Roy Scheider dies at age 75

Roy Scheider

Life has a very strange way of playing out. Most creative people will explain to you the law of threes. Stories, jokes, art, movies, everything happens in threes. And I’ve noticed the same thing in life. Things happen in threes. First there was Brad Renfro, than Heath Ledger, and now Roy Scheider is dead at age 75.

The actor best known for playing police chief Brody in Steven Spielberg’s JAWS died on Sunday at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital in Little Rock a hospital. The cause of death has not been disclosed, but the actor was diagnosed with myeloma in 2004. In memory, let’s take a look at some of the popular films in Scheider’s 44 year history in the business:

  • Klute (1971) – Frank Ligourin
  • The French Connection (1971) – Det. Buddy Russo
  • Jaws (1975) – Police Chief Martin Brody
  • Marathon Man (1976) – Henry ‘Doc’ Levy
  • Sorcerer (1977) – Jackie Scanlon/”Juan Dominguez”
  • Jaws 2 (1978) – Police Chief Martin Brody
  • All That Jazz (1979) – Joe Gideon
  • Blue Thunder (1983) – Officer Frank Murphy
  • 2010 (1984) – Dr. Heywood Floyd
  • Naked Lunch (1991) – Doctor Benway
  • Romeo Is Bleeding (1993) – Don Falcone
  • The Rainmaker (1997) – Wilfred Keeley
  • The Punisher (2004) – Frank Castle Sr.

Scheider was nominated for two Academy Awards, one in 1972 for Best Supporting Actor in The French Connection, and another in 1980 for Best Actor in a Leading Role in All The Jazz.

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Corey Haim Joins Lost Boys 2!!!

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Man-Thing No. 2, got it.”

Some of you are no doubt slumming it in the gutter of your manse’s bowling alley this weekend nursing a fifth of vodka and eternal questions, but right now the Monkees’ “Now I’m a Believer” is ringing in my ears like percussive cheese because: Corey Haim is filming his scenes for The Lost Boys 2! He’s in it to win it. Break out the peach trench coat and bring back the Giant Bedroom Swatch Watch! The photo above is happening again, and right now some dude is getting the image tattooed across his shoulders as a M.U.S.C.L.E. Man squeals on the sax on the beach. What happened to : The Tribe, you ask? It’s dead to me. The well-lit ’70s-era marquee in my head is a trend setter.

STYD reports that Haim has returned to his best character, Sam Emerson, and is now filming scenes for the film that were originally in the script. Director P.J. Pesce is filming the additional scenes, and co-star Corey Feldman is said to be involved, which means that the duo’s ongoing tension is not botching the reunion. Can you imagine a film where both Coreys appear but don’t share a scene like Bruce Willis and Uma Thurman? The world knows no such lows.

Corey Feldman dropped some foreshadowing, ruby-colored chum in the deep waters on his meta-blog, The Feldman Journal, a few days ago saying…

“I did my ADR for the film a couple of days ago and it looks really good all cut together. Rumor is circulating that we may be doing some additional photography for the film, assuming pick ups or scenes from the script that we didn’t initially get around to. Which to me is a very good sign, because the studio usually doesn’t bother if they don’t really likea film. So it seems your positive energy is working. I also got a chance to see some of the treatments for the comic book series and I can promise you it will help fill the gaps between films in a very cool way…..you will not be disappointed!!”

He additionally implied that The Lost Boys 2 is headed theatrical…

“I want to say that I have been shocked and overwhelmed with the movement that you all have created on behalf of LB2 going theatrical….it’s amazing how dedicated you guy’s are to the cause. Apparently there are several on-line petitions going on created by you the fans and they are really gathering momentum. I would like to thank each and every one of you who has taken the initiative to do this. It has been so overwhelming that last week we received phone calls from the studio asking if I was behind this.”

He went on to not mention Slash Film’s (Hunter’s) deep undercover involvement in this campaign. I’m giving it all I can, Captain. And filming for the second season of The Two Coreys is ongoing, which, in my opinion, is an amusing, genuine, and amazing marketing stunt for The Lost Boys 2, but don’t quote me in Blog Court.

Why does this film matter? Let me say this: After watching Rambo (10/10) and a few days later watching There Will Be Blood (10/10, um, I’m trying to review it) incredibly stoned, I want theatrical Nirvana in my lifetime. I want to sit on clouds and bask in colorful ’80s pulp dug up from amazingly confident dirt and given neon injections + I want to shiver in the glory of only-in-’07/’08 There Will Be Blood life-slap bug-outs. During my first visit to the DMV, I remember the smells, the instructors, the videos. I remember looking at my friend who passed when I didn’t (due to “negative attitude”), and I remember thinking W.W.C.H.D. I am able to drive an Audi because of Corey Haim. I want to watch him smile again with his mouth half-agape, eyebrows raised and the sound of a “Ahh, Ahh, aHah.” That sound/(emotion?) got me many a hot girl when I was too young. Warner Bros. better release this in theaters. That is nearly a threat.

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An image for Terry Gilliam‘s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus has appeared online; actually, only half of the image, as the other half will apparently be conjoined on the film’s official site this weekend. A source close to the film purportedly told Quick Stop that the massive influx of web traffic caused its site to crash earlier today. I experienced this firsthand, though several friends on both coasts and outside America did not. The image, as is, is worth a look after the jump.

I remember the first images I came across early on for Gilliam’s The Brothers Grimm, and they gave me a flop-type vibe. In contrast, this image and the set design, the detail, gives me an optimistic feeling. Might it be clicking after all? I particularly like the “Eye of Providence” at the top of the stage’s marquee, and the cardboard topiary is at once creepy, ethereal and believably makeshift. The mannequin-like display here, the druid-like illustrations, it’s all antique haunted house vibes via a nomadic-sage-stage. Gilliam’s vision feels cohesive in the construction. It’s just half a pic, though, obviously. Just my gut speaking. Hi gut. Your gut’s thoughts?

Whatever its are, this film’s marketing strategy seems to have taken out a different page compared to The Dark Knight; increasing its exposure online and keeping it consistent with the flood it received shortly after lead star Heath Ledger‘s untimely passing. It’s an indie affair, so I don’t find it tasteless, just curious. Will this film be good? Can it be?

View the image after the jump…

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“The voice is mine.”

Oooh, K.I.T.T. voice draaama! Friend of the world’s beaches and former Batman and Real Genius, Val Kilmer, has signed on to voice the smooth-computin’ automobile in the latest TV-reboot of Knight Rider for NBC and Universal. Will Kilmer’s K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Three Thousand) do a passable Elvis impersonation and fire a laser that pops a billion golden kernals? I don’t know wise guy, but I do know that actor Will Arnett (Arrested Development) is right bummed right now. Arnett had already finished recording all of his voice work for the rebooted show, which premieres in just two weeks, see? And before you swipe Kilmer’s jolly hand away as it attempts to steal Arnett’s gooey, delicious voice of K.I.T.T., know this: it isn’t Kilmer’s fault, see?

In one of the silliest signs of a world run amok in corporate Brawndo tie-ins, Arnett has done commercial voice work in the past for General Motors, and K.I.T.T., see, is a Ford Mustang. Kablowski! That invisible line in the industrial sandbox? Well, Arnett just crossed it. But he still had time to jump back over said line, cover his tracks and allow Kilmer to swing in using a vine made from his absolutely batshit resume to save the day and grab a nice payday (PayDay?).

“I was very excited at the prospect of playing the part of KITT in the new ‘Knight Rider’ movie,” Arnett said to Variety. “However, because of a long relationship with General Motors as the voice of GMC Trucks, I had to respectfully withdraw from the project.”

So, all is well. The two-hour Knight Rider TV-movie-slash-pilot will still air as scheduled on February 17th, 2008. In fact, now you’re probably going to watch it. Right?

Ha ha ha. Showbiz casting finesse, people. So natural is it to Kilmer that he should scribe a mantra-filled business tomb like Norman Podhoretz’s classic Making It. And the man also needs to introduce his own suntan lotion and popcorn with his mug on them a la Paul Newman. And maybe the tanning butter can be edible-slash-a-condiment. Did I mention that Kilmer also cut a country album with a cover that ripped off Nirvana’s font/’90s imagery? You can stream it here. It’s pretty good, pritty, pritty Kilmer. I sent the link to Peter a while ago, but he didn’t respond. He was biz.

Will you respond? How about writing a haiku to/about Val Kilmer in the comments? If you do it, I’ll do it, and then maybe Val will do it and we can make a movie about the global sensation and dance underwater with a talking car.

Eric Bana says his villainy role as Nero in J.J. Abrams‘s Star Trek is nothing more than a “cameo.” News to me. You? Here’s another quote from the Aussie actor about his role: “It’s just a great character, it’s J.J. Abrams. It’s a really well-written script, great part. Couldn’t say no. I don’t actually look at the size of parts ever.” [The Herald Sun]

In what marks our second weird-beard item of the day (my quota is filled, yipps!), /Film staple Sam Rockwell is growing out his face’s wilderness for a role in which he’ll play…[water bubbles]…a man who is stranded on the moon for three years. Wow, I’ve had people do the start-stop-start-stop to me in the parking lot of a Sonic Burger, but leaving a guy shoe-gazing for a thousand nights on the giant, white rock? Bust. The indie film is entitled Moon (obviously), and will be directed by Duncan Jones, aka Zowie Bowie, spawn of hollow-cheeked rocka David Bowie. I can fight off images of the moon from “Tonight, Tonight” but imagining the couch sesh and brain cloud that procreated this idea makes me want Pringles. [MTV]

Perma-glowing actress Kate Hudson (Fool’s Gold) will star as painter Margaret Keane [click name for art works] in the film Big Eyes for first time directing duo Larry Karaszweski and Scott Alexander. A big-eyed Oscar bid for Hudson, the biopic focuses on Keane’s significant popularity as an artist in the ’50s and ’60s, even while her works were quizzically produced under her husband’s name. After a messy divorce, the couple ended up in federal court, where she painted before a judge and won the case. After the court battle, she moved to Hawaii, became quite religious and her work experienced an eerily happy mood swing. Girls Girls Girls. [Variety]

wolf-boy2.jpgThe Weinstein Co. has acquired movie rights to the intriguing novel Wolf Boy written by Evan Kuhlman and published in 2006 by Crown. When a boy’s older brother, Francis Wolf, is killed in a car accident, he creates comic-style stories illustrated by his eccentric girlfriend entitled The Adventures of Wolf Boy, about a superhero who himself battles the grief of a dead, un-tased bro as well as spectacular villains while attempting to save the world. The film will mix live action and animation, and the book is being adapted by Chris Parker (Mulan II). No director is attached at this time. Sounds kind of Juno-y to me, if the opening credits attacked Diablo Cody’s retro-toy potty mouth and Michael Cera died like Mac Culkin in My Girl. [Variety]

The Web’s Sly Stallone aficionado, AB King, says that MGM has hip-ish actors like Ryan Gosling, Cillian Murphy, Ben Foster and not-so-hip Elijah Wood pegged for one young sidekick role in Stallone’s Charles Bronson remake The Mechanic. The Rambo auteur recently signed a two-pic deal at Nu Image/Millennium Films to direct and star in two action films, so The Mechanic is probably one of them, and after he recently ruled out Rambo V, might the other by Death Wish? Stallone is back in a major way, it’s insane.

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But wait! Like a coin-op catfight between Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell…Rambo V might still have a shot! It seems Stallone is giving mixed signals from across the bar to his second most famous character. Kissy Kissy. Most recently, he said a third sequel will “depend on the success of this one, but right now I think I’m gearing one up. It will be quite different.” What!?! That would totally negate the response he gave here saying no more Rambo flicks ever, not even in…space. And yet at this rather recent link, he combines this “yes, no” weirdness, and I’d say it’s the best response to where Rambo V stands. When asked if he’ll return for another Rambo sequel he says straight-up, “No.” But when asked if he’d consider another Rambo sequel (what balls this interviewer has, eh?), Stallone says…

“I have a very, very bizarre idea. It’s probably so absurd, but it’s got to formulate a little bit. If I told you I was going to do one about a sixty one year old boxer, you’d go, ‘Yup!’ But if you find the right formula almost anything is feasible. It’s just coming in there and making the audience go, ‘Okay, that’s possible. That is feasible.’ It’s weird. I mean, Space Cowboys. Hello? But it worked.”

Hello? Did Stallone really just friggin’ imply that Rambo is going to space? I mean, there are lots of movies with old dudes kicking younger dudes’ asses. Why name drop Space Cowboys? Lastly, the creator of the Rambo character, David Morrell, has commented at length on his liking the new film, and it’s worth a read. (Oh yeah, and I gave it a 10/10.) [Dark Horizons]

Heath Ledger’s Death Ruled Accidental Overdose

Lesson: be careful with the prescription pills. Ending weeks of speculation with official closure and a bit of universal health advice, actor Heath Ledger‘s death on January 22nd has been attributed to an “acute intoxication” of several prescription medications. A New York medical examiner said that toxicology reports show that a lethal combination of anxiety medications (Xanax, Valium), sleeping aids (Restoril, Unisom) and pain killers (Vicodin, OxyContin) were found in his system at the time of death. Information pertaining to which drugs or what doses proved most responsible was not revealed. Ledger’s family issued a statement, here’s an excerpt…

“While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath’s accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage.”

In related news, the official website for Ledger’s last film, Terry Gilliam‘s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, has gone live. If you click here you will see the words “Coming Soon.” According to a source at Quick Stop Entertainment, the production has not ceased, and yet certain “shady parties” would like the general public to think The Dark Knight was the 28-year-old actor’s final role. Um, okay. Regarding Doctor Parnassus, there are no new developments to the rumors that Ledger’s role will be recast (with Johnny Depp?) and/or that CGI will be utilized to complete his part. Stay tuned.

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Oh yes, my first Quentin Tarantino post here on the great Slash. Warning: I am not going to get to the point. There are some directors I still cannot wait to interview. Not Tarantino. Like Michael Jordan, a living Bobby Fisher, Gregory Isaacs, J.D. Salinger, the Rza, or my favorite ex gal, I’d rather just buy Tarantino an Irish Car Bomb at a dark bar with a good juke box and not say a word except “On me.” Wait, does that come off a little Linda Fiorentino pervy? What I meant was: I think Tarantino operates on a level beyond brain-picking. I motherf***ing owe Tarantino. I don’t deserve the company of his clone, yet.

When you interview someone, you’re always measuring expectations against facial tics, grammar, personality and cell-phone ‘ruptions. It’s like speed dating and sometimes a publicist (who offers and smokes huge joints, hey) helps, but sometimes not. I absolutely hated, despised…studied my arm rest during Death Proof; but I don’t use it against Tarantino. I cannot. Are you kidding? It was like Jordan wearing 45 and fouling a lay-up or getting a shot thrown into the stands. It was an insult, to me. I know this: when QT delivers Inglorious Bastards, whether it’s one, two or four films, I am never going to experience that experience again. Yep.

I don’t think I could ever have a movie-themed wedding. No friggin’ way. But the most perfect, romantic experience of my life happened during Kill Bill Vol. 2. I sat beside this icy, ice-skinned metropolitan gal from a middle-class fam, and we were practically broken up at that point. And, at film’s end, she said, “that was so good,” and these Q*berts behind us said, “Where the fuck was the blood?” We got it. I wanted to wrap her up like a small box of candy. She got it. She kissed me when it was over because that was a real woman on screen. Pai Mei. We were a sort of perfection. I was honored.

We played darts to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs with a Ferrari parked outside, and after that we did some crazy things, but all I remember is basking at her when those credits rolled. That shit makes me cry. Uma writhing on a bathroom floor on a glorious new morning? It was me and her, and the perfection was realized by Tarantino. I would do anything to live that moment over and over. Fucking double-credits. That’s my love. I love QT.

There is a rather informative interview with Tarantino over at Sight&Sound. I have $300 on the game tonight, so here are some excerpts…

Inglorious Bastards.

“I’ve got tons of material and a lot of stuff written but now I’ve figured out what to do, I gotta start from page one, square one. I started just before I came on this trip and brought the stuff with me but I haven’t had a chance to continue yet. But maybe on the flight back home I’ll come back into it. I love writing in other countries. It’s a lot of fun.”

Same stuff we’ve been hearing for quite a while, right?

But, of course, QT is going to drop a new project on the Netz…and he never dOes it on purpose…

“I’d like to make a spy movie. I can’t ever imagine that I’m doing it though because, as much as I’m attracted to it, it ultimately would be just pictures of people talking to each other. One of the books that I’m reading right now is Len Deighton’s Berlin Game, part of the ‘Game, Set and Match’ trilogy. So I’m reading Berlin Game. I actually read it before years ago and I didn’t properly get into Mexico Set, and now I have to read them all over again.”

So, how plausible is a Game, Set, Match trilogy….

” It has a great twist at the end of one that sends the stories into a tailspin. So if I were to do it – which I’m doing as an exercise here – I would see if I could boil it down to the fat of the characters, and ignore all this Maquis double agent stuff. It would be interesting if I could reduce the three novels to an hour each and make a three hour movie that would have a big kind of impact, just by responding to the characters, and the wonderful chance of casting actors in it, and the nice environment of the drawing room and the cottages in this part of East Berlin, with the Wall still there and everything”

And, QT on Digital…

“To me 97 per cent of the use of digital is laziness. They are trying to make it easier on themselves, and it shows. If you don’t care enough about your movie to shoot it yourself, I don’t care enough about it enough to see it. But in those cases where they are creating a whole new cinematic landscape, I can’t be churlish about that. I’ve got to give it up. It adds another possibility in which to tell stories, and create pictures.”

I love Tarantino, and I look forward to his next vision like a message from god or like a phone call at 4 a.m. from a girlfriend telling me to fly down and catch up. There are no mistakes in this career, I feel, just details. I am the dummy.

Marvel Studios Planning Venom Spin-Off Movie

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A random news symbiote has infested the Nets today and, as Ned Ryerson would squeal, “it’s a doozy.” IESB reports that Marvel Studios is prepping a Venom spin-off and has already met with “several A-list writers.” Before you fire off the sirens to alert the strikers, you may recall that a bit ago Marvel cut a deal with the WGA. Apparently the superhero studio has retained the rights to the character, as he/it previously appeared last summer in Sony’s wobbly webbing cake that was Spider-Man 3, in the human form of Eddie Brock, played by actor Topher Grace. No word if Grace is still attached, and no word about Sam Raimi‘s involvement, but I’d guess he wouldn’t direct the flick as he has admitted in the past that Venom is not his type.

Obviously, this project comes as a surprise since Venom, when full-blown, is a villain with less social skills than a pet rock; and for many fanboys it’s a surprise as hotly anticipated as Critters Gone Wild, since Venom is cited as the largest flaw in Sam Raimi‘s second Spidey sequel. Personally, all of Raimi’s Spider-Man movies are as pleasurable to me as staring at the sun, though the second one has its moments. I just don’t dig their aesthetic and the “darkness”-arch and newfound maturity of the third one made the fourth Harry Potter look like Tropic of Cancer.

However, I’m not opposed to this film. Making a movie about an outer space ooze that turns a person into Spidey’s hulking Id is kinda chill. There is the potential to do a visually stunning and madcap movie with Venom, especially if Carnage is involved. Drop Grace for the sake of a fresh take, and hire, I dunno, a director-duo like Crank‘s Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor or even the Hughes Brothers to think outside the box while gunning for profitability and it’s a winner.

Sylvester Stallone Says No More Rambo Films

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Say what?! Days after producer Harvey Weinstein started revving the hype machine for another Rambo sequel, director-star Sylvester Stallone is quoted as saying he’s forever done with the character. The following quote is attributed to Stallone by the Guardian UK newspaper, apparently while the actor was at a press conference…

“This is the last Rambo just as Rocky Balboa is the last Rocky,” Stallone told reporters. “I can’t go any further. It was a miracle that it even got done.”

This statement would seem to play against what Stallone has said previously while promoting his latest flick, which opened to $18 million plus last weekend. Most notably, in one of his Q&As with AICN [link is not retrievable on the site], Stallone gave the following response to a fan’s inquiry about a fifth Rambo film…

I truly can’t tell you yet because I think it would be bad luck, but I think a challenge would be to take the character which has been perceived mostly in a realistic vein and add another element of the surreal that would actually take the audience into a slightly different genre. It’s not like I’m going to turn it into a full on Broadway musical starring the Muppets, but it is ambitious.”

In a later AICN Q&A, Stallone was asked about his future involvement with action films post-new-Rambo

“I love action films. I think they’re highly underrated and it’s unfortunate that the amount of effort and craftsmanship that goes into creating modern day mythology is considered light weight fare. It’s not. It’s a thousand times more difficult to do a profound action film than a dramatic film, but I know the consensus of so called dramatic purists would disagree. So to answer you question I would consider it a privilege to do more films in this genre.”

There are other links online with pro-Rambo V quotes from Stallone, and he’s contrasted the character’s longevity with Rocky’s and the parting shot that was Rocky Balboa a bit. CinemaBlend even reported on negotiations for a fifth film as far back as October. Did something happen in the last few days or weeks to change Stallone’s mind, might he be changing his press quips to stabilize Rambo’s box office and its global standing as the last in the franchise? Or is he really done and moving on to remakes of The Mechanic and Death Wish, and his pet-project Poe? One thing is for sure, the jungles in Rambo and the Thailand scenery are beyond impressive, more so than in the great Rescue Dawn, and I can’t imagine the amount of labor involved for Stallone as both the lead actor and the director. Seriously. This is a fun action movie that beat its expectations to a pulp. The guy’s in his early 60s, and it all seemed effortless.

The film’s funny and very memorable ending can be interpreted as a final note or a set-up for another film. Hopefully, I get around to posting a review, but I’ll go ahead and endorse this is as the best Rambo film since First Blood. The movie snowballs in terms of craziness, and by the time it ends, you’re positive the Death Chart was off by, like, 300-400 kills. Check this film out, whether it’s the last or not.

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