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August 17, 2006 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | August 17, 2006 |

Item #1: At first, I didn’t want to believe the rumors that had been clogging the tubes of the Internet. Could Wes Anderson really be working on a new project? I was reluctant to accept the whispered news, not wanting to get my heart broken or anything. After all, it wasn’t but a few weeks ago that I lamented in this very space about how Anderson’s skills as a filmmaker are outweighed by the slow pace with which he actually churns out product.

But this week, official word came down that Anderson’s new film will be called The Darjeeling Limited, and will feature Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and Adrien Brody as brothers who embark on a spiritual trek across India after the death of their father. The quirky plot is definitely Andersonian, and the setting all but guarantees a return of groundskeeper/safecracker/servant extraordinaire Kumar Pallana. Sure, Anderson’s most recent film, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, wasn’t quite up to snuff, but his AmEx ad was mighty entertaining. And besides, even on his worst days, Anderson’s better than pretty much anything else at the multiplex. — Daniel Carlson

Item #2: How do you know when you’ve hit rock bottom? When you’ve decided to resurrect a long-dormant franchise best remembered for a man who talked out of his ass, and you can’t even get the flatulationist to return. But that’s what Morgan Creek has decided to do, hiring a few hacks to string together a series of lame bestiality-entendres, slap on an incoherent plot, add a nubile love interest, and call it Ace Ventura 3. Indeed, the third film in the trilogy reportedly will follow Ace’s son, who has taken over the family business. Exact plot details are not yet forthcoming, but here’s my one request: If Ace Jr. opens his ass to talk, shove one of his poisonous reptiles up there. Actually, we’ll call it: Ace Ventura 3: Snakes in Your (Motherfucking) Ass. (*groan* Now I hate myself) — Dustin Rowles

Item #3: I’ve kind of appreciated the gentle approach many of the gossip bloggers have taken this week to the break up of Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson. I mean, really, it was sort of inevitable, and reminds me of one of the few great “Weekend Update” jokes, compliments of Norm McDonald:

“Christie Brinkley told reporters this week that her marriage to Billy Joel was over long before their divorce. The key moment, she said, came when she realized that she was Christie Brinkley and that she was married to Billy Joel.”

Anyway, point being: Hudson has signed on aboard Fool’s Gold, reteaming with Mathew McConaughey (How to Make Your Audience Suicidal in 10 Minutes) for a romantic comedy about a married couple on the brink of bankruptcy and divorce that is forced to reunite in the search of a lost treasure. Sounds pretty lame, I agree. And having Andy Tennant (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama) direct doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. But it does have one thing going for it: The script is written by Kenneth Lonergan, who you might remember wrote the phenomenal You Can Count on Me. But then again, he also wrote Analyze That and Rocky and Bullwinkle. So, yeah: Fool’s Gold is gonna suck. — DR

Item #4: While I thoroughly enjoyed Talladega Nights (though I sure did miss me some Rudd), I’m worried that Hollywood execs are getting way, way too free with their ironclad formula of Comedic Actor Does Obscure/Interesting Job as Hijinks Inevitably Ensue. This time, Columbia has moved beyond the Ferrell/Wilson/Stiller/Vaughn fraternity and ensnared John C. Reilly — who was actually talented all on his own before Talladega Nights, a fact I’m sure we’ll learn to forget with time — to star in Walk Hard, a comedy spoofing the recent spate of musician biopics. Judd Apatow will write and Jake Kasdan will direct the story that will feature Reilly as Dewey Cox, who will be tragically blinded in youth but go on to enjoy a spotty career marred by alcoholism and infidelity. While I remain skeptical about the project, I’m holding out hope that Apatow (“Freaks and Geeks,” The 40-Year-Old Virgin) and Kasdan (Zero Effect) will add a little life to what sounds like a brutally dull concept. — DC

Item #5:I’ve frequently talked about how much I like it when the television networks do something good by working with new technology and trends, finding ways to use them to their advantage (as opposed to some others, *cough* MPAA and RIAA *cough*, who fight a losing fight to the sound of their own draining profits). Well it’s CBS’ turn to get a good-on from me this week. The day after new episodes of seven series air (including network staples such as the various “CSI” shows and “Survivor,” as well as the much-anticipated newbie “Jericho”), CBS will make those episodes available online, via its “innertube” broadband channel. And following in the footsteps of ABC’s similar experiment earlier this year, these streaming episodes will be available for free, not for the iTunes standard $1.99 a pop. Sure, viewers will have to put up with some ads, but the majority of home viewers do this already, since TiVo and its ilk are still only in a minority of households — in fact, this online availability is most beneficial to those with no DVRs, since it gives them the ability (for free) to time-shift the same way us TiVo-lovers have been doing for some time now. Over the next five years we’re going to see a lot of things change in the television business model, and change, like greed, is good. — Seth Freilich

Item #6: Random thought: What the hell happened to Vance DeGeneres?

Anyway, before we move on with the box-office tallies, some of our more frequent visitors may have noticed that the ol’ site has been given a bit of a facelift this week, and has actually gone through a number of changes the last couple of days. Most of you, however, don’t give a shit, so I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say: That’s the new banner, though we may change images from time to time if the mood strikes. If you had a weird fondness for the old one, it’s in the footer. Deal with it. I mention this only because that Almost Famous image at the top of the page was one of the banner considerations. It didn’t work, of course, but I had to show it off. Oh, and how strikingly similar are Fillion and Bateman, especially in duplicate poses?

So, box-office grosses: Ricky Bobby hung on to the number one spot over the weekend, amassing a nice $22 million, not including the redneck homophobes’ request for refunds following the man-on-man spit-swap. Step Up surprisingly took second place, and I suspect the box-office returns will gradually build over the week as more people discover the naked photos of Channing Tatum floating around the nets. Finally, Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center amassed a respectable $18 million, though judging from our comments section, none of our readers contributed to it.

This weekend: Snakes on a Plane finally arrives in theaters. And just you wait: In six months, the phrase “snakes on a motherfucking plane” and its endless variations will be as obnoxiously painful to hear as “Life is like a box of chocolates,” or “You had me at hello,” because every motherfucking Bill Lumbergh and Michael Scott in America will be repeating it during staff lunches. Indeed, there is no better way to kill a strong buzz than having one’s boss jump aboard the bandwagon.

Also, Accepted arrives in theaters, and is it just me or is Justin Long the Y Gen’s John Cusack? And if so, you could do a lot worse. In limited release, we’ve also got Ed Norton in The Illusionist and Julianne Moore/David Duchovny in Trust the Man. Oh, and the Duff sisters are in something called Material Girls. Pay it no attention. — DR

I Am a Golden Pajiba!

The Weekly Trade Round-Up / Pajiba Staff

Industry | August 17, 2006 |

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

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