Prepare for huge, mind-bogglingly awesome news: word has it Michael Fassbender is in talks to star alongside Natalie Portman.
The film in question is in the in-development Black List script Jane Got a Gun, a Western about a woman whose outlaw husband shows up littered with bullets on her front porch. Portman, who is also producing, would star as the woman who seeks out an old flame to help defend her home. According to Vulture's sources, Fassy could be that old flame. However, nothing is certain because Hollywood.com has confirmed with backer Scott Pictures that a male lead has yet to be officially cast. But really, could anything else match the majesty of this potential pairing?
But if the pedigree of the script's Black List status, Portman's involvement, and the potential of Fassbender weren't enough. There's more. We Need to Talk About Kevin writer/director Lynne Ramsay is helming the flick, but for a change she's taking a backseat on the writing. Being that the script made the famous Black List last year, newcomer Brian Duffield remains the screenwriter. After all, if it ain't broke...
With the exception of Portman and (potentially) Fassbender, the film is perfectly situated in the world of Independent film, coming in with a budget under $20 million, and is being produced only by small companies, including Portman's own handsomecharlie films with Scott Steindorff's production company providing the financial base.
So, besides the potential of an on-screen match we thought only possible in our dreams, is the big deal? If this picture goes down without a hitch, it could be a serious awards contender. It's got all the right pieces, including an acclaimed Indie director and an Oscar winner. Not that the Fassbender-Portman combo wouldn't already have us enraptured, but this movie is going to be one to keep our eyes on, folks.
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[Photo Credit: Wenn (2)]
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Penn, who played stoner icon Jeff Spicoli in the 1982 film, will reportedly join co-stars Judge Reinhold, Robert Romanus, Brian Backer and Forest Whitaker, and director Amy Heckerling at the event in Los Angeles, according to EW.com.
Robert De Niro will present the cast with trophies.
Iron Man 2 Jon Favreau’s much-anticipated follow-up to his breakthrough 2008 blockbuster is less a comic book flick than it is a superhero version of Arthur the Oscar-nominated 1981 comedy that starred Dudley Moore as a drunken wise-cracking dilettante. In his second turn as Tony Stark Robert Downey Jr. recasts the billionaire inventor as the Dean Martin of industrialists strutting from one star-studded event to another on a bacchanalian victory tour dishing out choice one-liners and stirring up minor controversies for his exasperated babysitters Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and James "Rhodey" Rhodes (Don Cheadle) to quell. Whether gloating about his achievements at a defense industry expo upbraiding Senators during a congressional hearing or getting wasted and donning his armored powersuit to play DJ at his birthday party there's no telling what kind of madcap mischief Tony Stark will get himself into next!
The Tony Stark Comedy Tour for what it’s worth is a supremely entertaining ride (credit screenwriter Justin Theroux at the very least with crafting the genre’s most quotable film of all time) but I’m fairly certain Iron Man 2 is supposed to be an action film not the Marvel Follies Variety Show. Surely there must be a supervillain lurking in the shadows a frighteningly powerful menace preparing to unleash its destructive might upon the world?
There is — well kind of. The primary antagonist of Iron Man 2 Mickey Rourke's hulking Ivan Vanko (aka Whiplash) is certainly a fearsome beast baring his blinged-out grill and electrified tentacles but he gets all of five minutes of meaningful screen time in the sequel — hardly enough to establish him as a worthy foe for the great Iron Man. Perhaps producers found Rourke’s chosen dialect learned from John Malkovich's Rounders School of Exaggerated Russian Accents (“I vant my bort!” he furiously declares when separated from his pet parrot) to be less compelling in post-production.
More likely they became enamored with Sam Rockwell in the role of Justin Hammer Stark’s resentful business rival and Whiplash’s principal financial backer. It’s certainly understandable. Exuding the hubris and insecurity of a sardonic Mark Cuban (but capable of amusing us with more than just an underachieving basketball team) his performance is easily the best of the film surpassing even that of the great Downey. (Which makes perfect fodder for conspiracy theorists who wonder why Rockwell was the only member of the main cast not to get his own poster.)
The only problem is Rockwell’s Hammer is a venture capitalist not a comic book supervillain and every second he spends on the screen — as enjoyable as it is — is a second that could have been devoted to dimensionalizing Rourke’s character or crafting a badly-needed action sequence to enliven the talky second act.
It’s little wonder then that Stark continues with his feckless self-destructive ways unconcerned with the threat posed by the Hammer/Whiplash collaboration. He's got bigger problems to worry about — namely his inability to find a suitable replacement for palladium the substance inside the Arc Reactor that powers both his suit and his heart and which also happens to be slowly killing him.
Thankfully Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. arrive at his compound to stage a kind of intervention bearing a powerful dual-pronged Deus Ex Machina device that instantly wrests our hero from his para-suicidal stupor — just in time to build the upgraded powersuit he’ll need to thwart the army of powerful robot drones that Whiplash is about to let loose upon on the unsuspecting citizens of Queens New York. Whew! Favreau steps up the action and delivers a suitably big finish but don't blink when Iron Man and Whiplash meet on the battlefield because you might just miss it.
Given that Iron Man 2’s director and writer have both spent the bulk of their movie careers employed as actors it comes as little surprise that they chose to focus the action on Downey and Rockwell as the two rank head and shoulders above the rest of the cast. I just wish they found room in between the one-liners for a few more explosions.
While promoting her new film Crossroads in London, pop darling Britney Spears told reporters at the news conference that she was not in "an intense relationship with anyone at the moment." Does that mean she and 'N Sync wonderboy Justin Timberlake, her beau of two years, aren't "intense" right now but are still together? Or that she and Justin are a done deal? The question of whether the two have officially split up still remains a mystery, even though several U.S. and British tabloids, as well as US Weekly magazine, have reported the relationship is over. Spears is maintaining that her private life is her own and will not answer any questions pertaining to it. Until it comes from the babe's mouth....
Ms. Pop Queen also angered her fans at the premiere of Crossroads when she did not make an effort to greet the masses and sign autographs. Those who had waited several hours in London's Leicester Square booed the singer/actress as she arrived at the premiere an hour late and went directly into the movie theater. "How does Britney expect people to go and see her film if she can't be bothered to say hello to her fans?" one fan told Sky News. Geez, people, give Britney a break, will ya?
The new musical We Will Rock You, based on music by the rock band Queen, promises to be spectacular, says backer Robert De Niro and the remaining Queen band members, Brian May and Roger Taylor. (Lead singer Freddie Mercury died of AIDS in 1991.) The musical, written by British comedian Ben Elton, is a futuristic tale in which musical instruments are banned, but people are starting to fight the power. It will premiere in May in London.
Oscar-winning actor William Hurt makes his way back to the big screen in Blue Butterfly, a new film by Swiss-Canadian director Lea Pool. The film is based on a true story about a terminally ill boy who asks a famed entomologist (Hurt) to capture the rare Blue Morpho butterfly, which is said to have curative powers. The butterfly can be found only in the jungles of Central America. Shooting starts in Costa Rica April 1.
The theatrical film business boomed this winter, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The national box office take was approximately $1.74 billion, an increase of 9 percent from last year's record of $1.59 billion. Just as Tom Cruise said during the Oscars ceremony, apparently we still need movies now "more than ever."
Rosie speaks out again. On the Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell said she didn't participate in the Sept. 11 fundraiser telethon Tribute to Heroes because most of the celebrities who helped out did not actually donate money themselves, which "stunned" her, the New York Post reported. O'Donnell gave $1 million to the Red Cross.
Madonna will act only at night. Period. The singer/actress will be making her London stage debut in the comedy Up for Grabs but will not be doing any matinee performances because of her recording commitments. Her evening performances, which begin May 23 for a 10-week run, will go on as scheduled.
Celine Dion is back! The 33-year-old singer has released her first album since taking her two- year sabbatical, playing mom to her son, but she's not worried about the competition. "I'm very competitive," she told USA Today. "But I'm competing with myself and nobody else. I'm not better than Mariah or Whitney or Madonna or Alicia Keys. There's a place for all of us." The album A New Day Has Come will hit stores today.
Musician John Tesh has a bone to pick with sports commentator Bob Costas. Tesh is still stinging from Costas' apparent negative comments about Tesh's commentating during the 1996 Summer Olympics gymnastic events. Tesh told the Associated Press, "I think Bob Costas needs a spanking." And who would be administering this to Costas, exactly?
Have no fear, supermodels are allowed to walk around in their underwear on national television. After complaints of indecency from ABC's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, which aired last year, the FCC ruled the network did not violate indecency regulations. Whew!
ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill married his girlfriend of 10 years, actress Charleen "Chuck" McCrory, Saturday in Houston, Texas.