Usual Suspects

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 »

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The stage at the Wadsworth Theater in Westwood, California seems average enough. With its run down seats, bland walls and single stall bathrooms, it could double for any average high school auditorium. There’s nothing spectacular about it. Except on this Monday morning.

On this Monday morning, Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi are flying through the air on harnesses sporting long blond hair and bedazzled purple velour jumpsuits. They land on the stage, introduce themselves as magicians Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton and proceed to dance about like a couple of old men whose best days are way past them. And that’s exactly what they are.

It’s February 6, 2012, day 21 of 48 on the set of Don Scardino’s March comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. The film, set in the world of professional magic, is the story of two magicians (Carell and Buscemi) who are long-time partners. Split after years of working together, they’re forced back together when another magician (played by Jim Carrey) begins to steal their spotlight and relevance. It’s a return to physical comedy for Carrey, the feature directorial debut of TV vet Scardino, and a role that seems right in the wheelhouse of the lovable, hilarious Carell, also a producer.

Co-starring Olivia Wilde, James Gandolfini, Alan Arkin and more, the film is scheduled for release March 15 and we were on set to capture some of the magic, as it were. Read More »

Maybe it was David Mamet‘s script. Maybe it was Jason Reitman‘s casting. Most likely it was a combination of both, but the latest live read at Los Angeles County Museum of Art was the stuff of legend. Six women – Mae Whitman, Carla Gugino, Robin Wright, Catherine O’Hara, Melanie Lynskey and Maria Belloreading the screenplay for Glengarry Glen Ross was the perfect mix of material, personality, chemistry, and energy. Add a certain je ne sais quoi, and the great script and event concept became something truly special.

Presented as part of the Film Independent at LACMA Film Series, the Glengarry Glen Ross live read was, unfortunately, a one-time-only event. But below, I’ll do my best to explain how each actress expertly inhabited their character, simply sitting on a stage with a script and a music stand. Read More »

Jason Reitman has once again decided to completely flip the cast for his February Live Read, presented by Film Independent at LACMA. This time around, the film is Glengarry Glen Ross. Best known as a 1992 movie starring Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin and Ed Harris, Glengarry Glen Ross is based on a Pulitzer Prize winning play by David Mamet. Mamet adapted the screenplay for the film and that script is what Reitman’s Live Read will be based on.

The twist, though, is that he’s doing it with an all-female cast. The ladies will A – always, B- be, C- closing on February 21 in Los Angeles. Read the cast below. Read More »

It’s practically tradition among geeks at this point to bemoan the lack of recognition for genre movie come Oscar season each year. Even within the screenplay categories, which often give recognition some of the year’s more offbeat offerings, sci-fi films rarely seem to make the cut. And Jason Reitman thinks that’s just not fair.

In a new essay, Reitman makes the case for giving writer-director Rian Johnson (his archnemesis) a Best Original Screenplay nod for Looper. Read it after the jump.

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When Ghostbusters was released, Jason Reitman was seven years old. Every kid in the neighborhood wanted to be a Ghostbuster for Halloween, but he was the only one with a real Proton Pack. This, of course, is because his father, Ivan Reitman, directed the legendary 1984 film. That kinship made Thursday’s Live Read, presented by Film Independent at LACMA, that much more special.

Both Reitmans were in attendance as a cast including Seth Rogen, Jack Black and Rainn Wilson read through Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd’s shooting draft, dated October 7, 1983. The script is the movie we all know and love…with some pretty interesting changes. Unfortunately, Reitman and Film Independent don’t allow photos or recording inside these live events so we can’t present you with the entire thing. What we can present you with are five things we learned about the original script from Ghostbusters. Check them out below.

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In a piece of fan casting worthy of years and years of Ghostbusters 3 speculation, director Jason Reitman has revealed that for his next live reading, Ghostbusters, he’s cast Seth Rogen, Jack Black and Rainn Wilson as Venkman, Stanz and Spengler respectively. The event, part of an ongoing series presented by Film Independent at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, takes places Thursday December 12. It’s sold out.

Of course, Jason Reitman’s father, Ivan Reitman, directed the hit 1984 film and revealed to his son that much of the famous dialogue was improvised by Bill Murray. So this isn’t just a script reading, it’s a combination of the original shooting script with Murray’s iconic one-liners. Read the rest of the cast, and how you can possibly see this once-in-a-lifetime event, after the jump. Read More »

Thanks to Garry Marshall, I can’t hear of any film with a holiday for a title without a brief flash of fear that it’ll be another cringeworthy sequel to Valentine’s Day. But no, Labor Day isn’t another star-studded romcom, it’s the next picture by Jason Reitman. And if his past track record — which consists of Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air, and Young Adult — is any indication, it’s one you’ll want to keep on your radar for the next several months.

Josh Brolin has been circling the coming-of-age drama since all the way back in 2010, with Kate Winslet signing on last summer. As the start date approaches, Reitman’s rounding out the rest of the cast with Gattlin Griffith, James Van Der Beek, and more. Hit the jump for details.

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