Did you know that Alan Alda, Al Pacino, Eddie Muphy, Nicolas Cage, Prince, Bill Cosby, and Robin Williams auditioned for Back to the Future? No? Me neither. Probably because it didn’t happen. However, Saturday Night Live “uncovered” a set of never before released screen tests and premiered them on this weekend’s edition of the show. Gotta love Bill Hader as Al Pacino trying to deliver the classic “1.21 Gigawats” line. Hit the jump to watch them now.

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Briefly: Terry Jones — the Monty Python member who directed The Life of Brian, not the nutter who wanted to burn the Qu’ran in Florida — is preparing to make his return to the director’s chair with Absolutely Anything. The film will star John Oliver, recently known as the Senior British Correspondent (among other titles) at The Daily Show. That makes Oliver the latest TDS alum to jump from small screen to large, and a well-deserved jump it should be.

Jones wrote the script with Gavin Scott, and it reportedly includes as diverse elements as “aliens, a goofy Brit, a talking dog and buckets of silliness,” to all of which I’ll simply say: ‘yes.’

We don’t have info about Oliver’s role (‘goofy Brit,’ one would assume) but Deadline says that Robin Williams is in talks to play the talking dog (named Dennis the Dog) while John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam have all been contacted about voicing aliens. Again: yes. Absolutely Anything is currently hoping to shoot in Spring 2011.

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There are changes afoot at Disney. Rich Ross became the new chief not long ago, and about a month later he canned development on Captain Nemo: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Now he’s killed off Wedding Band, the romantic comedy with Robin Williams, Anna Faris and Diane Keaton. We’ve primarily reported on the film in Casting Notes pieces and it wasn’t a movie I was much looking forward to. (That title causes physical pain.)

Films get dropped and/or put into turnaround all the time, but it’s an interesting state of affairs to see one of the biggest studios publicly pulling the plug on more than one project in a short time span. Read More »

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George Miller may have a new Mad Max movie brewing, but before that happens he’s got to finish a film that is the polar opposite of the action sequel: Happy Feet 2. (I guess it’s kind of an action sequel, too.) Elijah Wood and Robin Williams are returning to the roles they voiced in the original film (Mumble and Ramon, respectively) and will do the voice work in Australia early next year. Miller again wrote the script; hopefully he gets all the dancing out of his system before making Mad Max. Actually, scratch that. I think Max could probably cut a mean rug. [THR]

After the break, Andrea Savage has dinner with schmucks, and the latest on The Hobbit. Read More »

New Old Dogs Movie Trailer

old dogsDisney has released a new trailer for the new Walt Becker-directed comedy Old Dogs on MSN. Watching this trailer makes you wonder why Robin Williams can’t just make more movies like World’s Greatest Dad or Good Will Hunting. Oh, a paycheck you say? Yeah… that’s what we thought. And yes, Becker and John Travolta worked together in the 2007 film Wild Hogs. It’s also notable that Travolta’s daughter Ella Bleu makes her feature-film debut as one of the twins. Travolta’s wife Kelly Preston also stars in the film—marking the first time the couple has appeared in the same film in more than 20 years.

This new movie tells the story of two best friends — one unlucky-in-love divorcee (Williams) and the other a fun-loving bachelor (Travolta), who have their lives turned upside down when they’re unexpectedly charged with the care of 7-year-old twins while on the verge of the biggest business deal of their lives. The not-so-kid-savvy bachelors stumble in their efforts to take care of the twins, “leading to one debacle after another, and perhaps to a new-found understanding of what’s really important in life.” Watch the trailer, if you dare, embedded after the jump.

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For those who’ve wondered what happened to Page 2, it isn’t gone. The last couple weeks have just been so slow that there isn’t enough to fill up a Page 2 post. (It’s the end of the summer; expect news to pick up in a couple weeks as the festival season kicks in.) So in the meantime enjoy these casting notes roundups. Today we’ve got news of Robin Williams and Maggie Grace joining new projects, after the break. Read More »

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According to a new story on Sci-Fi wire, George Miller is currently recording voices for Happy Feet 2 with Robin Williams set to record his role in January. Possibly roles plural, in fact, as he had a few characters to take care of in the first film.

George Miller’s original Happy Feet is something of a “best kept secret”, really. I’m not promising you’ll like it but chances are, if you haven’t seen it then you very possibly don’t really know what it’s like at all. The trailer definitely suggests an entirely different animal than the film ultimately provides (well, not literally, both are positively stuffed with penguins) and there’s a last act surprise that divided audiences with the sharp polarity normally associated with Marmite.

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World’s Greatest Dad Red Band Movie Trailer

World's Greatest Dad

With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, Magnolia Pictures has taken the opportunity to release a red band movie trailer for Bob Goldthwait‘s World’s Greatest Dad. I had the wonderful opportunity to catch this film at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and by the time I left the theater, I was hurting from laughing so much. You can read my full review here.

This is not your traditional comedy. It’s dark. REALLY dark. For example, Goldthwait’s 2006 film Sleeping Dogs Lie (originally titled “Stay”) was about a relationship that is destroyed when a girlfriend reveals to her boyfriend that she had a past indiscretion (read: blowjob) with a dog. Believe it or not, Goldthwait’s 2009 follow-up is at least 10 times more twisted and probably 20 times funnier. Watch the red band movie trailer after the jump, and leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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