Saturday, December 12, 2009

FILM: Portman in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe, Taylor Lautner as Max Steel, and more

Natalie Portman just scored the rights to Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies horror spoof of the classic Jane Austen romance. The author "infused bloodthirsty flesh-eating zombies into the action. The tome now tells the timeless story of a woman's quest for love and independence amid the outbreak of a deadly virus that turns the undead into vicious killers." Portman will play Elizabeth, whose mission to destroy all of the zombies is sidetracked when Mr. Darcy enters her life. Please oh please let James McAvoy be her Darcy. Ok fine, if he has to be tall and broad-shouldered, then maybe...Ben Barnes or (lol) Robert Pattinson. Oh sweet jesus that would be torture. He should probably avoid romantic lead roles geared towards teenage girls for a while. A long while.

• Why is an American playing Pancho Villa in the biopic Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman with Six Fingers? I mean, I think Johnny Depp is an incredible actor, capable of completely transforming himself for a role, but with Hispanic actors like Javier Bardem, Antonio Banderas, Benicio Del Toro, and John Leguizamo in existence, why is Depp the lucky winner? Thankfully, they're not slapping a fake accent on a brunette-dyed-blonde to play the Mexican Revolutionary General's love interest. Salma Hayek is in talks to co-star.
• Another odd casting choice for an iconic character is Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe. Since Scarlett Johansson dropped out of Simon Curtis' My Week with Marilyn, the critically adored actress was tapped. It's not that I don't think she can cut it. Playing ditzy is a blonde reflex, which she proved she had on "Dawson's Creek." I just think that they could find another Hollywood blonde who not only has more facial similarities, but who has a rounder and more voluptuous torso. If only Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men") had a rounder face, or Christina Aguilera could act, or Lindsay Lohan were a lot more stable. I wonder if she'll put on weight for the role.
• The scripts are obviously rolling in for Taylor Lautner, and since he often mentions that he'd love to have the dramatic and action-packed film career of Matt Damon, it's no surprise that he's signed on to bring Mattel's action figure Max Steel to life. He'll play the "19-year-old extreme sports junkie recruited by a secret agency after an accident infects his body with nanobots, making him superhuman." He seems physically perfect for the role, but can he carry a franchise all on his own?
• While we're on the subject of vampires, a surprising new screenwriter has penned a script about Dracula as a young prince called Vlad. Who knew actor Charlie Hunnam (FX's "Sons of Anarchy") had writing aspirations of a supernatural nature? Well, actually he doesn't. The story isn't about vampires. It's about a 15th century Romanian warrior who had a penchant for brutality and a grudge against the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, who invaded his country, killed his father, and turned his little brother against him and converted him from a Christian to a Muslim. His legend inspired the tales of Dracula. A few more surprising facts about the project: 1) Brad Pitt is producing. 2) Hunnam wants it to be more Braveheart than 300. 3) He would prefer to play Vlad's younger brother, and have Colin Farrell (his favored choice) or Christian Bale or Ryan Gosling (a bit of a stretch he says) play Vlad. This sounds ambitious, but I'm still excited.

• I've been wondering, ever since I heard that the rights to the Terminator story were up for sale, whether McG was going to continue the new trilogy he started with Terminator Salvation. Apparently, until the property is auctioned off in February 2010 and the new owners decide whether they like McG's story arc, we won't know for sure. McG must be thinking "FML."

• It was reported previously that Anne Hathaway would be playing the villain Black Cat in the next Spider-Man film, but now the rumor is that she'll be playing the daughter of John Malcovich's villian The Vulture. And like James Franco's character, she'll take up the family business as The Vulturess.

 Josh Brolin is rumored to be in the running for a role in the upcoming Men in Black 3. I started to think about it and he kind of looks like Tommy Lee Jones. Could he be playing his son, and a potential new partner for Will Smith's character? Eh! He'll probably play a villain. Hopefully, it won't be too campy. It has the potential of veering into Spy Kids 3D: Game Over territory. Ugh.

• I enjoy supernatural tales, especially when they involve unorthodox creatures. Lauren Kate's teen novel Fallen, a "contemporary story that centers on an alienated girl torn between two charismatic young men, unaware that they are fallen angels who have battled over her for centuries." Besides the fact that this sounds almost exactly like "Vampire Diaries," it seems like it could lead to an interesting development. Falling in love with a dead demon-possessed creature or a hairy moon-driven wolf is one thing. Falling in love with a being that's one step closer to God than humans seems like it could be treading different romantic ground...but considering it's for teens, probably not. lol

• I love stories where people fall in love over time as opposed to in just one day or one moment (i.e. When Harry Met Sally; only exception: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist), which is why I'm psyched about Lone Scherfig's (An Education) latest project, which is ironically named One Day. "Based on author David Nicholls's novel, the story revolves around Dexter and Emma, who meet for the first time during their graduation in 1988 and proceed to meet one day a year for the next 20 years."

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's five-novel fantasy series Beautiful Creatures is being adapted into a film. It "follows Ethan Wate, a popular high school student who hates living in a small town in South Carolina where nothing happens—until he os bewitched by Lena Duchanne, a 16-year old whose family has moved back to town and who wishes for a mundane life. The star-crossed couple has to confront an age old curse that has haunted her family for generations, as she comes to grips with her powers." It sounds like another product of the Twilight craze, except now we're entering Wiccan territory. I'll see who they cast before I start to judge. They already have Richard LaGravenese (P.S. I Love You) signed on to write and direct.

• While teen girls usually prefer watching films about hopelessly romantic characters, maybe they'll have a change of heart when they see the trailer for The Lonely Hearts Club. Elizabeth Eulberg's teen novel focuses on a "heartbroken teen who comes to the conclusion that most high school boys are total jerks and declares herself founding member of said club, refusing to date again until graduation. Other girls quickly join, taking the same oath and forming a movement that throws the high school into an uproar." I think I'd watch just to see if she's the first to break the pact and prove herself wrong. Hmm.

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