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May 22, 2007 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | May 22, 2007 |

The news out of Hollywood this week so far isn’t all that thrilling, but the round-up must go on, if only to give you good folks a target to aim your daggers (that’d be both the projects in question, and your humble messenger). And, unfortunately, due to jury duty (karmic punishment for my Shrek the Third review), today’s round-up is also semi-abbreviated.

So, here we go: First up, guess who’s in line to direct the 22nd installment of the James Bond franchise? Brian Robbins? No. Brian Levant? Uh huh. Actually, it’s not a bad director, though I’m skeptical of the choice, given the nature of the film: Marc Forster is rumored to be taking over the directorial duties, after Martin Campbell offered up the serviceable, uneven (thanks to the overlong poker sequences and ridiculous love story) Casino Royale. You may recall Forster from his helming duties on Finding Neverland, Monster’s Ball and the surprisingly fantastic Stranger than Fiction. He certainly has a talent for drama, but who knows how well that will extend toward an action film. Then again, who would’ve pegged Alfonso Cuaron as the Harry Potter franchise’s best director following Great Expectations and Y tu mama tambien? A good director, apparently, is a good director, regardless of genre (which is not to suggest that Great Expecation was a particularly good film). And if Forster does take over directing duties, it may be the first Bond film I actually look forward to seeing — of course, Tony Scott is also rumored to be up for the job, which is just a terrible idea. His talents might be best served on that long-rumored Amanda Bynes/Hilary Duff buddy-cop pic.

In Dark Knight casting news, a surprising (bewildering? bumblefucked?) announcement was made over the weekend: Anthony Michael Hall has an unspecified role in the film. Yeah — Weird Science’s Gary will have a part, though he’s been sworn to secrecy as to what it entails. According to the L.A. Times, Hall says, “I signed a confidentiality agreement, and I can’t say which part I’m playing … I can’t give away the suspense.” Methinks that’s just Hall’s gentle way of saying, “I’m a crowd scene extra,” though I do understand he repeatedly utters the line, “Gimme da keys, I’ll drive,” while sniffing a pair of Molly Ringwald’s panties. Sadly, he wasn’t wearing a microphone at the time. (I mean no disrespect to the hours and hours of enjoyment you’ve given me, Farmer Ted.)

In semi-devastating news for the world of fanboy geekdom out there (I don’t swing that way, but I know many of you do), the Star Wars obsession film, Fanboys, has been delayed yet again. The film is about a group of Star Wars geeks who make a cross-country venture to George Lucas’ Ranch to see Episode I — The Phantom Menance as it should be seen (though in my estimation, it’s best seen with earplugs and a blindfold). Apparently, the studio was so excited (ahem) about the film that they’ve decided to do a lot of reshoots and push back the release from this summer to January, which — as we all know — is when the best films are released, that way the massive droves of people who don’t attend movies after the new year will have something not to watch. After watching the trailer, I can’t say that I’m all that surprised: It appears as though it’s a decent premise, with a cool cast of players (including Jay Baruchel, Kristen Bell, and Seth Rogen in what appears to be a cameo) that is poorly executed. And unless the reshoots involve deleting Dan Fogler from the film entirely, I wouldn’t expect much improvement over what the trailer has to offer.

Finally, America’s sweetheart (or at least the America that shops at Target (c’mon — it’s a joke; too soon, huh? Damnit — I’ll put the tail back between the ass cheeks) Julia Roberts is set to play Joan Root in a biopic of her life. For those of you not familiar with her life, Root “was a Kenyan native and wildlife documentary film maker, whose life’s work came to … zzzzzzzzzzz.” No no … I kid. I kid. I’m sure that Root led a fascinating life and that the film will be a respectful tribute to it, which is why the filmmakers chose to cast the actress best known for romanticizing prostitution. I mean, it makes perfect sense to get Julia Roberts to play this woman. Can’t you see the resemblance?

And if you folks aren’t infuriated enough with the state of Hollywood right now, this ought to do it: Elijah Wood will play Iggy Pop in an Iggy biopic. My lust for life has just shriveled like George Costanza in a large body of cold water.

Out in DVD this week, feast your eyes on the amazing Epic Movie, which may hold the title for the worst non-straight-to-DVD release of the year. There is also Apocalypto for the bloodthirsty amongst you, Amazing Grace for the extremely desperate for entertainment amongst you, and The Good German for those who want to see a film that you could’ve sworn was based on a Graham Greene novel (it’s not). Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated Letters From Iwo Jima will also be released today, as well as Fay Grim, which just opened in theaters on Friday (how’s that for turnaround?). We should have that review up soon — travel-related logistics have held it up thus far.

Finally, in the trailer watch, will someone please tell me who in God’s name has the tiniest inkling of interest in the Hairspray remake? What worked for John Waters does not work for Adam Shankman, you know? And who the hell wants to see John Travolta take a role popularized by Divine? It’s only a matter of time before they remake all the cult classics as mainstream films — just wait until we’re somebody gets the bright idea to remake Harold and Maude with Topher Grace and Catherine Zeta-Jones. It’ll happen, too. Sons of bitches — all of them.


The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Industry | May 22, 2007 |

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

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