Yes, we ‘ve got movie news…
* Nikki Finke’s new best friend, Mike Fleming (or someone, it’s written in the third person), writes tonight that director Marc Webb of the very popular indie relationship comedy, “(500) Days of Summer” is right now the most likely director for the just announced “Spiderman” reboot. Fleming, or whomever, writes that Webb has “no superhero experience,” which is not really the issue. The issue is that, while he’s quite capable of making an okay indie comedy (I’m not the movie’s biggest fan), he has no action experience and Sam Raimi had obviously quite a bit before attempting “Spiderman.” Still, the choice of Webb wouldn’t be half so strange as another one mentioned by Fleming (or whomever) apparently in all seriousness: Wes Anderson.
I wish we lived in a universe where studio executives would be so weirdly brave. And, hey, if Anderson’s not available, they could try David Lynch. I don’t know about the masses, but I’d definitely pay to see either movie.
Fleming (or whomever), however, is absolutely correct that, if he were just a bit younger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be the guy to play the new Peter Parker. Oh, well.
* Fleming also has it that Daniel Craig is “in talks” to replace a vacating Robert Downey, Jr. on the comic book adaptation, “Cowboys and Aliens.” Interesting transition. Downey seems more alien than cowboy; Craig is definitely more cowboy than alien.
* I’m on record as being someone who does not decry remakes site unseen just because they are remakes. I also try never to judge movies before they are even made.
HOWEVER, I am making an exception for Robert Zemeckis’s attempt to reanimate, in the Stuart Gordon sense of the word, “Yellow Submarine” using his creepy and unlikeable version of motion-capture. As to yesterday’s news that the Beatles characters would be voiced by Cary Elwes, doing George Harrison, and three relative unknowns better known to English TV audiences, that’s just a shrug as the original film didn’t feature the Beatles’ real speaking voices either, except for a brief live-action sequence at the end of the movie. The music will be mimed but — contrary to some reports, neither sung nor played — by the Fab Four, a well-known tribute band. Thankfully, the original recordings will be used, so that’s a guarantee of some great music, if nothing else.
To me, the problem — and it’s pretty much insurmountable as far as I can imagine — is that the character’s in Zemeckis’ film already have an undead quality about them and I personally just kind of find the whole idea of recreating the Beatles using this process personally offensive. Absent a complete reimagining of the Zemeckis animation process, and I’ve heard nothing to indicate that’s happening — I just don’t see how this film can’t be offensively bad, no matter how clever Zemeckis’s script might be.
I miss “Roger Rabbit.”
* So, a studio buys a spec script because they presumably think it will make a successful film. Then, they keep changing it. Then, still not happy, they bring in a not especially talented writer-director to take a whack at it. If this sounds like to way to make a good movie to you, you might love “The Lost Patrol.” It’ll be from the director, though not the writer, who brought you the first “Blade” (which was unable to make it past the 30 minute mark of) and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” which I feel comfortable never bothering to watch unless someone pays me. Yeah, I’m in a pre-judgey mood tonight.
* The Playlist confirms, papa Ivan Reitman will direct “Ghostbusters 3.”
* Where is Father Guido Sarducci when we really need him?
* Mike Fleming’s scary new boss, Nikki Finke, really gets into the weeds financially sometimes. That’s a good thing and one of the things that makes her so valuable, even if Ithis math-phobe sometimes finds it impossible to follow.
It wasn’t the easiest read ever for me, but I think I followed her logic okay about why she believes, I’m sure correctly, that “Nine” is turning into a pretty huge financial setback for the Weinstein Company. But she sometimes writes as if all of her readers are practiced movie dealmakers.
A very brief item about the ongoing deal for the right to “The Terminator” franchise refers to something called a “gross corridor” deal. I tried Googling the term and came up with this description from a 1994 Filmmaker Magazine article:
…If your distributor can’t offer you an advance to help defray the costs of delivery, ask for a gross corrider deal with your distributor, which essentially means that a portion of money received from the box office and ancillary markets will revert directly to the filmmaker. This allows money to come back to you more quickly in order to pay for materials…
Good to know, because I always thought a “gross corridor” was what happened when someone throughs up in the hall.