“The voice is mine.”
Oooh, K.I.T.T. voice draaama! Friend of the world’s beaches and former Batman and Real Genius, Val Kilmer, has signed on to voice the smooth-computin’ automobile in the latest TV-reboot of Knight Rider for NBC and Universal. Will Kilmer’s K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Three Thousand) do a passable Elvis impersonation and fire a laser that pops a billion golden kernals? I don’t know wise guy, but I do know that actor Will Arnett (Arrested Development) is right bummed right now. Arnett had already finished recording all of his voice work for the rebooted show, which premieres in just two weeks, see? And before you swipe Kilmer’s jolly hand away as it attempts to steal Arnett’s gooey, delicious voice of K.I.T.T., know this: it isn’t Kilmer’s fault, see?
In one of the silliest signs of a world run amok in corporate Brawndo tie-ins, Arnett has done commercial voice work in the past for General Motors, and K.I.T.T., see, is a Ford Mustang. Kablowski! That invisible line in the industrial sandbox? Well, Arnett just crossed it. But he still had time to jump back over said line, cover his tracks and allow Kilmer to swing in using a vine made from his absolutely batshit resume to save the day and grab a nice payday (PayDay?).
“I was very excited at the prospect of playing the part of KITT in the new ‘Knight Rider’ movie,” Arnett said to Variety. “However, because of a long relationship with General Motors as the voice of GMC Trucks, I had to respectfully withdraw from the project.”
So, all is well. The two-hour Knight Rider TV-movie-slash-pilot will still air as scheduled on February 17th, 2008. In fact, now you’re probably going to watch it. Right?
Ha ha ha. Showbiz casting finesse, people. So natural is it to Kilmer that he should scribe a mantra-filled business tomb like Norman Podhoretz’s classic Making It. And the man also needs to introduce his own suntan lotion and popcorn with his mug on them a la Paul Newman. And maybe the tanning butter can be edible-slash-a-condiment. Did I mention that Kilmer also cut a country album with a cover that ripped off Nirvana’s font/’90s imagery? You can stream it here. It’s pretty good, pritty, pritty Kilmer. I sent the link to Peter a while ago, but he didn’t respond. He was biz.
Will you respond? How about writing a haiku to/about Val Kilmer in the comments? If you do it, I’ll do it, and then maybe Val will do it and we can make a movie about the global sensation and dance underwater with a talking car.
Eric Bana says his villainy role as Nero in J.J. Abrams‘s Star Trek is nothing more than a “cameo.” News to me. You? Here’s another quote from the Aussie actor about his role: “It’s just a great character, it’s J.J. Abrams. It’s a really well-written script, great part. Couldn’t say no. I don’t actually look at the size of parts ever.” [The Herald Sun]
In what marks our second weird-beard item of the day (my quota is filled, yipps!), /Film staple Sam Rockwell is growing out his face’s wilderness for a role in which he’ll play…[water bubbles]…a man who is stranded on the moon for three years. Wow, I’ve had people do the start-stop-start-stop to me in the parking lot of a Sonic Burger, but leaving a guy shoe-gazing for a thousand nights on the giant, white rock? Bust. The indie film is entitled Moon (obviously), and will be directed by Duncan Jones, aka Zowie Bowie, spawn of hollow-cheeked rocka David Bowie. I can fight off images of the moon from “Tonight, Tonight” but imagining the couch sesh and brain cloud that procreated this idea makes me want Pringles. [MTV]
Perma-glowing actress Kate Hudson (Fool’s Gold) will star as painter Margaret Keane [click name for art works] in the film Big Eyes for first time directing duo Larry Karaszweski and Scott Alexander. A big-eyed Oscar bid for Hudson, the biopic focuses on Keane’s significant popularity as an artist in the ’50s and ’60s, even while her works were quizzically produced under her husband’s name. After a messy divorce, the couple ended up in federal court, where she painted before a judge and won the case. After the court battle, she moved to Hawaii, became quite religious and her work experienced an eerily happy mood swing. Girls Girls Girls. [Variety]
The Weinstein Co. has acquired movie rights to the intriguing novel Wolf Boy written by Evan Kuhlman and published in 2006 by Crown. When a boy’s older brother, Francis Wolf, is killed in a car accident, he creates comic-style stories illustrated by his eccentric girlfriend entitled The Adventures of Wolf Boy, about a superhero who himself battles the grief of a dead, un-tased bro as well as spectacular villains while attempting to save the world. The film will mix live action and animation, and the book is being adapted by Chris Parker (Mulan II). No director is attached at this time. Sounds kind of Juno-y to me, if the opening credits attacked Diablo Cody’s retro-toy potty mouth and Michael Cera died like Mac Culkin in My Girl. [Variety]
The Web’s Sly Stallone aficionado, AB King, says that MGM has hip-ish actors like Ryan Gosling, Cillian Murphy, Ben Foster and not-so-hip Elijah Wood pegged for one young sidekick role in Stallone’s Charles Bronson remake The Mechanic. The Rambo auteur recently signed a two-pic deal at Nu Image/Millennium Films to direct and star in two action films, so The Mechanic is probably one of them, and after he recently ruled out Rambo V, might the other by Death Wish? Stallone is back in a major way, it’s insane.
But wait! Like a coin-op catfight between Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell…Rambo V might still have a shot! It seems Stallone is giving mixed signals from across the bar to his second most famous character. Kissy Kissy. Most recently, he said a third sequel will “depend on the success of this one, but right now I think I’m gearing one up. It will be quite different.” What!?! That would totally negate the response he gave here saying no more Rambo flicks ever, not even in…space. And yet at this rather recent link, he combines this “yes, no” weirdness, and I’d say it’s the best response to where Rambo V stands. When asked if he’ll return for another Rambo sequel he says straight-up, “No.” But when asked if he’d consider another Rambo sequel (what balls this interviewer has, eh?), Stallone says…
“I have a very, very bizarre idea. It’s probably so absurd, but it’s got to formulate a little bit. If I told you I was going to do one about a sixty one year old boxer, you’d go, ‘Yup!’ But if you find the right formula almost anything is feasible. It’s just coming in there and making the audience go, ‘Okay, that’s possible. That is feasible.’ It’s weird. I mean, Space Cowboys. Hello? But it worked.”
Hello? Did Stallone really just friggin’ imply that Rambo is going to space? I mean, there are lots of movies with old dudes kicking younger dudes’ asses. Why name drop Space Cowboys? Lastly, the creator of the Rambo character, David Morrell, has commented at length on his liking the new film, and it’s worth a read. (Oh yeah, and I gave it a 10/10.) [Dark Horizons]
Lesson: be careful with the prescription pills. Ending weeks of speculation with official closure and a bit of universal health advice, actor Heath Ledger‘s death on January 22nd has been attributed to an “acute intoxication” of several prescription medications. A New York medical examiner said that toxicology reports show that a lethal combination of anxiety medications (Xanax, Valium), sleeping aids (Restoril, Unisom) and pain killers (Vicodin, OxyContin) were found in his system at the time of death. Information pertaining to which drugs or what doses proved most responsible was not revealed. Ledger’s family issued a statement, here’s an excerpt…
“While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath’s accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage.”
In related news, the official website for Ledger’s last film, Terry Gilliam‘s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, has gone live. If you click here you will see the words “Coming Soon.” According to a source at Quick Stop Entertainment, the production has not ceased, and yet certain “shady parties” would like the general public to think The Dark Knight was the 28-year-old actor’s final role. Um, okay. Regarding Doctor Parnassus, there are no new developments to the rumors that Ledger’s role will be recast (with Johnny Depp?) and/or that CGI will be utilized to complete his part. Stay tuned.
Oh yes, my first Quentin Tarantino post here on the great Slash. Warning: I am not going to get to the point. There are some directors I still cannot wait to interview. Not Tarantino. Like Michael Jordan, a living Bobby Fisher, Gregory Isaacs, J.D. Salinger, the Rza, or my favorite ex gal, I’d rather just buy Tarantino an Irish Car Bomb at a dark bar with a good juke box and not say a word except “On me.” Wait, does that come off a little Linda Fiorentino pervy? What I meant was: I think Tarantino operates on a level beyond brain-picking. I motherf***ing owe Tarantino. I don’t deserve the company of his clone, yet.
When you interview someone, you’re always measuring expectations against facial tics, grammar, personality and cell-phone ‘ruptions. It’s like speed dating and sometimes a publicist (who offers and smokes huge joints, hey) helps, but sometimes not. I absolutely hated, despised…studied my arm rest during Death Proof; but I don’t use it against Tarantino. I cannot. Are you kidding? It was like Jordan wearing 45 and fouling a lay-up or getting a shot thrown into the stands. It was an insult, to me. I know this: when QT delivers Inglorious Bastards, whether it’s one, two or four films, I am never going to experience that experience again. Yep.
I don’t think I could ever have a movie-themed wedding. No friggin’ way. But the most perfect, romantic experience of my life happened during Kill Bill Vol. 2. I sat beside this icy, ice-skinned metropolitan gal from a middle-class fam, and we were practically broken up at that point. And, at film’s end, she said, “that was so good,” and these Q*berts behind us said, “Where the fuck was the blood?” We got it. I wanted to wrap her up like a small box of candy. She got it. She kissed me when it was over because that was a real woman on screen. Pai Mei. We were a sort of perfection. I was honored.
We played darts to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs with a Ferrari parked outside, and after that we did some crazy things, but all I remember is basking at her when those credits rolled. That shit makes me cry. Uma writhing on a bathroom floor on a glorious new morning? It was me and her, and the perfection was realized by Tarantino. I would do anything to live that moment over and over. Fucking double-credits. That’s my love. I love QT.
There is a rather informative interview with Tarantino over at Sight&Sound. I have $300 on the game tonight, so here are some excerpts…
“I’ve got tons of material and a lot of stuff written but now I’ve figured out what to do, I gotta start from page one, square one. I started just before I came on this trip and brought the stuff with me but I haven’t had a chance to continue yet. But maybe on the flight back home I’ll come back into it. I love writing in other countries. It’s a lot of fun.”
Same stuff we’ve been hearing for quite a while, right?
But, of course, QT is going to drop a new project on the Netz…and he never dOes it on purpose…
“I’d like to make a spy movie. I can’t ever imagine that I’m doing it though because, as much as I’m attracted to it, it ultimately would be just pictures of people talking to each other. One of the books that I’m reading right now is Len Deighton’s Berlin Game, part of the ‘Game, Set and Match’ trilogy. So I’m reading Berlin Game. I actually read it before years ago and I didn’t properly get into Mexico Set, and now I have to read them all over again.”
So, how plausible is a Game, Set, Match trilogy….
” It has a great twist at the end of one that sends the stories into a tailspin. So if I were to do it – which I’m doing as an exercise here – I would see if I could boil it down to the fat of the characters, and ignore all this Maquis double agent stuff. It would be interesting if I could reduce the three novels to an hour each and make a three hour movie that would have a big kind of impact, just by responding to the characters, and the wonderful chance of casting actors in it, and the nice environment of the drawing room and the cottages in this part of East Berlin, with the Wall still there and everything”
And, QT on Digital…
“To me 97 per cent of the use of digital is laziness. They are trying to make it easier on themselves, and it shows. If you don’t care enough about your movie to shoot it yourself, I don’t care enough about it enough to see it. But in those cases where they are creating a whole new cinematic landscape, I can’t be churlish about that. I’ve got to give it up. It adds another possibility in which to tell stories, and create pictures.”
I love Tarantino, and I look forward to his next vision like a message from god or like a phone call at 4 a.m. from a girlfriend telling me to fly down and catch up. There are no mistakes in this career, I feel, just details. I am the dummy.
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
A random news symbiote has infested the Nets today and, as Ned Ryerson would squeal, “it’s a doozy.” IESB reports that Marvel Studios is prepping a Venom spin-off and has already met with “several A-list writers.” Before you fire off the sirens to alert the strikers, you may recall that a bit ago Marvel cut a deal with the WGA. Apparently the superhero studio has retained the rights to the character, as he/it previously appeared last summer in Sony’s wobbly webbing cake that was Spider-Man 3, in the human form of Eddie Brock, played by actor Topher Grace. No word if Grace is still attached, and no word about Sam Raimi‘s involvement, but I’d guess he wouldn’t direct the flick as he has admitted in the past that Venom is not his type.
Obviously, this project comes as a surprise since Venom, when full-blown, is a villain with less social skills than a pet rock; and for many fanboys it’s a surprise as hotly anticipated as Critters Gone Wild, since Venom is cited as the largest flaw in Sam Raimi‘s second Spidey sequel. Personally, all of Raimi’s Spider-Man movies are as pleasurable to me as staring at the sun, though the second one has its moments. I just don’t dig their aesthetic and the “darkness”-arch and newfound maturity of the third one made the fourth Harry Potter look like Tropic of Cancer.
However, I’m not opposed to this film. Making a movie about an outer space ooze that turns a person into Spidey’s hulking Id is kinda chill. There is the potential to do a visually stunning and madcap movie with Venom, especially if Carnage is involved. Drop Grace for the sake of a fresh take, and hire, I dunno, a director-duo like Crank‘s Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor or even the Hughes Brothers to think outside the box while gunning for profitability and it’s a winner.
Say what?! Days after producer Harvey Weinstein started revving the hype machine for another Rambo sequel, director-star Sylvester Stallone is quoted as saying he’s forever done with the character. The following quote is attributed to Stallone by the Guardian UK newspaper, apparently while the actor was at a press conference…
“This is the last Rambo just as Rocky Balboa is the last Rocky,” Stallone told reporters. “I can’t go any further. It was a miracle that it even got done.”
This statement would seem to play against what Stallone has said previously while promoting his latest flick, which opened to $18 million plus last weekend. Most notably, in one of his Q&As with AICN [link is not retrievable on the site], Stallone gave the following response to a fan’s inquiry about a fifth Rambo film…
I truly can’t tell you yet because I think it would be bad luck, but I think a challenge would be to take the character which has been perceived mostly in a realistic vein and add another element of the surreal that would actually take the audience into a slightly different genre. It’s not like I’m going to turn it into a full on Broadway musical starring the Muppets, but it is ambitious.”
In a later AICN Q&A, Stallone was asked about his future involvement with action films post-new-Rambo…
“I love action films. I think they’re highly underrated and it’s unfortunate that the amount of effort and craftsmanship that goes into creating modern day mythology is considered light weight fare. It’s not. It’s a thousand times more difficult to do a profound action film than a dramatic film, but I know the consensus of so called dramatic purists would disagree. So to answer you question I would consider it a privilege to do more films in this genre.”
There are other links online with pro-Rambo V quotes from Stallone, and he’s contrasted the character’s longevity with Rocky’s and the parting shot that was Rocky Balboa a bit. CinemaBlend even reported on negotiations for a fifth film as far back as October. Did something happen in the last few days or weeks to change Stallone’s mind, might he be changing his press quips to stabilize Rambo’s box office and its global standing as the last in the franchise? Or is he really done and moving on to remakes of The Mechanic and Death Wish, and his pet-project Poe? One thing is for sure, the jungles in Rambo and the Thailand scenery are beyond impressive, more so than in the great Rescue Dawn, and I can’t imagine the amount of labor involved for Stallone as both the lead actor and the director. Seriously. This is a fun action movie that beat its expectations to a pulp. The guy’s in his early 60s, and it all seemed effortless.
The film’s funny and very memorable ending can be interpreted as a final note or a set-up for another film. Hopefully, I get around to posting a review, but I’ll go ahead and endorse this is as the best Rambo film since First Blood. The movie snowballs in terms of craziness, and by the time it ends, you’re positive the Death Chart was off by, like, 300-400 kills. Check this film out, whether it’s the last or not.
The nation’s largest online movie ticket company, Fandango, has released some stats for Disney’s theatrical concert extravaganza opening this weekend, Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour. For those who don’t know but secretly care, the movie is in 3D. What does a $15 ticket buy in 3D? Well, how about: guitar pics flying at your face, mic stands being rocked so hard the Blues Brothers would duck, the totes siked hands of huge tween audiences grabbing for you, and one twirling drum stick going “wham!” Beowulf, I want my golden duckets back.
- The concert movie currently accounts for 91% of tickets sold on Fandango
- Over 1,000 showtimes are sold out don’t cha know
- It’s already the best selling concert movie in Fandango’s history (Bono and Keith Richards, up to it?)
- Theaters are adding Thursday midnight shows and 8 a.m. screenings (we don’t need no…)
- The movie’s been a bestseller on the site since December 1st
The movie is only playing in 683 locations according to the trades, but box office is expected to be boffo-in-sequins.
The G.I. Joe casting news marches on, blankly. The main villain in the film, the silver-headed Destro, will be played by theater actor David Murray [iesb.net], previously seen in Batman Begins as…”Jumpy Thug.” A face you will recognize, actor Dennis Quaid‘s, is now set for General Hawk, the unkempt elder leader of the Joes. There’s your marquee value. The Cobra-backed villain, Zartan, who is a dead ringer for the old school wrestler the Ultimate Warrior, will be played by South African actor Arnold Vosloo [iesb.net]. How much more of this do we have to take? In what seems like a move directed at all of the Internet moaning, G.I. Joe creator Larry Hama [latinoreview] has signed on as a consultant to the film. Late, much?
Three years have passed since her last forgotten supernatural mystery, The Forgotten, so the lovely and veddy talented Julianne Moore is set to top-line a new $25 million supernatural mystery entitled Shelter. Plot details are under wraps, but Swedish directors Mans Barlind and Bjorn Stein are aboard. Peter and John are not.
The Weinstein Co. liked how Dario Argento‘s latest film and his first in the English language, Giallo, was coming together, so the company is distributing the film theatrically in the United States. Wild-eyed stars Vincent Gallo and Ray Liotta will face off bathed in the director’s stylish color palette. More details on the film here.
Freshly detached in the press from the next Jack Ryan vehicle, director Phillip Noyce (Sliver, Patriot Games), is now officially unattached to helm the untitled Amelia Earhart biopic starring Hilary Swank. Noyce was torn between waiting out delays in filming and directing Mary Queen of Scots with Scarlett Johansson in the titular role. Scarlett > Swank.
AICN apparently has an ear to the howls coming from the set of The Wolf Man, which director Mark Romanek just left. Among the directors now rumored to take over the film, which begins filming in February (rush!), is Brett Ratner [lightning crashes, birds fly backwards]. Earlier we reported that Cloverfield‘s Matt Reeves has also been mentioned.
More quiet vacuum cleaning of the past days’ news after the jump…
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This is what happens when you get the sniffles and ignore the beat for a couple of hours: the world of Hollywood deals starts exploding with awfulness. Something in the Elm Street-verse started feeling askew a few weeks ago when Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, said he thought it was a good idea to remake Wes Craven‘s A Nightmare on Elm Street and perhaps pass his claw on to someone else. Word arrives today that production house Platinum Dunes (of which Michael Bay is a partner) and New Line Cinema are setting a plan into motion to completely revamp the franchise, just like they’re doing with Friday the 13th and Jason Voorhees, which starts filming in early May. Platinum Dunes have previously set their signature glossy and tan paws on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Eric Red’s The Hitcher and the upcoming Hitchcock-remake The Birds.
A writer will not be hired for the project until after the strike, and no director is attached. Like I said, Englund probably won’t be back. Platinum Dunes can have Jason, fine. Those films are addictive T&A crowd-pleasers and I’m sure they’ll make Crystal Lake shimmer and pop like an airbrushed painting on the side of a stoner van. But ANOES needs a visionary director that will keep the 10-year-old kids who sneak into the remake up in sheer fright for years. This is real deal psychological horror, complete with dream logic, and not simply “caller’s in the house” cliche after cliche, though Craven’s film did that well, as well. I mean, can you imagine the ghostly girls jumping rope singing “3, 4 better lock your door” in Bay-protege-o-vision? Why not just ring up Larry Flynt to do the casting and work the water hose?
The blame here really goes to New Line, though. Freddy Krueger saved that studio’s arse several times throughout its history, and while a ANOES remake is never going to compete with The Hobbit for box office, is it too much to ask to hand the franchise over to a director who will leave the throbbing hormones to the other schlock that passes for horror these days? Johnny Depp might have even done a cameo if it was up to snuff. As for Englund, if he’s okay with ending his contribution with Freddy vs. Jason, who can argue? He’s not right for a water hose reimagining anyhow.
It amazes and terrifies me that so few filmmakers are as open, interested and engaged in the torrent phenomena as director John August. You might remember that earlier this month we reported on August’s curious announcement to fans that his indie film (and /Film favorite), The Nines, was available for illegal download online via Bit Torrent and sites like Mininova. He seemed to express that he wouldn’t hold a grudge if you saw his film that way. Well, August has posted twice more on the topic on his personal blog, and he now attributes a huge surge for The Nines on IMDB’s MOVIEmeter (which measures movie search trends) from 1,539 all the way to 11 to its exposure via the Internet’s torrents.
You don’t see a lot, actually any, directors making the correlation between illegal torrent leaks of their films, their films’ popularity and consumer interest, but August has voiced up. And it’s clear that August has received a lot of flack for doing so, as he’s extended on his prior statements and countered others’ directed at him in another blog entry.
I’m not bouncy with joy over my movie getting torrented, but I think it’s a stretch to equate unlawful downloading with traditional theft. As many commenters have pointed out, The Nines isn’t available in any legal form in many countries around the world, nor will it be in any foreseeable time frame. So I have a hard time arguing that a reader in Germany should pay for the movie when there’s no way he could.
August goes on to say that he has far less tolerance for viewers who download a film that is openly available to them, be it on DVD or theatrically, but even then, he seems to think that downloading his film is less harmful than buying a bootleg of it on the streets of New York, referring to the latter as “organized crime” and torrent sites as merely “far less noble.” Moreover, he says that Hollywood should lay off the downloaders and lay on an innovative solution.
I’d steer the legal machinery towards stopping the true black market – counterfeit discs and camcorder specials – and spend more time coming up with legitimate, convenient alternatives to the torrents, so that’s it’s not any more difficult to find and download a movie legally. Apple’s new rental deal with the studios sounds promising. That and a dozen other efforts could make the market competitive, which will be better for everyone.
But where August takes a next step in becoming a unique voice on this subject is with the following statement…
One of the things I hope to do with The Nines – sometime after the writers’ strike, when I can call Sony again – is work with them to release a low-res version of all the source material for The Nines, so budding filmmakers can try their hand at cutting (and re-cutting) a real feature. So I’m watching this first wave of torrents carefully, hoping the people who are downloading The Nines are doing it because they love movies, and not because they want to screw over some mythical The Man. Because to a very large degree, I am The Man in this case.
Yes! This is the kind of forward-thinking the industry needs and props to August for doing it for them. I cannot express enough how frustrated I am watching Hollywood slowly but surely follow the same “all defense all the time” path as the music industry when it comes to ignoring downloading as the future (in favor of Blue Ray), going after torrent communities and prosecuting downloaders, and practicing what basically equates to an erred philosophy on human beings’ relationship and instincts in regards to sharing information.
The fact that 99 percent of all moviegoers around the world were put in the position of waiting to see The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, an Oscar-caliber film barely released theatrically in America last September, until it arrived on DVD five or more months (or years) later, or illegally downloading a pristine DVD screener a month ago, burning it to a DVD-R, and watching it in their home with friends or loved ones is preposterous. I have a separate post about this in the works, but I can’t help but notice how many more comments on /Film and other sites are now referring to a combination of smaller, less intriguing and under-distributed movies as “[illegal] download only” and “maybe I’ll download it to see what the fuss is about.” And it’s not just the “nerds, criminals, derelicts and college students” as the music industry used to label those who first adopted Napster.
As for whether illegal torrents can actually make films more popular, to me this is a no-brainer. Yes. They Can. In a global marketplace, we should all be able to view movies on demand via the Internet at the same time. And more and more, we can, except that it’s not Hollywood and the big corporations that are promoting, initiating, investing, improving and expanding this means of populist, and incredibly lucrative, distribution. It’s the people, whatever you think of “the people.” You can go the Daniel Plainview these people route if you want, but I’m leaving that mindset to the antiquated oil set.
Here is the aforementioned IMBD MOVIEmeter for The Nines. August attributes the huge surge in January in terms of movie searches to the film’s leak on torrents this month.