Police Academy star Bobcat Goldthwait has married his love of directing with his passion for Big Foot by making a new movie about a search for Sasquatch. The funnyman-turned-filmmaker shot Willow Creek in the remote Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California, where Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin shot footage of what appeared to be Big Foot in 1967, and he admits he has become a big part of the community surrounding the myth.
But he confesses the chance he might stumble across the real thing while making Willow Creek turned him into an obsessive.
He says, "I shot the movie where the Patterson and Gimlin footage was originally shot, that footage where Big Foot's walking through and looks back. It's 17 miles down a dirt road; it takes two and a half hours to get there. There's no cell phones, there's no planes going over.
"You're in the middle of nowhere and when we were filming, we actually did see two mountain lions.... I'm out there and the idea of getting mauled to death wasn't lost on me - 'Bobcat killed by bobcat'... I was kind of insane when I made this movie... I was really obsessed."
Goldthwait admits he takes his love of Big Foot seriously, adding, "People bust my chops on this because I'm an atheist who believes in Big Foot, but I've met people who have heard and seen Big Foot... I'm accepted in the community; I've gone out looking for Big Foot with these guys on a number of occasions.
"I've been to Big Foot conventions and it's fascinating because most people in the Big Foot community believe Big Foot has a flat head, not a pointy head... This guy had a cardboard cut-out of a pointy headed Big Foot and the other guy comes over to him and he goes, 'You disgust me, look at his head!' And he goes, 'Really? I've seen Big Foot three times and you're never gonna see him 'cause you smoke!'"
Goldthwait's Willow Creek, in which actors Alexie Gilmore and Bryce Johnson play Big Foot hunters interacting with town locals, is currently available as a video on demand. It will be released as a Blu-Ray/DVD later this year (14).
The Rock has quite a lot cooking at the moment. In addition to recently wrapping on the seventh installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise, he’s got an epic starring vehicle in Hercules hitting theaters on Friday, and he’s all but confirmed that he’ll soon be donning the golden cape of Shazam onscreen soon (via TotalFilm). Between the blockbusters, the action-packed period pieces and an upcoming tenure as a superhero, there’s no doubt that Dwayne Johnson is a bona fide box office star. But even though he can bring people into a movie theater, people still seem reluctant to view The Rock as a legitimate actor.
After all, the first time that the public got to know Johnson, he was vamping in the wrestling ring and earning dramatic close-ups with the lift of his eyebrow. When he first began branching out into acting, via goofy action films like The Mummy Returns and The Scorpion King, people were understandably reluctant to accept this giant goofball as a real thespian. But it’s been almost a decade since Johnson left wrestling behind for movie sets, and despite racking up dozens of credits and hit films, he’s still more closely associated with the ring than with Hollywood.
But Johnson is a talented actor. Despite a few early cinematic disasters, he’s steadily delivered entertaining, compelling, layered and even moving performances. He’s charismatic and appealing, both on and off-camera, and his resume of characters is more diverse than you might realize at first glance. He’s got basically everything he would need to become a major movie star, and yet we’re still hesitant to give him that title. We had no problem with Channing Tatum’s transition from dance films and rom-coms or Terry Crews’ growth from an NFL player to one of the funniest character actors in Hollywood. So why can’t we see Johnson in the same light?
Is it because he was so well known as an athlete that we can’t help but associate him with sports (or whatever pro-wrestling qualifies as) rather than movies? Or is it because his first forays into acting were characterized by box office flops and cheesy kid’s movies? Can we just not see the man who made Tooth Fairy as a legitimate actor, despite the numerous successful films he’s made since?
It could be that we, as an audience, need to see Johnson in a completely different light in order for us to really let go of his wrestling past. Matthew McConaughey was just the Southern guy from those bad rom coms until the one-two punch of True Detective and Dallas Buyers Club, and people didn’t start taking Tatum seriously until he teamed up with Stephen Soderbergh for Magic Mike and let his comedic talents shine in the Jump Street flicks. Perhaps Johnson needs to find a more serious project with a prestigious director in order for us to really appreciate his talents. Meanwhile, his next two features, Hercules and San Andreas, are more likely to be perceived as mindless action movies he can add to a long list of blockbusters.
All of this puts a lot of pressure on his potential performance as Shazam. While many of the performers who have taken on superhero roles are highly-acclaimed character actors, like Robert Downey Jr., Christian Bale, or Mark Ruffalo, the genre has a long history of casting people who look the part, even if they can’t quite act it. If the Shazam film doesn’t do well, both Johnson’s athletic background and hit-and-miss film history will likely be blamed for the flop, and it could erase a lot of the goodwill that he’s earned over the years as an actor.
However, if it does well, it could be exactly what Johnson needs in order to be seen as a legitimate actor and movie star. Before he set off after John Connor in The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger was best known for being a body builder, but after that film became a hit, he was regarded as an actor first and foremost (even when he became a politician). Shazam could do the same thing for Johnson, and finally help the public see him as more than just the goofy wrestler with the eyebrow and the catchphrase. Considering DC has had a patchy track record when it comes to superhero films lately and the fact that Shazam isn’t as well-known to the general public as Batman or Superman are, audiences probably won’t have very high expectations for the film, which should make it easier for Johnson to exceed them, and reintroduce himself to the world as an actor.
And if that doesn’t work, there’s always True Detective Season 3, right?
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Robert Downey, Jr. has been named Hollywood's highest paid actor for the second year running.
The Iron Man and The Avengers star has topped a new Forbes magazine rich list with estimated earnings of $75 million (£44.1 million).
Action man Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson comes in second thanks to his salaries from G.I. Joe: Retaliation and the Fast and Furious franchise, while Bradley Cooper is third with an estimated $46 million (£27 million).
Leonardo DiCaprio and Thor star Chris Hemsworth round out the top five.
WENN/Adriana M. Barraza
If you never got to New York City to see Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston as President Lyndon B. Johnson, HBO is on your side. HBO Films recently acquired the rights to the Tony Award-winning play All The Way, with playwrite Robert Schenkkan signing on to adapt his script.
According to Variety the play follows Johnson's "tumultuous first year in office," beginning with his entry into the presidency (after the JFK assassination), and of course dealing with his efforts during the Vietnam War and the historic Civil Rights Act.
For his performance, Cranston took home the Tony Award for Best Actor earlier this year. We can all expect powerful good things when the movie comes to HBO.
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Godzilla star Bryan Cranston is set take his portrayal of U.S. leader Lyndon B. Johnson from the stage to the screen after signing on to reprise his role as the president in Steven Spielberg's TV adaptation of All The Way. The Breaking Bad star won a Tony Award for his Broadway debut and now bosses at U.S. cable network HBO have acquired rights to the play adaptation, which Spielberg is executive producing.
Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan will pen the screenplay.
All the Way chronicles LBJ's first year in office after taking the oath following President Kennedy's assassination.
Looks like they won't be "live from New York" any longer. After a difficult, uneven season that saw an influx of new cast members, controversy and the loss of Head Writer and "Weekend Update" host Seth Meyers halfway through the year, Saturday Night Live is by cutting down its slate of featured players down to a more manageable size. Brooks Wheelan announced that he would be leaving Tuesday morning on Twitter (via a joke, natch). Later in the day, it was announced that Noël Wells and John Milhiser also wouldn't return after they failed to make an impression with audiences this year. Those announcements come about a month after Nasim Pedrad, one of the current longest-running cast members, would be leaving to work on Mulaney.
But just because they won't be on SNL any longer, that doesn't mean that it's the last we'll ever see of Wheelan, Wells, Milhiser and Pedrad. There are plenty of people who only lasted a couple of seasons on the show and then went on to become major stars: Sarah Silverman, Damon Wayans, Rob Riggle, and Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr., to name just a few. With that in mind, we decided to take a look back at their tenure on SNL in order to best predict what's next for Wheelan, Wells, Milhiser and Pedrad. Although if any one of them is going to wind up playing a superhero, our money's on Heshy.
Brooks Wheelan What’s Next: Wheelan doesn’t have a lot lined up at the moment, though he does have a short film titled Lose Yourself, Save Yourself, where he plays Fighter 2. His Strengths: Possibly because he comes from a standup background rather than a sketch one, Wheelan didn’t create very many memorable characters, and his most significant moments on the show were his two appearances as himself on “Weekend Update,” where he would warn audiences against the dangers of getting terrible tattoos and binge drinking. Where We See Him: Wheelan seems to embody the same kind of “goofy, wisecracking All-American” guy that actors like Jake Johnson or fellow SNL alum Jason Sudeikis trade on. We could easily see him bringing some of the energy to a sitcom where he plays the sarcastic straight guy to a group of off-the-wall characters. Still, his weirdly funny exterminator bit with Ed Norton proves he’s capable of some truly strange characters, and so we could see him playing smaller, supporting roles in films for a while as a variety of strange, obnoxious characters. And of course, there’s always his stand up career to fall back on…
Noël Wells What’s Next: Wells has the TV series Gentleman Lobsters, which is slated for a 2014 premiere. She’s also a photographer in her spare time, and her work has been showcased in exhibitions and been printed in magazines. Her Strengths: Though they were slightly hit and miss – her Nancy Grace was four minutes of eye twitches and catchphrases – Wells made the biggest impact on the show through her impressions, most notably, playing Lena Dunham in the season premiere’s parody of Girls. Where We See Her: Though her talent with impressions and slightly offbeat characters would serve her well on another sketch show, something along the lines of Inside Amy Schumer or Key and Peele, Wells most reminds us of two other early SNL departures: Jenny Slate and Casey Wilson. Like them, Wells has a quirky charm to her that would serve her well in indie films (she actually earned solid reviews for her work in last year’s Forev) and in an ensemble sitcom, where she would be free to play up her weirder side.
John Milhiser What’s Next: Like Wheelan, Milhiser has a short film on his slate, Little Horribles, and he also starred in the indie film Camp Takota, which is available online. His Strengths: Milhiser didn’t get much of a chance to make an impression on audiences, although eh did show off a pitch-perfect Jon Cryer impression during a Family Feud sketch. He did, however, have one highlight during his tenure, a sketch where he and Lady Gaga played “encouraging” stage parents helping their child through a talent show performance, which let him show off his goofier side, and his ability to execute a high kick. Where We See Him: Milhiser strikes us as a Ben Falcone or Nat Faxon-type, someone who pops up in different things all the time, playing characters with varying levels of insanity and oddity. He’s definitely shown that he can play both weird and silly characters, but since he didn’t make that much of an impression, he’ll probably be “that guy from that thing” for a while, until he manages to find the right project to help him break out.
Nasim Pedrad What’s Next: After five years on SNL, Pedrad is leaving in order to play Jane, the roommate of John Mulaney’s character on the FOX sitcom Mulaney. Her Strengths: During her time on the show, Pedrad played a wide variety of characters, including Kim Kardashian, Arianna Huffington, Bedelia, the awkward teenager whose best friend is her mother and Shallon, the world’s most dangerous fifth grader. Though she never made the kind of impression that Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon have, she’s become a vital part of the ensemble over the past five years, thanks to her ability to inhabit both the sanest and the oddest human beings. Where We See Her: Hopefully, her role on Mulaney will be exactly what she needs to properly break out, since she never quite managed to on SNL. From there, we could see her following a similar career path to Wiig or Tina Fey, playing both broad comedy and more serious roles in both television in movies. Alternatively, she could become more of a Michaela Watkins/Ana Gasteyer- type, and becoming the go-to actress for slightly odd, scene-stealing characters.
Universal via Everett Collection
Actor Dwayne Johnson is in talks to bring author Robert Ludlum's novel The Janson Directive to life on the big screen.
If the Fast Five star signs on, he will take on the role of an ex-Navy Seal and covert operations specialist who finds himself at the centre of a termination plot after a rescue mission-gone-wrong, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Bosses at Universal Pictures, the studio behind the project, have yet to attach a screenwriter or director as the film is currently in the early stages of development.
However, they are reportedly keen to turn the movie adaptation into a franchise, just like Ludlum's Bourne series. The Janson Directive was published in 2002, a year after Ludlum's death.
Bryan Cranston's hit Broadway show All The Way has broken New York theatre records by becoming the first play to gross over $1.4 million (£875,000) in a week. Just two weeks after the play and Cranston picked up Tony Awards, theatre fans flocked to see the Breaking Bad star as former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.
The play by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan shattered the record for eight performances during a single week.
All The Way has become one of this season's biggest Broadway hits, and went into profit last month (May14).
The play closes on Sunday (29Jun14) after 131 performances.
Actor Tracy Morgan has been moved to a rehabilitation facility following a New Jersey traffic pile-up that put him in the hospital and claimed the life of his comedian pal James 'jimmy Mack' Mcnair. Kevin Roper, a driver for U.S. superstore Walmart, stands accused of falling asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle after ploughing into the back of a limo bus carrying Morgan and his companions early on 7 June (14).
The impact of the collision killed McNair and left Morgan and two others with serious injuries.
Earlier this week (begs16Jun14), the 30 Rock star's condition was upgraded to fair from critical and on Friday (20Jun14), he was transferred to an undisclosed location to continue his treatment.
His representative tells E! News, "Tracy has been transferred to an undisclosed rehab centre, where he is expected to remain for the next few weeks. While he is continuing to show signs of improvement, he still has a long way to go.
"He and (fiancee) Megan wanted to publicly express their deepest gratitude to everyone at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for the unbelievable care and attention they provided him."
Meanwhile, Roper has pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto and a preliminary report released by officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) suggests he was speeding before the accident. Prosecutors also allege the driver had not slept for 24 hours prior to the fatal incident.
He faces up to 10 years behind bars if authorities can prove he ignored sleep guidelines for a trucker.
Actor Bryan Cranston has confirmed reports he will star in a TV movie based on his award-winning Broadway play All The Way. Last week (15Jun14), reports suggesting Lincoln director Steven Spielberg was keen to turn the play about former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson into a mini-series surfaced, but the Breaking Bad star reveals the project will actually be a TV movie.
He tells Vulture.com, "They want to see and honour the story, and so if it needs to be maybe four hours then it might be a two-hour and two-hour kind of thing."
All the Way playwright Robert Schenkkan is currently penning the script for the TV movie.
Cranston picked up a Best Actor Tony Award for his portrayal of Johnson earlier this month (Jun14).