Charles Bronson may have passed away but the spirit of his Death Wish films lives on -- albeit in an absurdly twisted fashion -- in F. Gary Gray’s (The Italian Job Be Cool) gleefully over-the-top revenge thriller Law Abiding Citizen.
Taking a welcome break from his recent run of lame chick flicks Gerard Butler (300 RocknRolla) stars as Clyde Shelton a loving husband and father whose placid suburban existence is upended when a couple of mangy meth monsters burst into his home. Not content to merely burglarize the place they proceed to butcher Clyde’s wife and daughter as he lies in a heap on the floor periodically losing consciousness after being stabbed several times.
The killers are soon apprehended and a grieving Clyde who somehow managed to survive the whole ordeal eagerly awaits swift retribution from the justice system. Hoping for the grim solace that only the death penalty can provide he places his faith in Nick Rice (Oscar winner Jamie Foxx) the hotshot district attorney charged with prosecuting the case to do the right thing and see to it that the two killers fry.
Nick however has other plans. Seeing the case as anything but open-and-shut and fearful that a not-guilty verdict in such a high-profile trial could derail his ambitious career plans (he sees himself as a Giuliani in the making) he opts to strike a plea deal: One man gets a death sentence while the other gets a mere 10 years in return for testifying against his cohort.
Chastened by the unseemly bargain Clyde takes matters into his own hands delivering his own uniquely painful brand of vigilante justice to the sinister men who destroyed his family. But he doesn’t stop there not by a longshot. His grudge extends much much further -- to the very heart of the justice system itself -- and he intends to bring the entire corrupt apparatus down even if he has to do it while locked up inside a jail cell. Which is where he ends up after police nab him for personally imposing the death penalty on the convicted killers.
Indeed Clyde proves to be something of a savant when it comes to killing people in creative cinematic ways employing exploding cell phones remote-control machine guns and other methods to take out the various judges attorneys and politicians on his hit list. Most amazingly he orchestrates all of this mayhem from behind bars. Seriously this guy’s flair for novelty violence makes the Joker’s antics in The Dark Knight seem amateurish by comparison.
The task of putting an end to all of Clyde’s mayhem naturally falls on Nick. And this is where Law Abiding Citizen’s fatal flaw emerges. Whereas Gray Butler and virtually everyone else seem to enthusiastically embrace the utter ridiculousness of it all Foxx plays it determinedly straight as if he’s the only one in the movie who isn’t in on the joke. Watching his performance it’s almost as if he’s making a different film than everyone else.
The right way for Law Abiding Citizen to end is for Foxx to administer an appropriately ironic death to Butler’s character utter something like “I rest my case ” and wink at the camera as he makes his exit. (Click here to read our exclusive interview with Foxx.)
I won’t give any spoilers away but suffice it to say this is NOT how the movie ends.
The fall movie season is always a mixed bag, but one release that we’re genuinely excited about (read our Fall Movie Preview if you don’t believe us) is Law Abiding Citizen, the new psychological thriller from Italian Job director F. Gary Gray. Gerard Butler (300, RocknRolla) stars as Clyde Shelton, an average Joe who goes all kinds of crazy after the men who brutally murdered his family are handed a mere slap on the wrist for their crimes.
Taking the whole vigilante concept a tad too far, Clyde embarks on an epic killing spree, taking on not just the murderers but the entire justice system itself. His ultimate target — and, something tells us, the only man who can possibly stop him — is district attorney Nick Rice (Oscar winner Jamie Foxx), the prosecutor responsible for the ill-advised plea deal that sent Butler's grieving widower over the edge.
Overture Films was kind enough to send us an exclusive clip from Law Abiding Citizen to debut for you all. Check it out below:
We’re pretty sure that’s supposed to be blood on Butler’s lips and not lipstick, as some might have guessed. Which is a shame, because the thought of Gerard Butler playing a vengeance-seeking cross-dresser is strangely intriguing.
Law Abiding Citizen opens October 16, 2009.
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Tom Cruise's Interview with the Vampire bloodsucker Lestat has 'bitten' Christopher Lee's Dracula and Robert Pattinson's Edward Cullen in a bloody new list of Hollywood's best bat men.
Anne Rice's charming Lestat claimed top spot in Entertainment Weekly's list of Greatest Vampires, while Draculas played by Lee and Bela Lugosi come in second and third. Twilight's Cullen character is fourth.
Also making the top 20 are Gary Oldman's Dracula, Reggie Nalder's Mr. Barlow from TV miniseries Salem's Lot, and Kiefer Sutherland's Lost Boys vampire, David.
(c) 2009 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All global rights reserved. No unauthorized copying or re-distributing permitted.
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The Writers Guild of America, west and East announced nominations for outstanding achievement in writing for the screen, television and radio during the 2003 season.
Nominees in the original category went to independent art-house films, including Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges and Guljit Bindra for Fox Searchlight's Bend It Like Beckham; Steven Knight for Miramax's Dirty Pretty Things; and Tom McCarthy for Miramax's The Station Agent.
Nominees for the adapted category went mostly high-profile releases, including Anthony Minghella for Miramax's Cold Mountain; Frances Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson for New Line's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; and Gary Ross for Universal's Seabiscuit.
WGA noms are closely tracked as an indicator of Academy Awards sentiment. Guild winners in the original screenplay category have matched Oscar choices in 11 years over the past 21 while the WGA adapted screenplay award has matched with the Oscar winner in 14 years during the same period.
The films eligible for Writers Guild Awards were released in the year 2003 under the jurisdiction of Writers Guild of America, East and west and affiliate guilds in Australia, Canada, French Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, and New Zealand.
In television, the nominated scripts were originally broadcast between December 1, 2002, and November 30, 2003.
The winners will be announced Saturday, February 21, 2004, at the 56th Annual Writers Guild Awards ceremonies on both coasts.
The Writers Guild of America, west ceremonies will be held in Los Angeles at the Century Plaza Hotel, and the Writers Guild of America, East ceremonies will be held in New York at The Pierre Hotel.
BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM, Written by Gurinder Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges and Guljit Bindra, Fox Searchlight Pictures
DIRTY PRETTY THINGS, Written by Steven Knight, Miramax Films
IN AMERICA, Written by Jim Sheridan & Naomi Sheridan & Kirsten Sheridan, Fox Searchlight Pictures
LOST IN TRANSLATION, Written by Sofia Coppola, Focus Features
THE STATION AGENT, Written by Tom McCarthy, Miramax Films
AMERICAN SPLENDOR, Written by Robert Pulcini & Shari Springer Berman, Based on the Comic Book Series by Harvey Pekar and the Novel by Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner, HBO Films/Fine Line Features
COLD MOUNTAIN, Screenplay by Anthony Minghella, Based on the Novel by Charles Frazier, Miramax Films
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING, Screenplay by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson, Based on the Novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, New Line Cinema
MYSTIC RIVER, Screenplay by Brian Helgeland, Based on the Novel by Dennis Lehane, Warner Bros. Pictures
SEABISCUIT, Screenplay by Gary Ross, Based on the Book by Laura Hillenbrand, Universal Pictures
Episodic Drama --any length--one airing time
"ABOMINATION (Law & Order: SVU), Written by Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters; NBC
"BOUNTY (Law & Order), Written by Michael S. Chernuchin; NBC
"DISASTER RELIEF (The West Wing), Teleplay by Alexa Junge, Story by Alexa Junge & Lauren Schmidt; NBC
"LOSS (Law & Order: SVU), Written by Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters; NBC
"PILOT (The O.C.), Written by Josh Schwartz; Fox
"7:00 P.M. -- 8:00 P.M. (24), Written by Evan Katz; Fox
Episodic Comedy--any length--one airing time
"DAY CARE" (Malcolm in the Middle), Written by Gary Murphy & Neil Thompson; Fox
"MALCOLM FILMS REESE" (Malcolm in the Middle), Written by Dan Kopelman; Fox
"NO SEX, PLEASE, WE'RE SKITTISH" (Frasier), Written by Bob Daily; NBC
"A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO SHOES" (Sex and the City), Written by Jenny Bicks; HBO
Original Long Form--over one hour--one or two parts, one or two airing times
AND STARRING PANCHO VILLA AS HIMSELF, Written by Larry Gelbart; HBO
Episode 1, "BEYOND THE SKY" and Episode 2, "JACOB AND JESSE" (Taken), Written by Leslie Bohem; USA
CAESAR, Written by Peter Pruce and Craig Warner; TNT
WILDER DAYS, Written by Jeff Stockwell; TNT
Adapted Long Form--over one hour--one or two parts, one or two airing times
NORMAL, Teleplay by Jane Anderson, Based on the play Looking for Normal by Jane Anderson; HBO
OUT OF THE ASHES, Teleplay by Anne Meredith, Based on the book I Was a Doctor in Auschwitz by Dr. Gisella Perl; Showtime
RUDY: THE RUDY GIULIANI STORY, Written by Stanley Weiser, Based on the book Rudy! by Wayne Barrett; USA
THE STRANGER BESIDE ME, Teleplay by Matthew McDuffie and Matthew Tabak, Based on the book by Ann Rule; USA
Animation--any length--one airing time
"THE DAD WHO KNEW TOO LITTLE" (The Simpsons), Written by Matt Selman; Fox
"MOE BABY BLUES" (The Simpsons), Written by J. Stewart Burns; Fox
MY MOTHER THE CARJACKER" (The Simpsons), Written by Michael Price; Fox
"REBORN TO BE WILD" (King of the Hill), Written by Tony Gama-Lobo & Rebecca May; Fox
"RESCUE JET FUSION" (The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius), Written by Steven Banks; Nickelodeon
"THE STING" (Futurama), Written by Patric M. Verrone; Fox
Comedy/Variety--Music, Awards, Tributes -- Specials -- any length
THE KENNEDY CENTER HONORS, Written by George Stevens, Jr., Sara Lukinson and David Leaf; CBS
THE 75TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS, Written by Hal Kanter, Rita Cash, Buz Kohan, Special Material Written by Steve Martin, Beth Armogida, Dave Barry, Dave Boone, Andy Breckman, Jon Macks, Rita Rudner, Bruce Vilanch; ABC
Comedy/Variety--(including talk) Series
LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN, Written by Mike Sweeney, Chris Albers, Jose Arroyo, Andy Blitz, Kevin Dorff, Jonathan Glaser, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Michael Koman, Brian McCann, Guy Nicolucci, Conan O'Brien, Andrew Secunda, Allison Silverman, Robert Smigel, Brian Stack, Andrew Weinberg; NBC
MAD TV, Writing supervised by Scott King, Written by Dick Blasucci, Lauren Dombrowski, Bryan Adams, Bruce McCoy, Michael Hitchcock, Steven Cragg, Chris Cluess, John Crane, Jennifer Joyce, Tami Sagher, David Salzman, Richard Talarico, Jim Wise, Kal Clarke, Sultan Pepper, Bill Kelley, Maiya Williams, Dino Stamatopoulos, Rick Najera, Brooks McBeth, Jason Kordelos, Michael McDonald, Stephnie Weir; FOX
PENN & TELLER: BULLSHIT!, Written by Penn Jillette, Teller, David Wechter, John McLaughlin; Showtime
REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER, Written by Billy Martin, Scott Carter, David Feldman, Brian Jacobsmeyer, Jay Jaroch, Chris Kelly, Bill Maher, Ned Rice, Paul F. Tompkins; HBO
ALL MY CHILDREN, Written by Agnes Nixon, Megan McTavish, Gordon Rayfield, Anna Theresa Cascio, Frederick Johnson, Jeff Beldner, Janet Iacobuzio, Lisa Connor, Addie Walsh, Victor Miller, Mimi Leahey, Bettina F. Bradbury, John PiRoman, Karen Lewis, Amanda Robb, Rebecca Taylor, Christina Covino, David A. Levinson; ABC
ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Written by Josh Griffith, Michael Malone, Shelly Altman, Lorraine Broderick, Richard Backus, Ron Carlivati, Anna Theresa Cascio, David Colson, Leslie Nipkow, Michelle Poteet Lisanti, Becky Cole, James Fryman, Katherine Schock, Ginger Redmon, Daniel Griffin; ABC
"DON'T LOOK BACK" (Out There), Written by Willie Reale and Mark Palmer; PBS
FULL COURT MIRACLE, Written by Joel Silverman and Joel Kauffmann & Donald C. Yost; Disney Channel
I WAS A TEENAGE FAUST, Written by Thom Eberhardt; Showtime
THE MALDONADO MIRACLE, Teleplay by Paul W. Cooper, Based upon the novel "The Maldonado Miracle" by Theodore Taylor; Showtime
Documentary - Current Events
"TRUTH, WAR AND CONSEQUENCES" (Frontline), Written by Martin Smith; PBS
"THE WAR BEHIND CLOSED DOORS" (Frontline), Written by Michael J. Kirk; PBS
Documentary - Other Than Current Events
BECOMING AMERICAN: THE CHINESE EXPERIENCE--BETWEEN TWO WORLDS (PART 2), Written by Thomas Lennon & Mi Ling Tsui and Bill Moyers; PBS
"CYBER WAR!" (Frontline), Written by Michael J. Kirk; PBS
"THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE: THE STRING'S THE THING" (Nova), Written by Joseph McMaster; PBS
"THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE: WELCOME TO THE 11TH DIMENSION" (Nova), Written by Julia Cort & Joseph McMaster, PBS
"THE MURDER OF EMMETT TILL" (The American Experience), Written by Marcia Smith, PBS
"SEABISCUIT" (The American Experience), Written by Michelle Ferrari; PBS
News - Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin or Breaking Report
"PASSING OF MUSIC LEGENDS" (CBS News Sunday Morning), Written by Robert Mank;
"CBS SHOWDOWN WITH SADDAM" (CBS News), Written by John Craig Wilson; CBS
News - Analysis, Feature, or Commentary
"BAPTISM BY FIRE" (60 Minutes), Written by Barbara Dury & Morley Safer; CBS
"WALL STREET" (NOW with Bill Moyers), Written by Michael Winship & Bill Moyers; PBS
AUTISM: SHADES OF GRAY, Written by Julia Kathan; ABC News Radio
AFTERNOON DRIVE, Written by Bill Spadaro; 1010 WINS Radio
WORLD NEWS THIS WEEK, Written by Stuart H. Chamberlain, Jr.; ABC News Radio
News--Analysis, Feature or Commentary
REMEMBERING ED BLISS, Written by Mike Silverstein; ABC News Radio
THE ROAD TO LAUGHTER: A TRIBUTE TO BOB HOPE, Written by Steven Gosset; CBS Radio Network
On-Air Promotion (Radio or Television)
BUFFY/ENTERPRISE, Written by Eric Jacobson; CBS/UPN
Hollywood fashion designer Mr. Blackwell announced his 43rd annual list of worst dressed celebs Tuesday, and former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith got top honors. "Anna's fashion follies are the worst of the year...don't bother with a new designer Anna, just hire a structural engineer!" Blackwell said. The Texas native, however, was not Blackwell's only target. Kelly Osbourne, Shakira, Cameron Diaz, Britain's Princess Anne, Anne Rice, Donatella Versace, Meg Ryan, Christina Aguilera and Pink followed Smith on the list. Blackwell, of course, added his biting commentary to each fashion felon, sparing no one. He said Diaz "looks like she was dressed by a colorblind circus clown," and described Ryan as "a total fashion wreck" who "looks like a Swap-Meet Fashion Queen in Beverly Hills."
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving early Sunday morning in Berkeley, Calif., The Associated Press reports. Armstrong, 30, was stopped for speeding in a black BMW convertible and failed a field sobriety test when he was booked into Berkeley county jail. He was later released on $1,053 bail.
Christa Miller, who starred as Kate O'Brien on The Drew Carey Show, gave birth Friday to a 7-pound, 6-ounce boy named William Stoddard Lawrence, the AP reports. Miller and her husband, Bill Lawrence, already have a 2 1/2-year-old daughter. Her pregnancy was written into the NBC comedy Scrubs, in which she has a recurring role. Her husband is the show's executive producer.
Director Dwight Little (Murder at 1600) is in negotiations to helm Anaconda II, a sequel to the 1997 thriller starring Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube. According to Variety, the project will be developed by Columbia's mid-budget label Screen Gems. The original film, about documentary makers terrorized in the rainforest by a giant snake, grossed more than $136 million worldwide.
Gary Oldman, meanwhile, is in negotiations to join the cast of Warner Bros.' Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as wizard Sirius Black, the escaped prisoner of Azkaban who is later revealed to be Harry's godfather, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film, directed by Alfonso Cuaron and produced by Chris Columbus, is set to begin production Feb. 17.
Bernie Mac is set to play a retired baseball player for the Detroit Tigers who returns to the game in Disney's feature comedy Mr. 3000. The project is out to directors, Variety reports. In addition to his hit Fox sitcom, The Bernie Mac Show, Mac will also be seen as Bosley in Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle and in DreamWorks' Head of State with Chris Rock.
Singer/actress Jennifer Lopez is in final negotiations to star in Revolution Studios' drama An Unfinished Life for director Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules), Variety reports. The film revolves around a young, down-on-her-luck woman, who, along with her daughter, is forced to move in with her estranged father-in-law. The film would become Lopez's third project for the studio. She next stars in Revolution's drama Gigli, set to debut in theaters this summer.
Fox hit pay dirt Monday with its limited-run reality series Joe Millionaire, the network's twisted take on the ABC hit The Bachelor. According to Variety, Millionaire was the highest rated premiere of the season on any network in the coveted adults 18-49 and 18-34 demographics. With 18.61 million viewers overall, it is Fox's best series showing in the Monday-at-9 hour slot since Melrose Place in 1995.
Two men were arrested for credit card fraud during raids last week at Murder Inc. records, a successful hip-hop label home to recording artists Ashanti and Ja Rule. According to court papers, the men, Joe Ragin and Derek Hayes, are accused of using a phony tuxedo rental business as a front for laundering proceeds from stolen credit cards. Investigators are also looking into whether the label's founder, Irv Gotti, had financial ties to a convicted drug gang leader. The raids were part of an ongoing investigation into alleged ties between Murder Inc. and New York's violent drug trade.
Minnie Driver ("Return to Me") has signed on to star with Philip Seymour Hoffman in Canadian Alliance Atlantis Motion Pictures' "Owning Molony," a film based on the nonfiction book "Stung" by Gary Ross. Richard Kwietniowski ("Love and Death on Long Island") will direct.
Driver will play the girlfriend of Brian Moloney (Hoffman), a mild-mannered Toronto bank manager who has a serious gambling problem. Miraculously, he is given access to an unsupervised account of $20 million and manages to gamble away $12 million in 18 months.
Execs hope to start production before the impending actors' and writers' strikes this summer.
STILING WITH PARAMOUNT, MTV: Julia Stiles, hot off her hit film "Save the Last Dance," has inked a development and production deal with Paramount Pictures and MTV Films. Under the open-ended deal, she will develop starring vehicles and receive producing credit on projects she brings to the table.
"She's a great young actress who is very intelligent, has a good development sense and who wants some control over the pictures she stars in," David Gale, head of MTV Films told Daily Variety. And with the success of her latest film, which has so far grossed $84.6 million domestically, the studio is anxious to work with Stiles again.
Stiles' writing talent has been touted before. In 1998, the Sundance Institute's prestigious Screenwriters Lab selected the then 16-year-old actress to develop a screenplay, "The Anarchist's Daughter," which she wrote with two other writers. She'll be seen next in Universal Pictures' "The Bourne Identity."
TOWNSEND HAS '24 HOURS' : In Columbia's thriller, "24 Hours," Stuart Townsend will join co-star Charlize Theron ("The Legend of Bagger Vance") in a story about a doctor (Townsend) and his wife (Theron) who are forced to take matters into their own hands when two experienced kidnappers (Kevin Bacon and Courtney Love) abduct their little girl.
The Irish actor Townsend will be seen in the upcoming "About Adam" (March 23) and the much-anticipated adaptation of novelist Anne Rice's "Queen of the Damned," which is being released later this year. He will be playing the Vampire Lestat.
'SUN' BEAMS ON THORNTON: Writer/director/actor Billy Bob Thornton will star in the drama "Behind the Sun," scheduled to start shooting March 24 in Louisiana. The script revolves around an intolerant sheriff in a small town who becomes disillusioned when he discovers a statewide conspiracy after a transsexual is murdered.
Thornton directed last year's "All the Pretty Horses" and will be starring in two films for Miramax, "Up in Reno" and "Daddy & Them," the latter of which he wrote and directed.
Newly earned fame and power can really wear one down.
So says Wes Bentley.
The "American Beauty" scene-stealer has decided to drop out of Warner Bros.’ "Queen of the Damned," citing the need of personal downtime as the primary reason.
Based on the novel by gothic maven Anne Rice, "Damned" is the third installment of the author’s "Vampire Chronicles." (The first installment, "Interview With the Vampire," was made into a hit 1994 movie starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas and a very pre-"Dick" Kirsten Dunst). The "Damned" story follows vampire Lestat as he metamorphoses into a rock star whose tunes awaken the hibernating queen of all vampires.
No actor has yet been named to replace Bentley. But if it’s any consolation, singer/part-time actress Aaliyah has signed on to star in the project as the queen.
Shooting of the film is slated to go into production Aug. 21 in Australia.
BACK IN THE MIX:The Hollywood Reporter reported today that actor Gary Oldman is back on track for a co-starring role in "Hannibal," where the actor would play the cannibalistic villian’s former victim and nemesis. Talks between Oldman and the studios (MGM and Universal) were reportedly stalled over the issue of the actor’s billing before.
X-ED OUT: Prolific "X-Files" creator Chris Carter might be taking a short break from summoning up the supernatural on television. Daily Variety reported that the master of TV paranormal phenomena is close to inking a deal with Dimension Films to direct "The World of Ted Serios," a true story about a man with the unusual ability to channel his thoughts onto unexposed film negative.
REPLACEMENT 'ANGEL': Remember "Angel Eyes," the upcoming Jennifer Lopez project that was left without a male lead after Aaron Eckhart bailed out on the job last weekend? Well, it doesn’t take long for a list of possible replacements to emerge. The said list of eligible hunks include Benjamin Bratt, Viggo Mortensen, Andy Garcia and James Caviezel.