Saturday, June 13, 2009

FILM: Julia Roberts & Javier Bardem, Y: The Last Man's Lead, and more

Julia Roberts may not have successfully returned to the big screen with Clive Owen as her romantic counterpart in Duplicity, but she'll surely have women flocking to the theaters when she stars opposite Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men and Vicky Christina Barcelona) in the adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love. It's the story of a newly divorced woman who goes on a journey to rediscover herself and falls in love in the process. Way to make a comeback.

• First everyone was drooling over Paul Rudd, and presently they're falling all over themselves for Bradley Cooper (The Hangover), but there's an ever mounting following for Neil Patrick Harris. It started with his self-mockery in Harold & Kumar, escalated to his comical douche-baggery in "How I Met Your Mother," and then hits its peak with his impressive hosting skills of the Tony's. Now he's been tapped for two new films. First off, there's the indie comedy The Best and the Brightest, where he'll play the husband of a woman (Bonnie Somerville from "Cashmere Mafia") who feels out of place in the world of Upper East Side private school moms after moving there from Delaware. Amy Sedaris also stars. Then he'll play a blind tutor to Alex Pettyfer (Stormbreaker) in the teen rom-com about an obnoxious kid who's cursed to be hideous by a scorned ex (Mary-Kate Olsen).

• According to a recent interview, Shia Labeouf has officially refused the lead role in D.J. Caruso's (Disturbia and Eagle Eye) lastest project, the comic adaptation of Y: The Last Man. He claims that the role is too similar to his character in Transformers, and he doesn't want to do a repeat performance. "It seems like [I'd play] the ordinary guy in an extraordinary situation again." The story is about "a young man and his monkey who're the lone survivors of a plague that wipes out all males on the planet." That, to me at least, does not sound similar. But I guess I should pat him on the back for trying something new, heading away from action movies to more serious roles like the Wall Street sequel dubbed Money Never Sleeps. That said, who should play the last man on Earth? Currently, Anton Yelchin (Star Trek and Terminator Salvation), Bradley Cooper (The Hangover), Chris Pine (Star Trek), Zachary Quinto (Star Trek), and Sam Worthington (Terminator Salvation) are having a very good year. Yelchin might look too young for the role and Cooper too old. Since Worthington already has heroic roles in Avatar and Clash of the Titans, and since Quinto is sort of a peculiar actor to fit into cookie-cutter parts, my vote is for Pine. We'll see.

Maybe Michael Angarano (The Forbidden Kingdom and Lords of Dogtown) will finally get his big break when he stars as Jesse Eisenberg's (Adventureland) best friend in the comedy Ceremony. Eisbenberg will play a love-struck, young man who falls for an older woman who's getting married. Together they try to break up her wedding to a British hottie. Angarano has had plenty of opportunities to shine, but someone or something always blocks his rise to stardom. Let's hope proximity to the latest indie star gets him more substantial roles.

Taylor Kitsch just landed his first lead role. He'll be starring in the sci-fi action film John Carter of Mars as "a civil war veteran who finds himself mysteriously transported to Mars, where his involvement with warring races of the dying planet force him to rediscover his humanity." Producers also considered Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") and Josh Duhamel ("Las Vegas"). What's even more fantastic is that Andrew Stanton, creator of Finding Nemo and WALL-E, is directing. Also cast is Lynn Collins (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), who'll play the heir to the throne of Mars' Helium kingdom.

Masi Oka (Hiro from "Heroes") sold his script for The Defenders. It's about a group of teenage gamers who have to shed their anonymity to go on a real adventure.

• Normally, I hate swan stories where a fat girl gets skinny and suddenly becomes loved by everyone, but the thriller Beautiful Girl isn't your average makeover tale. It's about "a shy but brainy high school girl who returns for senior year after having slimmed down six dress sizes. She finds herself flirting with the handsome English lit teacher, but the mutual crush turns deadly when the teacher's obsession with the student compels him to exact maniacal revenge on everyone who was cruel to her." That's...different. lol

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