Quite the team is being put together for a new film that revolves around a JFK assassination conspiracy. Cate Blanchett has committed to starring in writer/director David Mamet’s “Hitchcockian nailbiter” Blackbird. The film centers on a woman named Janet who travels to Los Angeles for her grandfather’s funeral, and while there she discovers that the Hollywood visual effects artist used to moonlight for U.S. special ops agencies. As the story progresses, “her grandfather’s well-kept secrets become a threat to her, forcing Janet to discover the truth about a man who dedicated his life to making illusion reality.” Hit the jump for more.
Westerns have been coming back into fashion lately (in fact, they’re hotter than a whorehouse on nickel night!), from Deadwood‘s run a few years ago to the more current Hell On Wheels and Justified, and CBS is looking to get in on the action. The network has teamed up with David Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross) to create a revival of Have Gun – Will Travel, which originally aired on CBS from 1957-63.
Have Gun, which ran for six seasons, was a huge ratings success for CBS, solidifying Richard Boone (who played Paladin) as a star, and also spawned a popular radio show. If the reboot goes to series, it will go alongside Vegas, another CBS Western starring Dennis Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow) and Michael Chiklis (The Shield). For more on the series and why it’s likely to be a helluva hog-killin’ good time, hit the jump.
Marvel turned a few heads when they selected Joe and Anthony Russo to direct Captain America: Winter Soldier. The Russo brothers spend most of their time directing and producing TV comedies like Community and Happy Endings, and their last feature was You, Me and Dupree—that is not the typical path to helming a superhero tentpole. As producer on the upcoming NBC sitcom Animal Practice, Russo was on hand at the TCA Press Tour to explain why the jump from Community to Captain America 2 is not as far out as you might think: “Well, I think if you look at some of the big genre episodes—the paintball episodes, etc.—there’s a cinematic sensibility being explored there that is in the language of [various kinds of] films.”
Marvel trained Russo to dodge most of the questions regarding plot and story details, but the press followed up with enough questions to obtain a few interesting tidbits. See what Russo had to say after the jump. Starring Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie, and Sebastian Stan, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is scheduled for release on April 4, 2014.
Two more have joined the cast of HBO’s biopic of legendary record producer-turned-lady-murderer Phil Spector. Bette Midler and Jeffrey Tambor have joined the cast of the film, written and directed by David Mamet. Al Pacino was previously cast as Spector himself in the flick that will focus on Spector’s later years, specifically the 2003 trial where he was convicted of second-degree murder for shooting a struggling actress in his mansion.
The Wrap reports that Midler will play Linda Kenney Baden, one of Spector’s defense attorneys in the trial. Tambor is set to take on the role of defense attorney Bruce Cutler. Last year, Pacino won the Emmy for portraying Jack Kevorkian in the HBO drama You Don’t Know Jack, directed by Barry Levinson. Levinson is on board as an executive producer of this Spector project.
After winning the Emmy for the Jack Kevorkian biopic You Don’t Know Jack, Al Pacino will return to HBO for another TV movie, this time as legendary record producer Phil Spector. This is great news. Pacino has aged into the type of crazy necessary to play the legitimately insane Spector. Even better: David Mamet will write and direct, nearly twenty years after he scripted the Al Pacino-led Glengarry Glen Ross. With Mamet writing the dialogue of a madman and an elderly Pacino performing it, this flick will be riddled with idiosyncrasy. I can’t wait.
Hit the jump for more info on Spector — both his crazy and his genius.
Blu-ray movies are spectacular. It’s as if some advanced cybernetic organism from the future skipped through the past and impregnated DVD’s with some rad robotic seed that created beautiful looking and sounding Blu-ray discs. Inarguably Blu-ray movies are amazing, though older movies that are mutated into the high definition format don’t always wind up looking better after the face lift. View Ghostbusters on Blu-ray for example. It seems from my experience with Blu-ray thus far, current films look the best in the high def format. This makes sense since many films are shot with an improved visual experience in mind. The Edge on Blu-ray sucker punched my expectations, my eyes and mind with its harsh natural setting and crafty story. Hit the jump for my analysis.
If you were going to remake a classic film noir by one of the world’s greatest directors, whom would you pick to write the adaptation? That’s the question faced by Mike Nichols, who’s next project is an update of Akira Kurosawa’s classic High and Low. And his answer? According to BlackVoices, it’s Chris Rock. That’s right: the writer of I Think I Love My Wife is adapting Kurosawa.
Kurosawa’s original 1963 film is about a businessman who must decide whether he will give up his substantial life savings in order to save his chauffer’s kidnapped son. It’s a tense, intelligent drama, not exactly the kind of work Rock is know for. One has to assume that he will not be attempting to create a modern noir, but that he will be turning it into some kind of comedy.
Hit the jump for my thoughts on Rock taking this surprising gig.
Disney has acquired the rights to “The Diary of Anne Frank”, the justly famous memoir of a young Jewish girl’s life in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. David Mamet will adapt the screenplay and direct the film for the studio. More after the jump.