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August 19, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | August 19, 2008 |

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Tuesday’s Trade Round-Up.


First up for you: You remember Goosebumps, don’t you? Those children’s horror stories written by R.L. Stine? They fell into the generation gap for me, somewhere between Harry Potter and Encyclopedia Brown (shhhhh … don’t mention it aloud, some studio hack will turn it into a movie). I do remember, vaguely, seeing the Goosebumps books plastered all over the local Waldenbooks (do those still exist out in Middle America, or is it nothing but Books-A-Million these days?). Anyway, I think we may have mentioned at some point that they might be making a movie out of Goosebumps, and now it’s been confirmed, at least inasmuch as script writers have been hired. They’ve got pretty decent pedigree, too: Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander also wrote Ed Wood, The People vs. Larry Flynt and Man on the Moon, three pretty great films that no one ever talks about anymore. They also wrote one of my favorites from last year, 1408. R.L. Stine’s books have previously been made into straight-to-DVD features, but I reckon someone got it in their noggin that they’d do well on a marquee somewhere — they’ll be live-action, and they expect to hire a group of known young actors to take on the lead roles.

And speaking of young actors, here’s a mini-mini diversion: Name an actor or actress, under 16 (besides Abigail Breslin) that doesn’t make you want to cause harm to yourself.

Elsewhere, here’s some must see (wink wink, nudge nudge) casting news: Steve Carrell and Tina Fey, who dominate most of our Thursday night viewing pleasures during the regular television season, are teaming up for a romantic comedy of sorts: They’ll be playing a married couple whose routine date night turns into something … extraordinary, by which I mean Carell will probably say socially inappropriate things in an awkward manner and Tina Fey will trip over furniture and generally look unbelievably adorable (bonus points if they can hire Jason Lee in a supporting role). It’s not so much that I don’t think they can do more than that, it’s just that Date Night will be directed and produced by Shawn Levy, who has a particular knack for wasting talent (see Night at the Museum, Pink Panther). And the script writer, Josh Klausner, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence with his resume: Shrek the Third and the forthcoming Shrek Goes Fourth. And really: Can anyone actually picture Tina Fey and Steve Carell as a couple? I almost feel like they oddly cancel each other out, sort of like putting ARod and Jeter on the same team, only — you know — less douchey.

Seeing his career spiral down the drain of crazy, Tom Cruise — spying a small glimmer of hope in the nods for his (brilliant) cameo in Tropic Thunder — is trying to strike before the studios smash the hot iron against his face. Now, he’s loosely attached himself to a comic-book movie, which will be produced by Sam Raimi (stay away from the light, Sam). Written by Ed Brubaker, Sleeperis about an operative whose fusion with an alien artifact makes him impervious to pain — the operative is placed undercover and he ultimately falls in love with the villainous Miss Misery. Oh, boy. I’m sure the alien angle has Mr. Cruise’s half-long robot chubby semi-erect.

You folks remember Kenneth Lonergan? He had so much promise after writing and directing You Can Count on Me, didn’t he? And then he wrote Analyze That and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, and not even his Oscar-nominated script for Gangs of New York could redeem him (mostly because Gangs kind of blew). Well, he’s taking another whack at it, writing the script for Father’s Day, an Ashton Kutcher produced movie about fatherhood, focusing on a father and son who have never gotten along but who find something in common when they *air quote* coincidentally air *unquote* have baby sons at the same time. The strange thing about the project, however, is that Lonergan seems to have been hired to flesh out a logline, i.e., Kutcher came up with a lame premise and handed it over to Lonergan to turn it into a movie, which is kind of like handing over a turd and asking someone to turn it into cotton candy. Hollywood is a strange place, y’all.


Just one remake today, but it’s a doozy, particularly if you were a fan of the original, which is only 16 years old (those bitches are trying to chase Gen X into the nursing home — fuckers!). Anyway, rumor is they’re talking a Candyman remake, and they’re apparently considering giving it a makeover by giving Candyman a reverse Kirk Lazurus: They want to make him white. Not that big a deal, I suppose, but Tony Todd is, was, and will always be the Candyman. Dude rocked that role, as well as the role of William Bludworth in Final Destination. You know he’s got 125 credits to his name? And every time I see him, it’s all I can do to refrain from saying Candyman five times. I fucking loved that movie.


For whatever reason, casting for Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards has taken on a weird life of its own. Despite the relative poor performance of Grindhouse, as well as the general Tarantino fatigue that’s seemingly set in, casting for his next film is the most discussed casting news since the Justice League merry-go-round that swallowed the trade blogs for a few months earlier this year, before eventually fizzling out, along with the project. Anyway, three roles, as we’ve already mentioned, have been confirmed: Eli Roth, B.J. Novak., and Brad Pitt (as a Jewish hillbilly, from Tennessee — please give us the Kalifornia beard!). Two other roles have already been recast: Simon Pegg had hoped to be in it, but the shooting schedule conflicts with the shooting schedule for Paul, that road trip comedy he’s doing with Nick Frost. David Krumholz also had to drop out; he’s been replaced by Samm Levine, he of “Freaks and Geeks” fame. The unfortunate bit of casting news, however, is that (fucking) Mike Meyers has been signed on to, allegedly, ruin the movie, as a British general with a master plan for wiping out the Nazis. Yee-ikes. I appreciate that Tarantino has a nose for this sort of thing, but Mike fucking Meyers? That’s just uncalled for. He doesn’t even deserve career resurrection — we just put him in the ground, for fuck’s sake! Don’t dig him out.


Having tired of taking passive-aggressive shots at The Boozehound, for his The Dark Knight vs. Iron Man piece, I’ve finally decided to put it to you good folks for the definitive answer, after which I’ll never bring up the summer’s most intense debate ever again, as long as you correctly choose The Dark Knight. So, here’s a poll, because why the hell not? It’ll give you something to do with your goddamn cursor.

Trailer Watch

Today’s first trailer is for Body of Lies, which Prisco recently described as some sort of Russell Crowe/Leonardo DiCaprio “drawl off.” To me, it simply looks like what you’d expect a Ridley Scott film to look like.

Alas, here’s the trailer for The Women, because God loves to fuck with us. Every day.

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Industry | August 19, 2008 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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