The day’s news, nuggets and notables:

[Update: 7:00 pm PT]

Bradley Cooper exits The Crow remake
The old scheduling conflicts get the blame. Whispers of Channing Tatum or Mark Wahlberg as possible replacements. (THR)

Natalie Portman offered lead in indie drama Adaline

Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy team up for comedy ID Theft
So, is Bateman going to be in every comedy in the pipeline? I guess as long as he keeps busy, we don’t have to worry about any bogus Arrested Development movie rumors. (Deadline)

Walton Goggins cashes pay check with G.I. Joe 2
I hope it’s a big one because this is a depressing waste of the Justified star’s talents (Variety)

[Update: 5:00 pm PT]

Brad Pitt in negotiations for James Gray’s The Gray Man
The Black Listed script by Adam Cozad adapts Mark Greaney’s thriller about an assassin on the run. (Variety)

On David Lynch’s solo album, Crazy Clown Time is 24-7
For the love of god man, make a movie! Creepy video is kind of cool though. (Deadline)

Patti Smith to turn her Robert Mapplethrope memoir Just Kids into a screenplay
Oscar-nominated and Tony-winning screenwriter John Logan (Hugo, Coriolonus) will collaborate. (Deadline)

23 Responses to “News du Jour: 8/15/11”

  1. “For the love of god man, make a movie!” – my thoughts exactly :)

    I’m a bit unsure about The Gray Man but recently it has become impossible for me to doubt Mr. Pitt. When I think how much I disliked him in his earlier years… All based on genetics, I guess… :P

  2. Mark Greaney’s thriller about an assassin on the run.

    You ever notice that in Hollywood, every assassin is on the run, looking to retire after “one last job,” or developing a conscious after meeting a lovable tough-as-nails youngster?

  3. I wouldn’t dread Bateman as far as Arrested Development actors goes, but Michael Cera is far more annoying from the AD alumni.

  4. Piro, I really liked James Gray’s last flick Two Lovers so Gray Man looks solid to me, whatever it’s about.

    Rodrigo, don’t get me wrong, I really like Jason Bateman (and I loved AD), but every time I turn around I see him in a comedy. Maybe it’s because he was in two high profile comedies this summer within a matter of weeks.

    Joel, yeah. It’s as cliche’d as the Heist Gone Bad picture…. but see above comments about James Gray.

  5. Yeah. David Lynch, the musician– I don’t care. If he were doing some big-scale gallery art show, that’d be a bit more interesting. Not as interesting as another movie, but whatever. I’ll look at a sculpture he does of a colony of ants eating a pig’s head, or whatever.

  6. Yeah Craig, i was being snarky there. Sorry Mr Gray. I also meant conscience, not conscious. My snark needs a proof reader.

  7. Brad Pitt continues to make some really interesting choices (see Tree of Life and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford for example) so in general I’ve been keeping an eye on the movies he has coming up.

  8. Craig, you can’t blame Bateman for the programming of films release, even if he seems genre-cast (think of that word as typecast, unless there’s another word for what I meant to say).

    The guy has been in 3 comedies this year. Paul and Horrible Bosses were fun to watch. Haven’t seen The Change-Up yet, but seeing how the reviews are for that film, I think I’ll wait for cable.

  9. You’re absolutely right about it not being fair to judge Bateman because of release patterns, and I don’t. If I was him, I’d take every movie that came down the pipeline.

    Having said that, I was underwhelmed by both Paul and Horrible Bosses, although he was very good in both.

  10. Alison, I’m fully on the Brad Pitt train. Had a convo the other day with someone about Leo DiCaprio and Pitt. Both fairly talented actors who sort of have to work against their images as pretty boys. The person I was talking to suggested that DiCaprio has shown more potential, but we both agree he tends to stifle himself by being so goddamn serious and actorly, like he’s desperate for someone to take him seriously. Pitt on the other hand might not have as much range, but he’s shown a willingness to lay himself out there and do unexpected shit… like Inglourious Basterds in which he was awesome.

    I have serious doubts about the upcoming Moneyball, but all of my issues with that movie are separate from my feelings about Pitt.

  11. Don’t worry Joel, I totally got where you’re coming from. Even if your tongue was in cheek, you were not wrong. Yet… I’ll take a familiar concept well excecuted.

    Bob, I’m happy to have Lynch do whatever moves him, but goddamnit I want another movie.

  12. I loved Two Lovers but didn’t recall that the director is the same… Now it’s a must-see for me :P

    And I would argue about DiCaprio having more potential. It really depends on your preference because both of them had shown some very good acting and it’s really hard to say that one is better than the other. Based on the films I’ve seen by both, my preference is definatelly towards Pitt.

  13. Craig. At least he’s not just giving lectures of meditating. I don’t care about the music, but will give a watch to any music videos he does. That might be the closest we get to another honest-to-god film from him nowadays.

  14. I’d actually say Pitt has more range than DiCaprio. I kinda feel like dicaprio plays the same guy in a bunch of movies lately, with minor variations depending on the story. I also get the sense he likes to play “tough”, when his best performances for me are in movies like “Catch Me If You Can” or “Aviator”, where his charm is on full display. He’s even great in “The Beach”, though not his best movie overall. But I guess as he grows older he wants to explore darker territory.

    Pitt, to me, is a completely different person in “Basterds”, “Tree of Life”, “Jesse James”, “Burn After Reading”, etc. He just transforms himself into a new character each film.

  15. Weirdly, the adolescent DiCaprio seemed to have a greater acting range than the adult one. For a long time I didn’t rate him as an adult actor but have admired his work since The Departed – though he does seem to play variants of the same intense individual. My immediate reaction was to identify DiCaprio as having the greater range but when I review their performances Pitt has more often played against lead-man type and provided greater diversity of characterizations from as early as 12 Monkeys. For some reason I don’t place DiCaprio and Brad Pitt together in my mind. But I do place the former with the other Pitt – Michael (particularly his performance in Boardwalk Empire).

  16. That’s what I was using to measure DiCaprio’s potential, his earlier roles like Glibert Grape. He’s been very good as an adult, but there seems to be an uptightness there. Pitt seems more willing to let go

  17. Bob, I have to say the video was kind of fascinating in a creepy way. Music did little, but the vid just made me want more Lynchian cinematic diseasedness.

  18. @sartre and Ari: I would agree that DiCaprio showed greater range in his youth and that today he mostly plays variations on the same anxious character, although I think he tries harder and goes more interesting places for Scorsese than he does for Scott or anyone else. I also agree that Pitt has done more interesting work in comparison (in the films you mention), but only in a handful or roles and most of those are in the last 5 years. I think Pitt typically is cast in movies where he’s playing variations on Brad Pitt™. It’s a persona that may not even represent the real Brad Pitt, but its on display in everything from Oceans 11/12/13 to Mr and Mrs Smith to Inglourious Basterds.

  19. One thing about Pitt I think is that he usually makes it seem so effortless whereas with later-career DiCaprio, you can sort of feel the acting wheels turning in his head. If that makes any sense.

    I mean that as a compliment toward Pitt, but I think sometimes people give DiCaprio more credit.

  20. That’s a good point. That could result from a couple different things, but I don’t think its good that DiCaprio makes it obvious where as Pitt typically does not. If I had to compare, I would prefer Pitt’s relaxed style over DiCaprio emphasis on mania, although in all three of Scorsese films the mania is inherent to the character. Maybe he’s just being typecast now. Inception, Body of Lies and Revolutionary Road aren’t really that far from The Aviator or Departed, character-wise.

  21. Pitt did some fun character acting in small roles early on (12 Monkeys and True Romance) and has been prepared to play darker characters – most obviously in Kalifornia before Jesse James. Has DiCaprio done either?

    DiCaprio’s performance as a teen in Grape was amazing though.

    I like them both and as is the case with most leading men they’re essentially giving us a familiar screen persona (possibly closer to themselves) with variations. But Pitt has been the more adventurous and varied in characterizations.

  22. Grape was DiCaprio’s best work really, but that sort of character is a staple for dramatic acting. I thought he was good in Romeo and Juliet, Basketball Diaries, and This Boy’s Life, but they’re bigger roles in comparison to Pitt’s early work. However, I’m not a huge fan of Kalifornia. It’s an ugly role.

    DiCaprio has been on a leading man track since before Titanic, which cemented his career path. Hollywood wants Pitt to be the leading man, but I think he does better work in more or less supporting roles or ensemble casts. I think when the film is resting on him it tends to suffer, but whether that’s his fault or the production I’m not sure. I thought Pitt was great in Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but that film had a slew of other issues that kept it from being great. He’s basically the supporting character in both Seven and Fight Club, two other solid films that I think he’s great in. He’s the “star power” that got Tree of Life, Assassination of Jesse James, and Inglourious Basterds made, but those are are ensemble pieces where his performance supports the narrative.

    I think Pitt might be trying to follow Matt Damon’s lead: go after odd, more or less character actor-parts whenever possible. It fits his sensibilities as an actor.

  23. Pitt definitely comes off being less image conscious than DiCaprio and less afraid that he won’t be taken seriously.

    They’re both terrific actors and I can’t claim to understand the nuances of acting well enough to say one is better than the other. I just do feel DiCaprio has a lot of untapped potential left in him and he needs to stop trying to win that Oscar.

    It’ll be interesting to see if DiCaprio really does wind up in Django. I know there have been talks and all the trades are talking about it being a done deal, but I can’t find a reference anywhere to it actually being official. With DiCaprio I don’t make any assumptions until the ink dries on a contract.

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