Though a new iteration of Space Jam featuring Lebron James turned out to be a silly rumor (probably for the best), the “classic” 1996 film has been resurrected in live-read form. A reading of the screenplay recently took place, and the folks at Funny or Die were there to record the entire event. The eclectic group of participants ranged from comedians like Nick Kroll, Paul Scheer, and Ben Schwartz to voice talents like Seth Green and Ralph Garman, and even Boy Meets World’s Danielle Fishel was thrown in for good measure. Of course someone had to fill Michael Jordan’s shoes, and who better than Los Angeles Clippers star (and University of Oklahoma alum—Boomer Sooner) Blake Griffin? Additionally, teammate DeAndre Jordan also participated, debuting a mean Charles Barkley impression.
Hit the jump to watch the very funny highlights from the Space Jam live-read event.
20th Century Fox has released the first trailer for director Brad Furman‘s (The Lincoln Lawyer) crime thriller Runner, Runner. The film stars Justin Timberlake as a Princeton student who is cheated out of his tuition money playing online poker and ends up indebted to the site’s corrupt boss (Ben Affleck). Furman’s The Lincoln Lawyer turned out to be a pleasantly surprising dramatic thriller, and Runner, Runner appears to quite similar to that pic in tone. No one looks to be gunning for Oscar glory here, but the interplay between Affleck and Timberlake is promising and it’s fun to see Affleck taking on a more villainous role. Moreover, the Puerto Rico locale provides a nice change of pace from the gritty, metropolis-set thrillers that populate the marketplace nowadays.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Gemma Arterton, Ben Schwartz, Dayo Okeniyi and Oliver Cooper. Runner, Runner opens September 27th.
A new trailer and poster have been released for DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo. The story follows a snail (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) who dreams of being able to go fast, and gets his wish after a freak accident. He then goes to pursue his dream of racing in the Indy 500. The trailer looks cute, but I’m not sure if the movie has an antagonist. I hope it’s salt.
Hit he jump to check out the trailer and poster. The film also features the voices of Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Luis Guzmán, Bill Hader, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Kurtwood Smith, Snoop Dogg, and Samuel L. Jackson. Turbo opens in 3D on July 19th.
The first teaser trailer and poster for DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming racing movie Turbo have been released. The story centers on a snail who, after miraculously attaining the power of super-speed, decides to fulfill his dream of racing in the Indy 500. I got a kick out of the fact that The Chromatics’ “Tick of the Clock,” which was memorably used in last year’s decidedly violent Drive, opens this trailer, followed by another appropriately titled song from Cake. This is very much a teaser trailer so we don’t see much by way of plot, but the brief bit of racing sequences look pretty impressive and Ryan Reynolds does a fine job with the snail’s comedy.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Dave’s recap of the recent DreamWorks Animation presentation which included footage from Turbo. The film also features the voices of Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Luis Guzmán, Bill Hader, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Kurtwood Smith, Snoop Dogg, and Samuel L. Jackson. Turbo opens in 3D on July 19, 2013.
Some quick casting updates for you today. Here they are at a glance:
- Michael Emerson (Lost) has joined the cast of Woody Allen’s next film, an untitled picture that he plans to shoot in the US.
- Big Bang Theory co-star Melissa Rauch will join the romantic dramedy, You Are Here, the directorial debut of Mad Men creator, Matt Weiner.
- Ben Schwartz (House of Lies) joins Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake in the gambling drama, Runner,Runner.
Hit the jump for more info on each of these projects and an update on Taylor Kitsch’s status on a possible role as Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire.
Already renewed for Season 2, the hit Showtime comedy series House of Lies closes out its first season with unexpected twists and surprises, as Marty Kaan’s (Don Cheadle) management consultant team at Galweather & Stearn fight the MetroCapital acquisition. Actor Ben Schwartz plays Clyde Oberholt, a major suck-up and voracious womanizer, who pulls his weight at work but uses his status to attract as many women as he can while he’s on his rise to the top.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, Ben Schwartz talked about how excited he is to be doing a role that mixes drama with comedy and allows him the opportunity to do so many things, how he plants little things in throughout the season to enrich his character, how he’s looking forward to getting deeper into his backstory in Season 2, and what Clyde really thinks of the people he’s working with. He also talked about shooting the indie film Coffee Town with Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Steve Little (Eastbound and Down), doing the animated series Randy Cunningham: Ninth Grade Ninja for Disney XD and premiering in September, and voicing a character for the DreamWorks Animation feature Turbo, with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
DreamWorks Animation has assembled its ginormous ensemble voice cast for the snail-centered film Turbo. Ryan Reynolds is already onboard to voice the protagonist, an ordinary garden snail who obtains extraordinary speed through a freak accident and sets out to race in the Indianapolis 500. Now Heat Vision reports that (deep breath) Paul Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Hader, Michael Pena, Luis Guzmán, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Kurtwood Smith, and Snoop Dogg are set to join the cast. David Soren is directing from a script he co-wrote with Robert Siegel (The Wrestler) and Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After).
I love the voice cast here but I’m not wild about the premise. Pixar already tried to do a movie set in the professional racing world twice to less than stellar results, and this new teaser image doesn’t exactly alleviate any of my concerns. It should be said that it’s still early in the animation process and this image doesn’t exactly reflect the finished film, but I certainly don’t think it’s a great start. Hit the jump to check out the image for yourself. Turbo is slated for July 19th, 2013.
The comedy website CollegeHumor has been p0sting quality original video content for some time now—many a clip has found its way to Collider. So it is with joy that we welcome CollegeHumor to the feature film business, as CH co-founder Ricky Van Veen sets up their first movie, Coffee Town. The cast features a few notable TV comedians, including Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Steve Little (Eastbound & Down), and Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation). Also Josh Groban, who has proven himself a perfectly capable comedic actor in Crazy Stupid Love and The Office. The script by director Brad Copeland (Wild Hogs) centers on underachieving thirtysomethings who “must come together when their freeloading existence is threatened.” More after the jump:
When the NBC comedy series first started, Parks and Recreation only seemed to be riding on the coattails of The Office with its mockumentary style and somewhat weak start in the first season. However, two season later the show has quickly found its footing, crafted some spectacular characters, fantastic comedy and a series that has actually surpassed the quality of the series it once seemed to simply copy. Aside from previous series regulars like Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman and Aziz Ansari consistently delivering some of the best comedic performances on television, the addition of Adam Scott and Rob Lowe as series regulars also bring some magic to Pawnee, Indiana. For a more in-depth analysis of the third season of Parks and Recreation, hit the jump.
Showtime has released the first promo for their new comedy House of Lies. It doesn’t tell you anything about the show, which centers on “a team of cutthroat management consultants who will do anything in their pursuit of money.” In fact, it’s just stars Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell, Ben Schwartz, Josh Lawson, and Dawn Oliveri in one of those bare, grayish sets designed for promo shoots. But the clip (and Cheadle especially) are so infectiously silly, I got a big laugh out of it. The cast drew me in, but now I definitely want to see more.
House of Lies premieres on January 8. If you don’t mind a bit of juvenile humor, watch the promo after the jump.
It looks like Paramount is in the mood for a good old fashioned soap opera flick. And by good old fashioned, I mean a remake of that one soap opera movie. Paramount is getting the ball rolling on a remake of the 1991 comedy Soapdish and they’ve hired actor/writer Ben Schwartz the write the screenplay. The original took place behind the scenes of a daytime soap opera and featured an all-star cast that includes Robert Downey Jr., Kevin Kline, Elizabeth Shue, Teri Hatchter, Garry Marshall and a pre-daytime TV personality Whoopi Goldberg.
THR reports that Allen Greisman, who was one of the producers of the original, is on board to produce the remake alongside Rob Reiner. Schwartz has appeared in The Other Guys and Parks and Recreation, and is responsible for writing some episodes of Robot Chicken and Hugh Jackman’s opening number for the 81st Academy Awards, for which he won an Emmy. Schwartz is also working on Would You Rather? with producer Brian Grazer for Universal and will next been seen as an actor in the family comedy Peep World.
The trailer for director Barry Blaustein’s Peep World has gone online. The comedy premiered at the Toronto International Film Fesival last year, where it was picked up by IFC Films. The film boasts an impressive cast that includes Michael C. Hall, Rainn Wilson, Sarah Silverman, Ben Schwartz, Taraji P. Henson, Judy Greer, Kate Mara and Stephen Tobolowsky. It centers on four siblings who come together for their father’s 70th birthday following the publication of a novel written by the youngest sibling that exposes all of the family’s secrets. Hit the jump to check out the trailer for yourself.
Ben Schwartz and producer Brian Grazer pitched the project Would You Rather to Universal, and the studio would rather make the film than not. Details are being kept under wraps, but Variety reports that Schwartz and Grazer have been working on the idea for months now.
As the producer of such tentpoles as Robin Hood and Angels & Demons, Grazer is likely on your cinematic radar, but Schwartz is newer to the scene. The idiosyncratic comedian is a real scene-stealer in a variety of venues, from Parks & Recreation to College Humor to ESPN. With Rather and a role in the J.J. Abrams NBC spy drama Undercovers, Schwartz seems poised to break out over the next year.