Yet another remake is in the works, and this time it’s an update of a John Hughes classic. Universal is planning a redo of Hughes’ 1985 sci-fi comedy Weird Science, and they’ve tapped 21 Jump Street, Project X, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World screenwriter Michael Bacall to write the screenplay. Joel Silver—who produced the original—is onboard to produce what is being planned as an edgier R-rated comedy akin to Jump Street and The Hangover.
The original stars Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith as two high school nerds who are inspired by Frankenstein to create the perfect woman using their computer. Once they start interacting with the beautiful creation, played by Kelly LeBrock, they come to realize that she’s much more than a sex object. Hit the jump for more.
Project X was a surprise of the year, a raunchy teen comedy that took advantage of a budget-trimming found-footage gimmick and was successful enough at the box office to warrant a sequel. Fans of Superbad, American Pie and The Hangover will find common ground with Project X, but the film goes even farther than any of them dared. So how can you enjoy the world’s most insane party without risking jail time and millions of dollars in property damage? Pick up Project X on Blu-ray so you can watch the madness from the comfort of your couch. Hit the jump for my review of director Nima Nourizadeh’s Project X on Blu-ray.
We’re currently more than halfway through 2012, and 21 Jump Street remains one of the best and most entertaining films of the year. Though those who had seen directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller‘s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs had high hopes for the film, a lot of moviegoers were caught off guard by just how great 21 Jump Street was. Miller and Lord’s offbeat sense of humor was buoyed by a smart script and hilarious performances from Jonah Hill and, yes, Channing Tatum. It’s an all-around great time at the movies, and naturally audiences were left wanting more.
Columbia Pictures President Doug Belgrad recently confirmed that the 21 Jump Street sequel was in development, but he confused quite a few people by saying that production would begin this fall, even though there’s no finished script and no director(s) firmly attached. Steve recently got to speak with Hill during the press day for the upcoming sci-fi comedy The Watch, and the actor set the record straight regarding the status of the follow-up. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
After the high drama of last weekend’s John Carter opening, this morning’s box office is a bit anti-climactic: a comedy that was expected to take first place took first place. From 3,121 locations 21 Jump Street earned an estimated $35 million. But, as the only wide release of the frame, Jump Street could not keep 2012 in the black by itself. For the first time this year the overall box office came in slightly below 2011 levels. But hey, it was nice while it lasted.
||21 Jump Street
||A Thousand Words
||Act of Valor
||Casa De Mi Padre
||This Means War
Imagine the ultimate high school senior year house party from the male perspective and push it over the edge. That’s a rough description of the absurdity and chaos that breaks out in the latest handheld camera film called Project X. Following three seniors trying to throw a party that will get them noticed once and for all, they end up losing control and everything turns into absolute chaos as it expands. However, that’s after they have a whole hell of a lot of fun getting there. Unfortunately, like waking up with a hangover, the ending of this film almost ruins what happened before. Almost. Hit the jump for my full review.
Over the past two decades, Michael Bacall has acted in a number of projects that we all grew up with like Free Willy, Doogie Howser, M.D., The Wonder Years, Punky Brewster, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and so many more. While he continues to act, he’s slowly gaining a reputation as something else: a very talented screenwriter. As some of you might know, he co-wrote Edgar Wright‘s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and more recently he co-wrote Project X and 21 Jump Street. Trust me, after you see both of these upcoming films, you’re going to want Bacall writing more comedies as they’re both extremely funny and well worth your time.
At the recent Los Angeles press day for Project X, I landed an exclusive interview with Bacall. We talked about how he got involved in screenwriting, his first screenplay Manic, the great experience of working on Scott Pilgrim and the two different endings, how much of Project X was scripted versus improvised, how Todd Phillips always wants to push the envelope, and 21 Jump Street. In addition, we also talked about his future projects like the Les Grossman movie. Hit the jump to watch.
While I’m obviously highly anticipating movies like Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises, one of the 2012 releases that I’m most excited for is 21 Jump Street. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the comedy, and it makes the feature directorial debut of Phil Lord and Chris Miller who directed the goofy and fantastic Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Steve said the movie was awesome and thinks it’s going to be a huge hit, and I’ve gotta say I concur. Apparently Columbia Pictures agrees as well, as Jonah Hill recently revealed to E! Online that they’re already at work on a sequel:
“We are writing the sequel now, we got [the greenlight] by the studio to start writing the sequel.”
Hit the jump for more on this in the works follow-up.
Screenwriter Michael Bacall is poised to be in high demand very, very soon. He co-wrote the wonderful Scott Pilgrim vs. The World with Edgar Wright, and he has two high-profile projects set to open weeks apart from each other: the much buzzed about 21 Jump Street and the Todd Phillips-produced Project X. In 2010 he was set to write a spinoff film for Tom Cruise’s Les Grossman character in Tropic Thunder, but we haven’t heard much about the project in quite some time.
Steve got the chance to sit down with Bacall to talk about 21 Jump Street and Project X, and while we’ll have the full interview up closer to the release of those films we wanted to share with you a few bits regarding the Les Grossman movie right away. Bacall confirmed that he wrote an R-rated script and revealed that it’s actually “a pretty heartfelt story.” Hit the jump for more.
We’ve known this for awhile now, but Sony has confirmed Jonah Hill (Get Him to the Greek) and Channing Tatum (Dear John) will star in the upcoming adaptation of 21 Jump Street. Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) will be directing the film, which will be written by Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World). Hill came up with the story with Bacall and has described it as being “a John Hughes movie with ‘Bad Boys’ style action.” Emma Stone was attached to star in the film, but recently had to drop out due to her commitment with the upcoming Spider-Man reboot. 21 Jump Street is currently set to for a March 16, 2012 release date. You can hit the jump to read the press release.
Channing Tatum (Dear John) is poised to star opposite Jonah Hill (Get Him to the Greek) in the remake of 21 Jump Street. Deadline reports Sony met with a slew of young male actors, and found that Tatum had the best chemistry with Hill.
If cast, Tatum would play a fresh faced cop who goes undercover with Hill to bust some high school punks. Hill, who co-wrote the script with Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World), says the remake is like “a John Hughes movie with Bad Boys-style action.” Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) are directing. 21 Jump Street is set to hit theaters in March 16, 2012. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the 1987-1991 TV series, which launched Johnny Depp’s career.
Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) will direct an adaptation of Richard Aleas’ (a pseudonym for Charles Ardai) crime novel, Little Girl Lost, for Universal Pictures. According to Heat Vision, the book is written in the style of a classic pulp novel and tells the story of “a private dick who discovers his high school girlfriend has became a stripper … and is now dead. He then journeys to the seedy side to find the man responsible.” Screenwriter Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) has also come on board to write the film.
Levine is currently in post-production on his upcoming “cancer comedy”, Live With It, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen. He’s also still attached to direct the romantic-zombie-comedy, Warm Bodies. As a fan of Levine’s The Wackness and Bacall’s work on Scott Pilgrim, I’m personally looking forward to this collaboration. You can hit the jump to read a full synopsis for Little Girl Lost.
We are the heroes of our own lives and we view the world through our passions and our heartbreaks, our defeats and our triumphs. In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Scott Pilgrim may be a dork/goof/slacker/quasi-jerk but he’s the hero of his life and willing to fight for the girl of his dreams as he traverses a world made of videogames, indie rock, kung-fu, romance, comedy, and Canada. Co-writer and director Edgar Wright has taken the tale of Scott Pilgrim and crafted a picture that is joyous, exciting, heartfelt, honest, blazingly original, and a work of pure brilliance that is easily one of the best films of the year.
Most people probably recognize Michael Bacall from his recent roles in the films of Quentin Tarantino. But when he’s not ordering drinks in Death Proof or killing Nazis in Inglorious Basterds, Bacall is fashioning himself into quite the prolific screenwriter. Bacall co-wrote Scott Pilgrim vs. The World with Edgar Wright and, at the press junket for that film, talked a little bit about two highly anticipated films he’s currently working on: 21 Jump Street with Jonah Hill and the untitled Les Grossman project with Tom Cruise. Hit the jump for the updates.
Last week we reported the guys who directed the wonderful Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Phil Lord and Chris Miller) were attached to write and direct the Lego movie at Warner Bros. Since the original report had very little information about how they planned on bringing Lego to life, I used some connections to get Phil Lord on the phone for an exclusive interview. Since he’s also hard at work developing the 21 Jump Street movie at Sony, he also gave me an update on that project and what’s the status of the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs sequel. Here’s some highlights:
21 Jump Street
- Plan is to shoot at the beginning of the year
- Script is being written by Michael Bacall with Neal Moritz producing
- Confirms it’s a big live-action R-rated movie
- Talked about going to the Santa Monica High School Promo recently to do research for the film
- Says it’s 2D and the movie “winds up becoming this really sweet coming of age story except the guys that are coming of age are in their early 20’s instead of 17 and 18.”
- They’re still casting who will play the other cop alongside Jonah Hill
- They’re watching a ton of action movies right now in preparation for the movie
- Not sure who is shooting the movie (Director of Photography)
- They don’t know who is doing the music yet
- They’re working on a treatment with a writer who Lord says is, “way smarter and funnier than us.”
Hit the jump for all the Lego info and the full interview:
Why have Tropic Thunder character Les Grossman (Tom Cruise) be such a major contributor to the 2010 MTV Movie Awards when that film came out two years ago? Because Paramount (which, along with MTV, is owned by Viacom) was setting up the announcement of a Les Grossman movie (although Cruise kind of spoiled it on the red carpet at the awards). Today, Paramount revealed that Cruise along with Ben Stiller and Stuart Red Hour Films will produce and have secured the life rights to Grossman. Yes, the press release talks about Grossman as if he were a real person, thus further cementing the notion that Grossman is Cruise’s Tony Cliffton. Said Stiller:
“Les Grossman’s life story is an inspiring tale of the classic human struggle to achieve greatness against all odds. He has assured me he plans to quote, ‘F**king kill the sh*t out of this movie and make Citizen f**king Kane look like a piece of crap home movie by the time we are done.’ I am honored to be working with him.”
Hit the jump for the press release. It’s bizarre (the press release, not the decision to make a Les Grossman movie; that makes total sense).