Mike Birbiglia‘s superb film Sleepwalk with Me is due to hit theaters on August 24th, and I highly encourage you to check it out. It was one of the best flicks I saw at the SXSW Film Festival, and the movie does a wonderful job of giving you a glimpse into the world of stand-up comedy, but also explores the larger picture of what we have to sacrifice in the pursuit of perfecting our art. It’s also quite moving and painfully funny, and I can’t wait to see it again. But Joss Whedon doesn’t want anyone to see it at all. The Avengers is only on 500 screens, and Sleepwalk with Me is poised to take 80 of them. This will not stand, and Whedon has provided a humorous video about why you should avoid Birbiglia’s movie.
Hit the jump to check out the video. Sleepwalk with Me also stars Lauren Ambrose, James Rebhorn, and Carol Kane. Click here to try and get the movie into your local theater.
Tim Robbins began a second career as a director in the 1990s with Bob Roberts (1992), Dead Man Walking (1995), and Cradle Will Rock (1999). He took a break from features after that, though he directed a few television projects in the years since, including two episodes of Treme. Robbins is ready to return to the big screen, as THR announces that the actor/director has signed a deal with Endgame Entertainment to helm City of Lies. Captain America screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely will adapt the Arthur Phillips short story Wenceslas Square, which follows two spies who fall in love while on separate missions in Prague. Phillips read an abridged version of the story on This American Life.
TAL‘s Ira Glass and Alissa Shipp will produce along with Douglas E. Hansen (An Education) and Endgame’s James D. Stern (The Raven). Philip Noyce was previously attached to direct before Robbins came on board.
Rob Thomas, Ira Glass, and Owen Wilson are teaming up at HBO for a drama series tentatively titled Thrillsville. Variety says the series is inspired by the This American Life segment “Midlife Cowboy,” in which former methamphetamine smuggler James Spring tells the story of his inspiration to help others before his 40th birthday: “His quest led him to mount a search for two young girls who were kidnapped in Northern California in connection with drug-trade violence and taken to Baja California.” His success in finding the girls led him to a new career as an investigator in missing person cases, which I imagine is how they will turn this into an ongoing series.
I’m a big fan of Thomas. His lighter fare (Party Down, Cupid) is great, but his best work is Veronica Mars, so I’m in Thrillsville seeing him return to darker territory—especially at HBO. There is no mention of Wilson doing anything but producing, but he would be a good fit in the starring role… I just ask that you consider it, Mr. Wilson. Hit the jump for more on the story.
The NPR radio series This American Life has served as inspiration for many a recent screenplay (most notably The Informant!), a list which now includes Heretics from Marcus Hinchey (All Good Things). Hinchey’s screenplay is based on the 2005 American Life episode of the same name, which centers on “Carlton Pearson, who was a rising star among evangelicals until he was ostracized by his own church and declared a heretic after he started preaching that there is no Hell.”
Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) is co-producing the project under his Apparatus banner, and may eventually direct. Hit the jump for a statement from TAL writer/producer/host Ira Glass and a full synopsis.