Disney’s working overtime to make sure you’re aware of The Muppets

Ian McShane joins Snow White and the Huntsman
I can’t believe they’re making Al Swearengen play a friggin’ dwarf. Deadwood was just a great show. Right up there with The Wire and Breaking Bad. Anyway, this is the one with Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth. (THR)

George Clooney’s Ides of March to kick off Venice Film Festival
You may recall this is the one based on the play Farragut North directed by and starring Clooney alongside Ryan Gosling, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood. (Deadline)

Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley to play singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley

Warren Beatty returns to the director’s chair
He’ll be directing an untitled comedy which he wrote. No casting yet. (Deadline)

Another Trailer: Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In

New BFFs Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn plan to make a comedy together
And they want Albert Brooks to write it. (LA Times)

Michael Bay prove once and for all he’s a classless tool
He outed Steven Spielberg as the trigger man on the Megan Fox Transformers firing and continues to kick the actress while she’s down. I’m no Megan Fox fan, but what an asshole. The girl has already paid the price for not taking your stupid robot/car movie seriously. Dragging Spielberg into it (he apparently had an issue with Fox referring to Bay as Hitler) is completely chickenshit even if it’s true. You’re the director. That makes you the point man. (THR via GQ)

Matt Reeves’ adaptation of The Passage gets a new screenwriter
Jason Keller who wrote the upcoming Machine Gun Preacher and one of the dueling Snow White pics gets the gig. I haven’t read Justin Cronin’s 2009 novel about a government experiment on human life spans that turns people vampire-like, but I hear tell from some literate LiC readers that’s it’s good stuff. (THR)

Andrea Riseborough joins James McAvoy in Brit crime-thriller Welcome to the Punch
She made a very good showing in the lightly charming Made in Dagenham last year so I’m looking forward to seeing what else she’s capable of. In the film McAvoy plays a detective who teams up with criminal Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes) to pin down some kind of conspiracy. (Variety – firewall)

Woody Allen finalizes Bop Decameron cast with a press release
At a glance, all or most of these have been reported at one point or another, but here they are in alphabetical order: Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penélope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. Co-stars include Antonio Albanese, Fabio Armiliata, Alessandra Mastronardi, Ornella Muti, Flavio Parenti, Alison Pill, Riccardo Scamarcio and Alessandro Tiberi. Production begins July 11. (Press Release) [Update: ok apparently Gerwig and Pill were new news… except now it’s already old news]

Pixar’s next flick not a sequel, coming November 27, 2013
No word on what it is, but Disney is all about release dates and marketing anyway so I guess this is news (EW)

Evangeline Lily and “Dame Edna” join The Hobbit
I’d like to see Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Thorin Oakenshield, Dwalin, Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, and Ori show up in the Smurf movie and beat the blue shit out of them. (Deadline)

Anton Corbijn to direct le Carre thriller A Most Wanted Man
This one is unrelated to the characters in John le Carre’s series of novels featuring the character George Smiley, the first of which (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) is also coming soon to a theater near you. Published in 2008, the novel is about a Muslim emigre to Germany who gets caught up in the war on terror. If the name Anton Corbijn doesn’t ring a bell, he’s the Dutch photographer who made a splash on the festival circuit with the Joy Division/Ian Curtis flick Control and then went on to direct George Clooney in The American which was great but hardly anyone saw it because it didn’t have enough car chases or happy endings. (THR)

5 Responses to “News du Jour: 6/20/11”

  1. I’m just excited to see Judy Davis working with Allen again. Hell, I’m just glad to see her working with someone who knows what the hell to do with her again. What was the last movie I saw her in? THE BREAK-UP? Yeeeech.

    Also, Pixar SAYS their latest project is “an original idea”, but watch it be something like RATA2ILLE, in which Hell’s Kitchen takes over Remy’s place, and Gordon Ramsay is served a plate of delicious, delicious Bubonic plague.

    Yes, I’ll be there opening night.

  2. Pixar’s original film– it’s “Brave”, isn’t it? Althogh I’m not sure how “original” that is. The early buzz makes it sound like an anglicized version of “Princess Mononoke”. Anyway, I think Pixar’s overrated as all heck, so I could care less if they do something new or not. Call me when they make something rated R, or even PG-13, and I’ll rouse from my slumber.

    As for that “Muppets” trailer– my interest is dead, buried and filled with formaldehyde, They’re trying too hard to ressurect the feeling of the old TV show, which frankly I never enjoyed much (aside from the Mummenchanz episode). There have been some great muppet movies (my favorite being “The Great Muppet Caper”) but the best ones didn’t trade that heavily on the show or nostalgia. Also, I hate Jason Segal and don’t care for Amy Adams. So yeah, I’m done with this one.

    Craig– even further evidence that we are one another’s Bizarro doppelgangers: you can name all the damn dwarves from “The Hobbit”. The sentiment on the Smurfs is shared, though. I’d be happy if Ewoks took them on, or even if Jar Jar gobbled them up Yoshi-style with that frog tongue of his.

    Oh, and the director of “The American” taking on Le Carre? Signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours.

  3. Every time I see Barton Fink, which is about once a year, I always think “damn, why doesn’t Judy Davis get more work?”

    Whatever Pixar is doing it can’t be any more cynical than Cars 2. I’d rather see your Hell’s Kitchen idea…

    For the record, Bob, Brave is coming out June 22, 2012 so this is something else again.

    Also, you’re dead to me for hating the Muppets. :) I didn’t watch the trailer and I remain skeptical about the movie (I’m with you in that Segal’s charms are totally lost on me) but I want it to be fun.

    Full disclosure: I had to look up the names, I just remembered that there were a crapload of them and some of them rhymed.

    I loved the book when I was a kid and I really enjoyed the LotR movies, but I’m having a hard time getting up for this one.

    Corbijn + Le Carre sounds good to me too.

  4. I will Corbijn another go even if this isn’t a Carre spy thriller. The American was great.

  5. Craig, I don’t hate the Muppets, I just think that they’re missing the forest for the trees here with the nostalgia. I’d rather see the Muppets off on an original adventure than reliving the “Muppet Show” past. “Muppets in Space” wasn’t perfect by a long shot, but I’d rather see that than this (Gonzo as an alien? Why not?).

    I tried watching the LOTR movies a while back, and was surprised by how bored I was even in the first film. I’ve never been a huge fan, but ever since this last attempt to watch them all, I’m pretty much done with the series. It’s boring, stale and frankly I’m more and more perturbed by the fact that everyone in those movies is whiter than a Culkin family reunion.

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