Journalist Alan Paul’s memoir Big in China, chronicling his adventures in Beijing, has been optioned by Montecito Pictures as a possible directing vehicle for Ivan Reitman (No Strings Attached). While Reitman isn’t completely attached to the film just yet, THR reports that the project is currently out to writers, after which Reitman will probably decide if he wants to direct.
A stay-at-home dad, Paul picked up guitar while in Beijing and started a blues band. The memoir examines the East-West disconnect and captures a nation struggling to modernize. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the book.
The Montecito Picture Company, a Paramount-based label, has purchased the rights to scribe Jeff Lowell’s (Hotel for Dogs) Monsters of the Midway. Before Chicago Bears fans get overly excited, I should point out that Heat Vision describes the script as having less to do with your beloved Bears and is more “an action comedy with supernatural overtones set in a carnival.” Somewhere, former Bears defensive lineman William “The Refrigerator” Perry is still shopping the rights to his life story.
As for Lowell’s take on Monsters of the Midway, Montecito’s Ivan Reitman, Tom Pollock, and Joe Medjuck will co-produce the film alongside Daniel Rappaport of Film 360, the company responsible for developing the project internally. The report makes no allusions to whether or not Lowell, who also wrote John Tucker Must Die and wrote/directed the woeful Over Her Dead Body, will be directing his script.
If you’re an indie film watcher, you already know Greta Gerwig. But while many of us are familiar with her great work in such films as The House of the Devil, Baghead and Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg, she’s still not on everyone’s radar. But that’s about to change. That’s because Gerwig plays one of Natalie Portman’s friends in No Strings Attached, she stars opposite Russell Brand in the remake of Arthur, and she’s also in Whit Stillman’s (Metropolitan, Barcelona, The Last Days of Disco) new movie Damsels in Distress. What that means is…she’s right on the verge of being a mainstream star.
Anyhow, I recently got to do an extended interview with Gerwig and we talked about all three of her upcoming projects. If you’ve been waiting (like me for Whit Stillman to finally make another movie, the great news is she thinks Stillman might not stop with Damsels in Distress. In addition to spending way too much time talking about Stillman, Gerwig talks about her love of Elizabeth Meriwether and Ivan Reitman, making No Strings Attached, what making Arthur was really like, and so much more. Hit the jump to either watch, read or listen to the interview:
No Strings Attached is the blandest of romantic comedies and only attempts to give itself an edge through a half-assed attempt at raunchy humor and salty language. It sets up situational comedy that would feel stale in a 1980s sitcom and populates these unfunny scenarios with people who feel designed to serve the purpose of a bit rather than actual human beings who stumbled into a comedic situation. The only truly funny thing about No Strings Attached is how proud it is of its reversal of gender roles, which would be a feat worth applauding if the film had come out in the 1950s. Devoid of chemistry and humor, No Strings Attached is a romantic comedy that lacks both romance and comedy.
Opening this weekend is director Ivan Reitman’s No Strings Attached. Starring Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Cary Elwes and Kevin Kline, the comedy is about “a guy and girl who try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it’s not long before they learn that they want something more.” While you might think it’s Portman’s character that wants the relationship, it’s actually Kutcher’s.
Anyway, Paramount recently held a press conference with Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, director Ivan Reitman and screenwriter Liz Meriwether. They talked about working together, doing improv, do they really think friendship can survive sex without feelings, what is it really like to film sex scenes, and a lot more. Hit the jump to either read a transcript or listen to the audio:
Earlier today, Paramount revealed the first image of Ivan Reitman’s upcoming romantic-comedy, No Strings Attached. Now, only a few hours later, Paramount has released the first trailer for the film. The film stars Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman as two friends who decide to begin a “no strings attached” (hence the title) sexual relationship. You can probably guess all of the film’s beats and how it will end by watching the trailer, but I’m sure that the same people who have turned up for all of Kutcher’s past romantic comedies will be showing up for this one as well. No Strings Attached opens on January 21, 2011 and also co-stars Cary Elwes, Greta Gerwig, Ludacris, Kevin Kline, and Olivia Thirlby. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.
The first look of director Ivan Reitman’s No Strings Attached has been released a few days before its trailer, which is going to premiere this Friday. The film, which stars Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, is about two friends who decide to have a purely physical relationship. Hearts get involved, and you have the perfect romantic comedy. Reitman, of Ghostbusters fame and father of director Jason Reitman (Up in the Air), found his first array into the rated-R comedy hit quite close to home. “I noticed from my own kids that with this generation in particular, young people find it easier to have a sexual relationship than an emotional one. That is how sexes deal with each other today,” (via USA Today). This seems to be a topic that is interesting other film makes, since a similarly named Friends With Benefits is coming out next summer with Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. For the image, more info on No Strings Attached, and more on both Portman and Kutcher’s future projects, hit the jump. No Strings Attached is due out January 21, 2011.
Cary Elwes has been tapped to star alongside Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher in Ivan Reitman’s upcoming romantic comedy. Previously titled Friends with Benefits (until it gave up/lost the title to another comedy starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis), Variety says the film “centers on the question of whether two longterm friends can have a purely sexual relationship without falling in love.” For the purposes of mainstream romantic comedies, I say the answer will turn out to be, “No.”
Per Variety, “Elwes plays a physician who works with Portman’s character and develops a flirtatious relationship.” Elwes was most recently “seen” in Robert Zemeckis’ A Christmas Carol and will re-team with the director for a “re-imagining” of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.
Last week we reported that Greta Gerwig (Greenberg) had joined the cast of Ivan Reitman’s still untitled comedy movie. The film, previously titled Friends With Benefits, stars Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher as two friends who find their benefits threatened when Kutcher’s character becomes emotionally invested in the relationship. According to The Wrap, Olivia Thirlby (The Wackness) is in negotiations to play Portman’s sister in the film. The Liz Meriwether-penned script has been circulating since 2008 when it landed on the coveted “Black List,” a ranking of the best screenplays to not be filmed in a given year. At that time, it was tastefully called Fuck Buddies. Probably not wanting to face the same sort of publicity nightmare that Zack and Miri Make a Porno encountered, Paramount Pictures is looking for a new title. Here’s hoping for Ivan Reitman’s How to be a Player. The film will be released Jan. 7, 2011.
Greta Gerwig, fresh off her well-received turn as Ben Stiller’s love interest in Greenberg, has been cast in director Ivan Reitman’s (Ghostbusters) next film. The film, previously titled Friends With Benefits, is headlined by Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher and also features Kevin Kline, Ophelia Lovibond and Ben Lawson. The plot tackles a question that has haunted mankind for centuries: Namely, is it possible for good friends to have the benefits of sex without the baggage (sometimes referred to as happiness) of love?
According to Variety, Gerwig will play Portman’s friend, a Velma character who first deduces that Kutcher’s character has developed real feelings for her friend. The comedy is set for a Jan. 7 2011 release.
Earlier today, we reported that Columbia is trying to get Ivan Reitman off of Ghostbusters III. Of course oddly enough one of their hopes was that Reitman would be too busy to direct the sequel because of his other project for Paramount, Friends With Benefits. Variety now has the scoop on that movie, which will be staring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. The script is being written by Elizabeth Meriwether, the youngest member of the so called “Fempire”, a group of women screenwriters including Diablo Cody (Juno) and Lorene Scafaria (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist).
The story is somewhat the opposite of When Harry Met Sally, with two people having a purely sexual relationship which begins to blossom into something deeper. The film has a tentative release date of January 7, 2011. The film is set to be produced by Reitman’s own Montecito Picture Co., as well as Spyglass Entertainment and Cold Spring Pictures. We’ll give you more on the film as we hear of it.
Ivan Reitman’s confirmed this past January that he was directing Ghostbusters III, so the news that Columbia wants a younger director to take on the project is pretty shocking. Vulture is now reporting that Columbia is looking to take the project in a somewhat different direction, one that doesn’t involve Reitman.
The third film is currently being written by The Office writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and it’s been rumored since the start of development that the plan would be to involve a younger group of Ghostbusters as to reboot the popular franchise. However this plan doesn’t involve Reitman, who is now 63 years old. Columbia is hoping to get a younger director to fill the shoes, like they have with the new Spider-Man director Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer).
Hit the jump to see why Columbia’s decision to get rid of Reitman could potentially end with the cancellation of Ghostbusters III.
Whether you’re filled with excited or filled with dread at the prospect, Ghostbusters 3 looks like it’s really happening. MTV confirms that Ivan Reitman, who directed and produced the first two movies, will return for the third installment. He also says that he has received a finished script from writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (Year One, the US version of The Office) and they’re currently at work on a second draft.
However, Reitman, who’s last film was2006′s My Super Ex-Girlfriend, danced around Sigourney Weaver’s comments about her son Oscar becoming a ghostbuster and Bill Murray’s character now being a ghost. “I’m not going to comment on what’s in the script and on what Sigourney may or may not have said,” Reitman says. “She’s been so busy on Avatar, I’ve not been able to find her. There’s some very cool things in the new draft, let’s just put it that way.” I had trouble finding the words, “No”, “False”, or “Untrue,” anywhere in that response.
Finally, Reitman says he’s planning to shoot next year, which contradicts Harold Ramis’ comment this past December where he said that they were planning to shoot this summer and release the movie in 2011. Reitman’s last film was 2006′s My Super Ex-Girlfriend.
Ray Parker Jr. has continued to work. You wouldn’t probably know it unless you were a fan. But he put out an album in 2006. At this point, not only is Ray Parker Jr. not afraid of no ghosts, no one is afraid of no ghosts. People may be more afraid of Ray Parker Jr. than ghosts. We like in a post-scared of no ghosts culture. It is hard to know how good busting makes someone feel, though.
Ghostbusters is a bona-fide “classic” now. It’s a loosey-goosey movie, it’s tightly put together, but it feels free. The set pieces never feel stuck in their boxes, and the comedians seem to bring their own sensibilities to the material. Directed by Ivan Reitman from a script by Harold Ramis and Dan Ayroyd, it moves at a quick clip and balances the boo scares with the jokes successfully. It’s one of the film effects driven comedies that works as a comedy first. But it’s Bill Murray’s movie.
More after the jump:
This Friday, director Harold Ramis’ new comedy “Year One” hits theatres. So to help promote the film, I spent the past two days in New York City as a reporter for our partner website Omelete. In the coming days I’ll be posting the full interviews, but with all the talk about another “Ghostbusters” movie floating around the Internet, I figured I should post what he told me right now.
The highlight: if the script for “Ghostbusters 3″ turns out as good as everyone hopes, they’re all in. Even Bill Murray!
The video interview and quotes after the jump: