Thursday, December 02, 2010

FILM/TV NEWS: The Wachowski's Ensemble Epic, Dunst Guards Moretz in "Hick," McG Casts Rathbone, and more

• As predicted, Emma Stone dropped out of 21 Jump Street because of her commitments to the Spider-Man reboot.

• I try not to mention films that haven't secured full casts and gotten their shit together production-wise, because things fall through and then you never see the film, but this one sounds too interesting to pass up. The Wachowski brothers are rumored to have recruited Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Natalie Portman, James McAvoy, and Ian McKellen for an adaptation of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. It's an ensemble drama that "spans six different story lines over a millennium--each tale is revealed to be a story read (or watched) by the main character in the next. The stories in order include an American notary's voyage across the Pacific in 1850, a young English musician working as an amanuensis in 1930's Belgium, a 1970's Californian journalist investigating corruption around a nuclear plant, a modern day British publisher who becomes confined to a nursing home, a cloned political prisoner being executed in a dystopian near future Korea, and a Hawaiian tribesman in a post-apocalyptic distant future telling a story around a campfire." I'm assuming Portman is the notary, McAvoy is the musician, Berry is the journalist, McKellen is the publisher, and Hanks is the prisoner, which leaves the tribesman's role to be filled. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson? Michael Pena? Either way, sounds like it'll be awesome--just the concept of a Babushka plot, a story within a story within a story, sounds like it's worth seeing.
• I've been wondering how Kirsten Dunst would manage to revive her career. And I am amazed that I didn't think of this sooner: Latch yourself onto an up-and-coming child star. Of course! Genius! She'll co-star with Chloe Moretz in the adaptation of Andrea Portes' coming-of-age novel Hick. It's about "a 13-year-old Nebraska girl who flees her alcoholic and abusive parents and heads out on the road. The world outside her door proves just as cold and uncaring, including the adult figures that come into her life like a crooked guy who eventually rapes her...Dunst will play another of those figures, a cocaine-snorting hard-living grifter who takes the girl under her wing in an effort to shield her from some of the rougher aspects of life." If the attention that Moretz will bring can't dig Dunst out of obscurity, I'm not sure anything will.

• The co-creator of "Vampire Diaries" is developing a show they're saying is a cross between "X-Files" & "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer." Isn't that "Scooby Doo"? lol
• I don't know why I'm always amazed to see Jackson Rathbone pop up on my screen. I feel like he should be a lot busier with Twilight than he actually is. Either way, I've been waiting to see him break out of his shell for a while now, since he failed to do so in The Last Airbender. He did manage to impress me a little during his guest-star stint on ABC's "No Ordinary Family," so hearing about his latest venture kind of peaked my interest. McG cast him in a digital teen spy series "Aim High" that'll be released online in 2011. He'll play a trained teenage operative who has to deal with the aftermath of botching a hit of a Russian mercenary, while avoiding the wrath of his crush's (Aimee Teegarden from "Friday Night Lights") jock boyfriend (Jonathan McDaniel from "That's So Raven"). So basically, "Nikita" meets "Undercovers."

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