There are less than 24 hours until the big event and Captain America is out. The text comes in at 11:20 p.m. on Wednesday March 18. For the past two weeks, I’ve been talking regularly to writer/director Jason Reitman about the latest installment in his Live Read series, the ongoing set of performances at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in which he assembles famous casts to read famous scripts from famous movies as a one-night only event. We’ve been covering them for a long time. For the final one of this season, I wanted to know how it was done.
This Live Read was to be Dazed and Confused by Richard Linklater, a sprawling coming of age film with a huge cast of characters, many of whom have become iconic for moviegoers. The most iconic is Wooderson, played by Matthew McConaughey. It’s a small role, and one that Reitman thought he had cast months before the event.
Reitman was at the 87th Annual Academy Awards back in February representing Whiplash, a Best Picture nominee he produced. There he ran into Captain American actor Chris Evans and asked him if he wanted to read the role of Wooderson. Evans enthusiastically agreed and was on board… until less than 24 hours before the event, when he had to drop out. “He had a sincere personal reason to pull out,” Reitman writes via text. “He’s an incredibly decent and lovely guy.” Nevertheless, Captain America has caused a bit of a problem.
Below, find out both how that turned out and the entire making of story behind the Jason Reitman Live Read of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused Live Read. Read More »
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The great thing about Dazed and Confused? I get older and it stays the same age.
Twenty-two years after Richard Linklater‘s ’70s slice of life film hit theaters, listening to it read by a group of actors still feels as poignant and relevant as ever. Maybe the music and references have changed a bit but a teenager’s insecurities, rebellious nature and mischievousness are and will continue to be universal. In Linklater’s script those ideas are delivered with an almost unfairly simple and eloquent precision.
At Thursday’s Live Read, presented by Film Independent at LACMA, Jason Reitman brought together a group of actors to read the script and, yes, the huge cast of characters made things a little confusing. In back-to-back scenes, an actor might have to jump from nerd to cool guy to stoner, giving the whole evening an unpredictable energy. It was even more unpredictable as they were reading an earlier version of the script that had some huge differences from the final film.
Below, we’ll break down those script changes, the cast, some of the crazy performances, and talk about how even in a form that’s unfamiliar to most of us, Dazed and Confused remains as good as ever. Read More »
Usually when I go to a Live Read, I know the movie like the back of my hand. Ghostbusters, Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, American Beauty, these are all movies I’ve seen dozens of times and know backwards and forwards. However, the November reading was a film I’d never seen until this week: Barry Levinson‘s Diner. It totally deserves to be mentioned among those films, but it somehow fell through the cracks in my years as a film fan. It’s as timeless, funny and poignant as any movie I’ve ever seen.
Watching the film, I began to worry about the Live Read. Sure this was a movie with dynamic characters based on a razor sharp script, but Levinson’s film also created such a perfect atmosphere. The movie was 1959 Baltimore, from the weather to the locations, outfits and the music. Oh, the music. Diner is a jukebox full of awesome tunes and the Live Reads don’t play music during the read. Was it going to work out?
Presenter and director Jason Reitman had an answer for that. To make the script move at a clip worthy of its amazing original cast, and to make the audience forget there was no music or settings to enhance it, he’d need actors who are incredibly familiar with each other. Actors with an ability to deliver filthy dialogue very fast, have perfect chemistry, talk a ton of crap and dish about football. How about the cast of FXX’s The League?
Yes, almost the entire cast of The League read Barry Levinson’s Diner at latest Jason Reitman Live Read, presented Film Independent at LACMA. Below, read what the cast brought to the script and what the script revealed about itself. Read More »
For Jason Reitman‘s final live read of the 2012-2013 season, he chose a revered, Oscar-winning screenplay: Christopher McQuarrie‘s The Usual Suspects. When that title was announced I was initially skeptical. I thought, “The Usual Suspects is so well known for its surprise ending, and that ending is so incredibly visual, how would it come across in a live read setting?” The answer was revealed in two ways. First this read suggests that Bryan Singer‘s direction in the original film is powerful and underrated. Also, as great as the ending to McQuarrie’s script is, some of his true poetry isn’t even on the screen.
Presented by Film Independent at LACMA, read more about the star-studded cast (which included Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall, The League‘s Mark Duplass and original cast member Kevin Pollak) below. Read More »
We’ve got classic cops fighting notorious gangsters, giant mechs fighting notorious monsters, and a despot and his double fighting…um…the boundaries of comedy? Something along those lines. After the break, check out details of the following three recent casting breaks:
- Giovanni Ribisi joins the impressive cast of Gangster Squad.
- Rinko Kikuchi takes the female lead in Pacific Rim.
- J.B. Smoove is added to The Dictator. Read More »
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Earlier this week we saw an on-set snap of Sacha Baron Cohen in costume as one of the characters in The Dictator. Now we’ve got the first official look at Sacha Baron Cohen in costume as the other main character in The Dictator. The full snap is after the break. Read More »
Sacha Baron Cohen is preparing his next semi-improvised, semi-political comedy. The Dictator, which may or may not be inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator (bet on ‘may’) has Borat director Larry Charles set to direct from a script by Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer and David Mandel. The script, which has Sacha Baron Cohen playing dual roles, may or may not be followed to the utmost degree.
Last week we heard about an actress shortlist assembled as producers cast the film’s female lead, and one of the primary concerns for the woman in question was an ability to improvise. So it isn’t much of a surprise that Anna Faris got the nod. She’s now negotiating a deal to appear in the film. Read More »
The latest casting for The Three Stooges puts the great Jane Lynch in the role of Mother Superior, the nun who runs the orphanage where the Stooges grow up. (Cher was once mentioned for the role.) That means she’ll be a big part of the first of the film’s three segments, which takes place with slightly younger Stooges; it’s conceivable that she’ll be in the other segments, too, likely with less screen time.
Jane Lynch will be the very experienced comic voice to complement Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Will Sasso as Curly, and Sean Hayes as Larry. The film begins shooting in Atlanta within the next couple weeks. No idea what to expect out of this Farrelly Brothers effort, but it is their long-standing passion project (as weird as that seems to some) and I keep hearing rumors of really extravagant slapstick setpieces. That’s enough to keep me interested, at least. [Deadline]
After the break, Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film, The Dictator (which seems to be a remake or riff on Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, more or less) is considering a few different strong female leads. Read More »