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Two of the biggest stars in the world are attached. A high-profile comedy director wants to make it his next film. There’s just one thing in the way – that pesky script. That seems to be the case with Uptown Saturday Night, a remake of the 1974 Sidney Poitier film starring Poitier and Bill Cosby. Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers) wants to make the film his next movie, and he’s got Will Smith and Denzel Washington set to play the lead roles. Now, in hopes to jump start the project to film next year, Warner Bros. has hired Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets, The Five-Year Engagement, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) to rewrite the script. Read More »

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Eventually Universal is going to run out of manly actors to cast in the Fast & Furious movies. That won’t happen soon, but the end point will come faster if big names turn down roles.

New guy Luke Evans held down the fort as the bad guy in the most recent film, and [REDACTED, for the few people who haven't seen the film or been spoiled] will show up as the baddie in the next. The pattern of introducing a new character (typically a villain) at the very end of one film, before expanding their role in the sequel that follows, is something Universal evidently wants to continue.

in a piece about the general state of original tentpoles in Hollywood, Deadline reveals that Denzel Washington could have been the next guy to drive against Dom Toretto, but the actor wasn’t interested. Read More »

2 Guns

One of the many projects that David O. Russell’s attached himself to and then detached himself from over the past several years is 2 Guns, an adaptation of a graphic novel by Steven Grant. He originally had Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in mind for the lead roles, as two undercover federal agents who don’t realize the other is a lawman.

The picture fell into Baltasar Kormákur‘s hands after Russell left, with Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington starring. While Kormákur’s version doesn’t look quite as hilarious as Russell’s sounded, it’s retained an appealing streak of buddy-comedy humor that sets it apart from the other grim, gritty thrillers at the multiplex.

The film opens later this week, and Universal is making one last push with a final red-band trailer. Watch it after the jump.

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Briefly: Having Denzel Washington attached to star in the movie version of your yet to be published first novel isn’t a bad place to be. The actor could end up starring in Shovel Ready, a sci-fi thriller based on the forthcoming 2014 novel by Adam Sternbergh, who is culture editor at the New York Times Magazine.

There might be a similarity to Man on Fire; while the book takes place in a dystopian sci-fi future, it centers on “a garbageman-turned-hitman who opts to protect a young woman instead of killing her.” (Deadline also says part of the background includes people using “a virtual reality program to escape the catastrophic destruction of New York City.” So is there a little Virtuosity in this, too?) Regardless, there’s obviously some good potential here. And details on the book are pretty thin, since it doesn’t drop for six months, so there could well be a lot to separate it from the aforementioned Denzel films.

Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloë Grace Moretz has never been one to shy away from edgy roles, starting with her breakthrough turn as violent, foul-mouthed Hit-Girl in 2010′s Kick-Ass. Even so, her latest gig is bound to raise some eyebrows.

The 16-year-old actress will play a young prostitute in The Equalizer, Antoine Fuqua‘s big-screen adaptation of the ’80s TV series. Moretz joins Denzel Washington, who leads as a retired secret agent with a dark past. Hit the jump to find out how Moretz wound up with the part.

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’2 Guns’ Trailer: You Saw That Move Coming?

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2 Guns obviously isn’t a thriller, because it gives up the basic mystery right off the bat: apparent bank robbers Bobby (Denzel Washington) and Marcus (Mark Wahlberg) are really undercover agents, each of which doesn’t realize the other is also a lawman. Forced to team up after being disavowed in the wake of a messy operation, the two get into the sort of comedic action shenanigans that powered the mid-’80s career of Mel Gibson.

Director Baltasar Kormakur worked with Wahlberg on Contraband. (Which remade Reykjavik-Rotterdam, in which Kormakur starred.) This trailer suggests something a bit more fun, as it displays what seems like a deep love (or an abiding envy) for the films of Shane Black. It also suggests real silliness, as evidenced by what could be a very entertaining appearance from Bill Paxton, who drawls lines like “have I properly incentivized you?”

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Antoine Fuqua

Paul Haggis, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Rupert Wyatt have all been attached to Sony’s The Equalizer at one point or other over the last few years. Now it’s Antoine Fuqua‘s turn to try and take the helm. The filmmaker has entered early talks to reunite with his Training Day star Denzel Washington for the action thriller, which is still hoping to shoot later this spring.

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Briefly: Sony and Denzel Washington want to make a new/updated version of the classic ’80s TV series The Equalizer. It’s pretty easy to see why, as the role of a former intelligence agent who offers his skills pro bono to people in need seems like something that could very easily blend Washington’s appeal with modern economic concerns to achieve some of the same popularity of a film like Taken.

But getting someone to direct the film hasn’t been a quick process. The project has been in development for a while, but since Denzel came on it has seen the director’s chair occupied for a while by Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Bronson). He moved on earlier this year. More recently, it looked like Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) would make the film. But schedules didn’t work out, and Wyatt moved on. That leaves Sony looking for someone new.

Wyatt has a couple other big projects to do: he’s directing some TV (the pilot of Turn, for AMC) and just landed Nicholas Hoult to play the lead in his film adaptation of the novel Birdsong. [Deadline]

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