‘The Beaver’ Is A Tonal Mess [SXSW Review]

Remember The Beaver? First-time writer Kyle Killen‘s spec screenplay created all sorts of buzz around Hollywood, ended up on the 2008 Black List (a list of the hottest unproduced screenplays of the year), and gained the interest of Steve Carell and director Jay Roach. A lot of people, including former /Film writer Brendon Connelly called the screenplay “one of the few very best screenplays” he had “ever read.”

Roach and Carell left the project, and Jodie Foster (who directed Little Man Tate and Home for the Holidays) came aboard to helm the project with Mel Gibson in the leading role. Gibson’s problems in his personal life have caused this film to sit on the shelf, while Foster has tried to fine tune the film’s tone, and Summit Entertainment brainstorms ways to market a movie starring an actor who has made anti-Semitic and racist remarks. But the studio has been quietly positioning the film to be Gibson’s comeback project.

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‘The Beaver’ Bumped To May 6

Summit Entertainment must have gotten some pretty good buzz from early screenings of their controversial Jodie Foster/Mel Gibson film The Beaver because, according to Box Office Mojo, they bumped it back from its original March 23 release date. It’ll now open limited on the much more desirable summer date of May 6 before expanding on May 20. That will put it in direct competition on its limited weekend with Thor and on its wide weekend with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Directed by Foster and starring Gibson and Foster, The Beaver will have its first public premiere at South by Southwest next month. If you haven’t seen the trailer, you can watch it after the jump. Read More »

What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 31 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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Jodie Foster is working for Roman Polanski right now, acting in his new film God of Carnage, and it has been widely assumed that she’ll be one of the primary stars of Neill Blomkamp‘s second feature, Elysium, alongside Matt Damon and Sharlto Copley. But now the actress says that the deal isn’t quite set, which leads us to wonder if she’s moving away from the role, or if contracts are just taking some time. Read More »

If that headline doesn’t mean anything to you, allow me to translate: Syd Mead, aka the ‘futurist’ who created many of the most memorable designs for Blade Runner will be designing sets for Neill Blomkamp‘s second feature film, Elysium.

We’ve known for some time that the project was being assembled by the director and Media Rights Capital, and that once the year turned and the major cast was in place, it would go out to studios to find a distribution partner. With Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley and Jodie Foster on board, that studio shopping is what started happening today. There isn’t a distributor set yet, but we’ve got some vague new details about the film, after the break. Read More »

SXSW announced today that a handful of additional titles were being added to the line-up for the 2011 SXSW Film Festival, including Jodie Foster‘s Mel Gibson dramedy The Beaver, Greg Mottola‘s sci-fi comedy Paul starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Seth Rogen, and Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, a documentary that follows behind-the-scenes of O’Brien’s summer tour, among others. Read the full press release after the jump.

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Here’s your first big casting news of 2011. Neill Blomkamp‘s second feature Elysium already has Matt Damon set for the lead and District 9 star Sharlto Copley set to appear as well. Now the director and Media Rights Captial have locked Jodie Foster to play a character that has yet to be revealed. Read More »

The headline gags just seem to write themselves, but calm down — this is purely a release date post. Summit has announced a date for Jodie Foster‘s film The Beaver, in which Mel Gibson plays a family man who goes down a dark, angry road before being led back into the family fold by a plush beaver puppet. The film will hit some markets on March 23 2011, and then expand on April 8, with the number of theaters for April 8 likely to be determined based in part on the film’s critical and box office performance in the first limited weekend.

So can Mel Gibson sell the story of a guy who cracks up and then finds redemption? Is it completely crazy that the plot for his first post-rant film seems to reflect his own life so closely? Or can you look at The Beaver as just another movie, totally divorced from any real life goings-on? Sound off after the break. Read More »


This week, David ChenDevindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley discuss the prospects of Jodie Foster’s Beaver, ponder a Buffy reboot, wonder if Mark Wahlberg can fill in for Nolan North, and mourn the passing of some amazing cinematic talents. Special guest Matt Singer joins us from IFC News.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us for our next live broadcast on Sunday, December 12 at Slashfilm’s live page, where we’ll be reviewing David O. Russell’s The Fighter.

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Earlier this year, when audio recordings of Mel Gibson‘s rants against his girlfriend were released, one of the first casualties seemed to be Summit’s film The Beaver, which Jodie Foster directed and in which she co-stars with the actor. She defended him and the film, and Summit took the movie to ground to wait out the first swell of controversy.

But the company recently announced that the film would see a wide release in spring 2011, and now there’s a trailer. Watching it, I can’t help but think this is the best possible movie Mel Gibson could be appearing in right now. It seems almost tailor-made for a man in the situation he’s built for himself. Read More »