December 18, 2007

Happy Hobbit Holidays from New Line!

Hobbit_cover.JPGIt's the holiday season and all should be merry and bright. But say you are New Line pictures. And say you're kind of reeling from the abysmal box office receipts of your new fantasy franchise based on a best-selling British children's book, The Golden Compass. What to do?

Go back to the bargaining table and work out a deal with disgruntled Peter Jackson over a tried and true holiday season fantasy franchise! Done and done. Now that'll be not one but two!—piping hot Middle Earth epics for ya come 2010 and 2011, as Jackson and his team have now been granted permission to move forward on producing The Hobbit and a subsequent sequel. Ah, it really is a hobbity Hollywood holiday miracle. Rejoice. [via the MTV Movies blog]

August 6, 2007

So Very Many Writer Girls

Cinecultist has had actress Julia Stiles on the brain lately. It's sort of unfortunate really. See, Julia reprises her role as the slightly inept CIA handler Nicky Parsons in The Bourne Ultimatum, so last week Cinecultist was watching her running through the Morocco streets with Matt Damon. But then we couldn't help but also think about Sylvia Plath.

Here's where the brain leap happened: after this report in Variety from last spring that Stiles had optioned the rights to Plath's novel The Bell Jar, we'd picked up a cheap paperback of it from the Strand because even in our days of reading all those feminist classics we'd never gotten to it and CC also finished reading it last week. Of course, when you read a book while thinking about its upcoming movie adaptation you can't help but picture said stars speaking the book's dialogue, so all through The Bell Jar it was Miss Julia we saw wearing the fussy '60s outfits as an unpaid intern in the magazine offices and stalking around the fancy insane asylum. Julia has a good look for that era, despite being a pretty mediocre actress, so we'll be curious to see the movie when it comes out. Especially because after reading the book, since CC didn't develop any kind of pre-teen style fascination with the story, we'll be okay if it sucks. In fact, we found neurotic, anti-social, privileged Esther Greenwood tough to get invested in. Certainly being manic depressive and suicidal is something that's going to be outside of your control, but all through the book we couldn't help but wonder if English major Esther was so damn smart, why couldn't she at least try to will herself into a better mental state? It sounds a bit insensitive but with all of those opportunities to excel, we sort of wanted to slap her around a bit and yell, "Man up, woman!"

As for Esther's drive to live a life of letters, Cinecultist certainly identifies with that. We've been doing some freelancing at some Condé Nast publications over the last few months, but today was our first day working at the 4 Times Square location (which we've been lovingly/mockingly calling "the mothership"), and as we waiting in the lobby for our security pass, it was sort of thrilling. After six years in New York, and over three working in publishing, you'd think CC would be inured to the imposing security turnstiles and the lure of the Frank Gehry designed cafeteria. But nope. It's cool to be here, another little cog in the vast machine that is the magazine industry. Although much to our Mom's chagrin, we would not promise to take a camera phone picture of Anna Wintour if we were to end up in an elevator with the Vogue editor. A with-it downtown New Yorker like the Cinecultist has to draw the line somewhere.

July 5, 2007

Mixed Feelings: Sex & The City Goes To Hollywood

"After much foreplay, the feature version of the long-running HBO series is gearing for a fall start, with New Line near a deal to finance and distribute," according to Variety today.

Frankly, Cinecultist is a little "meh" about it. We own most of the series on DVD, got HBO when we moved to New York in order to watch it, and even paid good money to go on the SATC tour while in graduate school. (CC wrote a cultural studies paper about the show and its branding of the New York City experience, so shut up about it.) In other words, we should be able to muster more excitement about the news.

Maybe it's because we can't imagine any sort of interesting plot line for the "girls" to explore. The series finale really wrapped it up pretty tidily. Besides, as everyone keeps pointing out with a tinge of evil gloat, the actresses are all getting up there in years. SATC was a product of its moment—financially solvent, sexually expressive 30-somethings living in New York during the booming '90s. But now those chicks have moved on, bought the co-op in Park Slope and retired the Blahniks. What's interesting or sexy about that? Frankly, the whole retread, been-there-seen-it-done-it-bought-the-tshirt aspect is depressing.

June 13, 2007

Chillax With A New Remake

According to Variety today, Regina King will be producing and starring in a remake of Lawrence Kasdan's The Big Chill. The movie will be updated to today and feature an African American cast. (Just as a reminder,
The Big Chill
is that '80s paean to baby boomer touchy-feely navel-gaving as a group of 30-something college friends get together for a funeral, reminisce about where it'd all gone wrong and boogie to Motown hits.)

A few actors Cinecultist hopes the producers and casting director are considering:
Sanaa Lathan
Omar Epps
Taye Diggs
Anika Noni Rose
Larenz Tate
Gabrielle Union
Mekhi Phifer

Movies with a very specific niche cast are so the new hottness and Cinecultist is psyched to see how this project develops.

Posted by karen at 2:12 PM | Regina King, remake | Comments (0)

April 3, 2007

CC's Just Not That Into...This Project

Dear Lord, just when we thought we'd sent Greg Behrendt and his totally overplayed advice concept He's Just Not That Into You back to the place where Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus went to die, the straight-talk trend has new legs. The Hollywood Reporter announced today that Ken Kwapis, the director behind such brilliance as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and episodes of the US version of The Office, will be turning the book into a romantic comedy. The premise? "A hard-line advice guy fall for a woman who seeks him out because she can't figure out the men in her life." Wasn't this movie already made and called Hitch? Frankly, Cinecultist is having nightmares already that they'll cast someone who looks like the aging, wannabe rockabilly Behrendt. *Shudder* Talk about a serious rom com turn-off.

Posted by karen at 3:49 PM | coming soon, rom com | Comments (0)