Deadline reported today that How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris will be taking on the lead role in the upcoming 2011 Sony Pictures film The Smurfs Movie.
Directed by Raja Gosnell, known for such cinematic gems as Home Alone 3, Big Mamma’s House and Beverly Hill Chihuahua, the film mixes both animation and live-action and Harris will be starring in the lead live-action role. J. David Stem and David N. Weiss penned the script with Jordan Kerner producing. Sony plans on the movie being the first in a trilogy of live-action, computer-generated Smurf films. Filming begins in April with a tentative release date of July 29, 2011.
Hit the jump for thoughts on this latest bit of news.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog announced today that actor Sean Bean will be joining Luke Goss in Universal’s Death Race: Frankenstein Lives, a sequel/prequel to the car-racing action flick by Paul W.S. Anderson.
As reported previously, the new movie, produced by Anderson and directed by Dutch filmmaker Roel Reine, focuses on the original Frankenstein (Goss) that Jason Statham’s character took over the role of in the previous Death Race entry. Bean joins Lauren Cohan, Ving Rhames, Danny Trejo and Frederick Koehler on the project. Written by Tony Giglio, the latest lap in the Death Race franchise is being included as part of Universal’s DVD Originals banner, a line of original home entertainment films that includes the recently released Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassin’s Ball.
Universal has sent out a press release announcing the start of principal photography and with new casting info. Hit the jump to read the release and for thoughts on the newest contestant joining the Death Race.
College Humor has released a new video featuring a brand new opening crawl to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope that better fits the heavily edited Special Editions of the original trilogy.
If you’re a Star Wars fan none too happy with the bastardization of the original trilogy by Lucas in the special editions, you need to do yourself a favor and check out this video. Similar to the now famous 70-minute The Phantom Menace review, the video sums up everything wrong with the countless unnecessary edits shoved into the original films in order to make them more “modern” or worse still in order to make them fit better into the new, far inferior trilogy. Some callouts include the insertion of Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, all the pointless new CGI and the brand new musical soundtrack in Jabba’s Palace.
Hit the jump for hilarity to ensue.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog is reporting director D.J. Caruso will be taking the helm on the feature film adaptation of the upcoming science-fiction novel I Am Number Four by James Frey and Jobie Hughes. That’s right, an adaptation of a book not even on shelves yet.
DreamWorks originally acquired the rights to the film back in June 2009 with Michael Bay set to produce and possibly direct. The news debunks the latter; however, Bay remains on the project as producer as Caruso (Eagle Eye, Disturbia) comes on as director. Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar wrote the screenplay for the film.
The first in a series of six books, Four follows the 15-year-old John Smith, one of nine alien survivors from the planet Lorien that fled to Earth after a hostile race known as the Mogadore attacked their homeworld. Disguised as a high school student, Smith discovers that the invaders have followed the Loric to Earth and have already killed three of his brethren. Next on the list, Smith must survive against those out to kill him and exterminate his race.
Last night, George Lucas appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart to promote his new book “George Lucas’ Blockbusting.” However, as would be expected, the focus on the conversation wasn’t on his new book, but immediately centered on the Star Wars franchise. Every single Star Wars fan should check this video out. I’m a huge, HUGE fan of Stewart as both a comedian and as a journalist. He pretty much always speaks his mind and asks the questions that need to be asked. In this case he just goes for it and asks the questions that fans often wonder about when it comes to Lucas, such as-and I’m paraphrasing a bit-how does it feel to piss off a whole generation of fans and do you still believe you’re as creative as you used to be? The latter one I found especially brilliant and ballsy. Granted, he said it in a nicer way, but the implication of “Hey, what the heck happened in the new movies as opposed to the old ones,” was still there.
But even better than Stewart’s questions were Lucas’ answers. Lucas still insists that people love Jar Jar Binks, one of the most repulsively idiotic characters in the history of cinema. Either Lucas’ pride is pretty out of control and he’ll never admit to the awfulness of the new trilogy or he’s a tad delusional. Either one is likely. [Matt's note: It's also likely that Lucas inhabits a world where no one challenges him and only strokes his ego]
Check out the full video after the jump.
As reported by THR, Owen Wilson has signed on for the lead role in the Farrelly Brothers’ upcoming comedy Hall Pass. The film focuses on a couple who have reached a stagnant point in their marriage. In order to spice things up a bit, the wife gives her husband a “hall pass,” which allows him to engage in extramarital encounters for a whole week.
Peter and Bobby Farrelly rewrote the spec script by Pete Jones and will be directing and producing the film. Jason Sudeikis of SNL fame-one-half of the “Two A-Holes”-is in negotiations to co-star alongside Wilson. The movie begins production February 23.
As with any comedy, the cast makes the film and both Wilson and Sudeikis-if he ends up committing-have proven their comedic chops. Also, even though the Farrellys hit a bit of a hiccup in their last theatrical outing with 2007′s Heartbreak Kid, their record still holds strong with films like, There’s Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber, and the often under-appreciated Stuck on You.
Remember Tropic Thunder, one of the most hilarious movies of all time thanks in no small part to the unexpected comedic brilliance of Tom “Apple-Bottom Jeans” Cruise? Well, Cruise and fellow Tropic Thunder star Ben Stiller are set to team again for another romp through laughter fields with the upcoming film The Hardy Men.
Produced by Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy, the film focuses on the grown up Hardy Boys, as the title leads one to believe. But as it’s a comedy, the two sibling sleuths no longer get along as well as they used to. Hilarity ensues. However, getting the film off the ground seems to be proving a bit difficult as reported to Starpulse by Levy.
“Developing a movie for a movie star is hard,” Levy said. “Developing a movie for two movie stars is a very, very challenging enterprise. The bull’s eye is small and the tone has to be exactly right. So we are still working on it.”
Hit the jump for more from Levy and thoughts on the movie.
Moviehole revealed today that actor Luke Goss will be taking on the title role in Universal’s upcoming Death Race: Frankenstein Lives, a direct-to-DVD sequel/prequel to the 2008 film by Paul W.S. Anderson.
The new film focuses on Luke, newly arrived to prison after killing a cop during a botched bank robbery. Once on Terminal Island, Luke goes behind the wheel to race his way to freedom and becomes the Frankenstein character that Jason Statham’s character ends up taking over the role of during the events of the first film. Tony Giglio wrote the script for the prequel and Dutch filmmaker Roel Reine takes over directorial duties from Anderson, who elected not to return for the next lap of the Death Race series.
Hit the jump for some thoughts on going for another Death Race.
Want to play the bravest little hobbit of them all in the big-screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit? Well, now is your chance as Spoiler TV has revealed the official casting call for the upcoming two-part film directed by Guillermo Del Toro and executive produced by Sir Peter Jackson.
Despite initially being plagued by hardships, lawsuits and corporate shenanigans, production of The Hobbit continues full steam with actor Ian McKellen already signed on to reprise his role of Gandalf from Jackson’s award-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy. Fellow Rings cast members Hugo Weaving and Andy Serkis will also return as Elrond and Gollum, respectively. Still missing, however, is the lead role of Bilbo Baggins and pretty much everyone else. But with the casting call now out, Del Toro just might stay on schedule and achieve the current release date of December 2011 for part one, with part two set for release the following year.
Hit the jump for some highlights and thoughts on the revealed casting call.
Variety reports that creator Aaron McGruder announced via his twitter account the return of his critically acclaimed series The Boondocks after a two-year hiatus. Currently in production, the show’s third season will premiere in early 2010. “Finally got an airdate for Season 3,” McGruder tweeted. “Not sure if I’m allowed to put it out yet, so I’ll just say you got about three months!”
The Boondocks originally premiered in November 2005 on Adult Swim for a 15-episode season. Based on the long-running newspaper strip written and drawn by McGruder, the show followed the lives of the black Freeman family and their exploits in a predominately white, high-class neighborhood. Since airing, the show has been nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series at the 37th NAACP Image Awards and has won a Peabody Award for the episode “Return of the King,” which imagined what Martin Luther King, Jr. would think of the current racial climate in America were he alive today.
Hit to the jump for my thoughts on the news.
With the expected success of James Cameron’s Avatar, a 3-Dimensional craze has begun to sweep Hollywood according to Waxword columnist Sharon Waxman over at The Wrap. Although filming completed some time ago and despite a trailer already online, director Ridley Scott is apparently seeking approval from Universal executives to create a 3D version to his $200 million Robin Hood reimagining. A deal is currently in the works with Studio Canal-the studio that owns the rights to Cameron’s legendary “Terminator 2″-to fast track a screen-popping version of the film.
Hit the jump for more directors looking to send audience’s eyes into a frenzy.
Australian distributor Hopscotch Films announced via its Facebook page that the acting trifecta of Keira Knightley, Christoph Waltz and Michael Fassbender have joined acclaimed director David Cronenberg for the adaptation of Christopher Hampton’s play The Talking Cure. The play focuses on famous psychoanalysts and close friends Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung and their relationship with patient Sabina Spielrein. The movie marks the first from Cronenberg since his 2007 project Eastern Promises and the second time Knightley features in a Hampton piece, the first being the Oscar-nominated Atonement.
Find out my thoughts on the news as a film buff and psychology nut after the jump.