Opening Christmas Day is director Peter Segal’s (Get Smart) boxing comedy Grudge Match. Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone play two Pittsburgh fighters whose rivalry ended abruptly in 1983. Thirty years later, a boxing promoter (Kevin Hart) convinces them to get back in the ring for one last fight that turns into a “must-see HBO event.” Alan Arkin, Kim Basinger, and Jon Bernthal also star. Watch the trailer here.
A few days ago, I landed an extended video interview with Segal here in Los Angeles. He talked about why it’s taken him so long to direct another movie, how Grudge Match came together, the process of casting Stallone and De Niro, what it was like to direct them, how the test screenings affected characters and storylines, deleted scenes, what will be on the Blu-ray, and more. In addition, Segal also talked about what happened with the Get Smart sequel, Shazam, Vin Diesel’s The Machine, Bleach, Harvey, and how he almost directed a different version of Neighborhood Watch with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds. Hit the jump to watch.
The Harry Potter franchise is nearing the end of its tremendously successful run at Warner Brothers as the kickoff to the finale begins with the first of the two-part conclusion to the final chapter of the series this November. To date, the franchise has brought in over $5.4 billion in worldwide box office gross, which easily cements its place as the biggest film franchise in overall gross, and we still have two films left. So it’s clear that WB cannot sit around and wait until the guaranteed bread winner is gone; they have to take action, and they aim to begin planning ahead by getting DC Comics more involved. Join me after the break for full quotes from CEO Barry Meyer on the future of WB and why I think they aren’t in a terrible position.
Steve Carell has added yet another movie to his slate as his tenure on The Office winds to a close. Risky Business reports that Carell is attached to star in and produce the comedy Raised by Wolfs. Nothing is known about the plot, but the name suggests that it’s about a person being raised by people named “Wolf”. I would hope it’s about a young orphan being raised by distinctive-yet-brainless news anchors, but it’s already been done.
Carell is set to leave The Office at the end of the upcoming season. He’s already having a great year with Date Night, Despicable Me being a surprise hit and he has Dinner for Schmucks coming out in a few days. He’s also got the comedy Crazy Stupid Love with Ryan Gosling set for April 22, 2010. As for other upcoming projects, he’s producing Missing Links, and is attached to star in Mail-Order Groom (where he’ll reunite with Tina Fey), Get Smart 2 (which he also wrote) and Hi-T.
I’m a huge fan of Steve Carell. So when I found out I’d be getting the chance to talk with him as our partners at Omelete got TV spots with the cast of Despicable Me, I’ll admit I was pretty excited. While I’ve had the chance to interview him a number of times in the past, it’s always been part of a roundtable interview or a press conference…never just me asking all the questions.
Thankfully, Steve Carell is ridiculously nice, and while the cameras were getting set up, I had the chance to talk with him for a few minutes before the interview “started.” It’s always great to meet people you respect and admire and they end up being even cooler than you could have possibly hoped.
Anyway, when the cameras finally started rolling, we talked about how he got involved in Despicable Me (which is quite good), how did he find the voice, how did the project change over the years, and we also talked about Get Smart 2 (which he wrote!) and he revealed to me as the interview ended that Tina Fey is currently writing another project for the two of them! If you saw Date Night, you know they have awesome chemistry. Hit the jump to watch the interview:
With Jonah Hex getting released tomorrow, I was able to sit down with producer Andrew Lazar (Get Smart, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) for an extended interview last weekend. During our wide ranging conversation we talked about the challenges of getting Jonah Hex made, how they got the great cast together, the mixing of different genres in Hex, what will be on the DVD/Blu-ray (over 10 minutes of deleted scenes), and a lot more.
But after talking about Jonah Hex for awhile, we started talking about his other projects like I Love You Phillip Morris, Akira, Get Smart 2, Untitled Joe Namath Project, Pre-Astronauts (now called One Finger Salute), what are general meetings, and a lot more. Some of the interesting things I learned were:
- I Love You Phillip Morris should have a happy ending as the film will hopefully be released this fall.
- Akira is still moving forward. They just hired a new writer and they’re conceptualizing right now. He also says WB management loves the property and the studio is very enthusiastic about the project. Confirms the first movie would be volumes 1-3 and a second movie would be 4-6
- Pre-Astronauts is now called One Finger Salute. Calls it The Right Stuff before The Right Stuff. Says it’s about a group of Air Force scientists and pilots that believe man can go to space and survive. Also says they did a table read last year with Tom Cruise, Ryan Reynolds, Bradley Cooper, and Elizabeth Banks! Peter Segal is scheduled to direct.
- Regarding Get Smart 2, he said Steve Carell wrote the script for the sequel!
- And regarding his Untitled Joe Namath Project talk, he says he’s meeting with James Mangold once he is done with his Knight and Day stuff. Not sure if it’s to write and/or direct.
As you can see, we covered a lot of ground. It’s really a fantastic interview and if you’re curious about any of the projects I mentioned or just curious about how films get made, I think you’ll love the interview. Hit the jump to check it out:
Variety reports that Warner Bros. is betting big on Steve Carell and Cars writer Dan Fogelman. The studio has just paid $2 million against $2.5 million for an untitled spec script by Fogelman with the intention of having Steve Carell star in it. Oddly enough, the film doesn’t sound like an expensive movie nor does it seem like it’s the kind of movie Carell typically stars in. According to Variety, “Script has a tone comparable to ‘Love Actually.’ Carell will play a father whose life unravels while he deals with a marital crisis and tries to manage his relationship with his children.” I guess WB really, really like Dan in Real Life.
Fogelman wrote the script specifically with Carell in mind but there’s only a 50-50 shot Carell will do the film during his hiatus from The Office. The other film is one we reported on a couple days ago called Mail-Order Groom which would reunite Carell with Date Night co-star Tina Fey. Unlike Fogelman’s spec, Groom, which is about a woman who orders a husband from Eastern Europe, sounds a lot more like a Steve Carell movie. Sadly, it looks like Get Smart 2 is not in the running and WB will have to push the film back another year. Missed it by that much.