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May 13, 2006 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | May 13, 2006 |

Item #1: Offering even more excuses for the use of gratuitous profanity on our site, the good people over at ThinkFilm had the good sense this week to buy the rights to the documentary Fuck, a film that should come with its own pre-written review. Directed by Steve Anderson, who brought us 2003’s strange but forgettable The Big Empty, Fuck features thoughts on the F-bomb from a variety of midlevel celebrities, including Drew Carey, Sam Donaldson (!), Janeane Garofalo, Ron Jeremy, Bill Maher, Alanis Morrisette, Kevin Smith and even the late (great) Hunter S. Thompson, who probably offers each utterance with a shotgun blast and a pack of smokes. And yeah, sure, Anderson is basically piggybacking on the limited success of last year’s The Aristocrats, but this is the Big F, folks — not some silly, nonsensical joke about molesting your midget-grandmother while rolling around in your daughter’s feces. The entire premise of that movie was built around the fact that it’s kind of unexpected to see Bob Saget talk about excrement. The idea around Fuck, on the other hand, is something with which we can all identify, a word so spectacular that thousands of musicians can use it, but Wal-Mart can’t make a penny on it; a word so fantastic, that the Urban Dictionary has 264 definitions for it; and a word so profane that hundreds of millions of people use it every day, yet a single utterance on FCC-regulated airwaves can warrant a half-million dollar fine. That’s powerful, people. Dick-fucking-Cheney powerful. — Dustin Rowles

Item #2: Speaking of Saget and ThinkFilm, the indie studio will also release Farce of the Penguins, an R-rated spoof of the documentary March of the Penguins, written and directed by Saget and featuring narration from Samuel L. Jackson, who will no doubt strike down upon thee penguins with great vengeance and furious anger. Perhaps most amusing, however, is the cast of has-been actors voicing the penguins, including Tracy Morgan, Jamie Kennedy, Jon Lovitz, Norm McDonald, Adam Duritz, Jason Alexander, John Stamos, and (god bless America) Dave Coulier, who has managed to parlay his success on “Skating with Celebrities” into an actual job providing his voice to a goddamn flightless bird. ThinkFilm describes Farce as the story of “one penguin’s search for love while on a 70-mile trek with his libidinous buddies on their way to a hedonistic mating ritual,” and features the tagline, “What happens in Antarctica, stays in Antarctica.” If that were only true, I could’ve been saved from Eight Below. — DR

Item #3: In never-ending Sam Jackson news, he and Josh Hartnett have signed on to Resurrecting the Champ. Hartnett will play a reporter who finds a homeless man who he thinks is a famous former boxer. But the fighter, with whom he develops a close relationship, proves not to be the former champ after all. Could this be the long-awaited bum-fighting flick we’ve all been waiting for? Will Sam Jackson don unmatched shoes, four layers of suit jackets, and carry around a broken boombox he sings to all day? And, most importantly, will he take $5 and beat the living shit out of Josh Hartnett, taunting the pretty boy for his audacity in daring to take the roll of Chet Baker in the upcoming biopic, The Prince of Cool? — DR

Item #4: Like pennies and syphilis, Steven Soderbergh just keeps coming back for more. A start date of July 21 has been set for Ocean’s Thirteen, the second sequel in the downward spiral of meta-heist movies Soderbergh began with the breezy and enjoyable Ocean’s Eleven and continued with the turgid and disappointing Ocean’s Twelve. George Clooney and Brad Pitt are to set to reprise their roles as very handsome men who wear nice suits, though Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones, the respective love interests of Clooney’s and Pitt’s characters, will not be returning this time. Rather than cast an A-list beauty or megastar actress in their stead, Soderbergh has called a pretty insane audible by adding Ellen Barkin to the film, splitting the crowd into those who don’t remember her and those who unfortunately do (damn you, HBO, and your unending Sea of Love repeats). Lining up the shooting schedules for the leads wasn’t easy, according to producer Jerry Weintraub, who said of the central cast, “we decided to kill ourselves to get this done.” The first two films had comparable opening weekends, each about $38 million-$39 million, but Ocean’s Twelve topped out around $125 million, compared to $183 million for Ocean’s Eleven. Apparently desperate to wring every last drop of cool from the series, Warner Bros. is scheduling Ocean’s Thirteen for a summer 2007 release, on the first day of the apocalypse and the all-encompassing Armageddon. — Daniel Carlson

Item #5: In remake news, Will Smith has been tapped to star in It Takes a Thief for Universal, based on the late-1960s TV show of the same name. In the film’s advantage: There’s probably not a lot of overlap between the audiences for Will Smith movies and the ever-dwindling group of people still alive who saw the TV show. (Unlike the completely synched-up target demographics of Ice Cube fans and “Welcome Back, Kotter” diehards.) Smith will play the role, originated by Robert Wagner, of a man blackmailed by the government into working for the CIA. The details of the script are being kept under wraps, but it’s rumored that Smith may have to make out with Kevin James in order to save the country. I smell a hit. — DC

Item #6: In TV news, the Sci Fi Channel has issued a casting call for a new reality show, “Who Wants to be a Superhero?” The show promises to allow contestants to create their own superhero, with the winner rewarded “with the best reality competition prize yet: immortality!” Unfortunately, that immortality is not of the bullets-bouncing-off-your-chest type, but the Stan-Lee-will-base-a-new-comic-book-on-you type. While you will not get to see contestants leaping over tall buildings in single bounds, you will get a glimpse into the lives of true geeks and nerds unlike anything currently seen on television. — Seth Freilich

Item #7: In further TV news, it looks as if showrunner Mitch Hurwitz has put the absolute, last, without-a-doubt, let-the-thing-die-already final nail in the coffin of the short-lived joy that was “Arrested Development.” Rumors abounded on the Internet that Showtime had picked up the show for an additional 26 episodes, though the deal was contingent upon Hurwitz’s return. But Hurwitz couldn’t get Showtime to cough up the cash he wanted (apparently Mary-Louise Parker is more expensive than you’d expect), so Hurwitz walked, killing any hopes of the show’s continued existence at Showtime. Hurwitz has teased the press with the possibility of a feature film, and message boards continue to be clogged with prayers for a “Family Guy” style resurrection, but as always, nothing is certain. Now, I’m a pretty big fan of the show, so I might be a little biased when I say: Let it go, people. It’s time to move on. Sure, we had some laughs, shared some memories, and learned how to do a chicken dance. But it’s over. If as many people actually watched the show as claimed to, perhaps Fox wouldn’t have pulled it, but the ratings for “Arrested” were somewhere between “Joey” and Amish, with an edge toward Amish. It was a brilliant, fast-paced, quick-witted comedy, but it’s over. I urge you, hipsters faux and real alike: Move on. — DC

Item #8: Before we get on to the box office report, we’d like to take a moment to give a shout-out to a long-time advertiser and friend of Pajiba, Michelle Lamar, aka The White Trash Mom, who has been written up in the Washington Post and has a book deal in the works. Unlike Larry the Cable Guy, Michelle actually gives White Trash culture its proper due. Congratulations, Michelle.

As for the B.O. roundup, Inside Man debuted at #1 over the weekend with a solid $29 million; V for Vendetta rolled in at #2, while Stay Alive grabbed the third spot with nearly $11 million, proving absolutely nothing, except that it’s not always fun to write an excoriating review. And, opening at #4 with a measly $6.9 million, Larry the Cable Guy shows that a lot of folks must have taken Dan’s advice last weekend.

This week, Ice Age 2 opens up on over 3800 screens, and attempts to do what V for Vendetta failed to do, namely become this year’s first certifiable blockbuster, and it should succeed with around a $50 million take. Slither should open at #2 with around $15 million, and ATL should roll up at #4. The real excitement around the Pajiba offices, however, is the release of Basic Instinct 2, which should cap off months of drunken Sharon Stone talk-show appearances, finally adding the last nail to her box-office coffin, and making Basic Instinct 2 this year’s first contender for 2006’s Razzie Awards. And if that isn’t enough, we’re hoping her cooter goes on full display, scaring the bejesus out of scores of moviegoers who never knew all the places to which Botox could be applied. — DR

* A special note: In celebration of the release of Basic Instinct 2 on Friday, we will be introducing a new banner to the site, to be periodically changed out with the main banner when the occasion arises.

The Weekly Trade Round-Up / The Pajiba Staff

Industry | May 13, 2006 |

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

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