Sam Raimi throws hissy-fit, demands James Franco be cast as Jack Ryan

Sam Raimi, who’s apparently attached to direct the next Jack Ryan movie, is reportedly in a feud with Paramount over who to cast in the lead role. Basically, Sam wants James Franco and Paramount doesn’t, believing him to be too frail. Ryan Gosling was the last actor rumored for the role, and what you’re telling me he’s more buff than Franco? Raimi, who directed Franco in all three Spider-Man films is supposedly threatening to quit the movie should he not have his way.

Should he be cast, James Franco would be the fourth actor to portray novelist Tom Clancy’s popular hero after Alec Baldwin (The Hunt For Red October), Harrison Ford (Patriot Games and Clear And Present Danger) and Ben Affleck (The Sum Of All Fears). Personally, I think Franco could pull it off, but the real question is why is Paramount having so much trouble with this franchise? All the Jack Ryan movies have been well received and they’ve all made good money at the box-office. Why didn’t Ben Affleck get recast for a movie that could have come out three years ago? And, more shockingly, why does Paramount apparently want to go with an original Jack Ryan story instead of using all the books they have left?

Jack Ryan books which haven’t been adapted yet: Red Rabbit, The Cardinal Of The Kremlin, Debt Of Honor, Executive Orders, Rainbow Six, The Bear And The Dragon… What gives?

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Paramount Famous Prods. created, slew of DTV sequels to ensue

Paramount is renaming its straight-to-dvd division. The goods news? Prepare for Without A Paddle: Nature’s Calling, Road Trip 2: Still Trippin’, Mean Girls 2: Meaner Girls, Bad News Bears 2: More Bad News and Naked Gun 1/4: Can’t Get More Naked Than This and Grease 3.  The bad news? They’re calling it “Paramount Famous Productions”. Seriously is that the stupidest name for a movie company or what? Nikki Finke reports:

The newly christened Paramount Famous Productions has been actively developing an inaugural production slate. Now PFP prez Louis Feola says that, starting in 2010, the division expects to release 5 to 6 films annually with titles to encompass a mix of sequels, prequels and remakes based on the libraries of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, DreamWorks Pictures, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. PFP also wants to work closely with Viacom-owned cable networks such as BET, Comedy Central and Spike TV to develop filmed entertainment content.

Louis Feola used to have the same job over at Universal which means he’s the guy we should thank for all those American Pie and Bring It On sequels. I don’t have anything against straight-to-dvd sequels really, but this batch seems pretty uninteresting. Grease 3 will probably be a High School Musical ripoff, Mean Girls 2 will probably be watchable as long as they get some hot girls, and they better get Leslie Nielsen for Naked Gun 4, for obvious reasons. Mr Feola, if you’re reading this, how about The Haunting 2? Here’s a movie which can easily be better than the original!

So, what films from the Paramount family would be a good fit for straight-to-dvd sequel goodness? Discuss!

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