Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sequels, musicals, the new GL, and more

I've been busy, so it's been a while since I gave an update on interesting entertainment news. Time to get on that.

Shia LaBeouf confirmed that a fifth Indiana Jones movie is in the works (IMDb). He says that Steven Spielberg has "cracked the story on it", but does not give any details. Speculation continues as to whether Harrison Ford will appear in the film, or if by handing over his iconic hat to LaBeouf as they wrapped the fourth film he was handing over the lead of the franchise as well. The fourth installment of the franchise, which came almost 20 years after the third, was not well received critically, but it grossed an impressive sum at the box office, which is all the studio needs to go after another film.

Speaking of gratuitously extending franchises, Tom Cruise has signed up for a fourth Mission: Impossible movie (IMDb). He has actually signed on to produce as he has in the previous installments, but he has not yet confirmed that he will reprise his role of Ethan Hunt. It's kind of assumed that he will, though. Mission: Impossible III director J.J. Abrams will be co-producing. MI3 was pretty good, so let's hope they can keep it up for MI4.

Michael Bay, the Transformers director best known for movies with lots and lots of big explosions, has said that he may be giving up big explosions (IMDb, IMDb)! Apparently frustrated with all the flak he gets from critics for his big action movies--the latest Transformers movie in particular--he said he's "had enough" with making big budget blockbusters. He says that the action sequences are very hard to make, and it seems he is sick of them not being appreciated. He does not want to participate in the Transformers 3 movie which is sure to come. I'm not 100% sure if he really plans to drop out of the franchise or if he was just doing some venting. But since I have in the past kind of lightly poked fun at him for being the "I like to blow things up" guy, I feel like I should re-recognize that he does do other things.

Columbia Pictures is in talks with David Fincher to direct the Facebook movie, the script of which was written by Aaron Sorkin (Variety). The movie will tell the story of Facebook, from its founding by Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 to the 200-million-member monster that it is today. Sounds like a tragedy to me--My friends and I are among those early 2004 Facebook members who can recall when Facebook was a little network open to fewer than a dozen schools, so we were the ones sighing when they let high schoolers join and humphing when they opened it up to everyone. We were particularly peeved once our parents started joining. But we were powerless to stop the juggernaut, and I suppose keeping it for ourselves would have been selfish, not to mention less profitable to those actually in charge. I still think this sounds like a dull idea for a movie, but these are respectable people involved, so we'll see how it turns out.

More news on Spider-Man: The Musical! Evan Rachel Wood and Alan Cumming are confirmed to star in upcoming Broadway musical Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark as Mary Jane Watson and Norman Osborn, a.k.a. the Green Goblin, respectively (Variety). Alan Cumming already has some familiarity with the Marvel universe, having starred in the second X-Men film as Nightcrawler (which will make any Green Goblin makeup seem like nothing, I'm sure). The role of Peter Parker has yet to be cast.

Speaking of Broadway musicals, time for a little bad news: Avenue Q will be closing on Broadway on September 13 (Variety). I've mentioned it a few times before on this blog, but I really love this musical--I saw it on Broadway with the original cast twice (the only show I've seen twice), and I can sing half the songs from memory. It's clever and sweet and hilarious and has some great tunes. And, as a twenty-something wondering how she's going to find her purpose, it really resonates with me. I wasn't actually planning on seeing the show again on Broadway, but I did like knowing it was still there, spreading the joy to the uninitiated--those who had yet to realize that everyone's a little bit racist, that it sucks to be me (but not as much as it sucks to be Gary Coleman), and that the internet is for porn. Avenue Q, I'll miss you.

An update on this Guy Ritchie Guys and Dolls movie with Jason Statham: Reportedly, Ritchie is in talks with Justin Timberlake to get him to star in the movie with Statham (IMDb). Nothing's confirmed as far as I know, but I'll be keeping a lookout for this one. It could be good, it could be terrible. We'll have to wait and see.

It looks like after a successful hosting of the Tony awards, Neil Patrick Harris is lined up to host the Emmys (Variety). Legendary. I think NPH is completely awesome, so I'm excited to see him anywhere. Having him host the Emmys also seems like a shrewd move by CBS, which is airing the telecast in September as it promotes the upcoming premiere of the fifth season of How I Met Your Mother, in which Harris stars.
> Update 7/13/09: It is now officially confirmed that NPH will be hosting the Emmys on September 20.

Cameron Diaz is in talks to star opposite Seth Rogen in comic book movie Green Hornet, which Michel Gondry is set to direct (IMDb). I don't really have anything else to say about that--just a little tidbit there that that movie is moving along.

This is the big new news: It looks like Green Lantern has finally been cast, and it's Ryan Reynolds! (Variety blog) He is also still set to reprise his X-Men Origins: Wolverine role as Deadpool in an upcoming spinoff-of-a-spinoff Deadpool movie. This means that Reynolds will be straddling the comic book universes with Marvel's Deadpool and DC's Green Lantern (I think making him the only actor with movie roles in both universes). Pick a side, man. Anyway, I hope he'll be good as GL. I'm ashamed to admit that the only movie I've actually seen with him in it is Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (in which he apparently played "Male Nurse"), but I am certainly aware of many other things he's done. I hope the Green Lantern movie turns out well. DC needs more than just its Batman movies.


Sebastian said...

Alan Cumming! YAY!

(Look out for episodes of 'The Highlife' if they ever crop up in the US... I doubt they do. It's where he begun as a gay airplane steward...)

Can't say I'm very excited about the rest... and sad about Avenue Q :( But hey, one hell of a run for such a show.

Hezabelle said...

Poor Ryan Reynolds. Canadians aren't very good at choosing sides. :)

Facebook the movie? Ugh. I also remember when it was university only. Probably not as early on as you, since I had to wait for it to come to Canada, but definitely before the preteens.

Did you know that they're making a Spring Awakening movie?

Eleni said...

Alan Cumming just came up in conversation today--my mom was for some reason quoting his "I am invincible" line as Boris in GoldenEye. I've never heard of "The Highlife", but I'll keep an eye out for it.

Yes, Facebook used to be just for college students (though really anyone with a university email address could join). I liked it exclusive, but I guess I don't know what would have happened as we who joined as students graduated and got old--would they kick us off? I guess this Facebook movie will be based on a recent Facebook novel, which is based on truth but includes some, uh, dramatic fleshing out of details. Maybe it's a tale worth telling.

I did hear discussion of a Spring Awakening movie, to be directed by McG (who most recently did Terminator Salvation). I even heard a rumor that someone I know was cast in it, but I haven't been able to get any more info to substantiate that rumor. I'll be keeping an eye out for it.