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February 12, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | February 12, 2008 |

Let’s see how deep we can dig into this round-up before an item makes us want to gnaw on a leather strap: First up, Sam Raimi is returning to his goddamn horror roots finafuckingly. And it’ll be a family affair, as he’s writing Drag Me to Hell with his brother, Ivan the Less Talented One (although, in fairness, Ted is the one that likely got dropped on his head). While the details about the movie are scant — “an unsuspecting person becomes the recipient of a supernatural curse” — Ellen Page has been cast in the movie, presumably as the “unsuspecting person.” There’s a smidgen of talk around the nets that Drag Me to Hell is actually the superduper secret code name for Evil Dead 4, but it’s probably scuttlebutt, and honestly, I’m just gonna bask in the knowledge that Raimi and Ellen Page will be working together, a pairing that makes fanboys, geeks, nerds, and pirates very happy.

Speaking of Ellen Page, the writer of Juno has a horror movie in the works as well. Diablo Cody — who, due respect, is embarrassing herself even more than Stephen King has with her awful, yearbook-journalism styled Entertainment Weekly column — wrote Jennifer’s Body, which will be directed by Karyn Kusama, a talented director (Girlfight) who also has one of the decade’s worst films on her resume, Aeon Flux. The flick will be about a possessed cheerleaders that turns into a killer who specializes in killing her male classmates; her best friend is charged with ending the mayhem. The cheerleader will be played by Megan Fox (a.k.a. Empty Vessel), while Lilly Kane (Amanda Seyfried) has been cast as the best friend. Sweet: A quirky, whimsical slasher pic. Maybe the cheerleader will kill her male classmates with a hamburger phone.

… and speaking of Lilly Kane, Kristen Bell has a new project in the works as well. A romantic comedy. From Disney studios. And it sounds about as appealing as battery-acid colonic. The logline for When in Rome: Bell will play a “love-starved New York curator who steals magical coins from a famous Roman fountain but soon finds herself in a bizarre situation when she is pursued back to New York by a band of aggressive suitors — the very people whose coins she took.” What? Was Rainbow Killer too busy smoking to take the project? Anyway, Mark Steven Johnson, the single-celled organism responsible for Daredevil and Ghost Rider (yeah: Who knew so much suck could exist in a single cell?), will direct. I think it’s time folks that we all finally began to separating “Veronica Mars” the character from Kristen Bell, the actress. One is cool; the other is a thespian with very limited range who is quickly rising on the annoying meter. Oh, and Kristen: While the Maxim photo shoots surely give the sci-fi geekboys something to ponder when they put down their video game controllers and pick up their joysticks, they aren’t exactly endearing you to those of us who appreciated you for more than your bikini line.

Anyway, speaking of fleshy blondes who give their television characters a bad rap, Hayden Panettiere (Bell’s co-star on “Heroes”) has joined Kieran Culkin (Igby Goes Down) in Daydream Nation, a teenage comedy, in which Hayden will play the “bitchy girl.” The film marks the directorial debut of Michael Goldbach, and is said to be a coming-of-age story for the 21st Century: A cross between Election and (just to bring this round-up full circle) Juno. God: How many fucking times can we expect a movie to be a cross between something else and Juno over the course of the next decade. It’s only a matter of time before someone introduces a film that marketed as High School: The Musical crossed with Juno, featuring a pregnant, basketball-playing cheerleader who decides to try out for the school’s production of Oklahoma. Damnit, Diablo: Look at what you’ve wrought.

Whatever happened to Craig Kilborn? Anybody?

A couple of random notes of interest: Rumors are spreading faster than grease paint and monkey brains that Rob Zombie may sit in the director’s chair for the remake of Conan the Barbarian … Dennis Quaid, who has been cast as General Hawk in G.I. Joe (which started filming this week) has revealed that he’s signed onto three G.I. Joe films, which can only mean one thing: Shitty sequels, people … the new They Might Be Giants children’s album really isn’t very good, even for kids (their EP Why Does the Sun Shine was considerably better) … there will be a sequel to 1973’s version of The Wicker Man, and it will be called Cowboys for Christ, about a gospel singer and a cowboy friend who find themselves stranded on the Hebridean island; Chrsistopher Lee and Robin Hardy return from the original … and Alexander Aja’s (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes) remake of Piranha — about a seismic reaction that opens up a hole in the bottom of a lake, unleashing thousands of piranhas onto unsuspecting teenage sunbathers — will be in 3-D, motherfuckers. 3-D death, holla.

And, in the trailer watch, I guess it was awfully na├»ve of me to get my hopes up last year when we reported that Daniel Waters, who wrote Heathers, was re-teaming with Winona Ryder for Sex and Death 101. I mean, even Patton Oswalt is in it; how could I not be hopelessly optimistic? Unfortunately, it looks every bit as awful as Waters’ follow-up screenplays to Heathers (The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and Hudson Hawk) portended. Also, four words: Natalie Letisha Sage Green.

Finally, will someone please tell me if my man-crush on Ryan Reynolds has clouded my judgment? Because Chaos Theory actually looks infinitely entertaining to me. It’s the man crush, isn’t it? I should’ve know when I laughed like a goddamn ninny at the “I Swear” end-credit sequence in “Just Friends” that I could never watch a Ryan Reynolds’ film objectively.

But fuck all, if you don’t laugh at this, you’re stone, goddamnit. Stone!

I’ll turn in my Pajiba credentials now. Dan: Now’s a good time, while I’m at my weakest, to attempt the coup d’Pajiba you’ve been threatening.

When the Boys You Used to Hate You Date / I Guess You Best Investigate / The Facts of Pajiba

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Industry | February 12, 2008 |

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

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