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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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?

Truckload of Links of the Week

The /Filmcast and the /Filmcast: After Dark.

/Film‘s David Chen interviews Eagle Eye director D.J. Caruso here and star Michelle Monaghan here.

Director M. Night Shyamalan is pondering an Unbreakable sequel here.

Shia LaBeouf (Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull) will star in the thriller Dark Fields here.

Keira Knightley (The Duchess), Eva Mendes (The Women), Guillaume Canet (The Beach) and Sam Worthington (Rogue) will star in “modern love story” Last Night here.

Anna Faris (The House Bunny) drops out of pornstar biopic here and lends her voice to a new animated flick here.

Another Fantastic Four cast member is doubtful a third film will happen here.

Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau (The Break-Up) will team up once again for Couples Retreat here.

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore are game for a sequel to The Big Lebowski here.

Michael Douglas (King Of California) is a Solitary Man here.

Bruce Willis (the Die Hard films) will direct his first film here.

David Spade (The Benchwarmers) will star in Divorced Guys here.