Peter Sollett to Direct Marvel’s Runaways?

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Over the past year, as we’ve reported on Floria Sigismondi’s film about the girl-group The Runaways, a great many comments have been irritated that the film in question wasn’t the planned project based on Marvel’s comic of the same name.

Now The Runaways, the Marvel version, is finally moving forward. There’s a report that the studio is in negotiations with Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist director Peter Sollett to take the reins of the adaptation. Read More »

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Any straight guy who sees The Runaways will have difficulty standing up to go text outside, what with a 15-year-old Dakota Fanning seducing Japan in a bustier, snorting coke, and tonguing KStew. I mean, what does it all mean? And it’s only moderately less awkward discussing the burgeoning sexuality and punk hedonism of young girls with another guy. So, rather than compute my feelings about the rock biopic into a traditional review, I decided to ask a female’s opinion. /Film could not be more psyched to discourse on The Runaways with NYC-based author Marisa Meltzer, whose swell new book, Girl Power, is about the history and culture of female rockers.

Hunter Stephenson: Following the press screening for The Runaways, I was surprised to hear you loved the film. Having written a book on the legacies and challenges of females in punk, rock, and pop music from the ’70s onward, what real insight does the movie offer on the subject?

Marisa Meltzer: I guess I should admit that I’m a person who is very easily entertained. When you throw in platforms, teenage makeout sessions, and The Stooges on the soundtrack, I’m willing to overlook the film’s flaws. And there are certainly flaws: too much exposition, terrible character development of the other band members, narrative cliches. But I think one important thing to remember is that there really aren’t that many stories being told about women in music—and directed by a woman, no less!—so I’m excited when anyone throws me a bone. I think it’s important for people, especially young women, who might go see The Runaways to realize that girls playing rock music wasn’t always a given, and that their gender was way more of a barrier just a few decades ago than it is now.

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In the new rock biopic, The Runaways, a glum Kristen Stewart sits poolside, suckling vodka from a water pistol before pushing it suggestively down the front of her stomach. In a separate scene, she coaches a bathing teenage band mate on how to get wet using a mental image of Farrah Fawcett and a shower head. And then there’s co-star Dakota Fanning, better known as Hollywood’s 15-year-old precocious precious, who hoovers enough blow on an airplane to soar with Kenny Powers. These scenes are presented as the on-tour lifestyle of the titular ‘70s all-girl rock band, assembled and curated by the group’s wiry and rude L.A. producer, a man named Kim Fowley. Foreseeing the popularity of The Runaways for their jail-bait appropriation of the aggression, punk music, and horniness typically associated with adolescent males, Fowley had no qualms with solidifying a legacy by way of the girls’ quicksilver paths to self-destruction.

Actor Michael Shannon plays Fowley with a commitment and intensity welcome and familiar to any viewer who saw his performance in the new Southern indie classic Shotgun Stories or as the best part of Revolutionary Road (which earned him an Oscar nom for Best Supporting Actor). In recent days, Fowley has come out in support of Shannon’s performance, calling him the Christopher Walken of a generation. Given Shannon’s unflattering if amusing portrayal of the guy as an id swimming in midnight oil and the naivety of young girls, the endorsement is mildly surprising. But the comparison is astute. After interviewing the actor this week in a hotel in NYC, I couldn’t shake similar comparisons with the cornhusk steeliness and alertness of a 30something David Letterman and the seen-a-lot-of-shit-ness of Ray Liotta. In our below interview, Shannon discussed the contradictions of Fowley, HBO’s forthcoming Martin Scorsese series Boardwalk Empire, and the time he hid in a doghouse.

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Just days after the full trailer for Floria Sigismondi‘s The Runaways slipped out across the web, here comes a music video showcasing Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart as members of the titular band – you can see it for yourself after the break. I don’t know if I’ll like this film or not, but I’m thinking the cult of celebrity will help turn it into a monster hit.

The song’s performance appears to be credited to Fanning, “featuring” Stewart and Sigismondi is credited as the director, but I’m not clear yet if that’s just because the whole thing is made up of footage from the movie.

For an audio comparison of Fanning’s performance with the original recording, I refer you back to a previous /Film story. I’ve embedded the higher-quality MTV premiere version of this video as well as a works-worldwide YouTube rip below.

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Floria Sigismondi‘s account of the formation and early career of The Runaways is opening soon, and here’s the first full trailer for the film. It’s a a lot better than the teaser, as it goes slightly lighter on all the world-changing crap and shows off the characters and the LA dives and parties in which they came together. Read More »

SXSW 2010 Feature Film Line-Up Announced

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The South By Southwest Film Festival have announced their complete Feature Film line-up for their 2010 fest, which runs March 12 – 20, 2010 in Austin, Texas. Notable films include the Saturday Night Live movie MacGruber, Jay & Mark Duplass’ Sundance hit Cyrus, Bernard Rose’s Mr. Nice, Tim Blake Nelson’s Leaves of Grass, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs, Michel Gondry’s The Thorn in the Heart, Alexandre O. Philippe’s documentary The People vs. George Lucas, Steven Soderbergh’s And Everything Is Going Fine, and Floria Sigismondi’s The Runaways.

They join previously announced films such as Opening Night film Kick-Ass, Hubble 3D, Lemmy, SATURDAY NIGHT and The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights. Read the full line-up after the jump.

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Sundance Film Festival

Since I’m in Park City, a day before the 2010 Sundance Film Festival officially begins, I thought I’d do a round-up of the films I’m most looking forward to this year at the festival. Attending Sundance, you have to put a list together of the movies you want to see the most. Sometimes you’re lucky and you pick something that becomes the buzz of the fest — Super Size Me, Little Miss Sunshine, Rocket Science, or (500) Days of Summer. And sometimes your choices are just dead wrong, for example, last year The Informers was on the top of my must see list. But by the end of the fest, the film was my most hated movie of the year.

So these predictions are in now way definitive. They are very subjective, films that caught my interest. I usually stick to more narrative films (over documentaries) and often see more English language films. I have my little sub genres which I always feel drawn to, for instance, I usually love coming of age stories. And if they are set in the 1970’s or 1980’s, all the better. Minimalistic one-room thrillers also interest me.

This year doesn’t have many obvious breakout choices, but had a lot of solid looking films. If you’ve been actively reading the site over the last month, then you’ve probably checked out a bunch of the Sundance photo and trailer previews and you might recognize a bunch of these films. The following 18 selections are also in no particular order. Lets take a look at my choices for this year’s festival (and it might be fun to revisit this list at the conclusion of the festival, to see how right or wrong I was).

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The Runaways Teaser Trailer

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Hot on the heels of new distributor Apparition announcing that it will bring The Runaways to theatres comes a teaser trailer for the film. We get a little taste of Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning in character as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, and hear Michael Shannon doing some voice over as impresario Kim Fowley. It’s decent-looking stuff, and backed by the band’s catchy hit ‘Cherry Bomb’. Check it out after the break. Read More »

Apparition Picks Up US Rights to The Runaways

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New distributor Apparition has quickly built quite a varied little slate. Black Dynamite and The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day are balanced out by Bright Star and The Young Victoria, and waiting in the wings sometime for 2010 (please!) is Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life.

Now Apparition has added another intriguing film to its collection: Floria Sigsimondi‘s biopic The Runaways, starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. Is this a fait accompli, given that The Runaways was made by Apparition co-founder Bill Pohlad‘s company River Road? Probably, but why make a point of it as long as we get to see the film?  Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

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Right now, geeks are having difficulty formulating their conflicted emotions about pics of a 15-year-old Dakota Fanning on the set of The Runaways, the 2010 girl-punker biopic. At times like this, I think the guttural proclamation, “Um, that’s racist like a robot!” will suffice. But yeah, Just Jared via Chud has posted a bevy of publicity-stunt pics of Fanning, as jail-bait lead-singer Cherie Currie, tangling around with Kristen Stewart, as leather-clad guitarist Joan Jett. Like a bearded Michael Musto, writer Devin Faraci predicts the movie could spark a fashion revolution amongst teen girls. I could see that happening. Maybe. I mean, the cover of Nylon magazine and exposure in Urban Outfitters is prob a lock. And Warped Tour would definitely be up for a lame “interactive” meet and greet. A new, recommended pic of Stewart, in a Stooges tee no less, after the jump…

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