The big blockbuster and superhero movies can be a lot of fun, but sometimes quiet character films can be just as magical. And when the talent of actor/filmmaker Billy Bob Thornton is involved, that movie is sure to be equal parts compelling and quirky. Jayne Mansfield’s Car is set in 1969 in a small Alabama town, when the death of an eccentric family’s long-estranged wife and mother brings together two very different families for the funeral, forcing their differences to light and exposing truths that could lead to the most unexpected outcomes. The cast includes Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Robert Patrick, Ray Stevenson, Katherine LaNasa and Frances O’Connor.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor/writer/director Billy Bob Thornton talked about why it’s taken him so many years to direct again, why he chose to do this script with a writing partner, how Jayne Mansfield’s car became a part of the story, how challenging the editing process is, having to cut Tippi Hedren out of the movie for time, and how he’ll probably include one of her scenes on the DVD. He also talked about his desire to someday put his director’s cut of All the Pretty Horses on DVD, how everyone involved still wants to make Bad Santa 2 happen, what drew him to the FX mini-series Fargo, which Joel and Ethan Coen are executive producers on, and how he’ll probably wait at least a couple of years before he directs again. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
As great of an actor as he is, Billy Bob Thornton is also a very talented writer/director, and in his latest release, Jayne Mansfield’s Car (out in theaters on September 13th), he’s expertly doing all three, alongside a cast that includes Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Robert Patrick, Ray Stevenson, Katherine LaNasa and Frances O’Connor. While we will run the portion of our interview with what Thornton had to say about making that film closer to its release date, we did want to share what he had to say about two highly anticipated projects that he’s connected to.
During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, Billy Bob Thornton talked about how everyone involved still wants to make Bad Santa 2 happen, and that it’s the kind of movie you do a sequel for, but that they jumped the gun a bit in saying just how quickly it would go into production. He also talked about what drew him to the FX mini-series Fargo, just how good the pilot script is, and not wanting to pass up working with Joel and Ethan Coen (who are executive producers on the project) again. Check out what he had to asy after the jump.
Doug Ellin of Entourage fame has turned in his script for the move-version of the HBO comedy and, while he waits to find out when he’ll start directing it, he’s signed on to rewrite and possibly direct Bad Santa 2. The original 2003 dark comedy starred Billy Bob Thornton in the title role, alongside the late Bernie Mac and John Ritter. Thornton would like to start on the sequel in the fall, after he wraps production on London Fields. As Deadline reports, Ellin will rewrite the Johnny Rosenthal script for Bad Santa 2 and it remains to be seen whether or not he’ll also direct.
I’m a big fan of Tugg, especially since they had The Princess Bride in their library, which allowed us to host an awesome screening of the film back in October. Tugg has added more titles to their library, and they’ve lined up a nice variety of holiday movies. There are the ones that are fun for the whole family like Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, and Christmas Vacation, but they also have the films that are for a more mature audience. While Tugg bills them as “feel-bad”, I don’t feel anything but joy from watching Die Hard and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.
Hit the jump to check out “Tugg’s Top 8 Feel-Bad Holiday Films”. And for Atlanta readers, we’re hosting a screening of one of these movies… Look for an announcement soon.
Director Steve Pink is in talks with Dimension Films to rewrite and direct Bad Santa 2. The sequel to the 2003 film will follow conman Willie in his latest underhanded schemes. Bad Santa 2 is currently scheduled for a 2013 release, with Billy Bob Thornton expected to reprise the role of Willie. According to Deadline, the previous draft of the film script was penned by Johnny Rosenthal, whose project Iron Jack is stuck in production limbo.
This will be the first big screen project for Pink since directing Hot Tub Time Machine in 2010. He has been keeping busy in TV land, directing episodes for such comedy series as Happy Endings, The Office, and The New Girl, among others.
While not many films necessarily warrant a sequel, you’d be hard pressed to find someone not excited for a follow-up to 2003’s Bad Santa. The dark comedy did pretty great business at the box office and grew an even larger fanbase when it hit DVD. A sequel to the pic has been rumored for a while now, but things picked up last summer when Billy Bob Thornton signed on to reprise his role as the worst Santa Claus ever. Last summer we learned that Dimension Films had commissioned two different scripts for the sequel, separately by Johnny Rosenthal and John Phillips. Now it appears the studio has picked the winning script, as Thornton recently revealed that they’re on track to shoot the sequel this fall. Hit the jump for more.
Back in November, Billy Bob Thornton told Steve that people always want to talk to him about how much they love Bad Santa and that there’s been talk of a sequel. Of course, sequel talk is cheap, but then in December we reported that The Weinstein Company was actively developing sequels on Miramax hits Shakespeare in Love, Rounders, and yes, Bad Santa.
Today, Thornton was on a panel at SXSW for his Willie Nelson documentary The King of Luck and said he was in negotiations to reprise his foul-mouthed, safe-cracking department store Santa in Bad Santa 2. The Wrap has now confirmed with the Weinstein Company that Thornton is in talks to star. A spokesman for TWC tells The Wrap, “”We feel that it’s a Christmas perennial for the R-rated crowd. Everyone loves the character and Billy Bob’s excited to be in talks with us.” It’s currently unknown who will write and direct the sequel to the 2003 sleeper hit, but getting Thornton back on board is a great first step.
When Bob and Harvey Weinstein left Miramax (the company they founded) back in 2003, they lost the sequel rights to the majority of titles that they produced in their prolific 24-year history with the company. Well, today it seems the Weinsteins and Miramax are back together again, sort of. Now that Disney no longer owns Miramax, the Weinsteins’ former company is happy to deal with the brothers who created the studio in the first place. In what way do you ask? Well, to make unnecessary sequels to every successful Miramax film ever made, of course!
Miramax and The Weinstein Company have partnered to “create sequels to some of Miramax’s best-known properties and to partner on potential new television shows and special edition home entertainment properties.” The first films to be produced will be sequels to Bad Santa, Rounders, and Shakespeare in Love. Hit the jump to check out the list of films that the companies are planning sequels for (Swingers! Clerks!), statements from the Weinsteins, and why this may not be all bad news.
Holiday films are an important American pastime. However, such a genre requires skill to execute. One must include all of the important ingredients, namely two cups of heart, a dash of fantastical whimsy and a good ole spoonful of yuletide rejuvenation, in order for a traditional holiday film to work. With that in mind, we here at Collider decided to compile a “best of” list – of sorts. Included within are personal favorites of the staff, or the films we all grew up watching during those festive afternoons when school was canceled due to winter storms, or during Thanksgiving or Christmas break. At their best, these films represent a merry tradition, one honored in most American households – these are the films we believe soundly capture the spirit of the holidays. They may not be the most critically acclaimed films (sorry Holiday Inn), but they provide the aforementioned ingredients plus one additional key element – nostalgia, or a remembrance of youth. A time and place when we believed Santa and his reindeer could fly; and that wishes could come true. Hit the jump to see the list.
While the last decade has seen Billy Bob Thornton only acting in front of the camera, it seems that he’s planning a return to the director’s chair. I say this because at this weekend’s junket for Faster, Thornton told me that he’s writing a script called Jayne Mansfield’s Car with his old writing partner Tom Epperson and he hopes to get it made this spring. After the cameras stopped rolling, I asked if he’d be directing the project. He said yes.
On top of that, if you’re a fan of Bad Santa, Thornton told me, “there’s been talk of making a sequel to it, which I actually would like to do.”
More after the jump:
Ryan Gosling chilled us to the bone in Murder by Numbers; he made us ache with empathy in Lars and the Real Girl; he made us swoon/roll our eyes in The Notebook. But the question remains: can he make us shoot overpriced cola out of our noses? We’ll find out soon enough. Variety reports (and laineygossip.com reported a couple days ago) that the 29-year-old Canadian actor is set to co-star in an upcoming Steve Carell comedy for Warner Brothers. The as-yet-untitled project is said to revolve around a man (Carell) contending with marital troubles and a sputtering relationship with his children. Gosling will assume the role of the central character’s “suave best friend” in the pic, which will be helmed by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, directors of the upcoming and already-controversial black comedy I Love You Phillip Morris.
Details on this project are obviously sparse at this point. The script was written by Dan Fogelman, the scribe behind typically light fare like Bolt, Cars, and Fred Claus. However, given the presence of Gosling along with helmers Requa and Ficarra (who you might also know as the writers of Bad Santa), I don’t think it’d be unreasonable to expect this particular Carell comedy to be a bit darker/weightier in nature.