jason reitman live read

There are less than 24 hours until the big event and Captain America is out. The text comes in at 11:20 p.m. on Wednesday March 18. For the past two weeks, I’ve been talking regularly to writer/director Jason Reitman about the latest installment in his Live Read series, the ongoing set of performances at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in which he assembles famous casts to read famous scripts from famous movies as a one-night only event. We’ve been covering them for a long time. For the final one of this season, I wanted to know how it was done.

This Live Read was to be Dazed and Confused by Richard Linklater, a sprawling coming of age film with a huge cast of characters, many of whom have become iconic for moviegoers. The most iconic is Wooderson, played by Matthew McConaughey. It’s a small role, and one that Reitman thought he had cast months before the event.

Reitman was at the 87th Annual Academy Awards back in February representing Whiplash, a Best Picture nominee he produced. There he ran into Captain American actor Chris Evans and asked him if he wanted to read the role of Wooderson. Evans enthusiastically agreed and was on board… until less than 24 hours before the event, when he had to drop out. “He had a sincere personal reason to pull out,” Reitman writes via text. “He’s an incredibly decent and lovely guy.” Nevertheless, Captain America has caused a bit of a problem.

Below, find out both how that turned out and the entire making of story behind the Jason Reitman Live Read of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused Live Read. Read More »


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Dazed and Confused Linklater

The great thing about Dazed and Confused? I get older and it stays the same age.

Twenty-two years after Richard Linklater‘s ’70s slice of life film hit theaters, listening to it read by a group of actors still feels as poignant and relevant as ever. Maybe the music and references have changed a bit but a teenager’s insecurities, rebellious nature and mischievousness are and will continue to be universal. In Linklater’s script those ideas are delivered with an almost unfairly simple and eloquent precision.

At Thursday’s Live Read, presented by Film Independent at LACMA, Jason Reitman brought together a group of actors to read the script and, yes, the huge cast of characters made things a little confusing. In back-to-back scenes, an actor might have to jump from nerd to cool guy to stoner, giving the whole evening an unpredictable energy. It was even more unpredictable as they were reading an earlier version of the script that had some huge differences from the final film.

Below, we’ll break down those script changes, the cast, some of the crazy performances, and talk about how even in a form that’s unfamiliar to most of us, Dazed and Confused remains as good as ever. Read More »

Wet Hot American Summer

Camp Firewood is about to get even more crowded. The Wet Hot American Summer Netflix series has just added about 9 more actors, to join the 21 — count ’em — cast members from the original. The new additions include Michaela Watkins, Josh Charles, John Slattery (Mad Men) and Randall Park (The Interview). More details on the Wet Hot American Summer cast after the jump.  Read More »

Afternoon Delight

Despite her considerable talent and versatility, Kathryn Hahn‘s mostly been relegated to supporting roles in films like Wanderlust and Our Idiot Brother, and guest spots on shows like Girls and Parks & Recreation. So it’s great to see her take center stage for once in Afternoon Delight, a Sundance dramedy written and directed by TV vet Jill Soloway.

Hahn plays Rachel, whose brings her husband Jeff (Josh Radnor) to a strip club in an effort to spice up their marriage. She becomes friendly with one of the dancers, 19-year-old McKenna (Juno Temple), and eventually offers to take her in. Trouble quickly follows. Watch the trailer after the jump. Read More »

Lake Bell In A World

From the instant In A World… premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, I remember thinking, “I can’t wait to see the trailer for that.” That day is here. Written, directed by and starring Lake Bell, In A World… is the story of young woman trying to make a living in the male-dominated field of voice over work, specifically that of movie trailers. When marketers for a new movie decide to reinstate the classic phrase “In a world” for the film’s trailer, a competition breaks out that pits the young woman against her father (Fred Melamed) and an up and comer (Ken Marino).

Featuring supporting performances by Dimitri Martin, Michaela Watkins, Rob Corddry, Nick Offerman and Geena Davis, the film won the Best Screenwriting award at Sundance. It opens on August 9. Check out meta-trailer below. Read More »


It didn’t take long after Steve Jobs‘ death for Hollywood to get moving on films about his singular life. But a year and a half later, the first one out of the gate is one that was originally thought up as a joke just a few months ago.

Last month, Funny or Die announced the imminent release of iSteve, a parodic feature-length film starring former Apple ad campaign star Justin Long as the late tech guru. Two weeks ahead of its online debut, the first trailer has hit the web. Check it out after the jump.

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Steve jobs

Sony’s still figuring out what it wants to do with their Steve Jobs biopic, and Open Road just got cold feet about opening theirs. But out of the blue, a third competing project has arrived on the horizon. Funny or Die — yes, really — has just announced the April 15 online release of iSteve, a parodic take on the late Apple founder.

In an inspired bit of casting, former Mac pitchman Justin Long will take the lead as the turtlenecked tech icon. Jorge Garcia plays Steve Wozniak, while James Urbaniak and Michaela Watkins play Bill and Melinda Gates. Personally, I would’ve loved to see Funny or Die take the “Get a Mac” connection one step further with John Hodgman as Gates, but Urbaniak should bring plenty of laughs as well. Hit the jump to read more.

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