I don’t know what’s more bizarre about this story, the fact that, according to Variety, Steven Soderbergh has cast Matthew McConaughey in his film, or that he’s been cast as a former stripper. Even more bizarre, the film — Magic Mike — will also star Channing Tatum as a veteran stripper who mentors an up-and-coming stripper, who will be played Alex Pettyfer, who I’d thought had been given up for has-been after “the next big star” failed to materialize in two films earlier this year. Sometimes, I think Soderbergh just likes the challenge, and in this scenario, McConaughey is actually the most seasoned actor of the bunch, and suited to the role of a former stripper. If Soderbergh can extract decent performances out of Charming Potato and Spuds McDouche, he should get a lifetime achievement award from the state of Idaho.
Emma Thompson and her husband Greg Wise have been brewing up a project for a number of years about a Victorian art critic, social thinker and poet John Ruskin. Ruskin, who had a strange and disastrous marriage to a woman named Euphemia ‘Effie’ Gray. After Ruskin was unable to consummate the marriage, Effie ditched him for Ruskin’s protege John Everett Millais. Carey Mulligan and Saoirse Ronan had been attached at one point, but the role of Effie has now fallen to Dakota Fanning, according to Deadline. Richard Laxton (An Englishman in New York) will sit in the director’s chair, Wise will play Ruskin, and Emma Thompson, naturally, saved a role for herself, as well.
Nicolas Winding Refn, the director of Bronson and the upcoming Drive, which I’ve already lost my shit about on several occasions, claims, according to The Playlist, that if his Logan’s Run remake is successful that he might get the chance to turn Wonder Woman into a film, thanks to a common producer on both projects (Joel Silver). I’m not sure if that’s a promise or a threat, though Refn does claim he’d like Christina Hendricks to fly the invisible jet. Look: I would love nothing more than to watch Hendricks prance around the screen for two hours in bedazzled panties, but Refn has been doing quite nicely with original movies. It’s bad enough that he’s doing a Logan’s Run remake, does the man really need to take on a superhero, too? Come on, Refn. Don’t be a cliche. Fortunately, he’s got a Western, Only God Forgives with Ryan Gosling, ahead of both of those projects, so maybe neither will materialize.
Here, folks, is your first look at Rum Diary, the Hunter S. Thompson novel written in 1959 but not published until 1998. Johnny Depp plays an American journalist, Paul Kemp, boozing it up in Puerto Rico, where he falls in love with another man’s girlfriend. That girlfriend will be played by Amber Heard.
Finally, Mr. Jason Bateman, who has been in every other movie this year, has helped to usher Melissa McCarthy into his next film, ID Theft. According to Deadline, Bateman will play the victim of an identity theft, while McCarthy will play the perpetrator. Bateman recruited McCarthy for the role, which was originally written for a man, after seeing her inspired performance in Bridesmaids. A few more choice roles like this, and maybe McCarthy can leave that shitty CBS sitcom she’s stuck in.