Hoffman responds ‘no’ to Penguin rumours

Rumours have been buzzing around the net that Johnny Depp and Philip Seymour Hoffman will be playing The Riddler and The Penguin in the next Batman film. Well straight from the horse’s mouth, it’s been confirmed that at least Hoffman is not going to be playing The Penguin. MTV gives us the news:

“No one has talked to me about it ever — never,” replied Hoffman. “It happened, like, five years ago, too. It was a rumor back then and it’s still a rumor. [laughs] It’s just in the press. It’s funny.”

To further cement this issue, Hoffman added that he’d never met Nolan (”Maybe I did or met him in passing?”), and that his interest in comic book movies is purely on a fan level, and he intended to keep it that way.

“I’m such a fan of those movies,” related Hoffman. “Comic book movies in general I look forward to — I am a real cheerleader for them. I want them to do well because those are terrific stories. As a kid I was a big comic book collector. What [Nolan]’s doing is taking it in a whole other exciting great place. I’m more a fan, so the interest of being in it isn’t that great. It’s more the interest in wanting to see the next one. It’s probably better that way.”

When further pressed for his level of interest if Warner Bros. approached him about the role, Hoffman said, “I don’t know. I think I’m more interested in seeing someone else do it. I don’t know if I’d be a good Penguin to be quite honest. [laughs]”

Although I wanted the rumours to be true, particularly Hoffman playing the respective part, I never really believed them. It’s far too soon for there to be casting, especially of roles as big as these. Christopher Nolan isn’t even signed on to direct another one so do you really think Warner Bros. are going to go behind the creative force and say, “These characters are going to be in it, and these are the guys who are playing them.”? I don’t think so. Consider the rumour that Hoffman is playing The Penguin absolutely false (at least for now, no one knows what may happen in the future) and I’m sure the Johnny Depp as The Riddler one will soon follow.

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Inside Man 2 in the works

Word has come out that a sequel is being made to the Spike Lee film from a couple of years ago called Inside Man. We get the scoop from our friends over at FilmSchoolRejects:

“Universal Pictures is in negotiations to have Terry George write the screenplay and Spike Lee to direct the sequel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Russel Gewirtz wrote the original. Inside Man 2 is the working title.

Inside Man was Lee’s biggest box office weekend opener, focusing on the relationship that emerges at a New York bank between a bank robber (Clive Owen) and a hostage negotiator (Denzel Washington). Lee says he imagines a continued relationship between the two main characters, only in a new high-tension situation. Both Washington and Owen have expressed interest in appearing in the sequel.

“I want the script to be even better than Russell’s, and Russell wrote a really good script,” Lee said. While this may seem like a large task, George has some notches on his belt as writer/director of Hotel Rwanda and writer of In the Name of the Father.”

I absolutely loved Inside Man. I thought it was one of the smartest, most entertaining and most on-the-ball films of it’s type in years. A lot of people were let down by the ending because it wasn’t a big hoorah of one but personally I thought it was in tune with the feel of the rest of the movie – remember things don’t always go as you’d expect, sometimes it’s not always as exciting as most movies tell you.

But to me I can’t really see the point in doing a sequel to it other than to explore the characters a bit more. To me it’s great as it’s own film and I don’t feel the need to extend the story any; it’s fine the way it is.

What are your thoughts on the idea of an Inside Man 2?

Dreamworks Sued for Ripping Off ‘Rear Window’

It appears that Dreamworks are being sued for ripping off the idea of Rear Window for the recent movie Disturbia starring Shia LaBeouf. We get the story thanks to our friends over at Cinematical:

“And now, not surprisingly, Dreamworks, its parent company Viacom and Universal Pictures, is being sued for creating an unauthorized remake.

The defendant in the case is not exactly related to Hitchcock’s film, though; the lawsuit was filed by Sheldon Abend Revocable Trust, which owns the rights to Cornell Woolrich’s original short story “It Had to Be Murder” (called “Murder from a Fixed Viewpoint” in the article), upon which Rear Window is based.

“What the defendants have been unwilling to do openly, legitimately and legally, (they) have done surreptitiously, by their back-door use of the ‘Rear Window’ story without paying compensation… In the Disturbia film the defendants purposefully employed immaterial variations or transparent rephrasing to produce essentially the same story as the Rear Window story.”

Rear Window is in my top 10 films of all time and my disgust when I saw Disturbia in the cinema was very high indeed. Basically it was just Rear Window for dummies, a modernization of a story that didn’t need to be so. If you wanna’ experience this story then go and bloody watch the original Rear Window (or in the studios case just re-release it in cinemas) instead of hashing out a modernized, gadget-filled piece of crap that’s only real merit was David Morse as the villain (which was down to him as an actor being awesome and not necessarily the film).

If this company had the rights to this story and Dreamworks did this story without acquiring what should be known as “rights to a remake” then they have every right to sue the hell out of them. I urge anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of seeing Rear Window to go and watch that and do not watch it’s modern-day, infinitely inferior remake that is Disturbia.

Kevin Smith gives thumbs up to Star Trek

It appears that J.J. Abrams has produced a rough cut of his new take on the classic Star Trek world. And he has allowed a select few to have a look, one of whom is writer/director Kevin Smith. And according to him it’s looking good. Thanks to TrekMovie.com we have Smith giving it a very positive review, albeit in a very roundabout, “not actually saying what movie it is but strongly implying it” kind of way. Check out his TV interview below:

Host: So thumbs up on The Watchmen, what else you got?

Smith: I saw a movie last night that I cannot talk about.

Host: Was it good?

Smith: It was phenomenal.

Host: Any stars, any break out stars, and do they trek?

Smith: The stars absolutely trek in this film. It is fantastic. Anybody who was worried doesn’t need to be worried–about this film I cannot talk about…It was in very capable hands. The director did a phenomenal job–the director and his crew. Top notch cast and the guy that plays the lead is an instant star. That dude is going to be so famous. He is so wonderful. He picked up a role that I would say is pretty challenging for someone to step into the shoes of, because it is a role that has been played before many times by the same guy.

Host: How do you out Shatner, Shatner?

Smith: I don’t know what you are talking about.

Host: I was just saying that as an expression.

Smith: Yes, absolutely, in a world of expressions, I would agree with that…I am so not good with this game, you are going to bury me man.

Host: We had you on before The Dark Knight and I remember asking you if you could direct a movie like Dark Knight and you said ‘hell no’ it was so far out of your sphere…but I bring that up to preface this. Let’s say a franchise like Star Trek, not that you have seen the movie or we are talking about the movie, but we are talking about it for example. That is something that is so dangerous to attempt. Is that the kind of project you would like to do? Would you like to be the guy who gets to do a movie like that?

Smith: I would not like to be the guy. In the case of something like Star Trek, it would take a really insanely talented filmmaker–storyteller. Like in the case of Star Trek, JJ Abrams. So leave it to the people who are best equipped for it. I am just the guy who should be watching those movies.

This is very good news indeed. As someone who is not at all a fan of Star Trek (I’ve never seen any of the movies and can only vaguely recall the TV series) I am strangely very much looking forward to J. J. Abrams’ takes on it. Since he was one of the people who originally brought us my favourite TV show of all time, Lost, and he was the man behind the insanely fun and original monster movie Cloverfield, I subsequently have every confidence in the man that he is going to give us something special with this.

In my following of the man, Smith has always been someone who’s early opinion of a film has been very trustworthy. I suppose since so many people love his films, filmmakers seem to want to want to show him their movies before pretty much anyone else. They also know that the general movie going audience, those who will end up seeing the movies, see Smith as a movie god and know that people will listen to his opinion. I am certainly one of those people.

Warner Bros. talks about future DC projects

After the success of The Dark Knight (and the past welcomings of the comic book labels best loved characters with Batman Begins and Superman Returns), Warner Bros. have come out and talked about the status of future DC projects. We get the scoop from our friends over at ComingSoon.net:

“Variety talked to Warner Bros. Pictures President and Chief Operating Officer Alan Horn, Production President Jeff Robinov and Gregory Noveck, Senior VP of Creative Affairs for DC Comics about the challenges of turning more DC properties into movies besides just the “Batman” and “Superman” franchises. Here are a few clips from the article:

Warners and DC (both Time Warner entities) have labored in vain over another Superman, and launches for Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Arrow and Green Lantern. It’s maddening for fans as rival Marvel Comics has successfully begun financing its own slate of pics, first with “Iron Man,” then a reboot of “The Incredible Hulk” this summer.

That could soon change, as Warners is readying to revamp how DC’s properties are developed — changes that could be announced within the next month.”

It seems that DC have been shaken by the surprising success of Iron Man (and The Incredible Hulk; although ‘success’ regarding that is maybe pushing it a bit) , and by the very fact that Marvel has started their own company and seem to be going full steam ahead with it. Having said that they have had, and still are having, major success with a little film called The Dark Knight.

As far as future DC projects go there are some I look forward to seeing on the big-screen but others I couldn’t care less about either way. Wonder Woman and Green Arrow fall very much in the latter category (with Wonder Woman especially being one I can’t see any appeal or general market for). But I would be intrigued about the other two – The Flash and Green Lantern, particularly the latter. I mean for any of you who may not know his power is that he has a ring which allows him to produce effects of undefined power or abundance, it only being restricted by his own willpower. To me that is a very interesting power to portray on-screen and out of possible future DC projects this would be the one I would be most interested in seeing.

What are your thoughts?

Harry Potter pushed back to summer 2009

Along with the Prince of Persia movie being pushed back to 2010, it appears that Warner Bros. have decided to push this falls biggest movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince back from November 2008 to July 2009. We get the story from our friends over at The Hollywood Reporter:

“In a surprise move, Warner Bros. has moved the release date of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” from Nov. 21 to July 17. Warners president Alan Horn blamed last winter’s 100-day WGA strike in large part for the shift, suggesting all the major studios have been hurt in the development of new tentpole films for next summer.

“We are still feeling the repercussions of the writers strike, which impacted the readiness of scripts for other films — changing the competitive landscape for 2009 and offering new windows of opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of,” Horn said. “We agreed the best strategy was to move ‘Half-Blood Prince’ to July, where it perfectly fills the gap for a major tentpole release for midsummer.”

The move also reflects execs’ belief that the “summer season is an ideal window for a family tentpole release,” he said.”

Wow, I wasn’t expecting that at all. I mean I can understand something like Prince of Persia being put back (since it’s not already a successful franchise) but a film that’s part of such a big franchise as this being shoved back almost 9 months? That is not good news.

Who knows what the real reason for the move is; I am going to go with the stated one of it will make more money that way (probably trying to reach closer to the level of the box-office monster that is The Dark Knight too). I’m sure it has nothing to do with the quality of the movie…or does it? We shall find out when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince gets its release on July 17th 2009.

Brad Pitt Joins Inglorious Bastards…..Simon Pegg in talks

Source: Empire/Variety

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Well it’s official. Brad Pitt will star in Tarantino’s latest film set to be filmed in October of this year. At the moment he’s the only confirmed star and as Empire reports: Simon Pegg is in talks to play a British Lieutenant, Nastassja Kinski has begun negotiations to play a German movie star and David Krumholtz is likely to join the cast as well.

This is shaping up to be a classic Tarantino cast and hopefully another great Tarantino film.

The Inglorious Bastards ranks continue to swell with Brad Pitt now officially signed on to play a Tennessee hillbilly who leads a band of eight Jewish-American soldiers to take out some rough justice on the Nazis.

Variety reports that Tim Roth was in talks to join the cast, but scheduling difficulties prevented it. Interestingly, their article also says that much of the film’s dialogue will be in either French or German, with subtitles, although Pitt will speak in English.”

Tarantino is set to begin shooting in Germany on October 13 and is still planning to have the film ready for next year’s Cannes Film Festival.  As Empire says; it sounds like a incredibly tight deadline but I’m sure it’ll work.