Mandate Pictures has just sent out a press release announcing that Russell Brand and Julianne Hough (Footloose) will star in an untitled comedy directed by Diablo Cody from her own script. We previously reported that Brand was offered the male lead and that Hough was in the running for the female lead so it looks like that all panned out. However, the film was previously titled “Lamb of God” but now it looks like that title has been dropped. The untitled comedy “follows a sheltered young woman (Hough) who loses her faith after a plane crash and decides to go to Las Vegas to experience the wild side of life. On her journey, she meets an unlikely companion (Brand) who inadvertently helps her find her true self.” Sounds a little cornball but I have faith that Cody has taken an interesting approach to the material.
Hit the jump for the full press release. Mandate says the project is on a fast track for a spring start.
Juno scribe Diablo Cody is set to make her directorial debut with a project she wrote called Lamb of God, and it sounds like she’s settled on her male lead. TwitchFilm reports that Russell Brand has been offered the co-lead role in the religious comedy. The story centers on a young conservative religious woman who heads to Las Vegas to live the life of a sinner following a plane crash that results in a loss of faith. One expects that Brand will play a flamboyant troublemaker of some sort from Sin City, but it would be a nice twist if the actor were instead playing one of the female lead’s religious cohorts.
There’s no word on who will nab the female role, but TwitchFilm says they’ve heard rumblings that Julianne Hough (Footloose) is in the running. I’m a fan of Cody’s work, and the prospect of her signature dialogue being delivered with a Brand flair is definitely intriguing. The screenwriter recently re-teamed with Juno director Jason Reitman for the drama Young Adult starring Charlize Theron, which hits theaters December 9th.
With the remake business, you’re already (at least usually) against a brick wall. What’s remade aren’t usually flawed films, but movies that are regarded well enough to be liked, but aren’t classics (those films are ripped off wholesale). And so there’s a remake of the 1981 Dudley Moore film Arthur thirty years later starring Russell Brand. Why now? Probably because Brand seems like he could be a movie star, and Get Him to the Greek did good enough business. The remake (which also stars Helen Mirren, Greta Gerwig and Jennifer Garner) is about a spoiled rich kid/drunk who finds true love, but is supposed to marry someone else. It works, but almost in spite of its narrative. My review of the Blu-ray of 2011’s Arthur follows after the jump.
Earlier this month, we reported that Adam Shankman’s musical Rock of Ages had lost Alec Baldwin, and losing Alec Baldwin is sad news for any production. But cheer up! It turns out that report was false because Shankman has tweeted a photo from the set showing Baldwin in hippie garb alongside a lollipop-brandishing Russell Brand. The context of the photo? Unknown to people like myself who haven’t seen the Broadway musical upon which the movie is based.
Hit the jump to check out the full image. The film also stars Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti, Malin Akerman, Bryan Cranston, Mary J. Blige, Julianne Hough, and newcomer Diego Boneta. Rock of Ages opens June 1, 2012.
Adam Shankman’s musical Rock of Ages has been searching for months to find its “Constance”, the journalist who sleeps with decadent rock star Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) even though she’s supposed to be writing an expose about him. The project courted Anne Hathaway and Amy Adams, but both actresses passed on the film after they were offered roles in superhero movies (Hathaway for The Dark Knight Rises and Adams for Man of Steel). Today, Rock of Ages finally has its Constance as Deadline reports that Malin Akerman will take the role. In addition to Tom Cruise, Akerman will be joining Alec Baldwin, Mary J. Blige, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough, Bryan Cranston, and Catherine Zeta Jones.
Rock of Ages is the latest film to fall into Akerman’s packed schedule. She’s currently shooting Medallion with Nicolas Cage, she replaced Lindsay Lohan in Inferno: The Linda Lovelace Story, she’s co-starring in the romantic comedy The Giant Mechanical Man, and she’s starring opposite Ethan Hawke in the spy thriller The Numbers Station. Akerman can currently be seen in theaters co-starring in the war drama The Bang Bang Club and she has two more films coming out later this year: the indie crime thriller Criminal Empire for Dummy’s and the David Wain comedy Wanderlust. Rock of Ages is due out June 1, 2012.
Catherine Zeta-Jones scored an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work in 2002′s Chicago and now it looks like she’ll be making a return to the musical genre. THR reports that Zeta-Jones has joined Adam Shankman’s adaptation of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages. Zeta-Jones will play the film’s villain, a character who isn’t in the Broadway version, but is described by Shankman as “if Tipper Gore and Anita Bryant had a love child. She is this hardcore, moral majority, arch-conservative who wants to shut down rock’n roll in the great city of Los Angeles.” Shankman says the character was devised as a way to streamline various storylines.
Zeta-Jones, who has been absent from screens the past several years, is a welcome addition to the cast since she can hit the trifecta of acting, singing, and dancing. She also recently joined Lay the Favorite starring Bruce Willis and Rebecca Hall, as well as the comedy Playing the Field starring Gerard Butler. Rock of Ages‘s cast includes an interesting mix of famous faces (Tom Cruise, Mary J. Blige, Alec Baldwin, Paul Giamatti, Russell Brand) as well as up-and-comers Diego Gonzalez Boneta and Julianne Hough. Hit the jump for a synopsis of Rock of Ages, which is set to open on June 1, 2012.
Today in not-casting news, we have updates to a couple of our previous stories. First up, Deadline is reporting that while Russell Brand is confirmed for Rock of Ages, Amy Adams has passed on the role of a journalist who sleeps with rock star Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise). Like Anne Hathaway before her, Adams had a scheduling conflict due to a leading role in a superhero movie. In this case, Adams will be busy playing Lois Lane in Man of Steel. Rock of Ages is currently set to open on June 1, 2012.
In a related non-casting story, The Wrap reports that Hugh Jackman won’t play the Huntsman in Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman. The project continues to look for a male lead after Viggo Mortensen passed on the movie last month. Kristen Stewart is in talks to play Snow White who is taught how to survive by the Huntsman. Charlize Theron is confirmed to play the evil queen. Snow White and the Huntsman is slated to be released on December 21, 2012.
In the comedy Arthur, Russell Brand reinvents the role of loveable billionaire Arthur Bach, originally brought to life by actor Dudley Moore in the 1981 original. Arthur is an irresponsible charmer who uses his fortune to surround himself with people and amusements that leave him feeling rather hollow. It is only the good sense of his lifelong nanny Hobson (Helen Mirren) that keeps him out of even more trouble than he already gets himself into. When Arthur falls for a spontaneous New York City tour guide named Naomi (Greta Gerwig), and he must then choose between her and the predictable corporate exec Susan (Jennifer Garner), it is Hobson that helps him follow his heart.
At the film’s press day, co-stars Russell Brand and Helen Mirren talked about why they enjoy working together so much, how love changes you, their most extravagant Arthur-like purchases, and why people should go see their movie. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
Just as surely as rain makes things wet, Arthur will make you laugh. Yet the film never justifies its existence—remake or not. Hollywood is determined to make Russell Brand a comedic lead, but simply placing his acquired comedic sensibilities in the star role doesn’t equal success. Throw in a bloated run time and a cute, but unromantic chemistry between Brand and Greta Gerwig, and we have the makings of a generic romantic comedy that is further burdened by being a remake. The real shame is that on paper, the film has enough comedic ingredients to make something worthwhile instead of simply unoffensive. Hit the jump for my full review.
In the new modern version of Arthur, Russell Brand reinvents the role of loveable billionaire Arthur Bach, a perpetual child who relies on his charm and limitless fortune to get by in life. His lifelong nanny and only true friend, Hobson (Helen Mirren), keeps him out of trouble while his icy cold mother (Geraldine James) wishes he would grow up and be more responsible, as sole heir to the family business, Bach Worldwide. When it becomes clear that Arthur has no plans to ever change, he is given an ultimatum to marry the beautiful but unlovable Susan Johnson (Jennifer Garner), an ambitious corporate exec who wants the family name, in order to run the company, which must be headed by a Bach. If he doesn’t stay in line, he will have to say goodbye to the billion-dollar inheritance that feeds his way of life. But then, he meets and falls for New York City tour guide Naomi (Greta Gerwig), who not only makes him want to take charge of his own life, but become the man that even he didn’t think he could ever be.
At the film’s press day, director Jason Winer (Modern Family) did this exclusive interview with Collider where he talked about making the transition from TV director to feature director, finding the women to fill Arthur’s world, getting over the initial nervousness of working with someone as accomplished as Helen Mirren, how he prefers to let scene takes play out from beginning to end instead of doing line pick-ups, and developing his comedic sensibilities on the ABC TV comedy Modern Family. He also talked about currently directing the ABC pilot Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 (which will assuredly will have a title change prior to airing), starring Krysten Ritter, Dreama Walker and James Van Der Beek, as a version of himself. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
With Universal and Illumination Entertainment’s CG/live-action family film Hop opening this weekend, I got to interview Russell Brand for our partners at Omelete. In the film, James Marsden (Enchanted) stars as a slacker who finds himself taking care of the Easter Bunny (voiced by Brand) after he accidentally injures him. Hop also stars (or features the voices of) Kaley Cuoco, Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins, David Hasselhoff, Chelsea Handler, Hank Azaria and Hugh Laurie. You can watch some clips here.
During the interview, Brand talked about how Despicable Me got him this part, the recording process, how much was improvised, does he have a preference on where to do interviews, what’s his criteria for following someone on Twitter, does he get nervous before going on stage at Award shows or doing standup, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch:
In the new family comedy Hop, which seamlessly blends CG animation with live-action, Russell Brand provides the voice for E.B., the teenage son of the Easter Bunny. Poised to claim his birthright and take over the title and all the power that comes with it, E.B. decides to give up egg painting and candy production and flees Easter Island for Hollywood, to pursue his dream of becoming a drummer. Once there, he encounters Fred (James Marsden) who, at 30, is also unhappy with the path that his family has put him on, and the two realize that maybe they can help each other in achieving their dreams.
At the film’s press day, Russell Brand talked about how much fun it was to bring the Easter Bunny to life, having his own childhood fantasies of becoming a rock star, working within the parameters of a family film, and the animated characters that he enjoyed as a kid. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
Warner Bros. has released seven clips from the upcoming comedy Arthur. The film is a remake of the 1981 Dudley Moore comedy and stars Russell Brand as a wealthy playboy who risks losing his inheritance when he falls for a woman that his family does not approve of. The movie also stars Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner, Luis Guzman, Greta Gerwig, and Nick Nolte. Arthur was directed by Jason Winer (he directed a lot of Modern Family‘s first season).
Hit the jump to check out the clips. Arthur opens April 8th.
Amy Adams is reportedly being “heavily courted” to join Adam Shankman’s upcoming musical, Rock of Ages. Deadline reports that Adams is being offered the role of a journalist who plans to write a scathing expose of decadent rock star Stacee Jax (played by Tom Cruise) but ends up sleeping with him instead after they do a duet of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is”. The role was initially offered to Anne Hathaway, but the scheduling conflicted with her time playing Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises.
Adams previously did some fantastic singing in Enchanted and she’s set to sing again in The Muppets. If Adams signs on to Rock of Ages, she’ll join not only Cruise, but also Mary J. Blige, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, and Julianne Hough. Deadline reports that we should know by early next week if Adams has taken the gig. Rock of Ages is currently set to open on June 1, 2012.
Universal Pictures has released seven clips from director Tim Hill’s (Alvin and the Chipmunks) CG/live-action family film, Hop. The film, which comes from Illumination Entertainment (the same company that made Despicable Me), stars James Marsden (Enchanted) as a slacker who finds himself taking care of the Easter Bunny (voiced by Russel Brand) after he accidentally injures him. Hop also stars (or features the voice of) Kaley Cuoco, Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins, David Hasselhoff, Chelsea Handler, Hank Azaria and Hugh Laurie. Hit the jump to check out the clips: