Links of the Week

Last week’s /Filmcast and /Filmcast: After Dark.

/Film’s David Chen interviews Eagle Eye producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci here.

Friends, family and fellow thespians chime in about the recently deceased Paul Newman here.

Marvel Studios teams up with Paramount Pictures to distribute films here and DC’s The Green Lantern may start filming in early spring here.

Probably realising her film career is prettty much dead, actress Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Return) is planning her return to TV here…hey, at least she lasted longer than fellow hasbeen Jennifer Love Hewitt (CBS’ Ghost Whisperer)!

A first look at Alice In Wonderland, the anticipated new movie from Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Streethere. Also Tweedledee and Tweedledum have been cast here.

Must see: legendary film critic Roger Ebert answers a Disaster Movie fan here.

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New Trailer: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

Response to footage of The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, the new film from cult director David Fincher (Zodiac), has been rather lukewarm so far but I must say this trailer looks amazing, just like the first one. Naturally, this new trailer gives us more insight into the movie’s plot and it seems fascinating, while reminding me a bit of last year’s Youth Without Youth, the overlooked comeback of legendary director Francis Ford Coppola (The Rainmaker).

Written by Eric Roth (Lucky You) and Robin Swicord (The Jane Austen Book Club), based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby), The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button tells the story of a man who’s born with the body of an old man and who grows younger as he ages. It stars Brad Pitt (Burn After Reading), Cate Blanchett (Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull), Tilda Swinton (Burn After Reading), Elle Fanning (Reservation Road, also Charlotte’s Web actress Dakota’s younger sister), Elias Koteas (Shooter), Jason Flemyng (Mirrors) and Julia Ormond (Kit Kittredge: An American Girl) among others.

In any case, this promises another brilliant performance for Pitt. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button will premiere around Christmas in the US and Australia and in most other countries in January & February 2009. But to me the real question is, what’s with all the Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett pairings recently? First they were supposed to co-star in The Fountain, then they were together in Babel and now this…WTF?

Bill Murray talks Ghostbusters 3

Skip to about five minutes in to hear what original castmember Bill Murray has to say about the recently announced Ghostbusters 3. The short version is that he’s looking forward to making the film and hopes it won’t be special effects crazy as that ruined the second film in his opinion. I you missed it, read what original castmember and co-writer Harold Ramis had to say about the sequel a little while ago here.

New Trailer: Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories is a new Disney movie directed by Adam Shankman (Hairspray), starring Adam Sandler (You Don’t Mess With The Zohan), Keri Russell (August Rush), Guy Pearce (Traitor), Courteney Cox Arquette (FX’s Dirt), Russell Brand (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Aisha Tyler (Balls Of Fury), Lucy Lawless (Sci Fi’s Battlestar Galactica), Jonathan Pryce (Leatherheads) and Richard Griffiths (the Harry Potter films) among others.

The film, written by Matt Lopez (The Wild) and Tim Herlihy (Mr. Deeds), focuses on a guy who discovers that the bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew mysteriously come true. Bedtime Stories premieres in most countries around Christmas/New Year’s. I think Sandler is a great, underrated actor, but this seems to be among his lesser films. In any case there’ll always be Keri and Courteney to look at, so that’s a plus. What do you guys think?

New Trailer and Poster: Inkheart

It seems ages ago that Inkheart‘s first trailer premiered, and that’s because, well, it was. Indeed, the fantasy film was to be originally released around Christmas 2007, but instead was delayed again and again, which usually isn’t a good sign but might be explained by the trouble New Line Cinema was having at the time.

The story centers around 12 year old Meggie and her father Mo, who has the power to bring characters from books into the real world when he reads aloud. Turns out Mo discovered his power when his daughter was only a baby, and accidentally sent his wife into a book while reading Meggie a story. That, and an evil dude wants to use Mo’s power.

Based on the first book of a popular German trilogy of fantasy novels written by Cornelia Funke (The Thief Lord), who serves as a producer for the movie, Inkheart was adapted by David Lindsay-Abaire (Robots) and directed by Iain Softley (The Skeleton Key). It stars Brendan Fraser (the new Mummy movies), Eliza Bennett (The Contractor), Andy Serkis (The Cottage), Paul Bettany (The Da Vinci Code), Helen Mirren (National Treasure: Book Of Secrets), Jim Broadbent (Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull) and Sienna Guillory (Eragon) among others.

I think the aforementioned first trailer was better made, but this still looks pretty good, I’m a sucker for (good) fantasy and I must say quite like some of the talent involved. What do you think? Does Inkheart have what it takes to join the closed circle of fantasy winners? The movie will premiere in Germany on December 11th, and will get releases in the rest of the world throughout early 2009.

Suck on this Warner Bros, Hari Puttar FTW!

If you’ve already been to this site, you’ve probably heard about the Harry Potter/Hari Puttar lawsuit Warner Bros initiated about a month ago. If not, the gist is that Warner Bros filed a lawsuit against Indian company Mirchii Movies over the latter’s film Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors, complaining it resembled its Harry Potter property a tad too much. Of course, Hari has nothing in common with Harry and is actually more of a Home Alone ripoff. You can read more about it here (including Hari Puttar‘s trailer) and here.

As I predicted, Warner Bros succeeded only in embarassing themselves, as Indian courts rejected the complaint yesterday on grounds that the stories are in no way similar and that Warner knew of the film since 2005 (!). Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors will now come out this Friday in India, instead of the September 12th release originally planned.

In related Potter news, 25 minutes of the sixth film’s IMAX presentation will be converted for a 3D presentation. Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince will open worldwide in mid-July 2009.

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The Dark Tower to proceed once Lost finishes

Legendary author Stephen King (The Mist) is a big fan of ABC’s hit show Lost, to the extent of optioning the movie rights of his Dark Tower series to its creators for only nineteen dollars more than a year ago. In a recent interview, one of them, Damon Lindelof, states that they will only really start on the adaptation once Lost is over.

“The Dark Tower is to me every bit as daunting an adaptation as the Lord of the Rings trilogy must have been for Peter Jackson, except we’ve got seven books we’re looking at. And the idea of doing that at the same time Carlton and I are bringing Lost to a close is simply not viable. There are always Dark Tower conversations, but the figuring out of what this will look like as a movie has not begun. If The Dark Tower were in the right hands, I would love to see seven movies executed just right. But you have to get people to see the first one to get them to come and see the second one.”

Though I’ve seen quite a few movies inspired by his work, I’m not very familiar with Stephen King’s actual books, but from what I understand The Dark Tower is a series of seven books mixing the genres of fantasy, horror and western that tie virtually all of King’s other stories together. According to Wikipedia, the novels “describe a gunslinger’s quest toward a tower whose nature the books call both physical and metaphorical”. It is also to be noted that an ongoing series of original Dark Tower comic books is published by Marvel Comics under King’s personal supervision, but from Lindelof’s talk of “seven books” it seems they are unfortunately not part of the deal.

In any case, Lost will end in 2010 with its sixth season, so I guess we can expect a Dark Tower movie by 2012.

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