Monday, June 30, 2008

Joint Session

Jesse Plemons (TV's "Friday Night Lights") will play a pot dealer named Jesus in the indie comedy "Shrink" says The Hollywood Reporter.

The story centers on Hollywood A-list psychiatrist Henry Carter (Kevin Spacey), who, following a personal tragedy, is unable to cope and turns into a pothead with little concern for his appearance and inability to help his patients.

Plemons is lucky. He gets to work with a great cast in his regular gig and then has a wondeful group of actors for his latest flick..

Jonas Pate directs from a Thomas Moffett script. Filming is underway.

Last Ditch Effort?

Just as the final buzzer sounds...Srrike II...

SAG, majors play beat the clock

Studios make their 'final' offer

Fingers Crossed...

Stay Tuned...

Smoke Detector

B. Clay Moore's upcoming comic book series "Billy Smoke" is already big screen ready with plans afoot for Lost 's Matthew Fox to star according to Variety.

The story is about an elite hit-man who is nearly killed during a botched job. He realizes that his only way to find redemption is to rid the world of all assassins.

As a fan of Fox from his days in the drama "Party of Five" and now Lost I'm sure he'll do fine here. I just hope the film fares better than the summer dud Speed Racer....

Oni Press publishes the comic

Feeling Small

Helena Bonham Carter is negotiation to join '"Terminator Salvation" currently in production says The Hollywood Reporter.

Carter's role--a secret, is being described as 'small but pivotal'.

Hmm. Perhaps Carter plays Sarah Connor in a flashback...???

That's all I got...

McG directs the film set to debut on May 22 09...

The Art Of War

Legendary Pictures has confirmed it is developing a sequel to 300 Zack Snyder is keen to direct reports Variety.

Word first broke last week during an interview with Snyder by that 'slave to the music' Steve Weintraub over at Collider. The site learned from Snyder that original "300" author Frank Miller is writing a follow-up graphic novel and when its done he will look at it and see if it's adaptable.

While talk of a follow-up has been around since March of '06, this is the first confirmation that anything actually was in development.

Legendary Pictures honcho Thomas Tull:

"We want to be certain that the story originates with Frank and be as compelling as the first."



As long as Miller and Snyder are ACTIVELY involved I am sooo there

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Gripped For Grievances

As the clock ticks down to zero for Strike II...

SAG strike not imminent

Guild says strike talk is simply scare tactic..

Production ahead of halt

Offlot shooting soars as studios stockpile

George Clooney on sidelines of SAG battle

Actor opts for neutral stance...

It's hard to imagine Clooney staying quiet here.. After all he's usually pretty outspoken on matters such as this.

Stay Tuned...Tomorrow is the DEADLINE...

Jolly Over WALL-E And Jolie

WALL-E charmed his way to the top spot over the weekend; While Wanted came in second...but still gave the filmmakers reason to smile..

Pamela McClintock of Variety:

Pixar and Disney’s endearing toon “Wall-E” and Universal’s Angelina Jolie actioner “Wanted” both did socko business at the weekend box office as overall B.O. revenues for the year ran ahead of 2007 levels for the first time in months.

“Wall-E” easily won the weekend in grossing an estimated $62.5 million from 3,992 runs. The R-rated “Wanted” rocketed past expectations in grossing an estimated $51.1 million from 3,175. Each made the record books.

“Wall-E” nabbed the third best opening for a Pixar film after “The Incredibles” ($70.5 million) and “Finding Nemo” ($70.2 million). It is the second best June opening of all time after “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” ($94.7 million).

At $23.1 million, “Wall-E” scored the biggest opening-day gross of all nine Pixar films, reflecting the fact that kids are finally out of school.

“Wanted” scored the best opening ever for an R-rated film released in June and the 6th best opening of all time for any R-rated pic. Film, also starring James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman, placed No. 2 for the weekend and played equally well among various ethnic groups.

Frame was up by as much as 20% over the same weekend last year, topping off an unusually strong June that has given the domestic box office a much needed boost. Heading into the weekend, year-to-date box office revs were essentially running even with 2007. Through Sunday, revs were slightly ahead.

Coming in No. 3 for the frame was Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow’s “Get Smart,” which enjoyed a good hold in its second weekend. Comedy declined 48% to an estimated $20 million from 3,915 for a cume of $77.3 million.

Even with the entry of “Wall-E”--directed by “Nemo” helmer Andrew Stanton--DreamWorks Animation/Paramount toon “Kung Fu Panda” still rustled up plenty of biz, declining 46% in its fourth sesh to an estimated $11.7 million from 3,670 for a cume of $179.3 million and placing No. 4 for the weekend.

“Wanted” likely diverted attention away from Marvel and U’s own “The Incredible Hulk,” which declined 58% in its third weekend to an estimated $9.2 million from 3,349 runs for a cume of $115.5 million, and 20th Century Fox’s R-rated eco-thriller “The Happening,” which fell off 63% to an estimated $3.8 million from 2,483 runs for a cume of $59 million.

“Hulk” placed No. 5 for the weekend, while “Happening” came in No. 8.

The other comedy in the marketplace, Paramount’s Mike Myers topliner “The Love Guru,” struggled in its second sesh. Pic dropped off 61% in its second weekend to an estimated $5.4 million from 3,012 runs for a cume of $25.3 million. “Guru” placed No. 6....


Joshua Rich of EW:

Pixar's flick took No. 1 at the box office, but Angelina Jolie's 'Wanted' was super strong in second place...

Read More ...

Hold That Thought

After its boffo debut in Januauary, news of a Cloverfield sequel quickly spread, now those plans for a follow up are on hold.

Director Matt Reeves told Collider that a sequel depends on finding a good idea – something as fresh as the concept behind the first movie was.

That’s good news, because I was afraid we were about to have another Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 situation on our hands.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What's Inside The Box?

From across the industry:

Kevin Smith pays tribute to the great George Carlin...

-The future of Stan Winston Studio --with the passing of effects master Stan Winston... Quint over at AICN has the details.-

-John Landis says he'd certainly be up for a remake of the comedy horror pic "An American Werewolf in London".

- With the Screen Actors Guild strike deadline just days away, the possibility that no actors will show up at this year's Comic-Con 2008 is very real.

-Richard Kelly's sci-fi thriller "The Box" (pictured) may have a release date of September 11th 2009-but a test screening took place earlier this week.

- Mark Millar says a sequel is already in the planning stages for "Wanted" but a lot will depend on this weekend's box-office for the film-as to whether or not it moves ahead.

-Bryan Singer's"Valkyrie" is apparently still doing re-shoots...This time at Sony's Culver Studios lot in Los Angeles under the name "Rubinox"



Is Singer ever gonna finish Valkerie?

But You're A Great Actress Too

The Daily Dish has this eyebrow raising item...

Actress Sienna Miller had to wear fake breasts for her role in the action movie "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra"!!

Miller: "(The character wears a) tight black leather outfit...And much bigger boobs. They gave me these things that looked like chicken fillets. The director (Stephen Sommers) said, 'I'm gonna be honest, I like girls with big boobs,' and I don't have them so we made them bigger. At least he's honest. But I was mildly offended."

Miller plays femme fatale The Baroness in the upcoming movie based upon the popular line of action figures, toys, games and TV series.



Wow! I'm actually speechless...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Preparing For War

300 Mark Canton and Gianni Nunnari will produce "War of the Gods" says The Hollywood Reporter.

The script deals with the battles waged by Greek mythological hero Theseus, the legendary king of Athens. It's not yet clear if his most famous clash with the Minotaur will be included but I would think we see it on screen.

Charley Parlapanides and Vlas Parlapanides wrote the script while Tarsem Singh is going to direct.

Production could start as soon as early 2009 which would mean that it will do battle with that 2010 Clash of the Titans remake...

Epic Battles Indeed...

Morning Routine

Jesse Bradford has joined the satirical comedy "Son of Mourning" according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The story sees an ad copywriter (Joseph Cross) who returns home to mediate his parents' divorce and through a strange series of events is somehow mistaken for Jesus Christ.

He becomes surrounded by people trying to capitalize on his fame, including a Hollywood agent (Bradford) and a lieutenant governor (Steven Weber).

Zack Schiller and Cross are producing the pic while Yaniv Raz calls action from his script.

Bradford seems to escaping those "teen" type roles of his past very nicely....And this is about as quirky a premise for a flick as I have heard in some time.

WALL-TO-WALL

Pixar's latest WALL-E (reviews) finds itself going up against James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie in the actioner Wanted (reviews) which is based on a popular comic book mini-series...



Dave McNary and Pamela McClintock of Variety:

Disney-Pixar summer tentpole "Wall-E" and Universal's turbo-charged Angelina Jolie starrer "Wanted" should fuel a continued winning streak at the June box office as they open this weekend, capping an unexpectedly strong month in terms of theater traffic.

"Wall-E," the ninth pic from Pixar, is opening in 3,992 theaters, the R-rated "Wanted" in 3,175.

Total B.O. revenues for June are running 20% ahead of 2007, while admissions are up a strong 17.3%. The June bloom has helped lessen an overall decline in admissions for the year. At the beginning of the month, attendance was down 4.3%; now, admissions for the year are running 2.6% behind 2007 levels.

For the summer sesh -- which began May 2 with the bow of "Iron Man" -- box office revenues are 3.6% ahead of the same period in 2007. Admissions are essentially flat. There have been a number of surprises, and this weekend could bring another with "Wanted" should the actioner outperform other R-rated pics that have bowed in the summer.

"Wall-E," the whimsical tale of a robot who's all alone on the planet Earth of the future, was receiving nothing but rave reviews as of Thursday afternoon and is predicted to win the weekend overall.

Pixar and Disney's 2007 toon "Ratatouille" grossed $47 million in its domestic debut on its way to cuming $206.4 million. Film grossed $415 million overseas for a worldwide total of $621.4 million.

Most are predicting that "Wall-E" will easily open bigger than "Ratatouille," as its title character is far more adorable than a rodent.

"Wall-E" marks Andrew Stanton's first directorial outing since Pixar's "Finding Nemo."

Earlier this month, DreamWorks Animation and Paramount's "Kung Fu Panda" opened to $60.2 million. ("Panda" has grossed $164.5 million through Wednesday, according to Rentrak.) "Panda" had the advantage of opening in a less-crowded playing field, while "Wall-E" has the advantage of carrying the Pixar brand.

"Wanted," also toplining James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman and loosely based on the comicstrip by Mark Millar, is about a band of super-assassins. It was directed by Russian-Kazakh filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov.

Tracking is strong for "Wanted" across all audiences, although it should skew on the younger side. It's not commonplace for R-rated actioners to open in summer, a season for more kid-friendly fare. "Bad Boys II," released in July 2003, scored the highest opening ever for an R-rated summer release at $46.5 million.

"Wanted" could take business away from Universal and Marvel Studios' "The Incredible Hulk," which enters its third weekend with a domestic gross of $104.2 million through Wednesday.

Based on tracking and the combined strength of the cast and the action factor, some box office forecasters believe "Wanted" could cross the $40 million mark in its bow. An opening in the $30 million-$40 million range would be considered good...


Joshua Rich of EW:

Pixar's robot movie has an edge over Angelina Jolie's assassin flick in this weekend's box-office shoot-out

Read More...

WALL-E may may have the box office edge but Wanted marks an appearance from the great Terence Stamp!!!

Next Up: Will Smith is Hancock-a different kind of superhero; While Kit Kittredge is an American Girl...as she goes wide

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Freelance Dreams

Anne Thomson of Variety talks the future of DreamWorks...

DreamWorks continues to seek financing for its planned reincarnation as an independent company after its ties to Paramount end later this year, two scenarios for the company's future are emerging.

One possibility is that DreamWorks will raise $500 million-$600 million in equity, as it has been negotiating with Indian conglom Reliance, plus another $500 million in debt from banks to finance an annual slate of four to six pics.

The other option, biz insiders say, is that it will try to raise $1 billion in equity and another $1 billion in debt to bankroll a slate of eight pics per year.

As of Wednesday, DreamWorks' much
buzzed-about negotiations with Reliance were not completed and, indeed, may have encountered a few sticking points. Some industry observers are wondering if wily negotiator David Geffen isn't using Reliance as a bargaining chip in yet another high-stakes studio play.

The Associated Press
reported this week out of India that DreamWorks is looking to raise as much as $2 billion in equity and debt from Reliance and other sources to fund its return to indie production. The AP said Universal, which has deep ties to DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg, was among the four or five entities in talks with DreamWorks.

If it realizes the eight-picture scenario, DreamWorks may not contract with just one studio distributor. DreamWorks could allocate its pictures on a case-by-case basis via rent-a-system deals with a low distribution fee, in the manner of Marvel Entertainment or Lucasfilm, which produced Spielberg's summer blockbuster "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." ...




If they opt to go the case by case route--that would put them in a fine position and free them up to take on any project they wanted without too much worry over their properties like Transformers.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Quiet On The Set

With X-Files 2 hitting theaters next month, director Chris Carter has already moved onto his next project according to The Hollywood Reporter.

A dark drama called "Fencewalker" is described as a coming-of-age semiautobiographical character piece with no supernatural elements. Casting is already completed...and is shooting right now in and around the Los Angeles.

But none of the reps for the actors involved would confirm if any such filming is taking place.

Carter raised the financing himself and there's no distributor attached which gives him great control over the project.

There's more secrecy here than on the Files flick...

(About) 9 Months To Midnight

The 34th Annual Saturn Awards happened last night (Here are the winners) and among the filmmakers and celebrities in attendance was director Zack Snyder who talked Watchmen with the folks at Collider.

He says fighting hard to keep as much as he can from the book in the final film. The studio suits are said to be has been concerned with the edgier elements of the story for rating purposes and the runnning time which Snyder wants at 150-180 minutes theatrically.

Snyder confirmed that he did show off a 20-30 minute sizzle reel to the studio with a couple of completed visual effects, but mostly green screen footage.

The Comic-Con 2008 footage will be several minutes long.. And he's ready for the fact that the footage will end up on Youtube soon after its debut.

Some props may be on display at Comic Con but that has not been confirmed.

Finally he said that the production should easily make the March 9th release date. The DVD - with the Black Freighter add-on - could hit 210 minutes or more.

How many times do I have to say it...I can't wait!!!

Clued In

From Variety:

In a joint statement Stacey Snider, Co-Chairman and CEO of DreamWorks Studios and Deborah Forte, President of Scholastic Media announced that the forthcoming 39 Clues is already headed to the big screen.

Forte is going to produce and Steven Spielberg is looking to direct.

"The 39 Clues," set to launch globally in September, is a fully integrated multi-media adventure that spans across 10 books, 355 collectible cards, and an online game where kids can uncover information, play skill based games and collect cards to compete for prizes."

The story revolves around the Cahills - the most powerful family the world has ever known - the source of whose power is a mystery that can only be unraveled by assembling 39 clues hidden around the world throughout history.

Combining reading with online gaming and collecting, this breakthrough premise is uniquely positioned to reach millions of young people who are readers, gamers, collectors, or all three, and encourage them to participate in the hunt for the 39 clues. The initiative will roll out over a 24-month period - with the web site serving as the home base for kids to participate in The 39 Clues experience.

The first book in the series, "Maze Of Bones," is written by Rick Riordan, the #1 New York Times best-selling author also outlined the series' 10-book story arc.

"'The 39 Clues' takes creative leaps to expand the story experience from the pages of the books to multiple stages of discovery and imagination," said Spielberg. "Together with Scholastic, we have the opportunity to develop this property that says 'film,' 'family,' 'fun,' and 'franchise.'"

"When it comes to reaching young people and families through the written word, Scholastic is at the top of the list," said Stacey Snider. "We at DreamWorks Studios are proud that we have been able to acquire this unique property, - and we can't wait to get started."

"We are thrilled to be working with Steven, Stacey and the entire DreamWorks team to bring 'The 39 Clues' to the big screen," said Forte. "With our combined strengths and shared passion for the project we hope to develop 'The 39 Clues' into a major family film franchise."

"'The 39 Clues' is a great property with potential for years to come," said Adam Goodman, DreamWorks Studios' President of Production. "We are so pleased to be collaborating with Deborah and Scholastic Media on this movie franchise and eagerly look forward to bringing these stories to the screen with our team here at Dreamworks."



Putting aside the flowery accolades from all quarters...I know a few younger family folk who might love this...

Split Seconds

The full trailer for the thriller Eagle Eye has been released....

It looks like director D.J. Caruso made sure that stars Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan didn't have the chance to sit still very long...



The thriller opens September 26th 2008...

Class Envy

With just five days to go before the current Screen Actors Guild contract expires...

SAG, AFTRA in spin cycle

In the union vs. union tragicomedy that has played out in Hollywood, SAG's major beef with the AFTRA contract has been that it does not deliver enough gains for middle-class thesps.

I'm all for equality...but now that SAG and AFTRA split why not negotiate a better deal without using AFTRA model as a guide?

Oh Wait...they were too darn busy dragging their feet the last few weeks...

Stay Tuned...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

2 Youths

In the interest of equal time-A guy two-fer...



Matthew Rhys has joined the Welsh and Spanish-language road movie "Patagonia" according to Variety.

The story sees a thirty-something Welsh couple (Rhys and Nia Roberts) travel to Argentina to reassess their relationship amid the Welsh settlements of Patagonia. Meanwhile, an elderly woman travels in the opposite direction, accompanied by a young, reluctant companion.

Laurence Coriat wrote the script while Marc Evans calls Action

Shooting will begin in Argentina early next year.

Meanwhile, Justin Long joins the comedy "Youth in Revolt" says The Hollywood Reporter.

Portia Doubleday makes her feature film debut as Michael Cera's love interest in Miguel Arteta's adaptation of the popular book by CD Payne.

Gustin Nash, Arteta and Cera wrote the adapted screenplay.

Great cast on this! I can't wait!!

Colorful Roles

The latest Two-fer One centers on a pair of plucky young females...



Hilary Duff has joined the cast of the new Polish Brothers comedy "Stay Cool" according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The story centers on a successful author (Mark Polish) who is forced to confront an unrequited high school crush (Winona Ryder) when he returns home to deliver a commencement address to graduating seniors. Duff will portray Shasta O'Neil, (she's named after a soft drink?) a sexy high school senior who flirts with the visiting author and invites him to the prom.

Michael Polish is directing. Filming begins in July in Santa Clarita, California...

Christina Ricci (one of my favorite actresses) will lend her voice for the lead role of the timid crayon Yellow in the animated film "The Hero of Color City" says The Hollywood Reporter.

Ricci plays one of several crayons whose colorful world is threatened by an evil tyrant. She is the first member of the cast to be announced for the film, which is now in pre-production and eyed for 2010.

Down The Middle

Staying with the porn theme...

Writer-director George Gallo will direct the comedy "Middle Men" reports Variety.

Written by Gallo and Andy Weiss will focus on a button-down businessman who gets caught up in the-online porn industry.

Gallo's done some great stuff in his career-fave being Midnight Run from 20 years ago....This one sounds like it could be fun...

The project is set to begin filming in Los Angeles in September.

Going Deep-N-Dark

Chatting with MTV News--Anna Faris says that the planned biopic about porn actress Linda Lovelace--titled Inferno is still stuck in development.

"We're still trying to put it together. I'm going to do [Observe and Report] first, and then hopefully we'll get together for the summer" she says.

Her take on the porn pioneer:

"You're not going to even know who I am. I'm not there right now, but I will be when the time comes. I'll be in a very dark place."

Matthew Wilder will call the shots on the project when cameras start to roll

Faris looks great--of course--but don't know if she has the skill to reach that Dark Place...But I'll be pulling for ya Anna!!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

RIP Dody Goodman (1914 –2008)

Stage and screen character actress Dody Goodman died Sunday at the Englewood, New Jersey Hospital and Medical Center. She had lived at the Actors' Fund Home since October 2 in ill health. She was 93 years old.

From the Associated Press:

Goodman, with her pixyish appearance and Southern-tinged, quavery voice, had an eclectic show-business career. She moved easily from stage to television to movies, where she appeared in such popular films as "Grease" and "Grease 2 ," playing Blanche, the principal's assistant, and in "Splash.".

She got her big break on "The Tonight Show" hosted by Jack Paar. It was her quirky, off-kilter remarks which seemed to get some great laughs from the audience.

Other noteworthy TV roles included the soap satire "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" "Diff'rent Strokes" "Murder, She Wrote" and"St. Elsewhere"

I personally will always remember her opposite the great Eve Arden in the Grease flicks--their scenes together a joy to watch.

Cinema History

After years of competing against each other for the title of top action film star--titans Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger are finally going to work together on a movie...! But not in a way that you may expect.

According to The Times Online-The two titans will appear in "Incredible Love", the first Indian production to be shot at Hollywood's Universal Studios, at a cost of over £11 million pounds, the biggest budgeted Bollywood flick in history.

Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor co star.

The story follows an Indian stuntman who finds success in Hollywood--while hoping to find true love.

After all this time--it's amazing that took a foreign film to make the team up happen

United Front

Actors Stephen Graham, Martin Compston (pictured) and Peter McDonald have all joined the cast of "The Damned United according to Variety.

The film is a biopic of legendary egotistical and eccentric English soccer coach Brian Clough looking at his ill-tempered and short-lived tenure as coach at Leeds United in 1974.

Michael Sheen landed the lead as Clough, while Graham plays captain Billy Bremne,...McDonald and Compston will be players Johnny Giles and John O'Hare, respectively.

Written by Peter Morgan-the film has potential to be a unique sports flick given the temperment of its subject matter.

Tom Hooper will direct the the film set for release next year

Go Fourth Young Spidey

Spider-Man 4 producer Laura Ziskin told theater owners last week that the sequel will likely hit the big screen by May 2011.

The Los Angeles Times says they are targeting that date even though screenwriter James Vanderbilt has yet to turn in a final screenplay.

None of the film series regular stars have committed to appear in the film...Director Sam Raimi has yet to agree to helm...



At least--The 3 year time line gives all parties plenty of opportunity to sign on the dotted line...

Repeat Business

Not Again! Deadline Hollywood Daily reports that the David O. Russell-directed indie comedy Nailed has shut down production for a fourth time.

The problem once again results from IATSE crew members not being paid and being ordered by their Guild not to show up for work.

As has happened before the situation is expected to be resolved quickly so the final two days of production, including a key restaurant scene, can be finished.



Let's hope so...Sheesh!

RIP George Carlin (1937- 2008)

A comedy legend is gone...

George Carlin died at 5:55 p.m.PDT yesterday of heart failure at the age of 71...

Known primarily for his stand up comedy specials he is the guy who introduced me to the Seven Words You Can Never Say On Tv. Perhaps his most famous routine.

I was surprised to learn that his first tv role came in the form of an episode of the 60's sit- com "That Girl" An episode of "Welcome Back, Kotter" followed in 1977.

Among his films--there was Car Wash-- Carlin served as narrator for Americathon (1979), Outrageous Fortune (1987) . As far as I'm concerned though his greatest contribution to cinema was playing Rufus in both Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and its sequel Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey acting as guide to the bewildered Bill and Ted...

He may have been known for his adult humor and observations but he also entertained kids on the popular "Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends" TV series...

Carlin worked for director and fan Kevin Smith 3 times in: Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and the underrated Jersey Girl...

He lent his scratchy voice to the animated flicks Cars and Happily N'Ever After in 2006....

Irreverent. opinionated, and controversial and always funny....

I was lucky enough to see Carlin perform on stage in Valley Forge PA in the 90's....Rest well and thanks for all of the laughs....

How George Carlin Changed Comedy -Time Magazine

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Smart Money

Get Smart proved too much for The Love Guru as the Mike Myers comedy got creamed by rhe Spy spoof BIG TIME...

Audiences loved the team of Anne Hathaway & Steve Carell over the weekend....



Pamela McClintock of Variety:

Mike Myers topliner "The Love Guru" didn't have huge karma after all, while Warner Bros.' "Get Smart" had enough brains to easily win the weekend at the domestic box office.

Toplining Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway, "Get Smart" grossed an estimated $39.1 million from 3,911 runs in its B.O. bow, in line with expectations.

The race between the two comedies wasn't even close. "Guru," from Paramount and Spyglass, placed only No. 4 in its debut, grossing an estimated $14 million from 3,012 runs.

"Guru," playing mostly to young men, received dismal reviews. It is Myers' first live-action pic in five years.

Par had much better luck with DreamWorks Animation toon "Kung Fu Panda," which essentially tied with Universal and Marvel's "The Incredible Hulk" for the No. 2 spot at the weekend box office.

"Panda" declined a mere 35% in its third weekend to an estimated $21.7 million from 4,053 theaters for a cume of $155.6 million.

That put the toon slightly ahead of "Hulk," which fell off a sizeable 61% in its second weekend to an estimated $21.5 million from 3,508 theaters for a cume of $96.5 million.

M. Night Shyamalan's R-rated eco-thriller "The Happening" took an expected tumble in its second frame, declining 67% to an estimated $10 million from 2,986 runs for a cume of $50.3 million.

On the specialty side, Bob Berney's Picturehouse scored a boffo per location average of $44,539 million with "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl," which played in five cities where American Girl dollstores are, including in Los Angeles. Film, toplining Abigail Breslin, grossed an estimated $222,697 million.

Joshua Rich of EW:

Steve Carell's spy spoof was No. 1 at the box office, while Mike Myers' ''The Love Guru'' had bad karma...

Read More...

Wow! Given the way things played out here..Should we expect Myers to pull out another Austin Powers sequel right quick? Come back, Austin Powers...

To Be Galactus

Remember that planned movie spin-off flick involving Silver Surfer from events chronicled in the last Fantastic Four film?

While the project is itself going nowhere fast

The writer, J. Michael Straczynski recently talked to the folks over at Comics 2 Film about his script.

His plan was to have the movie offer a proper treatment of Galactus:

"I was writing it as 'Fantastic Four 2' was about to come out, and the theory was for it to pick up literally the next frame after the FF2 movie, where you find out why Silver Surfer was there and what happened to him. We would have seen Galactus, his home world, what happened and him trying to get back there, because now that he's betrayed Galactus, he's concerned his home world might be in jeopardy."

What would be done to bring Galactus to life?

"In the script I come up with some ways to visualize him that are true to the original, but take it one step further using the current CGI technology that we have. So we would have seen him as a character on numerous occasions in the second movie, not inconsistent with the first distant shot of him in that that's just a way of concealing who and what he really is. Believe me, he would be not at all silly looking."

There's little doubt that Galactus as pictured presents a challenge...cinematically but I'm intrigued by the story possibility....Ah what what might have been and may still yet be...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Refusal

**It's been a tough week for Paramount Pictures first it's close to losing Dreamworks... Now..

The estate of Godfather author Mario Puzo has filed suit against the studio for breach of a 1992 contract and at least $1 million over revenues from the series of EA games based on the Oscar-winning film. (THR)

'

**George Lucas is not going to be directing "Red Tails" a Lucasfilm spokesperson told Variety columnist Anne Thompson. earlier this week...

John Ridley is writing the script...

The film will focus on the Tuskegee Airmen and racism the World War II servicemen endured.

Lucas will serve as executive producer on the project.

No-one else is attached to the flick.

I remember Lucas talking up plans for this while promoting one of the Star Wars prequels...It's gonna be hard to beat the excellent 1995 TV movie on the subject...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Winter Games

Wayne McClammy and Will Burke have sold their comedy spec script "Le Car" according to Variety.

The story revolves around an unconventional group of Central Intelligence Agency agents who attempt to stop an evil automobile from detonating a hydrogen bomb at the 1980 Winter Olympics.

McClammy has rocketed to fame since he helmed those riotous Jimmy Kimmel viral music videos-I'm F**king Matt Damon & Ben Affleck.

I wonder if Kimmel, Matt Damon and or Ben Affleck will appear in the flick?

Building Character

Hot off of this casting news for Ridley Scott's Nottingham London's Daily Mail reports that the director wants to cast none other than Christian Bale as Robin Hood in his reinvention of the legend.

Flipping the story upside down-Russell Crowe plays the Sheriff of Nottingham as a more noble character forced to work for a tyrant and Hood will be portrayed as a much darker and sinister rouge than previous incarnations.

How cool would that be! 2 of my favorite actors going after each other as Hero/Villain...Bale is something else--The Dark Knight, then John Connor in Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins and now maybe this...Wow!! Stay Tuned To See If This Becomes Official

Vanessa Redgrave, William Hurt and Saoirse Ronan will also apparently appear in the "Hood".

Tomb Raider

The full theatrical trailer for August 1st's The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor has hit the Net....



Without getting 2 far ahead of myself here--Based on what I have seen so far...This actually looks better than the disappointing The Mummy Returns...Jet Li looks kick ass in this...

The Calling

The suits at Universal Pictures will adapt the ongoing graphic novel series "Last Call by Vasilis Lolos" into a flick reports Variety.

The story has two teens on a joyride who get hit by a 'ghost train' - an inter-dimensional soul carrier. Finding themselves onboard, they have to solve a mystery that will allow them to return to normal.

Evan Spiliotopoulos is adapting the script.

Meanwhile, Volume 2 of the series hits book shelves in August

She's Got It Made

Sienna Miller is in negotiations to play Maid Marion in Ridley Scott's "Nottingham " says Variety.

The film will offer a fresh take on the Robin Hood story, Russell Crowe stars as the Sheriff of Nottingham . The tale has rhe Sheriff as a noble lawman keeping the peace for a corrupt Prince John. Robin Hood and his men are much darker and more violent than their previous incarnations.

Ethan Reiff & Cyrus Voris penned the screenplay Brian Helgeland did a rewrite. Shooting begins later this Summer for a November 6th 2009 debut.

Miller's involvement is icing on the cake to a project that I was already jazzed about given the others doing the flick. This is one time I say revise away.

I'm With Stupid

This weekend It's all about making you laugh...

1960's spy spoof TV series Get Smart (reviews) goes big screen with Steve Carell (pictured) in the title role...I love the show--but I tend to see Carell as overrated...Still Anne Hathaway as 99 makes my heart beat faster. And Mike Myers is The Love Guru (reviews)



Dave McNary and Pamela McClintock of Variety

Movie attendance at the summer box office is running on par with 2007 levels for the first time, helping to narrow an overall decline in admissions that has plagued the B.O. for most of 2008.

This weekend, two comedies -- Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow's "Get Smart" and Paramount's Mike Myers starrer "The Love Guru" -- will go head-to-head as both open wide and try to partake in a strong June box office. It's unusual for two high-profile laffers to open on the same date..


Joshua Rich of EW:

Give ''Get Smart'' the edge as it duels Mike Myers' ''The Love Guru'' for laughs -- and the weekend crown

Read More...

"Guru" may have some of the worst reviews of the year thus far. Meyers' die hards will show up regardless. And "Smart" is faring too much better among critics. It's gonna probably be a cinema squeaker to see who finishes first.

Next Week: Meet WALL-E and American Girl Kit Kittredge; While James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie are Wanted as they bring the comic book to life.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Playing House

This project sounds pretty cool...

Paramount Pictures and J.J. Abrams have optioned the film rights to Penelope Green's New York Times article about an apartment filled with secret compartments and hiding clues to a mystery according to Variety .

Located on the Upper East Side on Fifth Avenue...The luxury unit was completely renovated a few years ago on behalf of the owners, a pair of Wall Street financial types, who later moved in with their four children.

The pair hired young architectural designer Eric Clough who devised an elaborately clever "scavenger hunt" built into the apartment that involved dozens of historical figures, a fictional book and a soundtrack.

Abrams will produce the film.

Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky will write the script.

This sounds very much up Abrams alley...I wonder if he will call the shots as helmer after he gets Star Trek in theaters?

Self Reliance

Here's more on the DreamWorks SKG deal with Reliance

...Hollywood had big questions about the deal: What will DreamWorks look like, and what exactly is Reliance?

Variety takes a closer look at Reliance...

As long as Steven Spielberg et al stay active in the company...Dreamworks will probably stay much as it is....But...They may scale back goals nonetheless...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sweet Dreams

A major Hollywood split is closer to happening:

DreamWorks SKG is nearing a deal with one of India's biggest entertainment conglomerates to form a new business partnership reports Variety.

The venture with Mumbai-based Reliance - ADA Group, would allow director Steven Spielberg to have the cash ($500-$600 million) to finance DreamWorks long time coming seperation from Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures later this year.

The Indian firm has interests in telecommunications, financial services and entertainment. They want to become a Hollywood player by financing films. The deal gives them a large share in the company which will likely seek another $500 million or so in debt financing before departing from Paramount.

Once the money is in place, Dreamworks will generate around half a dozen pictures a year.

Garth Franklin of Dark Horizons wonders...

...which studio will he choose to distribute the projects. Universal Pictures remains the most likely contender, though 20th Century Fox is emerging as a serious new challenger.

Paramount retains rights to the films they created during their short time at Paramount - most notably the "Transformers" franchise.

I would think that given Spielberg's past affiliation with Universal and Amblin Entertainment history that would have been decided....

Bound And Gagged

An actor 2 for 1 post...

*Sam Robards (pictured) is set to play the ex-husband to Catherine Zeta-Jones in
Bart Freundlich's romantic comedy "The Rebound" according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Robards' character is shocked to discover that his ex is romantically involved with a younger man (Justin Bartha)

The film is going to most likely be released next year.

*Former "Sopranos" co- stars Lorraine Bracco and Jamie-Lynn Sigler will reunite for the satirical indie comedy "Son of Mourning" says Yahoo.

Bracco and Sigler will play the mother and love interest, respectively, of a disaffected ad copywriter (Joseph Cross). When he returns home to deal with his parents' divorce, the locals mistake him for a spiritual savior who will deliver them from the world's climate crisis.

Great another global warming themed pic...

First time writer-director Yaniv Raz is shooting in Florida.

Burn Notice

Dave McNary of Variety tells us some of the things that will happen (besides the obvious) once the current contract expires between the Screen Actors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers

With SAG unlikely to make a deal in the next two weeks, both sides will move on to tricky turf as of July 1, the day after the guild's current feature-primetime deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers expires.

As of July 1, changes for thesps include the following:


The no-strike no-lockout clause is no longer in effect.

The union security clause, requiring actors to be under guild jurisdiction, is no longer in effect.

The grievance and arbitration requirements are suspended, meaning that grievances that are filed can't be arbitrated until a new deal's signed.


Biz insiders say the lack of grievance and arbitration coverage is by far the most significant issue for thesps during a period when there is no guild contract in force.

Although there are no explicit rules governing how the studios and guild should function after a contract expires without the guild going on strike, tradition in union negotiations dictates that SAG actors will continue to work under terms and conditions of the expired contract -- on those productions whose studios have decided to take their chances and not close down amid the uncertainty.

Though neither side has issued any public comment about the negotiations since the verbal sparring last week, those close to the talks have signaled that a resolution is at least a few more weeks away.

SAG has not taken a strike authorization vote, which would require 75% approval and probably a few weeks to get ballots out to 120,000 members. AMPTP companies have not given any sign that they are moving toward locking the actors out, even though such a step would be permissible once the contract expires. In addition, the AMPTP -- the negotiation arm for studios and networks -- has not yet made its "last, best and final" offer.

It's not uncommon for unions to continue negotiations beyond contract deadlines. SAG went four days past the contract deadline in 2001 before making a deal, and the WGA went five months past expiration in 2004 before it finally reach a tentative deal.


At this moment, it seems as though things are in a holding pattern...no "Final Best Offer", no ballot mailing...moving towards a strike. And yet no one is negotiating either...

Is this a game of chicken to see who blinks first?

Stay Tuned...