March 19, 2008 | Comments ()

By Daniel Carlson | Trade News | March 19, 2008 |


I’m almost reluctant to share this first news item with you out of fear that the universe will exact some kind of revenge on us all for the happiness we might feel. I mean, Anthony Minghella is already dead and the week’s not even over yet, so there’s no telling what tragic fate might befall us. Still, I can do nothing but express my profound optimism — hell, my excitement — at the news that Michael Cera is in final negotiations to star in Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life for Universal. For those unfamiliar with the source material, the Scott Pilgrim books are a series of graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley about a twentysomething slacker in Canada and the adventures he finds himself in on a daily basis. They’re a delirious, compelling mix of relationship drama and ninja superhero fable, not to mention the pack of ex-boyfriends Scott has to fight through in order to win his true love, while also avoiding the advances of a teenage girl who’s crushing on him and the general suckiness of being broke in Canada. What’s more, the film is being co-written and directed by Edgar Wright, who directed the fantastic Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, which makes him the perfect man for the genre-blending whirlwind that is Scott Pilgrim. Top it off with Cera’s proven comedic chops, and things start to look pretty good. Rating: awesome.

Meanwhile, it was announced this week that Sam Raimi and Paramount are cooking up a plan to revive the character of Jack Ryan, previously played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck (I know). Baldwin had the good fortune to play Ryan in The Hunt for Red October, the best of the Ryan films and one of the best modern action movies period, but the film series slid down from there, through Ford’s solid Patriot Games and shakier Clear and Present Danger and Affleck’s deeply flawed The Sum of All Fears. The idea is for Raimi to direct and develop a series of films that would feature a younger Jack Ryan, possibly set in the present instead of the Cold War-era origins of Tom Clancy’s books. Paramount has stated that they’d like Raimi to direct the new Jack Ryan film after he completes Universal’s Drag Me to Hell, so that the Ryan movie could be ready to hit screens in summer 2010. Whatever happens, I think we all know the truth: Nothing will ever top Red October. Connery in charge of a nuclear sub? Baldwin doing a Connery impression? Scott Glenn? Come on.

And hey, guess what? Peter Berg is going to direct a new version of Dune. I barely know what to make of that.

Swinging now to the other end of the emotional spectrum, this morning’s trailer watch brings the clip for Hounddog, which earned some controversy when it played Sundance a year ago because of the rape scene involving star Dakota Fanning. So, um, here you go:

And hey, what better way to follow that up than with a trailer where pathology students wind up having weird sex in a morgue while engaging in a cat-and-mouse thriller?

Aw, I can’t leave you with that. So let me share a clip from “Reno 911!” that’s been making me laugh. You will find yourself saying “new boot goofin’” more than you could possibly believe:

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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Michael Cera's Precious Little Pajiba

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Daniel Carlson

Trade News | March 19, 2008 | Comments ()



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