Simon Pegg on the American Remake of Spaced

Simon Pegg has released an official statement regarding the American remake of Edgar Wright’s UK show Spaced, which is being produced by McG.

If you’re a huge fan of Edgar Wright, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (you know, the guys who brought us Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz), than you’ve might have seen their now cult classic British television show Spaced. The original series, which ran on Channel 4 in the U.K. for two seasons, was written by Pegg and Jessica Hynes, and was directed by Wright. The show followed two strangers who must pose as a married couple to rent an apartment. It earned two BAFTA nominations and an International Emmy nomination. If you have never watched this series, now is a great time to import the DVD box set or download the series.

Wright and Pegg are clearly unhappy that they have not been included in on the development of this project, since they were clearly responsible for much of what became the Channel 4 series. Read Pegg’s statement below:

SIMON’S OFFICIAL STATEMENT REGARDING THE US SPACED
Thoughts on the subject of an American Spaced. Feel free to skip to the end.

Now that the pilot has been officially announced, I thought it might be a good idea to clarify my position on the subject. The whole affair seems to have inspired some spirited debate and some heartening displays of loyalty and love. All this for a show which is almost 10 years old, is all rather wonderful and a vindication of all the blood, sweat and tears (both of joy and pain) we shed in the show’s creation. It was always our aim to create a comedy which spoke to its audience on such a personal level, it almost felt one on one. It would seem the fan reaction to the news that Fox has appropriated the format, confirms at least, that we succeeded.

As far as remaking TV shows for different territories is concerned, I don’t have a problem. The Office remake being a perfect example. Yes, the original British version is a wonderful and compact piece of comedy writing and performance, but I think it’s bit much to expect a large scale American television audience to fully relate to the minutiae of day-to-day business life in an obscure British suburb. I’m sure if you’re reading this, you are the type of person who takes pleasure in the variety of entertainment you enjoy, relishing the differences between our various cultural touchstones but there is a massive audience out there, which perhaps isn’t as culturally savvy (euphemistic phrase for ‘geeky’) as we are and need their signifiers to be a little more familiar. So, Slough is replaced by Scranton, and the office archetypes become a little more archetypal to an American audience. The spirit of the show remains intact. The performances are uniformly great and the show scores big ratings and wins EMMYs, whether we as comedy purists prefer the original or not. The success of the remake is born out by it’s undoubted success and appeal.

My main problem with the notion of a Spaced remake is the sheer lack of respect that Granada/ Wonderland/Warner Bros have displayed in respectively selling out and appropriating our ideas without even letting us know. A decision I can only presume was made as a way of avoiding having to give us any money, whilst at the same time using mine and Edgar’s name in their press release, in order to trade on the success of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, even professing, as Peter Johnson did, to being a big fan of the show and it’s creators. A device made all the more heinous by the fact that the press release neglected to mention the show’s co-creator and female voice, Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson). The fact is, when we signed our contracts ten years ago, we had neither the experience or the kudos to demand any clauses securing any control over future reversioning. We signed away our rights to any input in the show’s international future, because we just wanted to get the show made and these dark days of legal piracy seemed a far away concern. As a result, we have no rights. The show does not belong to us and, those that do own it have no obligation to include us in any future plans. You would perhaps hope though, out of basic professional respect and courtesy, we might have been consulted. It is this flagrant snub and effective vote of no confidence in the very people that created the show, that has caused such affront at our end. If they don’t care about the integrity of the original, why call it Spaced? Why attempt to find some validation by including mine and Edgar’s names in the press release as if we were involved? Why not just lift the premise? Two strangers, pretend to be a couple in order to secure residence of a flat/apartment. It’s hardly Ibsen. Jess and I specifically jumped off from a very mainstream sitcom premise in order to unravel it so completely. Take it, have it, call it Perfect Strangers and hope Balkie doesn’t sue. Just don’t call it Spaced.

It’s a shame, since the pilot is now a certainty, whether we like it or not, a simple phone call and a few reassurances might have helped to at least curtail the tide of indignation from fans and creators alike. I have, as of yet, heard nothing.

Simon Pegg

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The following review contains spoilers and touches on topics and themes from the film, There Will Be Blood, which may prove unsettling for some readers. This review is long as hell because TWBB is long as hell, but it is also one of the best films ever made and the best film this decade.

The fact that Paul Thomas Anderson‘s American epic, There Will Be Blood, did not win an Oscar for Best Picture or Best Director says nothing about the film’s quality and inarguable stature as a masterpiece, but much about how we deal with an artist who swims out to the mark of greatness and madness, leaving the rest of us behind.

When an artist, rarely a director, does this it overwhelms and scares us. We practically expect the Jaws theme to begin its maniacal cue and watch the unknown devour him. Anderson, who previously directed the cool but slightly manipulative and hyperactive Boogie Nights and Magnolia, does nothing to alleviate our concern for the unhinged artist; his ever-focused stare dances more and more with an alarming expanse and he brandishes a smirk that sort of says “Oh really? Fuck off.” Luckily, from afar, these traits make him that much more interesting after viewing his first masterpiece.

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Will Ferrell‘s R-rated ABA romp, Semi-Pro, opens today and is expected to do boffo business. Buzz is good, but not spectacular. Nobody’s calling the film a comedy classic, and it arguably could have been. Great source material. The actor took a time-out from picking his ‘fro to chat with AICN twice about his upcoming mega-budget sci-fi comedy Land of the Lost, as well as eulogize a few other projects. Directed by Brad Siberling, who did Casper and Moonlight Mile, I’m still not sure what to expect from this 2009 film that pits Ferrell against CGI dinosaurs, especially when it comes to tone. Ferrell alludes to it being less like, I dunno, The Flintstones but doesn’t clarify much more…

“[Land of the Lost] will be PG-13, which I understand why that is and yet we still want [edge]. …It’s right up to an R and we are going to pull that line with the studio, because I already had an experience with Kicking and Screaming. Kicking and Screaming was supposed to be more of a Bad News Bears type comedy and they kind of [made it lame and made it PG].”

One film that I think Ferrell is perhaps born to star in (but apparently will not) is a film adaptation of A Confederacy of Dunces, widely cited as one of the best American novels ever written. While I’m of the belief that The Catcher in the Rye should never be put to film, after seeing Stranger Than Fiction, a dramedy that is still widely underrated, I remain convinced that Ferrell can do justice to Dunces‘ main character, the eccentric, 30-year-old ne’re-do-well Ignatius J. Reilly. A few years ago Ferrell was attached, along with Natasha Lyonne (a clever choice for the love interest Myrna Minkoff), with David Gordon Greene (The Pineapple Express, George Washington) to direct. Might it still happen…?

“As far as I know [an adaptation] is gone. …It’s a mystery. For some reason that’s a very scary project for people to take on and I don’t know why, but yeah I have no idea. The script…I loved it. …I think that’s such a big piece to tackle, that I think for a script, they didn’t have every single scene in the book, but it was a really nice effort, but I don’t know what to tell you.”

And from a literary classic to a beer pong/bong classic, wassup with Old School 2?

“I read [the script]. Some super funny set pieces, but I don’t know. I think Vince [Vaughn] had the same reaction. We’re just kind of doing the same thing again. It was like us going to Spring Break, but we’ve got to find this guy who’s the head of a fraternity. Once again, funny things but it’s just us once again back in a fraternity setting. It just felt like it was repeating. But watch, I’m over thinking it.”

And like a dingleberry stuck to a long and winding news item, Ferrell updates us about Elf 2: It’s dead.

Discuss: If you had to spend eternity watching and rewatching a Will Ferrell sports comedy that still hasn’t been made, would it be: The Untitled Will Ferrell Polo Movie or the Untitled Will Ferrell Sumo Wrestling Movie? I choose: UWF Polo.

No casting news as of yet for King Hippo, but semi-retired boxer Mike Tyson, better known these days for his tribal facial tattoo and a taste for human ear, says that his friend Jamie Foxx will take on his life story in a theatrical biopic…

“I have a movie on the verge of happening, probably in two years from now,” Tyson, 41, said Thursday before giving a speech at the Summit View Youth Correctional Facility in North Las Vegas. “Me and Jamie Foxx are going to do a collaboration. He’s going to play me in my life story. We’ve talked about it many times.”

Some news outlets are expressing doubt over this casting rumor, and being that Tyson once told a man he was going to eat his babies and didn’t (wimp), that’s understandable. But this project did not suddenly go POOF! in Tyson’s head. Foxx even lauded its potential to the press when doing the rounds for Jarhead, telling About.com

…I think the Mike Tyson story is the most interesting thing. I think that’s the most interesting story that you don’t know. Nobody knows the stuff that I know. The stuff that I found out. It would blow your mind. Mike Tyson gives you phrases that if you listen to it, it’ll blow your mind.

They said, ‘Mike, how do you feel?’ and he said (imitating Tyson’s voice) ‘I’m happy. I’m more happy now I don’t have any money.’ And they said, ‘Why Michael?’ [As Tyson] ‘I don’t have to worry about anything. I’m just here.’ And it was an Interview, I don’t know if you saw it, and he was with a kid. And he was teaching the kid how to box. He stopped and said, ‘I’m so happy. I’m so glad I don’t have any more money so I don’t have to worry about it anymore. Nobody has to do me wrong. Nobody has to, you know, F me over. I’m just glad.’

I said, ‘That’s where you go.’

As much as I look forward to seeing Foxx guest on Conan O’Brien’s show, I’m not a big fan of his dramatic work, especially in Miami Vice. This role offers just the right amount of crazy for Foxx to perfect it, and if ever the world of boxing had a figure with a Charles Manson-like ability to establish fear, not just in his opponents, but in millions of kids, it was Iron Mike. It’s quite an epic story. But really, I just want to see Foxx as Mike acting a fool as he plays Mike Tyson’s Punch Out for the first time on an NES. This could work.

Discuss: Who better than Foxx to play Tyson in your estimation? And is there another boxer with a better story arch more deserving of a film? Did you ever beat Mike Tyson in NES Punch Out? Also, remember that time Tyson actually (as in really) slapped Robert Downey Jr. in James Toback’s Black and White? 

Source Link: RJ

The horror genre’s nasty feud with Oscar nominees continues, as Juno star Ellen Page has pulled out out of the dark place that is director Sam Raimi‘s upcoming horror-thriller Drag Me to Hell. Bloody Disgusting reports that the sweet tart wasn’t happy over the latest draft of the script, which was written by Raimi and his brother Ivan Raimi, but they speculate that this is really “Oscar cold feet.” Page came aboard the film earlier this month.

No word on a replacement, but who would you like to see in the flick? It was described here earlier as “a ‘spook-a-blast,’ a wild ride with all the chill and spills of [Raimi’s] The Evil Dead, without relying on the excessive violence of that film.” I’m digging the exploitation-vibe of the title, which recalls grindhouse films like I Spit on Your Grave and Thriller: A Cruel Picture. The plot reportedly revolves around “the unwitting recipient of a supernatural curse” and presumably that’s who Page was going to play. Page will next be seen in Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, the rollerskating-fem movie Whip It!, due in 2009.

Discuss: Who’s the best replacement for Page? What young actress who hasn’t starred in a horror flick would you like to see take “the plunge”? And after three Spider-Man films and many Jacuzzi nights, does Raimi still have the goods to scare you up a wall and make you do a spit-take back to back?

The SignalImagine this. It’s Sunday night and you’re sitting in a movie theater watching The Signal, an independent horror movie about a mysterious transmission which invades every cell phone, radio and TV, turning people into killers. And then suddenly, two men sitting in separate areas of the theater are randomly attacked and stabbed by an unknown man who was watching the movie. This isn’t just a scenario, this actually happened last night at the AMC Theater in Fullerton. Is The Signal real?

The unknown man supposedly started stabbing at the theater seat and then began stabbing the victim. As he fled, he stabbed another victim sitting near the exit. Both men were stabbed in the arm and were taken to separate hospitals. Neither men knew the suspect, who escaped without arrest. The film was paused while police conducted their investigation. When it was resumed, the fist scene was a stabbing. Coincidence?

Discuss: Is The Signal real?

source: msnbc

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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.

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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