John Singleton to Direct Abduction


John Singleton has signed on to direct The Twilight Saga: New Moon star Taylor Lautner‘s next project — a Bourne-styled action film called Abduction. Lionsgate acquired the spec script after a week long bidding war in February. Rumor has it that the project sold for close to $1 million. Singleton is of course the two-time Oscar-nominated writer/director of Boyz in the Hood, Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, Shaft, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and Four Brothers.

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John Singleton Exits A-Team

John Singleton has exited 20th Century Fox’s big screen adaptation of the A-Team. Apparently the project, which has gone through a number of rewrites, is still not ready for prime time. Fox believes they need more time to develop the script, but Singleton is moving on. We no final draft, no director, and no announced cast, I wouldn’t expect to see this film anytime soon. The film was originally set to hit theaters in June 2009, but won’t likely see release until a year later at earliest. Personally, I’ve always been under the theory that the A-Team television series is all the A-Team we need. I for one hope this project falls down into the deep depths of development hell.

Other Fox release changes include: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel moving to Christmas 2009, pushing the Dwayne Johnson family comedy Tooth Fairy to November 13th 2009, and Christopher Columbus’ teen comedy I Love You Beth Cooper will now hit theaters on Jult 31st, instead of February 13th 2009.

source: Variety



Are UFC leg-tanglers brawlers the new rapper actors (or “raptors” as coined by Vulture)? Last night, Ultimate Fighting champ, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, was on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where it was announced that he’s a contender for the role of B.A. Baracus in John Singleton‘s upcoming A-Team movie. You can watch the clip here to get a feeling for his mannerisms, and I’ve included a requisite photo with digital flames to the right. Yeah, he already wears that chain everywhere.

Kimmel: Now, what’s going on with your hair…because I heard you’re going to play–not Mr. T–but B.A. Baracus in the A-Team movie.

Rampage: I don’t know what you’re talking about, man. [laughs] No, I don’t know. I gotta audition for it, you know what I’m sayin’? I gotta do a screen test. Hopefully I get the part, hopefully I’m the next B.A. Baracus.

Kimmel: Has anyone broken it to Mr. T that he’s not the new B.A. Baracus?

Rampage: [pause] I pity the fool.

Rampage admitted in the interview that acting scares him more than fighting. He seems like a likable guy, sure, and if this was a Best of the Best straight-to-DVD sequel, I’d say he’s pretty much perfect to play dueling twins. But it’s not. Mr. T deserves better. Rampage might be more agreeable than Ice Cube or Tyrese or David Banner or Kenan Thompson (imagine), but if that’s the sort of B/C-list grab bag Singleton is looking at, why not just call up T or Carl Weathers or Bo Jackson? If we have to keep it inside the ring, Kimbo Slice would be bonkers.

My friend, Shawn, thinks Katt Williams would be a wise choice, and while Katt’s pretty good in GTA4, my choice is jersey-robbin’ J.B. Smoove who plays Leon Black (!!!) on Curb Your Enthusiasm. That’s the sound of me dropping a mic on stage. Gameover.

Discuss: Rampage or Mehpage? Who should play Baracus? Is UFC the new Hollywood talent pool?


“Fool, you betta call me!”

If John Singleton (Higher Learning, 2 Fast 2 Furious) needs someone to walk the Earth in search of the perfect gold dookie chains for his re-envisioning of the hit ’80s show The A-Team, I’ll do it for free shrimp. That’s right, the suspect action show that kept a million kids off the pot is headed to the big screen via 20th Century Fox on June 12, 2009. It will face off on that date with the Eddie Murphy extravaganza Nowhere Land.

None of the macho mercenary roles are locked, though Singleton, who has made this project sound promising and even hinted at an R-rating (I’d still bet on PG-13), tipped Woody Harrelson for the role of Murdock back in January.

And then Ice Cube (zzz) generously offered his services for the role of Mr. T’s B.A. Baracus, but Singleton replied to that with, “all this bullshit of who is saying who is this person and who is…nobody is playing Mr. T, the character’s name is B.A. Baracus, he will have a Mohawk and there is a moment in the movie where he actually gets the Mohawk cause he’s going crazy!” So, got that, Ice Cube, nobody is playin’ Mr. T.

Mohawks and overalls (on badass black dudes) forever.

Discuss: Sound like fun to you or sheer trash? Who deserves to rock the chains? Please, no rappers, especially Lil Mama.

via Variety

While waiting online for the valet, Collider bumped into director John Singleton and ended up with some nice scoops regarding his upcoming take on The A-Team. Before we go any farther, I just want to say that Singleton is one of the most personable and persuasive directors I’ve ever interviewed. During production for 2 Fast 2 Furious, his ideas sounded just as badass, weirdly agreeable and uncompromising as they do here. But either way, he clearly digs the script and material…and might he be dismissing Ice Cube‘s recent self-casting as B.A. Baracus?

A-Team is going. It’s not a comic movie farce like Starsky and Hutch, it’s kind of in the tradition of the 80’s action pictures, the man’s movies like Die Hard, Predator, Commando, or even Lethal Weapon more so than anything else. The action is very serious, but there is humor. That’s what we are going for. I don’t know who is in the cast yet, so all this bullshit of who is saying who is this person and who is…nobody is playing Mr. T, the character’s name is B.A. Baracus, he will have a Mohawk and there is a moment in the movie where he actually gets the Mohawk cause he’s going crazy. And I don’t know who is in the cast yet, but I do know that the only person I want right now is, that I really, really want is Woody Harrelson to play Murdock, the guy who is crazy but he’s kind of real smart, a jack of all trades.

Casting Woody Harrelson as Murdock would set a great tone and message for the film. The guy’s great with comedy (White Men Can’t Jump, Kingpin, the upcoming Semi-Pro) and I’ve always thought it odd that he’s stayed away from straight-up action flicks with the exception of the disappointing Money Train. Harrelson has a certain athleticism, slacker brawn and twinkle in the eye that’s perfect for the genre. And with Oliver Stone’s Pinkville recently falling apart due to the strike, Harrelson’s schedule might free him up to consider the film. Singleton didn’t specify the film’s rating, but you’ll notice that the ’80s films he references above are all, famously, R-rated “movies for guys who like movies” staples. I’d be surprised if the studio (Fox) lets him take it there, but if they do my outlook on the flick improves greatly. I might be the only person who’s still in shock and shambles over Live Free of Die Hard, as well as the tameness and unneeded high concepts of ’00s action efforts.

Another interesting detail Singleton revealed is that the cast members will have a stipulation to sign on for additional A-Team flicks. This wasn’t the case with drivel like The Dukes of Hazzard, and while Singleton says the film’s budget isn’t locked down, the detail hints at a long term investment rather than a nostalgic stand alone cash-and-grab. Singleton also plays up the script by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (3:10 to Yuma and…2 Fast 2 Furious) in his chat, saying it’s the primary reason he’s onboard. And while he’s at it, why not randomly compare it to the Bourne films?

Yeah, and the people who are now just going to the movies and don’t know anything about that, will go to it just cause it’s a hot movie. It’s kind of like what they did with the Bourne movies, no nonsense but with a humor, with action. You know what I mean, wall to wall kicking ass and talking shit [laughs].

If John Singleton’s A-Team was rated-R, would that impact your anticipation for the film?

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Ice Cube Talks A-Team

Ice Cube as Mr T

If anyone out there knows Mr. T, please go check on him to make sure he hasn’t jumped off a bridge wearing his signature 700 pounds of fake gold. The Teddy Ruxpin of American gangstas, Ice Cube, hopes to play mohawked soldier of fortune B.A. Baracus in John Singleton‘s The A-Team. While we’re updating The A-Team, why not change the meaning of Baracus’ acronymic initials from “Bad Attitude” to either: “Bad Actor” or “Baby Accident”? The bankable star of the Are We…Yet franchise explained why his “flavor” is best for the role to

“Hell yeah, especially with John Singleton directing! …I wouldn’t try to duplicate what Mr. T did, but I will have the same impact on you when you were little watching the TV show. I’m going to bring my own flavor to it and I am going to do the mohawk.”

Laughably, he goes on to say that while the role can’t be classified as a “dream come true” per se, it’s a good way to earn a paycheck.

“They want me to do it if all the business works out right. I was a fan as a kid and that would be, not a dream come true, but it’s definitely a good thing to do and I would put it on my resume for sure.”

But I think we all know that the real reason Ice Cube wants this role. He wants to be known as Mr. T, thus finally sabotaging the similar identity of rapper-actor Ice T. Isn’t it great to live in a world where David Cross writes a 1,700 word manifesto justifying any guilt over his contribution to Alvin and the Chipmunks, while seconds ago Ice Cube probably sent a three word “Wassup with Alvin 2?” text message to his agent? I think so.

Page 2: December 15th 2007

I’ve written 29 news stories in the last 48 hours, yet, believe it or not, wasn’t able to get to everything I’ve wanted to show you. I usually let go of these “missed opportunities”. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day. But I’ve decided to make it a new years resolution (yes, an early one) to compile some these passed over gems in a new “Page 2” link blog. Basically, Page 2 will contain all the news not fit to print. I’m not sure how often I’ll be doing this, but we’ll see. You are reading the introduction to the first edition. Don’t turn away and don’t underestimate their value, some good links can be found below.

Emmy Rossum (Poseidon), Eriko Tamura (Heroes), and newcomer Joon Park (Speed Racer) have joined the cast of 20th Century Fox’s live-action adaptation of Dragon Ball Z. Meh! [THR]

Principal Photography has wrapped on Punisher: War Zone. More Meh! [SHH]

James Bond star Daniel Craig might have inadvertently given away the title to the upcoming Casino Royale sequel. Rumor has it that the film will be titled “007” because, as Craig explained “the first movie dealt with him earning his 00 status and now he is 007 for the first time”. [AICN]

Universal has put the Smokin Aces‘ direct-to-DVD prequel on hold until the writers strike is over. Apparently the studio’s budget of the current script draft came in at $17 million, which isn’t too far off from the original theatrical film. When the strike is over, the writers will be brought back in to do some chopping. Joe Carnahan writes: “We’ve already made contact with most of the actors we want to return but we’ve still got a few tricks up our sleeve and some surprises.” [SmokinJoe]

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but the screenwriters are on strike. Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody has found a way to spend some of her free time. She will now be writing a weekly column in Entertainment Weekly called Binge Thinking (clever). The first column is about Juno’s unexciting press tour. And better yet, you can read it online for free. Hey, it’s better than Stephen King’s column (as if that’s an accomplishment). Congrads to Diablo on the new gig. [EW]

John Singleton
has been confirmed as the director of the big screen adaptation of The A-Team. Just what we need, another bad television adaptation. [cine]

Jessica Simpson
‘s latest movie is such a stinker, it’s being released direct to DVD. [Perez]

Wizard Magazine cast Ray Park as Snake Eye in their version of a live-action G.I. Joe movie nearly seven years ago. [TMB]

Did You Know: In the late-1980’s, Pixar was developing a the Oscar winning short film Tin Toy into a christmas special titled “A Tin Toy Christmas.” The project got shelved but later became the inspiration for Toy Story. [Jim Hill]

The X-Files 2 is now in production, and set photos are beginning to leak. Check out this new one of David Duchovny as Fox Mulder. [CS]

The Lost Boys 2 writer Hans Rodionoff is working on a four-issue limited comic book series for Wildstorm on the Frog Bros. Rodionoff says, the series will “bridge the movies together – what Edgar and Alan Frog were doing between the first movie and the second one. We’ll get to play with Haim’s character a little bit.” I’m in. [Shock]