Saturday, June 06, 2009

FILM: Hirsch as Hamlet, Labeouf & Bardem, Olsen & Hudgens, and more

Here are a list of upcoming adaptations, remakes, and sequels:

• Director Robert Luketic (21) has taken over the Barbarella remake in light of the fact that Robert Rodriguez and his leading lady/lover Rose McGowan were practically fired. Now the question is who will play the buxom blonde. My vote is for Scarlett Johansson or Christina Hendricks (Joan on "Mad Men"). But if someone gets Jessica Simpson some more acting lessons, I might consider her for the role.

Taraji P. Henson, who was nominated for an Oscar for her work in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, has become the new go-to African American female. She's been tapped to play Jaden Smith's mom in The Karate Kid remake, which has been dubbed Kung Fu Kid. A few other projects she has in the works are: the drama Hurricane Season with Forest Whitaker, the comedy Peep World with Sarah Silverman and Rainn Wilson ("The Office"), the Tyler Perry comedy I Can Do Bad All by Myself, the crime drama Once Fallen with Ed Harris (A History of Violence), and the star-studded rom-com Date Night with Tina Fey and Steve Carrell.

Amanda Bynes just might be getting some interesting material to work with for once. Her next film is the teen comedy Easy A, where she'll actually tread some new territory by playing the Queen B. Emma Stone (The House Bunny and The Rocker) stars as "a high school student who is victimized by a false rumor that she lost her virginity, until she exploits the rumor mill for her own benefit, pitting puritanical students and teachers against their liberal counterparts, and becomes wildly popular." It's supposed to be a modernization of the Scarlett Letter, however, I'm sure if the author had written it like this, students would actually read it. Also starring are Penn Badgley ("Gossip Girl"), Lisa Kudrow, Thomas Haden Church, Stanley Tucci, and Cam Gigandet (Twilight). Fingers crossed that Badgely plays the douche and Gigandet plays the sweet guy in the spirit of Bynes's image remodeling.

• In another contemporary adaptation, Emile Hirsch is set to play a modern day Hamlet. I was never assigned (or inclined) to read that classic, but apparently it's about "a young man burdened with the decision of whether to take revenge on his father's killer (his own uncle)." Woa! It'll be interesting to see what Hirsch does with the role, but even more interesting to see if director Catherine Hardwicke can redeem herself and return to her Thirteen days of reverence, which were tainted by the below par results of Twilight. Hopefully, screenwriter Ron Nyswaner's (Philadelphia) involvement will elevate its credibility.

• When I first heard that they were remaking 1983's Valley Girl, a teen comedy about a punk who goes to the prom with a popular girl, the first thing I thought of was: dream casting? Think about it. It's an opportunity to combine two actors who wouldn't normally star in the same movie together. Let's see? They have to be relatively similar in age, so...if they cast older I'd say the grossly underrated Martin Starr (Adventureland) and Brittany Snow (Finding Amanda and John Tucker Must Die). But if they were shooting for seemingly age-appropriate, I'd say Ashley Tisdale or Hayden Panettierre and...*gasp* Rupert Grint (Harry Potter) or Ed Westwick ("Gossip Girl"), or Josh Peck (The Wackness), or...any suggestions?

• If I were Shia Labeouf, I'd be terrified. He's set to star opposite Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) in the Wall Street sequel. Forget the fact that Michael Douglas is reprising his role as the infamous Gordon Gekko, Labeouf, who plays a young trader engaged to his daughter, has to hold his own against Bardem's looming figure. Bardem will play a hedge fund manager who may have "inspired" Labeouf's mentor to commit suicide. Again, I would be afraid if I were him. The film will take place in the second half of 2008, when the effects of the recession were barely visible, but plainly foreseable. Could be interesting.

• One Olsen has sworn off acting all together, while the other signed on for a film starring Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical). Hmm, which is the smarter Olsen? Mary-Kate will play a girl who puts a curse on an egomaniac (Alex Pettyfer of Stormbreaker) in the teen remodeling of Beauty and the Beast dubbed Beastly. The curse transforms him into everything he despises. It should be quite the spectacle.

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