A lot of great directors have their muses — actors or actresses they like to work with over and over again. Woody Allen and Mia Farrow. Woody Allen and Scarlett Johansson. Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. Kevin Smith and Ben Affleck. Joel Coen and Frances McDormand. Ethan Coen and Holly Hunter. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell. Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe. Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman.
And, of course, the greatest director/actor combo of them all: Brian Robbins and Eddie Murphy.
Yes, after bringing the rock-hard funny in the cellulite comedy of the year, Norbit, Brian Robbins and Eddie Murphy are merging all seven of their combined brain cells to direct and star in two upcoming films. We’ve told you about Starship Dave, which concerns a crew of miniature aliens (led by Murphy) who operate a spaceship that looks like a human (destined to be the spaceship-mistaken-for-a-human comedy of the decade), but now comes a movie entitled, A Thousand Words. The premise is so simple that even Brian Robbins can understand it: “A smug man (Murphy) has only 1000 words left to speak before he dies.” That is not only the extent of the logline, but it pretty much contains every plot development in the film, though we are thrown for a hairy curveball somewhere around word 897 because it has four syllables in it and, from what I understand, Brian Robbins had to ask someone to help him pronounce it (for the record, it was “esoteric,” which Robbins asked to have removed from the script because he thought it was a “dirty word”). Steven Koren, whose previous writing credits include Night at the Roxbury and Click, wrote the script using some very sophisticated script software that inserts crowd-pleasing random blows to the crotch at inopportune times. In fact, at one point in the script, it calls for the lead character to get hit in the testicles by an actual wrecking ball, which triggers an epic fart that causes a rip in the space/time continuum. A cute puppy walks out of that rip and licks Murphy’s character in the face, thereby granting him an extra 1000 words, which he then manages to stretch into an entire lifetime by simply learning to supplement language by communicating through bouts of flatulence. The film, which hasn’t even begun production yet, has sold out through 2019.
Not to be outdone by that brilliantly high-concept comedy, Jim Carrey will star in Yes Man, which will be directed by Peyton Hillis, who brought us both Down with Love and The Break-Up (which make for a great double feature if you’re having troubles sleeping). The film is actually based on a memoir (that means it’s based on someone’s actual experiences, Brian Robbins) written by British author Danny Wallace, and is about a man who decides, for one full year, to say “yes” to absolutely everything that comes his way. In other words, it’s a movie about Nicolas Cage.
Thank you, I’ll be here all week. (Oh, and Bradley Cooper has been attached to play Carrey’s best friend in the film).
McG, executor producer of the recently deceased Fox drama, “OC,” is now in negotiations to take over directing duties in a fourth Terminator film, which will focus on John Connor organizing the surviving humans to resist Skynet’s army of robots; it will take place after the apocalypse that occurred at the end of the last installment. Reportedly, Mischa Barton has been cast as one of the metallic skeleton Terminators — they’re just going to spray paint her and throw her into random scenes. Currently, negotiations between the studio and Barton have stalled — she’s asked for a carton of cigarettes and a six-pack of Tequiza, but the studio’s won’t offer more than a bottle of Zima and 17 tic-tacs.
In a film that actually sounds a little intriguing, Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley will star in a thriller entitled Splice, which will be directed Vincenzo Natali (Cube). The film is about two young scientists (Brody and Polley) who become famous by splicing together various types of animal DNA to create otherworldly hybrid creatures. Things go all to hell when they introduce human DNA to the hybrids. I’m just excited about the prospect of a post-apocalyptic war between fauns, minotaurs, and satyrs. How could that go wrong?
In a mostly unrelated note, I live near a Cornell-owned pasture that has these cows — these cows who look completely normal on one side, but on the other, the hide around their stomachs has been removed (and covered with something — cellophane?) so that you can actually see the inside of the cow as your driving by on your way to the supermarket. It is freaky. Just thought I’d share.
Oh, and a reader, Jerce, gave us a link to this article yesterday, discussing the possibility of a Serenity sequel/prequel. It’s bullshit speculation, of course: Alan Tudyk (God bless him) is clearly trying to stir up some interest, but I don’t see it going anywhere. And, as socalledcousins remarked:
We’ve been down this conceptual road — do they do a prequel? [Alan Tudyk] tacitly acknowledges the problem in the interview … I would be worried about sullying the unsullied, but I would sure as hell see it opening night.
One option would be to flesh out the “Firefly” episode where they show how Mal put the crew together, with some big crisis that illuminates how they became so close-knit. But that creates a real problem for bringing in River and Simon, since that was covered in the show. Oy, they wrote themselves into a corner with the Serenity ending.
Truer words. I say, leave it alone, Joss. It’s perfect just as you left it. I’d like to believe there’d be something left unspoiled for future generations to fuck up.
Later this afternoon, yes: There will be a review of Darjeeling Limited as the film expands from one to 15 theaters; we’ll also bring you reviews of The Heartbreak Kid and The Seeker. You can also check back early next week for our take on Lust, Caution and My Kid Could Paint That. Meanwhile, previously reviewed films, The Jane Austen Book Club and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford expand their theater counts this weekend.
And, in the trailer watch, here’s the trailer for August Rush, which a commenter earlier this week remarked looked great up and until Robin Williams shows up. I have to respectfully disagree: A minor character may actually suit Williams, and I can’t imagine a movie directed by Kristen Sheridan, who co-wrote In America with her father Jim (loosely based on their own lives), to be anything but heart-tugging. And I’m sorry, but like the trailer for Martian Child, this one gets me a little verklempt. It looks so incredibly cheesy, but I find myself inexplicably drawn toward it. Do I have to turn in my Pajiba credentials? (oh, and back off, Barbado Slim, or I will sic pasadenamike on your ass — he will kill you with his grammar mangling, you feeling me, Slim?).
Enjoy the long weekend, y’all.
The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles
Trade News | October 5, 2007 | Comments ()