Friday, February 29, 2008

Huey Lewis Adds New Theme Song To Resume'

It has just been confirmed to movieweb that Huey Lewis will be singing the theme song to the upcoming stoner comedy Pineapple Express. Director David Gordon Green says,

"Huey Lewis just finished our theme song for us. It is called 'Pineapple Express,' cleverly. Our only input was, we told him we wanted it to sound like his 80's work that we loved so much. And we wanted to have the plot in it. And we wanted to have him say the title as many times as he could. There is a lot of alto sax. It is kind of like that 'other' Back to the Future Huey Lewis song. Not 'Power of Love' but 'Back in Time'. Yeah."

Sounds great to me. This could be a high point (pun intended) for a movie that looks pretty average so far. I'm just glad Huey is still getting work. I saw one of his concerts a few years ago and it was awesome. Pineapple Express stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, and is set to open August 8th.

New Line Cinema "Dead" at Age 41

New Line Cinema has bitten the big one. Ever since Lord of the Rings, the studio has been bombing nasty style left and right, and it's finally caught up to them. The huge failure of The Golden Compass and the recent legal troubles regarding the rightful payment to the heirs of Tolkien seem to have been the proverbial last straw.

So what's going to happen now? The studio (which has always been owned by Time Warner) will now be folded under the Warner Brothers label. This means it will go on making films, but at a severely decreased rate. Plus, the movies it makes will now be more genre-based than we would normally see from them. For right now, the studio still technically exists, although some analysts predict that as soon as all of the films that have already been produced by New Line hit theaters, Warner Brothers will get rid of them altogether and just acquire what remaining assets they have left.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Step Up 3-D Coming Next

Yes, you read that correctly. Disney has decided the newest sequel in the Step Up franchise will be done in 3-D. It's going to be called Step Up 3-D. No reasons were given, but Disney execs were quoted as saying, "People need to see other people 'being served' in 3-D. It's way more insulting to the dancers and much more fun for the high school girls that go to see our films!"

In related news, Disney execs were actually not quoted as saying that, since I made it up. But I wouldn't be surprised if that was to come out on a press release sometime soon.

Curses - Justice League is Back

This is another project I wish the strike would have killed. Unfortunately for comic book fans, the big screen adaptation of Justice League is now back on schedule, and being pushed through for a 2009 release. Variety says the cast is continuing their superhero training after being put on hold for a while last month, and the writers are polishing up the script. Director George Miller is already in pre-production in Australia, where the majority of the filming will be done.

The cast still consists of Adam Brody, Megan Gale, and Armie Hammer, Jr. If you have a confused look on your face and are asking yourself, "Who are these people?" fear not - you're not the only one.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


YES! The news of the Bourne series returning is now completely overshadowed (in my eyes, anyway) by the much more important announcement that the one and only Jason Statham is officially returning for Transporter 3. Was there any doubt? Man, I'm pumped for this already.

The only potential bad news is that director Louis Leterrier, who directed both the first and second installments, has been replaced by someone named Olivier Megaton. But with a name like Olivier Megaton, how can you go wrong? Needless to say, I'll be at the midnight showing regardless of who is directing. The film will shoot for 16 weeks in Russia and France, but no release date has been set yet.

Bourne is Back

The day I have feared since August is finally here. Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass have signed on for another Bourne movie.

Why are they doing this? The Bourne Ultimatum tied the franchise together so well, and now they're going to ruin it by continuing on with a series that is perfectly fine as is. This probably won't be filmed for a couple of years since both the actor and the director have busy schedules ahead of them, but my initial response toward this film is one of disdain and disgust. Is money all they are thinking about? Doesn't art count for anything anymore? (Not to mention the three existing films were the only ones based on Ludlam's books, and some new jackleg is writing them now. Apparently they suck, so we have THAT to look forward to.)

When a franchise grosses $945 million worldwide, I guess the "logical" thing to do would be to continue it, as I'm sure they're going to do with Pirates of the Caribbean in the next couple of years. Maybe they'll come to their senses as it gets closer to production and realize that they don't really need to make this sequel.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscar Winners

Overall, I was pretty pleased with the way the Oscars turned out. I wish I could have seen a count of how close some of those votes were, because I think there were some REALLY close calls this year. The Academy could have chosen any of the Best Picture nominees and they would have done fine by me, since they were all really quality films (with the exception of Atonement, which I haven't seen, so I can't vouch for). No Country For Old Men earned their award, but I think the Academy might have picked There Will Be Blood if the tone was a LITTLE more serious. Having people laughing unintentionally throughout a supposedly serious film probably isn't a good sign. I still liked TWBB, but I think No Country better described the feelings of Americans at this point in our history - there will always be good and evil, and no matter what sacrifices we make, evil will still be there in some form.

Transformers was totally screwed in the sound editing and sound mixing categories, losing to The Bourne Ultimatum. You've gotta be kidding me - Bourne didn't have near the impact that giant freakin' robots did when it came to sound. And Transfomers was absolutely ROBBED in the Visual Effects category! I can't believe that some of the "most complex renders in ILM history" didn't hold up against The Golden Compass.

DDL took it down for Best Actor, and he definitely deserved it. His performance is already iconic (they're going to remember him for this one) and the movie just came out a few months ago. Javier Bardem was pretty clutch in No Country, so I guess he deserved his Best Supporting Actor, but I thought Casey Affleck stood a great chance to upset him with his performance in The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. That's one of those where I'd like to see the final tally sheet. His quiet, almost peaceful, performance was pretty impressive if you ask me.

It kind of sucked that Ellen Page didn't win Best Actress for Juno, but historically the Academy doesn't like giving awards to young people. I guess they think they'll have time to deliver a better performance later in their career, and I think we'll see that happen to Ellen (she just turned 21! Hell of an acting job in Juno for a 20-year-old). I'm glad Diablo Cody got some props for her Juno screenplay; hopefully we'll be seeing some more good stuff from her in the future.

In other news, Eddie Murphy and Lindsay Lohan ravaged the Razzies this year, breaking records in the process. Eddie Murphy is the first actor to ever win three of the four Worst Acting trophies in a single year for Norbit, and Lohan's I Know Who Killed Me broke the record for total number of Razzies with a staggering 8 wins from 9 nominations. Daddy Day Camp was the only film to win a Razzie that was not affiliated with the Murphy/Lohan flicks - it won in the Worst Prequel or Sequel category.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fanboys Altered, Probably Going To Suck

Fanboys sounded like it had a lot of promise. The story was supposed to be about a group of die-hard Star Wars fans who try to grant their dying friend one last wish. The wish is to get a copy of Episode I before it came to theaters (the film is set before Episode I came out, obviously). You can check out the trailer here.

The movie was supposed to come out a few months ago, but had been inexplicably pushed back by the Weinstein Company. Now, news drops that the studio has re-shot a lot of the film, re-edited it, and completely removed the "dying friend" storyline, replacing it with "nudity, lots of F-bombs, the whole works." The studio even changed directors after shooting was finished, and credit the guy who came in and did clean-up shots as the real director. Superman II, anyone?

It's a shame when studios get their hands on a finished product and then decide it's not "mainstream" enough to make them the profit that they so desperately crave. From the sound of it, this could have actually been decent with its original premise; now, I'm not so sure. Plus, they still haven't set a release date. Bah.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Anime/Comic Book Updates

For the record, I haven't read any of the source material for anything I'm about to post, so I have no realistic idea of what to expect with these movie versions when they finally come out.

Two live-action adaptations of Akira have been greenlit, set in a rebuilt New Manhattan 31 years after it has been destroyed. Apparently it involves motorcycle gangs that roam the streets after a nuclear war and one gets implanted with psychokinetic powers (whatever that means). Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way Productions is producing the film, and there's a rumor that he will star as the franchise's main character, Kaneda. Another rumor regarding these films is that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been cast as Tetsuo, the motorcycle gang member who gains the previously mentioned powers through a government experiment. The pitch to the studio was that it was like "Blade Runner meets City of God." City of God is in my top 30 favorite movies, so anything thematically similar I'm sure I'll enjoy, especially if it stars DiCaprio and JGL as motorcycle gang members.

David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac) is set to direct a movie version of the 12-issue Black Hole, written for the screen by Neil Gaiman (Stardust) and Roger Avery. This one sounds pretty strange - set in the 1970's, it follows a group of high school students who spread "the Bug," which is a STD that has no cure. They develop bizarre mutations and become social outcasts, so the movie will likely center on the themes of adolescence, growing up, social shunning, etc. Could be interesting, I guess. We'll see.

The one that really grabs my attention is an adaptation of The Boys, a comic created by Garth Ennis (who co-created Preacher, which I suggest you read if you don't mind violence and swearing) and Darick Robinson. The comic is about a CIA faction (nicknamed "the boys") that keeps its eye on the rising superhero segment of the population and keeps them in check if the need arises. This sounds vaguely similar to Hancock and Watchmen, two other projects regarding the "reality" of superheroes in the world, so maybe that's a new trend to watch for.

All of these movies are set to come out in 2009 or later, with Akira getting the fast-track to summer 2009.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New Street Fighter Gains Cast Members

I was kind of hoping that this movie would fade away because of the writer's strike, but Variety says it has done the opposite and moved forward by adding more members to the cast.

Here's a run down of who's involved so far:

Kristin Kreuk (Smallville): Chun-Li
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile): Balrog
Chris Klein (American Pie): Nash
Rick Yune (Fast and the Furious): Gen

Moon Bloodgood (Pathfinder, Daybreak), Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas, Edmond Chen from Singapore and Hong Kong's Cheng Pei Pei are all playing unknown roles.

The movie is called Street Fighter: Legend of Chun-Li, and filming begins in March.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool? Definitely, Maybe.

Excuse the title pun, but word hit the interwebs today that Ryan Reynolds (Blade: Trinity, Waiting...) is rumored to play the role of Deadpool in the X-Men spinoff X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Don't get too pumped - this comes from AICN and still falls under the "rumor" umbrella (...ella, ...ella), since it hasn't been officially verified yet.

Deadpool is an extremely dangerous assassin in the Marvel universe (check out his Wikipedia profile here), and he's known for being a fast-talking smart ass. His nickname is "The Merc With The Mouth." So basically this is perfect for Ryan Reynolds, who, along with Shia LaBeouf, is custom made for these types of roles. And while LaBeouf isn't LaBuff enough to play this particular part, Reynolds has got the muscle to make combat believable.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine stars Hugh Jackman as he reprises his famous role, along with Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth. Rumors of other characters involved with this entry to the X-Men mythos are appearances by The Blob, Gambit, and Silver Fox. The movie comes to theaters May 1st, 2009.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Stallone in a Sequel to Cliffhanger?

Man, the rumors lately are getting out of control. First, we have Pacino as a possible Bond villain, and now we've got a fresh rumor that Sylvester Stallone is reprising his role as Gabe Walker from the 1993 hit Cliffhanger in a sequel supposedly called Cliffhanger 2: The Dam.

PR-Inside reported the story (who the heck are they?), but they cite no sources and don't attempt to explain where they got their information. That's the kind of journalism I like to see. So spread the word, kids - Stallone could be continuing his comeback streak with another sequel to a classic action film. If it's as good as Rocky Balboa and Rambo were, then I'm absolutely down with this, but that title makes it seem a little far fetched. What's he gonna do? Rapel down the Hoover Dam and plug a hole with his bicep while he waits for help?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Page and Murphy To Star in Peacock

Ellen Page (Juno, Hard Candy) and Cillian Murphy (Red Eye, Sunshine) are set to star in an upcoming film entitled Peacock for Mandate Pictures.

The psychological thriller involves Murphy's character having split personalities and Ellen Page as a young mother who holds the key to his past. She "sparks a battle between the personalities," and we can only imagine what happens from there. Filming starts in May.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Paramount Push-Backs!

Paramount has decided to move a bunch of their slated films back a few months. I don't know why, so don't bother questioning it. Here we go...

J.J. Abrams' Star Trek is moving from its initial Christmas release to a "stardate" of May 8th, 2009. Ben Stiller's summer comedy Tropic Thunder is dropping a month from July to August 15th, 2008. Scorsese's recently-renamed Shutter Island (starring one of my favorite actors, Leonardo DiCaprio) will now hit theaters on October 2nd, 2009. There are some other additional films that have been moved back - but they involve the likes of Eddie Murphy, Renee Zellweger, and the Wayans Brothers (respectively), so I won't be mentioning them here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pacino as Bond Villian?!

Nice hair, chief.

The fanboys over at Ain't It Cool News aren't necessarily the most reliable sort, but this rumor is too good to pass up.

They say that word leaked that Al Pacino is set to play the mastermind behind the events of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Apparently, he'll have a brief cameo role in QoS and (I assume) be featured more heavily in the third movie of this rebooted franchise. I think this could be really cool if it's actually true. We all know that Pacino plays the same character in every movie anyway, so why not bring that maniacal raised voice to the role of master Bond villian? I like it.

In the meantime, check out The Solar Sentinel's recent post on the new teaser poster for the newest James Bond film, Quantum of Solace.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Legal Troubles

A lawsuit was filed yesterday against New Line Cinema by The Tolkien Trust, a foundation that manages the estate of the famous writer, and publishing company HarperCollins for $150 million dollars they claim they never received after the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. More importantly for fans, though, is a clause that states if The Tolkien Trust wins this case, then they can take back the rights that New Line has to make any further works based on Tolkien's writings. The most obvious implication here is that the new Hobbit movie that's supposed to be directed by Guillermo del Toro will be put on hold indefinitely until another studio can somehow acquire the rights to the project.

I've heard some pretty shady things about New Line over the last few months. The studio supposedly took a huge hit from the box office failure of The Golden Compass, and it had to push back Pride and Glory to an unconfirmed 2009 release date instead of it's initial date of next month. Pride and Glory, a cop drama in the vein of We Own The Night and The Departed, stars Edward Norton and Colin Farrell (trailer here). Farrell recently told the media that the studio is in a bad place and they "literally don't have the money to market things" after the Golden Compass debacle. We'll see what happens with the studio in the coming months, but they are going to need some sort of miracle if they are going to make it out of this mess.

In separate legal news, 20th Century Fox is suing Warner Brothers, saying they have the right to develop, produce, and distribute a "Watchmen" film. Zack Snyder (300) is already in production with his big screen version of Watchmen right now, so why is Fox just now coming out with this? Watchmen is one of the most anticipated comic book films of all time because of its legendary source material, so there's no way that Fox DIDN'T know it was in production. Jumping in now and trying to stop it seems childish and a little desperate, if you ask me. Hopefully this doesn't delay the production of Snyder's film and Fox crawls back in their hole and just sucks it up for losing the rights they once had 17 years ago. This kind of crap just pisses me off.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ellen Page in Sam Raimi's Horror Flick

Sam Raimi, director of the Spider-Man series, is returning to his roots. His next project is a low-budget horror movie called Drag Me To Hell, and he just picked up current Hollywood "it-girl" Ellen Page to play the lead role.

I'm sure fans of Raimi's will be glad to hear that he actually wrote this script (with his brother, Ivan) back in 1992, so the movie should have the same feel as his early horror flicks like Evil Dead and Army of Darkness. This is also a good chance for Ellen Page to get back into something a little more edgy and avoid being typecast from her success in Juno. Production begins on St. Patrick's Day.

Friday, February 8, 2008


Paramount Vantage has sent out packages to some members of the press. Inside the envelope, they sent a coupon for a free milkshake at Cold Stone and a piece of paper that says "I drink it up!"

I'm really glad that the studio that brought us There Will Be Blood is jumping on the pop culture phenomenon that it created.

Another Mortal Kombat?!?

Are you freakin' kidding me? Moviehole reports that mink (yes, he doesn't capitalize the first letter of his name) is directing a reboot of the Mortal Kombat franchise. This may be the stupidest idea I've ever heard.

Not only has that game not been relevant in 10 years, but the first two movies were SO AWFUL that they don't warrant even talking about, let alone a reboot to remind everyone about them. Here's just a little of what mink (slaps forehead) had to say: "Today's audience is a savvy involved group so the film must be 'A plus plus' in every area in order to capture the magic of the first film."

I might kill myself. "The magic of the first film?" Is THIS the magic he's talking about?

Thankfully the film is still in preproduction, so it has a chance of getting canned before it actually gets made. Dear Lord, I hope this project never sees the light of day. Oh, and by the way - mink also directed the stunningly bad 2005 Steven Segal "action" film
Into the Sun.

Scorsese Will Direct A Bob Marley Doc

The next musical documentary from Scorsese will concentrate on the life of the legendary Bob Marley. Scorsese has just finished work on a Rolling Stones documentary entitled Shine A Light, and this Marley doc will be filmed using the same production team.

Ziggy Marley, Bob's oldest son, told Variety: "I am thrilled that the Marley family will finally have the opportunity to document our father's legacy and are truly honored to have Mr. Scorsese guide the journey."

I'm looking forward to this. I don't know that much about Bob Marley, so having Scorsese theatrically inform me will be a pleasure. The release date of the currently-untitled piece is February 6, 2010, which would have been Bob's 65th birthday.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Josh Brolin MAY Be The New Terminator

Strange as it sounds, Josh Brolin could take up where Arnold left off as a new Terminator when the fourth movie hits theaters.

In a recent interview, director McG (We Are Marshall, Charlie's Angels) was asked who his "dream Terminator" would be, and he mentioned Russell Crowe and Eric Bana, but grinned and said "Josh Brolin is a very exciting actor - so we'll see."

Granted, this confirms nothing (as indicated in the giant MAY in the title of this article), but at least we know that John Connor is being played by Christian Bale. There were rumors of John Connor's involvement in the film being little more than a cameo, but McG quashed those, saying that Connor "plays a major role." Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins is set for a Summer 2009 release date.

I think they've pretty much got me with Christian Bale as John Connor (perfect casting, says I), so they could have almost anyone play a Terminator and I'd still go see it. My personal suggestions? Daniel Baldwin, Jessica Biel, Brummitt, and Joel McHale. In that order.

Casey Affleck Goes Noir

2007 saw an explosion in the popularity of Casey Affleck, fueled by solid performances in TAOJJBTCRF and Gone Baby Gone. It would seem that this work has paid off for the actor, since Variety now reports that he is set to star in a 1930's-set film noir entitled The Kind One.

"[The story] centers on an amnesiac (Affleck) who finds himself working for a mobster - a sadistic killer given the nickname 'the Kind One' - and falling in love with the thug's girlfriend."

The movie will be based on a recently released novel written by Tom Epperson, who will direct the film as soon as the strike ends.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Amy Adams in Night at the Museum Sequel

Amy Adams, most known for her role in Disney's Enchanted, has signed on to be a part of the newest Night at the Museum movie alongside Ben Stiller.

Variety says her character will play an "undetermined historical figure" who has a crush on Ben Stiller's character. The plot revolves around artifacts from the museum being shipped to the Smithsonian and Ben Stiller's night guard character somehow goes along with them, only to discover chaos once again. Director Shawn Levy returns for the sequel.

(Sorry, it was a slow news day.)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Venom Spin-Off?

According to ISEB, Marvel Studios has met with "several A-list writers" to prepare a Venom spin-off film. Keep in mind that Marvel Studios is one of many recently to make interim deals with the WGA, which translates into them getting to work on this as quickly as possible without having to wait for the strike to end.

I'm a fan of Venom, but I think they covered all the bases in Spider-Man 3. The competition Eddie Brock has with Peter at the Daily Bugle, the belltower scene, all of that: they already did it, so how can they make an entire spin-off movie about it? Granted, one of Spider-Man 3's main problems was they threw in one too many villains, so they could have fleshed out the details a little more with Venom, but I feel like they've already talked about everything that's worthy to mention with this character. And with Spider-Man 4 now in the works, are they going to try to compete with that film over who gets Carnage as a villain? Let's hope not. Keep in mind, no one has been hired yet, so this project still has the possibility of completely falling through.

Spidey 4 Has Found A Writer

Stop the presses - the announcement some of you have been waiting for is here. Spider-Man 4 is now officially in motion. James Vanderbilt, screenwriter of the 2007 sleeper Zodiac, has signed on to write for the film that doesn't have a director or stars attached to it yet. Here's what he said:

"I went in on that. I really loved the films," Vanderbilt said. "It's sort of an odd process because you're sitting down with the people who made the first three and going, 'Well, let me tell you what to do.'

"But I was lucky enough that they were interested in me and I'm a huge fan of those movies, so we closed that up right before the strike. Once the strike's over I get to go to work," he added.

Expect casting and director news after the strike ends.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Across The Hall To Be Feature Length

In 2006, a director named Alex Merkin made a short film called Across The Hall that was a 25 minute tale of deception, betrayal, love, and desperation. Adrian Grenier (from Entourage) played the main character. Now, Merkin has been given the greenlight to extend his short film into a feature length movie, this time starring Mike Vogel (Cloverfield) and Brittany Murphy. I'm looking forward to this because I've seen his original short - and it's really well done. I posted it below, so if you've got a little time to kill, check 'em out. NOTE: I think the third movie posted is actually the true ending to the film, which makes slightly more sense than the abrupt ending of the second video. You might have to jump ahead a little in the third video so you don't watch the same thing twice, but whatever.

Big Thunder Mountain Movie On The Way?

Are you kidding me? Is Disney going to make ALL of its rides into movies? That same movie guy who knew about the National Treasure sequels is saying that Disney registered more domain names recently:,,, and This is getting ridiculous.

No plot details are known yet, but one can only guess it'll be a rip-roarin' ride through mine shafts and train stations on a search for gold in the Arizona desert. It's a pity Brer Rabbit won't be there to enjoy the ride. Maybe that'll happen in 2017 when Splash Mountain - The Movie finally comes out.*

The Haunted Mansion, the Pirates franchise, The Country Bears, the Tower of Terror made-for-TV film, that Jungle Cruise movie they had in development - seriously, Disney: WTF?

*As far as I know, there is NOT a Splash Mountain movie in development...yet.

More National Treasure To Be Found

Disney registered two domain names yesterday - and This can (pretty much) only mean that back to back sequels are in the works.

National Treasure 2 (which I found to be extremely sub-par and nowhere near the coolness of the original) has already made $365 million worldwide even though it was released a paltry six weeks ago. Impressive. When money like that is being made, it's a good bet the studios will be salivating for a sequel (or two, apparently).

There's a movie guy who seems to know a lot about the inner-workings of Disney, and he says he knows an early plot summary of NT 3:

“which would supposedly send the Gates family off to Easter Island and beyond in search of Atlantis. More importantly, the pure, clean power source that was supposedly lost forever when this ancient civilization sank beneath the sea. Which — were it to be harnessed today — would immediately put an end to global warming. Not to mention making gas & oil obsolete.”

Dear Lord - if the second one was as bad as it was, I can't imagine three and four being any good. Hopefully Jerry Bruckheimer can get his act together and produce a quality film again.