Posts Tagged ‘Mark Wahlberg’

The Slate: Tina Fey’s Date Gets Complicated

April 15, 2009

tina-fey

  • Get another tray! Film geeks have three more reasons to salivate. After getting the news that comic sexpots Tina Fey and Steve Carell were going to make like Willis and Basinger in Date Night comes news that Mark “Good Vibrations” Wahlberg, comic queen Kristin Wiig and SquallyShowers.com poster boy James Franco will be holding up the supporting end. They’ll be among the faces turning Fey and Carell’s big night out into a romantic disaster akin to After Hours. Director Shawn Levy (uh, Pink Panther) said he wanted “formidable actors.” We think he meant “Top Internet crushes.” (Variety)
  • Nanny McPhee was good and all, but did it really merit a sequel? Perhaps when you can promise to get Emma Thompson, Rhys Ifans and Maggie Smith in front of the camera it does. Added sweetener will come in the form of Maggie Gyllenhaal, who has joined the cast of Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, thus entering the “I’ve had kids, now it’s time to make movies for them” phase of her career. This time the magical nanny who is not Mary Poppins masterminds an evacuation during the London blitz. Sounds cheery. (Variety)
  • The big screen version of Eat Pray Love–a kind of Into the Wild but with more scented candles and less rotting moose–is finding some quirk to put around star Julia Roberts. Richard Jenkins will play a Texan that Roberts’ character meets at an Indian ashram. Smeared in his own feces. Well, maybe not. But he’s digging the spirituality. The Elizabeth Gilbert novel is being brought to the screen by Ryan Murphy, creator of Nip/Tuck. (Variety)
  • Can some Enchanted magic rub off on Forgetting Sarah Marshall‘s Kristen Bell? Kristen Bell sure hopes so. She’s signed up for the Disney comedy You Again. She’ll play a tiny-eyed woman whose glazed look becomes more frozen after she learns that her brother is marrying a hated frenemy from the past. So that’s no songs or fairy magic. Which means Disney is making our lede look pretty spurious. Andy Fickman (Race to Witch Mountain) directs. (Hollywood Reporter)
  • There is something beautiful about a world where a Frank Wedekind play from 1891 can become a McG film. Of course, Spring Awakening had to get some songs first. The Terminator: Salvation director has attached his name to the Tony award-winning musical about Teutonic love and wanking, but mostly wanking. No studio wants to touch the idea yet. Needless to say, this should make for one helluva casting call. (Hollywood Reporter)

The Slate: Reese Plays Ball, Amanda Doesn’t

March 24, 2009

reese-witherspoon

  • Reese Witherspoon let slip some info on the latest James L. Brooks film. She will play a “professional softball player” who is fought over by a white-collar executive and a pro ballplayer, who will be played by Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson (although not necessarily respectively!). Witherspoon said the improv-friendly writer/director had been working on the film “for about two years now and one day we’ll start filming!” Bill Murray is also due to make an appearance. (WENN)
  • To lose one actress is unfortunate. To lose two looks like carelessness. So far, Sucker Punch is just unfortunate. Amanda Seyfried, she of Mamma Mia! “fame,” has decided there are better places to be then Zack Snyder’s “Alice in Wonderland with machine guns.” “Schedule conflicts” are being blamed, but maybe Seyfried got a whiff of Malin Ackerman’s Watchmen perf and decided Snyder’s feminine touch was best avoided. (Entertainment Weekly)
  • Multi-hyphenate Andy Garcia unveiled his latest dream project Hemingway & Fuentes by noting that Anthony Hopkins was “loosely attached” to star as Ernest Hemingway. The film would look at the last years of the writer’s life and his relationship with Cuban fishing boat cap’n Gregorio Fuentes. Also navigating the ocean of booze mightbe Annette Bening as Hemingway’s wife, Mary. Garcia will co-write and direct. (Hollywood Reporter)
  • In a small act of decency, Twilight sequel New Moon has staffed its Wolf Pack entirely with Native Americans. Smouldering alongside the Pattinson/Stewart axis will be Chaske Spencer, Bronson Pelletier, Alex Meraz, Kiowa Gordon and Tyson Houseman. The actors are of Lakota, Cree-Metis, Purepecha, Hulapai and Cree descent. Somewhere Jay Silverheels (Mohawk) is smiling. (Stepheniemeyer.com)
  • Bryan Singer (X-2) has spent the week getting his ducks in a row. First it was reported that he was thinking of making a “hot revenge thriller project” with Mark Wahlberg. Now Fox has purchased the rights to comic book Freedom Formula: Ghost of the Wasteland. The futuristic graphic novel has jet-packs, genetic engineering and what sounds like a Matrix-style transformation of the world. Singer is producing and could direct. (EW/Variety)

Hollywood 1, DVD 0

March 23, 2009

dvdHere’s all the news that fit to print: The DVD market is in the tank. Blockbuster is currently growing at a snails pace. And all the studios hate Netflix. So the New York Times is reporting that the studios are going back to what they think they know best: making films that will actually turn a profit at the box office.

Brooks Barnes aligns the statistics. Ticket sales are up 14% for 2009. (Watchmen not withstanding.) Sales for new-release DVDs, on the other hand, are down 40%. The reasons are myriad: a movie is still considered a cheap night out, there are simply too many DVDs out there (Howard the Duck just hit stores, accompanied by the sound of a barrel being scraped) and most of youse is downloading films from t’Internet. The result: studios have lost that retail safety net, or what one producer calls the “downside protection.”

iron-man1The new strategy is getting bums on seats, which may account for the absolute traffic jam of big tentpoles being released in 2010. Among them are Tim Burton‘s Alice in Wonderland, Jon Favreau‘s Iron Man 2, Christopher Nolan‘s Inception, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Toy Story 3, Eclipse, Thor, Green Lantern and a Harry Potter installment. As of this reckoning, we’ll see . Barnes also elegantly sums up the bigger picture:

“In addition to big “tent pole” blockbusters, that means movies that are fun to watch in groups: at least 10 musicals are in full-steam-ahead development, including a remake of “My Fair Lady.” And it means more pictures that are pre-branded: “Monopoly” and “Candy Land,” the movies, are on the way. Most of all, it means a strong return by major studios to middle-of-the-road, genre pictures.”

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