It’s your end of the week movie news dump.

Posting over the next few days is going to probably be news-free, so we’ll make hay while the cinema news sun shines. We start off with casting news.

Jeremy Renner in * Jeremy Renner of “The Hurt Locker” is “near a deal” to play Hawkeye in the Avengers film to be (theoretically) directed by Joss Whedon, who hasn’t said a word officially to anyone in months, as far as I can tell. Renner is a smart choice. Playing a character who hasn’t previously been introduced is going to be a special challenge in this movie and actors without real ability and charisma probably need not apply.

* So, if the Wrap is correct, Brad Pitt likely won’t end up staring in the U.S. remake of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” It looks like that will be Daniel Craig, instead. Having seen the Swedish film, it seems to me he’s a much better fit for the part of the male lead. The character has a bit of a hang-dog, defeated quality to him that just doesn’t fit Pitt. I think Craig can pull that off easily. He should probably gain or lose a bit of weight for the part. This guy might do okay with woman, but he’s a coffee-and-cigarette addicted journalist, not a perfectly exercised super-spy.

* Speaking of matters Bondian, as per the Playlist, Christopher Nolan is describing his very highly anticipated “Inception” as his Bond film, in a way.  I’m personally not a fan of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” but it’s an interesting model, nonetheless.

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Bush gets Stoned in new GQ interview

Admit it: you were too busy drooling over Megan Fox on the cover of the October issue of GQ that you completely forgot to check out director Oliver Stone’s candid interview about his new film, “W.” It’s all right if you haven’t, because the brief chat can also be found online, and let me tell you, it’s well worth reading. Though it may seem like Stone is gunning for the incumbent president with his self-proclaimed political satire, the veteran director actually appears to have a good understanding of the man. In the article, Stone admits he’s cut from the same cloth as Bush, and if it weren’t for the fact that he took a completely different route growing up, he may have turned out the same way. Oh yeah, and “Vietnam drove out whatever arrogance [he] carried.”

The rest of the interview covers everything from the difficulties of making such a film to his long-running problems working within the studio system. Posted below are some excerpts, but to read it in full, click here.

On his first choice for the lead role:

“Originally I went for Christian Bale. We did some rigorous prosthetic tests and spent a lot of dough—thousands and thousands of dollars—and then Christian said, “I just don’t feel like I can do it.” I met Josh and liked him. He was more rural Americana. But man, he was scared shitless.”

On why “W” could be considered a comedy:

“Well, it has to be done with an ebullience and a certain fun, because the guy is goofy. He’s a goofball! And I think he endeared himself to people because he couldn’t get anything right. Kubrick was an idol of mine. I grew up on “Strangelove” and movies like “Network,” and they made a big impact on me. So yeah, W. is a satire.”

On the state of his Mai Lai massacre project, “Pinkville”:

It can probably only come back if UA would give us the movie without paying them the money they’ve already spent. We started to make the movie. I mean, we built a whole village in Thailand! We have tons of stuff sitting in crates! There’s $6 million against the movie. And I don’t have that kind of money. They didn’t even pay all the bills. They stuck us with a bunch of them.

First they kept cutting our budget. We had our locations, we had our actors, we had everything picked out, and it was a very reasonable plan. Then Bruce Willis walked, and they were thrilled, because that gave them the final excuse to call it, even though we got Nicholas Cage. That was three weeks before shooting and right before Christmas. Let me remind you, that’s 120 Americans and 500 Thais put out of work right before Christmas. It was a cruel, heartless decision, and it was probably made because “Lions for Lambs” was perceived as a mess, a failure, and we were linked to these Iraq movies that weren’t working.

  

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Bullz-Eye’s 2008 Fall Movie Preview

The mercury’s falling, sports fans are turning their attention from baseball to football, and twerpy kids across the country are back in school where they belong. Fall is here, and for the movie lover, that means it’s time for Hollywood to begin its annual turning away from substance-free popcorn movies and toward thoughtful dramas and Oscar hopefuls.

Between early September and Thanksgiving, the studios will be working overtime to get you into the theater – Lionsgate, just to give one example, has more movies coming out than some companies release in an entire year. To help you cut through the clutter, Bullz-Eye has assembled a list of the 20 most-anticipated films of the season, including the latest Bond flick (“Quantum of Solace”), Guy Ritchie’s return to the crime caper genre (“RocknRolla”), and Oscar bait like “The Soloist” and “The Road.” Check out the list (complete with trailers), and then come back to discuss what fall movies you’re most looking forward to seeing.

  

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