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May 4, 2007 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | May 4, 2007 |

We’ve got all sorts of excitement lined up for you today — it is the daily trade round-up, after all — where we “dish” all the exciting new projects funneling through the pipeline like sewage into the ocean.

First up is a project that’s near and dear to my heart — so I know it must be to yours (I’m seriously trying to channel my best “Entertainment Tonight” shtick here and failing miserably). It’s called Frog King, and it’s adapted from one of my favorite novels from the past several years, written by Adam Davies, loosely based on his days as a book editor at Random House. It concerns Harry, a low-level hater of his job in publishing. The movie follows our hero as he putzes around at Starbucks, philanders with an older lady, and acts like a giant ass to his girlfriend, Evie — who kind of rocks — while attempting to sign a successful author and make his name in the biz. And here’s where some of you might actually entertain an interest in the project: Harry will be played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is slowly making his way up the nonexistent Pajiba* It* list, after turns in Mysterious Skin, Brick, and even the somewhat disappointing The Lookout. Want more? The novel is being adapted by Brett Easton Ellis, author of American Psycho and all-around good guy, if you’re into Gen-X nihilism. No word on who will play Evie, but our short list includes Amy Adams and Natalie Portman, though we wish there were a young Lily Taylor in Hollywood today. On a sadder note, Darren Star — who made his name as creator of “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Sex and the City,” and “Melrose Place” — will make his big-screen debut behind the camera. I’m so giddy the film is being made at all that I’m willing to let that decision slide.

And yes, yes — the much loved Crank was left off our Best Action Films of All Time list, though Transporter did merit a few votes. But for Statham fans, there is still reason to rejoice. Kind of. The writing/directing duo behind Crank have indicated that they are working on another installment of the film — and no, it won’t be a prequel. It will apparently pick up where the original Crank left off, which is going to take a ridiculous twist of logic, physics, and human mortality to involve Statham — maybe his character has Jason Voorhees’ genetics, which is kind of cool, cause I’d like to see what kind of damage Statham can do in space. If he doesn’t appear in the sequel, don’t worry — he’s lined up to star in The Brazilian Job, a sequel to the absurdly mediocre The Italian Job, as well as The Bank Job based on the a real-life London heist that “netted Ocean’s 11 money with no arrest and not one penny recovered. That, in addition to his previously discussed role in Death Race, suggests that Statham will be coming to a theater near you very soon.

Blockbuster-director Michael Mann is also working on a new project, a film noir about a Hollywood murder investigation. It will be a period piece, set in the 1930s, about a studio’s private dick, played by the sizzling hot Leonardo DiCaprio, hired to investigate the murder of a young starlet’s husband (damn it, I can’t get a hang of the Mary Hart-speak). The prolific John Logan (The Aviator, Any Given Sunday, Gladiator) wrote the script, which includes a dazzling Bugsy Siegel shootout and will be filmed with the MGM studio lot as the backdrop. Let’s just hope it’s better than Mann’s last project, the critical and box-office disaster, Miami Vice, which couldn’t have been worse if Don Johnson and Phillip Michael Thomas had starred along with the Weekend at Bernie’s corpse.

Controversial Hollywood actor and director Mel Gibson is now on the record stating that there won’t be anymore Lethal Weapon or Mad Max sequels (at least not with him), but he has basically confirmed that there will be a sequel to Maverick and that both he and, quite possibly, James Garner will return. I hate to wish it upon you, James, but it might be a good time to check out, old pal. I don’t know if you’ve seen any of Gibson’s films lately, but they are freakin’ ghastly — two-hour excuses to cut off heads, flay Jesus, and release some of that pent up anti-Semitic repression. He’s not a guy I’d want to spend any time with in an old Western barbershop, if you get where I’m going — those straight razors are nasty. Take it from us, Jimmy — this is a project you’re going to want to pass on.

That should be enough to keep you industry news hounds at bay, at least until later this afternoon when the review for the much-anticipated Spider-Man 3goes up. We’re so excited about the Tobey Maguire saga around the offices, we’ve been leaving sexually harassing voice mails on each others’ phones! We’ve also got a review going up this weekend for Lucky You, the feature starring the sexy, sculpted Eric Bana and Tom Green’s cuddly ex-wife, Drew Barrymore.

I’ll leave you with a sneak peak of this summer’s surefire sensation, Balls of Fury starring Christopher Walken and that fat guy (Dan Fogler) nobody has ever heard of. It looks like a pic written with Will Ferrell in mind, but one that not even he would deign to star in. Unfortunately, Walken will take any role that comes his way as long as it comes with a couple of hundred dollar bills. Indeed, not even the shitty hair-band music in the trailer can get us pumped for it.

Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives with his wife in Ithaca, New York. You may email him, or leave a comment below.

Pajibatainment Tonight

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Industry | May 4, 2007 |

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


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