September 20, 2007 | Comments ()

By Daniel Carlson | Trade News | September 20, 2007 |


Well, in the spirit of ripping off the bandage and yanking out the splinter, I should probably do away with the bad news first: Brett Ratner isn’t going anywhere. Sure, at the end of the day, he might not be a terrible person, or anyway, I’m sure he has a soul, however small and wrinkled and vaguely misogynistic it may be. But it’s not going out very far on a limb to say that Ratner makes some pretty bad movies, and his latest project seems likely to turn out the same way. New Line has optioned the rights to the book Mr. S.: My Life With Frank Sinatra, a memoir from former Sinatra valet George Jacobs, with Ratner attached to direct and produce and Chris Tucker eyeing the starring role. Jacobs co-wrote the book with William Stadiem, who is set to adapt the screenplay. I’m sure Sinatra’s old-school lifestyle appeals to Ratner, who will likely use the story to pepper the film with remarks about “dumb broads” or “uppity darkies” or whatever else passes for humor for that guy. Whatever. No one here will see it; I just wanted to keep you informed.

Well, after all that Ratnerian evil, I needs me some cheering up. And that means one thing: Sexiest Man Alive and Stephen Colbert muse, Matthew McConaughey. Ol’ Wooderson himself is joining the ensemble cast of DreamWorks’ Tropic Thunder, also starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Nick Nolte, and Robert Downey, Jr. Shooting is already underway on the comedy, which Stiller is directing, and McConaughey is joining the action so late in the game because he’s stepping in for Owen Wilson, who was set to co-star before he went to the zoo and was hospitalized recently for a purported suicide attempt. It’s actually pretty inspired replacement casting: When your sun-blasted, easygoing, blond, softspoken, drawling Texan wigs out, just get another one. In other McConaughey news, he’ll be joined by Jennifer Garner in New Line’s Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, a romantic comedy that actually sounds pretty damn terrifying: McConaughey will play a womanizer who, while attending his kid brother’s wedding, is visited by the actual ghosts of his former flames. According to the studio-provided logline, this will somehow make him realize he’s in love with his childhood sweetheart, though really, encounters with the noncorporeal representations of women I’ve known and wronged would send me running for a warm bath and a straightedge, not the welcoming arms of yet another girl I have somehow screwed over. But McConaughey’s unnerving charm being what it is, I’m sure he’ll just lean on her like he always does and let the wind blow through his golden locks while they make out to the strains of, I don’t know, the Goo Goo Dolls.

In literary news, Process Media has nabbed feature rights to Dave Eggers’ You Shall Know Our Velocity!, with Miguel Arleta (The Good Girl) set to direct and Wells Tower, a sometime contributor to The Believer whose name actually is Wells Tower, to adapt the book to film. No word yet on a release date, or on just what kind of sprawling mess might be made of Eggers’ work, but Arleta and Tower at least look to be a solid behind-the-camera team.

Finally, in this morning’s trailer watch, I bring you the clip for Juno, a new comedy from Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking) that looks smart, quirky, funny, sad, and sweet all at once. It stars Ellen Page, who was fantastic in Hard Candy, and also features what will surely be the glorious onscreen reunion of Michael Cera and Jason Bateman. The film opens in limited release this December, and I’ll be there:

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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The Daily Trade Round-Up / Daniel Carlson

Trade News | September 20, 2007 | Comments ()



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