ruben_fleischer

Briefly: Ruben Fleischer launched his feature career in a big way with Zombieland, made a quick left turn into bitter comedy for 30 Minutes or Less, and then hit a big bump with Gangster Squad. The problems with that last film are many (beginning with a terrible script) and so here’s hoping that his next film starts on better footing, and has a much better fate.

That next film might be a currently untitled sci-fi/fantasy movie for Sony, as Fleischer been set to produce and direct after bringing the idea to the studio. Eric Pearson (a Pixar vet with two Black List-ranked scripts) has been set to write, but we don’t have any details about the plot at this point. Fleischer is also developing an adaptation of the video game Spy Hunter for Warner Bros., but that is a project that has taken so long to move forward that we wouldn’t be surprised if this new Sony project gets to the starting line first. [The Wrap]

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For years, a movie based on the classic video game Spy Hunter has been struggling to hit the gas. Dwayne Johnson was once attached to star, Paul W.S. Anderson and John Woo were working on it and, most recently, screenwriter Chad St. John was hired to write a script for Zombieland and Gangster Squad director Ruben Fleischer. And still, the story of a spy in a super-car who hunts down rogue agents was stalled.

After a few dormant months, the project now has new life. Fleischer is still attached to direct the Warner Bros. picture and Carter Blanchard has been hired to pen a fresh draft. This not only breathes new life into a franchise that’s had its share of troubles, but might be the jump start its been looking for.

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/Filmcast Ep. 214 – Gangster Squad

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Dave, Adam, and Devindra discuss this year’s Oscar nominations, and explain why you should watch LA Confidential instead of Gangster Squad.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993.
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With Ruben Fleischer‘s Gangster Squad hitting theaters today, Warner Bros. is squeezing in one last extended trailer. Based on true events, the drama follows a special force of LAPD officers who are tasked with breaking the mob’s iron grip on the city of Los Angeles. The new three-minute promo offers looks at Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling‘s incorruptible cops, but it mostly highlights Sean Penn‘s scenery-chewing performance as gangster king Mickey Cohen. Watch it after the jump.

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Walking out of Ruben Fleischer‘s Gangster Squad, a friend asked “was that supposed to be serious?” I thought about it, and didn’t have an answer. On one hand, of course it is. It’s a big budget studio film, chock full of huge names inspired by an incredible true story. But you’ve seen the trailers. They intercut period action with modern hip hop as if to say, “This film looks serious, but it’s light and fun too.” Unfortunately, that’s not the case with the movie itself.

Gangster Squad rarely mirrors the fun of those trailers. The film adequately tells its story, complete with the intricacies of a decadent era, giving the illusion of a classic crime drama. But that drama is mixed with slow-motion bullets, sped-up fight sequences and so many one liners you’ll think you’re reading “Tough Guys For Dummies.” All of which would be fine if everything around it wasn’t so polished. Is Gangster Squad supposed to be serious? Probably not, but because it never commits either way, we’re left with nothing an awkward, mildly entertaining tale. Read More »

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In a world where the Aurora Massacre didn’t take place, Gangster Squad would be now completing its theatrical run. Instead we’re just getting the film’s second trailer. Director Ruben Fleischer‘s period action film starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling was delayed after its climax was deemed too similar to July’s tragedy, demanding a full-on reshoot. The new footage is in the can now, and it’s full steam head towards release on January 11, 2013.

The latest trailer does hint at what changes were made but mostly focuses on the renegade group of law enforcers who aim to take down a big time gangster. Check it out below along with the new poster. Read More »

After a decade of on-again, off-again development, Warner Bros. revived the big-screen adaptation of Spy Hunter yet again when it acquired the property a few years ago. Chad St. John was hired to write a fresh draft, while Roy Lee and Dan Lin signed on to produce. Now the latest incarnation of the project is taking another big step forward, as Zombieland helmer Ruben Fleischer has signed on to direct. Seems like an encouraging step up from the last filmmaker attached, Paul W.S. Anderson. More after the jump.

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After starting life as a project that Warner Bros. was very gung-ho to make, and quickly roping in a cast that includes Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, and Sean Penn, Ruben Fleischer‘s film Gangster Squad is in a difficult position. The movie tells a fictionalized account of LA cops attempting to stop the incursion of organized crime into Los Angeles during the 1940s. Part of the climax of the film features a scene in which mobsters fire at a theater full of moviegoers, shooting out into the auditorium from behind the screen, as pictured in the trailer.

In the wake of the horrific shooting at an Aurora, CO screening of The Dark Knight Rises, Warner Bros. wisely pulled the trailer from theaters last Friday. But the studio is considering taking a more dramatic step: delaying, and potentially even recutting the movie.

Update: Variety announces that Warner Bros. will remove the theater shootout from Gangster Squad, and that the film will undergo some reshoots. Original article follows.

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