So, Wassup With John Hughes?

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“Did he make a comeback yet?”

In a recent interview with the L.A. Times, Kevin Smith called ’80s director/’00s recluse John Hughes his “generation’s J.D. Salinger.” I’m not going to get into that comparison, no way, but it’s worth mentioning that Salinger hasn’t written anything in 40 years, whereas Hughes hasn’t done much movie-wise in a decade. He has more in common with Terrence Malick (20 years between Badlands Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line) than the completely AWOL Salinger.

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Recently, Hughes received a credit under an alias for his, albeit old, story idea for Drillbit Taylor. Sure that film flopped hard, but its release has given the media reason to put out a Hughes APB and it’s hit the Internet pretty hard. Driving home on Monday, I heard a report on NPR about race and the unflappable popularity of Hughes’s character Long Duk Dong from Sixteen Candles. It’s clear that audiences still want the real deal to return, especially during this current hunger for the ’80s and LOL comedy.

As the Times points out, Hughes still maintains select ties to showbiz folk, notably producer and friend Tom Jacobson, and he met with Vince Vaughn a few years ago. I know, big deal, but he’s not exactly chain smoking, shooting guns in his house and sleeping in his bowling alley. Will the man who perfected the affable white goofball in beloved, classic films like Weird Science, Planes, Trains & Automobiles and The Breakfast Club really never write/direct another movie? Ever? You really think so? Even with comedy’s ring leader and producer of Drillbit, Judd Apatow, offering gushers like…

“John Hughes wrote some of the great outsider characters of all time,” says Apatow. “It’s pretty ridiculous to hear people talk about the movies we’ve been doing, with outrageous humor and sweetness all combined, as if they were an original idea. I mean, it was all there first in John Hughes’ films. Whether it’s ‘Freaks and Geeks’ or ‘Superbad,’ the whole idea of having outsiders as the lead characters, that all started with Hughes.”

Apatow uses the same kind words for director Harold Ramis (Caddyshack, Vacation, which Hughes wrote) and now he’s producing Ramis’s arguable comeback film, 2009’s anticipated Year One. So you have to wonder, with all of Apatow’s conecs and influence, has he not mentioned an official return to comedy to one of his biggest inspirations? Jus’ sayin’.

Discuss: Would you like to see John Hughes return, as long as it’s not Curly Sue Squared? Moreover, what are the odds we’ll see it happen?

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There was an instance where I was arrested at a student protest and it would have been great if Forest Whitaker had suddenly appeared to passionately articulate and argue my case to the police rather than the guy who yelled, “Dude! Run! No! Don’t!” Whitaker, who plays one of the main Wild Things in in the notoriously delayed and troubled Where the Wild Things Are, is backing the film’s director, Spike Jonze, and the flick 100 percent. Good to see, innit? So, is the film really too scary and mature for kids as test audiences have reported? Here’s what Whitaker, who saw the film with his children aged 9, 13, and 16, just told MTV

“I play Ira, he puts the holes in the trees,” the Oscar-winner grinned. “I have a wife and kid, and we’re the only family unit inside [the land of the Wild Things]. It’s a good movie. I saw an early cut of it. I brought my kids to see it, and I was really impressed.”

And then he got all deep….

“[The dark scenes] are the point of the movie, and I hope that they maintain that point, because I think children can identify with a character who is upset. …[Max] rolls by himself, no father figure; this is a single family home,” he continued, with passion. “His mother ends up having a boyfriend that becomes like a monster to him…people have to build trust with the people their parent starts to date…These are real issues that the character deals with, and I hope that [the filmmakers] continue to explore them, because kids need to see that; they need to see that other kids are dealing with it.”

“The thing is, it’s one thing to read [scary stuff] in a book, but when you see an itty-bitty kid running alongside a 10-foot-giant on the side of a cliff, it gets intense. But that’s the point, because we’re representing the things inside of the kid. They represent his struggles, either him being too angry or being confused, or not feeling like he belongs. They’re a gargantuan extension of the way he’s feeling inside.”

Whitaker said he’s going to give Jonze a ring and see what the deal is with the ambitious and pricey ($75 mill) kid’s film. As we previously reported, Warner Bros. has now a set the film’s release date for October 2009; you know, that’s only 19 months to go. Jonze hasn’t released any more statements for the picture after identifying the early test footage that hit the Net back in February to oooh’s, ahhh’s and hmmm’s. Let’s hope Warner Bros. takes the Oscar winner’s opinion into consideration, and don’t let your support fall by the wayside either.

 

“Want to see my Bush impression?”

UPDATE: EW now reports that Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale) is in talks to star as Colin Powell, James Cromwell (Babe) is in talks to portray George Bush Sr. and Robert Duval (The Godfather) has been contacted for the frightening role of Dick Cheney. This flick is really shaping up. Here’s how the film is being described to insiders:

W is the improbable story of a man who went to the White House despite getting fewer votes than his opponent; who became commander-in-chief despite having avoided military combat himself; and who became the least popular president ever elected to a second term. W will shock and surprise you and leave you questioning everything you believe to be true.”

Idi Amin and Pol Pott just put on scorched parkas and cuddled, because for the first time in my life I find First Lady Laura Bush hot. Actress Elizabeth Banks is in final talks to play the wife of current U.S. President George W. Bush (to be played by Josh Brolin) in Oliver Stone‘s controversial and fast-moving 2009 biopic W. Banks has five films due this year, the most notable being Kevin Smith’s raunchy Zack and Miri Make a Porno with Seth Rogen and least notable being the Eddie Murphy Pluto Nash-esque Meet Dave. Here’s her possible Oscar shot.

 

W was announced back in January and recent buzz has Brolin as an absolute dead ringer for the 43rd American president. As much as I liked Stone’s Nixon and Anthony Hopkins’s performance therein, the actor’s only passable superficial likeness in the biopic took some convincing, so I’m glad to hear Brolin looks the double-take. Stanley Weiser, who previously collaborated with the director on his classic Wall Street, co-wrote the screenplay with Stone. The role of Vice President Dick Cheney has not been announced.

What do you guys and gals think? Can Banks pull this off? The only drama I’ve seen her in, excluding, you know, the Spider-Man movies, is Daltry Calhoun, but I was too busy cringing at Johnny Knoxville imitating Easy Pieces-era Jack Nicholson to notice her skills. This role is a tall challenge. All of Texas is watching.

Source Link: HR

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Over at SHH, a tipster sent in pics of Halloween costumes and masks from a Las Vegas showcase for The Dark Knight, including those pretty friggin’ eerie Heath Ledger/Joker masks above. Halloween 2008 just got a helluva lot scarier imagining six year old hooligans giggling down darkly lit streets in those things. Also, the tipster supposedly received a spoilerish reason for the lack of Two Face costumes. After the hop, we have the spoiler (I’d rank it a 6 out of 10) and two big photos of the get-ups…

Discuss: Did the spoiler bum you out a little? Would you go as The Joker for Halloween?

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“Is that a sequel?”

Constantine is a prime example of an R-rated comic book movie that almost nailed it but stumbled into an abyss of mediocrity. Like Hellboy, which wasn’t too great either but had an equally killer premise lingering in the dark side, Constantine could actually benefit from a sequel. Unlike Hellboy, which has a very cool-looking sequel at bat this summer (speaking of which, it’s rather quiet, no?), Constantines title star Keanu Reeves says a once rumored second installment to the Hellblazer Vertigo comics series, Constantine 2, isn’t going to happen. The original film’s director, Francis Lawrence, has been pretty vocal about his desire to do a sequel since its release in 2005, and you may recall that Lawrence just had a megaton hit on his hands with I Am Legend.

Reeves, who is currently talking up his December 2009 sci-fi remake epic The Day the Earth Stood Still, went on to tell IESB that he sees no sequels in his future. So, not only can you ixnay an ideal Bill & Ted’s reunion, but those hoping for a cameo by a certain agent Johnny Utah in Peter Iliff’s Point Break 2 (which is presumably still on for 2009 in lieu of Patrick Swayze’s cancer diagnosis), should take a deep, enjoyable sniff off some Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax and get real. As always, Slashfilm will keep you updated as the World of Keanu spins round and round.

Discuss: Constantine 2, was there something there? Point Break 2 without Keanu? Worth a watch? Would you watch Bill’s Journey?

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“So, it’s a comic book, a video game and a movie, with maybe another movie after that. Sounds good.”

Today, I had to buy some contacts, but it took forever. So, I started browsing the glasses. Is there a single A-thru-C lister without a line of cheesy glasses? American Idol reading glasses? Ignorance is bliss. Even though he also sings, Hugh Jackman didn’t have a line of spectacles. Today it was announced that Jackman and Marc Guggenheim, a TV writer/producer who’s worked on Wolverine comics for Marvel, will co-create an original line of comic books called Nowhere Man for Hollywood-friendly upstart Virgin Comics. The plan is to turn the comic into a video game, as well as a movie vehicle for Jackman (X-Men, The Prestige). Somebody had synergy for breakfast, hmm?

Based on the title alone, you probably intuited that plot and characters details are currently more secretive than girls, but Jackman’s producing partner John Palermo says that the main character, to be played by Jackman, will resemble Will Smith’s in I Am Legend. According to Variety, the setting is one of those “futuristic world[s] where mankind has traded privacy for safety.” Here’s what Jackman says…

“I’ve had so much fun in the graphic novel world with the ‘X-Men’ franchise that I wanted to get even more involved. I’m excited to work with Virgin and Marc and create a compelling character and story that hopefully will also make it to the big screen.”

Discuss: In general, how do you feel about actors co-creating comic books that are also planned as films and video games? Does it seem a little iffy or is it the future, and if so, an iffy future?

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

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“Curb it, punks.”

Can one of our commenters suit up as “The Internet” and have a wrastlin’ match with George Lucas already? The Star Wars poobah is back to his “let’s be realistic” and “most of you will probably hate it, but so what?” schtick, but this time he’s voicing his (non)concern about expectations for May’s Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. And he goes on to take a jab at all of the preceding Indiana Jones movies as well. Why not? I mean, the title to the latest sequel shouldn’t conjure any fantastical event film notions in the minds of fans at all, right? Why not call it Jones and a Kingdom, Maybe an Alien, Too? Here’s what he shrugged to USA Today

“When you do a movie like this, a sequel that’s very, very anticipated, people anticipate ultimately that it’s going to be the Second Coming,” Lucas says. “And it’s not. It’s just a movie. Just like the other movies. You probably have fond memories of the other movies. But if you went back and looked at them, they might not hold up the same way your memory holds up.”

And I have a theory that the U.S. government suped-and-purpled up a new $5 bill because Lucas is just over money. It’s like living in a world with only one stripper, I guess. Purple helps. The co-creator of one of the great American adventure characters insists that, for whatever reason, Indiana Jones can no longer make money him in today’s (i.e. “my”) world.

“We came back to do (Indy) because we wanted to have fun,” he says. “It’s not going to make much money for us in the end. We all have some money. … It would make a lot of money if you weren’t rich. But we’re not doing it for the money.”

So, does Lucas think the new film, which he co-wrote and produced, is just five out of ten cracks of the whip? He leaves fans with this drool-worthy sentence.

“It was really a blast. And it turned out fantastic. … I like to watch it.”

Discuss: The excitement is contagious. Can you feel it? My contribution was admittedly lame, but give your best alternative and completely whatever title to The Crystal Skull. 

Crank 2 Spoilers Hit the Web

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A slew of spoilerific and amazing character descriptions for Crank 2 just hit the web over at Spoiler TV. We’ve pasted them all after the jump. Judging from the run down, directors and Slashfilm party mates Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor seem to really love the word “sociopath,” and their Ritalin milkshake of a sequel should be all the better for it. I mean, a villain that is 100-years-old? Holy shit, that is awesome. What is this, Double Dragon? Sorry Scott Wolf, it’s not. It’s Crank, one of the best action flicks/franchises in years that arguably has its own subcategory: post-Shane Black.

And how Hollywood is it to list a character named “Pepper,” to be played by a 20something actress, and conclude in all CAPS, “Must Be Okay with Nudity”? Furthermore, seems there will be more cheeky media commentary in the sequel, and while I know I mention this character in every other post, I would give anything to see Robert Downey Jr.’s nutzoid reporter Wayne Gale from Natural Born Killers make a cameo. If Jason Statham’s Chev Chelios can survive a black market heart transplant (not to mention a helicopter fall), Gale can be resurrected!

Details after the jump…

Discuss: With the masses discovering and loving its predecessor on DVD, how big of a hit can Crank 2 be? And should audiences over 30 have to sign a health waiver to see Crank 3 (3D)? I mean, really…

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Fanboys

Earlier today we wrote about how Star Wars fanboys were planning on boycotting The Weinstein Co’s Superhero Movie due to the way the company is handling the release of Fanboys. I just received a press release from The Weinstein Co, announcing that they would be releasing both cuts of the film on DVD “with the Company exploring options for its theatrical release.” But I’m calling bullshit… this press release is well designed corporate spin, which gives the impression that the Fanboys have won, when in fact, this is not a win. The press release reads:

“Star War fans nationwide have built a multi-tiered grassroots effort to voice their strong support for one of the earlier versions of the film, including a campaign which generated over 300,000 emails in support for the film.  Based on the tremendous feedback and interest from the fans, today’s announcement will ensure both versions will be equally available within the marketplace.”

Sounds like a win, right? Nope, read further. A quote from Matthew Frankel, Chief Communications Officer, The Weinstein Company is also included:

“Over the last few weeks we have received a tremendous amount of input from Star Wars fans nationwide. While the later version tested very well with audiences, the grassroots support we have received for the first version simply cannot be ignored.  We are very excited to launch these two films and look forward to giving the fans the opportunity to see both versions.”

Yeah, but not theatrically. The Weinstein Co still claims that the new cut “tested very well with audiences” yet everyone I’ve talked that has seen both cuts disagrees. Rumors had circulated the web that TWC hired plants to be in the audience for said test screening, however, this has never been confirmed.

I think Star Wars fans expected that both cuts of the film would be included on the eventual DVD. The fight was to get the first (and what I’ve heard, better) cut distributed theatrical, instead of the Steve Brill (Little Nicky, Drillbit Taylor) edit which completely ignores the Cancer storyline. I hope that Star Wars fanboys will continue to fight, and not let The Weinstein Co to spin this obvious non-victory to the mainstream press.  We must stop Darth Weinstein!