New Zealand’s national nightmare is finally over! After day-long negotiations with government leaders, Warner Bros. has agreed to keep the island nation as the filming location for Peter Jackson's upcoming production of The Hobbit. Earlier this year, when a dispute arose with local unions, the studio threatened to abandon New Zealand as a shooting location. But this latest deal, which included millions of dollars in concessions for Warner Bros., will ensure the $500 billion project stays put.
I, for one, am totally relieved now that a compromise has been reached. Since the original Lord of the Rings trilogy was shot in New Zealand, moving the prequel’s production to Eastern Europe would have been a disaster. The trees in the background would have been completely different! Does Warner Bros. think we can’t tell the difference between a Rimu in New Zealand and a Common Oak or Black Alder tree in Poland? Well they are complete fools if they do think that! Fools, I tell you! (Deadline)
Darren Aronofsky is a busy, busy bee. Not only is he set to start production on Wolverine 2 in a matter of months, but now the director has signed on for cybernetic thriller Machine Man. He'll reteam with Black Swan co-writer Mark Heyman on the script. THR has the deets:
Described as an "amped up pop-thriller," the story centers on a gadget geek and engineer at a forward thinking tech firm who is tired of going through life average and unnoticed and is also obsessed with his own self improvement. He decides to replace his weak, fleshy parts with high-end titanium performance upgrades of his own design but then discovers other entities have designs on him for their own motives.
So…kind of like a Robocop/Wolverine mash-up? Aronofsky is really loving the melding of flesh and steel lately. If he doesn't get his fix quick, we could have another Terminator sequel on our hands. And need I remind you, Schwarzenegger will be out of the Governor's office and begging for a job within months.
The original Planet of the Apes rode on the then-groundbreaking makeup effects and a shocker ending. The 2001 “re-imagining” tried to right on action and special effects. The latest version…
It's a painting by Hillary White based on Rembrandt's "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp." It's also the reason I'll wake up screaming in a cold sweat tonight. (BuzzFeed)
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Tower Heist keeps inching closer to becoming a movie by picking up talent left and right. Matthew Broderick is now on board to play a Wall Street suit who joins Ben Stiller in the plot to get revenge against Alan Alda's Madoff-like character. Fake documentarian Casey Affleck is also joining up as Stiller's best friend/voice of reason. He'll help complicate the would-be robbery when he takes a firm stance against it. Judd Hirsch will play an unspecified role in the film. Let's just assume he'll play an old school New Yorker. Or a cop. Or a guy who looks like a Cookie Puss ice cream cake.
The resemblance is quite haunting. (via /Film)
I know, I know, more Harry Potter stuff, but it's always trending and Daddy needs pageviews. Today I have for you a Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows featurette that looks back at young, impressionable Harry and forward at mature, constantly yelling Harry. The raising of his voice means he's no longer taking sh*t from anyone. I'm also certain that wand is a metaphor for his penis, or something.
Anyhoos, I'm glad the series continues to get darker as it progresses. Tis a shame it's all coming to an end next year, though. And if you think you're sad, take a moment to consider the Warner Bros. execs. Harry Potter raked in a bona fide billion dollars annually. Batman only keeps that water tower half-full.
Go behind the scenes after the jump…
Don't ask Charlie Sheen about his vacation, you guys. Let's just say, "It was relaxing." Relaxing meaning he had an allergic reaction to some medicine that caused him to strip naked, scream at the top of his lungs, trash a room in New York's famed Plaza Hotel, and cause a naked prostitute to seek shelter in the closet. He also checked out Ground Zero.
So you'd be right to assume that he's in a lot of trouble. Except that you'd be wrong. TV's highest paid star is walking away scott-free from the entire incident.
"…as of now Sheen will not face any criminal charges for trashing his room at New York's venerable Plaza Hotel. The hotel hasn't come forward to lodge any complaint against the star, either."
What do you have to do to offend the Plaza? Show your **** to Eloise? (E!)
At some point in the new Saw flick, Gina Holden will be chained to a giant metal death machine. How she gets there, whether she survives, and how convincingly she plays the nuanced role of “hot girl in mortal peril” remain to be seen. In any case, though, we're pretty sure she’ll look good doing it.
A word from Gina: "I just loved performing. I wanted to my whole life."
More pics of Gina after the jump…
The original Planet of the Apes rode on the then-groundbreaking makeup effects and a shocker ending. The 2001 “re-imagining” tried to right on action and special effects. The latest version of the Apes story is going to live or die on pure acting. Andy Serkis is playing Caesar, the chimpanzee who learns to talk and may or may not rise to dominate humans. Spoiler alert, the movie’s called Rise of the Apes and it stars James Franco as… the human. (The part he was born to play, baby!)
More after the jump…
Warner Bros. has recently been getting all jazzed up about their Looney Tunes properties. The studio is producing new 3D shorts for the big screen, and Mike Myers has signed on to voice stinky, sexually aggressive skunk Pepe Le Pew. Now WB has bought a pitch for a film that centers on the ACME Warehouse, the outlet where Wile E. Coyote frequently shops.
There aren't many details about the Kevin and Dan Hageman pitch, but as you can tell from the above pic, there are plenty of products to explore. Of course, WB could instead decide to capitalize on the world's overwhelming fascination with the history of the anvil. A three hour documentary on the device most often used by animated characters to murder other animated characters would get butts in the seats, no question. (THR)
Ritual pre-concert round of Peek-a-boo.
And now for the part of the job I hate the most — having a hand in promoting Justin Bieber. But that's the job, and I knew that full well when I agreed to $4.25 an hour. Anyhow, the little sh*t and new "Punk'd" host is back with Never Say Never, a "biopic" about the time Justin filmed a concert in New York last month. This is mixed with behind the scenes footage, home movies, and interviews with his manager, who says only nice things for fear of being punched in the balls again.
You really did it Justin, even though "they" said you couldn't. Help yourself to a hard-earned juicebox.
Check out the trailer after the jump (if you want)…
Bit by bit, Disney is revealing more of the Daft Punk-composed soundtrack for the upcoming Tron Legacy. The unofficial campaign name is Operation: Tron Legacy Blue Balls, as I can only take so much teasing before it starts to get painful.
In this new music-centered trailer, footage you've already seen is backed with the new Daft Punk track, "Derezzed." We've heard "The Game Has Changed," which is more of a "getting pumped to enter an arena" track. "Derezzed" is a more of a "cut his f*cking head off with that light disc!" track. It bumps, yo.
Check out the trailer after the jump…
As anyone who has seen the Saw films will tell you, that Jigsaw guy is a real jerk. Once a successful engineer with a loving wife, John Kramer morphed into a sadistic serial killer after he was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Talk about being self-absorbed. That’s called a YP, Jigsaw: your problem, not mine.
But regardless of how you feel about Jigsaw personally, you have to admit he’s a clever guy. Sure, maybe his traps (or “games”) are horribly cruel and unnecessarily elaborate, but damn it if they aren’t impressive. Honestly, when someone is wearing a reverse-bear trap on their mouth, it’s hard to look away. With that in mind, here are 10 of Jigsaw’s greatest traps. (Spoilers Ahead) Also, be sure and take our survey at the bottom to vote for YOUR favorite trap, and sound off in the comment section.
10. The Mausoleum Trap – Saw IV
That looks amazing!
George Lucas has been down in the dumps, suffering form what psychologists call "Avatar Envy." In order to combat the crippling mental illness, the famed director ordered the entire Star Wars saga converted to 3D. Rumor has it that this treatment failed to have the desired effect, so Lucas is taking the 3D axe to the Indiana Jones films, as well.
If the rumors are true, we should be getting an official announcement sometime next month. If the rumors are untrue, I'll be giving the Internet a stern talking to about spreading gossip. (Blue Sky Disney via First Showing)
Big news for people who cherish their virginity: Star Trek 2 will not feature Khan Noonien Singh (a.k.a. Khan) as the villain. At least that's what everyone else seems to be saying, even though it's all based on an unnamed "source" who emailed Badass News. But if not Khan, who will be the antagonist?
"The e-mail read, “It’s definitely a character that will make fans of [The Original Series] excited. Think along the lines of Harry Mudd or Trelane or Gary Mitchell or the Talosians or the Horta. Actually it’s one of those that I named.”
Those are all fine choices, but I really feel like they should be utilizing the evil whales from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. (Latino Review)
You see, the olives are meant to represent her boobs.
Good news everybody. Comedy Central may have found something to replace "Chappelle's Show" in its line-up. Or at least something to bookend their constant screenings of Waiting and Still Waiting.
That's right. Waiting, the film about Ryan Reynolds's flirty waiter, is becoming a half-hour long series. It's okay to groan "Party Down" fans. Your pain is felt. (Deadline)
Take a look quickly before it derezzes.
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Sweet ink, boys.
Mark Wahlberg is in talks to star alongside a life-sized teddy bear in Seth MacFarlane's directorial debut, Ted. The R-rated comedy, also written by MacFarlane and "Family Guy" buds Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, follows a normal Boston grown up guy who's still best friends with his childhood teddy bear that he wished would come to life, and it did. The bear however is a big slacker pain in the ass now and keeps Wahlberg's character from committing to adulthood.
MacFarlane will provide the voice of the bear, which will be created through the magic of computers. I'm sure Dan Aykroyd would be more than happy to offer advice on voicing a CG bear. He's got that skill down pat. I also can't end this post without acknowledging that Ted has the exact same premise as Drop Dead Fred. If you've never seen that movie, do yourself a favor and go out and SMASH A COPY. (Deadline)
Daaaaamn, De Niro. You look gooooooood. In these new Little Fockers character one-sheets, all signs of aging have been Photoshopped away from the stars' faces. Notice how Robert De Niro doesn't have any lines on his forehead. Even newborns have those. The guy is 67-years-old. Leave some lines on there so he doesn't look like a cyborg! I'm surprised they didn't airbrush his mole off while they were at it. It's a huge deterrent for audiences. Why would anyone want to see a movie full of actors with imperfections? I'll stay home and watch "Gossip Girl," thank you very much.
Check out Ben Stiller's creepy, wrinkle-free skin after the jump…
AMC is promoting the premiere of "The Walking Dead" by unleashing hordes of the undead all over the globe. Well, hundreds of actors playing the undead actually. The invasion will begin tomorrow in Taipei and Hong Kong before spreading to Chicago, London, New York, Munich, Madrid, Rome, Athens, Washington, D.C., Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and Los Angeles. The herds will attack landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Big Ben, and the Lincoln Memorial.
This is a terrible idea. The show looks great and all, but this kind of promotion is the exact cover that the real zombies have been waiting for. Go ahead and laugh, but I'll be prepared. I'm already stocked up on canned goods and when those run out, I'll dip into the Whisker Lickins'. I'll be on spending the next week on my roof. You all get one warning shot. (The Wrap)
Actual footage of zombies invading Taipei after the jump…
I can't believe it's been over 25 years since the first Back to the Future came out. To commemorate the anniversary, Universal is releasing the entire trilogy on Blu-ray, and I got to take the discs for an early run.
I'm not going to write a synopsis of the films because, well, it's Back to the Future. I can't imagine you being on Screen Junkies and not having seen these movies a million times. So you know my stance going into the Blu-ray review, I will say that I dearly love Back to the Future, but find the sequels a bit lacking. Still really fun movies, but they aren't on the same level as the original.
More after the jump…
Antonio Banderas is stepping behind the camera once again. With the films Crazy In Alabama and Summer Rain already on his directorial resume, he'll put his smoldering eye to the viewfinder of a sci-fi thriller. The film is called Solo, in which he will also star as a Spanish colonel who is suffering from post-traumatic stress. We're not sure how the sci-fi element comes into play. Perhaps it's aliens. Or robots. Or robot-aliens. Or sinus-suffering anthropomorphic bees. Or perhaps it's weaponized Mario Van Peebleses.
There’s no new “House” while Fox has baseball to run, but I got the next two new episodes in advance. I get my “House” fix and I can satisfy you with a little tease too, but I promise no spoilers beyond what you’d find in TV Guide.
The patient in “Office Politics” is a political campaign advisor (Jack Coleman). It’s HRG from “Heroes” playing another manipulative politician. His reaction to House’s tactics is refreshingly simpatico. It’s interesting to see a patient who agrees with House’s methods, not that it makes the diagnosis any easier.
More after the jump…
Here’s one for all you science fiction junkies out there: Elyse Levesque, the face behind space-dwelling heroine Chloe Armstrong of SyFy channel’s “Stargate Universe.” An actress by trade since age 11, Levesque has risen to small-screen prominence over the past year since being cast in the role. And as one of the show’s primary pretty ladies, she has by default become an object of desire for daydreaming “Stargate” fanboys the world around.
A word from Elyse: "Live every day to the fullest."
More pics of Elyse after the jump…
"Saturday Night Live’s" new cast member Jay Pharoah does an impeccable Denzel Washington. He did a sketch about Washington working retail as research for a part, and Pharoah totally captured Washington’s sound, his cadence, his laugh. Washington heard about that a lot as he spoke to reporters about his new movie, Unstoppable.
The thing is, when I asked him if he heard the impression, he kind of started doing the impression back to me. He’s in a press conference with costars Rosario Dawson and Tony Scott. From the opening laughter to the way he turns the question around on me and tries to prod me, that’s exactly how Pharoah played it.
After the jump, take a listen to an audio clip of Washington sounding very much like the "SNL" version of Denzel Washington.
Today I have some sad news for Wilford Brimley. Danny Devito has stepped into the lead role of Fox Animation's adaptation of Dr. Seuss's The Lorax. Zac Efron, Betty White, Ed Helms, and Rob Riggle also star in the CG animated film about a weird, little beast who defends nature against industrialization. In a case of life imitating art, Devito had this to ramble:
“Look, I don’t want to be gruff about it, but we’ve got to wake up and smell the oil burning. I’m hoping that the squeakiest wheel gets the least grease. I feel sometimes the only way to get things done is shake people up a little bit, and the Lorax is not a guy who pussyfoots around. He’s not a guy who uses kid gloves. No, no, the Lorax means business.”
Jim Carrey and Mike Myers, who both had to sit in a make-up chair for hours on end before performing beneath hot setlights in the equivalent of a fur coat for their Seuss roles, are reportedly thrilled that Danny Devito has to drive all the way to Burbank for two hours of work. (USA Today)
“The Simpsons” Halloween episodes, or “Treehouse of Horrors” are an annual tradition. Three spoofs of popular horror stories let the writers and artists cram thrice as many jokes into a single episode. They often air after Halloween, so even though Halloween is actually on a Sunday this year, this is airing November 7.
More after the jump…
Paramount's attempts to woo Tony Scott back for a Top Gun sequel were a success. Though it won't be his next film, the director seems pretty excited to show off the nerdy side of the 'new' Navy.
"I'm not waiting for a script. I'm going to do my homework. I'm going down to I think it's Fallon, Nevada, down near New Mexico and it's a whole different world now… These computer geeks — these kids play war games in a trailer in Fallon, Nevada and if we ever wentto war or were in the Middle East or the Far East or wherever it is, these guys can actually fly drones. They are unmanned aircraft. They operate them and then they party all night."
Without any actual pilots, the story has nothing at stake. The drama of the original Top Gun was watching Maverick push himself to his limits and beyond in the cockpit. Now the biggest challenge is going to be watching Taylor Lautner get video game thumb. Which, in all fairness, does really hurt. (HitFix)
"You wanna step to this, ese? Do ya? DO YA?!?"
You all laughed when I warned you on the inevitable robot uprising. And then that other time when I got pantsed in church. At least now, Hollywood is listening.
Just the other day it was announced that Steven Spielberg would choose the adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson's Robopocalypse as his next directorial effort, and this weekend comes news that Jack Black will adapt another of Wilson's books about robots overthrowing mankind (seriously, one wasn't enough?). Black, along with Hot Tub Time Machine director Steve Pink, are looking to develop How To Survive A Robot Uprising. The eventual film will star Black as a layabout in a future society where robots are our slaves. When they revolt, it's up to Jack Black to save us all. It's like "Battlestar Galactica" with more farting. (io9)
New Zealand is coming across as a little too desperate about this whole Hobbit situation. Granted, I know losing the Peter Jackson film, with its $500 million budget, would be a huge economic loss, but this video/rally seems just a little over the top.
New Zealand has to understand that Warner Bros. isn't going to respect them if they act so needy. What they need to do is act like they don't give a damn where The Hobbit is shot. Maybe New Zealand can even make out with some executives from Universal in a public place where Warner Bros. can totally see what's going on! That's sure to make Warner Bros. jealous! (Deadline)
Watch New Zealand come across as desperate after the jump…