Spectacular Now poster header

James Ponsoldt‘s wonderful film The Spectacular Now hits theaters August 2. It’s one of those serious, emotional, yet magical coming of age stories in the mold of films from the Eighties and Nineties. Films like Say Anything, Dazed and Confused, Almost Famous and The Breakfast Club. All four of those certainly influenced The Spectacular Now and they’re being screened to solidify that connection.

Nine cities across the country will be hosting four screenings on Tuesdays in July called The Spectacular Classics. The four films above will be preceded with an exclusive video introduction by Spectacular Now and 500 Days of Summer screenwriters Michael Weber and Scott Neustadter discussing the specific connections. And, if that’s not enough, audience members will also get a free ticket to see The Spectacular Now. Read More »

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The team behind The Master and Zero Dark Thirty has agreed to bring a recent popular novel to the big screen, and they’ve got some high-end indie screenwriters to make it work. Megan Ellison‘s Annapurna Pictures has teamed up with Hunger Games producing team Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson to purchase the rights to Where’d You Go, Bernadette, a comedic novel published last year from author Maria Semple.

As previously reportedScott Neustadter and Michael Weber will adapt the screenplay. The pair is best known for writing (500) Days of Summer and also have a new film, The Spectacular Now, at Sundance later this month. Read more about the novel and the producer’s thoughts after the jump. Read More »

Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber quickly established themselves as new talents to watch with their original dramedy (500) Days of Summer. Since then, though, the pair have shown a distinctly literary bent as they’ve lined up one book adaptation after another: The Spectacular Now, When You Were Mine (called Rosaline in the movie version), and Beginner’s Greek.

Now add to that shelf Where’d You Go Bernadette, based on a serio-comic novel by Maria Semple. Semple’s name may not ring a bell, but you’re probably familiar with her work — she’s a former TV writer who’s worked on Mad About You, Suddenly Susan, and Arrested Development. More details after the jump.

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Ashton Kutcher‘s last few films haven’t been massive earners, but now he is poised to make a film that could bring him to a fresh young audience. He is part of a project set up at Sony called What Would Kenny Do?, in which a 17-year old encounters his 30-year old self. Oh, that old gag! Ashton Kutcher is the 30-year old version of the character. And now Justin Bieber is reportedly looking at the role of the 17-year old. Read More »

John Hillcoat‘s revived project The Wettest County in the World has Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy set to appear when the film shoots later this year, and there is word that Mia Wasikowska might grab the main female role if her schedule permits. While we wait for that to be sorted out, here’s word that Jason Clarke (The Fields, Public Enemies, Brotherhood) is in the picture as well. No word on his role, but with Mr. Hillcoat again directing from a script by Nick Cave (adapted from Matt Bondurant’s book of the same name) it might not even matter. [Variety]

After the break, the president of SAG gets a role in Clint Eastwood’s latest, and a Prom actor goes to The Spectacular Now. Read More »

500 days of summer

One of the many reasons I loved 500 Days of Summer is the clever screenwriting. And by clever writing I don’t mean overwritten dialogue ala Diablo Cody, but fantastic story beats that take full advantage of the film medium. Fox Searchlight has released a new clip which perfectly illustrates what I’m talking about. As you might already know, the film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom, a hapless greeting card copywriter and hopeless romantic, who is blindsided after his girlfriend Summer (Zooey Deschanel) dumps him (this is how the movie begins), he shifts back and forth through various periods of their 500 days “together” (hence the title) to try to figure out where things went wrong.

The video clip after the jump takes place after Tom and Summer reconnect after the breakup, and Tom is invited to a party at his ex-girlfriend’s house. Tom, of course, thinks this is an opportunity to rekindle their relationship, but as you might expect, expectations and reality diverge. Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber have expertly crafted a scene that I believe is so brilliant, that it makes you wonder why no one had come up with this concept prior. Everyone has encountered this situation at one point in their life, and everyone knows how it feels – yet I’ve never seen a movie portray the feeling so accurately, visually, without employing a ton of exposition before hand. The scene in the movie goes on a bit longer, and has more of a dramatic effect on the story (as you might expect, reality gets worse). The sequence works better in the context of the film, but you’ll get the point. Watch the clip embedded after the jump.

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