After letting Tower Heist sit on the shelf for almost four years, Universal has given it the green light with Ben Stiller starring, Brett Ratner directing, and Imagine's Brian Grazer producing. Because if anyone can make a project work that hasn't been working, it's the mastermind behind X-Men 3. Deadline has the deets:
Ben Stiller stars as the overworked manager of a luxury building who, along with other staff, lost their pensions to a Bernie Madoff-like Wall Street crook. It so happens that the fraudster is being held under house arrest in the luxury penthouse apartment upstairs, and the manager and four cohorts figure a heist will make them whole.
Bumbling, inept idiots try to pull off a major heist. Have we not seen this concept countless times already? And not that I have anything against Stiller, but I don't understand why he'd want to play this type of character again. He's already been a bumbling security guard twice in the Night at the Museum movies, and a bumbling (insert occupation) in almost everything else. Now he's relying on Ratner to save a stale concept. Unless that concept is a cupcake, I'm not seeing him succeeding.
Birdie.Denzel Washington is in talks to star in Safe House, an original spy thriller set in South Africa, but let's not make this a racial thing. The script, written by David Guggenheim, "follows a young U.S. intelligence agent who must go on the run with a newly arrived prisoner (Denzel’s potential role) after his titular safe house comes under attack — think of a mix between Collateral and Three Days of the Condor." Sounds more like a mix between Bulletproof and Spy Hard. Guggenheim sparked a bidding war with the script this past winter.A spy thriller wouldn't be my next project choice for Denzel, but I don't commission 10% of his salary to tell him what sets to show up on. The overall concept for Safe House seems stale though, and I can't understand why studios would clamor over one another to secure it. Maybe Denzel knows something I don't. Like where I put my car keys. I gotta get out of this trunk before the sun sets. The desert gets chilly at night. (Vulture)
In news that is sure to make Conan O'Brien's Irish eyes smile, Jeff Zucker is being removed from his position as President of NBC Television Group. General Electric has put together an exit deal that will send Zucker packing with a golden parachute in the $30 to $40 million range. Please send all sympathy cards to: Jeff Zucker Don't Send This Guy Any Cards Avenue Dude's Plenty Rich, NY 80085 $30 million seems kinda exorbitant for a guy who steered the number one network into last place and forced the company into the arms of a competitor. Heck, I didn't get squat when I was let go from the deli for that bologna joke fiasco. Sucks too because I had plans for that apron. (NY Post)
Robin Hood PG-13, 131m., 2010 Cast: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, William Hurt, Mark Addy, Danny Huston, and Max Von Sydow Directed by Ridley Scott Screenplay by Brian Helgeland Robin Hood, the new retelling of the famous legend points its arrows at being a nitty-gritty throwback epic but misses its mark with too many characters and not enough story.In this prequel version from the slam-your-fist-into-the-mud-team of director Ridley Scott and actor Russell Crowe, Crowe stars as Robin Lonstride, a 12th century archer in King Richard's army who by way of action and accidents is mistaken for the knight Robert of Luxley. This gives him the opportunity to steal from the rich and give to the poor people of Nottingham, while King Phillip of France and evil-knight Godfrey (played by Mark Strong in his usual sneering jackal performance) plan to invade the shores of England. Director Scott, working from a script by Brian Helgelanger seems to be having shifts into what movie they want to portray, ending up with too many arrows and no sharp tips.More after the jump…
Those who have tackled their own home-made adaptations of Stephen King's The Dark Tower are about to be upstaged twice over. Universal is in talks to condense the seven books by the creepy author (I said it) into a film trilogy directed by Ron Howard. Not only that, but they'll also produce a far crappier television version for shut-ins and Nielsen families.I'm not really sure how the story of the last gunslinger Roland Deschain will divide across film and television wthout confusing the chronology, and thinking about it has given me another one of my murder headaches. Well, time to chain myself up for the night again I suppose. (Deadline)
Pure Ridley Scott is on display in this new clip from Robin Hood. Not that the action sequence of Robin and his merry men storming a French castle isn't exciting, but Ridley must stage these battles in his sleep now. He pulls a hot oil double-whammy here by having it poured from a vat by the enemy while at the same time hung in sacks on the castle gate by the heroes. Oil vs. oil?! Things are about to get slippery, yo!
Seth MacFarlane has augmented his sure-fire formula for TV success in order to apply it to the big screen. But only slightly. MacFarlane is working out a deal to direct Ted, an R-rated comedy about a man who must choose between his girlfriend and his best friend — a talking teddy bear. "Family Guy" co-star Mila Kunis is being considered for the role of the girlfriend.MacFarlane will also loan his satin-y smooth voice to the CG-animated bear. I'm thinking it's somewhere along the lines of Snuggle, if Snuggle cursed and humped legs. Somewhere in Hollywood, Verne Troyer is cursing the advent of computer animation. (Deadline)
Has our insatiable appetite for stereoscopic film imagery driven us past the point of no return? Would Hollywood be brazen enough to dig up the corpse of a classic in order to drop a 3-D deuce in its mouth? I'd like to think there's a certain line that does not get crossed but this item has me worried.A source at Universal has told Cinema Blend that a 3-D remake of Jaws may be in the works. From Cinema Blend:Their claim is that people now expect more, visually, from their movie going experience. So, Hollywood studios are inclined to take some of their tried and true franchise names like Jaws and bring them into the 3D world. The tipster also revealed that at one point Tracy Morgan was being considered for the role of Matt Hooper, originally played by Richard Dreyfuss. Willikers. This is too absurd to be true. It's like a movie poster 30 Rock's Tracy Jordan would hang in his dressing room. I don't know what to fear more with Tracy Morgan in the water, the shark or somebody getting pregnant.Regard this as a rumor for now. Universal will come to their senses. The last thing Jaws needs is a remake, especially one that heads in a comedic direction. That's why we have One Crazy Summer. (Cinema Blend)
"And is it true they will honk when I squeeze them?"Director Paul Greengrass has decided he won't aim his shakey, blurry camera at Jason Bourne for a third time. The Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum director has had a falling out with cash-strapped Universal, causing him to walk away from the fourth film. Apparently he is upset that the studio brought in a new screenwriter for the project without his consent and the studio is upset by Greengrass's going way over budget on his current project, Green Zone.Given Matt Damon's loyalty to Greengrass, this could be bad news for Universal. Could we have another Matt Damon freakout on our hands? According to the Playlist, some are citing Greengrass's ghosting as a "typical Paul move" and that he'll return to the project in short order. Another noted, "That's so Paul!", but it was difficult to determine if he was being serious or merely refering to Greengrass's failed Disney sitcom. (The Playlist)
Hopefully the cover above has dissuaded you from thinking Universal was deigning to adapt the feel-good new age philosophy of the same name*. Nay, IESB.net reports that Universal Pictures has picked up the rights to Dark Horse Comics’ The Secret under the exclusive three-year partnership the two companies entered into in early 2008. (They also partnered on the Hellboy franchise and Timecop.) The four-issue miniseries from 2007 was written by Dark Horse's Mike Richardson, and visualized by Jason Shawn Alexander, an award-winning artist who's worked on Abe Sapien, Queen & Country, and The Escapists. (His official website is pretty badass, and you can check it out here.)The Secret is a coming-of-age tale that focuses on Tommy, a high schooler who attends an exclusive party with the cool kids in order to get closer to his dream girl. But then a prank call goes sour…
In an interview with MTV, Judd Apatow spills the beans that his upcoming film Funny People will include scenes and "marketing materials" for a bunch of fake movies in which Adam Sandler's character George Simmons stars. It's a conceit that worked really well in Tropic Thunder, with the inspired trailers for such high concept spoofs as Scorcher, The Fatties: Fart 2 and Satan's Alley (all three of which you can see after the jump, along with a short list of faux-films within the world of Funny People.