August 29, 2012 3:04pm EST
In an era of magic, in a land up above, there was born a man with the soul of a dove, the face of a fox, and the will of a lion. He took the form of a gosling — the world called him Ryan.Someday, that's the bedtime story you'll be reading your grandchildren. We are living in a time where heroes are few — the era of knights, princes, sorcerers, and adventurers has long since passed — but Ryan Gosling upholds the spirit of everything embodied by everyone's favorite fairy tale figures. The man is pure magic, imbuing every project he takes on with a special kind of charm and vigor that has helped to make him one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood.He came down from his kingdom to bring joys to our world; bringing The Notebook, Half Nelson, and Lars and the Real Girl. His movies were thrilling, his performances so fine. Especially in that sad one, Blue Valentine.But Gosling hasn't done enough just yet. Yes, we love him as an actor, a celebrity, a renegade warrior, a Mickey Mouse Club graduate, and an addictive meme. But he's striving for a new position now: writer/director. Gosling has opted to pen the script and get behind the camera for an upcoming feature film titled How to Catch a Monster, which has Christina Hendricks attached to star. And no, this does not appear to be one of those misleading, metaphorical "monster" titles, like Monster's Ball. The movie is a bona fide fairy tale.One day he decided, "I must give the world more!" His whimsical vision was never a bore. So he called up Joan Holloway, whom he knew from Drive, and said, "Let's make a story that will really come alive."According to Indiewire, Marc Platt Productions and Bold Films have hired Gosling to bring this fantastical new tale to life. The story will feature Hendricks as a single mother of two who becomes enveloped in a dark, magical underworld, while her teenage son unlocks an underwater city. Imagination running wild... we'd expect nothing less from the man who claims to be "in a relationship with Disneyland."
Seriously, Gosling and a fairy tale project are perfect for one another. The dude is pulled straight out of the enchanted forest locale, with the jawline and dreamy eyes of a Disney prince. But the similarities aren't purely superficial — Gosling is, at his very core, a fairy tale hero. Think about it...
He's got a loyal steed who follows him through every adventure!
He swoops out of nowhere to fend off evildoers...
...assuming his mild-mannered alter ego immediately afterward (maybe he's also a comic book hero?).
And did we mention this?
And we all lived happily ever after.
[Photo Credits: Radius-TWC]
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May 30, 2012 2:05pm EST
It's been a big Anne Hathaway news day: First the trailer for Les Miserables is unveiled, and now a possible new role has emerged.
Hathaway is in negotiations to headline the indie drama Song One, which is being directed by first-timer Kate Barker-Froyland and would reunite Hathaway with Rachel Getting Married producers Marc Platt and Jonathan Demme (who directed the film for which Hathaway earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination).
According to Variety, Hathaway would play a young woman who falls in love with her injured brother's favorite musician, who himself has a connection to the siblings.
While Hathaway has two high-profile movies coming out this year — the aforementioned Les Mis and July's The Dark Knight Rises — her shooting schedule toward the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 appears to be open enough for Song One.
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August 23, 2010 5:14am EST
Carey Mulligan is in talks to join the Universal action thriller Drive, which already has Ryan Gosling in the frame.
Bryan Cranston is also negotiating to join the cast, the Risky Business blog reported. Nicolas Winding Refn is directing the adaptation of the James Sallis novel.
The story, per BIZ, is about a nameless Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a freelance getaway driver during robberies. When a bank heist goes wrong, he ends up on the run with a contract on his head and an ex-con's girlfriend in his car.
OddLot Entertainment, Bold Films and Marc Platt Prods. are producing. Shooting is to begin next month around Los Angeles.
Producers include Marc Platt, Gigi Pritzker, Michel Litvak and Adam Siegel. David Lancaster, Gary Michael Walters, Bill Lischak and Linda McDonough will serve as executive producers, said BIZ.
August 11, 2010 9:00am EST
The romantic action comedy Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is like nothing — and if you’re a person between the age of approximately 18 to 35 everything — you’ve seen before. British director Edgar Wright’s (Shaun of the Dead Hot Fuzz) adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley graphic novel is so densely laden with pop-culture references it often times feels less like a movie than a mixtape. Those who share the tastes of the film’s 31-year-old writer and 35-year-old director will find the experience to be exhilarating; those who don’t however will likely be at a loss to comprehend what all the fuss is about.
The list of ‘80s and ‘90s video game nods in Pilgrim alone is daunting: Tekken Super Mario Bros. Tetris Zelda and even retro titles like Galaga and Ms. Pac-Man are represented just to name a few. To fit all of it in Wright must practically invent a brand-new kind of filmmaking. Using techniques and iconography culled from the holy fanboy triumvirate of comic books video games and anime/manga and armed with a clearly generous effects budget he splatters the screen with a dazzling array of CGI visual aids as the action unfolds: informational pop-ups supply key details on each character as they are introduced; words like “Boom!” and “Pow!” burst forth when blows are landed during fight sequences; a “Level Up!” graphic indicating increased levels of key character attributes appears after the film’s hero triumphs in battle. Even the old Universal Studios logo has been revamped by Wright rendered in the rudimentary graphics and sound of the old 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. Call it easter-egg filmmaking.
At the center of this digital maelstrom is Scott Pilgrim a 22-year-old Canadian hipster waif played by 22-year-old Canadian hipster waif Michael Cera. Unemployed and in no great rush to find work he splits his time evenly between jamming with his middling band Sex Bob-Omb (a Super Mario Bros. reference) combing thrift shops for new additions to his near-limitless collection of ironic t-shirts and pining for Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) a beguiling New York City emigre whose signature attribute is her constantly-changing hair color.
After a few abortive encounters Scott finally gets Ramona to reciprocate his affections. Thus begins the quest — or "campaign " as gamers call it — portion of the film as Scott soon discovers that in order to secure Ramona’s hand he must defeat each of her seven evil exes (six boys and one girl) in spontaneous death matches of decreasing novelty. (A few of them could easily have been excised without harming the narrative but that might invite the ire of comic book fans who typically demand nothing less than absolute adherence to the source text.) With a variety of found power-ups and an entirely implausible collection of fancy kung-fu moves he faces off against among others a pompous vegan straight-edge (Brandon Routh) a self-absorbed action star (Chris Evans) a spiteful lesbian (Mae Whitman) and a smarmy record producer (Jason Schwartzman).
I expect Scott Pilgrim vs. the World will polarize audiences and not just because of Wright’s distinctively dizzying directorial style. (Which I thoroughly enjoyed even though it occasionally overdoses on manufactured quirk and is a bit too proud of its cleverness.) The film glosses over Scott and Ramona’s wooing process in its rush to commence with its succession of comic-book battles which grow somewhat tedious toward the end. It’s simply assumed that Ramona would fall for our protagonist as it’s likewise assumed that we already have. But not everyone will embrace Scott’s castrati hipster affect which too often comes across as grating rather than charming. (The movie’s funniest moments come courtesy of Scott’s sassy gay roommate played by Kieran Culkin who is never without a clever barb for his lovelorn pal.) And beneath Cera’s self-effacing sheen exists an unmistakable whiff of pretentiousness that isn’t entirely justified — at least not yet. Far less debatable is the appeal of Winstead whose spunky Ramona appears every bit worth the hassle of fending off seven or more ex-lovers.
God knows what she sees in him.
August 10, 2010 12:19pm EST
Reese Witherspoon, one of America's most coveted blonde actresses, has signed on to play Peggy Lee in Fox 2000's untitled biopic that will chronicle the American jazz singer's life story. Nora Ephron, of "I'll have what she's having," will serve as writer and director.
Witherspoon acquired the rights to Lee's story when she met her granddaughter, Holly Foster-Wells. I imagine that even though Wells was already inclined to grant Witherspoon the opportunity to develop a Hollywood depiction of her grandmother's life, Witherspoon still took the time to plate up some nice cookies that were remaining from the Gyllenhaal days, and respectfully yet forcefully advocated why she was the right lady for the endeavor. And I imagine Walk the Line played a bigger part in it than just something that allowed Witherspoon to buy such plush sofa cushions.
Marc Platt, who produced Legally Blonde with Witherspoon and the glorious musical, Wicked, is producing.
Lee was one of the most multidimensional musical figures in American history. She began her career singing on local radio shows, and after a successful gig at The Buttery Room in Chicago, she captured the attention of Benny Goodman, who invited her to join his band, which officially launched her career. Perhaps Lee is most known for the songs she composed for the Disney hit, Lady and the Tramp, a production which she also voiced the four main characters. She was also responsible for the lyrics of hits like "What More Can A Woman Do?" "Don't Smoke In Bed," "I Love Being Here With You," and "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter." Over the course of her life, Lee was nominated for 12 Grammy awards and won one for "Best Contemporary Vocal Performance" for the 1965 charm, "Is That All There Is?" She received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995 and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999. Lee died in January of 2002 of complications from a heart attack and diabetes.
July 12, 2010 9:18am EST
Get ready for some Oz overload. Joining Robert Downey Jr's Great And Powerful Oz; Drew Barrymore's Oz sequel, Surrender Dorothy; the animated Dorothy Of Oz; the vague Polish Bros. film that's supposedly in the works; and Todd McFarlane's dark and steampunky reimagining for Warner Bros., is Wicked, Universal Studio's adaptation of the Broadway musical. Wicked, which focuses on a young Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda, seems like the most obvious choice for an Oz spin-off, since the sparkly musical has made millions of dollars from the ever-generous teenage girls audience. Universal finally seems to be getting the ball rolling, however, and have announced 4 potential directors: Rob Marshall (Chicago), Ryan Murphy (Glee), James Mangold (Walk The Line) and JJ Abrams (Star Trek). Each director has met with producer Marc Platt, writer Winnie Holzman (of My So-Called Life) and songwriter Stephen Schwartz to discuss the film.
The Wicked production is considering an unusual variety of directors for the musical. The obvious choice is Marshall, who's known for making successful and epic musicals (ignoring Nine, of course). The strangest candidate is Abrams, who is usually known for his genre fare, though he did write a musical episode for Fringe this season. Murphy's also an obvious choice, since Glee's staged Wicked hit Defying Gravity and and had original stars Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth on the show in recurring roles. Mangold has a very diverse filmography, from Girl, Interrupted to Kate and Leopold, but he has some musical experience with Walk The Line.
With the complete saturation of Oz films going into production, it's inevitable that some are going to get pushed to the wayside. Since Wicked has a built-in fanbase and a well known-name, so it's the only Oz project that I think we'll definitely see at some point.
February 01, 2010 4:25am EST
Zachary Quinto, who played Spock in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek -- and who recently told Wired, "I'm stepping away from Star Trek for at least two years … no movies, no conventions, no anything for a while" -- may now be tuning up for a George Gershwin biopic to be directed by Steven Spielberg. Deadline.com reports that the DreamWorks project could begin shooting as early as April.
Quinto would play the composer and pianist, who, with brother Ira, was responsible for more than a dozen Broadway shows before dying at age 38.
DreamWorks is supplying accent and dialogue coaches for Quinto, Deadline says.
Doug Wright wrote the script, and Marc Platt and singer/pianist Michael Feinstein are producing. A DreamWorks insider told Deadline that this is one of three projects Spielberg is looking at for his next film.
October 06, 2008 4:00pm EST
Shot in a nervous intrusive style Rachel Getting Married is a blistering portrait of a family during a tension-filled wedding weekend. The long-simmering conflicts come to the surface at an event that’s supposed to be about good times. Actually the title is a bit of a misnomer since although it is indeed Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt) getting hitched the plot really revolves around her troubled sister Kym (Hathaway) who comes straight from a stint in rehab to the family gathering. In attending the wedding she brings a boatload of personal issues--sibling and parental resentments and a whole host of other problems guaranteed to make everyone in the room uncomfortable. This all comes to a head early on at the pre-wedding dinner at which she makes an awkward piercing toast that puts the entire place on edge. It doesn’t help that her father (Bill Irwin) is rather weak and overprotective and her mother (Debra Winger) is now remarried and has moved on to a different kind of life--disconnected from her daughters emotionally. The wedding a Hindu ceremony becomes a catalyst for personal confrontations that finally break out into the open. The ensemble cast assembled by director Jonathan Demme is simply unbeatable--led by a breakthrough performance from Hathaway. Her wry ironic humor internal self-loathing seething conflicts and heartbreaking emotional vulnerability are all the by-products of a young woman who desperately needs to be embraced. This is a major acting turn and those who only think of Hathaway from Ella Enchanted and The Princess Diaries are going to be surprised to see the emergence of an actress who is the real thing. As her sister Rachel DeWitt who also was impressive as the mistress in season one of Mad Men doesn’t get to take center stage but has several strong moments. Watch out for this one. Irwin and Winger prove the meaning of the word “pro” in their limited screen time. In just a couple of big scenes Winger totally nails the mother and her need to distance her relationship with her own family. You only wish the part was fleshed out a little more especially since great roles for Winger seem to be few and far between these days. Irwin is equally impressive likeable but clueless as far as the real drama playing out between his daughters. This Tony-winning Broadway veteran gives us a lifetime of information about his character in just a few scattered moments. The Oscar-winning Demme (Silence of the Lambs Philadelphia) has spent the last few years doing documentaries and concert films so it’s nice to report he’s got his mojo back with his first narrative film since 2004’s The Manchurian Candidate remake. Actually Rachel seems influenced by some of his recent non-fictional work with a documentary style approach to screenwriter Jenny Lumet’s somewhat conventional scripting. The use of hand-held cameras is pervasive and has the intended effect of bringing out raw emotions in the kind of cinema verite Robert Altman often employed. In a nod to the obvious inspiration the late Altman is thanked in the end credits. Demme’s in-your-face filmmaking might be oft-putting to some members of the audience but it effectively heightens the reality of the piece separating Rachel from the pack. Ultimately this is a performance piece and Demme has brought out the best of his cast of fine actors gaining award-worthy turns.
July 16, 2008 5:28am EST
Smash-hit Broadway musical Wicked is set to become the latest stage show to be turned into a major movie.
Hot on the heels of Chicago, Hairspray and Mamma Mia!, the Wizard of Oz-related musical is to be turned a new Universal film, with producers Marc Platt and Stephen Schwartz on board.
But Universal boss Donna Langley insists fans will have to wait some time to see the film--because Platt and Schwartz are determined to take their time to ensure the movie repeats the success of the New York show that inspired the project.
Langley tells Variety, "Our goal now is absolutely to make the Wicked film, but... Marc and Stephen Schwartz are very mindful of the right timing. But we're dying to do it."
Platt is currently working on the movie version of the musical Nine, starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Day-Lewis and Penelope Cruz.
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June 27, 2008 8:13am EST
Based on a graphic novel the violent tale revolves around Wes (James McAvoy) a meek 25 year-old office worker who hates his life. His boss berates him and he can’t even summon the balls to tell his slutty girlfriend to stop sleeping with his best buddy. But his world is suddenly rocked when Fox (Angelina Jolie)--a mysterious tattooed woman with a gun and a red sports car--takes him on the ride of his life. She takes him straight to The Fraternity a centuries old legendary group of hired assassins who live--and die--by their code: Kill one to save a thousand. Seems Wes’ long-lost father was a member who has just been whacked and he is now summoned to join up and unleash the inner killer in his genes. After a rigorous training regimen in which he is almost beaten to a pulp he emerges as the organization’s new golden boy and finds self-esteem in his new exciting alternative lifestyle. However the group’s enigmatic leader Sloan (Morgan Freeman) may have other plans in store for Wes that he isn’t quite sharing at the moment. McAvoy simply rocks as the most unexpected action star of the summer and that includes a season so far that has given us the quirky offbeat castings of Robert Downey Jr. and Edward Norton in Marvel comic book franchises. McAvoy (Atonement) has buffed up for the part but still looks like the average Joe exactly why the audience has a rooting interest as he becomes a fish-out-of-water in a group of hit men (and women). You’re with him all the way. This unusual choice is exactly what sets the film apart and makes it a complete original in an over-worn genre. Jolie on the other hand is absolutely who you would expect to play the heavily tatted Fox. Guns blazing feet slamming the pedal gorgeous and talented at taking guys out (of life) Jolie’s a card-carrying member of a club previously thought only open to men. She exudes cool and has never looked hotter. Freeman is at his best. He commands the screen adding his usual stoic presence to the proceedings with a nice twist that lets him show a creepier side than we usually get. Other members of the “club” are competently played by ever-reliable Terence Stamp German-born bad guy Thomas Kretschmann and rapper Common who shows he can keep up with the big boys--acting and other-wise. Hiring the Russian director Timur Bekmambetov for a summer action flick like this might have seemed an odd choice but anyone who’s seen his Hollywood-style homebaked hits Night Watch and Day Watch would know this is a visual stylist with no current equal in the action genre. His English-language debut is vibrant and pulsating alive in every way and thankfully more comprehensible story-wise than his previous work if no less fantastic. You still have to completely suspend belief for complete enjoyment but it’s all worth it. Bekmambetov seems incapable of staging anything in an ordinary way taking routine set-ups and turning them into violent bruising works-of-art. There’s not a single uninteresting shot in the entire movie which moves like the speeding train we see in one of the film’s most imposing sequences. Scene for scene this may be the most visually inventive trail blazing film of its kind in light years. Bring on the sequel.