together, I think they’ve got the power to get American teenage girls to tune in.
All those who sat in front of the MTV VMA's last Sunday were delighted with some great performances, but not much else. The only thing that made watching the same musicians accept a Moon Man at the podium and then go back to their seats -- only to get called back up there again -- was the sight of Cher in her Travoltally dancetastic suit. spattered tar-looking jumpsuit. It was a sight.
The good news isn't that that costume went right back into the floorboard under which it was hiding. No no! In fact, dozens just like it are probably being sewn by nimble-fingered stars in a far off galaxy at this very moment! You Again director Andy Fickman has announced his plans to make an announcement about a Cher musical. "She's a fairly phenomenal character, Cher -- as a human being I think she's one of the great icons of all time, a force to be reckoned with. The way she looked onstage with Lady Gaga, well, it's one for the books."
IT'S ONE FOR THE KINDLES! A Cher musical would be the most best shining blood donation of jewels, high C's and thigh-highs we've ever seen, even under this dictatorship of a flank steak-wearing Gaga. It would be an even bigger celebration of life than Mamma Mia! and Rent and Cats, combined! Are you kidding moi? Cher's whole life has been a musical, so not only should it have already been made into a musical, but it should have already been made into a musical so that Mary Poppins could have just remained a secret family popcorn recipe.
Zombies seem to have sunk their rotting teeth into the brains of Hollywood executives because they’re the only thing on their mind these days. Two new projects have been announced that revolve around the undead.
First up is a new film Boy Scouts vs. Zombies with Andy Flickman attached to direct. Flickman’s You Again is being released September 24th and was also recently announced to direct TMI, an Anna Faris comedy. Besides the title and the director, not much else is known about the project. If there isn’t a joke about getting a badge in Zombie killing then I want the money I spent on The Guide To Easy Movie Jokes 101 back.
Second is a new scripted series from MTV, Death Valley. Pitched as a horror-comedy-documentary following the ‘Undead Task Force,’ the series will follow UTF as they battle zombies, vampires, and werewolves in LA. The cast is a promising mix of up comers including Lost’s Alex Rousseau, Tania Raymonde and FunnyorDie’s epic The Big Dog Charlie Sanders. MTV also picked up another series, That Girl, revolving around a teenager who everyone believes tried to kill herself after an accident. It seems MTV is really into death lately. Maybe they should talk to someone about it. I’m sure there’s a hotline.
Back to the zombies! We might be reaching the Zombie Saturation Point soon (need to copyright that) but at least these projects seem to have some thought behind them. Boy Scouts vs. Zombies was an original script penned by College Road Trip’s Carrie Evans and Emi Mochizuki. With the craze of pre-branded material stalling at the box-office this past summer (we're looking at you Jonah Hex), a fresh ideas like this is refreshing. Death Valley could easily become Reno 911 with monsters. I wouldn’t complain about that one. And with The Walking Dead on AMC, Death Valley won’t be the only zombie shuffling crawling around.
Both of these projects are being classified as horror-comedy, a notoriously difficult genre to nail. Too scary and the comedy feels out of place. Not scary enough and it feels cheap. The humor has to be good enough to compete with traditional comedies and going toe to toe with Community and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (among many others) is not easy. But it can be done. Slither and Zombieland are on my list of favorite comedies. And Shaun of the Dead? Classic. They just have to make sure they do it well. Glad I’m here to deliver that profound message.
Sources: Deadline, ComingSoon
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." You've probably heard those words a thousand times before, and you know what? It's true. Director Andy Fickman has had great success with romantic comedies; in fact, he excels at making lighthearted, easy-to-digest commercial films (She's The Man, The Game Plan). Though he tried to expand his resume by making the so-so sci-fi sequel Race To Witch Mountain, he went back to doing what he does best with You Again, Disney's new trans-generational chick flick and is on a course to repeat that move with Universal's TMI.
Variety reports that Fickman has signed on to direct the Anna Faris comedy about a two best friends who accidentally sleep together but soon find out they know "too much information" about each other to make it work. Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith and Marc Klein penned the script. Longtime Faris collaborator Ryan Reynolds was attached to co-star, but has opted out of appearing in the film and will instead executive produce with Faris. Andrew Panay and Reynolds' partner Jonathan Komack-Martin will produce.
Given Fickman's credits, he is an ideal choice to navigate this story. He's proven that he can deliver broad humor and touching moments that are accessible to audiences of all ages, and that's exactly what TMI calls for. Relationship comedies are still very profitable in Hollywood, especially when a star doesn't eat up more than half of the production budget. Faris is great at what she does and offers a sizable bang for her buck - though she's not yet considered an A-list leading lady, her 2008 comedy The House Bunny took in almost $70 million and she's got plenty of box-office to back up her status thanks to four hit Scary Movies. Though I'd have loved to see her back on the big screen with Reynolds in this pic, I'll take Anna anyway I can get her.