4/26/07

Lucas and Hamill in for Star Wars spoof

George Lucas and Mark Hamill will reunite for “Robot Chicken: Star Wars,” a 30-minute stop-motion animation special for Adult Swim, Cartoon Network’s late-night programming block.

The special spoofs key scenes and favorite characters from the “Star Wars” universe. It was done in collaboration with Lucas’ production company Lucasfilm. Lucas, the creator of the “Star Wars” franchise, will voice a cartoon version of himself, and Hamill will resurrect Luke Skywalker.

The special, set to premiere at 10 p.m. on June 17, comes from “Robot Chicken” creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich. Green directed.

The voice cast also includes Conan O’Brien, Seth MacFarlane, Robert Smigel, Malcolm McDowell, Hulk Hogan, James Van Der Beek, Donald Faison , Abraham Benrubi, Breckin Meyer and Joey Fatone.

More than 5 Shrek movies?

Jen Yamato writes: “Do you like yourself some “Shrek”? Then you’ll love this news: according to co-star Antonio Banderas, we’ll get numbers 4 and 5 after this May’s “Shrek The Third.”
We’d already heard about plans to make a fourth “Shrek” (and a “Shrek the Halls” holiday special) but now Banderas — or, as you may know from the film series, Puss In Boots — says there will be at least five total installments (thanks to popular demand).

As Banderas told Coming Soon, his own character Puss will eventually get his own starring vehicle: “Now in between 4 and 5, Puss is going to have his own movie. It’s going to be called “Puss In Boots: The Story of an Ogre Killer.” I don’t know if you realize but Donkey doesn’t have a movie, himself. [Laughs]. And that will be it, from what Jeffery Katzenberg is communicating to us, but I don’t know, if the character — probably some place in the future they may take the character and do it again, and things like that — but so far, there were going to be four, but they discovered the novel game [sic] them the opportunity to do five.”

Queen Latifa

New Line taps Latifah for All of Me remake
Queen Latifah will star in and executive produce New Line’s remake of the 1984 Steve Martin-Lilly Tomlin comedy All of Me. Adam Shankman and Offspring Entertainment partner Jennifer Gibgot will produce with Ira Posansky. All of Me is Latifah’s third project with Shankman, following Bringing Down the House at Disney and Hairspray, which New Line releases this July. The original story was about a dying spoiled heiress (Tomlin) whose soul mistakenly ends up in the body of a lawyer (Martin). She controls the right side of his body while he controls the left, which causes friction, comedy, and eventually, a caring relationship. The remake is expected to see the movie set in the world of politics, with a female liberal activist finding her soul caught in the body of a conservative. The project is currently out to writers and no director has been attached.

Sarah Silverman

NEW YORK — She’s fulfilling a lifelong dream, jokes Sarah Silverman, host of this year’s MTV Movie Awards.

“Ever since I was a little girl, before it even started in 1980 — MTV — I said, ‘Someday, I want there to be an all-music channel that gives out awards for movies. And I want to host that show,'” the 36-year-old actress-comedian said in an interview with the Associated Press.The show will air live June 3 from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

How is Silverman preparing for her new gig?

“I’m getting ready,” she said. “I’m exercising every day, and I do 10 push-ups, I do eight sit-ups, and then I rinse off. … I want to go just a little bit too far.”

NEW YORK — She’s fulfilling a lifelong dream, jokes Sarah Silverman, host of this year’s MTV Movie Awards.

“Ever since I was a little girl, before it even started in 1980 — MTV — I said, ‘Someday, I want there to be an all-music channel that gives out awards for movies. And I want to host that show,'” the 36-year-old actress-comedian said in an interview with the Associated Press.The show will air live June 3 from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

How is Silverman preparing for her new gig?

“I’m getting ready,” she said. “I’m exercising every day, and I do 10 push-ups, I do eight sit-ups, and then I rinse off. … I want to go just a little bit too far.”

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4/25/07

I Am Legend
There’s talk all the time of expensive film sequences which didn’t make it to the screen. For now the most notable remains the many millions spent on several space-set sequences in “Superman Returns” which didn’t make the final cut.

Now, Yahoo News reports that Warner Bros. $150+ million sci-fi actioner “I Am Legend” spent at least $5 million for six days of night shoots in January to film a key scene for the Will Smith project.

In the scene survivors gather at a pier by the Brooklyn Bridge, desperate to be evacuated. The scene required co-operation with no fewer than 14 government agencies, a 250+ crew, 1,000+ extras, and 160 members of the National Guard in full combat gear.

A fascinating full breakdown of the sheer scale and costs involved can be found in this intriguing read.

Old Dogs New Tricks
Robin Williams and Kelly Preston have signed on to star opposite John Travolta in “Old Dogs,” a Disney buddy comedy being directed by Walt Becker (“Wild Hogs”).

“Dogs” revolves around two best friends and business partners whose lives are turned upside down when they find themselves in the care of 7-year-old twins.

Travolta’s daughter, Ella Travolta have also joined the cast of the film which marks the first re-teaming of Travolta and Becker since ‘Hogs’ hit big earlier this year.

Horton Hears a Who

The cast for the upcoming film Horton Hears a Who looks pretty amazing. The animated movie based on the famous Dr. Seuss book features the voices of Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Jaime Pressly, Dane Cook and Seth Rogen just to name a few

Val Kilmer
Val Kilmer, Wilmer Valderrama and Marg Helgenberger will star in crime drama “Columbus Day” for Kevin Spacey’s Trigger Street Prods. says The Hollywood Reporter.

Kilmer will play a thief who has just one morning to fix what has gone awry in the biggest heist of his life, all while attempting to repair his relationship with his ex-wife (Helgenberger).

Valderrama will play a longtime associate who helps plan the crime despite grave concerns. Shooting will take place on location in Los Angeles under the helm of Charles Burmeister (“The King of Sixth Street”).

Bart in the Buff
Once in a while you’ll hear some pre-release nudity news leak out (like that whole Halle Berry / “Swordfish” thing), but generally not where animated movies are concerned. But it looks like we’ll be seeing a bit more of Bart Simpson than usual this summer. According to an article in Newsweek, “in one shocking moment, little Bart flashes his little part to the entire world. Which may make this the first Hollywood film to show that kind of skin and to escape an R rating.”

Wow. Full-frontal underage yellow animated nudity. But the question is: How many of us actually want to see Bart Simpson’s …. part? In other (non-nakedness-related) news, “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening recently debunked the rumor that the movie would focus on the loss of Bart’s virginity. He did offer this rather vague descrption: “It’s an epic story, but at the heart it’s about the family staying together.”

4/24/07

Zach Braff

“Scrubs” star Zach Braff will not be playing the title role in the long-in-development “Fletch Won” after all reports IGN Movies.

“Scrubs” producer Bill Lawrence, is penning and directing “Fletch” and confirmed to TV Guide that “Zach is writing and directing his own film [Open Hearts] at Paramount,” which has caused a scheduling conflict forcing Braff out.

Lawrence is “currently in New York searching for a new Fletch.” Braff and Lawrence will reunite this August to shoot the final season of “Scrubs.”

Spider-Man 3 costs a whole lotta money 

According to Radar Online , when marketing and promotion costs factored in with filming costs, it cost $500 million to produce “Spider-Man 3, which opens on May 4. Some insiders say the film alone cost upwards of $350 million, which, if true, would set the record for most expensive film, an honor previously held by 1963’s “Cleopatra,” which would have cost $290 million if it were produced today.  Even with its titanic costs, there could be little risk involved for “Spider-Man 3.” The first two movies in the series have grossed more than $1.6 billion worldwide, with the third expected to perform just as well as the others.

“‘Spider-Man’ is Sony’s ‘Star Wars,'” a former executive told Radar. “It’s the one franchise that’s done business for them.”

Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon talks about the “X-Men 4” rumours and how he’s in a sad place right now it seems in a fascinating Wizard Universe interview.

George Clooney

Warner Bros. Pictures has picked up feature remake rights to Rachel Boynton’s political documentary “Our Brand Is Crisis” in the hopes of it becoming a potential George Clooney acting or directing vehicle says Variety.

“Crisis” is a behind-the-scenes look at the Bolivian presidential election of 2002, when candidate Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (aka Goni) hired James Carville’s Washington, D.C.-based political consulting firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner to help him win.

Batman set on fire

Fire broke out in a vacant post office Tuesday where a movie crew had been filming scenes for an upcoming “Batman” sequel.District Fire Chief Jose Santiago said insulation inside the building’s “very old ventilation system” caught fire shortly before 11:30 a.m., and had nothing to do with the filming. There were no injuries, he said. “It looked a lot worse than it really was,” Santiago said.

 

The fire was contained to the 16th-floor ventilation shaft in the 17-story building, and most of the flames were extinguished by a sprinkler system, officials said.The movie crew had been filming there all week, said Pete Kearney, who works next door. Letters affixed to the side of the old post office read: “Gotham National Bank.” “We assumed it was part of the movie,” Kearney said of the smoke Tuesday morning.

More comic book sequels

“Marvel Comics Productions has made some interesting casting announcements last week, from Edward Norton as the new Incredible Hulk and Laurence Fishburne as the voice of the Silver Surfer. Considering producer Avi Arad has described the former sequel as “Diet Hulk,” it seems unusual to cast perhaps the most intense actor working today“Well, he’s also charming and lovable and he has a great sense of humor,” explained Arad. “He’s exciting, so to me he’s more exciting than intense. I think he’s one of the great actors of our time and it elevates the movie, elevates the character.”

As for the Silver Surfer, surely actor Doug Jones could have done a compelling voice himself. “We think it will be cooler to have Mr. Fishburne doing it,” Arad said.

Arad has stood by his sequels from the beginning, despite critics who called their predecessors failures, like Ang Lee’s “Hulk.” “I don’t call it a bomb. I think creatively, it was a really interesting movie. And look at the weekends out there, the movie did $132 million domestic. I don’t know if you call it a bomb. Call the studios and make a deal with them. I always wanted to bring it back. I always said I’m going to bring it back and bring it back in a different way, and I think the movie is going to be spectacular. Not good, spectacular. Different.”

He’s even planning a “Punisher 2,” despite a lackluster box office for the original. “Punisher, the DVD did $60 million domestic for a movie that cost very little.”

Now the only major character Arad still struggles to bring to the screen is Captain America. “It’s coming. It’s all coming.” Who would make the perfect Captain? “Too early.””