When you are a powerful enough celebrity, you can will into being pretty much any movie you want, and then star in it. That's what Will Smith is doing with The Legend of Cain, a movie written by Caleeb Pinkett (his brother-in-law), Dan Knauf (Carnivale), and Andrea Berloff, which he plans to produce (with his wife) and star in. Smith will play the titular Cain in "an epic re-telling of the Biblical sibling tale, this time with" - wait for it - "a vampiric twist."
Sigh. Somehow I thought Will Smith was above things like this, but I suppose everyone has to pay the bills somehow.
Overbrook Entertainment, James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz are set to assist Smith with producing the movie, though no director or studio is yet attached to the project.
The biblical 'Cain' is, of course, Able's brother, one of the two sons of Adam and Eve. As told in the story of Genesis, Cain grows jealous of Able's relationship with God and kills him in cold blood. So... was Cain a vampire? Is that what's going on here? I normally trust Will Smith's judgment, but this just doesn't sound like a winner to me. As always, stay tuned.
Andrea Berloff, the screenwriter of Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center, has signed on to pen another real-life script, albeit one that couldn’t be more different: the story of rap group N.W.A.
The movie is called Straight Outta Compton, named after the California-based rappers’ biggest hit song.
Original group members who will be portrayed include Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and the late Eazy-E.
World Trade Center was Berloff’s most well-known script to date, but it turned her into one of the most in-demand writers: She now has four major projects lined up, including Straight Outta Compton.
For most of us the feeling of being frozen on 9/11 will never leave; it was our knee-jerk reaction to news and images that we just couldn’t wrap our heads around. But for policemen and -women and countless other emergency personnel in New York City on Sept. 11 2001 the knee-jerk reactions were those of duty and instinct--and as World Trade Center demonstrates a human’s most basic instinct is to want to help a fellow human. After the first plane hit the World Trade Center Sgt. John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) a veteran of the Port Authority Police Department and PAPD officer Will Jimeno (Michael Pena) were amongst the first responders who raced into the heart of pandemonium. Mere hours earlier the two men were heading in for another day at the office the twin towers hovering exclamation marks in the skyline that enveloped their morning commute; hours later the officers were trapped under twisted metal that was previously the Trade Center from which only 20 people would be rescued. WTC tells of their desperate struggle to stay awake let alone alive with the help of the spirits of their wives Donna McLoughlin (Maria Bello) and Allison Jimeno (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who were equally in the dark. Even with all the agent hardball and anticipatory buzz that likely factored into these actors earning these roles there’s something noble in their seeking involvement. That nobility manages to come across in even the smallest roles. For one we’ve never seen Cage quite like this--stern hushed steely impenetrable. (Even in his somber roles like Leaving Las Vegas he is animated and herky-jerky.) But it’s those traits that convey a dutiful man of the law a man who tries to remain levelheaded even while pinned beneath a building’s worth of debris--anything to improve his chances of seeing his family again. Cage also nails a subtle New York accent--which would seem in theory difficult for him--making his character lived-in instead of methodized. As his cohabitant for what seems an eternity Pena also scores big. Last year’s Crash put him on the map; WTC breaks him out. As the much younger and slightly less severely hurt of the two Pena’s Jimeno adds a touch more energy even comedy at one point humming TV-show theme songs. The men’s beleaguered wives wear the terror on their faces and wear it well and there couldn’t have been two better choices than Gyllenhaal and Bello. Gyllenhaal’s Jimeno is heavily pregnant with hormonal swings that don’t help her already distraught state while Bello’s expression looks even more urgent than it did throughout A History of Violence. If he weren’t on the inside looking out Oliver Stone might’ve said it himself: There’s something not right about America’s darkest day looking glossy as a poster advertising its movie. Ironically it’s Stone who’s responsible for this effect in WTC. Doubly ironic is the fact that the man who has always been such a controversy magnet tackles his most incendiary project only to produce by far his tamest effort yet. In that sense there are reasons to admire Stone’s finished product--“product” in every sense of the word--but there is a gaping void where his voice or slant usually goes. And while it’s honorable for him to sacrifice his beloved politicizing and philosophizing--there’s hardly any attention paid to the attack or the Bush administration--for the sake of WTC’s heroism Stone in a decidedly anti-Stone move has turned this film into Apollo 13 all the way down to its absurd box-office minded PG-13 rating. The true story is obviously compelling; its movie dramatization as borderline unpatriotic as it may sound is “soap opera” compelling. But maybe that’s because more so than Stone’s sudden conservatism some true stories--earmuffs Hollywood--are too big for the big screen.
Paramount studios have been slammed for announcing Nicolas Cage will star in
Hollywood's first movie dramatization of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks--within 24 hours of the London bombings on July 7.
News of the movie broke in the Friday edition of showbiz newspaper
Variety, the day after the tragedy in the English capital, and a studio insider
admits the timing is not "ideal."
The movie giants have shocked the public with their inadvertent display of
double standards--studios and broadcasters avoided any theme reminiscent of
the devastating attacks on New York's World Trade Center, even erasing images
of the towers from film stock where possible.
The movie, which will feature Cage as real-life policeman Sergeant John
McLoughlin, is based on an original screenplay by Andrea Berloff about
McLoughlin and his colleague William Jimeno, who were saved from the wreckage
of the Twin Towers.
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