Ben Stiller goes dramatic?

Funnyman Ben Stiller (Tropic Thunder) is apparently in consideration to direct The Trial Of The Chicago 7, a court movie based on real events which Steven Spielberg (the Indiana Jones films) has been dragging along for a couple of years. Paul Greengrass, director of the last two Bourne films, was attached to the pic in August.

The script was written by Aaron Sorkin (Charlie Wilson’s War) and a few actors are already attached, namely Sacha Baron Cohen (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street), Will Smith (Hancock) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War).

As far as I know, Stiller has never strayed, even slightly, from comedy, so if this confirms, will he pull it off? I find that comic actors are often of excellent dramatic performances, but what about comedy directors? On a side note, the events were also recently the subject of an animated documentary titled Chicago 10.

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Back in Business with a Big Bunch of News

If you’re a regular visitor to the site, which you should be, you’ve obviously noticed it hasn’t been updated this past week. Fear not, this was only a temporary hiatus, brought upon me by circumstances I had absolutely no control over. Indeed don’t think it was all fun and no work for me here, no… Not one film was watched, I was just extremely busy elsewhere, but I am back now and The Movie Planet will normally resume its regular output later today. In the meantime, there’s obviously been a crapload of film news during my absence, and I’ve decided to get through all the major stuff quickly in a sort of mega-“Links Of The Week” edition, enabling me to have a clean slate upon my next post. Enjoy.

Movie Announcements

New hotshot comedy actor Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express) will produce and have a supporting role in I’m With Cancer, based on the experiences of producer Will Reiser (Da Ali G Show), who wrote the script here.

Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) will make his English-language debut with an adaptation of David Moody’s novel Hater, written by Glen Mazzara (16 episodes of FX’s The Shield), here.

The 2004 French heist movie Cash Truck (original title Le Convoyeur) is getting a remake in English, titled Armored, adapted by David Ayer (Harsh Times) &  Andrew Kevin Walker (Sleepy Hollow), potentially directed by F. Gary Gray (Be Cool) and potentially starring Eric Bana (The Other Boleyn Girl) here.

Acclaimed director Ridley Scott (Body Of Lies) will return to sci-fi and direct an adaptation of the novel The Forever War, a project he’s been pursuing for 25 years here.

20th Century-Fox has hired screenwriter Allan Loeb (21) to pen a sequel to the 1987 classic Wall Street here.

A big budget Chinese movie based on the legend of Hua Mulan has been announced here. It will be the fifth Chinese film on the subject and the first since 1964.

Bull Durham director Ron Shelton has declared he’s thinking about a sequel here. Star Kevin Costner has however recently stated he’d never do one.

Writer/Director Nancy Meyers (The Holiday) is making a new romantic comedy, which will star Steve Martin (Baby Mama), Meryl Streep (Mamma Mia!), Alec Baldwin (My Best Friend’s Girl) here.

Gary Winick (Charlotte’s Web) will direct the revenge comedy Rat Bastard, written by duo Heather McGowan & Niels Mueller (Tadpolehere.

The French comic book series Du Plomb Dans La Tête (literally something like A Bullet In The Head), will be adapted into the American film Headshot here.

A new muppet movie, a detective comedy titled Happytime Murders will be made, directed by Brian Henson (Muppet Treasure Island) and written by Todd Berger (Chasing Christmas) here.

Steve Carell (Get Smart) will star in the Napoleonic comedy The Adventures Of Brigadier Gerard, based on short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes) here.

Musical sensation Elton John (The Lion King) is writing a musical that will star Ben Stiller (Tropic Thunder) here.

Amy Adams (Charlie Wilson’s War) will star in the romantic comedy Leap Year here.

The multitalented Kevin Smith (Clerks 1 & 2) is planning a space comedy here.

Liev Schreiber (Love In The Time Of Cholera), Helen Hunt (Bobby) and Carla Gugino (Righteous Kill) will star in the drama Every Day here.

Plot Announcements

Actor/Director Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby) reveals the plot for his latest movie, Gran Torino, here.

The plot and songs for the untitled new romantic comedy by Cameron Crowe (Elizabethtown), starring Ben Stiller (Tropic Thunder) and Reese Witherspoon (Rendition) has been revealed here.

The plot for Full Love, the promising second directorial effort for action superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme (JCVD), has been revealed here.

The plot for the new Star Trek movie has been revealed here.

Casting & Various Hiring News

Despite the next Superman movie being a franchise reboot, Brandon Routh will apparently return in the lead here.

Actor Brad Pitt (Burn After Reading) has stepped down from the Micky Ward boxing biopic The Fighter, to be directed by Darren Aronofsky (The Fountain) and starring Mark Wahlberg (The Happening), leaving that film’s future in jeopardy here.

 The Fame remake has been cast here.

Talented actor Don Cheadle (Traitor) has replaced talented actor Terrence Howard (Iron Man) as the hero’s best buddy Jim Rhodes in Iron Man 2 here. Howard is confused and upset.

Relative newcomer Brad Ingelsby has been hired to adapt the comic book Sleeper here.

Third film co-writer George Nolfi will write the fourth Bourne film here.

It seems Brett Ratner (the Rush Hour films) will direct the new Conan movie here.

Movie Cancellations

Lethal Weapon 5 won’t be made, as co-lead Mel Gibson turned down the script here.

Acclaimed director David Fincher (Zodiac) believes his long-gestating adaptation of Rendezvous With Rama will never get made here.

It seems the long-gestating Goonies 2 won’t be happening after all here.

The eagerly anticipated new He-Man movie has been canceled here.

Other

One of the best teen movies of recent times, 10 Things I Hate About You, is getting adapted for television here.

There’s gonna be a roller coaster based on the Saw franchise here…What?

Short Ones: The Spider’s House, Angel Heart, Bourne spoof and more

Peter Webber (Hannibal Rising) will direct The Spider’s House, a romantic drama following two ex-lovers who meet again in 1950s Morocco, on a backdrop of growing tensions between freedom fighters and French colonials. It is adapted by newcomer Laurie Cooke from a novel by Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky).

The 1987 classic supernatural thriller Angel Heart is getting the remake treatment. The original film was written and directed by Alan Parker (The Life Of David Gale), based on a book by William Hjortsberg (Legend), and stars Mickey Rourke (Stormbreaker), Robert De Niro (Righteous Kill) and Charlotte Rampling (The Duchess) among others. Watch the original’s trailer below.

Jack Black (Tropic Thunder) will star in an untitled spoof of the Bourne films, from the screenwriters of Kung Fu Panda, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. Black will play an amnesiac who’s convinced he must be a spy…FYI, this movie was already made last year into the very unfunny Code Name: The Cleaner.

Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War) will voice Max in Mary And Max, a claymation film about two penpals, an 8 year old Australian girl and a 44 year old Jewish New Yorker dude. In the meantime you’ll be able to catch him in the incredible looking films Synecdoche, New York (see the trailer) and Doubt (see the trailer).

British actor Michael Sheen (Blood Diamond) just signed onto two films: the new Alice In Wonderland movie from director Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street) and the terrorism-themed thriller Unthinkable from Australian director Gregor Jordan (Ned Kelly), also starring Samuel L. Jackson (Lakeview Terrace) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Disturbia).

Director Martin Scorsese (The Departed) is set to reunite with regular star Robert De Niro more than 13 years after the mob flick Casino. The new film will be based on the non-fiction book I Heard You Paint Houses from author Charles Brandt, as adapted by multi-award winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian (American Gangster).

Source: /Film

New Trailer and Poster: Synecdoche, New York

Synecdoche, New York is the directorial debut for Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind). It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War), Samantha Morton (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Michelle Williams (Deception), Catherine Keener (Hamlet 2), Emily Watson (The Water Horse: Legend Of The Deep), Dianne Wiest (Dan In Real Life), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Jacket) and Hope Davis (The Nines) among others. So basically this could’ve been called Dr. Hoff And The Women.

The movie is about a theatre director who discovers that his bodily functions are shutting down one by one and attempts to deal with it. So basically, like other Kaufman creations it’s incredibly weird and original, but utterly fascinating. The film premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and will open in the US on October 24th.

New Trailer and Poster: Doubt

Written and directed by John Patrick Shanley (Joe Versus The Volcano), based on his own Pulitzer-winning play, Doubt is a sixties-set drama starring Meryl Streep (Mamma Mia!), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War), Amy Adams (Charlie Wilson’s War) and Viola Davis (The Andromeda Strain), among others.

The film follows a nun working at a catholic school in The Bronx who becomes suspicious that one of the school’s priests is sexually abusing a young black student. The film opens in the US on December 12th. From the looks of this trailer, it looks quite interesting and intriguing, what do you think? Potential Oscar-winner?

Facebook: The Movie? Not exactly…

Everyone is shaking their heads in disbelief over the fact that screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (Charlie Wilson’s War) is now penning a movie based on Facebook, the immensely popular social networking website, and has even set up a group on said site, in order to get more info about it. But apparently, people should listen more carefully to Sorkin, because the movie will focus on the people who created Facebook, and how the popular site was created, not “a magical Facebook adventure”.

I thought Pirates Of Silicon Valley, a TV-movie chronicling the rise of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and their respective companies, was quite a fascinating film, and while the Facebook creators probably aren’t as interesting (then again, who knows?), Aaron Sorkin is one of the most talented screenwriters in Hollywood today, so I am personally looking forward to this film, what about you?

Danny Elfman to score The Wolf Man, whole world utters loud “Duh!”

Superstar music master Danny Elfman (Hellboy II) has just been announced as the composer for Universal’s forthcoming remake of The Wolf Man. Elfman, who’s best known for his frequent collaborations with director Tim Burton as well as his theme for The Simpsons, is a good choice in my opinion, in addition to being a very obvious one (he did score Sleepy Hollow after all). I for one am looking forward to what musical wonders Mr Elfman will come up with.

The Wolf Man, a remake of the 1941 classic, will premiere on April 3rd in the US, UK and Denmark, with the rest of the world following shortly. Footage from the film was shown at this year’s Comic-Con, to very enthusiastic response. The premise of the film, which was written by Andrew Kevin Walker  (hey, Sleepy Hollow!) and David Self (Road To Perdition), goes like this, according to Wikipedia:

Set in the late 1880s, the film keeps the plotline of the original, with Lawrence Talbot meeting his father following the death of his brother. The film details events during Lawrence’s past that led to his estrangement from his father (which includes Gwen), and the setting is expanded from Blackmore (now identified as the village from the original) to London.[3] The official synopsis states Talbot was traumatized by his mother’s death as a child, while Gwen Conliffe is his brother’s fiancée. Following his brother’s disappearance, Talbot hunts a murderer, which turns out to be a werewolf, and the curse is passed on.

The film was originally to be directed by the über-talented Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo), but he left very early on due to budget disagreements, with the pretty competent Joe Johnston (Hidalgo) taking over as helmsman. Benicio Del Toro (Things We Lost In The Fire) plays the lead character and is joined Anthony Hopkins (Beowulf), Hugo Weaving (V For Vendetta) and Emily Blunt (Charlie Wilson’s War).

The Wolf Man will be Universal’s third attempt at resurrecting their old horror franchises, following the success of The Mummy and the failure of Van Helsing (a seriously underrated movie by the way). It seems as though The Wolf Man, which features makeup from maestro Rick Baker (Norbit), will be a decidedly more serious-minded affair than those movies, which turned away some moviegoers with their more light, fun approach to the source material.

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