The Robocop reboot has had its share of skeptics since the moment it was announced, and last month’s scathing review of the script from Drew McWeeny (of HitFix, and formerly of AICN) only seemed to confirm doubters’ worst fears about the project. Now another film writer has weighed in, however, and while his response falls short of glowing, it is significantly more optimistic.

Latino Review‘s Da7e has posted a video recounting the plot details for José Padilha‘s remake as spelled out in the draft he read, as well as a writeup on his reactions. Hit the jump to watch the video and read his comments.

Also after the jump: Robocop adds Gary Oldman‘s manager in an on-camera role, DreamWorks sets out to remake the ’80s comedy All of Me, and Dredd uploads some behind-the-scenes footage.

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Writers will tell you one of the best ways to improve yourself is to read other people’s writing. So, for an aspiring screenwriter, reading a ton of scripts is an excellent exercise. It’s one that John August, writer of Go, Charlie’s Angels, Big Fish and The Nines (which he also directed) knows well. As a freshman at the University of Southern California, August was reading almost a script every other day and writing coverage of each, both for class and an internship. “Coverage” is basically a book report written for a superior so they don’t have to read a full script themselves.

A reader of August’s blog was going through a box of papers when they came across something very interesting: August’s coverage of then seemingly unknown filmmaker Quentin Tarantino‘s script for Natural Born Killers. See and read the full document below. Read More »


Until somebody actually comes out and makes an official announcement, I’m sure there’s going to be countless rumours about Sam Raimi‘s choice of next film. Here’s today’s.

We already knew that Sam Raimi was producing the new feature film version of The Shadow. Apparently, he’s now keen to take up the director’s reigns too. Doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch, does it? And what do you reckon – does it get easier or harder to swallow if I tell you The Shadow is set up at Sony?

If Raimi does take the picture on, this would make The Shadow the third superhero to take the lead in a Raimi movie, after Spider-Man and Darkman. I think that’s what the mugs call an auteur.

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Script Review: Duncan Jones’ Mute

ScriptShadow has a review of the screenplay for Mute, the sci-fi noir project that Moon director Duncan Jones has been developing with Mike Johnson for the last few years. You may recall that Jones recently signed on to direct Source Code, with Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star. Jones had commented on Twitter that he decided to put Mute on hold because he got an offer he couldn’t refuse, and that Mute is a “hard sell” in this economy. And now we know more.

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Wait, Machete actually needs a script not scrawled by knives in gringo blood? Following the recent, zany casting rundown for the cheapo flick that includes Robert De Niro, Lindsay Lohan, Don Johnson, and Steven Seagal (…walk into a bar), Latino Review have the first script review for the unlikely Grindhouse spin-off. You may recall that Jonah Hill was said to have passed on the film after reading a draft by director Robert Rodriguez. Well, LR’s reviewer is non-plussed by his script as well, calling it a rushed, whiz-bang effort, even for the Austin-auteur who sprayed out Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Some choice excerpts and a few thoughts on the project after the jump…

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I’ve just finished reading Pat Rushin‘s screenplay to the film The Zero Theorem which is set to start shooting in May, under director Terry Gilliam and producer Richard Zanuck, and which will star Billy Bob Thornton. To pigeonhole it, because I suspect you want me to at least try, I’ll call it a science-fiction drama that skidded on the turnpike and ended up ditched in a psychogenic fugue.

My first impression on finishing the script is simple – I really can’t believe this was given the greenlight. I’m absolutely ecstatic that it was, but still utterly shocked – the budget must be very reasonable. To put it simply, this was a smart and unpredictable screenplay that will not only require intelligence on the part of everybody in the cast and crew, but the audience will also be expected to switch on and fire all cylinders too. Are they going to be prepared to do that?  I think they’ll be thankful for the opportunity.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

LatinoReview has gotten a look at Michael Brandt and Derek Haas‘ screenplay for Brett Ratner‘s “Beverly Hills Cop 2009“. Yes, even the title has a Ratner-level of annoyance. So what’s it about?

Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) is killed from a fall out of the 20th story of the Los Angeles Police Headquarters, but Axel (Eddie Murphy) refuses to believe it was a suicide. He is teamed up with a fat rookie cop with low self-esteem named Goodwin to solve the “murder”. And when he’s not on the case, Axel is trying to hook Goodwin up with a lady cop in the facial recognition department whom he has a crush on, and teach him the ropes. And the whole thing degenerates into a “pretty standard police corruption story”. How bad does this sound already? Well here are the top four reasons (quoted directly from Latino Review) on why this will probably suck:

  • “A lot of the shit in the middle is way boring.”
  • “Axel Foley has no funny lines”
  • “It’s like Brandt and Haas saw the first BHC and just didn’t have the energy to write anything that matched up to it.”
  • “It’s almost like the writers took an Arnold Schwarzenneger script they had lying around and changed the details to make it a Beverly Hills Cop movie. There’s no fun in it.”

Read the full review over on LatinoReview.

Not much is known about Judd Apatow‘s next film Funny People, that is until now. /Film brings you an exclusive look at the cast and characters of Apatow’s new film. Some photos courtesy of liezl was here.

Adam Sandler plays a 42-year old comic named George Simmons. He’s had a good run, and even had a nice movie career. He has everything you could want: an expensive car, a big house, and a great sense of humor. The women want him and the guys want to be his friend. He knows a lot of people but has no close friends, probably because he’s a very miserable and self-involved person. One day he learns that he has a rare untreatable blood disorder, and only has six months to a year left to live. This is the the beginning of the film. Pretty good hook, eh?

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The following script review of Mike Judge’s Extract contains moderate spoilers.

Mike Judge remains one of the most important and original voices working in American Comedy today, and with Extract the writer-director may do for the bland absurdity of successful white guys in mid-life crisis, stagnant marriages, and bullshit factory jobs what he did for cubicle-drones in Office Space and untended ‘90s adolescence in Beavis and Butt-head.

Judge is fascinated by average dudes whose big pictures are realistically small pictures. But rather than spike his societal observations with pathologically self-aware condescension, college-y elitism, or rage like The Office or Tim and Eric Awesome Show (shows I love), Judge stews in it. The cool-guy alternative to a life that equates to “This sucks” sucks just as much. And as a result, there’s a half-empty glass of doom in Judge’s work that’s like enjoying a beer at a baseball game. His characters often pick up coffee mugs on the cusp of bleak realizations, and Judge reserves his laughter so you’ll laugh harder and savor the truths. I’m always surprised that Judge’s signature pregnant pauses translate as well on paper as they do in movies or animation.

When a character in Extract loses a testicle in an accident, this tragic ball directly and indirectly pushes the lives of other characters into existential free-fall. None more so than Joel Reynolds (to be played by Jason Bateman, nice choice), a married 40-something owner and operator of a food-flavoring extract plant. The randomness of his business is a McGuffin of sorts representing the majority of unglamorous American jobs we rarely read or think about, even if we have them ourselves. Joel’s stay-at-home-laptop wife, Suzie (to be played by Kristen Wiig), barely responds to his good-natured shares about a potential cookies-and-cream extract breakthrough. Their sex life is best summed up by her comfort-zone sweatpants and her love of the Idol, a jerk-off killer for Joel no less.

Joel’s his own boss, and with his McMarriage on the rocks, he doesn’t have many people to confide in. Most of the employees at his factory are uneducated, lazy idiots who ineptly handle boxes of extract like self-important lemmings, so he laments inside the sports bar of a Holiday Inn owned by his friend Dean. According to Dean, a borderline shadeball, the solution to Joel’s common problems are Xanax, Special K and a brilliant plan. If Suzie cheats on him, Joel can cheat on her with the hot piece of ass—too good to be true—that just arrived at his plant (to be played by Mila Kunis). (I’m pretty sure Dean’s drugdealer is played by Ben Affleck).

This plan backfires, of course, with his wife enjoying a prolonged Skinemax scenario at his expense. Joel’s journey of self marches through a funny storm consisting of an annoying fucking neighbor, minor drug use, gossipy employees, and a proto-American lawsuit involving that aforementioned character’s ball. If the guy had lost both his balls, he’d be a complete freak one lawyer surmises, but the loss of one could mean piles of sympathy moolah.

This is not a script bursting with commercial appeal, but it has the workings of a sleeper hit, a resulting film that should satisfy Office Space’s sizable following, including people who couldn’t tolerate or warm to Idiocracy’s blast-stupid-with-stupid M.O. on DVD. The script’s dry and dark ending is what sealed the deal for me. Rather than turn a new leaf, Joel endures the chaos, like in real life. And it made me realize how few comedies we see these days about actual adults, rather than teens, 20somethings or stunted 30somethings. Extract is about processing personal fuck-ups and limitations and other peoples’ into a schematic of 40something sanity and compromise. It’s also about the vulnerability of the nutsack. And the guy who refers to everyone at work as “dinkus.” I hope to never meet him.


Discuss: Are you anticipating Mike Judge’s Extract? Where do you think Judge ranks amongst today’s comedy directors and writers?