May 24, 2006 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | May 24, 2006 |


Item #1: In a move that surprised no one, the minute The Da Vinci Code’s box-office domination was assured, Sony signed Code screenwriter and gentleman hack Akiva Goldsman for an adaptation of Dan Brown’s first Robert Langdon thriller, Angels & Demons. As yet, Ron Howard and Tom Hanks haven’t agreed to do the prequel, but the studio, naturally, will give them first option. Given how little passion or conviction Howard and Hanks brought to Code, though, it seems quite possible that they’ll take a pass, and I certainly hope they do. If there’s going to be another freakin’ Langdon movie — and this one has an even more absurd plot, about a plan by the Illuminati to use an antimatter bomb to blow up the Vatican right in the middle of a papal election — why not actually make this one fun? The story is set before the events of Code, so Sony could go younger and sexier — replace Hanks with his son Colin, who could play Langdon as a scruffy grad student (I hear Yale has a great “symbology” department!) instead of a tiresome stuffed shirt. And they could hire crazy, oversexed Italian actress Asia Argento (link really NSFW) to play Vittoria Vetra, Langdon’s sidekick/love interest. It would be great — whenever they get into a jam while prowling around the Vatican, she could just pull her skirt over her head (link moderately NSFW) to distract the Swiss Guard. Finally, to ensure the level of good taste necessary to such a sensitive project, bring in Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct, Showgirls) to make sure everything is real, real classy. I predict a $115 million non-holiday opening weekend — Sony executives can click here to negotiate my consulting fee. — Jeremy C. Fox

Item #2: You want to hear a brilliant premise? I mean, fucking inspired! The kind of treatment that only the tiny-brained scriptwriting intellect behind the horrifically bastardized Fever Pitch can come up with? Or the writing team behind such prodigious, dazzling hits as Edtv, Fathers’ Day, and Multiplicity. Beloved Pajiba readers, this shit is gonna floor your ass. Blow your mind. Shake loose a testicle (or an ovary). Hurt your brain. Briefly blind you.

Indeed, 20th Century Fox has spent $1 million to $2 million dollars for an idea for a script called Tooth Fairy, which will follow a “guy’s guy” who is forced to serve time as the tooth fairy and Yes! believe it or not, he’ll actually have to wear the outfit. And 20th Century Fox has even seen fit to hand over the gigantic responsibility of writing this golden treatment to Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, who brought us such inspired lines as “I’m going to Paris, and I’m taking vous!” and “My life’s a shambles. I need pie.”

It’s just too much. The very thought of Jimmy Fallon or Mathew McConaughey being forced to wear a tooth fairy outfit and fall in love with Drew Barrymore or Kate Hudson and ultimately deciding, in the end, to commit to a lifetime of tooth fairydom because of all the heart-warming situations it inspires … it’s just … goddamnit … (shudder) … I just wet myself. I need pie. — Dustin Rowles

Item #3: It’s been almost a decade since P.T. Anderson won our hearts with his commercial breakthrough Boogie Nights, an uplifting tale about the good ol’ American porn film industry in the 1970s that featured an at-her-peak Heather Graham and Marky Mark packing some downright frightening prosthetics. Now German director Marc Rothemund is picking up the torch: The Oscar-nominated filmmaker’s next movie will be Pornorama, which is described as “a lighthearted look at the Munich sex film industry in the 1970s.” (Right.) Despite the stupid and obvious title — maybe Look at All the Boobs was taken — Rothemund could have an art-house hit on his hands. … In other 1970s news, Rocky Balboa, the improbable sixth installment in Sylvester Stallone’s opus about a moronic boxer who managed to end racism and Communism just by getting the crap beat out of him, has found a release date. The drama/unintended comedy will hit screens on Dec. 22, just in time to take the relative you hate most out for Christmas to what promises to be a truly awful movie. Word has it that this time Rocky is reduced to performing parking lot “favors” like a rundown Dirk Diggler before he’s summoned back to the ring one last time, presumably to capture the belt for World’s Fittest Senior. Sadly, Rocky Balboa is just a warm-up: Stallone will also star in Rambo IV, due out in 2007. I pray for the world to end before then. — Daniel Carlson

Item #4: For all of you Bruckheimer diehards out in Pajiba-land, you’ll be giddier than Ben Affleck with a handful of animal crackers to know that Jerry and Disney have bought the rights to Game Boys, an action spec brought to you by Tom Ropelewski, the killjoy behind the Shakespearean Look Who’s Talking Now. Game Boys will follow a couple of thirtysomething video-game geeks recruited by the Department of Homeland Security to … battle against creatures … that have come to life from a video game … they have mastered. What?! Oh, you’ve got to be fucking kidding me. This is the best that even Bruckheimer can come up with? For a man who has recreated Pearl Harbor, escaped Alcatraz, steered asteroids toward Earth, and adorned a bar top with Piper Perabo, mixing War Games, Grandma’s Boy, and Doom may be the absolute worst idea he’s ever produced. Why doesn’t the man just light movie screens on fire and charge $10 a pop? Jiminy Christ. — DR

Item #5: In I’m-about-to-stab-myself-in-the-eyes news, Lionsgate has announced the next Tyler Perry atrocity, Daddy’s Little Girl, starring the winsome Gabrielle Union as a woman who annoys her father — who wanted her to marry rich — by falling in love with a janitor. Union is talented, charming, and cute as a button (who didn’t love her as Isis in Bring It On?), so there’s a chance she could salvage the project, though with a Perry script it’s going to be about as easy as getting Tom Cruise to take his librium. It will be interesting, though, to see if Perry’s signature character Madea makes any sort of appearance in the film — he’s recently indicated a desire to take some time off from the pillowtits and flowered dresses — and even more interesting to see if his Madea-loving constituency turns out for a Perry movie without her. Whatever the outcome, you can bet that, as Pajiba’s in-house expert on all things Perry, I’ll be in the theater on opening day, grinding my teeth down to nubs and writing “Make it stop!” on my little notepad ad infinitum. — JCF

Item #6: Touchstone Pictures has inexplicably agreed to pay actual compensation for a Vin Diesel romantic comedy, tentatively entitled Player’s Rules. The story, to be written by Ron Bass (My Best Friend’s Wedding, Stepmom) will be produced by Diesel and, thus far, has only been described as a film about “the ongoing war between men and women.” Though that doesn’t give us a lot to work off, we here at Pajiba have extrapolated it to mean: A film about a former action superstar who now gets confused with members of The Village People, who is entering the romantic comedy fray in a futile attempt to convince skeptical American audiences that he’s actually straight, a strategy that ultimately backfires when he is unable to hide a musclebound grimace while he attempts to make out with Keira Knightley, whom he inadvertently snaps in two during a lovemaking scene, eliciting sonar-level ninny-screams as he attempts to piece Ms. Knightley back together while he pleads to George Milton for assistance. Yeah. I think that’s about right. — DR

Item #7: Do you know what the Boer War is? Yeah, me neither, but I went to Wikipedia and apparently it involved England and South Africa around the 1890s. Sounds, you know, thrilling. In the true spirit of American education, you can soon learn all about the Boer Wars from movies, the only true teacher we respect as a culture. Colin Firth, Rachel Weisz, Ian McKellen, and Susan Sarandon have signed on to star in a political thriller about the conflict called “The Colossus” for Katselas Films. The plot has something to do with an aging man in South Africa who believes his health will be restored if he can hear English song birds outside his window, and contracts an ornithologist to inexplicably cooperate with his request and ship 500 birds to him. Then someone falls in love with someone else, and there’s a war. Really, it probably doesn’t matter; no one’s going to see it anyway, especially once they find out that the Colossus of the film’s title isn’t the steel-plated X-Man (which was a disappointment for me). … In other casting news, fiendishly hot Naomi Watts, who will likely never live down the fact that she launched to stateside stardom by getting extremely freaky on camera with Laura Elena Harring (who, curiously, doesn’t seem to work that much), has signed on to co-star with Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises, a new drama from David Cronenberg. This will be Watts’ second movie for a creepy director named David, and this time she’ll play a hospital midwife who sets out to find the family of a young girl who died giving birth at the hospital and eventually meets up with a Russian crime boss, played by Mortensen. The screenplay is from Steven Knight, who also wrote Dirty Pretty Things, which explains the new film’s esoteric focus on black-market health care. — DC

Item #8: Finally, in last weekend’s box-office round-up, we give you The Da Vinci Code, which somehow managed to swindle $77 million out of the American populace in exchange for two-and-a-half hours of ironic guffaws. What’s even more miraculous than the Code plotline, however, is that 87 percent of moviegoers gave it a favorable rating, which simply suggests that most critics and a large swath of Pajiba readers are simply smarter than the rest of America, which usually demands nothing more than a little aerodynamic excrement and someone dying of cancer to meet their low entertainment threshold. Over the Hedge debuted with a healthy $38.5 million, guaranteeing that it won’t be the last we see of that goddamn hedge, which will no doubt make a return in the Lindsay-Lohan-voiced sequel: Firecrotch: Stop Trimming My Hedge, Bitch. Finally, the other weekend’s major release, See No Evil debuted with a meager $4.6 million, but even it managed to secure a 79 percent favorable rating from attendees, which tells you about all you need to know about the reliability of the 87 percent number for Code.

This holiday weekend features only one major release, the third installment in the X-Men series, and as much as I’d like to vent about Brett Ratner, Mr. Fox has been given the privilege of writing the review this weekend and the rest of us are, thus, contractually bound to silence while we wait to see which Charles Grodin film he will allude to while discussing Rebecca Romijn’s blue tatas. Mr. Carlson will also be working this holiday weekend, bringing you a review of Al Gore’s heart global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.

Otherwise, we here at Pajiba hope you all have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend, and that you take some time to think of the sacrifice our troops made so that we would someday have the freedom to have our phones tapped, our phone records collected, our websites seized for no reason, and our Constitution defiled by a man who probably can’t even read the fucking thing. God Bless America! — DR

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The Weekly Trade Round-Up / The Pajiba Staff

Trade News | May 24, 2006 | Comments ()



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