Nikki Finke has confirmed Robert Rodriguez’ story with her Universal sources, and it APPEARS that McGowan wasn’t the sore point in the Barbarella project after all. Apparently the Universal execs fell in love with Rose, who appeared in an early screen test back in July.
“a rather spectacular screen test of Rose playing the role of Barbarella that also demonstrated Robert’s vision and visual style for the movie. We all saw that it would work and signed on.”
“And all of us got our arms around the real movie Robert wanted to make. It had grown in its ambition. Robert’s visualization of a sci-fi universe flushed out in set pieces and sequences started to become apparent. It was a much larger film than we had originally discussed.”
The proposed $60 million budget turned into $80+ million, and Universal got nervous. Heck, it doesn’t matter how good Rose was if she isn’t a name that will put buts in seats. Rodriguez shaved the budget down to $72 million, but that was still way more than the studio was interested in investing. That is when Universal boss Marc Schmuger told Rodriguez to try and set it up elsewhere, but to get back to them if he could get the budget down to around $60.
I’m still not interested in seeing a Barbarella remake, and most, if not everyone I’ve talked to seem to be in agreement. Young people see movies, and a movie with the Barbarella name calls back to an older generation. And Young people don’t want an idea rehashed from their parent’s childhood. However, the fact that Finke says that Universal were sold on Robert’s vision of the film. To tell the El Mariachi director that they have $60 million for a $80 million movie, puts Rodriguez in an interesting corner. Rodriguez is best when he is forced to be creative.
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What will Hollywood do if the Writers Guild strikes?
Hire Alex Perez, “Helping Hollywood in its Time of Need”.
I’m not sure if this is a joke or if it’s a real attempt to snag an Industry job. The sad thing is, in Hollywood, you never know.
“For Your Consideration” season has begun. I know this because the first Oscar screener of the season has been leaked online. A week and a half before the official release date, Ridley Scott’s new film American Gangster has been uploaded to the bit torrent networks and has already been illegally downloaded by tens of thousands of people. And that’s just in the first 20 hours online. As I write this, over 10,000 users are currently downloading the video off a popular bit torrent website.
Audiences usually stay way from pirated movies due to the notorious bad quality video camera-taped copies. But with Award Season screeners, the movie quality is as good as a retail DVD release. So what is to stop consumers from downloading this film early? American Gangster is set to hit theaters in he United States on November 2nd, but its release in other world territories happens as late as February of 2008. So while this might not have a huge effect on the box office in the U.S., it is likely to hurt foreign markets hard. And as for the U.S. results, that is debatable. Recently horror director Eli Roth blamed piracy for the lower than expected box office numbers of Hostel: Part II. The workprint for his film was leaked online a week before the movie’s national release.
American Gangster stars Russell Crowe as a detective who is working to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington), who is smuggling the heroin into the Manhattan in the coffins of soldiers returning from the Vietnam War. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this film. The movie currently has a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 9.0 rating voted by users on the Internet Movie Database.
Also interesting of note: Paramount Vantage have uploaded free pdf versions of five screenplays to a public “For Your Consideration” website. Two of the scripts available for download (The Kite Runner and There Will Be Blood) have not yet been released theatrically.
Disclaimer: It should be noted that I myself have not downloaded the print, but instead have confirmed it’s authenticity through a message board in which users discuss the quality of bit torrent downloads.
The rift between Paramount and DreamWorks is no secret. Many industry insiders expected a split sooner rather than later. Today DreamWorks and Universal heads were seen breaking bread together, could this mean that Universal/DreamWorks won’t be far behind? Nikki Finke reports:
“Jeff Zucker and Ron Meyer had lunch in the Universal Studios commissary today with Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider — and everybody was all smiles. Talk about a virtual public announcement that a reunion between the studio and DreamWorks isn’t far behind!”
Let us take a quick glance at just a couple of DreamWorks’ accomplishments over the last year:
- Transformers: $701 million worldwide, and the DVD has set a yearly sales record with 8.3 million copies since its release last week. Not bad for a $150 million movie.
- Shrek the Third: $792 million worldwide
- Disturbia: $20 million movie makes $116 million worldwide and over $40 million on DVD.
- Blades of Glory: $166 million Worldwide and over $40 million on DVD
- Dreamgirls: $154 million worldwide, $30+ million on DVD, 2 Academy Awards and six more nominations
Paramount set a new $1 Billion record back in July, almost entirely due to films from the DreamWorks pipeline. I can’t imagine that GE would let DreamWorks go this time around. Spielberg has clearly always wanted to call Universal home, and hasn’t even moved his office off the lot. When we met with Spielberg last month, it was on the Universal lot at the Amblin/DreamWorks office.
Yesterday we reported that Mark Wahlberg had replaced Ryan Gosling in Peter Jackson’s big screen adaptation of The Lovely Bones, just hours before the movie began production. The full details of why the last minute change was made, had not been revealed, until now. According to the Los Angeles Times, Gosling’s weight gain was too much for the Lord of the Rings director.
Gosling showed up to start work “looking like he’d donned a fat suit.” The actor had told Jackson that he was going to “gain some weight to age himself up to play the part,” but the result was far from expected.
“Jackson was still expecting some movie star allure – not paunch and a beard.”
New York Post’s Page Six has a different take, claiming that Gosling’s demanding and controlling attitude led to the actor’s replacement. According to the gossip column:
“‘Peter couldn’t stand Ryan,’ said one source. Though Variety reported that Gosling had “stepped down” and was replaced by Mark Wahlberg, our source said, ‘Ryan cut his own hair, and was fighting with wardrobe. He was so demanding . . . Peter booted him two days before filming started.’”
Gosling is a great actor, with a lot of potential, but it seems like he’s letting the critical acclaim get to his head. A director directs, and an actor acts.
Just one day before shooting is set to begin, Mark Wahlberg has stepped in to replace Ryan Gosling (Lars and the Real Girl) in the Peter Jackson-directed adaptation of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones.
Wahlberg has taken the role of Jack Salmon, the grieving father of a 14-year-old girl from suburban Pennsylvania who is murdered by her neighbor. She tells the story from Heaven, showing the lives of the people around her and how they have changed all while attempting to get someone to find her lost body. Rachel Weisz plays the girl’s mother.
According to Variety, Ryan Gosling left on Friday after gaining 20 pounds and growing a beard for the job. Sources have attributed the exit to “creative differences.” The movie begins shooting today in Pennsylvania, where Wahlberg most recently finished on M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening for Fox. I’m sure there is a very interesting story behind this last minute move, that will leak out sooner or later.
Wahlberg is also committed to star opposite Brad Pitt in the Darren Aronofsky’s The Fighter, which will begin production late 2008.
Okay, so we don’t normally post gossip news here on /Film. I firmly believe that an actor’s private life should not be on the front page of /Film. However, PageSix dropped an interesting blind item today:
“WHICH movie studio is desperately trying to hide its latest star’s homosexuality? They have made him pair up with his leading lady, whom he couldn’t care less about.”
It’s interesting not because there is a Hollywood star in the closet (again, that is their own thing), but because a movie studio supposedly set-up a fake relationship with his “leading lady” to hide such fact from the public. We have no idea if this item is real, and if so, what movie studio and stars are actually involved, but doesn’t this whole thing seem a bit odd?
What happens when a political news satirist announces on his fake television news show that he is running for president? Sounds like the plot for a bad movie (Man of the Year), but it happened tonight as Stephen Colbert announced his candidacy for president Tuesday night on his Comedy Central television show, The Colbert Report. The mock conservative claims that he will be running under both parties: Democratic and Republican, claiming it took considerable guts because he could “lose twice.”
This comes after weeks of comically refusing to disclose whether he would run for office. In a guest column for Maureen Dowd in Sunday’s New York Times, Colbert wrote: “I am not ready to announce yet – even though it’s clear that the voters are desperate for a white, male, middle-aged, Jesus-trumpeting alternative.”
This is an interesting turn of events because no one knows how far he might take this stunt. Colbert is championed by the YouTube and Wikipedia generation, and it will be interesting to see where his fans may take this. Check out the video of his announcement after the jump.
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