Warner Bros, Fox, Universal, Disney and Sony have released a bunch of new photos to the Los Angeles Times for their 2009 movie preview. I’ve included a few of the photos after the jump.

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First Look: Judd Apatow’s Funny People

Universal has the first official production photo from Judd Apatow‘s upcoming dramedy Funny People. The film stars Adam Sandler as a 42-year old comic named George Simmons, who one day he learns that he has a rare untreatable blood disorder, and only has six months to a year left to live. Seth Rogen plays Ira, a 25-year-old deli counter worker and aspiring stand-up comedian who George takes under his wing.

Also in the photo is Apatow’s real-life wife Leslie Mann, who plays the one time love of George’s life, now married mother of two. And Eric Bana plays Laura’s successful husband Clarke. The scene shown above takes place late into the story when George and Ira stop over at Laura’s house after an area comedy show.

If you want to know more about the film, please read our previous report. Funny People hits theaters on July 31st 2009.

Stephen Chow Not Directing The Green Hornet

Stephen Chow will no longer be directing Columbia Pictures’ big screen adaptation of The Green Hornet after all. Apparently he has stepped down due to “creative differences”. It’s likely that Chow butted heads with the studio or producers/screenwriters Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Chow is still attached to play the Hornet’s sidekick Kato.

The studio is on the search for a new director and still plans to begin production by Spring for the announced June 25th 2010 release date. Variety says that a new director could be attached by year’s end (which is just a couple weeks away).

I actually think this is a bit of good news for the project. While I’ve certainly enjoyed Chow’s films, I am not interested in his take on this superhero franchise. I have never believed that Chow’s over-the-top style comedy would be a good fit for this project. What do you guys think?

The crime-fighting character was created by Fran Striker and George Trendle, who also created The Lone Ranger, for a radio serial that launched in 1936 on WXYZ Detriot. The series detailed the adventures of millionaire publisher Britt Reid, a debonair newspaper publisher by day, crime-fighting masked hero at night, along with his sidekick, Kato. The series has had several incarnations, including a film series, comic books, and a live-action 1960′s TV series that starred Van Williams and introduced Bruce Lee to U.S. audiences.

One of the 2009 films we’re most anticipating is Observe and Report, due in April, from director Jody Hill (The Foot Fist Way). Yesterday, when Peter posted new stills from the R-rated comedy starring Seth Rogen as an obsessive mall cop, several commenters began negatively comparing O&R with January’s stillborn Kevin James vehicle, Paul Blart: Mall Cop; going so far as to resurrect the Armageddon versus Deep Impact theatrical Turdbowl of 1998. According to an acquaintance unrelated to the production who caught a test screening and swears by it: “That’s a terrible analogy. It’s more like, say, compare Song of the South to Gone With the Wind. I mean, no, I haven’t seen Mall Cop, but, c’mon, it’s the opposite of funny.” Okay, that admittedly wasn’t very helpful.

Meanwhile, during our set visit on HBO’s Eastbound and Down, which Hill co-created and co-directed, the general sentiment was that Observe and Report is a batshit TKO. Actor Ben Best has a small role in the film and, while he couldn’t reveal much, he did let out this funny story about Rogen’s adversary in the film: the man, the legend Mr. Ray Liotta

“Holy shit, this movie. First off, [Observe and Report] has one of the craziest endings you have ever seen. Listen to this. One day, we’re lining up a shot, and we’re standing on these courthouse steps, Seth is there, and Jody tells us to move down. And Jody says, ‘Hey Ray [Liotta], why don’t you go here.’ And Jody’s literally talking about the next step down, and Ray’s like ‘…Why?’

Seth and I just look at each other, like ‘Uhhh?’ So, Jody thinks for a second, and goes ‘Why not?’ And Ray goes, ‘Well, I just don’t think my character would stand on this step.’ And Jody just goes ‘Fuck It.’ So, after it’s over, Ray says to me, ‘You know what I think about that?’ And he just goes [makes ginormous fart noise---an IRL wet fart]. The smell….it was the most disgusting thing ever. He’s crazy in a good way. [laughs] But yeah, some of the funniest shit I’ve ever seen is in that movie. What you’ve heard from the test screenings, we can go much darker; it’s more like a darker Alexander Payne. It’s one of those great comedies…and the homage to Old Boy is retarded.”

And Patton Oswalt plays the mall’s “Cinnabon Man,” so we might want to store that witty, percolating Dante’s Peak/Volcano scenario until the next inevitable round of Bay/Emmerich. If anyone has a story from the set of Paul Blart: Mall Cop about Kevin James putting his hand in his armpit, do tell below.

First Look: Observe and Report

Warner Bros has released the first two photos for Observe and Report, Jody Hill‘s follow-up to the cult comedy The Foot Fist Way. The dark comedy stars Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, Michael Pena and Ray Liotta.

The full plot synopsis follows:

“At the Forest Ridge Mall, head of security Ronnie Barnhardt patrols his jurisdiction with an iron fist, combating skateboarders, shoplifters and the occasional unruly customer while dreaming of the day when he can swap his flashlight for a badge and a gun. His delusions of grandeur are put to the test when the mall is struck by a flasher. Driven to protect and serve the mall and its patrons, Ronnie seizes the opportunity to showcase his underappreciated law enforcement talents on a grand scale, hoping his solution of this crime will earn a coveted spot at the police academy and the heart of his elusive dream girl Brandi, the hot make-up counter clerk who won’t give him the time of day. But his single-minded pursuit of glory launches a turf war with the equally competitive Detective Harrison of the Conway Police, and Ronnie is confronted with the challenge of not only catching the flasher, but getting him before the real cops do.”

Observe and Report hits theaters on April 10th 2009.

Seth Rogen Makes a Porno for Showtime

Seth Rogen got his start on the television show Freaks and Geeks, so it makes sense that he is returning to television. Showtime has given the greenlight on a comedy series that Rogen is developing with his screenwriting partner Evan Goldberg, about three twenty-somethings who “learn about life and love” while running a pornography store. Sounds like the perfect concept for Rogen. I’m actually surprised that Kevin Smith isn’t somehow involved as the idea sounds like a cross between Zack and Miri and Clerks.

Showtime has been beefing up their original television offerings as of late. Dexter is one of the best shows on television right now. The Steven Spielberg-produced Diablo Cody scripted The United States of Tara begins airing early next year (January 18th).

Judd Apatow’s Funny People Teaser Poster

Universal Pictures has released the first teaser poster for Judd Apatow‘s upcoming dramedy Funny People (read all the juicy details about the film’s plot here). The film is still shooting, and yes, it is unusual for a teaser poster to be released this early during production.

The reason is that Apatow and Universal are holding a contest for one person to win a walk-on role in the film. Full press release and information below.

MYSPACE PRESENTS CONTEST FOR THE JUDD APATOW FILM “FUNNY PEOPLE”

One Lucky Fan Will Win Walk-On Role in the Upcoming Film Starring Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill and Jason Schwartzman

Fans of Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and Superbad take note –

MySpace, the world’s premier social network, and Universal Pictures are pleased to announce an exclusive contest for Judd Apatow’s highly anticipated film Funny People. Beginning today, the MySpace community can enter to win a walk-on role!

To enter, contestants must log into MySpace and friend the Funny People official MySpace page http://www.myspace.com/funnypeople. Then in 100 words or less, users must leave a comment explaining why he or she should win the role. The deadline for submissions is December 8, 2008. Winners will be judged on quality of expression, originality, and enthusiasm.

Funny People is slated for a summer 2009 release and features an all-star comedy ensemble including Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill, Leslie Mann and Jason Schwartzman.

LOL: A More Joyful Zack and Miri Poster

I’m not sure where this alternative poster for Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Ponro came from. Was it officially released from the studio? It looks very legit. I’m guessing that it may have been one of the alternative ideas to the stick figure campaign.

source: IMPA
via: Cinematical

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