It looks like Larry David’s comedy feature set up to debut on HBO finally has a name: Clear History. More important than that oddly ambiguous title is the all-star cast that David and director Greg Mottola (Superbad) have lined up. We previously reported that Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Michael Keaton (Batman) were attached to star, but a slew of others have joined the production. Clear History will also feature Kate Hudson, Bill Hader, Amy Ryan, Eva Mendes, JB Smoove, Danny McBride and Phillip Michael Hall. Hit the jump for more on Clear History.
This past week presented me with a couple of unique moviegoing opportunities. In addition to the ParaNorman showing I previewed the last time we met, I was also able to check out one of my all-time favorites, Jaws, on the big screen thanks to Cinemark’s “Fall Classic Series”. For as much as I enjoyed the pic long before this week’s showing, I have to say that viewing it as an audience member in a packed theater for the first time opened my eyes to a whole new appreciation. Not only was I genuinely startled in a few scenes that repeat television and DVD viewings had long left me numb to, but I also came to respect Robert Shaw’s timeless turn as Quint even more than I previously had. In short, my adoration for Spielberg‘s masterpiece was not only reaffirmed, it somehow found a way to expand.
But enough about my love of all things Jaws related. This week’s Top 5 includes the news that James Gunn is in talks to direct Marvel’s intergalactic tale, Guardians of the Galaxy, Sight & Sound’s personal Top 10 lists from some of cinema’s most revered directors (Spoiler Alert: that shark movie I drooled about in the opening paragraph appears on Tarantino‘s), a new red-band trailer for John Hillcoat‘s Lawless, Disney’s plans to reboot The Rocketeer, and an animated look at how The Dark Knight Rises should have ended. A brief recap and link to each can be found after the jump.
Earlier this month, a new “official” best film of all time was announced with the unveiling of the results of Sight & Sound’s most recent poll. Every ten years, the film magazine polls a number of critics, academics, and professionals and then tallies up the results for an ultimate list. The magazine also has a poll of directors for a second Top 10 list, and now they’ve unveiled the individual directors’ lists in an effort to occupy all the free time you have today.
After the jump you can peruse personal Top 10 lists from the likes of Edgar Wright, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Guillermo del Toro, Woody Allen, David O’Russell, Sam Mendes, Matthew Vaughn, Francis Ford Coppola, Marc Webb and more. Hit the jump to take a look.
We previously reported that Greg Mottola’s untitled comedy that stars Larry David, Jon Hamm and Michael Keaton may be debuting on HBO. Now we have a bit more clarity on what the plot of the film concerns and more information on what Keaton’s character will be. The partially improvised comedy seems like it will play out as a feature-length version of David’s successful Curb Your Enthusiasm series. Hit the jump for more on the project.
While fans are still praying that Larry David decides to make another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm at some point, the writer/actor/comedian is currently busy riding around in cars with Jerry Seinfeld and prepping a “mystery project.” Said mystery project is a partially improvised untitled feature film that will star David, Jon Hamm, and Michael Keaton and will be directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland). Though we last heard that the film was set up at Fox Searchlight, it now looks like David is mulling a debut on HBO instead. Hit the jump for more.
In a recent interview, Michael Keaton talked about his involvement in a new Larry David movie that sounds very similar, at least in set-up, to David’s long-running HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm (meaning there’s lots of improv and not much more than a generally outlined script).
It looks like David is going in a different direction from his last feature film, 1998′s universally panned Sour Grapes (it’s still difficult for fans to understand how this movie went so wrong), which certainly seems like a good thing. Hit the jump for more details on the project, including what Michael Keaton had to say.
Jon Hamm is going from Mad Men to funny man in an untitled comedy from director Greg Mottola (Superbad). Plot details are thin at the moment, but reports have Hamm playing a nemesis to Larry David’s protagonist. Showbiz411 reports that David will, of course, be playing a Larry David-like character in the partially improvised comedy. David and his Curb Your Enthusiasm writers are still working out the details and they plan to shoot this fall.
Hamm is making full use of his hiatus from AMC’s dramatic series. He was already reported to be the lead in Disney’s true life sports pic, Million Dollar Arm and is currently set to star in the British miniseries, The Young Doctor’s Handbook opposite Daniel Radcliffe. Hamm is also partnering up with Bridesmaids alumni Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy for the in-development project, Dumb Jock. After seeing Hamm’s performance on this year’s live 30 Rock show, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of his comedic turns.
Fox Searchlight is developing a comedy that, if it comes together, offers a very exciting team-up. Larry David is and Greg Mottola (Superbad) are in talks to star and direct, respectively. The screenplay is credited to Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, and David Mandel, a trio who works with David on Curb Your Enthusiasm and co-wrote The Dictator. THR was unable to ascertain any details about the plot, other than it will be improvised as David does with Curb. (David and his writers outline the plot, but the dialogue is largely improvised by the actors.)
Last night it was announced Mottola will adapt Jeffrey Eugendies’ novel The Marriage Plot—at the time, there was curiously only speculation that the writer/director might also take the helm. This report paints a clearer picture, suggesting Mottola might be saving the spot for this project. I am very eager to hear more about what they have in mind—we will pass along the details once they surface.
Writer/director Greg Mottola has been tapped to adapt Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugendies’ novel The Marriage Plot. Mottola is probably best known for helming Superbad, but he also wrote and directed the excellent coming-of-age dramedy Adventureland and helmed Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in 2011’s Paul. Variety reports that Mottola is in early talks to write the script for the project, and they speculate that Mottola could also direct given that his schedule is clear in the near future. The story focuses on a love triangle involved three graduates of Brown in the 1980s. Producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network) acquired the feature rights last November, and it appears he’s eager to get things going.
Mottola most recently directed the pilot and created the visual language for Aaron Sorkin’s highly anticipated new HBO series The Newsroom, also produced by Rudin. I’m a huge, huge fan of Adventureland, and the kind of “coming-of-age” story that The Marriage Plot involves sounds like it’s right up Mottola’s alley. Hit the jump for a synopsis of The Marriage Plot.
I hope you’ll pardon the “Top 5′s” lack of punctuality this week. I just returned from a set visit in Louisiana and WiFi was at a premium throughout most of my travels. Although I can say almost nothing about the visit as of now, just know that I arrived there just a touch on the cynical douche side and left really looking forward to the next entry in an iconic horror franchise.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the reason we’re all here: the stories. In this week’s installment, you’ll find fifteen things to know about Summit Entertainment’s upcoming alien invasion pic The Darkest Hour, a dinner/interview with Paul‘s Simon Pegg and Greg Mottola, a recap of the Alamo Drafthouse’s screening of the original Fright Night featuring a Q&A with director Tom Holland, Bryan Cranston talking Breaking Bad, Drive, his near appearance in X-Men: First Class among other things, and the latest iteration of our video/audio podcast For Your Consideration. You’ll find brief recaps and links to all of the above after the jump.
Writing for a film website is a pretty nerdy hobby and not nearly as much fun as it seems most of the time, but occasionally it affords one great fringe benefits. Weirdly, 2011 has for me been dominated by cool fringe benefits involving Simon Pegg and Paul. Earlier this year I got to interview Pegg, Nick Frost and Greg Motolla at Area 51. Pegg even tweeted a photograph of me standing next to him in a full body Tuskin Raider costume. More recently, I got to go to a swanky dinner with Pegg and director Greg Mottola to chat about the Blu-Ray release of the film.
Over the course of the evening, Pegg talked about the origins of the film, his love of different sci-fi, philosophy, the writing process, Mission: Impossible III and IV (Ghost Protocol), Star Trek 2, sequels to Paul, the importance of a good title, the state of geek culture, and much more. I even out-nerded Pegg for the second time; he’d never heard of Harlan Ellison!
Hit the jump for some of the highlights of the evening.
Greg Mottola’s Paul is like a nerd’s version of Ocean’s 11. Written and starring Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, the duo play sci-fi fans who run across an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen), and have to get him to his ship. There are government agents after him – played by Bill Hader, Justin Bateman, Sigourney Weaver and Joe Lo Truglio – and the boys meet a love interest (Kristen Wiig) along the way. Part wish-fulfillment science-fiction, part road movie, Paul works best if you – like the characters – are well versed in nerdom. Our review of the Blu-ray of Paul after the jump.
We’ve known for some time now that Jeff Daniels would lead a new cable news centric drama pilot at HBO called More as This Story Develops. In addition, Emily Mortimer has been confirmed to take the lead female role with Alison Pill and Olivia Munn taking supporting roles. Now The Wrap reports Law & Order alum Sam Waterston, who played Jack McCoy on the staple legal series until its recent cancellation, has signed on for a role in the promising new series. Waterston will play Charles Skinner, the president of the cable news division which houses news anchor Will McCallister’s (Daniels) own show. This assembly of talent with Greg Mottola (Superbad) at the helm of the pilot has me excited for what looks to be yet another great series on HBO.
Last week we learned that Marisa Tomei was close to taking the lead female role in a new series pilot for HBO from writer Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) and director Greg Mottola (Paul). However, it looks like another serious contender for the role has been locked into the pilot as Deadline reports Emily Mortimer (Shutter Island, Cars 2) has snagged the lead female role instead. Tentatively titled More as This Story Develops, the new series follows cable news anchor Will McCallister (Jeff Daniels), who has his own show, as well as the show’s female executive producer and staff. Mortimer is playing the executive producer, MacKenzie, for whom producing the news is what she does best and everything else is just noise. I’m thoroughly looking forward to seeing how this project turns out and can’t wait to see who else joins the cast.
We just recently learned that Jeff Daniels was in negotiations to join Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO drama pilot. Now, that pilot seems to have found a director as Deadline reports Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland and most recently Paul) has been tapped to helm the first episode of the potential series. The series follows Will McCallister (Daniels) behind-the-scenes of his own cable news show as well as his female executive producer and staff. This won’t be Mottola’s first venture into TV as he’s previously directed episodes of Undeclared and Arrested Development, two of my favorite comedy series. This makes me wonder if this series will be a blend of Sorkin’s previous television series’ Sports Night, The West Wing, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (all of which featured pilots directed by Thomas Schlamme). Either way, you can bet I’ll be watching.