Monday movie news

The Deadline crew has really been working overtime these last few days, so there’s much to talk about as a new week begins.

* I’m not kidding about the pace of news from Deadline today. Just as I was starting to finish writing this, Mike Fleming broke the news that we have a “Superman” director who’ll be working with producer Christopher Nolan, and he is one Zack Snyder of “300,” “Watchmen,’ the “Dawn of the Dead” remake and that owl movie that’s out right now. Expect a fightin’ Supes. Should you expect a good Supes movie? Dunno. I never understood the grief that “Superman Returns” got. It was a nice, fun movie in the best senses of the words “nice” and “fun.” Will this one be all grimness and unnecessary darkness? I hope not.

*  Fox landed the film adaptation rights for apparently the hottest book of the moment, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter which is being produced by Tim Burton and directed by Timur Bekmanbetov (“Night Watch,” “Wanted“), who purchased the rights with their own money. And it’s not like they were afraid to show they really wanted it:

When Tim and Timur and their entourage of reps came to the Fox…they were met with a huge banner at the gate. It had the title treatment of the script and was emblazoned, “Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov present Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”. At their parking spot were signs saying “Parking For Vampire Hunters Only: park at your own risk,” and so forth. There were bloody footprints lining the walkway and stairs leading from their cars to the meeting in Building 88 with images from the book and lines from the script. As if that were not enough, there also were bloody axes strewn about, and a bugle player in a Confederate uniform playing “Taps” as the filmmakers walked to the meeting..

Yes, like Camelot, Hollywood is a silly place, and I sort of like it that way. I just wished I enjoyed Bekmambetov’s movies, because I didn’t.

* Re: silliness. Check out this promotion for “Jackass 3D”

* I seriously dislike writing about stories that say that so-and-so is “about to be” “offered” a part. There are simply too many items like that and too many “ifs” (maybe the studio will change their minds; maybe the star will say “no,” etc.) and I prefer to wait until the story is further down the road. Nevertheless, Mike Fleming has reported that Emma Stone is about to be offered the part of Mary Jane Watson in the Marc Webb-directed 3D “Spiderman” reboot opposite Andrew Garfield.

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* Tony Gilroy has been a writer on all of the Jason Bourne installments thus far though, as a director, he has put out more sedate thrillers like the successful “Michael Clayton” and unsuccessful and decent, but oddly leaden, “Duplicity.” He’s also apparently complained about the borderline insane breakneck pacing of the Bourne films, says the Playlist. Be that as it may, Gilroy has won enough friends and influenced enough people to apparently have just about gotten himself a directing gig on “The Bourne Legacy”, though whether it’ll be a sequel or another reboot or whether it’ll even called “The Bourne Legacy,” no one seems to have a clue.

* Rumors have really been flying — and they’re really not much more than rumors, — about a new version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, to be directed by Baz Luhrmann. They lost me at “Baz.” (Okay, “Australia” and “Romeo and Juliet” weren’t bad..but the others, don’t get me started.) Anyhow, everyone’s having fun with names, the most common being “Leo,” “Tobey,” and up-and-comer Amanda Seyfried, whose very talented but a bit young for the part if Mr. DiCaprio is Jay Gatsby, I think. If you count a recent TV version from 2001, this would be the fifth film adaptation.

* Martin Scorsese’s documentary, co-directed by Kent Jones, about Elia Kazan and his own response to films like “On the Waterfront” and “East of Eden” airs tonight on PBS’s American Masters. Susan King has a very brief interview. This is a rare case where I think the tributer is a greater director than the tributee, though neither is exactly chopped liver.

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* In the category of non-news news. Bruce Willis is talking like an “Expendables 2” might happen. Given the relatively low budget film is one of the most lucrative Hollywood projects in a while, it just might.

* I was guilty last week of failing to mention the ongoing imbroglio between Peter Jackson and SAG over employing non-union New Zealand and Australian actors on the not-yet-greenlit “The Hobbit.” One place you can keep up on the latest news there — from what SAG folks would probably consider to be a rather pro-Jackson perspective, is at a site run by revered film theorist and LOTR fan Kristin Thompson’s The Frodo Franchise blog, following her 2007 book of the same name.

* In related news, Sir Ian McKellan is waiting for his “hobbit papers” writes Roger Friedman. Presumably that’s not just a new line from the folks at Zig Zag. In I’m sure unrelated news, there was a fire on the Hobbit set late last week, because everything else happened, so why not that?

* Michael Nyqvist is apparently going down the path laid out by Max von Sydow and so many European male stars before him. A flawed hero in Sweden and a nasty bad guy in the States.

* More personnel changes at DC Entertainment, either lay-offs or people whose job was being moved West who didn’t want to move with the gig from New York, which is apparently enough of a directly Hollywood story that Nikki Finke passed it on. She thinks it’ll be good for business. Given the top story today, the ties between the movies and comics businesses have never been closer.

* Anne Thompson examines the increasingly turkey-plagued career of once mighty Renee Zellweger. Diagnosis: “Noble Actress Syndrome.”

* Great reviews and decent box office aside, people like Anne Thompson are reading the tea leaves of the Academy screening of “The Social Network” and see glad Oscar tidings, more or less. Bill Maher, however, is pretty sure “The King’s Speech” will take the most gold men. As quoted by Greg Kilday:

If they’re going to make a historical epic full of British actors in period costumes about Queen Elizabeth helping her father [King George VI] get over his speech impediment, why bother having the Oscars at all? You win.

Unless someone in America is making a movie where Meryl Streep teaches Anne Frank how to box, we give up.

  

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