Sunday, May 09, 2010

FILM NEWS: First Thor Photo, Super 8 Plot, The Rock gets "Fast and Furious," Benicio Del Toro Rom-Com, and more

• When I saw the post-credits scene of Iron Man 2 that revealed the Thor hammer stuck in desert sand, I started to try to remember what Thor looked like. I kept picturing He-Man and then that guy in the movie Adventures in Babysitting. Luckily, Dark Horizons revealed the first image of Australian newbie Chris Hemsworth in costume as Thor.

• The top secret J.J. Abrams Super 8 trailer is rumored to be about "a bunch of kids who are shooting a movie with a Super 8 camera in the 70's/80's. When they develop the film, they notice that there’s an alien creature in the frame." I haven't seen Cloverfield yet, but this intrigues me.

Matt Damon's next project sounds like it could be Oscar bait. He's signed on for an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night. It's about "a promising young psychoanalyst and his wealthy wife and patient Nicole who live on the French Riviera in the 1920's." That sounds like snoozeville, until you learn that it "explores both the power play and parasitic nature of relationships where one person becomes stronger by gradually destroying the other." Looks like Damon might be getting back into Talented Mr. Ripley territory, which would be wonderful, since I think it was one of the most intriguing characters he's ever played. Keira Knightley is set to play his wife/patient, which I think is a bit odd since she's only 24. Wouldn't Kate Winslet or Rachel Weisz make more age-sense?

• Woa! Woa! Stop the presses! Matthew McConaughey is going to be in a legal thriller? Really? That's not a typo? No one tricked him into thinking The Lincoln Lawyer was actually a romantic comedy? That's frigigin amazing. Casting Marisa Tomei as his ex-wife and legal opposition, however, just kind of screams "low-budget." But I'll give the film props though for scoring John Leguizamo. Cause when he gets serious, He. Gets. Serious. Oh, and Ryan Phillippe and William H. Macy have also jumped on board.

• It looks like we'll be seeing the softer side of Benicio Del Toro reemerge next year when he stars opposite Cameron Diaz in the romantic comedy An Ex to Grind. The last time Del Toro romanced anyone in a light-and-whimsical atmosphere was with another blonde, Alicia Silverstone, in 1997's Excess Baggage. That's right, 13 years ago. While I'm sure it's like riding a bike, I'm not sure that audiences will see him as a romantic lead. The film is adapted from a Jane Heller novel, where "a Manhattan financial planner who wants to divorce her professional football player husband tries to get out of alimony by pushing a new woman on him so he can violate a cohabitation clause." Unfortunately, he starts behaving like the man she's always wanted him to be and decides she wants him back. Hmm, I wonder who they'll choose to play the other woman. She can't be too famous, otherwise audiences will have trouble deciding who to root for.

Pedro Almodovar is tapping one of his other muses, Antonio Banderas, two decades after their last film. For his next project The Skin I Live In (La Piel Que Habito)Almodovar says it'll be "the 'harshest' he's ever done and while it 'comes close to the terror genre, something that appeals to me that I've never done, I won't respect any of its rules.'" Banderas will play a plastic surgeon bent on revenge.

• Ok so, drunken bachelor party set in Las Vegas = The Hangover = awesome! Drunken bachelor party of a 70-year-old eternal bachelor = LASt Vegas = lame! I don't care if Jack Nicholson is starring and the studio is on the prowl for a bunch of veteran actors. Stop redoing storylines "with a twist," especially comedies. Some jokes are only funny the first time. Besides, there is no old people's version of Zach Galifianakis.

• They've finally cast the last female role in the untitled Ron Howard comedy that stars Vince VaughnKevin James, and Winona Ryder. In the story, a woman is torn on whether to tell her husband's (Vaughn) best friend (James) that his wife (Ryder) is cheating on him. The lovely lady chosen to play Vaughn's wife is Jennifer Connelly. Hmm, she's so...rigid. I'd rather see someone as meddlesome and animated as Courtney Cox or Jennifer Garner.

Shia Laboeuf just signed on for his next film post-Wall Street 2 and pre-Transformers 3. He'll star in the romantic crime film The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, where he'll play a guy who falls for a crime boss's girlfriend. "Armed with little more than his wit and charm, Charlie endures one bruising beat down after another to woo Gabi and keep her out of harm's way. In the end there's only one way to save the girl of his dreams - his death?" Sounds promising. Of course, it depends on the lead. I don't know why, but I suggest Marion Cotillard—someone who's classy gorgeous. I'm sick of everyone falling over themselves for the trashy gorgeous: Olga Kurylenko and Gemma Arterton.

• Joseph Gordon Levitt is about to get physical. He's signed on for the thriller Premium Rush where he'll play a bike messenger who picks up an envelope at Columbia University and "soon finds himself being chased throughout the city by a dirty cop desperate to get his hands on it." And he's also signed on to his former Brick-director Rian Johnson's time-travel thriller Looper, which sort of sounds like Minority Report and Wanted combined. It's set in a future where a group of killers (called Loopers) work for a crime syndicate. "Their bosses send their targets hogtied and blindfolded back in time to the Loopers, and their job is to simply shoot them in the head and dispose of the body. So the target vanishes from the future and the Loopers dispose of a corpse that doesn’t technically exist, a very clean system." Gordon-Levitt will play a man sent back to kill himself," although I'm sure he doesn't realize that at first.

• Hmm, when you hear that Chris Pine and Seth Rogen are up for the same role, you have to wonder what kind of role that would be. I mean, obviously if it's for a funny guy, it's a no-brainer, and if it's for a hot guy, there shouldn't even be a moment of thought. The comedy in question is This Means War, where two best friends destroy half of New York fighting for the affections of one woman (Reese Witherspoon). Some sites are suggesting that both be cast, but I think producers are trying to decide whether or not they want a douche-type and an underdog or two hot guys, since the actor they wanted to play the other bff was James Franco. But I guess technically Pine could always play dorky. He did a pretty good job of it in Just My Luck—not that anyone saw that movie. Either way, the producers seem a bit indecisive and perhaps the script isn't as enticing as it needs to be, since Robert Downey Jr.Matt Damon, Bradley Cooper were all attached once and now they've bailed. That doesn't bode well.

• In Jason Segel and Ed Helms' next comedy Jeff Who Lives at Home, they play brothers—Segel still lives at home with their mom (Susan Sarandon) and Helms gets his brother to help him spy on his possibly-cheating wife (Judy Greer from 27 Dresses). While the plot and title sound kind of boring, I am intrigued by the pairing. 

• Speaking of odd pairings, John Krasinski and Drew Barrymore have been cast in the eco-conscious Whales, where a reporter and a Greenpeace activist try to rescue three California gray whales who are trapped under Arctic Circle ice, a news story that was quite famous in the late 80s. I can't picture them together, but I'll watch anything either of them are in.

• Looks like two of the stars from the comedy Grown UpsKevin James and Salma Hayek, are reteaming for the comedy Here Comes the Boom, which will be coproduced by Adam Sandler. I'm not quite sure what career path Hayek is carving out for herself post-baby, but if she can somehow slide herself into an Apatow movie next, I will worship the ground her little Mexican feet walk on.

• Uh oh. Looks like Kick-Ass is breeding clone films already. FOX just greenlit a remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the story of a shy store owner who secretly wishes he was a hero. Attached to star is Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat).

• No one's even seen Tron yet and the star, Garrett Hedlund, is already scoring major lead roles. He's been tapped to play Dean Moriarty in the adaptation of Jack Kerouac's On the Road.

• Dwayne Johnson is in talks to join the next film in the Fast and the Furious franchise Fast Five. Johnson would take a starring role opposite Vin Diesel and Paul Walker as the leader of an FBI team in pursuit of both Diesel and Walker's characters who're now on the run. I'm always a fan of good car porn, but adding a meathead to tussle with Dom just sounds extra satisfying.

• Zooey Deschanel is delving into some straight-up geek territory. She's signed on to star in the period drama Enchantress of Numbers, playing Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron, who "was a 19th-century writer and key figure in the development of machines that went beyond simple mathematics and into more complex computational problems. In some ways she's considered the first computer programmer."

• Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis will be getting friendly in the upcoming rom-com Friends with Benefits, where two friends who try to take their relationship to the next level.

• When I heard Katie Holmes was cast as Jackie Kennedy, I thought they meant on the big screen. False alarm guys. Her career isn't skyrocketing, it's just making a splash…on The History Channel? lol Holmes and Greg Kinnear will star in the network's upcoming 8-hour mini-series "The Kennedys." That's…different.

• When you hear the word "espionage" you rarely think of Richard Gere and Topher Grace. But the two actors are teaming up for an espionage thriller called The Double, where Gere plays a retired CIA operative who is reactivated to find the Soviet assassin Casius, a killer long thought to be dead who seems to be behind the recent murder of a senator. Stop for a second. No, Grace isn't the assassin. He is more realistically an FBI agent who joins Gere because he's spent most of his career tracking the assassin. Really the only selling point for this film is that writer Michael Bandt (3:10 to Yuma and Wanted) is directing for the first time.

Freddie Highmore is set to star in his first teen romance opposite Emma Roberts (Hotel for Dogs and Valentine's Day). In Homework, he'll play a kid who succeeds in befriending the girl of his dreams. Also starring are Michael Angarano, Alicia Silverstone (Clueless), Blair Underwood ("Dirty Sexy Money" and "New Adventures of Old Christine"), and Elizabeth Reaser (Twilight).

• Emily Deschanel ("Bones") and Jason Ritter ("Parenthood") have signed on for the promising indie dramedy The Perfect Family. It follows a devoutly Catholic woman (Kathleen Turner) who "has been nominated for one of the church's top awards. She goes about trying to prove she has the "perfect" family, refusing to accept them for who they are." Fortunately for us, her daughter (Deschanel) is a pregnant lesbian, her son (Ritter) just left his wife for an older woman, and her husband (Michael McGrady from "Southland") is an alcoholic. I can't wait to see how she sells them as "perfect."

• Kellan Lutz will star in what basically could be called a remake of Gamer, where a guy "is kidnapped and forced into a savage modern gladiator arena, where men fight to the death for the amusement of online gamblers." It's called Deathgames and Samuel L. Jackson is the bad guy head honcho. This isn't going to be cheesy at all.

• I love Lizzy Caplan. Actually, I only liked her in Mean Girls and in the CBS short-lived comedy "The Class." I hated her in "True Blood"—as we were supposed to—and I haven't seen her in Starz's "Party Down" or Hot Tub Time Machine yet. But I've especially appreciated her disinterest in doing what most young women in Hollywood do—no, not whore herself but—avoid playing lovesick, psychotic stalkers…I mean, romantic leads. Unfortunately, those ten years of individualism are over. In her next film, the indie comedy Queens of Country, she plays—I shit you not—a "beauty queen and line dancing champion who stumbles upon an iPod filled with her favorite country songstresses in a local truck stop bathroomand upends her world to track down the man of her dreams," played by Ron Livingston (Office Space). Say what? This could've sounded like Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist: The College Years, but then they added words like "beauty queen" and "country music" and "truck stop bathroom." Can you say, "DVD rental"?


  1. The "guy" in Adventures in Babysitting was none other that Vincent D'Onifrio (sp?)

  2. Just saw another JGL movie this afternoon. "Uncertainty", a small movie that follows a Brooklyn couple whose lives take two distinct paths based on the flip of a coin. JGL does a good job with his rather limited character and occasionally wooden dialogue. Great work from a new actress on my radar -- Assumpta Serna. Also,side note" white people with long brown hair do not legitimate Hispanics make (Olivia Thirlby, Lynn Collins). It was Run Lola Run meets Sliding Doors meets movies that are overly invested in color themes (the movie was divided into yellow and green to represent the two alternate realities). Check it out on a rainy day.