Liam Hemsworth's one-time fling Eiza Gonzalez has landed her big break by scoring a role in the upcoming TV adaptation of Robert Rodriguez's cult film From Dusk Till Dawn. The director announced plans to turn the 1996 movie, about two criminals who stumble across a nightclub filled with vampires, into a 10-episode series earlier this month (Nov13), with Miami Vice star Don Johnson taking on the lead as Sheriff Earl McGraw.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation actor D.J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz were both cast in the lead roles made famous by George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino, and now Gonzalez has been added to the line-up as one of their hostages.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day star Robert Patrick and actors Madison Davenport and Brandon Soo Hoo have also been hired for the show, which is in production in Austin, Texas.
The programme is due to premiere on Rodriguez's own English-language El Rey Network next spring (14), shortly after the December (13) launch of the cable channel.
Actress/singer Gonzalez hit headlines in September (13) when she was photographed kissing Hemsworth a day after news of his broken engagement to Miley Cyrus was announced. She has only previously appeared in a handful of Spanish-language telenovelas.
Merging reality and fantasy in a movie within a movie co-writer/director/star Ben Stiller lampoons the movie industry in ways it hasn’t been skewered since The Player and S.O.B. In Tropic Thunder a film crew sets out to make the biggest (and most clichéd) war movie ever. But after huge budget overruns and a tantrum from the studio head (an unrecognizable Tom Cruise) the hapless English director (Steve Coogan) decides what the film needs is a lot more realism. So he plunks his all-male cast deep down into the jungles of Southeast Asia for some on-the-spot boot camp training. What starts out as an exercise turns disastrous when they encounter REAL enemy warriors trying to do them in. The motley crew of actors include: Tugg Speedman (Stiller) a fading action hero desperate for a hit; Australian five-time Oscar winner Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr. ) who is such a method actor he undergoes a unique skin pigmentation transformation to play his character as an African-American; and Jeff Portnoy (Jack Black) star of a successful farting comedy franchise called The Fatties. Also along for the shoot is intensely serious author John “Four Leaf” Tayback (Nick Nolte) whose book the movie is based on and who may have twisted the real facts for the sake of a movie sale. The bulk of the film finds them fighting for their lives without a script in sight. Stiller shoots and scores big time getting superb and hysterically funny performances from a great cast. Ben is back doing what he loves spoofing convention which in this case includes every jungle war movie from Platoon and Apocalypse Now to Rambo. Playing an actor whose series of action-hero flicks have had dwindling returns and whose last flop had him portraying a mentally impaired farm boy Stiller gets big laughs as his character tries to make a comeback. Robert Downey Jr doesn’t just deserve an award for his riotous and audacious acting he should get a medal for bravery. The star continues his great year with a hilarious turn as the ultimate method actor. He’s hilarious as he refuses to speak in anything but his ghetto accent even when the cameras aren’t rolling--exclaiming at one point “Man I don’t drop character until I’ve done the DVD commentary!” Black manages to go even further over the top than usual but his manic act is perfect for the loud and relentless tone set by Stiller. Nolte is perfect casting as a grizzled war vet and Coogan is very funny as the beleaguered director who takes things one step too far for his safety. Meanwhile newcomers Jay Baruchel Danny McBride (having a great year with this Pineapple Express and Foot Fist Way) and Brandon T. Jackson round out the gang who couldn’t shoot straight. The large cast also includes extended cameos from Matthew McConaughey as Speedman’s groveling agent Bill Hader as a film executive and a startling and terrifically funny performance by a balding hairy-chested Tom Cruise as the screaming foul mouthed studio head. Special mention also to 12 year-old Brandon Soo Hoo who is on target as the take-no-crap “leader” of the enemy camp. Ben Stiller hasn’t been behind the camera since his hilarious Zoolander but he hasn’t missed a beat in that department. He manages to make a balls-out action war film with more explosions than any movie in recent memory--obviously paying homage to such classics as Platoon--but doing it all in the service of a smart comic takeoff on the movie business he clearly knows well. Stiller’s comic canvas making fun of the whole “boot camp” mentality is impressively mounted with flawless CGI special effects evoking the kind of kick-ass war flick we need to believe this troupe is making. Multiple Oscar winner John Toll’s fine cinematography should also get well-deserved credit. With so much extreme mayhem going on keeping the comedy cooking at top levels is a daunting task Stiller pulls off with aplomb.