Dwayne Johnson Confirmed to Star in Brett Ratner’s HERCULES

by     Posted 2 years, 48 days ago

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A couple weeks ago, we reported that Dwayne Johnson was in talks to star in Brett Ratner‘s Hercules.  The film is an adaptation of Steve Moore’s graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars, and is a dark take on the popular Grecian character.  In the comic, Hercules is “a mercenary who turned his back on the gods following the loss of his family, ‘finding solace only in battle.’” If you combine this film with Tarsem Singh‘s Immortals, we can get pretty close to a God of War movie.

Johnson will next be seen in G.I. Joe: Retaliation.  A few weeks ago, he said that filming on Fast Six (tentative title) will take place in May.  He’s also set to star alongside Mark Wahlberg in Michael Bay‘s crime-drama Pain and Gain. According to Variety, filming on Hercules is set to begin in October in New Zealand. No word yet if Hercules will ride a bumblebee.  Hit the jump for a synopsis of the graphic novel.

Dwayne Johnson in Talks to Star in Brett Ratner’s HERCULES

by     Posted 2 years, 59 days ago

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You’d be hard-pressed to find a badass character that Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) can’t play. He’ll be seen as Roadblock in the upcoming G.I. Joe: Retaliation, he’s been circling the role of Goliath in the aptly named Goliath, and now Variety reports that Johnson is in talks to star as the one and only Hercules. We first learned that Brett Ratner (Tower Heist) was circling Hercules back in 2010, but now it appears attached himself to the project for MGM. The film is an adaptation of Steve Moore’s graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars with a script by Ryan Condal (Paradise Lost). Hit the jump for more.

TOWER HEIST Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 2 years, 62 days ago

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“Men on a mission” films and the heist genre (arguably the same thing) in general are virtually impossible to screw up. Even Brett Ratner, a director that (perhaps unfairly) gets beaten up regularly for the insensitive things he says in the press, and his party-boy image can deliver a film like Tower Heist, and it plays fairly well at home. You’ve got an ensemble of actors with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy playing against Michael Pena, Casey Affleck, Mathew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Gabourey Sidibe and Alan Alda, and with that cast you’re not going to get bored, even if you can see where the film needed a little more oomph. It’s all about seeing a plan come together, and how that plan gets complicated. And if the film isn’t as great as it could have been, well there’s that, but it’s just good enough. Our review of Tower Heist on Blu-ray follows after the jump.

TOP 5: SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, IMMORTALS, CARS 2, THE EXPENDABLES 2, Billy Crystal and Brian Grazer Take on 2012 Oscars

by     Posted 2 years, 162 days ago

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I’m going to bypass my usual opening paragraph musings this week and simply wish everyone a Happy Veterans Day weekend. Given that I don’t have any immediate family or friends who serve, I won’t claim to know the first thing about the sacrifices that each serviceman/woman and their respective families and friends are continually asked to make. I reap all of the benefits of their service without any of the concessions. As a result, I owe a debt of gratitude to each and every one of them.

In this week’s “Top 5″ installment you can find the first trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman, a cornucopia of interviews for Immortals and Cars 2, new set images from the set of The Expendables 2 featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme, and a look at the road that led Billy Crystal and Brian Grazer to the top of the 2012 Oscars. Hit the jump for a brief recap and link to each.

Eddie Murphy Drops out as Oscar Host Following Brett Ratner’s Resignation

by     Posted 2 years, 165 days ago

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Yesterday, Brett Ratner resigned as the producer of the 84th Academy Awards after he made homophobic remarks to the surprise of no one. Now host Eddie Murphy has followed his Tower Heist director’s lead and exited the awards ceremony.  Academy president Tom Sherak released a statement about Murphy’s departure, saying: ” I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well.”  The Academy usually hires its producer and host well in advance in order to build buzz and provide plenty of lead time on the ceremony.  Now there will be a bit of a scramble to bring on a new producer and host with only three months to go until the 84th Academy Awards.  Maybe this time the Academy will hire a producer who is unlikely to say something like “Rehearsal is for fags.”

Hit the jump for the press release, which includes a statement from Murphy.  The 84th Academy Awards will take place on February 26, 2012.  Someone place a call to Neil Patrick Harris right now.

Brett Ratner Resigns as Producer of the Oscars; Pens Open Letter Apologizing to Hollywood

by     Posted 2 years, 166 days ago

Physically unable to remove his foot from his mouth, Brett Ratner is having a very bad week. The Tower Heist director came under scrutiny for crudely bragging that he “banged” Olivia Munn a few times but didn’t remember who she was, when responding to a passage in Munn’s recent book that described a highly unflattering encounter she once had with the director. He then apologized for his claim, saying that he actually lied about having relations with Munn (excusing himself by exclaiming “She’s hot!”). Then, he came under intense fire for responding to a Q&A question about his directorial style by saying “Rehearsal is for fags.”

So it’s no surprise that Ratner has now stepped down as producer of the upcoming Oscar telecast. There’s no word on what this means for Eddie Murphy’s involvement as host, but I’m hoping he stays onboard. As for Ratner, he was a strange choice to begin with and the ignorance and overall asshole-ness of his comments have actually made him an even less appealing human being. Tom Sherak, president of AMPAS said in a statement: “Words have meaning, and they have consequences.” Hit the jump to read an open letter of apology to Hollywood from Ratner himself.

TOWER HEIST Review

by     Posted 2 years, 170 days ago

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I was trying to figure out a way to find a more backhanded compliment than Brett Ratner‘s “Tower Heist is surprisingly not terrible,” but I came up empty.  At first glance, it should be the poster child for everything that’s wrong with mainstream American cinema.  Ben Stiller has been playing the same character, his co-star Eddie Murphy doesn’t seem to care about acting anymore, and Ratner is an unimpressive journeyman director.  And yet Tower Heist is kind of an entertaining movie.  Stiller plays against type, Eddie Murphy shows he can deliver when he’s not phoning it in, and Ratner keeps the film upbeat.  There are a mind-blowing number of obvious plot-holes, and the crappy screenplay relies heavily on coincidence, but the movie never comes off as insulting or offensive.  Tower Heist is like a sweet child who draws a terrible picture of your house, but he doesn’t know any better and just wants you to be impressed.

Brett Ratner Talks TOWER HEIST, the Oscars, BEVERLY HILLS COP 4, HONG KONG PHOOEY, the Woody Allen Documentary He’s Producing

by     Posted 2 years, 173 days ago

With Brett Ratner’s comedy Tower Heist opening this weekend, I was able to chat with the busy director on the phone when he was in New York City promoting the movie.  Starring Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Gabourey Sidibe, Téa Leoni, Stephen Henderson, Judd Hirsch, Michael Peña, and Alan Alda, Tower Heist centers on a group of disgruntled employees who decide to rob a white-collar criminal living under house arrest in their high-rise after he scams them all out of their savings.

During our wide-ranging conversation, Ratner talked about how he got involved in the project and who was originally going to star in it, the test screening process, deleted scenes, improv, what will be on the Blu-ray/DVD, and what it was like to work with Eddie Murphy.  In addition, Ratner talked about producing next year’s Oscars, future projects like Movie 43, 39 Clues, Hercules, Hong Kong Phooey, Beverly Hills Copy 4, Rush Hour 4, the Woody Allen documentary that he’s producing, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for the interview and audio.

EAGLE EYE Scribe John Glenn to Write Sci-Fi Pic for Paramount; NARNIA Writer to Pen Brett Ratner’s HUNTING EICHMANN

by     Posted 2 years, 174 days ago

A sci-fi action project by director John Heffernan may not have a title yet, but it does have a writer. Variety reports that John Glenn, the writer behind Eagle Eye, has been tapped to re-write the script. The project, previously known as Abducted, was picked up by Paramount in June of this year and is set up through Mary Parent’s Disruption Entertainment. Parent and Cale Boyter are producing the pic, pitched as “Die Hard on an alien spaceship.”

Brett Ratner’s next directorial project has itself a writer and a title. Ann Peacock (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) has been tapped to write Hunting Eichmann, an international thriller based on true accounts. Deadline reports that the project follows Israeli agents in their journey to Argentina to capture Adolph Eichmann, one of the major Nazi organizers behind the Holocaust. Ratner and Anthony Bregman (Our Idiot Brother) will produce for Cathy Schulman at Mandalay Pictures.

8 Clips from TOWER HEIST

by     Posted 2 years, 178 days ago

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We’ve been provided with eight clips from director Brett Ratner’s upcoming comedy Tower Heist. The film centers on a group of disgruntled employees who decide to rob a white-collar criminal living under house arrest in their high-rise after he scams them all out of their savings. The all-star cast includes Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Gabourey Sidibe, Téa Leoni, Stephen Henderson, Judd Hirsch, Michael Peña, and Alan Alda. Tower Heist opens November 4th.

Brett Ratner Talks Eddie Murphy, the Oscars, a Woody Allen Documentary, BEVERLY HILLS COP 4, Tarsem’s SNOW WHITE, and More

by     Posted 2 years, 181 days ago

Brett Ratner is a very busy guy at the moment.  He’s currently preparing for the release of his latest directorial effort Tower Heist, which features an all-star cast that includes Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, and Alan Alda, and he’s also gearing up to produce the Academy Awards.  In addition, Ratner is juggling a number of other projects.  Steve recently got the chance to talk to Ratner and the conversation covered a wide range of topics.  In addition to talking about his plan for the Oscars and getting Eddie Murphy as a host, Ratner also spoke about Tarsem Singh’s Untitled Snow White Project which he’s producing, a comprehensive documentary about Woody Allen (which sounds awesome) that he’s also producing, a miniseries on Sidney Korshak, and much more including updates on Beverly Hills Cop 4 and Hong Kong Phooey.  Hit the jump to check out the full conversation.

New Trailer for TOWER HEIST Starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy

by     Posted 2 years, 199 days ago

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A new trailer for Brett Ratner’s Tower Heist has gone online.  The film centers on a group of employees working in a high-rise who decide to rob a white-collar criminal after he fleeces them out of their savings. After viewing both trailers, I stick by my conclusion that it will be a popular movie featuring the kind of safe humor that makes a crummy show like Two and a Half Men the #1 show on comedy.  However, it looks like we might finally get another funny performance from Eddie Murphy.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Téa Leoni, Gabourey Sidibe, Casey Affleck, Stephen Henderson, Judd Hirsch, Michael Peña, and Alan Alda.  Tower Heist opens November 4th and hits VOD in select markets three weeks later.

New Details on Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN and Brett Ratner’s THE 39 CLUES

by     Posted 2 years, 215 days ago

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Steven Spielberg will be giving audiences a one-two punch this December when he releases the 3D motion-capture film The Adventures of Tintin on December 23rd and follows it five days later with the drama War Horse.  He’ll follow these two films with his star-studded biopic Lincoln.  Spielberg tells the Orlando Sentinel [via The Film Stage] that the film, based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals, will focus on the last four months of the 16th president’s life.  Furthermore, the drama won’t be a “battlefield movie”, but “there are battles in it, and being in Virginia, we have access to those historic battlefields. It is really a movie about the great work Abraham Lincoln did in the last months of his life.”  I hope the film begins with Lincoln being super-excited for that new play coming to Ford’s Theatre.

The film stars Daniel-Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln, Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Robert Todd Lincoln, Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, David Strathairn as Secretary of State William Seward, Walton Goggins as congressman Wells A. Hutchins, and Lee Pace as New York City mayor Fernando Wood.  Spielberg says Lincoln “will be purposely coming out AFTER next year’s election. I didn’t want it to become political fodder.”  Hit the jump for details on The 39 Clues.

Eddie Murphy Confirmed to Host the Oscars

by     Posted 2 years, 229 days ago

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It seems like the Academy is making a serious effort to makes the 2012 Oscars somehow worse than last year’s clusterfuck.  First, they hired Brett Ratner whose name inspires confidence in no one except for Brett Ratner.  Then last week we learned that Ratner wanted his Tower Heist star Eddie Murphy to host the ceremony.  Now Deadline is confirming that Murphy will MC next year’s show and I am confirming that I have somehow found a way to be even less interested in the Oscar telecast.

I have multiple problems with Murphy.  First off, he hasn’t top-lined a good film since Bowfinger.  Second, he hasn’t taken a chance since his dramatic supporting role in Dreamgirls didn’t win him an Oscar.   He doesn’t really try to give comic performances any more and phones in awful family comedies.  Finally, and this one is just a personal preference, I think an Oscar host should have the ability to do self-deprecating humor to balance the jokes he or she is going to make at the audience’s expense.  That’s never been Murphy’s style.  The only upside to this news is that we get to see how Murphy does stand-up on a big stage a scant 24 years after Raw.

Brett Ratner Wants Eddie Murphy to Host the Oscars

by     Posted 2 years, 231 days ago

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See, there may be some good to from Brett Ratner’s stewardship over the 2012 Oscars after all.  Ratner and co-producer Don Mischer are scheduled to meet with Tom Sherak after Labor Day to discuss potential hosts.  According to THR, star Eddie Murphy tops the list.  It’s not a done deal, as Humor Mill first suggested yesterday.  But Ratner has a good shot at landing Murphy based on the relationship they built filming Tower Heist, and the move would be great for both Murphy and the Oscars.  The Academy gets one of the world’s most dynamic movie stars, who launched his career on the live stage.  Murphy gets the welcome career boost in a year where the only expectation is to be more energetic than James Franco was.  More after the jump:

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