When a prime Hollywood director prepares the main course of a movie franchise, it's hard to find someone to take the leftovers. Nevertheless, Paramount Pictures is desperately trying to entice someone to settle for the sloppy seconds in its G.I. Joe franchise. Since Stephen Sommers left the directors chair on the sequel (he helmed the 2009 series starter that grossed just over $300 million worldwide), the studio has been trying to land a competent filmmaker for the follow up. And now, the shortlist...
Reuters and The Hollywood Reporter are claiming that F. Gary Gray, Jon M. Chu and Jaume Collet-Serra are top candidates to direct the high-priority project, which Paramount hopes will be ready for production by the summer for a 2012 release. Lorenzo di Bonaventura is once again producing and will have a hand in filmmaker selection.
While Collet-Serra is best known as a Warner Bros. based director (having made House of Wax, Orphan and this week's Unknown for the studio), Gray and Chu have both helmed big films for Paramount. Gray made the 2001 blockbuster The Italian Job and while he's had trouble mounting fresh films in recent years, his most recent outing was the modest hit Law Abiding Citizen. Chu cut his teeth on Disney's dance hits Step Up 2: The Streets and Step Up 3D, but is at home on the Paramount lot after directing Justin Bieber: Never Say Never to a solid $30 million opening weekend.
Based on their experience working in genre, I'm going to say that Collet-Serra and Gray are the best potential candidates for the job, with Gray narrowly edging Collet-Serra out since he's the only one who has made films somewhere near G.I. Joe 2's budget range. I think that Gray can inject some much-needed attitude into the characters; personality that was missing the first time around. Granted this is a film franchise based on Hasbro toys, but if Paramount wants to increase their profits this time it needs to push its creative team to create characters that the audience will care about when the bullets start flying and bombs start bursting. I'm not saying recast the roles, I'm saying rethink them...
Source: Reuters, THR
The Polish Lotus Renault team driver, 26, was airlifted to the Santa Corona di Pietra Ligure Hospital after losing control of his Skoda Fabia car during the Ronde de Andorra rally near Testico, and crashing at high speeds.
Reports suggest he has suffered multiple injuries to his arm, leg and hand. He is currently undergoing surgery as medics attempt to restore the functionality of his right hand, according to Kubica's manager Daniel Morelli.
The 2011 Formula One season begins in Bahrain on 13 March (11).
The Tourist is about as difficult to get through as spotting the vowels in the name of its director. Florian Henckel von Donnersmark was last seen receiving a Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2007 for The Lives of Others which was about a couple living in East Berlin who were being monitored by the police of the German Democratic Republic. Its positive reception made way for the assumption that Donnersmark would continue to populate the USA with films of seemingly otherworldly and underrepresented themes. But his current project is saddening in its superficiality and total implausibility.
The film’s only real upside is its stars: two of our most prized Americans. Johnny Depp plays Frank Tupelo a math teacher from Wisconsin who travels to Europe after his wife leaves him presumably because of his weakness and simplicity. While en route to Venice he meets Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie) who situates herself in his company after she receives a letter from her criminal lover Alexander Pearce (who stole some billions from a very wealthy Russian and the British government) with instructions to find someone on a train who looks like him and make the police believe that he is the real Alexander Pearce to throw the authorities and the Russians off his track. Elise picks Frank and after they are photographed kissing each other on the balcony of Elise’s hotel everyone begins to believe Frank is the real Pearce and so begins the chase.
While Donnersmark could not have picked two better looking people to film roaming around Venice his lack of faith in the audience is obvious. Every aspect of the characters is hammed up again and again as if Donnersmark felt burdened with the task of making us see his vision. Doubtful that we’re capable of getting to where he wants us he has crafted a movie completely devoid of subtlety. Elise’s strength and superiority over Frank are portrayed by close-ups and repeated instances of men burping up their lungs upon seeing her (as if her beauty is in any way subjective?). And in case we forgot that Frank is the victim in this story -- even though he’s been tricked chased and shot at - Donnersmark still felt the need to pin him with a lame electronic cigarette to puff on. Frank and Elise somehow manage to lack mystery even though we get very few factual details about each of them.
Nothing extraordinary comes to us in the way of the film’s structural elements either. There is very little of the action that The Tourist’s marketing led us to believe and the dialog is often painful. The plot itself is almost shockingly unbelievable especially when we’re asked to believe that Elise falls in love with Frank after a combination of kissing him once and her disclosed habit of swooning over men she only spent an hour with (yes that was on her CV).
The Tourist is rather empty and cosmetic. It’s worth seeing if you’re a superfan of Jolie or Depp but don’t expect to walk out of the theater with anything more than the stub you came in with.
The Hollywood actress donned a cheap copy of Middleton's sapphire blue engagement dress to portray the British royal's new fiancee, opposite Samberg as William, during a raucous sketch on Saturday's (20Nov10) episode.
The segment saw William introduce her to his grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Phillip - played by Frank Armisen and Bill Hader, respectively.
During the sketch, Middleton told the monarch, "I love your grandson very much and I'm honoured to join the Windsor family."
But the royals turned on Middleton as soon as William left the room and adopted East London Cockney accents as they quizzed the brunette beauty about her real intentions and accused her of wanting a piece of the "palace action".
Armisen, as the Queen, said, "You think you can just show up and take over and do a bit of Queening?"
But it was Hader's Prince Phillip impersonation which had Hathaway and viewers alike gaping in awe at his crass comments as he made references to William's mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales; Grace Kelly, the late Princess of Monaco; and Sarah 'Fergie' Ferguson, the controversial ex-wife of Prince Andrew.
Phillip told Hathaway's Middleton, "When it comes to being a wife, when you're out there waving to a parade, you be Princess Di, you be Princess Grace. But in the bedroom think Fergie."
Hathaway also drew laughs in a sketch about fellow actress Katie Holmes, impersonating the Batman Begins star as she was questioned about everything from her transition from TV to Hollywood, her daughter Suri's fashion sense and her thoughts on Scientology.
If you are an up-and-coming actress in Hollywood, having your freshman television series canceled is pretty devastating. It's basically the fast-track to a Lifetime Original Movie, which then leads to a few commercials before the industry is practically packing your bags and purchasing a plane ticket for you to head back to whatever dusty town you came from. That was almost Taylor Schilling's life story, but the 26 year-old isn't going down without a fight.
The veteran of NBC's rightfully-so canceled medical drama Mercy has just been given a figurative "1-Up" by Warner Bros. Pictures. Variety says that the studio has cast her as the female lead opposite Zac Efron in its Nicholas Sparks adaptation of The Lucky One. This latest soapy Sparks project, which follows Message In A Bottle, A Walk To Remember, The Notebook, Nights In Rodanthe, Dear John and The Last Song, centers on a Marine who survives three tours in Iraq and attributes his good fortune to a photograph he carried of a woman he has never met. He sets out to meet her when he returns to North Carolina.
As you've probably guessed, Schilling will play the mysterious subject of the photograph while Efron will play the soldier. Denise Di Novi, the WB-based former executive who left her post to become a studio producer, will bring the novel to the big screen as she did with A Walk To Remember and Nights In Rodanthe. She's attached a very capable and talented filmmaker - Scott Hicks - to direct. Hicks, whose past credits include the wonderful David Helfgott biopic Shine and last year's critically acclaimed The Boys Are Back, will hopefully bring a more mature taste to the project, which was adapted by Will Fetters (Remember Me).
Schilling recently wrapped the questionable adaptation of the classic Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged, in which she stars as Dagny Taggert (a role that had been reserved for more mature, multi-million dollar stars like Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie). The fact that she's taken on such an iconic character of American literature leads me to believe that there's more to her than her brief resume suggests. If she can do Taggert justice and if this new film succeeds, she may, in fact, be the lucky one in the future.
Salt the propulsive new thriller from Phillip Noyce (Clear and Present Danger Patriot Games) has been dubbed “Bourne with boobs ” but that label isn’t entirely accurate. In the role of Evelyn Salt a CIA staffer hunted by her own agency after a Russian defector fingers her in a plot to murder Russia’s president Angelina Jolie keeps her two most potent weapons holstered hidden under pantsuits and trenchcoats and the various other components of a super-spy wardrobe that proudly emphasizes function over flash.
But flash is one thing Salt never lacks for. Its breathless cat-and-mouse game hits full-throttle almost from the outset when a former KGB officer named Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) stumbles into a CIA interrogation room and begins spilling details of a vast conspiracy. Back in the ‘70s hardline elements of the Soviet regime launched an ambitious new front in the Cold War flooding the western world with orphans trained to infiltrate the security complexes of their adopted homelands and wait patiently — decades if necessary — for the order to initiate a series of assassinations intended to trigger a devastating nuclear clash between the superpowers from which the treacherous Reds would emerge triumphant.
The Soviet Union may have long ago collapsed (or did it? Hmmm...) but its army of brainwashed killer orphan spies remains in place and if this crazy Orlov fellow is to be believed they stand poised to reignite the Cold War. It’s a preposterous — even idiotic — scheme but no more so than any of our government’s various harebrained proposals to kill Castro back in the ‘60s. As such the CIA treats it with grave seriousness even the part that that pegs Salt who just happens to be a Russian-born orphan herself as a key player in the conspiracy.
Salt bristles at the accusation but suspecting a set-up she opts to flee rather than face interrogation from her bosses Winter (Liev Schreiber) and Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor). A former field agent she’s been confined to a desk job since a clandestine operation in North Korea went south leaving her with a nasty shiner and a rather unremarkable German boyfriend (now her unremarkable German husband). She’s clearly kept up her training during while cubicle-bound however and in a blaze of resourceful thinking and devastating Parkour Fu she fends off a dozen or so agents of questionable competence and takes to the streets where she sets about to clear her name and unravel the Commie orphan conspiracy before the authorities can catch up with her. That is if she isn’t a part of the conspiracy.
The premise which aims to resurrect Cold War tensions and graft them onto a modern-day spy thriller is absurdly clever — and cleverly absurd. But Kurt Wimmer’s screenplay isn’t satisfied with the merely clever and absurd — it must be mind-blowing. Salt is one of those thrillers that ladles out its backstory slowly and in tiny portions every once in a while dropping a revelatory bombshell that effectively blows the lid off everything that happened beforehand. No one is who they seem and every action every gesture no matter how seemingly trivial is imbued with some kind of grand significance. The effect of piling on one insane twist after another has the effect of gradually diluting the narrative. When anything is possible nothing really matters.
But spy thrillers by definition trade in the preposterous and the principal function of the summer blockbuster is to entertain. In that regard Salt more than fulfills its charge. Noyce wisely keeps the story moving at pace that allows little time for asking uncomfortable questions or poking holes in the film’s frail plot. And he has an able partner in the infinitely versatile Jolie who having already exhibited formidable action-hero chops in Wanted and the Tomb Raider films proves remarkably adept at the spy game as well.
It’s well-known that Jolie wasn’t the first choice to star in Salt joining the project only after Tom Cruise dropped out citing the story’s growing similarities to the Mission: Impossible films. But she’s more than just a capable replacement; she’s a welcome upgrade over Cruise not least because she’s over a decade younger (and a few inches taller) than her predecessor. Should Brad Bird require a pinch-hitter for Ethan Hunt he knows where to look.
We've seen a pretty steady stream of news making its way off the set of Transformers 3 in the last two weeks as production has gotten underway, but all of that information can get overwhelming! Here, we bring you the most important, most up-to-date gossip, as well as at least one more unnecessary photo of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Transformers 3 will be in 3D:
Although Michael Bay previously dismissed 3D as "a gimmick," adding "the way I shoot is far too aggressive for 3D cameras," the director has reportedly had a change of heart… probably after noticing how Avatar (3D) and Alice in Wonderland (3D) grossed $2.7 billion and $1 billion respectively from higher ticket sales.
Plot details confirmed:
Bay will be filming a number of scenes in Washington D.C. for the third Transformers, which deals in part with the space race between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War. Apparently, the presence of giant alien robots had more to do with Sputnik and Buzz Aldrin than we originally thought.
Speaking of plot, Bay is adamant that the final chapter of the Transformers trilogy will have considerably more drama and less goofy humor than in the first two films. "One thing we're getting rid of is what I call the 'dorky comedy,'" the director said recently. "So the twins, the two bumbling, slang-spewing robots? They're basically gone." And while John Turturro will remain on-hand for comic relief, Bay says, "the movie is more of a mystery. It ties in what we know as history growing up as kids with what really happened. As a trilogy, it really ends. It could be rebooted again, but I think it has a really killer ending." That killer ending will involve the film's confirmed villain, Shockwave, who will menace both Shia and audiences with his (its?) single robotic eye and laser-gun-equipped robo-arm.
Michael Bay and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura apologize for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen:
"We tried to do too many things in the second movie, which didn't give enough time in any one of them," Di Bonaventura said in a recent interview. "We were constantly jumping to the next piece of information, the next place."
"I'll take some of the criticism," Bay added, even as he attempted to dodge the blame. "It was very hard to put [the sequel] together that quickly after the writers' strike [of 2007-2008]. ...This one really builds to a final crescendo. It's not three multiple endings."
Bay's optimism appears to be validated by reports from insiders close to the director, who have confirmed that the script for T3 is significantly better than that of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
And one last bit of "news" to leave you with something to think about:
Megan Fox's replacement, Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, reportedly wore a white, transparent lingerie top and panties for her love scene audition with Shia LaBeouf. At that point, Huntington-Whiteley already had the part, but Michael Bay wanted to make sure that she and LaBeouf "gelled." Apparently they did indeed "gel." Don't even think about it, LaBeouf! Huntington-Whiteley already has a boyfriend, and his name is Jason Statham. You don't mess with that guy.
The sports hunk was giving interviews to a pack of reporters in Italy, where he is currently playing for soccer giant AC Milan, when prankster Elena Di Cioccio pushed through the throng of journalists and pounced.
Cioccio grabbed at Beckham's crotch before he was bundled away by his security, who then kept the wacky TV host away from the star.
Later, when her show Le Iene (The Hyenas) aired on Italian TV, Cioccio showed viewers the video, before telling them she planned the stunt to check if Beckham measured up to his famed underwear adverts for Emporio Armani.
She said, "Off the pitch we have seen fascinating photographs of David Beckham in his underpants and seemingly very well endowed and even his wife says that he is well equipped and calls him Golden Balls.
"Well the image may have slipped slightly as he has been replaced in the Armani campaign by a younger footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, but we wanted to find out if he was as well endowed as the pictures suggest or if they were touched up."
And the presenter insists Beckham may have received some help in the trouser department: "I touched it but it's small. David you have conned us all. What did you use, cotton wool? It's all a trick."
The British hunk achieved celebrity status after romancing a string of Hollywood's hottest women, including Diaz, Jennifer Aniston and George Clooney's former lover Lisa Snowdon.
But Sculfor has shocked fans after he was spotted in a same-sex clinch in a Los Angeles swimming pool.
However, women can breathe a sigh of relief - the gay smooch was for his new film, Di Di Hollywood.
The model plays a homosexual in the latest film by Spanish director Bigas Luna.
Phil Carlo optioned the rights to his novel The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer, which tells the tale of vicious mob hitman Richard Kuklinski.
The author struck a deal with Hollywood producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura - the brains behind Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - but the 18 month option expired in July (09).
Carlo has now denied Bonaventura's request to extend his hold on the story until he could secure financing - because of a disagreement over casting.
The writer admits movie bosses wanted Tatum to tackle the role of Kuklinski, but he would have preferred to see Mickey Rourke take the lead - and the feud now means the book is unlikely to make it on to the big screen.
Carlo tells New York Post gossip column PageSix, "I had to turn him down. I really hated the idea of Channing Tatum. I told di Bonaventura that this is not the guy to play one of the most feared killers of the 20th Century. I think Mickey Rourke would really be good. He's got that sense of danger, and there's a similarity between the two. But it's not Channing Tatum.".