Groundhog Day is one of those films that just gets better every time I watch it, but I can honestly say that I’ve never imagined the time-skipping antics of Phil Connors as a musical. Apparently, acclaimed Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd) fancied the idea a few years ago, but nothing came of that. Now the MTV Movies blog is reporting that the musical is actually closer to reality than we think.
In a conversation with the film’s co-writer/director Harold Ramis, he mentioned that Danny Rubin, co-writer of Groundhog Day, is working on a book for a musical. On Sondheim’s potential involvement, he says the following:
Stephen Sondheim was asked what film he would turn into a musical and he said ‘Groundhog Day… And I said, ‘Wow, that’s pretty cool.’ James Lapine, who directed a lot of Sondheim, actually contacted me and asked if I’d thought about a ‘Groundhog Day’ musical.
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MTV was able to get Harold Ramis to talk about the next Ghostbusters movie, which is currently in the development/scripting stage with The Office/Year One scribes Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky working on the script. Ramis has yet to receive a first draft in hand but claims that he has been consulting with the screenwriting duo, along with Dan Aykroyd, Ivan Reitman (who helmed the original film).
The biggest bit of news is that Ramis confirmed that all of the original Ghostbusters will return for the third film if it does happen, and that includes Bill Murray (Dr. Peter Venkman).
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Columbia Pictures has released the full theatrical movie trailer for Year One. The film stars Jack Black and Michael Cera, as a couple of lazy hunter-gatherers who are banished from their primitive village, and set off on an epic journey through the ancient world. Directed by National Lampoon’s Vacation and Groundhog Day helmer Harold Ramis, and written by Office scribes Gene Stupnitsky & Lee Eisenberg (you know, the guys working on the new Ghostbusters script).
I feel like I should be into this a lot more than I am. The movie is being unofficially billed as “this generation’s Life of Brian”, but I’m not impressed with that I’ve seen thus far. I’m a fan of most of the comic cast, a big fan of the director’s earlier work, and the concept has a lot of potential, but I’m not finding many of the jokes particularly funny or clever. It seems like they chose to go for more of a traditional comedy than play with the abundance of possible biblical jokes. Watch the new trailer after the jump and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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Columbia Pictures has released a sneak preview of the upcoming Judd Apatow-produced biblical comedy Year One. The film stars Jack Black and Michael Cera, as a couple of lazy hunter-gatherers who are banished from their primitive village, and set off on an epic journey through the ancient world. Directed by National Lampoon’s Vacation and Groundhog Day helmer Harold Ramis, and written by Office scribes Gene Stupnitsky & Lee Eisenberg (you know, the guys working on the new Ghostbusters script).
The Super Bowl sneak preview clip shows Black and Cera’s characters trying to hunt for food, when they run into a bunch of farmers named Cain and Abel (David Cross and Paul Rudd). Watch the clip after the jump.
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We’re still trying to catch up on some of the photos that were released in last week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly. Above is your first look at the upcoming Harold Ramis (Caddyshack, Groundhog Day) biblical comedy The Year One (I’ve heard it has in fact been retitled from Year One to The Year One). When a couple of lazy hunter-gatherers named Zed and Oh (Jack Black and Michael Cera) are banished from their primitive village, they set off on an epic journey through the ancient world.
The film also features Paul Rudd and David Cross, who play Cain and Abel, Hank Azaria as Abraham, Christopher Mintz-Plasse (aka McLovin) as Isaac, and Oliver Platt as a High Priest. Based on an original idea by Ramis, and a screenplay by The Office scribes Gene Stupnitsky & Lee Eisenberg (yes, the guys who are writing the new Ghostbusters movie), The Year One is scheduled to hit theaters on June 19th 2009.
Last week I told you about the Christmas Story fan convention which is being held in Cleveland, in and around the original house which was used in the movie which has now been converted to a tourist attraction. This week I have something possibly even cooler. As many times as I’ve watched A Christmas Story over the years, it doesn’t come close to my love and admiration of the Harold Ramis comedy Groundhog Day. It’s one of my very favorite comedies of all time.
Remember the Bed and Breakfast that Bill Murray‘s character stays at in the film? Well its not actually a bed and breakfast, but instead a 114-year-old Queen Anne-Victorian house in Woodstock, IL (The interiors were actually shot on a soundstage).
In fact, most of the film’s exteriors took place in Woodstock, and not Punxsutawney. There is an actual plaque commemorating the puddle that Bill Murray steps in during the movie (photo thanks to 1heckofaguy). And there is a plaque on a wall declaring it “Ned Ryerson Corner”.
As it turns out, a couple from Milwauke bought the house on 344 Fremont St for $435,000 in March, and are planning on doing a $500,000 renovation to transform the house into a five bedroom bed and breakfast inn.
If all goes well, the Martins hope to open the house as the Royal Victorian Manor this summer. Although I wish they would have taken the movie name of The Cherry Street Inn. The owners hope to make the new Inn “an upscale place with a select clientele” but I honestly think they could make a lot more money marketing it as the Groundhogs Day Bed and Breakfast.
Have maps of movie locations around the town for tourists who come and stay at the Inn. Possibly even have a yearly fan convention, and a screening of Groundhog in the town’s square. Hey, if Christmas Story can do it, Groundhogs Day can do it.
source: UPI, Flickr
Harold Ramis sent a casual email to the Chicago Tribune over the weekend per confirmation of Ghostbusters 3. He clarified that Bill Murray, who has expressed much hesitation about a second sequel in the past—even preferring to do voice work on a once proposed animated sequel—is game…
“yes, columbia is developing a script for GB3 with my year one writing partners, gene stupnitsky and lee eisenberg. judd apatow is co-producing year one and has made several other films for sony, so of course the studio is hoping to tap into some of the same acting talent. aykroyd, ivan reitman and i are consulting at this point, and according to dan, bill murray is willing to be involved on some level. he did record his dialogue for the new ghostbusters video game, as did danny and i, and ernie hudson. the concept is that the old ghostbusters would appear in the film in some mentor capacity. not much else to say at this point. everyone is confident a decent script can be written and i guess we’ll take it from there.
“Some mentor capacity.” Hmmm. We’re still not too clear on Judd Apatow’s role. As much as I respect the guy’s style of comedy, I do hope Ghostbusters 3 is not a signature posse showcase complete with millions of feet of guys freestyling about cocks, bromance and Internet porn. Also, we need to be reassured that Slimer will appear (for one minute, natch) and that Ray Parker Jr. will keep the theme music locked down without threats from Huey Lewis. Oh, and no Vigo Jell-O molds.
UPDATE: The trades are reporting that Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg (co-exec producers/writers on NBC’s The Office) have officially been hired by Columbia Pictures/Sony to pen the script for Ghostbusters 3. The script will reportedly bring together the original cast including Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson, Slimer?, though none of the actors have officially signed to reprise their roles. The Hollywood Reporter says that Ghostbusters I and II director Ivan Reitman is “aware and involved” in the project’s development. The “next-gen” storyline has also been confirmed, though no specifics were offered. Read below for further info on this aspect.
The general impression based on years of tentative Ghostbusters 3 rumors is that of a feisty tug-o-war between the original players. Yesterday, Dan Aykroyd parlayed that “two sharp young writers” were working on the script, and expressed hope that Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow would be involved. Today, Pajiba has possibly identified the writers as Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg of The Office (“Job Fair”, “Goodbye Toby”) and this goes along with what Slashfilm has been hearing from a few sources.
Interestingly enough, the site claims that their original script outline was done under-the-radar of star Harold Ramis, yet beloved by Columbia Pictures, even though Stupnitsky and Eisenberg scribed Ramis and Judd Apatow’s 2009 Biblical comedy Year One. So, now the three of them are rumored to be working on a new treatment that’s not sitting well with the studio. Slashfilm cannot confirm this, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Moreover, it’s said that the original script outline was a “next generation” sequel. Rumors were shot down back in July involving Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell and Romany Malco. Perhaps we should think younger?
One thing is for sure: With next year’s video game already earning lots of ink, Ghostbusters 3 is being dusted off and proposed as a torch of sorts. When and if confirmed, I think Stupnitsky and Eisenberg’s involvement will be seen is a plus. These are guys who probably love the original film(s) but also appropriately update the material and tone. And let’s hope Rick Moranis’s Louis Tully returns.
Discuss: Do you think these writers are a good fit? Would you like to see the next-gen sequel? And if it’s not Rogen and Rudd, who should join the famed ranks?
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