Furious Movie News 06.03.10: The Pabst Blue Ribbon Edition
Furious Movie News 06.03.10: The Pabst Blue Ribbon Edition Posted by Arnold Furious on 06.03.2010
Captain Americas attire, Lost meets The Avengers, Charlie Sheens jail time and other celebrity criminals, Tupac biopic, new trailers, and more!
Big news dropped yesterday with Guillermo del Toro's departure from the much publicised Hobbit movie. It was scheduled for a Christmas 2012 release although it was switched to a 2-part release with the second part coming along in 2013. According to del Toro the studio hasn't even signed off on the film officially though. Which is really bad news for Tolkien fans. They were surely hoping that with del Toro onboard and Peter Jackson involved as a producer capacity that the film would get the greenlight and turn up trumps. No such luck. It seems that MGM isn't willing to spend the cash on something that they consider a risk. Especially with their own future unsettled by their deepening financial crisis. So, bad news for movie fans. If a sure-thing like The Hobbit isn't within the realms of affordability then what chance do other ambitious projects stand?
The two major news stories on Yahoo's movie news this morning were the announcement of a sequel to Sherlock Holmes, which everyone else has known about since March, and the Superman re-boot, which was announced in February. Apparently they have an official release date of December 2012 now. Odd how that release date coincides with The Hobbit removing itself from the same slot. The film will be entitled Superman: Man of Steel and will be written by David S. Goyer. The entire project being overseen by Chris Nolan as part of his deal with Warners to make sure they don't balls up their other superhero projects.
Captain America rumours persist
Now that Cap has been cast, along with everyone else, the big rumbling around the movie is the costume. Cap has one of the more iconic costumes in superhero history and seeing as most of Marvel's main hero characters have retained the essence of their costumes it stands to reason that Cap will too. Mike Sampson over at JoBlo.com has seen the costume however. He describes it as a military based costume. The traditional hood is replaced with a helmet bearing the familiar "A". Which means no wings and hence no "Winghead". Much of the rest of the costume will have elements of the original comic book version but won't look entirely the same. It seems to be a functional military uniform, which isn't drastically different to some of the things Cap has taken to wearing in the comics for military missions in the past decade. Utility belts, army boots, straps and so on. You have to keep in mind this is the WWII version of Cap who was designed for military purposes. So it does make sense. Apparently the shield, which is perhaps even a bigger symbol than the costume, is as normal. Before everyone goes mental and cries foul Marvel have generally gotten costumes looking right before they start shooting and based on the description this does sound like it might be ok. I was most concerned for the shield if I'm honest and that seems largely untouched by the changes to make this a more realistic superhero costume. The big questions may come when Cap makes his way into a more modern setting. Will he be in the classic' attire then? Or will he be scaled back like X-Men? Time will tell.
Oh, Charlie Sheen, will you never learn?
TMZ.com, those lovers of scandalous celebrity behaviour, have been long-term fans of the antics of Charlie Sheen. Going back to May 26th they broke the story that Sheen would face jail time because of an incident last December where he threatened his wife with a knife. Sheen decided to take 30 days in an Aspen jail over probation because he just can't stay out of trouble. He should be out in 17 days with good behaviour and this reflects an increasing trend of celebrities actually getting sent down. Gone are the times where celebrities were above the law and could behave any way they pleased. In this modern age of the internet and fast moving news it's near impossible for the big studio lawyers to keep everything under wraps. You think Howard Hughes could get away with shooting Thomas Ince nowadays if someone uploaded the video to YouTube from the boat? Seeing as Sheen is about to be incarcerated here's my favourite celebrity jail sentences
She did 23 days for violation of her original charge in 2007. She had her driving licence suspended for drunk driving and persisted in driving, and badly at that, for months afterwards. It seemed to be a new dawn in actual celebrity punishment although Paris made a point of arguing her sentence all the way and tried to get herself transferred during her 23 days because she couldn't hack it.
2. Vince Neil. Although this was another drink driving offender Vince, lead singer of Motley Crue, went one further and actually crashed his car into oncoming traffic. His passenger, and Hanoi Rocks drummer, Nicholas Dingley was killed. Neil was given 30 days (!) for vehicular manslaughter and got out in just 15 days. 15 days for killing someone! Kiefer Sutherland did 48 days for driving after too many beers. It's tales like this from the 80s that reveal where the ire of the general public at celebrity behaviour stemmed from. Celebrities shouldn't be allowed to get away with breaking the law to THIS degree. The family of the victim were paid $2.6M by Neil as part of his punishment.
3. Robert Downey Jr. Hollywood loves a comeback and Downey Jr had a hell of a place to come back from. In the late 90s he was a punchline. He was first arrested in 1996 in possession of Class A drugs and a firearm while speeding! What a combination! He was arrested again for trespassing after getting high and wandering into his neighbour's house to go to sleep. In 1997 he finally went to jail after missing a mandatory drug test. He served 4 months but failed to turn up for another drug test in 1999 and ended up in jail for a year although he spent most of that in a substance abuse facility getting clean. He was arrested two further times for being under the influence and possession of cocaine. His last arrest was in 2001 and since then he's turned his career around.
4. Kiefer Sutherland. Another to fall afoul of drink driving, perhaps not a shock considering Kiefer's legendary drinking sessions, he served 48 days in jail in 2008. Originally he'd planned to spread his jail term out around 24 but the writer's strike allowed him to do all his bird in one go. And without any complaints. Good man.
5. Michelle Rodriguez.
Another fan of drunk driving she's been in jail on three separate occasions for drink driving and also has a tonne of tickets for speeding. She's been released every time she's been to jail early because of overcrowding. Even her 60 day sentence saw her serve less than 24 hours. She's also been guilty of other driving offences including a hit and run and escaped an assault charge back in 2002. Michelle, when will you learn?
I would include Wesley Snipes here but he's not actually gone to jail yet despite being sentenced to 3 years for failure to disclose earnings and avoiding tax in 2008. He's still out of jail on appeal and is allowed to travel for his job. Maybe the system isn't quite so slick after all.
Nick Nolte also hasn't been inside despite being arrested in 2002. He received a suspended sentence and surprisingly kept his nose clean since. Christian Slater also avoided a lengthy spell inside despite fondling a woman on the street and making drinking a way of life. In 1998 he very nearly went inside after trying to pick a fight with the cops after duffing up his girlfriend. Oops.
Fuqua tackles Tupac
According to Digital Spy acclaimed director Antoine Fuqua will be doing a biopic of rap legend Tupac Shakur as his next project. Good news if you're an up and coming actor/rapper as well. He's looking for an unknown to take the lead role. He's planning on taking his casting sessions to "the streets" in search of his Tupac. Fuqua made a name for himself shooting music videos for artists like Prince, Stevie Wonder, Toni Braxton and Arrested Development. His first movie was 1998's Replacement Killers; Chow Yun Fat's attempt to crack Hollywood. 3 years later Fuqua became a well known and respected director for his work on Training Day. Denzel Washington won an Oscar for his crazy OTT portrayal of LA cop Alonzo Harris. "King Kong ain't got shit on me". His career faltered since but he returned to his roots to make Brooklyn's Finest and is also in pre-production on Consent to Kill another action thriller. He is also linked to Bruce Willis prison drama The Tomb.
Ken Watanabe to step behind camera
Cinematic tough guy Ken Watanabe looks set to follow in the footsteps of another cinematic bad ass Clint Eastwood and take up directing. The movie in question is called 442nd and is about a squadron of American/Japanese soldiers used in virtual suicide missions in Nazi Germany during World War II. I like Watanabe and he seems fairly strong willed and determined, which are great characteristics for someone who wants to direct. He's seen a master at work too having starred in Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima; the excellent WWII movie about conditions on Iwo Jima for the Japanese soldiers ahead of and during the American invasion of the island. Watanabe has been making a name for himself in the Western world of movies lately. He starred in Last Samurai opposite The Cruiser. He also appeared in Batman Begins battling the titular hero. He's also starring in the upcoming Inception; the latest from Batman director Christopher Nolan due out next month.
And the Avengers movie rumours begin
Just when you thought it was safe and all the Avengers casting was pretty much done (Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Nick Fury are all taken care of) here comes the latest batch of rumours and we'll be hearing them for a long, long time. With the Avengers movie still 2 years away it seems as if Marvel are keen to get a cast ready. The latest name to be mentioned in connection with the ensemble is Josh Holloway. People who didn't watch Lost would perhaps be forgiven for going "huh"? at the name. Holloway played Sawyer, one of the most popular characters, on Lost and with the show over is looking for something to do. The rumour mill has him being lined up for a part. But which one? Potentially it could be anyone but Avengersnews has him lined up as Hawkeye, Ant-Man or Dum Dum Dugan. Personally I'd rather they kept the cast as small as possible in order to get all their heavyweights onscreen for sufficient screen time but if they do add another hero I'd love it to be Hawkeye. I'm a total mark for Clint Barton. Nathan Fillion has also been connected to the production but that's to be expected with Joss Whedon in charge.
Not forgetting X-Men: First Class
We already know two major pieces of news regarding XM:FC but here's an interesting footnote connecting them. Matthew Vaughn was hired to direct a while back and this week we got confirmation that James McAvoy will play a young Professor Charles Xavier. And who should be photographed taking lunch with both of these people just before the McAvoy announcement? Aaron "Kick-Ass" Johnson! I personally think McAvoy is too young to even play a "young" Professor X but could Johnson be tapped up to play Cyclops? Again this is pretty tenuous. They might just have been getting something to eat and both needed a word with Vaughn but doesn't the timing seem strange? These things do happen in the world of movies.
The Cruiser talks Knight and Day. Looking forward to it.
Scott Pilgrim Vs the World. This looks completely mental but I must keep faith in Edgar Wright. He's not steered me wrong yet although he does normally have Simon Pegg knocking around to help dish out fried gold.
13 Assassins. The latest from Takashi Miike. Well, probably not the latest, he's probably directed 6 movies since he made this.
We always get the run-down on the top 10 movies in the US. 411 does a post updating it every weekend and it's covered in other news columns at the head of the week. With Chart Watch I thought I'd take a look at how certain movies are doing on the all-time lists. Here's this week's Chart Watch;
Please note that this information was compiled on Monday before Monday's figures were available. Seeing as I don't live in America I'm not used to Memorial Day weekend. I'll try and amend that next year. Four day weekend figures had Prince of Persia ahead of Sex and the City 2 and Shrek 4 on a gargantuan $57M.
Iron Man 2 has tagged another $50M on its gross worldwide. So $550M so far. That's still way off Alice in Wonderland (at over a billion dollars now), which seems to have had success during a time of the year where there were no other major releases. Its looking increasingly like a fine gambit from The Mouse to get it out there in the hole between Avatar and the summer months. Robin Hood is up to $237M globally, which puts it in 6th place just behind Shutter Island on the year. Shrek 4 has cracked the top ten but only has $158M worldwide so far. In the US the failure of this weekend's two big releases has allowed Shrek 4 to calmly rake in $133M. That's good enough for 5th spot on the year if you're just going on US box office. Iron Man 2 is seeing some movement here as it aims to take down Alice and is up to $274M, which puts it ahead of Iron Man in the same timeframe. Iron Man finished with $318M so its not unreasonable to suggest that Iron Man 2 will beat Alice's US tally and in the process become the biggest movie of 2010so far.
Iron Man 2 has claimed 6 spots on the chart this week climbing to #45. That puts it ahead of Shrek and Harry Potter 2. The Hangover is at #44 with $277M, which is just another $3M on IM2's current score. The original Iron Man sits at #24 and I think we're looking at this movie beating that total. Top 20 is definitely a possibility. I would suggest Spider Man 3 and its $336M are in Tony Stark's sights. If you wondering how this compares overseas; Iron Man 2 has clocked up $550M, which is the same as King Kong (Peter Jackson version) and good enough for #60 on the all time chart. The original Iron Man only did $585M for its entire run globally. So IM2 is looking to beat that quite substantially.
May continues to shock and surprise with its underachieving pictures. Sex and the City 2 wasn't a big success and despite a 90% female turnout the picture debuted to $32M and the story wasn't any brighter for the considerably more expensive Prince of Persia, which started out with $30M. The movie was a hard sell because no one wants to see video game adaptations (they suck) and no one wants to see a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal (his movies average $36M gross) and no one wants to see a movie set in the desert. It was a tough sell. So why spend $200M on it? I guess Disney was hoping to recreate the Pirates of the Caribbean vibe with a big budget movie from something not normally considered worthwhile. After all Pirates was based on a theme park ride. BUT Pirates also had Johnny Depp and it was funny and exciting. The big winners out of all this failure are Iron Man 2, retaining 60% of its audience, and Shrek 4, which had an even better hold. $43M banked this weekend alone. Keep in mind that if you include Thursday then Sex and the City 2 would have $46M. Which doesn't look quite so bad and is closer what people were expecting. POP is staring disaster in the face though.
Movers and Shakers
Ok, lets try and find something positive before Jake Gyllenhaal shoots himself. The desert adventure movie is a hard sell, we've established that, so lets look at how POP fares against other desert based movies. For an opening weekend its not far off Scorpion King, which ended up taking $91M. That would only represent a loss of $109M-ish. Eddie Murphy does that all the time. Its already topped $45M budgeted action drama Flight of the Phoenix. POP has already doubled the total for Ishtar as well! See, its doing ok. Those who say movies set in the desert don't take any money need only look at The Mummy and Mummy Returns; both of which banked huge dollar.
We've also been told that movies set in medieval times don't make any money. So isn't it weird that Hollywood totally went with a desert movie for $200M and also this medieval set film for $200M. It seems like a waste of a perfectly good $400M! Robin Hood started out quite badly so it should be pleasant news for POP fans that it has $86M banked so far. That's more money than Braveheart ($75M), Ever After ($63M) and Willow ($57M). These are basically the most successful medieval films that don't feature Robin Hood. Most other films set in medieval times feature King Arthur, the legend of Excalibur and other assorted knight-based antics. The bad news for Robin Hood is that Kevin Costner's attempt at the same legend Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves took a princely $165M and that was in 1991. Plus Bryan Adams made a couple of quid flogging singles on the side. This movie has a long, long way to go before it hits that level of success. It'd need impossible holds for the rest of the summer. Not going to happen.
Seeing as someone asked I figured I'd take a look at where Just Wright sits compared to Hoosiers in terms of basketball movies. Just Wright has $18M so far. Hoosiers took home $28M. That places it 8th in terms of basketball movies. Here's the basketballin' top ten
1 Space Jam $90M 2 White Men Can't Jump $76M 3 Coach Carter $67M 4 Like Mike $51M 5 Glory Road $42M 6 Semi-Pro $33M 7 Eddie $31M 8 Hoosiers $28M 9 Love & Basketball $27M 10 Air Bud $23M
If it gets lucky Just Wright might even force its way onto the scoreboard. Its currently sitting 14th. Meanwhile Letters to Juliet continues to successfully net box office dollars climbing to $36M. As far as Italian travelogue movies go it's the 4th biggest earner of all time. Beaten by Talented Mr Ripley, Under a Tuscan Sun and The Lizzie McGuire Movie. The last one was Disney and starred Hilary Duff in case you were wondering.
Worst performer compared to last week? MacGruber! And lets face it, the debut last week wasn't a strong one. 63% down on last week and there is a danger that it might not even scrape back that $10M budget. Oh boy! Its still in over 2,500 theaters! That makes for an average of $580 per theater, which is terrible. They literally forced this one down people's throats and they've puked it back up. I expect every theater with any sense to dump it next weekend to make room for absolutely anything else. BOMB!
Nightmare on Elm Street and Furry Vengeance both coughed up a load of screens this weekend to make space for new releases. Elm Street was pretty much done anyway with $61M. Not a bad haul although like most horror movies it dropped off sharply after the opening weekend. FV meanwhile has taken $16M, which should just about take care of Brendan Fraser's salary. It'll lose about $20M. People just hated this movie.
There's a tonne of movies out this weekend. Get Him to the Greek is the big release. Chances of it toppling Shrek 450/50. Also out are Marmaduke, which should capture the kiddy summer crowd, Splice and Killers. If Get Him to the Greek gets top spot it'll probably be a surprise what with Shrek 4 retaining so much of its audience. Shrek 4 retaining audience would also be bad news for Marmaduke, which would have been hoping for that movie to die off before this weekend. Not happening. Shrek 4 can keep rolling in cash until A-Team on June 11th. Smooth move from DreamWorks. Especially considering how badly the movie opened.
You can follow 411 on Twitter
Movies Roundtable for June. I contributed along with Shawn Lealos, Joseph Lee, Bryan Kristopowitz and Jeremy Thomas. Big up to JT for continuing to compile this 411 office tradition.
Les Grossman's production values rock.
One for the road. What are you having Kyle?
Until next time, I'm Arnold Furious and you're not.