Oh Boy. It’s the Slashfilm Clean-Up!

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There’s a lot of minor news breaking today and falling in between the cushions of Slashfilm’s buttery soft couch. I’ve decided to reach in and present the tasty morsels for your enjoyment. Don’t like some of ‘em? Well, your dog doesn’t discriminate and if it does, surprise, it’s a kitty.

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October’s Max Payne video adaptation continues to build a curious borderline-honor roll of a cast, with Chris O’Donnell (Robin) climbing out of the Where Are They Now File to star alongside Mark Wahlberg (title role), the foxy Mila Kunis (uh, assassin love interest), Beau friggin’ Bridges (mentor) and Donal Logue (not playing Jimmy the Cab Driver). O’Donnell will play nipple-free “executive Jason Colvin.” Exciting, innit? Now, if only the film was rated R. (EW)

javier_bardem.jpgJavier Bardem, the biggest star in born again director Francis Ford Coppola‘s follow-up to Youth Without Youth, Tetro, has either dropped out or been replaced on a huge creative whim. Coppola will recast the role of Bardem’s mentor to Vincent Gallo’s title character with Carmen Maura, whom you may have caught in Volver. Hmmm, Coppola could have certainly used the awareness of the Oscar winner. Too bad. (HR) As we all do when a job falls through, Bardem is said to be considering a role as a respected wine critic in a film entitled The First Emperor starring naughty monkeys Helen Mirren and Hugh Grant. (DH)

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The horror! Another fresh face from The O.C. has washed ashore on Crystal Lake. Amanda Rhigetti, an 8, is close to signing on as the female lead in Platinum Dunes’ Friday the 13th. How about a cameo by Adam Brody’s head? (Variety)

Latino Review sum up Sam Raimi‘s script to his upcoming Drag Me to Hell with three words: Predictable as hell. Slashfilm previously summed up the entire movie even more succinctly with: Justin Long. Obviously we’re too smart to add “as hell” to that. However, that was before we caught Long’s performance in The Sasquatch Gang (now on DVD), which was maddeningly chuckle-inducing. “Predictable as hell” it is, then.

Billy Crudup is that guy you call when your film is looking good. He’ll play J. Edgar Hoover (kinky) in Michael Mann‘s Public Enemies, which stars Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and the Dorf and has as much chance as sucking as UNC losing the Final Four. Jinx? Hardly. [Variety]

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Where’s my sickly neighbor from 1988′s inhaler? Joshua Jackson says he will not be playing Fletch in the remake. Chevy Chase’s is one of my favorite Chevy Chase films. I say cast Michael Cera and let Jason Lee choke on a furball. [MTV]

The new film from Heathers writer/legend Daniel Waters opens tomorrow in select theaters. It’s called Sex and Death 101. Here’s an interview with Waters that’s so chockfull of amazingly pretentious, pseudo-intellectual name dropping it makes us realize how rarely we come across screenwriter interviews like this anymore. More Waters, please.

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Hard hitter producer Graham King (The Departed, Blood Diamond) and Warner Bros. hope to bring the Hugo Award-winning sci-fi series Hyperion Cantos to life on screen via a script by relative newcomer Trevor Sands. I’m not familiar with author Dan Simmons‘s works, but the plot is said to be set on a planet called Hyperion that has lucid blue skies, “electricity-spewing trees,” and a mysterious region called the Time Tombs, where time travel evidently goes down amongst artifacts. And a very pissed off monster guards them. Ooh la la. Sands will combine the first two novels, Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion in his script. An original, brainy sci-fi film? All for it. Any fans, please sounds off in the comments below. (HR)

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First Look: Mark Wahlberg in Max Payne

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Above is the first pic we’ve seen of Mark Wahlberg playing the title character in Max Payne, the 2009 action flick based on the loner cop, blood-and-bullets video game smash. While Wahlberg’s involvement had me somewhat interested and I think the first game actually lends a fairly twisted Punisher-like storyline for a feature film, Dark Zero, which posted the photo, report that a PG-13 rating is in the cards. Stupes. My interest possibly just flatlined.

For those who aren’t familiar with the vid game: Max Payne joins the DEA after his baby daughter and wife are slaughtered in their house by psychotic junkies, high on a new designer drug. Tracking the drug to the mafia, Payne is framed for the murder of his partner and becomes entwined in a heavy conspiracy. The series is known for its Matrix-like bullet-time (hopefully it won’t appear in the film), graphic violence and profanity. You know, the stuff PG-13 was made for.

Discuss: Feel free to tell 20th Century Fox that you want an R-rated Max Payne. Is this film a smart move for Wahlberg, who can basically choose his action vehicles these days?  

Mark Wahlberg is Max Payne

Mark Wahlberg is Max Payne

Max PayneMark Wahlberg has been cast as Max Payne in a big screen adaptation of the popular Rockstar video game series. The Omen director John Moore (Behind Enemy Lines, Flight of the Phoenix) will helm the adaptation (screenplay by newcomer Beau Thorne) which will begin filming early next year. Wahlberg is currently filming Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones, and is also scheduled to Darren Aronofsky’s The Fighter in late 2008.

Wahlberg will play Max Payne, a former NYPD Detective with internal and external conflicts in a dark, sinister New York City. Three years after the murder of his newborn daughter and wife by a group of junkies, Max is now undercover agent in the DEA and embedded in the Punchinello Mafia family. I could easily hear producers calling this project “Sin City meets The Matrix” while pitching this to movie studios, although no one has described the film as such. Although, It seems perfectly logical to adopt a Sin City type style for this project.

Max Payne 2The 2001 self-titled third-person shooter noir crime thriller video game followed up with a sequel, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, in 2003. Inspired by the Hong Kong action movie genre (particularly the work of director John Woo), the game featured slow-motion violence and gunfights. Many gamers have drawn comparisons to The Matrix, although Max Payne went into development before The Wachowski Brothers went into production (however, the game came out two years after The Matrix, and the developers decided to call the slow motion effect “bullet time”). The game is also notable for doing away with cutscenes, instead opting to tell the story through “graphic novel” sequences.

What seems strange about this casting announcement, as my friend Alex at FirstShowing points out, is that Wahlberg has been very vocal saying that he won’t join a film that doesn’t have an incredible script. The creative talent involved in this project is less than to be desired. So it makes me wonder if there is a great screenplay behind this project.

source: Variety

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