March 9, 2007 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | March 9, 2007 |


Here’s some fantastic news: Maggie Gyllenhaal (talented actress, loving mother, savior of mankind) has been signed to replace Katie Holmes as Assistant District Attorney Rachel Dawes in the next Batman installment, The Dark Knight. Man, that’s cool. And I’d give anything for her to reprise her signature line from Stranger than Fiction for this: “Get bent, Batman.” Word is that Katie Holmes couldn’t return for the sequel because of “scheduling conflicts,” which we all know is complete bullshit. She’s got one movie in the works over the next two years. One movie, which undoubtedly shouldn’t take priority over a film of The Dark Knight’s pedigree. I’d long been skeptical of the whole idea cooked up by the tabloids that Tom Cruise was a jealousy-driven control freak, but this move — on top of reports that Cruise altered his schedule to ensure he’d be on the set of Holmes’ current project every single day has me convinced otherwise. That, as well as news that Cruise picked her current project, a female heist film (Mad Money) because there were no love scenes involved. But seriously, that’s not important here. Really. We’re a review site; we don’t peddle in cheap gossip (holy shit, Tom Cruise is a freakin’ lunatic with severe self-esteem issues and a Thetan chokehold on that poor girl. Run for your life, Katie. Take Suri and run. Look away from the Wall of Fire).

*Throat Clear*

Elsewhere, one of the better guys in Hollywood, John August, has been hired to write the script for the upcoming Captain Marvel film, Shazam. I have to own up to complete ignorance of this particular comic-book hero, though from what I understand, it’s about a 13-year-old kid named Billy Batson who utters the name Shazam (who is a wizard Shaman — does he come in a genie’s lamp?) and is struck by lightning, which transforms him into Captain Marvel, a super-studly hero of some sort. I’m not sure what his magical powers are, but judging from a cursory glance on Google images, it looks like he could kill a man with his jock cup, which you just don’t see enough these days. John August describes Captain Marvel as such: “It’s like Big, but with superpowers.” Peter Segal (who directed a trilogy of Adam Sandler flicks) is attached to direct, and he’s kind of worthless, but I’m willing to give any August project the benefit of the doubt. Anyway, Mr. August has a lot more about the film over on his blog, if you’re interested.

Moving on to the box-office round-up, there was further proof of the decline of Western Civilization over the weekend, as Wild Hogs not only debuted at number one, but made a ridiculous $40 million. Personally, I still can’t get over walking past a middle-aged man last weekend standing in front of a Wild Hogs movie poster, who offered this nugget, “I never thought I’d see those guys in a movie together. That’s a movie I’ve got to see.” Clearly, the gentleman mistook John Travolta, Tim Allen, and Martin Lawrence for actors with actual talent, or else the movie poster emitted harmful radioactive waves that scrambled his brain temporarily. The weekend’s one good offering, Zodiac, fell below studio expectations, taking in a decent $13 million, though I suspect positive word of mouth will keep it in the top five for a few weeks at least. Finally, I clearly overestimated the nation’s thirst for Ricci porn over the weekend, as the other new entry, Black Snake Moan barely made a dent in the top 10, mustering up around $4 million. If the Supreme Being has any mercy at all, it’ll be the last we see of Craig Brewer for a while. Props, also, to the commenter who informed us that Brewer was actually a Californian transplant to the South, which helps to explain a lot about his view of the motherland.

It’s a light slate this weekend, the last for a while. It looks like 300 will dominate the box office and we should have our review up in a few hours. I’m going to leave all the commentary to Dan. Also on tap, Abigail Breslin follows up her award-winning role in Santa Clause 3: The Escape Claus Little Miss Sunshine with The Ultimate Gift, which appears to share some similarities plot-wise with the underappreciated Saturday afternoon TBS diversion, Brewster’s Millions (and who didn’t wish they’d get the opportunity to spend $30 million in a month, in exchange for a $300 million inheritance?). Finally, we’ll be offering up a review of the Korean horror flick, The Host later today. Also, stick around next week: We’ve got another live review of what looks like to be the mother lode of straight-to-DVD sequels, Seth’s installment of Pajiba’s Guide to What’s Good for You, as well as reviews for two midseason shows, “Andy Barker: P.I.” and “Raines.”

Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives with his wife in Ithaca, New York. You may email him, or leave a comment below.

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Get Bent, Pajiba Man

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Trade News | March 9, 2007 | Comments ()



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