Sunday, 6 November 2011

I'm getting to old for this s**t (Film News - 05/11/11)

I know, I know, I'm a day late. I would love to heap on the excuses and try to wriggle my way out of responsibility but it can't be done. I simply didn't turn my computer on yesterday (although to be fair I spent most of the day 200 miles away from it) so couldn't post up this weeks moribund news section. Not that we've missed much, the lead story has a title I don't understand and a premise that firmly sets out it's stall for potential audiences (not me it seems), there's the least surprising press call this year and even the monthly IMDb trawl barely uncovered anything. Oh well at least we've got our health, eh?


Michael Grant's young adult high concept sci-fi may not be hitting the shelves until 2012 but Sony pictures are so sure of it's success in the lucrative market that optioning the big screen adaptation seems like a no-brainer. Although if you asked me they should wait to see if the novels pick up in the way of Twilight or Hunger Games before dishing out the cash. ALthough on the other hand whilst the books flopping might save them some money the resulting bidding war if the kids love it may be cripplingly expensive.

The plot features too competing factions using nanotechnology to try to control mankind, the first a unfeeling conglomerate headed by co-joined twins Charles and Benjamin (this'll do wonders for societies acceptance of co-joined twins) and their quest to turn mankind into subservient consumers and create a capitalist utopian society. On the other side is the BZRK's, a teenage guerilla army, no doubt representing the 99%, who will stop at anything to prevent this nascent corporate takeover. Including using nanobots that are linked to the lifeforce of the donor/controller in their group.

Of course it's very early days so I wouldn't go raising your hopes for this particular production, although Grant's literary pedigree is succesful enough (the "Gone" series) to suggest he knows his market so maybe this will turn out to be the next Harry Potter?

Read on for wolf pack refugees and why all eyes were on London this week, as well as the latest in casting and production news and the chance to say goodbye to a Hollywood hero.

Untitled Gus van Sant picture

At first this week I thought the world was about to end, that everything I had held dear to was about to be destroyed in a burning apocalypse. Taylor Lautner, him of the rock hard abs and even harder acting style from the Twilight franchise (on the right, you know who I mean), wants a real film acting career - actually with the recent box office disaster that was Abduction any career might be a bonus - and has "hired" Gus van Sant and Dustin Lance Black to mould a vehicle around him based on an as yet unknown New Yorker article. Now I could be putting two and two together and making five but given van Sant and Black are high profile gay film-makers and their last collaboration was homosexual politician biopic Milk so is Lautner about to go gay for pay? Does he really think the critics are so shallow that merely kissing a bloke will get him the plaudits he's so far missed?


So the next Bond movie is called Skyfall, surprise surprise. There was a big press call on Thursday where all the rumours that have circulated about the forthcoming production were confirmed - except for the less action more introspection story which was roundly turned upon. That's it really, a lot of bruhaha about nothing. I still really want to see it though.

Casting News

I am sure I've mentioned this before, but I'm damned if I can find my post on the film, but on the off chance I haven't it's great to see Nicole Kidman sign up to play elephant conservationist Dame Daphne Shledrake in My Wild Life which sound a bit like a pachyderm version of Gorillas in the Mist only with a happier ending. Everyone wants to work with Leonardo DiCaprio so it's no surprise to see him and Sean Penn on Alejandro Gonzalez Inarrittu's revenge western The Revenant, with DiCaprio recovering from a bear mauling and crossing America to demand an apology to Penn for leaving him to die.

The last time Nicole Kidman got involved with an Elephant it was a delightful cocktail, I doubt this will feature the same amount of singing and absinthe.

Production News

Scanning IMDb has been it's usual process of rediscovering titles I thought had disappeared, surprising myself with previous posts that are coming to fruition and the odd new project came to my attention (and make no mistake the only new film is very odd). Resurrected this month is the Swedish crime thriller The Hypnotist, biblical drama Mary, Mother of Christ and Kenneth Grahame biopic Banking on Mr. Toad. On the new movie side we have Alexander Payne's Nebraska (although to be fair that's been drifting along threatening to enter pre-production for years), submarine actioner Hunter Killer - joining Antoine Fuqua's ever expanding to-do list, the Coen Brothers' folk music expose Inside Llewyn Davis (now with added Justin Timberlake), true life murder/siege drama Foxcatcher, sci-fi romance Timeless and Robert De Niro on acerbic comic form in The Comedian.

Monster Butler

Extended from a 2010 short film, Malcolm McDowell will be reprising his role as serial killing servant Roy Fontaine, who murdered 7 employers, acquaintances and relatives in the late 1970's before serving out the rest of his days in prison. Peter (Highlander) Bellwood's script, partly based on Fontaine's own memoires, will probably take in the complex addictions and weaknesses of it's anti-hero as he graduated from petty thievery to more serious crime and found that he couldn't stop once he started. Or it could be exploitative nonsense, we'll see.

McDowell has a spotty filmography but you know he fully commits to eveyr role so he at least should be worth seeing.

Gilbert Cates

Finally this week we were saddened by the passing of Gilbert Cates, veteran director and producer who's early relationship dramas and TV staples will no doubt be passed over for the incredible contribution and consistency he brought to producing the Oscars telecast between 1990 and 2006. Like it or loathe it it's fair to say much of what we recognise in the annual celebration from tinseltown directly stems from Cates' ideas and production values over the last two deacades. He will be missed.

Here's a snippet of I never Sang for My father the 1971 play adaptation that first brought him to the attention of the mainstream.

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