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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Sequelitis part 5: Indiana Jones, Batman, Tron and Zombies

Ever since Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull was released, lead star Harrison Ford has expressed enthusiasm in a potential fifth big-screen entry in the popular adventure franchise, as long as it doesn’t take to long for production to start, and he’s recently stated that creator George Lucas currently has an idea for the plot that is “crazy, but great”.

According to the official publication Production Weekly, Christopher Nolan, the director of the previous two Batman films, has officially signed on for a third one, and pre-production will start in February 2009. Take this with a grain of salt because that date seems way too close.

The highly anticipated Tr2n will be made in 3D while newcomer director Joseph Kosinski believes the film will be released by the end of 2010 and confirms the first movie’s director, Steven Lisberger, is involved in the production. Also, original star Jeff Bridges, who reprises his role, is extremely enthusiastic.

Rumors have it that Paul Andrews Williams (The Cottage) has signed on to direct 28 Months Later, the third entry in Danny Boyle’s superb zombie franchise. The only problem? Danny Boyle has always stated he would return to direct the film himself.

Source: /Film

The Trouble With Tintin

Universal Pictures has pulled out of Steven Spielberg’s (the Indiana Jones films) and Peter Jackson’s (King Kong) forthcoming Tintin trilogy because they didn’t agree upon how much the directors should be paid (Spielberg and Jackson wanted 30% of the gross). Now correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t issues such as salary be discussed in the early stages rather than when the movie is supposed to start filming? In any case, Paramount Pictures has stepped in, despite the studio’s current sour relationship with Spielberg.

In related news, British actor Simon Pegg has revealed that he and his Hot Fuzz co-star Nick Frost have been offered the role of detectives Thompson and Thomson (aka Dupond and Dupont originally) in the films, but didn’t say if he’d accepted the part or not.

The Tintin films will be based on one of the most popular and timeless comic books of all time, from Belgian author/artist Hergé. Spielberg has been trying to adapt the books since the early eighties, and is clearly passionate about the project, so even though I’m not convinced about the motion-capture route they’re taking, I trust them.

My only problem with the films is that they seem to be casting only English actors in the roles, whereas Tintin is of course originally in French. Ever since this project was announced I’ve been hesitating about starting a petition demanding the film be made originally in French, with subtitled and dubbed versions released in the US and other countries, but I guess it’s too late now.

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After G.I. Jane, Indiana Jane

Australian Botox addict Nicole Kidman (The Golden Compass), aka the most overpaid actress in Hollywood, will produce and star in The 8th Wonder, an adventure film described as Indiana Jones meets Jason Bourne, except with a girl. In other words a amnesiac fedora-wearing female archeologist will go globe-trotting, followed by a very shaky camera.

Written by Simon Kinberg (Jumper), one can guess the film will deal with Kidman finding the “eighth wonder of the world”. Wonders refer more to man-made constructions such as the Great Wall of China rather than natural formations or mythical objects, so it is anyone’s guess what this new wonder will be. Atlantis? Shangri-La? Operation Treadstone? Any other guesses?

In any case, Nicole Kidman will next be seen in the Australian war film Australia, premiering late November in Australia and the US.

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Ray Winstone wants to be on the Edge Of Darkness

After being halted for a week, production has resumed on Edge Of Darkness as British actor Ray Winstone (Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull) has moved in to replace Robert De Niro (Righteous Kill) who walked out on filming after only two days (more about that here)

Edge Of Darkness is a remake by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) of his own acclaimed BBC mini-series from 1985 that follows a detective investigating his own daughter’s murder, unveiling truckloads of conspiracies along the way.

The film, which will be released sometime next year, also marks Mel Gibson’s return to acting, six years after The Singing Detective. The screenplay was adapted by William Monahan (The Departed) and Andrew Bovell (Stricly Ballroom).

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Samuel L. Jackson may direct new Lucasfilm movie. But probably not.

George Lucas has been talking about his World War 2 project Red Tails for a long time. Now rumors are going around that Samuel L. Jackson, who worked with Lucas on the last two Star Wars movies, may star in, and/or possibly direct the film. Jackson, who can currently be heard as the voice of Mace Windu in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, told IGN.com:

“I just read it like two weeks ago. It’s a pretty good script,” Jackson began. “At one point (Lucas) was asking me if I’d ever want to direct anything. I said, ‘I don’t know, man. I’m trying to find things.’ He said, ‘Well, let me send you this thing. Maybe you might want to direct it.'”

Jackson continued, “Well, I guess if I was gonna direct something George would be a great guy to kind of mentor me through that, especially a big ass special effects flying picture. The script’s good. I like it.”

But when pressed if he would seriously consider helming Red Tails, Jackson replied, “I don’t know. I don’t have a year and a half of my life where I wanna stop acting.”

So there you have it, that seems pretty clear to me. It’s highly unlikely that Jackson will helm the picture, but I think we can expect him to be in there. Also, according to the IMDB, Anthony Hemingway, an assistant director (Freedomland) and sometime TV director (CSI: NY) is currently attached to the project, which is set for release in 2009. Of course these things change so we’ll just have to wait for official announcements.

Red Tails, which was written by John Ridley (Undercover Brother), will tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American pilots to fly in a combat squadron during World War II (expect Spike Lee to throw a fit).

Lucasfilm was emerging as a big name production company back in the eighties and early nineties, with films such as Willow and Radioland Murders but has recently only been invested in Star Wars and Indiana Jones projects. I’m personally glad that Lucas is once again diversifying the company and hope that the trend continues (how about a Monkey Island animated movie?). The Movie Planet will of course keep you informed of any further developments.

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Movie Of The Day: King Solomon’s Mines (1985)

Just like Die Hard with Under Siege, Speed and countless other action movies, Indiana Jones inspired its own slew of adventure flicks from Michael Douglas’ Jack Colton movies to today’s Mummy and National Treasure franchises.

1985 saw the release of King Solomon’s Mines, an adaptation of H. Rider Haggard’s classic novel, directed by J. Lee Thompson (The Guns Of Navarone) and released by the now defunct Cannon Group. It stars Richard Chamberlain (Richard Lester’s Musketeers trilogy) as Allan Quatermain, horrible acting from Sharon Stone as the love interest, as well as Herbert Lom (the original Pink Panther films) and Indy’s own Sallah (John Rhys-Davies) as the villains. Review after the jump.

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