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January 31, 2008 |

By Daniel Carlson | Industry | January 31, 2008 |

When word came out the other day that Guillermo del Toro would be adapting The Hobbit in a pair of films, I was once more given the opportunity to put my familiarity with certain aspects of geek lore on display for my coworkers. One of them had said he thought del Toro was a good choice, and since Jackson is producing, del Toro still has access to various sets and designs from Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings series. It was at this unfortunate point that I responded, “Yeah, but The Hobbit is a smaller-scale film. Lord of the Rings had a lot more action set pieces, whereas Hobbit really only has the Battle of the Five Armies.” My coworker — who knows stuff like the backstory for the Immortal Iron Fist, and really shouldn’t throw stones, etc. — looked at me, paused, and said, “Wow, you’re a geek.” I didn’t really know what to say, since it’s true. And even though I stand by my overall disappointment with Jackson’s films, dammit, I’ll probably wind up seeing del Toro’s films when they get here, if only because the 7-year-old in me has always wondered what Smaug would look like in a movie.

For the few of you who haven’t walked away from your computers out of shame for me, I guess I should get on with things. There’s news this week involving a pair of horror remakes, one film potentially good, one likely terrible. First up, the good: Mark Romanek, who was set to direct The Wolfman for Universal, has walked off the project after reported budget differences with the studio. Universal wanted to keep the budget for the R-rated film at $100 million, but Romanek apparently wanted more, which is weird, given that the lead is Benicio Del Toro, who probably doesn’t require more than a $25 wig and a night spent outside to look like the Wolfman. Where was all the cash going? Regardless, Romanek, previously known only for One Hour Photo and some music videos, could have a hard time getting a high-profile directing gig after this. Good luck, man.

Now, the bad: New Line wants to kick-start the Nightmare on Elm Street series with another Freddy Krueger movie, which will either focus on Krueger’s origin story or the summer he spent in Madrid just getting to know himself. The revamp will be handled by Platinum Dunes, the production company headed by Michael Bay. Yeah, that Michael Bay. Platinum Dunes was also responsible for the awesome completely stupid reimagining of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre a couple of years ago, so there’s every sign that their Nightmare remake will be a major disappointment. Half the fun of that original movie is its cheeseball mediocrity; Johnny Depp gets eaten by a bed, you know? The remake will be nothing more than a greasy and hyper-violent twist on the classic, and it’s completely unnecessary. Thanks, Mike.

Speaking of 1980s horror: Anchor Bay has picked up U.S. rights to Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer after its Slamdance appearance. The horror-comedy stars Trevor Matthews as a teen haunted by the death of his parents who somehow (like it matters) awakens the spirit of an ancient evil, which then stirs up hijinks in the vein of the dozens of B-level flicks from the era that everyone has rightly forgotten. The film even co-stars Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund. No word yet on when and where it will be released.

Also: D.J. Caruso (Disturbia), who’s attached to the film version of Brian K. Vaughan’s comic book Y: The Last Man, has said he’s had “preliminary discussions” with Shia LaBeouf about the Beouf taking the lead role of Yorick Brown in the film. And I, for one, just don’t see it. I can’t come up with any better ideas off the top of my head, but LaBeouf doesn’t have the build or energy or really any of the things I would think you’d want for the role. I don’t know. If anybody has any good ideas — and don’t say Ryan Reynolds; go outside the box, kids — feel free to chime in.

Finally, this morning’s trailer watch has several clips, mainly because we took a break from the round-ups for Classics Week. First up: The first teaser for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, which is pretty brilliant in that it manages to sell the mindset and anticipation without actually showing any footage from the film beyond a shot of the Enterprise that might not even be in the final movie. Still, it’s pretty nice. Take a gander:

Next is the trailer for Baby Mama, which despite a title that’s just cataclysmically fucking retarded, could have a few good moments thanks to the presence of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. And for now, I’ll cling to the fact that writer-director Michael McCullers was involved with the Austin Powers franchise and ignore his work on Undercover Brothers. Here we go:

Meh, I can’t leave you with that. So here’s a music video by Jon Lajoie, creator of rapist glasses, and it’s pretty much the most entertaining reaction vid for 2 Girls 1 Cup you’ll ever see. Turn it up and sing along:

Daniel Carlson is the managing editor of Pajiba and a low-level employee at a Hollywood industry magazine. You can visit his blog, Slowly Going Bald.

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