Cultural humor alert: Sacha Baron Cohen will produce and possibly star in a film for Fox Atomic entitled, Accidentes, a pitch from Borat co-writer Peter Baynham. Here’s the logline:
“The protag will be a lawyer of Latin descent who transforms from contingency attorney to hero of the working class when he helps an immigrant win a judgment against his wealthy employer after a landscaping mishap. He also becomes the enemy of L.A.’s power elite.”
Might this do for L.A. what Borat did for Kazakhstan, Jean Girard did for France and Bruno did for “high fashion”? Do you see a pattern? The project is a high profile catch for Fox Atomic, which has been off our radar in recent months. A director was not announced. Cohen is also attached to star as Sherlock Holmes alongside Will Ferrell’s Watson for producer Judd Apatow. Bruno, which is now a wrap, opens May ’09.
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Because everyone has been wondering, Nikki Finke explains why Hollywood probably won’t make Grand Theft Auto: The Movie. In its first week, Grand Theft Auto IV sold approximately 6 million copies worldwide and grossed over $500 million, more than most movies make theatrically. So it seems only logical that Hollywood would be interested in bringing the the controversial video game series to the mainstream. As it turns out, Fox Atomic actually owns the rights to “Grand Theft Auto”, but not a film based on the game. Atomic is developing a remake of the Ron Howard directed / Roger Corman produced film with the same name from 1977. And by “developing”, we mean that it is one of hundreds of projects that Fox Atomic has sitting around waiting for a screenwriter.
And I’ve never heard this before, but Finke claims that a legal settlement dictates that Fox can’t make a video game out of the Ron Howard film, and more importantly, Rockstar isn’t allowed to make a feature film based on their video game series. And as much as fans of the game would love to see a big screen movie, I’m not sure that it could capture the free-roaming magic of the game. Besides, many aspects of the game series are closely inspired by the classic mob films. I even remember reading interviews with Rockstar where they admit this obvious fact. What’s to stop a big screen adaptation of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City or Grand Theft Auto 4 from feeling like a Scarface rip-off?
Is it just me or does the teaser poster for The Rocker look a lot like the posters for Judd Apatow’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up?
The Rocker follows the story of Robert “Fish” Fishman, the drummer for an eighties hair band.Â He’s living the rock n’ roll dreamâ€¦ until he is kicked out of the group.Â Twenty years later, the desperate rocker joins his nephew’s band, “A.D.D.,” finally reclaiming the rock-god throne he’s always thought he deserved — while taking his much younger bandmates along for the ride of their lives. Starring Rainn Wilson and Christina Applegate, The Rocker hits theaters on August 1st 2008.
School of Rock with teens instead of squirts equals this new trailer for The Rocker. Example: “You don’t ask your parents for permission to rock!” And if you watch closely Rainn Wilson (yes, veddy good on The Office) even begins to resemble Jack Black in SoR near the end.
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/therocker.flv 470 252]
There are some laffs here: fat guy hurricane’ing snot on a hot gal’s forehead (Superbad‘s Emma Stone), noodle eating, Jeff Garlin off the bat…and Wilson sprinting is always funnay. There is dated lameness here: a band called ADD, creepy girl saying “Hello YouTube,” porn site password jokes in 2008, cliche “it’s about the music” confession, an unfunny recreation of 1988 (hard to do). Not appearing much, if at all, here, but on the plus side: Fred Armisen, Aziz Ansari, Jane Lynch. Hard to say if this Fox Atomic (ohai) comedy is going to connect or whimper off like a sappier Hot Rod. Who’s the audience, Office fans with bored nephews?
The Rocker opens nationwide on August 1st.
Discuss: What do you think of the trailer for The Rocker? Are soft-irony movies about white guys “rocking out!!!” still funny sans the already championed Anvil! The Story of Anvil?
Jason Reitman has officially signed on to team up with Jim Carrey on a comedy titled Pierre Pierre (yay!) for Fox Atomic (barf). You first heard about this project on /Film in early December 2007, before Juno became a monster hit at the box office.
Pierre Pierre was ranked the 11th hottest screenplay in Hollywood in the Black List, an annual poll of 150 development executives and high-level assistants. Here is what I wrote about the project in December:
“Fox Searchlight paid close to a million dollars upfront for the screenplay by Edwin Cannistraci & Frederick Seton. Described as simular to Bruno/Borat, the story follows a “self-indulgent, lazy, French nihilist who is transporting a stolen Mona Lisa from Paris to London.” Through the journey, “he comes to love his home country again.” Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You For Smoking) was in talks to direct, with Jim Carrey in talks to star.”
Well the project is now set up at Fox Atomic (boo!) with a budget pegged at $13 million, and is being prepped as a potential vehicle after the possible actors strike. So this will not be Jason Reitman’s next film, and I’m sure we’ll get an announcement on that soon enough. Reitman is also producing Jennifer’s Body, starring Megan Fox, directed by Karen Kusama, from a script by Oscar winning screenwriter Diablo Cody, also set up at Fox Atomic.
Jason, I loved Thank You For Smoking, and was one of the biggest cheerleaders of Juno in the webspace, but please please, get as far away from Fox Atomic as fast as you can. Go back to Searchlight.
Discuss: Jim Carrey as a self-indulgent French nihilist transporting a stolen painting? Does that even sound like a Jason Reitman movie?
I’m not a pro wrestling bash-er. I use to be a fan back in that big boom. I actually believe there is untapped talent in the organization, and am shocked that World Wrestling Entertainment has been unable to produce one single watchable movie.
That said, I think Vince McMahon should give up on his movie dreams. The last three efforts (See No Evil, The Marine, and The Condemned) have an average IMDb user rating of a 5.1 (which is pretty poor by even genre movie standards). Made for an estimated $50 million, the three films have made less than $41 million domestically. Lionsgate dumped the wrestling entertainment company, but the WWE have found another sucker in the form of the Fox genre arm, Fox Atomic.
WWE is teaming with Fox Atomic to produce 12 Rounds, an action film about a New Orleans police detective whose girlfriend is kidnapped. Star wrestler John Cena will star alongside Steve Harris, Aidan Gillen and Brian White. Hack action director Renny Harlin has been tapped to direct. Harlin, best known for directing Die Hard 2, has been recently involved in some of the worst genre movies of recent years: Driven, Exorcist: The Beginning and The Covenant.
Production begins on February 25th in New Orleans. Good luck with that. Let’s hope that the 133th round is direct to dvd.
Karyn Kusama has signed on to direct Jennifer’s Body, Diablo Cody‘s follow-up to Juno. The story follows a demon-possessed Megan Fox who begins eating boys in her small Minnesota town. It’s one of those stories that could be pretty cool or really bad depending on how the material is handled.
Kusama broke onto the scene with GirlFight in 2000, which won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance. Kusama, who also took home the directing award, went on to helm the really horrible live-action adaptation of AEonFlux starring Charlize Theron. But I have faith in both Kusama and Diablo. And better yet, Jason Reitman is producing. But will Fox Atomic find someway to screw this one up like all their other releases?
Jennifer’s Body begins shooting in March 2008. No release date has been announced.
Our friends at FilmSchoolRejects has a first look at Rainn Wilson in the upcoming Fox Atomic film The Rocker. Too bad the movie is gonna suck. I recently came across two reader submitted test screening reviews of the film, and sadly, prospects don’t look good:
This review is from “Ralphie”:
“Not very good. Think of it this way, it was School of Rock with the story of Kickin’ it Old Skool’. The beginning of it seemed so promising and then turned into a horribly plot comeback movie. Rainn Wilson had the Dwight, from the office, comedy but it seemed to show up the wrong places. Christina Applegate is seen about 10 minutes in the whole movie, and of course she plays the love interest in the movie with Rain Wilson but the plot completely fails in showing any of the relationship growing in between them. Rainn Wilson has a few one liners and there were 1 or 2 funny scenes but that is all to be expected out of this movie. If you dont get to see this movie you are seriously not missing out on anything.”
This review is from “Old Blue”:
“It has a few funny moments, almost not enough to really call a comedy. This was basically a little kid movie. and the plot was like nearly straight out of school of rock, but minus the school. Will Arnett plays the singer of the 80s band and hes kick ass, but there arent too many high points about the film. through the movie there are like 2 love interest lines and none of them are developed, the movie almost lacks focus. while its definitely a come back story for rainn wilson there is little else that drives the plot and every bump in the road is a very minor one. Also the kid appears to be a metal fan but writes these lame post punk, pop/emo songs. I mean for that kind of stuff the music wasn’t really that bad. But the band opposes 80s hair metal and i dont know, seems very mis matched. A movie for like 13 year olds.”
Official Plot Synopsis: The Rocker tells the story of a failed drummer who is given a second chance at fame. Robert “Fish” Fishman is the extremely dedicated and astoundingly passionate drummer for the eighties hair band Vesuvius, who is living the rock n’ roll dream until he is unceremoniously kicked out of the band. Twenty years after his rock star fantasies are destroyed, just when Fish has finally given up all hope, he hears that his nephew’s high school rock band A.D.D. is looking for a new drummer. They reluctantly make him the newest member of the band, giving him a chance to reclaim the rock God throne he’s always thought he deserved, and taking the young band along for the ride of their lives. Also staring Christina Applegate, Emma Stone, Teddy Geiger and Josh Gad.
The Rocker will hit theaters in 2008.
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