"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

Last year at CinemaCon, 20th Century Fox previewed very early footage for Ang Lee’s Life of Pi. Attendees at the presentation were floored, and the buzz on all the blogs was that Pi was an Oscar contender. Some argued that April was too early to be calling for possible Oscar contenders, and they were probably right. We all know how that turned out.

This year Fox arrived in Vegas bearing another special preview: between fifteen and twenty minutes of the Ben Stiller-directed The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. (Stiller also stars.) Again, it’s April, it’s too early to make such claims, but the Oscar buzz has begun.

After the jump you can read my thoughts on the footage screened from Mitty, or watch a video blog I recorded with Alex from Firstshowing talking about presentations of footage from The Wolverine, Epic, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie.
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It’s been 66 years since the original The Secret Life of Walter Mitty came out, and a remake of it has been in development for about a quarter of that time. But after bouncing between various studios, directors, and leads, the project finally got a big push a couple of years back when Ben Stiller signed on to both star and direct for 20th Century Fox.

Stiller plays a Life Magazine photo editor who frequently slips into daydream, to the ridicule of his peers. The first set photos revealed last year showed Stiller aged into an old man via the magic of special effects, but in the first official still he’s much closer to his own age — if not, perhaps, in his own world. Check it out after the jump.

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HBO’s other big spring premiere, Veep, debuts a new teaser today. Also after the jump:

  • Gillian Anderson, Ken Jeong, Jorge Garcia, and more land new series
  • Lindsay Lohan will woo Charlie Sheen on Anger Management
  • Kathy Bates will face down Jessica Lange in American Horror Story
  • Ben Stiller returns to Arrested Development; Netflix hopes for more seasons
  • TBS hopes to be king of the nerds by renewing King of the Nerds
  • Web comic Achewood is being turned into a TV series
  • NBC releases a series of character posters for Hannibal

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Briefly: The two Night at the Museum movies, from ’06 and ’09, did too well for Fox to let the franchise stop at two. Other studios are playing with their own films based on a similar concept, and so Fox is going to follow Ben Stiller back into the nightlife at (presumably) a new collection of historic artifacts.

Fox has announced that Night at the Museum 3, directed by Shawn Levy, will open on December 25, 2014. Rejoice! (That is, rejoice if you’re an investor, because this thing is practically guaranteed to make money.) No word on the plot or setting, but the threequel in a situation like this is often the one that goes to Europe, so don’t be surprised if Stiller’s character finds himself in the Louvre or some similarly famous location overseas.

The Rolling Stones have never shied away from the camera. With films like Gimme Shelter and Shine a Light, they’ve frequently let their on-stage performance be documented for all to see. But they’re also smart enough to know concert documentaries have a limited commercial appeal. So back in the early nineties, they came up with the idea of making a concert movie with a scripted story between the songs.

A script was written, the band approved it, but eventually the studio pulled the plug. And while that’s sad on its own, the saddest part is that the script was written by Ben Stiller and Judd Apatow, two men who’d go on to conquer the world of comedy in Hollywood.

On the recent press tour for his new film This is 40, Apatow talked about the experience. Read his quotes below. Read More »

With just two days til its July 27 premiere, The Watch director Akiva Schaffer has pushed out one last red-band trailer. Or maybe it’s a blooper reel. However you want to categorize it, it may actually be one of the funnier bits of marketing that have come out for the movie.

Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn, and Richard Ayoade star as a quartet of suburban guys whose neighborhood watch group is mostly just an excuse for them to get out of the house and engage in some quality male bonding. (That’s the case for three of the guys, at least.)

When they discover that aliens are secretly taking over their town, however, it falls upon this bumbling group to save the day. Watch the (NSFW for language) video after the jump.

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Some sequels are happening, others might not, and there’s even one you can potentially be a part of in this edition of Sequel Bits. After the jump read about the following.

  • Producer Frank Marshall thinks Jurassic Park IV will be in theaters by 2014.
  • A fifth Bourne film would definitely follow Jeremy Renner‘s character.
  • Join the cast of The Expendables 2 with a new iPhone app.
  • Ben Stiller seems pessimistic about Zoolander 2.

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‘The Watch’ International Trailer – Meet the Guys

Even as the more dramatic side of his career takes off, Jonah Hill hasn’t abandoned his comedy roots. In fact, it’s looking like he could be biggest comedy star of the year, with the fantastic 21 Jump Street behind him and the promising The Watch ahead of him. Directed by Akiva Schaffer, The Watch centers around a group of suburban watchdogs (played by Hill, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Richard Ayoade) who inadvertently stumble across plans for an alien attack.

Where the earlier trailers have focused mostly on the sci-fi angle of the plotline, the newest international promo explores the characters a bit more, explaining who they are exactly and what brought them together in the first place. The result is the funniest trailer we’ve seen yet for this film, with tons of new footage including better looks at Ayoade and co-star Will Forte. Watch it after the jump.

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