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“Anton who?”

When it comes to the showdown, Peter and I will both be there with news on which film wins Best Picture this Sunday evening. However, right now we are both in agreement that Paul Thomas Anderson‘s There Will Be Blood is a better film than the Coen BrothersNo Country For Old Men. There is no question: It deserves to win the Oscar for 2007’s Best Picture. Will it? We’ll discuss that later.

I hope to further explain my opinion on this subject in a bit, but until then, tell us why you agree or disagree. And if you think Juno or Michael Clayton is superior to one or both of these modern classics, stay out of this forum or watch out for a braining bowling pin. Oh, and everyone, watch out massive spoilers, obviously. Bring your A-game to the comments.

Discuss one of the coolest Oscar showdowns in years: There Will Be Blood vs. No Country For Old Men.

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Hugo Weaving Joins The Wolf Man

Actor Hugo Weaving (V For Vendetta, The Matrix) is set to star as Detective Aberline for director Joe Johnston in The Wolf Man. Weaving will join a cast that includes Anthony Hopkins (as the Wolf Man’s father), Benicio del Toro (as the Wolf Man) and Emily Blunt (as the love interest). This is the first bit of casting news for the big budget remake of the 1941 horror film since the original director, Mark Romanek, abruptly left at the end of January over budget issues. Romanek had spent a few years working to bring the film to the screen with del Toro, and now Variety reports that Johnston has had David Self (Road to Perdition, The Haunting) do a rewrite of the script by Andrew Scott Walker. A little curious.

Weaving is the guy to go to for classier event films like this and he definitely boosts the movie’s chances of being a creative success. But Johnston, who previously directed Hidalgo, Jumanji and Jurassic Park III, inspires nothing. He has a surprising number of defenders online, but to me, this is the equivalent of hypothetically never seeing Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are. Would this lavish project have happened with Johnston on board originally? No. And such a thought will be in the back of my head for sometime, perhaps even while watching the film in February ’09, if applicable. Romanek hasn’t updated the news page on his official website in years; you have to wonder if he’ll ever open up about what happened.

Discuss: If Hugo Weaving ever plays a villain in Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, who should he play?

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We here at Slashfilm have been pressing Warner Bros. to release The Lost Boys 2: The Tribe theatrically for some time. Tonight, the first image of a vampire from the film has surfaced at STYD, and I’m a little iffed. While the images of Corey Feldman‘s return as Edgar Frog show promise, as did the recent announcement that Corey Haim will definitely be in the film, this image screams direct-to-DVD to me. Compare the shot below of Kiefer Sutherland’s vampire, David, from the 1987 classic to this steakhead vampire above.

Now, the vampires in the sequels are reportedly surfers, which might explain the rather cheesy subtitle. This reminds me, hey studio people: simplify it to The Lost Boys 2. The original title’s inspiration is the Lost Boys in Peter Pan, who were already a tribe of sorts. Adding “The Tribe” is just a bad sign for America, really. And as we all know, surfers go two ways: steakhead jock idiots and “divine princes of decadence” like Bunker Spreckels. And then there’s Bodhi from Point Break who mixed them together and pulled it off, which is as hard to do as looking cool in a pair of crocs while working at Wal-Mart.

The necklace on this vampire is beyond cheesy. When The Lost Boys came out, the biker vampires in that flick reached highs of coked-out ’80s overindulgence and super-cool matched only by Axl Rose. Back to this new image: there’s also the tiki torch in the back, which connotes “steakhead surfer stereotype” and teen shows like The O.C. And is the vampire wearing a punk-studded bracelet? I can’t tell. If so, stupes. He’s also bald, which is Kelly Slater-ish, but also reminds me of Neil Strauss in The Game and that’s always a sign to stay away from something. Surfers have rock star hair, it’s a fact, why not utilize that, while paying a lil’ homage to the Aqua Net-junkie ’80s originals?

The fangs are a little too pronounced. The blood can go either way. This photo was released to satisfy the gore hounds. The girl’s bikini/dress is kind of stupid, generic and unhot, and The Lost Boys is about sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and staying young forever, maybe in that order. I’m not giving up on the film, but after all of the “we get it” and the “original is a classic, we won’t screw this up” promises from screenwriter Hans Rodionoff and director P.J. Pesce, this image is disconcerting because it doesn’t get it. You can still make this sequel with a modest budget and have it be awesome, there is no excuse. If this turns out to be The Lost Boys with Seth Cohen and it does go to theaters after fans fought ferociously for it to, prepare for a battle comparable to, I dunno, Axl Rose vs. Tommy Hilfiger.

Discuss: Does the new vampire image impact whether you’ll see The Lost Boys 2: The Tribe, one way or the other?

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Spec: Will Deathstroke Appear in The Dark Knight?

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Is this another scoop, and possibly large spoiler, for The Dark Knight originating from New York’s Toy Fair? It’s hard to say. A figurine for Deathstroke, a villainous mercenary, member of the Teen Titans (alongside Batgirl) and fan favorite, was recently spotted in a Mattel toy showcase for the Batman Begins sequel. Deathstroke’s figure wasn’t accidentally placed there, that’s for sure, and over at SHH, they’re told the character won’t appear in the film…but that the figurine still received “Christopher Nolan’s approval.” Hmm.

As IESB notes, a Robin figurine was included way back when with the Batman Returns line and sparked similar controversy about a cinematic appearance. Of course, in that instance, the character did not appear. But would sources in the know ‘fess up at this time if Deathstroke was in the film? A cameo would not be unlikely, as the character has given Batman some formidable trouble in the comics, due to his ability to heal abnormally fast and his fighting skill-set, and is cited on Wiki as Bruce Wayne’s equal of sorts. Moreover, it’d be a great way to get fans even more abuzz, similar to newly announced cameos by Gambit and Deadpool in Marvel’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Update: Slashfilm reader ‘Matt’ emailed us to say, “Great site you have; I read it almost daily. Mattel probably made one because he’s going to be a character in the animated tie-in DVD, Gotham Knight.“Excellent Point.

Update 2: Actually, the character,Deadshot, appears in Gotham Knight, not Deathstroke, so once again, the rumor is fair game.

Discuss: Would you like to see Deathstroke appear in The Dark Knight, or do you think The Joker and Two Face are enough for ol’ Batsy this go ’round? And whose name overcompensates more, Deadpool’s or Deathstroke’s? It takes a certain chutzpah to give yourself a name usually reserved for groups of guys that play moronic hard rock. I say: Deathstroke wins, as he also goes by Deathstroke the Terminator, which is insanely verbose.

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Early Review of the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer

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An early review of Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski‘s Speed Racer has popped up over at AICN and the anonymous reviewer reports that the film might not be rated G after all. He’s saying PG-13.

“No, as it stands there is cursing in it, which shocked my roommate and I because we heard that they were gunning for the G rating as well. They say “ass” about 3 or 4 times, “shit” at least once, and Spritle flips off another character. Not sure if that’s all going to be edited out, but one or two scenes, it seemed impossible to do so, as it would change a lot. But I’m sure that they will figure out something, maybe alternate takes of the same scenes. I just don’t understand why they would include them if they planned on going for a G eventually anyways.”

The guy goes on to say he’s not a big fan of the directors (latter two Matrixes sucked et al.) and wasn’t expecting much from the lysergic life-as-cartoon style seen in the trailer. He expresses mild shock at how unfinished the film’s special effects are (it’s due in May), but overall, says it should play gangbusters and expects the finished result to be “jawdropping.” And no, he doesn’t sound like a plant to me.

“It’s hoaky, corny, and completely defies reality, sure. But it is done so well that it truly was entertaining. Exactly what a family summer movie should be. The race sequences are some of the most kinetic and intense that I have ever seen (even when it is just shitty cartoon pre-vis renderings flying around on the tracks). The action was so intense and crazy in parts that seriously it made the Matrix movies seem like you’re watching a Gus Van Sant art film.”

One scene that sounds particularly inspired…

“Then immediately we flash back to Speed as a kid trying to take a test in grade school, but he just cant seem to concentrate, all he can think about is racing, so he pretends to race through the test. We literally see his imagination come to life as he races a childishly drawn race car past other crudely drawn race cars.”

Discuss: How well do you think Speed Racer will perform this summer at the box office compared to The Dark Knight and Wall-E?  

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Update: Neil Gaiman said on his personal blog yesterday that he is still co-writing the Black Hole script with Roger Avary. Seems rather stoked on Fincher’s involvement as well. Thanks to /Film reader ‘Nancy.’

David Fincher tackling STDs, not like herpes, worse,” is the imagined, beaded brow pitch to the studio. It worked. The director of the Oscar-shunned modern masterpiece Zodiac, as well as Fight Club, is attached to direct a film based on the comics-turned-acclaimed graphic novel, Black Hole, by Charles Burns. Brad Pitt’s Plan B is producing the project, but like DiCaprio’s Akira, no official word if Pitt is involved to star. Roger Avary and Neil Gaiman were set to adapt the screenplay in 2006, but no word if Fincher is doing his own thing here.

Set in the ’70s, Black Hole is a 12-issue comic that followed teenagers who spread “the Bug,” a fictional, incurable STD that causes the sexually-active to develop horrific physical deformities, as well as those who didn’t catch it but reacted to the plague. As you might expect, this turns the infected teens into social outcasts, and the plot synopsis at publisher Pantheon Graphics reads, “What we become witness to instead is a fascinating and eerie portrait of the nature of high school alienation itself – the savagery, the cruelty, the relentless anxiety and ennui, the longing for escape. And then the murders start.”

Fincher’s next theatrical release is December’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button starring Brad Pitt, which is already receiving almighty buzz. Unlike Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood, I don’t think Fincher has crafted his end-all-be-all American classic yet. And while Black Hole sounds too fun and twisted to be it, I hope he’ll next be gearing up for the serious sci-fi epic Rendezvous with Rama, one of several projects he’s latched to, another being the Eliot Ness serial killer flick Torso. But a Fincher Ghost World, are you friggin’ kidding? The eclipse has played into some strangely bi-polar news today, and this may be the peak of awesome.

Of note, Alexandre Aja was originally on board to direct this, but he has other fish to fry (and can I just add that a mere two /Film comments for his upcoming Piranha 3D periodically had me questioning life?).

Along with Blankets, Black Hole has been in my “graphic novel requisite procrastination” queue on Amazon for at least six months. I didn’t realize it was originally published by the long-gone Kitchen Sink Press, a company I fondly remember back in the day when I bought comics, if only for seeing its Crow titles amongst the latest The Maxx and Pitt. Damn, this is going to be cool flick, nostalgia can take a hike. And shout out to Paramount Pictures for booking Fincher for three flicks in a row now. That rocks.

Discuss: With Black Hole, will David Fincher do for sex what Darren Afonofsky did for hard drugs and Keith David in Requiem for a Dream?

Source Link: Variety

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

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What a strange day for Warner Bros. First, rumors explode today that they’re giving the heave-ho to Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are, and now word arrives that they’ve greenlit two ambitious live-action films based on the landmark Japanese manga and anime Akira, with Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way producing. Mere rumor is he may star as the lead character, Kaneda, in the franchise, which will be set in New Manhattan, “a new metropolis rebuilt after being destroyed 31 years earlier.” The first film is being fast tracked for summer 2009.

After months of speculation, young Irish director Ruairi Robinson (pronounced Raw-Ree) will direct. We’ve included two of his rather violent, trippy, head-shot lovin’ short films, Fifty Percent Grey and The Silent City, below, so as for you to get acquainted. Variety reports that the filmmakers pitched the flicks as “Blade Runner meets City of God,” which is a modestly fitting description for the 1988 film, a kinetic, dystopian vision where young motorcycle gangs roam Neo-Tokyo (rather than New Manhattan) post-nuclear war and all hell breaks loose when one is exposed to a government experiment, thus gaining menacing powers.

Update: AICN reports that Joseph Gordon Levitt has been cast in the role Tetsuo, the motorcycle gang member who develops aforementioned menacing psychokinetic powers. They also report as if Leonardo DiCaprio is definitely a lock for the lead character of Kaneda.

The films will be adapted from creator Katsuhiro Otomo‘s six volume manga, which provides far more storyline, characters and franchise potential than the classic anime adaptation alone. This news has been a long time coming, so it’s cool to see how inspired and charged-up it is, especially with Robinson’s involvement. I’m not too big on remaking old visions of the world’s future, but it’s Akira, so hey, it’s an exception. View his short films after the jump.

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Fifty Percent Grey

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Sabotage!?! There’s incredibly weird, and increasingly depressing, buzz coming off Spike Jonze‘s Where the Wild Things Are, and now Chud reports that execs at Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures are considering reshooting the entire $75 million friggin’ movie! This news, of course, comes on top of the rather cool test footage that leaked last weekend, and the rather subdued statement Jonze released yesterday concerning the early footage. There are even wild rumors circulating more and more in the industry that Jonze might take his name off the project, and Devin’s report at Chud doesn’t persuade against that speculation. This is serious, people. Take this excerpt for example…

“Yet I’m hearing that just such a massive reshoot is what is on the table right now. And it’s not because of technical issues, unless you want to consider the lead kid actor and the script technical issues. Sources tell me that the suits at Legendary and Warner Bros are not happy with Max Records, the actor playing Max, the mischievous boy who is crowned King of the Wild Things. Worse than that, they don’t like the film’s tone and want to go back to the script drawing board, possibly losing the Spike Jonze/Dave Eggers script when they do it. Apparently the film is too weird and ‘too scary,’ and the character of Max is being seen as not likable.”

It’s not yet in the open whether Jonze has final cut on the children’s flick. If so, and if this news is well-founded, that could mean a major tug-o-war with execs and possibly end up with Jonze removed from the project altogether. With his former girlfriend, Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, doing the soundtrack and a tight-knit crew, that would be one ballsy move by WB. Do they really want to play knock the hipsters off the island? Jus’ sayin’.

Of course, Jonze’s statement yesterday mentioned no such drama, but he didn’t release an elated in-progress statement like James Cameron just did below, either. Early audience reports from test screenings late last year were prototypically alarming, calling the film “dark,” “not suitable for small children,” complaining about “some desert place” et al. But Maurice Sendak‘s book is, as many /Film commenters have smartly pointed out, about monsters, imagination and the free realm where kids play. Sendak is also said to be on board as a consultant to Jonze and co-screenwriter Dave Eggers on the film, and Eggers, the co-founder of McSweeney’s and a literary darling, is even writing a spin-off novel to accompany the film.

This chic house of cards would lend credence to Spike and Co. staying with the project, which has been delayed until 2009 due to reported visual effects difficulties pertaining to the Wild Things’ faces (the Jim Henson Company created their costumes). But, what if, just what if…

More on this (and probable Free Spike Jonze t-shirts) as it develops. In the meantime…

Discuss: If this is true, tell Warner Brothers what you think! They are listening. Do you want a version of WTWTA on par with traditional family fare like 2003’s The Cat and the Hat and A VeggieTales Movie?

 

“Michael Bay, go direct your 2012 movie over there.”

Update: Emmerich and Kloser’s script was purchased by Sony Pictures, it was announced Thursday. The budget for 2012 is said to be near $200 million.

Roland Emmerich, director of spectacle event films like Independence Day, Godzilla and the upcoming 10,000 B.C., is currently in search of a studio to park his latest film, 2012. Apparently this similarly big budget flick has nothing to do with Michael Bay’s project, 2012: The War For Souls, beyond using the Mayan calendar, which indicates bad things coming our way in four years, as inspiration. The script currently being pitched to studios was written by Emmerich and composer-writer Harald Kloser, and, save for a SGA strike, Variety says to expect the movie to hit theaters in 2009. Bay’s film, based on Whitley Strieber’s novel, is currently scheduled on IMDB for 2010.

If this is another Deep Impact vs. Armageddon showdown, it’s less intense, but if anyone’s contracted to blow up the world, it should be Bay in my estimation. Didn’t Emmerich already have his shot with 2004’s terrible The Day After Tomorrow, or was that his ice-apocalypse, while this one will be fire-related? Wikipedia says that dire Mayan-related predictions for 2012 range from super-volcanoes, earthquakes and cosmic rays to a dramatic shift in human consciousness. I predict a Black Eyed Peas reunion and Uwe Boll’s 2013. Random factoid: Some of you will recall that I Am Legend takes place in 2012.

Discuss: Bay vs. Emmerich. What’s the difference?