February 5, 2008 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | February 5, 2008 |


We’ve got a ton of industry news to get to today (don’t worry — hardly any of it is good), so let’s get started. First: Brace yourself. I don’t know how to do say this — and I just ask that you remember: I’m just the messenger — but, believe it or not (ha!), word on the nets is that they are bringing The Greatest American Hero to the big screen. Yep. The show that inspired the greatest answering machine message of all time will now be a feature film. I have the vaguest recollection of the show, which only ran for two seasons; I know I loved it, but at the time, I probably also loved to eat Play-Doh. I remember the bad (very bad) superhero costume and the clumsy flying; I also remember that, because of my adoration for the show, my mother decided to perm my fucking hair in honor of its lead. And I also remember William Kaat, who years later, during my adolescence, showed up in a soft-core porn film with Shannon Tweed, and for some reason, a scene in which Katt fucked Tweed on a banister is burned into my brain. I’d pay to have it removed. But, really, that’s neither here nor there. The details: So far, they are scant, except that Stephen Herek (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Mighty Ducks) is directing and that they are currently casting for the two main roles, Ralph Hinkley (played originally by Kaat), and FBI Agent Bill Maxwell, who I have absolutely no recollection of.

All last week, blogs were running a variation of this headline: “Cloverfield 2?” in which the question mark was sort of an afterthought. For the curious, there’s not actually a sequel in the works, but director Matt Reeves ignited the rumors by suggesting that the same story could be told from a different point of view (i.e., a different set of obnoxious, forgettable twentysomething actors, probably with camera phones). Of course, if there is a sequel, I’d imagine they’d want to make it twice as shaky, to really extract the Cloverhurls from the audience. I was quite a fan of the movie; but it was sort of one-trick deal, so if a sequel ever surfaces, I suspect it’d get the same reception that Blair Witch 2 did. My suggestion: Leave well enough alone. Besides, for a film that opened so well only two weekends ago, it’s certainly fallen off the charts awfully quick (it was 9th this weekend), which suggests much of the success of the film was in its intrigue.

In other rumors, there seems to be a possibility that Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis, Venom, may be getting his own stand-alone film, a rumor triggered by word that Marvel Studios (which has a side deal with the writer’s union) met last week with several A-list writers to discuss the idea. I may have fallen asleep during Spider-Man 3 a number of times, but I’m pretty sure that Venom was killed — not that death has ever stopped Hollywood studios from trying to turn a buck. Make of it what you will. Me: I’m probably going to try to forget about it.

The cast for Gentlemen Broncos has fallen into place. Jared Hess’ (Napoleon Dynamite) new film (which he wrote and will direct) is about a high school outcast who attends a convention for writers where his story gets ripped off by a legendary fantasy novelist. Sam Rockwell (!) will play the fantasy novelist, and Michael Angarano (?) will play the high-school outcast. I’ll see anything that Rockwell appears in (is there an actor around with Rockwell’s talent who has done as many films without selling out to some lousy romantic comedy?), but I fear that Hess may be a one-hit wonder whose “wonder” primarily revolved around the performance of the acting one-hit wonder, Jon Heder, whose projects have officially dried up; he’s got no future projects in the works. My advice, Jon: Wait around a few years and the good folks at VH1’s “I Love the Oughts,” will probably give you a ring.

Speaking of … I’ll try to keep my temper in check here: Rainbow Killer (Killer of Rainbows) has decided to continue making oh-so-empowering chick flicks by signing on to star alongside Gerard Butler (dude?) in The Ugly Truth, a rom-com about a romantically challenged morning show producer (Heigl) who is reluctantly embroiled in a series of outrageous tests by her chauvinistic correspondent (Butler) to prove his theories on relationships and help her find love. And, as you might expect, he gets an “unexpected result.” Sounds “cute” (H/T Kolby). Kill me dead.

On that note, I spotted news on the same subject on another site, and made the mistake of reading the comments (ex.: “The problem is when she takes my dick outta her mouth she says dumb things.” “AWESOME! I’ve never had the opportunity to meet talk to brutally rape BTK a mormon.”)

Ummm. Dear Readers: Thank you for not being them.

Elsewhere, Will is about a high-school outcast and a popular girl who form an unlikely bond over their shared love of music. They form a rock band and enter the high school’s battle of the bands. Wow! That’s one helluva logline, huh? I’m not so much interested in the premise as I am in the cast: Vanessa Hudgkens (High School Musical) will star alongside Lisa Kudrow and David Bowie. That’s right, folks. David Bowie and Vanessa Hudgkens. In the same film. Ouch. (And speaking of Bowie, have we offended Stardust Savant? She no longer populates the comment section. As always, I blame B-Slim).

John Maybury (The Jacket) is directing another big-screen version of Wuthering Heights, which along with Silas Marner and Shane may be the worst books I was ever forced to read in high school. I refuse to relive that experience. Mini-diversion: What’s the worst book you’ve ever been forced to read?

Bait Shop involves a bait shop owner who enters a fishing contest to win enough money to avoid having his shop foreclosed on by his richer rival. It stars Bill Engval and Billy Ray Cyrus, and will be directed by C.B. Howard (Delta Farce). I’ve already decided to give the lucky reviewer who gets that film a pistol with one bullet in the chamber; it’ll be a fun little social experiment.

I’ve got a few trailers to present today. The first will make many of you thankful to have firewalls blocking YouTube videos. It’s called Blonde and Blonder, and the trailer made me cry brain cells:

The second is a teaser trailer for Wanted that many of you saw during the Super Bowl. I just love the idea of bullets that curve; it’s like bowling with guns.

Here, it looks like M. Night Shyamalan has finally eschewed the twist ending and, as Lady in the Water portended, has decided to make a movie that makes absolutely no fucking sense at all. Here’s the nonsensical teaser for The Happening:

Finally, I’m sure this is one of those Internet phenomenons that everyone else already knows about, and I’m woefully late to the party again (see also: All Your Base Are Belong to Us), but I discovered Arnel Pineda last night, and he blew my mind. I wrote about it over on WIMB, but I’m so in awe of this guy that I have to share it with you folks, too. Seriously: Dude’s got pipes.

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The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Trade News | February 5, 2008 | Comments ()



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