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April 17, 2007 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | April 17, 2007 |

All right — do you have your cereal bowl out? Is it full? ‘Cause you’re going to want to weep in it a little this morning. Because this is what happens when the once next-great-actor of our generation hits a dry spell and coughs up a few indie duds: He signs on to play the goddamn Incredible Hulk. Yes — you heard right. Edward Norton, the Yale-trained thespian with two Oscar nominations for acting under his belt, has been cast as Bruce Banner in the sequel to the Marvel Comics film. I don’t know what most of you think of Norton, and if you’ve ever listened to the Fight Club DVD commentary you’d know that he’s surprisingly not as witty as Brad Pitt, but I once had a decent amount of respect for the guy. He’s got more flops than he does successes, but somehow playing a mild-mannered scientist capable of morphing into a CGI-monstrosity doesn’t seem to jibe with his roles in Primal Fear, American History X, The Illusionist, The People vs. Larry Flynt, and 25th Hour. And here’s what’s doubly disconcerting about this casting choice: They tried, with the original Hulk, to add a respected director (Ang Lee), give the movie some psychological heft, and ground it with a sheen of pretentiousness. And it didn’t work. Why? Because the people who might actually want to see a comic-book film about a goddamn scientist with anger-management issues want The Hulk to turn green and rip up some shit, and that’s about it. And, by casting Norton, Marvel has indicated that the second installment will be more of the same: A long, tedious action-light spectacle full of contemplation and humorlessness. I suppose it does make sense that it’s released in 2008 — a Presidential election year.

In casting news that you’ve probably all heard about already: Along with Cate Blanchett, Harrison Ford, and Ray Wintstone, Shia LaBeouf has now joined the cast of Indy 4. Honestly, I’m all right with that — I saw Disturbia over the weekend and totally agree with Phillip’s assessment: A welcoming slick, surprisingly intense Saturday afternoon diversion. And LaBeouf is a reasonably decent actor, though it’s a shame he’s set to appear in Transformers. You’d best watch yourself, Shia, or you’ll end up in an Incredible Hulk sequel.

In other casting news, Christina Ricci has signed onto Larry and Andy Wachowski’s live-action adaptation of Speed Racer, as Speed’s girlfriend, Trixie. Well, good for her: She already looks like an anime creation, so the casting here is appropriate.

Elsewhere, Akiva Goldsman is wrapping up the script for the prequel to The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, and both Ron Howard and Tom Hanks are in negotiations to return. Go ahead now, just stick your entire head in that cereal bowl. Everything is better when your face is covered in Cap’n Crunch.

For what it’s worth, there is a lot of speculation this week, also, that Sam Raimi will not do a Spiderman 4 and will, instead, turn and direct The Hobbit. He is, apparently, circling the drain on that project. And I have no idea what to make of this, but Raimi is also writing a script for an Evil Dead remake and shopping for a director. If he actually pulls the trigger on a remake, it may be the biggest disservice to the horror genre of all time.

Also, there’s this: A Ben Stiller film entitled The Marc Pease Experience. The good news about the film is that Anna Kendrick (who was fantabulous in Rocket Science, in theaters August 12) has been attached to star, along with Jason Schwartzman and Stiller. It’s also written and directed by Todd Louiso, who most of you know as Dick from High Fidelity. Great, right? Well, listen to the plot summary: It’s about a high school student (Kendrick) who is romantically involved with both her older high school teacher (Schwartzman) and his mentor, Mr. Gribble (Ben Stiller), both of whom are set to open musical productions on the same night. Does that plot sketch ring any bells? Sound at all anything like a certain movie that Dan featured prominently in one of last year’s Guides? Hmm. Now, c’mon, Louiso. If you’re going to rip off Rushmore, at least have the decency not to cast the same actor in a similar role.

Also, the following films are set to be released on DVD today: Smokin’ Aces, Notes on a Scandal, The Last King of Scotland, The History Boys, and Freedom Writers. With the exception of the last one, the others are worth at least the rental fee.

In the trailer watch, a reader sent along this teaser trailer for Uwe Boll’s upcoming flick, Postal, which is apparently based on a completely inane video game (Uwe Boll? Video game? Get out of here!). I don’t know what it’s really about, but the plot summary on IMDb suggests that it’s about “Postal Dude,” his wife “Bitch,” and his “Uncle Dave” (Dave Foley), who hatch a plan to steal some valuables, only Osama Bin Laden (with “his friend George W. Bush as backup”) derail their plan. This clip features an incredibly tasteless scene with a window washer at the World Trade Center, seconds before the 9/11 attack. After you watch it, you may want to take that cereal bowl, attach a bone saw and some explosives to it, and shove it up Uwe Boll’s sphincter. (Thanks for the tip, Emily.)

Mr. Pajiba, Don't Make Me Angry. You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Industry | April 17, 2007 |

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

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