Friday, March 06, 2009

BUZZ: Fanning's a "Runaway," Damon Directs, Zack Snyder's Next Project, HSM 4, and more

Dakota Fanning has reached that point in her career where she's ready to shed that "good girl" rep. She tried her best with the controversial Hounddog and even the action-packed Push, but now she's starring in the biopic The Runaways, playing Cheri Currie, the lead singer of a 70s rock band who did drugs and partied hard. Kristen Stewart (Twilight) is already signed onto the film as Joan Jett.

• Normally I'd think that the plot of such a comedy like Grandma vs. Grandma, where two nanas compete for the affection of their grandchildren while the parents are out of town, is stupid. But since amazingly funny older women like Betty White ("Golden Girls") are scrounging for work, I'll consider it...cast pending.

Matt Damon will make his directorial debut with a Philip K. Dick short story, The Adjustment Bureau. He'll play a "politician who falls for a ballerina only to find mysterious forces keeping the two apart." I wonder if Ben Affleck will be on set giving him pointers.

• If you love it when Mark Wahlberg scrunches his eyebrows together and gets super serious (like I do), then you'll want to see the latest flick he's signed on for, Prisoners. It's a thriller about a man who kidnaps someone he thinks kidnapped his daughter and best friend. Wouldn't it be awkward if he were wrong? I don't really think there's a way to apologize for that. Hopefully, it will be ripe with twists.

• I would be excited about Steve Carrell's next comedy Hi-T, which is about a "man who begins taking testosterone injections after an injury leaves him deprived of the chemical, only to find his moods swing uncontrollably," but Kim Barker is writing it and she did License to Wed. Seriously, aside from the sight gags provided by the truly gifted John Krasinski ("The Office"), that movie wasn't funny. Do you know how hard it is to make Robin Williams unfunny?

• I'm increasingly excited about Keira Knightley's foray into non-period piece films. Her latest project is the cloning scifi thriller Never Let Me Go.

Jason Bateman and George Clooney team up for Jason Reitman's (Juno) adaptation of the dramedy Up in the Air. Clooney plays a guy who's sole person is to fire other people. I'm not surprised that he only has two life goals: accumulating a million frequent flier miles and getting hired by a mysterious management company called MythTech. Bateman plays his boss. Can't wait to see how they play off of each other.

• Odd couple Bruce Willis and Tracey Morgan ("30 Rock") are doing a comedy with Kevin Smith called a Couple of Dicks. Um, okay.

• Guess what high schoolers? Soon you won't have to read Bless Me, Ultima, because they're making it into a movie. That's the one that's a "turbulent coming-of-age story of Antonio, a youth growing up in New Mexico during WWII. He develops a relationship with Ultima, an elderly medicine woman who helps the young man navigate the battle between good and evil that rages in his village." Excited?

• If you loved Constantine, then picture Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) as Keanu Reeves and Sam Huntington (Fanboys) as Shia Labeouf in a comic adaptation of Dead of Night. Routh will play a reluctant private investigator working in a world filled with vampires, werewolves, and zombies. Oh my!

• OMG! "The Office" writers, Lee Eisenberg and Greg Stupnitsky, are working on Ghostbusters 3. That should be hilarious...especially if they sneak Andy and Dwight in it.

• Somehow, some way Zack Snyder (Watchmen) convinced a bunch of indie queens to star in his next action fantasy Sucker Punch. He managed to score Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia), Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler), and Abbie Cornish (Elizabeth: The Golden Age). He did also, however, balance it out with commercial mavens Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) and Emma Stone (The House Bunny). Seyfried's in the lead as "a girl named Babydoll who is confined to a mental institution by her stepfather, who intends to have her lobotomized in five days. While there, she imagines an alternative reality to hide her from the pain, and in that world, she begins planning her escape, needing to steal five objects to help get her out before she is deflowered by a vile man." All the other ladies will play her inmates that'll enter her world.

• There will be a High School Musical 4. I love musicals, so I'm excited to see who'll be cast next. I wonder if they'll do like Grease 2 and have someone from the original tie the films together. Either way, they're going to have a hard time finding a couple that clicks as well as Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron did, especially since Bella & Edward of Twilight are the new teen it-couple characters of film these days.

• Oh how I hate it when old men get hot young love interests. Fortunately, Josh Brolin is hot enough to get a pass from me this time. Megan Fox will play his gun-slinging love interest in the action western Jonah Hex. I bet his wife Diane Lane is loving that. In other Fox news, her next venture is a bit odd. She plays a woman "who learns she is a member of a race of aquatic humanoids who possess the ability to control water" in Fathom. That's....interesting.

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