Surprise! It’s the return of the end of week movie news dump.

I thought I’d shock everyone and do a post that’s not built around a trailer — there’ll be time enough for that on the weekend.

* Tom Cruise may or may not be many things, but I’ve never really thought of him as a rocker. Yet, that’s exactly what he will be in the promised film version of “Rock of Ages.” I’ve long had mixed feelings about Cruise as an actor — he can be very good in some things and disastrous in others — and I have mixed feelings about this project, too. To be specific, I like good movie musicals but strongly dislike eighties hair bands and what some of us used to call “corporate rock.”

On the other hand, Mike Fleming touts Anne Hathaway, who I have few or no mixed feelings about, as a possible costar. I wonder what she’d look like as a glam rocker…

anne_hathaway

* A star has been set — or at least gotten to the serious negotiation stage — for the long discussed “Jack the Giant Killer” coming from Bryan Singer and his old screenwriting cohort, Christopher McQuarrie, writes Mike Fleming. He’s that kid who was so great in 2002’s “About a Boy” grown-up into 20-something Nicolas Hoult. Hoult has also appeared on the UK “Skins” and will be turning up in the upcoming “Mad Max” reboot/sequel or whatever.

Mike Fleming, however, is not correct when he describes the tale as a “scary” variation on “Jack and the Beanstalk.” It’s an entirely different, far less commonly told, fairy tale. As Wikipedia tells us:

Jack the Giant Killer is a British fairy tale about a plucky Cornish lad who slays a number of giants during King Arthur’s reign. The tale is characterized by violence, gore, and blood-letting.

No wonder they’re making a movie of it.

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Thursday night movie news dump

I usually do this on Friday, but the interesting film related stories have been coming fairly hot and heavy all week and it’s time to play catch up. I’m telling you right now, as long as this post is, whatever the most important and interesting story from this eventful week turns out to be, it’ll be the one I skip.

* When I first heard about the project a week or so back, I was taken by the prospect of screenwriter Dustin Lance Black segueing from a biopic about the first openly gay U.S. politician in “Milk” to one about by far the most powerful closeted gay man in American history, J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover was the first director of the FBI starting in 1935 and, in a real blow to our democracy, intimidated several presidents into keeping him in the position until his death in 1972, a shocking 37 years later.

An already interesting project got even more interesting, however, a couple of days back when word got out that none other than Clint Eastwood, who will be joining the very smal club of octogenerian directors this May, might choose to helm it. (The Playlist broke the news on the 10th that Eastwood was “set” to direct; yesterday Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that he was merely “eying” the project.).

Taken together with “Invictus,” this would be the second time the right leaning but independent-minded Republican would be taking on subject matter that deals obliquely with a significant moral failure of American conservatism. Nearly all well-known conservatives tacitly supported both the racist and fascist pre-Mandela South African regime and Hoover’s uninterrupted reign.

In the case of “Invictus,” the idea of him doing it turned out to be more interesting than the film. However, for the man who embodied “get tough” law enforcement concepts as Dirty Harry to take on a law enforcement figure who enjoyed getting tough with anyone who dared to espouse politics he deemed radical — but not the mafia — that’s a horse of a potentially very different color. One to watch.

Clint Eastwood will take your question later

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When a Double-0 Does It, It is Not Illegal + “G.I. Joe,” F**k No!

A couple of items hot off the action film presses…

* As per Cinematical, writer Peter Morgan has been hired to work on the as-yet-untitled 23rd (!) James Bond film. If the name rings a bell, he’s the playwright and screenwriter best known for the slam-bang action fests “Frost/Nixon” and “The Queen.” (Yeah, I know, but they cut out the lengthy sequence where Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II dons a cat suit and tears a bunch of foreign agents limb from limb as she foils a plot to blow up Buckingham Palace before tea and crumpets with the French premier.)

It’s actually not a big change in strategy. Both “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace” were written by the team of Robert Wade and Neal Purvis with a “polish” from Oscar-winning veteran scribe Paul Haggis (“Crash“, “Million Dollar Baby“). After what many perceived as a bit of a let down on “Quantum” both in terms of story and direction, apparently the idea was to get a fresh Oscar-nominated, if not actually Oscar-winning, writer on board. So, no need to worry that “Bond 23” will be an earnest examination of the legal and ethical issues created by giving random blokes a license to kill people — though I’d pay to see that. As usual, interesting choices are being bandied about for the Bondian director’s chair, but in 22 films, for better or worse, a director with a strong personal vision has yet to be hired, so no reason to think the Bond producers will break the pattern now.

* Rumors have been flying all over the place about a supposed disastrous screening of “G.I. Joe” — a movie that wasn’t exactly being awaited with baited breath at least in my corner of the geeksphere. Anyhow, the upshot is that helmer Stephen Sommers, best known as the writer-director behind the Mummy films, or other heads may or may not roll or be diminished creatively.

For insight, I hereby direct you to Anne Thompson‘s refreshingly FACT-ual approach to the matter. Looking at the trailer, I can’t help thinking that this movie has somehow already been made….


Team America Trailer
Uploaded by ijeannie.
  

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