Jack Black, Nicolas Cage, and Steve Carell are in talks to star in Charlie Kaufman’s next directorial feature, Frank or Francis. Kaufman is also brewing another collaboration with his Being John Malkovich/Adaptation director Spike Jonze with Joaquin Phoenix attached to star — until today, that seemed to be in pole position on Kaufman’s slate. However, Deadline says Frank or Francis is tentatively scheduled for a 2012 start, a more definitive date with more bankable stars than Phoenix circling.
Details are mostly under wraps, but here’s the logline: “The film chronicles a volatile back and forth between a film director (Frank) and an online blogger (Francis), who takes delight in berating his cinematic talent.” Oh, and it’s a musical. More after the jump.
Having opening the 2011 LA Film Festival back in June, director Richard Linklater’s (Dazed and Confused) Bernie has now landed a distributor. Deadline reports that Millenium Entertainment is nearing a deal to distribute the black comedy domestically. Starring Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, and Shirley MacLaine, Bernie is set in a small Texas town and tells the story of a beloved mortician (Black) who kills an adoring rich widow (MacLaine) and then plays it off as if she’s still alive. There is no word on when Millenium will release the pic theatrically but I’m hoping it’s sooner rather than later.
As for Linklater, the director is still working on his real-time coming-of-age tale Boyhood (a.k.a. Growing Up), a film starring Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, and Ellar Salmon that he began shooting back in 2002. The completed pic will chronicle a young man’s (Salmon) trek from six years old to the twelfth grade and, as Linklater told The Playlist back in June, will continue shooting through 2014.
The era of Jack Black comedies is coming to a close. With Gulliver’s Travels, Black has made his way into the “family comedy” zone and that’s the last refuge for comedic performers. That the film flopped stateside (though it made a bundle internationally) suggests that Black will now be relegated to supporting turns. Here he’s Lemuel Gulliver, a mailroom clerk who’s going nowhere in life when Amanda Peet sends him on a journalism assignment to cover a small island near the Bermuda Triangle. He gets sucked into a world where he’s a giant. My review of the Blu-ray follows after the jump.
If you’ve been hanging around the site for a while, you know that we tend to post a lot of content throughout the course of a week. From interviews and reviews to general entertainment news, set visits, and niche stories, we always do our best to provide you the reader with a wide spectrum of coverage. Nevertheless, our front page only holds fifteen stories at a time meaning that some of our most interesting content has a tendency to fall through the cracks. In an attempt to bring these stories back to the forefront, we are introducing this weekly “Top 5″ feature which we hope will prevent readers from missing out on the best Collider has to offer.
In this, our inaugural week, we’re bringing you a recap of Brendan’s mathematical breakdown of dueling Snow White films, our look at dimly lit 2d theater projection, a possible R-rated Riddick, Michael Sheen reading Twilight fan fiction, and Jack Black discussing with Steve where not to use body soap. Check out the quick recaps and links after the jump.
With Kung Fu Panda 2 opening this weekend, I recently got to interview Dustin Hoffman and Jack Black for our partners at Omelete. While some sequels spend a lot of time reminding the audience who the characters are, one of the many things that’s great about Kung Fu Panda 2 is that it starts like you know the world and it never slows down. In addition, while I’ve been very vocal about bad 3D, Kung Fu Panda 2 features some incredible 3D and the best part is the filmmakers used 3D to help tell the story. If you have the option, you really want to see this in 3D.
While I’ve been doing interviews for almost six years, my conversation with Hoffman and Black is without a doubt one of the craziest I’ve ever had during a press junket. Even though I don’t want to spoil what happens, I’ll say that wearing my Threadless t-shirt that says rub me on your butt was not my best idea. Or maybe it was. Judge for yourself after the jump.
Kung Fu Panda 2 stands as a shining example of DreamWorks finally getting the sequel formula right. Building off of the success of the original 2008 hit, Panda 2 delivers more laughs, larger scale, finer animation, and arguably more heart. Jack Black returns as the incompetently powerful Po the panda to battle the next stage in warfare that threatens to make hand-to-hand combat extinct. Joined by the Furious Five, the group wages war amidst the beautiful landscape of China in thrilling sequences of 3D combat that highlight the evolution of the fighting in the first film. With newcomer Jennifer Yuh at the helm, backed by the returning talents of writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger along with the full voice cast, Kung Fu Panda 2 is the latest animated film to blur the lines between the admiration from adults and kids alike, and brings bang for your buck in 3D. Hit the jump for the full review.
Richard Linklater’s new film Bernie will make its world premiere by opening this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival. The film stars Jack Black as the title character, a beloved mortician in a small Texas town who does a horrible thing. He also has to contend with the town’s richest, meanest widow (played by Shirley MacLaine) even though she adores him. The film also stars Matthew McConaughey in his first collaboration with Linklater since 1998′s The Newton Boys.
Hit the jump to check out the first images from the film along with the full press release. No official release date has been announced for Bernie as it is still searching for a distributor. Nevertheless, expect to see it in theaters some time later this year. The 2011 LA Film Festival begins June 16th.
The first trailer for The Muppets has gone online. It takes a little while to get to the actual Muppets, but stick through the trailer for the first 50 seconds and you’ll get there. This is really more of an announcement trailer, and I’m not sure what will set this Muppets movie apart, but creating a trailer that basically goes “Surprise! Muppets!” isn’t a bad way to start. I’m slightly confused by the set-up of a fake Jason Segel/Amy Adams romance flick called Green with Envy, but I’ll go with it for now.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer for The Muppets and the poster for Green with Envy. The Muppets also stars Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones, and a slew of celebrity cameos. The film opens November 23rd.
Jack Black has signed on to star in the Michael Winterbottom comedy Bailout. The film is based on Jess Walter’s novel, The Financial Lives of The Poets. THR reports that the script (which Walter also wrote) “details the story of one man’s attempt to come back from the brink of financial ruin after meeting a couple of losers in a late night supermarket.” Black will play the man on the brink of financial ruin although it’s amusing to think that a little over a decade ago, he probably would have played one of the two losers.
Winterbottom, who swings wildly between light comedy (The Trip, Tristam Shandy) and intense drama (A Mighty Heart, The Killer Inside Me) said Walter’s script accomplishes the “rare feat of being funny and true at the same time.” Filming is set to begin in the US this August. Black is currently promoting Kung Fu Panda 2 and he’ll next be seen in non-animated-panda-form in Richard Linklater’s Bernie.
With the sad unfortunate mess that was Gulliver’s Travels now finally behind us, it’s time for the world to reignite its love affair with Jack Black. If anything can get the pudgy comic back into the world’s good graces, it’s another project with his School Of Rock director Richard Linklater. The filmmaker hasn’t made a movie as financially successful since (it is really too bad that no one saw Me And Orson Welles, even if it was nice to know that the tide turned on Zac Efron that quickly) and Black certainly hasn’t had a film as well received critically since then either, so the timing could be just right for both of their careers.
Hyde Park Entertainment released an official plot synopsis for the upcoming Bernie today and the good news is that it sounds like a pretty odd and offbeat project even more in tune with Linklater’s sensibilities than School Of Rock. Black will star as kind and awkward funeral home assistant who may or may not have killed a domineering and bitter old woman played by Shirley MacLaine. Based on a true story, it could be the oddest film Black or Linklater has made in years and that’s a damn good thing. Hit the jump for the complete official synopsis and more juicy details.
The Beastie Boys short film Fight for Your Right – Revisited premiered last night on VH1 (censored) and Comedy Central (uncensored) and now the uncensored version has made its way online. The short stars Elijah Wood, Seth Rogen, and Danny McBride as Licensed to Ill-era Ad-Rock, Mike D, and MCA, respectively. While the trailer hinted that there would be some semblance of a plot where the trio has a dance contest against their future selves (played by Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, and Jack Black), the majority of the film is just the boys making mischief. While the short has a fun mix of the Beastie Boys both honoring and mocking themselves, there are so many cameos that it feels less like a thoughtful reflection and more like a list of famous people who want to pay that tribute to the influential hip-hop trio.
Hit the jump to check out the uncensored short and judge for yourself. The Beastie Boys new album, ot Hot Sauce Committee Part Two hits stores on May 3rd.
A “red-band” trailer (it’s from the Motion Picture Association of Antigua, Inc.) for the Beastie Boys inspired short Fight For Your Right – Revisited. The trailer is long on swears and stars but short on laughs. The story seems to be that the young Beastie Boys (played by Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, and Elijah Wood) meet their future selves (John C. Reilly, Jack Black, and Will Ferrell) and have a dance off, which seems like a fun premise. But even though the short film also features Will Arnett, Stanley Tucci, Susan Sarandon, Ted Danson, Rainn Wilson, and plenty of other famous faces, there aren’t many laughs to be had. Watching Will Ferrell break out a cowbell or Arnett shout “Come on!” feel like stale attempts at humor. Hopefully the short comes together better than the trailer.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The 30 minute short will debut alongside the release of the Beastie Boys new album “Hot Sauce Committee Part 2″ on May 3rd.
Yesterday I attended a DreamWorks Animation 2011 preview at the DGA in Los Angeles. With the company getting ready to release Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots later this year, CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg took the stage and showed the assembled press the first 45 minutes of Kung Fu Panda 2, and then the first 13 minutes of Puss In Boots. In between the footage, we got to hear Kung Fu Panda 2 director Jennifer Yuh, Jack Black, Antonio Banderas, Puss In Boots director Chris Miller, and Guillermo del Toro talk about their films. Did you know del Toro is very involved in Puss In Boots? He’s also executive producing Rise of the Guardians for the studio and helping out on all their animated movies. Needless to say, this is very good news.
Anyway, shortly after the presentation ended, I recorded a video blog with Peter from /Film and our thoughts on the footage and what we learned are after the jump. And if you missed my article detailing all the DreamWorks Animation movies through 2014, you can check it out here.
Along with the teaser trailer and poster for Puss in Boots, DreamWorks Animation has released a new trailer and poster for their summer tentpole, Kung Fu Panda 2. The new trailer for Kung Fu Panda kind of explains the plot, but also shows there really isn’t much of it: Po and the Furious Five go on a road trip to defeat a new villain. Granted, Po is now a Kung Fu master, but that only seems to improve the movie in terms of the visuals. As far as the humor and the characters, expect more slapstick and fat jokes.
Hit the jump to check out the new trailer and poster. Kung Fu Panda 2 features the voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Gary Oldman, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Victor Garber. It opens in 3D on May 26th.
On the heels of the Super Bowl ad for Transformers: Dark of the Moon, DreamWorks Animation has released an ad for Kung Fu Panda 2. Armed with a cringe-worthy tagline pun (“We Will Wok You”) and a new nonsense word catchphrase, the film will most likely make $100 trillion-gajillion dollars at the box office.
Hit the jump to check out the ad. Kung Fu Panda features the voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffm, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Gary Oldman, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Victor Garber. The film opens in 3D on May 26th.