In a new interview with MTV, The Dirt co-writer Neil Strauss has revealed screenwriter Rich Wilkes has drawn up his wish list of stars, who he'd like to see as the rockers in the movie.
Strauss explains, "He told me who he'd love to see in the film. Here's who he sees: Brad Pitt as David Lee Roth, Jared Leto as Vince Neil, Jack Black or Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Ozzy Osbourne... Justin Timberlake as their first manager, Sam Rockwell as Mick Mars, Ashton Kutcher or Russell Brand as Tommy Lee. He's got it all thought out. That would be amazing."
But Strauss admits that although the first draft of the screenplay is amazing, there are issues about actually turning it into a film.
He adds, "I really hope they make it. I think it will be great. I think they're just scared because it's obviously going to be a hard R (rated) movie. I think they're worried they won't make enough money off it."
Drummer Tommy Lee recently stated Rob Zombie was onboard to direct the film. Zombie has since denied that.
Dave Johnson’s (Morris Chestnut) dreams of playing in the major leagues have long been dashed and now he’s left to coach Little League and try to make a go of his modest construction firm. He’s a good guy but after more than a decade of marriage he’s is constantly harassed by his successful realtor/wife Clarice (Taraji P. Henson) and her obnoxious mother Mary (Jenifer Lewis). A tragic automobile accident brings things to a marital boiling point -- Clarice becomes housebound with severe leg injuries and Dave just might be attracted to the physical therapist Julie (Maeve Quinlan) a white single mother who has arrived to help out. Based on T.D. Jakes’ religious themed book Woman Thou Art Loosed this intense and old fashioned drama offers some meaty roles to some fine actors and they run with the opportunity -- particularly Chestnut who displays such warmth and likeability he seems almost too good to be true. Henson (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button Hustle and Flow) has had a few good screen outings of late but probably could have taken it down just a notch to make Clarice just a little more empathetic. You almost wonder how poor Dave has lasted so long with this woman. Ditto Lewis. On the other hand the warm and understanding Quinlan is the perfect counterpoint pointing out a real crisis of conscience for Dave. Welcome comic relief comes in the form of his buddies Eddie Cibrian and particularly the highly amusing Kevin Hart. And watch for a restaurant-scene cameo by Jakes. Fortunately actor turned director Bill Duke knows how to rein in this tricky marital story and make its most important message -- tolerance and perseverance in relationships --somehow ring true. There may not be a whole lot of subtlety in this particular tale (or many of Jakes books in general) but it’s an agreeable and engrossing affair that’s worthy of attention from anyone involved in a long term relationship. And it’s certainly refreshing for once to see this kind of romantic drama played out almost entirely from the male point of view.
Who would have thought there’d be so much secret buried treasures in this fine country of ours? Thank goodness we have treasure hunter Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) on the case. It’s been a few years since he and his crew discovered the Knights Templar treasure beneath the streets of New York but it looks like a new treasure hunt is afoot. It all starts when a missing page from the diary of John Wilkes Booth surfaces accusing Ben’s great-great-grandfather as a key conspirator in Abraham Lincoln’s death. In order to clear his family’s name Ben must rummage through the Queen’s desk at Buckingham Palace kidnap the President of the United States and get his hands on the fabled Book of Secrets with all of our nation’s deep dark ones--AND get his acrimoniously divorced parents (Jon Voight and Helen Mirren) in the same room together--just so he can find one of the world’s most elusive treasures: the ancient Native American “City of Gold.” Hunting along with him once again is his trusted--now broke--friend Riley Poole (Justin Bartha) and estranged girlfriend Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger) who honestly were just waiting for another cool adventure to pop up so they could take a break from their ordinary lives. It’s always better in a Nic Cage actioner when he doesn’t ham it up. Ben Gates is a perfect alter ego for the actor--whip-smart a little nerdy but adorably inquisitive and relentless in his pursuit of ancient artifacts or to clear his family's name or whatever the case may be. I guess you could call him a modern-day Indiana Jones minus the fedora and whip. Voight too doesn’t have to overplay it as Ben’s dad Patrick and can feel proud to have his name attached to the movie (unlike say Bratz or Anaconda). As for the lovely Mirren you half-expect her to show up at Queen Elizabeth II when Ben is in Buckingham Palace but alas the Oscar winner just gets to sit back and have fun as Ben’s mom a professor of Native American culture (yes she comes in handy). Kruger’s Abigail is still blonde spunky and protecting historical documents. But it’s Bartha as electronics expert Riley who steals nearly every scene he is in with one snarky line after another. My personal favorite: “So let's recap: We've broken into Buckingham Palace and the Oval Office stolen a page from the President's super-secret book and actually kidnapped the President of the United States. What are we gonna do next short-sheet the Pope's bed?” Good thing director Jon Turteltaub stumbled upon this goldmine franchise or he might be stuck making sequels to Disney’s The Kid. Much like the Indiana Jones series what makes the National Treasure movies fun are their sense of adventure the code-breaking--and the American history slant. They speak not only to the treasure hunters who crave excitement but also to the History Channel buffs. It’s a combination that works. Of course Book of Secrets is just as wildly far-fetched as the original National Treasure but Turteltaub keeps things moving at a good clip so you don’t mind suspending disbelief. Actually you might want to jot down some notes--you know just in case there might be a sliver of truth. Then again that might be something the filmmakers don't want you to do. With the climactic ending at a famous American landmark (won't give it away) they keep it pretty vague exactly where Ben and the gang are looking for the treasure. I'm sure the peeps wouldn't appreciate amateur treasure seekers flocking to the landmark to look for the City of Gold. Oh and if Book of Secrets makes the piles of cash it should look for a third installment hinted at at the end of this one.
From the creators of the TNT miniseries Gettysburg including executive producer Ted Turner and writer/director Ronald F. Maxwell Gods chronicles the Civil War from its beginnings when the South rises up. Confederate General Robert E. Lee (Robert Duvall) a distinguished military man but also a loyal native Virginian chooses to fight for his home rather than his country while Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (Stephen Lang) a devoutly religious man becomes Lee's most trusted lieutenant. On the other side we have Colonel Joshua Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) a professor from Maine who ends up one of the Union's finest military leaders. In between there are glimpses of the wives and families left behind. Stories of this magnitude with their dramatic bloody battles and tragic endings usually leave you numb or crying for those lives lost and destroyed. Instead Gods and Generals holds no resonance whatsoever meticulously plotting out the details and making this decisive moment in American history interminable at three and a half hours. It's like wading through a textbook--or worse watching Civil War fanatics carefully reenact the famous battle scenes on the very ground they were fought over and over again--while the players stand around quoting long-winded verse from the Bible or Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Blech.
The actors in Gods and Generals must have honestly thought they were making something important when they signed up. Main players Lang (who played Major Gen. George Pickett in Gettysburg) and Daniels (who reprises his Gettysburg role as Chamberlain) have their moments but after hearing them recite one speech after another especially Lang's Jackson who says more prayers to God than anything else you start to wonder if they ever realized they made a mistake. (Or have we for sitting through it?) One of the more superfluous scenes is when Jackson and his black cook Jim played by Frankie Faison are standing outside in the freezing cold night for about 15 minutes both looking up at the stars and praying to God. It seems like the actors are trying to make such sermonizing poignant meaningful but all this pontification simply drags the movie further down. These speeches aren't just Lang's and Daniels' territory--Mira Sorvino as Chamberlain's wife and Kali Rocha as Jackson's wife get their own personal moments in the sun too. If you count the cast of thousands each with their own things to say well you get the point. Thankfully Duvall who is the only good thing about the movie gets to keep the talking to a minimum.
If you want to see a Civil War melodrama at its best where watching the heroes race through a sacked city makes you hold your breath and witnessing horrific hospital scenes makes you squirm then watch Gone With the Wind. If you want gut-wrenching Civil War battles or more understanding of how slaves truly felt then watch Glory. If you want a heartening history lesson about the Civil War that not only teaches you about the era's political machinations but also shares the insights and thoughts of the men and women who experienced it then watch Ken Burns' documentary series The Civil War. Gods and Generals offers none of that in its dry textbook version of the Civil War which uses the same shots are used over and over again (how many times does the camera pan up to the night sky or show the panoramic view of Fredericksburg Virginia? I lost count) features more actors waxing prophetic than real drama and actually makes you yawn during what should be intense battle scenes.