The cast of Brett Ratner‘s Tower Heist continues to attract talent. Matthew Broderick has just signed on, and Casey Affleck and Judd Hirsch are joining as well.  Read More »

Brett Ratner‘s new movie, the thriller/action/comedy Tower Heist, is prepping to shoot in November in New York City. The cast is enough to earn at least an interested glance: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Gabourey Sidibe and Michael Pena. Now there are two new additions: Téa Leoni and Nina Arianda.

Jeff Nathanson is currently rewriting the Ted Griffin script that got this picture moving. It’s about a group of employees in a big NYC building who set out to rob the fat cat living in the penthouse when they learn he’s plundered their pension fund. I’ll refer back to our last casting note on the movie for my general thoughts: I like the cast and want to see Eddie Murphy do a movie that doesn’t suck, so I’m rooting for this one. Even if prevailing opinion has pre-decided that it’ll be a waste of time, thanks to Brett Ratner. But it’s a heist movie, after all, which is my key weakness. [Variety]

After the break, Glee‘s Lea Michele hits the big screen. Read More »

Is Tower Heist going to be the movie that helps turn around some of the prevailingly bad opinion on Brett Ratner? The guy was doing OK before taking over the X-Men franchise from Bryan Singer, at which point his approval rating went right in the toilet. But the cast for Tower Heist is pretty solid (Ben Stiller, Alan Alda and Eddie Murphy) and has just added Gabourey Sidibe and Michael Pena. I like the idea of an action-comedy heist — it fits right alongside Rush Hour in the lineup of ‘things Brett Ratner might be good at’ — and am actually harboring hopes it might be watchable. Read More »


Before becoming Tower Heist, Brett Ratner‘s latest film was conceived as an urban version of Ocean’s Eleven, with Eddie Murphy in the starring role. The title then was Trump Heist, and the original cast poised to join him included Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and Chris Tucker. One title and casting change later, Murphy was out, Ben Stiller was in, and the studio’s aspirations of making the film a “black Ocean’s Eleven” were scrapped. This decision was affirmed by their hiring on Noah Baumbach—a filmmaker whose whiteness can be sensed in every frame and line of dialogue of The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding and Greenberg—to rewrite the screenplay.

And yet, here we are, right back where we started. Eddie Murphy is set to once again join the cast of Tower Heist. Learn more after the break. Read More »


David Wain directing Alan Alda is something I can pretty easily picture. Brett Ratner directing Alan Alda is something of which I’d never even conceived, though I suppose Alda would have been right at home in Ratner’s The Family Man, with Nic Cage. Regardless, Alda will work with both directors as he’s been cast in both Wain’s Wanderlust and Ratner’s Tower Heist. Read More »


This is basically an incremental update on Tower Heist, which we’ve known for a while would likely be the new film from director Brett Ratner. The script and cast were reconfigured a while ago from the original conception (at one point described as a “black Ocean’s Eleven“) and Ben Stiller has been attached to star. Now the film is almost ready to shoot, and should have cameras rolling late this fall. Read More »

Strangest Team-Up Ever: Brett Ratner and Noah Baumbach


I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone just typing that title. The other day we told you that Ben Stiller was looking to take the lead in a film called Trump Heist (likely to be retitled Tower Heist) which had formerly been conceived as a “black Oceans 11“. Brett Ratner has been attached to direct for a long time, and remains so.

Now Universal is pushing ahead with the film on a fast track, and reportedly wants a rewrite of the script, originally by Ted Griffin. Their go-to guy? Noah Baumbach. Ratner and Baumbach on the same project? Cue stereotypical dizzy camera effects and mass confusion. Read More »


While I’m not wild about Francis Lawrence directing Water for Elephants, some of the cast additions have me more and more interested. We already knew that Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon would be the primary leads for the picture, which takes place in a low-rent traveling circus. Sean Penn was in the mix as one supporting role, but now Christoph Waltz is replacing him as the antagonist, according to Deadline Hollywood. (I’d originally reported that Waltz and Penn were both in the film; that seems to be incorrect.)

Waltz and Witherspoon are a married couple working in the circus; Pattinson is the young vet who signs on to care for the outfit’s menagerie after the death of his parents. He falls in love with Witherspoon’s character and has to deal with her paranoid schizophrenic animal trainer husband. With Penn gone, we still need to know who plays Uncle Al, the impresario who runs the show.

After the break, Hugh Jackman sells cosmetics for director Kevin Lima, and Ben Stiller plans a heist. Read More »