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* Somewhere between a rumor an an actual story, the ‘net geek movie item of today has to have been the flurry of speculation around the notion of Harry Potter director David Yates taking on the two-film directing gig on “The Hobbit” recently vacated by Guillermo del Toro. The Playlist claims to know that Yates has actually been offered the position though, even if true, in Hollywood there are a millions slips twixt cup and lip, so to speak, and the fun debates over who would be available and appropriate for the job continue. My first response was that Yates, a highly competent craftsman, wasn’t really enough of a visionary for the gig but, considering that del Toro and Peter Jackson remain pretty deeply involved, perhaps they’ve got visionaries enough on that project.

* On a somewhat similar note, Robert Rodriguez has possibly been offered a shot at directing a Deadpool movie. Since I missed the Wolverine movie and haven’t read Marvel Comics in a very long time, I have no idea what this actually means. I’ll learn.

Deadpool_Wallpaper_by_Vulture34

* Very inside baseball, but still important: Anne Thompson has an overview of the still-in-process movements of executive Bob Bernay, who suddenly left the indie-level outfit Apparition last year and may have him becoming involved with an even newer distribution company shortly.

* Christopher Nolan has made himself a hero to the anti-3-D contingent, though not to the point of actually ruling out making films in 3-D. I will say that the argument about dimness is reasonably compelling and has been starting to bother me some, now that the novelty has worn off to some degree. In the meantime, soon half of the screens in the UK will be 3-D ready.

* If studios really want to borrow the frisson of strong storytelling values, the should be borrowing story ideas from the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and the 70s, not the 80s. That is when, in my most humble of opinions, traditional mainstream film-craft began to drown in a sea of self-perpetuating marketing notions that have alienated filmgoers over 25 from non-indie fare.

* In his L.A. Times exclusive, Steven Zeitchik writes of “The Incredible Mr. Limpet”

The Don Knotts original, about an ordinary man who becomes a fish and fights the Nazis, is nearly 50 years old, isn’t that well remembered and was hardly a classic to begin with.

First of all, I find the first part confusing. If filmmakers are going to do a lot of remakes, then what are they supposed to remake, new movies? And, of course, I deeply resent the routine dissing of movies for the crime of having actually stood the test of time to some degree. I hope that’s not what Zeitchik meant.

the-incredible-mr-limpet

However, for some people I know, the real fighting words are those about it not being well remembered or a classic. I’ve never seen the partially animated “Limpet” but I know a few people who remember it very well, indeed. Anyhow, I think the combination of comedian Zack Galifianakis and director Kevin Lima (“Enchanted”) could be a natural here.

* Conservative/libertarian leaning movie fans are feeling good today because word has spread that the long, long awaited film of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” actually began filming recently. The newly revived conservative film site, Libertas, trumpets the good news (for them, that is). I remember getting pretty p.o’d at much of what was written at the mag back in the day, but I guess Big Hollywood’s level of nearly consistent idiocy has softened me up. The thing’s kind of classy. Co-editor Jason Apuzzo also do news posts like this one, except they use bullet points instead of asterisks. Everybody’s doing it, I tell you.

Anyhow, as if to harsh the conservative mellow, Mike Fleming dispassionately reports that the entire project may be more of a placeholder to allow the producer to hang onto the rights for a few more years until a “real” version can be made. (If you want examples, just ask superhero fans about that shelved “Fantastic Four” movie from the nineties.)  There’s also some possible litigation from a jilted director to contend with, too.

* Speaking of perhaps harshing conservative mellows, producer Lawrence Bender had some words for the conservatives who think he should return his “An Inconvenient Truth” Oscar when I spoke to him outside the New Beverly Theater at the “Inglourious Basterds” DVD release event last winter. Now, working together with Queen Noor of Jordan on a film about nuclear proliferation — which really should not be a partisan issue but then neither should global warming — hes’ entering the fray again with director Lucy Walker’s “Countdown to Zero.” Assuming the film is as evenhanded as advertised, will conservatives realize that preventing a nuclear holocaust is about the most conservative thing you can support — rightwing media mega-magnate Rupert Murdoch is reportedly a fan of the doc — or will this become another political football? Stay tuned.

  

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