Warner Bros. was once a studio synopymous with animation thanks to the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoon lines. But it has been a long time since WB was particularly commanding in theatrical animation. (The studio does have a healthy direct to video animation arm, however.) Other studios such as Pixar and DreamWorks have taken center stage there.

Pixar is famous for its “brain trust,” and the concept of having some individual or group of people to guide other projects, beyond the basic producer capacity, has spread to Marvel, which has Joss Whedon, and Fox, which hired Mark Millar to emulate Whedon’s “godfather” duties with superhero projects.

Now Warner Bros. is assembling its own group of creators to act as a sort of brain trust, with the filmmakers behind Crazy, Stupid, Love., Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and The Muppets formed into a new feature animation think tank that will hopefully create one animated feature per year for the studio.  Read More »

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If there is any justice, Warner Bros. is about to enjoy a good run of success with Ben Affleck‘s third film, Argo, which is one of the most entertaining and satisfying films I’ve seen this year. (And certainly among the best from a major studio.) And so Affleck being attached, as an actor only, to another project Warner Bros. wants to make should come as no surprise to anyone. That he is essentially replacing Ryan Gosling is a bit of a shock.

Crazy Stupid Love writer/directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa were planning to follow that film with Focus, with a reunited Gosling and Emma Stone. But those two have now fallen away, and if the right co-star is found the film could be a go with Affleck in the male lead role. Read More »

Briefly: Glenn Ficarra & John Requa delivered an occasionally effective romantic comedy this year with Crazy, Stupid, Love., which featured Steve Carell and the suddenly ubitquitous Ryan Gosling as guys trying to navigate tricky romantic waters. Things went well enough with that film that the directors are putting together a new film with Carell that sounds like it is taking a few cues from the Todd Phillips approach to comedy. The project is untitled and in the early stages, but it involves a European backpacking trip. Read More »

‘Crazy, Stupid Love’ Trailer

The last film by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, I Love You, Phillip Morris, took quite a winding path to get to theaters in the US. But their follow-up, a romantic comedy called Crazy, Stupid, Love, was made with Warner Bros. and is already set to release this summer. The film stars Steve Carell as a 40-something guy whose relationship with his wife (Julianne Moore) disintegrates, leading him to seek image rehab advice from lothario Ryan Gosling.

The trailer is out now, and it lurks just after the break. Read More »

Last year, The Weinstein Company announced that it would partner with Miramax to make some sequels to titles in the Miramax library. One that was mentioned, and which has come up previous to that announcement, was Bad Santa 2. Billy Bob Thornton is often asked about the possibility of a sequel, and has said he’d be willing to do one.

Now that seems to be happening. as both Mr. Thornton and a spokesperson for The Weinstein Company says the actor is in talks to make the film. Read More »

Good news for those who are interested in seeing I Love You, Phillip Morris, the reportedly quite good caper/prison/gay love story movie with Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor. After a long, weird bunch of business deals that left the film without any US distribution, the film will finally come to theaters in the States. (It has already played in many other markets.) Refresh yourself on the details of the film’s past, failed distro deals if you wish, but all that matters now is that we’ll get to see it.

Roadside Attractions picked up the film, which was directed by Bad Santa writers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. The company will release Phillip Morris in the US and Canada on December 3, finally bringing to a close the film’s path to theaters, which began at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Roadside already has two strong awards contenders (Winter’s Bone and yesterday’s pickup Biutiful) and I Love You, Phillip Morris makes an interesting third. [Deadline]

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i love you phillip morris

Who would have guessed that a little movie about gay men and prison breaks would generate a full-on distribution saga? I Love You, Phillip Morris , directed by Bad Santa writers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa and starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, was bought a while after Sundance ’09, then had release dates pushed back a couple times, then was taken off the release schedule, then put back on.

And now there’s word that the original financier EuropaCorp is taking the film back from current distributor Consolidated Pictures Group, citing breach of contract. Read More »

i_love_you_phillip_morris_slice

Briefly: Last week there was a bit of lamentation and gnashing of teeth over the fact that the Jim Carrey / Ewan McGregor comedy I Love You, Phillip Morris had been yanked from any reliable release schedule. Now it has been given a new date, with Consolidated Pictures Group still distributing.

The film will now open on July 30 and then expand on August 6. Whether this is because there was evident interest in the film when the shelving was announced last week, or because the ‘shelving’ was exaggerated is unclear. Either way, we’ll see the film in theaters, and that’s a good thing.  [Variety]

I can’t say I’m surprised about this, but I am quite sad: Consolidated Pictures Group, the small distributor that picked up I Love You, Phillip Morris quite some time after Sundance 2009, has decided to shelve the film.

Sorry, not ‘shelve.’ The phrase is, I believe, ‘delay indefinitely.’ Read More »