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August 12, 2008 |

By Daniel Carlson | Industry | August 12, 2008 |

I’ll be honest, I’m still a little drunk right now. Not a lot, true, but I’m still sliding down the back of a buzz I tied on at the office. The only appreciable difference this will bring to my trade round-up is that, while some weeks it seems like I’m just pretending to care, this time I will in all likelihood actually cease to care.

There’s some Tom Cruise news this week. Reading about Tom Cruise is like reading a Christmas letter from your crazy uncle who keeps bragging on their socially maladjusted kid. First up is a project called Food Fight, to which Cruise is rumored to be “loosely attached.” (This is trade speak for “We couldn’t confirm by press time but had already pulled the art.”) The film is set to be written by Adam Brooks, the writer-director of Definitely, Maybe. It deals with a stuck-up New York chef who, for unknown but probably very stupid reasons, winds up cooking at a school cafeteria. It’s safe to say that something will explode, and food will be splattered over Cruise’s shirt at one point.

Bull Durham is on TV as I write this. Bull Durham is infinitely better than anything I will be discussing today.

The other bit of Cruise news is that he’s being replaced as the titular spy in Edwin A. Salt. Kurt Wimmer (Sphere, Street Kings, and other equally embarrassing titles) will rewrite the screenplay, which is going to take some doing, since Cruise’s replacement is going to be Angelina Jolie. Yep. They’re going to have to overhaul the story and turn the male character into a female one, which means changing the title and trying to figure out how to keep the thing from feeling like a backpedaling mess of failure and change. The story’s about a CIA operative who has to prove (s)he isn’t a Russian sleeper sent to assassinate the president. Awesome!

Representatives from the Special Olympics are calling for a boycott of Tropic Thunder because Ben Stiller’s character is a dopey actor who tried to chase an Oscar win by playing a mentally handicapped person. This does not sit well with the group, who protested outside the film’s Monday premiere in Westwood, no doubt earning confused looks from the hipster douchebags and Armenian kids at the hookah bar across the street. Now, I haven’t seen the film yet, and am certainly not the staunchest defender of the man who starred in The Heartbreak Kid. But can’t we all agree that it does indeed seem exploitive when actors play mentally handicapped characters, like they’re just trying to take advantage of the cheapest emotions they can find in a viewer? And doesn’t it seem like Stiller’s storyline might be skewering that trend, mocking the manipulative side of moviemaking and not its targets? Like I said, I haven’t seen it, but let’s not all go losing our shit if we don’t have to, you know?

In the latest bit of Inglorious Bastards news, Brad Pitt has joined the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s WWII film, leading to all kinds of “hilarious” and “inventive” puns from the trades. Trust me, it wasn’t a pretty situation. But there you go: Brad Pitt. Tarantino. Explosions. Etc. Even more depressing, Tarantino isn’t even writing his own movie titles any more. Will this guy ever be original again? Was he ever?

Get me to the trailer watch. Here’s the latest clip for Pride and Glory, a cop thriller starring Edward Norton. And hey, just for the hell of it, the trailer’s kinda spoilery. Thanks, Hollywood:

Let’s keep the gunplay going with Appaloosa, a Western starring Ed Harris and Viggo Mortsensen:

OK, I think we can all agree this has been a rough morning. Let’s just forget the whole thing and chop some cats:

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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