Ole Bornedal’s Just Another Love Story is what I imagine While You Were Sleeping would’ve be like if Guillermo del Toro had remade the Sandra Bullock romantic comedy as a dark dramatic thriller. Anders W. Berthelsen stars as Jonas, a forensics photographer who is involved in a traffic accident that sends a young woman into a coma, but leaves Jonas and his family unscratched. Jonas decides to visit her in the hospital, and is somehow mistaken for the Woman’s boyfriend Sebastian. Her family doesn’t allow him to explain, and somehow Jonas finds himself going along with the charade.

Julia awakens from her coma, blind and with amnesia. Jonas eventually tries to free himself of the situation, but when he attempts to explain, her father just believes he’s trying to coward out of the difficult situation. He offers Jonas money to stay around until she gets better.  But a series of deeply twisted turns sends this film into an intense thriller. I have no doubt this Danish gem will be gobbled up by Hollywood, and released as a American remake, which won’t be half as good. Catch the original if you can. 8/10

D.J. Caruso‘s Eagle Eye is based on an concept by Steven Spileberg, of man vs. technology. Which makes me wonder why Spielberg didn’t develop and direct the project himself, especially considering his trademark series of films which pits man versus sharks, dinosaurs, vehicles…etc. I have no doubt that a great movie could have been made with the core concept, but the completed film is full of plot holes and characters who only seem to be on screen to serve a quota.

I can’t really get into my problems with the film without discussing the film’s climax and the reveal of the villain, both of which are shrouded in mystery until late into the story. But truth be told, when you learn who or what is behind the other side of the cellphone, and the reasons why Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan‘s characters were “activated”, it doesn’t exactly make sense. The film entertains and thrills, but is unsatisfying overall, especially when assessed after the fact. 6.5/10

We’ve known for a while that D.J. Caruso‘s first film in a planned Y: The Last Man trilogy was aiming for 2010, and he’s given a new update to UGO. The director of Disturbia and Eagle Eye confirms that the script by Carl Ellsworth (Disturbia, Red Eye) was turned in last week to Warner Bros., a studio that’s said to be heavily enthusiastic and committed to the big budget endeavor. Moreover, he added that while Shia LaBeouf remains attached to the main character—a young Brooklynite named Yorick Brown who becomes the last man on an Earth populated with combative, horny women—the previously rumored Alicia Keys is not a lock to play Yorick’s government-hired protector codenamed 355

“She’s definitely someone to consider.  I thought she did a really cool job in [Smokin’ Aces]… So really, the one thing, I think I’ve mentioned this to you, I’m going for, and it’s not quite there yet on the page.  I’d love to have sort of a (Robert) DeNiro/(Charles) Grodin relationship between 355 and (Yorick).  Kind of a Midnight Run relationship…I think Alicia’s a great girl and everything but I have to make sure that she can handle the acting part of it.”

Midnight Run, eh? We’re big fans of the comic series at Slashfilm, so here’s hoping Caruso goes with another actress, possibly an unknown, and not the musician/aspiring Bond Girl. One name I’ve heard tossed around a bit with fans is Vivica Fox, based, I’m guessing, on her surprisingly good, albeit brief, performance and action skills in Kill Bill. She’s a little old for the part though, even if she did deliver laughs and sex appeal on Curb Your Enthusiasm. All requisites for 355. Any casting suggestions in the comments? And Caruso informs that fans have already mentioned Kill Bill‘s Lucy Liu for the part of Dr. Mann—a brilliant hands-on Chinese/Japanese geneticist who happens to be a lesbian—but he hasn’t given any actresses much consideration. Mann would play a larger part in a proposed second film.

Caruso let it be known that Yorick’s monkey Ampersand—a seminal character in the comics—will in fact be a real monkey in the film(s). Great news. It worked in Matthew Broderick’s Project X, and it can work here (no monkey pilots).

Brian K. Vaughn‘s Y: The Last Man is going to be really tough to develop. There’s the sheer size—Caruso has implied that all or part of the subplot with Yorick’s girlfriend in Australia may be kiboshed—but also enough philosophical implications and discussions therein, not to mention pop-culture references, to stretch out a semester in college. And while the comic books are “R-rated” (violence, sexuality), this will most likely be a PG-13 summer popcorn film(s). Caruso seems to have a good communication going with Vaughn, so we’re optimistic, but he’ll need to channel some early Spielbergian wonder and some of that director’s dark period tone and visuals to see it through. We’ll avoid referencing a certain scene in Indy IV.

Discuss: Any casting suggestions for Ampersand? 355?

With Matthew Vaughn off directing Kick-Ass and his once-proposed $300 million Thor epic but a memory, DJ Caruso (Disturbia, Eagle Eye) is now expressing interest in bringing Marvel‘s Son of Odin to the big screen. In an interview with IESB he said…

“…I would definitely tackle it and I sort of wrestled with it before and I was always a fan of Thor growing up as a kid. I know that they [Marvel] have a script, but there’s something, there’s a fear I have about Thor and depending on what Thor story you want to tell, whether you want to bring Thor into the modern world or if you want to go back to Asgard…”

He added that he’s even had talks with Marvel about the film, but it all comes down to the screenplay. Last year, screenwriter Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend, longtime Thor fan/collector) described his script to the Daily Herald as…

“It’s going to be like a super hero origin story, but not one about a human gaining super powers, but of a god realizing his true potential. It’s the story of a Old Testament god who becomes a new Testament god. I think it’s going to surprise a lot of people.”

And Vaughn was attracted to the project due to its pricey vision of Norse mythology, saying, “It’s very much a Marvel superhero story but against the backdrop of something you’ve never seen before.” All of which lends credence to a storyline focusing on Asgard and Thor’s villainous brother, Loki.

In the past, Peter hasn’t been too convinced that this character will work on film (Adventures in Babysitting excluded?), but mixing LOTR and Conan-like fantasy, a timeline that can jump across thousands of years, and a huge budget sits well with me. I like the idea of seeing iconic comic characters placed in film genres like War and Pulp Noir rather than running around another modern day metropolis; though Thor could go that direction as well. Caruso is still circling Y: The Last Man with Shia LaBeouf (and hopefully not Alicia Keys), a property that is nearly as challenging to pull off as this one in my opinion (I’ve got 15 issues to go).

And in a report on 20th Century Fox‘s future plans, Variety says the studio is mulling “the possibility of more X-Men spinoffs, including a young-X-Men project as well as Deadpool, based on a character played by Ryan Reynolds in Wolverine. The studio is even considering reviving the Daredevil property.”

In the summer of 2003, the groanable Ben Affleck-starrer coasted to a disappointing $102 million, and led many to predict the cooling of the comic book film, especially after the hokey 2005 Elektra spin-off (which Johnson produced). Recently, Jason Statham threw his name in for a DD remake. While I’m not adverse to that hypothetical casting, since a reboot would remain parked at Fox and not Marvel Studios, I do hope it stays on ice a while longer. Peter has suggested that the character is perfect for a live-action HBO series, and I agree. There is a humanity and struggle—not to mention room for a great procedural drama—to Daredevil that would be better explored on a smaller screen rather than in a me-too blockbuster.

Discuss: DJ Caruso for Thor. Why not? What’s the argument for a big budget Thor working as a Marvel Studios film and vice versa? Is a Daredevil reboot needed? On one hand, Batman Begins, on the other, The Incredible Hulk. Would you prefer a hypothetical HBO series, like Slashfilm’s crew, instead?

Alicia Keys as Agent 355 in Y: The Last Man?

Producer JC Spink tells UGO that he would like Alicia Keys to play Agent 355 in DJ Caruso‘s big screen adaptation of Y: The Last Man. I can definitely see the resemblance, but I would prefer someone with more acting experience in the role.

Discuss: Who would you cast as Agent 355 in the big screen movie?

DJ Caruso’s Y: The Last Man in Summer 2010?

Y: The Last ManToday during our visit to Dreamworks, we got the chance to talk to Eagle Eye director D.J. Caruso with a group of select online journalists. During the discussion, the big screen adaptation of Brian K Vaughn’s Y: The Last Man came up, and Caruso dropped some potentially exciting news:

“What happened is New Line is now part of Warner Bros, and Warner Bros is now really high on the project. And Carl Ellsworth will probably be handing in a script to Warner Bros/New Line [real soon].”

Caruso says that in a perfect world, the film will hit theaters in Summer 2010.

“I was talking to Shia [LaBeouf] about this yesterday when we were looping him, because he really wants to do it as well, I would like to prep this movie in October, and start shooting it by January. Warner Bros keeps saying ‘We need movies for 2010’ I’m like ‘We’re the movie!'” said Caruso. “[Shia] wants to do it, I want to do it. I think we just need to worry about him being exhausted, so I told him, if I prep it in the fall and we start in January, that’s a nice big break.”

Y: The Last Man is my favorite comic book series of all time. Shia would play Yorick Brown, a young amateur escape artist, and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand, who instantly become the last two men on Earth after  something mysterious simultaneously kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome – including embryos, fertilized eggs, and even sperm. Society is plunged into chaos as infrastructures collapse and the surviving women everywhere try to cope with the loss of the men. Yorick goes on a mission to find his girlfriend Beth, who was on vacation in Australia. However, DJ says that they aren’t planning “to follow that through-line [with his girlfriend Beth] out too much in the first film.” Yes, I said the FIRST FILM.

“I definitely see it as a trilogy. I see the first movie ending basically where you pick up six weeks after the incident then progressing down only a five or six week journey from that point on until the end of the first movie,” revealed Caruso. “It’s been hard in a good way just because there is so much good stuff to choose from. And every-time you start throwing certain scenes in the screenplay, you’ll see that it sort of dislodges and starts to head a different way.”

“We did something earlier where we sort of separated Yorick from Ampersand for a brief moment of time when Yorrick gets very sick. Also, the 355/Yorrick relationship, we’ve been working on that and not getting that right. Yorrick to me is so solid. It’s really like 355 and her joining with Yorrick that has been… and act three and where do you end the first movie, and where do you go from there.

Caruso claims that co-creator Brian K Vaughn is apparently “really happy” with the direction they have taken.

“I just want to fine tune it before I give it to the studio because I always think that first impression… Because to them Y: The Last Man… Now its Warner Bros. So you’re reeducating a whole different group of people.”

Caruso says that if the project was greenlit, it would probably be produced by Warner Bros and not “New Line” as it would probably be over the certain budget threshold that separated the two production labels.

“I’m still gonna give it to Tobey and Rick who are at New Line but I don’t know the policies at all. All I know is my agent keeps going ‘Oh my god, Warner Bros wants this’, which is great!”

Eagle Eye Movie Trailer – What Do You Think?

Paramount/DreamWorks just released a new theatrical trailer for Eagle Eye, which I’m guessing must be attached to prints of Wanted (which hits theaters this Friday). The new D.J. Caruso-directed fast-paced race-against-time-thriller which stars Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan as “two strangers who become the pawns of a mysterious woman they have never met, but who seems to know their every move. Realizing they are being used to further her diabolical plot, they must work together to outwit the woman before she has them killed.”

The trailer picks up where the teaser left off, and doesnt let up. Is it just me or is this film looking better and better? The action looks intense, and need I remind you that the movie is based on an original idea from Steven Spielberg?! Watch the trailer below and tell me what you think in the comments!

Watch the trailer in High Definition on Yahoo. Eagle Eye hits theaters on September 26th 2008.

Dreamworks Bitchslaps Eagle Eye to September?

Eagle Eye Set PhotoEagle Eye was a hot property from day one, originating as an idea/story from legendary director Steven Spielberg. Directed by D.J. Caruso, re-teaming with Disturbia star Shia LaBeouf (Transformers), and set for a much coveted early August release date. But something has happened…

Maybe the film is running behind schedule. Or quite possibly, maybe they are afraid of the Judd Apatow-produced stoner comedy Pineapple Express? I’m sure the studio might explain that this is just a last minute addition to the major schedule reshuffle announced last week. Whatever the reason, Dreamworks has moved the film from its prime August real estate to late September. And while this move might seem like normal business to most casual movie fans, I believe something major is behind this decision.

Call me a conspiracy theorist if you want, but the facts show that a move from August to September is a major loss. It just doesn’t make sense. The average big Hollywood movie in August opens twice as big as a big Hollywood release in September. This could mean the difference between a $35-40 million to a $20-$25 million opening weekend. Are there technical problems or has the studio suddenly lost faith in the film’s earning potential?

Eagle Eye will now open on September 26th 2008, up against The Coen Brother’s Burn After Reading starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney, and the Paul W.S. Anderson remake of Death Race starring Jason Statham.

Update: Someone working on the film claims that production is behind schedule and they have 2-3 weeks of shooting left.

Y: The Last Man Trilogy?

Y The Last ManWe’ve been following the development of a movie adaptation of Pia Guerra and Brian K. Vaughan’s comic book series Y: The Last Man for a while now. The Vertigo branded comic book series is the best I’ve ever read. Eagle Eye and Disturbia helmer D.J. Caruso has been attached to the project for a while now, and now tells USA Today that it might become a trilogy of films:

“For me, thematically, the most important thing and the reason I want to do this is … I don’t want to say it’s the end of the innocence, but it’s actually a man-child who has to become a real man now,” Caruso says. “I think it’s a really simple, beautiful theme, but at the same time, the movie’s really pop-culture entertainment.”

While the original plan was to squeeze the entire series into one movie, Caruso says the film will cover the first 14 issues of the comics. He adds that this opens the door for a trilogy.

People have always told me that they envisioned Y: The Last Man to be a extended television miniseries. I’ve always believed that the film had major big screen appeal, especially with the influx of post apocalyptic storylines. But the idea that Caruso is planning a trilogy has me ecstatic. There are just so many cool storylines explored in the 60-issue series. And while the first 14-issues are some of the best, I’ve enjoyed how some of the themes have developed in later issues.

Caruso also confirmed that he has had “preliminary discussions” with Shia LaBeouf to play Yorick Brown. But Shia has not yet officially signed on for the film. Anyone who has read the series can see that Shia would make the perfect Yorick.

Y: The Last Man follows Yorick Brown, a young amateur escape artist, and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand, the last two men on Earth. Something (speculated to be a plague) simultaneously kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome – including embryos, fertilized eggs, and even sperm. Society is plunged into chaos as infrastructures collapse and the surviving women everywhere try to cope with the loss of the men. Yorick goes on a mission to find his girlfriend Beth, who was on vacation in Australia.

Y: The Last ManWhen it was announced that D.J. Caruso had signed on to direct a big screen adaptation of Brian K Vaughn’s Y: The Last Man, we speculated that Shia LaBeouf might be playing the lead. Shia had made statements in the past expressing interest in the project. Not only that but DJ Caruso directed him in Disturbia and the upcoming Eagle Eye. So there is a strong connection between the director and star. MTV was able to speak to the director about the possibility, and this is what he said:

“This is funny, but unbeknownst to me: Shia was already chasing this part prior to anything,” Caruso said. “I haven’t talked to him yet about it because he’s off shooting ‘Indiana Jones 4,’ but Shia is the right type and the right personality because you want to have the humor, but you also want to have the seriousness. So we’ll talk about it when we get there.”

It was also revealed that the film version will focus on the first 12 issues of the comic book series, “sort of combining them into a beginning, middle and end. The problem is that even in the first 12, there is so much great stuff, it’s like, what do you leave out? There really isn’t a ticking clock with Yorick, so what we basically did was give him a reason to get from Boston to California in a really short time.”

Y: The Last Man is probably the best non superhero comic book series running today. The story follows Yorick Brown, a young amateur escape artist, and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand, the last two men on Earth. Something (speculated to be a plague) simultaneously kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome – including embryos, fertilized eggs, and even sperm. Society is plunged into chaos as infrastructures collapse and the surviving women everywhere try to cope with the loss of the men. Yorick goes on a mission to find his girlfriend Beth, who was on vacation in Australia.

The Y: The Last Man series will end (as planned) with a double sized issue #60 early next year.

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Kevin SmithYesterday we told you that Rosario Dawson signed on to star alongside Shia LaBeouf in the D.J. Caruso thriller Eagle Eye. This however took Dawson out of the running for Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno, a romantic comedy that had been hand written for Dawson. And now Silent Bob finally speaks:

“What can I say? It kinda sucks. And not inasmuch as “Jesus – we’ll never find another actress for this role!” It kinda sucks because, like I’ve said, I wrote the part with Rosario in mind/for Rosario to play,” wrote Smith in his latest blog entry. “How did this happen, you ask? Well… it’s kinda my fault.”

Smith explains that he wrote Zack and Miri with two actors in mind for the respective leads, with the idea to shoot after filmed the announced horror film Red State. However, reaction to the Zack and Miri script was so enthusiastic across the boards, resulting in the film being fast-tracked into production before Red State (“something that wasn’t hard to do, considering “Red State” wasn’t finished yet”). The male lead “needed some time to get some stuff done,” so the film got pushed back to a January.

“This would’ve meant Rosario would be sitting on her hands all fall, waiting to shoot Zack and Miri. And with the impending strike, with actors not knowing if they’re gonna be working at all post-March, that’s a tough request to make of any actor,” wrote Smith. “Then, along comes “Eagle Eye” – the flick starring man-of-the-moment Shia LeBeouf, to be directed by “Disturbia” helmer D.J. Caruso – based on an original idea by… Wait for it… Steven fucking Spielberg. I mean, who wouldn’t take that gig?”

But Smith is not going to dwell on the negative.

“I’ll miss her, to be sure, but spin control dictates that I’ve gotta say maybe this is a good thing: certainly for Rosario (why be in the donkey show guy’s next picture when you’re invited into Camp Spielberg?) and maybe even for me and “Zack and Miri”. I’ve never worked with our (potential) male lead before, so it might be nice to have a female lead I’ve also never worked with before.”

You can read Smith’s full blog post which also includes photos from his 37th birthday Q&A/Prom/Poker Game, and a nice linkback to /Film’s original story (thanks Kev!)