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February 28, 2008 |

By Daniel Carlson | Industry | February 28, 2008 |

Right now, this second, how much do you love me? Because whatever the answer, it’s about to be a lot less. I’ve got some news that’s so dumb it can’t really qualify as what you’d think of as “bad news”; that would imply some kind of scale of quality, and way that the item in question could in some way have been less terrible. But there’s really no way to sugarcoat this one. Disney is planning another sequel in its Step Up franchise, which isn’t surprising given their relatively low cost and success with the kids who like dance porn — the film cost $20 million to make but made $28.7 million in its first weekend, and when you figure in the rest of its run and DVD sales, the numbers just get sadder. But oh, the tentative title of film says it all: Step Up 3-D. Yes, Step Up 2 the Streets helmer John Chu is in talks to direct the 3-D film. Baggy pants, exposed midriffs, teens acting “fresh”: all in 3-D, presented in a hellish, inescapable perversion of projection technology that’s downright terrifying to think about for too long. I don’t even like Channing Tatum in two dimensions. I don’t know if I could take him lunging at me like the Terminator at Universal Studios.

And hey, let’s follow up that bad news with some more bad news: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who built his career as a wrestler by convincing dimwitted teenage boys that he’s a badass and has since proven to be just one giant spotlight-hungry ham, will star as the title character in Fox’s The Tooth Fairy. The film will begin production in August under the directorial auspices of Michael Lembeck, who helmed The Santa Clause 2 and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. His Rockness will play a regular guy who, for reasons I do not care to know, is brought in to try and save the tooth fairy kingdom from whatever evils have befallen it, like gingivitis. If you have kids, please, don’t take them to see this. Give them a book, or punch them in the throat.

In geek news, Jonathan Mostow (U-571, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines With Inflatable Breasts) is partnering with Virgin Comics to develop a film based on its graphic novel The Megas, which was based on Mostow’s idea in the first place. Written by John Harrison with art by Peter Rubin, the book takes place in an America where an elite ruling class, the Megas, lives by their own special laws which are eventually challenged by a detective investigating a crime among them. Mostow hasn’t been named as writer or director yet, so who knows what specific role he’ll wind up playing. I haven’t read the book yet, but I’m wary of the Virgin’s Director’s Cut line, which also features titles created by the deeply flawed Guy Ritchie and John Woo. I’m cautious, but not yet optimistic.

I would like at this point to apologize to The Rock for besmirching his reputation. True, he makes terrible movies, but he could also crush me into a fine paste, and I’d rather not have him on my enemies list. I’ve already got Edith Piaf’s family up my ass, so I might as well make friends with a guy who could double as a bodyguard.

Well, after all that terrible news, I needs me some Audrey Tautou. First up in this morning’s trailer watch is Priceless, a lighthearted comedy about a womanizing jewel thief who presumably gets into trouble while looking adorable. Here’s the French trailer for those so inclined, and the English-narrated version is below:

Next is the clip for Married Life, a film about a guy who tries to kill his wife so he can get out of the marriage and take up with his mistress. And it’s a comedy! Enjoy:

Finally, here’s the trailer for Smart People, which feels similar to Sideways in that the leads both are cynical men with beards. Take a look:

Daniel Carlson is the managing editor of Pajiba and a low-level employee at a Hollywood industry magazine. You can visit his blog, Slowly Going Bald.

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