Wednesday, March 25, 2009

BUZZ: Bynes on ABC, Stooges Cast, "Phillip Morris" to DVD, Twilight Werewolves, and more

Amanda Bynes gave feature films a shot, but Hollywood's more interested in T&A than they are genuinely hilarious, young, female leads. So she's resorted to returning to TV for ABC's comedy pilot "Canned." It's about a group of friends, who get fired in a corporate shake-up. Bynes will play a naive, hard-working Midwestern girl.

• I guess Michelle Trachtenberg won't be joining "Gossip Girl" as a regular, since she just joined NBC's medical drama "Mercy," where she'll play a new nurse.

• Wow! I think I've maybe seen one "Three Stooges" episode, but even I would agree that the casting of Sean Penn (Larry), Jim Carrey (Curly), and Benicio del Toro (Moe) as the infamous trio is a little weird.

Nicole Kidman joins the star-studded cast (Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto, Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin, and Anthony Hopkins) of Woody Allen's next film.

• And so it begins. 17 Again's stuck-in-a-different-time-period plot has revived the trend and now Disney has greenlit Wouldn't It Be Nice. It's a teen comedy of sorts about two teenagers who want to runaway together, but are magically zapped twenty years into the future and slapped with the reality of their three kids and adult responsibilities. Sounds like it could be hilarious. However, while one of the writers, Barry Blaustein, wrote the classic Coming to America, he also wrote The Honeymooners. And if that isn't bad enough, Paramount is adapting Sarah Mylnowski's young adult novel Gimme a Call, which is about a high school senior who can only make calls to her 14-year-old self after her phone falls into a fountain. With this connection to the past, she could possibly change her present for the better.

• An odd mix of young Hollywood actors have been chosen to helm the crime drama Kill Your Darlings, which is about the murder of David Kammerer by Lucien Carr, "a Columbia University student who had been pursued sexually by Kammerer and stabbed him to death one night while fending him off. Carr, whose friends at Columbia included Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, dumped Kammerer's body in the Hudson River and spent a couple days deciding whether or not to confess to the murder." While his friends were revolutionary writers, he went to jail for two years and then had a family. Intriguing, no? Struggling newcomer Jesse Eisenberg (Adventureland) would play Ginsberg, Chris Evans (Fantastic Four) would be Kerouac, and Brit Ben Whishaw (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer and Brideshead Revisited) would be Carr.

• Alright look, I'm sure with the right resources Catherine Hardwicke could've made Twilight amazing, but the fact is: she didn't. So I don't know why any studio would trust her with another supernatural teen novel adaptation, but she is in talks to adapt Maximum Ride, a series about genetically altered teens who are part human and part bird, and whose enemies are half wolf. I can't wait to see what she makes that look like.

• I never usually want to see horror-themed flicks, but All About Eve sounds pretty damn interesting. "The story centers around a mousy librarian, who has inherited her father's beloved but failing old movie house. In order to save the family business she discovers her inner serial killer -- and a legion of rabid gore fans -- when she starts turning out a series of grisly shorts. What her fans don't realize yet is that the murders in the movies are all too real." Natasha Lyonne (Slums of Bevery Hills) and Thomas Dekker ("Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles") star.

• Maybe it's because I just watched the season finale of "Secret Life of an American [pregnant] Teenager," but I thought the plot of this new rom-com was hilarious: "The comedy follows what happens to the relationship of two male best friends and when the son of one gets the daughter of the other pregnant." Well duh! The father of the daughter kills his friend's son. End of movie...and friendship.

• I think it's straight up bullshit that they're trying to release the dramedy I Love You Phillip Morris, which stars Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as ex-con lovers, direct-to-DVD. They claim it's too risque, but let's be honest: It's just too gay for them. Sure it has graphic sex scenes, but so do a lot of R-rated teen movies and even crappy rom-coms like Good Luck Chuck, and yet they get released in theaters. You don't want to see it? Fine. But don't hate.

• If I'm not mistaken most Coen Brothers movies are focused on male characters, but their next flick, an adaptation of the western True Grit, will star a 14-year-old girl, who, along with an aging U.S. marshal (please let it be Tommy Lee Jones, simply because he was born-and-bred for that profession) and another lawman, tracks her father's killer in hostile Indian territory.

• You know how when you go out to a club or a bar, you have a wing(wo)man? Well, apparently, when all of your friends get boy/girlfriends, you have the option of using some other single acquaintance who you met through friends as your wing(wo)man. That's the brilliant (note the sarcasm) plot behind Cameron Diaz's next rom-com. No doubt, they'll fall for each other while commiserating about how the other is a great catch.

Amanda Seyfried must hate her job right now. Her obligation to HBO's "Big Love" has forced her to drop out of the lead role for Zack Snyder's graphic novel adaptation Sucker Punch. Bummer. Or maybe when she found out that Vanessa Hudgens was in it too and that Snyder's Watchmen didn't do as well as expected (it just cleared it's budget with a worldwide gross of $160 mil after 3 weeks in theaters), she just used her day job as an excuse. Ouch.

• The werewolves of Twilight have been cast. Chaske Spencer ("Into the West") will play Sam Uley, and the rest of the beasts will be played newcomers Bronson Pelletier, Alex Meraz, Kiowa Gordon and Tyson Houseman. I love that they're all really Native American. (This would be a perfect time to protest and reclaim America. I mean, you'd at least have the vote of all Twilight lovers, which by ticket, book, magazine, and DVD sales counts as a majority of America.)

• It seems Zac Efron is no longer interested in doing Footloose or any musical for that matter. He probably thinks it's time to put on his serious actor face. You know, do something like an adaptation of Ben Sherwood's The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud. It's a drama about "a caretaker at a cemetery who manages to have weekly meetings with a younger brother whose accidental death he feels was his fault." Break out the tissues.

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