Earlier this week we heard a great audio recording of Peter and Bobby Farrelly talking Badass Digest through a comic sequence in their planned big screen version of The Three Stooges. The action involved a nun, and now there is a possible actress for the role: the Farrellys want Cher. In addition, they say (still) that Benicio del Toro, who was once cast as Moe, isn’t out of the running just yet. Read More »

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We’ve written a few times over the past year about the planned biopic of hit man Richard “The Ice Man” Kuklinski. Hunter famously questioned the ethics of making such a film, and we’ve tracked it as it had Channing Tatum set to star before he was dumped thanks in part to objections from Richard Kuklinski’s biographer, leading to Mickey Rourke finally being attached.

But there’s another biopic of the Ice Man coming together, and both of these films are at the American Film Market right now. The contender has Michael Shannon set to star as the title killer, with Benecio del Toro and James Franco as supporting cast. More info on both after the break. Read More »

Sean Penn Backs Out of Three Stooges and Cartel

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Did the notion of Sean Penn playing Larry in a new Three Stooges movie directed by the Farrelly Brothers seem too crazy/good/ridiculous/awful to be true? Now it is, as THR reports Penn has pulled out of both that movie and Cartel, the film in which he would have played a man out to protect his son after Mexican drug cartels kill his wife. Read More »

UPDATE: 09/10/08: IFC ultimately purchased the domestic rights to Che, not Magnolia Pictures. It will run for one week in December, and then be released in January via on-demand.

Word from the TIFF via the NY Post is that Steven Soderbergh‘s $60 million 4-hour-plus Che Guevara biopic, Che, has finally been picked up by Mark Cuban’s Magnolia Pictures for a U.S. theatrical release. Take note: the company has chimed in and called the deal “premature,” though no denials have been issued. If so, we’ll update accordingly.

It’s speculated online by the NYP‘s Lou Lemnick and others that Magnolia will release the film—re: not films?—this December to qualify for the Oscar race. So, this means Che, or its two-part presentation, The Argentine and Guerilla, will not likely hit theaters in 2008 beyond NYC and L.A. However, Lemnick does hear that they’re “already booking theaters.”

Until now, many speculated that HBO would pick up the (so far) moderately divisive Benicio Del Toro-starrer for an exclusive premiere on television. Slashfilm’s editorial crew has remained hopeful of a theatrical release since Cannes. Peter favored a release for Che, while I thought the film would find more eyes and exposure as a two-part event a la Kill Bill. Of course, we’re talking four hours of heavy subtitles and history not generally taught in American high schools, so it’s a challenge either way. I do hope Magnolia targets demographics beyond the prestige-pic crowd.

Discuss: Would you prefer to see Che with an intermission or released separately as two parts? Do you think the film’s box office chances are nil? How should Magnolia market the film to get the biggest audience?

First Look: Benecio Del Toro as The Wolfman

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If you see Rick Baker, given him a high five! The genius of movie make-up behind American Werewolf in London has once again created one helluva Wolfman! Yes, that is Benecio Del Toro fully transformed into the full moon-friendly title beast in director Joe Johnston‘s The Wolfman. EW got first dibbs on these two images from the 2009 horror flick co-starring Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt along with a pretty cool interview with Baker. Here’s an excerpt…

How much did you update the makeup from the [1941] original?
Rick Baker: It’s actually more frightening. But I still wanted to be true to the original and show respect for it. What’s interesting about those two pictures is that there’s one that he’s kind of facing forward and you see a little more of his body – that’s very much more of a classic Wolfman shot; it looks more like the Chaney version. The close-up one is a more frightening and dynamic version. Even though it’s the same makeup [as the first picture], he can do a lot more than Lon Chaney could do with the makeup. It’s cool that there’s something for the old-school guys, and the other picture is more for the guys who don’t even know what the Wolfman is but can see that picture and still go, ”Oh, that’s cool!”

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Discuss: On a scale of 1-10 howls, how sweet are these images?  

After college, I kicked it around downtown Miami for a bit. While the city never became the new hipster mecca to replace Brooklyn as the, uh, booming condo industry promised, I did become aware that Fidel Castro has died approximately 1,000 times and that the locals like to celebrate each time like it’s the last time. I’m not sure any man’s exaggerated death has ever caused so much happy yelling and dancing in the streets. I parlay my awe because a few interesting images of Castro from Steven Soderbergh‘s ambitious pair of 2008 films about Che Guevara, The Argentine and Guerilla, have floated over to Ain’t It Cool.

Castro is being played by Mexican actor Demian Bichir, whose prior work I’m not familiar with. He replaced the great Javier Bardem after the project was delayed and definitely looks the part of a determined, intelligent revolutionary who would forever alter history from the depths of the jungle. Che is being played in both films by Benecio Del Toro, in what is clearly being mounted as a powerhouse performance. There’s the chance that by the time these films roll around, Castro will be no more, as he’s issued uncharacteristic messages of late about the transition of power in Cuba. But as a fan of Hollywood, his showbiz pals include Jack Nicholson and Oliver Stone, I’m sure he’s aware of the $70 million project and can get a private screening upon request.

With 2008 a landmark year for American politics and a world in turmoil amid revolutions, upheavals and violence, we can look forward to some serious heavy-lifting political biopics, with Soderbergh and Spielberg leading the charge. So, be sure to have a monocle, a brandy snifter and a good cigar on standby this year like you’re Colonel Mustard or something.

 

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