Thursday, January 22, 2009

BUZZ: Streep & Baldwin Rom-Com, Major Actor Paycuts, and more

• The studios are allowing the older generation to helm films much more lately, ever since the success of Mamma Mia and Wild Hogs. The latest film to benefit from this new trend is an untitled Nancy Meyers (The Holiday) project, starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. It's a romantic comedy about a woman, who has to figure out a way to fill the void left by her children and her ex-husband (Baldwin). The fun soon starts when she suddenly has to choose between her ex and her good friend (Martin). Hunter Parrish ("Weeds") will play Streep's youngest child, who is graduating from college and moving to the city. Newcomer Zoe Kazan will be the middle child, who's moving to LA and doesn't approve of her parent's possible reunion. And Lake Bell (Over Her Dead Body) will play Baldwin's new wife, who's hellbent on having his baby. It's about time someone let Baldwin be funny on a grander scale. I want to be clear though, this Baldwin, not all of the Baldwins.

• Lifetime's new miniseries "Maneater," starring Sarah Chalke ("Scrubs"), will also have Judy Greer ("Miss Guided" and 27 Dresses) and Philip Winchester ("Crusoe") in the cast. The story is based on Gigi Levangie Grazer's book, which is about a "shallow thirtysomething socialite in a panic because she's still single. Setting her sights on a Hollywood producer (Winchester), Clarissa puts into motion a plan to land herself a husband." Greer will play her best friend, "the daughter of a plastic surgeon who is in a dead-end relationship with a married man." Ugh! I wish producers would stop giving Greer the shaft. She's totally a leading lady.

• After news that Samuel L. Jackson refused a low salary for a recurring role in Iron Man 2 as Nick Fury, a report has appeared revealing the rampant salary cutbacks in Hollywood. While I'm sure Robert Downey Jr. and John Favreau are being well-compensated, everyone else is getting paycuts. Even Oscar-hopeful Mickey Rourke is only getting $250,000 for his upcoming villain role. There are rumors that Disney offered Nicolas Cage a lower wage for the National Treasure sequel. Twilight's Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart will get lower seven-figure upfront paychecks than they expected for the sequel, and they won't even get a piece of the gross. Jim Carrey seems to have been singled-out as the perfect example of what Hollywood hitmakers should do. He forfeited his salary to become an equity investor in the film for a percentage of the gross. While that sounds like a good idea, it's really only advised if the film is a guaranteed blockbuster. For a film like Yes Man, released during this brisk winter, a lot of agressive press was necessary in order to get it on everyone's radar and slip it past nay-saying critics. He was successful, but not many actors would go as above-and-beyond as he did.

• The boys of Hot Fuzz and Sean of the Dead, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, plan on doing a kooky alien road trip film next. Wait! It's not as stupid as it sounds. Here's the plot: "Two British slackers who, after visiting Comic-Con, go on a road trip to Area 51, where they encounter a small alien named Paul, who enlists them to help him find his way home." Could be pretty hilarious. I'm just worried that--since the alien will be 70% CGI--it'll turn out like Kangaroo Jack.

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