Really not that much to say, except…
* Summit has acquired the North American rights to distribute “The Ghost Writer,” a political thriller starring Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan. And why is this the top item? The director is Roman Polanski. Wait for this film to benefit from a lot of free publicity generated by people who think it’s wrong to see any movie in which someone involved with it once did a very bad thing. If you follow that rule, you’ll miss a lot of movies.
* Not too surprisingly, that report I mentioned on Wednesday that James Cameron‘s next movie is going to be an outer space redo or homage or what have you of The Seven Samurai was all wet. Instead, quoth the Playlist, he’s producing, but not directing, a remake of the not-so-great (at least as far as I can remember it) sixties sci-fi hit, “Fantastic Voyage.” It could work and will probably be at least a little bit fun in 3-D.
* Speaking of Cameron, it’s a bit weighted towards the geek press at this moment, but reviews have been leaking all over the place for “Avatar” and, guess what, the critics seem to think there’s something to the hype. At the very least the film is guaranteed to get a bunch of technical nominations and probably win them. Throw some Oscars into the marketing mix of James Cameron’s latest, and a genuinely gigantic hit with massive legs could brewing.
How long before the inevitable backlash? Well, Michael Phillips‘ review encompasses both frontlash and backlash. Putting on her critic hat, Anne Thompson writes a prose poem. She says all us cinephiles are going to have to see it multiple times. Well, I’m sure some of us will disagree there. Contrarians, skeptics, and extra-tough critics, start your engines.
* In a related matter, some in the geek press are going — and this is the only word I have to describe this — apeshit over what Sigourney Weaver said in one of her promotional interviews. Apparently, “Ghostbusters 3” is on; if Weaver will be in it, her part will likely be small; also, Bill Murray might be playing a ghostly version of Dr. Peter Venkman in the new sequel. My world continues to spin on its prior axis.
* A Jim Henson biopic and Aaron Sorkin’s Facebook screenplay (being directed by David Fincher) top the list of the year’s most well-liked scripts.
* The world’s toughest movie septuagenarian Clint Eastwood giving up acting in favor of directing? Directing is actually the harder job, though I guess more cerebrally than physically. My hunch is that maybe he’s just done directing himself in starring roles, which almost everyone whose done it says is ridiculously challenging. It would be fun to see him pop up in supporting roles in other directors’ pictures, though. (H/t Screencrave.)
* Okay, the cynical version of this item is that J.J. Abrams wants an Oscar. Still, why can’t a genre director take on a National Book Award Winner? It’s been done before. True, Mr. Abrams’ cinema skills are not really anywhere near the levels of Steven Spielberg. His strength is in basic storytelling, likable stock characters and humor, but it still could work — if he can only drop the ADHD/herky-jerky camera style and acquaint himself with this thing they call a tripod.
* This guy who most recently played Orson Welles walks into a bar, but not just any bar.