Film Nerd News #5

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Film Nerd News!

Well, well, well ladies (?) and gentlemen we’ve made it to five (yes, FIVE) editions of iGR‘s Film Nerd News. Alright, alright I’ll stop with the counting. I’m tired of it anyways. Anyways, this week covers some wacky stuff going on in Hollywood right now. Like, I bet there’s good money Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) is going to end up writing a screenplay on the entire thing. Elsewhere, there’s a couple of reboots (surprise!) but let’s take a closer look:

3/18 – ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK is the next 80s cult hit to get the reboot treatment

  • If you’re  a child of the 80s, chances are Hollywood has ruined your child/young adulthood to a devastating degree. It seems like every other movie that comes out these days was once tied to something the cool kids did in the 80s. Oh you loved horror movies in the 80s? Here’s a reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street, with some Halloween and Friday the 13th thrown in good for measure too! Oh, a fan of Transformers were you? Well here’s three mediocre-to-awful movies about the love story of two teenagers while those robots act like a bunch of babysitters! But clearly this trend isn’t ending anytime soon with the news that Escape From New York was getting the reboot treatment, with any eye towards a franchise trilogy. For those rabid fans of the original, at least Joel Silver (The Matrix) has a fairly good track record. Because Liam Neeson‘s (Schinlder’s List) been in a couple of Silver-produced features the past couple of years, the rumor is that they’re eyeing him to lead the reboot but I’d wait for a writer/director before getting my hopes up.

3/18 – Tom Cruise wants to revive another TV spy franchise with THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E

  • This would be an interesting choice for Cruise considering he’s been doing his Mission Impossible thing, another old spy TV series. That said, The Man From U.N.C.L.E has been development for awhile now, originally slated to be one of Steven Soderbergh‘s (Ocean’s trilogy) last films but now lined up as Guy Ritichie‘s (Snatch.) next film. I think Cruise would be a good choice to pair with Ritchie at the helm but I’m also saying this as someone who eagerly anticipates his next project.

3/21 – Has THE EQUILIZER finally landed a director? Antoine Fuqua could be the man

  • What was originally setup as a pretty inspired pairing of star Denzel Washington (Training Day) and director Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive) has now turned into a reunion. It appears that Antoine Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen) is going to be taking over after Refn left the project. As a huge fan of Denzel Washington, specifically his performance in Training Day, this is great news to me. I’m also fan of some of Fuqua’s other work so he’s more than capable of delivering a good movie on his own. Paired with Washington, though, and magic may happen with Training Day a shining example.

3/21 – In “duh” news, there could be a spinoff in the FAST AND THE FURIOUS franchise

  • With some movie news, I like to think that if I think it’s a good idea it seems like it should be a no-brainer for the studio as well. With the recent box office and critical (who saw that coming?) success of Fast Five, Universal quickly put not only one but two sequels into development. There’s no doubt that Dwayne “You can call me The Rock again for a little while” Johnson (The Rundown) has injected new life into the franchise, something that’s kind of become his thing (he previously helped Journey 2 from falling into obscurity). So the next logical step? Create a spin-off! In today’s Hollywood, it’s a no-brainer especially because if successful, Universal may just have their own little version of Marvel’s model with The Avengers. I’m not saying that the franchise compare or even should but using the type of world-building that Marvel did allows franchises to develop stories much in the same way that TV normally can. Because of time constraints, big movie franchises can’t produce the same type world-building that a TV series can but Marvel proved big franchises can over a series of movies that have intertwining (and separate) arcs. It’s a fascinating way of doing business and is going to be the next big way of building gigantic movie franchises.

ALL WEEK – Wacky Adventures in Hollywood #234: JANE GOT A GUN

  • Remember last week when I said Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class) had to leave the indie western Jane Got a Gun because of scheduling conflicts but no real drama was taking place? Yeah…about that. I’m going to talk more about this in a minute but I want to get the play by play out of the way first.  Turns out, drama was going on because first we found out that director Lynne Ramsey (We Need to Talk About Kevin) had no-showed on the first day of production, last Tuesday the 19th, pretty much literally leaving the cast and crew out in the desert. Frantically, the producers of the film had to find a new a director. The next day, they found one: Gavin O’Conner (Warrior). That’s pretty superb work on such short notice, really but more on that in a bit. However, more bad news followed when Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes) dropped out because he had reportedly only signed on because of Ramsey in the first place. You might recall last week’s news was that Law was replacing Fassbender in the film, in order to play the villain. But still, the producers kept working and ended the week with a pretty solid shortlist to replace Law: Jake Gyllenhaal (Source Code), Tobey Maguire (original Spiderman trilogy) and Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski). First of all, I just want to say how impressive it is that the producers of the film (including star Natalie Portman [V for Vendetta]) have done a remarkable job of trying to keep the production going after a series of unfortunate events, the first of which being the no-show of Ramsey. When this all started happening, I was originally going to run with it on it’s own but decided to wait until Ramsey gave her side of the story. Nearly a week later and there still hasn’t been a peep from her. Maybe she has a good reason but she needs to start saying something because right now it just looks like she quit, without telling anybody. And I don’t know about you, but quitting without even giving a notice is a really easy way to burn bridges. Add to the fact that a ton of filmmakers, new and old, would love to work with the cast that was assembled and it makes it worse. I can understand Law’s point of view but at the same time, O’Conner’s no slouch so I did find it a bit odd that Law would drop out, even after the replacement was found. That said, the fact that Gyllenhaal, Maguire and Bridges are your back-ups still has you positioned for success. It’s clear that they’re casting a wide net to just try and get the movie made but those choices are all strong, with Bridges being my personal favorite.

That’s all for this week’s edition of Film Nerd News. Don’t forget to check out TV Nerd News later today and as always, Trailer Tuesday tomorrow.

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