Jason Reitman Beekle movie

Jason Reitman has made Oscar contenders, cult classics, TV pilots and live reads. Now he’s signing up for something totally different: an animated film. Reitman is attached to write and direct Beekle for DreamWorks Animation, based on a book called The Adventures Of Beekle: The Unimaginery Friend by Dan Santat. It’s about an imaginary friend who is so unique, no child imagines him, and he’s left alone. He then goes on an adventure to find a child to be friends with. Read more about the Beekle movie below. Read More »

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jason reitman live read

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 »

Dazed and Confused Linklater

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 »

Jason Reitman sports interview

For one reason or another, Jason Reitman is a polarizing figure among movie fans. Some really like his heartfelt, unique movies while others dismiss them as obvious. The same can be said about his live read series. Some enjoy reading about this fun, one-time-only event and others don’t see the point. No matter what side of that you fall on, you’re bound to like Reitman more after listening to this interview.

Reitman spoke on The Hats Off Show recently and the conversation went all over the map: to great sequels, traveling back in time, underrated actors, Reitman’s movies and an argument over the better Schwarzenegger film: Kindergarden Cop or Twins. There was also a healthy amount of talk about sports movies. Reitman mentions he’d be interested in doing one, especially if it had something to do with the untapped world of being a referee. Below, listen to the full Jason Reitman sports interview. Read More »

empirestrikesbackbook

The things fans love about The Empire Strikes Back are not things present in a live read: John Williams unbelievable score, the breathtaking action set pieces, and locations like Hoth, Dagobah and Cloud City. At a live read, it’s just the actors, the script, a few images and the audience. As a massive Star Wars fan that was my big concern going into the latest Jason Reitman Live Read, presented by Film Independent. Would The Empire Strikes Back hold up without so much of what makes it great?

The answer, as you’d expect, isn’t that straightforward.

Below, read all about The Empire Strikes Back Live Read which not only featured Ellen Page as Han Solo and Aaron Paul as Luke Skywalker, but also Mark Hamill in a special appearance reading the Emperor, Boba Fett and Obi-wan Kenobi roles. Read More »

Empire Strikes Back live read

Thursday night is Jason Reitman‘s biggest live read yet. Literally. He and his cast will read Irvin Kershner‘s landmark sci-fi sequel, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and the venue has been changed from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to the Ace Hotel Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. Earlier this week, several members of the main cast were revealed. Aaron Paul will be reading the role of Luke Skywalker, and J.K Simmons the role of Darth Vader. But two of the main characters had yet to be revealed: Han Solo and Princess Leia.

The actors for those roles have now been revealed, and they’re pretty surprising. Han Solo will be read by Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Page and Princess Leia will be read by Jessica Alba. We’ll have a full report from the event Friday. For now, read more about the Empire Strikes Back live read below. Read More »

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Empire Strikes Back live read

Jason Reitman‘s live-read series has been a hot ticket at LACMA for a few years. The director chooses a new cast to read a well-known, sometimes classic script live on stage as a one-time performance. (We’ve covered many of these events in the past.) This year, among other films, Reitman has chosen one script with a particular appeal: The Empire Strikes Back. Most of the scripts chosen for live reads are oriented very much around character and dialogue; the event is just a bunch of people sitting on stage, after all. But the Empire Strikes Back live read will be one of the few to feature a script that is effects-heavy — meaning the audience will have to imagine a lot of what’s going on as the actors read the pages.

But the cast of characters is still tremendous, and some of the actors have now been revealed. They include Aaron Paul as Luke Skywalker, and J.K. Simmons as Darth Vader. Read More »

Diner Live Read Header

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 »

new Jason Reitman movie

As it stands, Jason Reitman‘s career can be divided into two phases: Fox Searchlight and Paramount. His first two movies, Thank You For Smoking and Juno, were released by Fox Searchlight and the four since have all been at Paramount. For an upcoming project, the director of Up in the Air will transition back to the studio were it all started.

Reitman is now attached to a film called I Would Only Rob Banks for My Family, based on a magazine article about a seemingly normal Texas family who robs banks together. It’ll be adapted by High Fidelity author Nick Hornby and produced by Jason Reitman’s father, Ivan Reitman. Read more about the new Jason Reitman movie below. Read More »