Tag: Lethal Weapon

Shane Black and “Iron Man 3” — a non-story worth mentioning

You guys have no idea how incredibly tired I am of stories about actors, directors, or writers “circling,” “eying” or even negotiating a given project. Still, sometimes an entertainment writer’s gotta do what an entertainment writer’s gotta do.


Tonight’s big story a possible example of what Hollywood always loves: the big comeback. In this case, Shane Black, the onetime highest paid scriptwriter in Hollywood, creator of the “Lethal Weapon” franchise at age 24, and writer-director of the charming, critically praised, highly imperfect, 2005 culty money-loser, “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” is reportedly in the running to write and direct “Iron Man 3,” obviously one of the bigger projects being tossed around right now.

Despite what seemed like a charmed career early on, Black’s life has never been easy. Moreover, his comeback since 2005 has been a mixed bag at best. Aside from the box office failure of his nevertheless widely liked directorial debut, he’s also had what appears to be the mother of all bad break-ups, the kind that gets you into TMZ, and probably the less I say about that, the better for everyone. Of course, the fact that “Kiss Kiss” starred Robert Downey, Jr. at a time when his own career and reputation badly needed a boost may not have hurt him getting this new gig. The movie made a pittance, but in terms of restoring Downey’s then very shaky credibility in Hollywood, it was priceless. Also, the notoriously penny-pinching Marvel may like the idea of using a talented filmmaker in need of a big break in terms of those negotiations.

I hope it happens and that it goes well. Despite the bad press in 2009, Black is certainly one of the better liked people in the geekier quarters of Hollywood, makes a great, unusually candid interview subject, and, though he has yet to create his true masterpiece, is clearly a talented and bright creator. I’m hoping this one takes.

After the flip, a moment or two of flawed genius from “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” Continue reading »

Mid-week movie blips and bleeps

Another night under the Klieg lights.

* Nikki Finke is obviously in a nasty mood over it, but Rachel Abramowitz at the L.A. Times has a fairly interesting piece on Angelina Jolie‘s upcoming portrayal of best-selling mystery novelist Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta. Even though this will be character’s first appearance on film, they’ve decided to preboot the character by starting with an new “origins” story for the medical examiner character. (Was she bitten by a radioactive pathologist, perhaps?)

* You may think Sundance has been over for a few weeks now, but Anne Thompson details hows it’s not even close to being so simple as she describes how the indie film world is doing its business. One takeaway point: though indie filmmakers are making the most of new media with VOD and slightly older media with DVD, you still need “robust” theatrical to be in the mix if you’re hoping for significant bucks. (H/t Mr. Ebert’s Amazing Twitter feed.)

* The Coen’s have found the young, female lead to play opposite Jeff Bridges’ Rooster Cogburn in their sure-to-be interesting nouveau “True Grit,” and it’s 13 year-old Hailee Steinfeld. Mike Fleming has the scoop.

* Pulp loving writer-director Shane Black of “Lethal Weapon” and “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is going to be helming a new cinematic take on Doc Savage writes Renn Brown of CHUD, via Variety. Brown admits to not knowing his Doc Savage, but I myself went through a pulp phase and read several of the good doctor’s adventures as a youth. I can tell you that “Scooby Doo” is not really the first thing that comes to mind. He’s really more of a non-superpowered Superman, or a much more clean living and nonviolent James Bond, but with the mental faculties of an Indiana Jones and a touch of Jesus Christ. (He has hangs out with a bunch of somewhat more flawed guys who help him to do his various earth-shattering good deeds. He’s so tough, however, he only needs five of them.) Buckaroo Banzai owes his very existence to Doc. Pretty much the only thing Doc couldn’t do was to get through a day’s work without ripping his shirt into shreds. In the world of pulp heroes, he was definitely the daylight yin to the dark yang of “The Shadow.” The character has foiled filmmakers before, but I think Black may be the man for the job.


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