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The Weekly Trade Round-Up / The Pajiba Staff
Trade News | July 27, 2006 | Comments ()
Item #1: You know, the last I heard about the long-gestating prequel to Fletch, Kevin Smith had been attached to write and direct and he was refusing to go ahead unless Jason Lee was cast in the title role. I’m not sure what happened there, but I suspect it had something to do with Jersey Girl or the folks over at the Church of Scientology’s inability to elevate Lee’s stature beyond B-level buddy roles. Either way, it’s hard to be disappointed to hear that “Scrubs” creator Bill Lawrence has been given the gig, and that he wants Zach Braff to take the lead role in Fletch Won, which will follow the early days of the detective, when he saddles up with a newspaper reporter to solve a murder. Basically, it’s one of those origin stories that explores the beginnings of Fletch, and though he has more goofball charm than sardonic wit, Braff ought to do the part justice. If only Lawrence could find a way to incorporate the a capella group from “Scrubs” to do another rendition of “Talk Dirty to Me” over the end-credits, my life would be complete. — Dustin Rowles
Item #2: Just when you thought that Freddie Prinze Jr. had been forever relegated to subpar-sitcom status, that son of a bitch manages to get himself cast in an actual film, with freakin’ Chris Klein, of all people, who himself seemed destined to a life of post-Katie Lifetime films, where he would play the heroic Christian that comes along and saves the abused wife from her bearded tormenter (to be played by Scott Speedman, no doubt). Anyway, the two aren’t too washed up to get the lead roles in Frank Whaley’s New York City Serenade, which is supposed to be loosely based on a period in Whaley’s life in the 1990s. Whaley himself, of course, had already disappeared into various “Law and Order” episodes soon after he made a small splash in Swimming with Sharks. I suppose that this is his way of punishing the rest of us for forgetting about him, by foisting Prinze and Klein back into our lives so that we must once again go through the process of forgetting them after Serenade inevitably tanks. It does beg the question, however, of where the hell Mathew Lillard has disappeared to, and does Jonathon Silverman have a career-resurrecting script for him? — DR
Item #3: I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll mention again my total heterosexual man-crush on Ryan Reynolds, which has everything to do with the best sarcastic delivery in Hollywood (and he should, at least, be considered for Fletch Won). So it is with unbridled pleasure that I learned that he will be cast alongside Isla Fisher, who so successfully sold crazy in last year’s Wedding Crashers, in the romantic comedy Definitely, Maybe. The story centers around a soon-to-be-divorced political consultant who has to explain to his 11-year-old daughter why he fucks around and, presumably, Ms. Fisher will play his soon-to-be-ex-wife, though I suspect a comedy of remarriage in which Reynolds wins her over by borrowing a line from Blade: Trinity: “And unlike typical vampires, her fangs are located in her vagina.” And then Fisher maniacally volleys with, “Don’t ever leave me!” Oh, it’s gonna blow, but I can’t even wait. And Hollywood — when Vince Vaughn inevitably wears out his welcome, Mr. Reynolds is a very suitable backup. — DR
Item #4: So, for all you Comic-Con type folks, you might be happy to know that Guillermo del Toro, who brought you Hellboy and bears a striking resemblance to Harry (fucking) Knowles, is adapting the comic-book Deadman for the big screen. Deadman is apparently the ghost of a circus acrobat named Boston Brand, who was murdered during a trapeze performance. His spirit was then granted the power by a Hindu goddess to possess … oh Jesus, really? Must I go on? I think trapeze artist and Hindu goddess is probably all you need to know to avoid Deadman, though it sure didn’t stop many of you from going to see a movie about a demon, raised from infancy after being conjured by and rescued from the Nazis, who grows up to become a defender against the forces of darkness. And for those of you, I certainly hope that Hellboy 2 satisfies your weird, cross-genre fetishes. — DR
Item #5: To the writers of, producers of, marketers of, and everyone else associated with “Lost,” I hereby deliver a hearty “fuck you!” As you may or may not know, there’s currently this online game called the “Lost Experience,” where those with way too much free time can delve even deeper into the “Lost” mythology. I’ve said before that my big concern with this terrible idea was that they were going to use the game to reveal info that should, for all intents and purposes, be revealed in the show, thereby rewarding the game players but depriving most of the bread-and-butter viewers who aren’t bothering to play this game. Well, that concern is coming to fruition. Already, the game has apparently given out some “exclusive” info about the Black Rock (and I don’t know what that info is or I’d certainly share it with you). But now they’ve announced that, before the third season begins airing, not only will the game give out new information about the mysterious Hanso Foundation, but it will reveal “the meaning behind” the numbers. And aside from my anger at the idea that they’re now actually detracting from the show’s appeal by putting such content into the game, I also call shenanigans on the producers, as this confirms a deep-rooted concern of mine, which is that they really don’t know what the hell they’re doing. In an interview only several months old, someone from the show said that they would probably never reveal any meaning of the numbers. Now, lo and behold, they want to pull more folks into this stupid online game, and so they do an about-face on the revelation of the numbers. This does not portend good things for the future of this show, that’s all I’m saying.
And hey, man, I enjoyed the hell out of Hellboy! — Seth Freilich
Item #6: In box office results, Pirates of the Caribbean held on to the top spot once again, ensuring that I’d need to look up the correct spelling of “Caribbean” for, like, the 77th time this month. In second place, Monster House grossed $22 million, and I have nothing to say about that, while Lady in the Water amassed only $18 million, suggesting that the trick-ending was on Shyamalan this time.
Both Dan and Jeremy are out this week, so the glut of new features may be spread out across the weekend and into early next week. But Phillip will have Miami Vice up for y’all sometime on Friday, which may just provide the first bona fide quality remake of a television show, if Michael Mann turns in his usual effort. Our newest critic, Kerry, will be tackling Ant Bully, which I understand is some sort of communist manifesto for the little ones. And I’m the unfortunate soul saddled with John Tucker Must Die, which offers all sorts of creative murder/suicide metaphors, and if I don’t turn the gun on myself before it’s over, I imagine I’ll exhaust them all. Sometime next week, Dan will review the much anticipated Sundance sensation, Little Miss Sunshine, and somebody, at some point, will get around to reviewing Scoop, though there is little reason why we couldn’t just recycle an old Woody Allen review, since he’s been recycling the same goddamn movie for decades now. — DR