Filmmaker Richard Linklater has exited the remake of fantasy adventure The Incredible Mr. Limpet. The Before Midnight director has been attached to helm the reboot of the 1964 family comedy for the past three years, but due to scheduling conflicts, Linklater has bowed out of the project, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Before departing the movie, he was reportedly in talks to cast Zach Galifianakis in the title role as Larry Limpet, who falls into the ocean and becomes a fish, while Jon Hamm was being courted to play the businessman villain who mines the ocean floor.
Danny McBride, Sarah Silverman, Kevin Hart and Josh Gad have also been linked to the project.
While Warner Bros. bosses search for a new director, Linklater is focusing on a new film called That's What I'm Talking About, which is based on his life as a college freshman in the 1980s and mission to make the university's basketball team.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Linklater has his sights set on shooting That's What I'm Talking About this autumn (14), which would have pushed Limpet to 2015.
Ready or not, nostalgic kids of the '90s, here it comes: a Jumanji remake, for some reason. Despite being completely perfect in its original form, Hollywood is rebooting the 1995 film, which originally starred Robin Williams, baby Kirsten Dunst, and some very mischievous computer-generated monkeys. According to The Hollywood Reporter, screenwriter Zach Helm will roll the dice and take his chances adapting Chris Van Allsburg's beloved story for the big screen reboot, which is being produced by Ted Field and Mike Weber for Columbia Pictures. (There are no stars or director attached to the project yet.) Hollywood.com has reached out to Helm's reps.
The book Jumanji, about two children named Judy and Peter Shepard who unleash a jungle (quite literally) when they play the titular magical board game, differed in many ways from the movie, including making Judy and Peter orphaned and adding a backstory about a man named Alan (played by Williams) who has been trapped in the world of the game for years. It will be interesting to note the direction in which Helm — who penned both the imaginative, serious Will Ferrell vehicle Stranger Than Fiction (which earned him a Critics Choice Award nomination) and the kid-friendly Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (another adaptation of a childhood favorite book, though this one was noticeably less loved by critics) — will go.
Will he stick closer to the book or the movie? For the Jumanji remake to work, it's got to have the right amount of appeal to a new generation without dumbing the story down or betraying fans of the original film. In which case, it might be wiser for Helm to stick more faithfully to the book so that it doesn't rely too heavily on being a complete reboot of the movie. And hey, a David Alan Grier cameo wouldn't hurt, okay?
[Photo credit: Tristar Pictures]
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The family of Mel Stuart, director of the beloved children's classic Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, as died at the age of 83. The filmmaker's daughter Madeline Stuart confirmed to The Associated Press that he passed away from cancer the night of Thursday, August 9, at his home in Los Angeles.
Stuart's career was peppered with both TV and film credits, but his most recognized work continues to be the acclaimed Willy Wonka, which he directed in 1971 from a screenplay by the novel's author, Roald Dahl.
While his most notable credit is the fantasy musical, Stuart made a name for himself as a documentarian. In 1964, he directed Four Days in November, chronicling President John F. Kennedy's fateful trip to Dallas that resulted in his assassination. The documentary earned Stuart an Academy Award nomination. The director went on to helm a number of other films, including the 1969 comedy If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium and the 1973 music documentary Wattstax.
[Photo Credit: Shea Walsh/AP Images for IDA]
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Who better to write a movie about two best friends than, well, two best friends? After all, no one knows the ins and your outs, ups and your downs of the dynamic quite like they do. So, it made sense for Will McCormack and his best friend of 13 years, Rashida Jones, to team up and write Celeste and Jesse Forever, a deeply personal indie romantic dramedy about friends and the trials and tribulations about love and heartache in your thirties. As McCormack explained to Hollywood.com during an interview, on why they made this movie in particular. "All we do is talk about relationships and love and heartbreak, we decided we need to write a movie [about it]."
As much as the titular Celeste (played by Jones herself) and Jesse (an against-type Andy Samberg) mirror their real-life connection ("We know each other so well, we finish each others sentences, we're like brother and sister," McCormack says fondly of his writing partner) the on-screen duo's story is a much more complicated one. As Jones explained during an interview on The Daily Show, she and McCormack very briefly dated and amicably decided on friendship, but in the film, Celeste and Jesse are separated childhood sweethearts who are trying to navigate the tricky, complicated waters of love, loss, friendship, and heartache in your thirties.
While Celeste and Jesse try to cope and deal with drifting apart, the experience of writing the film, did the exact opposite for McCormack and Jones. "[Writing] Celeste and Jesse Forever was a pretty, sorry to be corny, enchanted experience," McCormack (pictured left, in a scene from the film) says, "It was a very bonding time. We both had a lot of fear about being professional screenwriters, so we were able to sort of hold each others hands and I think it was such a formative thing in our friendship. We really supported each other and were encouraging. It made us closer as friends."
It was an experience that was an important one on many levels for McCormack (who, like Jones comes from a Hollywood family, as his sister is actress Mary McCormack), perhaps best known for his work on the small screen on series such as Brothers & Sisters and In Plain Sight. "I wanted to be a writer my whole life and when I was little everyone thought I was going to be a writer. Then I went to college and started acting and I really loved it and writing just felt so hard and I felt scared showing people my writing," he admits, "Then I got older and I got sick of talking about it and it really happened organically.... Now I'm addicted and obsessed and can't stop, but it took forever." (In fact, McCormack's writing partnership with Jones went so smoothly, the two worked together again to write a pilot and a film based on a comic book she created called Frenemy of the State.)
Of course, it's one thing to write a movie with your best friend, it's another entirely to get it made and get the right people on board to make your labor of love a reality. McCormack, who has a supporting role in the film playing a stoner buddy named Skillz ("It's totally an L.A. person. I have two friends in LA whose names are Skills, but we added the 'z'. We took artistic liberty," he jokes), notes that Celeste and Jesse Forever, like so many indies, took some time to get off the ground. "It took four years to get the financing, but it was really worth it," McCormack says of Celeste and Jesse Forever, which after its long road, premiered at Sundance.
While eventually they got an impressive supporting cast on board (which includes Ari Graynor, Eljiah Wood, Emma Roberts, and Chris Messina) it was getting director Lee Toland Krieger (The Vicious Kind) on board as the puzzle piece that made the collaborative film come together. Krieger, who also separately spoke with Hollywood.com about his experience being at the helm of Celeste and Jesse Forever, says that it was a mutual trust between himself, McCormack, and Jones that made the movie work, despite certain things working against them on a small budget feature in Los Angeles. ("It was challenging — and I'm not trying to slam L.A. — in that the great irony is that L.A. is not the most film-friendly place," he explains.)
"I think part of it was daunting, certainly, taking on someone else's material, but also material that is from your lead actress," Krieger (pictured, right) who read the script back in 2010, admits. "But fortunately for us, we had a lot of time in pre-production for Rashida and Will and I to get to know each other and the good part for me was, they knew this story so well and so intimately that if we ever got into a jam when we were prepping it or shooting it, or even when we were cutting it, they'd have ideas on how to fix it or if I had missed something they were very quick to say, 'No we've gotta make sure this beat lands this way.' To have that sounding board in your corner all the time it was, for me, really beneficial and kind of spoiled me. There were certainly conversations about what's best for the movie, but generally speaking, they were so great in terms of handing over the reigns and really trusting me."
Part of what helped form the bond early on, not only as filmmakers, writers, and actors, but friends on this project Krieger explains, was the music. (Celeste and Jesse Forever is scored by Jones' nephew Sunny Levine and his musical partner Zach Cowie.) "Before we got started, Rashida, Will, and I would make each other mixes. We would end up getting together a few days later and saying, 'Oh, I love this song from the mix, but I don't know if this one's really right for the movie' so we started to really know one another through the mix process, he says. "Rashida, for obvious reasons coming from such a musical family, but Will, too. We really got to know each other and get on the same page for what the movie should really sound like. We were always determined, Rashida in particular, to make sure it didn't sound like another indie movie. We really wanted to give it, for lack of a better description, a soulful energy."
So with Krieger, Jones, and McCormack were all on the same page for the overall feel of their film ("I think Lee really understood the tone of the movie. The first time we met with him he was talking about When Harry Met Sally and Husbands and Wives and all these movies that we, of course, aspire to be like," McCormack says) but what about the other half of Celeste and Jesse Forever: Andy Samberg? The Saturday Night Live vet, who is also a longtime friend of Jones' ("They have sort of a built-in intimacy that we have as well," McCormack says of their relationship) seemed to surprise everyone by switching gears from comedy goofball to serious actor.
McCormack admits, "I was not sure [about Andy] and then he read it and I was like, 'Oh my god, he's amazing.' Because he's never done anything like this and he was confident. He read the script and was like, 'I got this' and we all knew he had that somewhere in him, but you never know until you see it." Krieger, who thinks Samberg could bounce between comedy and drama throughout his career in the vein of Robin Williams and Adam Sandler, says of his leading man, "He's just a guy who was so tailor-made for this part. Who else, physically, is better to play the 30-year-old man boy? But then you meet Andy and he's so sweet and there's this vulnerability that eminates from him all the time and this accesability and I think that was critical for Jesse."
In the film Jesse is, perhaps, the most vulnerable of the pair, or at least the one early on most expressive of their pain from their split. But whether people find themselves relating more to Jones' Celetse's stoic, stubborn nature or Samberg's Jesse's hangdog wearing-his-heartbreak-on-his-sleeve, the universal themes in the film seem to be touching a nerve. "For me, the worst [breakups] weren't the ugly ones where we were screaming at each other, but the ones where you just feel like your heart got crushed and there's nothing you can do about it," Krieger admits.
It's a sentiment that's been resonating with those who have seen the film, something of a bittersweet accomplishment for McCormack. "I've had people come up to me sobbing about their love life and it feels... sort of good? Because you're like, 'I know, I'm with you, it's really hard!' People come up to us and tell us, 'You wrote our story'....It is a traumatic thing, to think your life is going to go a certain way and then it doesn't. You're like, 'Oh shit, what do I do?' .... I think people who love it seem to appreciate that we were honest about heartache."
Celeste and Jesse Forever is currently playing in select theaters in New York City and Los Angeles.
[Photo credit: McCormack: David Lazenberg/Sony Pictures Classic; Krieger: WENN.com]
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This past summer, we heard that documentarian Errol Morris, Stranger than Fiction writer Zach Helm, and the affable Paul Rudd were all teaming up to bring us a comical film inspired by TV/radio personality Robert Nelson's memoir We Froze the First Man about his experiments with cryogenically freezing humans for preservation. The project now has a delightful, new title: Freezing People Is Easy.
If these three wonders of the film world already involved weren't enough (nor this unbelievable goldmine of a plot), we hear now that a few other wonders of the industry are looking at parts: Owen Wilson (yes), Christopher Walken (yes-er) and Kristen Wiig (yes-est).
Wilson is a hit-or-miss performer with me. His roles in more offbeat movies (Wes Anderson films or Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris), such as this one seems to be, usually serve him well. Walken is lauded as a dynamo exclusively for his delivery, but many of us forget that his comedic chops extend far and beyond that of saying things slowly. And Wiig...well, the colossal nationwide groan that we all heard as a result of the news of the potenital Wiig-less Bridesmaids sequel speaks for itself.
So, if this trifecta of W-named comedians joins in on Freezing People Is Easy, we should all be quite thrilled. So thrilled that it might be difficult to actually wait for the movie. If only there were some way to just suspend yourself in some unconscious living form for a while until a desired time of awakening...
The Friday Night Lights star, who plays Matt Saracen in the American TV series, started dating the Lost star after they appeared together in 2010 pilot The Matadors.
Gilford proposed to Sanchez recently, according to UsMagazine.com, and a source tells the publication, "They are both very happy."
Sanchez was previously married to filmmaker Zach Helm.
Documentarian Errol Morris decided to take his first crack at a feature film since 1991, adapting Robert Nelson’s We Froze the First Man, a comedy about awry cryogenics experiment, to put it simply (and rob it of justice). All of this is well and good, but it became well-er and good-er when Paul Rudd signed on to star in the project.
Paul Rudd is making it happen in spades: this August, he’ll be the title character in the comedy Our Idiot Brother, which, thankfully, seems like it will utilize his comedic prowess beyond the role of straight man. Don't get me wrong, he's awesome at sardonic and jaded, but he's more than capable of playing some seriously "out there" characters: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Ten and (a movie I can't seem to stop citing in these articles) Wet Hot American Summer. Currently in production are the adaptation to every teenager’s favorite book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, in which he’ll play the protagonist Charlie’s teacher Bill, and a sequel of sorts to Knocked Up, focusing on the relationship between Rudd’s and Leslie Mann’s characters. And then we’re gunna get to see him freeze people.
Morris’ film, tentatively titled The Demon in the Freezer, is written by Zach Helm, who also cranked out Dr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and Stranger than Fiction, which was proficient in making me doubt reality entirely—but in a much funnier way than The Matrix did.
Jeff Bridges has officially boarded Universal Pictures' adaptation of Dark Horse Comics' R.I.P.D. He'll star alongside Ryan Reynolds in the supernatural cop thriller that follows a recently slain police officer who joins a team of undead cops working for the Rest in Peace Department and tries to find the man who murdered him. Red director Robert Schwentke will helm for producer Neal Moritz.
Zach Galifianakis was originally pegged for the part of Roy Powell, but he dropped out earlier this year to pursue other endeavors. Instead of the heavyset jokester, fans of Peter M. Lenkov's comic book will get an Academy Award winner who can easily deliver the kind of comedy that the role must require if go-to funny man Galifianakis was in contention. I've got to say, the thought of Reynolds and Galifianakis together on screen is hilarious in itself, but I think that Reynolds and Bridges is as dynamic a combo as any I've heard of in recent memory. Schwentke delivered one hell of an action-comedy with Red, so I'm actually getting pretty excited for this project now.
There's no word on when production will begin, but the film will release next year.
Source: The Wrap
George Clooney is set to produce a Wall Street bailout picture based on a 2009 Washington Post article called The $700 Billion Man. According to Variety, the film might be developed as a potential directing gig for the actor, but there's no word yet if he'll star. The article follows TARP mastermind Neel Kashkari, a top official under then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and how he helped develop the $700 billion plan which bailed out the big banks of America following their collapse in 2008. Stranger Than Fiction scribe Zach Helm will adapt; so apparently with this film we'll learn that the whole economic crash can be attributed to one thing: Emma Thompson's voice bouncing around Will Ferrell's skull. Suddenly finance makes a little bit more sense to me.
Tucked away between shiny modern skyscrapers quirky old-fashioned Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is a toy store literally like no other. Step inside and a sock monkey might give you a hug--or a fire engine might appear out of nowhere. That's because the store is imbued with the enthusiasm and magical childlike wonder of its owner: frizzy-haired 243-year-old dynamo Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman). When Magorium decides it's time to move on his designated heir self-doubting store manager Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman) isn't the only one who objects. The store itself throws a fit sulking and brooding and hurling toys at unwitting customers. It's up to Mahoney--with the help of stuffy accountant Henry "Mutant" Weston (Jason Bateman) and eager young store clerk Eric (Zach Mills)--to discover the best way to live up to Magorium's legacy. The movie's most pleasant surprise is Hoffman's charming performance. He could have followed in Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp's footsteps and made Magorium a fey Willy Wonka-like sprite. Instead Magorium is an original a mile-a-minute chatterbox who uses big words takes delight in the extraordinary and never stops smiling at life. And the calm gentle demeanor he brings to Magorium's farewell scenes with Mahoney will make a potentially tough plot twist a lot easier on kids. Speaking of Mahoney Portman is at her best in the moments that call for wry humor and Puck-ish mischief; the more earnest the script asks her to be the less interesting her character gets. Bateman is underused as the straight man (his lone lapse into silliness is a high point in the movie) but Mills is wholly endearing as wiser-than-his years Eric. With so much going for it why isn't Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium more magical? It's hard to say; perhaps it's something to do with the fact that the characters seem to talk about magic more than they actually interact with it. Or that despite all of said magic Mr. Magorium and his store never really do anything that you wouldn't expect of an eccentric bicentarian living in the ultimate funhouse. Writer/director Zach Helm gives viewers plenty to ooh and aah at (the set design is wonderful) but his story is never quite unusual or unexpected enough to transcend "cute" and "sweet" and reach "classic." All of that said with Hoffman in fine form and so many fabulous toys bouncing around the screen kids are likely to be delighted (and clamoring to add to their Christmas lists...)