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Word of mouth on Jumper isn’t too positive, but the general consensus is that the premise still kinda rocks. Moreover, the image above is worth a hundred sci-fi strike-outs like Next, and hey, it’s not a remake. But the film, which opened to $38 million over the long weekend, has long been keyed in as the first in a so-trendy trilogy, and now director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Swingers) has discussed a sequel with Collider‘s Frosty in a super-caffeinated interview. The possibilities for Jumper 2 would seem boundless, from time travel to extraterrestrial teleporting to career longevity for Rachel Bilson.

“I actually have a ton of ideas for the sequel because this is whole new arena for me and so my mind was in overdrive the whole time and most of the ideas I came up with we either could tease or just save it for a sequel and so it’s…this power can be used to leave this planet, this power can be used ultimately to go back in time, this power can be used if you go and work for the government you’d be the ultimate Jason Bourne.”

What follows is a spoiler-ish quote from Liman, so I’m going to, er, jump it. But I have to say that unlike a flick like The Chronicles of Riddick, I hope this entire vision is seen through. He also discussed his (possibly 3D?) to-the-moon project with Jake Gyllenhaal, and his Valerie Plame biopic so just cruise through Spoilerville for that.

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Where The Wild Things Are

I was just about to go drown myself in Pabst and orange juice when a tipster sent me an email with the words “Hunter, What Do You Think?” and a link to the following vid. I can’t believe what I just watched. It appears to be a clip from Spike Jonze‘s Where the Wild Things Are, and while the visual effects for the Wild Thing’s face are off, as is the voice work (think Showbiz Pizza: The Movie), this would go along with the reasons we’ve heard for the film being pushed back to 2009. As for the child actor playing the character of Max in the clip, is this the same young actor, Max Records (real name), that we’ve seen in the official still from the film? It’s hard to say, but my gang of Gchatters from coast to coast, including Peter, say it doesn’t look like him. I agree.

So, is the clip a fake? And if so, who would make such a precise fake, clearly as an inside joke, as there is little doubt that most of this was shot on film? A friend in New York says he heard last night that The Kid America Club, a ragtag group of New York hipster party animals who utilize similar wild thing-ish costumes and have considerable resources, may be behind this. What the hell? I don’t buy it, but if it’s fake, those maniacal hipsters are prime suspects as they knowingly operate in the same concentric circles as Jonze (and purportedly had talks with Showtime for their own show a few years ago).

The clip has a voyeuristic, sun-spotted quality and there is an inherent weirdness present that would go along with what sneak preview audiences have reported. The first few seconds even contain music that sounds like it’s taken from Beck’s Odelay, another Jonze bud. I am at once bothered by how unfinished this is and totally digging it. Throw some Karen O on the creative pyre, and I’m beginning to think that Jonze and Dave Eggers, who wrote the screenplay, may have quite a bit of deranged magic in store for us, much to Hollywood’s chagrin. And after There Will Be Blood, this is the only children’s movie suitable for Paul Dano.

But if this clip is ersatz: Greatest Hipster Prank of All Time!

Update: Spike Jonze comments on Wild Things Video Clip.

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Saw films are below par.”

Brooklynite actor Michael Pitt has come a long way from starring on Dawson’s Creek, and in the current issue of Giant magazine he delivers, in context, some particularly vapid-funny-traditionally-hipster quotes about the Saw franchise, U.S. soldiers and people who won’t/don’t “get” the March remake of Funny Games.

On his film preferences…

“I don’t even know what Saw or Hostel are. Are they like Texas Chainsaw Massacre? I guess I’m drawn to things like Lawrence of Arabia.”

And then he adds…

“[Audiences that don’t like Funny Games] can kiss my ass. I hope they do [get angry with] Funny Games. It challenges you. If you’re not up to the challenge, go see Saw.”

And not to get Fox News-y, but coming from Pitt, “one of the faces of Emporio Armani and a friend of author J.T. Leroy,” this quote equating being a soldier to regression is ridiculous…

“People think that, until you’ve killed someone or had someone shoot at you, you’re not a grown-up. Going to war isn’t growing up; it’s moving backwards.”

 

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“Yeah, like, why do so many of Slash Film’s readers wanna collect my bones and stuff?”

Comparable to blurting out a hat trick of her favorite indie bands outside a Cat Power concert, Ellen Page (Juno :) just booked her third film in a month’s time, following Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell and Drew Barrymore’s Whip It. She’ll star opposite the ever-androgynous Cillian Murphy (Breakfast on Pluto, Scarecrow) in Peacock, a high concept thriller in which Murphy will play a split-personality “who tricks a town into believing his alter egos are man and wife.” And, of course, Page will play a struggling young mother…who instigates a battle between Murphy’s bickering inner-couple.

The script was written by NKOTB Michael Landers and Ryan Roy, with Landers directing. In one of his parting shots today, Defamer editor Mark Lisanti called the script “brilliant.” Murphy seems to agree, saying, “Peacock stunned me as a script from start to finish.” Have any /Film readers seen the light? If so, let us know.

As for the peoples who want to burn every hamburger phone on eBay and march Diablo Cody into a flaming Wicker Pop Culture Reference, do you feel Ellen Page is forever typecast a la Macaulay Culkin? And if she starred in Lars and the Real Girl 2: Oscar Bound, would that make your tummy feel better?

Source Link: Variety / Slash Film Comments

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Screenwriter Kurt Sutter has removed his screenwriting credit from Marvel and Lionsgate’s superhero reboot, Punisher: War Zone, due in September, and he’s explained his decision quite frankly on his personal blog, while alluding to dissonance with the flick’s creative direction as well. He says that he didn’t “deserve” credit for the screenplay, as little of his script remains, and he follows that by saying he doesn’t “want” credit because his vision for Frank Castle/The Punisher will not appear on screen.

“My pitch, my vision, for the Punisher franchise was something much different. I tried to rip Frank Castle from the comic book world and place him in the real streets of NYC. Castle is the only superhero without powers. He’s a tortured, highly skilled soldier with a really bad anger problem. I always felt we should see Frank in some place uber-real and gritty. I threw away the first draft written by Nick Santora and did a page one rewrite. I changed the locations, the characters, the story. I dropped Frank in a real New York City with real villians, real cops, real relationships. To me, the Punisher deserved more than the usual comic book redress. It shouldn’t just follow the feature superhero formula. Apparently, I was the only one who shared that vision.”

What’s odd is that Sutter’s vision here shares the same grittier, darker tone that director Lexi Alexander has mentioned and played up in interviews for the film, so what might the final product be like…

“The final script, rewritten almost completely by Holloway and Marcum was the perfect comic book formula — simple story, very obvious dialog and the inclusion of as many characters from the anthology that a movie will allow (this is not a spoiler, all the characters were announced when they began shooting). I’m sure true fans of the Punisher comic books will enjoy this movie. It will do exactly what a comic book movie should do — fill seats, set up a sequel. …I wish Marvel and the producers all the success. If I had to make a wager, I say it will open huge. Be ready for Punisher 3.”

He goes on to say his comments aren’t “sour grapes,” but what I find bothersome is that Punisher: War Zone‘s R-rating and the character’s lack of superpowers frees this project up to break the very mold Sutter finds utterly predictable. I mean “simple story, very obvious dialogue” has a little bite in it, no? I always pictured The Punisher’s ideal cinematic world as being similar to the underworld in The Crow, and while many fanboys are shouting “direct to DVD” on this, casting Dominic West (The Wire) as Jigsaw was inspired and a great way to distance the flick from the terribly mismanaged 2004 version. And Sutter’s work on The Shield would lend itself to a fresh direction as well. I’m not sure whether we should read between the lines here, but it’s interesting to get this info straight from the screenwriter, one who’s becoming known for not holding back.

All of the rumors, concerns and speculation regarding how Heath Ledger‘s unfortunate passing would be addressed in director Terry Gilliam‘s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, in which Ledger had a major role, can now cease. AICN is reporting that three actors will pay tribute by filling in the remainder of Ledger’s performance (to me, this conjures Bob Dylan and I’m Not There), and those actors are…

Johnny Depp

Jude Law

Colin Farrell

In the film, Ledger’s character reportedly falls through a “magical mirror” into an alternate reality, and thus the caveat of these three actors’ interpretations is further supported. But even sans that plot point, this could turn out to be a quite inspiring and tasteful send off to the young actor.

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Rumorville: Al Pacino to Star in Quantum of Solace

AICN received a tip today claiming that Al Pacino has already been cast as one of the villains in the next James Bond opus, Quantum of Solace. Now this info is not confirmed and is strictly rumor, but if true, Pacino certainly gives the new school Bond an old school kick. Here’s what the tipster says…

“But the big news that he leaked was that Al Pacino would be taking part in filming. I was a little shocked as the cast has been revealed aready, but he said Pacino would play the head of the terrorist group introduced in CASINO ROYALE and QUANTUM OF SOLACE. Al is said to come to Pinewood in April-May to film what is said to be a brief cameo.” 

The tipster says the info comes from a friend who’s working on Bond 22‘s sets. I have an opinion on this casting, but I’ll wait to see how the info develops first. What’s your take?

Fox Sues Warner Bros over Watchmen

WatchmenWho’s watching the Watchmen? Maybe no one…

A couple days ago in my posting about Roy Scheider’s death, I brought up the rule of threes, explaining how things in life usually happen in groups of three. Yesterday was the day of Hollywood lawsuits. It started with the Tolkien Estate suing New Line over Lord of the Ring profits. Then The Passion of the Christ co-screenwriter sued Mel Gibson over being mislead into accepting a small payment for his writing services.

And now 20th Century Fox is suing Warner Bros over Watchmen, claiming they have the rights to develop, produce, and distribute a film based on Watchmen. Fox claims that between 1986 and 1990, they acquired all movie rights to the 12-issue DC Comics series. However, the studio gave them up in 1991 with the understanding that it held the exclusive option to distribute the first film based on Watchmen. It should be noted that DC Comics, who published and owns the rights to the Watchmen graphic novel, is a subsidiary of Warner Brothers Entertainment, which is also the company producing the film.

I’m not a lawyer, and don’t quite understand half of this. But it sounds to me like Fox could do some heavy damage and at least delay the release of the upcoming Zack Snyder adaptation. I have no idea if their case has merit, but I do find it very sleazy that they waited until the film was well into production to file this lawsuit. They could have easily filed such suit while the film was in preproduction.

Click Here to Read the Lawsuit Paperwork 

Alexandre Aja’s Piranha Goes 3D

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We at /Film haven’t mentioned Alexandre Aja‘s 2009 remake of Piranha until now, but something about this project feels incredibly spot-on to me. As Mickey Knox would say with a deranged grin and a smack of his chewing gum: “It’s fate.” STYD has received word that the film will now be shown theatrically in 3D. Are we really going to be privy to reaching out and swatting away thousands of fresh water Jaws imitators chewing viciously at the knees of nubile, arrogant life guards? Even if you think the yo-yo scene in Friday the 13th Part III was a complete jip, and passed on Beowulf, how can you not want to see this?

Here’s a list of reasons to persuade you: 1) Aja’s High Tension had several beautifully intense, stylish, macabre and original scenes for a modern horror film, but he lost control of the film’s more serious tone. Piranhas are tone-deaf. 2) The release is July 24th, 2009, which is perfect. Summer camps, rope swings over the water, night swims et al. Tis the season of Jaws, tis the times of less adventurous, more localized family summering. And in these movie months of overcompensating comic book movies et al, Piranha already has a built-in old school charm we’ve long missed. More $200 million robot drama? Another movie based on toys? I want to watch a 3D movie where huge audiences continually scream and laugh at killer fish. 3) It’s a remake and while the 1978 Joe Danta/John Sayles original has its champions (and it’s worth a watch), c’mon, this is not sacrilege. This movie needs to be remade. This movie was made to be remade. 5) The log line: “In Lake Havasu, Arizona, a tremor causes the lake’s floor to open, setting free scores of prehistoric piranhas.” 6) Piranha-vision 7) Sharks finally get a vacation. 8) What a ticket-stub.

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