When news hit that Quentin Tarantino would follow his Oscar nominated WWII flick Inglourious Basterds with a throwback spaghetti Western, film geeks got excited really quick. The auteur has fancied himself a genre filmmaker for sometime, moving from crime thrillers like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction to samurai cinema with the Kill Bill movies to a revisionist slasher pic in Death Proof and, finally, a war pic in 2009. Needless to say, the notion of the notoriously gratuitous director taking his post-modern style and applying it to the Western is tantalizing.
So when a little snapshot of the title page of the script for Tarantino's mysterious new project (which he was referring to as a "Southern," describing the setting of his unique take on the genre) hit the web this weekend, movie enthusiasts were happy to finally know the name of his new film: Django Unchained. After the leak, a source who claims to have read said screenplay offered the site Shadow and Act a brief synopsis which I'm happy to share with you today:
"Django is a freed slave, who, under the tutelage of a German bounty hunter (to be played by Christoph Waltz) becomes a bad-ass bounty hunter himself, and after assisting Waltz in taking down some bad guys for profit, is helped by Waltz in tracking down his slave wife and liberating her from an evil plantation owner.”
Sounds like classic a pretty classic Wild West scenario, but with a twist. You don't often see Western's feature black protagonists (there are exceptions, but generally African American actors have taken on supporting roles in films set in the American frontier) or German co-stars, but this being a Tarantino production, anything goes. The main thing to keep in mind is that this will likely be very much the "Southern" that the filmmaker promised and that knowledge provides some context for the synopsis. As stated, Christoph Waltz (who won an Oscar for QT's Basterds) will play the German bounty hunter while the rest of the cast falls into place. Collider says that both Keith Carridine and Treat Williams will also appear in the picture.
The director is said to be considering only "top shelf" actors for the film, so I'm very interested to see who he'll hire to play Django. If he goes with someone unknown or on the rise, we could witness the ascension of a new star like Waltz' roller-coaster ride to the Academy Awards just 18 months ago. However, I can't deny that it'd be cool to see Denzel Washington getting his Clint Eastwood on (though the two-time Oscar winning thesp hasn't gotten along with Tarantino in the past due to his racially offensive dialogue). The production is due to begin this fall if he can line up his roster in time, so we should be hearing lots about who's going to appear in the film over the summer.
The Weinstein Company will distribute in North America while several studios, including Universal (the current frontrunner for the film as it carried Basterds to $193 million internationally), Warner Bros. and Paramount, are warring over co-financing and foreign distribution.
Source: Deadline, Shadow and Act, Collider
Oh, Keanu. You silly little tease. I know you’re sad and think that another Bill & Ted will make everything better, but will it truly make you happier? I know dozens of fans that would cheer at the thought of the Wyld Stallions shredding it up, but would you take gratification to being a 50-year-old stoner rocker? Maybe, who am I to say. I’m just worried about you, Keanu. Don’t let all your happiness reside in one potential movie.
All shenanigans aside, if Bill & Ted 3 ever happens the story Keanu teased sounds somewhat legit. Bill & Ted were told that they would write a song that would change the world. That kind of knowledge is quite a burden. How could you ever hope to write a song good enough to literally change the world? That would give me some serious writer’s block. So their solution is rather elegant: time travel. Works for me (assuming that this actually gets made).
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Bill Murray is the man. He doesn't have an agent, his lawyer basically signs contracts for him and if you want to reach him for a role you have to dial a toll free number and leave a message. He may or may not check the messages once a week.
In Hollywood that means you have balls.
But he is still a working actor and the latest role that he has agreed to take is quite presidential. He will play Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park on the Hudson, an adaptation of the 2009 radio play by Richard Nelson. While Nelson will write the screenplay for the film, Morning Glory's Roger Michell will direct.
Murray is one of those actors that slides easily from comedy to drama. Though there isn't much humor to be found in playing FDR, Murray nevertheless will bring charisma to a role that no other could. Then again, he's incredibly iffy when it comes to picking projects so this very well may be a ruse. But if it does happen? Should be excellent!
We knew it was only a matter of time. Jason Schwartzman has just been added to the list of known cast members for Wes Anderson's latest project, Moonrise Kingdom. The film is set to start production in Rhode Island in Spring and thanks to a local casting agency's list and SlashFilm, we know know that Schwartzman is set to join Ed Norton, Frances McDormond, Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis and (of course) Bill Murray for the film set in the 60s.
We're not sure who Schwartzman is playing, but the film is the story of two young adults (yet to be cast but likely to be unknowns) who run away and the townspeople that lead a search to find them. Of course, each of these big names will play different town folk roles from Norton as the search party leader, to Willis as the Sheriff who's doing the young girl's mother (McDormand) on the side, to Murray who will (of course) be the girl's screwed up father. The script comes from Anderson and his buddy Roman Coppola -- a.k.a. the dynamic duo that brought us one of the best Anderson movies out there, The Darjeeling Limited -- and with the addition of Schwartzman to an already stellar cast we can be sure this film will be worth waiting for.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Ian McShane has got his sights set on another adventure. McShane is the latest addition to the cast of the Bryan Singer, darkly envisioned version of Jack and The Beanstalk, more appropriately titled Jack The Giant Killer. The actor joins the long list of actors already claimed by the Giant, including Nicholas Hoult as Jack, Stanley Tucci as a villain, Eleanor Tomlinson as the princess, and Bill Nighy, Ewan McGregor and John Kassir as well.
The Englishman will take on the role of the fair princess' father, King Brahmwell, who of course disapproves of her interest in a mere farm boy, Jack. Talk about a terrifying father-in-law. I doubt anyone would think twice about crossing an angry Ian McShane. I guess this will only add to the ways Jack has to buck up his bravery in this Singer adaptation.
So let’s take the best aspects of the best shows on TV right now (namely Parks and Rec’s Aubrey Plaza and SNL’s Bill Hader and Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat -- shut up, I know it was canceled five years ago GOSH) and put them all into a movie directed by Hader’s wife, Maggie Carey. Then let’s give it a provocative title, something like The Hand Job. BOOSH -- awesome movie.
Now let’s make it even more awesome by adding more of the best shows on TV; Community’s Donald Glover and SNL’s Andy Samberg have joined the cast as well. You would think this couldn’t get any better but then you learn the film will follow Plaza as a strung out high school Valedictorian who vows to lose the big V-Card before heading off to college and some how the world just seems right.
This. This is what I am talking about. This will be a good movie. This and the Muppet Movie give me hope for the rest of humanity. If we can keep making these smart decisions I think we might just make it, folks.
It happened. They got Miley Cyrus on SNL and she said, "Pretty cool" and it was pretty lame. Sure she handled whatever skits they threw at her and hammed it up because she's a child star -- of course she's a ham -- but it was a pretty grating experience. I want to apologize to my parents for that time I made them sit through the Britney Spears-hosted episode of SNL back in 2002 because I imagine it was a lot like this only I was blinded by my own teenage adoration for BritBrit. I've seen the error of my ways, and for that I'm truly sorry. Now, so you don't have to spend an hour sifting for the few comedic nuggets from the Miley edition of SNL, here it is boiled down for your convenience.
First, it's Miley y'all. The real Miley did her best Justin Bieber impression (with a weird self-narration technique that was a little creepy) and Vanessa Bayer's fake Miley got Miley Bieber to say pretty cool. Whatever.
This is probably the one skit where Miley actually worked. She lent her voice to the cruise ship entertainer, Ginger Rangers, whose Broadway dreams were crushed leaving her to sing bitterly to "so gross" old people on some cruise ship. To be honest, the best part of this skit is Kristen Wiig and her "cat parking" shirt.
The show opened with a Charlie Sheen talk show called, "Duh! Winning!" because duh, they have to do a Sheen skit. They also throw in other screw-ups including Abby Elliot's okay "impression" of Christina Aguilera and an appearance from Miley's Lindsay Lohan. I guess that's pretty cool. It's just too bad Jimmy Fallon already killed that Charlie Sheen impression last week, because as great as Bill Hader's was, it didn't hold a candle to Fallon's.
So apparently, Mike Huckabee forgot that criticizing the pop culture that people enjoy -- whether it's celebrities, TV shows, or movies -- is a horrible idea. The former Arkansas and likely the next Republican candidate for president railed on Natalie Portman for "glamorizing the idea of out-of-wedlock children." Remember when Dan Quayle said Murphy Brown contributed to the decay of moral values in America? Then, remember how he and George Bush Sr. lost to Bill Clinton in the election? Yeah, not necessarily the smartest political move there, Huckabee. -US Weekly
In Charlie Sheen News, he announced via Twitter last night that he's writing a book. "The title of my book has finally been delivered thru vast and extensive Lunar channels. Apocalypse Me," he wrote. And, well, what does the name mean? "Warlock latin for WINNING." Awesome, Sheen. Hopefully, it will be a picture book featuring him in different warlock poses, starting with this one from The AV Club. -Twitter
Austin Powers has finally settled down. In a secret wedding, Mike Myers married his longtime girlfriend Kelly Tisdale almost five months ago but are finally confirming their private NYC ceremony. The two have been dating since 2006, shortly after Myers broke it off with his first wife Robin Ruzan, to whom he was married for 12 years. Congratulations! -NY Post
UPDATE: According to Deadline, Quentin Tarantino's next film will, indeed, be a western. He's finished the script which, unlike his previous projects like Inglorious Basterds and Kill Bill, "just flowed out of him" (his past screenplays have reportedly taken the auteur years to write). So, there. We can officially be excited about a Tarantino western, which will no doubt be absurd and awesome.
Quentin Tarantino's next film will be a spaghetti western. And, well, we kind of know what the title is.
According to an interview with Franco Nero on movieplayer.it -- combined with a nice Google translation (thanks, Internet!) -- its title will be The Angel, The Bad and The Wise and will be a tribute to Sergio Leone, the famous Italian director known for his work defining the genre.
BadassDigest claims to know other details -- like the cast, plot details, etc. -- but won't offer any of them up, except claiming that it will "blow [our] minds." Oh, really? Sounds awesome, guys. Thanks for the information!
Regardless, it is nice to see that Sally Menke's unfortunate death this past fall hasn't stopped Tarantino from pressing forward in his career. For those unaware, before her untimely death, Menke had been his right hand editor who cut all of the Oscar winner's films. Her work quite visibly contributed to much of their acclaim.
Source: BadassDigest, Movieplayer.it
Every young warrior needs an elder statesman to groom them for glory. King Arthur had Merlin. Blade had Whistler. Luke had Obi-Wan. It seems that Jack, the titular protagonist in Bryan Singer's upcoming fantasy adventure Jack The Giant Killer, will also have a mentor of sorts to help him train for his quest to save a beautiful princess as New Line Cinema late yesterday announced that Ewan McGregor is in negotiations to join the cast of the developing Warner Bros. production (this is the first time that I'm hearing of New Line's involvement in the project as either producer or distributor of the film).
Of course, the Star Wars actor's prospective role in the movie is currently unknown, so it's unfair to assume that he'll train Nicholas Hoult's Jack in the art of giant killing. But with Stanley Tucci already cast as the film's main villain and a pair of actors (Bill Nighy and John Kassir) set to portray the two-headed leader of the giants, there aren't many other fairytale archetypes to fill. And McGregor has two films worth of experience training young warriors, so my prediction stands as is until the studio lets us know what's what.
Bryan Singer's work holds a special place in my heart, as films like The Usual Suspects and X-Men came along at a time when I was a young and impressionable moviegoer. His movies, and those of many other directors who came onto the scene in the mid-nineties, shaped me into the film buff I am today and so I've been very excited to hear about any developments regarding his return to cinema (Singer hasn't made a movie since December 2008's Valkyrie). Jack The Giant Killer is shaping up to be a unique take on a classic tale and I'm very enthusiastic about the visual possibilities of men fighting giants.
Cameras are set to roll in mid-March and the film will be released sometime in 2012.
Source: New Line Cinema