Safety first. Hello Kitty second.
Steven Soderbergh is gearing up to offend China. The director has decided to dredge up bad SARS memories by setting his next film Contagion in Hong Kong. Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Matt Damon, and Laurence Fishburne have all signed up to come down with a case of the Hong Kong Achooeys in the virus gone wild drama. Hong Kong native Josie Ho has also signed on to play the sister of "Patient Zero" aka that asshole that never buys his own Chapstick. (THR)
It's the Friday before the holiday weekend so news is slower than my bowl movements when I'm on vacation. I could bore you with more casting news that you don't care about, or I could show you the dance remix of the Crazy Coffee Lady.
In case you're not up to date, the other day a video hit the interwebz of a woman giving an animated testimony of her brush with death. She was getting coffee at a Shell station when two robbers busted in. I'll let her explain the rest because I won't do it justice.
The original video is after the jump.
Oren Peli, the writer-director of the indie hit Paranormal Activity is looking to get his feet wet in the world of television. Peli is close to landing a deal with ABC to bring his original drama idea "The River" to primetime. According to Deadline, "The River follows the story of a famed adventurer/TV personality who goes missing and is presumed dead deep in the Amazon. His friends and crew go to look for him on their state-of-the-art research vessel." The show would be shot shakey-cam-style (cinema verite to all you elitists) like Paranormal Activity, a trend that's quickly becoming tiresome.
I'm not sure how you make an entire series out of that premise, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. I'm more concerned about this "state-of-the-art" research vessel. Such words make James Cameron's ears ring. If he gets word that people are doing "research" near "water" he could take the whole thing over and turn it into an Omnimax documentary about indigenous jungle wildlife.
From hooking up with Turtle on this season's "Entourage" to banging "The Sopranos" son AJ, Dania Ramirez is one foxy babe that gets around on HBO hit series. She'll also be giving Joseph Gordon-Levitt the Premium Rush soon in theaters too. Originally from Dominican Republic, Dania shows that caribbean isn't just a place for old, drunk pirates anymore.
A word from Dania: "I love everyone, but certain people more!"
You better not be talking about your family and friends because that is so cliché.
More pics of Dania after the jump.
Olivia Thirlby, 2008's It Girl (non-Kat Dennings version), will be joining Karl Urban when he shoves his gavel up bad guys' butts in the Judge Dredd reboot. Thirlby is best known for her turns in Juno and The Wackness. It looks like she's attempting to break into bigger, less-shoe gazey projects between this and The Darkest Hour. In other words, momma wants a pool.
For Dredd, she will play a young telepath who shadows Dredd on his beat. C'mon, do you really need to read minds to know where he's sticking that gavel? (Up butts.) (Variety)
Frank Darabont has responded to the news of an early pick-up of "The Walking Dead" season two with an interjectory "Slow your roll, homeboys." It seems that the news from the other day that AMC has already renewed the zombie survival drama for a second season was premature. Darabont himself tells AICN:
"Shooting in February? As tired as I am right now getting season one through post, I'd rather shoot myself."
There you have it from the man himself. No greenlight for season two as of yet. We'll keep you posted when AMC eventually does go all Deerhunter and place the cold, hard steel in Darabont's hand. You can however catch the premiere of season one on October 31st. If you watch, a second season is much more likely.
Your band's new album cover.
I don't want to get you too excited this early in the morning, but Liam Neeson is going to take on wolves. Bradley Cooper jumped ship on Joe Carnahan's forthcoming directorial effort The Grey, and his A-Team co-star Neeson has taken his place. The film is about "a group of Alaska pipeline workers whose plane crash lands on their way back ome from a remote worksite. The workers then find themselves hunted by a pack of wolves."
Are you kidding me? When can I buy my ticket?! Liam Neeson mopping the floor with Frenchmen in Taken was tantilizing enough, but now he's actually going head-to-head with wolves? Mother Nature better shave her legs 'cause she's about to get f*cked. (/Film)
If you think the new “Nikita” is just another Hollywood remake, you might be interested to know how much effort has gone into proving you wrong. The forthcoming CW series…
Emma Bell has been cast as the protagonist that pisses off Death in 5nal Destination or Final Destination 5 or Final De5tination or whatever they decide to call it. Which begs the question, who is Emma Bell? Well, she's best known as the girl who gets stuck in the chairlift in Frozen, and is also a castmember in Frank Darabont's highly-anticipated "The Walking Dead." For Destination, she'll be the one suffering from dizzy spells that show her oblique clues about which grisly death will befall David Koechner. That and she'll be the one who points her thumb at Tony Todd's returning mortician character and asks the audience, "What's that guy's deal? Cuckoo!!" (JoBlo)
M. Night Shyamalan claims the question fans ask him the most is if he is doing a sequel to Unbreakable. He also claims that at one point, he had a great idea for said sequel ready to go. Unfortunately, that idea was broken up and sold for scrap.
“It was such a cool idea for a villain, and it was actually originally in the script for 'Unbreakable,' and it was too much. There were too many villains, so I pulled this villain out and was like, 'I'll make this the second flick.'” He even started developing it into a sequel story. But now he says, “the third 'Night Chronicles' movie is what would have been the sequel [to 'Unbreakable']. So now I need to come up with a new idea.”
Recently, Shyamalan's had a streak of box-office flops, so it'd be easy to join the crowd of detractors. At the moment, it also happens to be 3:28 AM, so I'm more than happy to take the easy route.
If he's making flop after flop after flop, but fans are still expressing interest in Unbreakable 2, why in the world would he cannibalize his "great idea" for a sequel and make it into a film that no one cares about? That makes about as much sense as the plot from Signs. God killed the preacher's wife so her last words could inspire her brother-in-law to kill Aliens with a baseball bat and some friggen water? Why not just skip the wife killing and not send the damn aliens in the first place, god? "Swing away" my ass. (MTV via Cinema Blend)
Look at that grin on April O'Neil's face.
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I'm not a big fan of ruining movies for myself by watching clips, but I'm glad I sucked it up and hit play on this new one for Let Me In. Now I for seriously can't wait to check out this film at Fantastic Fest. I know a few of you out there are pissed that they remade the Swedish version, but c'mon, it's got Richard Jenkins in it. The man can do no wrong. Except for Say It Isn't So, and even in that film he's covered in bees WAY better than Nic Cage ever was.
Take a look at the clip after the jump and see if it changes your skeptical mind…
Last week, Screen Junkies and Break scored some sweet, sweet hangin' time with Machete stars Danny Trejo and Michelle Rodriguez, and director Robert Rodriguez, at an international press junket. FX guru and filmmaker Freddie W. put together a scene that starts out simple enough with everyone taking some bad-ass pics for the cameras, but then quickly takes a dark turn once Michelle's strength is brought into question. In my opinion, this is the way all press junkets should end. Although, I'm sure the hotel staff would vehemently disagree.
Check out the video below…
If you were a nerd with an affinity for the occult between the years of 1988 and 1996, this news may upset. Warner Bros. Television is moving forward with plans to adapt Neil Gaiman's "Sandman." Also, condolences on being a nerd.
It's not all bad news though. "Supernatural" creator Eric Kripke is said to be Warners' #1 choice to head up the project. We don't write about "Supernatural" much around here but it is a mostly-solid show. Kripke is immensely talented, and is certainly capable of building the intricate world required to pull this off. Unless he's not available. In which case, you could always get Tim Kring. That would be good too, right guys? Guys?? (THR)
Scarves = Happiness.
In an effort to collect a handful of "Free Sex" coupons, Jon Hamm could star in his long time girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt's next directorial effort, Friends With Kids. They haven't officially kissed on it, but a deal is reportedly in the works. The names Anne Hathaway and Kristen Wiig are also floating around the project, but again, no spit handshakes.
Another thing that isn't known is what the film is about, except that it'll probably focus on someone's friends who have kids. They could be young kids. They could be old kids. "Friends" might used in a sarcastic way, so that it really mean enemies. Same goes for kids. The movie could be about enemies with adults. But one thing is for certain — if it happens, Jon Hamm will be in it. (ThePlaylist)
On Monday, we reported that Lauren German, Kristin Kreuk, and Paula Patton were in contention for the sexy female role in Mission: Impossible 4. Well Paula Patton has emerged victorious! The Deja Vu star will play a young operative who works with Ethan Hunt.
Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Hunt, but Paramount doesn't want to make a big deal about his involvement. He was the cat's meow back when the first movie launched, but now he's that guy you dread having lunch with simply to maintain the relationship. Maybe M:I 4 director Brad Bird can elevate his status back to Top Gun levels. That is if co-star Jeremy Renner doesn't steal the spotlight. Oh how that would anger Cruise so. Couch-stomping mad. (Deadline)
Move it along. Nothing to see here.
With a second season already confirmed before the first has even aired, AMC's "The Walking Dead" is shaping up to be a monster hit. Thomas Jane agrees with that point, and is eager to get the chance to hang around with BFF Frank Darabont and his stiff, rotting corpses. When the series was first announced, I'd thought Jane in the lead would be a no-brainer, if he could work his schedule out. Turns out, that was the plan back when the series was expected to go to HBO. When it ended up going to AMC, his inclusion fell through. Now, he may get the chance to bash in some zombie skulls afterall.
"That show is going to be a a big f*cking hit. I've seen it and is fan-f*cking-tastic. I'm going to come on and do a guest thing. Maybe play a bad guy. I'm not going to be a zombie. That's too much make up."
Jane is polarizing for a lot of people, but I think he'd be a great addition to the cast. As long as he's not expected to do any crying scenes. (NBC Washington)
Marisol Nichols is a Chicago native with a mixed blend of Hungarian and Mexican ancestry. She got her start in the biz as the final Audrey Griswold in Vegas Vacation. Since then she has moved up the Hollywood ladder with spots on the Series "Cold Case," "24," and this past summer's "The Gates."
A word from Marisol: "Working everyday with werewolves, witches and vampires. How much fun is that?!"
More pics of Marisol after the jump…
"Follow me if you want to live!!!"
There's a video going around the Internet that depicts a young woman gleefully throwing newborn puppies into a raging river. Seeing as the Internet is comprised of 80% adorable puppies, that sh*t just don't fly. Michael Bay took time out of his busy schedule of writing terse letters, to write a terse letter damning the puppy-thrower, while placing a bounty on her head:
There is a disturbing video going around the news outlets. It’s a video of blonde young woman in a red sweatshirt casually tossing squealing puppies into the fast-moving river one by one.
Michael Bay has informed me that he is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of the woman in the red sweatshirt and the person who shot this act of cruelty.
And now it's time to pay up. 4chan was already on the case and managed to gather everything there is to know about the young woman, including her name, phone number, address, school address, email address, Facebook profile, and Volleyball team info (?). Good job, Internet. Too bad 4chan users are anonymous and can't outright accept the money. Michael Bay, you can leave that $50K in the newspaper box on the northeast corner of Wilshire Blvd and N. Arnaz Drive. It will make its way into the right hands.
As if that weren't a sweet enough payout, I would like to up the ante by personally offering a heartfelt pat on the back to the first person who ties the culprits to a chair and force feeds them a bag of cement mix. (WWTDD)
"Could we have this removed, please?"
Here's some nutso casting that seems to be torn from Peter Berg's playbook (aka left field), "The Office" showrunner Paul Lieberstein wants to replace the departing Steve Carell with professional actor/cleaner Harvey Keitel. Though no talks have begun, the plan would be to bring him in as an old salesman who attempted to retire, but was pulled back into the workforce after the stock market collapse. Speaking of Keitel's comedy potential, Lieberstein had this to say:
"He's a real tough guy, but I saw him in 'Life on Mars' and I saw a lot more comedy in his work, just little slivers of it, little things he would do that made me think he's capable of a lot more than what (he's done)."
Also, he did Little Nicky. So, you know he's not above this. (Reuters)
We all know that millions of young minds will be permanently damaged by Michael Bay's Transformers 3. But usually, the causalities don't start rolling in until after the film hits theaters. However, it seems this installment of the Transformers trilogy has already claimed its first victim.
Authorities say the "Transformers 3" crew was filming late Wednesday in the Chicago suburb of Hammond, Ind., using several vehicles and drivers. Police say something went wrong and an object went through the windshield of a car, hitting the driver. In a statement, police said the vehicle kept going for a mile before stopping. Police did not release the driver's name. The person was airlifted to a hospital.
For the love of God, the film hasn't even reached post production, and people are already being hospitalized. Although based on the description, this might make for one hell of a 3D experience. Even so, we wish the extra a speedy recovery, and pray for an end to the senseless cycle of violence that is the Transformers franchise. (HitFix)
If there's one thing he loves more than stealing babies, it's cleaning.
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I normally don't report on people shopping projects around to networks, even if those people are J.J. Abrams, but damn is it a slow news day. So hey, Abrams and former "Lost" writer Elizabeth Sarnoff are waving Sarnoff's drama pilot "Alcatraz" under the nose of hungry execs.
Not much is known about the script except that it takes place on the San Francisco Bay island that once housed the worst of the worst offenders. A few years ago, Ed Harris took over Alcatraz, and Nic Cage had to bring him down with Sean Connery, but the show most likely won't recognize those events. Poisonous green balls or not, someone will buy this script quicker than you can say, "Abrams equals profit." (Deadline)
"That dog musta been sick."
Here's the first look from Peter Berg's perplexing Battleship adaptation of Rihanna dressed like one of those guys that hang out at the mall trying to recruit poor people into combat. I still find it really odd that she joined the cast, which includes Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, and Alexander Skarsgard. Then again, I find it really odd this movie is being made. But what strikes me as most odd is this thing standing next to Rihanna. Didn't E.T. dress up as that once?
Zach Galifianakis's brother, Seth, takes over for him in this episode of "Between Two Ferns" with guest Sean Penn. The video confirms my belief that Penn is incapable of smiling, and possibly even feeling joy. Maybe I'm wrong though. Maybe the blooper reel is full of Penn rolling on the floor laughing his ass off and his stoic persona is built through the magic of editing. But there's no denying that the ferns look scared sh*tless.
Check out the interview after the jump…
Fox has turned to Jamie Foxx to fill the offensively-unfunny-sketch-comedy-show shaped hole left by the cancellation of "Mad TV." The network picked up a twelve-episode order of "The Jamie Foxx Project," a half-hour sketch series that will skewer pop culture with a diverse cast of comedians, for mid-season.
Hopefully this won't delay the Skank Robbers film we were promised. Because we still want that. (Deadline)
"Tell them no MSG."
"Robot Chicken" creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich have decided to take the main premise of Matthew McConaughey classic EdTV and turn it into a interactive reality show. The duo is teaming up with Ford Motor Co. and Sprint Nextel for "ControlTV." The series, which will follow six weeks in the life of a guy in his twenties, enables the audience to vote, in real time, on every aspect of his life—from what he wears and eats, to where he works, to who he dates. What they can't decide on is what kind of car he drives and phone he uses. Ford and Sprint got the lock on those.
They say the audience can vote on every aspect of this guy's life, but I'm sure we'll get some pretty standard choices. What should he eat? A) Tuna Sandwich B) Cheeseburger C) Chicken Soup. What the demented viewing audience will want is an option D, which would be somewhere inbetween dog sh*t and spoiled milk. Hey, if you're going to let us decide, don't cuff our hands behind our backs. (Deadline)
Amanda Righetti, the red-headed eye candy of CBS's "The Mentalist," comes from a Utah-raised family with 7 siblings (6 sisters and 1 brother). That makes me jealous that I wasn't raised by a family of hot gingers in the mountains of Utah.
A word from Amanda: "Guys blow my looks up more than I ever would. I guess I have issues with myself. I don't think I'm as pretty as everybody thinks."
Perfect. That means guys with slightly below average looks still have a chance.
More pics of Amanda after the jump…
It seems like everything’s changed for Dexter this year. SPOILER ALERT!!! for people waiting to watch Season Four on DVD, but he’s lost his wife and his executive producers in one fell swoop. Chip Johannessen takes over for departing Clyde Phillips and Melissa Rosenberg, but continues their story from the death of Rita.
Over the summer, Johannessen told the Television Critics Association that new guest stars are coming in who will end up helping Dexter deal with grief. We’ve got Peter Weller (Robocop), Julia Stiles, Jonny Lee Miller and Shawn Hatosy. Could they each represent one of the five stages of grief?
More after the jump…
Don't be distracted by his off-putting facial hair. Conan O'Brien has a message of utmost importance to share with you. Namely, the name of his new show. Much like his parents did 47 years ago, he's made the regrettable decision of naming it "Conan." This show is going to sooo get its ass kicked during recess. (Vulture)
Check out O'Brien making the official announcement after the jump…