Your end of week movie news dump

A ton has happened since my last of these posts and I’m sure I’m missing plenty, but here are just a few of the interesting things going on in the movie world as this rather loony week finally ends.

* Bryan Singer will be producing, not directing, the next “X-Men” prequel. He’ll be directing “Jack, the Giant Killer” instead. And another Mike Fleming story, an exclusive this time: “Paranormal Activity 2” has a director. He’s Tod Williams, best known for “The Door in the Floor.” Sounds to me like Paramount is keeping things modest, wisely.

* The very ill Dennis Hopper got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today.  Amy Kaufman has video of the ceremony which included Hopper rather gently chiding the paparazzi for an incident which caused him to fall. The video itself ends with photographers yelling “Viggo!” and “Jack!”

* Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood” with Russell Crowe as Robin will be opening Cannes this year. The plot description put me somewhat in mind of the angle the great director Richard Lester and writer James Goldman took on the legend in a film I’m quite partial to, “Robin and Marian,” which starred Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn.

robin-hood-russell-crowe-and-his-merry-men

* Like most serious film lovers, I was very sorry to hear of the cancellation of the newly revitalized “At the Movies” with Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott. Andrew Wallenstein, however, sees a ray of hope for newspapers. Roger Ebert sees more than a ray of hope for the format and the Internet.

* My friend, cartoonist Randy Reynaldo, writes about his encounter with the late Robert Culp, who was attempting to launch a film version of the classic comic strip, “Terry and the Pirates.”

* Angelina Jolie might, or might not, be Maleficent at some future point, or not in a movie that might, or might not, be made by Tim Burton at some point. Sometimes, the Internet can just wear a guy down.

Viggo Mortenson and Armin Mueller-Stahl in
* Here’s a story I like. It looks like David Cronenberg, Viggo  Mortenson and writer Steve Knight will be reteaming for a sequel to a movie I really liked a lot, “Eastern Promises.” Nice to see a sequel happening not just because the prior film was profitable but probably mostly because there’s a legitimate further story to be told and because the makers work well together.

* The rumour mill is touting both Carey Mulligan and Colin Firth for the upcoming redo of “My Fair Lady” which I understand is supposed to be a bit less of a romanticized take on George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion.” Emma Thompson is writing the adaptation (and I hope playing at least a small role in there someplace) and John Madden directing. Anyhow, it sounds good to me.

* I’m trying to keep an open mind, but this story about a “lost” audio recording by Orson Welles of a self-published book by a friend of his becoming the basis of a new family movie gives me the creeps. If Welles is such an all-fired hot property still, why not make “Chimes at Midnight” available in the U.S. again, for God’s sake? The film, which starred Welles as my favorite Shakespeare character, Sir John Falstaff, and used material by Shakespeare from several of the plays featuring the character who figures prominently in the Bard’s greatest history plays, is thought by Wellesians to be as good or better than “Citizen Kane.” I don’t know, but the fact that it hasn’t been available or shown theatrically in the U.S. for, I think, about thirty years or so is a true cinema crime. The idea that all been held up by some legal issues is kind of loathsome. Who profits by keeping the film hidden all these years?

* Your daily dose of meta, as Variety reportedly struggles and strong-arms as it attempts to survive by putting itself behind a marginalizing pay wall, Ms. Nikki Finke has managed to make herself the story in an affair involving the other big trade, The Hollywood Reporter.  It’s actually too long and dull a story to go into involving her rivalry with Sharon Waxman of the Wrap, but the short version is that she’s claimed she was offered a house to become Editor-in-Chief  of THR. though the paper has denied making any offer at all. I’ve said it before under similar circumstances, but the most disturbing part of this story is the idea of Nikki Finke being somebody’s boss. Terrifying.

  

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