Miramax via Everett Collection
Monday morning saw a heap of news involving the Weinstein brothers and their former golden goose Miramax. Deadline reports that, in short, Hollywood kingpins Harvey and Bob have signed a deal that will allow them to dig up old properties and revive them in new forms. This means sequels, reboots, and reimaginings for a lot of their past Miramax hits. In ascending order of madness, we have mention of...
- Rounders 2 — a follow-up to the Matt Damon poker flick that is reaching for Robert De Niro as the central villain.- A "series transfer" for Flirting with Disaster, an early David O. Russell movie that saw Ben Stiller on a quest to find his biological parents. This could easily be transformed into an episodic comedy (though we're not saying it should).- A Shakespeare in Love sequel, which, we guess, would involve the Bard's continued forays with romance as he explores the creative folds of his mind.- And finally, the most bewildering announcement that the showbiz news circuit has coughed up lately, another series adaptation: this one of the movie Good Will Hunting.
...That's pretty weird. For the three Americans who haven't seen Good Will Hunting, it tells the story of (once again) Matt Damon, as a 20-year-old orphan, impoverished Bostonian, and all-around dillhole with a genius intellect, most notably for complex mathematics. He spends most of his time causing mayhem with fellow dillholes (of the non-genius variety) Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, and Cole Hauser, until his mental stamina is discovered by a haughty MIT professor (Stellan Skarsgaard) who insists that his old pal (Robin Williams) refurbish the troubled young Damon's psychological state of being so that he can put his intelligence to good use. In the end, everything works out rather neatly. The poor-but-smart Mr. Hunting finds an outlet for his talents, gets in touch with his latent childhood traumas, and even meets a nice lady in the process (Minnie Driver). The sort of self-contained story that made for the bread and butter of '90s cinema.
So how on Earth are they going to turn this picture into a series? Some hefty bastardization is in order...
The Session-by-Session Route: Each week, we'll examine the psychological progress achieved by young William Hunting as he undertakes regular therapy sessions with Dr. Robin Williams. I mean Sean. Kind of like The Sopranos, with a different (albeit similarly egregious) mistreatment of the letter "R". Potential episodes: "Will Hunting's Daddy Issues," "Will Hunting and the Naked-in-High-School Nightmare," "Will Hunting vs. the Rorshach."
The On-the-Road-to-Skyler Route: At the end of the movie, we see Will take off out of Boston in the new car just bequeathed unto him by three friends who, unlike himself, actually don't have high paying jobs lined up. Without so much as a goodbye, he zooms down the road to "see about a girl" ... in other words, to reunite with Skyler, who at this point resides in California. Maybe we'll see the sequel as a series of sorts, with Will taking on a cross country journey to make amends with his lost love, getting himself mixed up in goofy adventures along the way. Potential episodes: "Will Hunting Takes Manhattan," "Will Hunting in the Bayou," "Will Hunting's Sheboygan Adventure."
The Just-Hangin'-'round-with-Chuckie-and-the-Fellas Route: This is probably the worst idea of the bunch... and yet, so many a film and TV program has been made of it. In this incarnation, Will and his Southie pals would spend their time drinking, cursing, watching little league games, beating up other kids in the park, going down to the bowling alley. Think of it as an even more nihilistic Seinfeld, with less money and a good deal more maim. Potential episodes: "Will and Chuckie Rob the Shaw's," "Morgan's Get Rich Quick Scheme," "Cole Hauser's Sheboygan Adventure."
The Original Thriller-esque Route: For those of you who have read up on the story behind the production of Good Will Hunting, for whatever unfounded reason, you might know that the script was originally a thriller about G-men who pursued Will for his mathematic gift. So, maybe something like that would work as a series, and we'd see Will taking on Jason Bourne-like adventures as he avoids the long arm of the American government. Potential episodes: "Will Goes Incognito," "Will Meets Carrie Mathison," "Will Finally Realizes It's Time to Serve His Country and Sells Out Entirely."
Which of these Good Will Huntings would you most like to see?
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The year is 1984, and our favorite columnist has yet to discover her love of the Big Apple. Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshow makes her debut back on TV this January, albeit as a much younger version.
AnnaSophia Robb portrays a 16-year-old Carrie, fresh off a summer grieving her mother’s death and getting busy with a hot summer fling. Her father suggests that she take some time off from school and get an internship in NYC, thus beginning her “Manhattan love story” we were privy to for six seasons and one movie. (Let’s all agree never to speak of the second movie again, yes? Good.)
In the just released preview for The Carrie Diaries – based on Candace Bushnell’s young adult novels – we get a glimpse of how Carrie’s love for Manhattan and journalism begins, sparked by a chance encounter with a style editor (Doctor Who‘s Freema Agyeman) who takes Carrie under her wing for a night of drinks and dancing. Of course, Carrie double-books her night, and must make it back home to the high school dance for her date with a hot transfer student played by Switched at Birth‘s Austin Butler. Will she make it back in time, or will juggling NYC society and high school drama prove to be too much for our young protagonist?
We’ll find out this January, when The Carrie Diaries premieres on the CW. Watch the season preview below:
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[Photo Credit: Eric Liebowitz/Warner Bros. Television Entertainment]
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Rick James' death still a mystery
An autopsy failed to determine the cause of death for funk legend Rick James, authorities told Reuters Saturday. James, 56, who was a diabetic and had had a stroke in 1998, apparently died in his sleep Friday at his home in Los Angeles. His three children--daughter Ty and sons Rick Jr. and Tazman--said Friday through a spokeswoman that they believe their father died of heart failure, Reuters reports.
James also had a history of cocaine addiction that led him to two assault convictions in the 1990s and a two-year stretch in prison. Officials are awaiting results of a toxicology test, which could take several weeks.
Johnson needs to pay the grocery bill
In a midst of filing for bankruptcy, actor Don Johnson has been ordered by an Aspen, Colo., judge to pay a local grocery store nearly $6,000 for an unpaid tab, The Associated Press reports. Johnson, who starred in TV's Miami Vice and Nash Bridges, also put his 17-acre ranch near Aspen up for sale in May, after the Los Angeles-based City National Bank sued the actor in March, seeking to force an auction of the property to recoup $930,000 it claimed Johnson owed.
Hilton sisters report burglary
Celebrity socialite Paris Hilton and her younger sister, Nicky, reported that their Hollywood home had been burglarized, police told Reuters on Friday, adding that jewelry, watches and a laptop were stolen. Nicky Hilton returned home early on Thursday morning to discover the break-in, which apparently occurred sometime after 9 p.m. on Wednesday night, a police spokeswoman said. Police did not put a dollar value on the items stolen, though the spokeswoman described it as "substantial, a high amount." Nicky Hilton, 19, told officers that no suspects were seen, the spokeswoman told Reuters, and the case remained under investigation.
McCready caught in drug fraud
Country singer Mindy McCready was arrested Thursday in Nashville and charged with prescription drug fraud after authorities told AP she used a fake prescription to obtain the pain medicine OxyContin. Authorities say McCready, 28, presented a fraudulent prescription for OxyContin at a pharmacy on Feb. 12, paid for the drugs and then left. Investigators later learned that McCready was not a patient at the doctor's office from which the prescription purportedly originated. McCready was booked into the county jail and held on $10,000 bond, which she posted and was released the same day, AP reports.
Iraqi government shuts down Al-Jazeera station
The Iraqi government ordered Al-Jazeera's employees out of their newsroom Saturday after they accused the Arab satellite channel of inciting violence and closed its office for 30 days, AP reports. Iraqi Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib said the closure was intended to give the station "a chance to re-adjust their policy against Iraq." "They have been showing a lot of crimes and criminals on TV, and they transfer a bad picture about Iraq and about Iraqis and encourage criminals to increase their activities," he said. "We want to protect our people." Al-Jazeera officials said the closure was an ominous violation of freedom of the press. Haider al-Mulla, a lawyer for Al-Jazeera, said the channel would respect the decision but study its legal options. The controversial Arab satellite channel was the subject of a recent searing documentary The Control Room, directed by Jehane Noujaim.
Film editor Peroni dies
Film editor Geraldine Peroni, best known for her work with director Robert Altman, including her Academy Award nomination for Altman's 1992 The Player, died Tuesday at her home in Manhattan, AP reports. She was 51. Her death was ruled a suicide by the city medical examiner's office, but her family is disputing that finding.
Death penalty tackled in reality show
ABC's new reality series In the Jury Room was given permission to shoot in an Ohio jury room in the case of Mark Ducic, who was charged with a double murder that carried a possible death sentence, showing the jury's deliberations in a death penalty case that eventually saw Ducic spared from execution. "What I like to do is take people places they've never been before," producer Michael Bicks told Reuters. "And people have never been taken into a jury room for a capital murder case." The program, shown in hour-long segments on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, follows the Ducic case over a three-month period from pretrial preparations through the trial and the verdict handed down in June.
With the White House hinting that war in Iraq will likely break out just prior to the March 23 Academy Awards ceremony, insiders are facing up to the possibility of the show's postponement. According to Variety, Academy insiders say the ceremony could be delayed for two days in the case of war. But while a 48-hour postponement would cause only minor readjustments, a greater delay would wreak havoc with talent as well as network commitments worldwide. Presenters and nominees from out of town, for example, would have to return to Los Angeles and, as one exec pointed out, many might not want to fly in the event of war. A worst-case scenario is a major story breaking just before the Oscarcast or during the ceremony. A delay could also spell out bad news for ABC, the network airing the Oscarcast, since major news developments could cause viewers to flip over to news broadcasts. A spokesman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences told Variety it is useless to speculate on a possible postponement because there are simply too many variables to consider.
Michael Jackson had his lawyers file complaints Thursday with Britain's Independent Television Commission and the Broadcasting Standards Commission over the just-aired documentary about his life. According to The Associated Press, Jackson's legal team claims that Jackson was not allowed to see the documentary, Living With Michael Jackson, as promised before it was broadcast. It also said the show's voiceovers, questions and editing gave credence to allegations made against him in 1993 of a sexual offense against a child. A whopping 27 million viewers tuned in to the broadcast of the documentary on ABC's 20/20 Thursday night.
The New York Daily News reports that Al Pacino filed suit in Manhattan Family Court Jan. 23 against longtime girlfriend Beverly D'Angelo for custody or visitation rights, two days before the twins' second birthday. A court date scheduled for Wednesday was postponed until Feb. 24. Pacino's spokeswoman, Pat Kingsley, told the Daily News she had not heard of the lawsuit, and lawyers for both parties had no comment.
Caroline Barrett, who worked as a personal assistant for Marlon Brando for 25 years, filed suit against the actor in a Los Angeles court on Thursday, claiming he was trying to force her to repay $185,000 that he gave her as a gift to buy a home in London, Reuters reports. The lawsuit claims Brando gave Barrett the money to buy a house in London after he moved there in 1985 and repeatedly assured her that she did not have to pay the money back. Barrett said Brando told her he would have to classify the transfer of money as a loan to avoid "dire tax consequences," and she agreed to sign a promissory note and to use her Los Angeles home as collateral to further the appearance of a loan, the suit said.
Angelina Jolie will play an accomplished aviatrix in the pre-World War II adventure pic The World of Tomorrow, Variety reports. The film, which also stars Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow, begins shooting in March in London. Giovanni Ribisi and Bai Ling are also in talks to join the film. Jolie would star as a pilot teamed with a swashbuckling colleague (Law) and a probing journalist (Paltrow).
Steven Spielberg is in final negotiations to direct his Catch Me If You Can star Tom Hanks in DreamWorks' airport comedy Terminal, Variety reports. Shooting is set to begin sometime toward the end of the year--a scheduling move that could make him available to helm Paramount Pictures' fourth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise. Hanks would play an Eastern European immigrant who gets stuck a New York airport terminal when a war breaks out and erases his country from the map, voiding his passport.
Jennifer Lopez's second ex-husband Cris Judd has joined the cast of I'm a Celebrity--Get Me Out of Here!, the AP reports. Judd will rough it in the Australian Outback with Melissa Rivers, Robin Leach, Downtown Julie Brown, Alana Stewart and others while viewers decide who stays in the rainforest and who comes home, voting each night via phone or Internet. The show will air live for 15 straight nights starting Feb. 19 on ABC.
The Rolling Stones played their first free concert in 33 years on Thursday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Pierce Brosnan, Lisa Kudrow, Larry David, Mira Sorvino and Cameron Diaz as well as singer Christina Aguilera and director Rob Reiner attended the concert, which was introduced by Bill Clinton.
Rather than sell the Bad Boy label he says is worth $100 million, rap entrepreneur Sean "P. Diddy" Combs signed a three-year distribution deal with Vivendi Universal's Universal Records, Reuters reports. In the deal, Universal pays marketing and promotion costs while giving Combs an undisclosed up-front fee, allowing him to get the backing of the biggest record maker without selling his own company in a down market.